Diane’s Day Two of The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor

Today’s my day to talk about The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor and, remember, comment for a chance to win a copy of the book! Deb did a great job yesterday of explaining how the anthology came about.

Here is how I introduced the anthology on my website:

When the Duke of Manning ran off with Lady Linwall it had been the scandal of its day. Did they care? Not at all. Their home, Welbourne Manor, soon housed a happy miscellany of his and theirsโ€”but not hers, not the young son she left behind. Now all the children are grown, this estranged son is on their doorstep, and all their lives are about to change.

Riskies: What did it mean to you to write an anthology with two friends?
Oh, this has been my BEST writing experience by far! Amanda, Deb and I have been friends for years. In fact, Amanda was my first mentor! She had just sold to Signet and, as part of the Beau Monde (Regency) Chapter of RWA, she volunteered to mentor somebody. Lucky me! We mostly became friends and when Patty Suchy of Novel Explorations designed a Regency Tour of England, we decided to go. That’s where we befriended Deb.(here’s a photo of us in Brighton). I can’t tell you how happy I was for Amanda and Deb to become Harlequin Historical authors. What is wonderful about the Harlequin Historical team is that they knew we were friends and that’s why they offered us the anthology.

Riskies: What was it like to write connected stories? What was the most difficult?
It was sooooo much fun. First we had this great time wandering all around Colonial Williamsburg, soaking in the history. We spent a long time at the printing press, which was great because I learned what I needed to know for Scandalizing the Ton. When we finally went back to the hotel (and saw Deb’s first book, Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss), the story idea for the anthology came very quickly. I knew exactly whose story I wanted to tell. It was as if Brenner, hero of Justine and the Noble Viscount, was telling me his story.

What was hard was to make sure we got all the details right. I was especially worried about getting Charlotte’s and Annalise’s characters right, because I wanted them to seem like the same people in my story as they became in their own.

Riskies: Tell us about Justine and the Noble Viscount.
Justine and the Noble Viscount is the first story in the anthology. Brenner, the “Noble Viscount,” arrives at Welbourne Manor, the responsibility of his half-siblings, the children his mother had not abandoned, thrust upon his shoulders. Almost immediately Brenner meets Justine, another illegitimate daughter of the duke and a French woman and the two of them recognize in each other a similar pain deep inside. Each of them knows exactly what the other needs. For Brenner, though, it is impossible to contemplate falling in love with the daughter of a man he has hated his whole life and to be connected to a family from whose sphere he’s been excluded.

Riskies: What was risky about your story?
I had to make Justine and Brenner fall in love in the midst of significant grief and emotional upheaval, which is not the best circumstance for romance. It made me uneasy to try to create a love story in this atmosphere, but I totally believed in the story Brenner was telling me!

Riskies: Whatโ€™s next for you?
The first book, as yet untitled, of my “Soldiers’ Trilogy” will be released December 2009. Three soldiers–an ensign, a lieutenant, and a captain–share a ghastly and distressing experience after the battle of Badajoz, an experience they agree to keep secret. It affects the rest of their lives. The first book is the ensign’s story and you get a peek of two of the minor characters in my Undone, The Unlacing of Miss Leigh. (Hint: my heroine in the book is an actress)

So, what do you think? Do you believe two people can fall in love in the midst of grief and emotional upheaval? Do you think it’s wise of them to do so?

Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor!

This just in!
Thanks to Deb’s reminder, the Fitzmanning Family diagram is now added to my Behind the Book feature for Justine and the Noble Viscount.

and don’t forget to visit eHarlequin for Deb’s Online Read, The Journey to Welbourne Manor.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who donโ€™t always act like ladies.
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44 Responses to Diane’s Day Two of The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor

  1. Carol L. says:

    Hi Diane,
    I just want to tell you that I loved “Scandalizing the Ton” and “The Vanishing Viscountess”. And now The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor written by three friends sounds like a fantastic read. I look forward to reading your Soldier trilogy when it comes out in December as well. I enjoyed reading your interview .
    Carol L.

