Friday, May 1, 2009

Harlequin Guest Bloggers--Amanda McCabe, Diane Gaston and Deb Marlowe

Today I'm turning over the reins of my blog to a trio of Harlequin authors--Diane Gaston, Deb Marlowe and Amanda McCabe. They have an anthology coming out called THE DIAMONDS OF WELBOURNE MANOR. Take it away, ladies!

What do you get when three author friends create three scandalous heroines, and send them off to three fabulous house parties? The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor!
We (Diane, Deb, and Amanda) have been friends for years, since a Regency-theme tour of England (how appropriate!). When Harlequin came to us and asked if we could do an anthology together, of course we jumped at the chance. And when they gave us free rein in choosing our subject, even better!

So, we met in Colonial Williamsburg for a few days of touring and brainstorming, and that was where the Fitzmanning family was born. We were inspired by families like those of the Duchess of Devonshire and her sister, Lady Bessborough, where there were parties and fun, lots of children (of various parentage), joking, artistic endeavors, and affection. The characters just sort of “came to us,” and took on a life of their own!

Here’s a bit about each of the stories:

“When the Duke of Manning ran off with the married Lady Linwall it had been the scandal of the day. But they cared not at all! Their home at Welbourne Manor soon houses a happy miscellany of his and theirs—but not hers, not the 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 forever…”

Justine and the Noble Viscount, Diane Gaston: Gerald Brenner’s appearance marks the beginning of the Welbourne story. He’s given the responsibility for the Fitzmannings, the half brother and sisters he’s never met, but has despised his whole life. No matter his feelings, Brenner never shirks responsibility. When he meets the eldest of the Duke’s daughters, Justine Savard, she forces him to reopen old wounds from the past. Justine, too, has wounds, and together, despite all the odds, they give each other the one thing that heals—a happy ending neither believed possible.

Annalise and the Scandalous Rake: Annalise is the most sensitive of the Fitzmanning sisters. She prefers the isolation of her studio to worrying about Society’s scorn. She is perfectly happy pouring her emotions into her painting—until Ned Milford is invited to a Welbourne house party. Unfortunately, no one knows he is Prattle, a famous—and anonymous—caricaturist bent on exposing her family’s secrets. Many obstacles litter their path to love, including a pompous suitor, a slightly scandalous scavenger hunt, and a devastating artistic duel.

Charlotte and the Wicked Lord: Charlotte may be the youngest—and wildest—Fitzmanning sister, but she definitely knows her own mind. And she has always wanted Lord Andrew Bassington! But Drew has left his own wild past behind, vowing to take care of his brother’s widow and young son. He requires an eminently respectable bride, something free-spirited Charlotte could never be. So how can she make him see the beautiful woman she has become, make him see how perfect they are for each other, when every attempt ends in disaster???

Sounds like a great time. Readers can learn more by visiting

So, what do you think? Do you enjoy anthologies with related stories?


Diane Gaston said...

Hi, Emily!
Thanks for having us here. Today is RELEASE DAY so The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor should be in bookstores, shelved with the Harlequin books, usually.

We're certainly hoping readers like connected stories, because it was a whole lot of fun working together on this. The only other anthology I've done was a Christmas one (Mistletoe Kisses, 2006 with Deborah Hale and Elizabeth Rolls)and, although the other authors and I NEVER contacted each other before writing, we all wound up with stories involving Twelfth Night.

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Emily! It was so nice of you to have us!

Wow, Diane--what a difference between that last anthology and this one! No contact versus a plotting trip to Williamsburg and A GAZILLION emails! LOL!

But I love that are our stories are so interconnected and entwined. I hope readers will too!

EmilyBryan said...

I guess there are as many ways to do anthologies as there are writers.

I'm part of a holiday anthology called A CHRISTMAS BALL (Coming Sept. 29th!) with Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson. Our three stories are linked by time and place

The time is December 19, 1822 and the place is Lord & Lady Hartwell's fabulous Christmas Ball. Since our characters are all sharing the same place, we had to agree on a floorplan for Hartwell House. We actually used Spencer House as a model for our fictional location.

I can't wait to see what the other gals have come up with!

Amanda McCabe/Amanda Carmack/Laurel McKee said...

LOL! Sorry I'm so late jumping in here. When I've done novellas in the past, it was always in a non-linked anthology (the only common theme being "Christmas") so this was a whole new, and very fun, experience. It definitely helped that we already knew each other!