Archive for Maxine Sullivan

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.

Six Things About Mistress & A Million Dollars

Posted in general post with tags , , , on March 1, 2008 by Maxine Sullivan

1. The Heroine:     

Briana Davenport is an Australian supermodel who is the “Face” of Blackstones. She is tall with a gorgeous figure, beautiful, with long wavy golden-blonde hair and blue eyes that capture a person beyond the camera. She’s intelligent, classy, and fashion-conscious though sets her own standards. She lives in a modern apartment in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, but also has an apartment in Sydney paid for by Blackstone Diamonds for her numerous model engagements.

Framed by the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and dressed in a silky, pale-blue pantsuit that flowed as she moved, she was elegance and sophistication. The epitome of glamour. A crowning glory for the diamond company she symbolized. He could see why Howard Blackstone had chosen her to represent his business.

2. The Hero:

Jarrod Hammond is tall and very handsome with short dark hair and blue eyes, and is a successful property lawyer who lives in a high-rise apartment building in the heart of Melbourne. He’s always had an affinity with this city, having been born here before being adopted by the Hammonds and moving to New Zealand. He is extremely close to his younger adopted brother, Matt.

Dressed in dark trousers and sports blazer, a white t-shirt underneath, he could have been a male model himself, Briana mused, if there hadn’t been such a hard edge inherent in him, those blue eyes clearly showing that hardness… an arrogance… that would never let anyone dictate to him, let alone a camera.

3. Diamonds in the safe:

Were those pink diamonds really a girl’s best friend?

Her father looked over his shoulder with a frown. “Diamonds?”
 “The ones Marise left in my safe,” Briana reminded him.
His face cleared. “Oh, that’s right. You found them in your safe after the plane crash, didn’t you?”
 “Yes, but with everything happening at the time, I’d forgotten them. It was only when I was going to Howard’s funeral, I remembered Marise asking for the safe combination to keep some jewellery in there.”

4. The Settings:

The Casino

No other setting seemed so perfect for an indecent proposal storyline than the casino:

And then Briana’s gaze caught Jarrod’s by accident and everything came tumbling back. Until now she hadn’t let herself think about being here, but returning to “the scene of the crime”, the sounds of the casino, the scents of perfume and aftershave, of food, the gleam in Jarrod’s eyes, reminded her what they had done together here in one of the casino suites – all for the sake of a million dollars.

The Surf Coast

Being at the beach was such an integral part of the Australian way of life, Briana thought as they walked along the path cutting through the tuffs of grass to the sand. She loved Aussie beaches… loved the smell of the ocean and sand… the sun evaporating the stresses of daily life…

Little did Briana know that a day at the beach would almost end in tragedy and bring about a defining moment for her.

5. The Events:

Moomba was a chance to relax a little after their first night together at the casino… or was it?

An hour later they’d found a good vantage point along Swanston Street. The Moomba Festival was Australia’s biggest community festival and a Melbourne tradition for over fifty years, with firework shows, outdoor movies, the Moomba parade, and lots of water-related activities on the Yarra River. The parade was the highlight of the Moomba Festival and Melbourne families turned out in droves, creating a sea of colour and excitement.

At the Melbourne Grand Prix, Briana put her career on the line by letting the Blackstones know she and Jarrod were now an item.

Briana had attended the Grand Prix last year, so had previously witnessed the sensation of the world’s fastest men racing at incredibly high speeds around the track. It was a four day action-packed extravaganza of on and off-track activities, culminating in the main race on the Sunday.

6. The Cheque/Check:

Neither Briana or Jarrod could deny wanting each other, but was the million dollars merely the means to take their attraction further?

Tension rattled inside her as the suite flooded in darkness, leaving only a faint glow from the city lights beyond the glass. She still didn’t turn around. She needed to focus on those city lights, to remember she was here for a purpose tonight.
 “Will you respect me in the morning, Jarrod?” she heard herself mutter the cliché, but needed to say it all the same.
“Yes,” he said quietly, close behind her, so close his breath stirred strands of her hair, but not touching. “But will you respect you in the morning?”
She thought about that, surprised by his astuteness. His question had dispelled any hint she was selling herself, and she was grateful to him for that. “Yes,” she murmured.

Tell me what you would do with a million dollars and every comment this week goes in the draw to win a three-book collection of my Australian Millionaires series.

 Mistress & A Million Dollars is now available in North American bookstores and on-line from Harlequin, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and as an e-Book from eHarlequin, Fictionwise or wherever you buy your eBooks. It will be available in Australia and New Zealand in April 08.