Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

Guest Author and Giveaway: Kate Noble on Inspirations and Influences

“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write about anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole.

Today’s guest is the lovely and talended, romance novelist Kate Noble. Her second book, Revealed released last year, made Ana’s top 10 books of 2009 and has just been nominated for a Rita Award. She is a regular at this here blog and you can read our interview with her as well as her mucho cool Smugglivus post. Her third book The Summer of You is out this week and Ana reviewed it here.

Please give it up for Kate Noble and her Inspirations for writing The Summer of You:

Thanks, Ana and Thea, for having me! I’m going to try very hard not to get to gushy and sentimental with this post, but sometimes, sentiment is the only option.

There are many, many inspirations for anything I write: a song I hear on the radio, its beat providing the rhythm for a scene, a TV character’s funny quirk that my brain randomly remembers from an 80s sitcom, or some enamel figurines I saw in a museum or on Antiques Roadshow. All these little touches are what I draw upon when writing a book, and there’s not enough time to list them all. So I’m just going to stick to the biggest inspiration I had for The Summer of You.

I have been particularly lucky to be born into the family to which I belong. Sometimes, it didn’t feel that way… 1993-1996 weren’t always fun (high school rarely is), and I am still regarded as something of a genetic oddity – I’m left-handed, the only person in my family with curly hair, and the only one who did not enter a math or science profession. But they have always supported me, always found me… interesting, and always loved me. But also one of the reasons I am terribly, terribly lucky, is that we have a family cottage. A summer house.

It has grown gradually over the last sixty-some years, from a plot of land where my grandparents once pitched a tent, to a one-room bungalow, to eventually having plumbing, a kitchen, and separate bedrooms.It sits on a small lake that serves as the center of all the day’s activities. Water skiing in the morning, sailing in the afternoon, canoeing at sunset. All of our neighbors have known each other for the whole of their lives — knows the spastic straggle-toothed kids we used to be, and the adults we are now. When we were kids, there was mischief, when we got a little older, there were first kisses and crushes. And now, the next generation is starting to begin the same cycle. Spending at least a little time at the cottage every summer binds my family together – which considering we are spread out across the country, is something of a feat. As one of the few constants in my life, it is therefore a huge influence.

My lake. Can’t you smell the serenity?

My heroine, Lady Jane Cummings, leads a very chaotic life. Trying (to her frustration, unsuccessfully) to care for her ailing father by day, and running from party to party in London by night. To slow her down, I decided to send her to her own version of my summer cottage, in the Lake District of Northern England.

Of course, being the daughter of a duke, her cottage is bigger than mine.

Jane may escape the whirl of London, but she can’t escape people altogether. She’s got her own neighbors, who haven’t seen the duke and his family (by far the most illustrious residents of the area) in five years, and are therefore immensely curious about Jane’s life. Nor can she escape the weight of her family: her father’s memory is beginning to fail him, and her brother Jason could write a textbook on being irresponsible… if he wasn’t so lazy.

And she’s got one hell of a sexy neighbor in Byrne Worth.

Byrne, the brother of Marcus Worth, my hero from Revealed, is a bit of a mess. A war hero, he sustained a wound to his leg that left him limping and in pain. The laudanum prescribed to numb his leg also numbed his existence for a while, and he is just now trying to find normal again. I felt he needed a place like the lake as much as Jane did.

Jane and Byrne have met before in London, but their crossings then were brief, and both were preoccupied with…erm… other things (and if you want to know the ‘other things’, go read Revealed). But now, slowed down by the pace of life in the country, they have the chance to get to know each other… and themselves, as they are now.

Because, at its core, this book is about confronting change. How we reconcile our younger selves to who we grow up to be. Some people resist change, some people embrace it, some stumble through. The lake, the cottage, serve as a constant. A source of peace — something that doesn’t and won’t change, as Jane, Byrne, Jason, and everyone else makes their way to who they will be next.

About the Author: Kate Noble love books. Romances especially. But, being born into a family of doctors, scientists, and mathematicians, she didn’t discover she was adept at writing until, oh, about junior year of high school. Which came as something of a relief, as she was hopeless at memorizing the Latin names for all the bones in the human body. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle eludes her to this day.

Kate Noble lives in Los Angeles. The Summer of You is her third book.

And now for the giveaway! Ana, Thea, take it away!


Lady Jane Cummings is certain that her summer is ruined when she is forced to reside at isolated Merrymere Lake with her reckless brother and ailing father. Her fast-paced London society is replaced with a small town grapevine. But one bit of gossip catches Jane’s attention- rumors that the lake’s brooding new resident is also an elusive highwayman.

