Caterina is passionate about history, music, romance, old languages, and travel. She regularly intertwines these subjects in her Servants of Morrigan: Four Horsemen Series, Servants of Morrigan: Immortal Creatures Series, and in Tale of Rouen, a romantic tale that combines fantasy, time travel, and historical fiction.
She holds a degree in Music Management with a minor in Vocal Performance from Old Dominion University in Virginia, a second B.A. in History with a minor in Italian from the University of Texas San Antonio, and a M.A. in Public History from Texas State University. As part of her studies, Caterina studied abroad in Italy and England. She took full advantage of her time overseas to conduct research for her coursework and literary works.
While she is a fan of all history, her heart resides in Antiquity. An obsession with cappuccino and Greek coffee started her down a path of researching commodities and gastronomic history in her free time.
Caitlin DeDanann’s life is a hot mess. Recently dumped. Overworked. Burned out. Her upcoming time off is the one thing that has gotten her through all of it. Until her boss ruins it by sending her on yet another assignment. What she thinks is just a routine investigation turns out to be so much more.
Vampire Evariste Gage Arsceneaux has spent over three hundred years riddled with guilt. Guilt over losing his wife. Guilt over a curse that doomed his family. Guilt over being turned into an immortal. Evariste throws himself into the one thing that can provide a much-needed distraction from suffocating remorse: work.
Reunited over an unwelcomed business proposition, Evariste stares in disbelief into the unique eyes of his long-deceased wife. Knowing their time together is short, he uses their professional relationship and delicious Louisiana cuisine to keep her close to him, hoping to spark the memory of their love. The uncovering of long-lost secrets and the resurgence of ancient evil vampires set on killing them both forces Caitlin and Evariste to work together to not only save themselves, but everything they have ever loved.
Evariste’s phone vibrated on the driveway as he patted the dirt down around the last iris he managed to save. Alli’s name popping up irked him. She should have been at D’Orme thirty minutes ago. He wiped his hands along the grass, trying to clean the dirt off before picking up the phone.
“You’re late, as usual, Alli. And your unwelcomed guest is here.”
“Rude way to answer the phone, Ev. So what do you think of her?”
There was a hint of laughter in his sister’s voice as she asked him what he thought of the investigator who shouldn’t be at his house. “Her who?”
“You jokin’, right?”
Evariste let out an annoyed sigh. “No, Alli, I’m not joking. Get your ass here. I’m not entertaining someone I didn’t invite to my home for you.”
“Did you even look at her, Ev? Or did you just slam the door in her face and tell her to wait in her car until I got there?” Allister’s voice raised as exasperation replaced her earlier humor.
Evariste glanced back over his shoulder to try to get a better look at the woman Allister was so excited about, but she had already disappeared around the house. “I was busy planting flowers, and I sent her around back to wait in the gardens. It’s too damn hot for anyone to have to sit in their car.”
“You are so damn thickheaded at times, Evariste Gage Arsceneaux! Go around back and take a good look at her.”
“If this is one of your or Renee’s attempts to set me up with some random woman because you think I’m lonely and work too much, come get your new friend, Alli. I’m not interested.”
“I’ll be there in about twenty minutes. We’ll see if that remains your answer. At least go be polite and say hello.”
Evariste shook his head and muttered under his breath after his sister hung up on him. He put the small shovel and potting soil away then rinsed his hands under the cold water of the garden hose on the side of the house. A distinctive blend of floral and fruit floated on the light evening breeze, halting the turning of his hands under the stream of water. It had been centuries since he caught a whiff of that welcome, familiar scent.
You’re imagining things, he scolded himself after the fragrance dissipated as quickly as it appeared. Turning off the garden hose, he slowly inhaled, part of him hoping spring and his nose hadn’t been playing tricks on him. When the smell of damp soil, honeysuckle, iris, and grass was all he could identify, mere annoyance grew to raging frustration. He didn’t need this crap tonight. Everything the sun and water erased earlier returned, starting to drown him once more: work, the unsolicited buyout offer on his company, and now a nosey investigator wandering his gardens because his damn sister thought it’d be funny to invite her over for dinner.
