I loved that coat. I found it in a little shop in Darlington, back in the early spring of 2006. As the mother of the bridegroom, I’d had a vague idea what I was looking for, but this was nothing like anything I had in mind. Yet it leapt out at me as I glanced along the rail in the shop. I just had to try it on. But as I took it off its hanger, I spotted the price…
Oh dear! It cost much, much more than I’d intended to pay for the whole outfit. And I’d have to buy something to wear under it.
Still, maybe it would look terrible on, so I’d happily return it to the rail and continue my search. No such luck! I loved the way it looked and felt. I loved the embroidered pattern on the purple crêpe fabric, the fall of it, everything about it. Except the price… My husband didn’t turn a hair. He simply agreed it was the one, so we bought it.
I wore it for the happy day when our son married the lovely young woman we liked so much. I planned to wear it again later that year, when my nephew was married, but circumstances meant we never made it to that wedding.
In fact I have never worn it since that day. It’s not easy to find a suitable occasion, and there was never was quite the moment. But I couldn’t bear to part with it. It hung in the wardrobe, loved but unworn.
And then as I tried to come up with cover designs for my historical romances, it suddenly struck me that the fabric had a slightly antique look about its design. It could almost be a fabric from Elizabethan or Stuart times. In fact, would it not make a lovely background for a series of romantic titles?
I emailed Ghost, who’d made the coat, and before long had permission to use my photo of the fabric. My son made some slight alterations to the photo, so that each of the seven Caroline Martin novels has a slightly different colour (‘The King’s Favourite’ is the one that uses the original colour, unchanged), and there we are. My lovely coat has been given a new life in the Kindle store.
But I’d still like to wear it again one day…