Archive for Diamonds Down Under

Diamonds Down Under Revisited…

Posted in general post with tags , , on December 1, 2010 by Maxine Sullivan

IMAGINE…..  TWO POWERFUL FAMILIES…  FIVE MISSING PINK DIAMONDS… ONE BITTER FEUD SPANNING DECADES…

It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since the Diamonds Down Under series began. Even now we get a lot of visitors to this blog, and from time to time we’re still asked about the series. It’s exciting for us that people are so interested in it all, now more than ever with the availability of ebooks giving our series eternal life. 🙂 So, is love still in the air at DDU central? You bet! Let’s ask the Diamonds Down Under authors what they’ve been doing during this time, and see if they still have that sparkle in their eyes.

Paula says: Three years since Diamonds Down Under? Wow! Such a lot has happened in my world since then! For a start, Jake and Holly’s story was shortlisted in Romance Writers of Australia‘s prestigious Romantic Book of the Year award for 2008 (go, Diamonds!) and won Houston Bay areas’ Judge a Book By Its Cover contest.  I’ve also written three more books, and my fifth Desire, Promoted to Wife?, is due out in March 2011.  My third, The Magnate’s Baby Promise, was voted best Short Category Romance of 2009 by the Australian Romance Readers Association.  And all my releases have reached the Borders Books bestseller list – thank you, wonderful readers!  Oh, and my gorgeous baby boy turned 10 in 2010!

Bron says: During the past two years, I took a break from writing for personal reasons. Recently I finished the long-awaited Billionaire’s Inconvenient Bride, the follow-up to Magnate’s Make-Believe Mistress, which is scheduled for December 2011. Follow up books are planned for 2012.

Tessa says: I spotted an Argyle Diamonds advertisement for pink diamonds in an in-flight magazine recently…and it brought all the memories of Diamonds Down Under flooding back! The stories were fabulous and I loved all the family links in them. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past three years with my family, both older and younger generations, and it’s been time well spent. In 2010 I celebrated a couple of successes, The Billion-Dollar Baby Bargain finaled in the Romance Writers of Australia’s RBY Award AND Falling For His Proper Mistress hit the USA Today Bestseller list – thank you readers for making that possible! My next book, The Boss’s Baby Affair, is part of the Billionaires & Babies series and will be out in February 2011. And don’t forget to visit the Desire Authors Blog at eHarlequin for more news about the authors who write for Desire.

Maxine says: The last three years have been really good to me.  At the time the series began, Mistress & a Million Dollars was only my 4th book for Silhouette Desire, and now I’ve had 11 Desires published, with a new contract to write another four books.  Amazing!  Even more amazing to me is that some of my books reached #1 on the Borders Bestseller List, and this year His Ring, Her Baby and High-Society Secret Baby reached the USA TODAY Bestseller List. I’m definitely living my dream. 🙂

Jan says: 2010 has been a most eventful – even momentous – year for me. Study (Information and Library Studies); a month on the jury of a murder trial, the biggest fright of my life when a 7.1 earthquake hit my poor home town, gratitude that although there was a lot of damage, no lives were lost, and great sorrow last week when 29 miners were confirmed dead over on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, a couple hundred kilometres from here. Phew! Don’t know about the other Diamonds authors, but I could really use a little less excitement in 2011!!!

Yvonne says: In the three years since we all worked together on the Diamond Down Under series I’ve been trying to quell my desire for a large pink diamond! To keep myself distracted I’ve since released nine more Silhouette Desire books (including a continuity novella, set during polo season in the Hamptons) and one online title and in April 2011 I will have another continuity book out as part of The Takeover continuity, set in San Diego. Of all the things I enjoy about working on a continuity, research would have to be one of the things I enjoy most. Learning about new places and the sights and things to do and enjoy there is almost as good as being there! And almost as good as having a large pink diamond. 😀

As you can see, we’ve each been very busy with varying interests, but we’ve never forgotten how much the Diamonds Down Under series means to us. We’re very proud of it.

If you’d like to read the series, Harlequin has them all available in ebooks – just go here and type in “Diamonds Down Under” in the search facility.  Or you can get them  from Amazon here. 

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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.

Diamonds Treasure Hunt — June 2008

Posted in Treasure Hunt with tags , , on June 7, 2008 by yvonnelindsay

June is officially the start of winter down under. It’s the time of year when schools insist on full winter uniform (and most kids do everything they can to break the uniform rules) cars and house roofs are laden with frost in the mornings and temperatures definitely drop. Here in NZ I’m always amazed at how where I live has a much milder winter than our Southern counterparts. They can actually have wicked snow storms creating havoc on the roads and major stock losses for farmers, even snow down to sea level! Brrrr. Give me a balmier climate any day of the week, LOL.

