Saturday, April 8, 2017

SIT DOWN SATURDAY WITH CATHERINE LANIGAN PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM

Welcome to SIT DOWN SATURDAY!  We’re talking with Catherine Lanigan, author of Protecting the Single Mom, the 7th book in her Shores of Indian Lake series.      

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK?
If any of you caught my post on March 24th, you’ll know that I have written two other books on domestic violence. “The Evolving Woman” was non-fiction and was a compilation of real stories from real women of how they escaped from their victim status life and not only grew, but learned to live, love and trust again. Their stories are phenomenal.

My heroine, Cate Sullivan, was one of those “real” characters when I wrote the first words about her over four years ago in LOVE SHADOWS. She was genuinely compassionate toward Luke Bosworth when he had to sell his family home, the house his deceased wife had lovingly decorated, in order to pay medical bills. I didn’t have to think about her, as she was immediately, whole and vibrant to me. I knew that one day I would write her story. When I sat down to devise the storyline, I didn’t jump right into the abuse aspect of her back story. Cate spoke to me as many of my characters do. (Yes. I’m probably a little bit crazy…many of us writers are…we are so lucky.) Anyway, she was standing at my desk and said, “I’m living a lie. I’m not who you think I am.” Then her black hair altered to blonde and her brown eyes faded to the most gorgeous aqua shade. (Last autumn I actually saw those iridescent, spine-tingling pure aqua eyes on a stunt pilot….but that’s another story.)
Cate’s story unraveled faster than a ball of yarn in a room full of kittens.  This book is the result.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SCENE?

I have several favorites, Sophie’s Italian wedding under the glittering strings of crystal lights; The scene when Trent watches Cate, Sarah, Maddie and Isabelle scull on Indian Lake one morning. Six year old Danny trying to convince his mother that he’s growing up and getting big enough not to require a child’s seat in the car anymore. Danny, actually, is quite funny. But hands down the following is my favorite.

They walked up the drive to the back steps, which led to the private entrance for the second-story apartment. Trent stopped Cate at the bottom of the steps. “I want to tell you that I think you’re very brave for doing this. You could have bolted like you did before.”
“I thought about it.”
“I’m sure you did,” he said, touching her cheek. “Why didn’t you?”
“Because this is my home. I’ve put down roots, and I don’t want to see anything happen here if I can prevent it. Maybe we wouldn’t be in this position if I’d turned Brad in years ago. This time I’m standing up to him. If you and the police need me to rout him out, then I’m willing to do it as long as Danny is never in danger.”
“I swear I’ll do everything—”
She put her fingers over his soft, full lips. Ones she wanted to kiss. “Don’t promise. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. Brad is a cancer in this world. He needs to be surgically removed. I know that now.”
Trent kissed her palm. “Like I said, you’re a very brave woman.”
“I’m not that brave,” she whispered. “Because right now I’m terrified to be standing in the dark with you.”
“I thought so,” he replied, and kissed her. It was a kiss like none other. Compelling, thrilling and comforting all at once. She felt heady, as though she’d had a glass of champagne. He drew her close to that iron-hard chest of his that told her she needn’t worry ever again. Trent could take care of her. But it was the feel of his tender lips against hers that caused shivers to race down her spine.
She put her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. If she could stay here, kissing Trent, she didn’t have to think about nightmares and a murderous ex-husband. At this moment, she lived another lie—that she was worthy of having a real love with a man like Trent.


WHAT OTHER INSPIRATIONS WOULD YOU LIKE TO MENTION?

 

I put my autumn tree in there to show you how real the cover of Protecting the Single Mom is. Indian Lake, as some of you know, is the fictionalized vision of my hometown of La Porte, Indiana. Those vibrant colors are so dazzling. The town itself is a character to me. It’s backdrop appears mellow and sweet, but like even like a pretty or handsome face, there is a deep river of emotions, insecurities, faults and fears that run through us all. The town lives and breathes just as do the characters. 

WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DID YOU DO FOR THE BOOK? 
    
