Posts Tagged ‘Yvonne Lindsay


On the Ninth Day of Christmas…

9_ladies_dancingDepending on the version of The Twelve Days of Christmas we could be blogging nine drummers drumming or nine ladies dancing. Anyone want to form a conga line? With nine? Would we all conga in time?


Oh dear, maybe there’s too much cheer happening here.  😀


Which brings me back to dancing. As a kid I loved to watch “Come Dancing” a ballroom competition show here on a Friday night. The gowns, the hairdos, ththe-great-waltze suits, the precision! I also loved listening to the Strauss waltzes and remember being dazzled by the movie, The Great Waltz, and the romanticism of a ball room filled with swaying dancers in exquisitely tailored ball gowns and jewelled or embroidered slippers and dripping with glittering jewellery, the men…well, let’s face it, it’s really all about the dresses, isn’t it?


And speaking of dresses, do you have plans to wear anything special on Christmas Day? I used to spend probably about as long searching for the ‘right’ outfit for Christmas Day as I did gifts! Nowadays, it’s more a case of whatever still fits and has an expanding waistband to accommodate the excesses of Christmas Day fare.


Hmm, considering the nine ladies dancing are supposed to be representative of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and the biggie SELF-CONTROL, maybe I should wear something that doesn’t stretch with the day, just to remind me.


Tell me what you’re planning to wear on Christmas Day, or what you’d like to wear (we’re all allowed a little fantasy) if you had the money, the climate, the figure–whatever!


One randomly drawn comment will receive a copy of my February release, the first in my Rogue Diamonds Trilogy, CONVENIENT MARRIAGE, INCONVENIENT HUSBAND, together with a very cute paua shell inlaid Kiwi phone charm.

(please note, I haven’t received my author copies yet so I can’t guarantee you the book before January but will send it through as soon as it is available)


On the 1st day of Christmas…

first-day-of-christmas1My True Love gave to meeeeee! (OMG, aren’t you glad you can’t hear me singing?)


Seriously though, the best gift I’ve ever received (and I mean, EVER!) was given to me by my true love at Christmas a couple of years ago. It was my ever handy, ever nearby, ever used Palm Z22–seriously, in no time at all it became an extension of my hand, the perfect adjunct to my life. Even more so when I discovered I could download ebooks onto it! (note to self: check installation disk for more new toys…) Now, I know there are higher spec models and PDAs that do everything bar your ironing (hmmm, wouldn’t mind me one of those) but my Palm is probably the most thoughtful and useful gift my hubby has ever given me in the whole time I’ve known him. And believe me, that has been more than half my life. Thinking about that aspect of it, he darn well ought to know what I’d like for Christmas by now 😀


So, in the spirit of the rapidly approaching C-word, what’s the best, the funniest or the most interesting thing your true love (or any love for that matter) has ever given to you?


For three randomly drawn comments Yvonne has–yes!–more cute little New Zealand keyrings!


Virtual Travel

atrani__amalfi_coast__italySometimes a girl has just got to get away, don’t you think? I know a whole lot of people satisfy their wanderlust in their late teens and twenties. I never had that–then. But now, oh, what I wouldn’t give for a Tuscan holiday, or several days and nights on the Amalfi Coast, or a Mediterranean cruise, or a lazy visit in the Lake District of England, tours of crumbling castles in Wales and Scotland, pub crawling in Ireland, a road trip across the United States, a cruise in Alaska, a trip to the Bahamas and, well, travel anywhere really.lake-district


Since I’ve never made these wonderful journeys I tend to like to live vicariously through others, e.g. Trish Morey’s blog where she’s talked about her recent holiday in Europe–five weeks of it! And the occasional travel programme when I can knock the green tinted lenses from my eyeballs for long enough 😉 .


And then there are my characters. Now, they get to do all sorts of fabulous things, like in the second of my Rogue Diamonds trilogy that’s due out March next year and part of which is set in Tuscany near San Gimignano. Oh the research, I swear, it just about had me booking a flight there and then–for the food if not for the scenery!


Thank goodness for virtual travel through the joy of reading. Thanks to the stories of others I’ve lived small town America, sweltering Amazon jungles, snow bound winters in various countries at a time when I’m drooping under an Auckland summer’s high humidity, the luxuries of the south of France, the sparkling beauty of the Greek Islands. You name it, it’s been written about, and I thank all those writers for my experiences through their characters eyes.


So tell me, where’s your most wanted to visit place in the world? And why? And if you couldn’t go there, would you be happy to read about it?


