Q & A with Diana Ventimiglia, Associate Editor with Silhouette Desire

Please accept my apologies for posting late, but I’m sure you are all going to love hearing what this lady has to say. We are so excited to bring you the following Q&A by Diana Ventimiglia, Associate Editor for Silhouette Desire. Many published and aspiring authors already know Diana as Melissa Jeglinski’s Editorial Assistant until her promotion last year. Diana kindly agreed to answer the questions we dreamed up for her, but even more fantastic, she has offered to critique a full or partial manuscript from a randomly-chosen winner who comments on this week’s blog. If you are not in a position to take advantage of this prize there will be a parcel of books from our Downunder authors. Feel free to comment on the blog anyway, just stipulate whether or not you want to go in the draw for Diana’s critique or the book prize. We will draw the winner on Sunday 27th April.

Don’t be confused with the critique offered by Melissa Jeglinski, which will be drawn in June and is still open for comments. Check out Melissa’s Q&A in December to enter. 

1/ The Desire line is home to many different voices, settings and tones – perhaps now more than ever! What do think epitomizes a great Desire?

I think a great Desire is sexy and packed with lots of conflict. If an author can give me passion, scandal, and an alpha hero I’d love to date myself I think they’ve nailed Desire. I also think Desire has very strong heroines. They are nurturing and sensitive, yet can stand up for themselves.

2/ Your podcast with MJ last month on eHarlequin generated a lot of interest. I was interested to hear you would like authors to push the envelope, go deeper or more over the top. Can you expand on that a little?

By pushing the envelope I mean moving out of ones comfort zone. If an author had an idea and thought, ‘hmm this might be a little too dramatic’; I say go for it. Don’t be afraid to add different elements. For example, the hero gets into a car accident and is left with amnesia. He returns home and marries the wrong twin sister he slept with months ago. Then it turns out she’s pregnant with his brother’s child. OK maybe not exactly the above, but just that idea of not being afraid to be a little too dramatic. It’s always easier to cut down than to tack on at the end.

3/Can you give us your take on the differences between the Presents and the Desire Alpha Hero?

I think the biggest difference between the Presents hero and the Desire hero is that the Desire hero shows his feelings more. The readers have a better idea of where he came from and his transformation in the end.  For example, although he is out for revenge, readers still see his sensitive side as he feels for the heroine throughout the manuscript. 

4/Can you give us a brief idea of the path of a contracted manuscript after it lands on your desk?

Once a contracted manuscript lands on my desk, I first give it a read through to make sure it follows the proposal and has all the elements of a Desire. Once I complete this, I then begin the line edit. After this stage, the manuscript is sent out for copyediting, and I contact my authors with any important questions the copy editors may have. The author also receives a copy of the line edit, so she can get back to me with any changes she may have

5/What’s your personal favourite storyline – MOC, secret baby, seductive revenge etc? And do you have an all-time favourite romance?

I love secret baby stories. I just think they can be so juicy. I also think it makes for a great connection between the hero and heroine. I love seeing the hero taking on a more fatherly role. He really appeals to me in those scenes. So I’m very excited about the Billionaires & Babies series that starts in August 2008 with Maureen Child’s Baby Bonanza.

My all time favorite romance is when Harry Met Sally. I could watch that movie everyday for the rest of the year and be just as sappy.

6/I think you have a couple of Downunderers  in your growing stable of authors. Is it a hassle dealing with time differences, international postage, contracts whizzing here, there and everywhere, or not much different to dealing with American authors?

Well I love my down under authors and dealing with them is never a hassle. Really, it’s pretty much the same with American authors. The only difference being the time delay via telephone. I feel like those cell phone commercials where someone says something and the other responds but doesn’t hear anything and then thinks they said something horrible!  Haha so this sometimes can be tough, but other than that proposals and other materials are sent just as regularly as the American authors

7/Did you collaborate on the Diamonds Downunder series at all or was that down to MJ and the continuity editors?

Yes, that was all MJ.

There you have it. I will attempt to load the gorgeous pic Diana sent me but as my technical ability is now legendary on this blog, don’t hold your breath. Sorry again about the delay. What an interesting lady Diana is. Get polishing those secret baby stories, I say! And don’t forget, the winner for her critique or the books prize – you stipulate which when you post – will be drawn on Sunday 27th April. Best of luck, everyone!


168 Responses to “Q & A with Diana Ventimiglia, Associate Editor with Silhouette Desire”

  1. Okay – apart from the fact that I’m FIRST, yes FIRST!!!! Isn’t this just the ugliest post you ever saw???? I’m sorry, I have spent half the day posting this and it looks fine on wordpress and I’ve saved it ten times looking fine but it keeps publishing like this.
    But don’t let that put you off posting! Even ugly posts win prizes, sure they do!
    Jan is now crawling back into the dunce corner…

  2. BTW should Diana herself call by and say hello, don’t tell her it was me posted this, okay?

  3. That’s ok Jan I’ll still give you an A for effort. That said darn I came in second. I was hoping to set a hat trick (lol)
    Great post very informative

  4. limecello Says:

    Oh dang – I was given what I thought was advance warning and I was still comment #4! [Or later!] Hi Diana – thanks for visiting with us! Your Q&A gave me a lot more insight into the lines -and I never really thought of the differences b/t a Presents vs. Desire hero.
    LOL – Avi, I know that to be a hockey term! Yay! (I’ve never seen any sort of hockey game in my life.)
    Oh – and I’m definitely not a writer right now … unless Diana would like to edit a law review article? 😛 So please, plant me firmly in the reader camp.
    As to the format of the post, Jan – no worries. I think the only issue is the lack of images, and it’s not bad!

  5. Ah! I pressed the wrong key and sent the post before it was done. Guess you have company Jan in that corner (lol). I really love the desire line the best out of all the other lines it just captures me with the stories and there is so much information from locations to technology to business that can be learnt through these books. One thing I can say is that the desire line always delivers on their stories. Great job to both the authors and editors for giving us the readers such fabulous novels.

    limecello that was a cricket term for three in a row I didnt know hockey used it too (same here never in my life seen a proper game) (lol)

    Jan I took some time out from studies to read your book I soooo loved it cant wait to read you upcoming book. Maxine I forgot to mention I loved your story as well. You ladies did an amazing job to link all the stories and keep us on the edge of our seats (lol)
    Paula and Yvonne I am anxiously looking forward to read your books

    Please enter me for the book prize thanks.

  6. Oh just one thing i forgot to mention my favourite type of story is when the hero and heroine has a marriage of convenience and ends up falling in love

  7. Margie Stewart Says:

    Jan, you are absolutely forgiven! Thanks, Diana’s answers are very helpful, especially her take on the Presents/Desire, Alpha Hero.
    I have a question for you Lovely Diamond Ladies-which do you prefer to write, ‘reunion’ or haven’t met before, based plots?
    A large percentage of stories seem to be ‘reunion’ based and I’m wondering if that makes for more scope to push the envelope, create that extra deep conflict from unresolved issues between the hero and heroine and make the story fast paced?
    Any thoughts/insights, would be appreciated.
    Please put me in the draw for Diana’s critique. Thanks, Ladies. Margie s

  8. Okay–THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Diana V and Jan Colley!!!!!

    I have been refreshing my screen all day (sorry Jan, that was me emailing asking when it would be posted!:). So, I leave the house for a few hours and here it is!!!!! And there are so many comments ahead of mine! It doesn’t look bad at all–besides, this is such a great opportunity who cares what it looks like, lol. I’m just thrilled you posted!

    I loooooove the Desire Line–always been my fave. Diana thank you for the added insight. I’ve been a life-long romance reader and have recently turned romance writer. As you can imagine, I’ve been on the eharlequin boards on the recent Q&A with Diana, and now I’m here! (I’m not a stalker,lol, just a really enthusiastic wannabe published author) I’m trying to get as much info as I can to make sure I’m on the right track with my manuscript.

    I love that the Desire heroine is not a pushover and really does reflect the contemporary woman in today’s society–sure things are a little more dramatic than in real life–but she’s also identifiable. And the alpha hero–well, I love the fact that you know he’d do anything for the heroine in the end 🙂

    Sorry for such the long post.
    Oh, and I’d love to win a critique of my manuscript!!!!!

  9. Celtic Lass Says:

    Hi Diana and Ladies of the Diamonds Down Under Series!

    The website is terrific, congrats to all the authors! I just read the first two books in the series, and can’t wait for the rest. 🙂

    Diana — not sure if you’ll be posting back on this blog or not (I wrote in on the blog you sponsored recently on the E-Harlequin site), but I wanted to inquire as to your likes/dislikes as far as external conflict and villains within the context of Desire. Is there anything you are tired of seeing?

    Please enter me for the manuscript evaluation — I have a partial and outline that I am hoping will work for Desire! 🙂

  10. My author copies arrived yesterda-a-a-a-y! Jealous? 😀

    And I got a four star review from Romantic Times! Woohoo! (my first, I might add, LOL!)

    I’m a sucker for secret babies, marriages of convenience, cinderella stories, beauty and the beast, etc. Maybe that’s why I do what I do.

  11. Celtic Lass Says:


    I can’t wait to read it! (But I have the others to get through first — I’m a stickler for reading in order)!! LOL

  12. Hey Yvonne no fair I still have to wait for June to get your book. So my answer is yep I am jealous (lol) Congratulations on your review you are a really gifted writer.

  13. Hey Yvonne no fair I still have to wait for June to get your book. So my answer is yep I am jealous (lol) Congratulations on your review

  14. Wow you guys are on fire! I can see you are going to keep me on my toes this week!

    AviJ, thanks for your lovely comments about my (and Maxine’s) books. And there is plenty of room here in the Techno Twits corner. On this site, I have waaay more than a hat trick! And see, I don’t ‘get’ marriage of convenience stories, but they are so popular, and I’m bound to write one at some point. The motivation for marrying someone you don’t want to has to be so strong, I think I’m too grounded in reality lol.

