Site of Author Beth CatoNavigation
“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.”
First of all… look! A giveaway! It runs through Friday.
My publisher did a really nice post congratulating me on my Locus nomination. Awww.
Remember the #TwitterFiction I did last Wednesday? You can now read the whole event in a convenient Storify format!
SheKnows.com included The Clockwork Crown on their list of 15 most anticipated spring and summer books! Huzzah!
I’m at Kate Heartfield’s site to talk about Unlikely Influences: What Beth Cato Learned About Writing by Baking Cookies. I know. Feign surprise at the subject matter.
Do you want to know more about research books I used for The Clockwork Dagger series? Find out in Magic and World War I Medicine at Teresa Frohock’s Blog.
For a general overview on medicians, read Medicians in The Clockwork Dagger at David Walton’s blog.
I also had a post at SF Signal with Developing Miss Percival as a Sympathetic Villain.
I was interviewed by the East Valley Tribune about my books and Phoenix Comicon.
Whew. I think that’s it. Things are crazy here right now. My son finishes up his 4th grade year today. Tomorrow is my 15th anniversary. I’m trying to edit a few stories and work on promotional stuff for Crown‘s release. I only have a few days left to prepare for Phoenix Comicon.
YES. I CAN DO THIS. …Right?Read More
My newest story is a special one for me: a magical twist on a real historical event that took place near my hometown. It’s called “Roots, Shallow and Deep” and it can be read at Urban Fantasy Magazine.
I was in 3rd grade when another 3rd grade class visited to perform their own dramatization of the Mussel Slough Tragedy. It was described as a local incident straight out of the Old West: settlers facing off against the greedy railroad. The kids pretended to shoot each other and writhed in death throes on the portable’s carpet.
I rushed home that day, indignant.
“MOM. HOW COME YOU DIDN’T TELL ME ABOUT THE MUSSEL SLOUGH TRAGEDY?” I was seven or eight then, already keenly interested in history, and I felt like she had withheld some grand treasure from me.
Mom stammered out an explanation, and the end result was a detour that next Sunday to visit the site of the tragedy on our way to church. It made me even more livid when I discovered it was literally a few miles north of the house were I grew up, a straight shot on 14th Avenue.I never forgot about the tragic shoot-out that took place almost exactly a hundred years before I was born. In recent years, I’ve collected numerous books on San Joaquin Valley history through that era, some specifically about the Mussel Slough Tragedy. It remains a contentious event with lots of he-said, she-said debate. Settlers claimed that the Southern Pacific was stealing their land from beneath them; the railroad claimed the settlers were squatters. The settlers who survived the incident were later hailed as heroes by the press, like valiant knights against “the octopus” of the mighty railroad conglomerate. I figure the truth is somewhere in the middle.
I made a quick visit home last weekend. Some things don’t change; on our way to church, I begged my mom to make a detour out to the Mussel Slough site so I could take pictures for my blog. The ancient house behind the marker was in the process of being torn down. Almond trees stood in sentinel rows behind the hard-to-read state historical marker. So much of the original fight versus the railroad was because of the settlers’ efforts to irrigate the land, and to be compensated for their efforts. Now, with the drought, there was no water flowing through those ditches.
Home still looks beautiful and green to me, in contrast to Arizona, but it grieves me to see how the land and the people suffer. I look at my story and how people fought to bring water to the valley, and I shake my head. Things never really change.Read More
Combine the awesomeness of shortbread and chocolate in a single pan!
I loved shortbread from the time I was a kid and we’d buy those precious boxes of Walker’s Shortbread at the Fresno Highland Games. Now you can buy Walker’s everywhere, but in the late ’80s and 1990s? It was a real treat.
This chocolate shortbread is a real treat, too. It creates tender yet firm bars that combine all the best of buttery shortbread, mocha, and espresso.
I first made this by mixing in mini chocolate chips (replacing the cocoa nibs in the original recipe). When I wanted a good cookie recipe to mail during an Arizona summer, I thought of shortbread because it ships and keeps so well, but chocolate chips would melt. Therefore, I made the recipe again with melted chocolate in the dough. The versions tasted the same and the new version shipped cross-country without any issues.
I think the biggest issue here is that it tastes so good–especially with coffee or tea–that there’s a tendency to gobble down shortbread bars as if they are potato chips.
Bet you can’t eat just one!
Modified from Mocha Shortbread as printed in Martha Stewart Living.Read More