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The Measure of Gold

“A young American woman outwits Nazis through alchemy and espionage… An engrossing supernatural spy story.”

Kirkus Reviews

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The Measure of Gold
News & Reviews

“Compelling… Patten examines the link between the mysteries of alchemy and love through a passionate romance that develops at the height of WWII.” 

– BlueInk Review

“Poetic… a touching novel that features both fantasies and cruel sacrifices [of WWII].”

– Foreward Clarion

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The Author

A bit about me

I grew up just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. I earned my BA in English from Cornell University. My focus in writing at that time was primarily poetry. I earned my MALS in creative writing from Dartmouth where I completed my thesis, a collection of short stories entitled The Laying on of Hands. Over the course of my career, I spent almost fifteen years working as an English teacher, a creative writing instructor, then a school administrator before leaving those positions to pursue writing full-time. I live in Asheville, North Carolina with my husband and three children.


The Measure of Gold

THE MEASURE OF GOLD opens as Penelope has just received an urgent letter from a childhood friend calling her to Paris, France just after the German invasion. Bereft from the loss of her widowed father, Penelope leaves her life in Sweetwater, TN behind to reunite with her lost friend Naomie.

There, her life begins again as she meets Naomie’s brother, the brilliant, mad alchemist Fulcanelli and his mysterious apprentice Lucien. Penelope falls headlong into the esoteric world of alchemy, espionage, and love. Assigned to spy on the clients of a powerful, French brothel, she listens, learns, and dances to seduce one of the most infamous murderers of World War II in a desperate calculation to save her lover Lucien.

Through the devastating magic of life, Penelope learns that alchemy has far more to do with the person than the element. The story follows Penelope’s suspenseful, epic journey through the transformations of war, from Sweetwater to Paris and back again. THE MEASURE OF GOLD is an epic story of alchemy, love, voice, betrayal, and courage, of how we can change from stone to gold.

Before she boarded the motor gunboat, Penelope opened her leather bag, lifted it to the sky and released the magpie, watching the bird wobble, perch, then fly off towards the lashing rain as if it knew exactly what to do. Her heart felt heavy with circumstance, and her thoughts ran truant. She had already learned so much about the stark consequences of letting go.