Memories

by Susan Carlisle

I know it is a new year and I’m looking forward to a great one, but I wanted to take a few moments to look back at some of my favorite happenings during 2016.

I had 3 books out.

 

 

I spent a wonderful week in London where I met many of the lovely authors from this blog. In this picture I’m having an afternoon tea sundae. (The weather was hot.) Can you tell how happy I was? This was at Fortnum and Mason’s. I can highly recommend.

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Christmas with my family. All 26 of us. We have two more on the way for next year. We all had to wear an ugly sweater. Some of us were uglier that others. We had great fun together playing games even though we exchanged no presents. That is my mother in the middle.img_0015

My nonfiction book a WWII Flight Surgeon’s Story was used as a prop in a crime scene on the show NCIS: New Orleans. Mine is the blue book to the left.

 

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A trip to Pennsylvania to a WWII reenactment weekend. There is a whole world out there I knew nothing about. Great fun! My husband and I got to spend a entire week together.

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My  youngest son (27) celebrated 25 years with a heart transplant.

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All in all, 2016 was an amazing year!

Santiago’s Convient Excerpt!

medical3 Hola everyone! It’s time to salt up your margarita glass or down a Cuban coffee as it is Valentino Brother o’clock. I’ve got an excerpt here from a couple of chapters in. There has already been a “meet” between our hero (Santiago) and heroine (Saoirse – pronounced Seer-shuh)….but only during work hours.

The action has moved to local Miami Cantina, Mad Ron’s where things are a bit more relaxed…or are they? (I think I might’e messed up the spacing on this so apologies in advance!)

 

“Here you are, mija.”

Saoirse reached out both hands to take the iced glass, loaded to the brim with a freshly whizzed margarita. With salt. It was a take-no-prisoners cocktail and about as well deserved as end-of-day drinks got.

“Your parents named you well, Ángel!” She gave the bartender a grateful smile. It had been a lo-o-o-ng day. New Year’s Day celebrations seemed to have lasted two weeks in Miami. One of their patients had only been adorned in a swirl of glittery tinsel. Didn’t he know it was bad luck to leave his decorations up so long? Or take quite so many little “magic” pills? It was one way to start the New Year with a bang. His girlfriend had looked exhausted.

“Murph!”

She looked up, scanning the growing crowd, eyes eventually landing on her friend Amanda waving to her from the entryway to the patio, arm crooking in a get your booty over here now arc. She took a huge glug of the margarita, convincing herself it was to make sure the drink didn’t spill as she wove her way through Mad Ron’s Cantina to the picnic-table-filled, blue-tiled garden area already overflowing with well-wishers for Joe. She’d been lucky when she’d landed him as a mentor in her work-study program. The guy had seen it all. Not to mention the fact that, forty years on, an ambulance had helped him accrue a vast pool of friends. The place was heaving.

“Hey, girl! What took you so long?” Amanda gave her one of those American half hug things she was growing to like. Irish people weren’t huggy like this, but after the day… No. Make that the year she’d had? The blossoming friendship was a much-needed soul salve.

“I wanted to stop by the hospital to check on a patient.”

“Oh? Bit of a hottie, was he?”

Saoirse snorted. Mostly to cover up the fact it had been the roadside stranger she’d been hoping to see, not the tattoo-covered vet they’d saved.

“Not so much. But he’d been out a long time—cardiac arrest—and I wanted to see what his recovery was like. Curiosity. Never seen a guy make it through who’d had over twenty minutes of compressions.”

“You did that? Twenty minutes?” She blew on her fingers in a color-me-impressed move.

“Don’t be mad!” Saoirse waved away the suggestion, trying to shake the “the mental image of Mr. Mysterioso’s very fine forearms as she did. She had a thing for forearms and his had launched straight to Number One on the Forearms of the Week list. Not that she actually kept a list or anything. She blinked away the image and forced herself to focus on Amanda. “No mad compressions for me. I would’ve stuck my magic electric shockers on him straight away.” She made her best crazed-scientist face to prove it was true.

“You’re such a diligent little paramedic, aren’t you?” The verbal gibe was accompanied by an elbow in the ribs.