    Welcome MargieS, did you have an afternoon nap?? Re your question, I would have immediately said ‘reunion stories’ but ticking my books off on my fingers, I have only actually written one. I do recall MJ saying about my next book (July – Billionaire’s Favorite Fantasy) that in this case, she’d prefer they hadnt met before as that just throws in a lot of unneccessary emotional baggage that had no bearing on the story. In that case, I obviously hadn’t handled it very well. I really do love the idea of being given a second chance.

    LauraP, I waited till you left the house on purpose – blame Laura, everyone. Your enthusiasm for the Desire line shines through and you sound like you really have a great idea of what they are looking for.

    Celtic Lass, I can’t answer for Diana, she may pop in some time this week and say hi. But in MJ’s Q&A, she mentioned that she needs more layers – not just revenge, say, because the h’s father ruined the H’s father’s business but something deeper. I guess that’s pretty close to what Diana means when she says don’t be afraid of being too dramatic. Good luck with your outline, it really is a great prize, isn’t it? and I hope you’ve also entered MJ’s draw (from her Q&A here in December), that one is drawn June 15.

    Yay, Yvonne, I’m going to camp out at the letterbox. And major hugs on the great reveiw, you beauty! But I always think of you as a five-star writer…

    Right, so I don’t lose track since I hope there are going to be lots of posts, I have Book Prize: Limecello and AviJ
    Diana’s critique: Margies, LauraP and Celtic Lass.

  15. Margie Stewart Says:

    Hi Jan- No I didn’t have a nap-might miss something!!
    Thanks for your comments on my question. I see what you mean -a trap to fall into if you’re not an experienced writer and I guess in 50 thousand words, there isn’t enough room for unwanted baggage- of any kind.
    Looking forward to your next release.
    Margie S

  16. Margie Stewart Says:

    Yvonne, congratulations on your RT review-that’s fabulous !!
    Margie S

  17. Oh!!! I can not believe I sent the same post twice. Jan hopefully there is no caps to wear in that corner (lol)

  18. Great Q&A, thanks so much for sharing and now I must also venture over to eharlequin to check out the Q&A there!

    I’ve always liked the Desire line and love a continuity so I’m really loving this series. Finished your book over the weekend Jan, really enjoyed it and now I’m looking forward to the next.

    Yvonne can I just say YES I’m jealous 😉 I’m sure you are going to tie it all up very, very nicely indeed. I so want to read the next two now!!!

    I too would love a critique of my work so please put me in the draw for that.


  19. Patricia Says:

    I’ve been reading romances for years and I’ve read across the lines. My favs are Presents and Desire. I love reading the Q&A posts it gives us wannabes so much insight into the editorial viewpoint and what they expect. I also love secret babies, royal-cindrella themes, and cowboy stories (kudos to my husband who is a cowboy).

    Please enter me into the critique. Advice from an editor-amazing opportunity!

  20. Hi everyone,

    What great comments and questions!

    Yvonne–congrats on the RT review. I have to say that I think this is so cool that we can have such accesst to such amazing authors. I love the DDU series, and have to catch up on this month’s.

    I love the cowboy stories myself.

    Question for DDU authors: Who are your favourite authors that you read before you were published–authors that inspired you?

    Thanks again!!

  21. Patricia Cochran Says:

    Great information for the writer AND the reader! Thanks so much for being here with us today!!

    Jan, finished Satin… and it is great! Also, thanks so much for the great prize that I won recently.
    Your and Bronwyn’s book (Ruthless Groom/Trophy Wives) arrived yesterday and I can hardly wait to
    read it! Especially since I love the writing of all the DDU ladies! Thanks again!!

    Pat Cochran

  22. Stephanee Says:

    Thank you for the great info on the Desire line. It’s been my favorite line for many years; I just love it when those big, bad alphas fall hard. I also love the strong heroines who have interesting careers and don’t necessarily always need rescuing, so love is really what brings the characters together in the end. Also, great job on the Diamonds Down Under series ladies. I can’t wait to get the last two books. I really like that you’ve kept it to a shorter series length. When I have to read a continuity that goes on for more than six or seven books, I tend to get bored with it. The shorter continuities wrap things up nicely, with an overall payoff that’s not so drawn out.

    Please enter me in the manuscript critique. I’d love an opportunity to share my current work with Diana for feedback.

    Keep up the good work – the website is great!
    Stephanee Ryle

  23. Do a lot of authors take the critiquing as a personal attack instead of viewing it as constructive critism? I can imagine how hard it is for someone to critique my work. Are professionals lines ever crossed? Thanks. Please enter me for the book prize.

  24. Jennifer SN Says:

    Hi everyone!

    Mega thanks to the DDU authors for their books, blog, site and contests!!! What a great theme! (I looove anything that sparkles, particularly big things, LOL).

    I’d love some opinions…I’m working on a three-book western series targeted for Desire — I have the first one pretty much done (yay!), the second one fleshed out and the third one is mulling around in my brain. The first two are pretty traditional in terms of relationship dynamic (alpha male who learns to show vulnerable side, strong but flawed female who is strengthened by his love).

    For the third I want to do something slightly different. There is a younger brother (about 23 years old) who I’ve grown to love and I really want to hook him up with an older female (someone who’s in her early thirties). The alpha dynamic would still exist!, it’s just that the age difference would add another layer to what keeps them apart in the beginning. Does anyone know of any Desires where there’s been a younger man? I’ve read a LOT of them in recent years but not all, LOL, and wondered about ideas or opinions!

    Thanks again! And I’d love to be entered in the drawing for a critique!

    Jen SN

  25. Hi Jenifer
    I have never read a desire like that but only two books i ever came across with an older heroine, Silhouette Special edition count down to baby by gina wilkins and once upon a pregnancy by judy duarte both books were based upon the heroine getting pregnant and was 5 years older ( although the line is different i hope it was helpful) it was such wonderful books. Good luck

  26. LauraP asked: Question for DDU authors: Who are your favourite authors that you read before you were published–authors that inspired you?

    Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann, Bronwyn Jameson and Fiona Brand when I knew I wanted to be an author–when I was totally happy just reading (and thinking I wouldn’t mind writing one of these one day…) Susan Napier, Robyn Donald and Daphne Clair.

    JenniferSN, your mini-series sounds fascinating. Have you read Maureen Child’s King series? The first in the series is a perfect example of a cowboy alpha. There’s not doubting he’s not a city boy but, oh my, there’s no doubting he’s every-inch-of-his-body-desirable. 😀 Have you queried your mini-series yet? Not sure about the older woman younger man. We actually originally touted a scenario like that with the heroine in her early forties for this series and the hero in his mid thirties but it didn’t work for the series overall in the end.

  27. Yvonne would that be the kings of california series?, i just read the second book, fantastic series, did you by chance read the series : reasons for revenge by her those were definitely some serious alpha males (lol)…

  28. MargieS, I’m definitely not an experienced writer, only started playing around with it in 2002, but I really think if I’d done a decent job of the reunion and backstory, MJ wouldn’t have had reservations. I just wasn’t good enough on the day.

    AviJ, have just the hat for you, dh’s sunhat, I have hidden it time after time and he always finds it again. it’s white and floppy and perhaps the reason he likes it is because it reminds him of me…

    Hi Nicki, great to hear you enjoyed the book, and I’m with you, I can’t wait to read Paula’s and Yvonne’s either. You’re in the draw.

    Patricia, a real live cowboy for a hubby? Wow! You’re right, this is such a great opportunity to get your stuff before an acquiring editor. I am lucky in that I have never actually submitted anything, I finalled in contests instead – score! I have heard how hard it is, writing, submitting, WAITING! Now some lucky lady (2 if you count MJ’s prize) will get this opportunity. I feel great that we six can provide that opportunity.

    LauraP, fave and inspiring authors for me are Nora, Diana Gabaldon, Bron J and Jennifer Green. Note I go for the warmer, fuzzier, not-so-angsty plots but that’s not to say that I don’t admire the heck out of many other authors, esp the other DDU ladies who bowl me over with their talent and style.

    Pat, I’m so glad you liked Satin and glad you got the book – that took a while! Gosh, you’ll be all Jan Colley’d out, poor thing!

    Hi Stephanee, hmm love your take on the Desire h, someone else – Laura? – had something equally as succinct and pertinent. I agree about preferring a shorter series, I have two twelve book series both missing one book, grrr. I know I should order them but somehow never get around to it.

    Jane, you raised an interesting topic. I think writers develop a thick skin early on if they want to be – and stay – pubbed. you have to be flexible in this business. We’d all love an editor to publish every word we write exactly as we wrote it! but the ed is in her postion because he/she knows the business and their line’s requirements, and knows what sells. Re personal critiques, that’s tricky, I don’t have crit partners although I did for a short while. I critiqued someone’s work when I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t, lol) and think I was too nit-picky and tough on her. I tried to balance every negative with a positive but I never heard from her after that and felt terrible. I pray she is still writing. Now I think a crit partner is there to give you a general overall impression rather than a line by line examination – some of the other authors may know more about this than me – The editor, however, can critique as she likes because she is the editor and you are essentially applying for a job. I think the established publishing houses would always be professional, not sure about the smaller or new ones.

    Jennifer, hi! Another great example of a Desire couple. Re older woman/younger man, by the time your third is published, your editor will have worked with you through two books and know your strengths and weakness. There are stories like that in some harlequin/silhouette imprints. Personally it’s not something I would attempt at such an early stage of my career but if done really well, it will certainly make an editor sit up and take notice! In general, I think Desire is geared toward a slightly older hero, the H’s in Sexy Sensation seem younger, but maybe it’s best to run it past your editor before you actually write the whole thing. As Yvonne said, read other connected books by well-established authors like Maureen Child – excellent example of a writer that the current editors love. Good luck in the draw! And with your series.

    You must all be sick of my dribble so will banish myself from this blog until tonight. Great questions/comments, everyone!

  29. Diana’s crit vs book prize update:
    Nicki, Patricia, Stephanee and Jennifer join the others in the draw for the critique.
    Jane joins the book prize list.
    And Pat (Cochran) – not sure about you yet. Let me know if you want to be entered for the book prize or critique.

