Monday, May 27, 2013

Male on Monday: Storm Models plus giveaway

Award winning Harlequin Historical author Diane Gaston explains where she found her inspiration for her latest hero -- Storm Models and has a giveaway of  her latest book!
Gaston A Reputation for Notoriety300dpi smallBefore I begin writing a book, I search for images for my characters. I'm certainly not alone in this or the Pink Heart Society's Male on Monday might not exist! My current book, A Reputation for Notoriety, book 1 in The Masquerade Club series, was no exception. The hero of A Reputation for Notoriety is John "Rhys" Rhysdale, a man who survived and prospered by wits, luck, and skill at cards. Rhys now runs a gaming house in London in 1819. I found the perfect image for Rhys on one of my favorite sites, the Storm Modeling Agency site. The model had dark hair (almost all my heroes have dark hair!), dark brown eyes, a strong brow, sensitive mouth, and a wounded, guarded expression on his face. I can't show you the image because of copyright and I can't link to it, because I can't find him on the Storm site anymore. But I'm thrilled to say that the man on the cover of A Reputation for Notoriety looks almost exactly like him. The Rhys of my imagination had dark, unruly hair, though, hair that looked as if the heroine had just run her hands through it. So imagine the cover model's hair has just been mussed, perhaps from rising from bed, and you have the perfect image of Rhys. This story is filled with men! Rhys, who is a bastard son rejected by his father and left to fend for himself at an early age, has two half-brothers, the legitimate sons. So I had to search for images for these fellows. I wanted them to look like brothers--and to look like Rhys. "Brideshead Revisited" Launch Event - Exclusive
66463   The older brother is Ned Westleigh, "played" by actor Matthew Goode. He also played Declan in the movie Leap Year, among many other roles. The younger, is Hugh, played by actor Jim Sturgess. Jim played Dexter in One Day, opposite Anne Hathaway. What do you think? Do they all look like they could be brothers?   Raffaello Balzo[/caption] There is one more important male character in A Reputation for Notoriety. Rhy's friend, Xavier Campion. Actually, I found Xavier's image first, but I knew he wasn't Rhys. I also knew he would need his own story. In real life he is Italian actor and model, Raphaello Balzo. Raphaello Look for Xavier's story in January 2014. A Marriage of Notoriety is book 2 in The Masquerade Club series and is a Beauty and the Beast story. Guess who is the "beauty." To celebrate the release of A Reputation for Notoriety in bookstores now in both North America and the UK, I am delighted to give away a signed copy of the book to one commenter, chosen at random. Just include your email address in your comment. Tell me if my characters look like brothers (all except Xavier). Of the four, who is your favorite?

A Reputation for Notoriety

Raising the stakes… As the unacknowledged son of the lecherous Lord Westleigh, John "Rhys" Rhysdale was forced to earn a crust gambling on the streets. Now he owns the most thrilling new gaming establishment in London. Witnessing polite society's debauchery and excess every night, Rhys prefers to live on its fringes, but a mysterious masked lady tempts him into the throng. Lady Celia Gale, known only as Madame Fortune, matches Rhys card for card and kiss for stolen kiss. But the stakes are raised when Rhys discovers she's from the very world he despises.… The Masquerade Club: Identities concealed; desires revealed.

You can read more about Diane Gaston and her books on her website


  1. Sorry my photos and paragraph breaks didn't transfer correctly! Oh, the vagaries of formatting!

  2. Oh I love Beauty and the Beast stories! Xavier looks great as the beast :) but my fav is "Ned" as I really like Matthew. I do not see a massive family resemblance, but my father had 3 brothers and non looked alike so.. They are all goodlooking, so they do have that in common. devapajo at gmail dot com

    1. Is this Jo's Daughter? You are the winner of the signed copy of A Reputation for Notoriety! Look for an email from me!

  3. They look related. Like Xavier

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com