Guest: Cate Parke - Dreams Within Dreams + Giveaway!

Welcome Cate! Please tell us about yourself.

Thank you for having me today, Vonda!
I am a writer of historical romances. As a member of Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers and Celtic Rose Writers, I write historical romance. I’ve been an avid reader all my life and began writing seriously over eight years ago. In my day job, I am a registered nurse. It has been my privilege to practice pediatric nursing during my entire career. I’m also the wife of a retired U.S. Navy Officer. I've lived and traveled with him for the twenty-six years of his career. With him I've visited England, Canada, Mexico and all but four of the United States. Thanks to him, I've dipped my toes in every body of water that washes America’s shores, including the Gulfs of Mexico and California and even the Arctic Ocean (br-r). I’ve traveled over, under and on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After many journeys across this great nation and back again, I now live, love and write among the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in lovely Northeast Tennessee.

My blog is called Tuesday’s Child. As it happens, I was born on a Tuesday. I'm convinced my mother made a big mistake, though. I believe she meant to give birth to me on the previous Thursday. According to the old Mother Goose tale, which says Thursday's Child has far to go, my life would have been far better defined. I would also have been born under the sign of the lion, which would have reflected my redheaded temperament much, much better. It's true. What could my mother have been thinking??? (I really had red hair once upon a time. I was born with it and had it all my life--until not long ago...but that’s another story. But it’s true, too.)

According to that dear old Mother Goose tale, I should have been born full of grace. So very sad, but nobody ever, ever attributed that particular virtue to me. After only college class in dance, I was convinced of the unfortunate truth. I can’t sing, either. True. Nobody would ever ask me to do more than hum or add volume to a chorus. Nor can I paint, or even draw a picture. My mother was an artist. Dear Mom didn’t pass along a single shred of her skill. So what does a girl do whose soul demands expression? She becomes a writer to fulfill its burning need. That’s also a true story.

The city of Charleston, South Carolina with its graceful mansions and glorious gardens was my inspiration for Dreams Within Dreams. I lived in the city twice, for several years each, during my husband’s Navy tours of duty. It is one of the oldest cities in the United States with a wealth of history behind it, and I confess it—I’m a pushover for history. On this day after the first of our national holidays, I thought you might enjoy a reading a short historical perspective—a vignette into what you might have expected to find before our nation actually became a nation.
I’m fascinated—really fascinated—by the Revolutionary War. Most of us view any such event from hindsight, including one that occurred so very long ago. It’s tempting to always do so, after all. We’re Americans. We kick ass and take names. America came so close to losing the war and remaining a British colony, though. The outcome wasn’t a foregone conclusion—not before it and certainly not during it. Those men from so long ago took a huge step into the dark. There wasn’t another nation like us anywhere on earth. And we weren’t all in agreement. (We still aren’t for that matter!) We look at the Declaration of Independence now and, wow, our hearts swell with pride. However, the thirteen different colonies viewed themselves quite differently from each of their neighbors. Do you know they very nearly failed to agree on the language—much less get everyone to sign it? Its true. The document’s soaring language inspires us, especially during this part of the year.
Here’s a little blurb from my book to illustrate my point. My heroine’s father, Lord Edward Campbell and step-mother, Anne, have arrived at the home she shares with her husband and children, Oakhurst, a beautiful southern plantation.
Settling into a chair on the verandah, a glass of cold lemonade at hand, Lord Edward passed Richard a parchment tied with a purple silk ribbon. “It is a copy of a document I want you to see. I am to hand it to His Majesty after we arrive in London. It is my fondest hope he will not shoot the messenger.” His lips twisted into a whimsical grin.
Richard unrolled it and felt the blood drain from his face. “Dear God in Heaven,” he breathed.
“What is it?” Alexandra asked, trying to see over the arm he used to flatten the manuscript to the table.
“A moment, my dear.” He continued to read, uttering bits and pieces aloud.
“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America….”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident….” His voice, thick with emotion, caught in his throat. He turned his head to glance at Lord Edward. “… that all men are created equal….”
“They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….”
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Richard sat back in his chair, his face pale and serious. He swiped at his eyes with the back of his hand.
“It’s a masterpiece.” He handed the document over to Alexandra and turned to Lord Edward. “It has begun.”
“It began months ago, my boy,” Lord Edward’s voice was grave. “Shots have been fired and battles won and lost for over a year now.”
Alexandra finished reading, and sniffed, her voice as thick as Richard’s had been. “Its perfect language and simple eloquence move me to tears.” She handed the document back to him. “I am fearful now. This document will certainly move His Majesty’s government...and excite their anger to inflict a terrible retribution. God help us all.”
I hope you’ll enjoy reading this book set, not only in Charleston, but also in Georgian London and beautiful, beautiful Inveraray Castle, located on the shores of Loch Fyne at the foot of Scotland’s Highlands.
Dreams Within Dreams: Richard Berkeley has won his treasure, but Lord Thomas Graham is back, and Richard is on his home turf now. Laughable fop or a menacing foe? No matter which it is, Richard will be damned if he lets himself become a Rob Roy for yet another Marquis of Montrose.
War looms on the near horizon, forcing Richard to make difficult choices—support his firmly held principles…or those of his English family. Nothing will be safe, nobody will escape. If means exist to prevent disaster from striking his wife, children, home, and people, he’ll find it. Worse yet, Alexandra believes he is wrong in his choice. Will he lose her if he persists with his choice?
Courage, Alexandra Berkeley’s special gift…is also her curse. Lord Thomas Graham’s presence in their midst frightens her, enrages her, turns her to ice. He lurks in shadows, behind doors…and among strangers paid to accomplish his treacherous bidding. He’ll stop at nothing to ruin the Campbells—nothing, Richard and Alexandra included. He’s struck at Richard—once…twice…three times. How long before his malignant influence knocks at Oakhurst’s great front door? It will not. Not if she can prevent it.
Dreams Within Dreams is a tale that sweeps the reader from the glittering Court of St. James to the elegant drawing rooms of Charlestowne, of the South Carolina colony during the years immediately preceding the Revolutionary War in the South.

