Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

The Chic Sheikh…and how I saw him…

I had a great experience last year: writing my first ever continuity with five other Medical Romance authors. Paddington’s Children’s Hospital. For me? Terrific fun.

Apart from just working with the rest of the women, which was wonderful, and feeling like a global coffee klatsch, I also got to write my first Sheikh (which I loved) and my first Fictional Desert Kingdom (I now want to vacation there).

unknown-2.jpegIt was with that story that I started doing something that now really helps my writing…I changed my desktop image. It all started when we started a Pinterest page and now I CAN’T GET ENOUGH VISUALS.

This is the first one I used: It’s for Idris’s (our beloved, grief-stricken, darkly enigmatic Sheikh) Palace. I wanted his palace to feel more like a home. He has a young daughter who his world revolves around and is not about the trappings of being a billionaire (which he is). But it doesn’t mean it can’t be amazing! Thank you architect Sami Angawi for designing it. I would move there in a heartbeat.

Now…I also like to have pictures of my hero and heroine’s visual inspiration tucked up in the far left hand corner of my screen. This is who we have:

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Aren’t they gorgeous? And for those of you television watchers out there – it is Rudolph Martin (NCIS fans will remember him) and, of course, Jessica Capshaw from Grey’s Anatomy fame.

AKA: Arizona Robbins.

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The next big step? The magical desert kingdom. Nothing like a little stroll on the beach to get the romance flowing! And the creative juices. What do you do to set your mind on fire? Sometimes all it takes for me is a word. Or a pomegranate. Right now? I’m all about the visuals…and sometimes…that’s no bad thing. Enjoy!

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Quirky Stories, The Writing Life

Moving and Cornfields and…Snakes? Oh My!

We are in the process of moving into a new house in the country. On five glorious acres. Okay, so it’s not a vast estate by most standards, but when your old house has a garden the size of a postage stamp, it seems huge. And exciting. And like a scene out of The Sound of Music.

So a funny thing happened on my way to the country. This girl didn’t think things through completely. I mean, I am so thrilled to be able to have real egg-laying chickens. But then a friend cautioned me to make sure the chicken coop was secure against predators.

Okay sure. Predators. Like foxes and raccoons and other poultry-loving critters, right? No big deal.

But there are a few other creatures that evidently like to munch on eggs. I mean, they really like eggs. So if you know me, you know that I am not afraid of most animals and insects. I mean a grizzly bear might stop me in my tracks, but spiders? Or bees? Nope. Not afraid.

Until someone said the word sssssssssssnnnnnaaaa… <clears throat> Okay, let’s try that again. Until someone said the word sn…sn…sna… Snake! There, I said it.

I am terrified of things that squirm around on their bellies and lie in wait behind logs. Our new house has a huge barn (for the horses, right?). And it’s surrounded by acres and acres of the most beautiful cornfields imaginable. When this friend first used the dreaded “s” word (which I won’t attempt to say again), it was in reference to those cornfields. Because my husband mentioned wanting a pool. And this dear friend warned him that we might find things floating in the pool. Because of the cornfields, which you can see in the picture below.

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The back of the house with its adjacent cornfield

Snakes. Why didn’t I think of this possibility before we signed on the dotted line? Because the place is beautiful and private, with a long gravel lane leading to the house. And green pastures on either side of it. So I will do my best to remember that those belly surfers are more afraid of me than I am of them. Oh wait. That’s not true. Because the very thought of them paralyzes me.

So that’s my sad tale. Don’t get me wrong, this house is a dream come true. Really, I can’t wait to move in and make it home. Every dream has its hiccup, right? So that’s my hiccup. Is there something that scares the bejeebers out of you? Sharks? Slugs? Things that go bump in the night? I’d love to hear what makes you squirm and shudder. Just so I know I’m not alone!

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – English Rose for the Sicilian Doc by Annie Claydon

9781474051507 This book almost didn’t get written!  I so loved doing the research that I would have quite happily spent all my time on that 🙂  But – as you can see – I did manage to tear myself away, and start to write.  And I was glad I did, because my archaeologist heroine gets to explore the beautiful island of Sicily, and solve a mystery.  And, to complete my writing bliss, she does so with the help of a handsome doctor!

Chapter One

The building shone white in the sunshine, a line of tall palm trees announcing that this was a place of some importance. Rose Palmer gripped her son’s hand, walking through the wide entrance doors and into a spacious reception area, refreshingly cool after the heat of the afternoon.

