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Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Spotlight: Cate Masters

Paranormal pursuits

Stories sometimes have a mind of their own. When I’m really lucky, elements come together in ways I don’t even understand to become a fully fleshed-out story.

That’s what happened with Dead to Rights, my paranormal novel to be released in July. I read a few news accounts of underground militias, and they fascinated me. Another news story about a religious group likewise intrigued me. And then, from out of nowhere came my heroine. Her snarky voice sounded strong in my head. Waking up in a mental facility, she can’t remember who she is. She only knows that the face staring back at her in the mirror isn’t her own. In following her instincts to reclaim her old life, she becomes entangled in a complex maze of people and events that lead her places she’d never imagined, and can’t believe are real.

I can’t tell you much more, or I’ll give too much away! I’ll let the blurb and excerpt tell you. *grins*

Identity theft sucks. But it’s worse when someone steals her life, body included. Now she has to figure out how to get it all back.

Recognizing Rev. Alan Cunningham, leader of the New Day Order, is her first clue. Her gut says Cunningham’s connected. Seeing newswoman Tess Munro on TV, her gut also says that’s her former body. The news clip triggers flashes of memory. Her only hope of learning the truth is to follow Cunningham into his sordid world, where a darker evil lurks.


The bus drove all night. I dozed off a few times, but every bump in the road easily roused me. All the while, I couldn’t shake the feeling someone watched me. Had the group’s suspicion of me grown since I’d signed up? It didn’t seem likely, but I had to stay on guard, yet appear innocent. Not an easy feat. On high alert, my brain screamed for me to escape.

To what? I had nowhere to go. My only viable connection so far was Cunningham. Time would reveal the reason, but I guessed it wasn’t anything positive.

With a heavy breath, I scanned the faces of others. Every one slept, or tried to.
My senses pricked to extreme when I saw the man sitting three rows behind, on the opposite side. He stared openly, a strange glow in the whites of his eyes.

I jolted upright, then slumped in my seat. My heart pounded. How freaking weird. Grateful for Ellen’s insistence that we sit together, I feigned settling in to rest. Impossible with him still watching intently. And he was. I didn’t know how I knew, but I’d swear it.

The landscape changed from rural to downright deserted. The bus stopped for gas after the sun glimmered just below the horizon, streaking the clouds above with orange and red. It reminded me of smeared blood.

Blinking, Ellen lifted her head. “Are we there?”

“Not yet.” Sarcasm escaped me in the face of a stalker. Twice more, I’d glanced back, only to meet the same steady gaze. I stopped looking after that. Even if he presented no threat, maybe just looked for a little romance in all the wrong places, I wanted no part of him.

Who the hell was he anyway? He hadn’t attended any of the gatherings. How did he get on the bus, if he hadn’t gone through the process?

Ellen yawned. “Didn’t you sleep?”

“A little.” Admitting that I didn’t need much sleep would raise a freak flag. At the institution, drugs induced a false rest, disturbed by constant nightmares. But since leaving, I slept no more than two or three hours a night. Not from insomnia. I simply didn’t need to rest. But I had to avoid any labels that would make me stand out from the others, so I never mentioned it to anyone.

Gathering her bag, Ellen stood. “I need to use the ladies room.”

“Me too.” No way would I stay behind without her. Even if the instructor and Cunningham hadn’t taken off for the next gig, Thurman sure as hell wouldn’t stand up for me. Nor, I suspected, would any of the others on board.

Normally, Ellen’s yammering made my nerves tighten. Tonight, it provided a reason to follow close, pretending to be part of the conversation, however inane.

Afterward, in the parking lot, Ellen whirled to search my face.

Startled, I waited for an accusation. The woman must have figured out I was a fraud.

Dead to Rights will soon be available – watch my blog for details about its release!


Arlene said...

What a fantastic premise. To find yourself in a nut house is bad enough but to have your identity changed means you doubt both mind and body. Can't wait to read this one!!!

Cate Masters said...

Yes, and with good reason! :) Thanks Arlene!

Cate Masters said...

I should have mentioned too, that Dead to Rights is now available! See the post on the Paranormalists blog for more:

Maria Zannini said...

You're beginning to worry me, Cate. LOL.

The premise is creepy and intense. How do you sleep at night? --or is this what keeps you up?

Cate Masters said...

lol, it's not my first creepy and intense story, but I do balance these out with lighter ones! :)
No, unfortunately I'm not one of those authors who dreams her stories at night. Maybe that's why I'm so goofy during the day, I'm too busy daydreaming!

Darla said...

Unfortunately, I AM one of those authors who dreams of her stories at night. lol I wake up many mornings feeling like I haven't slept at all. No but seriously, it's where I get most of my ideas for novels.

Great blog. Loved the excerppt. Makes me want to read more.

Congrats on the new release, Cate!