Latest book: Bittersweet
Buy Link: http://www.turquoisemorningpress.com
Cat Shaffer is a native Buckeye who saw the light and moved to Kentucky over 20 years ago. Able to say “Louisville” like a native, she adores living in the land of beautiful horses and fast women...no, wait, it goes the other way around! Away from the keyboard, she's a mother and grandmother, a Red Cross volunteer, and leads her church choir. She lives with a big Sheltie and a gray tabby who keep her humble by reminding her of her place as their servant. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 63, Greenup KY 41144.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: The first thing I did when I learned I’d sold a book was call my mother. I’m pretty sure she thought she’d never live to see the day, so she was very excited for me. Then I called my kids, who said all the appropriate things, and then it was off to my favorite coffee shop for a frothy, heavily-caffeinated beverage to celebrate!
Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: The easiest part of any book for me is the relationship part – where we see the characters interacting with one another. Whether it’s the hero or heroine or, as in Bittersweet, the hero and his sister, I can “see” them with each other as I write. I think this may be because I’ve always been fascinated with people and conversations around me, and it’s fulfilling to make things happen in my books.
Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: The hardest part for me is the winding up the story. I can’t help it; I love the worlds I create and want to continue to inhabit them. Writing the ending is always hard for me, even though I know I’ll come to love the next story every bit as much.
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: I must confess, one of my favorite characters in Bittersweet is the hero’s sister. Caroline is 16, teetering at the edge of womanhood, with a natural tendency to keep working at it until she finds a way to get what she wants. Hmmm…sounds like me at that age!
Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I’m lucky enough to have a room for my whole office and I tend to hole up in it with snacks and sweet tea to keep me going until the muse flees or some wonderful distracting show comes on TV. I keep a hidden stash of smoked almonds, snack bags of chips and the candy of the season (jelly beans at Easter, candy corn at Halloween, etc.) within easy reach. Meals and food are part of every book I’ve written; maybe that has something to do with my always reading as I eat.
Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: When I’m not writing, I’m very involved in my community as my church choir director and in organizations such as the Lions and Eastern Star. I’ve lived most of my life in small towns, where volunteering really does mean helping your neighbor. It’s very satisfying to know that I’m contributing in some small way to make someone else’s life better.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
check out my books at http://www.turquoisemorningpress.com
My cat blogs about her life and being Cat Shaffer’s cat at tabbytalles.blogspot.com
Coulter Bancroft returns from battle seeking the peace of his family farm. Instead he finds chaos: his stepmother dead, his father dying and his fiancée married to another man. His pain reaches a new level when he learns his father’s will demands a legitimate heir by Coulter’s 30th birthday to keep his inheritance—and guardianship of his teenage half-sister.
Amelia Strong has her own secrets to keep. When Coulter takes her in after she collapses in front of his horse, bruised, sick and frail, Amelia can’t imagine that within a few weeks, she’ll offer to marry him and give him that heir if he will divorce her and set her up to begin a new life after the child is born.
What neither of them realizes is that Amelia’s beloved, listed among the war’s casualties, is actually alive and going mad. When he spots Coulter and Amelia in Cincinnati on their honeymoon and begins to stalk the Bancroft family, the result is a suspenseful game of cat-and-mouse game that can only end in death.
The fierce October wind slashed through the thin cotton of the woman’s dress as she stumbled across the rough ground, her swollen and bloody feet too numb to feel the cold mud between her toes. Each inhalation of the frosty air tore at her tortured lungs; each exhalation brought new pain from a broken rib.
It seemed hours since she’d jumped from the rattletrap wagon. Thousands of miles since she’d begun her run for freedom. She longed to rest for one tiny moment. Or risk looking back over her shoulder to see how many men followed. If any man followed. Yet she knew even a split-second’s hesitation could mean the difference between safety and capture.
She gasped as an errant root smashed against her ankle, sending her to her knees. With the last of her strength, she forced herself up and onward. She didn’t know where she was headed; she no longer cared. As she struggled toward the brightness that must surely signal a break in this endless forest, the gray clouds above her loosened and rain began to fall. In seconds the drizzle began to sheet, turning the leaf-covered ground beneath her into a morass of mud and dying vegetation.
She heard the thunder of hooves as she finally reached the light at the edge of the woods. Her soul cried out, for this surely was the angel of death stampeding toward her, swooping down to take her away. She fell to her knees in surrender, caring not whether she was transported to heaven or hell, only that she be freed from the torment awaiting her if she was captured.
The storm matched his mood. Coulter rode hard until he caught a movement at the edge of the woods. Cursing into the wind, he pulled hard on Midnight’s reins as a woman stumbled out in front of him, falling onto the muddy trail and into unconsciousness. “Whoa, Midnight! Stop, boy!”
Coulter fought to keep from trampling her, his heart in his throat as the big stallion reared up, halting inches from the silent heap collapsed in the middle of the road. Coulter swung down as the horse’s front hooves touched the ground, and ran to what looked like nothing more than a pile of old clothing. He knelt in the mud, oblivious to the cold rain pouring down his worn hat and across his shoulders. His breath caught at the sight of the young woman.
Damn, he could have killed her. Had Midnight been a few steps further along the dirt road, or his pace a little quicker, the horse would have smashed the life out of her. Coulter gathered the fragile body into his arms and set the woman on Midnight’s back. He swung up behind her, shook the reins and raced for home. He rode as if the devil pursued, holding his burden close with one arm. The woman stayed silent except for an occasional moan, her head lolling against his broad chest. Fear traveled alongside as an unseen companion; Coulter’s heart caught in his chest every time her shallow breathing slowed.