  30. Virginia H. Says:

    What a wonderful interview. I did learn something from this one. I didn’t think there was that much differents between the Desire and the Presants books. You learn something new everyday. I am an avid reader so count me in on the book draw. I don’t think I could ever be a writer but will always be a reader.

  31. Jennifer SN Says:

    Thanks so much for the input, Avi, Yvonne and Jan!

    I haven’t come close to actually beginning a third book with a younger hero (not counting my chickens yet!) but because he’s a minor character in the first and second I’m thinking about how I want to tweak him, LOL. And, yes, I do have a tendency to get ahead of myself and although I don’t have an editor yet I’m dreaming of the day when I can run things by her… :o)

    I did read the first two Kings of California books. Loved them both but I got sucked in to the emotional story in the first (I really fell for Gina and Adam) and had to stay up way too late reading it. :o)

    I sent out a query for the first book in my proposed series last week and, of course, I’m very calm, cool, collected and patient about waiting to see what happens. Hoho.

    All the best,


  32. Hi everyone,

    Jan and Yvonne, thanks so much for your answers…it’s really interesting to know who authors are inspired by. Now to go look at my bookshelf and see which of those I have on there, lol.

    If you don’t mind me asking another question to the DDU authors:
    I’m currently working on a three-book miniseries that I’m really enjoying. I’ve heard that many writers will write their synopsis first and then start the book–while others just get started on their book. I’ve found for myself (a real novice) that writing my synopsis first really helps keep me on track, even if I end up altering it slightly. What do you do? Any tips/helpful hints?

    Thanks again for all this wonderful insight.

  33. Patricia Cochran Says:


    Not true, I won’t ever get Colley’d out! I enjoy your books too much
    for that!! The books prize for me, please!

  34. Thanks, DDU ladies, for the great questions and Diana for the insider answers. Even as a pubbed Desire author, I stilll love to soak up every bit of valuable info I can get. I’m really looking forward to the Babies and Billionaire’s series too 🙂

    Yvonne!!! Congrats on the 4 stars!! I know it’ll be a fabulous book. Can’t wait to read it. I’ve just finished Jan’s. OMGosh! What a fantastic story. And what a love scene!!!


  35. Hi jan after this blog you will have to change your job title from author to author/Record manager (lol)
    btw when you all are writing a book do you usually find your self getting ideas at all sorts of crazy times in the night, Just asking because i am almost finish my thesis and that is the time most of my best project ideas come. so for the past four months I was so sleeply looking going to school on mornings that i had to drink 2 cups of coffee just to wake up properly (lol).

  36. What a lively blog list this one is! So much fun (even though I should be working…shh, don’t tell anyone!)

    LauraP asked: I’ve heard that many writers will write their synopsis first and then start the book–while others just get started on their book. I’ve found for myself (a real novice) that writing my synopsis first really helps keep me on track, even if I end up altering it slightly. What do you do? Any tips/helpful hints?

    Everyone has their own style of working. For me, if I don’t have an outline I don’t finish a book. Then there are amazing authors out there who flim their way through to the most emotional and awe-inspiring endings that they just take me away to another place when I read their work. I think the key is to find out what works for you. I go to contract on synopses and that’s what I write to once I’ve been given a green light. I’m the kind of person that when I go on holiday I like to know where I’ll be staying, what it will cost, how many restaurants are nearby etc. (OMG, I sound like a control freak, believe me, I’M NOT!) Really, it’s all a security blanket. I’m not a big fan of change in a hurry. So, when I’m writing I tend to like to know exactly where my characters are going. Sometimes I don’t necessarily know why they’re going that way and that often doesn’t clarify until the last half of my manuscripts, but without that long outline (I do synopses that are 8-15 pages) I’m a meanderer. Since I want to make a career out of my writing, I don’t want to meander. I want to get where I want to be.

    Virginia, thank goodness for readers or I’d still be miserable doing my old day job (or dead from high blood pressure related problems which dissolved into the ether when I handed in my notice :D)

    Patricia C, I so agree with you on Jan’s writing. I love love love her style.

    Robbie!!! Squeee! Looking beautiful as ever!

    Jen, all the very best with your query. So nerve wracking and so brave. I really hope you get the kind of feedback you’re looking for! 🙂

    Avi, yes the Kings of California. Honestly, Maureen is a Goddess (I can never figure out if that’s one ‘d’ or two… looks right either way, to me at least.)

    Okay, I’m outta here for a couple of days (I’ll miss you guys!) but all the very best to all contestants for Diana’s Critique. She’s so lovely, you’ll be a winner in every way to have her input to your work. And all the best to the book prize draw contestants too

  37. Yvonne, have a great break. May the weather behave, the wine be chilled, and the cooking and dishes do themselves (are you taking the girls?)

    Hi Virginia, glad you enjoyed Diana’s Q&A. Good luck for the book prize.

    Jennifer, my fingers are firmly crossed for your query, I hope you’ll keep us posted on that. One thing all aspiring authors should know is the fab support and friendship you get from other authors – well, I’m sure you see that now. We love to celebrate success esp but also to cyber hug when things aren’t so rosy. Do you frequent the eharlequin boards?

    B—- cell ph, that’s 3 times in 2 mins, dh is trying to entice me into going to casino – it’s 11.20pm here! Golf days, sheesh (bet I go he he)

    LauraP Like Yvonne, I sell (she says hopefully) on an 8-10 p dble-spaced synop but often the story deviates, as long as you keep the basic selling and hooky elements – secret baby etc. Hate writing them tho, it probably escaped your notice that I can be a little verbiose????? Cannot believe that my 1st sale came about because of a logline pitch that is my story condensed into 2 measly sentences – btw see there are more online logline pitches coming up on eHq. Actually there is lots of great advice from experienced authors on the harlequin boards and several on synop writing. 8-10p for me is never enough! Tried the Snowflake method? Simplistically it’s 4p down to 1p down to 4paras down to 1para. Good luck!

    Pat C you’re in the draw for the books, good luck!!

    Robbie, your chq is in the mail lovey!!

    AviJ my optimum time for writing is 10pm till 3am. My eyeballs have taken up residence on the hills under my eyes. 2 cups of coffee is merely an appetizer, dear.

    And cos I have worked real hard the last 3 or 4 nights, I think I might go and join my darling at the Casino for a glass of wine. And then sleep in tomorrow. Nite all!

  38. I finally made it here. I’ve had the flu all week and am just starting to be able to think again.

    Thanks to Diana V. for her terrific Q&A. And boy, there’s lots of good questions and discussions going on here. It’s great to see so many regulars staying with us through this series, plus new visitors who are always welcome.

    Avi, thanks so much for loving my book. 🙂 I’m sure Jan’s just as pleased that you loved hers as well.

    As for what type of books I prefer to write, I love the marriage of convenience stories too, and the reunion ones, and secret babies. And heck, I love writing stories where the hero and heroine meet for the first time, are instantly attracted, and for whatever reason have a wild affair that then leads them to fall in love with each other after they’ve slept with each other, throwing in lots of complications along the way.

    Laura P my favourite authors are Helen Bianchin, Sandra Marton, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, to name a few. And of course, I love all my fellow DDU authors books. 🙂

    And Laura, I have to write my synopsis first. Like Yvonne, I need to know where I’m going and I need a detailed synopsis for that before I can start writing. I’m not a writer who does a ton of character charts or anything like that, but I need a synopsis or detailed outline, preferably chapter by chapter what will happen, before I write.

    Good luck to everyone with the critique drawing and the book drawing at the end of the week. I’ll drop by again later.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    Hi maxine hope you feel better. Jan and i thought i had it hard with late nights. (lol) you should eat chocolate bars in addition to having coffee on a morning so you will get a sugar rush as well as a caffine boost (lol) enjoy your night out.

  40. Hi maxine hope you feel better. Jan and i thought i had it hard with late nights. (lol) you should eat chocolate bars in addition to having coffee on a morning so you will get a sugar rush as well as a caffine boost (lol) enjoy your night out.

  41. Hi,

    After listening to the eharlequin podcast, reading blog and forums, the interviews with Melissa Jeglinski and Diana Ventimiglia.. thank you for posting and sharing with us! Loads of information and helpful tips! Was especially excited about the secret babies comment…it gave me new energy and determination to sit and finish polishing the three stories I’ve been working on, no matter how tempting the weather can be these days, lol! 😉

    Yvonne, congrats on the 4 Stars review!!

    Just started reading Maxine Sullivan’s Mistress & A Million Dollars.. I’m a little behind with keeping up to release dates, sorry. The Diamonds Down Under series is fabulous! Looking forward to reading the last two! 🙂

    Please enter me in the crit drawing, thanks!

  42. teachtoreach Says:

    Hello! I was thrilled to get the information from the interview on Desires! I am working on a ms right now and would love the opportunity for a critique!

    Thank you for sharing with us wannabes this way!!!

  43. Nina in Ohio Says:


    Thanks for blogging and giving us aspiring writers some good advice. I love reading Desire because of the strong heroines, imaginative story lines and as you said, a little more insight into the hero’s head. One of my favorite female characters was Zara Lovett in Bron’s The Ruthless Groom.

    Like Yvonne, my favorite authors are much the same: Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann, Bronwyn Jameson – smart gorgeous alpha heros that also would do anything for the love of their lives. I would love to have the chance at a professional critique! Thanks for sharing your expertise!

  44. Great Q&A, Diana! Thanks so much for sharing your insights!! It’s always lovely to pick an editor’s brain. 😀

    And Diamondites (to coin a name for you wonderful DDU authors) your series rocks. I’ve just finished Maxine’s book, when I thought I had to postpone reading it indefinitely on account of being sanity-compromisingly busy. But tell that to the lure of the series. I went to work today after only two hours of sleep!!

    Next up, Jan’s book!!

    I’m really thrilled to be writing for Desire, an incredible line made so by such talent! !

