In case you couldn’t tell, I’m in such a rage at the moment it makes writing/blogging kinda hard. I was stuck with what to talk about in a world where an aging despot is trying to hold onto the faded glory days of empire and his relevance by pummeling the hell out of a much smaller country while the world sits on its hands, a pandemic is still ravaging populations and humans, by and large, just don’t seem to get it and a bunch of people who have a uterus suddenly got the shaft.
But then I realised what a great word rage is. Four letters and yet it’s so meaty. It sounds pissed off and angry. Even its derivatives – enraged and outrageous, are great sounding words. Fury is another good one. The ability to emphasise the u really gives it substance. Grim is also utterly descriptive.
So today, I’m finding resonance in the murky words of despair. I will go back to thinking about rainbows and unicorns but today is not that day….
Anyone else want to wallow with me in the terrible anguish of dark words? Do you have a fave?
Hello lovelies! As I don’t have a book to share – although I will have another medical out this time next year, yay!! – I thought you might like to see some before and after kitchen reno pics in lieu! Who doesn’t like that, right?
We pulled out our old kitchen and replaced it a few months ago and we are very happy with the results!
Getting there –
Almost there –
Night time shot –
Feature wall and boozy bar 🙂 –
And that’s it! We still have one section of the ceiling that needs painting but other than that it’s all done and I love it! I love the way the morning sun shines on my pressed copper wall feature and, at night, the raised platforms where the bottles sit has strip lighting underneath and all the different alcohol colours light up 🙂
And it was relatively painless too, so a big tick all round!
What about you? Done any renos or got any planned? Have you had good or bad experiences? Tell me all the details 🙂
Who’s a podcast fan, out there? I’m a newcomer to the medium and mostly listen to a bunch of political podcasts at the moment but I was recently alerted to the existence of a podcast that specifically discusses category romance and I’m totally hooked!
The two women that run the podcast – Sarah and Bree – are an utter delight to listen to and are so passionate about category romance and thrilled to be sharing this info with other lovers of category romance they are totally infectious!
They both have separate accounts as well. Sarah is The Bookish Knitter and Bree is Falling4Romance and I wish they both lived in my neighbourhood because I feel I could gab about romance novels with them for an entire year non-stop!
If you want to have a listen, here is the link to their Instagram page for some more info including how to get to the podcast. I’m also super thrilled to be talking to them next month about medical romance amongst other things. That episode will air on the podcast in August!
So for those of you who are looking to find catrom loving people in a podcast, I can highly recommend Sarah and Bree!
Are there any other bookish podcasts recommendations out there for me?
After 30 years, the fabulous Meredith Webber has hung up her keyboard. Her first book came out in 1994 and her final book – her 103rd !!! – A Wedding For The Single Dad – came out mid February. You can check it out here!
I know so many of you who read and love medical romance, love Meredith’s books. She writes with such an easy style, her stories brimming with dashing heroes and capable heroines. From flying Doctors to sheiks and everything in between. Her books were among the first I read when I was looking at writing medial romance and, I was lucky enough to work with her on the popular Sydney Harbour Hospital series.
But more than that, Meredith is a friend. I worked with her on the Romance Writers of Australia executive in my pre-published days as well as on two RWA conference committees some years later where she was, as ever, a practical organiser who never saw a problem she couldn’t surmount and was always ready to talk me off the ledge whenever I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of getting everything right.
Mostly though, I will always be thankful to her for how she took me under her wing when I was a baby author – taking me out to lunch to celebrate when I first got the call from London and giving me a whole host of information about publishing and writing which was utterly invaluable. Anyone who knows Meredith, would not be surprised by this. She is kind and generous with both her time and her praise. She is the ultimate cheerleader, the person you want in your corner.
But don’t just take my word for it, here are some other medical romance authors, similarly blessed to have Meredith in their life.
When I finally met Meredith in person, I found out that her wonderful stories came from real experience and that many of her rich settings she had experienced and lived firsthand. She is one of the most perceptive people I have ever met and that deep wisdom shines through in her characters – they have real flaws, wants and needs that are always so relatable, even if he happens to be a desert sheikh! Her dry humour also shows in her writing as well as in person.
