Saturday, May 16, 2015

SIT DOWN SATURDAY WITH CATHERINE LANIGAN

                         SIT DOWN SATURDAY WITH CATHERINE LANIGAN
                                                           KATIA’S PROMISE

     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?


   

27 comments:

  1. Great post, Catherine! I very much look forward to reading KATIA'S PROMISE; I know all your readers will love it!

    Cars are an interesting topic for me. I was more or less rebuilding engines from the time I was a kid. My first car (which I purchased when I was sixteen with money I earned teaching art to kids) was a Camero RS. It was followed by another Camero and four Corvettes by the time I finished university. I kept my last Corvette until just three years ago, and it still had less than 100,000 km on it. I just didn't have a lot of time to drive it (especially considering Canadian winters!) and it was a shame to just let it collect dust in our garage. When we took it out and my husband cleaned it up, he'd forgotten what a terrific car it was, and HE offered to buy it from me!! That last Corvette is gone, but I still enjoy fast, well-performing cars, and look forward to reading about the antique cars in KATIA'S PROMISE . . . although I would take a '63 split-window Corvette over any other year/model!

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    1. Wow, Kate. YOU ARE A woman after my own heart. There is a Corvette club here that is very strong. My neighbor, whom I went to kindergarten, grade school and high school with, has a black 1989 Corvette. He just got it out of storage for the summer and rides around with the top down. Sigh. You must have been so sad to see your car go. I too, have loved tinkering with cars, not that you can do that now. Now we have to be electronic engineers to understand today's cars.

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  2. My dad is a lover of classic cars, and we've gone to several car shows with him. Those muscle cars of the sixties look awfully fun to drive, but I think I'd rather make the trade for an afternoon and not permanently! It's interesting how many aspects of your story are derived from real people/places/events, and I absolutely love the cover! I like your choice of Simon Baker as your inspiration for the hero, too. Did you ever see the movie "Something New" with Simon as the male lead? It's very romance novel-esque and he's pretty delicious as the hero! Congrats on the latest release. I do love Heartwarming!

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    1. Christy, the movie 'Something New' was my first glimpse at Simon Baker. I fell in love with him as an actor and yes, he was quite delicious in it :). Excellent romantic movie!

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    2. Hey's an eye full isn't he? My husband and I first saw him as a stone cold sniper assassin in a movie, which I can't remember the title. But I'll ask my hubbie. THAT guy can act!

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  3. Yippy!! Yippy!! I am so glad I won this book!! (Thank you Catherine Lanigan for sending it to me. Only one book left to arrive and I will take a picture of all of them and post it.)
    I enjoyed reading about how your book came together. I was also intrigued by your poor teacher who was left at the alter and became an agoraphobic. Paula Deen suffered from that for many, many years after a life tragedy and her story really touched me.
    Regarding cars, my husband loves cars. He reads those car magazines so he's up to date on the latest and greatest. My neighbor owns a beautiful antique car but I can't tell you what it is. There's an antique car show each year a few minutes from me at Lowes Motor Speedway and it's fun seeing all of those vintage cars on the road. As for me, I like the car that Rose and Jack of Titanic were in in their love scene, and the one that Branson from Downton Abby used to drive the women around in. I think they're similar. I'd much rather drive in one of those today. Can't wait to get to your book too!!

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    1. Laurie, I'm glad you won, too! Isn't that just the coolest thing? I love contests though I almost never win a thing. I'm with you...about Rose and Jack in Titanic. Great scene. And my husband and I are binge watching Downton Abbey. THIS is my favorite time period of all. Some writers like swords and knights, but I'm a turn of the last century person. I love the juxtaposition of the new cars and inventions along with the old with horses and carriages and gas lamps. That attitude of Austin's is purely my own!

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  4. LOVE Simon, and it was a rare night when Larry and I missed The Mentalist or The Guardian! Your cover is gorgeous, and I can't wait to read this story! Happy weekend, Catherine!

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    1. Loree,

      We have been binge watching..this is before I fall asleep at 9:00 every night, The Guardian. Frankly, I am very anxious about where Simon will end up now that the Mentalist is over. I just adore The Guardian. Only four more episodes and then it is no more. I'll go into withdrawal!!

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  5. Catherine, I can't resist a recluse romance! I've been waiting impatiently for Austin's story! :) Can't wait to read it. As for The Mentalist, I was just watching a rerun last night! I love Simon Baker and I think he's gorgeous. Like I mentioned to Christy above, I really enjoyed his romantic movie, Something New.

    When I met my husband, he was driving an old Jensen Healey that needed work, but worked for him. It was an orangy red color and I remember my dad wondering how, a 6 ft 2in guy could sit in it lol.

