Archive for the 'All posts by Paula' Category


moving on… and up

For most of you this will come as a shock, but it’s time to say goodbye and farewell to the Desirabelles – well, at least, to this blog. We haven’t come to this decision lightly:  it was with much discussion and input about what we wanted from the blog and how that impacted with our writing and our personal lives. And the overwhelming opinion was wanted to go out on a high, not hang around for years, becoming jaded and crotchety (or worse, uninteresting 🙂 ) So from our Belles, their final words:

Yvonne says: The other day, when my husband and I went to look at a second hand car, I could have just stayed and talked and talked to the seller. Hubby said as we were leaving, “I bet he’d thought we’d never go.” As we drove home it occurred to me, I really hate saying goodbye. And that’s kind of how I feel now. There’s something quite special about working with a group of people you respect and admire which makes it something quite sad when you all realise that due to changing circumstances you just have to let go. When some of us started the Diamonds Down Under loop in conjunction with the release of our continuity in January 2008 it was really exciting to be working and promoting the series. When that was over, well, most of us didn’t want to let it finish at that—at least I know I didn’t. But when demands on your time mean you can’t give your best to different aspects of your work then it’s time to reassess and regroup and move on. So that’s what we’ve agreed to do. It has been fabulous continuing to work with some of the DDU ladies as well as start promoting our new Desire authors down under and it’s been great sharing it all with our regular blog visitors. I know we’ll stay in touch with one another through our blogs, emails and conferences and things. I hope that you, our visitors, will check on me via my blog whenever you can to see what’s up-and-coming with me and I’m sure we’ll cross paths on everyone else’s blogs too. All the very best everyone! Stay in touch, please!

Bron says: Thank you to everyone who has visited and joined in the discussions here at Desirabelles.  I’ve enjoyed your company and your insights into books, romance and life ever so much.  I hope to see you at the Desire authors’ blog launching next week at; it promises to be a lot of fun.  Warmest wishes.

Robbie says: Thanks for your support! It’s been wonderful getting to know you all, particularly the regulars. Thanks too to my fellow Downunder Desirabelles. A fabulous bunch of writers and wonderful people to boot. Onward and upward! Best wishes to all.

Sandra says: Hi everyone. And bye. I feel like I arrived late to a cool party and now it’s over. Still, I had fun while I was here and really enjoyed the company. It was lovely meeting you all and sharing the space with my fellow Desireabelles. If anyone ever wants to catch up with what I’m doing I do have a website – it’s still a work in progress but I’m getting there. My first book Having The Billionaire’s Baby is out in July. If you read it and enjoy it please let me know. My contact details are on my website. (I’m a little on the anxious side about finally having my work out where real people can read it). Hope to ‘see’ some of you around in other forums/blogs from time to time. Take care.

Paula says: Many of you followed us from the Diamonds Down Under blog and I want to sincerely thank you, every one of you (and not just our regulars!) who read our bloggings and contributed to our little community.  Keeping up the momentum of a group blog can be a difficult task and I wanted to also thank my fellow Desirabelles for their enthusiasm and input. I’ll still be in cyberspace, via my own blog, plus hanging around various boards – especially eHarlequin. Pop in and say hi!

Rachel says:I’ve had a ball here at the Desirabelles! It was the perfect place for a new author like me to land. Working with fabulous authors, meeting wonderful readers, following interesting posts and fun comments – basically getting to know everyone while having a blast.

Thanks to my fellow Desirabelles and everyone who’s left a comment. If you see me at a conference, please come up and say hi.

One question: I’ve had this as my homepage since I joined, so if anyone has any suggestions for what my new homepage should be, please let me know! What’s your must visit site every day?


