Revelations: The Colburn Curse is a genre-crossing novel with elements of history, romance, and fantasy. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
When I set out to write this story I didn’t have any particular genre in mind. I aim to keep my books short and fast moving because I am a lover of suspense and mystery. This was the technique I used to construct the Book of Matthew: House of Whispers. The only problem with a fast moving story was that it left my readers with a ton of personal questions about the characters. I received so many questions about the Colburn family that I wrote the Revelations prequel to satisfy the curiosity of readers.
Pete’s character went through some dramatic transformations throughout the novel. What was the writing process like for his character?
Pete, as you know, is Emperor Titus from Infinity: A Crown of Golden Leaves. As a lover of suspenseful stories, I have always found the villain to be the single most important element. The villain can make or break your book, so I put a great deal of time into this character. When I sat down to write the wicked Titus my goal was to create a villain who was hateable but relatable. He was a man cursed by the Goddess of Discord to lose his mind and torment the people he loves in every lifetime. Revelations: The Colburn Curse is another one of those tragic lifetimes. When I introduced this complicated character in Infinity: A Crown of Golden Leaves, I wasn’t sure how readers would react to him. To my total shock and amazement, Titus became a beloved fan favorite. For this reason, I brought him back for another lifetime as Pete in Revelations. He’s a character that breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes, a symbol of the inner turmoil that many of us struggle to overcome.
The story takes places in pre-Civil War America. Why did you choose this time and place for your story?
I chose to write the pre-Civil War era rather than the Civil War itself because it’s easy to become distracted by the president, politics, and battles of the war while losing sight of the American citizens affected by it. I didn’t want to lose that vital human element. I desired a story that focused on the day to day lives of the people. Their thoughts, feelings, struggles, and triumphs are what make the characters relatable and memorable.
The writing in your story is very artful and creative. Was it a conscious effort to create a story in this fashion or is this style of writing reflective of your writing style in general?
One of the biggest things that influenced me to write was a story I heard many years ago. I was a child of seven when I sat on the ground, legs folded while being enthralled by an African storyteller. She was tapping a drum with her hands while verbally painting a picture. I don’t recall her name or even what she looked like. Half the time I can’t remember where I put my keys or what I had for breakfast, yet I remember every detail of the story she told thirty years ago. We live on through the people we touch and the stories we tell. If I am artful and creative it is because I followed her example.
Murder, betrayal, & scandal plague the Colburn family. A curse has shadowed them throughout time. This tale of intrigue follows the Colburns back to their beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana. Matt Colburn’s duty is to protect an aristocrat named Arial. From the moment they meet, she steals his breath away. They dance and it feels like a brush with destiny, but Arial has a dreadful secret that endangers the lives of everyone she holds dear, especially Matt. Will he be able to save her or will she become the next victim of the Louisiana Strangler…
Sarah is married to a man she hardly knows and is not sure she knows how to love. Matthew, her husband of many years, has not seen Sarah since their union when she was a girl of only eight years. Raised in a convent and reunited with her husband, the knight, Sarah is in complete awe of the horrors of battle and the danger in which he must place himself to protect her. When Sarah steps in to save the kingdom from Matthew’s nemesis, she makes a sacrifice far greater than Matthew could ever have expected.
Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail by Catalina DuBois is the third book focusing on the characters Sarah and Matthew. In varied settings and with slight name changes, DuBois manages to create stunning visuals with mind-blowing action sequences centering around a love affair for the ages. Sarah and Matthew are standouts in all three books, and Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail features Sarah in her most unique position yet. Sarah is simply captivating in the role of the lover willing to sacrifice everything to save others. DuBois takes readers through Sarah’s thought processes in a way that is personal and moving and does so without the advantage of using first-person point of view. She has successfully created a female lead she is able to mold and shape into a woman of strength and enviable courage across time periods and ever-changing settings.
As with DuBois’s first two Infinity books, I am amazed at the manner in which the author is able to incorporate elements of fantasy into the historical romance genre. Two genres that sound worlds apart are brought together seamlessly in Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail. With the introduction of the cyclops, I have to say I was at first a bit surprised. DuBois has a phenomenal knack for easing the reader into a realm fraught with surreal creatures and making the reader immediately comfortable with the blend of genres.
