Monday, March 21, 2016

NOT BY SIGHT ~ Character Interview with Kate Breslin

Hi, everyone! I'm so excited to be hosting award-winning author Kate Breslin on the Sweet South Blog today along with her character, Grace Mabry, from Not By Sight. Stick around for a giveaway of her books at the end of the post! But first, here's a little about NBS.

About Not By Sight:

In the spring of 1917, all of Britain's attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country's cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball.

But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.
WHERE TO BUY: Available at most bookstores, and for online shopping, please visit and click on your favorite store purchase link. 
You can download an excerpt of Not By Sight from Baker Publishing by clicking here: Download PDF

Here's Kate:

Hi Natalie, thanks so much for this opportunity to be on your blog. What fun! I chose to interview my heroine, Grace, as she wanted to say a few words, and I hope readers will get to know her a little bit better. :)

Hello, Grace! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello! My name is Grace Mabry and I suppose I’m the heroine of this tale. I’m twenty, have green eyes, red hair, and I’m a suffragette. My father is Irish widower, Patrick Mabry, wealthy owner of the prestigious Swan’s Tea Room in London. I love to write, as I’m an aspiring author, and I enjoy a good adventure when I get the chance. Unfortunately, that isn’t often. My mother, Lillian, passed away last year and my father tends to be most overprotective. The year is 1917 and the war overseas is in full swing. I intend to do my duty as a patriot and help in any way I can to see a quick end to it, with victory for Britain.

Has anything significant happened in your life in the past two weeks?
Well, a few months ago I did create a bit of a stir, during a Red Cross Benefit costume ball at Lady Bassett’s home in Mayfair. However, I’m back to rights and finally free of my father’s in-home incarceration as I travel to Kent, working for the Women’s Forage Corps with my maid, Agnes. In truth, I think Da is much relieved to get me out of London. You see, the Germans have been dropping bombs over the city lately and he thinks I’ll be safer in the country. At last, my adventure begins!

Your most embarrassing moment?
I must admit, I’m going to have several, which if you’ve read my story you’ll know about. Working in agriculture with the Women’s Forage Corps aiding the war effort isn’t quite what I imagined it would be. Let’s just say I’ve had some difficulties adjusting. And I find I don’t take well to mud at all.

What was your first reaction when you met your handsome gentleman? Blush? Stutter? Run? Engage him in intelligent or witty conversation?
I certainly blushed and I confess my heart palpitated a bit, much to my dismay. He is a handsome devil though, devil being the operative word. A renowned playboy, a laze-about aristocrat, and worst of all, he’s a coward! And I’m a woman on a mission. Actually, we didn’t speak. I simply walked up to him at the ball and gave him his due. :)

What are your hobbies?
I take immense enjoyment in driving a motorcar and racing my horse with the buggy around London, though I suppose those aren’t truly hobbies. I do keep a journal and have visions of being a published writer one day.

Do you have any grandparent figures in your life? How have they influenced you?
No grandparents, but I do have my spinster aunt, who insists I conform to convention—and very tedious it is, being made to sit and needlepoint all day! My mother’s cousin in Kent, Dr. Strom, is wise and kind and offers me good counsel on occasion. I’ve also met an older woman at Roxwood, Ida Vance, our work force supervisor. She watches over us all and has shown me more patient understanding than I probably deserve.

Siblings? How many? Do you get along?
I have my twin 20-year old brother, Colin, who’s with the cavalry fighting at the Front. Colin is quiet and steadfast, where I tend to be more impulsive—that is, I allow my mouth to overrun my brain. Colin has always been my hero.

What is your dearest dream?
I dream that one day all women in Britain will get the right to vote and to better themselves.

Any current romantic interests?
Not at present. I’m much too busy aiding in the war effort. Though I can’t stop thinking about that handsome devil…

Where were you born? What other significant happenings surrounded this event?
I was born in London in 1897, the only daughter to my British mother and Irish father. Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee as monarch that year, and the first electric taxicabs began operating in London.

What is your worst fear?
I have nightmares that my twin won’t come back from the war.

When’s the last time you had a really good meal? Courtesy of whom?
Oh, I did enjoy a lovely birthday dinner at the home of my mysterious and engaging employer, known by the villagers as Lord Roxwood, or the Tin Man. Our first course was spiced carrot soup, followed by grilled salmon with seasoned potatoes and a medley of garden vegetables. There was white linen, candles, fine bone china, and Knowles, the butler, served our drinks in crystal goblets. It was quite memorable.

Are there any hardheaded people in your life right now? What’s the issue?
Yes, my co-worker in the Women’s Forage Corps, Clare Danner! I don’t know why she’s determined to dislike me. Just because my father’s wealthy, she insists I’m an aristocrat and completely inept at hard work. I think she’s got bigger problems and she’s just using me for target practice.

What’ been the most surprising outcome of your adventure so far? Have you gained any insight?
One thing I’ve come to realize is things are not always as they seem. In fact, judging by outward appearances and making assumptions can be quite dangerous! The heart is what truly reveals a person’s character, I think. I’ve also learned that everyone’s got a secret, and while some are more difficult to keep than others, in the end all come out.

About Kate

Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing's 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her debut novel, For Such A Time, won the 2015 Carol award for Debut Novel. Kate's second novel, Not By Sight released in August, 2015. When she's not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington's beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, both within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas. You can visit her online at the following locations:

Hi, folks! Natalie here. Kate is generously giving away a paperback copy of either Not By Sight or her previous novel For Such A Time (details on that book below). International readers can enter to win an e-book. Comment with your email address (email AT server DOT com) to enter. Giveaway ends April 4.

