Archive for Bronwyn Jameson

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!

Advertisements

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 Things We Didn’t Include In Diamonds Down Under

Posted in general post with tags on May 25, 2008 by Bronwyn Jameson

A more accurate title for this blog would be: 6 Things We, At Some Point, Considered Including in Diamonds Down Under But Which Didn’t Make The Final Cut. Considering how long we spent working on the continuity threads and thrashing out the storylines, there was much material to choose from and I have spent a delightful morning skimming hundreds of old emails and reems of notes to arrive at my final list of six.

1. Everyone Hates Howard!

That was one of our tongue-in-cheek ideas for a series title. It didn’t make the cut. *g* Those which we considered more seriously included:

  • DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
  • DIAMONDS, DECEPTION, DESIRE
  • HEART OF THE OUTBACK
  • DIAMOND DYNASTY
  • DIAMONDS DOWN UNDER

The titles we attached to our final book proposals were:

Book1: Perrini’s Boardroom Bride = VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM
Book 2: The Boss’s Mistress Secret = PRIDE & A PREGNANCY SECRET
Book 3: His Million Dollar Mistress = MISTRESS & A MILLION DOLLARS
Book 4: The Tycoon’s Unexpected Proposal = SATIN & A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR
Book 5: Return of the Bad Boy Billionaire = BOARDROOMS & A BILLIONAIRE HEIR
Book 6: The CEO’s Convenient Wife = JEALOUSY & A JEWELLED PROPOSITION

MJ came up with those final titles very late one night and we were thrilled with the creatively matched set.

2. Legend of the Lost Mine

Early in the planning stage we had Jeb Hammond, grandfather of the cousins who feature in our stories, missing for many years and presumed dead while searching for a lost diamond mine in the Australian outback. The name Jebediah was a nod to this original crusty-renegade-prospector character. Fiona Brand attached a folklore legend and a curse (which later became a blessing) and in her story Jeb was to be found. Alive! Ownership of the mine and diamond greed created another layer of dispute and conflict. But we had too many threads and layers, and when simplifying we had to–wait for it–*lose* the legend of the lost mine.

3. Tale of the Missing Heir

Once upon a time our outline featured a different version of Jake Blackstone and a very different Story 5. This Jake grew up alongside his siblings and assumed his mantel beside Howard at Blackstone Diamonds. However he didn’t agree with his father’s business tactics and left after a blazing dispute. Distancing himself from everything Blackstone, he struck out on his own and became a formidable success in West Australian mining. After Howard’s death, a lawyer was sent to bring the black sheep heir back into the fold. When we had a change of authors and Paula took over this book, she came up with a new story and backstory for the missing heir. We loved it! (The picture, BTW, has nothing to do with Jake or missing *cough* hair. It’s the inspiration on our group home page. I included it purely for the aesthetic.)

4. Diamonds Are Forever…unless they are stolen.

From the very start we knew that stolen/missing diamonds would be at the heart of the series. Hence, we used the name Heart of the Outback for Jeb’s amazing find of a ginormous pink diamond. Many versions of what happened to the stone ensued. One version saw only half the stone used in The Blackstone Rose necklace; the other half was either in Sonya’s possession or missing. Another idea involved an insurance scam instituted by Howard, complete with a paste “diamond” replacement for the stolen original.

5. Alexis and Ric (and other name changes)

Many of the characters went through name changes as the proposals came together and personalities and backstories developed. At one point Ryan was Bryce, at another Jack. Brianna was Leah. Jarrod was Nicholas. Blake was Connor. And Kimberley was Alexandra, Xandra, and finally Alexis. When MJ read the synopsis she pointed out that Ric and Alexis were a soap super-couple (General Hospital) and so perhaps I might reconsider.

6. Sonya Hammond: Heroine? Mistress? Villain?

Our very first submission featured 40-something Sonya Hammond as a heroine, finding love with a (yummy) younger man. That storyline didn’t get the editorial nod but debate continued for many weeks over Sonya’s role in the series. Had she loved Howard? Was she his mistress at any point in her life? Was she bitter at being overlooked, in love and/or at the will reading? Did this lead to vengeance and if so, as a misguided troublemaker or as an evil villain(ess)? We got quite carried away (plane tampering anyone?) before Jan reeled us in. The Sonya she created does play a significant role and, in true romance fashion, gets her happy ending.

Sonya was a wonderful secondary character with a role as mother and mentor to several characters. Do you like a glimpse of strong/quirky/wise/maternal/fun secondary characters in short books such as Desire? Or are you all about the hero and heroine, skimming scenes and narrative that aren’t them alone together? Let’s talk about secondary characters and their role. Have you read a particularly memorable supporting character recently? 