  45. I cant believe i did it again put the same post twice I just cant seem to post through my cell phone properly, computer soft ware trouble (lol) . Olivia gates, i am looking forward to reading your book next month. the sneek peak on the harliquin web site really captured my attention. Love the whole royal back ground setup.

  46. Thanks to Dianna for such a great insight into the Desire line and giving us an idea of where it’s heading story and characterwise.

    Many thanks
    Jane Beckenham

  47. Popping my head in here to say hello to my wonderful editor, Diana! Great Q and A.
    Waving hello to all you Down Under Desireables too !! Great series!

  48. Hey All! I’m game. I love contests…and I love DESIRE books. So count me in!

  49. Margie Stewart Says:

    Jan, you’re such fun (hope you got to the casino!). Thanks for all your tips, you’re very giving.

    Maxine- Hi . On the e-harlequin site you mentioned your on-line pitch. Was there an elimination round first? Hope you don’t mind my asking-I don’t know anyone who has pitched in this way.
    Regards Margie S

  50. How wonderful to read such fantastic advice/info from Diana. Loving your Diamonds DU books ladies . . . congrats on such a wonderful series! Please, please enter me for the critique!!!

  51. Andrea Johnston Says:

    Thanks, Diana, on the wonderful insight on the differences between the Desire and Presents. It is really helping to differentiate between the two.

    Let me add, the Downunder gals are terribly talented and really know how to write compelling Alphas. 🙂

    My question: What is the oldest age would a “secret baby” be acceptable in a Desire?

    Please enter me in the critique drawing.

    Thanks in advance!

  52. Wow so many different authors are popping on the blog, also one my favourite as well charlene sands, hi so loved your book in January cant wait to read about the other tyler brothers, the first one was such a hunk to read about (lol)

  53. Thank You so much for posting this. An interesting and informative post. Hugs.

  54. Thank you for your insights. Your comments on what ‘Pushing the envelope’ means is very helpful since the envelope has been pushed in so many directions over the last few years, I for one was wondering in which direction e.g. plot, more sexual scenes, or a wider range within characters (I have been playing with a ms about the problems of a couple with a temporarily paraplegic hero??)

    I have loved the Diamonds Down Under series. Love diamonds of all shapes and sizes…

    Thanks again,

    Zoe Y

  55. Thanks Diana and the DDU authors for posting all this information! I’ve got a desire idea for a trilogy I’m trying to flesh out. All of the comments definately help. Please enter me in the contest for the partial critique. Got to take every once of help I can get! lol!

    Have to say – love desire books 🙂 I’m so behind in my book pile, but I just started reading the King series – good stuff!


  56. cass bowman Says:

    Great ideas – love reading all the comments – even though my own writing has stalled at the moment it’s still great to know others are plowing ahead chasing that dream

  57. Hi Everyone,

    DDU authors, thanks so much for your detailed responses! What an invaluable resource.

    Hope you don’t mind if I ask another one: I was watching a video of Diana Palmer speak at an event about getting published and one of the things she said that really stood out was something that Jane Ann Krentz said to her–never let anyone read your manuscript who isn’t in a position to publish it (i may not have gotten that word for word, sorry). I was just thinking how interesting that is, especially when critique groups and partners are so popular. DDU authors, what do you think of that? Do you share your book ideas with other authors or people close to you–or is it ‘top secret’ until it’s w/your editor? I know Jan you touched on the critique parter thing in an earlier post too. Looking forward to your replys!

    Thanks so much, I’m just loving this!


  58. Margie Stewart Says:

    Laura, that’s a great question. Hope you don’t mind my adding-Stephen King, in his memoir of the craft-‘On Writing’, says something similar about not letting anyone see it until-can’t remember his term but if I remember it was pretty well when the book was finished!
    Margie s

  59. Good morning from sunny Christchurch, New Zealand!! Neat to see so many comments overnight. I’m glad you’re feeling better, Maxine, hope BA is looking after you. AviJ I bet you’re just zinging off the walls with all that coffee and lack of sleep and choccy. And is that Olivia Gates and Charlene Sands dropped by to say hi? Wow. I worked with Charlene on the Dakota Fortunes series awhile back. And Ola is taking Desire by storm at the moment – what was that about a 3 book contract, Ola????

    Cassie – where are you from and what’s the weather doing? good luck with your secret baby trilogy. Shall I put you in the draw for the critique?

    Teachtoreach, hi and good luck for the draw and your ms.

    Nina in Ohio – Ohio is a lucky place, I just sent a pressie to Ohio. I’m with you on Zara Lovett, tho I think Chantal is my fave Jameson h. Looking forward to her Suzanne book. You’re in the draw, Nina.

    Waving at Jane B, one of our talented Kiwi authors. Would you like to go in the critique draw, Jane? And Phyllis too, critique or book prize?

    MargieS, yep I put $4 on the Wheel of fortune machine and won $40 while the guy a couple rows away won $16,000 The whole casino stopped and applauded. It was fun. Here is the link for the online pitch thread on eharlequin http://community.eharlequin.com/content/3-ways-sell-rwa
    they haven’t posted the format yet but will soon. Apparently MJ is very keen to sign someone new before the conference. Let it be YOU!

    Or YOU Soraya! Good to see you here, good luck with the draw .

    Hi Andrea. I don’t know the answer to that but my first thought was – don’t stress too much. I doubt the ed will reject a really good story because of that, if she doesnt like it she will tell you to make changes. You should see the amount of revisions I’ve had in the last two books, some really major character changes. you have to be flexible to get and stay pubbed. You’re in the draw!

    Welcome Selena. I think Robyn Donald did several books set on the fictitious island of Illyria. Would you like to be in the draw for the book prize or the critique?

    Hi Zoe Y, I think Diana meant going deeper, more layers of drama and conflict. Don’t be afraid of being too dramatic. I haven’t heard of a disabled hero in Desire in recent times but that doesnt mean it isn’t done. Someone else might have a clue or opinion? Would you like to be in the draw for the crit?

    SueB, good luck for the draw. I think Diana is happy to do a full or partial critique if that’s any help.

    Cass, hi! Would you like the book prize then? Get back on that horse!

    Hi LauraP, re your question, I might discuss an idea or plot problem with another author/writer, but no, I’m too vain or insecure to let someone see my stuff. It would have to be polished to the nth degree – like tidying the house before the maid (in my dreams) arrives! Heaps of authors swear by their cps however.

    Right, better get some work done. Happy reading and writing!

  60. Diana, I was excited to hear you say you wanted authors to go deeper or more over the top. It’s great that editors, like you, are looking for ways to make their lines so different. Your talk has inspired me to keep writing a story that is more dramatic than normal.
    Thanks for all your insights,
    Please enter me in the draw for a critique

  61. this is a testing post

  62. grrr just spent an hour typing my responses and hit the submit button twice by mistake and lost the lot. sigh.

    Maxine, I’m glad you’re feeling better, hope BA is looking after you. Wow, was that Olivia Gates and Charlene Sands I saw leaving? I worked with Charlene on the Dakota Fortunes series awhile back. And Ola is taking Desire by storm with a new 3-book contract, congrats Ola!!

    Nina in Ohio, I’m with you on Zara Lovett being a great h, tho Chantal is my fave Jameson h. I can’t wait to read her Suzanne book. You’re in the draw.

    Cassie good luck with your secret baby trilogy, shall I put you in the draw?

    Likewise Jane (waving madly at Jane) Phyllis, Selena (didnt Robyn Donald set some books in the fictitious island Illyria?), and Cass – which prize draw would you like to enter, the books or the critique from Diana?

    Teachtoreach, good luck with your ms and the draw.

    Margie S I put $4 in the wheel of fortune machine and won $40 so I was tickled pink – until a guy a couple of row away won $16,000 I was happy for him though. Here is the link for the eharlequin online pitch contest:
    They will soon be posting the format. REmind me to tell you about my nightmare pitch, but at least it resulted in a sale (happy happy)

    Nice to see you here Soraya, good luck with the draw!

    Andrea, not sure about age limits on babies in Desire but I wouldnt stress too much. I doubt any editor will reject a great story because of it. Most of us get revisions at times and there can be some major changes. Good luck for the draw.

    Hi Zoe Y, I think Diana means dont be afraid to be overly dramatic, deeper layers of conflict and drama. I haven’t heard of a disabled Desire hero in recent times but doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Someone else may have an idea?? Would you like to be in the draw for the critique?

    SueB good luck for the draw, I think Diana is happy to do a full or partial, if that’s any help.

    Hi LauraP, I may discuss an idea or plot problem with another writer but no, I’m too vain and insecure to let anyone see. It would have to be polished to the nth degree – like tidying the house before the maid (in my dreams) arrives! But many authors swear by their cps. Daphne Clair and Robyn Donald have an editor friend read everything before they send it off.

    Okay, adding to my list for the prize draw:
    Book prize: possibly only Cass today.
    Critique: Cassie, Teachtoreach, Nina in Ohio, Soraya, Andrea, SueB and Sue (welcome Sue, good luck with your dramatic story)
    Not sure which: Jane B, Phyllis, Selena, Zoe Y

    If I’ve missed anyone yell out, I will poss on Sat just recheck since it is such an important prize.
    Now I have lots of work to do, so happy reading and writing, everyone.

  63. great interview, please enter me for teh books. i like desire books

  64. Okay I’m steaming now, every time I hit submit I lose it. Have typed out my responses three times – and you know how much I talk so this will be brief – actually maybe that’s the prob – my posts are too long. Before typing it all out again, I’ll just try a short one.
    So far from all the posts from last night, I have only possibly Cass who wants the book prizes.
    Critique: Cassie, teachtoreach, Nina in Ohio, Soraya, Andrea, SueB and Sue.
    Don’t knows: Jane B, Phyllis, Selena, and Zoe Y.

    Anyone I’ve missed? I may do a head count on Sat since it’s such an important prize.

    Right let us see if this one works….

  65. Thanks MargieS–I guess maybe there’s something to that viewpoint! Can’t wait to hear what the DDU author’s take on that is. That interview I was talking about is on youtube. Very interesting.


