Archive for the 'new release' Category

01
Mar
09

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!

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01
Feb
09

I love February!

Let me tell you why…

 

It’s my birthday month (which, just quietly, makes it the best month of the year 😉 ) and, its the first month of release for my Rogue Diamonds mini-series. How did Rogue Diamonds come about as a title for the mini-series? Well, with this year being the 60th anniversary of Harlequin/Silhouette in the USA, it led me to thinking of diamonds. To be honest it really doesn’t take much to get me thinking of diamonds…I do like sparklies, 😀

 

So, anyway, when dreaming up the series I thought of old school buddies who have remained close friends but who liked to play a little on the wild side.

 

The past:

 

“All of the students in your year are diamonds…some polished, some still a little rough. All, except you three. You, sirs, are rogues!”

 

So said Thomas Woodley, the favourite professor of Brent Colby, Adam Palmer and Draco Sandrelli, after he caught them demon riding (high speed runs on their motorbikes on dangerous roads at night with no headlights on) when they should have been at their private boarding school’s honours ceremony.

 

The present:

The Rogue Diamonds are drawn together for the memorial service of Prof. Woodley’s late wife, and after the service two of them are thrown into contact with women they never expected to see again.

 

So, who are the Rogue Diamonds?

 

convenient-marriage-inconvenient-husbandBrent Colby (CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, INCONVENIENT HUSBAND, US Feb 09, Aus/NZ Mar 09) was always the bad boy at school and the one who instigated most of the boys’ adventures. He’s the ‘scholarship boy’ from the poorer side of the family and he always felt he had something to prove. An innovative man, he fell headlong into his first million dollars only to lose it just as fast. Unfortunately, at the same time, he also lost the woman he loved. With his exceptional drive and entrepreneurial skills he’s rebuilt his world, bigger better and far stronger than before, but he’s never forgotten the woman who chose money over his love. When she fronts up to him in the men’s room of the Jubilee Hall at Ashurst Collegiate, he’s more than intrigued about why.

 

secretbabyDraco Sandrelli (SECRET BABY, PUBLIC AFFAIR, US Mar 09, Aus/NZ Apr 09) is the sole surviving son of Italian aristrocracy and lives in the Sandrelli ancestral palazzo in the Tuscan countryside. A natural charmer, he’s had it all, but he learned loss at its most painful level when his fiancee died of a congential heart defect while pregnant with his baby. A short and fiery affair with a New Zealand girl, Blair Carson, touring his homeland has an unexpected repercussion when he discovers Blair is catering the memorial service at Ashurst Collegiate. He wasn’t ready to let her go the first time, he certainly isn’t ready to let her go now, especially not when he discovers she’s carrying his child.

 

pretend-mistress-bona-fide-bossAdam Palmer (PRETEND MISTRESS, BONA FIDE BOSS, US Apr 09, Aus/NZ May 09) is a workaholic. The survivor of twin sons born to the powerful billionaire Palmers, he’s been groomed to take over the running of the family business. All his life he’s only felt as if he was half of what his parents were due and works darn hard to make up for that by being twice as good at everything. His office is run with incredible precision at all times yet somehow secrets are being filtered out to his arch rival, Josh Tremont. When Adam discovers his assistant, Lainey Delacorte, is hiding the truth about herself, he’s determined to get the bottom of her deception and discover if she’s responsible for the information leaks–no matter what it takes.

 

So, do you want to win an autographed copy of the first of the Rogue Diamonds, CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, INCONVENIENT HUSBAND? All you need to do is comment on this blog and hazard a guess at what day my birthday is. If you get it right I’ll include a cute paua shell inlaid kiwi phone charm with your book. If there’s more than one correct answer by the end of the week I’ll put each name in a hat and draw one winner. Happy February!

28
Dec
08

Looking Forward To 2009

As 2008 draws to a close, some of the Desirabelles have cast their eyes forward to answer the question: What are you looking forward to in 2009? Here is what they had to say.

Sandra:  The July release of my very first book, Having the Billionaire’s Baby, and seeing what I’ve worked towards for so many years actually result in a book I can hold in my hands.

Robyn:  Other than my 18yo dd meeting a nice boy (no more out of work drummers with secret pregnant girlfriends, please!) I’m looking forward to the NA release of my fifth Desire, “Bedded by Blackmail” in June.  The story has some of my favourite hooks – Rags to Riches, Housekeeper to a Multi-millionaire, plus there’s a nasty villain who thinks he has a good reason for extorting the poor heroine, Ella Jacob (that’s Ella in the picture.)  Tristan Barkley is more than your typical hero and has his reality tipped on its head when black turns to white and Ella’s past entangles them both in a web of deceit that could prove fatal.