Imagery is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, DuBois’s forte. DuBois creates extraordinary images to draw readers into the reading in her masterfully crafted prologues. Infinity: Quest for the Holy Grail is no exception. As Matthew’s parents observe him from the balcony, the tension in the air is almost tangible. The image of a young Matthew riding away and being watched by parents holding a most devastating and crushing secret is poignant. DuBois manages to structure that scene to first touch the reader’s heart and then, out of nowhere, break it in two.
When reading a mix of fantasy and historical fiction, I appreciate an added level of mystery, and DuBois provides that perfect blend of genres. Readers looking for another angle on the quest for the holy grail and storylines featuring Sir Arthur, Medusa, and Lancelot will find DuBois’s writing to be a fresh look at these classic tales.
Pages: 205 | ASIN: B0791BBNZ3
Posted in Book Reviews
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Natalie leads a life like no other woman. The man in her life is not her husband and her son is not her own. As a woman in the pre-Civil War days, she does as she is told, and her life is simply not her own. Her son, Matt, who she lovingly protects from the hatred and violence of his brother, the man in her life, is being raised with no idea of what true love is. As Natalie continues to serve Pete and put up with his endless brutality, she simultaneously succeeds in teaching Matt how to recognize his brother’s faults and steers him toward the life he deserves.
Catalina DuBois’s Revelations: The Colburn Curse contains rich tidbits of various genres, and they all seem to blend flawlessly into one breathtaking piece. With mystery being the underlying and ever-present element, DuBois’s book is laced with romance, historical fiction, and tantalizing snippets of fantasy.
As I read, I felt as if I were on an emotional roller coaster of the most bizarre kind. I desperately hated Pete from the moment he entered the picture. There was not a signal redeeming quality present in him, and I felt no qualms about despising the sight of his name. Then DuBois throws a monkey wrench into the equation– a complete game-changer. I was amazed at how swiftly the author was able to make me change my mind. Then, as quickly as she brought me to a new line of thinking, she reintroduces the Pete of old. DuBois is a master of the plot twist. I was two breaths away from an audible gasp when she had Natalie suddenly reveal her own revelation about Pete’s true identity. Who doesn’t yearn for a book that gives them that feeling?
I will admit that I had a difficult time in the early chapters seeing how the vast array of characters would fit together by the book’s end. DuBois, however, is more than adept at pulling together characters from settings that are seemingly unrelated. I might add, when she does, it is amazing.
The storyline centering about Ambassador Florian Lafayette and his sister, Embrasia, is the most engaging in the book. The two are, without a doubt, bent on living on the edge. Their antics would seem to lead them down a path of destruction, but a few chance meetings change the siblings and their wild ways like no amount of preaching could. I find their storyline to be filled with the most rapidly moving action.
Having read several other books by the author, I can say this one is, by far, my favorite. When you can finish a book and feel immediately like rereading it, you know you have found a keeper. DuBois is the queen of prologues. I never ceased to be amazed at her ability to pull me in within the first paragraphs. There is no one else out there penning romances with touches of fantasy based on historical fiction like Catalina DuBois.
Pages: 285 | ASIN: 1973233002
Tags: alibris, america, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, betrayal, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, catalina dubois, civil war, crime, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, murder, mystery, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, Revelations, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, suspense, The Colburn Curse, thriller, writer, writer community, writing
Matthaios is a prince and Sara is a slave girl. In ancient Rome, their love is forbidden. In fact, true love like theirs is not what royal marriages are made of. Matthaios is not cut from the same cloth as his father, Titus. Titus, being Caesar, is prone to all the atrocities and savagery of his title. Matthaios, kind and loving, is forced to marry a woman he does not and cannot possibly love. When Sara’s untimely death is foreseen by her trusted friend, the course of both their lives and any life they may ever have together takes a sudden and tragic turn.
Yet again, I am drawn to the characters in Catalina DuBois’s series. Infinity: A Crown of Golden Leaves is filled with a myriad of characters from all walks of life. From Medusa to Daniel, a merman and best friend of Sara, to Titus and Arrecina, his bride, DuBois pens some amazing and rich portraits of her cast of characters.
