Pleasure Me With Kate Noble

>Kate Noble is fast making a name for herself as a rising star in the world of historical authors. Her books have been compared to Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare and Laura Kinsale. Please welcome Kate for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.

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What’s in your Reticule?

First of all, thank you Monica so much for having me to the blog!  You’ve collected such a wonderful array of authors here, I feel like we should all have a cocktail in hand and be wearing fabulous little black dresses, while chatting and eating canapés…

But instead, I’m in my sweats and endlessly typing. Being neck deep in the middle of my next series, I thought I’d talk about one of the hardest (for me, at least) and yet most rewarding aspects of storytelling: building character.

When creating a character from the ground up, an author has to take into account a lot of things, including but not limited to: their families, their hair color, their upbringing, the period they live in, any hobbies they may have, their passions, sense of humor (or lack thereof), goals and dreams. Inevitably, some of these characteristics will come out in physical ways: someone who is wealthy is going to have a very expensive wardrobe.  Someone who loves to ride horses is going to have a physique that matches.

The Summer of You

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—who 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…

Follow My Lead

 Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne is feeling the weight of his responsibilities – one of which is to get married.  Being the most sought after bachelor in London can be trying,  so who can blame him if he seeks refuge from the voracious hordes of young debutantes at the decidedly female-free Historical Society?  Female-free, that is, until Winnifred Crane marches up to the door, demanding entrance.

Despite her prowess as a historian, Winn is denied membership in the Society.  So she daringly offers an unusual bargain: if she can prove the authenticity of a certain painting, she’ll be granted recognition, fame, and respect.  But to do that, she must go abroad. And to go abroad, she must have an escort, even a stubbornly unwilling one…

Jason has no desire to accompany Winn on her adventure across Europe, but even he is not immune to Winn’s passion for her profession.  As the journey proves more difficult than planned, they must work together to stay one step ahead of their rivals…. and the closer they get to the proof Winn seeks, the closer she and Jason become.  But as their adventure turns dangerous, can Jason keep this headstrong bluestocking safe?  And what will become of their growing bond when the adventure ends?

I know my heroes and heroines so well – heck, I live with them for months on end — that I end up creating opinions, personality traits, and informational tidbits that never even make it to the page.  This stuff is just for me: it may not make it into the story verbatim, but it does help inform the way I write the character.  My favorite tidbit I make sure I know about each of my heroines is what is in their handbag.

Or, since I write historical romance, I call it “What’s in her reticule?”

Knowing what is in someone’s reticule is shorthand for knowing what’s important to them. What they need, what they use.  For example, Lady Jane Cummings is forced to go to her family’s summer estate in the north of England while caring for her ailing father.  I decided that in her reticule would be:

  • A copy of her father’s schedule, so she could monitor his care
  • Money, that she could use in Reston – the nearby village where she is expected to patronize the local shopkeepers
  • A small mirror  — she is, admittedly, a little vain.
  • A pebble, that she picked up on the lakeside path, where she unexpectedly met Byrne Worth. – In the book we never see her pick up this stone, but I decided she would have, being as she’s the kind of person to be secretly sentimental.

This is very different from what is in the reticule of Winnifred Crane, the heroine of my next book, Follow My Lead, coming May 3rd, 2011.  Winn is a very headstrong, stubborn person, determined to make her own way in the world of Academia. To do this, she has to go on a cross-country adventure, with the highly reluctant Duke of Rayne in tow, who’s determined to protect her.

In my mind, Winn has the following in her reticule (or, her valise, as most reticules are little more than change-purse sized):

  • every single bit of money she has – travel is very expensive, after all.
  • as many books as she can carry (if she were a modern girl, she would be all up on the eReaders)
  • a change of clothes, interchangeably practical with the outfit she has on.
  • a bread roll, stolen from breakfast that morning – after all, when you’re moving quickly, you never know if you might be skipping the next meal.
  • a tin pocket watch, that was her father’s. Personal, yes, but utterly practical.

As you can see, the contents of someone’s reticule tells me in few words, but great detail, just exactly who that woman is, and what she holds dear.  It helps me as the author get to know her, so I can tell her story the fullest possible way.

So, what’s in your reticule (er, handbag) and what do you think it says about you?

DRAWING — Two prizes: One (1) trade paperback copy of The Summer of You 
and One (1) ARC of Follow My Lead
Open to International
Contest open until Thursday 02/20/11 07:00am EST

To qualify for Grand Prize/Second Prize drawing (open to US ONLY)
your comment must include a valid email and the state you reside in.
See complete rules for all drawings here.

