Anne here, introducing my guest for today, Diane Gaston. It's not Diane's first visit to the WordWenches, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Diane made a splash in the regency world when her first book was picked up by Mills and Boon (Harlequin Historicals UK) with a riskily-premised courtesan heroine — and started a trend. Since then she's written 18 books and won many awards, including the top award for romance writers, the much-coveted RITA. Her latest book is A Lady of Notoriety, and it hit the shelves this week—and isn't that a stunning cover?
Anne: Diane, you described A Lady of Notoriety to me as both a book-of-the-heart and the third book in a two-part series. Would you care to expand on those two intriguing statements? (As someone who's written a four book trilogy and a five book quartet, I do understand.)
Diane: Ha ha, Anne. First let me say what a delight it is to be here again with the Word Wenches! When I planned The Masquerade Club series, it was intended to be two books, because I thought up two heroes – the hunky gambler/soldier/bastard son, Rhys, of A Reputation for Notoriety, and the incredibly handsome Xavier Campion, the “beauty” in my Beauty and the Beast story, A Marriage of Notoriety.
To my surprise, though, a character emerged in A Marriage of Notoriety who simply begged for a story of her own. Daphne, Lady Faville, played the “Gaston” (no relation) role in the Beauty and the Beast book. She was somewhat of a villainess in A Marriage of Notoriety, but she intrigued me–a beautiful, wealthy woman used to getting her way through her looks alone. Could she learn to be something other than a selfish, self-centered person? Could she be redeemed? Luckily I had a hero left over from the series, Hugh Westleigh, the younger son.