A building like this showed intent. Any archaeologist would tell you that buildings gave an insight into what a community thought was important, and Rose was no exception. The high ceilings and clean lines were a clear statement that the work that went on here was both vital and serious.

She hung on tight to William’s hand, for fear of losing him in amongst the melee of people who criss-crossed the space. She couldn’t see a reception desk, and she supposed the best thing to do was to ask someone. Easier said than done. Everyone seemed too intent on getting wherever they were going to stop and give directions.

‘Scusi…’ A woman in a white top that bore the insignia of the hospital stopped, and smilingly asked her something in Italian. Hopefully she wasn’t in need of directions too.

‘Inglese.’ Rose proffered the piece of paper that her friend Elena had given her, with details of William’s appointment, written in Italian.

‘Ah. Sì…’ The woman scanned the paper and shot a brilliant smile at William. Rose was getting used to the way that Sicilians always reserved their brightest smiles for young children, and so was her son. William reached up, and the woman took his small hand in hers.

‘Terzo piano…’ The woman gestured towards the lift and then thought better of it. Taking a pen from her pocket, she walked over to a water dispenser, leaning on the side of it to draw on the paper, smiling at William as she did so. Then she proffered the hand-drawn map, holding up her thumb and two fingers and pointing to the lift to indicate that Rose should go to the third floor.

Third floor, turn right and then the second on the left. She got it. Rose nodded and smiled and thanked the woman falteringly in Italian. William waved goodbye, and the woman responded cheerily, watching her all the way to the lift.

Upstairs, the corridors were less grand and more utilitarian. Rose followed her map, and found herself in a small, comfortable waiting room. A receptionist scanned her written directions and waved her towards the rows of chairs, before picking up her phone.

Rose made her way to the far corner, and sat down. She would rather have flown back to England to do this, but Elena and her husband would have none of it. All of the visiting archaeologists working at the dig were covered by private health insurance and this hospital was one of the best in the world. They would make the appointment for her and request a translator, and William would be in good hands. She was a guest on the island, and anything less would be considered as a lapse in hospitality.

And the one thing that Rose had learned very quickly was that you faulted Sicilian hospitality at your peril. So she’d accepted the offer and driven here, privately deciding that if the language barrier turned out to be more than she or William could cope with, she’d find an excuse to be on the first plane back home for a couple of days.

Someone laughed, and Rose looked up to see a man chatting with the receptionist. Her face was animated, smiling up at him in the way that women did when someone they liked also happened to be breath-catchingly handsome.

And even by the rigorous standards of the island this man was handsome. Straight, dark hair, grazing his collar. Smooth olive skin, high cheekbones and lips that were meant to smile. Rose couldn’t see his eyes, but she imagined them chocolate brown.

Only a man so immaculate could have got away with that jacket. Dark cream, obviously linen—on anyone less perfect it would have looked rumpled. But on him it seemed as if every crease had been carefully chosen and styled, to make the most of his broad shoulders and the slim lines of his hips.

Suddenly he turned, looking straight at her. His eyes were brown. Dark, seventy per cent cocoa, with a hint of bite. Rose dropped her gaze, embarrassed to be caught staring.

‘Mrs Palmer?’ He’d walked over and dropped into a chair opposite her. His voice was like chocolate, too.

‘Ms Palmer.’ It was a convenient halfway house for a single woman with a child. ‘Um… Parla Inglese?’

He grinned and Rose felt her ears start to burn. ‘Yes, I speak English. I’m Matteo Di Salvo, and I’m here to translate for Dr Garfagnini. He’s the paediatric specialist who’ll be seeing William today.’

Perfect. His English was clear and almost unaccented, although the slight difference in tempo made it sound seductive. Or perhaps that was just the way he spoke. Seductive just about summed him up.

Rose took a breath, trying to concentrate on the practicalities. ‘Thank you. You’re the interpreter here?’

‘No, I’m a doctor. Our interpreter is busy with some English tourists in the emergency department…’ He gave a shrug, which indicated that the matter shouldn’t be given a second thought. ‘Dr Garfagnini is running a few minutes late, and I wondered if I might take the opportunity to get to know William a little.’

Handsome and kind. And he spoke English. This man was a bit too good to be true.

‘Thank you so much, Dr Di Salvo. I appreciate it.’ Rose remembered that a handshake was usual in these circumstances and held out her hand.

