Love at the Library (and some news)

As romance readers, we’ve all done a bit of falling in love at the library!  And in the UK, Mills and Boon, The Reading Agency and over 80 libraries around the country, have joined forces to encourage readers to fall in love at their local library.

The scheme is running until 31st July, and all of the participating libraries have created their own Mills and Boon displays.  For a list of libraries taking part, please see the Mills and Boon blog.  And even if you’re not able to visit in person, you can still see some of the fantastic displays on Twitter, at #LoveAtTheLibrary.

And now for our other news.  At the beginning of 2016 we announced some changes and additions to the blog.  Our features, guest blogs and regular blogs have all been popular, but the two most visited were the Medical Romance editors’ blog in January, announcing the 2016 Medical Fast Track, and Jennifer Taylor’s blog last month for Myeloma Awareness Week.

We owe a big thank-you to all of our guest bloggers, and we’ll be bringing you more guest blogs during the next six months.  And in addition to the regular features that we introduced at the beginning of the year, starting in September some of our Medical Romance authors will be posting excerpts from their latest books.  So there’s lots to look forward to!

We’re always open to new ideas, so if there’s anything you’d like us to consider for the future, please do let us know.  And lastly – but most importantly – a huge thank you to all of our lovely readers!

 

The Medical Romance Team brings you a sneak peek… at Christmas in July!

It’s the height of summer (or so we’re told…it’s not always obvious, as our office’s view of London alternates between sunshine and storms!) but the Medical Romance team still just couldn’t wait to bring you this sneak peek at one of our most exciting projects of the year. We always have a huge amount of fun when we plan out a Christmas continuity, and this quartet was one of our all-time favourites, so we’re thrilled to share it with you!

What is a continuity, we hear you ask?

A ‘continuity’ is the Mills & Boon team’s term for a miniseries of linked books which are written by different authors and which the editors come up with the overall story theme and individual plot outlines for. We get to brainstorm between four and eight romances for these…so naturally they’re a highlight of our year!

So, what are the ingredients to a Christmas continuity?

Well, for those of you who are wondering why the editors plan out the stories in a miniseries, the answer is that this way we can create a unified concept and timeline, allowing four unique romances to interweave and interact in one fabulous location—in this case, we couldn’t resist the cosiness and charm of Teddy’s Centre for Babies and Birth! By working out a timeline before the authors begin writing, we could even decide in which story the snowflakes begin to fall…

Next, we bring together the talents of four different amazing authors and let them loose on their individual stories! The character concepts and themes are already in place, but it’s the authors who work their magic to turn these outlines into thrilling, heart-racing love stories with the medical drama we all adore! Often continuity authors collaborate on a dedicated email thread to decide how their own hero and heroine will make a guest appearance in another author’s book, too.

And of course, when the team gets the thrill of reading the quartet finally brought to life, we also get the chance to come up with incredibly Christmassy and heartwarming titles (our favourite kind)!

Here’s your sneak peek – enjoy!

It’s hard to believe that only last July we sat and enjoyed a mince pie (or two) while brainstorming the heroes and heroines behind this festive four-book treat, and now that it’s 2016 we can’t contain our excitement that the wonderful Christmas Miracles in Maternity miniseries will be hitting shelves in November!

To get you in the mood for cuddles, children and Christmas, here’s a sneak peek at what you can look forwards to this festive season…

Christmas Miracles in Maternity

Hope, magic and precious new beginnings at Teddy’s!

Welcome to Teddy’s Centre for Babies and Birth, where the brightest stars of neo natal and obstetric medicine work tirelessly to save tiny lives and deliver bundles of joy all year round—but there’s never a time quite as magical as Christmas!

And though the temperature may be dropping outside, unexpected surprises are heating up for these dedicated pros! And as Christmas Day draws near secrets are revealed, hope is ignited and love takes over.

Cuddle up this Christmas with the heart-warming stories of the doctors, nurses, midwives and surgeons at Teddy’s in the Christmas Miracles in Maternity miniseries:

Available November 2016:

The Nurse’s Christmas Gift
by Tina Beckett

The Midwife’s Pregnancy Miracle
by Kate Hardy

Available December 2016:

White Christmas for the Single Mum
by Susanne Hampton

A Royal Baby for Christmas
by Scarlet Wilson

Kitchen Duties – Take Them Away Please

I take quite a bit of time planning the living spaces of the main characters in my novels – the layout, the décor, the colour schemes – even though I don’t go into great detail about any of that in my books. All I usually end up doing is giving a tiny glimpse of their living space, as an adjunct to all the other things in the story that point to their personalities.

