Catherine is a #1 Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and Indie Reader bestselling author. In addition, her books have also graced The New York Times and USA Today bestsellers lists. In total, she has written thirty-six beloved books that have collectively sold more than 10 million copies and have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Q There is no small amount suspense, correct?
Catherine: You cannot take suspense out of this author. I do want to write more suspense. I will find a way to put something in the story. This series I had opportunities to put it in. For this book there was on-line dating, trolling, and catfishing which led to something bad. With romance books readers know at the end of the day the characters will be happy even if they have a rough journey. I enjoy writing books where part of the tension/conflict is something completely out of their control. I enjoy writing romantic suspense and espionage books, that has external conflict.
Q Why the wedding and bachelor/bachelorette party?
Catherine I wanted to start out the story with an accidental marriage. What better place than Las Vegas? I had the opportunity of getting them to Vegas with this scenario. I had some fun because I threw in what I experienced in Vegas. I looked for the Chapels on the Strip and went on-line to see their interiors. The last time I went to Vegas I was at a romance conference, and we went to a strip club. Some of my other stories had marriages in Vegas including Wife by Wednesday.
Q How would you describe Chole?
Catherine She is very secure but is naïve. Chloe did have some freedom in her life. She is passionate, family oriented, direct, boisterous, and funny.
Q How would you describe Dante?
Catherine His relationship with his father has influenced him. He took over his role, having the responsibility of his mother. I wanted to write the story of how the mother and father have been separated for a decade but do not live together. I know people like that for whatever reason: financial, societal, religious, or denial. Overall, Dante is driven, a player, a woman magnet, caring, protective, and charming. He is gorgeous, tall, dark, and a sexy Italian.
Q What about their relationship?
Catherine They were connected from the very beginning. In their heads they are worlds apart where he sees her as his wife, and she thinks she wants an annulment. They are sneaking around, trying to hide their relationship from their families. Their relationship becomes complicated. They were childhood friends and now there is an attraction. Being married gives Dante the permission slip to date her.
Q What about the brothers’ relationship to their younger sister, Chloe?
Catherine The attitude is that their best friend better not have sex with their sister. They look out for their younger sister. It is fun to put the brothers in a fatherly role. They do mean well but she looks for ways to get past their protectiveness. Chloe also confided in Brooke, her future sister-in-law, who is older and treats her like a sister. The older sibling plays the parent role. Dante’s sister Anna is older, and she gives advice to him.
Q What was the influence of the Italian family?
Catherine There seems to be always a matriarch mother, Mari. With Italian culture the children do not move out until married. There are certain things that are not open to arguments. They can talk about everything and anything. I did spend quite a bit of time in Italy. Mari’s children are her world. The Hispanic mother, the Italian mother, and the Jewish mother all play the same role, what they say is final.
Q Being Catholic there was still talk about divorce between Rosa, Dante’s mom, and Chloe/Dante?
Catherine My father is Catholic and has been married five times although I do not consider myself Catholic. I hope there would be approval for Rosa, Dante’s mom, if she wanted a divorce. I did run some scenes by my stepsister who is Catholic. There is a morality conflict.
Q Why Yoga and meditation?
Catherine I was doing a lot of that before I wrote the book. I did a lot during Covid. By doing this I became more accepting of other people and cultures. When someone is into the “Zen,” things become clearer. I can say that firsthand.
Q Hoc can the Internet destroy someone?
Catherine It is a small part in the book, but very big in the lifeline of someone living in the 21st Century. Catfishing comes in many ways including people pretending they are a different sex, an obsolete picture put out there, or saying things about someone’s personality that is false. Someone’s persona gets damaged very quickly. People love to bully on their phones.
Q What’s next?
Catherine It will be Giovanni’s story. Because I did spend some time in Tuscany and Florence, I set the beginning of the book there on a wine tour. He meets someone named Emma, the daughter of a very fluent Napa and Temecula wine operation. She wants to be able to participate in the business, but her father wants nothing to do with it. There is a big plot twist in the middle of the book, which happens to be personal to me. The title is Beginning of Forever, out in June 2023.
Be Your Everything by Catherine Bybee is a romantic woman’s literature book. Previously, she has written romantic suspense, and lucky for her readers there is plenty of romance and a little suspense, showing that suspense can never be taken out of this author. This story will also delve into family and cultural issues.
Most everyone has heard the saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” For Chloe D’Angelo, she so wants it to stay there until she can figure out why she married her long-time crush and her brothers’ best friend Dante Mancuso. In Vegas for her brother and sisters-in-law bachelorette/bachelor party she and Dante decide to go for a night on the town. But they kiss, have way too much to drink, and end up at a wedding chapel where they marry. They must keep that a secret for now considering she has been labeled “off limits” by her older protective brothers.
Chloe is conflicted and scared, and desires to dissolve the marriage, even if she did have a crush on him for a long time. Dante wants to make a go of the marriage realizing how much he loves and respects her. They secretly begin to spend time together and realize that there is a major attraction between them. Yet, Chloe decides to flee to Bali for some Yoga meditation and to clear her head. Dante realizes he must find her and convince her they were always meant for each other. They must come up with a solution on how to tell their families they were married in secret without a priest, a church, and their family’s approval.
Readers will want to turn the pages to find out how Chloe and Dante resolve their problem. But there are also other issues of the day including the dangers of on-line dating and how the expectations of the Italian culture can affect a relationship.