by Cate Masters
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.
You can view the book trailer, read the blurb, excerpt, Story Elements, see the Casting Call(who I envisioned in these roles, a very fun blog series I started), and readthe first chapter of San Francisco Dreams on my blog.
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!