Hi, Cathie, and thanks for being my guest!
I’m delighted to be here today, Babette, to introduce Silent Deception, my new Victorian mystery novella. Thank you so much for having me.
What inspired this story?
Silent Deception was inspired by my love of romantic mysteries. I love the combination of adventure, the budding romance between an unlikely couple, a dramatic setting and the tension building up. Silent Deception was surprisingly easy to write, as I didn’t have to do as much research as for my full length romantic historicals. That meant I was able to focus on the plot, the mystery and the characters. A nice change.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I’m working on my first contemporary novel about a journalist on the run after she witnesses her politician fiancé kill another man. She flees to the wilderness of rural Idaho where she is being chased, then aided, by a US Navy SEAL on injury leave. They travel through rough grounds, trying to shake off an FBI agent and her now ex-fiancé’s henchmen.
Writing a novel set in the present is quite different from writing historicals. I relish the challenge.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
I tend to have a rough plot outline in my head, then I add the main characters. Yes, I’m a ‘pantser’. Other characters ‘join in’ as I go. I do some generic research early on, with specific details checked when I’m at certain points in the story. The problem (or pleasure) is that you can spend hours reading up historical events. It’s fascinating.
What is the best thing about being an author?
I love being able to share the adventures swirling around in my head. It’s a thrill when you hear your readers love your stories. Such a privilege.
It’s also nice to conduct research, chat about locations and settings (apart from Cornwall, I’ve visited all my books’ locations), and simply be inventive, bringing imaginary characters to life.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Oh, that’s a tricky one! I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some wonderful places. I think it has to be Vancouver, Canada, which I absolutely loved. A great city with so much to see. But I also love the Scottish Highlands – Glencoe in particular – and cities like Stockholm and Prague where old and new mingle very well. The beauty of Garden Valley in Idaho is also breathtaking. I could go on…
What do you like to read?
A gripping thriller or historical suspense. I love it when a story pulls me in so much I can’t put the book down (or shut down my Kindle). Fascinating characters and a suspenseful plot keep me reading.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. Cats. I love their sense of adventure and independence. (We have two, Bob the Cat and Tiger.)
2. Traveling. Discovering new places.
3. The Scottish Highlands. In any type of weather (usually wet & windy).
4. Reading. Give me a good book and I’m happy.
5. Snow. Lots of it. I love snow.
Blurb – Silent Deception:
Having inherited a family estate she’d never heard of, Minerva Goodridge travels to Cornwall to take charge of her new home. But fatal memories lurk in the shadows of Trekellis Manor. As the locals keep away from the house, Minnie accepts the help of a stranger. Can she trust him?
Gideon Drake, 8th Earl of Rothdale, is on a mission to uncover a family secret linked to Trekellis Manor. But the arrival of Minerva, the new owner, disrupts his investigation. Attracted to the headstrong heiress, he decides to take action – and ends up uncovering more than he expected.
Gideon must weigh up his family’s reputation against Minnie’s, but will the revelations tear them apart?
Minnie couldn’t tear her gaze away, entranced by the Gothic turrets flanking the entrance to the estate. As the cart rattled through them, a shudder ran down her spine. The narrow three story buildings stood forbidding, the tiny windows covered in dirt and dust, rusty locks and chains on the narrow doors. Hedges grew tall against the walls, ivy covered the lower half of the towers, left to grow unchecked.
Inside the grounds, what obviously used to be a lawn swayed in the breeze, overgrown, with wildflowers dotting the knee high grass. Moss covered the untended gravel track beneath the wheels of the cart.
Then she glanced ahead and held her breath. The manor loomed proud, with tall double doors in the center of the wing facing her, marking the main entrance.
The cart ground to a halt just outside the worn stone steps leading to the oak doors. Cracks had split the faded wood.
Sadness washed over her. Why were people–Father one of them–so superstitious about a building? Not once had he mentioned Trekellis in her presence; even when she nursed him during his long illness.
“Here, miss. Let me help you.” Mr. Drake held out his hand.
As she rose, the horses lurched forward. Minnie lost her balance, her arms flailing through the air. “No!”
She toppled sideways, certain she’d land unceremoniously on the ground. But a pair of strong hands encircled her middle and instead of falling, she was pulled safely against a lean, hard body. Her face inches from his, she stared up, his dark eyes unfathomable.
Safe? Perhaps not.
Unable to pull her gaze–her body–away, her heart pounding in her ears, she swallowed hard. “Ups-a-daisy.” Heat rose in her cheeks.
A smile curved his well formed lips. “Indeed.” He raised an eyebrow, not relinquishing his hold. “Are you quite all right, Miss Goodridge?”
Cathie Dunn writes romantic adventure & suspense set in Scotland, England and Normandy. A hobby historian, her focus is on medieval and Jacobite eras.
She has two historical novels published: Highland Arms, a romantic Scottish adventure, and Dark Deceit, the first in The Anarchy Trilogy.
Recently, Cathie self-published Silent Deception, a romantic spooky novella set in Victorian Cornwall. All her books are available on Amazon.
Cathie lives in Scotland with her husband and two cats and currently works on a contemporary romantic suspense set in Idaho, US, and a historical Scottish romance.