About For Such A Time

Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther

In 1944, Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, her Aryan-like looks allow her to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, to maintain her cover as von Schmidt’s secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths, Stella appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's indulgence gives her hope even as she risks discovery with every attempt to help the prisoners. When her bravery brings her to the point of ultimate sacrifice, she faces an excruciating choice. God may have brought her to the camp for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she cannot save herself?

Comment fodder:
Is Kate a new-to-you author, or have you read her work before?
What is your favorite thing about reading stories set in the Gilded Age?
Name a Bible character you'd love to read about in a retelling. Or maybe one you've read.

Tune in next Monday for my review of Not By Sight!

Grace Mabry tells all from NOT BY SIGHT by Kate Breslin (Click to Tweet!)


  1. Her books are high on my To Be Read list! Loved this post, Natalie!

  2. Hi, MEGHAN! My Northern Belle friend! So glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for commenting and best wishes in the giveaway!! You'll love Kate's books!

  3. O, I love both books! Great post here! Love this interview with Grace! Thanks! Just stopping in, I already have both books. Annie

  4. Such a fun interview! Not By Sight sounds wonderful and is very high on my TBR list! I would love to read it!
    amyputney89 [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. Hi, ANNIE! Don't you just love Katie's books? Thanks for joining in on the fun!!

  6. Glad you enjoyed the interview, AMY! Best wishes in the giveaway!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I loved the book and really enjoyed the interview with Grace. Kate is one of my favorite authors. Please do not include me in the drawing as I already have print copies of both books.

  9. New author to me. Books sound really interesting. Would love a chance to win a copy of one of them. Thank you for the chance. kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

  10. Yes I have read For Such a Time! :) I was actually kinda worried about it though! LOL! Reading about Auschwitz and concentration camps have never been really high on my list of subjects to read about because they are such horrifying and terrible realities in history. But after prayer I requested a review copy (mainly because I love Esther's story) and I ended up REALLY enjoying the book! I loved the story woven through out and the characters were fantastic! I'd LOVE a chance to read Not by Sight! :) Thank you for the opportunity to win and copy!

    Hugs, Amada (

  11. What a great way to get to know your characters better... Interview them!! Both books sound amazing!

  12. What a great way to get to know your characters better... Interview them!! Both books sound amazing!

  13. What a fun way to do the interview! I loved getting to know Grace from the book 'Not by Sight'. I have not read any of Kate's books yet, though 'Not by Sight' is on my TBR & Wish List and I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity of this giveaway!

    ~Alison Boss

  14. I always think these "interview with the heroine or hero" posts are so fun. Thanks for letting us know about Grace. I'm looking forward to reading Not By Sight.


  15. Kate is a new to me author and would enjoy reading one of her books. I like reading about the Gilded Age because its hard to imagine how people lived then and the opulence of the era

  16. Kate is a new to me author and would enjoy reading one of her books. I like reading about the Gilded Age because its hard to imagine how people lived then and the opulence of the era

  17. I've read Not By Sight, and I loved it! It would be wonderful to get a chance to read For Such A Time! mylittlebirdie (at) yahoo (dot) com

  18. I so love character interviews! Not by Sight is already on my want-to-read list. Thank you for the chance to win a copy for myself!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

  19. Loved Not By Sight -
    Would luv to read For Such A Time - Thanks for the opp!
    faithhopecherrytea [at gmail.]com
    I've pinned both to my Book Giveaway Board - for a bit of xtra promo ;)

  20. Kate Breslin is a new author to me, but her books sound amazing! I would love to have the chance to read them. I actually just finished reading Esther in my morning devotions and was wanting to read a retelling of her story, so "For Such a Time" sounds extremely intriguing. Thanks for doing these character interview posts. I really enjoy them!


  21. Not by Sight is the book I would like to be awarded! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

  22. Love her books. cheetahthecat1986ATyahooDOTcom.

  23. This is a new author for me, so I would love to win this . sonflower277 at gmail dot com

  24. I really appreciate the kind words from those who have read my novels, it's such a blessing to me! And for readers who haven't yet, I hope you'll enjoy them as well. Natalie, thank you again for hosting Grace on your blog this week! :)

  25. Oh, I love the heroine's name! Grace Mabry. How cute.
    I enjoyed For Such A Time, and I'm looking forward to reading this one. I'm pretty sure I own it already. I just haven't read it yet...reading a paperback and feeding a newborn isn't easy. ;)
    Great interview!

  26. What an exciting review of both books. I have not read any books by this author yet but look forward to it.

    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

  27. Kate Breslin is a new-to-me author, though I do recognize the cover of her previous book. I love the character interview, and I think I would enjoy reading Not By Sight.
    Thank you for offering a copy.

  28. Not By Sight is on my Kindle but I haven't read it yet. Would love to win a copy of For Such A Time, it's been on my TBR pile for quite a while.
    Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings, was a lovey story based on Ruth but playing off in the American West.


  29. These books sound really great! I would love to win a copy of one of them. I will be adding these to my wish list. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.


  30. Loved the character interview, Natalie and Kate - thank you!! Love the storylines of both books and would love to read both, thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

  31. Loved your book "for such a time"! I'm always in a mood for a world war 2 love story and the story of queen Esther is always close to my heart.

    Love Esther


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