Friday, September 7, 2012

Illuminating the Past

Sometimes when you visit a certain place, its history confronts you on every street. Though it might be thriving today, the past is layered behind its present, inviting you to explore.

That's what happened when I visited Key West. The bustling little island is a popular tourist spot, but several of the attractions captivated my imagination. All centered around the wreckers - men who salvaged the tall ships after they wrecked on the reefs surrounding the island. During a visit to a wrecker museum, a story flashed through my head. I had to know more.  

So I visited yet another museum, the historic home of a local wrecker captain. So fascinating, I bought a few books but still wanted more, so I spent the next two days in the library. It felt like finding hidden treasure when I found the old letters and documents stored there.

Before I even left the island, I knew I had to write that story that flashed through my head. It took years, but the result was Angels, Sinners and Madmen, first published by Freya's Bower. By the time the rights reverted to me this summer, I'd already spent many more months revising the original story - strengthening the plot line and the heroine.

Of the original version, reviewers called it “enchanting,” adding “I loved it and applaud Cate for creating a time in the past that seems so real in this book.” Another said: “You will fall in love these two characters along with the rest of Sam's wrecker friends. Laughter, tragedy and heroism abound, so make sure you have plenty of time when you start reading Angels, Sinners and Madmen, because you will not want to put this gripping story down until you have read every single word of it.”

Today begins its free run on Amazon, lasting from Sept. 7 through 9. I hope you'll pick up a copy of this novel, and learn more about the wreckers and their fascinating history through the eyes of wrecker Sam Langhorne and aspiring writer Livvie Collins.

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