The Long and the Short of It is happy to welcome Victoria Pitts Caine whose first novel, Alvarado Gold was released by The Wild Rose Press and is soon to be released in print. She is now hard at work on the sequel, tentatively entitled “Cairo.”
When her oldest child left for college, Victoria told she started doing genealogy because “a little empty nesting set in.... It was something I always wanted to do but never found the time or the resources until the internet came along. She told me one thing she learned was that her heritage was varied. In fact, she called it “Heinz-57. I'm mostly English from both sides but a mixture of a lot of other things including American Indian. I found out so much doing genealogy - everything from monarchy to horse thieves!” In addition to her heritage, though, she also discovered the basis for her first book as the story of the buried treasurer in Alvarado Gold is based on her own family history.
Alvarado Gold is, as Victoria puts it, “an Inspirational novel with a mixture of adventure, intrigue and romance.” I asked her to tell us a little about the book. “The heroine, Addie Brown, reconnects with her cousins at her grandfather's funeral, but there's one cousin missing, Donnie,” she said. “Is it by choice or does he have some other motive? As she's researching family documents, one of which refers to gold buried near the small Texas town of Alvarado, she meets Gary Wright, who touches her empty heart. Gary insists on helping Addie and her cousins with their quest, but then strange occurrences and threatening notes lead her to believe Gary is working with Donnie. Addie tries to unravel the family secrets, be the first to reach the gold and deal with her own indecision. Should she trust Gary? If she does, she'll need to tell him the secret she's kept hidden in her heart.”
In the book she’s working on now, “Cairo,” Addie and Gary find themselves in Egypt, because Addie is a restorer of ancient documents. “Gary is kidnapped and Addie sets out to find him,” Victoria told me. “She enlists the help of several strangers and calls her cousin, Donnie who is also in the first novel, to come from the home to help her. During their quest they find themselves searching the ruins of old churches in Egypt with the help of a graduate student named Priscilla. She and Donnie immediately are at odds but as the story progresses with earthquakes, eclipses of the sun and the group being chased by a militant faction, Donnie and Priscilla find themselves falling in love.”
The first thing Victoria ever had published was an article in an adoptive parent magazine. However, she told me that her “super-mom gene took over” and she spent time enjoying her daughters’ lives: school, sports, music, dance, and cheer, putting writing on the backburner until her oldest went off to school.
I asked her about the strangest thing she had ever eaten. “A sea urchin,” she replied. “My daughters are adopted from Korea and it is a delicacy there. My advice is - don't - it tastes like it smells underneath a pier.” One thing she doesn’t find strange to eat, though, is pizza. And, serve her a combination pizza, please, but hold the anchovies.
Victoria works in the environmental sector and, when she isn’t writing, “I’m an avid reader and exotic gem collector,” she said. “Throw in a little gardening, a husband, another daughter still at home two dogs and twenty fish and that's my life.”
She doesn’t own an elephant, however, even though it is her favorite animal. “I was smitten with Tarzan movies as a kid,” she told me. “I used to beg my parents for a baby elephant. Also, the local zoo bought its first elephant when I was in grammar school and the kids used to collect money to pay for her.”
You can keep up with Victoria on her website, http://vcaine.homestead.com/