You asked… we answer!

Last week, we invited questions for the Medical Romance team.  We’d like to send a huge thank you to everyone who responded with their queries, all of which gave us food for thought!

If you’d like to ask us something, there’s still time and you can find the form here.  We’ll be answering all of your questions over the coming months, and today we’re getting started with the first.

Have all the writers worked in medicine?

The short answer to that is no – although many of us have.  And by way of a longer answer, we’ve asked some of our writers to give the low-down on their ‘other’ careers…

Amy Andrews
I was a nurse for 27 years and loved it from the very moment I first pulled my uniform on. Back when I first started we were still doing hospital based training and I went in as a fresh-faced 17 year old! I’ve worked both in the UK and Australia in the ICU setting and, until retiring in 2015, I’d worked in PICU for 21 years. Aside from my family, friends and writing, nursing has been my one great love.  (Amy’s photos are from the first day of her training and the last day of her training.)

nursey

Emily Forbes
Depending on which day of the week it is Emily Forbes can be found at her writing desk or at her other job as a physiotherapist. She works part-time in a large private practice with physios, doctors, nurses, psychologists, audiologists and exercise physiologists which is great for checking facts but it’s her patients that provide some of the best ideas for medical drama. She usually warns them that anything they say may end up in a book🙂

Annie O’Neil
My history is more of a ….contributor to the need for health professionals. A lifetime of clutziness ensured many a doctor, nurse and emergency medical professional were kept gainfully employed. That, and the lion taming of course.

Fiona Lowe
fiona
When Fiona Lowe started her career as a nurse she wore a white starched apron, collar and cuffs. By the time she hung up her registration, she’d been a midwife, a maternal and child health nurse, a family planning nurse practitioner, a community health promotion officer and a teenage sexual health counsellor, and there wasn’t a starched anything in sight! A diverse career under the umbrella of nursing, it’s given her lots of ideas for books!

 

 

 

Annie Claydon
Before turning my hand to writing I worked in IT, where I brought databases into the world, undertook emergency surgery on them, and tried to make digital technologies sound like fun (the last with varying degrees of success).  Writing medical romance has its challenges in terms of getting all the medical details right, but the research is a fascinating part of the process for me, involving libraries, the internet, and most importantly talking to people and asking questions about the practical things.  I’m lucky to have had two careers which I love, and if anyone finds me chatting quietly to my computer screen, then put it down to nostalgia.

Louisa George
louisa

I worked for 22 years as a Registered Nurse in England and New Zealand, on wards, in research and in the community. It was a brilliant career, very varied and challenging, but I absolutely loved it and was very torn when the time came for me to focus on my writing. Oh, and I’m living proof that Mills and Boon Medicals are not all fantasy, as I met my husband (a doctor) on a ward where we were both working.

 

 

 

Louisa Heaton
Louisa Heaton has worked a variety of jobs in medicine, including time as a healthcare assistant in a large NHS hospital, a nurse in a private hospital where she got to assist in minor operations removing facial cancers and four years spent volunteering as a First Responder, answering 999 calls and providing emergency life support on scene.

Sue Mackay
Sue MacKay trained as a medical laboratoy technician, specialising in haematology. She loved the science and especially the diagnostic side of her work staring down a microscope. Boring for many people which might say something about her!! But she also trained as an ambulance officer so does also enjoy the cutting edge of medicine.

Susan Carlisle
susan
I was a homemaker for 10 years until my youngest son started school. Then I became a substitute teacher and did that for 20 years. I have no real medical training outside of raising four children. One of them does have a heart transplant so I learned a lot of cardiac care.

The Magic of a Fairy GodDaughter

So. I’m just going to say it. I didn’t get children. I wanted them. Didn’t get them. But now I am uber-blessed with dogs, cows, a husband who makes me laugh like a hyena and some GREAT godchildren. One of them lives next door so it’s a bit like having a high-end rental daughter. She is nine. Calls me up – has since she was six – when the need comes upon her to make cupcakes and watch inspirational sports dramas. She is my kind of gal!

Yesterday we went up to London to watch Stomp! because she told me she liked the sound the latch made at a hotel where she recently stayed. We must go see something extremely noisy, I extrapolated from this conversation. And there were unexpected bonus parts of the trip. I wore a sweater that said ‘Follow Your Heart’ and she turned up with a sweater with hearts on it. Boom. Job done. I have had a magic wand app on my phone for ages and have never used it because “it didn’t work.” Guess who figured it out. Kaching! And the app that makes your face weird. Turns out that one works, too.

