Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Film-Night - Cyrano de Bergerac

Ally Blake brings us one of her very favourite films ever in the history of the world. Stick your babelfish in your ear people as this movie is in French!


This is the classic tale of unrequited love. The most infamous love triangle in literature. And has language so poetic it'll make your knees melt so watch this movie sitting down ;)!

If you are anything like my mum and don't like subtitles, then beware. But the English translation is brilliant.

Based on the play by Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac has been copied and honoured many times over. The Steve Martin/Darryl Hannah movie "Roxanne" is a direct modernisation of the story of a great soldier and poet, a man with a very large...nose.

Tell him so, stare at it a tad too long, or purposely not look at it, and he'll likely knock your block off.
"There is a thing you should never mention, like a rope in a house where a man has hanged himself..."

His nose is his curse, for though Cyrano is by trade a brave soldier, a fighting Gascon, he is in his heart a poet. A lover of language and words he is not afraid to break out in poetry to prove a point. To soothe his aching heart. To rally his musketeers. Or to fool a dandy braggart. Almost like a musical the way the poetic scenes are scattered beautifully within the prose. He is also a lover of all things good and beautiful. But the ugliness he sees in himself makes him a fighter not a lover.

The crux of the story is the eternal love triangle. Every man in Paris, including our hero, loves the beeeautiful Roxane, who also happens to be Cyrano's cousin whom he himself has loved since they were children. Roxane is adored from afar by Cyrano, wooed by the powerful Comte de Guiche, yet herself enamoured of a gorgeous young musketeer Christian.

One problem for our young lovers. Roxane is a smart woman, a lover of language herself, and Christian...not so much. He is a clod when it comes to romance, and desperate to woo her, and turns to Cyrano, his boss, for help. Christian laments: "Oh, to speak with eloquence!" Cyrano returns, "Oh to be a handsome musketeer."

Cyrano knows of his young cousin's affections for the pretty buffoon, so cannot help but help. For her, anything. His love for her is far deeper than pretty looks and youthful amour. But though he is a great orator, a magnificent soldier and a magical poet, he knows himself not beautiful enough on the outside to recommend himself to such a woman. "I am but a shadow," he thinks of her, "while you are a light."

And together they can be her perfect man. Christian's looks and Cyrano's words.

Roxane receives Christian's first letter, written by Cyrano, and swoons. Soon his letter aren't enough. She needs to see him. Hear him speak such words of love. The first time Christian tries to woo Roxane in person is likely the most famous scene of the old play. For it is here, while the handsome beau stands lit by moonlight, that our hapless Cyrano hides in the bushes beneath Roxane's window, whispering just the right script for Christian to copy to win Roxane's heart.

The twists and turns of the affair only twist harder when Christian and Roxane are alone for the first time and as she begs him to "unravel his feelings" for her in words rather than deeds, he is shown up for the incompetant poet he is. Roxane's response?
"It displeases me as much as if you were ugly!"

A dark undercurrent buoys the film.

Our Cyrano has enemies galore. With his big nose has come huge sensitivity. He cannot stand braggarts, fools, or especially those who diegn to make a mockery of true beauty in the arts or in real life. His temper gets the better of him. And soon he is on the hitlist of many less clever men of power. For he does not wish to be at their mercy. "But sing, dream, laugh, move on, be alone, have a choice, have a watchful eye and a powerful voice, wear my hat awry, fight for a poem if I like, and perhaps even die, triumph by chance on my own merit... perhaps I'll not get far, but I'll get there alone."

And a war against the Spanish awaits Cyrano and his musketeers as well! And while there Christian grows thin and gaunt from hunger but remains ever beautiful, while Cyrano writes such letters to Roxane he marks them with his own tears. And she comes, through the front lines to be with the man she loves, thinking it to be the handsome gascon,, who she has long since decided she would love even if he was ugly. More if he was ugly. Oh be still my beating heart!

Where will the conlflicts keeping our three apart end? Can we have faith in any kind of happy ending for our poet? Can he ever love himself enough to allow Roxane to love him back? Will he mess with the wrong man and lose his battle with his temper before its too late? Or will the winds of fate and politics and war make all of that no longer important?

Gerard Depardieu rivals Colin Firth in "looks of love" for his paramour. He is heavenly as the soulful, melodramatic, stargazer. Roxane is gorgeously in love with the idea of love, while being just enough of a game player and a tomboy to keep her interesting. And Christian is lovely enough to make her desire for him to be "the one" believable.

