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Santa asked a great question last week–what’s next for the Riskies? Being Monday’s Riskie, I get to go first! Or perhaps I’ll let my alter ego, Diane Gaston go first. She has the next thing out from the Dianes.

Next up for Diane Gaston is a novella in a Christmas anthology from Harlequin Historical, due out in October 2006. Although the anthology is as yet untitled, my novella is called A Twelfth Night Tale:
One impulsive Twelfth Night of passion blights the lives of Zachary Weston, the new Earl of Bolting, and governess Elizabeth Arrington, until this Christmas season finds her stranded at his estate with her charge, a young unwed girl about to give birth. Together Zak and Elizabeth witness the miracle of new life, and with it a rebirth of their love. Just as happiness is within their reach, the pain of the past comes back to haunt them. Will this new Twelfth Night unite them forever or doom them to life apart?

In 2007 (date to be arranged) Innocence and Impropriety by Diane Gaston will be released by Mills & Boon. This book tells the story of Rose from A Reputable Rake:
When Jameson Flynn, secretary to the Marquess of Tannerton, hears Rose O’Keefe sing in Vauxhall Gardens, he is powerfully aroused, both sensually and emotionally, but the marquess wants Rose for himself and charges Flynn with making the arrangements. Rose desires love not a business arrangement, and the man she loves is Flynn. Into this triangle comes Lord Greythorne (from the Harlequin Daily Read, The Diamond), and Greythorne wants Rose for more sadistic pleasures.

Diane Perkins has not been sitting on her duff, either. Do you remember Blake from The Marriage Bargain? Blake’s story is coming in 2007. Still untitled and the month unscheduled, but coming nonetheless:
After Spence’s reunion with his wife, Blake and Wolfe go to Brighton and soon learn they must try to thwart a con artist attempting to swindle Blake’s parents into total ruin. There Blake meets the lady-of-the-night who, two years before in Paris, stole his money and his heart. Mariella has reappeared now as cousin to Lord Caufield (Harry and Tess from The Improper Wife) and may or may not be part of the scheme to swindle Blake’s parents. Whatever and whoever she is, the passion between Mariella and Blake is hot enough to consume them both.

Still to come from Diane Perkins is Wolfe’s story, and from Diane Gaston, The Marquess of Tannerton’s story. Both of me will be hard at work on both from now to 2007.


PS The pictures are details of fashion prints from 1815 La Belle Assemblee- I own the whole 12 months!

Growing up, I always loved St. Patrick’s Day with its celebration of all things Irish. To me, the Irish people were plucky, brave and proud–survivors of terrible adversity. I lapped up tales of the potato famines, of how the Irish emigrated to America, and of how they battled discrimination when they landed. I cheered the triumph of Irish Americans in our society. Countrywide celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is evidence of a hard battle won.

I was, therefore, very proud of my Irish heritage. Whenever I heard my mother’s maiden name spoken, I could envision the rich, green countryside of our ancestral home.

I was well into adulthood when I happened to ask my mother and aunt, “During which potato famine did our ancestors flee Ireland?”

Their response:

Long pause.
“Well, I suppose we might have an Irish relative somewhere but we came from Alsace-Lorraine.”

I was devastated.
Not only was I not Irish, but I had concocted a history for myself that was totally false. How could I do that?
I was writing fiction even before I knew it!

Nonetheless, what I love about the Irish and Ireland I still love about them, even if the connection is only in my heart. I like to hint at the attitude about the Irish during the Regency. There was a lot simmering under the surface.

I tried to show a little of this in Innocence & Impropriety My hero and heroine of that book are Irish.

Many important figures in English history around the Regency time period have Irish roots. Castlereagh and Wellington, for example, were descended from Irish landowners, although they were anglicized protestants, more English than Irish, you might say. There were also several Irish literary figures within a hundred years or so of the Regency, also anglicized protestants. Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Bram Stoker, W. B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, to name a few.

It will be exciting to read Amanda’s Grand Central books set in the time of the Irish rebellion, even if we do have to wait until 2010. In the meantime, we can get our fill of Irish Medievals from Michelle Willingham.

By the way, go to Harlequin and click on the clover. You can purchase Michelle’s Her Warrior King for 40% off.

Can you think of any other Irish Historical romances that we should put on our TBR piles?

And who out there is Irish today?
I am!!!

Innocence and Impropriety appears in bookstores today, March 1, shelved with the other Harlequin books. If you cannot find it, please ask for it!

THANK YOU to all who dropped by to talk about Innocence and Impropriety.
The winners of the copies of the book, one a Harlequin Historical, one a Mills and Boon, are:

Kim W and Teresa!!

