When I originally wrote this story - years ago, when I was only in my early twenties! - I titled it 'Sarah Jennings' after the heroine. Since then, the story underwent various changes, but the main line was strong enough to maintain. The Gold Crucifix is the result of all these re-writes.
The action takes place in England and begins during the straining years of Civil War. Roundheads against Cavaliers, and a young woman and young man caught in the middle of the storm.
Just before the Restoration, 13-year-old Sarah learns on her mother's deathbed that innkeeper Amos Jennings is not her real father. Her mother can't tell her the name of the man responsible for her being. She only suspects he was a nobleman. She only has one item belonging to him: a beautiful bejeweled crucifix on a golden chain.
Sarah doesn't feel at home at the inn anymore. So she is glad when the local lord offers her a position at his manor house. As years go by, her intelligence earns her the job as housekeeper.
It is at Linfield Grange she meets Richard Carey, brother of Lord Walter - and his heir. Walter has consumption and will not live very long. She feels attracted to the young rascal, but realizes soon enough he will never marry her. Still she becomes a victim of his charms on the night of his leaving. Not wanting to share the same faith as her mother, she leaves the Grange and seeks her fortune in London.
There she meet Charles Hart, who is the main player in His Majesty's Theatre. He thinks she could be an actress and persuades her to give it a try. As Sarah Davenport she begins a career on stage, becoming good friends with Hart and his girlfriend Nell Gwynne.
As her success grows, Sarah draws the attention of various men - among which even His Majesty, King Charles the Second. But then Richard returns... to claim what he once owned. Hard times are ahead for Sarah, who can't say 'no' to Richard but knows in her mind he is not the right man for her.
The Great Fire and the pest play a part in this novel, as well as the restored theatre and the court of Charles the Second.
Suffise it to know that the story has a happy ending. Sarah marries the man she loves and even finds out who her true father is!
You can buy the book at Rogue Phoenix's website or an online bookseller, either as e-book or paperback.