6 Things About Jealousy & A Jewelled Proposition

Wow, I can’t believe we’re up to release month for Jealousy & A Jewelled Proposition. It seems like it has taken forever to get here but at the same time, it’s all gone far too quickly too! I hope you really enjoy the wrap up of the Diamonds Down Under continuity. And here, to titillate your mind, are 6 Things about Jealousy & A Jewelled Proposition.

 

The Collage

It really helps me to stay ‘on track’ with my stories is to do a picture and word collage. I’d never tried collage until I was working on my fourth book for Desire, Rossellini’s Revenge Affair, and I found that the visual stimulus really aided me as far as keeping on track was concerned. I had some trouble getting Matt right in my mind’s eye and until I had an actual picture of the man I imagined I had a great deal of trouble getting into my story. Consequently, I had a couple of different guys on my collage before settling on the Mr Cool Calm and Collected you see here.

 

The Hero–Matt Hammond

I hadn’t had a fair haired hero before and as I mentioned above, finding the ‘right’ look for Matt was a bit of a challenge. I wanted a picture of someone who embodied the kind of man who, adopted as a two year old into a wealthy family, has always felt secure in his world and fortunate to have been chosen by his parents. As far as the man himself was concerned I had no trouble understanding Matt. He’ll do anything for his parents, they’re his family, and he’s honour-bound to clear the decades old Blackstone slur on his family’s name. Kind of reserved, Matt has hidden passions and it was infinitely rewarding to write the scenes where he battles with what he feels is a forbidden desire for Rachel and balance that torment against his responsibilities to his son and his parents.

 

The Heroine–Rachel Kincaid

Rachel was easier to know and understand. I had a visual image of her from very early on and as the daughter of one of the Hammond family retainers she’s very comfortable in Matt’s world. And Matt is her world in many ways. She’s loved him since she was a child and that love has grown and deepened over time. Even though she knows that Matt’s honour won’t let him touch her again, she’ll do whatever she can to care for his son, Blake, but when she feels that Matt is neglecting Blake she is as fierce about protecting the little boy as a lioness with her cub. She desperately wants to heal Matt’s wounded heart but with the questions hanging over them about Marise’s infidelity and Matt’s determination never to love again she has her work cut out for her.

 

The House

While not on a scale with Miramare the Hammond family mansion was fun to find and create. I love houses, particularly old houses or new ones that are designed to give the same elegant impression as older homes. When I have the time I love to pore over websites that show floor plans and building materials of the kinds of houses I’d love to live in (if I had a housekeeper because I sure as heck am not doing the vacuuming in some of these places J) As I’d always envisaged the Hammond family home nestled on the hillside of North Head in Devonport, I wanted something that reflected the history and atmosphere of the suburb, and still impart the elegance and exclusivity that came with the Diamonds Down Under series.

 

Devonport

Devonport is at the very southern point of North Shore City and was one of the earliest settled areas of Auckland. A deep water anchorage suitable for naval vessels was identified nearby, and the area became the base for our navy. Hence the name Devonport, after the English naval town. The Royal New Zealand Navy still has its national base here. The Navy also had a presence on North Head or Takapuna (65 metres), which is now administered by the Department of Conservation, and there are still military tunnels and bunkers there to be explored. Colonial architecture is a feature of the area. Devonport Village has wonderful range of unique specialty shops (including the wool/yarn shop where I took Debbie Macomber–yes, that Debbie Macomber–wool shopping nearly two years ago), cafes and restaurants, and can be easily reached – the ferry trip takes only ten minutes from Downtown Auckland direct to Devonport Village and the car trip twenty minutes over the harbour bridge. Devonport is the perfect destination for either a short day trip or select from the excellent range of boutique accommodation to stay and enjoy Devonport’s relaxing atmosphere – only ten minutes from downtown Auckland. This is an idea of the view from Matt’s home across the harbour and looking toward Auckland City.

 

Matt’s Heirloom Collection

I love jewellery, particularly old jewellery so it was no hardship to imagine Matt Hammond’s Heirloom range of jewellery designs. Honestly, I could get lost for hours and hours (and did!) searching sites for Art Deco, Edwardian and Victorian jewellery and my mind went into overtime thinking about how these stunning and elegant designs could be incorporated into modern materials. One of the pearl types I found fascinating were the Pacific Pearls, or pearls that come from the Paua shellfish. The colours are a veritable rainbow and with the variety of coloured gemstones available to offset…ah, the sky is the limit. Here’s a picture that inspired me when thinking about the Toi et Moi engagement ring featured in the book.

