Seven Nights With Her Ex!

Hello and welcome! Can you believe it’s nearly the end of August? I’ve already started planning Christmas! It’s shocking.

Well, my next book is about to be out, depending on where you live and whether you want to purchase a Kindle version or the paperback – Seven Nights With Her Ex.

It’s set in Yellowstone Park and I had great fun writing this story (*read moments of sheer terror that I no longer had the ability to write a book/should never have set it outdoors/must have been having an out of body experience/occasional moments of joy)

516YRfywusL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_But by the time I had my first draft done, I was beginning to feel calmer. Beau and Gray, the hero and heroine of my story were beginning to cooperate and by the time I’d redrafted once or twice (maybe even three or four times) with the help of my editor, Nic, I finally had a story that I was really happy with. When I read it now, I cannot find the chapters that haunted me, the chapters that I struggled with or the chapters that made me want to run screaming into the streets.

So I thought today, I’d share with you a little snippet from Chapter One. Hopefully to whet your appetite! Beau has just arrived at the ranger station in Yellowstone Park and has discovered that the man who left her at the altar twelve years ago, is also going to be sharing the next seven days with her! But here we start with Gray’s POV.

But here there was peace. And quiet. And–

The door swung open with a loud creak and suddenly she was there. Alone. Before him. Those ice-blue eyes of hers were staring him down. Cold. Unfeeling.

He got to his feet, his mouth suddenly dry.

‘I think it’s time I made some rules about the next week.’ she crossed her arms, waiting for his response.

‘Beau, I–‘

‘First of all,’ she interrupted, holding up her hand for silence, ‘I think we should agree not to speak to each other. I appreciate that circumstances may not always allow for that, so if you do speak to me, then I’d prefer it was only about the course. Nothing else. Nothing personal.’

‘But I need to–‘

‘Second of all, you are to tell no-one here what happened between us. I will not become the subject of idle gossip. And thirdly, when this is over, you will not contact me, you will not call. You will maintain the silence that you have been so expert at keeping for the last eleven years. Do you understand?’

He did understand. All too keenly. She wanted nothing to do with him. Which was fair enough. Except that he felt that now she was here, right in front of him, this week might be his chance to explain everything. Forget a pathetic phone call or a scrappy little email. That had never been his style anyway. He had seven days in which to lower her walls, get her to accept his white flag of truce and ask her to listen to him.

So! Hope you guys enjoyed that. Seven Nights With her Ex is available from the Mills and Boon website, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, plus Barnes and Noble and Kobo. (Click on any of the blue highlighted text to take you straight through to a buy link)

Enjoy what’s left of August! (School starts soon. Eek!)

Louisa xxx

http://www.louisaheaton.com

Twitter – @louisaheaton

 

If you build him…she will come! (Or something like that!)

Mercy me – what a naughty series of thoughts I’ve had since we’ve built our sexy French hero who’s name is…..wait for it…..A TIE! Dominic and Rafael wrestled for the main place and ended up tying so when he is in trouble with his mother he is Dominic Rafael , and when he is with our heroine…he is …I’m going to say Dominic as a first name and Rafael as a surname…So there we are. Everybody’s a winner. We also have news on our heroine…but let’s start with Monsieur Enigmatique! (I do believe that’s Franglais for mysterious).

There’s much more to building the perfect Medical Romance hero than a name and you came back in spades
Unknown-3.jpegHe’s had a past and boy was it dark. Dominic  grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, working his fingers to the bone to put himself through medical school and became a surgeon in one of Paris’s most esteemed hospital. All the hard work landed him back between a rock and a hard place when he lost his best friend’s daghter on the operating table despite being told he was too close to the case. This, in the wake of losing his wife…in the same accident. Now, the only thing that keeps him alive is guilt and the ambulance he drives round Sydney (spoiler alert on our heroine’s home!) in a quest to try and put some good back into the world.Unknown-6.jpeg

His laugh? It lights up our heroine’s world, but it’s no braying donkey laugh. It’s soft and hard to win, but between the gap in his teeth when he finally does smile and the way he drags his hand through his already-tousled dark hair to make it look even more crazy bear…it’s worth every joke in…Maggie Louis‘s  arsenal. Her jokes don’t exactly come thick and fast either. Not after getting posted to the same beachside hospital she was rushed to as a child when she nearly drowned!

But is there a spark? Boy is there ever! And Domnic doesn’t have to go all Alpha, six-pack, uber-male to prove it. When his fingers brush against Maggie’s, he always pauses  just for a moment – then meets her questioning look with a soft gaze that’s akin to a promise he would so dearly love to give. It’s much easier for him to speak openly to his mutt called Monster. Maggie’s not falling over herself to open her heart just yet either. For one thing – her house is a no-go zone. There’s always a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. She’s a paramedic and works nutty hours! Besides, when she’s got free time she spends it with her young friend who she met through the Big Sister programme or is watching black and white movies. One day, if everything pans out on the professional front, she hopes to be director of a community medical programme – putting the friendly neighbourhood Docs  straight back into the heart of the neighbourhood.Unknown-8.jpeg

Are you in love already? Stay tuned for another quiz coming soon from Annie Claydon where we really flesh this out. In the meantime, I’m going to be asking out editorial team if we should just go ahead and write this thing. Any feedback from you as to whether or not you’d want to read it would be appreciated!