Saoirse jabbed her back and laughed. “Hey! Don’t be shortist!”

“As long as you promise not to be tallist!”

They clinked glasses with a satisfying guffaw. Amanda towered over Saoirse and rarely missed a moment to comment on her friend’s diminutive stature. Just about the only person in the world who could.

A swift jab of pain shot through her heart at the memory of her fiancé—ex! Ex, ex, ex! Ex-fiancé resting his head on top of hers. To think it had made her feel safe! What a sucker. She shook off the scowl the memory elicited and replaced it with a goofy smile when she saw Amanda’s questioning look. The woman had laser vision right into her soul. “Wouldn’t it just be my luck to come across the lippiest desk nurse in the whole of Miami?”

“Not everyone’s prepared to take all your blarney, Murph. Fess up. Why were you really at the hospital? Don’t tell me you’re a margarita behind the rest of us just because of quizzical interest. You got exams coming up or something“?

Saoirse avoided the light-saber gaze her friend was shooting at her and took another thirst-quenching glug, a shiver juddering through her as the ice hit her system.

“Oh. My. Word.” Amanda’s eyes were well and truly cemented across the heaving garden. Saoirse’s shoulders dropped. Phew. Dodged a bullet. Looked like eye candy had saved the day.

“Three o’clock,” Amanda murmured. “Tall, dark and too freakin’ sexy for the word sexy. I’m going to get a cavity in my eye from the sweetness of this man. Murph—what’s better than sexy?”

Mr. Mysterioso popped into her head and quite a few words jostled for pole position. “Edible? Scrumptious? Lip-lickingly perfect? Luscious?”

Hmm…there was a bit of a food theme going on here. Couldn’t have anything to do with the perfect caramel color of the knight in shining motorcycle gear’s forearms, could it?

“Luscious,” Amanda repeated, her voice all soft and swoony. Was she remembering she was happily married?

“Three o’clock?” Saoirse had to at least take a glimpse. Looking never hurt, right? It was the feeling part that hurt—and she wouldn’t go down that stupid, heart-crushing path again.

Her eyes flitted from face to face, none of them fitting into the knee-weakening territory Amanda’s stranger clearly dominated. “I can’t see him!”

“Get up on the picnic bench, then.” Amanda didn’t wait for Saoirse to protest, all but lifting her up and aiming her toward the entryway. “You’ve got to get a look. This guy could fill up a calendar all by his lonesome. Then they’d have to make up some more months just for fun… Can you imagine it? Mr Yes-Ma’am-uary!” She gave a military salute before giving Saoirse an additional prod to hurry her up on her quest to steady herself on the bench seat.

“For crying out loud, Amanda. Quit your pushing, will you? I can get on the bench by myself—Oh…”

They said lightning never struck twice. But that had been disproved. And today was blasting another hole in the theory.

“You see what I mean?”

Did she ever? And when Saoirse’s eyes connected with the object of their evaluation…she needed to get down from the bench. Quick smart.

“He’s all right. I’ve seen better.” Saoirse jumped down and took another spine-juddering slurp of her icy drink. Her jets needed cooling. Big time.

“You’ve gone mental.” Amanda’s jaw all but dropped in disbelief. “The man rocks it!”

“Rocks what exactly?” Saoirse went for a dismissive snort and ended up cough-choking. Awesomely sexy. Not.

Okay. So she didn’t really need to ask the question because she knew exactly what he rocked. And it wasn’t just her boat. He was rocking her tummy. Which was currently doing some sort of loopy ribbon-twirling fest thing with the half of margarita it had inside it. He was rocking her heart. Which seemed to have kicked up a notch—or seventeen—in the pace department. Her entire nervous system was experiencing a takeover as if he were playing a goose-bump xylophone along her arms…then down her back and in a sort of heated swirl around her—

“Uh.” Amanda pressed a hand to her friend’s forehead. “Are you sure you weren’t at the hospital to make sure you aren’t going clinically insane?” She drew out the last word just to make super sure Saoirse knew her friend thought she was nuts. “How on earth are we ever going to find you a hot boyfriend to marry in the next two months if your taste in men is so weird as to not find that amazing specimen of a man…?” Her hand shot out in a pointy gesture and made contact. With a chest. A chest Saoirse had already had the good fortune to stare at for some length of time earlier that day.

