Playing the Harlequin Presents Heroine

Last August I had the pleasure to attend Romance Writers of Australia’s annual conference in Melbourne.  I love attending the Australia conferences.  I love my Australia author friends.  Such good people.  Such good fun.  And last August I begged Megan Crane (aka Caitlin Crews) to go with me and she did, which made the four day whirlwind trip out of Honolulu even more special.

On one of the final days of conference Trish Morey, Yvonne Lindsay, Lilian Darcy, Megan and I (and someone else, I’m sure of it, why can’t I remember??!) headed out for a little sight-seeing in Melbourne and we visited a very upscale jewelry shop and I tried on jewelry that cost thousands and thousands but oh, the pieces were gorgeous and I felt, for a very moment in time, like a Harlequin Presents heroine.

Have you ever tried on couture clothes, or extravagant jewelry just to try it on?  Until Melbourne, I never had, and it was fun.  But what made it the most fun was just being with great friends.

This last weekend I finally picked up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and why did I wait so long to read it?  It was brilliant…fascinating, heartbreaking, hopeful, compelling.  I devoured the book and jumped immediately into the second book in the trilogy, Catching Fire, and that was even better than the first.  And now I’m on the third and final book, Mockingjay, and I’m going to be sad when the story ends because this series will be over and I’ve loved Katniss and Peeta and Gale and all of them.  I love the courage of these characters.  I love their strength and their humanity.  I know these were written for the YA market but they are amazing reads for adults, too.

Have you been reading lately?  Have something special to recommend or a book you’d like to talk about?  Let’s chat books in the comments below and you’ll be entered for one of my fun prizes.  Contest runs through Saturday night and Sunday I’ll announce three winners.  And now fill me in…on you, life, family, career and of course, books!



  1. I’m reading the George RR Martin series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. It is brilliant. I have just finished the first book GAME OF THRONES. I want to read the books before I watch the series.

  2. When I was engaged, I went with my husband to the fanciest jeweler in town and tried on engagement rings. I remember one was a sapphire surrounded by diamonds. As I was admiring it, the saleswoman asked, “Is this a consideration?” which is still our secret code for ‘way too expensive’. The saleswoman was very kind even though she didn’t make a sale!

  3. I have never really had the chance to try on really expensive jewelry, not sure I would do it if I could.

    Not much going on here this week. My son is home from college on spring break. I haven’t really gotten much reading in because of spending time with him. I have to take him back to school on Friday so I think I want to spend as much time with him as I can.

  4. I don’t think I have ever tried on jewelry that expensive or even looked at anything that expensive. Might be fun though to try some on. I recently finished reading Jenn LeBlanc a new author’s Illustrated novel. A romance novel with pictures she took that go with it. She’s a photographer too. It released in 6 parts too although you can now get it one book. I really think it’s a neat comcept and the pictures were really cool. The story was great too of course.

    Lisa B

    1. Just realized that i didn’t say the name of Jenn LeBlanc’s book. It’s called The Rake and the Recluse and is a historical time travel.

      Lisa B

  5. I just read Lethal by Sandra Brown and couldn’t put it down. We are expecting our son home for spring break tomorrow and will be having a family get together the next week so it’s time to get the house all clean and polished.

  6. I haven’t had the chance to try on extravagant jewelry or clothes, but i think it would be fun. I just finished The Desert Sheikh’s Innocent Queen by Jane Porter and Lucy Monroe. LOVED both stories in it. Going to pay my respects today for my friend who passed; focusing on the positive memories we made, and all the joy she had in her life. Also been working on things for my upcoming awareness walk for Crohn’s and Colitis. And my son has his Spring break from college next week…so that will be nice!