Visit Kate


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, and loves to hear from readers.
This entry was posted in Blog Event by Monica Burns. Bookmark the permalink.

About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

45 thoughts on “Pleasure Me With Kate Noble

  1. >hi kate
    i have a wallet, chkbk, pen, lip gloss and my kindle.

    this says that i must have my small purse.

    cbandy10 AT hotmail DOT com

    new york

  2. >Wallet
    Tea bags
    Truvia packets
    Nail file
    Lip balm
    Dental Floss
    Liquid bandage
    Gift certificates

    All things I wan to have on hand when out of the house

    linze_e at hotmail dot com

  3. >Besides the usual keys/phone/wallet, I've got lip gloss and breath mints, and gum to beon the safe side. Chocolate protein bar, because I'm always running late. Lintroller, because my cats shed like crazy. Gloves, because I always get cold. My ereader, because I need a selection of books wherever I go. Checkbook and pen, in case I forget my credit card in a jeans pocket. Another pen, to write reminders on my hand. That's pretty much it. I recently upgraded to a medium size bag to fit these essentials, but no larger because I'm a pack rat and I don't need to carry random crap around.

    jbrink83 at hotmail dot com

  4. >Hi Monica and Kate,
    I will definitely be reading The Summer of You and Revealed. I love how you listed the contents of their reticules. :)For years I carried a purse and a diaper bag.Then my kids grew and I decided no more carrying purses. :)Well, except for the important "must haves".
    I have my phone,pens, notepad,life savers, cough drops, tissues, a paperback and book mark. make up bag with some make up. Comb, brush, hair clip and small fragrance atomizer.My debit card and library card as well.
    Carol L


  5. >I forgot the most important thing that is always in my purse: whatever book I am currently reading

    June in KY

  6. >Louisa —
    Wow your mom has one heckuva purse! That would definitely be useful on a desert island. I hope you enjoy Compromised!

    (Also, love your laminated card)

  7. >Thanks ladies for another great posting. My purse contents change daily,m but there are a few things that are always present.
    I have a chronic illness that if I keep a steady level of medication in my body, I am completely symptom free. If I miss a dose, I am almost incapacitated. I never go anywhere without at least two days worth.
    My kindle and earbuds. – lipstick (probably 5 tubes)
    IdEntification badge for work. About ten pens, probably stolen from other people and work. .
    One of my prize possessions is an address book. Rather than people, I use it to organize books. Its small to fit in my purse. Every time I buy a book, I write it in here, arranged by author. Its over 5 years old, so the Feehans and the Kenyons have their own page. This has completely eliminated the hated buying a book, getting it home, and realizing I've already read it. It also helps me keep up with series and release dates. I always tried to organize a book list and this is super easy ,portable, and neat. I even have a system of symbols that let me know if its been read or to be read, really good so look for more by this author, loaned to
    someone and who it was loaned to.

    You can a lot about a woman by her purse contents. I have enjoyed comparing myself to others.

  8. >My own reticule?

    Three or four razor point pens

    A set of multi colored highlighters

    A small notebook where I keep ideas for stories when they come to me and any scenes or dialogue that comes to me about said story ideas

    A stack of index cards for catching those scenes and dialogue that come to me about my current revisions

    Either a historical romance novel or a Regency era research book in case I get stuck somewhere and need something to read

    At least fifty pages of my latest manuscript for me to work on revisions.

    My cell phone

    My glasses

    My address book and a book of stamps

    My checkbook

    My wallet with ID and pictures of my niece, my nephews and my dogs and cats.

    A laminated card with these words on it :

    A published author is an unpublished writer who didn't give up.


  9. >Hello Kate!

    How funny that you are here today. I picked up a copy of your book Compromised yesterday because the cover blurb made it sound just my cup of tea. I intend to read it as soon as I finish my revisions.

    What a neat way to get to know your heroine! My Mom's purse is LEGENDARY in the community where my brothers and I grew up and even today with her grandchildren and their friends. I have always said if I was ever in an accident and trapped in my car for days before rescue I would want my Mom's purse to be there with me. At any given time she has :

    At least one can of Vienna sausages

    Bottled water

    Juice Box(es)

    A sleeve of Ritz crackers

    A selection of snack peanut butter crackers and cookies


    Band Aids


    Wet wipes

    Safety pins

    A sewing kit

    Cough drops


    Matches or a lighter (she doesn't smoke, never has)

    A travel pack of Kleenex (most of the time two)

    A tape measure

    A flashlight

    Hand sanitizer

    Breath mints

    Chewing gum

    See ? Is it any wonder members of my niece and nephews' sports teams call it Nana's Magic Purse?


