Diamonds Down Under Revisited…

Posted in general post with tags , , on December 1, 2010 by Maxine Sullivan

IMAGINE…..  TWO POWERFUL FAMILIES…  FIVE MISSING PINK DIAMONDS… ONE BITTER FEUD SPANNING DECADES…

It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since the Diamonds Down Under series began. Even now we get a lot of visitors to this blog, and from time to time we’re still asked about the series. It’s exciting for us that people are so interested in it all, now more than ever with the availability of ebooks giving our series eternal life. :smile: So, is love still in the air at DDU central? You bet! Let’s ask the Diamonds Down Under authors what they’ve been doing during this time, and see if they still have that sparkle in their eyes.

Paula says: Three years since Diamonds Down Under? Wow! Such a lot has happened in my world since then! For a start, Jake and Holly’s story was shortlisted in Romance Writers of Australia‘s prestigious Romantic Book of the Year award for 2008 (go, Diamonds!) and won Houston Bay areas’ Judge a Book By Its Cover contest.  I’ve also written three more books, and my fifth Desire, Promoted to Wife?, is due out in March 2011.  My third, The Magnate’s Baby Promise, was voted best Short Category Romance of 2009 by the Australian Romance Readers Association.  And all my releases have reached the Borders Books bestseller list – thank you, wonderful readers!  Oh, and my gorgeous baby boy turned 10 in 2010!

Bron says: During the past two years, I took a break from writing for personal reasons. Recently I finished the long-awaited Billionaire’s Inconvenient Bride, the follow-up to Magnate’s Make-Believe Mistress, which is scheduled for December 2011. Follow up books are planned for 2012.

Tessa says: I spotted an Argyle Diamonds advertisement for pink diamonds in an in-flight magazine recently…and it brought all the memories of Diamonds Down Under flooding back! The stories were fabulous and I loved all the family links in them. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past three years with my family, both older and younger generations, and it’s been time well spent. In 2010 I celebrated a couple of successes, The Billion-Dollar Baby Bargain finaled in the Romance Writers of Australia’s RBY Award AND Falling For His Proper Mistress hit the USA Today Bestseller list – thank you readers for making that possible! My next book, The Boss’s Baby Affair, is part of the Billionaires & Babies series and will be out in February 2011. And don’t forget to visit the Desire Authors Blog at eHarlequin for more news about the authors who write for Desire.

Maxine says: The last three years have been really good to me.  At the time the series began, Mistress & a Million Dollars was only my 4th book for Silhouette Desire, and now I’ve had 11 Desires published, with a new contract to write another four books.  Amazing!  Even more amazing to me is that some of my books reached #1 on the Borders Bestseller List, and this year His Ring, Her Baby and High-Society Secret Baby reached the USA TODAY Bestseller List. I’m definitely living my dream.🙂

Jan says: 2010 has been a most eventful – even momentous – year for me. Study (Information and Library Studies); a month on the jury of a murder trial, the biggest fright of my life when a 7.1 earthquake hit my poor home town, gratitude that although there was a lot of damage, no lives were lost, and great sorrow last week when 29 miners were confirmed dead over on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, a couple hundred kilometres from here. Phew! Don’t know about the other Diamonds authors, but I could really use a little less excitement in 2011!!!

Yvonne says: In the three years since we all worked together on the Diamond Down Under series I’ve been trying to quell my desire for a large pink diamond! To keep myself distracted I’ve since released nine more Silhouette Desire books (including a continuity novella, set during polo season in the Hamptons) and one online title and in April 2011 I will have another continuity book out as part of The Takeover continuity, set in San Diego. Of all the things I enjoy about working on a continuity, research would have to be one of the things I enjoy most. Learning about new places and the sights and things to do and enjoy there is almost as good as being there! And almost as good as having a large pink diamond.😀

As you can see, we’ve each been very busy with varying interests, but we’ve never forgotten how much the Diamonds Down Under series means to us. We’re very proud of it.

If you’d like to read the series, Harlequin has them all available in ebooks – just go here and type in “Diamonds Down Under” in the search facility.  Or you can get them  from Amazon here. 

Down Under Desirabelles

Posted in general post on August 6, 2008 by Bronwyn Jameson

You know the saying: as one door closes, another opens.  With much delight we announce the opening of a new blog for the down under Desire authors.  Our opening posts include news of a brand new sale, courtesy of one of the editor critique prizes offered here at Diamonds Down Under, as well as news and views from Romance Writers of America’s National conference in San Francisco.  We hope to see you there, where we will continue to chat about books, reading, writing, romance, and anything else that takes our fancy.