Jan Colley and her Friday Night Mistress

Thanks so much to the Desirabelles for inviting me to blog with you this week. And hello to all my old pals from the Diamonds blog. I am excited to announce the release of my sixth book for Silhouette Desire.

jans-bookFriday Night Mistress began life around Christmas 2007 when for some inexplicable reason, I began to hear Strauss waltzes in my head from morning to night. I have two very old CDs of Strauss’s Famous Viennese waltzes, but suddenly, I couldn’t get the music out of my head so I figured I was meant to write a ball story. My first idea didn’t fly but we eventually wrangled something from the ashes, which turned into two books about Kiwi brothers, Nick and Adam Thorne. I did stage a ball in Friday Night Mistress but as it turned out, the real ball bonanza was relegated to the second story, Adam’s book, which is set in England and Vienna.
Friday Night Mistress takes place mostly in Wellington, New Zealand, a pretty city at the bottom of the North Island.   wellington

msoundsNick and his love interest, Jordan, also take a trip on a chartered boat to the Marlborough Sounds, one of the loveliest parts of the country in my opinion. 

Nick Thorne is a financier, a serious, rather conservative man. I fell in love with the Venezuelan supermodel, Enrique Palacios, when I saw him on the Armani Code ad.  A little more delving delivered a wonderful You Tube clip of him in many poses.

armaniThis is one of my favourites (left) – and there actually was a steamy stairwell scene in the book…Gorgeous, intense, purposeful,   he clearly needs a shake-up.   Who better than the flashy, flighty heiress, Jordan Lake, who just happens to be the daughter of Nick’s father’s most hated enemy?

mischa-bartonThat’s Mischa Barton of OC fame (right). Aside from the problems that arise between their families, Jordan has exactly the right amount of flair, notoriety and vulnerability to rock Nick’s ordered and organised world. Nick prides himself on his sense of honour and duty. So much more responsible than his playboy brother, Adam, whom we meet in Friday Night Mistress, and who has Nick shaking his head over the relentless pursuit of his prim and proper PA…

You’ll be happy to know that since I finished writing Adam’s story – which was THE BEST to research – the Strauss music has subsided to an occasional treat.

Now a little story. My neighbor has told me she got goose bumps when she heard Strauss blaring from my house. Apparently the couple who built this house fifty years ago were keen ballroom dancers. We have a lovely big, long lounge with a huge curved window. They used to have dancing afternoons where their friends would come around and they would move the furniture back and waltz around the room. I like that! I always love hearing about different eras in a house’s life. One of our houses was built in 1848 and had a most interesting history – including a suicide – but even Google can’t help me with this place.

I was going to kick off the comments with a question pertaining to family feuds but let’s have some fun. 

house::Shines torch under your chin::  Do you have a snippet of fascinating history from a house you’ve lived in? It can be as creepy, crazy or cuckoo as you like. And if you raise the hairs on the back of my neck or tickle my funny bone, or even just dazzle me with the truth, I have two copies of Friday Night Mistress to give away. Good luck!


The Australian Romance readers conference 2009

As I type, it’s Saturday night and I’ve just spent over a day with 200+ lovers of romantic fiction in Melbourne for a weekend of talk, gossip, laughter, info, books and general merriment at the Australia’s very first Romance Readers Convention.  As a veteran of writers conferences, I was prepared for a slightly different experience – and boy, is it ever!    Driven as I am by deadlines, I find I don’t spend as much time reading for pleasure and this weekend gave me back that simple joy of discussing reading (as opposed to plot, character arcs, GMC yada yada).  Plus it’s a great way to meet readers who love your books and meet new ones.   

So, let’s start at the beginning.  I flew into Melbourne on Thursday and checked into the lovely Jasper Hotel, our venue of choice.  After getting over the shock of my blood-red hotel walls (each floor is different – lime green, bright blue…), I scored a jackpot – dinner with the conference organizers and Mary-Janice Davidson, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Grant and Dianna Love!  😀  We ate at a great Greek restaurant on Londsale Street, I broke my shoes and we stumbled back to the hotel to rest up for the big day tomorrow.  