Amanda’s jaw dropped again.

“Miss Murphy. We meet again.”

“YOU KNOW HIM?

That’s what Amanda’s wide-eyed look said. And then she said it out loud for good measure.

“Ha!” Saoirse barked. “No.”

Saoirse’s eyes darted between her friend and Mr. Mysterioso. This was awkward. Why wasn’t the earth being kindly for once and swallowing her up in a freak sinkhole incident? Now would be a pretty good time for Mother Nature to intervene if she was ever going to show her largesse. She hadn’t bothered when her fiancé had left her standing at the altar like a complete and utter ninny in a ridiculous meringue of a dress… Well…it had rained a lot so it had masked the tears, but Hop to it Mummy Nature—now’s your chance to make things right!

“Santiago.”

He stretched his hand forward toward Saoirse, who ignored it, and then to Amanda, who—after exclaiming how fun it was that he was a lefty—took it, gave it a stroke with her other hand to check for a ring and shook it in slow motion, all the while mouthing to Saoirse “You know him?”

“Santi, if Santiago’s too much of a mouthful.”

The comment was aimed directly at her. And elicited some images that would’ve sent a nun straight to the burning flames place.

Saoirse drained her glass. It wasn’t ladylike and rocketed a brain freeze straight to the neurotransmitters that would’ve helped her with witty rebuttals, but…tough. Mr. Created-for-Calendars here had made an impact and she’d been working long and hard on the impenetrable fortress built around her heart, not to mention her—ahem—golden triangle. Or whatever it was called these days. ”

 

Excerpt From: Annie O’Neil. “Santiago’s Convenient Fiancée.” iBooks.

 

Yee haa, Happy New Year Everyone

What does 2017 hold for you? Have you made resolutions? Or are you going to take each day as it comes?

I have started the year with a new editor at HM&B, and there is already a book sitting on her desk waiting for her comments. It is one I wrote in November and December. Since I started back at work I have been writing my half of a duet that Louisa George and myself are doing. It is scheduled to come out next Christmas. This isn’t the first time Louisa and I have done a duet and I love working with her. She’s such a great author and lots of fun too.

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Then there are other books to plot and write throughout the year. Bring them on. I so love my work. Writing is one of those amazing careers for me and other authors.

My other big thing for 2017 is a seven week trip to Europe in May and June with my man. We are in the planning stages: air tickets bought, some hotels booked, and lots more in between to be decided. My other half is very methodical which means no sudden bookings, or getting them wrong, as would happen if I was in charge.

Half the fun of a trip is the planning – and arguing – and deciding what to see and what to miss out. I cannot wait. Very exciting.

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But first I have to write some stories. Not exactly harsh punishment.

We have already spent nearly two weeks with our family, and the wee grandies are so gorgeous, if not exhausting. I’m sure we’re going to have lots more adventures in the back yard this year.

So that’s my year ahead. A very brief outline but so much to look forward to. I’m hoping you all are looking forward to the coming twelve months as much as I am.

Lots of happies everyone.resisting-her-army-doc-rival

 

 

Some news for 2017

At this time of the year many of us find ourselves looking back on last year, and forward to the next.  And the Medical Romance Authors are no different, we’ve been taking some time out to review our blog here at Love is the Best Medicine and plan for 2017.

First, and most importantly, we’d like thank all of the readers and commentators who have supported us so magnificently in 2016.  You’re the reason we’re here, and we’re enormously grateful to everyone who has made 2016 such a fun and busy year.

We have to thank our guests, too.  We’ve welcomed writers, some of whom already have dates for a return visit in 2017 (along with some new faces, as well).  We were thrilled to host our first reader blog – a big thank you to Gwessie – and we’re hoping to be able to feature more of our super readers this year.  The Medical Romance Editors will also joining us again, to give us some more peeks behind the scenes at Romance HQ.

We’re thrilled to report that our readership increased in 2016, and we can’t wait for 2017!  We’ll be continuing with many of the features which were so popular last year, including our regular new releases and excerpts posts.  And we have some one-off features planned, too.