  66. Finally! Bleeping computers….this will not be so long as the originals.

    Cassie and teachtoreach, good luck with your manuscripts and with the critique draw.

    Nina in Ohio, with you on Zara, tho I think Chantal would have to be my fave Jameson h, I can’t wait to read her Suzanne book.

    Was that Olivia Gates and Charlene Sands I just saw leaving? Wow! I worked with Charlene on the Dakota Fortune series awhile back. And Ola is taking Desire by storm at the moment with a new 3-book contract – yay, Ola!

  67. Hi Jan…that’s so frustrating. Maybe type it out in an email and then cut and paste it?

    Okay, well it’s almost 11pm here in Toronto, Canada, and I’m off to start Jan’s DDU book…soooo behind on all my reading…I can’t believe I just responded to one of your posts and now I’m going to read one of your books…:)

  68. MargieS, I put $4 in the wheel of fortune and won $40 so i was rapt. Some guy a couple of rows away won $16,000 I was so happy for him. It was fun! So here is the link for the eharlequin online pitch contest:
    Remind me to tell you sometime about my nightmare pitch, if it hadnt resulted in a sale I think I’d still be suffering post traumatic stress syndrome!! Anyway, it seems MJ is very keen to sign a new author before the contest, so let it be YOU!

    Or YOU, Soraya, nice of you to drop by and good luck!

    Hi Andrea, not sure if there is an age limit, but I wouldn’t stress, I doubt an editor would reject a story because of that. You should see some of the major changes I’ve had to make! Good luck!

    Selena, good luck for you, too. Didnt Robyn Donald write a series of books set on the fictitious island of Illyria?

    Zoe Y, hi. I think Diana meant going deeper, more layers of conflict and drama, don’t be afraid to be too dramatic. I have not heard of a disabled H in Desire in recent times but that doesnt mean it can’t be done. Let me know if you want to be in the draw for the critique or the book prize.

  69. Happy reading, LauraP!
    To answer your question, I may discuss an idea or plot problem with another writer, but no, I’m too vain and insecure to let anyone see. It would have to be polished to the nth degree. Like tidying the house before the maid (in my dreams) arrived lol. But heaps of writers swear by their cps and some have freelance editors to read it before they send it off.

    Okay just lost another post I’m wondering if it’s because I’ve copied and pasted a link to the eharlequin boards for MargieS.

  70. Last time: I really have to get some work done!!

    Thanks to Soraya and Jane B for stopping by, good luck with the draw, Soraya, and let me know Jane if you want to be entered.

    MargieS, I won $40 on the pokies for a $4 bet so I was happy, not as happy as the guy a couple of rows over who won $16,000!!! I was so happy for him. Anyway, are you a member of the eharlequin community? If not, join up, it’s free and you’ll be able to get into the online pitches from there. Remind me to tell you my nightmare pitch story sometime, if it hadnt resulted in a sale, I think I’d still be suffering post traumatic stress syndrome.
    As I will be if this post disappears. ..

  71. I dont think I answered Andrea’s question (well, I did, three bleeding times) I dont think there is an age limit for babies in Desire, but I would say don’t stress too much. I doubt an ed would reject a great story just for that. Good luck with that and with the draw!

    That probably goes for ZoeY too, I have not heard of a disabled Desire H in recent times but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, tho in that case because his temporary paralysis will impact so much on the story it would be wise to check with the editor or their assistant first, before writing the whole thing.

    Right I’m sorry if ‘ve missed anyone. Thanks a lot for all your amazing comments and questions. If I was just computer savvy, I’d be enjoying this heaps. Happy reading and writing everyone.

  72. And thanks for dropping by, Kim, you’re in the draw for the books.

  73. Margie, in regards to the eHarlequin online pitch that led to my first sale to Desire in 2006 (both Tessa Radley and Jennifer Lewis sold too then via that pitch), everyone could enter with a 3 sentence logline about your story. MJ read through them, chose the top 6 or so to do an online pitch in their chat rooms, MJ then asked to see the full manuscript, I sent it to her and she bought it. Simple. 🙂 Not really. I’d been writing for over 20 years before getting published but when that sale came it happened fast.

    Anyway, I wrote an article about the pitch on eHarlequin which is probably gone with the old boards, but I did save it to my website. So if you go to my website, then the Writers Pages, there’s a link at the top to an article called “The Pitch, The Process, and How To Get Picked Up for Publication”.

    Hope that helps.

  74. couldn’t resist, Jan – I had to tidy it up! You had a whole bunch of coding all over the place 🙂

  75. Oh, and I’m back from Canberra! Took a few days of the school hols to relax a little (not – had 7yo with me LOL).

    Margie – I ADORE reunion stories, hands down. The tension is just so great between two people who’ve already been there, done that, don’t want to do it again (or so they think!).

    Laura P – reading for inspiration? Those authors (especially ANZ ones!) who have sold their first book. It’s a great indicator of what the editors are buying. I also learn a great deal about technique from Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Johanna Lindsay, Sophie Kinsella (wonderful study in cause/effect and plotting), Jennifer Weiner.

    Which comes first, the synopsis or the book? The synopsis, because your editor (hi, Diana!!) will want to see what your next story is about. But to write it you have to know where your story is going 🙂 So it’s a bit of a circular argument, really. For me – because I write slowly – it’s great to submit that storyline and get the feedback back BEFORE I’ve written the whole thing. Cuts down on heading off on the wrong road then having to slash pages and pages… 😀

    Jane – personal attack? Heavens, no. I take it as this – the editors want to buy your book. You want to sell it to them. If they can give you critique on why they can’t, then that’s just gold. Publishing is a business, even though as writers we deal in emotion (and tend to be very emotional creatures ourselves!). And believe me, I’ve had the gammut of contest judges who’ve loved my stuff and literally said I sucked. I’m very fortunate in having a crit partner who is absolutely brilliant. She’s an aspiring writer too, and even though she’s writing completely the opposite to me (mainstream suspense women’s fiction) she knows exactly what to pick up on. In fact, we’re so in tune with each others’ writing that we’re devising a brainstorming/plotting workshop and hope to trial it in the next few months 😀

  76. Margie Stewart Says:

    Maxine- thanks for that-it’s a fabulous story. I’ll go over to your site now. Oh, and I just got your DDU, so looking forward to reading it over the weekend.

    Paula- thanks for sharing your comments.

    Margie S

  77. Thanks for the explanation of the Desire/Presents hero difference. It is a hard one to explain, though you always know when you’re reading it!

  78. Hi Jan and all you talented bunch of Diamonds Down Under authors, thanks so much for setting aside time to blog and offer us such magnificent prizes.
    I must say I’ve been following Diana around the boards ever since listening to her and MJ speak about the line on eHarlequin podcast – so this Q&A is a double bonus. Thanks to Diana as well for setting aside such precious time.
    First of all I must tell you I just love reading the Desire line, which I might add was introduced to me by Bronwyn Jameson, who always delivers such a wonderfull tense love story. Vows and Vengeful Groom as usual was a magnificent read and I’m looking forward to reading the rest in the series.
    Ever since Diana said Desire was like a soap opera I realize I have an ms that could fit the line or perhaps it might be over the top, so I’d love to win a critique that could decide either way.
    BTW I love secret baby stories and MOC, which still happens in many countries. I met two couples recently who are happily married after their arranged marriages. One woman is middle aged and from India who married someone through family connections. She said her family was in the process of arranging a niece’s marriage.
    The other person was from Sudan and after she was chosen by her husband’s family, her husband’s sister had to interview her and she was sent to live with them before her husband-to-be travelled back from Australia to Sudan to marry her. So he was the refugee and she migrated here after they were married. Fancy following a strange guy out here and falling in love in such an alien country, especially since she couldn’t speak English and had never even cooked on a stove before.
    Anyway thanks guys for sharing your writing tips and insights and yes please I’d love to be in the draw for the critique.

  79. Terrific interview – esp the differences in ‘alpha’ heroes. Whatever your favourite line, there’s something deeply satisfying about a strong, capable man brought to his knees by the right woman.
    (please enter me in the critique draw)

  80. Mary Jane Campbell Says:

    This is great information! Love the idea of a drawing also. Thank you for having this web-site!

  81. Thanks so much for being here, Diana!
    Great information. Maxine, thanks for the tip about this on eharl.
    The critique drawing is exciting!


  82. limecello Says:

    Oh my goodness, this post *exploded*! Jan, sounds like you had a lot of problems posting- that’s too bad. :-\ – sometimes if you hit “back” your browser will still have it. Or copy the text right before you hit submit. [Or write the comment/post in a notepad and copy and paste it.] Just a suggestion!

  83. Jan the problem could be with your internet, i sometimes get problems posting on the google blog on bron”s site where it does not post and the message is lost when i submit it, so i end up having to copy any message i type to aviod it being lost to send it over when the net is working better. but its cause of the net traffic in the area, so you could probably try posting when it is in the middle of the day or late at night.

  84. Celtic Lass Says:

    Ohmygosh, I’m just in reading the wonderful chat postings from this week. This chat really took off! It is very interesting and thanks to all the Posters and Answerers for a fascinating discussion of Desire (and also the writers who inspire us).

    (Special kind thanks to Jan for answering my question on conflict the other day)!

    I looked for Paula’s book at my local bookseller yesterday, but alas they don’t have it yet. Sigh. The shop DID have a few of the May Silhouettes and Harlequins already in, so I’ll try again next week. Maxine’s and Jan’s books have been so much fun, I can’t wait for Paula’s!!!

    Please enter me for the critique — thank you!

  85. Paula–thanks so much for that detailed feedback, especially who to read and what to look for from them. The synopsis info is really helpful too. What I’ve gathered from everyone who’s answered is to do a really detailed synopsis–I think Jan mentioned hers is quite long too.

    Thanks for all the great info!


  86. Crystal B. Says:

    Great interview. Very informative. I love the Desire line and am really enjoying this series. I would love to be in the book drawing.

