Stuff Diane Has Read

First of all, let me tell you why Megan has been absent from the blog for two weeks. Sadly, her father passed away, very unexpectedly.

Our Riskies community knew Megan’s father through her eyes and most movingly from the Mother’s Day tribute she gave to him here . Wasn’t this blog post voted a Megan favorite? For good reason.

Megan assures us she is doing well, but our hearts go out to her and her family. Her dad was only 65, so it feels like he’s been snatched from her way too soon.

Megan’s personal blog has been keeping us informed. For those who wish to offer condolences, why don’t you leave a message for Megan there? I do encourage you to scroll down on Megan’s blog and read about the amazing man who was her father (or click here).

Very special thanks to Myretta Robens, Regency author and friend to Megan, who graciously jumped in to blog about Pride & Prejudice last Friday. We’re still getting comments!

Megan will return to the Riskies when she is able, maybe even by Friday. In the meantime, hugs to her from all of us.

This week we’re talking about our favorite reads of the year.


Compared to the other Riskies and, I’m sure, our entire Riskies community, I am definitely the least well read. I just don’t read many books at all and I rarely keep track and I have a horrible memory. So this is a hard blog.

I can say that of the fiction I’ve read two of my very favorites are Amanda’s A Notorious Woman and Janet’s Rules of Gentility. A Notorious Woman had the rich atmosphere of Venice and was an exotic and different read for me. Rules of Gentility was sooooo clever, sparkling and bright. I’m proud as I can be that my fellow Riskies wrote such wonderful books.

I’ve been mostly reading nonfiction this year, reading for research and inspiration. My favorite book about the Regency (well, BEFORE the Regency) was Paula Byrne’s biography of Perdita. I knew virtually nothing about Mary Robinson and I found her life very remarkable. Lovely to know that there were strong, complex, talented, surviving women in that time period!

I’ve also been reading some other sorts of books for research, books about psychic ability. I’ve read Allison Dubois’s books, We Are Their Heaven and Don’t Kiss Them Goodbye. The TV series Medium is based on Allison Dubois’s life. Verrry interesting.

Because Amanda saw it on a library shelf, I also read Terry Iacuzzo’s Small Mediums At Large: The True Tale of a Family of Psychics. Really fascinating!

I’ve read a couple more books in the same vein. Why? you ask. Well, I have this idea for books which include what I consider “real” psychic phenomena-clairvoyance, psychic healing, mediums, telepathy. Real, as opposed to things like vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters.

Hee hee. I’ll bet my reading list is unique!
What have you been reading this year? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of Rules of Gentility and A Notorious Woman?
What books are you buying for gifts? I’m thinking of buying The Dangerous Book for Boys for my son…who is an adult.

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Keira Soleore
14 years ago

I loved Janet’s Rules of Gentility and Amanda’s A Notorious Woman. Both are well-researched and well-written. Janet’s was clever, witty, and skipped along. Amanda’s explored deeper emotions with places I could pause and reread passages. Both were very satisfying!

Now I’m halfway through Diane’s Vanishing Viscountess and I cannot wait to be done (and I also don’t want to wait to be done, because then I’ll have to wait months for Pomeroy’s story). Diane always writes big books even in the small format. You never feel that details are skimmed, special moments truncated, and intricacy of plot sacrificed for word count. Fabulous!!

I’m giving three copies of VV to friends and cousins and also copies of Rules, Notorious, and Anna Campbell’s Untouched. The book list also includes a few kiddie books.

14 years ago

Hey, wait a minute, Keira! How did you get the VV so soon! I want it! I want it! I want it! I loved Rules of Gentility AND A Notorious Woman. They were terrific reads. (And it is always nice to read a personally autographed copy. Thanks, Amanda! I adored Anna C’s UNTOUCHED and I am giving it as a gift to my BFF along with a copy of Claiming the Courtesan as she hasn’t read that yet either. My niece and nephews always get books from me for Christmas. My nephews are getting The Dangerous Book for Boys. I read it and had a ball! My niece is getting some YA romances, several of them autographed courtesy of some of my writing pals like Jennifer Echols (The Boys Nextdoor and Major Crush)

Georgie Lee
14 years ago

I’m going to have to read Rules of Gentility and A Notorious Woman. Right now I’m reading “The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B” by Sandra Gulland. It has been on my bookshelf for ages so I decided to start it yesterday. The book is the fictional diary of Josephine Bonapart. It’s a quick read but I’m really enjoying it. I stayed up way too late last night reading it.