Bring on the Bling!

Posted in Treasure Hunt with tags on July 22, 2008 by Paula

And now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for… the grand prize draw!  To be eligible, we needed your answers to 12 questions, two from each continuity book.  The correct answers were:

January
Q1 – What is the name of the fictional diamond mine Kimberley and Ric visit in Vows & A Vengeful Groom?
A1- Janderra

Q2 – Bronwyn Jameson’s April 2008 release Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge is a spin-off from which series?
A2 – her Princes Of The Outback trilogy

February
Q1: How many carats is the Desert Star that Jessica and Dani admire in Pride & A Pregnancy Secret?
A1 – Just over eleven carats (but we also allowed ’11 carats’)

Q2: Apart from the United States , in what two other countries has Pride & A Pregnancy Secret been released ?
A2 – Australia and India

March
Q1: What is Briana’s hobby in Mistress & A Million Dollars?
A1 – photography / taking pictures

Q2: What is the name of the book of short stories written by 26 romance authors and includes 26 delicious recipes?
A2 – Sizzle, Seduce & Simmer

April
Q1 – What annual event was the Australian Governor General in Port Douglas to commemorate?
A1 – ANZAC Day Commemoration

Q2 – What is the name of Jan’s favorite team of alpha heroes?
A2 – The Canterbury Crusaders/All Blacks

May
Q1: What career did Holly originally want to pursue in Boardrooms & A Billionaire Heir?
A1 – Interior designer/decorating

Q2: What is the English translation of Paula’s first German book?
A2 – My Mysterious Married Man

June
Q1: What is Rachel’s parting gift to Matt?
A1– Share transfer form for Blackstone shares (we also accepted ‘share transfer’)

Q2: In what month did Yvonne meet her significant other?
A2 – May

And the winner is……………. Gayle Baird from NH (New Hampshire?) in the US!!!   Congratulations Gayle, and we’ll be getting in touch with you asap.

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest and who read the books.  We loved bringing them to you each month😀

It’s A Wrap!

Posted in general post with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2008 by Paula

Well, the champagne’s been drunk, the party poppers exploded and we’ve all been well and truly danced off our feet.  Yes, it’s that time where we bid a fond adieu to all our characters from the Diamonds Down Under continuity and thank you, readers, for making it such a wonderful success.    And from our authors…

Yvonne says: When we embarked on the Diamonds Down Under continuity I had no idea how far reaching the involvement would be or how many wonderful readers we’d be privileged enough to get to know through our blog. It’s been a delight to meet so many new people and to learn how our stories have provided enjoyment and entertainment. For myself, and especially since I’ve been writing fulltime, I tend to get very insular with my writing. In fact my mind boggles when I think about the people ‘out there’ reading my stories, so the blog has been a great experience in taking a step closer to others. In fact the whole continuity has been a gift in human relations and I think our interrelations between one another as authors has created a new sisterhood. I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved, from my fellow authors, to our guest bloggers to our wonderful wonderful readers. You’ve made this journey an experience to remember.  Remember to drop me a line via my website, and come visit to keep up to date on my latest news and releases.

Maxine says:Well, it’s here. It’s time to turn off the lights and close the door behind us as we leave and move onto new ventures. But first, let’s open the bubbly and drink to a fantastic series. It’s been wonderful from beginning to end, with terrific support from MJ, Diana and Matrice at the Harlequin editorial side of things, and support and enthusiasm from agent, Jennifer Schober. And what about our fabulous guest bloggers – Fiona Brand, Nalini Singh and Robyn Grady. Everyone did a great job, not the least the other Diamonds Down Under authors who have given so much of their time to blog about the series over the last eight months, and to showcase so much of our own countries to the world. And finally, there are all you marvelous readers who have bought our books and helped to make the series such a success. Thank you one and all. Cheers!

Paula says: From the newest chick on the block, the series was an awesome experience: from the million emails, the collaboration to the actual writing, there’s been the highest of highs to the now-pretty-much-forgotten lows :)  And through it all, I’ve learned heaps, both personally and professionally.  Thanks girls, you are true diamonds.  And thank you, everyone who read Jake and Holly’s story and loved it, thank you for holding all our hands throughout the crazy, wild ride of the trials and tribulations of the Blackstones and Hammonds.  And in another first (hey, we Down Underers like to blaze a trail!) check out our brand-spanking new Down Under Desirabelles blog, which goes live next week during RWA Nationals.  Bookmark us and visit regularly because we have an awesome lineup of weekly posts on life, love, reading and writing for everyone who loves romantic fiction.  