Jane must face the much discussed mysterioso after he saves her brother from a pub brawl. She immediately recognizes him from London: Byrne Worth, war hero and apparent hermit-whom she finds strangely charming. The two build a fast friendship, and soon nothing can keep this Lady away from Merrymere’s most wanted. Convinced of his innocence, Jane is determined to clear Byrne’s name-and maybe have a little fun this summer after all.

We have two copies of The Summer of You to giveaway. In order to enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which was your favorite summer holiday. Contest is open to ALL and will run till Saturday April 10th 11:59pm (PST). We will announce the winner next Sunday in our weekly stash! Good luck!

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  • Mollie
    April 8, 2010 at 6:10 am

    I love the 4th of July. We go up to my Aunt and Uncle’s lake house and watch the fireworks out on the boat. It’s like they’re raining down on top of us. Love it! I’ve been hearing great things about Ms. Noble’s books and recently picked up Compromised and am looking forward to reading all her books!

  • Kara
    April 8, 2010 at 6:18 am

    The summer that I took the kids on a three week road trip to Olympic National Park in WA and then back home through Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and the Tetons.

  • Snazel
    April 8, 2010 at 6:28 am

    My Favourite summer holiday, to date, was last year when I went back to visit my college friends. They are very dear to me, and we spent two weeks talking in catchphrases. 😀

  • KMont
    April 8, 2010 at 6:28 am

    My summers as a kid were packed with the wonders of the beautiful Washington State. My mother is from there, and we still have a lot of friends and some family back there. They were the best summers of my life and out of all the things that happened when I was a kid, those summers are what I miss the most. I was born and raised in the Southern U.S., but I’ve always felt that my yearning for all things location-wise was evenly split between my home region and Washington state. Um…this is one reason why I LOVE the way Bella describes Forks in the Twilight books. I love everything she disliked, from the occasional sun and rainforest condistions of the western part of the state, to the drier, wheat-infested fields of the east. *SIGH*

    And oh – hey, Kara probably knows what I’m talking about lol.

  • Amanda Isabel
    April 8, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Oh, summer 2008 – I was given the opportunity to visit both London, England and my home country, Portugal! It was an amazing summer full of beach, museums, castles and summer love!
    If I could go back …

  • Sandy(Strlady)
    April 8, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I used to live in Puerto Rico when i was a teenager so everyday was a summer holiday. I used to ride my bike to the beach and lounge. Great memories.

  • Missy Ann
    April 8, 2010 at 7:30 am

    My favorite summer holiday was the summers I spent at my Grandparents. 3 glorious months of no Mom & Dad. Cool aunt & uncle (just 12 & 13 years older than me) and a Pop Pop who adored me as much as I adored him. And can’t forget about Grandma’s stash of romance books that started my habit.

  • Danielle Yockman
    April 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

    4th of July always rocked. Fun, food, and then a light show (so to speak). Mostly it was the food! LOL!

  • Marie
    April 8, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Every summer until I graduated from high school, my parents used to stuff me and my sisters into the car, truck packed with tent and camping equipment, for a week long campout in Yosemite. We would meet up with other families to make it a HUGE event.

    If we could do all this again, in hindsight, I think I would pack an air matteress. 😛

  • Teresa W.
    April 8, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Mine would have to be the Fourth of July, love all the food and cooking out. Then watching the fireworks at the end of the night!

  • Zee
    April 8, 2010 at 8:06 am

    any summer spent as a kid at my grandparents home in a tiny West Texas town. Nothing special, really, it was dry and dusty, but my cousins and I would chase lizards, ride our bikes, swim at the pool and shoot fireworks (not just on the 4th of July) I think, as Kate notes, it’s mostly about being with your family. Trying to create something like that for my kids, but their cousins are younger and far away. Perhaps a lake house is what’s needed!

  • CrystalGB
    April 8, 2010 at 8:31 am

    My favorite summer holiday was the year that I got married. My husband and I rented a secluded cabin. We did a lot of site seeing during the day and in the evenings we relaxed on the deck.

  • Cybercliper
    April 8, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I grew up on a farm in the mountains with little contact with the outside world, so my favorite summer vacation was getting to go visit my cousins in the big city of Atlanta – it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen.

  • Kt9345
    April 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Mine would have to be going to Hilton Head Island with my family every summer and making witches’ castles in the sand on the beach with my brother and sister

  • limecello
    April 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Hi Kate, what a lovely post! That lake is absolutely gorgeous. 🙂 I’ve always loved summer best – no school, and birthdays.
    Speaking of… is it bad to say my favorite summer holiday was birthdays? 😛 Not mine specifically, but I know ~25+ people with birthdays in June. And 3 of them I’ve known my entire life. 4 if I count me 😉 I’ve even dubbed June “the birthday month” – self explanatory.
    Otherwise, well the 4th of July, of course. Barbecues, pot lucks, picnics, fireworks, all those friends getting together – what’s not to love?

