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Smugglivus Day 14 – Guest Author and Giveaway: Kate Noble

Welcome to Smugglivus 2009 – Day 14!

Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2009, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2010.

Today’s Guest: Kate Noble, writer of Historical Romance and one of Ana’s favourite discoveries in 2009. Her debut novel, Compromised has been reviewed here and you can read our interview with the author here.

Recent Work: Revealed, which by the way, is on Ana’s top 10 reads of 2009. Reviewed here.

Please, welcome Kate Noble with her amusing list of all the cool stuff from 2009!



Hello Ana and Thea, and thank you so much for including me in your year-end round up! I’m terribly flattered. Let’s get down to business, shall we? I give you Kate Noble’s list of all the cool stuff from 2009!

Now, I don’t really have any idea of how many New Authors or releases I read this year. I am a bit behind in most everything: perpetually 15 minutes late, never have the latest cell phone, a day late and a dollar short, blah, blah, blah. But I can tell you what I read this year that I loved.

Favorite things I read this year:

(Note: not necessarily published this year. Or this century. Or last century. I’m just saying, I got a little behind in my reading.)

(Also, not necessarily books, in a traditional sense.)

1. Irredeemable, by Mark Waid, artwork by Peter Krause

I have slowly been getting into comic books/graphic novels. (Sloooooooooowly…) But this series has me hooked and stalking the local comic store on Wednesdays. What would a superhero be like if he wasn’t raised by a kindly couple with solid middle America morals (ala the Kents?) If instead, he’d been kicked around in foster care and didn’t have anyone to help him understand his own strength? He wouldn’t have the emotional makeup necessary to handle the true weight of superherodom. Mark Waid takes the traditional tights-and-capes genre and asks it the hard questions — and I can’t get enough.

2. Fables by Bill Willingham

On the long journey to being a full-fledged comic book geek, my comic book geek mentor (every good padawan has one) pointed me towards these books as being up my alley. Turns out, they’re so up my alley, they’re in my living room, sitting on my couch and eating my pistachios. Fairy tale characters live in modern day Manhattan and deal with humans and their own community’s tricky politics. The best part for me though, is that they answer some fun questions – such as how could both snow White and Cinderella marry Prince Charming? Answer: he’s the same guy – divorced Snow to marry Cinderella. And what happened to the three little pigs? The pigs crash on the wolf’s couch since he blew their houses down. There are about a zillion books in this series and its spin-offs, so it’s going to keep me busy for a while.

3. The Rogue and the Rival by Maya Rodale

This came out in late 2008, and it may be the closest I get to a 2009 release on this list. This is the follow up to The Heir and the Spare, in which the author plays with one of romance’s favorite conventions, the good and bad twins. What could be pat is transformed by the writing – its obvious Maya Rodale is having a lot of fun as she’s spinning her story in ways you won’t expect. The Rogue and The Rival is the Bad Twin’s book – and who doesn’t love the Bad Twin?

4. Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

A very funny, very thought provoking story about an overweight 20something (although how overweight, she cunningly never tells) dealing with her newly-thin best friend’s wedding, and her own stalled life.

5. Arcadia and The Invention of Love by Tom Stoppard

(I may have read these late 2008. Sue me.)
I’m lumping these two plays together because I read them back-to-back. Arcadia is a must read (or see) for anyone who love’s the regency genre. On the first page, Stoppard makes a joke about onanism – and had me hooked. The Invention of Love is much different in tone, far more somber, but too, too beautiful. A quiet Victorian poet’s love for his best friend is his lifelong secret, and in some ways, his savior. The ending had me in tears as I was reading on the subway — and I didn’t even care.

6. Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

(I totally forgot that Tessa Dare is new! Yes! I am up on the times!)

I am ridiculously blown away by Tessa Dare’s writing pace – she had an entire trilogy come out in 2009, and is set to have another trilogy come out in 2010. Meanwhile, I bear the deep, deep shame that is associated with being a “slow writer.” (I told you, I’m behind in everything.) But I was even more blown away by the fact that I really, really dug her writing. She creates smart, strong characters that have the ability to surprise the reader, and make you enjoy the ride.

I’m MUCH more up on what’s on TV or at the movies. I think its good marketing on their part (“you must watch this now! It will be gone from the theaters and/or deleted from your DVR at random – we will not wait for you!”) Whereas books are more leisurely in their haste.

Favorite things I watched this year:

1. The Single Ladies performance on Glee, episode “Preggers”

Can we just agree that Glee is all things awesome? And the moment when Kurt gets the football team to distract their opponents by doing Beyonce’s Single Ladies dance is the moment all the awesome in the world collided, creating an awesome big bang of awesomeness.

