Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guest post: Michelle Diener

Thank you to Maggie for inviting me over to visit :) .

Seeing as this is the Girlfriends Book Club, I thought I'd talk about girlfriends, and the role they play in fiction.

My latest release (which comes out today! yay! :)) The Emperor's Conspiracy, is set in 19th Century London during the Napoleonic Wars. My main protagonist is from the slums but now lives as a lady in high society, and she has to balance her friendships carefully because she wants to live in both worlds.

The person who rescued her from her old life is a woman who is half-mother figure, half-confidant, and the one person Charlotte can be herself around. There is no need for pretense. But a circle of one can be lonely, and Charlotte has no real friends of her own age until an act of extraordinary bravery from her saves three boys from harm and their mother befriends her.

The friendship that ensues is the catalyst for the rest of the book, bringing Charlotte into her new friend's circle and introducing her to her friend's brother, and getting her involved in the dangerous investigation he is part of. This has a ripple-effect through Charlotte's life, forcing her to look at how she's been living, and whether she is happy and in the kind of life she wants.

We can also see Charlotte through her friend's eyes. The competent, strong person she appears to be, contrasting to her internal doubt and sadness.

When I think of great 'girlfriend' stories, I think of Thelma and Louise (probably one of my all-time favorites!), where the director uses Thelma and Louise as foils for each other, and as constrasts to the men in the movie in the way they deal with each other and see each other. Or Steel Magnolias, where the support and understanding of the female characters makes them much more than the sum of their parts. Fried Green Tomatoes also springs to mind (and I'm choosing well-known movies here, because people have often seen the same movies, but haven't always read the same books), where the main progtagonist slowly undergoes a change in the way she sees herself and her own strength and power by hearing a story of other women and the adversity they faced and overcame.

I'd love to hear about your favorite 'girlfriends' book or movie, and I have a copy of The Emperor's Conspiracy to give away to one randomly-drawn commenter (US addresses only, unfortunately).

Short bio:

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry’s Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King’s Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker.

A new historical novel, set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, is set for a November 27th, 2012 release.

Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED ANTHOLOGY entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

12 comments:

  1. Gorgeous cover, and as Brit living in North Carolina, you had me at "19th Century London." This is definitely going on my to-be-read list!

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  2. Congrats on the new release, Michelle! Such a beautiful cover, and the story sounds wonderful. There are so many great books about female friendships, and movies, too...Beaches, and Bridesmaids, and Friends with Money. :)

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    1. Oh, I loved Beaches! Thank you for your kind words, Jess.

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  3. Can't wait to read this!

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  4. Sounds terrific!

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  5. My favorite girlfriends book is The Help. Thanks for this giveaway. Looks like a great read!

    allisonmoyer at yahoo dot com

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  6. The Help is a great example, TLL. Thanks.

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  7. Michelle, you know how excited I am about your newest book! Congrats again and again on its release!!
    I thought Meg Waite Clayton's The Wednesday Sisters was a good girlfriends book, as well as Susan McBride's The Cougar Club.

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