  • Robyn B
    April 8, 2010 at 9:25 am

    My favorite summer vacation was when my family and I would go to the Philippines for about a month. Most of the time was spent at the beach, getting sunburnt and eating mangoes. 😀

  • Lexie C.
    April 8, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I love the Tanabata, or Star Festival the best I think. Everyone I know celebrates the 4th of July, even my foreign friends, but the Tanabata is more of an event on my scale (writing my wishes in poetry, colorful decorations).

  • GSM
    April 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

    One summer my husband and I took a trip to the Northeast, and took in lots of history (which we both love) and Boston’s July 4 fireworks on the Charles River. It was wonderful.

  • Christine
    April 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Great post. I’d love for a chance to win.
    I spent my summers of youth at my grandparents home on Eastern Long Island, NY… waaay out at the end, sailing, swimming, fishing, playing board games and puttering around. Later my parents bought a summer home there and I kept doing all those things every summer until I was in college. Some of the best memories of my young life are from those times.

  • JenP
    April 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

    My favorite holiday is the 4th of July!

  • Jane
    April 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

    One of the best summers I had was when I was 10 and we went to visit some cousins in Europe. We had a great time Germany and Holland. The food was delicious.

  • joder
    April 8, 2010 at 11:25 am

    My favorite summer memories are always our Fourth of July celebrations. I’m a huge pyrotechnic fan and grillaholic so those two things together are amazing fun. There’s always lots of laughing and oohing and ahhhing and it’s such a restful day for us.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  • Lisa
    April 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Oooohhh, wish I had grown up with a summer cottage! It sounds so romantic! Please enter me in the contest — thank you! Lisa

  • Lisa
    April 8, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Oops! Forgot to mention that my favorite summer holiday is 4th of July and, when I am in France, Bastille Day! — Lisa (same Lisa as #23 above)

  • Stephanie
    April 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Not to be too American but I always liked Flag Day cos America has the prettiest flag and I loved Fourth of Julys when we had pool parties and BBQs.

  • van pham
    April 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I love the fouth of July because that’s when all the family memebers come together for a bbq.

  • meredith goodall
    April 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    My family goes to a small resort on a lake sometimes. Its not very popular, but beautiful. I love the quietness because it actually feels like I’m getting away.

  • azteclady
    April 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    No question: last year’s jaunt to Maryland and DC, to attend RWA 😀

  • Chelsea B.
    April 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Last year my family went to Florida….we did everything we could possible find to do! We were all over the place! LOL. It was great fun 🙂

  • Hannah
    April 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    My favourite summer holiday was when I went to Italy with my family a few years ago – we spent two weeks sitting on a mountain in a plum tree orchard, drinking martinis and swimming. We went to Pisa and to Florence and it was just…wonderful.

  • Amber S
    April 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    My family has a lakehouse and any excuse to go up there is a good one. It’s so quiet and peaceful and gorgeous! Great writing environment, especially when it’s raining! Great post!

  • Dawn
    April 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    We have a family cabin in Naches, WA. Its alway the perfect mix of relaxation & adventure!

  • Rose
    April 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Last summer My sister, my nephew and I took a last minute trip to Disney World. It was amazing!

  • Patty
    April 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Every summer we go to a cabin on a very secluded lake in northern Minnesota. It’s nothing but lazy days, lots of reading, card games, roasting marshmallows, and canoeing.

    This summer we are taking a cruise around the British Isles; that might just make it to the top of the list! 😛

  • sarac
    April 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    MY favorite summer holiday was my spur of moment road trip to Vermont to the Ben and Jerry’s factory. Yum!

  • Christine M.
    April 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    My favourite summer holidays? Well, there’s June 24th (Quebec’s National Day), July 1st (Canada Day) and the last 2 weeks of July (Construction week). Otherwise, I try to enjoy my weekends off work! =)

  • peggy
    April 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    My favorite summer holiday july 4th family getting together for cook outs and enjoying the fireworks together

  • Lisa Richards
    April 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Oh, mines the family trip to the beach. We get a big old house right on the beach and all my kids and my brother comes with their families. The guys fish all night while the rest of us girls sun, read, eat and are merry. We take a lot of board games with us and sit up all night playing and acting silly.

  • Shipa
    April 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    My favorite summer holiday was a three week cross-country road trip with friends. Good times.

  • bella f
    April 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    My favorite was when I went tubing at the Comal river with friends from work for a 4th of July weekend several years ago. The group included a guy I had a crush on and we flirted like crazy, lol
    *sigh* it’s a good memory:)

  • Ava
    April 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    my favorite summer holiday is hiking trips right before my semester starts.