  7. I have been reading up a storm lately! I read Megan Crane’s I Love the 80’s, Jane I LOVED IT!!!!!!! Awesome book.

    10 Best Days of My Life (Adena Halpern) – fun!; 150 Pounds (Katie Rockland) – thought provoking; Ali In Wonderland (Ali Wentworth) – hilarious; The Paris Wife (Paula McLain) – heart breaking; Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson) – fascinating; and currently reading Outside the Lines (Amy Hatvany)

    I don’t try on super exspensive stuff, for fear that I will buy it!

  8. I’m readying Janet Evanivich’s Plum series. I love it! I wish there wasn’t so much cussing though.

  9. I am waiting for Insurgent to come out after having read Divergent by Veronica Roth. If you loved The Hunger Games trilogy, you’ll love this series.

  10. Yours mine and ours by MaryJanice Davidson and Vanity, Vengeance & a weekend in Vegas by Kyra Davis is keeping me sane this week.

  11. I have not tried on any jewelry or couture clothes just for the fun of it…or really to buy for that matter either! Just my wedding ring. 🙂 And I too loved The Hunger Games series. I am really looking forward to the movie too. As for me, since I’m in school I’ve mainly been reading my textbooks. Though I did manage to squeeze in some fun reading and read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Goodness….graphic at times, but quite an interesting read. I really liked the first two books, 3rd not as much but it did complete the series and I still enjoyed it.

  12. I have been reading The Hunger Games trilogy too. Love this series. I also enjoyed Nicole Jordan’s Princess Charming.

  13. yes i have tried on couture jewelry and wonder what it would be like to buy it?!!?!? i am not reading anything right now…suggestions?

  14. Getting ready to enjoy spring break- yah for sleeping in and no schedules!

    A few books I’ve enjoyed reading is Half Broke Horses and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan so now I’m going to start reading The Women by T.C. Boyle [both about Frank Lloyd Wright] .

    My latest read was Moloka’i by Alan Brennert- highly recommended especially since its about Hawaii and some of its history.

  15. I wish I could be reading something right now, a romance preferrably but I am studying. :(. It would be awesome to be able to try on something extravagant. Im a simple jeans and t-shirt kind of girl with no make-up…lol. Well Jane have a great week.

  16. Hi Jane,

    Right now I’m reading Gucci Gucci Coo. It started off slow but is starting to get funny. I’m (im)patiently waiting for your next book 😉 I can’t wait!!! I hope all is well with you. Have a wonderful day.

  17. Haven’t had much time to read lately and my open book at present is She’s Gone Country which I am enjoying. I love my jewelry and the last piece I got was diamond studs that only come off to clean…life is good. You look like you had a ball trying on the bling…you are a gem, always enjoy your blog.

  18. Love your photos. Looks so wonderful. I am reading the Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. Historical and fascinating.

  19. Hello,

    I just finished reading White Girl Problems and am going to start reading Three Wishes. Once I finish a book I have to start up on another one. Reading is so much fun and relaxing.

  20. I have just ordered and can not wait for Fifty Shades of Grey. Have you read that one? I hear it is amazing!

  21. I just finished one of your harlequins again (The Sheikh’s Virgin) and thought it was time for something else.

    So yesterday I started reading a danish thriller by Kaaberbøl & Friis. It´s their first book together and it´s very exciting and well written.

    But before beginning reading I found on of your “She´s Gone Country Collectible Cards with a cake recipe on and baked it. It´s “Grandma´s Lazy Daisy Cake” and it´s just so good.
    It goes very well with a book and a hot cup of tea. So thank you for the recipe 🙂

  22. I’ve already read the Hunger Games trilogy, now I’ve just got to get my daughter to read them. I just finished Switched and Torn by Amanda Hocking, loved them, really loved them. I’d recommend them to anyone who likes YA. Also read Marie Force’s new one last night, Hoping For Love. Loved it too. Now I’m working on Million Dollar Amnesia Scandal by Rachel Bailey, it’s a Desire. I always enjoy her’s too. It’s a cool, rainy, dreary day here today so I’m sitting down with my feet up under a throw and getting ready to read. Have a great day.