She also inspired me to get back the courage to try cartwheeling. I don’t know where I lost it. My cartwheeling mojo – but heck! I was in my mid-forties and was conceding my cartwheeling days were over. Well too bad for that! Now, I not only cartwheel, I am learning how to climb a rope. A really long one.img_2725

The long and short of it is – she’s my fairy god-daughter. Sure she needs to be fuelled with chocolate buttons and cheese and onion crisps (cheese and onion??? I ask you!) – but she is a champ and I wouldn’t take back a single moment of our time together even if she refused to believe that the production of Hansel and Gretel we were going to see was actually in Russian. (One can only carry a ruse so far).

Bonus question for you, though…how do you get the main track from ‘Frozen’ out of your head when you’ve sung it four gazillion times?

thumbnail-1-thumbnailservlet

Oh! And on the book front – I don’t have a book coming out until November – but I’m SUPER excited about it even though I think the hero doesn’t look exxxxx-actly like the hero inside. HEY! That’s another question for you as readers and writers – how much does the cover art affect you? If the hero and heroine don’t look a think like the cover – do you care?

Alright everyone – time to sign off! All the best and see you soon! x Annie O’

 

Excerpt – Rescued by Dr Rafe

This week’s excerpt is from the first book in my newly released duo ‘Rescued by Dr Rafe’. 

When newly-qualified paramedic Mimi Sawyer is separated from her colleague in a flash flood, the last person she wants to come to her rescue is Dr Rafe Chapman—the man who broke her heart when he walked out five years ago…

Talking about his feelings has never been easy for Rafe. But their forced reunion means confronting the truth of the past. It’s suddenly clear that Mimi has always been the one for him, yet to win her back he’ll need to convince Mimi that he’s the one for her!

The second book in the duo ‘Saved by the Single Dad’ is also available, and tells Jack and Cass’s story.

Before I get on to the excerpt, I’d just like to remind you that we’ll be having excerpts from Amy Andrews, Jennifer Taylor and Annie O’Neil next month.  And if you want to see all of the excerpts we’ve posted so far, please click the ‘Excerpts’ link on the Menu.

Rescued by Dr Rafe

medcover5

The rain beat down hard on the windscreen, the wipers only clearing it for a moment before water blocked visibility again. Jack was sitting next to her, watching the road ahead carefully.

‘Think we’ll make it?’

Mimi was gripping the steering wheel tight, gauging the way the heavy vehicle was responding in the wet conditions. ‘Yep. As long as the road doesn’t disappear out from under us, we’ll make it.’

The comment wasn’t as unlikely as it would have sounded when they’d last come this way, two weeks ago. It had been raining then, a fine mist that barely covered the road ahead of them. But since then, the rain hadn’t stopped. It had been a dismal summer and August had brought storms. Roads had been washed away in some areas of rural Somerset, and ambulance crews had been battling to get through to their patients.

‘Just think. In two weeks’ time you’ll be away from all of this.’ Jack leaned back in his seat. ‘Miss Miriam Sawyer. Paramedic.’

Despite herself, Mimi grinned. She’d worked hard, and the sound of her own name, spoken with the coveted qualification attached still made her smile every time Jack repeated it. ‘I’m not sure I would have made it without you.’

‘`Course you would. Although I like to think that my expertise and advice were helpful…’

‘And the incessant nagging, of course. But we don’t mention that.’

‘No, we don’t. Or my back seat driving.’

‘Especially not that.’ Two weeks seemed like a long time right now and Mimi’s promotion from ambulance driver to paramedic a long way away. Just getting to this call was about as far ahead as she was able to think, right now.

‘And I’ll be trying to get used to a new partner. Missing your unerring instinct for finding every bump in the road…’

‘Oh, put a sock in it.’ Mimi felt her shoulders relax. Jack always knew when the tension was getting too much, and always seemed to be able to wind things down a bit. ‘Anyway, you’re assuming that they’ll be able to find someone who’ll put up with you.’

‘Harsh, Mimi. Very harsh.’ Jack chuckled, leaning forward to see ahead of them, down the hill towards the river. ‘Looks as if the bridge is still there.’

‘Yeah, but I don’t think we should risk it. That bridge will only just take an ambulance at the best of times. I don’t want to get stuck in the mud on the other side.’ In the brief moments that the windscreen was clear enough to see any distance, it was apparent that the surface water, rolling down the hill on the far side of the river, had reduced the road to a slippery quagmire.

Jack nodded. ‘Looks as if we walk the rest of the way, then.’

‘We could try the A389.’ They’d been directed around this way because of reports that the main road into the village was closed. But maybe that was just a precaution and the ambulance would still be able to traverse it.

