In my last post, I discussed the wonderful presentation of my novel, Catherine’ Cross, by Beaufort County Sheriff, P.J. Tanner. After the program was over, a lady met me in the hallway with a question. She had read Catherine’s Cross and while in Charleston had visited the Gibbes Museum to see the portrait of Miss Iris Elliot. She also enlisted the help of a museum guide to help her locate the painting. For those of you who have read the novel, the 18 carat gold cross with rubies is owned by Iris’s family at the outbreak of the American Civil War. Her father had purchased it on a grand tour of Europe in the late 1850s and it had belonged to Empress Catherine the Great.
I explained to the lady that Iris’s painting was fictional as well as the cross. I was sorry to disappointment her, but I felt delighted that my fiction seemed so real that she had gone in search of the portrait!
The Cast Net is set in Charleston County, South Carolina in the late 1980s. I have woven the history of a tragic figure from American history into my novel. Theodosia Burr Alston was the daughter of Aaron Burr, and wife of South Carolina governor, Joseph Alston. Burr was Thomas Jefferson’s vice-president, and notoriously notable for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel.
During the War of 1812, Theodosia mysteriously disappeared at sea while on a voyage to New York from Georgetown, SC.
Most of the action in my novel takes place in a fictitious town named Alston Station, which I named after Governor Joseph Alston. There is also a sophisticated sailboat, named the Theodosia, which is partially owned by one of the significant characters in my book. Like her namesake, the Theodosia, also disappears. I hope you’ll read my novel to find out her fate!
When Mills Taylor, a talented New York advertising agent and artist, accepts a job as the director of an educational scholarship foundation in Alston Station, a town near Charleston, South Carolina, she never imagines that her new position will launch a year of living dangerously. Her boss, Cooper Heath, is as socially conscious as he is handsome, but not only does he have a missing wife, some people think he made her disappear. The Cast Net chronicles the year when Mills plunges into a socially unfamiliar world of Southern money and power in the late 1980’s. As she helps him to cope and seek the truth behind his wife’s disappearance, she learns the deeper meaning of “the cast net” and why it has been embraced by generations of Low Country residents. The Cast Net is a compelling and engaging novel about roots, a sense of community, trust, betrayal, redemption, and especially–about love.