VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM by Bronwyn Jameson

Vows & A Vengeful Groom (Silhouette Desire, Jan 08) is the first book in an author-led continuity series called Diamonds Down Under. The idea for the six-book series came first. Senior editor Melissa Jeglinski wanted a big, juicy, dramatic dynastical tale based around a powerful family in Australia and New Zealand.

We -- the six authors involved -- came up with a family rent apart thirty years ago over ownership of a fabulous diamond amid allegations of theft and betrayal. Our series would see the family feud reignited in the next generation when a tragic plane crash uncovers new secrets and scandals.

So, we started out by building a family tree and we each chose one of the six cousins for our book. This was amazingly civil -- for some reason we'd all "adopted" a different character during the tree-building phase. Next we brainstormed hooks and storylines so each book would be different. We didn't want two marriages of convenience or secret mistresses or reunion romances.

In the early stages there was some shuffling of book order and even of authors involved. MJ requested revisions on a couple of the proposed storylines and this lead to new characters and relationships that upped the stakes for the whole series.

I was given the first book, which meant the inciting incident -- the plane crash and the tragic death of two key characters -- was a big part of my book. My character, Kimberley Blackstone, needed strong links to both sides of the feud and so I decided to make her estranged from her family, the Blackstones, and working for "the enemy", the Hammonds.

My story hook was reunion romance. This worked very well for my prodigal daughter returning home to await news of her father's fate. I decided that her ex, Ric Perrini, would deliver the news and bring her home. By making him a power figure in her father's business -- and making that a key conflict between Ric and Kim -- she would doubt his motives from the very start.

Was he there for Kimberley Blackstone, the woman, or did he need her support in his bid to become the new head of Blackstone Diamonds? My original title of the book, Perrini's Boardroom Bride, summed up this key point of conflict.

VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM is out now. For more information, excerpts, and the chance to win some wonderful prizes including critiques and a diamond pendant, visit the series website http://www.diamonds-downunder.com/