The prize this week is your choice from Bronwyn Jameson’s backlist (NB: one or two titles not available) and a mini Aussie notebook.  (Prize drawn May 31.)

Australia: 6 Perfect Romantic Settings

Posted in general post with tags , , on March 16, 2008 by Bronwyn Jameson

When it comes to writing romance, we Aussies are blessed for choice. Not only do we have a wealth of hero potential in Hugh and Eric and Julian and co., but there’s also those gorgeous, smart, deprecatingly-witty Aussie girls as heroine fodder and some of the most vivid settings in which to place our pair of potential lovers. Here are my top six settings for Australian romance.

1. BEACH: with over 36,000km of coastline (that’s further than the flying distance from New York to Sydney to London and back to New York!) Australia boasts A LOT of beaches, from tourist favourites such as Sydney’s Bondi and Queenland’s Gold Coast to pristine stretches of sand in remote wilderness locations. If size really does matter, how about Eighty Mile Beach (WA) and Ninety Mile Beach (Vic)? There is something elemental and evocative about an isolated beach, the sound of waves crashing against rock, the sight of two pairs of footprints meandering along the water’s edge. It really sets you in mind of THAT scene in From Here to Eternity, doesn’t it?
Try: Robyn Grady’s For Blackmail…or Pleasure. (How hot is that cover?)

2. SYDNEY: our most famous and populous city (4.28 million) is always a high rater in the world’s most livable city survey. If I could afford to live there, quite possibly I would. Sydney is reknowned for the world’s most beautiful* harbour and beaches and the iconic Opera House, which is more than a landmark. It’s also a symbol of the sophisticated side of a city better known for the laidback lifestyle represented by the building’s white sails. (*According to the Bron Not-Very-Scientific Survey of harbours and beaches.)
Try: Vows & A Vengeful Groom, Pride & A Pregnancy Secret, Boardrooms & A Billionaire Heir.

3. OUTBACK: the sheer scale of our country’s interior is awe-inspiring, as is the harsh beauty that awaits after the long journey to get there. As a setting for romance, there is much to be made of the isolation, the city-country disparity, the fish-out-of-water story trope, and the parallel of a strong, rugged Aussie bloke and the land that is his. As for romance itself, how about you, Mr Tall Dark and Enigmatic, and the clarity of diamond bright stars against a velvet dark night sky?
Try: my Rugged Loner or any outback title by Barbara Hannay.

4. THE TROPICAL NORTH: Is it just me or has there not been enough made of the sumptuous beauty of Australia’s tropical north? Think about the prospects of an island paradise set amidst lush rainforest, the scent of frangipani on the evening breeze and the white sand of a private beach dazzling in its purity. Imagine lazing beside a horizon pool sipping cocktails–the kind with tiny umbrellas and a fruity kick and colours as vivid as the coral and fish in the reef lagoon. Or if that’s too laidback for your kind of romance, how about the wild energy of a tropical storm unleashed after a sultry day’s brewing….
Try: Jan Colley’s Satin & A Scandalous Affair.

5. MELBOURNE: our second largest city (3.74 million) much loved as the sporting and events capital of Australia. Home of the F1 Grand Prix (today, as it happens!), the Australian Open tennis, our biggest horseracing carnival The Melbourne Cup, and site of Australia’s first Summer Olympics (1956.) But we love it for the shopping, the cafes, the footie, the trams, the blending of many cultures. As for romance, there is plenty of scope in the lux hotels and the glamourous suburbs and in the beauty of the nearby Dandenongs, the Yarra Valley, and the Bellerine and Mornington Peninsulas where the wealthy like to unwind.
Try: Maxine Sullivan’s Mistress & A Million Dollars.

6. WILDERNESS: there is something primal, majestic, magical about the mountains and forests, and I love romances set in a remote area where the couple are stranded by harsh weather. Often they are pitted against the environment in a battle for survival; always they battle the tension of forced proximity and survival becomes more about protecting a closely guarded heart.
Try: my Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge, which is set at a fictional Tasmanian wilderness resort.

Tell me which of these settings most appeal to you as a reader and/or which books/authors have sold you on a particular setting. I will be drawing one winner from the comments on Saturday March 22. The prize: my out-of-print outback romance, RITA-finalist The Rugged Loner, a signed copy of my April release Tycoon’s One-Night Revenge, plus a Colours of Australia address book.