 Anyway, all this talk of cold stuff reminds me of a line in ‘HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS” where they come up with an advertising slogan to “frost yourself” with diamonds. That kind of cold I really don’t mind and I’m sure you don’t too. So, here’s what you’ve really been waiting for, right? The final clues for the stunning diamond puff heart pendant, valued at US$350, in our Diamonds Down Under treasure hunt… (drumroll please…)

 

 

Clue 1: What is Rachel’s parting gift to Matt?
Clue 2: In what month did Yvonne meet her significant other? (Clue, check out the “What’s New?” page on Yvonne’s website)

 Remember, DON’T POST THE ANSWERS HERE. Collect them, save them, and when you have the answers to all twelve questions in June/July, send them to the contest email address on the Diamonds Down Under contest page.  If you missed the other clues, you’ll find them all sorted under the Categories link on the right.

 

GOOD LUCK!

 

The Diary of An Almost Down Under Diva — FIONA BRAND

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

I’m thrilled to introduce to you all the wonderful Fiona Brand, who very nearly was a Diamonds Down Under Diva. Fiona is one of my favourite auto buy authors and her current trilogy, DOUBLE VISION, KILLER FOCUS and BLIND INSTINCT, is garnering rave reviews from readers and reviewers alike. Seriously, the prospect of working with Fiona was one we all leapt at… but I’ll let her tell the story~~Yvonne

 

Diamonds Down Under: six books, dazzling concept—fabulous group of authors—and more fun and debate than you can poke a stick at.   

 

I’ve just received the first book in the series, Vows & A Vengeful Groom by Bronwyn Jameson.  It’s sitting on my desk as I type.  Thank you Bron!  It arrived two days ago.  I felt such a rush of warmth when I realized what it was.  You see, way, way back I almost became part of the continuity but, owing to tight deadlines, I had to bow out.  

 

But that few days of tossing ideas around and formulating a story—which I later had to chuck away!–was exhilarating, and the most writing fun I’ve had in years.   After spending so much time writing in isolation, being part of a group and hearing everyone else’s take on how to put together a story was invigorating—and time consuming.  I couldn’t wait to read my email, and I had a new appreciation for editors.  It was hard enough getting my head around one story, let alone six.  Especially since, in the few days that I was an Almost Down Under Diva, the story lines, to put it politely, were fluid.  And every time there was a change someone would say, “Oh, but that impacts on my story!” so we would all try to juggle the wildly varying elements and come up with a mix that suited everyone.   

 

To get to the point, you may have noticed that I said I had to jettison a story.  No big deal, really.   Except that I’d begun to get attached  

 

Writers are an eccentric lot.  There’s something about the rush of getting the basic elements of a story established.  Like getting behind the wheel of a car, you know you can take it almost anywhere, as long as—in the case of Silhouette Desire—you don’t drive off the romance road map.   That moment when you step into your fictional world can be both powerful and scary.  The story can be fraught with difficult characters, structural flaws and plot holes.  Worst of all, it could be boring.  

 

The great thing about the Diamonds Down Under story line was the inbuilt conflict between the Hammonds and the Blackstones.  Opportunities for the characters to be ruthless, manipulative and downright conniving were rife.   I was given a story that had no chance of being boring.  I had a lawyer heroine with a secret agenda, a ‘back from the dead’ character, a lost diamond mine with a legend attached, and a really rich, tough hero.  How cool is that?  I already liked him.  

 

I had a lot of my research in place.  My hero was going to have a mining background, as well as being as rich as Croesus.  (Did I mention he was about 6’ 3” with green eyes, dark hair and a great tan?)  Luckily for me my Dad had done some mining in Western Australia, mostly digging up tourmalines, amethysts, garnets and gold.  I had maps of the outback stations, pictures of the Kimberleys.  I had holidayed in WA a couple of times.  I could practically feel that WA red grit between my toes.  I was so ready to write that book.  

 

But…all is not lost.  I didn’t get to do that particular story, but I got so hooked on the fun of writing short contemporaries, that I did eventually put together one of my own.   A rich Italian hero, a marriage of convenience, that Western Australian setting and plenty of interesting conniving…    

 

But, in the meantime, I’m opening Book #1 in the Diamond series to find out what interesting things those girls ended up doing with their plot lines.    

 

Hmmm….Ric Perrini’s demanding total surrender.     

 

There goes my night’s sleep. 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS! Fiona has generously offered a book prize to one randomly chosen comment (well, to the person who makes the comment, of course) on her blogpost of a double pack of DOUBLE VISION and KILLER FOCUS. The winner will be announced at the end of this week!

6 Reasons To Visit This Blog

Posted in general post with tags , , on December 1, 2007 by Bronwyn Jameson

Hello and welcome to the Diamonds Down Under blog, the place to visit for the scoop on this exciting new continuity series from Silhouette Desire. Six authors, six books, and six-plus-one months of weekly posts that will take you behind the scenes and inside the pages of Diamonds Down Under. We hope you’ll bookmark us as a favourite, but if you’re not convinced here are 6 reasons to visit often:

1. The Diamonds.

The Diamonds Down Under series is all about love and diamonds. It started decades ago when old Jeb Hammond found the massive pink diamond he named Heart of the Outback. Throughout the series, the diamonds cut from that one stone turn up unexpectedly or are chased down and impact on all our key characters. The Blackstone and Hammond families are involved in all facets of the industry. We will take you from the fictional Janderra mine to the billion-dollar business behind it all. From the designs of Dani Hammond to the glamorous Blackstone Jewellery and House of Hammond stores. There are glitzy fashion shows, gala balls and society weddings. The research was a lot of fun and we have oodles of fascinating legends and facts about the ‘Girl’s Best Friend,’ plus some gorgeous jewellery sites for you to ogle, and a beautiful diamond necklace for some lucky reader to win!