 

 

 

My prize, for one lucky blog commenter, is a copy of the anthology SIZZLE SEDUCE & SIMMER released by Harlequin Mills & Boon, under the MIRA imprint in Australia and New Zealand. SIZZLE is a collection of short stories and recipes by a group of Down Under Harlequin/Silhouette authors. Great for when you want a bite sized read!

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43 Responses to “6 Things About Jealousy & A Jewelled Proposition”

  1. yea I am first again 😀

  2. Hi Yvonne, time really goes by fast, month six already the conclusion to the series sad to see it end but also looking forward to read your story. This post is really a teaser since I have to wait to get this book, the part about the heirloom jewlery, had me thinking about my great grandmother necklace. She was from India, and she had these beautiful necklace and braclet that she passed on from generation to generation. It is over 110 years. the design from older periods is really a work of art. Plus I just love jewlery so any info on it gets my attention 😀

  3. azteclady Says:

    Drats, Avi, will you let someone else be first for a change? *pout*

    *ahem*

    That ring is lovely, Yvonne, and I love the juxtaposition of pearl and diamond–tears and stars.

    Davenport: yet another place I would love to visit, but definitely to stay there for a few days. Specialty shops, halfway around the world from home? Perfect!

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  4. That is such a lovely ring!

  5. limecello Says:

    LOL Avi, I love how when you’re first, you’re not only first, you’re first *AND* second.
    Yvonne, I think you know how excited I am for this book :D. I just started reading it last night! Congratulations on the new release!

  6. Patricia Cochran Says:

    As everyone else is stating, I am also sad to see the series end. Yet, we can’t
    be sad for long because you are all still producing new and exciting books for
    us to enjoy! ” Cheers” to all for the series and onward toward all the upcoming
    releases from these special authors!!

    Pat Cochran

  7. Congrats on the release. I’m a little behind on the series. I just finished book 4, “Satin and a Scandalous Affair.” Next up is Jake’s story and then your book. I really love the house in the pic. It looks like a lovely mini mansion. I love jewelry, too. I get my fix by browsing the Tiffany’s catalogue and website. It’s hard to find something affordable.

  8. Oh, Avi, you’re too quick for us! LOL!

    Azteclady and Minna, yeah, I found that ring really appealing. Of course it’s totally impractical as an engagement ring but it is so pretty.

    Limecello, I hope you enjoy the book! Let us know what you think.

    Hi Pat , yes, we definitely all have more releases coming your way. My next release is in August, Claiming His Runaway Bride, but I’ll have an online read on eharlequin July/Aug prior to it’s release.

    Jane, I bet you enjoyed Jan’s book and you’re going to love Paula’s too. I love how we each have different writing styles and how those styles have all blended together to make the series. Hmm, Tiffany’s, I bet I could browse there for absolutely HOURS! 😀

  9. Love the ring, Yvonne, and the symbolism of two different stones, two strong elements, designed to twine into one. Perfect. Now I’m going to have to see what Matt produced for Rachel.

    Bron

  10. oooh, just got my copies on Friday, Yvonne and started right away. Even though I’ve got all your books, I’ve only read your first and now this one and it’s interesting to see how your writing has matured and flourished! 🙂 (but I guess that’s me, analysing style from a writer’s POV…)

    Loooove that ring. If money were no object I’m sure every one of us could jewellery shop for ages LOL

  11. Yvonne, great post. I love seeing a visual of your story. And I’m so looking forward to reading your book, now that I have the copy you sent in my hot little hands. But alas, I must finish my current book then I will get stuck into it. Didn’t stop me from taking a quick peek though. 🙂

  12. Hi Yvonne, I am looking forward to read Matt and Rachel story. That ring is pretty and Paula I think that jewllery is everyones weakness 🙂

  13. Yeah, I know. . . June, already. Geez. LOL

    As for the visuals there. . . sure don’t know how you could write with Mr Cool Calm and Collected staring back at you, wow!! 🙂

    Lois

  14. LOL, Lois, I had my moments I can tell you!

    LJ, I hope you will enjoy Matt and Rachel’s story.