I didn’t want to be drawn to Titus. I fought hard against it for several chapters. Everything in me told me that Titus was not supposed to be my pick, but that’s exactly how outstanding DuBois’s writing is. She spins a backstory like no one else in this genre. Titus, in all his loathsome and vile glory, is truly the standout in this book. Without giving away too much, I will say the backstory the author has chosen to give him is heart-wrenching and sheds new light on his choices and his treatment of Sara. He absolutely stands as my favorite in the long list of DuBois’s characters.
I enjoy the mix of settings DuBois provides within the Infinity series. I didn’t expect to come across the element of fantasy so deeply intertwined with historical fiction. If an author isn’t careful, that cross can become an awkward and difficult pill for readers to swallow. DuBois however combines the two seamlessly. The reader quickly accepts the change of setting from above sea level to below as all part of the charm of the story.
As with DuBois’s other Infinity installments, romance is plentiful. However, DuBois constructs tasteful scenes that never border on vulgar or obscene. Her writing is touching and truly conveys a sense of deep and lasting love between her main characters.
Just as DuBois writes vividly of true love, she creates excruciatingly realistic scenes of her characters’ pain and heartache. I had a similar experience with Infinity: The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh. DuBois includes some of the most engaging prologues I have ever read. She pulls you in from the first paragraphs and keeps your interest piqued throughout the reading, moving along a roller coaster track of emotions and back again.
Readers seeking a quick but gripping historical fiction book with a tasteful amount of fantasy won’t be disappointed with the love story of Prince Matthaios and the love of his life, Sara.
Pages: 185 | ASIN: B076JLW85G
Tags: A Crown of Golden Leaves, action, adventure, alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, catalina dubois, drama, ebook, egypt, emotional, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical, historical fantasy, historical fiction, ilovebooks, indiebooks, Infinity, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, mystery, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writer community, writing
Sara of Nubia, a princess and free spirit in her own right, has been promised to Pharaoh Amenemhat, but she is not one to go quietly into her duties as a bride and the mother of future rulers of Egypt. When Sara and her best friend, Sobek, disguise themselves as commoners and venture out, Sara’s journey of the heart begins abruptly with a clumsy moment, a chance encounter, and a kiss born out of tradition. The stage is set for a long and harrowing struggle to be with the one love of her life and to gain back what is, and always was, rightfully hers.
Catalina DuBois’s Infinity: The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh is the tale of Sara and Matthaios, two people destined to be together against all odds and against the destiny laid out for Sara by her family. Sara is a strong, determined, and admirable main character whose tenacity makes her an easy favorite. Matthaios, imprisoned and forced into servitude, fights with every fiber of his being not to cross the line when it comes to his charge, Sara. His ability to control his overpowering feeling for Sara and the restraint he is able to maintain is touching for his love for her is genuine. DuBois constructs some of the most moving love scenes involving Sara and Matthaios. I am not a fan of romance that contains gratuitous scenes, but DuBois has maneuvered around that type of writing to create stunningly beautiful pictures of two lovers whose hearts are truly one.
DuBois has managed to change a lifelong habit of mine. I have never been a fan of the prologue. More times than not, I skim the prologue to get the gist of what is to come. DuBois, however, has written a prologue so gripping, so detailed and vivid, that I can say it hooked me within the first paragraphs. She has drawn Matthaios as a man of tragedy in juxtaposition to the horrifying Pharaoh as she quickly reveals a backstory steeped in lost love and betrayal of the worst kind.
Infinity: The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh gives readers the best of both worlds with regards to genres. DuBois manages to combine romance and history with an added layer of mystery. I appreciate an element of the unknown when reading fiction of any type. Without a doubt, readers are kept guessing as to the identity of Sara’s and Matthaios’s evil shadow, and the ultimate reveal is breathtaking given the buildup of the character to that point.
Another of my favorite characters is Dimp. A faithful and focused doctor, Dimp is ever willing to help Sara and her friends throughout the book. Not one of the characters who gets a lot of attention, Dimp stands out as one of the most loyal and caring in the kingdom.
Romance fans and those who appreciate elements of mystery in their historical fiction will be drawn to the striking cast of characters created by DuBois. Nowhere else will readers, hungry for historical fiction, find a more well-drawn plot brimming with intrigue, adventure, and perfectly-tied together story lines.
