Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Sable Hunter’s character on July 14th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Isobelle Cate, the author of Be Mine, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Luke Bryce, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Isobelle in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Luke!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Luke. Please have a seat.
Character Luke Bryce: Thank you for having me, Marie.
Marie: Of course! It’s my pleasure!
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Luke: I’m the CEO of Bryce Engineering and I’m good at it. I built it from the ground up.
Marie: Wow, that’s impressive!
Luke: People call me a maverick. They’ve been waiting for me to make a mistake. I don’t make mistakes when it comes to my company. It’s my baby. That is, before Gracie Sinclair, who’s the love of my life.
Marie: All right.
Tell us…what is your family like?
Luke: I only had my mother, the first woman I ever loved and respected. But she died when I was young. She was my only family. Now my family is Gracie and Flynn and our baby that’s coming.
Marie: Sorry to hear about your mother. 😦
Let’s try something else.
If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Luke: My grandparents left their house to my mum. It wasn’t much but I was happiest there. The house had gables and there were three bedrooms on the upper floor. Christmases were some of the best times because there was a little more food than my mum and I were used to or could even afford. There was only a pocket garden which Mum cultivated with herbs. But when got sick, the garden became overgrown. I don’t have a green thumb and I didn’t know the first thing about gardening.
Marie: I am the same way! I love flowers and such, but I really wouldn’t know how to take care of them.
Do you have any hobbies, Luke? What do you enjoy doing?
Luke: Hobbies? Women. Enjoy doing? Having a different woman every weekend.
Marie: (Clears throat.) Okay…
So, what is your greatest dream?
Luke: To make Bryce Engineering a force to be reckoned with.
Marie: Sounds like a plan! 🙂
So, what kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Luke: I’ve already achieved what I want to be. I’m my own man now. I don’t need to live in my father’s shadow.
Marie: (Holds up her hands.) Yikes! All right, I sense a touchy subject there.
I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Luke: My mum, I guess. She taught me to see the good things in people. I lost that when I found out who my father was.
Marie: Well, I certainly admire the way you felt about your mother…
Sounds like she was a special person.
Okay, let’s try something else.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Luke: When my father’s wife and his daughters stopped me from seeing my younger sister, Felicity.
Marie: Wow! Sorry to hear that happened.
[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Luke: I dreamt of getting to know the half-sister I didn’t know I had. Felicity reached out to me even when I was suspicious of her motives. She was rich and legitimate. I wasn’t any of those. I lost that dream when her mother and sisters successfully plotted to keep us apart. I met Lisse again when Gracie and I bumped into her during the Christmas rush in Manchester. I achieved that dream in the most unusual of circumstances. You just need to read the story to find out how.
Marie: Intriguing, for sure!
So, who is your role model, Luke?
Luke: Can’t think of anyone at the moment.
Marie: All right.
Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Luke: Cilla Williams.
And can you tell us something else? What is your deepest desire?
Luke: To grow old with Gracie.
Marie: Aww…I love romance. ♥
How about one last question?
What is your greatest fear?
Luke: To lose Gracie.
I think we all have that fear sometimes, to lose the people we care about the most. Perhaps it’s what keeps us from taking them for granted. But I think you have nothing to worry about.
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Luke. It was so interesting getting to know you!
Logan: Thank you for having me here, Marie!
Marie: My pleasure!
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Isobelle Cate on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Isobelle!
Author Isobelle Cate: Hi, Marie! So happy to be here once again.
Always an honor. 😀
We just got to talk to a male character from your story, Luke Bryce. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?
Isobelle: Yes, he is interesting. Very driven to achieve all that he wants.
As Luke has said, he’s the CEO of his own company and a perfectionist. Be Mine begins with Luke burned out from working and he can’t wait for his vacation to begin.
Marie: Well, can’t blame him there! I think we all feel that way at times. You just need to get away…
So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
Isobelle: He is driven, ambitious, and will do almost anything to get what he wants. He’s also the typical alpha male who is very possessive of the woman he loves.
Marie: All right.
What are his greatest weaknesses?
Isobelle: Gracie Sinclair. If Luke could give Gracie the moon, he would.
Marie: So sweet! ♥ ♥ ♥
Let’s try something else.