The film takes us from the pastry houses and art houses of
Paris, to summer homes and battlefields of France
. The costumes are sumptuous. The sets perfection. The script poetic and moving. The music breaks my heart. And the acting is without fault.

And the romance, the beautiful, timeless, heart-breaking, soulful, sad, romance is transcendant. The final scene... I can't even think about it without tearing up. Truly. The acting, the scenery, the language, the music. To my mind it is the most touching, magnificent final scene in a movie ever. All the way to the most perfect final line that makes me blub and blub.

Please, please, on a rainy day, get this film out at your video store, settle in under a blanket with a hot chocolate and a box of tissues within arms reach and prepare yourself to fall in love with Cyrano de Bergerac.


Ally's next book, her first ever Modern Extra, GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS, hits bookshelves in the UK next month!

Though you can be one of the first to read about Abbey and Flynn by getting it online now! Check out an excerpt and pics of her hero and heroine inspiration at her website...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday Talk Time with Terri Reed

Here with us for Thursday Talk Time is Steeple Hill Love Inspired & Love Inspired Suspense author, Terri Reed. Everyone give her a warm Pink Heart Society welcome!!

CONTINUITIES - Stories that keep going, and going...

For those who don’t know, continuities are a series of connected books written by different authors. These books aren’t the authors’ series; the concepts belong to the publishing house. The editors come up with the plots for each book, the characters for each book and the over-arcing theme for all the books. They put together what is called a bible (notice the lower case b) which is a guide with synopses of all the stories, character statements for every character who are important to the over-arcing theme, and descriptions of significant places that can appear in any of the books. A continuity series can be anywhere from six to twelve books or more. Some are suspense-filled, some are geared around a town, some around a family or any group of people the editors decide on.

The publishing house retains the copyright of the book, though the author is paid an advance as well as royalties. Continuity series usually do well with readers. I think this is because as readers, we invest our emotions into the characters and like seeing them over the course of several books, even though each book’s focus is on a different main character.
Writing continuities is a huge undertaking and not one that should be decided on in haste. It requires collaboration with not only your editor, but with several other authors as well. The give and take of information is crucial to the success of keeping the continuity series consistent.

I’ve written a part of three continuity series so far for Steeple Hill. My first venture into this challenging and decidedly interesting world of continuities started with my Steeple Hill Suspense May 2006 release STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL, Book 5 of the Faith at the Crossroad continuity, a continuation of the Faith on the Line continuity. So really I was writing book eleven of twelve. Needless to say, I had a lot going on—the bible two inches thick. I wanted to find the six books of Faith on the Line, because my hero and heroine both appeared in each of those books. But since this is category, the books were no longer available, and I had to contact the authors directly and ask if they would be willing to send me a book or at least the scenes from their books that my characters appeared in. Next, the six authors of the Faith at the Crossroads formed an email loop so that we could exchange information. Because this was a suspense book, one of the authors brilliantly made a spreadsheet tracking the suspense plot and we all were diligent in keeping each other appraised of necessary information.

The actual writing of the book was a huge learning curve for me. Trying to keep so many characters straight, making sure I was being consistent with the other authors on the descriptions of the settings, and trying to make a story work that I hadn’t come up with was trying at times. I needed to stay true to what the editors had written and yet try to stay true to my voice. In the end, I was pleased with the book.

My second venture into the continuity realm was a blast. This was a six book suspense series revolving around six sisters and the mystery of their mother’s death. Each of the books was loosely based on a Shakespeare play. I was asked to write the third book in the series (much easier than eleventh).
, Book 3 of the Secrets of Stoneley, is a March 2007 release. My heroine was the youngest sister, named Juliet. Can you guess which Shakespeare masterpiece I got to play off of? Working with the other six authors was a hoot as well. The exchange of information came readily and consistently, which made the writing much easier. And because we weren’t dealing with already established characters, we had more latitude in our story building. I’m thankful to have been apart of this series.

My third and most recent continuity is a Steeple Hill Love Inspired to be released in November 2007 titled GIVING THANKS FOR BABY, Book 5 of the A Tiny Blessings Tale continuity series. I ended up, again, writing book eleven since A Tiny Blessings Tale was a continuation of Tiny Blessings continuity series. This was a hard book for me. I was dealing with some personal issues, my editor left in the middle of the process, and the subject matter of the book took a great deal of research for me to feel comfortable tackling some of the heavy issues. Plus there was a suspense element to deal with. Did I mention I developed an eye twitch while writing this book? ( a surprisingly common occurrence among authors) All in all, this made for a tough few months of writing, but now that it’s done…I’d do it again. I grew so much as an author. Always a good thing.