 

(A quick reminder – if you want to see all of the excerpts in one place, then you can click the ‘Excerpts’ link on the menu.  Or hit the ‘New Releases’ link, to see all of the Medical Romance titles released in 2016.)

We hope you’ll join us!  We’re always open to your thoughts and ideas about what you’d like to read about on the blog, so don’t hold back if there’s something you’d like to suggest.  We look forward to seeing you again in 2017.

Summertime and the Living is Hot!

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The heat has hit and the energy levels have plummeted. Combine that with being the one person in the household who is working…make that supposed to be working…while everyone else is on holidays, well, I’m lacking in commitment.

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I’ve had a sensational two months. I spent that last 8 days of November and the first 14 days of December in the USA. Ten days in New York City, Baby! And 12 days in New Mexico and Texas; the urban jungle and then the wilderness. All of it was fabulous. In NYC, Boy Wonder, the son who loves a musical, saw 7 shows, Billy Joel in concert and jazz at the Lincoln Centre. Not bad! I saw half of that…

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We got home a week before Christmas, a time filled with shopping and baking followed by family celebrations, New Year, and houseguests. I did print out the 183 pages of the novel am writing and read it to remind me of the story. I don’t think my mind was ready to cope with an analytical read and I just wanted to change every word. I set it aside and rationalised that a new website was necessary before the cover reveal for my next book.

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The website is live! (Please take a peek, cos Boy Wonder did an amazing job with some help from an IT coder) The cover for Daughter of Mine* is revealed! Can I settle to work? NO!

Boy Wonder is waiting for university offers, which is VERY distracting and I am supposed to be going to the beach to camp for a couple of weeks. I am going to have to take my battery operated word processor and try and write some words each day. That is fine in theory but mostly I am missing the desire to work. I can’t seem to find it anywhere!  It happens every January. The heat zaps my energy. Half the country is on holidays and I willingly and easily distracted.

Anyone got any tips on how I can find my mojo cos I tell you, the deadline for the book isn’t scaring me enough yet and it really should be!

(Shh, but Daughter of Mine isn’t a medical romance per se BUT one of the protagonists is a female surgeon. It’s a 500 page novel about family, tangled secrets and lies. It’s being released on March 1st in Australia and NZ and can be preordered now.)

Some more steps!

swansLast March I blogged about my resolution to walk 1,000 miles in 2016 (and posted this picture of some swans I’d met on the way).  The comments I received in reply showed me what a popular form of exercise walking is, and I promised to post an update on how I was going.  I was hoping that by now I’d be able to share my success with you but…  Well maybe this time next year 🙂

I started off with good intentions and some trepidation.  By March I’d worked through the initial aches and pains, and by the summer I’d made the 500 mile mark.  The weather was fine and using my feet to take me where I wanted to go, instead of travelling by bus or car, was a joy.  I was beginning to be quietly confident about completing the 1,000 miles by the end of the year.

Then, suddenly, someone threw a spanner into the works.  (Actually, that someone was me…)  After a morning’s writing, and still half in the world that my hero and heroine inhabited, I got to my feet and stubbed my toe.  Not such a disaster, but when I’d finished hopping around and cursing a bit, I looked down at my foot and saw that it was already swelling, and one of my toes was sitting at a very unlikely angle.

So, cutting a long story short, a kind and very no-nonsense nurse pulled my dislocated toe straight again and I was given a special shoe to wear for a couple of weeks.  After six weeks, I was ready to slip my foot back into my walking shoes.  Compared to the difficulties that so many people face, the hill in front of me was barely a bump in the road, but still the next 50 miles felt slower than the last 500.  My foot was getting better though, and the world was once again beginning to shrink.  With a bit of luck and a following wind, I still reckoned I might make my 1,000 miles.

But it wasn’t to be.  I never really gave up on the walking, but I couldn’t do as much as I’d hoped.  I Rested, Iced, Compressed and Elevated, treated myself to a good pair of walking socks and memory foam insoles, but I’d done more damage to my foot than was apparent straight away, and it was going to take its own sweet time in getting better.  After being able to trek six or seven miles every day without getting tired, it was frustrating to have to stop after the first mile or so and, needless to say, I didn’t make my 1,000 miles.