Yvonne has some cute New Zealand Key-rings as a gift for three randomly drawn lucky comments.


What’s On Your Desk?

This week three of the Desirabelles share a peek into their writing dens as they answer the question, “What’s on Your Desk?”

Bronwyn: Between books I do a big clean of my office space and this is how it looks for, oh, about a week. Then all the neatly filed notes and cuttings, research books and word-finders, coffee cups and water glasses, spread to cover the desktop. My favourite things: a collage of the book in progress, magazines for more visual stimulus, award plaques to remind me I can do this, keepsakes from the places my writing has taken me and gifts from my writing friends.

Each has a special significance, each its own memory, each makes me smile. When I’m working you’ll find coffee/water at my elbow–I love my “Princes of the Outback” mug–along with at least one of my word books. My current favourite is the fat red Synonym Finder in the bookshelf.

Yvonne: Disclaimer: *Usually* I tidy my office between books and *usually* this means that my office, and my desk, are in a state of relative tidiness during the process of each book. The past few months, however, I’ve been more chaotic than ever with a trilogy and an online all being written back to back. Hence this state of total *insert word of choice*. Might I add that I’m so glad Bron asked about my writing desk and not the floor or any other surfaces because I’d really hate to have to show you all mine 😉 .

Seriously though, my workspace might be a disaster zone but my treasures–being my collection of heart shaped boxes and puffy heart semi precious gemstones on top of my computer tower (the dust doesn’t show in the photo, does it?) and the articles along the top shelf of my computer desk–somehow manage to remain uncluttered.

Paula: Even though I tidy my desk, oh, about once every two weeks, it always seems to attract everything right back – from water bottles, to books, to 6 year-old Christmas decorations, drawings and scraps of paper. A tidy desk is the sign of a sick mind, I always say ! 😀 At the moment, I have a bunch of papers to file, my diary, a packet of light bulbs, my son’s ‘rasta sun’ change purse, the spreadsheet for a contest I’m co-ordinating, The Procrastinator’s Handbook, receipts, my two writing muses Meg (from Hercules) and Mike (from Monsters Inc), pens and a writing course proposal for my local community college. I managed to remove the coffee mugs and empty Subway wrappers for this photo 🙂

Anyone else like to share, what’s on YOUR desk? Enquiring minds would like to know…

This week’s draw is for a signed copy of Bronwyn Jameson’s first two books, In Bed With the Boss’s Daughter and Addicted To Nick, reissued in a Bestsellers Collection by Harlequin Australia in November 08. (Prize drawn Oct 4.) ETA: prize will also include a French translation duo by Bronwyn Jameson and Yvonne Lindsay.


What’s your favourite fairy tale?

One of my favourite childhood memories is going to bed on a Saturday night with the family’s transistor radio next to my pillow (ours was red and cream and very similar to the one pictured here) and looking forward to waking early the next morning so I could turn on the radio, tuned already to a particular station, and listen to the children’s story time that would play until I had to get up and have breakfast and head off to Sunday school. Of course, it’s also closely linked to one of my least favourite memories of having my completely straight hair rolled up in ribbons the night before by my mother who wanted me to have ringlets or curls for said Sunday school 🙂 .


But over the aching scalp, I still remember the magic of listening to those stories, of being transported into another world. Little wonder that from the time I could read I always had my nose in a book, reliving that magic, or that I’d be playing in my parents garden, being the characters that I’d read or heard about, or making up fairytales of my own where I’d always be the beautiful princess rescued by her handsome prince. Of course the enactments helped when a neighbour down the long driveway where we lived was the costume maker for what was then New Zealand’s biggest Christmas Parade and she would occasionally let me borrow a ‘real’ princess dress 🙂 . Ah, those were the days…


Suffice to say, I’ve always loved fairy tales–the tragedy, the high stakes, the quest, the romance–most of all the romance, and interestingly what characters gave up for romance. Do you remember the story of the little mermaid who gave up her tail for legs and feet but how much it hurt her to walk? Different to the santised versions we have today by miles. 


It still thrills me now, whether in book or movie form, to identify certain fairy tale traits e.g. in Jane Eyre–Beauty and the Beast, in Pretty Woman–Cinderella, etc.