‘Nah, I checked and it’s under three feet of water. We’d never get through.’ Jack had been using his phone for updates while Mimi concentrated on the driving. ‘Right now, I think we need to just get ourselves there.’

‘And then?’ If the chances of getting the ambulance across the bridge and up to the village at the top of the hill on the other side were slim, the thought of arriving on foot didn’t appeal very much either. Bringing a pregnant woman back down that treacherous path was something that didn’t bear thinking about.

‘We can assess the situation. I’ve put a call in for a doctor to attend…’

‘Yeah. Right.’ She and Jack had delivered babies before together and, if needs must, they’d do it again. ‘I hope they’re not going to send some junior doctor who thinks he’s the one who’s going to save the world and that we should just stand back and make the tea.’

‘As a paramedic you’ll be making these kinds of decisions soon. What will you do?’ Jack smiled.

‘Oh, I think I’ll put in a call for a doctor to attend.’ Mimi grinned back at him, bringing the ambulance to a halt. She decided to stay put and not pull off the road on to the muddy verge. That was one sure way to get stuck, and a car could make it past in the other lane. Anything bigger wouldn’t be getting any further anyway.

‘Time to get your hair wet again.’

Mimi grimaced, tucking her blonde plait into the back of her shirt. Her hair had been wet so many times in the last week that she was beginning to wish that short hair suited her as well as it did Jack.

They pulled their wet weather gear on in the cabin and Mimi reached for the radio. The only response to her call signal was a burst of static. ‘Looks as if there’s a problem again…’

‘Yeah?’ Jack looked at the rain slamming into the windscreen. ‘Have you got a signal on your mobile?’

‘Probably not…’ Even in good conditions, mobile reception was patchy around here. ‘I might have to walk back up the road a bit. You go on; I’ll be right behind you.’

The ambulance rocked slightly as Jack pulled his heavy bag out of the back, slamming the rear doors closed. Mimi saw him trudge past, rain bouncing from his waterproofs, as she pulled out her phone and dialled.

Nearly… A staccato ringtone sounded on the line, but it was breaking up and then it cut out completely. Climbing out of the ambulance, she toiled back along the road, rain stinging her face. Some way ahead of her she could see an SUV travelling down the hill towards her, going as fast as the pouring rain would allow.

‘Careful, mate…’ She muttered the words to the unknown driver. ‘Any faster and you’ll be in the ditch.’

Forty feet gave her another bar on her phone, and another twenty feet one more. That should be enough. The SUV was closer now, and the driver was flashing his headlights.

‘Okay, I see you.’ Mimi stepped off the road, stumbling over the uneven, sticky ground.

Then she heard it. A distant rumbling sound that might have been thunder, but there had been no accompanying flash of lightning. Mimi turned in the direction of the noise, looking upstream, and then she saw its source.

‘Jack…!’

She shouted into the storm, at the figure on the other side of the bridge, screaming Jack’s name again when he didn’t react. It was impossible to tell whether he’d heard her this time, or the thunderous sound of water rushing downstream towards him, but he turned around.

Jack took one look at the water and dropped the heavy bag he was carrying. He seemed about to try and run, but the steep slope ahead of him was slippery with mud and water.

Mimi stared in horror, unable to do anything, and knowing that Jack had only seconds to make a decision. Run for it, or find something to hang on to. There was a large spreading tree at the side of the road and she willed him towards it. As the water crashed down, she saw him run for the shelter of the tree, clinging on to one of the four split trunks which rose up from the earth.

‘Jack… Hang on…’ She sobbed the words even though she knew he couldn’t hear them. Maybe he knew she’d be saying it, just as surely as she’d known which decision he’d make.

The noise of the water was almost deafening and, in an apocalyptic touch to the scene, the storm chose this moment to shoot a bolt of lightning through the sky, followed by a deep growl of thunder. The rush of water crashed past, taking a few chunks of the bridge with it, and Mimi kept her gaze fixed on the spot where she’d last seen Jack.

‘Hang on, hang on, hang on…’ It was as if she could repeat it enough times to somehow make his grip firmer. The water was subsiding now as it followed the course of the river, and she could see him, tangled in the framework of twisted tree trunks.

Maybe he was holding on or maybe unconscious; she couldn’t see from here. Mimi started to run for the bridge, hoping that it hadn’t been weakened too much by the impact of the water.

A voice sounded behind her but the words were whipped away in the storm. And then someone grabbed her from behind, lifting her off her feet.

Any Questions?

The Medical Romance authors have been thinking about new features to include here on the blog and here’s one of the ideas that was suggested.  We’re inviting you to ask us any question you like, and we’ll do our best to answer.