    Bron, Maxine & Paula, I can’t wait to hear what you think of the book! 😀

    I wonder how Jan’s house move went…I know she’ll be rapt with the rugby results 😀

  15. Yvonne, you are a new-to-me author. I love the collage that you have created for this book. It helps the reader in visualizing. I, too, want to read this book and find out what happens.

  16. limecello Says:

    I’ll do that – oh and Yvonne, I believe I once again am the proud owner of every book you have out ;). W00t!

  17. RobynL, I’m so glad you love the collage. I have a whole lot of fun doing them and they really do help me to focus and get ‘into’ the story theme and concepts. I’ve put my last two collages up on my blog (which you can access through my website, just click on my name on any post and it should take you to my site) and click on the word ‘collage’ in the categories list on the right hand side of the blog.

    The one with the green background is for CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE which is due out in August 08, the other, with the pink background, is part of a trilogy which will be out around the middle of next year.

    Limecello, you’re making me blush here! 😀

  18. Christa Says:

    Well I’m super tired from painting but thought I’d stop and comment. I needed a Mr. Cool, Calm and Collected to paint. Luckily my place isn’t as big as the Hammond mfamily mansion and we only did the bathroom and kitchen. Yvonne you did a wonderful job closing out the series. In one way I was sad to read to last page cause I knew it was over but I was also overcome by a feeling of gladness to have all the questions answered. I also don’t need a copy of Sizzle, Seduce and Simmer, as I already have it and it was my first read for 2008. I haven’t tried the recipes yet(but they sound delisous) but the stories were great for introducing new authors to me and also featuring some stories by fabulous authors that I’ve come to know .

  19. oooh, is Jan in her new house now? She should take some pikkies so we can have a look!

    For me collaging is just another procrastination tool LOL. But I still might give it a go… after this next story I have to finish!

  20. Your book was very good and it does reflect the basic human nature to belong very nicely and the protective instinct of what’s mine stays mine is very clearly stated.
    All the best for your new book.

  21. azteclady Says:

    Mr Cool, Calm and Collected would certainly distract me from any creative… scratch that, from any endeavor that required any concentration whatsoever! 😀

  22. Your post today was intriguing and fascinating. The ring is original and unique and so appealing. Love the idea of the collage. Congrats on the release.

  23. The photos had me captivated immediately. I would love to explore and have the chance to visit Davenport. Quite a delightful setting. The jewelry is amazing.

  24. Congratulations on the release. Wish I could visit that special place and wear that gorgeous jewelry. Everything is so spectacular. Interesting collage and very creative.

  25. Christa Says:

    I prefer visuals too. I seem to learn more when someone shows me how to do someting rather than tell me

  26. Christa, if your name is drawn then I’ll send you something else (not a book for a change!) Glad to hear your painting is done. It’s the kind of job where you see instant results and get instant gratification, yes? And yes, I agree with you on the ‘show me’ versus ‘tell me’, although for some reason I can’t seem to translate that to our home theatre system remote, sigh.

    Paula, tsk tsk tsk. Collaging isn’t procrastination. Set yourself a ‘time limit’ when you do it. I usually find that once I have the pictures (and I don’t read articles in the magazines while I’m gathering them!) that putting them onto the cardboard takes very little time. They just seem to ‘fit’, y’know? Plus, in case they don’t fit, I’ve bought one of those glue sticks that acts like a post it note. Jenny Crusie mentioned the stuff when she was here last year. It’s great! If you don’t like where you’ve put your picture you can move it without damaging it.

    Anuradha, welcome to our blog and thanks for your comments.

    Azteclady, yep, getting creative with Cool, Calm and Collected could be a national past time :D!

    Hi Ellie, thanks for your post. I’m glad to see you’re enjoying the blog.

    Pearl! If you’re ever in Auckland, Devonport is a must see. I love your name, btw–very appropriate for this blog too 😉

    Hi Anne, collage is just part of the fun of writing for me, and who knows, one day you might be able to visit Devonport and you might even bump into Pearl!

