The Sisters of The Diamonds of Welbourne ManorHi everyone! Diane Gaston here. Deb Marlowe, Amanda McCabe and I thought the topic of sisterhood was the perfect opportunity to tell you about our new anthology, The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor, which is a celebration of sisterhood as well as a series of three connected romances. When Harlequin Historical invited us to do an anthology, we decided to create the family of a duke in Regency England. Together with his lady love they have a chaotic and rambunctious collection of his, hers and theirs, known collectively as the Fitzmanning Miscellany. The anthology centers around the three sisters: Justine, Annalise, and Charlotte (the brothers get connected books later). The Fitzmanning sisters have their own individual personalities, but they have the camaraderie and support that come with sisterhood. They also have to deal with the repercussions of their parents’ scandalous past—not to mention the antics of their rowdy brothers.
(Deb Marlowe) I found it very easy to relate to Annalise, my heroine in Annalise and the Scandalous Rake. Like her, I grew up in the midst of an extended family. With two sisters, plus 5 cousins who all lived minutes away, I have many happy memories of family gatherings, celebrations, and the experience of being daily in and out of each other’s houses—and constantly in each other’s business! Also like Annalise, there were times when I just needed to be alone. Only our means of withdrawal are really different. Annalise retreats to her sunny studio to pour her emotions onto her canvases. I hid away with a good book—or spent hours dreaming up my own stories.
(Diane Gaston) It is funny you should mention rowdy brothers, Deb. I came from a family of all girls, but unlike Justine, I was the youngest of three sisters, not the oldest. I’d always wished for an older brother, though. Brenner, the hero in Justine and the Noble Viscount, would have been the perfect older brother, I think, so steady and dependable, a brother to lean on. My sisters and I didn’t need a brother to get us out of scrapes, though. We were quiet, well-behaved little girls, not at all like the Fitzmannings. In fact, Brenner probably would have thought us good examples for his half-sisters. I must have been a rowdy girl just dying to bust out, because I yearned for more excitement, more adventure, more romance. Books fed those yearnings when I was a kid.
(Amanda McCabe) LOL! I was the opposite. I had no sisters, only one brother, and he’s several years younger than me. Plus my only cousins would much rather have played with their “Star Wars” action figures than read Anne of Green Gables with me. It all ended up okay—my brother and I always got along well, and never had vicious fights over lipstick like my best friend and her sisters, but I always kinda wanted a sister. I guess I get to live out those dreams in stories with families like the Fitzmannings (and they never borrow my clothes without asking, either!)
I really identified with my heroine in Charlotte and the Wicked Lord (even though Charlotte is the youngest of her family, and I’m the oldest). We both felt like misfits in our teenaged world, preferring to hide away with a writing project, or go walking in the woods with the dogs. I loved spending time with her and her family, and plan to revisit them very soon!
Do you like connected stories about sisters? Or do you prefer stories of brothers, because those are coming, too...as soon as we write them!
Diane, Amanda, and Deb all belong to the sisterhood of romance writers. Unlike fictional or real sisters, they wrote The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor without one single vicious fight. No fights, as a matter of fact. The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor is in bookstores this month. Look for it to be shelved with the other Harlequin books.