Your questions can be for the Medical Romance writers, the editors – or for both.  Although we’ll try to get your question answered by the most appropriate person, we can’t guarantee who that will be.  So if you have a question for one or more particular writers, please feel free to mention names, on the understanding that we can’t promise that any one person will be on hand to answer.  And, as always, we’re happy to give general advice and encouragement to aspiring Medical Romance writers.

We don’t plan to answer any questions in this blog post, but we’ll be running a series of blogs with our answers over the next couple of months.  You can hover over the ‘Features’ entry in the menu, and click ‘FAQs’ to see this post and all subsequent posts which answer your questions.

You can ask as many questions as you want, and whatever you want – a fun question or something a little more serious.  So if there’s something you’ve always wondered about, now’s the time to get us working on those answers!

When I’m not writing I’m …

Hi there

Most of my week is spent sitting at the desk in front of my laptop trying to write stories.

But I do take breaks. patchwork Patchwork is one of

my past times, though why I like to cut fabric up into thousands of tiny pieces only to sew them all together again is a bit crazy.

Then there are the chooks to look out for. A few weeks ago a falcon swooped in and killed one of my girls so I had to spend hours putting up netting to protect the rest. So far it’s working.

img_6420

The raspberry patch needed to be dug over and the plants split before replanting. That kept me out of mischief for days. Now I can’t wait for December and lots of yummy berries. The cherry tree is my next target as it needs pruning.

raspberries

Now spring is here I’m testing the water temperature so I can get the kayak out again. I don’t use it in the winter as I haven’t got a wet suit and I always get soaked. The bike needs dusting and the tyres pumping too.

What do you do in your down time between work and chores? Note, I didn’t mention housework.

This is my current book on the shelves. Set in Wellington, NZ, with drugs and a gun totting villain in the first few pages.cover-dr-whites-baby-wish

Puppies, Puddles and Pant legs

I’m away at a horse show today, but while I’m gone, I’ll share some pictures of our newest addition to the family. A puppy! A cute, uncomplicated, well-mannered little doll. Okay, so none of that is true except for the cute part. You can guess from the title of this blog post that a) we have a puppy, b) she makes puddles in unfortunate places, and c) she has a penchant for grabbing the hem of our jeans and letting herself be dragged along (no matter how many times we tell her that it’s simply unacceptable).

Yesterday I was texting my husband about the puppy’s latest escapades, and he finally texted back: I thought empty nests were supposed to be quiet (we just sent our youngest off to college last year). Hmmm…he had me there. I finally responded: Well that would be true, if we actually left it empty. Score one for me. Or maybe that point goes to the puppy.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite puppy moments:

  1. The day we brought her home from our friends’ house, where she was born. One would never suspect the changes that would soon befall our little household, where only a cat, a chinchilla, and an elderly pug reside.img_0195
  2. . This is our pup’s normal routine: Find stuff. Chew stuff. Make puddles and piles. img_0220
  3. Redecorating the house. Every home needs a dead tree in it, according to Miss Puppy. And yes she can fit through the cat door. For now. She’s only nine weeks old and growing fast!oreos-tree
  4. Getting ready for bed. My favorite time of day. She loves her pillow. And we love that she loves her pillow.oreos-bed

What about you? Any funny pet stories you would like to share? Or training tips that have gotten you through the worst of the worst?

And because I also have a book being released this month, I’ll share my cover. I can’t help but wonder what this sweet scene might look like if our puppy had her way! a-daddy-for-her-daughter

Excerpt and Giveaway!

Hi again!  As promised, here’s an excerpt from my September release, Reunited With His Runaway Bride.  I hope you enjoy it!

I’m starting a new book, and have a question! Is there a setting you particularly enjoy when reading a story, or is there a place in the world you rarely see a book set, and would like to?  Everyone commenting goes into the pool to win a signed print copy of my September release, and I’m happy to mail internationally. Thanks for your help!🙂

Here’s the EXCERPT:

As she stared at his back, the memory of the last time they’d stood here together pinched her heart. She’d been so angry, so hurt, so confused, she’d yanked off the engagement ring he’d given her and thrown it right at him. The blinding, midday sunshine had caught the diamond, sending a prism of sharp white light searing across both of them just before the ring bounced off his muscular chest, pinged along the concrete and dived right off the side of the building.

At that moment, she hadn’t cared. Later? She’d felt a deep regret at losing that beautiful ring, and what it had meant. Or what she’d thought it meant. She wouldn’t admit it to a living soul, but for days after she’d searched the streets below, finding nothing but bits of asphalt and leaves and trash until she’d finally given up.

Probably, though, it was all symbolic. That ring had disappeared along with the future she’d thought she and Sean would have together.

