Archive for October, 2008


Sssssssmokin’! Blokes who cut their hair and brought sexy back

A few years ago, I worked with a guy who was your typical surfer type – bronzed, blue-eyed, tall and lean,  with tied-up blond locks that accompanied his business suit every day. A nice guy, but no-one you’d think was stunning. Then, one day, he did a Bon Jovi and cut that hair.  Phhhwoooor!  Instant stud muffin, as voted by all the girls in the office.   

So that got me thinking – we all love a good celebrity overhaul and women always make the front pages. What about the guys? It can be as simple as cutting your hair.

Jon Bon Jovi
It sent shockwaves around the world in the early 90s.  I can remember a friend actually crying about the loss of those long, permed locks (go figure).  But in going the chop, the lead singer of 80s hair band Bon Jovi not only brought his music into the 21at century, but started a trend by “doing a Bon Jovi” and becoming seriously sexy.


Russell Crowe
This choice was a bit of a stretch because really, Russ looks gorgeous with any length of hair, as long as he’s got a three-day growth happening (clean shaven and he looks waaaay too 80s).  But if I really had to choose between long-hair or short-hair Russ (hmm… sounds like a dream I had once) I’d take him a little rough around the edges. As long as he doesn’t start throwing any objects except himself in my direction.


Jamie Durie
Yeah, he started off as a dancer in Australia’s early 90s all-male strip show Man Power, and I admit I saw him perform once (or was that twice?)  Boy, did he have the muscles to back up those sexy locks!  But then he disappeared from public view, obviously to discourage all those panty-throwing, wildly-groping hysterical women, cuts the hair, gets his own gardening show and is now not only seriously talented but oh so nice to look at, too.   And all packed into a pair of worn blue denims… yum!


Ian “Dicko” Dickson
Lordy, the man looked like something out of a cheap sleazy nightclub.  Australian Idol’s answer to Simon Cowell seriously needed a modern day overhaul, especially in an industry that embraces change, fashion and cutting edge.  What is it about aging Aussie blokes and their mullets?  Are they all members of the “Blokes Over 35 That Hold Onto Their Mullet Waaaay Too Long” Club?  I can’t count how many times I’ve screamed at my TV “cut your bloody HAIR!”   And finally my prayers were answered.  Now, he may still be a little paunchy and definitely not under 35, but I have a soft spot for a guy who is man enough to admit the mullet isn’t working.

Jason Wiles
You may recognize Third Watch’s Detective Boscorelli from Bon Jovi’s film clip, “Always” (it also featured Keri “Felicity” Russell, too).  Thank the lord someone gave that guy a haircut and a role on Beverly Hills 90210!  And while Jason and Keri both may be pretty with long hair, Jason is definitely hotter going short. 

Ahhh, Mister Romance himself.  Mister Stud Muffin, Beefcake, Hunk of Medieval Warrior…oops, sorry, got carried away.  There’s no denying the he-man looks, the built bod… but the hair just has to go.  And it did for a while.  I can’t recall if he’s grown it back or not (if there is a god, no!) but don’t you think he looks smoulderingly ssseexy without it, as witnessed in this GQ ad?


Billy Ray Cyrus
I can hear it now:
(Disney execs) – “we’re looking at Billy Ray Cyrus for the part of Hannah Montana’s dad.”
“What, Mister Achy Breaky Heart?”
“You’re fired.”
“We’ll give him a haircut. Trust me, he’ll look hip and cool.”
“So help me, if this show flops you’ll never work in this town again!”
And so the King of the Mullet is no more. Thank god.  Now I’m just waiting for him to remove that annoying little flava sava from his lip because he sooo looks like Keith Urban and we all know there can only be one Mister Nicole Kidman.

Who’s your favorite celeb, singer, actor who’s gone the chop and looks better for it? And because we’re an equal-opportunity blog, you can go to town on the women too!


Meet guest blogger, Fiona Lowe

It’s so cool to be over here at the Desirabelles blog, so thank you for inviting me!!

I’m Fiona Lowe and I write for Harlequin Mills and Boon Medicals. There! I’ve said it 🙂  I’ve admitted my addiction… everything to do with romance and Medicine and wrapped up in the glorious colors of the Australian outback.  There’s something about health professionals in far flung places working for the greater good that I find really romantic. They face all sorts of hardships both professionally and personally but their love for the people and the place keep them there.

The outback is a place full of challenges but the big two would be the heat and the isolation. Things we take for granted in the city are not automatic in the bush ranging from no internet (yes, shock horror!) to the more serious lack of access to health care. 

My current book, The Playboy Doctor’s Marriage Proposal is my second story set in the outback town of Warragurra, and on a nearby outback station.  Take one country nurse with bright pink hair, raised with five brothers and who can shoot pool and hotwire cars. Put her on the same page as one sibling-free urbane citified doctor without who has never got his Italian leather shoes muddy, and watch the sparks fly between them. But no matter what is going on, one thing never changes….they’re professionals through and through.

Everyone has their own reading faves…my son loves fantasy, my husband enjoys a good crime story but I like a bit of real life tinged with hope and I think that is why I write Medical Romance.  I get to create entire towns and cast them with all sorts of people, and pull in some real life grit . But I can also sprinkle it with fairy dust at the end to give them their own “happy ever after.”

What type of stories do you enjoy most?

Fiona Lowe loves Australia and infuses her books with all things quaint to ‘down under’.   You can buy her books on shelf in Australia and NZ, and online from Mills & Boon UK, Amazon CA and UKHer current release, The Playboy Doctor’s Marriage Proposal is available Down Under and from Amazon CA right now.  Visit her at her website and blog.