Yvonne:  I’m really excited about my upcoming  Rogue Diamonds mini-series (releases in Feb/Mar/Apr). The series follows three old school buddies journey to love-and of course, each journey has some very bumpy patches. Starting 5 January, on eHarlequin.com I’ll be hosting a discussion on the first book, “Convenient Marriage, Inconvenient Husband,” and the series in general-please pop on by so I’m not just talking to myself! As soon as I have the link for the discussion I’ll post it up on my blog. Also, as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations, Harlequin are doing a special year long spotlight with a “My Favorite Hero” blog feature. A discussion between my Rogues, about the first hero’s predicament, will be featured on 7 January! All this before I’ve even received my author copies. Looks like January is going to kick start a busy year for me.

Bron: In 09 I look forward to my youngest starting university, my eldest returning safely from a trip to India, and the first foal from my mare (fingers crossed.) I also have a new series to look forward to, both in release and in writing. The first two books feature the wash-up from an innocent sister swap, with an extra twist on the mistaken identity theme. To solve the mess of misunderstandings, Isabelle and Chessie Browne are swept off to England and into a world of private jets and chauffeured limos, London townhouses and country estates, polo and opera and weekends in Paris. And shopping. There is a strong Cinderella theme, plenty of blue blood, a few wicked relatives, and at least two delicious men. Cristiano Veron is all hot sexy charm, Justin Harrington intriguingly aloof, and I had enormous fun playing out the attraction of opposites (guess which man gets the quiet sensible sister and which the funloving firebrand?) Magnate’s Make-Believe Mistress is a July release and Billionaire’s Inconvenient Bride will follow in September. And this year I’ll be working on two more books featuring siblings of Cristo and Justin. (The picture is my collage for Make-Believe Mistress.)

Paula: I always love the idea of a brand-spanking new year, before it loses it’s shiny new-car smell and everyone drags their muddy footprints all over the new carpet 🙂 For me, 2009 is the year I turn the big 4-0 in June, and apart from the “hey, has it been that long since I went to school/MC Hammer was the coolest/I went into labour?” moments, I don’t stress about getting another year older. So the stuff I’m really looking forward to this year is catching up with friends at Australia’s first Romance Reader Convention in February and RWAustralia’s National Conference in August. We always have a ball at these things: I’m so lucky I get to call this work!

Another event I’m looking forward to is my next book, The Magnate’s Baby Promise, which will hit US shelves in August, then Australia in September (I’m hoping to have my author copies in time for conference!). It’s about Cal Prescott, Sydney’s richest software developer, who needs a wife to get control of his step-father’s company. Ava Reilly, a small business owner in rural NSW, needs his money to save her family business. It’s got a one-night stand, an unexpected pregnancy and a forced/convenient marriage, plus two wonderfully flawed characters. To get the feel of an outback country town, I used a fabulous picture of NSW’s Hunter Valley by Ken Duncan for inspiration.  I’m also reeeeeally looking forward to completing two more books by August – one is Cal’s brother’s story, and the other part of Desire’s “Babies and Billionaires” 2010 series with wonderful Aussie authors Maxine Sullivan (March 2010) and Robyn Grady (April 2010). Mine will be a May release and I’m absolutely loving writing it!

That’s a brief glimpse of what we’re looking forward to in 2009; what about you? Join the discussion for a chance to win a signed copy of Bronwyn’s Bestseller Collection, featuring her first two books In Bed With The Boss’s Daughter and Addicted To Nick.

16
Nov
08

Robyn Grady introduces Rachel Bailey!

There have been several talented Australian and New Zealand authors bought for the fabulous Desire line over the last couple of years. I’m delighted, and excited to introduce here our very latest Downunder Desirabelle, Rachel Bailey!

Rachel, can you tell us a little about your journey toward publication? How long were you writing? Had you always aimed at Desire?

Hi, Robbie and everyone! Thanks for the invitation. I’m absolutely thrilled to be here! To answer your question, I’m not a lifelong writer – I read stories about authors who’ve been writing since they were children, and I feel as though I’ve missed all the fun! I started only a few years ago and couldn’t decide between my love for romantic comedy or category romance. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I decided to focus on category romance, specifically Desire, and then everything seemed to click into place. I’m so excited to join such a great line and some of my favourite authors!

We’d love to hear about your first book. When is it due out?

My first book follows Lily and Damon’s story – ex lovers coming to terms with a pregnancy, a scheming uncle, a big old mansion, and some conditions on a will that will turn their lives upside down. It was heaps of fun to write!

Ooh, sounds like my kind of story J

I’m not sure what the title will be – I called it His Convenient Marriage of Revenge, but I’m not sure if the editors will change that. It’s due out in September next year, which seems so far away, but people keep assuring me that the time will fly by.

Rachel, what do you like most about the Desire line?

The intensity. There’s nothing wishy-washy about these books, they drag you in and hold you until the very last page. And the heroes have that same gorgeous intensity. What more could I want in a story? J

I’m with you there! Who are some of your favourite heroes from TV and movies?

