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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Sisters of The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor

Hi 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, 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.

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At 9:21 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I love connected stories about sisters or brothers. If I enjoy the family, and I usually do, I want to read about the rest of them. I also enjoy writing stories with siblings. Usually, I write from the perspective of the middle child, which I am!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Mo! I wrote the middle Diamond! I'm the eldest, so it was a nice twist for me. You'll have to let me know if I got it right! :-)

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Judy said...

I simply enjoy connected stories, preferably the kind where each book features a different couple. It's fun to see previous couples show up, seeing how their relationship progressed. Seeing the children added and yet their still in love. It's comforting.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Judy, maybe that's why my editors always want me to include an epilogue, to show the happily ever after.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I do enjoy connected stories whether its brothers or sisters. Your anthology sounds wonderful! I am number four sister out of five. I'm not the caretaker like the oldest or the spoiled brat youngest sister! :) How about you, Diane? Were you a spoiled by your siblings?

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Spoiled by my sisters????? Hahahahahaha.

I do remember running down to the kitchen to get my 1 1/2 year older sister a piece of candy. My mother said to me, "Diane, you don't have to do everything your sister says."

Wow. What a revelation!!!!

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Deb Marlowe said...

Diane, I love epilogues--like to end the book on a happy sigh!

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Deb Marlowe said...

LOL, Diane--did you immediately run back up? "Mom says I don't have to do everything you say!"

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Judy said...

LOL! I want to know too, Diane, if you told your sister what your mother said!

I truly enjoy epilogues, but there is something about seeing the characters in another story... like seeing old friends and knowing they're still okay. :-)

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I honestly don't remember if I had the courage to go upstairs and tell my sister....but she's heard me tell the story a brazillion times since.

At 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you say the brothers' stories are coming? Yeah! I just read the Diamonds of Welbourne Manor and am so interested how Nicholas, Stephen and Leo will make out in the marriage mart!

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Yes, Sherry,
Nicholas, Stephen, and Leo will each have their own book. Deb is working on Stephen's story now and Amanda and I don't yet have ours started.

Amanda has a Christmas novella coming this year that is connected to The Fitzmannings. Drew's sister-in-law. You glimpsed her in Amanda's novella.


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