Ladies, please email me with your contact information at

All the best to you and remember…..only 9 days to Gerard Butler’s 300!


Today we’re interviewing RITA award winning author Diane Gaston, who has been known to impersonate that other fabulous Risky author Diane Perkins on occasion. Learn more about Diane and her books at

Diane is going to tell us about her new release, INNOCENCE & IMPROPRIETY. Leave an original, meaningful comment for the chance to win one of either the Mills & Boon or the Harlequin Historicals versions of the book. Winners will be selected based on comments left between February 25 and 28 and will be announced March 1.

“For an engaging romance with moments of suspense and danger, I highly recommend INNOCENCE AND IMPROPRIETY.” Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today

How did you think of writing this particular book? Did it start with a character, a setting, or some other element?

I wanted to stay in the world I’d created with THE MYSTERIOUS MISS M, THE WAGERING WIDOW and A REPUTABLE RAKE, so I looked for a character from A REPUTABLE RAKE who needed a romance. I picked Rose, one of the courtesan students.

In A REPUTABLE RAKE, Rose wanted to be a singer and she had already sung at Vauxhall Gardens, so that was a logical place for the story to start. I just had to figure out who deserved to be her hero.

How long did it take? Was this an easy or difficult book to write?

I can’t remember exactly how long it took to write. I generally allot 4 months to write a Harlequin/Mills & Boon book, but that includes all the interferences life tosses at us (and a lot of Scrabble Blast playing).

There were difficult parts to INNOCENCE AND IMPROPRIETY, but they also were the parts that make writing historicals fun. I had to learn about Vauxhall Gardens, well enough to move my characters around the Gardens, and I had to learn about Kings Theatre and the Opera and singing, all things I really knew nothing about.

“Brilliant writing, a classic reformed rake plot, and vivid depictions of the Regency period make this a compelling read for fans of this era.” Romantic Times BOOKclub on THE REPUTABLE RAKE

Tell me more about your characters. What or who inspired them?

I’d created Rose for A REPUTABLE RAKE, so all I needed to do for her was flesh out her character and backstory a little. It was a little more difficult to figure out who could be her hero. I like to stay true to my vision of what society was like in the Regency, so I did not think her hero would be a titled lord. Because she was Irish, I thought an Irish hero would be nice. Rose was strikingly beautiful, the most beautiful of the courtesan students in A Reputable Rake, so it stood to reason that she would attract male admiration. So I came up with the idea of a marquis who was smitten with her, but it was his Irish secretary who fell in love with her.

The original conflict was that the marquis, Tanner, wanted Rose for his latest mistress, but he needed his secretary, Flynn, to make the arrangements. The story needed more, though, so I threw in another rival. The sadistic Greythorne from THE MYSTERIOUS MISS M and my eHarlequin Daily Read, THE DIAMOND, was a tailor-made villain. He needed to be vanquished once and for all.

My favorite character was Tanner. By the end of chapter one I knew Tanner needed a book of his own!

Did you run across anything new and unusual while researching this book?

The other performers in INNOCENCE AND IMPROPRIETY were real people who actually performed at Vauxhall Gardens and King’s Theatre. It was fun to include them!

What do you think is the greatest creative risk you’ve taken in this book? How do you feel about it?

The biggest risk was choosing a non-traditional hero and heroine. An Irish secretary was not your typical Regency hero. Flynn was without the power of a gentleman with a title and I just wasn’t certain if readers would like that. Rose as a heroine was less of a risk, but again, as a singer, she was not typical of Regencies I’ve read.

I’m still wondering what readers will think of Rose and Flynn!

“Perkins takes a standard marriage of convenience plot and brilliantly turns it into an emotionally intense, utterly captivating story that will thrill readers to their core.” — Kathe Robin, Romantic Times BOOKclub on THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN

What are you working on next?

I just turned in Tanner’s story! (titled THE VANISHING VISCOUNTESS). Tanner rescues a lady fugitive from a shipwreck and decides to help her escape to Scotland.

I’m also putting the finishing touches on my next Warner book. Remember the Ternion from THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN? DESIRE IN HIS EYES tells Blake’s story. Blake meets a woman he cannot resist–an imposter and a thief.

How does your Gaston writing style differ from your Perkins writing style?

There is no difference in style between the writing in my Gaston books and my Perkins books. My Perkins books are slightly less risky and tend to have more traditional characters and settings. Of course, DESIRE IN HIS EYES has a con artist as a heroine. Not too traditional.

What did you think of 300?

Only 13 more days to go!!! Then I’ll tell you.

Thanks, Diane!

Remember to comment for the chance to win a copy of either the the Harlequin Historicals or Mills & Boon version of INNOCENCE AND IMPROPRIETY! Contest ends February 28.

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