Six Things About Mistress & A Million Dollars

1. The Heroine:     

Briana Davenport is an Australian supermodel who is the “Face” of Blackstones. She is tall with a gorgeous figure, beautiful, with long wavy golden-blonde hair and blue eyes that capture a person beyond the camera. She’s intelligent, classy, and fashion-conscious though sets her own standards. She lives in a modern apartment in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, but also has an apartment in Sydney paid for by Blackstone Diamonds for her numerous model engagements.

Framed by the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and dressed in a silky, pale-blue pantsuit that flowed as she moved, she was elegance and sophistication. The epitome of glamour. A crowning glory for the diamond company she symbolized. He could see why Howard Blackstone had chosen her to represent his business.

2. The Hero:

Jarrod Hammond is tall and very handsome with short dark hair and blue eyes, and is a successful property lawyer who lives in a high-rise apartment building in the heart of Melbourne. He’s always had an affinity with this city, having been born here before being adopted by the Hammonds and moving to New Zealand. He is extremely close to his younger adopted brother, Matt.

Dressed in dark trousers and sports blazer, a white t-shirt underneath, he could have been a male model himself, Briana mused, if there hadn’t been such a hard edge inherent in him, those blue eyes clearly showing that hardness… an arrogance… that would never let anyone dictate to him, let alone a camera.

3. Diamonds in the safe:

Were those pink diamonds really a girl’s best friend?

Her father looked over his shoulder with a frown. “Diamonds?”
 “The ones Marise left in my safe,” Briana reminded him.
His face cleared. “Oh, that’s right. You found them in your safe after the plane crash, didn’t you?”
 “Yes, but with everything happening at the time, I’d forgotten them. It was only when I was going to Howard’s funeral, I remembered Marise asking for the safe combination to keep some jewellery in there.”

4. The Settings:

The Casino

No other setting seemed so perfect for an indecent proposal storyline than the casino:

And then Briana’s gaze caught Jarrod’s by accident and everything came tumbling back. Until now she hadn’t let herself think about being here, but returning to “the scene of the crime”, the sounds of the casino, the scents of perfume and aftershave, of food, the gleam in Jarrod’s eyes, reminded her what they had done together here in one of the casino suites – all for the sake of a million dollars.

The Surf Coast

Being at the beach was such an integral part of the Australian way of life, Briana thought as they walked along the path cutting through the tuffs of grass to the sand. She loved Aussie beaches… loved the smell of the ocean and sand… the sun evaporating the stresses of daily life…

Little did Briana know that a day at the beach would almost end in tragedy and bring about a defining moment for her.

5. The Events:

Moomba was a chance to relax a little after their first night together at the casino… or was it?

An hour later they’d found a good vantage point along Swanston Street. The Moomba Festival was Australia’s biggest community festival and a Melbourne tradition for over fifty years, with firework shows, outdoor movies, the Moomba parade, and lots of water-related activities on the Yarra River. The parade was the highlight of the Moomba Festival and Melbourne families turned out in droves, creating a sea of colour and excitement.

At the Melbourne Grand Prix, Briana put her career on the line by letting the Blackstones know she and Jarrod were now an item.

Briana had attended the Grand Prix last year, so had previously witnessed the sensation of the world’s fastest men racing at incredibly high speeds around the track. It was a four day action-packed extravaganza of on and off-track activities, culminating in the main race on the Sunday.

6. The Cheque/Check:

Neither Briana or Jarrod could deny wanting each other, but was the million dollars merely the means to take their attraction further?

Tension rattled inside her as the suite flooded in darkness, leaving only a faint glow from the city lights beyond the glass. She still didn’t turn around. She needed to focus on those city lights, to remember she was here for a purpose tonight.
 “Will you respect me in the morning, Jarrod?” she heard herself mutter the cliché, but needed to say it all the same.
“Yes,” he said quietly, close behind her, so close his breath stirred strands of her hair, but not touching. “But will you respect you in the morning?”
She thought about that, surprised by his astuteness. His question had dispelled any hint she was selling herself, and she was grateful to him for that. “Yes,” she murmured.

Tell me what you would do with a million dollars and every comment this week goes in the draw to win a three-book collection of my Australian Millionaires series.

 Mistress & A Million Dollars is now available in North American bookstores and on-line from Harlequin, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and as an e-Book from eHarlequin, Fictionwise or wherever you buy your eBooks. It will be available in Australia and New Zealand in April 08.