‘Matteo, please…’ The caress of his fingers was just as alluring as the rest of him.

‘Rose.’ She snatched her hand from his, feeling her cheeks burn, and curled her arm around her son.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Taking a Break

love is bestI am currently on a seven week trip on the other side of the world from New Zealand. We are visiting Europe and avoiding some of the southern winter.

And guess what? No writing is getting done.

Yep, the desk is cleared, the notes filed, the latest book signed off and I am free!

But not quite. The brain doesn’t stop thinking up story ideas not matter what else is going on in my life. Last time we went to Europe I remember writing plot notes sitting on the train and the long, tedious twelve hour flights heading to the northern hemisphere and then home again.

I have another M&B Medical to write when I get home and the hero and heroine will not play the game. They have issues, sure, but are they going to make it easy for me to sort them and give them the happy ever after? Not likely. Then there’s a crime story I’m writing and which needs lots of thinking about – but not while I’m tripping around Germany or Croatia please.

This is nothing new. Ever since I was a kid stories have tramped through my head. (Tramping is hiking in Kiwi speak – just so as you don’t get wrong ideas about me as a kid.) Going to bed meant making up stories not going to sleep. Guess that’s why taking a holiday from writing only means the fingers will be still, not the brain. Oh well, bring it on, and make that a bestseller please.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Celebrating International Nurses’ Day

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Today, we’re celebrating International Nurses’ Day! And to help do so, we’ve come up with a list of some of our favourite stories, featuring nurses as (Super) Heroines.

 

Their Meant-to-be Baby, by Caroline Anderson

0217-9781488020285-bigwUnexpectedly pregnant!

Having discovered her night with surgeon Sam Ryder had unexpected consequences, Kate Ashton is left reeling when he walks into her Emergency Department. Now she’ll have to tell the ‘emotionally broken’ man she’s been belatedly warned about that she’s pregnant!

Sam’s feelings might be frozen, but he wants to be a dad. When Kate reveals she’s afraid of becoming a mum, her heartrending story opens Sam’s heart. He must convince Kate to give them a chance. This baby was meant to be—perhaps their love is too…

Find this book at Amazon

Swept Away by the Seductive Stranger, by Amy Andrews

SABTSSmedicalcverWhen that guy on the train turns out to be your boss!

Nurse Felicity Mitchell’s train journey of a lifetime is even more unforgettable when she meets Callum Hollingsworth. Neither is looking for temptation, but that doesn’t stop them from sharing one hot, wild night!

Except when they disembark, they learn that what happened on the train won’t stay on the train. Because the gorgeous stranger is Flick’s new boss…and it’s increasingly difficult to keep their chemistry under control and leave it at just one night.

Find this book at Amazon

The Enigmatic Surgeon, by Annie Claydon

9781472045478When opposites attract…!

Edward North—child prodigy turned genius microsurgeon—has no idea how attractive women find him! Hours spent researching and saving lives leaves little time for socialising. Until an adorable little boy wanders into his office, followed by his frantic mum, nurse Charlotte King, and they turn his world upside-down!

Charlotte’s never allowed herself to act on her feelings for devastatingly gorgeous Edward—her life is complicated enough! But when everything begins to fall apart this enigmatic surgeon is the only man she can turn to…

Find this book at Amazon

Waking up to Dr Gorgeous, by Emily Forbes

image002Her unexpected rescuer

1. Leave your troubles behind and escape to Sydney for a temporary house swap.

2. When a gorgeous stranger walks into your bedroom, smile—you’ve hit the jackpot!

3. Indulge in a hot fling with said stranger!

But little does nurse Luci know that her fling is about to become so much more. Because Dr. Seb Hollingsworth has ways of making her feel alive again. With Christmas just around the corner, suddenly Luci knows exactly what she wants under her tree!

Find this book at Amazon

A Baby on her Christmas List, by Louisa George

A baby on her christmas listBest friends…to parents? 

Nurse Georgie Taylor has just one thing on her Christmas list: a baby! But she never expected her best friend, broodingly handsome Dr. Liam MacAllister, to offer to be the father…

Liam’s heart has always been strictly off-limits—a baby is the last thing on his Christmas list! But he’ll do anything to make Georgie happy, and seeing her pregnant with their miracle baby ignites feelings that he just can’t ignore…feelings that could destroy a beautiful friendship—or result in so much more.