The research for “Protecting the Single Mom” was massive. The stack of magazine and on-line articles I read was---frankly, a lot. One of the reasons for this, was the fact that the research into drug addition, drug running, gangs, law enforcement work, detective work, legal issues, justice systems both in state and Federal, all were combined in three books. My last book in the series, Sophie’s Path, dealt with drug addiction. Protecting the Single Mom, dealt with the increase of drug trafficking through small towns in the Midwest and leading up into Canada. I was researching two books at one time. I had planned a third, but we decided not to go that route.
The movement of the Mexican cartels into the middle of the United States is not a random occurrence. It is well-planned and financed. Because the mentality of small towns has long been and still is that of “It won’t happen here…drugs/gangs happen only in large cities”, the cartels have swamped our country and they aren’t leaving. Only by being acutely aware of our own surroundings, strange occurrences, odd “swaps” outside the grocery store, the McDonald’s restaurants (a favorite here) and the K-mart parking lots, the police cannot watch everything at every moment. The police rely more and more on “Neighborhood Watches”, citizens who call in and those Instagram photos you can send to the police. Let them check it out. These days, more than likely, what is happening outside your front door is not innocent. It’s a dealer selling to an eight year old.
In my research, I interviewed Special Agents and Special Drug Task Force Policemen who not only answered my questions, but gave me strong advice about my own actions and how to protect myself.  The influx of drug dealers into our area is astounding. My research has opened my eyes, caused me to be more cautious about my “scheduled” errands. I try to plan my excursions differently. I close my garage door at all times. Lock my house doors. Car doors and I’ve installed more lights.

WAS THERE ANYTHING OF PARTICULAR NOTE THAT YOU WANT TO MENTION?

Just as I was finishing up this story, I came to work on a Monday morning. I work in my brother-in-law’s dental office as the accountant/bookkeeper, to mention a few of my duties. As I always do, I asked the “girls” how their weekend was. One of our girls, an assistant, said, “I was the victim of a drive by shooting this weekend.”  Clearly, she was frazzled as she told the story. Her son-in-law is a drug task force cop. The week prior the police had arrested eight members of the Latin Touch Boys Gang. To retaliate the remaining members shot up three of the policemen’s houses. Mercifully, no one was injured. However, my co-worker, stated that the bullet went through the window and was embedded just inches above her head where she was sleeping. I immediately called Claire Caldwell, my editor, and told her the story. I wanted to put this incident in the book. Claire was all for it. So, when you get to the part about the drive-by shooting at Mrs. Beabots’s house…that was real. Fiction, but based on far too many real facts.

THAT was just about the most harrowing incident I’ve encountered while writing one of my books in a long time. Not the wildest---but close.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD READERS KNOW?
Check out my PRISM BOOK TOUR, if you haven’t already.  I have giveaways, free books, Amazon cards, fun posts and more.

In July, my next book in my Indian Lake Series will be released. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover.

And what's a post without a giveaway?




Make a comment here and I will choose a winner on Monday for my new ROMANCING THE TOME tote. Autographed copy of FEAR OF FALLING and  of SOPHIE'S PATH--both from the Shores of Indian Lake series. Plus bookmarks and more!  Stay in touch with me and keep watching for more giveaways! 

IF YOU WANT TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH CATHERINE:

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wattpad, Amazon.com, BN.com, Apple, KOBO and www.catherinelanigan.com .  If all that fails, write to me at cathlanigan@aol.com. I love to hear your ideas and input. There are many more SHORES OF INDIAN LAKES stories coming from Heartwarming. Watch for my December release as well.

Happy Reading!!! 
Catherine 

21 comments:

  1. Congratulations on another wonderful release, Catherine! I very much look forward to reading PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM. Just based on the teasers in this post, I know it is another terrific installment to your Shores of Indian Lake series. I can hardly wait to catch up with all your other memorable characters, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Morning, Kate and thank you so much. As you know this was a very special book to me. Not that they all aren't...and I'm finding that each time I go back to Indian Lake, I find myself missing my "folks" more than I thought I would. I hope that doesn't sound corny, but it's true!
      I was visiting in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of your favorite places, and one of my friends who had read all the books asked, "Do they really have a hospital in your little town?" I didn't know if she was talking about the mythic Indian Lake or the real town, La Porte, Indiana. The answer was that the real town, does have a hospital.
      Have a great day!