  2. Deb Marlowe says:

    Good Morning Diane! I’m back from the gym, feeling virtuous and sweaty. Lol!

    Yes, I absolutely believe that people can fall in love in the midst of emotional upheaval. Sometimes those points of our lives are when we can see most clearly. Suddenly all the trivia we fill our daily lives with drops away and the really important things shine through.

    I loved Brenner and Justine’s story. I thought it was so touching that Brenner found happiness at last.

  3. Diane Gaston says:

    Wow. Thanks, Carol L! I’m delighted you like my books!

    Good morning, Deb. I was thinking of skipping Curves today. Now you are making me feel guilty.

  4. jcp says:

    I need to read your books.

  5. Jane Austen says:

    I think you can fall in love in times of emotional turmoil. I think that it probably helps to have this new love forming while you’re in grief. A sort of support system if you will. A light at the end of the tunnel. I’m intrigued by the story line and will be interested to read it as well as your new trilogy coming out.

    Of course, Diane, your new trilogy is about soldiers and I’m quite like Lydia: I think a man is nothing without Regimentals.

  6. CrystalGB says:

    Hi Diane. I love your books. I do believe that two people can fall in love during emotional upheaval.

  7. Lexie says:

    Ah I actually just picked up ‘Scandalizing the Ton’ at the book sale, its on the TBR stacks.

    It must be so much fun for you guys to work together (I’m kind of jealous over here).

  8. azteclady says:

    Oh, I just love this! “I was especially worried about getting Charlotte’s and Annalise’s characters right, because I wanted them to seem like the same people in my story as they became in their own.”

  9. Jane Austen says:

    Lexie,

    This is based off your post from yesterday’s entry.

    I don’t know if this will help, but it might be useful in the future:

    http://www.bookdepository.com

    Will ship you any book they have from the UK FREE of shipping charges. Just pay for the book.

    I just found it and it’s a HUGE help.

  10. Diane Gaston says:

    jcp said I need to read your books.Everyone should read my books!!! Seriously, I think you’ll like The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor; you get to sample our writing, three at once.

    Jane Austen, most of my heroes are army men!

    CrystalGB, thank you for your kind words about my books.

    Lexie, I hope you like Scandalizing the Ton!

    Azteclady, I really meant that, too. From the Cataromance review, I think we might have succeeded in writing each others’ characters accurately.

    Thanks for weighing in on whether you think love can grow during grief and emotional upheaval!

  11. Maureen says:

    Hi Diane,
    Congratulations on the new book.
    I definitely believe two people can fall in love in the middle of grief and trying emotional situations. It’s tougher I think, but if they can get through those tough times then they deserve their happy ending.

  12. robynl says:

    I am an example of how love can grow during grief and emotional upheaval. I met dh app. 2 months after his wife died of cancer and we started dating. I hear many ‘yikes, you’re kidding’ but it is true. He loved his wife but wanted a mate and someone to help with 3 teenagers. I saw such a tender side to him and a side of someone who hurt so much but needed affection and understanding. We have been married for 20 yrs. this July/09.

  13. Cara King says:

    Congrats on the release, Diane, Deb, and Amanda! I have my own copy (picked it up Saturday at my local Borders) and I’m now fifty pages into Diane’s story. It’s terrifically entertaining so far, and I must add — I want to live in that house!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW, I love the cover (especially the colors) and also the inside-the-cover illustration! Nice to see the three women together.

    Oh, and I was wondering — who came up with the name “Welbourne”? (Love it!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Cara

  14. I’m with you, Cara. Doesn’t Welbourne Manor seem like a great place to live?

    Of course everyone should read your books, O Divine One! You mean there are people who haven’t??

    I absolutely believe people can fall in love in times of crisis. It is often at those times that people see each other as they really are at their very worst moments. To fall in love with the authentic person means there are no nasty surprises later!

    How wonderful for you and your hubby, Robin! What a sweet love story and yours has obviously stood the test of time.