  87. Thanks for the great Q&A Diane. Love reading what the editors are currently interested in.

    I’m enjoying the Diamonds Downunder miniseries. Great titles. I’m currently reading this month’s selection, Satin and a Scandalous Affair.

    Please enter me into the MS critique draw.

  88. Okay, here’s hoping things behave today. So Paula says I have a bunch of coding….whaaaa????

    Happy ANZAC Day everyone. For those not in New Zealand and Australia, ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corp, and it’s a public holiday down here and a day we remember the losses suffered by the doomed attempt to capture Gallipoli in the First World War, (lol I didnt think you were supposed to celebrate failure but there you go.) Nowadays of course we remember all of our war vets, whether from the Gallipoli campaign or not.

    Hi to Jenna, Mary Jane and Carol and thanks for dropping by. You didn’t note whether you’d like to be in the critique draw or book prize.

    Linda, I wonder how many of us have been drawn to Desire b/c of Bronwyn Jameson – she has a lot to answer for. So Diana describes Desire as a soap operal and MJ as a guilty pleasure, that will be handy to keep at the front of my mind when I start veering off the track a bit as I inevitably do. You’re in the draw for the critique.

    Chris W love the way you described the Desire H. Good luck with the draw.

    AviJ and Limecello thanks for your suggestions. If this doesn’t publish I will scream. But at least Paula is around if I need her.

    Celtic Lass, me too. I want Paula’s book.
    That’s Diana V for you, she loves a crowd. I already have you in the draw for the critique and wish you luck for it. Same with Anne M, and hope you enjoy Satin.

    Crystal B, hi and you’re in the draw for the books.

    So that’s Kim and Crystal B for the books
    Linda, Chris W, Celtic Lass and Anne M for the critique.
    Jenna, Mary-Jane and Carol – dont knows.

  89. I have a lot to answer for? Hmmmmmm……

    Seriously, what a great discussion. Love the Q&A (Hi, Diana), and love all the Q&A that has continued in the comments. Great job, Jan. And great questions, everyone, and Jan’s and Yvonne’s and Maxine’s and Paula’s answers are fab. as well.

    Favourite storylines? I love marriages of convenience and unplanned pregnancies, where the characters have to face a major emotionally-intense situation and they’re honour-bound to go ahead, bonding against their will, when they’d rather be running a thousand miles. Loads of scope for layers of internal and external conflict. On a broader scale, anything that is opposites-attract. Again, because there’s inbuilt conflict this time coming from who they are and how they see the world rather than the external situation.

    Favourite authors? Many already mentioned, but I also have a deep and abiding love of historical romance (where those MOC’s abound!) I love Loretta Chase and Lisa Kleypas and Connie Brockway and Judith Ivory, amongst others. In Desire, the authors I was reading and loving at the time I sold were Barbara McCauley, Leanne Banks, Cindy Gerard, Jennifer Greene.

    About synopses/outlines… The detailed synopsis is required in our proposal to sell a book, hence we all learn to do them. They let tyhe editors know whether we have the whole story or only a starting situation, if the conflict is intense enough and layered, if there is enough going on and some surprises/twists/revelations to keep things interesting right through to the end. So, yeah, we need a pretty good idea of the story’s shape and texture before we send in a proposal, although some authors have already written some chapters at that point to get a better handle on the characters and their situation.

    Critique partners…. I’m like Jan, too much of a perfectionist to share my rough work with others. By the time it’s good enough (IMO) to share with others, it’s good enough for my editor and so she is the first reader. That said, I have some wonderful friends with whom I brainstorm from time to time.


  90. Elizabeth Says:

    Thanks so much for this Diana. I’ve just been judging a contest and the Desire line was very popular. It’s great to get a slightly more indepth view of what you’re looking for in that respect––helps when making comments on the entries to nudge people in the right direction (and for my own writing as well). Desire definitely does get confused with Presents at times but when you mentioned the hero’s feelings things fell into place. I prefer knowing a bit more about the hero so I can understand his motives. And it’s great to know we can really let go with the drama of a story. This advice has helped immensely!

    Please enter me in the critique, thank you!

  91. Hi ,Thanks for sharing. What a great discussion!! It just made somethings I was confused about very clear. Please enter me in the critique as well.. Thank you.

  92. Hi there,

    Just a question (sorry, I know, lots of questions 🙂 to the Desire authors, do you get a say in the book covers? I love the way the Desire’s look (very contemporary and sophisticated) but have oftened wondered how the pictures are chosen for the covers. I’ve seen some (last I can remember is Iron Cowboy, Diana Palmer) without the hero/heroine on the cover and wondered why.

    Thanks for indulging my questions! All your responses have been so detailed and informative.


  93. Laura, funny you should mention covers. I’ve just put a link on my blog to a post about the making of a cover by a freelance artist who does work for Harlequin. Tis really interesting.

    How it works from an author’s point of view: we submit Art Fact Sheets for each book, which include descriptions of the characters and setting etc. We also suggest several scenes from the book which may work on the cover, but it’s up to the art team and the senior editor to decide which will work best. Sometimes none of our suggestions fit their vision and they come up with an alternative.

    With mega-hitters such as Diama Palmer the covers are often more single title in look, perhaps to appeal to her wider audience? (guessing)

    Speaking of covers, I love all the DDU ones. If you haven’t checked out the awesome opening page of our website with all the covers together, do so. Aren’t they gorgeous?


  94. My comment is awaiting moderation? Is that because of the links??


  95. Thanks Diana for answering those most asked or queried questions.
    I am hoping to eventually become a Romance author, so your answers were superbly answered.
    Love the BLOG, keep up the good work everyone involved.

    please enter me in the critique as well..Thanks

  96. Hi Laura P, you should check out bronwyn jameson blog, on her website, she had an intresting post about making a romance cover i think it was on the 12 & 14 of april.

  97. Thanks Avi J–I’m on my way to check it out!

  98. Cover art has been rather a theme on my blog lately. 🙂 If you skim down the page, you’ll see the post Avi refers to “How A Romance Novel Cover Is Made” which links to a TV segment about the making of covers at Dorchester, a single title publisher. I love all this behind-the-scenes publishing stuff, I do.



  99. Thanks so much Bronwyn, I just checked it out–I had no idea so much went into a book cover–I guess it’s something I never really sat and thought about. I never would have guessed that the artist has to find models to a shoot, create, etc. Really cool.

    And, now I think I’ll be up the rest of the night reading all your articles. How I wish I found your site sooner. I’m just salivating at all the info there–it’s like a gold mine for an aspiring author!


  100. Celtic Lass and Jan – I can’t wait for you to read my book too ! .

  101. Oh, I nearly missed answering Andrea J re: oldest ‘secret baby’. I actually have a reunion/secret baby/revenge story simmering away but it requires the ‘baby’ to be 15 years old. 🙂 Now, I would really loooove to see this story in print because I got so caught up in all that delicious conflict and simmering sexual tension between the h/h. And even though the boy does figure a good bit in the story, he is scarce in the actual scenes because his goal is to get his parents back together. One day, one day…

  102. Oh Jan – you keep turning up in the Spam trap! You’ll be hacking your way out with a Ka-Bar if you keep it up 😉

  103. I never would have guessed that the artist has to find models to a shoot, create, etc. Really cool.

    How cool would it be to observe one of those shoots?

    “Put your hand on her–”


    “No, lower.”


    “Getting warmer.”


    Laura, hope you foudn something useful in my articles.


  104. hi all
    I love this series, as well as the desire line. This is a great Q&A . My favourite stories are the secret babies and reunion. I love to read so please enter me in the draw for the books.

  105. azteclady Says:

    *timidly (really, why are you looking at me like that?) posting to be considered for the books drawing*

    *waving at DDU ladies* You are all so cool!

  106. Hey Azteclady, where’s ya been??? You’ve been missed. Of course I’ll enter you for the book prize and keep my fingers crossed for you – and all the others too!

    Great answers, Bron, which I’m sure everyone will take a lot from. Although I had to laugh at your assessment of me being a perfectionist – waaaay too lazy for that, I’m afraid. I think there is a thin line between being a perfectionist and just being too insecure to live!

    Hi Elizabeth! I have just been asked to judge a contest – not on my own thank the lord, but one of many, and I’m a bit nervous about it. Any tips?? You’re in the critique draw, as are you, Suzy and Rob, welcome and good luck.

    LauraP, Bron has this one covered. Can I just say that I’m thrilled with the cover for my July book, (Billionaire’s Favorite Fantasy) – they got it exactly right, from the fireplace, the rustic cabin, black tee and jeans and the white fur coat. I really feel the Art Dept cut and pasted my Art Fact sheet right onto the cover!

    Good luck with that storyline of yours, Paula, sounds like something I’d love to read. Re the spam trap, I wonder if that’s the 3 or 4 long posts i ‘lost’ yesterday. There was a lot of teeth gnashing – lucky the laptop didn’t go sailing over the balcony actually.

    Hi Gina, glad you are enjoying the series so far, there are lots of fab surpirsies in store yet! You’re in the draw for the book prize.

    Just for me: today’s telly:
    books: Azteclady and Gina
    Critique: Elizabeth, Suzy, Rob

    Going off to bed with a smile on the dial cos we won the rugby. Happy day to our Northern Hemisphere friends and happy nightmares to all of us downunder.


    Thanks for the input Diana. And hooray for those alpha males. Don’t we love ’em! Love the Q&A. (Drawing for critique please!)

  108. Bronwyn, thanks so much for your reply, lol.

    Hope I found something useful in your articles?…hmm…I went to bed at 2am last night b/c I couldn’t stop reading! Brought my laptop into bed, eyes bloodshot this morning, b/c I had to wake up at 7am with the baby. Your articles are like a gold mine. Honestly, I wish I found it sooner. Any aspiring author should check it out. Thanks for contributing so much. I found the one on tension really informative, b/c I think I have an issue with pacing–too slow.

    Now I’ll have to go get tycoon’s one night revenge and see how it all gets put together!

    Thanks everyone.

  109. azteclady Says:

    Jan, you are such a sweetheart!