  23. I’m pretty sure it was just the five of us, Jane–and wasn’t that a great day? (I fell so deeply in love with Australia–what a wonderful place! And so many delightful people!)

    Maybe you’re remembering the vast quantities of chocolates we got from that place Trish Morey took us to as a whole other person?


  24. Birks Fine Jewellery is an upscale Canadian store and the Montreal head office is one of my favourite places to window shop… and their catalogue of specialty pieces is to die for! A couple of years back I took my middle daughter in to ooh and ah over the display cases and we were lucky enough to get a sympathetic salesman who let Rachel try on a $42,000 ruby and diamond ring. It was stunning, looked wonderful on her finger and she was a princess for a couple of minutes.

    You inspired me to get to the Hunger Games…I thought my son had read them and yesterday I ordered books from Chapters and didn’t order the Hunger Games because I thought I would borrow it from him. Much to my dismay, he hasn’t got a copy… I’ll head out to a brick Chapters store tomorrow to get my book fix for the weekend.

    You should have bought that necklace pictured above… it looks great on you…

    I’m knitting socks and reading this weekend. Sunny one day and rainy one day, but both days hovering around the freezing point, so spring is on the way!

  25. Hi Jane!
    Waaaaaayyy back in the day when I still had my non-stretched-out-by-having-kids-body I loved trying on beautifully constucted clothes. My grandmother had kept some of my mother’s gowns and those were fun to put on and pretend. (Now I just love wearing yoga pants!)
    Recently I’ve read Amy Hatvany (she’s a fantastic weaver of stories,) a Debra Webb Harlequin, and Lisa Lutz. I just downloaded the Austenland books yesterday and my neighbor gave me Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik.
    And, I will have to get the Hunger Games Trilogy…I’ve only heard amazing things about the books.
    Hope your HI house is drying out, and your WA house gets an offer soon!

  26. We want you and Caitlin back in Australia, jane 🙂
    I love trying on hats but have never found one that suited me.
    I love Laura’s “is this a consideration?” LOL

  27. I became an aunt for the first time 2 weeks ago 🙂

    My older sister had a baby boy and for the last 2 weeks she her husband and the baby her staying with my parents and me so my we could all help her with the baby since she had a c section.

    The baby is super cute and it so much fun buying baby clothes.

    The not so good news is that around 10% of the people at my work were fired this week and it was a very stressful week at work- I worked very long hours every day and after hearing of so many people I work with getting fired I was very sad and also afraid that I’ll be next 🙁

    I did have some time to read a few books in the last few weeks :
    Taking A Shot by Jaci Burton which was amazing.
    Tempted by Her Innocent Kiss by Maya Banks.
    I Only Have Eyes for You by Bella Andre which is part of a very good series- The Sullivans series.
    Also 2 Jill Shalivis books- Time Out which is a Blaze book and The Trouble with Paradise.

    I have a 3 day weekend that started today so I plan to catch up on sleep and on reading since I have around 12 new books waiting in my TBR pile LOL

  28. Hi! I’ve been busy looking for a prom dress for my daughter, were on a budget so its been hardwork, but Tabitha who’s been a guardian angel for us both has been calling her friends that have been in pagents or old prom dresses for her to try on, plus my daughter is 5’8 and wears a size 18(losing weight but its been hard for her) anyways, we have found 2 so far, I’ve been reading lots of western cowboy books,(historical) which is out of my box…but have found that I am enjoying Kaki Warners Pieces of the Sky alot and its a series…I have the other 2 on my shelf to read…but I had Robyn Carr’s Redwood Bend that I wanted to read that took me an evening for i couldn’t put it down,loved it.But she is another favorite author, like your books they keep you wanting more. The weather has been sunny and so pretty so I’ve been working in my yard, trying to make a garden but my son’s 2 dogs keep digging in it so I have to put a fence around it now. So thats been my life, nothing too exciting..still working odd jobs but May 1st. I’m getting an newborn in my daycare so I’m excited..a first time mom…anyways you have a nice thursday and weekend!