  15. Margay says:

    I don’t think circumstance dictates where/when people fall in love. It’s going to happen when it wants to happen – you can’t put it on a time table. I can’t wait to read this book!

    Margay

  16. Jane Austen says:

    Just started reading the book. I had a meeting with the Vice-President of the University where I work and I brought my Kindle to the meeting. It was a long walk across campus and I was reading it as I walked. I even went a little early…shhhh….don’t tell….and hung out in the coffee shop and read for a little bit. I can feel the attraction between Justine and Brenner like it’s a hot steamy day in the south (sort of like those scenes between Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in the movie The Long Hot Summer)…..I can’t wait to read more.

  17. i would love the chance to sample the work of three new to me authors!

  18. Deb Marlowe says:

    Oh, robynl, what a sweet story! You are living your romance!

  19. Deb Marlowe says:

    Hey Cara! Thanks!

    How’s your play going?

    I think I was the one who flippantly said “We should name them Welbourne, since they are not.” And it stuck!

  20. Helen says:

    This books sounds so good congrats Ladies I have added it to my must get list.

    Have Fun
    Helen

  21. Santa says:

    As a contemporary romance writer, I had no idea the Beau Monde had or used to have a mentoring program! Capital idea. I wish that sort of thing existed for my sub-genre but I guess that’s what a chapter is for, lol.

    I think love exists in all circumstances. It is during the most trying times that we turn to others for comfort and reach out for love. Whether that love is true and enduring depends on the people involved and where they are in their lives in welcoming that love.

  22. Santa says:

    Oh, I almost forgot…LOVE your books and have every single one of them.

    I also love how supportive and encouraging you’ve been in my own writing journey. I guess you do a bit of mentoring yourself, lol.

  23. Virginia says:

    Hi Diane, great interveiw, I also believe that people can fall in love in the midst of emotions and grief! I am not sure its a good thing but when someone is there for you when they need them its pretty important. The question is will this love last! I guess sometimes it does!

  24. Jane says:

    I do think it’s possible for two people to fall in love in the midst of grief and emotional upheaval. It’s during tough times that you learn who you can rely on and trust.

  25. Cara King says:

    Hi, Deb! As to the play — I know all my lines, and my fingernails are coated with paint from the scene shop, so I think it’s all going well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cara (of Wellfed Manor)

  26. “Oh, and I was wondering — who came up with the name “Welbourne”?”

    I can’t remember for sure, but I know it wasn’t me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Diane Gaston says:

    I am really glad that so many of you think that love can blossom during emotional upheaval. And robynl lived it! Great story, robyn.

    Santa said Whether that love is true and enduring depends on the people involved and where they are in their lives in welcoming that love.I think this is an important point. Sometimes I wonder if movie characters’ love really lasts, like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in Speed.

    But I do love the fantasy of that kind of beginning of love.

  28. Diane Gaston says:

    Hi, Cara!!!!!
    Isn’t Welbourne Manor the BEST name???? Deb might have been joking when she thought of it, but we loved it.

    Hope the play is fun…

    Louisa, Cara, and Jane, I’m so glad you are liking the book!!

    Helen and CaliforniaMeaghan, all ya gotta do is buy the book (or win it here!) Good Luck

  29. Diane Gaston says:

    Santa, how nice of you to call me supportive. I think of it as “paying it forward” and, besides, it is one of the joys of romance writing to help each other!

    One of my former colleagues said it was the social worker in me. Made sense.

  30. Judy says:

    Do you believe two people can fall in love in the midst of grief and emotional upheaval? Do you think it’s wise of them to do so?I don’t know if it’s truly possible or wise, but it’s certainly a time you wish it could happen. Then again, is there ever a “perfect” time? Life is messy; it’s the nature of it. And I’m certainly glad you and Deb and Amanda invited us on this adventure! It was fun! Brava!

  31. LadyDoc says:

    Anything is possible- I am looking forward to reading how this is presented in the book!