2. Down Under: the settings, the events, the lifestyle.

The Diamonds Down Under series is set in a range of fabulous down-under settings. There’s Sydney’s beautiful harbour and beaches and bustling business heart. Cosmopolitan Melbourne, the shopping and festival capital, and Auckland, New Zealand’s city of sails. Take a trip to Port Douglas in Australia’s tropical north, to Tahiti in the South Pacific, and to the rugged Kimberley region. Some of these settings are familiar, some exotic, some unique and unexpected; all are an integral part of the stories, as are the special events, festivals, celebrations, and the lifestyles of our New Zealand and Australian characters. Over the next months we’ll be blogging about some of these locations and events as well as our unique down-under spin on life.

3. The Authors and Their Books.

Leading the Diamonds Down Under lineup is multi award-winner Bronwyn Jameson, whose contributions to Silhouette Desire include the awesome Princes of the Outback series (triple RITA finalists in 2006.) Bronwyn’s VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM launches the series in sparkling style while introducing many of the continuing characters.

Hot on the heels of her bestselling Billionaire Heirs trilogy comes Tessa Radley‘s PRIDE & A PREGNANCY SECRET. Tessa’s sale to Silhouette Desire in 2006 was one of the catalysts that lead to the series as we finally had six Down Under Desirable authors. With an amazing five books published in 2007 Tessa is already a firm reader favourite.

Maxine Sullivan uses a million dollar temptation in MISTRESS & A MILLION DOLLARS as she uses her talent as one of Silhouette Desire’s best selling newcomers to evolve the continuity in a new direction. If you enjoyed Maxine’s Australian Millionaires miniseries, then you will love this book which kicks off with a spectacular wedding!

In SATIN & A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR Jan Colley uses her love of Port Douglas, a jewel in the crown of Australia’s tropical north, to expand another branch of the Blackstone/Hammond tree of scandal. Jan’s clever use of setting as an additional character in her books lends her writing her own inimitable sense of style, and you will love her insight into the world of jewellery design.

Paula Roe whose name has graced competition finals for more years than even she wanted to count sold to Silhouette Desire in 2006 and Forgotten Marriage garnered a 4.5 star Top Pick! from Romantic Times and was an instant bestseller. The planning for the continuity was well under way when Paula picked up the challenge to join Diamonds Down Under and create BOARDROOMS & A BILLIONAIRE HEIR, where the arrival of the missing Blackstone heir REALLY shakes things up!

Yvonne Lindsay brings the series to a dazzling HEA conclusion in JEALOUSY & A JEWELED PROPOSITION. Yvonne took Desire – and the bestsellers lists – by storm with her New Zealand Knights miniseries and this book features her trademark emotional and sensual intensity as she tells the tale of one incredibly proud and ambitious man…and the woman who understands his conflict.

4. The Guests.

As well as us (the continuity authors), you’ll meet some super special guests we’ve invited along to visit and share their views. We are especially chuffed to have an interview with Senior Editor Melissa Jeglinski in which she talks about Silhouette Desire, the appeal of continuity series, and whether diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Check the sidebar for when that will be posted and watch for regular updates to the schedule.

5. The Prizes.

Join in the fun and win some fantastic prizes over the next six months. There’ll be plenty of book giveaways, plus the chance to win a manuscript critique by an editor or an agent. Or perhaps you’d prefer to win a 20 minute chat on the telephone with the senior editor of Desire (what a cool prize!) And if that’s not enough excitement, stay tuned for details of the grand prize – a treasure hunt culminating in some lucky person winning a gorgeous diamond pendant valued at US$350. Get ready to sparkle!

6. The Surprises in Store.

What is a continuity series without surprise twists? Here at the Diamonds Down Under blog we’re staying true to that ethos, with surprise guests and giveaways and topics for discussion. As for the series…we hope you’ll grab the books and read along as we ask (and answer) questions such as:

What was Marise Davenport-Hammond doing on Howard’s plane? Why did Jessica Cotter leave that fatal flight just before takeoff? Just how far is Brianna Davenport prepared to go to clear her family name? Is Quinn Everard out to ruin Blackstone Diamonds, or does he have an even bigger secret to keep from Dani Hammond? What does rogue businessman Jake Vance want with Blackstone Diamonds, and who really is Blake Hammond’s father?

Vows Cover

Book 1, Vows & A Vengeful Groom by Bronwyn Jameson, is now available for advance purchase from eHarlequin both as a print book and as an eBook and will be in American stores in Jan. 08 and in Australia and New Zealand in Feb. 08.

Diamonds Down Under: the cut, clarity and cost of family.