Kimberly Cates
When Kimberly Cates was in third grade, she informed her teacher that she didn't need to learn multiplication tables.She was going to be a writer when she grew up. Kimberly filled countless sprial notebooks with stories until at age twenty-five, she received a birthday gift that changed her life: an electric typewriter. Kimberly wrote her first historical romance, sold it to Berkley Jove, and embarked on a thirty year career as an author. Called a "Master of the Genre" by Romantic Times, her thirty-three best selling, award winning novels are noted for the endearing characters,  emotional impact and their ability to transport the reader to the mists and magic of the British Isles.


An English Patriot…
British general's daughter, Rachel de Lacy, is betrothed to Sir Dunstan Wells, the hero of Culloden Moor, a man determined to crush the highlanders forever. When she is kidnapped at an officer's ball by her fiancé's nemesis—a fierce raider known as the Glen Lyon—she discovers the outlaw is none other than the branded coward Gavin Carstares, Earl of Glenlyon.

A Rebel Lord…
Haunted by the savagery of war, Gavin intends to use Rachel de Lacy as a bargaining chip to gain freedom and passage to France for the widows and orphans he’s rescued from Sir Dunstan’s vengeful sword.
A Price too High… As passion flames between captor and hostage, Rachel discovers a new meaning for the word courage, and Gavin is faced with an impossible choice. Can he return the woman he loves to his brutal enemy, even if that is the ransom he must pay to win his orphans their freedom?

READ A LITTLE, BUY THE BOOK: http://amzn.to/1OWjnSx

(I met Kimberly nearly ten years ago when I was waiting for my flight to Atlanta for the Romance Writers of America conference. Kim was traveling with her best friend and author Susan Carroll. And I remember saying something like, "So you're both unpublished authors, too?"  It was kind of funny to learn that they were multi-published, award-winning, RITA nominated authors who didn't pretend not to know me after the plane landed:)  In fact, they shared the ride to the hotel with me and were gracious enough to be guest speakers at my local chapter meeting the following year.)
Wrthrebestselling, award winning novels are noted for their endearing characters, emotional impact and theirability 
Jan Schliesman: How often do you Get Lost In A Story?
Kimberly Cates: I feel as if I’ve spent my whole life lost in stories.  When I was three years old, my mother worked nights as a nurse.  My dad would tuck me in and leave the hall light on, then go to bed himself.  When  mom got home at 2 a.m., I’d be sitting under the hall light ‘reading’ my pile of books.  I still read constantly. Now it’s mostly research books. But when I get totally lost in fiction, I’m in heaven!

Jan: So…you have two names? I know you’re not hiding from the law (wink, wink;) but can you explain why it’s necessary to wear two hats?
Kimberly: The logic behind the pseudonyms is that my romance novels and my historical novels are so different the publishers didn’t want readers to get confused. I prefer to imagine it’s because I’m an international woman of mystery.  My deep, dark secret— I have no fingerprints.  Wore them all off typing over the past thirty years (though my daughter insists I burned them off doing Girl Scout projects with a hot glue gun).  I also once wrote as Kimberleigh Caitlin and have done Silhouette series books as Kim Cates.

Jan: I know it takes you about a year to write a historical. Would you say you’re a bit obsessive about the details or do you just get lost in all the research?
Kimberly: I still have trouble believing that I get paid to delve into history.  I love researching so much that my critique partner of thirty years, Susan Carroll, used to come to my house and abscond with my research books.  It was her job to tell me that the research had delighted me long enough— it was time to write the book!  There is just something magical about finding out the details that bring a story to life.  As for obsessive… when I’m deep into a story, I practically walk into walls, I’m so busy living in the past.

Jan: You recently relocated from the Midwest to California. Anything you miss from your “old life”?
Kimberly: The bright colors of an Illinois autumn are spectacular.  The first snowfall is magical.  Here in the valley, the change of seasons is much more subtle and we have to go to the mountains if we want to see snow. I console myself by indulging in the most gorgeous, abundant produce imaginable, grown right in this area.  But the thing I miss most about Illinois? The friends and family I left behind.   Thank heaven for the internet and Skype.

