Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

….and breathe.

Unknown-2.jpeg Hands up everyone! How many of you out there make a concerted effort to give yourself a break each and every week let alone each day…just for you? I don’t. My days are crammed with activity – which I like – but now it seems – the happiest people take time out to stop the world and smell the roses.

Do you know your hygge from your lagom (apart from one being Danish and involving friends, candles and extra cosy blankets and the other being Swedish and being *ahem!* a bit more austere….three minute ice shower chased up by clearing your cupboards anyone?)

But seriously – when was the last time you actually sat and mainlined a new album the way you did when you were a teen? Are you a long, bubbly bath type? I am flawed in that respect. I can’t sit still long enough to get through a chapter of the book I magically imagine myself reading by candlelight whilst lurching half of the bubbles onto the floor in an aUnknown-1.jpegttempt to retrieve my rapidly warming glass of prosecco I envisaged the moment requiring. It never works out. All I do is get really hot feet and stress out about whether or not I’ve stayed in long enough to make it worth the energy used to get all that hot water in our lovely, but grossly underused bathtub. How about the last time you got a facial? And yes, even one of those inexpensive squeezy ones from the supermarket counts. What about just sitting down and painting your toenails? In stripes? Or frosting cupcakes then surreptitiously checking if anyone was looking before licking the whole bowl clean?

Have you answered “Not even close to recently enough to remember” to each and every one of these things? Never fear – help is on the way.

Obviously the best way to obtain joy and utter contentment is with an excellent romance novel – and if it’s a medical romance? so much the better. images-2.jpeg

Given that the world refuses to make days longer (who doesn’t need an extra twelve hours in the day if, on top of everything else, we’re also supposed to write books, get all the laundry done, do the grocery shopping AND have an aromatherapy bath with essential oils!

Lately, I’ve been building little things into my day that make each day feel – not like a spa day exactly…but giving ‘got to get through it’ things a bit of oomph. When I buy new pens? I pick ones that make me grin. Ditto to post-its. I know, I know. Not everyone gets google-eyed over lined post-its in neon on colours, but it turns out I do. I’ve also stolen a trick from my writer pal, Louisa Heaton and have started lighting a candle when I write. And I’m CONSIDERING bringing back something I used to do back in the days when worked in news and was on a tight deadline: The way I would alert my colleagues to the fact I was busy was to pop my tiara on my head (you all have tiaras, right?). The way I would let them know I was both busy AND cranky was to don my  tiara (natch) and a pair of rather wonderful fairy wings I bought for a tenner at a local costume store. My colleagues would walk into the office – take one look and head for the hills. Giggling, usually. But that was part of the plan. The point being – everybody’s day takes dips…but if there’s a way to give yourself a little mood booster…why not give it a try? If that doesn’t work, you might want to try taking half an hour and googling pictures of Tom Hardy. A friend and I did that the other day and I felt twenty years younger just giving myself thirty solid minutes of giggling over eye candy. Deeee-lish

I’d LOVE to hear what you all do to cheer yourselves up, or make your days have a bit more serenity.

3899dfe821816fbcb3db3e3b23f81585_XL.jpgIf all else fails…might I recommend just staring into the gorgeous baby blues of
Her Hot Highland Doc. 







17 thoughts on “….and breathe.”

  1. Well, you’ve certainly made me think! I don’t think I take any time out during the day to just zen. But I shall try and carve some time out now. But glad the candle idea helps you out. Think I shall have to take inspiration from Meredith and Christina and have a Dance It Out session each day. Oh, and by the way, the dog in the bath picture? Brilliant!

    1. Dance it Out sessions are GREAT! I used to do those every day to the point my dogs knew when Lady Gaga came on? It was time to go berserkers. I think I am going to have to work that back in. The dog is gorgeous, isn’t it? xx Annie

  2. Note to self – buy a tiara 🙂 Great advice, Annie. I must admit as my kids are growing up I and have fewer commitments that require my input (translation – my taxi services are no longer all consuming) I am squeezing more me time (or husband time) into my weekends and absolutely refuse to feel guilty when i sit by the pool with a good book for at least 30 minutes or for however long i can get away with it.When they were little i was VERY good at lying very still and quiet on an inflatable lounge in the pool and they NEVER found me 🙂