  29. I read the Hunder Games Trilogy and the Help this Fall and then went into a funk. I had a hard time finding something to read that grabbed me like those books did(I had already read all of your books).Thankfully, I have found Heather Webber, Dorynda Jones and Lani Diane Rich. They are very different authors but they rock! I always love hearing about new authors. Thanks for encouraging us to share.

  30. I’m reading the Janet Evanovich series, finally, on book 1. I have to admit, it’s an easy, quick and entertaining read…but I can’t seem to keep up with it, I so far just don’t care enough. Or maybe it’s all the rest of the chaos in my schedule?

    I remember the first time I saw a dress that cost over $1000 at I Magnim in Seattle, and then again at Saks in San Francisco. It felt so decadent just to SEE that price tag. I’ve not tried anything on that’s at that price range, other than my wedding dress (which still wasn’t THAT expensive).

    I so wish I could go to Australia, it is at the top of the bucket list.


  31. Hi, Jane,

    I recently finished India Grey’s two-book Presents series, Craving the Forbidden and In Bed With a Stranger, and the first book in a new cozy mystery series, Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington. All three were wonderful! Now I’m reading Eudora: A Writer’s Life by Ann Waldron and finishing up Welty’s The Ponder Heart.
    The only thing new with me is that my youngest daughter and her family are now living with us until they get back up on their feet financially. That means I can play with and hug and read to grandsons Cameron (5) and J.J. (14 months)whenever I want to! I’m exhausted but happy!

    Peace and Love, Debora

  32. Just finished Love in a Nutshell by Evanovich and am now reading Inside of a Dog. It’s a little more scientific and heavy but very interesting. My expensive jewelry is my wedding band from Tiffany’s. I went in with the ad clipped from a magazine. My husband kept saying all the way there they wouldn’t have it or if they did not in my size but they did!! 🙂

  33. I still need to pick up “The Hunger Games.” I do want to read it before watching the movie. I’ve been catching up on some X-Men comics.

  34. Hi, Jane!
    You look wonderful! Dare I say glowing?
    I just finished reading Natalie Anderson’s ebook called MELT, and I loved every word of it. Now I am about to start Jillian Burns’ NIGHT MANEUVERS (Blaze). It says “Uniformly HOT”, so I can hardly wait!
    My big news item is that a local band that I just love hearing perform has asked if they can rehearse in my house this coming Tuesday night, and they said I could invite a bunch of friends over. (The group is disbanding this summer, but they have a gig this Saturday and want to rehearse one last time in front of an audience, as they haven’t played together in several months.) Now I have a small house, Jane, but I of course said a resounding YES! Standing room only is just fine with me! So if I’m not blogging as much, rest assured I haven’t forgotten you. I just have to tidy up my entire house before Tuesday! YIKES!

  35. I’ve never tried on couture clothes of fancy jewellry.
    I read Eve by Iris Johansen. I like this series.

  36. I visited South Beach last year. I was shocked at the prices, but had fun “window shopping.”. I saw an $8000 handbag.

  37. No Jane I have never had the pleasure to try on fancy jewelry.

    This past week I haven’t been reading I have been so tired.
    I don’t know what is going on.

  38. I have never tried on couture clothes or really spendy jewelry…just because I know I’d never buy it! 🙂 Although when I was about 13, my best friends and I would go to the mall and try on fancy prom dresses.
    I haven’t read much this year. 🙁 I REALLY need to get The Hunger Games!! I would love to read the book before I see the movie- looks awesome and my friends have loved the entire trilogy!

  39. Hi Jane,
    I have not tried on anything that expensive, but it would be fun to.
    I started reading Steven King’s newest one, 11-22-63. It is really good. The main character finds a portal to go back in time and he wants to try to stop the Kennedy assassination. The book is over 1000 pages and I had checked it out of the library, so I had to return it and get back on the waiting list again. I can’t wait to get it again and I hope it comes at a time when I am not so busy – the summer hopefully.
    I want to read the Hunger Games and am going to reserve it at the library after I finish writing this entry.
    I just started a young adult book called Divergent by Veronica Roth and it is very good.

