You've found the home on the net for romance writer, LaVerne Clark. Thanks for visiting! :)

I write suspense and light fantasy/paranormal set in the beautiful country of New Zealand. A land of myths and magic, Aotearoa (Maori for Long White Cloud) has always been a storytelling nation and it is my pleasure to share mine with you.

Make yourself your drink of choice, stay a while and feel free to leave comments. I love to meet new friends.

Heartpounding suspense and fantasy Downunder

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dazzling Diamonds, Heartbreaking Heros

With my first post fading fast in the rearvision mirror, it's time for another one! With the Jewel of the Night series kicking off with my story last month, I was fascinated by the other stories coming through and how different they all were. Then I thought, how great would it be to learn a bit about each author's thought processes, how they came up with their plotlines and what, if anything, their influences were.

For the next couple of months, I'll be featuring my fellow 'Jewels' and their stories as they release. Sit back, relax and'll be a thrilling ride!

My story came to life as the result of a special submission call by the Crimson/Suspense Line of The Wild Rose Press. The guidelines were simple. Write a suspenseful, romantic story featuring a blue diamond, set anywhere in the world, minimum of 20,000 words.

My good friend and writing buddy, Cherie le Clare (TWRP author) emailed the details and asked me if I thought I could write a story to suit by the end of March. She would help me all the way with critiqueing, encouragement and anything else I might need. At that time, I had three months and thought that was plenty - and it wouldn't worry me if I didn't acheive "The End" in the specified time. I was unpublished and had never submitted anything to a publisher before, so the whole idea seemed surreal to me. Normally, I was very shy about sharing my work - with anyone. I don't think I'd really shared anything with Cherie either. But something got into me that day, and I'm mighty glad it did.

Now there is no stopping me from bombarding my editor and others at TWRP with future offerings. The feedback they gave from the original query and edit suggestions, right through to the final version of my book, were all positive and such a great experience for this newbie to the publishing world. I wish everyone's initiation was as wonderful as mine was.

My knowledge of diamonds was limited to the engagement ring on my finger and how pretty it looks sparkling under lights. Google is a writer's best friend, so I paid a visit to that fantastic search engine and came up some ideas. I liked the sound of South Africa where they mine the diamonds, but wanted to set the story in my home country of New Zealand, which brought on the idea of a diamond stolen and hidden in New Zealand. Then my characters appeared to me - Amy - strong but struggling in all the ways possible, and Gabriel - hig morals and loyal, but yet not all he seems. The character that came to me first though was the villain Razor. I had so much fun writing him. What is it about baddies that they're such fun to write?

After coming to terms with the brutal death of her husband by unknown thugs half a world away from New Zealand, Amy Hamblin concentrates on bringing up their son alone, struggling to make their dream of an action-adventure tourism venture a success.
When a dark, dangerous-looking man knocks on her door late at night claiming to be a guest, the safe, quiet life she’d created is suddenly anything but...
Gabriel Ryan’s task of finding the priceless blue diamond Amy’s husband stole from an organised crime ring, is made all the more difficult by the attraction that sizzles between them. Playing a role had never been so hard, and now, with a ruthless killer on the trail of the missing jewel as well, he needed all his wits about him to keep them all alive.

Gabriel’s knee pressed into Amy’s thigh and sent unexpected frissons of longing to race through her system. The thin material of her jodhpurs weren’t any barrier to his heat. She scrambled to regain her composure and urged Pippin away, fixing her concentration on the path ahead.
“I’m not looking for romance,” she stated flatly. “I have a child to raise and a business to run. That’s more than enough for me."
“It’s not nearly enough for a woman like you,” he murmured, his changeable eyes darkened to molten steel and raked over her in thorough appraisal. Her shaky resolve melted away under the heat.
Unable to take a breath, let alone speak, Amy lifted her hand and gave the signal to ride single file. As she trotted ahead, the unmistakable sound of soft laughter followed her. He recognized she was running away and the knowledge he was right made her face flame all the more.

* * * *
All comments go in the draw for an e-copy of "Guardian of the Jewel" drawn Sunday 12 December, New Zealand time ; )

Next post will be about the talented Riley Quinn and her story, "Blood Diamond"
See you then!


  1. How wonderful that you rose to the challenge of submitting. In life, we must try. And how wonderful that TWRP gave you a chance. A perfect combination.

  2. Great that your bravery in submitting was rewarded so well. Sounds like a great story with awesome characters.

  3. Bravo and well done! I really enjoyed your post.


  4. Well done LaVerne. I'm sure this series of interviews will be popular. Would you like to add my blog link to your list?

  5. Thanks ladies. The actual writing may be a solitary business, but we can't really do it alone can we? How lucky we are to be part of such a great community.

    Cherie! How silly of me! I check your blog regularly - I'll add it now!