Jan: In your spare time, you knit and play the guitar.  Tell the truth. Do you ever sleep??
Kimberly: So funny!  I’m actually a chronic insomniac. it gets worse when I’m deep into a novel. For some reason, my characters love to talk to me in the middle of the night.  I’ve been playing less guitar since my move to California.  Instead, I’m perfecting my skills at transforming giant cardboard boxes into castles, rocket ships and submarines with the help of my grandkids.  It’s been absolute bliss!

Jan:  What intrigued you most about writing your current release?
Kimberly: My dad was a frogman in the Korean War and suffered from PTSD.   That inspired my fascination with how people are shaped by the traumatic experiences of war and what the word courage really means.  I created three heroes who were shaped by the devastating defeat of the Scots at Culloden Moor and the butchery that followed, obliterating Highland culture.  Gavin Carstares in Gather the Stars was branded as a coward in battle, but remains behind when the other officers flee. His mission, to gather up the widows and orphans of the Jacobites and smuggle them into France.  In the novels that make up the Culloden’s Fire series, I take four warriors, explore what war does to those who fight and then, with the help of strong, loving women, find ways to heal them.

Jan: What’s your favorite place to write?
Kimberly: In my big, comfy chair with my laptop most of the time. I also like to write at coffee houses.  But a few years ago I went to Ireland with friends and could write staring out across the Dingle Peninsula.  That was pure enchantment.

Jan: How many castles have you toured? Any of them haunted?

Kimberly: I’ve probably toured eight.  Castle Matrix was haunted and I was visited by the ghost— a little girl named Becket who wanted me to come out and play.  The castle’s owner said that Becket usually visits children.  She kept knocking on this unreachable window, and the room was ice-cold.  Castle Matrix was wonderful— it even had a priest hole which I featured in several of my historical romances.

Jan:  What’s on your bucket list?
Kimberly:  Traveling to England, Ireland and Scotland with my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids.  I’d adore sharing the history with them.


Kimberly’s GOTTA ANSWER:  Anything with caramel in it.  In Illinois we have three particular ice cream parlors I miss desperately.  One is Country Style— vanilla soft serve that I survived on while being 9 months pregnant in a beastly hot August.  The second is Whitey’s Ice Cream— delicious!  And the third is homemade ice-cream from an old fashioned soda fountain that is over a hundred years old— Lagomarcino’s  Their hot fudge butter crunch sundae is to die for.  (Can you tell I take my ice-cream very seriously?)

HUGE THANKS to Kimberly for sharing a peek inside her writing world with us. See the **GIVEAWAY BELOW** and watch for three additional books that will be releasing in the Culloden's Fire series:

2. ANGEL'S FALL (Adam and Juliet)
3. CROWN OF DREAMS (Myles and Devlin)
4. CROWN OF MIST (Creighton and Brianna) (Prequel)

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  1. Replies
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    2. My hubby has a habit of falling asleep halfway through a movie but they never have that effect on me;)

  2. Hit the gym for a few hours then a hot shower

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Linda! Maybe exercise is the key? Any particular workout you'd recommend?

  3. My cure for insomnia... what works for me is having on some soothing music... closing my eyes and coming up with my own mini romance in my head... my mind focuses on that and lets everything else slip away and then I drift off... I am not a writer, but I have a great imagination.

    1. Hi Colleen! Once I close my eyes is when all the trouble begins. I start thinking about all the stuff I can't forget to do tomorrow. Then I usually get up and start a load of laundry or double check that all the doors are locked. Can't ever seem to turn off my brain!

  4. These are such great ideas! My cure for insomnia is a hot bath and a great book. Music helps a lot as well. The gym is a great idea-- I've been on deadline and haven't been getting enough exercise-- no question! As for spinning a little mini romance in my head-- that would work great, except I always have to jot down notes if I come up with a good idea!

  5. I don't usually have trouble sleeping, but if I did, I'd watch some television lying on the couch, that usually puts me right to sleep. :D

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara! I usually end up watching episodes of Law & Order in bed. I finally turn off the tv at 1 am. Sometimes my hubby finds me asleep with the tv blaring when he wakes up at 2:00. Either way, I never really get a good nights sleep.