I’ve had hero architects living in converted churches (my favourite of all the abodes I’ve created, and you can get a little look at the type of place on my Pinterest page for The Millionaire’s Proposition), over-the-top romantic bedrooms, rackety terrace houses, glamorous penthouse apartments, and stunning desert villas.

IMG_0674But one thing I’ve realised recently is that there’s one particular room where my heroines spend almost no time – the kitchen. My heroes are a different story, and can usually whip up a cordon bleu meal in their state-of-the-art kitchen out of almost nothing  (and if they can’t, they’ll know exactly where to take my heroines for a bang-up meal). I suspect this recurrent scenario has something to do with my own kitchen-avoidance and my desire to have all things food brought to me, not by me!

Sitting here typing intermittently as I watch television, I’m reminded of my kitchen apathy by my husband’s constant turning on and off of the kitchen tap behind me – because every time he turns on the blasted thing, I can’t hear a thing. And he does it, I swear, just when the detective du jour is either about to uncover a vital clue or actually name the murderer, which I subsequently miss. And I suspect this recurrent scenario is directly related to my own kitchen-avoidance and my husband’s desire to make me suffer for his having to bring all things food to me.

So, folks, I’m declaring right here right now that I detest that ubiquitous design feature of just about every home that goes on the market these days in Sydney: the open plan living space.

Check out this video – I am not convinced. At. All!

I feel a little bit weird saying this, because when the Hon and I happened to land a private viewing of our current house before the previous owners had even decided to sell it, I fell in love with everything about it on the spot. I loved the flowing room plan that encompassed the entrance, living room, kitchen and dining area in the one grand space – a space that screamed ‘party waiting to happen’. I even recall travelling to America shortly after that viewing and telling two friends over there that if my husband hadn’t made an offer on the house by the time I got back, I was going to divorce him.

Luckily, he had made an offer – and the rest, as they say, is history.

P1010305And it really is history, because after 12 years’ living in my dream home, I find myself thinking fondly of our previous, less modish house, with its closed off kitchen, where you could have all kinds of crap on the counters with no visitors any the wiser; when you had to make a conscious choice to go to the fridge in search of a snack instead of having it basically at your fingertips; where, faucet-free, you could hear Hercule Poirot name the murderer.

First world problem, I know. But in my next book, I’m pretty sure the kitchen of the day is going to be very distant from the television – a little like my Medical romance, From Fling to Forever, where for a good portion of the story, I had a whole Georgian-era London townhouse at my disposal, with a tucked away kitchen! Some quite special scenes occurred in that kitchen…

Fling cover medWhat started as a fling…could lead to forever.

When fate conspires repeatedly to throw together kindhearted nurse Ella Reynolds and deliciously sexy documentary filmmaker Aaron James, it’s not long before this unlikely couple finally gives in to their irresistible chemistry. Their hearts might be locked away, but what does it matter when it’s only a fling…? 

Spending time and saving lives together is bound to break down barriers. Yet with so much heartbreak and loss to overcome, can their fling ever lead to forever?

Please connect with me via my website or via Facebook and Twitter.

 

Research Fun! by Fiona Lowe

Frog and Peach

The inspiratio for the Frog & Peach pub 

Next year, there’s a new medical romance series coming out set in London. I have a book in it and I’ve had so much fun researching and drawing on my memories of London. The first film I can recall seeing was Mary Poppins and years later, I was very fond of watching Upstairs, Downstairs. When I finally got to London, I remember thinking I was on the set! Google Maps is my research friend along with Google in general.
I had the BEST FUN reading up on the Savoy Hotel. savoyOh, if those walls could talk! Fortunately, enough of the wild and wonderful stories and antics of the patrons were written down. Fred Astaire danced on the roof. It was a fave hotel of Marilyn Monroe’s and way back in the day, the rich and famous threw extravagant parties. Think Mr. Selfridge!

As you may or may not know, I have written a women’s fiction novel,  Daughter of Mine. It will be out March 2017 and closer to the date I will fill you in more on that. Right now, I have to start the second WF book and I’ve been researching. This took me to an artisan sourdough bread bakery.