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    1. That is such a fun story. When I met my husband he was driving a 20 year old Porsche 911. It kept breaking down, the fender came off which I had to tape up so we could make a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway. He finally gave it to the mechanic who had worked on the car for all those years. He needed a car for his daughter and we figured if anyone could make the thing run like a top again, it would be him!

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  6. Wow, your book is such a composite of things that have happened in your life that it's going to be a special read. I just got my May books yesterday, so I have a lot of good reading stacked up to do. We have a lot of classic car shows in town. I love to see the ones with classic and antique license plates driving down the road. I've never thought about what it would be like to own one.

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  7. Roz,
    It really is fun to see those antique car parades, isn't it?
    Yes, this book was extra, extra special to me. I know all our books are from our hearts, but some are just so over the moon. This was one of them. I hope you like it!

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  8. Good morning, Catherine! Love your cover, love Simon Baker, and I, too, love his old movie, Something New. I've been in a lot of old cars - not sure how classic they are - but we had a 1937 Chevy when I was very small, graduated to a '42 Pontiac in which we moved from Massachusetts to California in 1955. Ron had a 1966 Mustang when we met, we picked up our children in an old blue Volkswagen bus the local dealer lent us because as well as the kids there were bicycles, baggage, and a guinea pig, and when the kids were all grown and out of the house, Ron bought a yellow '71 Cadillac that we used to drive to California to visit his mom. It was like travelling in your arm chair. Now we travel in a taxi, but that's fun, too!
    Love how that dream told you all you needed to know to start writing!

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    1. Hi, Muriel,
      Wow...I LOVE your story! The '71 Caddy was my dream car for years and then to go to California in it? Did it have white interior? I had a white on white Cutlass Supreme in 75 that was so lovely. But I was too poor to put gas in it, so it sat in the driveway a great deal. I lived in New Orleans then. But when I could, I would drive down to the French Quarter and day dream about living there two hundred years before. I have to admit the Pralines were the real draw for that visit. And the antique shops!! Oh those chandeliers. Yep. Hope I get another dream like that again sometime soon!

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  9. I love Simon Baker! Great choice. I am not too car savvy but my son is one year away from getting his license and has suddenly become a total car snob. I think he would love any of those antique cars! He certainly doesn't want to drive his father's Toyota Camry hybrid (SO not cool!) Have a great weekend and can't wait to read Katia's Promise :)

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    1. Hi, Amy,
      Ooooo. I'm building a Simon Baker fan club. Just kidding. But each time I see these shots of him, I think. That wouldn't be a bad past time, now would it?
      I do not envy you with the new driver. When my son started driving he was 14. We were in Texas and back then you could get a hardship license. He had to drive our construction trucks around and we needed another body to deliver equipment. So, the kid went to work. He'll be here next week to visit so, I'll hear THOSE stories again! HA!

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  10. I love Simon Baker, too, but never saw Something New. Will get it when I return home. Old cars are fascinatig, and we have a vintage car musem about 50 miles away. Around North Mississippi the '64 Mustang is a big thing.

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    1. Ah, the '64 Mustang. I remember it well. I had a high school friend who had one. Red. Convertible. What's not to love??????

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  11. I'd choose the Rolls, but this is interesting. Mi had a Minor character in a previous book who owns a classic car business. I love classic cars, so this really interest me.

    And a little like Kate, I always wanted to build my own car -- a Corvette. In my upcoming book, PROMISES TO KEEP, an August release, the heroine builds her own car -- a Corvette. Then she and the hero drive Route 66 from start to finish.

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    1. Now THAT is very cool! I love Route 66 and a few years ago, my husband and I took a scenic road trip over a small part of the Arizona Route 66 just for fun. Believe me, I can't wait to read your book!

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    2. It amazing me when I tell people about Route 66, that they all have a story, a memory or really want to drive the route. Glad I could do part of it.

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  12. I come from a family of car lovers but I didn't catch it. :) However, when someone I know was diagnosed with a terminal illness, her husband bought her the Cadillac she had always dreamed of. It was a special gold model. I thought it was such a romantic gesture and they went everywhere in it. When we rode in the car after she passed away I had such a feeling of her presence and his devotion to her.

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  13. Cathy, What a sweet and enchanting memory for him. Thank you for sharing it with us. I have favorite family photos taken in and around the cars my father bought over the years. He never talked much about them, didn't work on them, but cars must have been significant to him because for my wedding, he bought a champagne and gold Chrysler because he wanted the wedding photos to be taken in that car. I haven't thought about that car for a long time. Thanks for opening the pages of my own memory scrapbook!

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  14. My father always wanted a Cadillac. It was the gold standard in my neighborhood, the symbol that you had made it. It was the last car he owned before he died.

    I never wanted one. To my generation it was the symbol of drugs, but the Caddies of today, the SUV's, I'd love to have one, totally decked out with all the new devices.

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  15. I drive a mini-van complete with cheerios on the floor. I'd trade it for a Rolls in a heartbeat.

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