Hello there! I’m Cate Toward, I’m a Brit, and the mum of two pretty damn amazing thirty something’s. I’m also the soppy housekeeper to aging Jack Russell’s. I got divorced twenty odd years ago, but my parent’s marriage taught me there is such a thing as romance, I just haven’t been that lucky, but the ‘trying’ has had its moments…

When I got my ‘adult’ library ticket at eleven, my father recommended the historical novels of Jean Plaidy. I read about Catherine de Medici, Lucrezia Borgia, and Catherine Parr. When I eventually ran out of JP titles, I discovered Frank Yerby, and life was never the same.
Now, when I read a book I want everything, I want to see life, I want people I can identify with, in situations that test them, I want to share their adventure, that’s what I try and write.

I wrote a North and South variation, Master of the Mill,  that Maria Grazia thought you may appreciate. That's why she invited me here.  I've got a little present for you. I hope you'll like it! 


A gift to my dearest Dixon
Christmas 1855
From her most devoted friend, Margaret Thornton.
Saturday January 2nd 1856
Well, I am determined as I can be to keep to this journal with all my closest thoughts, seeing as how Mr Thornton has made very plain his dislike of me expressing them out loud. Indeed, for a man so much taken with honesty, he certainly finds little favour with the plain speaking of those about him! His incontinence of temper when I speaks me mind, is most uncalled for. Named me a interfering old biddy he did!
But me dearest chick cares greatly for him, and assures me he is the most attentive of husbands. Though he is inclined to glower at her on occasion of her politicking.

Which I makes him right at, the darling girl is prone to a cleverness unbecoming of a lady. Though perhaps he remonstrates with her of a evening, mayhap after their prayers, in the privacy of their bedroom? There is certainly the sounds of enough rumpaging issuing forth from that room of a night time! (Not that I take notice of gossiping maidservants, mind.)
Aye, and there’s another modern practice her dear mama would take a very dim view on. A married couple, of no little standing, passing the night in the same room. In my whole life I have never heard the like! But, once little ones arrive I dare say the whispering and giggling will cease soon enough and respectable habits will prevail.
Lord, but this is more writing than I have done in me whole lifetime, me very hand an eyes do ache of it.
I shall leave off for now, tomorrow, being Sunday, I shall not put pen to paper here.
The Book

Master of the Mill was released on Amazon Kindle Store on 7 January 2014. Check it out HERE and grab your own ecopy!

Book Blurb

John Thornton, is a mill master, a true son of north, proud inheritor of its ethic of hard work and no nonsense. He is also a man of deep passions. 
Margaret Hale, daughter of a parson, was brought up in the gently, idyllic seeming South, she has a naïve view of the world that the cynical mill master does not share. 

Please understand, this is not a sequel, but rather my own a darker imaginings based on the themes and characters of Elizabeth Gaskell. If you’re looking for hearts and flowers, you will not find them here. What you will find is pride, hunger, desire and a growing passionate love that refuses to be crushed by circumstance. 



junewilliams7 said...

Hearts and flowers -- bah! I am more inclined to believe in real-life struggles. Your tale sounds lovely, telling us of a growing passionate love that refuses to be crushed by circumstance.

~ June, a fellow divorcee who still believes there is such a thing as romance

Fanny/iz4blue said...

How clever of Margaret to gift Dixon with a diary! A chance to get everything of her chest. I rather enjoyed reading her point of view however brief. Congrats on publication Cate, I've had the honor and pleasure to enjoy your writing over the years.

dstoutholcomb said...

Sounds delightful!

jadey36 said...

Loved the diary!

Once again, congratulations on publication, Cate. I enjoyed reading your North & South variation immensely. Your writing style is right up my alley and desire and passion wins out over hearts and flowers every time for me.

Cate said...

Hello there June, Thank you for the interest (Love the avatar BTW)
I have to admit my version of John and Margaret’s story may not to everyone’s taste, but I don’t think a normal courtship could have been plausible with these two strong characters.
Romance is often not what we expect, or where we expect to find it, but it’s still there all right, never fear!

Cate said...

Hi there Fanny, lovely to see you.
I think Margaret rather hoped Dixon would keep her snippy comments for the journal, and not direct them at John, that may be a vain hope though …Thank you petal, I really value your comments and support, Not at all sure I would have taken the plunge if it hadn’t been for the encouragement and interest from the friends I’ve found here.

Cate said...

Hello dstoutholcomb.
Not too sure it's delightful, well not Jane Austen delightful, more like Emily Brontë on a seriously bad day! But entertaining at the very least.

Cate said...

jadey, darling! Lovely to see you :) Thank you, and, at the risk of seeming like a mutual admiration society, I have to say how much I love your insightful work, it should be standard reading for all.
Love Caty x