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  • Her McRaidy Chieftain, Book 1 of the McRaidy Clan
  • Somers Rising, Book 2 of the McRaidy Clan
  • Accepting her Laird, Book 3 of the McRaidy Clan
  • Only because it was You, Gus McRaidy
  • All of Me, A McRaidy Son

Friday, May 9, 2014

An interview with Cate Parke's hero Richard in her new book Richard Berkely's Bride

I'm thrilled to welcome Cate Parke this evening. I have interviewed the hero in her spectacular book, Richard Berkeley's Bride. Let's sit back and poke and prod to find out all about him...shall we?

Cate, could you introduce your hero before I begin the questions?

Thanks so much for agreeing to speak to the hero of my story today. I must tell you, Richard was reluctant to appear here. (He’s a man of the eighteenth century, you know. He finds the twenty-first century a bit daunting.)

Can you tell us your name and how you first met your writer?
My given name is Richard William Thomas Berkeley. Cate was a guest at Lord Edward Campbell’s the evening Lord Edward and my father proposed Lord Edward’s lovely daughter, Alexandra, as my future wife. She sat in the shadows of the room so it was difficult to see her. I didn’t actually meet her until later that evening, at supper.
Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
No, Cate surprised me. I believe I led an interesting life, but I wouldn’t have believed someone in the twenty-firstt century would have thought so.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
I loved Cate’s description of the scene where I would have beaten Lord Thomas Graham within an inch of his life. The vicious fop had it coming to him. Cate had the sheriff stop me before the man bore little more than mussed clothing. I disliked him from the first time I set my eyes on him. Doubtless, he felt the same about me. We never spoke to one another except to trade insults.
Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
Cate wasn’t eager to write the scenes between my wife and me—in the bedroom, if you catch my meaning.
Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
No—the only person who manages that feat is my wife. Cate and Alexandra have an uncanny relationship. Cate seems to read her mind. Alternatively, Cate is forced to ask me about myself, or watch the things I do and try to understand my actions and activities. With Alexandra, Cate almost seems to have always known her. I find myself at a loss to explain it.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Like most gentlemen, I enjoy my leisure hours. I have a sawmill and enjoy planning improvements to it. I was blessed to find the finest land steward in South Carolina and perhaps anywhere in the American colonies. The man has—had, that is, a genius for designing engineering marvels. I breed Arabian horses and hope to have a large herd of them one day, as fine as the one from whose stock my horses came, the Harrisons of Virginia. 
Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
Yes, for the most part, though I might have chosen an action adventure for myself. My wife has a secret passion for historical romances. She reads the ones her aunt sends her from cover to cover. I’ve a feeling she rather likes being the heroine of her very own romance.
Do you like the way the book ended?
Yes, but the book didn’t actually end if, once again, you catch my meaning. Our story continues in Cate’s next book, Dreams Within Dreams.
What is your least favorite characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
It is the scene where I disgrace myself with my wife. You see, she’s the granddaughter of two dukes and believed she had fallen out of love with me, especially after our son was born. I failed to acquit myself well. I admit it.
Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
Yes. Cate doesn’t know that I would like to design a ceiling fan able to turn without means of a servant.
What do you do for a living?
I must beg your pardon, but I don’t labor at anything. I’m a gentleman. After completing my years at Oxford, I trained as a lawyer at London’s Inner Temple. I was fortunate. Most Americans were admitted only to the Middle Temple. It was Lord Edward who assured I was provided with the best education. After I returned to Charlestowne, Lord Edward took me into his successful business. I perform legal service for him whenever he requires them. I also operate a successful lumber mill. My plantation, Oakhurst, requires much of my time. It is successful, as am I. By means of canny investments, I’ve already acquired a small fortune. I shall make a much larger one, I can assure you.
What is your greatest fear?
In my soul, I most fear losing my beautiful wife.
What do you wear when you go to sleep?
You surprise me madam. I wear nothing at all.
What is your most prized possession?
My wife.
Did you have a pet as a child? 
I have a pet now. His name is Jack. He has a longer name, but Jack suffices. He’s a St. John’s Water Dog. He is the forerunner of the dog you call a Labrador Retriever. My wife’s grandfather sent her a Scottish terrier pup. She named him Gilleasbuig after a famous ancestor of hers. You’ll pardon me for believing the pup will never grow to such heroic proportions as his namesake—though I would never say these words to my wife. (There you have one of my secrets!)
What do you find most appealing in men/women?