Pages: 181 | ASIN: 1973288710
Tags: action, adventure, alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, catalina dubois, ebook, egypt, goodreads, historical, history, ilovebooks, indiebooks, Infinity, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, nubia, Pharaoh, princess, publishing, read, reader, reading, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, suspense, The Fifth Bride of Pharaoh, thriller, writer, writer community, writing
Book of Matthew Part I is a tale of forbidden love in rural Missouri in 1850 which was a tumultuous time in the U.S. What was the inspiration that inspired the setup to this intriguing novel?
It all began with a conversation. I had just started dating the man who is now my husband and we were still getting to know one another. He asked if I would vote in the upcoming election and I replied, “of course I will. My ancestors fought and died to give me the right to. Without their sacrifices I wouldn’t be able to vote, own property, read, let alone attend my university. I wouldn’t even be able to date you.” After that conversation I started to wonder how difficult it would have been to have an interracial relationship centuries ago and my first book was born.
I have always been a lover of suspense, mystery and horror so I decided to write in these genres. My goal was to create a Jack the Ripper sort of villain, while maintaining the drama, romance and personal conflicts that make characters relatable and memorable.
While growing up I noticed a double standard in regard to history. If you were white and you wanted to trace your lineage back to the Mayflower this was perfectly acceptable. People were intrigued to hear your family’s history and they encouraged and praised your vast knowledge of a bygone era… but if you were black you were often discouraged from learning anything about your ancestry. I was told things like, “Black people need to leave the plantation,” and “Black people live in the past and need to just forget things.” Yearning to educate myself about the past is not the same as living in it. I didn’t desire someone to blame or scapegoat, all I wanted was the same answers that other races of children were encouraged to seek out.
When I received correspondence from readers in England, France, Ireland and several countries in Africa they applauded my stories and said, “Wow! This was a fascinating look at American history.” Not Black history, nor African American history. Other countries acknowledge this topic as American history because that’s exactly what it is. When I am criticized for this subject matter my response remains the same,
I don’t write racist literature. Nor do I write black history. I write American history.
The book touches on sensitive social topics rarely discussed, slavery and the dynamic between master and slave. What were some themes you wanted to capture in this story?
The main theme I wanted to capture was that every form of this institution was morally reprehensible. When I grew up in school most of my teachers refused to teach this subject whatsoever. We would skip over huge chunks of our textbooks just to avoid it. The few who did teach about it romanticized the hell out of it, and made it seem acceptable because “most slaves were like part of the family” …I actually heard this more than once. What I desired to express in this story was that even if you were a house slave who was treated better than others and much like part of the family, merely being owned endangered your life because someone has diminished your social standing from that of a human being to that of a piece of property. This fact alone placed even the best treated of slaves at risk for kidnapping, rape and murder with no law enforcement to save them.
Second, I wanted to make it known that when some of us are slaves, we all are. Destitute white men, minorities and women of all colors were treated as second class citizens because of that system of inequality.
Third, I wanted to acknowledge all the people who were adamantly opposed to slavery and fought against it at every turn. 400 years of Americans are blamed and villainized for what some people did. Though slavery was socially acceptable, not everyone agrees with 100% of what is socially acceptable. Disagreeing with social norms is what makes us individuals. Fighting against corrupt social norms is what makes us heroes. The people who stood against these heinous acts are rarely recognized, but without them our society would’ve failed to evolve.
Sarah is a slave that is targeted by a serial killer that murders with impunity. What were the driving ideals behind Sarah’s character development?
The driving force behind Sarah’s character development was the total lack thereof I have witnessed in similar stories. In many of the plantation novels I have read the slaves are faceless one-dimensional victims who serve as little more than background for white main characters. The female slave characters were poorly developed and served as little more than objects of lust incapable of inspiring true feelings of love and affection. Reading a plantation novel with no black main characters is like reading Memoirs of a Geisha with no geisha. These stories failed to capture my attention and I found the characters unrealistic and totally unrelatable. When I wrote a book I was determined to make sure there were black main characters as well as white ones, and that ALL of my characters have depth and unique personalities. I wanted Sarah’s character to have hopes, dreams, ambitions, drama and romantic conflicts of her own. I yearned to put a human face on a slave character, an aspect rarely seen in books of this nature. Though there have been many forbidden lust stories in this genre I wanted to give Sarah an against all odds forbidden love story readers wouldn’t soon forget.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Revelations: The Colburn Curse is a prequel to Book of Matthew that traces the Colburn family back to their beginnings in New Orleans, Louisiana. In this story Matt Colburn Sr. is a young plantation heir who has been given the duty of protecting an aristocrat named, Arial. He falls madly in love with the elusive heiress, but she is hiding a deadly secret that has made her the target of the Louisiana Strangler, a secret that endangers everyone she holds dear, especially Matt. This book is already available for purchase on amazon.com.