38 Responses to “Six Things About Mistress & A Million Dollars”

  1. azteclady Says:

    I’m really boring…

    I would set trust funds for my two kids, and then ensure my mother wouldn’t have any money worries for the rest of their life. Anything left, I would help my brothers and their kids.

    (I actually dreamed of distributing lottery winnings this way, close to a decade ago. The dream was so vivid, I sill remember many of the details.)

    The book sounds like an interesting take on the “Indecent Proposal” trope.

  2. I’d buy a house and it would need 5 bedrooms. I’d need a room for books and bookshelves. kind of like an office/library. I’d need another 2 bedrooms for when friends wanted to visit Niagara Falls. A hotel is so impersonal and if friends brought kids they would need their own room. And then help out family

  3. Rebekah Elrod Says:

    First thing I would do is set up college funds for my kids. Then I would pay off all of my bills and put a good portion into a retirement fund. After that I would help out my family. I would love to give my husband the amount he needs to make his dream come true and that is to build his 76 cougar XR7 from the ground up. I would probably get myself a little car that it good on gas. I hate driving my huge F350 long bed through the city it is so hard.

  4. Virginia H. Says:

    The first thing I would do was pay for all of my son’s college education. Then I would buy a bigger house so I could have a room just to put my books in, kind of like a study or office. The rest I would invest so I could life confortable the rest of my life. This is the best dream I have ever had.

  5. Well, what I would want to do is get all the books that I have had on my TBB list for ages, both romance and science. . . and it’s just a couple after all. . . 😉 And I think after 8 years my quite ancient PDA is starting to get pooped, so getting a new one of those might be nice too. And see Phantom on Broadway again would be nice. 🙂

    Lois, who would do the usual stuff afterwards too, like move and save and all that stuff. 🙂

  6. Oh, Lois, you’ve got me! Live Phantom, definitely. I’ve also always thought it would be neat to sponsor a child or family with the Make a Wish Foundation here in NZ. Often the kids don’t ask for much (not like a trip to the moon or anything like that) but the things they ask for are so important to them. It would be neat to be able to help them fulfill those wishes.

    With the rest of my money I think I have a fabulous family holiday, make improvements to our home (including giving me a much bigger office 😉 ) and a new car for the dh and if there was a lot left over (and there probably would be) I think I’d find a lovely holiday home on the coast somewhere, within a couple of hours drive of where we are now, so we could get away as often as we wanted to. Oooh, feels quite decadent spending all that money.

  7. Hi Maxine,
    I really enjoyed reading this book – I read it in two hours and stayed up til 2 am to finish it! I really liked learning more about the Hammond side of the family, and enjoyed all the places Briana and Jared went. I’d never heard of Moomba.
    What I would do with $1 million? First of all I’d pay off my law school loans and put away some for the remainder of school. I’d like to out out with my sister and parent’s mortgages, save some… and with the rest start a trust/scholarship fund :).

  8. Hi Maxine,
    I would buy a nice house for my parents and myself. I think a grand vacation is also possible. Giving something to charity is a must. I imagine I would continue to work.

  9. Limecello, wow! I’m thrilled you enjoyed my book. Staying up to 2am to read it is such a compliment. Thanks! And I’m so glad you enjoyed learning more about the Hammond family, and that you’ve learned a few things about Melbourne too. The senior editor was very keen for us to put in lots of local events or special holidays. The thing is that next weekend really is Moomba here in Melbourne, the following weekend is the Melbourne Grand Prix and after that is Easter. All the things that I’ve written in my book on those weekends are about to happen to Briana and Jarrod. 🙂

  10. We know that money’s not everything but it’s clear that everyone feels more secure having it. 🙂

    I know I sometimes sit and daydream about what I’d do if I had a lot of money. Paying off our house, helping my kids, helping out my elderly parents, being able to retire so that I can write fulltime. Yeah, it would be nice.

    I’d like to help others too. Perhaps start up a business so that we could give some young teenagers a chance to learn a trade. Or my husband and I love animals so we’d like to start up a sanctuary for abandoned dogs and cats, employing people to help there too. My husband is so good with animals that I often say he should have been a vet.