In fact, I had lunch with my new editor a couple of weeks ago and she asked if I’d be interested in doing another continuity. Of course I said yes!
Thanks, Terri!! XOXOXO

To learn more about Terri, check out her website and profile on Steeple Hill Authors. Her lastest release is available now in stores and on eHarlequin.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Writers Wednesday with Miriam Auerbach

This Wednesday at The Pink Heart Society we're joined by new Harlequin Next author Miriam Auerbach whose first book, Dirty Harriet was nominated in two Categories of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and won Best First Series Romance of 2006!!!

Miriam Auerbach was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her family moved to the United States when she was seven years old. She grew up in Denver, where she spent her high school and early college years studying diligently to become a particle physicist. However, she soon began to suspect that building nuclear weapons just might not be the best way to spend her life. Thus, at age twenty she rebelled and spent the next decade living on the fringes of the Harley biker world.

In her thirties she returned to semi-conventional life, earning a Ph.D. in social work and becoming a university professor. She found this to be a rewarding career, with the minor exception that one fine day she crashed headfirst into the glass ceiling of the ivory tower. Thus, she reinvented herself as a novelist. Miriam lives in Boca Raton, Florida with her killer Corgi, Elvira. She continues to profess by day and decompress by night by working on her next book.

My debut novel, Dirty Harriet, introduces the title character, a Harley-riding, swamp-dwelling, wisecracking tough chick private eye who is hired to solve a murder in Boca Raton, Florida. Here's how Harriet was born...

I always loved reading, since childhood. It was my escape from reality. About fifteen years ago I discovered Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone mystery series. The first book of hers that I read (somewhere in the middle of the series) was about a fraudulent chiropractor. At that time, I was married to a man who was studying to become chiropractor. So, I felt offended
on his behalf, and I really did not like the book. But a couple years later we were divorced, and suddenly that book became a lot more appealing. I proceeded to read all of Sue Grafton, and after I finished her books, I searched for similar authors and found Marcia Muller, Sara Paretsky, Linda Barnes, and others. These women all write about strong female characters.
What they've done is taken the classic male private eyes of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and turned them upside down into women. So these books have a strong social message as well as great entertainment value. Then Janet Evanovich came along, and I was really enthralled. She had all the elements of the others plus she was absolutely hilarious.

Apart from enjoying these kinds of mysteries, one thing I've always been intrigued by is gender stereotypes. You know how people claim there are fundamental differences between men and women? Well, whenever I heard or read comparisons like that, I always identified with the male description. Like, women want to talk about relationships, men don't; women ask for directions, men don't. In my life and relationships, it was always the opposite. So I kind of felt like I was a male trapped in a female body.

Then one day I was watching an old Dirty Harry movie. I never got his appeal. But suddenly it occurred to me: why is it okay for a man to be the strong silent type, but not for a woman? It's all about societal expectations of how we should behave. So the idea came to me - what the world needed was a Dirty Harriet. I'd always had the idea that I'd like to write a mystery like those I enjoyed.

So now I had a character. But that's all. Nothing happened for a couple years. Then one summer I went to England. Well, you know about jet lag. I couldn't sleep all night. So while I was tossing and turning, the entire preface of this book came into my head. The next morning I wrote it on paper. But I still didn't have a plot. It took another couple years to come up with that. Then it
took three months to write the first draft.

The call came in 2005, six years after my initial idea and two years after my first draft. I got to the call by following all the how-to advice in books on both writing and the publishing business. I literally taught myself how to write a mystery and how to market it to an agent. I followed the rules, and they work! My agent sold Dirty Harriet to Harlequin's NEXT line, which is the last publisher I would have expected, since I viewed my book as a mystery, not a romance. However, I learned that Harlequin has expanded greatly along with the expansion of women's interests and women's fiction over the past twenty years. The NEXT line is targeted to women 35 and older who are moving into other chapters of their lives beyond youthful romance.

The road since publication has been awesome. The book has received many outstanding reviews, I've done a lot of signings, and now it has won the 2006 Romantic Times Bookclub's Reviewers Choice Awards for Best First Series Romance! I've also signed a contract with Harlequin NEXT for two more Dirty Harriet books. Dirty Harriet Rides Again will come out in August 2007, and Dirty Harriet's Darkest Hour in 2008.

