Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Blast, Interview & Giveaway Catherine's Cross by Millie West

Catherine’s Cross
by Millie West


When Jenks Ellington experiences a sudden, alarming sense of panic about her identical twin sister Gigi, she has to wait until nearly midnight before learning the reason for her unease: Gigi has drowned while diving for artifacts in a Low Country river near Beaufort, South Carolina. Although Beaufort County detective Seth Mason is suspicious of Gigi’s diving partner, there is no evidence of foul play. But, when Gigi’s Port Royal home is broken into and ransacked, Jenks discovers two clues—one of which leads her to the home of a local Gullah medium.

In a painstaking search for answers, Jenks delves more deeply into her twin’s life. Along the way, her bond with Detective Mason reaches unexpected depths. And what secrets could medium Meta Jane be holding? Was Gigi’s death really an accident?


A sneak peek of the first chapter is available here:

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Millie West has a background in aviation, as well as in real estate, and has owned and been the broker of her own company. A licensed pilot, Millie was one of the first pilots hired by United Parcel Service when they started their flight crew department. 


So I asked Millie some questions and here are her answers

1. The Low Country of SC and GA is full of History and Gullah Traditions & Beliefs, what interesting things did you learn or research for Catherine's Cross?
I’d like to start by saying that I have been visiting the Sea Islands near Beaufort, SC, for the last twenty years. During that time, I have met and spoken with the descendants of Gullah people. I have listened to the pronunciations of their words and attempted to duplicate the language patterns through characters, Ida Mae, Meta Jane, and Mose Lafitte.

While I was writing Catherine’s Cross, I read a novel, Daughter’s of the Dust by Julie Dash. Her novel follows her heroine’s introduction to the Sea Islands near Beaufort. Her mother having been raised on the Sea Islands, has moved north to New York City, but her daughter wants to know her relatives and the land of her ancestors. I thoroughly enjoyed Dash’s depiction of the islands and the Gullah people. In addition, I read The Gullahs of South Carolina by Pearce W. Hammond. He discusses the Gullah culture, their language, and superstitions. For instance, I learned that the cry of a screech owl is a sure sign of death. I reference this superstition in both The Cast Net and Catherine’s Cross.  

Lastly, I purchased and scanned the Gullah New Testament, De Nyew Testament. I found the writings difficult to understand. For the characters in Catherine’s Cross who speak a version of Gullah, I decided that their pronunciations would be a mix of Gullah and Standard English so they could be understood. Each of the Gullah descendants in Catherine’s Cross are pure and honest individuals. 

2. How do you like your Tea? 
I make my iced tea with a mixture of Luzianne and Earl Grey. I add just a little bit of sugar. I don’t like my tea overly sweet. If I’m making hot tea then I’m a big fan of straight Earl Grey with a little sugar.

3. What does your writing space look like?
My writing space is in a small den/library. I have a desk with a personal computer on it and beside the computer screen is my printer. The room has a number of books shelves that are overflowing with books. On the rear wall of the room is a fireplace and one of my favorite paintings done by Steven Jordan hangs above it. The painting is of the interior of a Charleston historical home and is a study of light

And Lastly
4. What would you like readers to know about Catherine's Cross?
I would like readers to know that while there is one major plot taking place that involves the investigation into Gigi’s death, there are also important subplots. I write about issues that concern me. The theme that arises from the main plot deals with greed and the sad results that can arise from this human failure.

Great Answers Millie it was my honor to have your stop by and tell readers about Catherine's Cross. You can find my Review of Catherine's cross on the Post below this one :)

Millie will be awarding autographed copies of Catherine’s Cross to three randomly drawn commenters (US only) and a $20 credit to buy any book through BQB Publishing’s online store to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Please Follow the tour and comment; More you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


  1. Hi Jeannie! Thank you so much for featuring Catherine's Cross on your site! Millie West

    1. No problem Millie... When I was reading the book(I plan on finishing it today and putting up review) I was like I know where all these places are as we lived at MC Air Station Beaufort for 3 years and have really good friends so still live in the area... I also worked with lady who was Gullah so i could hear her voice in my head when i was reading the dialect. I lived right by the Broad River and spent a lot of time on Hunting Beach and down at the Point in Port Royal.

    2. Hi Jeannie! I know you must have really enjoyed living in Beaufort. We fish in the Broad and Chechessee Rivers for red fish mostly. That's how I got to know the area. On a number of occasions, we spoke with an older fisherman who set crab baskets out and took his catch of stone crab claws to Hudson's in Hilton Head. I can still hear him speaking to me and he inspired Mose Lafitte. I'm doing a book signing at the McIntosh Book Shoppe on Bay Street this Friday and Saturday! I'm looking forward to it, and I hope you've enjoyed Catherine's Cross! Millie

  2. Sounds like a nice office

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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