  10. >Id love to get a bigger purse but I dont think my back could handle it! I carry so much now its about to blow apart at the seams. If I ever ask my hubby to grab me something out of it he just laughs and hands me the whole purse. Id like to think that Im prepared for almost anything
    Julie Parrish

  11. >Love the purse contents…who would have thought it.
    Here lately I've been carrying my camera a lot looking for some good pictures to take the rest of the stuff is everyday keys, wallet.
    Theresa N

  12. >I love taking a look into purses! You're right, it's revealing of the owner. Here's what's in mine:

    – wallet #1 – cash, credit cards, IDs
    – wallet #2 – gift cards, pictures, coupons
    – iPod Touch
    – cell phone
    – earphones
    – 2 pens
    – 2 tubes of chapstick
    – house & car keys
    – compact mirror
    – Swiss Army knife
    – antibacterial hand wash

    Everything is pretty serviceable…I only have make-up in there when I'm attending an event. xD;

    julieguan AT gmail DOT com

  13. >I don't think I want to list every little thing, since I carry is large. Here goes:

    -wallet filled with all sorts of cards
    -various ink pens
    -hair bands
    -safety pins
    -paperback book
    -paper clips
    -2 pocket knives
    -compact mirror

    That's enough for now!

    cindersmaria @ yahoo DOT com
    South Carolina

  14. >I'm traveling at the moment and the things in my handbag definitely show it. 🙂

    Extra cash
    Antibacterial wipes
    My daughter's sunglasses
    A pen

    Probably a third what I usually have, which says I am a pack rat. 🙂

    julieboo18 at gmail dot com

  15. >Inside of my purse are the following:
    Makeup pouch with hair brush, compact mirror, lip gloss, tide pen, tylenol, hair clips and pony tails, and femine product
    cell phone

    Not sure what everything says about me except for what the book says. That says that I love reading and I go nowhere without a book.

  16. >What's in my handbag?

    Credit card folder
    change purse
    pad and pen
    address book/w phone #'s
    lip balm

    Don't know what this says about me.

    kissinoak at frontier dot co

  17. >I have:

    my cell phone
    my wallet
    a book
    note cards/paper

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com


  18. >Kate, great post, why I love your stories, excellent character building along with your style of writing.

    Summer of You was a tie with one other for my top read of year. Ladies, you must read, tho I recommend first reading Revealed (another top read) as both characters appear in that one, will give you a bit more insight into H/h, especially Jane. I sur3ely can't wait for Jason's story.

  19. >Good Afternoon Kate and Monica…..
    My purse is very full and way too heavy but right how it has the following (what I can remember off the top of my head):

    1. Wallet
    2. Checkbook
    3. Cell Phone
    4. Makeup Bag with some makeup
    5. 2 small notebooks
    6. Pens
    7. Eyeglass Case
    8. Eyeglass Cleaner and cleansing
    9. Lint roller
    10. Hairbrush
    11. umbrella
    12. gum (2 diff brands)
    13. Change purse

    US Resident

  20. >Oh dear… I won't list EVERYTHING, but here goes…

    cough drops
    wallet (empty one at that!)
    driver's license
    credit cards
    check book
    rain hat
    small lysol can
    santiary wipes for hands
    toilet seat covers (yeah, I found a small pack of them at Wegmans!"
    lipstick mirror
    coupons and coupon holder

    I think that's enough…

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  21. >I have pictures of my kids, cap stick, and nail fixing stuffs. I suppose it says I love my kids and being prepared. LOL

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com
    MN – USA

  22. >Good morning everyone! I'm a west coaster, so I start a little later than everyone else, but you guys seem to be having a party!

    Reading all of your purse contents, I feel like I know everyone here already — as for what I personally carry in my handbag, it's this:
    my computer (ok, I guess its a computer bag then)
    my ipad
    my iphone
    a book
    pad of paper and a pen
    makeup/medicine bag
    sunglasses (live in SoCal, highly necessary)

    I guess what it says about me is that I 1. am not yet a mom, and 2. highly value the ability to work and communicate.

    Caffey — Follow My Lead is connected directly to The Summer of You. The hero in FML is Jason, the brother of Jane from TSOY. (and I feel the same way about historicals that you do!)

    Karen — re: character names. I usually come up with a very vague idea of who the person is before I name them — but then when I start writing them, the name becomes so much a part of the character. Make sense?

  23. >Hi Kate,

    Before I forget, I have your first 2 books on my HUGE TBR mountain range waiting their turn at bat and after reading your stuff today, they will quickly be moved to the head of the pack! And the other two are going on the TBB list!

