Happy Birthday, Janga! Wishing you sunshine, smiles, and happily ever afters today and always.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guest Author -- Deb Marlowe




We are so happy to have author Deb Marlowe visiting with us today. Deb's latest release, Her Cinderella Season, is a wonderful Regency novel about how two people can change each other's lives. Please give Deb Marlowe a warm welcome as she talks about . . .


Outsiders, Outcasts and Misfits, Oh My!

I admit that I have a huge soft spot for outsiders in fiction. I mean, who hasn’t felt like an outsider at least once in their life?

My preference started young, too. I loved Jo best of all the Little Women. Something about her struggle to be good when it seemed to come so easily for everyone else always touched me. I adored Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. She was so gracious and wise, both when she was an outsider elevated above the rest of Miss Minchin’s pupils and when she was an outcast beneath their notice. Even among Christmas specials my favorites were Rudolph, Hermey and the gang on the Island of Misfit Toys.

I kept that special place in my heart for outcasts, even as I grew older. I’m a sucker for stories about those who don’t fit societal norms, but still manage to find themselves and each other. Hugh Grant’s movie About a Boy resonated deeply with me, even as it made me uncomfortable. I felt the same way about Disney’s Lilo and Stitch—both of those left me feeling happy and hopeful that these misfits had bonded together to form a friend/family unit different from others, but loving nonetheless.

The heroine in my latest release, Her Cinderella Season, is a nod to my love of outsiders. Lily Beecham was born a gentleman’s daughter, but has been raised in an Evangelical household since the death of her father. She finds that she doesn’t really belong in either place. I loved the journey she went on as she discovered just who she is, why she was deserving of love and found a way to blend her two worlds.

So tell me, do you have a soft spot for outcasts? Who is your favorite misfit? Did you love Jo best? Share your faves and I’ll send a copy of the UK edition of Her Cinderella Season to a randomly selected commenter!

41 comments:

  1. Hey, I'm first! This is what I get for having caffeine after noon. :-)

    Hi, Deb! I love Cinderella stories. My teen years were largely informed by John Hughes movies, & I have always been angry that Duckie didn't get the girl in Pretty in Pink. Talk about your hot outsider! Yum.

    Can't wait to get my hands on Cinderella Season!

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  2. Hi Deb

    I gotta get this book it sounds great you know my favourite was always Jo in Little Women I can watch that movie over and over and never tire of how strong and different Jo was my Mum was the same and I love Rudolph.

    Congrats on the book

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  3. Oh wow, gotta have this book, who doesn't love a Cinderella story? I did get my hands on The Diamonds of Wellbourne Manor and loved it of course. I also got Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss, both great reads.

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  4. Hi Deb,

    I do have a soft spot for outcasts !! Did I love Jo best... sure, she was the most interresting character to me.
    I don't have one favorite misfit, but several actually.

    One of them is Phoebe sommerville (from It had to Be You). I remember when she arrives at her father's funeral (football team owner no less), all bimbo-like with her poodle and gay boyfriend. She's so completely out of her element, the scene is both funny and painful.

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  5. Hi Susan, you wonderful roomie, you!

    Oh, I'm soooo with you on Duckie! What a great example of an appealing outsider. I read somewhere that the original ending of that movie had Molly Ringwald ending up with Duckie and that the test audiences hated it, so they changed the ending. Have you seen the other version? I wonder if it's out there now?

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  6. Hi Helen!

    Look at how big those grandbabies are getting!

    There was just something about Jo, wasn't there? All of those girls were so real to me, but Jo's struggles felt so human, so universal to so many other girls out there.

    Do girls these days worry about being good? I hope so! I have boys and have spent a lot of time making sure they worry about it! :-)

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  7. Hi Diana! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the books!

    The hero of my next release is a character from SLRM--Mateo, Sophie's sea captain cousin. Ah, what a charmer he is! I do love me some Mateo!

    Amanda and I will soon have our sequels to the Diamonds anthology out, too!

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  8. Hi Emmanuelle!

    Oh, I love SEP! That's a great example!

    I thought Blue, from Natural Born Charmer, was also one of my fave outsiders. Her relationship with her mom was interesting and heartbreaking.

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  9. So true Deb... and with sexy Dean Robillard wasn't she totally out of her league ;-)

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  10. I have a soft spot for outsiders, too. Who couldn't cheer for Rudolph and Hermey? And Jo is my favorite of the March sisters, too.

    I own About A Boy on DVD--haven't watched it in awhile, but I think I may have to after you mentioned it. It is wonderful, but does make you feel uncomfortable at the same time.

    I have HER CINDERELLA SEASON on top of my TBR stack! We're expecting 10 inches of snow this weekend, so it will be a perfect time to read it!

