Saturday, 24 June 2017

Mix & Match

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Mix & Match (1998) Post 175

Mix & Match is one of a trio of romances I wrote in the late 1990s under the pen name Tegan James. The first, In Search of a Husband, was Post 82. They were published by a US company, and the line ended after the third one was accepted but before it was published, so Triple Treat never came out. They are loosely a series, in that some of the characters in each book know or are related to others in the other books. In this story, Aberdeen Shawcross, a costume conservator, suddenly loses her job. She goes to visit her mother, Kate, in Tasmania where she sees the yachts come in after the Sydney/Hobart yacht race. Thus she gets involved with Jet Diamond, crewing one of the yachts. Jet, an excitable type, scoops her up to celebrate, and their romance continues when she returns to Sydney. Here she meets Jet's twin brother Jasper, who runs Diamond/Spellman Studios along with his cousin Tam Spellman. Aberdeen has discovered she's not a great one for sailing, since she gets seasick. And Jasper is showing far too much interest in his twin's fiancee. It's not friendly.
As usual with this kind of book, I was, on the surface, writing a traditional romance, but underneath it I was up to something different, having fun with minor characters, names and whatever interested me at the time. It seems I was into costumes and historical clothing in the late 1990s, and also into cottage garden plants. Kate and Jasper get into a game of one upsmanship by trading off the Latin names for plants. This information was the legacy of my childhood association with my grandmother Elsie. What else? Well, Sydney is a favourite city which I know fairly well, so I planted my own suburb there. Tasmania is where I live. The yacht race is not of personal interest, but it's quite a bit affair and a good way to get Sydneyites down under down under... and Hobart is about as down under as you can get and still be in a city. Jet and Jasper Diamond have gemstone names from another interest of my teen years, and Aberdene is named after a place near where I live.

As with Husband and Triple Treat I may reprint this one as a POD under my real name. It will have to be a period piece though as it is very much a creature of the late 90s.

In this case the title is more or less my own, although I'm not sure about that ampersand. As with Heather & Heath I'm not sure how this got in. I think those are the only two titles with that symbol. As for the cover... I have a feeling Sydney Harbour Bridge is reversed somehow. It looks odd to me.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, leave me a message.

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