Have you noticed how many romances deal with siblings of the same sex?  And how, when the siblings are all sisters things can be . . . complicated?

Or perhaps it is just me. I come from a family where all the children were female. My sisters and I treated our father very well and were close to our mother.  I suspect that my experiences lead me to write of the sister experience. I know my sisters have my back, and yet, we can have our tiffs. Women are verbal. That point right there makes them better fodder for a novelist.  Characters must talk.

A woman once told me she had to stop reading romance novels because the heroes in the book always spoke their feelings. They had conversations. Meanwhile, she was married to a man of few words.  She loved him, but his lack of conversation–or his own deep introspection because we know he had to have feelings—frustrated her. Hence, her solution was to turn to murder mysteries . . . I will not touch the dynamics that might be lurking there!

Anyway, throughout history, women have had to push against society’s restraints, or cater to them, for our own survival–whether it was vying to make a match with money and prestige or scheming of ways to make money when limited by opportunity and acceptance.

One of the themes of the Gambler’s Daughters series is this challenge. I come from a long line of pioneering women.  When a door opened, they took it. My great grandmother signed on to the postmaster in a west Kansas town. My great aunt was dumped at the altar—ah! Marriage—and took that as her sign to become a nurse missionary in India where she helped build a hospital before WWI.  There were times they had to speak through their husband’s voices and others when they were free to use their own voices.  

I’m rattling on. Let me say that the struggles of women trying to find a place in this world has been a theme of Austen, the Brontës, and other women writers through the centuries.  It is the theme of modern writers as well.  Our voices are growing stronger, but they are still not always heard.

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