I have heaps of favourites! Colin Firth as Darcy, of course. But most of the other Jane Austen heroes as well, like Johnny Lee Miller as Edmund in the movie of Mansfield Park.

And I love Richard Armitage as Mr Thornton in North and South. Oh, and Spike in Buffy. I was never an Angel girl, it was always Spike for me. I could probably go on about this all day!

Sounds like a fantastic idea for a Desirabelle blog! A serious question now…are you a dog or cat person?

LOL. Both, but mainly a dog person. I have four at the moment, and have had up to six in my pack. I can’t imagine my life without a dog in it.

What’s your favourite colour, favourite food, favourite thing to do?

Purple.

Chocolate.

Read a great book.

Picture me lying on a purple satin bedcover, reading one of my favourite authors, eating Lindt chocolate  (happy sigh).

Rachel, what are you working on now?

A story involving chocolate. Perhaps I should try to involve the colour purple and have the heroine reading a great book while being fanned by Richard Armitage…

Sounds heavenly! The perfect Rachel Bailey fantasy. If you could be anyone, who would that be?

Me, but with some upgrades. J

Rachel, congratulations again on your sale to Desire! You’ll be here this week to tell us more?

You bet!

Excellent!

Now, my latest Desire Baby Bequest is out in NA this month and in Australia and New Zealand in December. I’d love to give a couple of copies away. Please tell us about your ultimate fantasy and I’ll give a copy of Baby Bequest to Rachel’s two top picks!!

Can I mention that a certain Spartan warrior would feature in my fave fantasy? Anyone like to guess?

Visit Robyn’s website to read excerpts and news on her upcoming releases.

09
Nov
08

Then and Now: Bronwyn Jameson

This week sees the reissue of my first two books published by Silhouette Desire. There are many reasons why I’m jazzed about this, not the least being the stylish “Bestseller Collection” flash on the cover. “Bestseller” happens to be a favourite word of just about every author.  🙂  It’s also given me some cause to muse about such things as wow, where did those seven years go? and how lucky am I to be still writing for Desire?

In that spirit of musing, I present a teensy insight into what has changed–and not changed–since my first sale.

THEN: I could get away with a heroine named Paris (In Bed With The Boss’s Daughter)
NOW: !’m not contemplating naming any heroines Paris, Lindsey or Britney.

THEN: Desire titles painted a broader canvas. Some of my favourites from 2000-2001:
Ride A Wild Heart, Slow Waltz Across Texas, Overnight Cinderella. 
NOW: They’re less colourful but more descriptive. Like four-word storyline synopses. As much as I like the title Addicted To Nick it doesn’t give much of a hint about the storyline, does it?

THEN: A biker cover was fine…but didn’t sell well.
NOW: No bikers, no leathers, not too many heroines depicted with TC’s short haircut, either.

THEN: The guidelines specified a minimum of two “fully realised” love scenes. Had to add one during my revisions for In Bed With The Boss’s Daughter whether it needed another or not. 
NOW: One, two or ten love scenes; we write what the storyline and characters demand.

THEN: My stories were built around strong-willed, independent women (a la TC in Addicted To Nick)…or strong-willed women seeking independence (Paris Grantham in In Bed With The Boss’s Daughter.)
NOW: Same.

THEN: Character-driven stories, tick. Cowboys, tick. Blue-collar heroes, tick.
NOW: Stories driven by the external situation, tick. Tycoons, tick. Billionaires, tick.

THEN: I used brand names that I *thought* the wealthy might use.
NOW: I have (I hope) a better understanding of the terms luxury, bespoke and exclusivity.

THEN: My stories included a quest to find home, family, love.
NOW: Beneath the surface glitz…they still do.

THEN: I was the only down-under author writing for Desire.
NOW: I am one of eleven. Our spelling, unique turns of phrase, settings, and other quirks are better understood and accepted…or the readers have grown tired of writing and asking for explanations.  🙂

What has changed in your reading and/or writing since the year 2000?  Have you discovered new genres, new authors, new lines?  Is there something you miss from “the good old days”?

Join the conversation this week for a chance to win a signed copy of my Bestseller Collection plus a surprise gift. (Prize drawn Nov 15; one entry per IP address.)

Check my website Contest Page for another chance to win.

02
Nov
08

The Lure of the Sheikh Hero by Annie West

Thanks, Desirabelles, for inviting me to your fantastic site! It’s so exciting to have such a strong group of Aussie and New Zealand Desire authors. I’ve been reading your books with enormous pleasure!

For those who don’t know me, I’m another girl from Down Under and I write for Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern. I’m absolutely hooked on reading (and writing) romance and I’m thrilled to say my ninth book for Harlequin has recently been accepted.