So, when I started to plot CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE (US release August 2008 and Aus/NZ release September 2008) I focussed on my favourite all time fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. I think it’s the whole ‘Love Conquers All’ that just gets to me, you know? The unwavering belief that true love can break the wickedest of spells and redeem the hardest of hearts. I wanted to write a dark wounded hero who would do anything to keep his Beauty in his kingdom, and of course my convoluted mind couldn’t help but put a twist on Beauty and make her an amnesiac runaway bride at the same time. Creating my Beast’s kingdom was another delight, and delving into why he would choose to live in such isolated splendour had me enraptured.


I think it’s safe to say I’ll always be a romantic at heart and I’ll always be looking forward to the next fairy tale to fall in love with. I hope, for you, that fairy tale might be CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE.


To celebrate the Aus/NZ release of my latest fairy tale, I wondered if you’d all like to share your favourite fairy tales with us here on Desirabelles, either movie or book. All comments will go into a draw to win a signed Aus/NZ copy of CLAIMING HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE, which I’ll draw Sunday 21 September FRIDAY 19 SEPTEMBER (NZ time) and announce both here and on my blog.


Bronwyn Jameson, still Spellbound on Southbank

Last weekend six of the DU Desirabelles–myself, Yvonne Lindsay, Paula Roe, Maxine Sullivan, Rachel Robinson and Robyn Grady–attended the 17th annual Romance Writers of Australia conference.
For the past 12 or so years the conferences have alternated between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane or the Gold Coast. This year was Melbourne’s turn and saw a return to the Langham Hotel which had provided a stunning venue in 2005. Picture: Bron Jameson, Lilian Darcy, Yvonne Lindsay at the Awards Dinner .

The hotel boasts of blissful beds – they even sell the beds, pillows and bedding in their hotel shop, along with their signature ginger lily room spray. I wanted the pillows but they’d sold out. The scent, however, puts me right back in that special spellbound place.

The conference theme, BTW, was Spellbound on Southbank…that being the hotel site, on the south bank of the Yarra River (see picture.) And everything from the venue to the speakers to the enchanted cocktail party to the awards night supported that theme. We’ve all dug deep into our store of memories to share a favourite spellbound moment.

Mine was the keynote address by Barbara Samuel, “What Do You Believe In?” Enriching, empowering, engrossing, it challenged me to consider what is important in living, in writing, in life. Although spawned from one of my all-time favourite movie quotes (Kevin Coster’s notorious “I believe in…” speech from Bull Durham) it was delivered straight from the soul with Barbara’s trademark lyricism and insight. She held me spellbound for the entire forty minutes. I did not take one note. (Aside: I’ve linked to her blog where her insights of Melbourne illustrate this perfectly.)

Yvonne: my favourite ‘spellbound’ moment was truly when I stepped into the lobby of the hotel for the very first time. The chandeliers, the marble fountains, the majestic curving staircases—all so beautiful they just took my breath away…and will definitely be appearing in my next manuscript.

Paula: There were a few, from seeing my favorite authors and friends again, to chatting non-stop about writing and life. But I think my major moment came during Jo Beverley’s “conflict” workshop. She not only provided an excellent list but said they could also be used to avoid the dreaded sagging middle. Brilliant! Because as we know, life isn’t about solving our one major conflict, it involves varying degrees of stress and source of tension from family, friends, work, past relationships, etc.

Maxine: The Mills and Boon centenary segment entranced me from the moment they showed a picture of their very first published romance novel. As they went through the decades showing various covers, it was like looking back through a photo album that for a while left me with a lingering sense of the past. Then I realised that I’m now one of Harlequin’s authors and that I am honoured to be a share of such a wonderful kinship. It’s spellbinding!

Rachel: Being so brand new to Desire at this conference, I was spellbound by actually being a Desirabelle and joining such an incredible bunch of authors, some of whom I’d never met in the flesh before (though I was certainly acquainted with their heroines and heroes!). Their willingness to welcome me into the fold so warmly and openly really touched me.

Robyn: The official part of Awards Night was over. Everyone was celebrating and a lady I’d met at Melbourne’s last conference – Christine Darcas – came over and re-introduced herself. She’d been published this year with Hachette in women’s fiction, her dream. I stopped, looked around and recognised so many of my tenacious talented writer friends who’d been rewarded with contracts over the years. A truly magical, memorable moment. Pic: me with Anna Cleary, Kelly Hunter, Anne Oliver with Ally Blake and Nicola Marsh whose workshop I attended at the 2005 Melbourne conference.

There you have it, some special moments from our weekend conference. How about you — has anything captured you in a spellbound moment recently? Tell and you will be entered in the draw to win a three-pack of books by “Down Under” authors. Prize drawn Aug 31.