Archive for Yvonne Lindsay

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 Things About Jealousy & A Jewelled Proposition

Posted in general post with tags , , , on June 1, 2008 by yvonnelindsay

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!

6 things I love about writing romance!

Posted in general post with tags , , , , on March 23, 2008 by yvonnelindsay

I’ve often kidded people that I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up until I became a romance writer, but when I think back, I’ve always been the type to day dream and scribble stories for all sorts of things. English was one of my favourite, and best, subjects at school (horrors!) and even now there’s nothing I like more than getting lost in a well written story. So why romance? Let me tell you: 

1.    Because no matter how awful the situation you’re always guaranteed a happy ending. Where else in life can you be assured of that. I felt positively cheated when I watched the movie Message in a Bottle through to the end. After all, how hard would it have been to give the poor guy a happy ending? Argh!  I love knowing that no matter how hard the trials that I put my characters through they’re going to win through in the end. 

2.    You get to visit all parts of the world through another’s eyes. In the books I’ve read I’ve learned a great deal about American cities, American towns, life in Australia, Europe, the UK, you name it. There’s been a book set there and that special flavour that is imparted by the author for the place she’s writing about gives the book another character in the setting.  For me, I get to write about the country I love and the places I’ve been to and have enjoyed. In fact everywhere we go, whether on holiday or simply for a day’s drive out of the city, I’m looking at setting to see how I can incorporate it into my next manuscript. 

3.    Being “The Boss”. Basically I’m my own boss. I call the shots as to when I’m working and what I’ll deliver to my editor (who is probably my other boss but she’s too lovely to be mean J) and I love it! If I get myself all stressed out over deadlines and things I only have myself to blame and only I can get it right. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a control freak, but there’s a lot to be said for being in charge…of yourself. 

4.    The hours. Because my man about the house is a shift worker we get to spend plenty of time together on his days off while I still manage to meet my deadlines. Plus, I’m always home if one of the progeny aren’t well and need a tender hand to their brow. Okay, maybe I’m going a bit overboard here. So I select a stack of DVDs, give them a bottle of water and some snacks and park them in front of the DVD player with their blanket and pillow. The important thing is I’m home and able to do that without having to ask anyone else to either  (a) let me have time off work, or (b) look after them for me, both of which I’ve done plenty of in the years preceding my life as it is now.  

5.    You get to fall in love with a new guy in every book. Not only do you get to write about whatever kind of guy takes your fancy, you get to go deep inside his head and his heart and find out exactly what makes him tick. And you get to give him his heart’s desire—the woman he’s going to love for all time and who will love him in return.   

6.    This is the most important reason of all—because it makes me happy. It makes me happy to write stories that have happy endings. It makes me happy to find out new things about my characters and their worlds. It makes me happy to be my own boss and work my own hours and to fall in love every time I start a new book. And it makes me even more happy to know that those books resonate with my readers and in turn make them happy too. How can you argue with that? 

What about you? If you’re a romance writer, what do you love the most about writing romance? And if you’re a reader, what is it that you love the most about the books you choose?

From your comments I will draw a random winner to receive an Australian/New Zealand edition of my TYCOON’S VALENTINE VENDETTA!

We welcome guest blogger NALINI SINGH!!!

Posted in guest blogger with tags , , , , , , on February 17, 2008 by yvonnelindsay

Nalini Singh was one of the original Diamonds Down Under Divas to be invited to participate in the continuity. As with Fiona Brand, her contract commitments meant she couldn’t come and play with us but in the meantime she’s agreed to guest blog with us today. So, here she is, hot off the NYT extended best seller list with her latest release MINE TO POSSESS, please welcome Nalini Singh!

I’m so excited to be here on the Diamonds Down Under blog. Thanks to the DDU authors for inviting me (of course, they kind of had to, given that I know where they live and everything *grin*). Since this blog is dedicated to a continuity, I thought it’d be fun to talk about series and why we love them. Here are some of my reasons: 

1. I  love going back to meet characters from previous stories – but only if they’re still themselves in the next book. For example, Judd, my ice-cold Psy assassin from Caressed By Ice, is still remote and scary (to outsiders, not his heroine, of course!) in the books following his own. He’s changed and developed, but he didn’t magically turn into a teddy bear (I can’t even imagine that!) 

2. I love seeing the development of the world itself, whether that world is contemporary, paranormal, historical or something else. We get to see parts of the universe we might’ve only glimpsed previously, along with layers of relationships – I liken it to each new book opening a different curtain into the characters’ lives. 

3. I love the sense of something familiar and yet new. I go into a new installment of a favorite series with very high hopes. I know I’ve loved the previous books, so chances are high I’m going to love this next one. And yet, I’m on tenterhooks as I wait to see what the author does with this particular couple, or installment. I guess a good series combines the comfort of a keeper, with the excitement of an unknown story. So, those are some of my reasons. What about sharing some of yours? Why do you love series? What are some of your favorite series / continuities / mini-series?  

Giveaway: Nalini will draw a random winner from the comments to win a signed copy of a book (winner’s choice) from her backlist (excluding current release) AND as an additional giveaway, a copy of Yvonne Lindsay’s ROSSELLINI’S REVENGE AFFAIR will be drawn by Nalini to go to another random winner–be sure and note which prize draw you would like to go into when you comment!