Bronwyn says: When we decided to host this blog it was with some trepidation. We weren’t sure we had enough to talk about for six or seven months or if what we had to say would draw and keep an audience. You know that old fear: what if we threw a party and no one turned up?  Turns out that we had little to worry about on either front.  When we brainstormed possible topics the list grew and grew…much the same as when we brainstormed possible conflicts and complications for our series.  And as for the other fear: turns out there are folk all over the world who love to chat as much as we do.  It has been a complete delight to see the familiar names returning week after week, and to hear your viewpoints on reading, writing and romance.  Thanks so much to everyone who visited and to all our special guest bloggers who helped enrich our blog. Although this is the end of Diamonds Down Under, I know I’ll see you around the blogworld, including (I hope) at Bronz Blog.

Jan says: I have so enjoyed your company over the last six months, sharing snippets of your lives, responding to our posts and showing your appreciation for our stories. It’s fantastic to have been part of such a diverse group of readers (and writers) from all over the world. There have been so many highlights. Huge thanks to our commendable guests and congratulations to our many winners, but I would like to mention a few special people. First up (since she wouldn’t have it any other way) please come on down, AviJ – and Limecello and LJ (I think) and accept my best wishes for your scholastic endeavors. I look forward to one day visiting one of your fine establishments, Avi, in your lovely part of the world. To those most voracious of readers, esp Pat and Christa, keep on reading! Azteclady, I hope you and your mum have many more years ‘laughing your heads off’ at each other. As well as the above-mentioned, would the following people please COME UP ONTO THE STAGE: Jane, Ellie and Ellen, Anne and Annie, Crystal B, JSL, Lois, Chelle, Pearl, Ruth, Mona, Waitingforthecall, Kim H, Minna, RobynL, Alissa, EvaS, Nathalie, Virginia H, Rebekah, Karen King and Serena. Come on, bunch up! Cyber chocs and flowers and heartfelt thanks to you all for checking in week after week, month after month. We have most enjoyed your company and hope you all keep in touch. And as the ancient philosophers used to say – and if they didn’t, they should have – BRING ON THE BLING!!! Good luck for the big Treasure Hunt draw.

Remember, post a comment for your last chance to win a cool book prize and cute Aussie keyring!

A reader’s view of the Diamonds Down Under series with Christa Runge

Posted in guest blogger with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2008 by yvonnelindsay

We figured that by now you’d probably all need a wee break from hearing about us and from us so we decided to invite one of our regular visitors to blog with a reader’s perspective on the Diamonds Down Under continuity. So let’s put together a very warm welcome for CHRISTA!

 

 

I felt privileged to have been asked to blog on this series. Each author did an exceptional job on her story. Readers were left to ponder various questions for the next 6 months. Readers were left wondering if son James, who was kidnapped at age 3, is still alive. What sort of relationship did Marise and Howard have? Who fathered Blake, Matt or Howard? Where are the diamonds from the Blackstone Rose? Will Matt be successful in his takedown of Blackstones?

Then in each story there are even more secrets.

In VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM we are left wondering if Howard really wrote his daughter, Kimberley, out of his will when she went to work for House of Hammond? Also, the CEO position at Blackstones has not been decided–who will it be, Howard’s right hand man, Ric Perrini, or Howard’s own son, Ryan? Would a union with Kimberley better Ric’s chances?

In Tessa’s PRIDE & PREGNANCY SECRET we are again bombarded with questions. Why does Jessica feel she has to end things with Ryan? Why did Jessica change her mind at the last minute about taking the flight that ended up killing Howard and Marise?

In Maxine’s MISTRESS & A MILLION DOLLARS we are left to figure out why Briana needed $1million dollars? How is it that Marise came into possession of stones from the Blackstone Rose?

Rumour had it that Howard was Danielle Hammond’s father and if not Howard then who was her father? This question is brought to the forefront in Jan’s SATIN & A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR. I know with me, I wondered how Quinn fit into the feud between the Hammonds and the Blackstones.

Another character throughout the series was Jake Vance. How did he fit? Was he a threat to Blackstones? Someone is blackmailing Holly to spy on Jake. Who? These issues Paula tackles in BOARDROOMS & A BILLIONAIRE HEIR.

Yvonne rounds out the series with JEALOUSY & A JEWELLED PROPOSITION. Here, Yvonne answers the question readers have been speculating for the last 5 months. She had the daunting task of answering all the previous questions but also giving Matt a story. She did this beautifully by having Matt subconsciously not give Blake as much attention because he wasn’t sure if he was his son and providing him with a heroine to match him.