Friday was spent shopping (Borders was an obvious stop!) then Friday night and the welcome reception soon rolled around.  A few hours of greeting old friends, chatting to new ones and I was ready for bed (unfortunately my roomie Sandra and I spent a few more hours gossiping and watching The Wedding Crashers…)

Saturday – and a hilarious opening welcome speech delivered by Mary-Janice Davidson.  That woman does have a way with words and soon had the whole room in stitches.  The mood was contagious, with our local academics discussing “what they really think about romance”.  I moderated a panel on “Aussie Voice – why the whole world loves our accent” and then ate a way-too-quick lunch before jumping into a hilarious talk on where authors get their ideas, featuring Liz Maverick, Amy Andrews, Mary-Janice Davidson and Susan Grant.  (and good news – all sessions were taped so everyone can enjoy the ARRC!)  Then came the fabulously attended book signing.  Despite the massive queue for Sherrilyn Kenyon, everyone was so happy to be there and Sherrilyn smiled all the way through.

The Awards Dinner was heaps of fun, with awards for 2008 given to:

Tomorrow should be another full day with lots of talking, industry news and laughter – and of course, books!  The buzz overall is one of joy and  camaraderie, with everyone thrilled to be talking about romance books.  The  organizing committee have done a wonderful, professional job considering they only had around a year to plan and put on this event.

Now, here’s a question for you – if you could meet your favorite author, who would it be and what would you ask them?


My Favorite Gadget

walk1I remember the first gadget that started my infatuation with technology: a cool silver and blue clip-on Sony Walkman.  Now, things have come a long way since the mid-80s and their massive packaging, with gadgets getting smaller and cleverer (remember those Nokia mobile phones the size of house bricks?).  I’ve moved on to CD Walkmans, then a generic MP3 player, to a you-beaut Toshiba Gigabeat.  I’ve upgraded my massive SLR camera to a digital (although the photo quality is just not quite the same as a traditional camera).   For Christmas I got an e-book reader, the BeBook, and I’m thrilled to have a gadget that stores hundreds of books and weighs less than a paperback, saving masses of shelf space.

I haven’t succumb to the phone upgrade yet – I’m quite happy with my LG hot-pink flip phone because I don’t NEED to take photos, read email and surf the ‘net with it – I have said digital camera and computer for that 🙂  I also love those little USB flash drives that can hold everything from documents, photos, music and downloads… I have several 😀

mac1But all that pales by comparision to my iMac Book.  I’ve only had it for a week but I’ve in loooove with its sleek white design, speed, wireless capability and simple ease of finding what you need quickly.  Even the most simple things like the magnetic closure and power cable attachment is exciting!  Yes, I still have my big desktop PC (the very clever but slow, sensitive, unreliable long-time partner) but my little white Mac is just so fast and RELIABLE.  It’s like having an exciting, cute new love interest who actually listens to you 🙂

What’s your favorite gadget?  Is it something that’s made your life easier?  More fun?  More interesting?


the twelfth day of Christmas…

And so, we come to the last day. Did you know ‘twelve drummers drumming’ is actually refering to the twelve points of doctrine of the Apostles’ Creed? After I read them, it was very clear to me that these points were all about belief. 

Whoever you are, whatever background you come from, every person  lives by a core set of beliefs that are personal and meaningful to them.  For example, some would’ve been brought up with “I believe it’s wrong to kill any living creature” – unless you were raised on a farm where killing (sick animals, feral creatures) may have been a way of life.  “I believe the truth should be told” is another… unless you’re a guy and your partner asks “does my butt look big in this?” 😆   

And when I think about the phrase, “I believe…” I’m immediately reminded of Kevin Costner’s sexy monologue he gives Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham (warning – dirty talk up ahead): ” I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. ”  Whew!  😯

I’ve never really analysed my beliefs that deeply: some have been with me since childhood, some have been learned the hard way.  Here’s just a few I’d like to share.