  40. I recently picked up a book at Walmart by Heather Graham called Ghost Walk. I wanted something a little frightening and wanted to be swept away to New Orleans. I’ve always dreamed of going there but haven’t made it. I don’t get to travel a lot anymore because of finacial issues. So, I’m reading this book and realize I’ve already read it. but, it’s still good and I don’t remember what happens in it. I like to reread books anyway if they are really good. I have never been fortunate enough to try on couture clothing. But, i did get to try one one very expensive bracelet one time when I took my wedding ring in to be inspected. I always enjoy looking in the cases while I wait and one of the salespeople saw me looking at this huge diamond bracelet. It was so big, it looked fake. he pulled it out and said try it on. I was afraid to hold it. The price was 20,000 (over twice the amount of money of what my car cost). But, after convincing me it was ok, I tried it on. It was really pretty, but I know I could never have anything like that. It was fun to dream for only a few minutes about what if price was no concern. I’ll keep playing the lottery and maybe one day I can have something like that.

  41. My weakness is beautiful rings. Thankfully I have a husband who buys them for me. I don’t have that many, but my favorite is an emerald ring surrounded by diamonds that my friend Nancy from WY helped me pick out on one of her visits to see us. I enjoy the ring and think of a good friend and a loving husband when I wear it.

    I am reading Fairy Tale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio right now. I do enjoy Robyn Carr’s books, too. There are a lot of great YA books out there that adults would like, too. Glad you enjoyed The Hunger Games series. Looking forward to your new ones.

  42. I’m reading Rachel Herron’s “How to Knit a Heart Back Home.” I read the first knitting women’s fiction novel of hers and loved it, so I’ve continued on with book two. I have not tried on any fancy jewelry, though I do find it fun to watch the stars on Oscar night to see not only their attire but their jewelry too.

  43. I am currently reading The Hunger Games because Marcus has read it, and is almost done with Catching Fire. I figured I’d better check it out since he so highly recommended it!

  44. I am on the last book of the Hunger Games, too – my good friend Becky gave me the first two and I couldn’t wait for her to finish the last one, I had to get it myself and finish the series. I care about the people, that is what a good book does to you.

  45. Hi Jane,

    Check out the Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri. I love Ireland and have been there a few times so it was nice to revisit one of my favorite places. It is such a beautiful story with amazing female characters! Also, Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews. That takes places in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, another favorite spot of ours (closer than Hawaii from Pennsylvania!).

    My boyfriend and I just moved last weekend so things are still in semi-disarray and I feel like for every one thing I get in order, two more are waiting a turn. And of course, Bill can’t find anything and is constantly asking “where’s my this or that.” On our first day of officially being in the new place, I finally threw up my arms and said you are just going to have to look in boxes and if you can’t find “it” after 10 minutes, then come get me. 🙂 My biggest moment of panic was when I couldn’t find my Nook Color because I have to read before I go to sleep, even if it is just for 5 minutes, nodding off most of the time.

    Have a great weekend!

  46. I have read The Help recently and loved it. I also read Destiny from Carly Phillips. Liked that too. I am waiting to read your next new releases!! Can’t wait!

    Busy here playing nursemaid to post surgery patient hubby and stomach virus son these last couple of weeks. Starting to lose it.

    Have a good weekend!


  47. While travelling recently I picked up Lovely Bones at a book exchange (without ever hearing about the movie). Eerily heartwearming. What a great book!

  48. I just finished (in one night) Jennifer Ashley’s THE DUKE’S PERFECT WIFE, which releases April 3rd, but I got an advanced copy b/c I’m reading from it via Skype for the Denver Lady Jane’s Salon on Tuesday night. This is the 4th of the MacKenzie brothers books, and I’ve been so excited for it b/c the entire series is so good. It did not disappoint, which was a huge relief, and has my favorite romance trope, the reunited lovers with helluva back story together. Witty and sensual and emotional and fun.