In my opinion the books read as though the authors communicated quite a bit. I don’t think I came across any discrepancies in the books, so it would seem these authors had a great rapport and paid close attention to details. I found each story linked together marvellously. During the release of these six books the authors had other books released, so I’m sure a little time was taken from loved ones. I, for one, thank you. From what I’ve seen, this series has quite a following. As individuals, or a group, I love reading books from this group of authors. I live in Canada and each month these authors showed me parts of Australia and New Zealand.

 

Yvonne: Christa, thank you so much for blogging with us on the DDU blog. Your support and input on various discussion boards for the continuity has been much appreciated.

 

This leaves me with a question for the rest of our readers, what did you love the most about the series? Was it discovering the answer to a particular mystery, or even that you were right about ‘the truth’ of a mystery in the continuity. Or maybe it was a specific setting, or a set of characters that you just fell completely in love with? We’d love to hear from you. All blog comments will go into a draw where the winner will be randomly drawn to win a copy of Suzanne Brockmann’s EMBRACED BY LOVE, together with an exceptionally cute fluffy New Zealand sheep fridge magnet.

6 Unusual Search Combinations

Posted in general post on July 6, 2008 by Bronwyn Jameson

This week we’ve decided to have some fun by taking a look at the more unusual and amusing combinations that have brought visitors to our Diamonds Down Under blog over the past six months. And, might I add, what a fun task it’s been trolling through the list of hundreds and hundreds of phrases people typed into a search engine which led them here. Most make some kind of sense, some none at all, and some just plain crack me up.

First, a quick look at the most popular search phrases. Let’s discount “diamonds down under”, the obvious, and move on to the next which included:

* movies about diamonds (Maxine’s post would have proven most useful)
* treasure hunt clues (hint: do you have YOUR entry in?)
* romantic settings (hope we helped with some good ideas!)
* famous diamonds (Jan’s post and links, par excellent.)

Then there are the odd, strange and just plain weird combinations. Choosing six is proving quite an effort. Can I cheat and give an honorable mention to a couple that struck my funny bone? Firstly, I’m tickled by the combination of Bronwyn + Angel. Then there’s “Christa says”. And how about “Yvonne Macomber”? (If there is an Yvonne Macomber out there and you google yourself, do say hello!)

“Australia the perfect place to live” speaks for itself, although I’ve refrained from including it in my list out of respect for our NZ sisters. They may want to argue the point. *g* Lastly, there is a reader who searched for “vows & a vengeful groom” + “diamond mine”. Hunting for the answer to a Treasure Hunt clue perhaps?

With those extras out of the way (at no extra cost), I now present to you Bron’s List of Six Funny Search Combinations that Brought People to DDU.

1. Diamond “too sparkly”: I can understand why this search might direct toward our blog but I don’t understand the question. Is this possible? Can there BE too much bling? Enquiring minds want to know.

2. How long are summer in new zealand: Yvonne did a fab post on summer in New Zealand. I doubt that she mentioned the length of a NZ summer so if I can just clear this up: summer in New Zealand is exactly the same length as summer everywhere in the world. Okay?

3. Pantyhose on the beach: This one is all down to Jan and her post about keeping the stingers at bay. It crossed my mind that someone may have thought she was pulling their (pantyhosed) leg and decided to do some extra research…which led them right back here. Anyone owning up?

4. Cougar dressed as mistress: I’m guessing that we don’t mean a feline cougar but a human one. While our series does include a Mistress title and several other references, I’m scratching my head over how a cougar reference brought up DDU.

5. Things men say in board rooms: Paula, this one is for you because I can only think that your “Boardroom” title led to this linkage. What DO men say in boardrooms? I wonder if I will get answers if I google that question?

6. Why God makes us wait cake analogy: If someone can explain this one to me, I would be most grateful. I have no clue. About the analogy or why a search engine pointed this way. Maybe I need to go google it…

Tell us how you found Diamonds Down Under, the blog, and your comment will enter you in the draw for this week’s giveaway: BEYOND CONTROL by Bronwyn Jameson, an Australian mini-notepad, and MISTRESS FOR THE TAKING by Susan Napier (a down-under author who truly is a diamond.)

Must-Read Books to Watch Out For!

Posted in general post with tags , on June 29, 2008 by Maxine Sullivan

The Diamonds Down Under authors have had a wonderful time with our series over the last six months, but now that the last book is out in the States (and will soon be out in Australia and New Zealand), what’s in store for future books?