I believe we should be kind to others.   I believe in the power of healing by positive thought.  I believe that once a heart is broken, it can never be completely mended.   I believe that some people are happier alone.  I believe in the punishment befitting the crime.  I believe animals have a lot to teach us and how we treat them is a great indicator of a person’s soul.  I believe in the silent beauty of snow, the glorious glow of a summer sunrise and the sweet, joyous euphoria of a great book or moving piece of music.  I believe in tears of joy as well as of sadness, evolution and the power of a good day planner and the right shade of lip gloss.  I believe OJ did it, that Pluto should’ve never been reclassed “a dwarf planet”, that Veronica Mars and Firefly were axed way before their prime, that the brain is a wonderful, complex thing, that kids should be allowed to be kids for as long as possible and children watch way too much sex and violence on TV.  And I also believe that sometimes, you have to hurt the ones you love in order to be truly happy.

What are your beliefs?  Share a few of them and you could win a surpise Christmas gift!  BTW I did intend to add some pikkies but my computer died and I’m posting this from my gym 😦    I believe computers know exactly when to screw you over…


the sixth day of Christmas…

Okay, so this is interesting – “six geese are laying” refers to the six days of creation. You know, the ‘God created the Earth, the heavens and universe in six days, then spent Sunday resting’ thing? Now, so’s not to get into a whole raging debate about creationism v’s evolution v’s God/s etc (politics and religion – always guaranteed to start an argument!) let’s talk about creations that are personal to you.

earth-spaceHere are some of my favorites: my boy (on a good day) 😆 The Grand Canyon, the beach, caramelattes, Jennifer Crusie’s books, the ability to write, all-fleece doonas, lactose-free milk, underwire bras, lip gloss, butterflies, cats, first-date excitement, a set of well-toned abs, air conditioners, hot pink, jasmine, MSWord’s Document Map, massive whiteboards, Veronica Mars and David Boreanaz. Oh, and Lush’s ‘The Big Tease’ hair gel. And Happy Hippy bodywash. And Lego. Hmmm….

What are some of your best creations? Ones you’ve made yourself? Ones from devine design? Or gifts you’ve received that have been made and/or given with love? Post a comment and win some cute stationery (sorry, I didn’t create it – Hallmark did) 😉


Most Desirable Movies

As the holidays head our way with a slew of new releases, it’s time to start talking movies.  For us Desirabelles, movies rate a close second to books when it comes to stuff we love.  It’s the ultimate visual way to submerse yourself in a story, to swoon over the guys and cheer on the girls, get lost in the action, the plot and the sheer wonder of storytelling. Here are our top movie picks:


anofficeragentlemanBron says:
One favourite movie? Impossible. This is why I like lists. But for the sake of this exercise I am going with An Officer and a Gentleman because I love the layers of conflict, the flawed but redeemable characters, the vignettes from the past that show why Zack is who he is, the emotional highs and lows, the smokin’ chemistry between Richard Gere and Debra Winger, and last but not least,reddress the most fabulously romantic final scene in movieland. Yes, Pretty Woman and Notting Hill come close, but the “Way to go, Paula, way to go!” final line is a classic. Oh, and the theme song, “Love lifts you up where you belong”, is also the movie’s tagline. Perfect.


titanic-3Paula says:
I’m with Gemini Bron – can’t chose one and totally need a list.  It also depends on what mood I’m in: I adore Star Wars (Episodes IV-VI) for its storytelling complexity, battle of good over evil, the plot twists, Leia’s gorgeous flowing robes, the gold bikini and the wonderful chemistry between her and Han Solo (yum… Harrison Ford!)  I love Titanic (despite the tragic ending) because I cry like a baby, it has Leonardo anddirty-dancing-movie-01 of course, Rose’s amazing wardrobe.  I think, though, Dirty Dancing hits a particular spot in my heart.  It was the movie of my generation, it spoke to everyone including the romantics, the guys and girls, the wallflowers and the beautiful people.   A story about a teenager coming of age, a dancing contest and a romantic love story, it was a phenomenon.  It started a dancing craze, had a kick-ass soundtrack (or two),  spawned a 60s revival, a stage show and launched Patrick Swayze’s stellar career as a hunky romantic lead AND a singer.  It also had the best line ever: “nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  And who doesn’t get goosebumps at the end when Johnny lipsincs “I’ve had the time of my life” to Baby?  ::::sigh::::