In men it would be their ability to argue their positions with sound logic. I enjoy engaging in strong arguments with my friends. In women, it is their poise, their gentility, their beauty, their ability wear the clothing of our day with aplomb. You must understand, that society of our day does not expect women to be well-informed and well educated. I believe this is a mistake. I always have.
What do you find most unappealing in men/women?
I am repelled by most women’s stupidity. As I mentioned, most men and women believe education to be wasted on young girls. I believe they are wrong. Certainly, my wife hasn’t fallen prey to this ignorant conviction, and for that I am eternally grateful.
What do you like most about where you live?
Oakhurst? The house. It’s where I live with my wife. She has made it a home. It is graceful and elegant, as warm as anyplace could be in the winter—and as cool as anyplace could be during our long hot, humid summers.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy Sunday?
Even on rainy Sundays we rise early, breakfast with our houseguests, attend services at St. James Goose Creek Church of England, and return home for one of Miss Ruth’s magnificent dinners. Miss Ruth is our cook. Lord Edward employed her and her husband when he first built the plantation. My brother and I often ride during the afternoon. By sundown, our guests have departed. I rarely waste the hours of my day. I spend the evenings with my beautiful bride.
What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
One of the things I found most engaging about my parents was their attachment to one another. My mother never failed to flirt with my father and he with her. Perhaps I was aware of it because I’m a man. Girls have flirted with me almost since I was breeched. My parents never spoke about it to me but I was aware of them, you may be sure. My mother’s face lit up in a certain way when my father entered a room. They never failed to touch one another and their eyes rarely left each other while they were together. Now and again, one of them would make an innocuous comment to the other evoking private smiles and certain little glances. It’s how I’d hoped the marriage I shared with my future wife would be. I’m a fortunate man. Alexandra and I share such a bond.
What is your least favorite word?
I believe it must be the four letter epithet most of us dislike most. I use it now and again. Most men do. I confess, though, I still don’t like it.
What turns you on?
I confess, I’m unfamiliar with this term. From the way you ask it, however, I presume you mean that which I find titillating. If that is the case, I find my wife’s brisk response to my lovemaking to be my greatest…turn on. She’s loving and, most of all, creative in her response to me.
What turns you off?
If, from your previous question, you ask what I find most off-putting, it must certainly be a woman’s grasping for more than are her just deserts. While I sympathize with women’s positions, I find such behavior amongst them to be unladylike…distasteful. They are not the women to whom I would have offered my hand in marriage.
What sound or noise do you love?
Ah-h, you ask such easy questions. It must be the soft noises my wife makes when she is well-sated from lovemaking.
What other profession would you like to try?
Not only would I like to try it, I shall go to war on behalf of my country. I cannot support England’s position in the American colonies.
What is your most favorite memory?
On the day were wed, the doors from the narthex opened and my wife stood with her hand on her father’s arm. She was a shimmer of brocaded cloth of silver, her bodice cut below her breasts. A stiff starched lace inset scarcely covered their rosy tips. Her shoulders were bare as well as a large part of her bosom. A long train trailed behind her. The skirt of her gown opened below her tiny waist to display the beauty of her ruffled petticoat. Her mother’s pearls dangled in her ears. High-heeled slippers, covered in the same brocade as her gown, bore froths of stiff pale blue ribbons tied in bows sewn on each one. They peeped from beneath her gown with each step she took toward him. She wore a crown of winter herbs and hothouse flowers on her head. A lace veil covered her long red curls. She’d told me it was a gift from her Grandmother Wessex. I suspected the heirloom was priceless. She was a vision of loveliness. I shall never forget it as long as I live. I couldn’t imagine I could be more in love with her than I was that day. I must confess how very wrong I was.


6 comments:

Cathy MacRae said...

Thank you, Cate for such a fun interview! Richard answered his questions much as I would imagine him to. Great job!

Miriam Newman said...

Such a beautiful background on this blog, Cate! May it bring you and Richard Berkley's Bride as possible luck.

Pat McDermott said...

Richard William Thomas Berkeley sounds like a genteel rascal! I enjoyed this interview, Cate. An entertaining twist. Best of the best to you and your wonderful tales!

donnacgoode@hughes.net said...

Thanks, Cathy! Richard is becoming a pushover for all our modern conveniences. He's still aghast. What am I going to do if he refuses to return to the 18th century???

cateparke@hughes.net said...

Thanks you so much, Miriam! I appreciate your kind words.
~Cate

cateparke@hughes.net said...

Hi Pat! I don't know if too many people would describe Richard as a genteel rascal, but Alexandra (and I) consider him as such. And thanks to you, my friend. Your thoughts are an inspiration to me.