MAXINE’S July release “THE CEO TAKES A WIFE” is the first in her new series about the Valente brothers, with Romantic Times magazine saying that Maxine “weaves a sexy tale”. Alex Valente is the CEO of The House of Valente, a family business set in the Australian perfume industry. Alex must marry or lose control of the business. But no ordinary wife will do. Fashion designer, Olivia Cannington, is in desperate need of funds to help pay off her mother’s debts, and marriage to Alex is her best option. But will their sacrifices for the sake of family responsibilities be enough for them? Only after their marriage does Olivia learn the second part of the marriage ultimatum – that Alex must produce an heir within a year. Unfortunately the one thing Olivia wants to give him… the one thing he must have… is the one thing she can’t offer him. Will they find that love is enough? I’m sure you already know the answer to that, but it’s nice to keep you guessing for a while.🙂

Then see how Alex and Olivia are doing in the next Valente brother’s story. Nick Valente has his own book coming in February, and poor Nick is in for a shock when a woman from his past returns. After that there is the last in the series with Matt Valente having a surprise gift awaiting him from a one-night stand.

Next up for JAN is “BILLIONAIRE’S FAVORITE FANTASY” which will hit the US stores in July and downunder in August. It is set in Queenstown, New Zealand, a beautiful ski resort in the South Island. And yes, the white fur coat on the cover is very definitely part of the fantasy…and this cover is very definitely one of the author’s favourites!

They had shared the most amazing night of passion and billionaire tycoon Lewis Goode could not erase Madeline Holland from his mind. Lucky for him, a corporate acquisition had just made him her new boss. But Lewis knew Madeline would quit rather than have people think she slept her way to the top. So he’d have to use every negotiating trick he knew to keep her in his boardroom…and in his bedroom.

Madeline’s uncharacteristic lapse in judgment was to have dramatic and humiliating consequences, but their passion burned so brightly that when Lewis proposed one more night of fantasy to see if it lived up to the first, she was powerless to refuse.  After all, how many people get two chances at perfection?

PAULA is putting on the finishing touches to her current novel “THE BAD BOY BILLIONAIRE“. The title will probably change, and she doesn’t have a release date or a cover, but her visual inspiration for Cal and Ava is the always-delectable Russell Crowe and gorgeous model Jessica Rivera. Here’s a sneak peak at Paula’s story:
 
Sydney’s most eligible bad boy, software developer Cal Prescott, must marry and produce an heir if he’s to keep his stepfather’s company from falling into the hands of his estranged step-brother, Zac.  So when he discovers his one-night encounter with a beautiful stranger has resulted in a pregnancy, nothing will get in his way of claiming the baby – and the woman – as his.

Ava Reilly knows her one passionate night with permanently-single Cal Prescott can go nowhere.  Now pregnant and deep in debt, Ava’s running out of options to save her rural bed and breakfast from going under.  The last thing she expects is Cal to come striding back into her life, demanding she marry him in a clear-cut business deal.  What she doesn’t know is Cal’s real reason he wants her as his wife…
 
After that, Paula will focus on Zac’s story, a secret mistress/office romance – all her favorites rolled into one!  And after that, stay tuned for a seduced-for-revenge/secret-baby-with-a-twist between a fiery Spanish heroine and a determined outback billionaire. And after that… well… we’ll see.🙂

YVONNE had a whole lot of fun writing her August release “CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE“, which she describes as a Beauty and the Beast/runaway amnesiac bride story. Set to the South-East of Lake Taupo in New Zealand’s beautiful Central North Island, at Luc Tanner’s (fictional) luxury resort and estate, Luc and Belinda both need to overcome their past to allow their love to reach its true potential. As the back cover blurb says-“He Didn’t Want Her To Remember…The accident that had taken Belinda’s memory had provided Luc with the perfect means for revenge. His beautiful bride had no recollection of fleeing her groom on their wedding day…or the real reason behind their union. All she recalled was the unbridled passion they still shared-and the steely-eyed mogul planned to take full advantage of it.” But don’t let the blurb lead you astray, CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE isn’t a revenge story, it’s the story of a man who saw the woman he wanted, he got her and now he’s prepared to do anything to keep her. The big question is, can Belinda teach him to let go of his heart? In the lead up to this release Yvonne has a Desire Daily Online Read, THE BILLIONAIRE’S PROXY, over on eharlequin (http://www.eharlequin.com) starting 21 July and running until 17 August.

Tell us about any upcoming books you’re looking forward to reading and be in the draw to win Silhouette Desire author Robyn Grady’s first book, The Magnate’s Marriage Demand, plus a small stuffed kangaroo toy. We’re delighted to add that Robbie’s book is a finalist in the National Reader’s Choice Award.