Find this book at Amazon

Baby Surprise for the Doctor Prince (Royal Spring Babies), by Robin Gianna

51nATqO7--L._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_Their royal bundle of joy!

Two months after her breathtaking night with Prince Enzo Affini, nurse Aubrey Henderson arrives in Venice to discover he’s her new boss. And even more shocking? The news she’s carrying his royal baby!

Guarded doctor Enzo has long protected his legacy—and his heart. He’s determined not to trust his attraction to irresistible, spirited Aubrey. But as their baby grows, so, too, does their undeniable connection…and a longing for a happy-ever-after that neither can deny!

Find this book at Amazon

Mummy, Nurse…Duchess, by Kate Hardy

image3The Duke and the single mum!

Nurse Rosie Hobbes knows charming men cannot be trusted. Visiting paediatrician, sexy Italian Duke, Dr Leo Marchetti is surely no exception! Her toddler twins are now the centre of Rosie’s life, and she expects Leo to run a mile when he meets them. Instead his warmth leaves her breathless!

Leo never expected to find joy as part of a family after his cold aristocratic upbringing but Rosie and her twins bring him to life. Can he prove to her he would make them the best husband and father – ever!

Find this book at Amazon

One Life-Changing Night, by Louisa Heaton

51MUTCUqZmL._SY346_A kiss to mean for ever?

For A&E nurse Naomi Bloom, a handsome man only spells bad news. So when she’s forced to move in with her gorgeous new boss, Dr Tom Williams, she is certain he’s strictly off-limits!

Tom swore he’d never love again after losing his wife. But Naomi’s presence is a breath of fresh air and Tom finds his long-held vow challenged. Will he be ready to embrace the risk when one kiss leads to a night these two will never forget?

Find this book at Amazon

Fiona Lowe’s Weddings, by Fiona Lowe

WeddingsFlatFour of Fiona’s favourite rural romances, re-published in one volume!  Three of the four stories in this anthology feature nurses as heroines.

From the red dust of the outback to the tropical islands in the north of Australia, and then the heat and humidity of Vietnam, three strong women change the lives of three doctors, who finally realise what their life has been missing 🙂

Find this book at Amazon

 

His Pregnant Sleeping Beauty, by Lynne Marshall

9780373011148Rescuing the runaway
When paramedic Joseph Matthews rescues a vulnerable pregnant woman left in a coma, he vows to be there for his Sleeping Beauty. Even though after his ex-wife’s betrayal everything about innocent nurse Carey Spencer evokes bittersweet memories…mixed with unexpected desire.

As Joseph helps gorgeous Carey recover and build a safe new future for her unborn baby, can he gather his courage to give them the happy-ever-after they deserve?

Find this book at Amazon

One Night, Twin Consequences, by Annie O’Neil

lgcover.9781488009686Unexpected surprises come in twos!  

When Dr. Matteo Torres invites nurse Harriet Monticello to work with orphans in Buenos Aires, her head says yes! It’s something she’s always wanted to do…although her heart is wary of the irresistible off-limits doc. Shy Harriet isn’t used to taking anything for herself, and yet before they board the plane for Argentina, the chemistry between them combusts and they give in to just one night together…

But their night of recklessness isn’t without consequences. And now Harriet has nine months to melt this brooding doctor’s heart!

Find this book at Amazon

His Pregnant Royal Bride (Royal Spring Babies), by Amy Ruttan

9780373215164Nurse Shay Labadie’s one exquisite night of passion with Dr. Dante Affini was meant to be a beautiful memory. But now Shay’s expecting…and Dante is expecting her to take his hand in marriage!

Dante’s proposal is shocking enough, but then he drops an even bigger bombshell—he’s not just a doctor, he’s a prince! Now to win his child and the woman he loves, Dante will have to prove he can master his most important role yet—as the husband Shay deserves…

Find this book at Amazon

From Fling to Forever, by Avril Tremayne

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

When fate conspires to repeatedly throw kind-hearted Nurse Ella Reynolds and deliciously sexy documentary film maker Aaron James together, it’s not long before this unlikely couple finally gives in to their irresistible chemistry. Their hearts may 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 the barriers between them. Yet with so much heartbreak and loss to overcome, could their fling ever lead to forever?

Find this book at Amazon

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Wedding Coming Next Year!

A couple Sundays ago, my daughter texted her father and me to say she and her boyfriend Kyle would like to stop by that evening to show us something, and would we be home?