Today as I write my publication story, it's my 45th birthday -proof that dreams can come true at any age, and that midlife can be the start of a whole new set of adventures!

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Miriam on her award!!! And to check out more about Miriam and her writing you can visit her Website... Thanks for joining us Miriam!

Temptation Tuesday :: Give me coffee... or give me...highly caffeinated soda!

When was the last time you sipped a steaming cup of rich coffee, letting the tendrils of aroma waft through your system until your mouth watered for a taste? As her last hurrah before ducking into the deadline cave, The Pink Heart Society's very own Jenna Bayley-Burke shares her not-so-secret way of getting through drafting a particularly difficult book...

It used to be that alcohol was the typical drink of writers. Truth be can help if you already know what you are writing about and your inner editor is getting a bit annoying. (In fact, I know a dozen or so writers who swear by this method to write steamy love scenes, but that's just between you and me.) For most writers wine is not the drink of choice. Most of us can not live without all it's blessed variations.

I came late to this wonderous brew. In America teenagers chug it by the gallon in latte's, frappacino's, blended iced coffee...but not me. Ever the rebel I was a renegade tea drinker. Until college forced me to see the truth - when pushing your limits, the more caffeine the better.

After college long hours as a retail workaholic fed the addiction, followed by office jobs with the obligatory coffee breaks to trade the latest water cooler gossip. Then came a baby who didn't sleep through the night for two and a half years. Being sleep deprived and highly caffeinated led me to decide to try writing novels...and having baby number two.

Coffee fuels me to get through my monster-sized to-do list without dropping, and it keeps me motivated. though I have a suped up esspresso machine in house, (I won it in a contest. I could never afford the thing in real life.) I forgo all espresso drinks until I have met certain writing goals, then I treat myself at a coffee shop!

I've become so fixated, I must know how my characters take their coffee before I begin a story. Straight espresso for the workaholic, iced blended frappacino with whipped cream and caramel syrup for the sensualist, the traditionalist is stuck with black, two sugars.

How do you take your coffee? Let's share a cup before I enter the writing cave, consuming so much coffee and Pepsi One my hands shake!

XOXOXO - Jenna

Jenna is hard at work on her next novel for Sexy Sensation. In the mean time, her second book is on the shelves now in Australia! Check out Cooking Up A Storm!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Male on Monday - Alan Rickman

This Monday our Natasha Oakley has decided to inaugurate British actor Alan Rickman into the Pink Heart Society hall of fame.

Okay, it's all about the voice.

Well, almost all about the voice. There's something incredibly hypnotic about Alan Rickman which I just can't quite explain. When he walks on stage or appears on screen it's as though he's flicked a switch that's labelled 'sexual magnetism'.

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was born in London, on 21st February 1946. The second of four children, his father died when he was eight.

Apparently he had speech problems as a child caused by a tight lower jaw and it's this tightness that gives him his distinctive drawl. Whatever the cause, it's very effective. He only has to speak and I melt. If you need more convincing, take a moment and listen here.

A graduate of RADA (which he went to at the relatively late age of 26), he burst into my consciousness with his portrayal of Obediah Slope in the 1982 BBC production, 'The Barchester Chronicles'. (Now available on DVD, btw.)

Obediah is not a romantic hero. He's sly, manipulative, obsequious and ruthlessly ambitious. But, as I've said, there's something about Alan Rickman ... and fan mail poured into the BBC.

I came across him again in 1985 when he returned to the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) for a second season. That year I saw him as Jacques in 'As You Like It', Achilles in 'Troilus And Cressida' and Hofgen in 'Mephisto'. That same season he also created the role of Vicomte de Valmont in Christopher Hampton's new play 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'. I think I saw that play three times.

Not surprisingly, because it was brilliant, the production transferred to Broadway and Alan Rickman was nominated for a Tony. Unfortunately when it was made into a movie the entire British cast were replaced. Alan Rickman by John Malkovich who, although well reviewed, honestly didn't match him. You can catch a glimpse of what I saw by clicking here. (Keep going - the interview with Christoper Hampton is interspersed with a recording of the stage show.)

That stint on Broadway did lead to him being cast as German terrorist Hans Gruber in the movie 'Die Hard'. Rickman's quoted as saying he only got the part because the producers had spent so much on Bruce Willis they had to find someone who'd work for next to nothing.