We really hope you’re enjoying the quizzes/polls and are LOVING the feedback. Keep it coming! All the best from me and my pals at Harlequin/Mills & Boon xx Annie O

Unknown-5.jpeg

Fun and frolics

Okay, so I’m late to the party.  But this is my first blog since my return from RWA in San Diego.  So please forgive me!

RWA San Diego hadn’t been in my plans this year.  New York was fantastic but a little overwhelming last year.  However, the call in March to say I’d was a double Rita Finalist meant that I had to replan.

Let me tell you about my journey.  It wasn’t glamorous at all!  Twenty hours of flights meant that I bought myself a pair of those old TED stockings that we put on our vascular patients and reviewed some meds before I hit the plane!  I had plans when I hit San Diego. I arrived Tuesday night and lots of conference attendees don’t arrive until Wednesday.  This meant Wednesday morning could more or less be free.  So what did I do?

I shopped!  I love a good outlet!  My poor colleague Rachael Johns uttered the words as we arrived, “I’m not really looking for anything, I’ll just follow you around.”

IMG_2082

Yeah Rach, sure!!!  Look at those bags.

RWA conference is mad.  You literally have things on from 8am to 10pm – sometimes later.  And in between all that you’re trying to go to some of the sessions.  I was blessed with spending time with some of fellow medical authors.

IMG_2111

Amalie Berlin, Amy Ruttan and Lynne Marshall

I also had a strangely surreal experience of meeting Santa in San Diego thanks to Louisa George!

IMG_0503

Then, there was the fun of the Harlequin party and RWA Award ceremony where I had the pleasure of sitting with fellow Harlequin author Maisey Yates as she won her Rita Award.

IMG_2135

Rachael Johns, Emily Madden and Heidi Rice

Then I had the crazy journey home, followed by 20 hours time to pack four cases and get back to the airport for our family holiday to Tenerife!

IMG_2193

And in no time at all, it was time for my kids to go back to school.  This is my two boys and the little cutie is niece’s daughter on her first day at school.

IMG_2291

So, I’ll finish with my favourite ever book cover for my October release One Kiss in Tokyo…

IMG_2083

And I’ll wish a huge congratulations for Louise George who won a Koru Award for Tempted by the Italian Surgeon!!

His Perfect Match

Susan Carlisle

A week ago we ‘fleshed out’ our very handsome hero. Every hero needs that perfect match. So today, we would like to put some curves to our heroine.

516YRfywusL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_

She is smart and sexy with emerald green eyes and curly auburn hair that often rebels against constraints. Our girl is a match for any man yet she guards her heart closely. After making some serious mistakes where her love life is concerned she doesn’t want to repeat them. She was adventurous enough to spend a year at school in France. There she met our hero. He was the one person kind enough to introduce her around. Now that he is the new guy in town she is returning the favor. (Isn’t that what every female should do for a handsome hunk from their past?) Like the hero she is a rescue paramedic which means they will be working side by side, facing the same challenges.

The big question is how long will it take until the sparks fly?

Okay, it’s time to add that meat to our heroine’s bones.

First lines by Amy Andrews

I’m away from home at the moment. I’ve been on an 850km road trip. Driving that distance – or rather, being a passenger – gives you a lot of idle time and I’d been looking forward to catching up on my reading.

The last thing I expected was to be presented with an idea for another book. But when a writer is forced to sit behind a van such as this –

imagefor 10 minutes at roadworks, well, what’s a girl to do?

So I came up with the first lines of a new romance with a veterinarian hero.

“Dr Caine Williams knew people were fascinated by his job as the head honcho of the zoo’s black rhino reproductive programme. He just didn’t think his mothers great aunt really wanted to know the answer to how they extracted semen from a two tonne male.  It was slightly unsavoury conversation to be having over fine bone china and cucumber sandwiches.”

So….that’s my opener. But I’m aware that any given person (you don’t have to be a writer) would come up with a different story idea had they been sitting behind that van. So I’d like to know yours.  What kind of story idea does this trigger for you?  What kind of story would you like to see come out of this photographic stimulus? Would you like to have a go at writing your own opening line/para? Please do –  I’d love to read them!

 

 

 

PEOPLE-WATCHING by Dianne Drake

My husband and I went to the state fair a few days ago. We go every year, and it’s always fun. And, we do the same thing every year, it never varies. We start out splitting a ribeye sandwich from the beef barn, then we visit the Family Arts building displaying homecraft, photographs and antiques. At the antiques display we compare what’s on exhibit with what we have at home and always decide ours our better, that we should enter the antiques competition with some of our collection next year. Then at the photographs, we always play “Which one do you like best?” at each individual display. After which, I try to convince my husband to enter some of his photography someday.