BaDSCF5502ck in 2000, the Calverts started Irrewarra Sourdough, baking bread in historic stables on their western district property. From their first order of 100 loaves it has grown to baking 22,000 loaves a week as well as extending into other products. It was fabulous seeing all this glorous bread being made by hand. The boys and I were lucky enough to be sent home with some bread:-)

The research part of writing a book is always fun. It’s such a shame I now have to knuckle down and write the sucker😉

Are you currently researching something? Perhaps it’s a h0liday/vacation? A new career? New Job? House? Or a new mattress…that’s my next job! Fill me in, I’d love to hear:-)

Book News!

This year’s releases are A Daddy for Baby Zoe? and Down & Dusty Secret Confessions- Kelly. My most recent single title novels are the Medicine River Series (Montana Actually, Truly, Madly Montana) set in gloroious Montana. For all my book news, photos and details on each of my 30 novels,  head to my website or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Independence Day!

We just enjoyed our Fourth of July celebration for another year.  It’s the day Americans observe our independence from Great Britain – a bit of a reverse Brexit?😉  On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and on July 4th adopted the Declaration of Independence. I read that through the summer, some held held mock funerals for King George III symbolizing the triumph of liberty – not very nice!:-)  John Adams (later to become second president of the U.S.) wrote to his wife that July 2nd “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” He was right, but it ended up being on July 4th, which apparently annoyed him greatly:-)

Across the country, parades and fireworks abound. Here’s a photo of our local parade, which we always took the kids to when they were younger.

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One of the biggest fireworks displays in the country, Red, White, and Boom, is right here where I live. This year, over 400,000 people came to see the 48,780 pounds of fireworks that were set off.  It’s pretty incredible! boom-1_db800c99-fe20-f434-9a26ba39443eae9c

Then there are local fireworks at various suburbs. Ours always has a concert beforehand, usually featuring bands that were popular back in the day.  A couple years ago, Smokey Robinson was here, and just as great as ever, and more recently, Earth, Wind and Fire were fabulous, too. I can’t find my photos of those, which really annoys me!  But here’s a photo of the grand finale through the trees, which is how we watched them this year.

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We’ve had a July 4th cookout all 25 years of our marriage. It’s changed as time has gone by and babies were born, then grew into big kids and now adults. We’ve lost some of the older generation, and when I look at photos of 25 years of parties, they’re poignant snapshots of the phases of our friends and family’s lives.

Here are a couple pictures from back in the day that I believe I’ve shared before. All the kids are now in high school, college and beyond. One of these days, we’ll have new little ones on the rafts!

KidsOnRaftPoolCrowd

 

This year’s party was threatened by a forecast of serious thunderstorms, but thankfully we got just a few sprinkles – whew!  Here are photos of the calm before the crowd arrived, as we were all set up to go.

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Here’s my son adding charcoal to the chickens on the spit. The grill got quite a workout – after the chickens came off, the burgers, hot dogs and corn got their turns. Yum!

ChickensOnSpit

And a few hitting the potluck buffet brought by everyone – let me say, there’s always plenty of great food!

July4Potluck

I’d like to hear about your celebrations!  What you do to celebrate the Fourth of July, or what other events do you enjoy that might involve cookouts and fireworks and fun?

I shared my June release before, but I’m showing it again because it’s part of the Hollywood Hills Clinic continuity. You saw from Amy’s post that the final two books, by Amalie Berlin and Tina Beckett, are out this month. I’m so happy to have been a part of such a great series, and can’t wait to read the last two!  :-)

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July Releases

6 gorgeous new releases for July and this month we’ll be showcasing the US covers. There’s some serious hotness and sweetness going on with these!

White Wedding For A Southern Belle by Susan Carlisle

med1

From boss to bride…

ER doc Kiefer Bradford is stunned to find Ashley Marsh is his new boss. And being the only doctor at her medical clinic presents him with a delicious challenge—staying away from the Southern belle whose kiss once set him alight!

Ashley is totally out of bounds, but as she returns his kisses with a passion that matches the hot summer sun, Kiefer soon wonders… Could she be the one woman to unlock his heart and lead him from “I can’t” to “I do”?

 

 

Wedding Date With the Army Doc by Lynne Marshall

It started at a wedding… med2

Since her recent lifesaving—and life-changing—operation, Charlotte Johnson has steered clear of romance…but brooding Jackson Hilstead is too delicious to resist! Surely some harmless flirting with the sexy army doc can’t hurt?

Charlotte knows Jackson has his own emotional battles to fight, but she believes they can be stronger together. So when she accepts his invitation to a family wedding, Charlotte hopes it’s a sign that one day she’ll be walking down the aisle…with Jackson by her side!