Thank you for visiting Richard and Alexandra and me today. I hope you’ll like reading this book even half as much as I loved writing it. One lucky commenter will be the winner of a $10 Amazon gift certificate by a random drawing. (Be sure to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you!)
Please visit Cate online:
Find Dreams Within Dreams at:
Amazon Buy Link:
Thank you for being our special guest today, Cate!!


Mary Preston said...

You are well travelled. I am Wednesday's child - full of woe. Odd times yes, but generally not.

I'm looking forward to a wonderful read.


Cathy MacRae said...

Congratulations, Cate! I remember when I first read this particular passage in the book- it moved me to tears then, and still does. Wonderful, wonderful. I wish you much luck with this book, my friend! said...

Thank you, Mary! I truly hope you enjoy it. Researching it and writing the manuscript was terribly interesting. Living in lovely Charleston was a wonderful experience. Thank you for visiting today!
~Cate said...

Thanks so much, Cathy. I'm so glad you liked it. I hope you'll find it even better now. (You're certainly going to find it longer!)

Jeanne M said...

Hi Cate!
Congratulations on the release of Dreams Within Dreams last week! I can't wait to read it and one reason is that while the story starts in England they end up in Charleston, South Carolina! I had read about the release and background in England but didn't know about Charleston which love and my husb and and I hope to move there someday! I loved the excerpt and already know I'm going to love it!

Patricia P. said...

Congratulations on the release of Dreams Within Dreams last week! I can't wait to read it.

Carly Carson said...

When you think that the men who signed those documents were literally risking their lives, you realize what a task they undertook. They were signing papers that the King would view as treasonous. It wasn't like today's politicians. (Our military today is just as brave though.) Charleston is a beautiful city, but I associate it more with the Civil War due to Fort Sumter. So maybe I should read your book and brush up my Rev. War history in the South.:) said...

Hi Jeanne,
Thank you so very much! You'll love, love, love Charleston. The Low Country is exquisitely beautiful. There's history around every corner and down every street. It's such a pleasure to visit with you today. Thanks for coming!
~Cate said...

Hi Patricia,
Why, thank you so very much! I truly hope you enjoy my book. I wish you very, very happy reading!
~Cate said...

You're so right, Carly. Can you imagine what those brave men faced by signing that document? Another interesting fact...remember the Boston Tea Party? There were actually "tea parties in coastal cities up and down the Atlantic seaboard. There was nothing fun or funny about it. Britain intended to sell that tea and, when the first colonist purchased some, it would establish England's right to tax them. (That, and it solved the economic crisis that the East India Tea Company faced if they couldn't sell their tea. So not only did Boston dump their tea in the harbor, Charleston dock workers and merchants forbade allowing it to be off-loaded. Once it was finally brought ashore, over six weeks after its arrival, it was sequestered in the basement of one of the city's public buildings and The Sons of Liberty posted guards around it, forbidding anyone to get to it and sell it. It was destroyed after the British Tea Agent was finally "persuaded" to leave. I use the incident in my book. I hope you enjoy my take on it!
I hope you'll visit me again.