SIT DOWN SATURDAY WITH CATHERINE LANIGAN
Before I even begin to talk about the book and some long ago inspirations. Here’s my inspiration for my hero, Austin McCreary.
Okay, now he’s a real cutie, right? I loved The Mentalist, but now it’s off the air. Sigh. A few years ago he did a three year series called The Guardian which my husband and I are now bing watching on Netflix. I highly recommend it.
This is my cover for the book and when I saw the first images that Heartwarming sent to me, I sat down in awe. This guy is really sweet and his eyes are mesmerizing. Together, they make a darling couple and I liked the way she was cuddled up in his arms. Again, another sigh.
I don’t know how the cover gurus at Heartwarming do it, but frankly, I haven’t seen a cover yet for any of us that didn’t make me want to buy the book. Those people need an extra box of chocolates from all of us!
So, here’s the cover---
This book in my series is especially important to me, because it was the image of Katia and Austin that prompted my entire Shores of Indian Lake Series. It all goes back to the night that I woke up at three in the morning with my dream still in my head about this auburn haired, beautiful woman standing under a street lamp, around midnight, looking up at a single burning bedroom lamp in the mansion across the street. In my “vision” the woman turned to me and stared. She told me that I was to write her story. I knew instantly that she was in love with the man in that house and that he was awake thinking of her. I also knew that she wouldn’t “go” to him because he would have nothing to do with her. She was the one who had broken his heart when they were teenagers and not only had he not forgotten her, he had become the town’s recluse because she abandoned him. Katia’s story did not evolve the way some stories do for me, but was just “there—everywhere.
Austin was very real to me because back when I was in high school, I had a teacher who was a bachelor. Everyone wanted to know his “story” and one day in class, he blurted out that he’d been left at the altar by his bride. The church was packed. He was wearing his tux and she never showed up. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe that would actually happen. He was a good looking man, very kind to his students and I thought he made literature quite interesting. As the years passed, he became a recluse. A bona fide, agoraphobic. He quit teaching and retired and lived in a world of books. His library was massive. It was said that when he died, you could barely walk through his house because the books were in stacks to the ceiling. He had first editions and he came to every book signing I had in those days. His estate of books brought over three million dollars when he died.I will always remember him, so in many ways, Katia’s story is inspired by these true events.
I’m ALWAYS interested in the favorite scenes of other authors, so here’s mine:
At one point Katia is so desperate to get Austin to talk to her, that she “breaks” into his house to see him. Katia had been the maid’s daughter in Austin’s parents’ mansion when she was a little girl. Therefore, this house had been her childhood home as well. Once she was a teenager, she fell in love with Austin and he with her. However, Katia’s mother feared their growing relationship and moved Katia and herself to Chicago on the eve of Katia’s trip to New York for Austin’s senior prom. Austin waited at La Guardia for Katia to show up, but she never did. Katia was ashamed that her mother thought she might become pregnant and was too embarrassed to ever call Austin again. Austin never forgave her—and never forgot her. Katia has kept the key to Austin’s home all these years. Once she comes back to Indian Lake, he won’t talk to her about the insurance policy she is trying to sell him. So, she goes to his house, uses the key and lets herself in. The security guards are alerted by the electronic security system. The cops show up. The housekeeper, Daisy, comes running and its pandemonium, while all this time, Austin is upstairs in the shower. It’s an embarrassing, but very humorous moment for Katia and Austin both!
The other interesting fact about KATIA’S PROMISE is that Austin and his family collect antique cars and he’s in the process of building a car museum. In our little town of La Porte, one of our residents DID build an antique car museum. It has now been donated to the city as the Heritage Foundation Building. However, it is gorgeous and looks just like the Hermitage. I have always been fascinated with antique cars. I had so much fun researching the 1926 blue Bugatti convertible, Silver Cloud Rolls Royce and the Maserati he might own. For me, sitting in an antique car is one way of traveling back in time. The velvet upholstery that was used, the silver bud vases in the back seat, the quilted chrome dashboards, reinforce to me that these cars are literally like time machines.
I also want to thank Claire and Victoria for allowing me to write about antique cars, which is not a very feminine hobby/passion, but it’s one I adore. My husband had a 1946 Cadillac that he’d learned to drive when he was sixteen and which we kept up on “blocks” in our garage in Scottsdale. When we sold his house there, he gave the car to some friends in Long Beach, California. Our friends restored the car fully to its former glory and whenever we go out to California for business, we make it a point for all of us to drive to dinner in that car. It really is amazing how being in a car like that gives a person a different perspective of their surroundings and situations.
So, I’m curious. Would any of you choose an antique car, say a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud or a 1960’s Mercedes Benz convertible or a revved up 1968 Corvette over your current car?