2. Star Trek

Yeah, not a trekkie. I’ve seen most of the original series, most of the movies, some of the Next Generation, but my life would not be any better or worse had I never been exposed to the trekverse. So, to have the JJ Abrams reboot absolutely rivet me was a bit of a surprise. They played with the story arc very smartly, making it so the new movie(s) and new stories they create are completely plausible within the series canon.

3. Mad Men Mad Men Mad Men.

Two Words: Lawn. Mower. And foot. And the superb Joan. And hot Duck action.

4. The Hurt Locker

An incredibly tense film that gave us the adrenaline junkie’s war story. I don’t think I blinked the entire time.

5. (500) Days of Summer

At one point in the film, after a particularly, er, lucky evening, Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks at his reflection in a window and Han Solo winks back at him. This moment explained men to me in a way that no one has ever been able to before.

6. Tammy and Julie Taylor’s post-sex conversation on Friday Night Lights, episode “The Giving Tree.”

Not having Direct TV, I have to wait until the spring for my Dillon Panthers football. But first, a caveat: I love my mom. She’s a good mom. But, can’t Tammy Taylor be my mom too?

Books I WILL get around to reading in 2010:

1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graeme-Smith

2. The next Lisa Kleypas Hathaway series book. She ended Tempt me at Twilight with such a cliffhanger! I cannot wait for this one.

3. Incorruptible – the flipside of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable coin. Because… yeah.

4. I think it unfair for me to commit to anything else, until I find out what Ana and Thea are going to recommend, thus making my reading choices for me. ?

And now, because it’s Smugglivus, and you’ve all been so good to read down this far, here’s a small treat – an excerpt of my next book (different from the excerpt on my website, so this is an exclusive!), The Summer of You, due out in April 2010.