  27. Christa Says:

    yup I’m almost to afraid to do anything in the kitchen cause it’s all nice and clean. Nope visuals don’t seem to work for entertainment units. I think my BIL has shown my 6 times how to use the remotes for tv/satelite/dvd/sound. There are four remotes I don’t think so. ok so you only need to use two of the four but that still too many buttons

  28. Virginia H. Says:

    That is a beautiful ring, I have never seen a ring made like that before. My sister has my grandmother ring and it is very old. I think the older jewelry is prettier then the things made today!!

  29. This has been a delightful experience. Learning about the locales, the individuals and the lovely jewelry. The ring is oustanding. What a enjoyable and great glimpse into this lifestyle which is irresistible. Congratulations and all the best.

  30. a time limit, Yvonne? 😀 I’d get carried away ripping out all those pictures… Next time I’ve over your way (hopefully in 09!) you’ll have to give me a guided tour of Devonport, yes?

    Speaking of jewellery, I just got a bunch of fab funky stuff online from http://www.seedjewellery.com.au YUM!

  31. Christa, so glad I’m not alone in the ‘remote’ department 😉

    Virginia, I agree with you about older jewellery. Everything was so beautifully hand crafted with pride rather than mass produced. Mind you, there are still some stunning pieces around out there today. We have a local jeweller where I live (well, we have several but this particular one is very avante garde in his approach) whose apprentices are always winning international and national awards for design. Going past his store window is like a sugar addict going past a candy shop!

    Diane, thanks for stopping by. Great to know you’ve enjoyed the DDU experience.

    Paula, of course I’ll take you over to Devonport, and I can just see you in that new jewellery (and no doubt I really will in Melbourne come August!)

  32. Ssssshhhhh. It’s gone very quiet in here…do you think everyone’s waiting for the final set of clues in the treasure hunt? 😉 They can’t be too far away…

  33. The collage is very artistic and it is effective and lovely. Love the jewelry and the old style ring that was created. Unique and stunning. I will be reading your book as it is a must since I am now addicted to this series.

  34. Just when you thought you’d gotten rid of me – ah ha! Here I am!
    Sorry for ignoring your great post Yvonne. Do you remember you and dh took me and dh for a look-see to Devonport a couple years back. It’s a lovely part of the city. Like everyone else, I think that ring is gorgeous. I have a question for you – do you keep your collages? I generally do mine on a cork board so of course, they are dissassembled when the book is done, tho I keep the pics in my boxes.

    Hey Ruth, what a pity you’re only just addicted to the ddu series, what are you going to do for your fix now? (c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e-…..)

    Happy painting, Christa. Know what you mean about mod technology. I want to move the entertainment unit but no way could I remember what lead goes where if I do. Sad…

  35. Christa Says:

    With things like the tv, dvd, and computer system if I don’t need to unhook everything just unplug and move computer desk with computer still on it that’s what I’ll do ;). The thing I’m not looking forward to is taking down bookshelves. I have 3 and I just got them all organized 😦 The TBR by line and read ones alphabetical by author.

    Jan BTW just finished Billionaire’s Favorite Fantasy. I really enjoyed it.

  36. Oki Doki people, being Saturday it’s draw time and the lucky winner of the copy of Sizzle, Seduce & Simmer is 🙂 DIANE! 🙂

    Congratulations, Diane. Please email me via the contact page on my website with your postal details and I’ll organise to get your book out to you next week.

  37. congrats diane 😀

  38. Christa Says:

    WTG Diane

  39. azteclady Says:

    Congrats, Diane!

    Thank you for another fun week, DDU ladies.

  40. Yay, Diane.

  41. limecello Says:

    Congratulations, Diane!

    As a side… LOL LOL LOL! I tried to post a comment, and got this message from wordpress:
    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

    O_o I didn’t know that was possible!

  42. Congrats, Diane, you’re going to love that book. Thanks Yvonne, for a great post. I can’t believe that’s the last of the books!
    Christa you are a gem, thanks for saying you liked Fantasy, I’m suffering from a bad review for that one so it’s nice that someone liked it.
    Good luck for the last Treasure Hunt clues, everyone.

  43. Too fast for WordPress. LOL Limecello. That’s too funny…and perhaps useful for your resume. 🙂

    Congratulations, Diane. Hope you love Sizzle, Seduce and Simmer. Yvonne, Maxine and I all contributed short stories and recipes along with some of our favourite down-under authors.

    Bron

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