What are some of Luke’s favorite foods?
Isobelle: He used to like Pad Thai. However, after what happened to his friend Oliver Cray and his sister, he’s changed to steak.
Marie: Bummer! Pad Thai is good. But, if it was a bad experience, I can see why he’d avoid it. (Winces.)
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Isobelle: That he is capable of being loved for who he is. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks shouldn’t be seen as a stigma. It doesn’t define a person.
Marie: Very true.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Isobelle: I think readers will like this character because of the way he makes Gracie fall in love with him.
Marie: All right.
Now that we have a real taste of Luke, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
Isobelle: Bring it on. 😉
What first gave you the idea for Be Mine?
Isobelle: Be Mine was almost two years in the making, not because I agonized about what to write. It was because I concentrated on my paranormal series. Be Mine was supposed to be the intermediate book between the paranormal titles so that readers had something different from me.
Well, it sounds like a decent plan. But don’t feel bad. My latest historical romance, which was just accepted by my publisher, took me much longer than planned to finish. 🙂
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Isobelle: A pantster, although with both my series growing, I am leaning now towards being a plotter.
Marie: Yeah, I can see the appeal…
So, now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Be Mine or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Isobelle: I think the challenge for me was changing the writing style I had for the paranormal and not using it in my contemporary romances. I wanted each series to be unique. I think I’ve done it but only the readers will know for sure.
Marie: Oh, I completely agree! I think every writing project is different.
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here again on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Be Mine appears to be.
Isobelle: Thank you for having me. I truly appreciate it.
Marie: Really, it’s an honor to have someone like you on here. And seriously, your books always look really hot and romantic. I can’t wait to read them!
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this wonderful yet sexy contemporary romance by Isobelle Cate, a very talented author!
Here is the blurb for Be Mine:
Gracie Sinclair just wants life to return to normal.
Now a widow and picking up the pieces after the death of her husband, she delves into her work, seeking a new normal, until she bumps into a handsome stranger who derails her orderly life completely.
Luke can’t wait for the week to be over. Having built an engineering company into a multi-million pound enterprise in record time, he feels…empty. Nothing satisfies him anymore, not even having weekenders in his bed. But when he bumps into a woman—literally—on his way out of a bar, realizing she is his last meeting before he goes on holiday, his plan of staying away from relationships takes a nose dive. He wants Gracie Sinclair.
Gracie learned a long time ago how insincere love can be, so when Luke decides to become part of her life, she tosses up every obstacle to dissuade him until he breaks down her walls and makes her realize that her life can only be complete with Luke by her side.
However, something sinister from Luke’s past threatens the happiness they have struggled to find. If he concedes, he will become criminally liable and lose everything.
If he refuses, he loses Gracie’s heart…
Isobelle is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
Minutes later sunshine replaced the grey clouds, a precursor for better things to come. Gracie and Noreen had just put the finishing touches to their table when cars started coming inside the manor’s grounds. Children waited inside the cars before parents and grandparents opened their doors to let them out. Colorful jackets, coats, and parkas made for a rainbow that decided to take a break from arcing over the skies. Smells of sausages and grilled hamburgers with a pinch of strong coffee soon wafted through the fare. People queued for food. Others perused the items on sale, from pottery and glass jewelry to different cheeses made in several parts of the country. Tasting trays of small breads and crackers with dollops of jam or cheese made their way on food stall tables for people to sample. Some crowded a few booths while other booths waited for people to gather around them. By noon, the swell of chatting groups and shouts of butchers selling fresh slabs of meat mixed with the shrieks, laughter and whining of children.
“Thank you.” Gracie smiled at a buyer, while Noreen handed over the change for another purchase.
“Oh my God, Gracie, can you believe it?” Noreen’s face had a happy smile. “The fair isn’t closing for a few hours yet and we’re down to just one crate.”
“And I should say well done, you.” Gracie enveloped her friend in a warm hug.
“Girl, they didn’t just buy my stuff. They also bought yours.” The lilt in Noreen’s voice belied her serious face. “Well done, apprentice.”
Gracie laughed. “Thank you. I have a wonderful teacher.”