In the meantime, since my latest release is about a desert prince it was suggested I talk about the lure of the sheikh hero. I wonder how many of you share an appreciation of that particular hero?

It took me a while to come to the sheikh hero. In my early days of reading romances the heroes I discovered were usually European or American or occasionally from Australia or New Zealand. There were swashbuckling men in boots, regency rakes, businessmen, boys next door, bad boys on motor bikes, occasional cowboys, aristocrats or gothic antiheroes. Why would I need a sheikh with that sort of variety on offer?

But somewhere on my radar I was aware of the fact that sheikhs (or sheiks, depending on where you’re from) loomed large on the list of potential romance heroes. I knew women had swooned in droves when Rudolph Valentino appeared on the big screen in ‘The Sheik’ in the 1920s, but I couldn’t quite see what the fuss was about.

My curiosity was aroused and I sought out books featuring desert princes. I watched Valentino and ‘Harem’ and read more on the subject. Soon I was in no doubt why so many women love a sheikh hero.

Dangerous and Delightful
There’s something scintillatingly dangerous and delightful about the sheer escapist fantasy of being swept into the arms of a mysterious, handsome stranger and carried off to his lair. What a set up for wonderful conflict and tension! What heroine worth her salt wouldn’t revel in the challenge of a man who can have whatever woman he wants, yet chooses her?

In these stories the sheikh is so intrigued by the heroine’s beauty/character/defiance/intelligence/ stupidity in venturing into this domain that he has to have her for himself. He rules his world with absolute power. He has utter dominion over the woman he’s lured/seduced/kidnapped/rescued/found. We sit on the edge of our seats wondering whether he’ll use that power for his own ends, or will he refrain, and meet her on her own terms? Will he relinquish that power for love?

Or perhaps they meet elsewhere, in her home town for instance. He stands out from other men as different, intriguing and compelling. He’s drawn to her, whether he likes it or not. Even though she’s not obviously the right woman for him, instinctively he knows there’s something in her that calls to him and he can’t ignore that. His single-minded focus on learning more about her can lead them both into dangerous waters where attraction and duty collide.

The quintessential male
The sheikh is the quintessential male, won over despite himself. Initially he holds the power in their relationship and he may be ruthless in using it, which can put the heroine in a terrible situation – something we romance readers adore.

The heroine is likely to be vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean weak! After all a strong hero needs a strong heroine. Even if she’s usually self sufficient and even if her sheikh isn’t the rampaging, ride-across-the-desert-to-kidnap-her sort, something about him will challenge her – her freedom, her perceptions or her plans for the future. Whether he wears Armani and runs a multi-national company, or lives the life of a nomad, he’s a threat, the most powerful man she’s ever met, and the most fascinating. He threatens her peaceful world.

If you love a strong alpha hero then these romances may be perfect reading for you. If you enjoy stories of Cinderella transformations or the tug of duty versus love or the strong man brought to realise love is a force he can’t conquer, you may want to pick one up.

For centuries sheikhs, sultans and pashas have intrigued audiences, perhaps in part because of Western perceptions of the sexual power play associated with harems. Maybe too because they just seem so exotic! Think of Mozart’s ‘Escape from the Seraglio’, Edith Maude Hull’s ‘The Sheik’, Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. Which reminds me – did I mention the clothes and the terrific horses?

The Settings
Then there are the settings: desert strongholds, romantic oases, sprawling palaces with hidden treasures, or perhaps a penthouse apartment in the heart of an exciting metropolis. The world is this man’s oyster. For background colour there are silk carpets, souks, glittering jewels and an exotic ‘Arabian Nights’ aura.

I’ve read desert princes who are men of action in thrilling stories of adventure, or honour-bound men whose primary aim is to protect those they’re responsible for. I’ve read sexy seducers who have the tables turned on them and suave, powerful captains of industry who learn to their cost that one woman can disrupt all they’ve planned.

In part it’s the power play between two apparently unequal characters that fascinates me. There might be a clash of different worlds with all the challenges that can throw up. Above all there is sense of the power of love overcoming difficult circumstances to bring our heroine and hero together in lasting happiness.

Have you read a sheikh story? Was it what you expected? What stood out for you? And if you don’t read them, why not? I’d be fascinated to hear (and I’ll give away a copy of one of my sheikh stories to someone who posts a comment, chosen at random).

ABOUT ANNIE: Annie’s third sheikh hero is making his appearance right now. Khalid is a man on a mission to save his country from years of mismanagement. He has no time for complications like love or marriage. But a chance encounter with Maggie, the most unlikely of potential brides, brings consequences neither of them expect. Their marriage will be one of duty and convenience. At least, that’s the plan…

THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE is available now in Australia and New Zealand or you can buy it on the web from the UK. It will be released in North America (Harlequin Presents Extra) in April 2009. In the meantime you can read more about it on her website.

19
Oct
08

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.