 

 

Taming Hollywood’s Ultimate Playboy by Amalie Berlin (The Hollywood Hills Clinic)

Forbidden to the A-lister med3

When Grace Watson last saw Liam Carter, she was in black lingerie and a trench coat at his door, while he gently—mortifyingly!—turned her down. Now Liam is Hollywood’s hottest property, and Grace is the top physical therapist he needs to literally get him back on his feet.

Grace tempted him then and she tempts him even more now. As her kindness banishes the demons that have always haunted him, is it possible that their second chance can heal his damaged heart?

 

 

Winning Back His Doctor Bride by Tina Beckett (The Hollywood Hills Clinic)

med4The one that got away

Dr. James Rothsberg, renowned plastic surgeon and owner of the Hollywood Hills Clinic, is famous for his control. But then he finds himself working with beautiful Dr. Mila Brightman—the woman he left at the altar six years ago!

They’re drawn together again by an orphaned patient, and it’s not long before the lingering chemistry between them explodes. Now James must decide whether to run again or fight for the woman he never stopped loving!

 

 

Capturing the Single Dad’s Heart by Kate Hardy

A love worth fighting for? med5

Nate Townsend is a brilliant surgeon, but being a full-time single dad is his biggest challenge yet. So he doesn’t need the temptation of beautiful neurosurgeon Erin Leyton!

Erin’s instantly taken with Nate’s daughter. She knows she can help them both—if she can keep her heart off the table…because love never lasts, right?

But time spent with Nate and Caitlin stirs hopes Erin has long thought impossible. Can Nate convince her that his love is here to stay?

 

Doctor, Mommy…Wife? by Dianne Drake

med6The man to complete her family?

Del Carson is happily single. With her new baby and a great career in pediatrics, there’s no space in her life for romance. Until she meets sexy Dr. Simon Michaels, that is…

Because Simon stirs up emotions Del had thought she’d put behind her. And however much she tries, she can’t get him out of her mind—or her heart! With Simon by her side, Del’s beginning to think the unthinkable. Maybe she doesn’t want to do this alone…

 

 

 

 

 

Love is…

doodle I love You written by hand

doodle I love You written by hand in a notebook

Forgive me, I’m feeling philosophical today… I’ve had my boys home for a week and a half and I’m staring down the barrel of them going back to uni on Sunday.

They are forever complaining because I say things like… ‘Be careful. Let me know when you get there. Go to bed early. Eat well.’ I tell them it’s my way of saying I love you. (Of course, I say I love you a lot too… yeah, I’m that helicopter mum you read about).

Apparently there are those who like to say it, those who like to show it- and there can be a lot of confusion (even divorce) if those two kinds of people don’t understand the underlying message of a deed. There are also, I’ve read, quite a few deathbed regrets that people wish they’d said what they felt instead of assuming they were being understood.

My DH says ‘I love you’ in lots of ways- usually by not complaining when I zip off to a conference (next week!! Yeah!!! Can’t wait to catch up with the MedRom authors in San Diego), or by pouring me a glass of wine at the end of a hard day.

My mum used to say it through cooking- now she doesn’t even know who I am I’ll never hear it again. My dad never said it all. Not once. Usually my sister says it through joke Facebook posts… ‘My sister has the best sister in the world…’ etc.

If pushed I’d say I say I love you a hell of a lot to my husband when I’m ploughing through a huge stack of his ironing, or cleaning the bathroom, although it can be overshadowed by other choice phrases! These days I try to say it more to my friends when I give them a hug or if they’re going through a hard time- actually using the words. But my friend recently showed me how much she cared when she turned up on my doorstep with some earrings she’d seen and knew I’d like them.

How do you say I love you? With words? Deeds? Both? Do we say it enough? Is it over used and therefore means less?

dfw-lg-sb-cover-mid

Oh, and please excuse me while I squee a little about my new release, out today! Something Borrowed is available exclusively from Amazon. I LOVE the cover! Here’s the blurb:

Something blue. Something new…?

When Chloe Cassidy is jilted at the altar it’s all her nightmares rolled into one. Her mother is convinced she’s the victim of the family curse. Her sister believes she just hasn’t found The One yet. But Chloe’s not listening; she’s too busy taking her humiliation out on the infuriating best man, Vaughn Brooks.

Three months later, Something Borrowed—her wedding planning business— is failing. In a last ditch attempt to save it, Chloe is forced to swallow her pride, and work with the enemy: too-hot for his own good, award-winning chef Vaughn. She soon realizes the sparks flying between them are nothing to do with their dubious past, but from something else altogether…