“The Cottage? Minnie, are you sure?”
Victoria Wilton paused at the bank of the Broadmill River, one hand hiking up her skirts from getting wet, the other looped around the base of a particularly stubborn sprig of mint. It grew wild on the riverbank that cut through the small park of the Wiltons’ residence, and she needed the whole thing for the mint jelly she and Mother were intent on setting up for preserves this afternoon. But suddenly all her attention was given to the Wiltons’ stout housekeeper, Minnie.
“Yes, miss,” the housekeeper replied, her hands fluttering over her thick muslin apron in excitement. “The butcher had it directly from the Cottage’s housekeeper—she said she was roused in the middle of last night by a rider with the missive. The rider told her he had been paid at double his normal rate to get here quick.” Minnie raised her eyebrows at this lavish display of coin.
But it was not the money spent that made Victoria’s heart move as a hummingbird’s wing. “Goodness, that must mean they intend to be here soon.” Victoria dropped her skirts and ran her hand over her blonde locks. She had just started to wear her hair up last year, and in the warmth of the sun found no small comfort in having it off her neck—but somehow she found herself yearning to twist her curls around her fingers like she did as a child when nervous.
Instead, she concentrated on her next inquiry, and keeping very, very still.
“Perhaps the Duke has decided to rent the Cottage out for the summer?”
But Minnie shook her head. “Nay, Miss Victoria. The housekeeper said the missive came straight from Lady Jane’s hand! It is the family that comes for the summer at last!”
Lady Jane! Oh, Victoria had not seen Lady Jane in ages—not since she was almost thirteen and Lady Jane fifteen. She had been utterly refined then, but surely Lady Jane was the most elegant creature now, what with her impeccable schooling and fine Town fashions and London soirees—goodness, Victoria herself had never even been as far away as Manchester, and . . . oh, what would she think of Victoria’s hair? Surely its simple country style was not at all the thing . . .
“The Duke and his daughter, come to rusticate at the Cottage,” Victoria breathed. Finally, something worth talking about in Reston!
“Nay, miss.” Minnie began, causing Victoria’s mouth to fall open in confusion.
“But you just said—”
“Yes, miss, but I meant to say—the family is coming. The whole family.”
But . . . but that meant . . .Jason.
The mint was forgotten—thrown ruthlessly to the ground as Victoria picked up her now-soaking skirts—far above the ankle, terribly unladylike, Minnie thought—and began to run toward the house.
“Michael, Joshua!” Victoria cried out to her two younger brothers, playing cups and bowls beneath the large apple tree by the house, “Go and fetch Mother back from the rector’s! Now!”
The boys (used to being scolded by their elder sister but rarely with such panic) were shocked out of their game and into action. They sprinted toward the gate to the road, but Michael’s dirty hand had barely touched the latch before the gate was swung open from the outside.
“Good afternoon, Dr. Berridge,” the boys said, clambering to a halt and giving the most cursory of bows before scrambling past him and through the gate toward the village.
“What on earth . . .” Dr. Andrew Berridge said to the retreating forms of the boys and turned back to the Wiltons’ garden, only to see Miss Victoria Wilton sprinting toward him as if her skirts were on fire.
“Oh, Dr. Berridge!” Victoria came to a halt, curtsied with the same ingrained good manners that her brothers displayed, and then smiled up at him. Dr. Berridge—Andrew, as he had told her once to call him but she never had the nerve to do so—had only come to Reston within the past year to join Dr. Lawford’s practice, but in that short time he had become quite a good friend to her father. Initially, Sir Wilton had been suspicious of having two doctors in their village, thinking that this was a sign the town would grow out of proportion to its unique quaintness. But upon being assured by Dr. Lawford that he intended to retire and merely wished to introduce his replacement into Reston life as kindly as possible, Sir Wilton took to the new Dr. Berridge like a long-lost brother. The young doctor was twenty years Sir Wilton’s junior, but they had both studied at the same university, and Father enjoyed talking about his years at school so much, Dr. Berridge found himself invited to dinner almost thrice weekly. And since Victoria often found herself seated next to him, they, too, had struck up an enjoyable friendship.
“Miss Victoria, whatever is the matter?” Dr. Berridge said, concern overflowing his voice. “Is someone injured? Let me fetch my bag—”
“Oh, no, nothing like that—the boys are off to bring back Mother from the church,” she said breathlessly, her face warmly flushed with exertion. Behind her, Minnie had caught up to her young mistress, breathing even heavier.
“Minnie, you too?” Dr. Berridge inquired, his eyebrow reaching new heights of suspicion. “What has the Wilton household running like lunatics?”
“Minnie, we need to find my pin money—I’m so sorry, Doctor, I expect you’ve come to accompany my father on his daily walk,” Victoria apologized.
“Never mind that—would someone please tell me what is wrong? Why are the boys to fetch Lady Wilton?”
Dr. Berridge—Andrew—grasped her hand with his, concern emanating from his frame. Suddenly Victoria realized that her breathless countenance had shocked the always calm and good-natured doctor into intense worry. She laughed then and squeezed his hand reassuringly.
“The most wonderful news! Jason has come back to Reston, and I desperately need a new gown!” And with that, her eyes alight with pleasure, Victoria half skipped, half ran back to the house, leaving a stunned Dr. Berridge, and a still-breathless Minnie in her wake.
Dr. Berridge looked down at the small bunch of wildflowers he carried in his hand. “Minnie,” he said, startling the poor housekeeper to attention, “would you please be so good as to tell me who this Jason is?”

I am happy to give away one copy of my 2009 release Revealed (the precursor to The Summer of You) to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment below and the Smugglers will use their magical computer choosing thingie to pick a winner at random.

And that’s all she wrote. It’s been one helluva 2009. Ana, Thea, thank you so much for having me — Happy Smugglivus all, and to all a good smuggling!


And a Happy Smugglivus to you , Kate!

Giveaway Details: Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. Contest runs till Saturday 19th 11:59pm (Pacific) and is open to US, Canada and UK. Good luck!


  • Katee R
    December 14, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I love Tessa Dare, too. I haven’t read the third book, yet, but Surrender of a Siren was AMAZING!

  • Ginny
    December 14, 2009 at 2:15 am

    Irredeemable sounds good & I am also a big fan of Fables (though bit slow to catch up too). I know your pain at being behind on books, it seems everytime I find a really good sounding new book it’s either in the middle of a series or been out for years already!

  • Pam P
    December 14, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Hi Kate, Revealed is one of my favorites reads this year, can’t wait for April’s release. Good luck everyone, recommend it even if you don’t win it.

  • Karen Mahoney
    December 14, 2009 at 3:10 am

    That is, hands down, the best Smugglivus post so far. 🙂


  • maered
    December 14, 2009 at 3:47 am

    I’m always late to things, too! Well, mainly technology. The rest of my family are so advanced compared to me! 😳 Looking forward to your new release!

  • Meghan
    December 14, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Maya Rodale and Tessa Dare are on my must-read list for 2010! This is a great Smugglivus post. I have Compromised on my TBR pile, and can’t wait to get to it.