  3. Note to self – buy a tiara 🙂 Great advice, Annie. I must admit as my kids are growing up I and have fewer commitments that require my input (translation – my taxi services are no longer all consuming) I am squeezing more me time (or husband time) into my weekends and absolutely refuse to feel guilty when i sit by the pool with a good book for at least 30 minutes or for however long i can get away with it.When they were little i was VERY good at lying very still and quiet on an inflatable lounge in the pool and they NEVER found me

    1. DEFINITELY buy a tiara. And I love picturing you as an invisible fairy in the middle of your pool. GO YOU. I think not feeling guilty is the main trick, isn’t it? There’s no point in taking the time out for yourself if you’re going to have to wade through waist deep mires of guilt and ‘I really should be finding all of the lost socks seeing as I have a spare five minutes’. Go Emily!!!

  4. I Annie

    I can highly recommend Me Time with your new book everyone should do that 🙂 what a fabulous story

    I do love to take time out to read and yes I do that and over the last couple of months I have had a couple of pedicures done which were fab and I am planning on another one next week and myself one of my daughters and one of the granddaughters are off to see Beauty and The Beast our time.

    And I need a tiara to keep the family away while reading LOL

    Have Fun

    1. I love picturing you wearing a tiara and reading! Fabulous. And three cheers for you. Pedicures and Beauty and the Beast sounds sumptuously wonderful. I might have to copy you and kidnap my goddaughter!

      So glad to hear you take the time you deserve. xo Annie O’

    1. Oh wow! Thank you so much. I am truly delighted you enjoyed it. I’ll tell you what. I have never craved warm scones more in my life! There’s’ more to come – never you fear! xx Annie O’

  5. OMG he is just BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shall have to go and buy it, although I may not bother to open it. I may just stare at him until I go cross-eyed. LOL. No. I’m too curious. I want to know all about him. Moral of the story – never underestimate a good cover! And the tiara – my granddaughter would steal it. ‘Why you wearing that, Grannie? Mine!’ But then she’s only two and a half 😉
    The dog is hilarious. And I’m so with you on the hot feet and the ‘have I been in here long enough to justify the environmental damage of heating the water!!!’

    1. I am with you on that CAROLINE! He is a proper hottie. So pleased about him. It sounds as though you may need hers and hers tiaras in your home. Then I want a photo! Also very pleased to hear you understand my hot feet/environmental damage dilemma. I think I may have to come to terms with the fact I am not a bubble bath girl. *sob!* xx Annie O’

  6. LOL at the dog. Awesome. Also love your cover, Annie. I don’t do much to cheer me up – says she who ate a six pack of marshmallow Easter eggs today – other going for a walk, kayak or bike ride. But reading your blog I think I need to start doing something more positive and fun to banish those dips.

    1. Walking, kayaking and bike riding sound great! I do the first and the third, but there is evidence I am terrible at kayaking so have a paddle for me one day. I know it sounds goofy, but even looking at my little candle burning away on my desk or rearranging my sumptuous display of post-its provides cheer. I guess it’s giving yourself smile moments of all shapes and sizes. I’ll tell you a secret. Every time I make the bed I give the freshly made bed a grin because I LOVE jumping in. Especially on clean sheets day. And thanks for the compliment on the cover – he’s a winner. I’m really thrilled about it. And go you on the marshmallow Easter eggs! xx Annie O’

  7. No tiara, but when I go in to the hot tub in my back yard, no one is allowed to disturb me. I just soak in the dark by the colored lights of the hot tub and watch the airplanes flying and out of the Orlando airport. My husband (who is not able to use the hot tub) knows that this is my me time and is really good about leaving me in peace. Now if I could only get the cats to cooperate. (They line up by the sliding glass door and meow loudly until I come in.

    1. That sounds GLORIOUS Laurie. Good for you! I am getting a pretty vivid picture of the cats in a meowing chorus to lure you back in doors. You hang on to that time and enjoy. xx Annie O’

  8. Hey Annie. I’m getting better and better at doing this kind of thing. I was 45 before I had my first ever pedicure! But now I get them every couple of months and I just adore them! I also went through a stage where I got a weekly massage. Although that’s gone by the wayside now – must pick it up again!
    I made a pact to myself to a few years back to read every night before I went to bed no matter how tired I was and that has boosted my reading tremendously which always makes me feel good.
    And if all else fails, there’s your fab Highland doc 🙂

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