    What's in my bag? All the usual suspects already mentioned…nothing different about me.

    I thought it was a clever way to identify your characters. But I'm always interested in how an author chooses the names of her characters. So what comes first, the creation of the character's background or the name?

    kkhaas at bellsouth dot net
    NC, USA

  24. >Hello Monica and Kate.
    Kate, thank you for the exciting and fresh perspective on your characters backgrounds. I did not realize I how much depth there was to a character until now and will value them so much more in the future.
    As for what is in my handbag? It's a big one, so of course it holds the latest book I am reading. I take it everywhere. You never know when you 'll get a few minutes to read. In addition the other important things I have in there are: a little cash, debit/credit cards, lip gloss, bandaids, pen, cell phone & hand lotion.

    rjofus(at)gmail(dot)com / NJ

  25. >Hm, aside from my wallet, I carry a small Swiss Army knife (mostly for the scissors, tweezers and toothpick), pens (at least one that works), lip balm, a collapsible hair brush and a small reusable shopping bag in its own bag (which is really useful, not only as a shopping bag but as an emergency rain hat as well).


  26. >Cool! Another new author to add to my ever-growing list of "must read" authors! What an intriguing way to define a character by what's in her "reticule". My "carpetbag" consists of my debit card (can't leave home without it!), numerous loyalty cards, way more pens than any one person needs, coupons, Shout wipes, gum, lists, lists and more lists, and an endless supply of Equal for those restaurants that don't carry the only sweetener I use.


  27. >Hello, Kate! Your books sounds wonderfully romantic and a touch whimsical : ) I look forward to meeting your characters!

    I am known for carrying a large black handbag. I used to be much prissier and match my shoes and handbag every day, but then praticality won the war. I was my mother's caregiver for many years, so I carried as many items for her as I did for myself! People loved to poke fun at me, but they still came to me for things like safety pins, band-aids, paper clips, chewing gum & etc. I also carry a small flashlight, a mini stapler, makeup, aspirin, tissues, a pocket dictionary, checkbook, pens, and a wallet which expands like a small file cabinet (alas, not with money). There are other items to numerous to mention : )

    VA–USA Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  28. >It would probably be easier to say what in NOT in my purse than what is. Other than the basics (wallet, tissues,hand sanitizer, etc) I always have various meds (I have a back injury that sometimes acts up), notebook to write notes down, and probably the most unique would be a small booklight so that I can read anywhere.

    Your books sound really good.

  29. >Hi Monica! Hi Kate. I so love reading historicals too and so thrilled I can come on today and chat with you both! There's just something about historicals and the comfort it is reading them. I just lose myself in them (in a good way!) Gosh, I learning lots about so much you do! Alot of details to remember too for when you building the characters. I assume you keep charts or some way for all these details on each of the characters? Do you come up with alot of it before you write or does it come as you write kate? What a beautiful way with calling it 'Whats in her reticule?'!

    Kate, a question on your related books. Is FOLLOW MY LEAD a start to a new trilogy or all your books related in some way?

    Definitely in my reticule is:
    ~Books! (I even have one or two in the glove compartment of the car. I can't imagine being somewhere stuck or finished with a book and don't have another ready!),
    ~Sugar: I have a bit of sugar if mine goes too low.
    ~Quarters: Always have quarters for parking.
    License: Must put my license in there. Can't remember the times I gone with hubby to store and they asked for my ID when he buys something and I forget it! No more!

    Those are the essentials! I actually hate carrying a purse, maybe I should get a reticule! Fun question!

    Would be a joy to be in your contest! Thank you.

    cathiecaffey @
    New York

  30. >Good morning Kate and Monica,
    loved this blog post. The cover for The summer of You is so pretty!

    What do I have in my purse…hmmm.
    My wallet with all my money, cards ect.
    Tic Tacs
    Glucose Tablets-I have hypoglycemia
    chap stick
    sun glasses
    hair band and clips
    hand sanitizer
    wet wipes
    rubber gloves and a first aid kit- my brothers a retired paramedic and taught me how to be a first responder and to always have rubber gloves and a small first aid kit…just in case.
    Nevada, USA

  31. >Hi Kate! I adored THE SUMMER OF YOU. It was one of my top reads of 2010. Very excited that FOLLOW MY LEAD is just a few months from release!

    In my purse I have:

    Lip balm
    Hand cream
    Daily planner
    Small notebook and pen
    Romance Dish bookmarks and business cards
    Power bar

    What does that say about me? I live in a sunny climate, suffer from dry skin, am klutzy (hence the band-aids), organized, an inveterate note taker, an avid photographer, an enthusiastic reader who never misses an opportunity to introduce someone to the romance genre, a person who gets very grouchy when she's hungry and the frequent companion of a dog who gets carsick.