For just a second, the perfume of roses and strawberries danced past him again; just long enough for him to determine where it came from: the backside of the house.
“No. Giovanni’s investigator can’t be—” Evariste snapped himself out of his thoughts. She was dead. Contrary to what others believed, she wasn’t coming back, not after three hundred years.
I’ve always written. I’ve had family members and mentors encourage me to publish over the years. As a kid, I won a short story competition with a story about two guinea pigs who went on adventures together and had a few pieces of poetry published as a teen. However, my novel manuscripts and jotted down story ideas stayed on bookshelves for years. I finally took the leap of faith when a health issue prompted me to self-publish my first novel in 2013.
I’m pretty much a pantser. I come up with a rough concept and see where the characters take me. My office walls are covered in giant sticky notes once the first draft of the story is done to identify plot holes, etc… I used to try and outline, but I’d find half way through writing the characters would run off script and their version of the story was more entertaining.
I love to go hiking or take walks outside, make soutache jewelry, paint, read, and sing.
A good meal and a glass of wine some place.
Same plus a massage to get the tension out of the neck, back, and shoulders that came from proof reading, stressing, and prepping marketing posts, blogs, etc…
House of Arsceneaux came about when I was experimenting with various styles of romance that I enjoyed writing to see what fit my voice. It was a novella length project originally that I pulled off the bookshelf and revamped into a book. Louisiana is one of my favorite places that I have lived as it truly does have a unique culture and a rugged beauty to its landscape. That shaped the location and characters’ personalities.
Absolutely! Writes frequently write what, or in this case, who we know. A couple of the characters are actually people I know, but I’ve been asked not to reveal who they are by the folks I either got permission to base a character on or was asked to include them in one of my novels. When I get those requests, I place people in whichever book they fit best. It’s always fun to see if they identify themselves as I don’t make who their character is obvious all the time. Sean is actually based on a childhood friend of mine that I’ve known since I was 8. We briefly lost touch and I introduced Sean in another book. I had to laugh as the guy Sean is based on and my paths crossed shortly after the book was published and he recognized himself in Sean’s character.
For this one, it was finding a few creative ways to put a unique twist on vampires and their relationships as they are such popular creatures in books and film. Additionally, trying to make sure I approached topics like socioeconomics, race, and slavery with the right amount of sensitivity while still being true to character when those three topics come up in the book. While those topics aren’t prevalent in the story as I chose to focus more on present day, you still need to acknowledge them with Louisiana being shaped by those three factors. It’s challenging to balance a three-hundred-year-old vampire’s perspective when that perspective or Evariste’s actions took place in a different time with different values and a modern-day reader’s perspective on some of those subjects. I’m academically a historian and find writing nonfiction pieces on sensitive topics to be much more straight forward. But in fiction, you really have to think through each character’s viewpoint and really contemplate what their values would be. If they deviate from the majority of the day, then you need to justify that for that deviation to be believable. If the maintain the status quo then you have to decide does the character retain that unacceptable mentality or do they evolve from that style of thinking.
Coming up with engaging dialogue and the food. It also brought up a lot of great memories of favorite places I’ve been. Research is always fun if you engage readers, family, and friends in the process. For this book, I enjoyed asking family and friends from Louisiana what I needed to make sure the book included to be an entertaining and accurate portrayal of life in Louisiana. I think most of their recommendations ended up in the book.
I love paranormal romance and historical fantasy. I am a huge Anne Rice fan. I also love all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s series, so both she and Anne definitely had some stylistic influences. I would also say a little bit of the role playing game rules and information from Vampire of The Masquerade, which I read once years ago.
That’s a tough one as I don’t want to spoil anything.
From House of Arsceneaux, it’s a toss up between Evariste and Death. I’d pepper them with questions about their viewpoints on various historical events and want to know how they think humanity has changed over the centuries.