    I’ve been around but not much–real life is getting in the way of my reading, if you can believe that 0_0


  110. I’d always thought Desire settings were based in exotic places. I heard about the contest and sat down to see if I could come up with an acceptable storyline and came up with an outline for a 3 book series. But…I also have a cowboy hubby and my series is based on a huge Texas ranch. It involves cowboys, revenge and a secret baby. I’m sure I can get a partial together. I’d love to win the opportunity for a critique! Please count me in!

  111. When ever I look through the books on the shelf I have always found myself looking for the trademark colors of the Desire series. I have always felt in these books that I will find the best reading material for my time.
    Reading all these comments and answers to questions makes me understand that much more why Desire has always been one of my favorite collections to purchase and enjoy.
    Thank you everyone for all the info!
    And I would also like the chance at a critique with such wonderful people!

  112. Margie Stewart Says:

    Jan, thanks for that direct link-I’ll keep my eyes on that one.

    It’s Saturday and I’m more motivated than ever after such lively discussion about the series and the Desire line in general and all I want to do is keep writing!
    Alas, I have to go to work for the next couple of days to earn money to keep writing! It’s all part of the ‘writer’s journey’, I know.
    If no one minds, I have one more question about – STORY TIMEFRAME
    I think I heard, on average the hero and heroine’s story is ‘told’ over a period of a month?
    Just wondered how you ladies manage this aspect.
    Thanks again for sharing so much, DDU ladies.
    I’ll bow out now to give others a turn.
    Thanks for the opportunity and just to comfirm-I’d love to be in the draw for a critique, thanks Jan.
    Margie S

  113. Sorry about the bloodshot eyes, Laura, but glad you were able to pick something up from the articles…esp the tension one because that is such an important element in Desire. That balance between conflict and I-want desire. Pacing and hooks and the promise of secrets to come…it all keeps the reader turning the pages, even when she should be shutting the book and closing her eyes.

    Laura, hope you enjoy my Tycoon. If you’re read the Princes of the Outback trilogy, this is Susannah’s story, the sister of Zara in The Ruthless Groom. Which reminds me, Nina, thank you for the huge compliment. Thanks, also, for the flattering inclusions in lists of favourite authors. (Cheques/checks are in the mail. 🙂 )


  114. Margie, great question about timeframe. I think this is another “all in the execution” things, where it depends on the situation and the conflict between the hero and heroine…and on whether you can bring the story arc around to a credible ending within a shorter timeframe.

    I haven’t/hadn’t heard about the one-month average. However, you do see plenty of one-month Desires because they’re part of continuities or series (trilogies, for example) which follow the real-time timeframe of the books’ scheduling. Our Diamonds Down Under, for example, is set in the January-June of the books’ releases.

    The advantage of this short, condensed timeline is that it ups the intensity and sense of urgency and therefore the pace. Everything is happening quickly, so there is little time for thinking or dwelling. You create a pressure cooker situation.

    The majority of Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge takes place over a week, which suited that “stranded” situation but also created the added question of will the readers believe their resolution and commitment after such a short time together? That’s the other consideration when you’re working out your timeline. Have you allowed enough time for them to sort out their conflict in a satisfying manner?


  115. Hi bron
    Where is Tessa? I have not seen her on this blog.

  116. Thanks Bronwyn!!!

    I totally understand the importance of the timeline creating the intensity needed in Desire’s now. It makes a lot of sense. I think that it’s quite a challenge to try and make it believable as you’ve said in such a short time frame. I can’t wait to see how you do it in the one week timeframe for Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge!

    I guess a spin-off of the cover-art question is about titles…do you submit your own book titles? Do you come up with your title before you start writing (for inspiration?). Does it ever get changed once submitted? Just curious! Thanks a million!


  117. Hi Marion, glad you’re enjoying all the banter and good luck for the critique prize.

    Chelle, your story idea sounds great. In MJ’s Q&A here in December, she said she liked Westerns, so get polishing and good luck in the draw.

    Nett it’s great that you think Desire’s are the best line – we do too! There have been substantial changes over the past couple of years but are still one of the top selling lines. Hope you stick with us, and good luck with the critique.

    Thanks for kind words, Margie. Bron answered your question beautifully. I find it tricky juggling a timeframe with the willing suspension of belief. I don’t necessarily think there is a set timeframe but you have to keep the H&h together all the time,which is difficult when they have to go to work or just live and yet you need the tension screwed up tight all the way through. My current wip is stretching out to 6 or 7 weeks, which is a worry, it will be interesting to see what sort of reception that gets.
    Yep you’re in the draw and all the best for that and for your support throughout this ‘blogging season’!

    Laura, hi. Re titles, that’s an interesting point and I’d love to see what the other DDU ladies think about it. Personally I have nicknames for books. It may just be a place or something humorous. My very first Trophy Wives, was my title but MJ is so good with hooky, salable titles that I’m pretty much happy to go along with her suggestions. Does anyone else get confused at the bookstore though when there might be a title with say, tycoon or billionaire, in it and I think to myself, I’m sure I read that last month. Or is it just me?

  118. Elvina Payet Says:

    Hello and thanks again for the great advice re the Desire line.

    Maxine, hope you’re feeling better.

    Waving hello to Yvonne, Bronwyn, Paula, Robyn, Jan, Olivia, Jane – and everyone else for their words of wisdom.

    Now back to revisios for me….

  119. ‘Diamondites’? Olivia, I love it!

    And hello to another fellow Desire author, Charlene Sands. Thanks for dropping by.

    Waving at Elvina and Andrea and Carol and…. ooh, there’s too many to mention so I’ll just wave to you all.

  120. Jan
    Thanks so much for the congrats! It’s indeed a thrill to have a new three-book contract with Desire. It’s for another miniseries, The Castaldini Crown.

    And yep, I love your July cover too. And mine! 🙂 The scene from the Turkish bath is sizzling and wrapped in fantasy at the same time. The Desire art department are really on a roll!

    And on the subject of covers, when I first filled the Art Fact Sheets of the first book in my Throne of Judar series, (which was tough enough since I hadn’t written beyond four chapters then) I was asked to fill those of the other two books too, because the Art Team wanted to create a ‘look’ for the series. That was even tougher to do for books I haven’t written at all yet, but boy, was it worth it. The covers are masterpieces!

    On the subject of babies, I’m the living proof they’re not a no-no in Desire. As is clear from the title of my debut book in Desire, The Desert Lord’s Baby, there is a baby and she’s pivotal to the plot. But it’s vital to make sure that a baby heightens the emotional impact and stakes and conflict of the premise, while never for a moment diluting the heat and sensuality of the H/h’s relationship. Again, as always I guess, ‘It’s all in the execution!’! 😀

    Thanks! I’m glad the excerpt on eHarlequin whetted your appetite for my series. I hope you enjoy it!

    Glad you liked the Diamondites monicker. It felt fitting, and I’m hoping it will continue to be so, since I’m really hoping there will be another DDU series (and another, and another…). One is certainly not enough.

    Waving back!

    And waving to everyone. This thread, with all the questions and answers is continuing to be great fun!!

  121. Hi Olivia
    I agree with you with hoping there is another DDU series. I was thinking that it would be fantastic if the series could be adapted into a movie. What do you DDU ladies think about that?

  122. Nathalie Says:

    It is always nice to know how much work is put on any published books, especially the Harlequin ones that lit. critics always like to rant about!

    Thanks for the blog… and it sure takes a lot of effort to get published.
    Can I be in for the book prize 😉

  123. Thanks for clarifying a bit the job of an editor. I never really knew how much work it takes!

    I wonder, when an author has published several books and is a favorite amoung readers, is it possible that the editor just doesn’t like a story line and decides not to publish it or its gets published anyway because the author has a nice record.

    PS: I am not a writer… so the book prize draw for me!

  124. Janet Chamberlain Says:

    So, the line wants powerful passionate and provocative with lots of conflict.
    Hoping to win that critique

  125. Wow such a great blog i have been reading the series and enjoying it i cant believe i found out about this site so late. Well let me say to Bronwyn, Tessa, Maxine and Jan i loved all of your books i am looking forward to Paula and Yvonne books.
    Please put me down for the book prize please, thanks. One question, is the paula who designed this site the same one who wrote the book? If so it was a great job done in any case.

  126. limecello Says:

    Wow – I’m sorry I can’t keep up with all these comments, from what I read, they’re so interesting – but finals have finally arrived. *cries*
    Bron, I’m sorry, but I thought it was hilarious you were on moderation. I’ve been reading a lot of posts about covers, recently. Maybe it’s just me… but I like the covers such as DP’s “Iron Cowboy.” I also love the DDU covers – but sometimes, it’s also nice to have a more “artwork-ey” cover. This has all been so interesting! If there are people on the cover, I don’t mind if the character don’t look like the ones in the book too much – because I know sometimes they’re two completely separate processes. BUT! If it seems like they were trying to match the two, but are completely off, then I’m annoyed (ironically.)

  127. Andrea J Says:

    Thanks so much for your feedback on the age limits of secret babies, Paula and Jan!

    Got Jan’s and Maxine’s latest books on my to be read this week pile!
    Look forward to reading yours too, Paula and Olivia!

    Waving back, Maxine! 🙂 Feel better, sweetie.

  128. Hi limecello, two art covers that stood out for me was annette broadrick, book but not for me and cathty guilen thacker book, a texas wedding vow these so matched the story no people were needed on the cover you should check it out. Hey i have company with someone else doing finals too. good luck i just have my thesis to complete in a week and 3 exams and hooray i am done (lol)

  129. Hey LJ – yep! I’m the same Paula, flying past and designing websites as I write 😀

  130. Hi Olivia. *waving* Your covers ARE completely delicious and very unique. Gorgeous.

    Avi said: it would be fantastic if the series could be adapted into a movie.

    Wouldn’t it ever! This would be a cool blog all in itself, coming up with our #1 actor picks to play the various roles. (Am making a note for future reference.) Have been following Jane Porter’s blog re the making of the movie of her Flirting With Forty and living vicariously.

