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Saturday, January 05, 2008

January, by Bronwyn Jameson

January has always been one of my favourite months, from way back in my childhood. It's a given, really, when our Australian school year ended in December and resumed in early February. I grew up on a farm and harvest, the busiest time of year by far, also finished in December. January stretched before us, a whole month with no school and no chores. Hooray!!!

If we went on family vacation, then January was the month. Some years we went to our cousins' in the city but I loved our beach holidays the best. Often we stayed with relatives in Avalon, a suburb on Sydney's northern beaches, and it was quiet and safe and we walked to the beach or down to the corner store. I loved the beach, the water, building elaborate sandcastles and collecting shells. Simple things like wearing rubber thongs (flip-flops) or going bare-footed which were absolute no-no's on the farm.

When our sons were younger we followed the tradition, taking them on beach holidays where I could revisit my childhood love of sand construction under the guise of "playing with the kids." I also got to borrow their boogie boards. Hated when they whined "but it's mine, Mum, give it back!" My husband isn't a big fan of the beach (I love him despite this blemish), so we mixed it up with holidays in the cooler high country and driving trips to Tasmania and along the Great Ocean Road.

I'm sure my memories of those happy summer holidays still colour my impression of January as the number one month. Now we tend to travel at different times of the year but January is still a relaxed time. It's also like a rebirth, the start of a new year, where you can put disappointments and droughts behind and say, "THIS year will be better." In January anything is possible in the twelve months ahead.

On December 31 I took time to clean up my office and to think about my writing year ahead. I have 3 books to write. I've booked my flights for the Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco in July. Before then I have a writers' retreat to look forward to as well as two books coming out, both of which have special significance to me.

The first should be making its appearance in North American bookstores right about now. VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM is my 13th published book and my biggest challenge to date. As part of a continuity series -- DIAMONDS DOWN UNDER -- conceived and developed by the six authors involved, it took at least twice as long to write as any previous book. That's because of the work involved in putting together the whole series arc, the continuity threads, the backstory, research, and cross-checking everything with the other authors to make sure we were all on the same page.

Now the first book is out, the website has launched, our blog is running and I think I'm as thrilled and proud as when my first book came out. I guess there's nothing left to do but kick off my shoes and walk barefoot through the summer excitement.

What does January represent to you? Do you have a favourite month, and is that coloured by your childhood memories?

VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM is set in Sydney in January, although there is little relaxing for Kimberley Blackstone and Ric Perrini as they battle to overcome old misunderstandings and mistrust -- and to secure the future of Blackstone Diamonds -- in the wake of a shocking accident. Visit the Diamonds Down Under website for the goss on the series, to read excerpts, and for a chance to win some awesome prizes. Diamonds, anyone?

21 comments:

Maureen said...

Congratulations on the new book! January is generally a month to relax after the rush of Christmas. The weather is unpredictable so we don't really plan anything.

Wendy said...

Congrats on the new release!

January's one of my favorite months, it's very relaxing and I always think of crisp mornings, I really like it.

I love the autumn and winter months! specially October. :)

Lori Borrill said...

Hi Bron!

It's always so strange to hear January being referred to in terms of summer. I remember reading one of your Desires (Seb and Kree?) that took place around Christmas in the sun. Hard to get used to here in the states.

For me, January represents renewal. I love the feeling of a whole new year full of possibilities in front of me.

Good luck with the new release!

Lori Borrill
PUTTING IT TO THE TEST, Harlequin Blaze, April 2008
www.LoriBorrill.com

Lois said...

Well, January usually means freezing cold and snow, but ah, by Tuesday it'll be in the 60s, so that's out for this year (although it's really freezing in this room right now). . . and either it was midterms in high school or the start of a new semester in college (and maybe start of a new one again for me this year!) :)

Okay, so my Januarys are boring. LOL

Lois

Jane said...

December is my favoirte month because of my birthday and Christmas. I love seeing all the holiday decorations in the streets and the stores.

Eric said...

Bronwyn, You remind me of things form the past. I once lived by the beach, many moons ago. We had a standing joke about the visitors. It was easy to know how many walks on the beach they undertook. There was the same number of little piles of shells sitting just outside the back door. No one ever took them home. They never seemed as pretty dry. Still the beach liked us giving them back. We never did mark any to see how popular each was.

Loved reading about Kimberley and Ric, and not just because it’s written with all the wonder and passion that goes into a BJ original. I’m lucky enough have spent time at a diamond mine in the Kimberly. Up there the scale of things seem to stretch further and it’s truly difficult to comprehend that all the bulk and effort is for people to create displays of each other. Even the flights to and from Perth are paid for by the diamonds, they fill the rest of the plane with workers and family as a free treat. Everything in the Kimberley has lots of space so they don’t really need diamonds. Although come to think of it, the Kimberley is a rather unpleasant place in January. - Eric

Estella said...

My favorite month is september. The kiddies start back to school.

Cryna said...

January would be my favourite month for the simple reason - I have survived December which is so busy and demanding and the whole new year stretches out ahead of me. It is normally a very cold month with lots of snow, although so far it has been mild. Beaches sound so nice right now.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Since writing this post I've been hearing of chilly storms in the west of America -- I hope none of you or your families have been caught without power. And if you'r in the northern hemisphere, I hope that stories of our barefoot Januaries "down under" go a little way toward warming your winter's day.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Maureen, I also like the relaxed mood to January after all the rush of Christmas...which I enjoy as well (snap, Jane!) but a wind-down in nice. Speaking of which, we've made a late decision to take a few days at the beach next week. I can't wait! I'm a bit like a kid BEFORE Christmas!! *g*

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hey, Lori. We're tricky with our upside down weather, that's for sure. I'm tickled that you remembered Seb and Kree from Beyond Control. Had SO much fun writing that book!

Lois, how about busy rather than boring, with midterms and new classes to start. *g*

Wendy, winter is the perfect reading month and you have to respect it for that alone!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Eric, I'm LOL at the idea of the locals marking the shells and counting how many times they're recollected. And you're dead right about leaving them behind -- many a fierce debate with our mum because we wanted to take them and she, well, didn't!

A Kimberley history? I'm marking that down for future research reference. *g* And thank you for your kind comments about VOWS & A VENGEFUL GROOM. So happy it lived up to expectations.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

LOL, Estella, about you loving September because the kids go back to school. The summer holidays are soooooo long in America. Here they're considerably shorter with other breaks throughout the year.

Cryna, I prescribe a binge of summer/beach reads to warm you up while you're recovering from December.

Virginia said...

Congrats on you new book. January is not my favorite month. Although it is a good month for relaxing and reading. It is to cold to do anything else. I like the spring months like April and May. The weather is nice to go out for walks. I just like spring.

Eric said...

Bronywn, I’m probably being a bore (sorry in advance). Snaps shots for your research file. --- http://www.au6.com/diamonds --- Eric

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hey Vorginia, relaxing and reading are two of my favourite activities.

Erics, not a bore at all. Diamonds are my new hobby!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Judging by my last comment, I need a new hobby: accurate typing. Sorry for the typos, especially bad when they were your names, Virginia and Eric. :-)

Wendy said...

Bronwyn, you're so right! It's lovely to snuggled up with hot chocolate and a good book. :)

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Wendy, any sentence containing the three words "hot" "chocolate" and "book" captures my attention!

Bron

Nathalie said...

I think the new series look great!

January... not a very pleasant month, I don't really have any fond memory of it... here we have -40C! which is quite freezing!

Lily said...

January is a very cold month here...

My favorite month... June, when I got accepted in Med school and of course, the month of my birthday :)