Give a warm welcome to Cat Dubie, author of The Queen of Paradise Valley!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Cat Dubie and Del and Dianna from The Queen of Paradise Valley.
Thanks, Tena, for hosting me and my characters on your blog today! Del and Diana are ready for their interviews –
Great lets start with this handsome hunk sitting next to you.
The name’s Delaney Russell, Del to my friends.
Tells us about the real you— What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you?
[short hesitation] When I was ten I watched my Pa die in a cold, lonely cave. He was sick, couldn’t work, so we packed up a wagon and headed to Colorado to see if his old partner would help us. He flat out refused. I spent a long time planning vengeance for Pa. But when I met the old partner’s daughter, everything changed. And not for the better, not for a long time.
What do you most value?
[Smiles] Well, my wife would say my property, my horses, then her. I’d say the reverse. [another smile] But I’ll add honesty and trust, two things worth fighting for.
What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with?
I once loved the sweetest, kindest, truest woman I’d ever known. We planned a life together, but she died too soon. I later discovered it was a dream, never meant to be. Now I found a new reason to live and love with an unpredictable, exciting, passionate, stubborn, ornery-at-times woman who sure lives up to her royal nickname. It was a hell of a hard road getting where we are now. She almost killed me, but she also saved my life. And yeah, she’s my forever woman.
What do you consider most important in life?
Well, it’s different for everyone. Some say family, some say wealth, some say power. These days, I say it’s most important to be alive, to wake up every morning beside someone you love.
What is your biggest secret?
Most of my secrets were revealed in the book. Read it to find out. [winks]
Thank you Del, we appreciate your time. Now Diana, it’s your turn in the barrel, so to speak.
I’m Diana Rennie, now Mrs. Russell.
Who are you really? Who were the biggest role models in your life?
Ha! I didn’t have any growing up – when I was three my mother whisked me from the ranch where I was born to New York city. She wanted only to sit on the top rung of the Society ladder. Her frantic pace eventually killed her – liquor, morphine, belladonna. Could say my role models were my teachers, especially my piano teacher. Also the house servants, who took pity on me and were wonderfully kind. I didn’t have a real role model until I met my father again. [sighs] But he was far from perfect, as I sadly discovered.
What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with?
You know, in New York I never had an ideal man in mind. Mother groomed me to marry a wealthy man, even a titled European one. I had other plans. And when I went to Colorado to live with my father, I had no thoughts about spending my life with a man. I was happy to live there and learn all I could about him. Then I met – you could say butted heads with – the one man who completely changed my life. I disliked him at first, we argued about everything, and when I discovered he was my partner I was determined to get rid of him. But he saved me again and again, from outward forces, from myself! Even when I sure didn’t deserve his help. I could easily say he’s strong and handsome, but he’s so much more. And amazingly he loves me. I can’t bear to think of life without him.
What kind of man would you never choose?
I’d never choose a man whose life revolves around his belongings and riches, or who had no compassion for others.
What is most important to you in life?
At one time it was my ambition to become a world renowned pianist. Then it was my father, who I thought was the greatest man in the world until I discovered he was only human. Now it’s Del, the ranch, and the family we hope to have someday.
What is your biggest fear?
[laughs] I used to fear many things but had perfected a way of hiding it. It took some harrowing experiences and a special man to shrink those fears enough to kick them away. Now my biggest fear is probably waking up and finding the last years were only a dream. If it’s a dream, I never want to wake up.
Cat it your turn. Tell us a little about writing this story. Was it fun or difficult? Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?
I wrote The Queen of Paradise Valley over several years. The first draft was over 200,000 words. I put it away for years, and dusted it off every now and then to do rewrites and editing. The writing part was fun, the editing was harder, as I had much to learn about the process. My biggest problem – I started the story too early, made complex [I thought interesting] lives for each main character. Several chapters later, the actual story began. I took out those early chapters [killed my darlings!] and it finally made cohesive sense. Each edit I made whittled the word count down until I had less than 100,000 words.
The characters go in the direction I lead them, but then insist on having the final word. They say and do things that alter the plot, but I don’t mind – that’s the fun part! And as I reread my story I sometimes get surprised. Did I write that? Hmm, I don’t remember that paragraph. Maybe I was in a fugue state and someone else was dictating the story? [The joy of writing!] A plotter or a pantster? I’d have to say both. I write scenes out of order as they come to me or as the characters dictate, but then I have a big timeline of events into which I fit the scenes I’ve written, and find which scenes I still need.
Tell us a little about The Queen of Paradise Valley:
Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del.
Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana’s ranch, back to prove he isn’t the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him.
A Peek Between the Pages of The Queen of Paradise Valley:
“I don’t have much left to wager. I doubt you’d want my saddle, and I won’t part with my horses.” He again rubbed his jaw. “My share of the mine.”
The cards slipped from her hand. “Are you mad? For forty dollars and a pretty—”
“I had higher stakes in mind.”
“What stakes?” Now his eyes were like sunshine reflected on a rippling silver lake. She gathered the cards, and the stones skipped against her skin. Mouth dry, she repeated, “What stakes?”
“If I win, you’ll move into my bedroom, share my bed.”
Thrills snaked down her back, jumbled visions careened through her mind. She forced herself to concentrate on reshuffling the cards. Wind whistled down the chimney, and the flames flared, then sizzled and spit when sprayed by melting snow.
She met his gaze. “If I win, you’ll sign your entire share to me.” He nodded and she went on, “If you win, I’ll go to your bed, but for one night only. Is your share of the mine worth so little to you?”
“Is your pride worth so much to you?” A soft laugh. “Should we put it in writing? Deal the cards.
Maybe your luck will hold.”
You can find The Queen of Paradise Valley at most online retailers including:
About the Author:
Cat Dubie believes she was destined to write. Her love of words began early – she was making rhymes soon after learning to talk. With a crayon in hand she first drew stories, with a pencil she wrote them. As for reading, she was the girl who always had her nose in a book, the one who read with a flashlight under the covers or, when the moon was full, sat by a window for hours laughing, crying, loving characters whose adventurous lives wouldn’t let her sleep.
She has traveled the world in books. She has traveled back in time and into the future in books. Her keen interest in history determined the nature of her books, and the first Historical romance novel she read, settled the genre.
After working for various levels of government, she retired and now lives in the beautiful province of British Columbia, where she indulges in her need for creating stories about romance, adventure, passion, mystery, love …
Social media links:
My blog: https://catdubie.blogspot.ca
It was wonderful having you, Dell and Diana with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with The Queen of Paradise Valley.
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Cat Dubie, Contemporary, Ranch, Romance, The Queen of Paradise Valley, Western by email@example.com with 23 comments.