Archive for July, 2008

Bring on the Bling!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s A Wrap!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Then in each story there are even more secrets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

6 Unusual Search Combinations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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