    Lily asked: is it possible that the editor just doesn’t like a story line and decides not to publish it

    Yes, absolutely, this happens but usually at proposal stage rather than after writing the whole book. Sometimes we might run the idea/premise by our editor first, esp if it’s a little different, before investing too much time and energy in developing it. Or the synopsis may not work or may be something the editors have seen too much of. More often than a complete “no thanks” there are revision requests to bring the most out of a project.

    LJ, chuffed that you’re enjoying the series and how about that Paula Roe? She does brilliant work in her writing and her website designs and pretty much everything she tackles.

    Hi Andrea. *waving*

    Yes, limecello, sometimes I do need to be moderated. 🙂


  131. Hi Bron
    Nicloa marsh just had a blog with a hot hero hunt contest, imagine using those guys she choose to act the parts in the movie (lol)

  132. Hi Bronwyn, hi Paula that is so cool having the talent to design web sites. I usually deal in graphic design for printed advertisements. Love how easy it is to find all the information on the site. So guess you have two dream careers writing and web design lucky you. LOL

  133. Hi Nathalie, I’ve put you into the book draw. Your comment reminded me of the Bitter Blogger who hit poor Yvonne’s site recently and said that romance writers ‘excrete’ their books in a matter of two or three weeks!! As you can imagine, he was disabused of that notion pretty quickly.

    Lily too, for the book prize. Interesting question. I doubt and editor would reject something just because she didnt like the story matter. As long as it was well written and fulfilled all the requirements of the line.

    Hi Janet, you’re in the draw for the critique (and MJ’s too, I see.) Good luck.

    Hi LJ. Glad you are enjoying the series so far. You’re right, our Paula has done an amazing job with this gorgeous site. Good luck for the book prize.

    AviJ and Limecello, I – and I’m sure the other DDU authors – wish you both the best of luck for your finals. Thanks to both of you for being such loyal supporters of our series and this blog, even though you’re busy.

    Right it’s time for a headcount and then we’ll get on with the draw…

  134. Right…Listen Up People! I am quite the Dominator…

    The lists have been drawn up, the VIP emailed and asked to think of a number. One last check to make sure I have included everyone.

    Book Draw: limecello, AviJ, Pat Cochran, Jane, Virginia, Kim H, Crystal B, Gina, Azteclady, Elvina, Nathalie, Lily and LJ

    Diana Ventimiglia’s critique draw: MargieS, LauraP, Celtic Lass, Nicki, Patricia, Stephanee, JenniferSN, Cassie, Teachtoreach, Nina in Ohio, Soraya, Andrea Johnston, SueB, Sue, Linda J, Chris W, AnneM, Elizabeth, Suzy, Robhap, Marion Stevens, Chelle, Nett, Janet Chamberlain

    The following haven’t indicated which draw they want to be entered for:
    Phyllis, Jane Beckenham, Selena, ZoeY, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Mary Jane Campbell, Carol Hutchens.

    If I don’t hear back in the next hour or so, I’ll put them in the book draw as I assume for such a great prize as a critique from Diana Ventimiglia, they would have mentioned it if they had a ms waiting in the wings.

    So GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE! Thanks so much for your company this week, it’s been fun, computer glitches aside (see my three looooong lost posts finally made it here!) Keep on blogging, there’s lots more to come!

  135. LJ, Paula designed her own website and my one too. She’s so talented.

    Good luck with the drawings, everyone. I can hear a pin drop in here…..

  136. now if only my child were as easy to wrangle as a website . Good luck in the prize draw, everyone!

  137. Okay I cna’t wait for Robbie to get home and choose a number. So you guys are gonna draw! I’ve written everyone’s name on peices of paper, cut them up, jumbled them up in dh’s race-day fedora, picked them out randomly and assigned you all a number.
    The first person – anyone – who jumps in here and gives me a number bet one and twenty for the book prize and one and twenty-four for the critique will have chosen our lucky winners. Won’t that be a thrill (and then you can’t blame me!)
    I’ll set the drumroll running and check back when I’ve peeled the spuds!

  138. number bet is number 5


  140. Ah but the coding of a child is so much more complex, isn’t it? 😉

    Adding my “best of luck” to everyone for the draw.


  141. Avi, you have chosen #5 but that isn’t necessarily the 5th post or the 5th on Jan’s list of names. Jan assigned everyone a random number and the answer to WHO IS #5 lies in her dh’s fedora. And we have to wait for her to finish peeling the spuds to announce the winners.


  142. okay just re-checked everyone’s comments and decided to enter Carol Hutchens and ZoeY in the critique draw since their comments sounded more ‘writerly than readerly!’ Selena and Jane Beckenham and Mary Jane Campbell I’ve added to the book prize. so we now need one person to give me a number bet one and twenty one for the book prize and one and twenty six for the critique.
    I can hardly wait…

  143. 1 & 24 is it jan colley and jenifer sn
    hope i am understanding this right if not blame the time difference 2.30 am (lol) is it the number post ?

  144. But AviJ has chosen number FIVE for the book prize draw.
    How exciting, because Number FIVE!!! is….
    Wait for it….LJ
    Come on down LJ!!! Congrats. Drop me an email (jan@jancolleydotcom) and we’ll talk turkey.

    Now, waiting on the next – the biggie – who’s going to give me a number between one and twenty six….

  145. Sorry AviJ must have posted over you. Not the post number, the randomly drawn out of a real hat, put in number order then Your #5 choice. Wanna give me another number bet one and twenty six for the big draw???

  146. ok i think i got it wrong disregard irelevant post
    numer bet 2 for book prize and number bet 7 for ms crituqe

  147. ok i think i got it wrong disregard irrelevant post my number bet 7 for ms crituqe con grats lj

  148. You’ve already chosen #5 for the books, Avi so that goes to LJ. Do you want #7 for the big draw or any number between one and twenty-six?

  149. I made a comment earlier, but Jan C said i forgot to mention book drawer or critique… Critique draw please.

    Jane Beckenham

  150. Okay NuMBER SEVEN is…MARION STEVENS!!!!!!!

    Where is Marion? Major congratulations!!!! This is such a swell prize. Email me asap (jan@jancolleydotcom) and in the meantime, I’ll email Diana and tell her to expect your ms and what arrangements etc.

    And AviJ thanks so much for staying up late and drawing the prizes for me. you can have a book if you send me your email!

    Wow, so pleased for Marion, can’t wait to hear from her.

  151. Oh Jane, you were about one minute too late, doll. So sorry. I hope you’re in the draw for MJs critique in June.

  152. ok no problem jan congrats to marion and lj

  153. azteclady Says:

    *mad applause* Yay, winners!

    DDU ladies, you are such a generous and fun bunch, thank you for all these posts.

  154. limecello Says:

    Haha – the last posts confused me, but it sounded like fun – congratulations, winner! And I’ll second azteclady on applauding your generosity!

  155. Hey Jan,
    I’d love to be in the draw for the critique. :-). Hugs.

  156. Ok wide awake now and I can’t believe how badly I misunderstood those post; one minute I thought it was to picking a number, then the actual post number with names. No fault of yours Jan (lol) so please excuse every one. This was a fun week. I’ll third that azteclady and limecello the DDU ladies are a generous bunch.

  157. Wow! Congratulations to Marian Stevens on winning Diana’s critique, and to LJ for winning the books prize.

    And thanks so much to Jan for being the hostess with the mostess here this past week. I know she’s been under deadline for her next book but she’s so generously given of her time to run the blog. Admittedly she does like to chat. 🙂

    Avi, the blog got a little crazy at the end there, with things happening fast and furious, so don’t worry about it. Thank you so much for being here and helping with it all.

    And everyone, don’t forget that MJ’s critique prize of a partial or full manuscript will be coming up in June. Or if you don’t have a manuscript ready (if you’re a writer that is) she’s happy to talk to you on the telephone for 20 minutes at her expense. Or if you’re a reader, she’s happy to talk to you for those same 20 minutes about the Desire line. How fab is that!

  158. Congratulations Marian and LJ. And thank you to everyone who visited and helped turn this into such an entertaining and informative discussion.

    Seconding Maxine’s thanks to Jan for leading the fray and seconding her reminder about MJ’s prize. To be in the draw, you need to be amongst the comments here.


  159. Just popping in to see if Marian has joined us. Nup? Anyone in the fraternity know Marian Stevens?

  160. ROFL, Avi J! Sounds like a massive comedy of misunderstandings 😀

    Congrats Marian and LJ!

  161. Yay! Congrats to Marian and to LJ for your prize wins. How exciting!

    Yvonne (back from a few days away in the beautiful Taranaki with friends)

  162. Now that was one speedy draw fraught with tension. I could feel Avi fumbling around trying to choose the number while Jan was so efficiently fast to draw the winner! That draw was so much fun.
    Congratulations Marion and LJ – you lucky people. Hope Marion comes in soon to find out she’s won THE prize.


    OMG!!! Here I am! So sorry I’m late! I just caught the news that I won the critique!!

    I can’t tell you how thrilled I am!!! My heart is beating like crazy!

    Thank you all for your congrats! You are all so wonderful!





    Anyone still out there? I sent you an email Jan. Hope you got it.

    Y’all are the best! Still reeling from the news!


  165. Hi Marian!!!! So glad you’re still with us. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! We’re all so pleased for you and you absolutely MUST keep us posted on the progress. Or we’ll have to kill you…

    I have emailed Marian personally so we’ll contact Diana directly and I know you’ll all join me in wishing our winner all the very best.


    Hi Diana, Jan, all the Diamonds and fellow loopers!

    Since I value my life (ha ha) of course I’ll be happy to keep everyone posted on the progress of this fabulous opportunity.

    It is so great of Harlequin/Diana and MJ to offer this sort of opportunity to us authors out here in aspiring-to-sell-a-manuscript land!!! And you Diamonds are a joy to work with.

    FYI–I am ordering all the Diamond Down Under series right away!!!! And other Desires I just can’t wait to devour!

    Thank again to everyone for the congratulations. I am honored and thankful and so thrilled!!!



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