  • Emmanuelle
    December 14, 2009 at 5:44 am

    I’m glad I read this post today. I’ve never heard of Kate Noble but I’m always looking for new good historical writers. I’m checking those book right now. Thanks for the recommendation !

  • RKCharron
    December 14, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the excellent post Kate. I enjoyed reading it and was nodding, yes, I like that too!
    Are you on Twitter?
    Tessa Dare is full of awesome, I agree.
    Happy Holidays,

  • Kristen Harvey
    December 14, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Fantastic post. I love Fables too. 🙂

  • Sarah Rees Brennan
    December 14, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Great post! I too was swept away by love for Tessa Dare and Star Trek this year. So clearly you are a lady of taste and I must acquire your books forthwith!

  • Kati
    December 14, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Hi Kate – Great post! I’ve got Revealed in my TBR mountain, and I need to move it up.

    I had to comment on your reference to Friday Night Lights, which is my favorite show on television. The Giving Tree episode was so pitch perfectly played. Julie’s abject terror at being grounded for having sex with Matt. And the brilliant way Tami handled it. “Why are you crying? Are you mad at me?” “No sweetie. I just wanted you to wait.” And the way Tami framed it that just because Julie had slept with Matt didn’t mean she had to sleep with other boys if she and Matt ever broke up. SIGH. It was perfectly done. So perfect.

    Ehem…OK, that might have been gushing.

  • Donna
    December 14, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Let’s just say there is a book there that i can relate to 100%, if it hadn’t been for your blog i would never have known it had been written & been so desperate to read it.

    Thank you for introducing me to so many fabulous books through your blog. xx

  • Sandy(Strlady)
    December 14, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Love Love Love Glee!!! And I have watched Star Trek at least 4 times! Have you seen the DVD extras where they insinuate all over the place that there is more to come? Maybe I’m the only one that doesn’t know but I was excited. And a copy of this years book would be a treat, so I’m throwing my hat in for it! Happy holidays!

  • Kearsten
    December 14, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I concur with so many of your choices! Many friends were too sick of the Single Ladies song by the time Glee got to it, but oh, man I loved it!

  • Teresa W.
    December 14, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I received a copy of Compromised from you and I’m looking forward to the latest read!

  • MaryK
    December 14, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I really liked Star Trek, too; and was surprised that I did! I expected to hate Kirk, but I didn’t!

    My local little theatre performed Arcadia not long ago, and I was very ambivalent about it. There was too much going on, mixed with too much extraneous dialogue; the audience was completely lost. I kept wanting to rewind. 😆 Maybe it was the director? or it’s a play better read than performed? I thought the ending was super romantic, but it was so buried I almost missed it completely.

  • Li
    December 14, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Very very good excerpt. I am dying to know what happens next now!

  • Gene
    December 14, 2009 at 10:01 am

    This is wonderful! A great read of her favs!

  • GSM
    December 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Great post. Thanks for visiting.

  • FD
    December 14, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Based on the excerpt and the exceptional taste displayed by the choice of Tom Stoppard, I do believe that I’ve found a new author to try. Which is great, because looking at the cover of Revealed, I think I had that book confused with a book by someone else (who shall remain nameless) that I read two chapters of and loathed.

  • Nicole Downing
    December 14, 2009 at 11:37 am

    totally want to read this book 🙂

  • katiebabs
    December 14, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I am such a Mad Man junkie! I have major shakes from withdrawl, waiting for the next season to start.

    Kate Noble writes such fun and adorable historicals. Can’t wait for her next one.

  • Marie
    December 14, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Great post! Some of the books I’ve read (Tessa Dare, Maya Rondale, Jane Austen and Seth Graeme-Smith) but I love that you mention comics/graphic novels! These comics sound amazing! And you can’t go wrong with Glee and Mad Men!

  • Hannah
    December 14, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Glee *finally* airs over here this week and I’m so looking forward to it, even if it is just the pilot!

    And I would love the chance to win – thank you! 😀

  • tracey
    December 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    would love the chance to win

  • Maya M.
    December 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I encourage everyone to enter for the giveaway – I won a Kate Noble title from the Booksmugglers during an earlier giveaway and it was excellent! Looking forward to ‘Summer of You’ and another flyaway long gown in motion *g*

  • Maureen
    December 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    There are a lot of good things listed in that post and I would love to win the book.

  • Smugglering! « Kate's Blog
    December 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    […] Everyone!  Quick Blog today, because I am over at the Book Smugglers being initiated into that fabulous rite of passage, Smugglivius, their year-in-review.  I compiled […]

  • Sue
    December 14, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  • joder
    December 14, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Your tv selections are perfect. Tammy Taylor is a great mom and the teens on that show are truly realistic. Tessa Dare’s series was great! Loved each installment!