  32. Snookie says:

    I loved Diamonds of Wellbourne manor… I want books on the Duke and Stephen now ๐Ÿ™‚ I love this madcap family ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Diane Gaston says:

    Judy and Snookie, how nice you are!

    LadyDoc, I hope you like the book!

    Jane Austen, I was just thinking that it is nice that you can read my book and all the college folk would probably believe you are reading The Times or some research material.

  34. Sounds so good!
    not_so_cg[at]yahoo.com

  35. Jane Austen says:

    Okay the Common Book of Prayer part that was just added is mind blowing. I think I had to read it five times to understand who was who and think it’s funny most of those relationships were not allowed, but by all means my character Fanny could marry her first cousin (or as I think of him, my cold fish of a hero) and THAT would not be allowed today. Ha!

    Also I don’t want to give anything away, but what Brenner does for Justine…WOW….tears to my eyes. I thought that was super romantic.

  36. Jane Austen says:

    Diane,

    Yes it’s the beauty of the Kindle. Whenever I show it to people I always show that I’m reading “Dark Water: Flood and Redemption in the City of Masterpieces” so I look smart. Ha! I do have my own books on the Kindle as well as Elizabeth Gaskell who might slowly becoming my new favorite me.

  37. Jane Austen says:

    As a side note I think it’s great that the three of you actually read our posts and respond to them. It’s nice to know that we can hobnob with society’s premier Regency writers. Amanda was my second Regency book I read (Lady Rogue, which I loved). My first was an Allison Lane (The Purloined Papers). Deb and Diane, I am just discovering you from these postings, but I love your styles so far. I will be looking for more and the best is I can get them on my Kindle. Thanks.

    I could be silly and say that you guys (Deb, Diane, and Amanda) get your work critiqued by the great Jane Austen, but who am I kidding? I’m not really Jane Austen I just play her on TV. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Diane Gaston says:

    Jane Austen, you are doing my heart GOOD!!!
    The Prohibited Degrees of Marriage are so ridiculous–or at least some of them are…

    I have your books on my Kindle, too!

    You know, Allison Lane was on the tour where Amanda, Deb, and I became friends!

    (I like being reviewed by Jane Austen!)

  39. sarabelle says:

    Hello Ladies. I have caught up on day 1 and day 2 and I have to say this book looks fabulous. I love anthologies. Congratulations! I am definetly looking forward to reading it.

  40. kimmyl says:

    Hi Diane,
    I believe two people can fall in love or at least think they can.
    I feel that if a person doesn’t get over their grief and just jumps into a relationship usually it doesn’t work. There are the few that actually do fall in love.

  41. Milka says:

    Hello from Finland!
    Congrats from the new book Diane, it sounds really interesting! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have a great spring and summer!
    -Milka

  42. Caffey says:

    Hi Diane!! I love reading interviews. I got the feel reading this about how your characters told you to write this story during your trip. I feel them talking to me when I’m reading! I know it may sound odd but I don’t always feel like a fly on the wall watching the story unfold but I can sometimes feel like I’m standing among them feeling it all too. Hard to explain!

    I really believe that the stories I read are being told as how they happen. Some may say that they didn’t like such and such happening in the story. But for me, I always thinking, but that’s their story! There’s things in my life that I wished didn’t happen, but they did and they made me stronger and made my relationship with my hubby stronger too. So love is so different than pity. So those falling in love during a difficult time is love. I don’t think love can happen just in one way, that it would with everything that happens, good and bad. My hubby has been great through this difficult time for me with my health and yeah, its made some things stronger for us, but it didn’t define all our love. That’s always going to be there.

    I didn’t mean to go on so long. I guess with my 26th anniversary coming up I got a great hero too!

  43. Diane Gaston says:

    Hello Late Ladies! (I have to go to bed!)

    Caffey, sometimes I really do feel as if the characters are telling me their story!

    I’ll be out all day tomorrow but I’ll be back to see what Amanda has to say tomorrow evening.

  44. Margie says:

    Hi, Diane! I love all of your books! I do believe it’s possible for two people to fall in love in the midst of emotional upheaval.

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