Failure?  Looking at it quantitively, yes.  But I did my best, which feels like a different kind of success.  And this year I’m trying again, even if my foot still isn’t 100% and I’m told that I must still work my way back up to the longer walks.  Because writing has taught me a couple of very important lessons.  Learning what you can and can’t do isn’t failure, and there’s always a next time. And, of course, the swans and ducks in the park still need to be fed… 🙂

When I last blogged about walking Amy Ruttan made a comment which sparked my imagination – how far would I have got if I’d been walking in a straight line and not round in circles?  So far this year, I reckon I’ve got as far as the Eurotunnel terminus at Waterloo Station.  Which isn’t much to write home about, but look at all the places I can go from there!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!  And may all of your New Year’s resolutions be a learning experience 🙂

January Releases

Welcome one and all to a brand new sparkly year and 6 brand new sparkly titles for lovers of medical romance. We hope everyone has a wonderful 2017 and we’ll be doing our best to help bring it a little extra sparkle!

 

Falling For Her Wounded Hero by Marion Lennox

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A debt repaid…with love?

Tom Blake helped Tasha Raymond through a heartbreaking loss eighteen months ago—so when she learns he’s been devastatingly injured she’s determined to repay the debt by helping him in return.

Working with the handsome GP stirs up a storm of emotions, but Tasha has no intention of truly getting close. The playboy’s devil-may-care attitude is the last thing she needs! But then the wounded doc’s kindness proves too much temptation for her heart to resist…

 

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Alejandro’s Sexy Secret by Amy Ruttan

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…

If only that were true! Surgeon Kiri Bhardwaj never expected to see sexy exotic dancer Alejandro Valentino again after their fantasy life-changing night together. But now they’re face-to-face, and he’s a specialist in her pediatric department!

Working with Kiri proves to Alejandro that they haven’t finished what they started all those years ago. But to claim what he’s lost he’ll have to lay his heart on the line and prove to Kiri their chemistry is for keeps!

 

Santiago’s Convenient Fiancee by Annie O’Neil

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Can a convenient arrangement last forever?

Saoirse Murphy came to Miami to bury herself in work, determined to forget the canceled wedding she left behind her, and she wants to stay… But only a green card will do!

Enter former combat doc Santiago Valentino. Having reluctantly returned to face his dark past, he’s only too happy to be distracted by his paramedic partner and her shocking proposal.

But when their “convenient” engagement tips into a very inconvenient passion, Santiago wonders…will she be his forever wife?

 

 

The Doctor’s Diamond Proposal by Annie Claydon

Falling for the celebrity doc. medical6

Physiotherapist Alexandra Jackson never thought she’d see Leo Cross again after an accident changed her life. But when she’s thrown back together with Leo she sees a hint of the boy she once met underneath the celebrity doctor’s charming smile…

Leo knows he can’t give Alex the commitment she deserves—he’s fighting too many demons of his own. But will their connection and Alex’s positive approach to life inspire Leo to make her a proposal neither will ever forget?

 

 

Weekend With The Best Man by Leah Martyn

medical5Best man to daddy!

Nurse Lindsey Stewart knows that dancing with new, enigmatic Casualty doctor Dante Rossi is asking for trouble…but when he takes her hand at a wedding she’s powerless to resist. As their night turns into a weekend she learns there’s more to this charming best man than meets the eye.

After returning to work, neither can escape their undeniable chemistry—even when trying to remain professional! Until Lindsey discovers she’s pregnant, and realizes she might hold the key to healing Dante’s damaged heart…

 

 

The Surgeon’s Baby Surprise by Charlotte Hawkes

Discovering his secret child! medical4

For committed surgeon Max Van Berg, career has always come first. He’s only ever risked distraction once—during his whirlwind affair with stunning psychiatrist Evangeline Parker…

But now Evie’s unexpected reappearance has turned Max’s world upside down. Not only is Evie battling illness, but she’s been forced to keep an even bigger secret from the surgeon! Against all odds Max is a father, and suddenly his sole focus is fighting for Evie, for baby Imogen and for the family he never knew he wanted until now…