We were tempted to throw a bottle of champagne into an ice bucket, but figured we should wait to see for sure exactly what they wanted to show us! But we had a pretty good idea, as a couple months earlier, Kyle had contacted my husband and me, asking if we’d meet him at a coffee shop. Looking very nervous after initial chit-chat (and we were feeling nervous, too!) Kyle asked for our blessing to ask Arianna to marry him. While my husband privately felt they’re too young, I pointed out that must a father thing, because they’re both 25, have been dating three years, have college degrees, and good jobs 🙂 Kyle said all the right things to make our hearts happy and put a little tear in our eyes, (not to mention that he’s a really wonderful young man) so we gave our blessing.

Fast forward to a couple months later, and Arianna thought they were just going hiking to a beautiful spot near here with Kyle’s dog, Kyle’s sister Lauren, and her dog. But he and Lauren had it planned out, and she snapped photos of him proposing to Arianna, capturing my daughter’s reaction.

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Awww! Isn’t that beautiful? I’m really happy for both of them. Arianna is our oldest, and our first wedding, so this will be exciting! Stay tuned for me likely torturing you about it in the future (they’re planning on it happening summer of 2018). 🙂

So here are a couple more photos of the happy couple, and Kyle’s dog who doesn’t seem terribly impressed by the whole thing. 🙂

K&Akissing.JPGAriKyleHappyLaylaHH

Any advice you can give me regarding planning a wedding? Pitfalls, things to include or avoid? I’d love your input! xoxo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life, Travels Around the World

A Cornucopia of rambling thoughts by Fiona Lowe

18339146_1826881800964104_534464569_oI’m taking a mini break cum writing retreat cum visit with my eldest son and escaping to our island state for the week :-) For those of you not familiar with Australian history, the British, who in 1788 were a naval force to be reckoned with, kept skirmishing with France and Spain and they  needed flax for sails and straight, strong trees for masts. Captain Cook had reported both these things grew in abundance on a little island off Australia, they’d named Norfolk.  Of course, they wanted to keep that information on the down low so the Spanish and French didn’t get there first, so they hid their plans behind a secondary problem; what the heck did they do with the ever-expanding prison population? They sent 7 ships, full of convicts to Australia; many of them with 7 year sentences. The moment they had offloaded the contents of a couple of ships, they shot across to Norfolk Island only to discover that the pines were soft wood so useless for masts and the flax wasn’t any good for sails. Damn!

Meanwhile, when you get a group of convicts together, stuff happens, and soon they needed aIMG_2841 second tier goal/jail.  They settled the island of Tasmania and some of the worst treatment of human beings…both of the convicts and the Aborigines…. began. But that’s a  whole other story as is islands and refugees today…. Fast foward 200 odd years and my son was ‘transported’ to Tasmania for 7 years to study medicine at the University of Tasmania. Today, it is a glorious place to live and I doubt we’ll ever get him back to the mainland.

IMG_2880Fellow author, Melanie Milburne lives down in Tasmania and she has a holiday house, or ‘shack’ as the locals call it. If I can stop staring at the view, I might get some writing done on my next medical romance.  At the end of my four days of ‘enforced writing’ I am heading back to Hobart to spend Mother’s Day weekend with my eldest son.  Given that the youngest is in Italy, Tassie was closer 🙂

I am not a big fan of Mother’s Day…a day that can be fraught with heartache and disappointment unless handled right… and the fact I am down in Tassie for the day is more of a coincidence than planning. It was the only weekend I wasn’t doing book signings for Daughter of Mine. So, in this reflective mood,  I offer you my  amassed knowledge of 22 years of motherhood and say, ‘if you want a happy day next Sunday, stage manage it so 18238928_10155268263202090_1775623558389478762_oyou get what you deserve.’   I was signing books at a department store on Saturday and as I handed over books to kids, I said, ‘Now you know that you’re not only giving Mum the book, you have to give her the time to read it.’ I got a few confused looks 😉

So, start thinking and planning now… you have a few days… and let me know what you are doing so you ensure a part of your day is for YOU. 🙂

31011Talking books.Daughter of Mine is available for all the Aussie and New Zealanders. Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon, book 2 in the Paddington Children’s Hospital series is out now. I hope you enjoy Claire and Alistair’s story as they finally work out the important things in life.  I also have a backlist of 22 medical romances, ripe for reading:-) For the full list click HERE. They are all available digitally. Happy Reading!