Then came 'The January Man' and 'Quigley Down Under' followed in 1991 by one of my personal favourites, 'Truly Madly Deeply'. (If that's a movie you've missed you have to rent it.) Alan plays Jaime the dead cello-playing lover of Juliet Stephenson. Sounds crazy, I know, but it's brilliant. Here's a preview.

Next came a BAFTA winning role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'. Anyone else remember the bit where he says he's going to cut out someone's heart with a spoon 'because it hurts'?

Then on to movies like 'Mesmer' (Frank Mesmer), 'Sense and Sensibility' (Colonel Brandon), 'Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny' (Grigori Rasputin), Dogma (Metatron) and, in 1999, 'Galaxy Quest'.

His portrayal of Alexander Dane/Dr Lazarus in 'Galaxy Quest' merits a picture because it's one of our Trish's favourites. It's also a very funny movie, particularly if you enjoy Sci Fi.

For my children he will for ever be Professor Serverus Snape from the 'Harry Potter' movies. Here's an interesting 'fact' for you - he's 11 years older than Timothy Spall, 12 years older than Adrian Rawlins and Gary Oldman, 17 years older than David Thewlis and 21 years older than Geraldine Somerville but the six characters they play are meant to be contemporaries.

In 2003 he joined the ensemble cast for Richard Curtis's 'Love Actually'. As I've said here before, I really don't enjoy watching this film because the characters I care about have such sad stories and the happier storylines are about the characters I don't connect with. Alan plays Harry, the husband of Emma Thompson's Karen. I ached for them.

Despite this highly successful film career he frequently turns down movie offers to work in the theatre. In 2001/2002 he was in the London's West End as Elyot in Noel Coward's 'Private Lives'. 2005 he directed 'My Name Is Rachel Corrie' at the Royal Court Theatre and won the Theatre Goers' Choice Award for best director.

What else can I tell you about him??? He's never married - but he's been with the same woman, Rima Horton, since his pre-acting days at the Chelsea College of Art. He says Canada is like a 'second home' but he lives in central London. He's a staunch Labour party supporter and counts Ruby Wax as a friend.

There are all kinds of wonderful quotes attributed to him on the web. My personal favourite is: 'What's interesting about the process of acting is how often you don't know what you're doing'. (Sound familiar all you authors out there???)

How about 'If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work'. Hmmm. Now that one, perhaps, is a little worrying ....?

Much Love


Currently on sale in the UK is Mothers-To-Be.

Julia James, who writes for Presents/Modern, has contributed 'The Greek and the Single Mum', Amy Andrews, who writes for Medicals, 'Their Baby Bond' and our Natasha 'Adopted: One Baby'.

It's available on the Mills & Boon site by clicking here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Spotlight on Diane Gaston

This week The Pink Heart Society spotlights RITA winning Historical author Diane Gaston!

About Diane:

My husband and I live in Virginia with four cats (don’t laugh). Our son and daughter are grown so I am able to devote most of my time to writing. I’m active in my local romance chapter, Washington Romance Writers (with Michelle Monkou, your Jan 14 Spotlight) and now most of my friends are romance writers.

I love writing Regency Historical Romance. Innocence & Impropriety is my fourth Harlequin/ Mills & Boon. I also write Regency Historical Romance as
Diane Perkins for Warner. I love the Regency time period, the characters, the drama, the blossoming of love.

The best thing about writing Romance, however, has been the friends I’ve made, a world of friends! I have some connection with each of your Spotlighted authors so far in 2007. Melissa James and I are in contact almost daily, even though we live half a world away from each other.

Spotlight On Diane:

Where do you get the inspiration for your books from?

Because my books have been connected, my inspiration usually comes from a character in the previous book. At some point during the previous book, one character emerges as the one who needs a story of his or her own. During A Reputable Rake it was Rose who piqued my interest, so Innocence and Impropriety became her story. In Innocence and Impropriety Tanner kept begging me for his story, which is the next book, The Vanishing Viscountess.

What makes you mad?

Intolerance. It really angers me when people are intolerant of others because they look different or they choose to live life a little differently. So much ugliness has occurred thoughout history because of intolerance of differences. We are all merely people, more alike than we are different. We should love each other.

What’s the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you?

The most romantic things in my life occur in my imagination and make it on to the pages of my books. My husband is loving, but not romantic at all. He has come through with flowers on occasion, but not often. Probably the most romantic thing would be, before we were married, I was in graduate school in New Jersey and he would drive up to see me every other weekend, a trip of about 4 hours.

