18 October 2010

Title: Cate of the Lost Colony
Author: Lisa M. Klein
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 336 Pages (October 12th 2010)
From: the Publisher. Thank You!

Synopsis: The greatest unsolved mystery of American history--what happened to all the colonists who landed on Roanoke Island in 1587? This novel traces the fortunes and misfortunes of one Cate Archer, banished to Virginia by a jealous Queen Elizabeth because of her dalliance with Sir Walter Ralegh. What will be her fate in this dangerous New World?

Review: 5 Stars - Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa M. Klein was an extraordinary tale with rich characters and writing that has the power to win over everyone who reads, even those who might not be fans of historical novels. Trust me on this, I’m proof of that. In a time of history that’s full of many holes and mysteries, Klein does an amazing job sewing the seeds around the lost colony of Roanoke to make you feel like your right in the thick of it all and her fact blended with fiction gives this romantic tale a feeling of truth.

The characters are vast and their plights intriguing. With each page I was swept up further into their world. With a vivid picture of each character and place in my mind, there was without a doubt of my falling in love with everything this book gives.

When Cate’s father dies, she’s shipped off to live with an aunt, uncle and cousins who neither want her, nor can afford to keep her. Soon she finds herself saved so to speak by Queen Elizabeth to be part of her court as one her maids. She wants nothing more then to do a good job and be in the good graces and favored by the Queen. Cate is strong and does her job with purpose just as she set out to do, to take care of the Queen above and beyond that of anyone else. You can tell Cate wants a caring relationship with the queen and goes out to prove herself worthy of just this over and over again.

Soon after arriving in the queen’s court she’s noticed by someone the Queen favors above all other men – Sir Walter Raleigh. He’s handsome, poetic and more than entertaining to the Queen and those around her, including Cate.

The two start a secret love affair of sorts- which was innocent and thrilling to follow along with their part of the story. Quickly you can see things going wrong in bad choices each make to keep this secret relationship alive. Sadly they are caught and poor Cate is shipped of to Virginia – the new world – for punishment and to help start a new Colony that Sir Walter Raleigh wants so badly.

I can’t forget to mention the smatterings throughout, of letters and poems and such from Sir Walter Raleigh. Being that this book is written from almost solely Cate’s perspective, it was nice to read these which gives the reader better insight into just what he was going through on his side of the world. I can’t forget to mention Manteo – the native who was originally brought from Roanoke during the first journey to be introduced to the Queen. He was not only interesting and intriguing, but such a calming voice that everyone should have listened to sooner rather than later. He was a favorite character of mine throughout this story and I enjoyed the few brief moments when the story was told from his point of view.

Throughout the book we learn more about the “lost” colony of Roanoke. The fact and fiction that Klein has combined was done amazingly well and if you ask me she has thought of everything. Without a doubt, you can see the research that Klein has put in to making this story work and solely her own. It’s easy to say this one of my favorite books of the year and I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

Interview with Lisa

All of your books – including Cate of the Lost Colony are sent in the throughout history. It shows us your love for the past. Would you or have you ever considered writing something that’s set in our current time or possibly something set in the future?

Good question. I am considering writing something set in the present. I think it would be easier and quicker to write, because I won’t have to do so much research. But I may be kidding myself. There is also something appealing about setting a book in the future and making everything up—creating an entirely new and strange world. I think writers have to challenge themselves so their work does not get stale.

Cate of the Lost Colony is based on both fact and fiction. What did you find most difficult about interweaving the two and why?

It was difficult to stick to the chronology of the Roanoke voyages while still making Cate’s story compelling. There is a lot of time that passes between major events, and news traveled so slowly, that I had to telescope some things to keep her story moving forward. Towards the end I took some license with history in order to make the romance more exciting; I don’t want to give it away but I do explain it in the author’s note.

What was the best experience or memory you have while writing this title?

