Monday, June 6, 2011

Dreams can sometimes turn into nightmares

Disaster and hope often intermingle in strange ways. When I first read about the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, the city’s utter devastation amazed me. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. (I’m a bit of a research junkie!)

What really struck me about this disaster was the response of the people affected: a gritty determination to get their lives back on track, and as soon as possible. The 1906 earthquake had catastrophic consequences, killing as many as 3,000 people in what was then one of the largest cities in the U.S. Many survivors witnessed horrific deaths, either by the earthquake itself, which toppled poorly constructed buildings onto those trying to escape the quake’s aftermath, or the citywide fires that resulted. Officials shot anyone suspected of looting, and in a few extreme cases, executed people trapped by debris and doomed to die horrific deaths in the fire. Some really chilling accounts of such instances completely gripped me.
While the disaster changed a way of life for San Francisco residents, it also engendered hope across the nation. President Teddy Roosevelt sent food rations and supplies by mule and train. The stricken San Franciscans rolled up their sleeves and got to work clearing debris. If left standing, some shops reopened for business the next day.

So, like any writer, I thought: wow, what a great setting for a story! I couldn’t wait to toss two unsuspecting characters into the melee.

But not two ordinary people. No, both Norah Hawkins and Gerard “Mac” MacKenzie had disastrous pasts, and desperately neededed to leave them behind. San Francisco beckoned to them: Norah wanted to open a high class gentleman’s club, and Mac wanted to tickle the ivories playing the latest ragtime melodies. They couldn’t know that the city would strip them of their dreams, and challenge them in the deepest way. 

My new historical romance novella, San Francisco Dreams, is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

I’d love to give an ebook of San Francisco Dreams to a commenter. I’ll leave the giveaway open until this weekend and select a winner at random on Saturday. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you! 

Thanks so much for reading! Sweet dreams! 


Maria said...

Good Morning Cate! Love the idea behind this story and the book trailer was perfect for it- especially the music. I agree with your casting on Norah and Gerard...both Rachel McAdams and Gerard Butler could really play those parts well!


Cate Masters said...

Thanks so much Maria! I could clearly hear Gerard Butler's voice in my head as I wrote, lol. Thanks for checking out the Casting Call! :)

Jen B. said...

I have recently begun searching out historical fiction. I think the history of the San Fransisco earthquake is so interesting. There is a video on the web of the city just a few weeks prior to the destruction. Just amazing. Thanks for the giveaway.

Cate Masters said...

Isn't that cool Jen? I loved that video. There's also a PBS documentary of just prior to the quake, and what happened during that's fascinating. If you check my blog under the Blog Series tab, for the series Story Elements, you'll find the San Francisco Dreams post containing the video.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kate. I used to live near 'the city' and have a real affection for the place. I'm looking forward to reading your book, which I just purchased on Am.c for my kindle. Best of luck, Rina

Anonymous said...

Cate, sorry about the misspell on your name! Rina

Cate Masters said...

You are so sweet Rina! Thanks so much. I hope you enjoy it.

Arlene said...

I'm becoming more and more infatuated with historical romances, and San Franciso during that devastating earthquake, Cate's unforgetable characters, I'm adding this to my kindle.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks so much Arlene - I so appreciate your support!

Michele said...

I don't know what it is about a disaster that makes it a compelling subject - the loss and sadness, the heroic efforts to find and help survivors, or the strength of people to rebuild and move on. I'm looking forward to reading San Francisco Dreams!
rlawrence110 at yahoo dot com

Cate Masters said...

I think it's all of the above, Michele - I found so many heroic stories while writing this.