princess-bride21Nalini says:
My favorite movie changes with my mood, but one movie I can watch over and over, and OVER again is The Princess Bride.  It’s funny, it’s snarky, but at theprincess-bride core of it all, it’s romantic.  My heart melts every time Westley says “As you wish.” And that scene where he’s telling Buttercup how he survived the Dread Pirate Roberts…sigh. There’s a sweetness to the story (including that of the secondary characters) that just makes cynicism impossible – it’s a movie to watch with your heart wide open.



Yvonne says:
To be honest, I’m totally stuck choosing just one ‘best’ movie. Whenever people ask me what’s my favourite film my first answer is always Ghost – it has a love story, action, humour, good vs. evil, makes me cry every time I watch it, but it doesn’t have the totalghost package in the happy ending department. Again, with another much loved movie, Hanover Street, starring Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne Down – it has romance, action, drama, adventure, but again the happy ending is blurred (which you kind of get when adultery is involved.) So, all in all, the movie that delivers everything for me, and which I love to watch over and over, is still An Officer and a Gentleman. We have romance, action, drama, humour, makes me cry (happy tears) and delivers on that amazing sweep-you-off-your-feet happy ending every darn time.


while-you-were-sleepingSandra says:
Today I’m choosing While You Were Sleeping (tomorrow it’d probably be something different), but this movie with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman always leaves me with that ‘aahhh’ moment. I like how she thinks she’s looking for one thing (love and a different life with the handsome, suave brother) and falls in love with the other brother instead. It’s the ‘falling’ of falling in love that I enjoy most in movies and in books. That I can have a good laugh along the way helps, too. Might just have to get this one out again and watch it.


pandpkissRachel says:
I have heaps of favourite movies and it was really hard to decide on just one. ibm_colinfirthSo I’ve chosen the first movie I ever owned: Pride and Prejudice – the 1940 MGM version with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.   It was the 80’s, I was a teenager in love with Jane Austen books, and didn’t have a lot of cash, so the fact I splurged on a video when it wasn’t popular to buy them shows the depth of my love.   The plot is at best a loose adaptation, the costumes are from the wrong period and the acting is OTT but I still love it. I can recite much of the dialogue by heart. I now also own the Colin Firth miniseries, the recent Matthew MacFadyen movie and the Bollywood verrsion, but, like a first love, the 1940 P&P has a special place in my heart.


casino_royale_iris-o1danielcraigRobyn says:
 I’ve never been a James Bond fan. Oh, Pierce Brosnan is delectable and Sean Connery is the epitome of black-tie masculine charm. But the boy-toys never did it for me, and while the women were gorgeous, the films were more a lust than a love story…until the latest, Casino Royale.

Daniel Craig shoots 007 well into the 21st century with fabulous action scenes, exceptional dialogue and, I need to mention, a bod that looks fan-damn-tastic in swimmers. 😀 I even came to like Daniel’s pout! But it’s the deep love, which develops between James and this particular Bond Girl, Vesper (actress Eva Green), that seals this film as one of my faves of all time.   Favourite scene…Bond wants to tell Vesper that he’s giving up his Superjames-bond-and-vesper Spy life for love of her. Lying together on a warm sandy beach, Vesper laments, “You’re not going to let me in there, are you? You’ve got your armour back on. That’s that.” James studies her with those startling blue eyes and says, “I have no armour left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever is left of me – whatever is left of me – whatever I am – I’m yours.”   Can’t wait to see Quantum of Solace next week! 🙂

martini-shaken-not-stirredWhile I wait impatiently for Toy Story 3 and Madagascar 2, let’s talk about your favorite movies.  Post a comment and you could win a copy of Dancing Backwards In High Heels by fabulous new Aussie author Christine Darcas!