    Monica, thanks again for this terrific event. It's been great fun!

    pjpuppymom (AT) yahoo (DOT) com
    South Carolina

  32. >I can sum it up in three words: Half my life! Having two daughters (one of whom has been sick a good portion of her life), I always carry whatever I might need for her – insurance card, first aid kit, drammamine – plus I have pens, writing pads…oh, there's just too much to list!


  33. >Morning everyone,

    I've notified Kate (very late notification) that her blog is live. She'll be here shortly, and I know she's excited to be visiting today.

    I wouldn't know where to begin with what's in my purse that's at least 7 years old. Most important items are phone, wallet, license, inhaler. Everything else is superficial.

    Have a grand time talking with Kte today. I have a book to finish.

  34. >Good morning and great post! I love the huge differences between your two heroines. That's a great idea about what they carry with them and agree that it really does show what kind of women they are.

    I have a purse as big as a tote bag. In it is my netbook, power cord, earbuds, three paperbacks (yes I need an ereader, too), a mini spiral notebook, a pen, a spare bottle of foundation, an eye pencil, lipstick (you never know when you need a touch-up?), two thumb drives, my android phone, and my wallet and keys.

    Linda Dershem
    lmdershem (at) gmail (dot) com
    Dallas, TX

  35. >I have a packet of paper handkerchiefs, a roll of mints. Can come in handy.

    My wallet with no money and a few cards in it. A hairband and my keys. Again very useable.

    A lipgloss which is shiny pink and pen plus paper. So I can write stuff down.

    So, I'm guessing I'm like Winn the sensible girl. I wish I could carry some books with me, to read whenever I have a free moment. But my purse is rather small. This way it fits underneath my arm and is a safer carrier.

    lotsofgingers AT hellokitty DOT com

  36. >Good morning kate and monica! 🙂
    Your characters sound so fun! I will definetly have to check them out! as for a reticule I dont carry One I know I am odd if I need something I put it in my pocket and don't carry much stuff around I don't got to many places though so I just grab my card and keys and phone and put em in my pockets ( I always wear jeans so pockets are always available!) and I do like easy!

    Kris b Indiana
    krysti33 @ frontier dot com

  37. >Me again… Oops, I'm sorry I forgot to mention my keys! I have them in my purse also…
    Linda T.
    Florida, USA

  38. >Good morning, Kate & Monica! Thank you for being here today… I have enjoyed reading your blog post.
    I used to carry seemingly EVERYTHING in my purse… but in the last few years, I've streamlined. Now I just carry a lip balm & lipstick, a foldable brush, a credit card organizer, my cell phone, a paperback book or my new kindle (1 week old), my checkbook and a kleenex. That's it… I'm no longer diggin' in my purse to find stuff. Love it!
    Please enter me in your drawing!
    Linda T.
    Florida, USA

  39. >Good morning, Kate!! I absolutely adored The Summer of You and it was one of my Top Picks from last year. Can't wait for Jason's story!

    Let's see, in my purse I have: a wallet, pictures of my kids, brush, chapstick, my cell phone, fingernail clippers, dental floss, a Tide stick, wet wipes, coupons, Tylenol, lotion, a book, gum, a pen, tissues, a calendar, and keys.

    I suppose all of that tells me that I'm a mom…who loves to read, of course!! 🙂

    dadaw1321 AT numail DOT org

  40. >OMG! I loved THE SUMMER OF YOU so much I immediately went out and bought REVEALED and COMPROMISED. Can't wait for the new one in May!

    Since I carry a purse the size of a small suitcase…here goes:

    ID/credit & bank cards
    facial tissues
    hand sanitizer
    small pad of paper/2 pens
    tic tacs
    lip balm
    granola bar
    small bottle of water
    small re-usable shopping bag
    small folding map of big city near where I live

    How unexciting. Can you tell I'm a mom however? The tic tacs, granola bar and bottle of water are 'just in case' the kiddo gets hungry…pen and paper helps keep her entertained as does the phone (sudoku on the phone is awesome!)…tissues and hand sanitizer are most often used with her also.

    Money is all mine however! & the shopping bag? I hate collecting lots of little plastic bags so they all go into the nylon one I bought in Germany that folds into a tiny packet but can carry up to 20 lbs! I kid you not.

    If you'd asked another day it would have been likely that my Kindle was also in my purse but it's Saturday so it's still next to my bedside.

    BabsVick AT gmail DOT com