I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Cat Dubie to the Power of 10 series. Today, Cat shares ten interesting facts about Diana Rennie, the protagonist of her latest release, The Queen of Paradise Valley.
Diana Rennie is the flawed heroine of my Historical Western Romance, The Queen of Paradise Valley. Her story is loosely derived from the old Western TV series The Big Valley. What if, I mused, the lovely daughter was the complete opposite of compliant, easy-going, sweet? What if she’s stubborn, argumentative, not afraid to cuss when necessary? What happens when she meets her match? [Hint: sparks, flames, explosions…]
I’ve read many romances where the tortured hero is saved by the love of a woman. This book attempts the opposite, with a strong hero battling his own flaws. Can these two save each other?
10 interesting facts about my protagonist:
1. Diana started piano lessons when she was six years old, after her mother brought her to a concert featuring the music of Chopin and Liszt. She loved playing and practiced for several hours a day. Music helped her cope, with loneliness, with her self-absorbed mother, with the knowledge that, after he had the son he wanted, her father sent her to live with her mother in New York.
2. She received her first pet when she was nine, a small terrier she named Ludwig [after Beethoven, of course]. How she loved that pup! But she wasn’t allowed to keep him long because her mother complained he yipped, he smelled, he made her sneeze [though she was rarely home.] Heartbroken, Diana gave Ludwig to the family of one of the servants.
3. When she was 15, Diana began a four year program at the Bennington Music Academy. At the urging of her piano teacher, she planned to continue her studies in New York, her goal and dream to become a concert pianist playing in the great music halls of Europe.
4. By the time Diana was 19, her mother was flitting from lover to lover, from wine to morphine pills. Her addictions soon caught up with her, and she died from mistakenly taking too much belladonna. Stunned, hurt, lost for a time, Diana became determined to live as she had planned. Angry at the strictures “society” imposed on her, she defied convention by attending concerts with her mother’s last lover, a handsome Spanish count. The scandalous behavior had tongues wagging, telegraph messages flying. A few days later, Diana received a letter from her father’s solicitor with a firm request to appear at his Colorado ranch.
5. Diana inherited her father’s flaxen hair, blue eyes, stubbornness, pride, sometimes volatile temper, and a propensity for holding anxieties and worries inside. [She had already learned to conceal her insecurities and fears]
6. She did not inherit her mother’s buxom figure or flighty behavior; if she inherited anything from her mother it was a latent tendency to rely on medicine [drugs] to alleviate her internal and external pains, a tendency that would nearly cost her everything.
7. Diana’s father gave her a graceful black Half-Arabian colt named Paladin. She loved him fiercely, almost as much as she loved her newfound father and the glorious Paradise Valley ranch. A new ambition took root — to learn everything she could about the ranch, the people who worked there, and the father who had only sent her away because her mother had to insisted a ranch was no place to raise a girl.
8. A mere four months after Diana was reunited with her father, a tragic riding accident ended his life. She was devastated, inconsolable for months. Then she pulled herself together, determined to run the ranch in the same manner her father did, and keep it successful as a continuing tribute to him. There would be no room in her life for a man, any man. Ever.
9. Diana adopted a black pup from a litter drop by one of the ranch dogs. At the same time she took delivery of a beautiful white Steinway grand piano, ordered by her father as a gift. She vowed to keep it pristine and never play it. Ever.
10. Due to an unfortunate incident when she was a young witness to a gory carriage accident in New York, she developed a severe phobia at the sight of human blood.
Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del.
Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana’s ranch, back to prove he isn’t the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him.
Cat Dubie has traveled the world in books. She has traveled back in time and into the future in books. Her keen interest in history determined the nature of her books, and the first Historical romance novel she read, settled the genre.
After working for various levels of government, she retired and now lives in the beautiful province of British Columbia, where she indulges in her need for creating stories about romance, adventure, passion, mystery, love …
Where to find Cat…