Bronwyn Jameson chats with…

Lilian Darcy, Alison Roberts, Meredith Webber and Marion Lennox

Earlier this year, while blogging about multi-author series, I interviewed the clever brains behind the Crocodile Creek series for Harlequin Medical Romance. At that stage the first two Croc Creek series had been and gone. With the third and final series out now in America, Australia and the UK, I decided it was time for another chat with these talented down-under authors.

First, let me introduce the awesome foursome. Between them they have published 270 books (!!!), celebrated 14 RITA finals and 2 wins (!!), 23 RBY finals and 1 win (!), while still finding time to fossick for outback gold, dance in Barcelona, cook for pony-club camps, build sheds, work in (and evacuate!) information centres, raise families (and dogs!), drink wine, and swim with dolphins. Count the exclamation marks – yes, I am in awe! – but I shall attempt to pull myself together and act coolly nonchalant despite being in the company of goddesses.

Let’s start with the backstory… How did the Crocodile Creek series come about?

Alison:  It all started with the first ever writer’s retreat I went on, which was just me and Marion having a few days on South Stradbroke Island before the 2003 Romance Writers of Australia conference. We roped in Meredith once we got to the conference and got Lilian on board via telephone conferencing. We missed all the scheduled conference things and sat round bouncing ideas and making notes and getting exciting!

I think Harlequin was a bit gobsmacked at being given an author-generated idea for a series and it actually took a long time and quite a bit of modification before we got the green light, but then we started work on the first series and it was amazing. As Marion put it at one point, “It’s like having three extra brains”.

Tell us about Crocodile Creek…

Marion:  Croc Creek is its own fabulous world. Our stories revolve around Croc Creek’s Search, Rescue and Medical Base in the far north of Australia, and the C. C. doctor’s residence where young medicos live while they experience the thrills and dramas of emergency medicine in the outback.

Crocodile Creek, the series, in a nutshell is…?

Marion:  …human drama, a fabulous tropical setting, sizzle, heat and loving.

Where is this fabulous, fictional setting?

Lilian:  On the tropical coast of far north Queensland, with the Great Barrier Reef out to sea, and a couple of hours inland, beyond the rainforest and the mountains, vast tracts of beef cattle country.

Was Croc Creek always going to be a twelve-book series?

Lilian:  We did make the initial mistake of trying to put too many eggs in our basket — tons of murder and suspense and international intrigue as well as medicine and romance — way too many bells and whistles. Various editors hosed us down with blasts of cold water and cured us of all that.

Meredith:  Yes, we started with the majestic 12 book series idea, murder and mayhem set on a tourist island. The whole idea was squashed flat by editors, so we shifted the location north and finally won approval to do four books. Then a long wait until the powers-that-be decided that since they hadn’t tanked, we could do four more. So although we had a lot of the same characters between series, it really ended up as three series of four books.

Apart from that first meeting, did you get together to plan the other series or was it all done by email?

Meredith:  We planned all three series face-to-face, taking time out at conferences, but then followed up with lots of email and reading of each other’s stuff.

Alison:  Emails flew back and forth as we discussed characters, backgrounds and plots. It was so much fun, working in little bits and pieces of the other books, like snatches of conversations overheard or even just the expression on someone’s face.

Marion:  It was indeed fun. It felt a bit like a free book cos there were four plotters rather than one. I think the fact that we totally respected each other as writers and we knew each other’s characters would be treated sympathetically was the key.

Meredith:  Yes, it was like a free book because we’d plotted together but weaving the stories together so bits of one fitted seamlessly with bits of another was the best fun. We even wrote little passages for each other’s books so the stories melded.

Tell us about the series out now…

Lilian:  Series three is the tropical island holiday, in which taking time out from normal life not only gives special needs kids and their families a much-needed break, but allows our heroes and heroines to see life and love in a whole new way. In the universe of Crocodile Creek Series Three, life is a beach in the best possible way, but there’s still some trouble in paradise.

The Crocodile Creek books available now and in coming months from eHarlequin, eHarlequin Australia, and Mills & Boon UK, are:


A final word on writing with friends…

Alison:  This was a collaboration in more than just a professional sense and we tried to write the best books we could because we wanted them to be as good as we knew the others would be. The “x” factor that came from our friendship gave these books an edge that made them special.

If you’d like a taste of that “x” factor, join us this week in discussing the allure of medical fiction. (This week’s giveaway* is a two-book pack of medical romances set down-under.) Do you have a favourite medical/emergency character from book, TV or movie? Do you read medical romance? Do you have a question for Lilian, Alison, Meredith or Marion about Crocodile Creek or any of their 270 (!!!) books?

*Prize drawn from the comments on Oct 18, one entry per IP address.

Novella Love

I have a novella (Stroke of Enticement) coming out this Tuesday in The Magical Christmas Cat anthology. I had so much fun writing about Zach – talk about a sexy, playful changeling – and his heroine, Annie. (If you want to check out an excerpt, follow the link above!)

I enjoy writing novellas for a number of reasons – but today, I thought we’d chat about why we love reading novellas.

For me, novellas are perfect reading material for when I don’t have a ton of time, but I’m still craving a good read. I can get that satisfying full-story feeling in a bite-sized amount of time.

Some novellas have even become keepers for me, like The Prince of Ebon Rih in Anne Bishop’s Dreams Made Flesh. I adore this novella – I’ve read it over and over. (And incidentally, if you haven’t read Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy, run and grab it now! It’s completely amazing).

So, how about you all? Do you enjoy novellas? What are some of your favorites?


Cover Fun

As we’re giving away a copy of a French translation this week, I thought it might be fun to share covers of some of our recent and current translations. As you can see, they’re popping up all over Europe and in many languages.

Lovely, aren’t they?