What in a hero makes you drool?

Integrity. The hero who does the right thing even when the rest of the world is against him. And if he looks like Gerard Butler, so much the better!

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

For me, this question is backwards, because I was a mental health social worker as my professional career and becoming a writer was the new thing I became! When I was working for the mental health center and the stress became too great, my colleagues and I would talk about what we would rather be doing. I always said I wanted to sit in a turret somewhere and write romance novels. I was joking then, but later when my busy life settled down a little I actually gave writing a try. A few days after I made the decision to retire from my profession, I got The Call that I sold my first book, The Mysterious Miss M. I loved my profession, loved my clients and colleagues, and I do not regret any moment of that career, but I do not miss it. I am happy now being a romance writer.

What do you do to relax and wind down?

Like a typical suburbanite, I watch TV! But I also love to get together with friends and talk and talk and talk.

How do you get out of a writing rut?

My husband’s cousin’s wife, Ann Cefola, is a writer’s coach, as well as being an award-winning poet, and once when I was in a rut, she advised me to do something to feed my spirit. I went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, near where I live, and just spent the day wandering around the museum. On my way home I stopped by an antique store and bought a 19th century drawing that I think is Byron. By the next day, it was easier to tackle my writing again.

Now I’m always on the lookout for ways to feed my writing spirit and I indulge myself, even if deadlines are looming.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I would always want to be close enough to see my son and daughter often, but I’d really love to live in England for a while. I’ve been to England twice and it is only enough to whet my appetite. I’d love to live in London long enough to walk around and soak up everything, and I’d love to live in an English village, like Lacock, to live in a place that will make me feel close to the Regency era that I love.

Who would you most like to give a hug to for a fabulous book you’ve read?

The most? Jane Austen, for giving us her masterpiece, Pride & Prejudice, and my favorite Austen book, Persuasion. I know scholars would like to tell you that Pride & Prejudice is great literature, and it is, but it is also a great romance novel. Pride & Prejudice has all the elements of a romance novel that we strive for in our own writing- vivid characters, a compelling and insurmountable conflict, a hero and heroine who both must change. She even has that Black Moment, when it seems as if all is lost. And the glorious Happy Ending!

What music do you listen to when writing?

I have some CDs that I purchased in England of music from the Regency era:
A Very Innocent Diversion: Piano Favorites of Jane Austen from the Jane Austen Centre in Bath

Music for My Lady: Favourite Chamber Music, purchased in the British Museum
The Royal Pavilion: Music for the Regency, purchased at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton

Tell us a secret nobody knows about you

I met my husband in a mental hospital........we were both working there. Honest!
What was your most embarrassing moment?

When I was in high school my fellow girl scouts and I performed in a girl scout show. We lip synched to a popular rock & roll song and we must have been dreadful because when we were done there was dead silence. It was mortifying. Maybe that is why I do not like to watch American Idol and see that same sort of spectacular failure that I experienced first hand.

What have you had to celebrate in the last year?

I have had a wonderful year! The highlight was my A Reputable Rake winning the 2006 RITA for Best Regency Romance. Not only that, but The Mysterious Miss M won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, too. Miss M won Readers’ Choice awards from eHarlquin and All About Romance, too.

What’s beside your computer when you’re writing?

Usually a Diet Coke and one or two cats!

If you could kiss anyone in the world who would it be?

I would love to kiss Tanner. Tanner appears in Innocence and Impropriety and then gets his own book next, The Vanishing Viscountess. Tanner is a mixture of strength and casualness. He takes his own worth for granted and I love that--a man who does wonderful things without even realizing it.

It helps that Tanner looks like Gerard Butler. I always I picked Gerard Butler to be the image of Tanner before I saw Gerry’s performance in the Phantom of the Opera movie. I immediately became a card-carrying Tart (a Gerard Butler fan) after that.
Blogged about it, too.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just turned in revisions for The Vanishing Viscountess--Tanner’s story. Tanner meets a lady fugitive in a most spectacular way--he rescues her from a ship wreck. I’ve also plotted Pomroy’s story. Pomroy is Tanner’s friend and you just get glimpses of him in Innocence and Impropriety.

Diane's next release is Innocence and Impropriety which hit bookstores on March 1st. (Isn't that a gorgeous cover!)

You can find it in both North America and the UK. For more check out Diane's website.

And Happy Mothering Day to all mums in the UK! What better gift for mum than a lovely new category romance novel ;)?