    Of course, he also wants to buy a caravan and travel around Australia. We’ve travelled a fair bit over the years so we’ve seen a lot of the country already. I tell him I just want to stay home and write. 🙂

  11. Limecello, I’d never heard of Moomba Fest either until I landed in it, quite innocently. DH totally surprised me with a five-day trip to Melb on my 40th birthday (I’m from NZ) and he’d had to book everything and keep it secret for 6 mths before. Not only was the Moomba Fest on but it was Formula One weekend also, so Melbourne was booked solid. I saw the best fireworks I’ve ever seen from the lovely Botanical Gardens on a lovely warm March night, and had a romantic dinner on the tram. Melbourne rocks!

    If I had a million bucks, I’d definitely go to Guatemala and India to visit my sponsored kids (thru CCF) although I have been to both places before. A nice house with a nice view. That’s about it really. A million probably doesn’t go so far these days – and certainly not in the world our H&h’s live in!!

  12. Jan, yes, Melbourne rocks for sure! How wonderful of your DH to plan it all like that. And to keep quiet about it for six months, he deserves a medal.

    I remember you saying previously that you sponsored 2 kids overseas. That’s wonderful, and so like you, Jan.

    Here’s a question. Does anyone think men can keep secrets better than women? Or do women keep the important secrets and men keep less important ones longer?

  13. Lois, thanks for the chuckle when you said this…..

    “Lois, who would do the usual stuff afterwards too, like move and save and all that stuff.”

  14. My dh is definitely better at secrets than I am. Especially good secrets/surprises etc. I tell him it’s because he’s po-faced!! My face gives me away every time.

  15. The very first thing that comes to mind is my sister-in-law and her family since they’re always broke, so I would give some of the million to them.
    As for keeping secrets, it’s just a myth that men are better at it! 🙂

  16. Crystal B. Says:

    I would pay off all my bills. Invest for retirement. Buy new house and cars. Give some to family and to charity.

  17. azteclady Says:

    Jan, that’s such a lovely thing for your DH to do for you! Aren’t you lucky!!!

  18. The very first thing I would do is give some to my family, save some, then pay off all my student loans I accumulated to get my degree in Culinary management, and spend a year traveling the world to experience all the different types of cuisine then open my own fine dinning restaurant. Hi Maxine the series you are giving away is awesome great writing. Whoever wins this is in for a treat.

  19. limecello Says:

    Maxine, that’s so fun the events in the book are happening now. 😉 If only you could live it like they do. I’d glad your editor had that idea – it seems that people in the US know very little about the world around them. Of course, I’m guilty of that too. I find myself checking news for Asia before the Americas :-P.
    Jan, what a nice thing for your husband to do! That sounds like a terrific weekend, and kudos to him for keeping the secret for six months! Wow. There are all these places I want to go… I also agree that $1 mil isn’t very much these days. Of course you have the friend of a friend who makes $100 million a year… (yes, I just felt a little sick reading that too.) But I figure, even with a low interest rate of 3.4%, you’d get 34K/year on the interest of the million alone. You could keep the day job, sit on the money a year, and then use the income. It’d be more if invested well… (haha, yes, I did have my trusts class this morning.) Of course, it doesn’t seem very noble to sit on a million dollars for a year.

  20. Jan, my face gives me away every time too. And I can usually tell if my husband is trying to trick me with a joke. There’s something about a slight change in the angle of his mouth that gives him away every time. 🙂

    Eva, thanks for dropping by. And yes, I agree it’s a myth that men keep better secrets. We all know women do, right?

    Avi, thanks for your lovely comments about my Australian Millionaires series. I’m looking forward to giving the 3-book set away to someone here on this blog, which will be chosen randomly by putting names in a hat. How’s that for technology? 🙂

    Limecello, I’ve learned so much about other places in the world by reading romance novels. Actually, I’ve learned a lot of things from them. Sometimes I think where did I learn that bit of information and I remember it was in a romance book. I think people who don’t read romance would be surprised at how much information is in a romance story.

  21. Maureen Says:

    I would pay off my house, put money aside for the kids educations and then take a trip with my husband to someplace with warm temperatures and a beach.

  22. Yes, I have to agree that my better half is one out of the box – and because he doesn’t do romance too often, makes it even more special when he does make the effort. I hope everyone is so lucky!!