The Infinity series is based on the many star crossed lifetimes of Sarah and Matthew. I wrote this series for readers who enjoy historical suspense but prefer a tale with less violence and adult content. Three of the ten books are already available on amazon.com.
Book of Matthew II: Ancient Evil will be released December 2018.
Women of color are not a priority of law enforcement in 1800’s Missouri. They are not even considered human. These social injustices allow a serial killer to run rampant. Sarah, a beautiful black slave, finds herself in the crosshairs of a monster who murders with impunity. The only one concerned with her plight is the master’s son. Will Matthew find the strength to rescue this slave girl, even if he lacks the courage to admit he’s in love with her…
It’s Jack the Ripper meets Roots in this pulse pounding historical thriller. House of Whispers packs the chills of a Stephen King book, the romance of a Nicholas Sparks novel and the in your face irony of an M. Night Shyamalan flic.
Posted in Interviews
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Catalina DuBois’s Book of Matthew: Part I. House of Whispers is a tale of forbidden love that, at times, seems Shakespearian in its delivery. The story begins in rural Missouri in 1850, a tumultuous time in the United States. Slavery was still very much in practice at southern plantations. Along with the master/slave dynamic came secret, taboo romances between captive slaves and free, white plantation owners and their family members. Matthew, the plantation owner’s son and heir, and Sarah, a slave owned by Matthew’s father, are two star crossed lovers trying desperately to navigate through social stigma, away from the plantation-dominated south, and toward freedom.
Barely a few pages into the first chapter, Matthew’s lust for the slave girl, Sarah, is evident. This is shown through a very sexually explicit scene that turns out to be a dream. There are a few of those scenes like this scattered throughout the book. Over all, I didn’t feel they detracted from the book, but might be a little too graphic for some readers.
The book seems accurate in its depiction of slavery. Slaves are subjected to unwanted sexual advances, beatings, whippings, and, in some cases, death. Families are ripped apart. Mixed race children are born in slave quarters. Secrecy is rampant. Slaves aren’t legally recognized as people. They are merely property. They are bought and sold as simply stock on store shelves. They are forced into unwanted marriages. They are denied a proper education, and are often punished if they find a way to become literate. They have no rights. They have no choices. This is a grave, but important reminder of America’s past.
Thank goodness for the few characters besides Matthew and Sarah who seem to have some common sense about them. A handful of characters, even during that timeframe, believed in equality. They are reminded at a point that race didn’t matter at all in God’s eyes, even if men’s eyes had such skewed filters. They find help from some unlikely sources as they try to outrun those who would rather see them dead than together.
The book keeps interest piqued through all the obstacles that Matthew and Sarah overcome to try to be together. There are similar story lines that play along parallel to theirs. Other pairs of seemingly mismatched lovers run and hide and jump through hoops to be together as well. This story based on love is not without its hindrances. Villains walk amongst them in their treks toward love. Menacing characters sabotage, violate, abuse, and even murder their victims throughout the story. They still don’t give up on each other. Even in such dire circumstances, love finds a way to unite. Ultimately, love conquers all.
DuBois’s story reads easily and quickly. I didn’t want to put it down. I found myself cheering for the more righteous characters, and hating the more deviant of them. The plot flows nicely, and loose ends are tied up neatly by the end. I’d love to read a Part II and see where DuBois takes Matthew and Sarah’s journey.
Pages: 233 | ASIN: B076ZS21T6
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Two star-crossed lovers, one ancient curse…
The gods reigned in harmony until the birth of Eris. Her quest for chaos brought war among humans and feuds among immortals. In prophecy, only love could change one so evil, so mighty Zeus sought a marriage for her. Spiteful Eris agreed to wed, but only to her cousin’s betrothed, a mortal king named Matthaios. He and his true love, Sara, sacrificed their happiness to save mankind. Eris was unfaithful, dishonest and cruel. Matthaios sought comfort from the only woman he’d ever loved. Eris cursed them to remain star-crossed in every lifetime for infinity…
Posted in book trailer
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