  • chelleyreads
    April 8, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    my favorite summer holiday is going to the beach with friends. always so fun 🙂

  • Pam P
    April 8, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    I love going to the beach in summer, sun, sand and surf, and reading, too. Most years we like to get away to Rhode Island, family and friends, whoever can get away, with last-minute drop-ins, too. For years when I was a kid into my twenties, my grandmother rented a small cottage at a lake about an hour away, so your post reminds of those times, Kate. We had the best times, everyone kicking back, and made life-long friends with other renters in our particular area. You never knew who would show up last-minute and everyone would just cram in somehow in a small place, even sleeping out on the porch or on a beach chair in the yard.

    Congrats on the new release and the Rita Nomination, Kate. Revealed was in my top reads last year, and I’m can’t wait to read the new one.

  • NatalieT
    April 9, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Favourite summer holiday – 3 weeks in Egypt. Most perfect holiday ever.

  • Sue Brandes
    April 9, 2010 at 3:04 am

    My favorite summer holiday was when I toke my son on a camping trip to the state park. It fun to spend time with plus also see nature and swim and just campout.

  • Anita Yancey
    April 9, 2010 at 4:00 am

    My favorite summer holiday is the year we went to Fort Walton beach. The sand and ocean was so pretty. We really had a great time.

  • Lindsay Elizabeth
    April 9, 2010 at 6:26 am

    My aunt’s family has a house on the beach- that provided me with some of the best summer memories.

  • Scorpio M.
    April 9, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Summers at my grandmother’s house were my favorite. She has since passed but I still cherish those warm days.

  • Maureen
    April 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

    My favorite holidays have been going to the beach and just relaxing.

  • Deb H.
    April 9, 2010 at 9:59 am

    My fave summer holiday was 19 years ago when my parents, my younger sister, and I went to Denmark for a month to visit relatives and my grandfather’s homeland. It was a wonderful time seeing relatives as well as visiting the farm where my grandfather had grown up. I’d go back in a heartbeat if I had the opportunity.

  • Doreen R
    April 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    My fave summer holiday was camping at Kettles Lake in my Boler. I was so relaxed. 😛

  • John J.
    April 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    It would have to be the past summer, actually. My mother, my two brothers, and I all went to Ocean City. For my mom, me, and my younger brother, it was our first time seeing the ocean. I think I’ll always cherish those days – sitting out on the balcony and listening to the ocean was just a magical experience for me – and all of us. Plus, I read The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd and loved it on the downtime. Oh, and those late night binges in the condo brought me into watching The Nanny, which has since become a favorite tv program. So, yeah, I think the past summer is definitely worthy of a keepsake memory. 🙂

  • NKB
    April 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I love summers, going to the beach, traveling, seeing friends and family that I don’t see otherwise. I have been in school all my life – college, to grad school, to another grad school … summer is FREEDOM to me!

  • Holly
    April 9, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    My favourite summer holiday was last year when I got the chance to visit Italy for the first time with a group of friends. I’ve wanted to see Venice for a long time and it was a really beautiful place to visit.

  • Katthy Price
    April 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    What a great description Kate gave of how beautiful and meaningful her summer lake house is. Should I be embarrassed to admit that it made me cry a little? Well it’s partly because I’m a neighbor on her lake, but also because it reinforces my appreciation of our community and the spirit there. Thanks, Katie!

  • Tiah
    April 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    My favorite summer holiday is 4th of July. I am from a small town and we go back every year. The firefighters cook pancakes for the whole town in the morning before the parade. And they have a rodeo and a big dance at the rodeo grounds before the fireworks. All the families have their reunions during the 4th and we get to see everyone we grew up with. The town is poor but they save up all year to make the 4th a big deal. I just love it!

  • Tiffany M.
    April 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    My favorite summer vacation (off of the top of my head) was a two week road trip with my friend around to BY Idaho where we skipped over to Yellowstone to visit Old Faithful. Then, we drove to Seattle, WA (my fist visit), then to Portland, OR, and then to a small city/town in Oregon to visit my friends’ grandparents. LOVED it.

  • Rosie
    April 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    My favorite time in the summer is on the home farm where I would laze around the house reading and spend evenings jogging, swimming, and picking blueberries.

  • Alex Bennett
    April 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    My favorite summer holiday is labor day. On labor day weekend, every member of my family heads to my grandparents house and we don’t do anything. We just sit around and talk and play and just spend time together. It is where some of my best memories have been from.

  • Cindy C.
    April 10, 2010 at 7:37 am

    I also love the Fourth of July. Its perfect beach weather.

  • Carol Thompson
    April 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    My favourite summer holiday was a few years ago when my husband and I decided that life was passing us by and we needed to really get out and do something that would challenge us.

    What did we decide ?

    To climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, The highest peak in Africa. It is a hike not a technical climb and the top is only 5895 meters, not the over 8000 meters that real mountain climbers consider a suitable climb.

    But we made it and standing on the top in the snow after three days of hard slogging we both felt a real sense of achievement !


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