Janet Mullany
14 years ago

Thanks, Diane, Keira, and Doglady!

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

I definitely recommend A Notorious Woman–have heard such good things about it, lol! 🙂

It’s been a while since I read Perdita, but I enjoyed it very much. I love these new biographies where lives become engrossing stories. As for books I’ve bought, I got a book on sushi for my brother, a book on being a “Zen Bride” for his fiancee (i.e. a book on how to not be a bridezilla), a beautiful coffee table book on Lanvin for my mother. And books for me, of course! Mostly I have bought DVDs for presents (like the complete set of the series Black Books for my dad)

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Thanks, Keira-who-is-not-my-publicist-honest. Your praise means a lot to me!

doglady, you coulda received The Vanishing Viscountess by now had you ordered a copy from eharlequin.com Eharlequin always sells their books one month before the bookstore release.

And for those of you who missed buying The Mysterious Miss M, it is offered as a bonus book in the Mills & Boon (UK) release of The Vanishing Viscountess. You can order a copy through millsandboon.co.uk or amazon.co.uk

Or go to my website and order through there. I get a leeeetle kickback that way.

Georgie, the Josephine B book sounds interesting!

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Doglady, go to eHarlequin.com. That’s how I’ve always been able to get Diane’s books a month earlier.

Ammanda, thanks for your recommendation of Notorious. 🙂

In general, these days, I much prefer receiving gift cards, checks, or cash.

Judy T
Judy T
14 years ago

My copies of VV arrived on Friday. My sister picked up hers on Saturday. I made it half way through on Friday and finished on Sat. What joy to be able to reread favorite spots right away, which I always do with Diane’s books.

I love giving books. Blessedly, one of my friends keeps a wish list at Amazon, so it was easy to pop in and send one of them.

Diane’s and Elizabeth Roll’s books are re-reads for me. Diane’s work led me to Elizabeth’s when they were published in an anthology together last Christmas. What a treat to have books published recently by both of them. I’m also looking forward to Pomroy’s story.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Awwww, Judy, how nice of you to say such things.

I feel very lucky in my readers!!

14 years ago

Add me to everyone else here who have enjoyed Diane, Janet and Amanda’s books this year.

I was introduced to Robyn Carr’s fabulous Virgin River series. Keepers all.

Christina Dodd’s paranormal series was absolutely amazing.

I have read so many books this year that I can’t remember them all. I embraced Westerns or Americanas this year and have spent most of it glomming backlists.

And did I miss a memo (highly likely) or is VV already out? I do have to do some bookstore shopping this week for other people, so I could get a book or two for myself. Sort of a good job shopping gift from me to, well, me.

14 years ago

Yes, I’ve been reading The Vanishing Viscountess-it’s utterly fabulous! As were A Notorious Woman and The Rules of Gentility. It’s been quite a great year for books!

I just spent a small fortune at Amazon (last day for free shipping in time for the holidays)-comic books for one of my cousins, knitting books for another, lots of fun stuff!

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

And did I miss a memo (highly likely) or is VV already out? I do have to do some bookstore shopping this week for other people, so I could get a book or two for myself. Sort of a good job shopping gift from me to, well, me.

Santa, I hope you get a nice gift card to Borders or Barnes & Noble, or even Walmart, because The Vanishing Viscountess will be in stores January 1.

I guess I didn’t SHOUT it loud enough that VV was available Dec 1 through eharlequin.com. You can still order it through there but it will probably be in stores by the time it arrives.

Or maybe it would arrive by Christmas!

Lindsey, I’m so glad you liked VV. The positive comments do my heart good!

Megan Frampton
14 years ago

I cannot comment on what I have or have not read since I have to do a FRESH post on Friday, but I will say, I have read some of the books mentioned here.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Megan! It is sooooo good to have you back with us!

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