    Thanks for visiting us today!

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  • Tawania Etheridge
    December 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Great post, I now have more books to add to my ever growing TBR pile. Happy Holidays! 😀

  • meredith goodall
    December 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I have been wanting to read a Kate Noble book for a while, but haven’t got around to it (I too am always behind.) Entering (:

  • Roxy
    December 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Those too comic books look really good. I like the artwork. Loved Star Trek, too. It was just an all-around great movie… something for everyone.

  • Marie Taylor
    December 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    If you like comics, you should try Mercedes Lackey’s pod cast books The Secret World Chronicles. They are on iTunes. Sort of an Xmen meets Justice League. BTW. Loved the excerpt.

  • Kelley
    December 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Choose me! This book has been on my mental TBR shelf for awhile, and I’d love to win a copy.

  • Celia
    December 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Great list! I’d love to be entered. I ALSO fell in love with the new Star Trek… *le sigh*

  • Kate Noble
    December 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Hi All!
    Thanks so much for stopping by today. I’m glad my choices have amused you. RK — I don’t twitter, but I am on Facebook.


  • Chelsea B.
    December 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve been wanting to see 500 days of Summer! It seems like such a good little film! 🙂

  • Jeanette Juan
    December 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Awesome post and “preggers” was definitely my favorite episode of glee!!!

  • Raquel Vega-Grieder
    December 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I Have The Book Pride and Prejudice And Zombies By Jane Austen And Seth Graeme-Smith. i So Can’t Wait To Start Reading That Book Because I Loved The Original Pride and Prejudice. So Kool Of You To Stop By And Chat…. 😀 .

  • SaraC
    December 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I’m going to have to check out the Maya Rodale book – it looks right up my alley!

  • AAJ
    December 14, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I loved Compromised, and I still need to read Revealed. Hinthinthint, Fate.

  • Amber
    December 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Kate! Great post. Your a new author for me, but I will definitely be checking out your books. “The Summer of You” sounds great, thanks for the excerpt. I would love a chance to win “Revealed”.

  • Caitlin Usignol
    December 14, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Hey Kate, I can’t wait to read your new book.

  • Collette
    December 14, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I loved Compromised and am looking forward to reading Revealed. I’d love to win it but I do have to admit to a fondness for AAJ’s comment (#41)–Hinthinthint, Fate. She (he?) might deserve it for that alone!

  • Julie
    December 14, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  • stacey smith
    December 14, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    I love the excerpt.I like the New Star Trek Movie to.but then I always liked Star Trek Movies.Can’t wait to read your new books.My list of books to read Next year is way to long to list.

  • Tiah B
    December 14, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Enter me please!

  • Dottie
    December 15, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Wasn’t the new Star Trek great, I loved it! And Mad Men has taken cable TV in a whole new direction. lol

    Great list, I’m going to add some of other to mine!

    Thanks for a great post.

    Dottie 🙂

  • Robyn B
    December 15, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Arcadia by Tom Stoppard is my favorite play of all time. (500) Days of Summer was such a refreshing take on the romantic comedy genre! Glee is my favorite new show this season! I read Compromised this year and it was fantastic, I cannot wait to read Revealed!

    Please enter me for a chance to win!

    Robyn B

  • Barbara Elness
    December 15, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks Kate, lots of good stuff. I enjoy Tessa Dare’s books too, and look forward to checking out your’s as well.

  • Anita Yancey
    December 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I haven’t read any of her books yet. But this one sounds really good, and I’d love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

  • limecello
    December 18, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I’m late to the party – but what a fantastic post! I’ve got a number of the same “must reads” – as well as the same books I really enjoyed 😀

    Loving Smugglivus – and happy holidays, all!

  • Veronika
    December 18, 2009 at 11:14 am

    After reading the review of Revealed I am so excited to read it! As a former comic book geek, now (mostly) clean for 7 years, I know how addictive and wonderful a lot of the stuff out there is… but my pocketbook forced me to quit, and now I only read things that are recommended (and have a set ending for their story arc.)

    That’s my top moment on Glee, as well!

  • Jessica Capelle
    December 18, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I’m much more current on tv/movie also. LOVE Mad Men and Glee is just full of awesome. Going to have to add these books to my list as I haven’t read any of them yet! (oh the horror!!)

    Thanks for the great post!

  • Zara
    December 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Wow Kate, great excerpt! I’ll be looking for this one. 🙂

    We have a lot of the same favorites too.

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