A dusky blush colored Noreen’s caramel skin. She was the epitome of elegance no matter even if she was in dungarees. Her braided hair was tied with a piece of cloth at the nape of her neck, where several necklaces with tiny ceramic beads clicked against each other whenever she moved. Her softly kohl-rimmed eyes sparkled with excitement and could be liberally laced with mischief, but not this time. Pure joy radiated through her in the way her mouth lifted in the biggest of smiles and the way she engaged potential buyers in conversation. Her enthusiasm, contagious.
Noreen waved her hand dismissively at Gracie’s compliment. “We will start trading compliments very soon.”
Gracie grinned, shaking her head. She bent down to get more ceramic bowls from the crate, gently taking them out from the bed of bubble wrap, unmindful of the quiet behind her. “We’ll need to take out this blue and grey set of salad bowls, Noreen.” She straightened up, turning towards her friend. “Where should I put…” Surprise slammed into her like a freight train. “these…”
“Hello, Gracie.” Whatever chill she felt abated in the banked fire in his blue eyes.
“What are you doing here?”
His eyes gleamed with amusement. “It is the weekend fair. People come to enjoy it.”
Color flooded her cheeks. Dumb, Gracie. Just dumb. “Yes. Right. Well…enjoy the day then.” She turned to Noreen, who watched the exchange with curiosity. “I’m going to get coffee. Do you want anything?”
“I’ll get it,” Luke interjected. Noreen had just opened her mouth to speak and kept it open as she turned to Luke before she pursed her lips.
“It’s not necessary,” Gracie said.
“Gracie, please let me.”
“Why don’t you both go and get me coffee,” Noreen retorted wryly. “Better yet, get me the huge cafetière because seriously I feel like I’m watching a table tennis match.”
Gracie scowled. Luke chuckled.
“Good idea,” he said. “Gracie?”
Not wanting to belabor the point, Gracie turned to get her small purse and slung it diagonally across her chest. She refused to acknowledge the sudden loud thudding of her heart and the turmoil that seemed to be usurping the calm inside her belly. She could also feel Noreen’s gaze on her, but refused to look at her friend, opting to make her way out of their stall to join Luke.
The strong cloud of perfume arrived first before a woman flung herself at Luke, capturing his mouth in a kiss that had a few passers-by gawk, glance with surprise, and snicker. Gracie stopped mid-stride, sighing and shaking her head.
She gave Noreen a curt smile. “I’ll be back with the coffee.”
She continued walking, her wellies splashing over puddles that hadn’t been dried by the sun. The warmth she felt at the sight of Luke became colder than the fall weather. She ground her teeth at his girlfriend’s shrill laughter.
She was such a fool. She felt used. Degraded.
She swallowed against the lump lodged in her throat. She wasn’t going back to the stall. Noreen would understand her need for silence. For solace. Knowing Luke’s penchant for following her, Gracie allowed herself to be lost in the crowd, choosing to weave her way through the thickest group of people. Not even the obnoxious dressed for the Ascot races man, sputtering his importance at a group of rowdy teenagers, made her stop. She stole a glance back. Luke was nowhere in sight. Relieved, she made her way to the stall from where the aroma of rich, strong coffee came from. She groaned in frustration. A lot of people seemed to have the same idea as the queue formed a straight line perpendicular to the stall. If she went to the end of the waiting line, Luke would no doubt see her and that was the last thing she wanted. She nearly stomped her foot in annoyance.
“Bloody nuisance,” she gritted before she abandoned her mission and opted to leave the fair for the quieter part of the manor grounds. Fishing out her mobile, she typed a quick text to Noreen.
Just needed to get away. Will be back in half an hour.
A few minutes later, her phone vibrated. Okay, but you owe me an explanation. And who the hell is the woman nearly clinging around your guy like a boa constrictor?
Gracie’s thumbs flew over the QWERTY board. He’s not my guy!
Noreen texted back. Uh huh.
Gracie huffed, not bothering to reply.
Universal Amazon link: http://mybook.to/BeMine_ICate
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this one! ♥
About Isobelle Cate
Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fueled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.
Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Isobelle Cate, here are some author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Isobelle-Cate/e/B00E5OD27K
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Luke, a male character from Be Mine, and Isobelle Cate, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so much fun to have you here!