Thursday, February 25, 2016

GILDING THE WATER - Catherine Richmond - One Free Book

Dear Readers, here’s another author who is new to this blog.

Welcome, Catherine. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
All my worries! In Gilding the Waters, my heroine got my angst-dump about my body. No, I’m not six foot tall, but I might as well be, considering the size of my feet. They’re huge! And getting bigger all the time! I’ve ruined them by wearing too-small shoes. Poor abused feet. Why can’t I accept God gave me exactly the right feet? Why not be happy with all the places they’ve taken me - like the Appalachian Trail (the southern half of Maryland - don’t be too impressed) and the cobblestoned streets of Europe?

1908, when Gilding the Waters was set, was a turning point for women’s body image. Corsets shrank and loosened, and activities like tennis and swimming replaced lounging on the fainting couch. On the downside, magazines promoted the Gibson girl as the ideal. What if your hair wouldn’t poof? What if your figure curved in different places? What if nothing sold in stores or catalogs fit you?
Gilding the Waters is a love-letter to everyone who doesn’t fit the mold. You are beautiful! Celebrate all the amazing things your body can do, take good care of it, and thank God for how wonderfully you’re made!

I’ve always been shorter than most women, and women in my family tend toward heavier bodies, so I understand. I’m so glad you wrote this book. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m more practical than quirky, but I did wear bunny socks to work Sunday - they matched my uniform!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My mom is a librarian, so I learned early the joy of escaping into a great story. But I thought authors had to be British, male, and dead, so I became an occupational therapist. Then a folk song about a mail-order bride took me into a new world - I felt the wind across the prairie, smelled the creosote in the railroad ties, saw this stranger introduce himself as her husband - and I had to tell her story.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
One of my first writing mentors recommended reading the award winners - learn from the best! Every year I try to read the RWA Rita and the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award winners. Reading outside my genre gives my creativity a boost.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
What sanity? My Australian shepherd thinks run, run, run is a great idea, but she’ll put up with my walk, walk, walk.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My heroine’s name, Mabel, showed her stodgy and practical side. The hero helps her get in touch with her worth as a woman and gives her a new name.

Gilding the Waters is a road-trip story. I found character names in cemeteries near each stop of their trip. My favorite was Destamonia! Isn’t that an intriguing name?

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My children! My daughter is a physician working with patients who are impoverished. My son is a writer whose third book releases in March. They’re delightful, fun, and a joy to be with!

What is your favorite food?
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate! I never know what to say on my Facebook author page, so I talk about chocolate.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Let’s see … what animal eats chocolate?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Confidence! How can I be an author when I’m not British, male, or dead? Fortunately I’ve met a diverse group of writers who busted that myth!

Tell us about the featured book.
Mabel Easterly is doomed. President Teddy Roosevelt commissioned Wade Hampton Alexander to guard her as she tests the mineral springs of Virginia. To quash Mabel’s research, Wade unleashes every weapon in his arsenal - sweet-talking, pouring on the charm, and flattery as embellished as his resort’s advertisements. She’s a scientist - she’s too smart to fall for his nonsense. Then why on earth is she considering kissing this rascal?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Pretty as a peach,” drawled a deep voice above the burble of the creek.
Mabel glanced over her shoulder. Sunlight through the elm trees outlined a lanky man wearing a limp-brimmed hat, plaid shirt, and tattered pants. A long-eared hound panted beside him. The man couldn’t possibly be speaking to her, but no one else occupied the mountain laurel grove encircling the spring.
The current pulled the Erlenmeyer flask from her hand and floated it out of reach. “Quick! Before it breaks. Do you have anything—”
The mountain man carried a firearm.
Mabel held out her hand while watching the container bob in a circle. “I can reach it with your gun.”
He stepped backwards, which, given the length of his legs, put him out of range. “Warrenton House sells bottled water.”
Stubborn hillbilly. She worked her way downstream, estimating the trajectory of the container. If it didn’t crash against the rocks— “I must collect my own sample.” Here it comes. “It’s the only way to ensure—” Just a bit closer. “For scientific integrity, one must-”
“Those rocks slippery as deer guts.”
“Your warning is duly noted.” Mabel stepped over a cluster of yellow flowers, found a flat spot of moss beside the creek, and knelt. The rotten-egg smell of sulphur tweaked her nose. “So who you fetchin’ samples for?”
“President Theodore Roosevelt.”
He chuckled. “Suppose the asylum’s missing you ’bout now?”

I’m loving this opening. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My webpage is 
My Facebook chocolate, er, author page is
On Twitter @WriterCatherine

Thank you, Catherine, for sharing this new book with us. I love your writing style, and I know my blog readers will, too.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Gilding the Waters: A Novel of Lost Causes and Found Love - paperback
Gilding the Waters: A Novel of Lost Causes and Found Love - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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Anonymous said...


Cathy Richmond said...

Are you in the mountains, Angela. Mom and I had such a great time traveling through the Blue Ridge mountains, researching this story!

Anonymous said...

This sounds hilarious! I could stand for a good comedy about now.
J.C. -Indiana-

Cathy Richmond said...

JC, Maybelle and Wade are a funny pair!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Catherine, I loved this interview that shows your great sense if humor and your book seems just as funny.
Connie from KY

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for this great interview and giveaway.

Melanie Backus, TX

Cathy Richmond said...

Connie, I hope you enjoy the humor in Maybelle and Wade's story. Melanie, glad you enjoyed the interview. This was such a fun story to write. Mom and I had a great time exploring the mineral springs resorts of Virginia - and eating chocolate!

Sylvia said...

I'm from North Carolina and really enjoyed Catherine's book, Spring for Susannah. The synopsis and things I've heard about this novel sound fascinating. I love this time period too.


Mary Preston said...

An interesting beginning.

Mary P


Sandy Quandt said...

Cathy, Gilding the Waters sounds like such a fun read! I love the fact you've created a science-minded heroine during an age when expressing that interest was often frowned upon.

Sandy Q

Beth Gillihan said...

Great first page! Sounds like a good read!

Beth in Montana

kim hansen said...

New author for me. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom north platte nebraska

Cathy Richmond said...

Sylvia, Thanks so much for remembering Spring for Susannah! Are you in the mountains of North Carolina? I wonder if NC has mineral springs resorts - sounds like another research trip is in order!

Mary and Beth, I'm glad you enjoyed the beginning!

Sandy, those trailblazing women had a rough time of it. It wasn't easy being the first female chemist hired at the Geophysical Lab.

Kim, another Nebraskan! -Cathy, waving from Omaha

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your great contest!!
Conway, SC.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me.
Blanch NC

Terrill R. said...

Gilding the Waters sounds wonderful. Thank you for the excerpt.

Terrill - WA

Stella said...

This book sounds fantastic. Enter me please.
Stella in Indianapolis, IN

Brenda Arrington said...

'Guilding The Waters' sounds like a great read. After reading the first page, I wanted to read more. Enjoyed the fun interview.
Brenda in VA

Jasmine A. said...

This book sounds like fun!

Jasmine in Montana

rubynreba said...

The cover is beautiful! I enjoyed reading the first page. Makes me want to read the rest of the book!
Beth from IA

kam110476 said...

Hi Catherine & Lena! Gilding the Waters sounds like a fascinating read! I can't wait to check it out!
Kristen in OK
Kam110476 at gmail dot com