1098288_516297378444544_339866234_n

My State Fair Antiques Entry in 2013

Eventually, we go outside, split an order of fried cheese, get a lemon shake-up, and go to the agricultural building where we see the bonsai display, the orchid competition, the prize-winners from the various vegetable competitions, gourds, honey, and stacked-can sculpture. Next, we split a corn dog. Then come a couple of  university educational displays, a look at the giant cheese sculpture, a funnel cake, pigs, horses, sheep, cows, another lemon shake-up, ending with one of the fair’s deep-fried delicacies (this year Oreos and Reeses Cups) and that brings our day to a close. We’re tired, our bellies are full, and we’ve had a great time.

corn-dogs-mustard-two-isolated-white-topped-74741181
Of all our regular activities though, I think the one I enjoy the most is people-watching. It’s fun to sit back and observe, and wonder where they’re going when they pass by, what are they thinking, what is their story? I like to attach my own stories to some of these people. One small group – possibly grandmother, daughter and son – passed me four times within the span of twenty minutes as I sat in the shade and sipped a drink. They scurried by, turned around, scurried back, turned around, scurried by again, then scurried back. To me, they were looking for something. But what? The biggest pig at the state fair? The best grilled giant turkey leg? In my matticusind, they were looking for the best value for their limited money. Perhaps they were going to split one terribly expensive ribeye steak sandwich three ways, or they were looking for a lemon shake-up stand that served slightly larger portions than the other stands because all they could afford was one drink to share. A tragedy had befallen them recently, left them very poor, but they scrimped and saved to have this one special day at the fair, one day to get away from their everyday lives and problems, and while they couldn’t afford to spend much, they weren’t going to let that ruin their day. They had each other, the sacrifices it took to get them to the fair were forgotten, and they were having the best day they’d had in a long, long time. In my mind, their story had a beautiful happily-ever-after ending because of the pure joy they found in being there, together, as a family.

 
Then there was the big burly man, pushing his baby daughter in a carriage. He had tattoos everywhere, was shaved bald, looked pretty ominous overall, but I saw the tender expression on his face when he looked at his daughter, and that said it all. To me, he became the single father hero I like to write about. Victim of a tragic divorce, a cheating wife, or death. The man who gives up his life to take care of his child. The man who doesn’t know a thing about raising children but blunders his way through it to become the best possible dad ever. Someone who lovingly makes the sacrifices and is eager to face each and every new day because he is a daddy, and daddyhood now defines him. This big, burly guy didn’t look like the typical hero in my books, but he was the hero in every aspect of the word and in my story, he met the perfect woman, maybe even at the fair, had many more children, and had found a happiness he’d never known could exist for him.

 
So, state fair is over for me for another year. And next year, I think I will enter a few of my antiques in the antiques competition. Next year, I think we’ll enter one of my husband’s beautiful photos in the photograph competition, as well. We’ll also have a corn dog, fried cheese, and a funnel cake. Next year, I’ll also sit back and observe the people, and make up stories about them. It’s a great way to stretch the writer’s mind!resized crowd
Do you go to a fair of any sort? Or a park, or a shopping mall, or a restaurant where you can observe the people and make up stories? Have you ever used one of those stories in your own writing?

Until next time, wishing you health and happiness…

DD

 

 

 

 

Head to Toe – He’s a Hero!

Remember a few months ago when we ‘built’ a hero with our quiz? We talked about eyes, hair colour, jobs that got us all a bit twitter pated (that’s starry-eyed for those of you who don’t remember Flower falling in love in Bambi) and the fact a little salt and pepper action around the temples never a did a fella any harm in the looks department.

Here’s a little recap of the man we came up wtih if you don’t remember:

Our hero is a rescue medic. He’s strong, committed and right by your side exactly when you need him. His cornflower blue eyes are the windows to his soul. Not to mention that thick, chestnut hair your fingers are itching to run your fingers through. When he’s not working, he’s usually got his best friend, a trusty mutt – one ear up one down – by his side. There’s no dressing to impress. He’s got casual smart down to a T. Oh! And did I forget to mention his sexy French accent? Just the memory of the first time you heard it – in the corridors of high school when you were an exchange student and he was all sexy-nerdy . Yum. The man he’s turned into makes you wish you’d paid him a bit more attention. Well, now’s your chance. He’s back in your life…and this time it could be for good. Here are a handful of pictures to get your creative juices flowing….

Unknown.jpegimages-3.jpegimages.jpeg

Feeling good? Thought so. Okay…now let’s get this man up and running! (Oh, by the way – for the order of preference, just drag and drop OR if you’re doing this on a tablet – you can rank them 1 – 5). Have fun!

PHEW! That was fun. I hope you enjoyed doing our quiz. LOADS of the information was thoughtfully compiled by our very own, and rather fabulous, Annie Claydon (Hip Hip Hooray Annie!)

Look our for our next quiz, coming next week. Together we will build up (and break down) what fuels our heroine in her darkest and lightest moments. Please do let us know if you have further thoughts in the comments section. You never know….this guy might find his way into a book!

xx Annie O’