    Most recent romantic moment? The other night at a posh restaurant, when he DIDN’T make a fuss about the pathetic size of my main course, even though I knew he wanted to, so badly, but knew it would have embarrassed me. Avi J, i hope when we visit your fine dining establishment in the future, we’ll have no cause to leave feeling less than satisfied.

  23. Hi Jan, I’ll have to add you to my list as the first customer; definitely, you won’t have cause to worry about the portion size of the meal (LOL). It so disappointing sometimes isn’t it when you pay so much for a meal and it just a little amount but the taste is excellent.

  24. Avi, I’m in awe of anyone who has a degree in culinary management. I hate cooking. Mind you, I like eating. 🙂 So put me down as your second customer when you open that restaurant.

  25. Avi, btw, I’ll have to come to you for advice for what to feed my characters. I never know what they should be eating, and steak and vegs doesn’t sound too glam. 🙂

    Mind you, I think they removed most of what my characters were eating in my Mistress book, but only because we had so much to fit in the storyline and something had to go.

  26. Patricia Cochran Says:

    I would set enough aside enough to cover our “golden years”, then an amount for my parish church,
    colleges funds for all our grandchildren, and the rest would go to our children. Family has always
    been first in our lives!!

    Pat Cochran

  27. Thanks Maxine, would you believe I actually plan menus as part of my profession and I just love preparation of every area in a restaurant from the menu to the meal. I find cooking is the best form of relaxation in addition to reading, so every time I am at work its like I am on vacation (LOL).

  28. azteclady Says:

    Avi, since for me cooking is nerve racking (sorry, don’t like it, don’t do it well), perhaps we could team up? I’ll read out loud while you cook *grin*

  29. Azteclady, move over and pour the wine and lets watch Avi go. I love watching that Masterchef show/contest, the food looks so wonderful and inspired but the judges are a couple of toughies. I know I wouldn’t stand up to the pressure.
    Funny, I promised myself when we sold our business that I would teach myself to cook well. But then along came writing and now I cook less than ever! Just not interested anymore since writing took over my life!

  30. I love watching The Iron Chef series – talk about tough judges – and tough contestants! And it’s amazing what the chefs can do with one main ingredients (most of which I’ve never heard of). LOL.

    A million dollars. Wow. I’d like to travel and meet some of the wonderful friends I’ve made on the Net. I’d take some of my best buds with me and also send my boys wherever they would like to travel to.

    Serena, Melbourne, Australia

  31. I’d think of a way to use the million dollars to get me another million:-) Seriously I think I’ll help my mom in anything she might needs, buy a large flat and all the books I wanted and of course take all the courses I wanted. If I got something left of the million I’d have a trip to somewhere interesting:-)

  32. Serena, hello. Waving at you, my friend! Thanks for dropping by.

    Jan, I totally understand not being interested in anything other than writing. It does tend to take over your life.

    Mona, how clever of you to think of ways to make another million from that first million. Sounds like a Tim Tam biscuit advertisement here in Australia. Bron and Paula will recognise that. Yum.

  33. And the winner of my 3-book Australian Millionaires series drawn totally at random by dropping names in a hat (well, a cup) is…….

    Avi J! And it’s not because she is such a good cook either. 🙂

    Avi, congratulations! If you’d like to send me an email via my website I’d be happy to send you the books.

    Thank you all for dropping by with your comments and for sharing in the release of my book.

    And now I’m really looking forward to Robyn Grady’s blog starting tomorrow, and a chance at someone winning an agent critique.

  34. I hope this message doesn’t double up, as I just made 2 posts and they’re gone because Word Press was doing maintenance.

    Anyway…. Serena, hey! Thanks for dropping by, my friend. It’s lovely to see you here.

    Jan, I totally understand how writing takes over your life.

    Mona, how clever of you to think up ways to make another million from that first million. It reminds me of a Tim Tam biscuit advertisement here in Australia. Bron and Paula will recognize that.

  35. azteclady Says:

    Congrats, Avi J!

    Thank you, Maxine, for the interesting conversation.

  36. thanks azteclady,
    Hi maxine can you tell me what is your email adderss, i am not getting it on your web site.

  37. Avi, I’m glad you found my contact email address through my website, and as I said in private I’ll be sending you the books soon.

    Again, congratulations!

    Thanks to all who commented.

  38. azteclady Says:

    Avi J, check at the top right of the “about” page at Maxine’s website.

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