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  11. Morning, Deb! We're so happy to have you with us today!

    I have HER CINDERELLA SEASON in my tbr and am looking forward to getting lost in it. I love Cinderella stories! :)

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  12. Emmanuelle-- A little out of her league, but brave enough to go for it in the end! I love that!

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  13. Thanks for having me, Gannon and PJ! Love the Dish!

    Gannon--I think that some of that same snow is heading our way!

    I hope you guys enjoy Lily and Jack!

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  14. Hi, Deb. I am looking forward to reading HCS.

    My fave heroine isn't really an outcast, but she did take awhile to come into her own self and when she knew what she wanted, she felt comfortable with herself and her choices. I'm talking about Penelope from JQ's ROMANCING MR. BRIDGERTON. I certainly can relate to Penelope.

    Cinderella stories can be fun to read and watch on film. Have you ever seen the movie and its sequel THE PRINCE AND ME? Cute movie.

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  15. Good morning and welcome, Deb! So glad you're with us today. Congrats on your newest release!

    I love the Cinderella theme, especially in reverse -- when the hero isn't "worthy" of the heroine. Some of my favorites are The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt, What Happens in London by Julia Quinn, and Love and the Single Heiress by Jacquie D'Alessandro.

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  18. Waving at the other Deb!

    I have seen the Prince and Me. A sweet movie, with a strong heroine. I liked that they were both a fish out of water, in each other's worlds, and had to find a middle ground. I had no idea that there was a sequel! Now I'm going to have to go looking for it!

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  19. Hi, Deb! I love your topic.

    Jane Eyre is the qintessential outsider heroine IMO. Jo has always been my favorite of the March sisters too. I think L.M. Alcott herself was an outsider heroine too, and I believe her matching Jo with Professor Bhaer rather than Laurie makes perfect sense in that context.

    Mary Balogh does a lot of outsider heroines. Anne Jewel, the unmarried mother from Simply Love is one of my favorites. In one of my top ten all-time favorite romances, Eloisa James's Pleasure for Pleasure, the struggles of an outsider heroine are central.

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  20. Deb, I meant to add--I think, like Penelope, you can definitely be an outsider without being an outcast.

    Lily is not really an outcast, she's just unhappy straddling two worlds--and she has to find the strength to figure out who she is and what she wants. An easy choice when you are thrown in with an appealing scholar like Jack Alden! Not so easy finding a place where they can both be happy--but worth it in the end!

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  21. Good morning Andrea!

    Ooh,yes! Heroes can most definitely be appealing outsiders. Loretta Chase's Dain is the quintessential example! But I love Vere, from The Last Hellion, more, I think.

    I played with this concept a little in my next release, Tall, Dark and Disreputable. Mateo has never been able to please his father, but still he's shocked when he finds that he's left the family shipping business to someone else--the woman he refused to marry years ago! Both Mateo and Portia have to struggle to find their places in the world, but I enjoyed their journey!

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  22. Hi Joe ^^

    I'll admit i too have a soft spot for misfits. Maybe its from being the "quiet nerdy" girl in school, but i've always resonated more with them than insanely popular characters.

    My favorite misfit is surprisingly "Gonzo the Great". lol How much more of a misfit can you get when you don't even have a name for yourself. He's so funny and endearing how can you not love him and his sidekick Rizo the Rat.

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  23. Hey Deb! Nice to see you over here. I do love a good misfit and I adore Cinderella stories. And I'm so with you about Jo. She was by far the most interesting character in Little Women.

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  24. Hi Janga!

    I've always been conflicted about the Jo/Laurie debate. I've come to the conclusion that it might be a time period difference sort of thing. Jo and Laurie seemed so similar and compatible, which looks natural to our eyes. While Jo always seemed a little in awe of the Professor, which I think looked natural back then? Just random musings about fictional characters...welcome to my brain, LOL!

    I love Balogh's heroines! Have you read The Famous Heroine? An oldie, but one of my very favorites!

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  25. Hi Jedisakora!

    Gonzo rocks! But then, so do all the Muppets.

    I miss The Muppet Show. Imagine what they could do today with cultural icons like Twilight. Or guest stars from today. Man, that would be great.

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  26. Hey Christie!

    I can't wait for Something Scandalous! When is it out?

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  27. Hi Deb!

    I have a soft spot for outsiders, too, since I've been one when I was little (and still am, in some way, but one I'm content with). Romancing Mr Bridgerton moved me deeply. I think it's actually the book that moved me most from all the novels I've ever read. I was torn the entire time between laughing out loud because of the tremendously funny scenes and crying because Penelope reminded me so much of myself and she's the most HEA-deserving heroine ever!