      Delete
  2. I cannot wait to read PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, Catherine. I enjoyed reading your favorite scene. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jill! Sigh, I love that scene each time I re-read it.
      Stop by my Grand Finale at www.prismbooktours.blogspot.com and see all the reviews and excerpts. It's really cool to do that!

      Delete
  3. Congratulations on your new book. Love that scene with Cate and Trent! I had no idea the drug cartels have infiltrated even small towns, but my dental hygienist's husband is on the drug task force so that's obviously a problem here too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Leigh. Thanks for stopping by. When I really, really dug into the information which at one point was going to be the focus..from a journalists point of view in the next book, but which we discarded because it was in fact, too harrowing. The Mexican cartels (Not South American/Colombian) have targeted all of Mid-America from Illinois, through Indiana, Michigan, to Kentucky, Tennesee and to the Carolinas as being a PRIME retail areas. This is their business. They know they can make money and they intend to. THAT's what we are up against.

      Delete
    2. Wow. This is some problem. Thank goodness law enforcement is engaged. Thanks for bringing this to light in your work.

      Delete
  4. Congratulations, Catherine! Your research sounds both fascinating and frightening. I'm often shocked at how naive people can be about drugs here in small town America (where I live.) That drive-by shooting incident you shared is terrifying. So grateful for our excellent law enforcement organizations - and for the families who support them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carol. I know everyone is so busy with Palm Sunday and Easter plans, so I appreciate your visit. I believe that more than ever, we, as a nation, desperately need to show our support for our men and women in blue. If we don't and they don't know we appreciate them and their sacrifices....we will be the losers.

      Delete
  5. I love that scene,and it's even stronger knowing the background, both fictional and real. It's a scary world, but there are lots of good people trying to make a difference. You're right, we need to show our support.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. There ARE a lot of good people out there. I am honored that HEARTWARMING is FULL of good people...authors, editors and our devoted readers.

      Delete
  6. I'm glad to see a book addressing these topics. I'm also pretty shocked by how naive so many are about drugs and so many other things that call out for attention. Can't wait to read this. Congratulations on another release!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Virginia! It's amazing, isn't it? And the other thing, is that even when people DO know there is a deep problem they are very quick to pretend it's not real. Heads in the sand don't see much.

      Delete
  7. Congratulations on your newest release!!! This sounds like a story that makes me wan to read and knowing that you added some reality even in the form of fiction was interesting to learn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Darlene! YOU WON! Please send me your snail mail address to cathlanigan1@gmail.com I'll send you my new tote and two books. Thanks for coming to the blog!!!

      Delete
    2. Hi Catherine, thank you so much!!! I will send an email to you :)

      Delete
  8. Thank you, Darlene! And I want to remind everyone to remember our April Authors all month long Giveaway. Check out the Tuesday, April 4th blog for entry information! Happy Easter next weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Here's the link to sign up! https://gleam.io/competitions/90v2t-warm-up-to-april-heartwarming-giveaway-by-catherine-lanigan-melinda-curtis-pamela-tracy-and-helen-deprima.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Catherine, loved your comment that we writers are all a bit crazy. And yes, we're lucky to be so. Book looks great. Can't wait to read.
    Cynthia

    ReplyDelete
  11. Cynthia! Sometimes I think that our creativity is the greatest gift...next to good health!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Catherine, this story sounds absolutely amazing and to the heart. That's so scary about your office-mate's drive by shooting!! I'm glad she wasn't physically hurt, but the psychological impact must have been huge. Thank you for raising awareness in your stories. I can't wait to spend more time on the shores of Indian Lake!

    ReplyDelete