Probably what I enjoyed most was the challenge of differentiating the voices of Cate, Ralegh, and Manteo. It was my first attempt at rendering a male character in the first person. Manteo was especially challenging because he was not English. I tried hard to craft a voice for him by drawing on Algonquian legends and customs. He and Ralegh (and Cate of course) came alive for me as characters I cared about. I wanted them all to end happily!

The amount of research you must have done for this book and your others had to have been extensive. How long did it take you to write “Cate” from research to the final draft and could you tell us about a little about your research and writing process?

From researching “Cate” to finishing the final draft probably took me about 18 months, maybe a bit longer. A book takes shape in my mind for a while before I even start writing. I do enough research to kickstart my characters and story. I write until I need to answer some question or until I get stuck on a plot point, and I do more research to fill me up again, then go on writing. And so on. I’m like a car that needs fuel to run.

Is there a time in history you wish you could travel back to, to live for – a day or week or month? And why would you want to life during this time?

Right now I’d choose to travel back to Elizabethan London, because that’s where my latest characters live. Really, any time and place I write about is where I’d like to go, because I want to get the details right. But anywhere you send me would be great; I’ll come back and write a story about it!

Lastly – could you tell us what you love about writing in the Young Adult genre and have you ever thought about trying your hand at an adult title?

I think no one ever outgrows a good tale, well-told, with good pacing and engaging characters. Adults often think they have to appreciate very literary or even experimental writing (lots of description, confusing plot structure), but teens are honest: entertain me now or I’ll listen to my iPod/play video games/text my friends instead. It’s a challenge to write a book that grabs young readers and uses the fewest and best words to keep them hooked to the end. It’s poetry masking as prose (and without the rhyme).

And yes, I think that someday I might write a book for adults, but I hope it will have the same qualities as my teen books.

Thank you so much for stopping by Lisa!

It’s been fun!

Where Lisa can be found online -

Website | Facebook

And now, I was lucky enough to have received a copy to giveaway to ONE lucky winner! A Huge thanks to Bloomsbury for the copy making this giveaway possible.

Here's the rules and how to enter:

PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM! Filling out the form is the only way to enter. Comments are always welcome, just please... no entries in comments. Thanks!
You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
Contest is open US only - Sorry!
Contest ends: November 4th, 2010


Good luck to you all! If you have any questions, please check my policy page or feel free to email. Thanks to everyone who enters. And thank you again to Bloomsbury for the review copy and copy to giveaway.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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  1. Nice interview! Cate of the Lost Colony sounds like it be right up my alley (I have a soft spot for historical fiction). Can't wait to see how this book plays out. ^_^

  2. I've never been a fan of historical fiction, but I might have to give this one a try. The fact that it is one of your favorite books of the year really has me intrigued. The interview is great as well. I love getting to know authors a little more and this interview had some great questions.

    Thanks for stopping by Lisa!


  3. Loved the interview! Cannot wait to read this one:)


  4. I love that she did so much research for this book. I'm excited to read it!


  5. This book looks awesome!

  6. The interview was great and I'm excited to start reading this!


  7. This is a fasinating concept for a book. And I love history! Good luck with the release!

    I'm voting

  8. My Not-So-Bebe Girl Autumn loves romance and I've gotten her going on some historical fiction as well. I think that this is a book that we would both enjoy! I also love hearing about an author's processes in writing historical fiction, so thanks for the interview!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  9. Thanks for the interview! We've posted a link on the official Bloomsbury Teens Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/BloomsburyTeens.


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Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Young Adult, "New Adult" & Adult genres/categories. If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email. You can find my email under the "mail" button or under the contact link at the top of the page.

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When I review I rate from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the highest rating. I review based on many different things from the writing, to the story - to the characters and how I can relate to them or how they are developed. I also review based on if an author has worked their magic and was able to draw me into a story so deeply that I don't want to put the book down. If you would like me to review a book, please contact me or view my Contact Information and Review Policy for further details.

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