    Btw, who's Jo? (that's the thing about not being from the US - but why does Emmanuelle know her, too? Seems I just try to hide my ignorance with poor excuses...)

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  28. Hi Deb!
    Glad you were able to visit here today.

    I have definitely always had a soft spot for misfits. One of my childhood favorites is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. She sure didn't fit in at first, with her red hair, vivid imagination, and outspoken ways, but that's what made me love her.

    Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower series is also a great example of women who don't quite fit in, but deciding to work together, and forming a wonderful friendship out of it. To me, that is Sisterhood at it's best. :)

    I absolutely adored Jo the most out of all the March sisters, if I had my way, Jo would totally ended up with Laurie.

    Diane Gaston was here a few days ago, and I told her how much I enjoyed the anthology the two of you did with Amanda McCabe, the Diamonds of Welbourne Manor. I wanted to let you know also how much I liked Ned and Annalise's story, and I'm excited to read about the Fitzmanning brothers! :)

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  29. Hi LisaK!

    I'm glad so many people share my love of misfits!

    Jo is a character in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. It's a lovely, lovely children's book. I've read it SO many times! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it!

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  30. Hi L!

    Oh, those are some great examples! I think Anne was a champion for so many of us!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the Diamonds of Welbourne Manor! Those Fitzmannings are an unruly lot, but so much fun! I really enjoyed writing Ned and Annalise's story, and I had a blast with the research for Ned's background. I know a ton about Regency caricaturists now!

    So glad you are looking forward to Stephen, Nick and Leo!

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  31. Hi Deb and The Dishes!! (Okay, is it just me or is that a really great name for a rock band? *g*)

    I can't wait to read Cinderella Season!

    I do have a soft spot for outcasts and outsiders. A current favorite is Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds. He's in his element working as a profiler for the FBI but he grew up as a child prodigy with a mentally ill mother so you know he still has those outsider traits :-)

    I read somewhere that the original ending of that movie had Molly Ringwald ending up with Duckie and that the test audiences hated it, so they changed the ending.

    I'd read that too, and that John Hughes being upset about Duckie not getting the girl was why he made sure the Mary Stuart Masterson character ended up with Eric Stoltz in Some Kind of Wonderful *g*

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  32. Oh yeah, Beth! A rock band! Shall we make romantic ballads our specialty? LOL.

    Unfortunately the only thing I can play is Guitar Hero. Bummer!

    Ahh...Eric Stoltz... Trixie Belden's Jim started my fascination with red heads, but Eric carried it forward beautifully!

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  33. LOL, Beth! I love it!

    Thanks for dishing with us today, Deb!

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  34. Hey Deb!!! I'm sorry I am late to the party. I have been on elf duty all day :-)

    I too love an outcast, probably because I have felt like one most of my life. Of course the teen years were the worst of them and how could they not be with all those John Hughes movies.

    Thank you so much for spending the day with us. I can't wait to read Her Cinderella Season!

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  35. Hey Deb!!! I'm sorry I am late to the party. I have been on elf duty all day :-)

    I too love an outcast, probably because I have felt like one most of my life. Of course the teen years were the worst of them and how could they not be with all those John Hughes movies.

    Thank you so much for spending the day with us. I can't wait to read Her Cinderella Season!

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  36. Hey Deb!!! I'm sorry I am late to the party. I have been on elf duty all day :-)

    I too love an outcast, probably because I have felt like one most of my life. Of course the teen years were the worst of them and how could they not be with all those John Hughes movies.

    Thank you so much for spending the day with us. I can't wait to read Her Cinderella Season!

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  37. I wonder why it posted three times??? Crazy!

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  38. Hey Deb!!! I'm sorry I am late to the party. I have been on elf duty all day :-)

    I too love an outcast, probably because I have felt like one most of my life. Of course the teen years were the worst of them and how could they not be with all those John Hughes movies.

    Thank you so much for spending the day with us. I can't wait to read Her Cinderella Season!

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  39. Thanks for having me, ladies! I'll have my people talk to your people--maybe a performance in Nashville?

    See what you started, Beth?

    Good night all!

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  40. I definitely root for Outsiders, Outcasts and Misfits....I 've been one all my life : )

    Every year since December of 1964, I have watched "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". My favorite Misfit is The Bumble(a.k.a. the Abominable Snow Monster of the North). Like The Bumble, I am also tall enought to place the star atop the Christmas tree.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  41. Hi Virginia!

    Sorry I missed you last night!

    I love the Bumble too! A friend gave me Bumble fuzzy slippers for Christmas one year! My kids have claimed them. :-)

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