  49. I just finished The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain (in less than 24 hrs). I love her books. The characters are well developed as is the plot and there are always some twists and turns to figure out. Now I am reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler’s Wife) and so far it’s intriguing too.

    Life and job wise things are going pretty well. Ready for spring break so I can head out to Montana to visit some of my best friends. Looking forward to a laid back vacation!

    Hope things are going well with you!

  50. have never had expensive jewelry touch my skin, lol. Would be nice though.

    about to read Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada.

  51. About 10 yrs ago, I worked for a guy who owned very high quality knock-off jewelry and handbag stores. When I started working for him; he took me to Rodeo Dr, and had me try on several pieces so that I could see how good our quality was. In one of the stores, there was a piece he asked to see and the salesperson, said if you are really interested, I can only take this ring out in a private area with security! We didn’t end up seeing that ring, but it was a fun day of trying on all kinds of couture and expensive jewelry.

    I have been reading a lot of your older presents books and I just read Caitlen Crew’s(Megan Crane) latest “Princess from the Past.” I also just finished a series from the Love Inspired books from all different authors (It was Tiny Blessings Tales.) I really like books that are series, I am looking forward to your next set of books about the sisters.

    Today I went to Downtown Disney to have lunch with my cousin. I am so proud of him, he is about to move to China for 2 yrs to teach!

    Hope you are having a great weekend!

  52. Some friends of mine, are talking about going to take a trip to Australia in 2014. So I am saving for the trip. Glad to hear you had great time…bet trying on the jewelry was fun!

    I am reading “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo.
    I just can’t wait to read your new books! My daughter is reading the Hunger Games trilogy. She can’t put down the books! I will be reading them next!

    I am also checking out ” The Unoffiicial Guide to Hawaii” since April is coming soon and so is my trip to Hawaii. 🙂
    Can’t wait!
    Is there a chance, you may be Hawaii in April? I am hoping to stop by Ty’s Surf shop 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  53. Had a great time Friday night laughing and dining and laughing some more with friends who could cook and some who were willing to try to cook! Some had been out of town on business and some just lived out of town. We watched a video of one young friend who had been on Wheel of Fortune a few years ago…such enthusiasm. Making plans with them to pot-luck it and watch upcoming “Game of Thrones” series. In the meantime, I’m reading “Gray Matter” and “No-No Boy”. “Defending Jacob” and Letters from Jackie Kennedy are on my list. Looking forward to your books coming out.(11:13pm)

  54. I’m reading, for about the 10th time, the Mark Of The Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers. This trilogy is AMAZING! I laugh, I cry, I learn and I discover something new everytime I read them. I love history and these books are the epitomy of that. They take place in ancient Rome and they are phemonenal. I recommend them to anyone who loves a fabulous romance, action, adventure, gladiators, and a powerful story.

    The book titles are:
    1. A Voice in the Wind
    2. An Echo in the Darkness
    3. As Sure as the Dawn

  55. I read all the Hunger Games trilogy in one week, too! It was so incredibly compelling!!! I loved the whole thing and of course have tickets to the midnight premier–my kids and I are all going.

    Glad you’re back safe and sound from Australia–what an adventure!!

  56. Hi everyone,
    I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to announce the winners yesterday. Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! For me it flew by very fast while I was having fun with my guys.

    Okay, so without further delay, here are the winners –

    #28 Moran
    #52 Racer51
    #10 DarcyO

    Please shoot me an email with your mailing info and I’ll get the prizes out very soon! Also, I’m still waiting to hear from two of the winners from the last contest so please check to see if that’s you!! I need to hear from you within the next few days or I’ll have to pick new winners. Don’t miss out!!

    Now I’m off to write before I hit the gym in the afternoon. Have a wonderful day!


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