She willed her feet to move toward him, reminding herself she wasn’t here to dredge up and rehash the past. Her goal was to be Sean’s friend tonight. To be a sympathetic ear after an unbelievably horrible day and uncertain future for Emma, not to mention the future of the baby who just might still lose his mother.

She moved to within a few inches of Sean’s side and gripped the railing, feeling the warmth of his arm near hers. Took in the scene in front of them, thinking about the disconnect of it all. How peaceful and tranquil it seemed compared to the churning going on inside her and doubtless Sean, too. To the life-and-death battles going on that very minute inside the hospital.

He didn’t move, didn’t speak, and she wondered if maybe he just wanted to be alone. But after looking for him the past hour, she was going to offer comfort if it killed her. Then leave if it wasn’t welcome.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

“Fine.”

Okay… She drew the cool breeze into her lungs and tried again. “What do you think about Emma’s prognosis?”

“Your guess is as good as mine. Liver laceration’s been repaired, ruptured spleen removed. C-section’s closed. Chest tube’s not draining any more blood, so they’ve removed it. Broken arm’s been put back together, and her broken ribs are going to hurt like crazy, but I imagine she’ll barely notice, considering everything else.”

He didn’t have to say the situation could still get worse fast. Why wouldn’t he look at her so she could see his expression? His tone was flat and emotionless, giving away nothing. It reminded her too much of the way he’d sounded after she’d told him it was over between them.

“Baby seems healthy, at least,” she said, forging on. “Remarkable, really.”

“Yeah.”

“Did Emma tell you what she’d decided to name him?”

“No.”

Not a surprise, really, since Sean had made his dismay over Emma’s life choices very clear, and she’d distanced herself from him the past months because of it.

“She’d decided on Wilson—your mother’s maiden name. She laughed about it, saying his uncle Sean would think it was a weird first name, but she plans to call him Will. I think Will Latham has a nice sound to it, don’t you?”

“Mom will like that.”

At least he’d answered in more than a monosyllable, but he still didn’t turn to look at her. Guess there hadn’t been much point in her coming after all.

“That moment in the ER when we thought we’d lost Emma. That was…” She stopped, because she couldn’t come up with a word even close to how it had felt. She knew how much he loved his sister, and pressed her hand to his warm back as she had earlier, thinking maybe that connection would help him let go and share. “That must have been incredibly hard for you.”

“Hard?” He suddenly swung to her, and the surprise of it had her taking a step back. He grasped her arms and pulled her flat against him, practically knocking her breath from her lungs. The dark eyes staring down into hers were again fierce, anguished, his features taut granite. “Damn it, Bree. You were in that car with her. It could have been you, too. You lying there dead on that table. I could have lost all three of you at once, in one second. Might never have seen my nephew, might never have been able to give my sister grief about her choices or her life again. Might never have been able to see your beautiful face and feel so mad at you I could barely keep from going ballistic. So angry that you left me I wanted to punch something.”

His voice cracked on some of the words before his arms wrapped tightly around her and his mouth came down hard on hers.

Bree curled her fingers into his scrub shirt and let herself feel every emotion in his kiss. The fear, the anguish. The frustration and anger and pain. Everything she’d felt, too, from the second she’d been able to focus enough to look across her car console. To see the mangled door pressing in on Emma. Everything she’d felt in the emergency room as everyone desperately worked to keep Emma alive. To deliver Will alive.

Everything she’d felt when they’d broken off the relationship that had seemed so foolishly perfect. Today’s intense emotions were confusingly tangled up with Sean and their past. From their instantaneous attraction and passion to the final argument six months ago, and that anger and frustration and pain had been nearly as unbearable as today’s.

Sean was holding her body so close against his, she wasn’t sure where he ended and she began, but his kiss began to change. It felt less about all those consuming emotions, and more about a deep relief mingling with the simple and profound connection they used to have. Softening into a tenderness that flipped Bree’s aching heart inside out, reminding her with excruciating clarity how good it had been between them. How delicious and wonderful and like nothing she’d ever experienced before.

“Bree.” His mouth barely separated from hers enough to whisper the word. “Bree.”

His fingers slipped into her hair, gently holding the back of her head as his lips caressed hers again so sweetly now, so leisurely, it weakened her knees and made her heart thud in slow, heavy strokes as the kiss changed again. Still sweet, still tender, but deeper now, stealing every molecule of breath from her lungs. Shaking, she slid her hands up his chest to cup the sides of his strong neck, to feel the warmth of his skin.

How could she survive without this?

Excerpt From: Robin Gianna. “Reunited with His Runaway Bride.”

reunitedcover

http://www.robingianna.com