I have been lucky enough to spend time with Meredith on many writing retreats held on her beloved Gold Coast. She shares her deep knowledge so freely, but more than that she has been a wonderful friend and trusted confidant to me. I have been privileged to be on the receiving end of her sage advice and shall be forever grateful for it.
Meredith’s books are fun, sexy and skilled, but what sets them apart is her eye for detail. Her forte is medical romance, and her tolerance for inaccuracy is zero. On a number of occasions we’ve written linked romances. Our Crocodile Creek series (with Alison Roberts and Lilian Darcy) was an enormous amount of fun, but what made it a breeze was Meredith’s meticulous planning. The rest of us would say vaguely `let’s set the series on a tropical island’, and next thing we knew we’d have a detailed map of our imaginary island, an internal plan of the hospital – we’d practically have staff rosters! Meredith made our worlds real.
As she does with her own stories. Meredith’s sheiks are renowned in the world of Harlequin Romance. No one does them better – she creates Sheik heroes who are gorgeous, passionate and totally believable.
Meredith has also been more than generous with her time, as an integral member of Romance Writers of Australia she’s fostered new talent, supported remote writers and always been there for fellow writers who needed her.
Meredith was the person I contacted when I got ‘the call’. Mills and Boon wanted my latest manuscript. It must be a mistake. Surely. After ten years? What if I couldn’t do these last few things, they asked of me? It was 1999, Amstrad computers, manuscripts were printed and posted instead of emailed, and Meredith, sage and warmly congratulatory on the phone, grounding me with such calm, common sense while I was hyperventilating.
‘Let me explain how this works.’ Meredith at her most pragmatic.
Meredith is the super cool, strikingly stylish aunt everyone wants in their family.
I have had the joy of reading Meredith Webber’s books for many years. I’ve also had the privilege of working with her on our linked series of the Crocodile Creek and Wildfire Island books. I can say with certainty that the elegance, intelligence and warmth that shines through her writing is a true reflection of her personality. Meredith is the person I want to be when I grow up
I hope you will all join me in wishing Meredith a happy retirement and joy and love in all her future endeavours. Also, go buy her last book because, as always, its fabulous!
I never wanted to be an author. There are author friends I know who maintain that from the age they could staple paper together, they knew they wanted to be a writer. Not me. I wanted to be a hairdresser when I was five and a kindy teacher when I was eleven and for a few years I wanted to be a travel guide in Greece because Greece. And then, when I was fifteen I was visiting my bestie in hospital and there were nurses all around in those cute old fashioned hats taking blood pressures and giving out pills and it hit me like a bolt from the blue – I wanted to be a nurse.
So, I became a nurse. Not an author.
Frankly, it never occurred to me that being an author was a job. That people actually did. Which is ludicrous because there were books – so many books! – and I loved books, slurping them up at every opportunity. But I’d never really given any thought to the writer behind the pages – just the story itself.
Until in 1991 for a period of six weeks, I found myself unemployed….
My husband and I were living in the UK on a working holiday. We’d moved to Milton Keynes where he’d taken a year contract with Abbey National bank and, after working in 2 nursing homes prior to the move, I declared I wasn’t working in another one and that I was holding out for a hospital job.
But, in the meantime, what was I to do? It was out first UK winter and it was freezing. The temperature hadn’t got above 0 for a week. I mean, the cobwebs on our house had frozen! Which is breathtakingly pretty but still….really freaking cold. Consequently, I needed something to do that didn’t involve me getting off my electric blanket while I waited to hear word about the various feelers I’d put out for a job in the NHS.
I know, I thought, I’ll write that book that’s in my head.
Okay, wait. Brake screech….
The what in the where? Yes….I was as surprised as you probably are given the previous paragraphs, to realise that the pictures and thoughts in my head were actually characters and dialogue and a plot. Up until that point it hadn’t occurred to me that it was a book. I just thought I had a…really vivid imagination.
But, in that moment of clarity, in that split second I decided what I was going to do with my time, I had no doubt at all, that it was a book.
Of course, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. As previously stated, I loved reading, I excelled at creative writing in English and, perhaps the biggest red flag of all, was the fact that throughout my childhood, my mother had always been tinkering away on a second hand typewriter writing her own book – a romance novel. I hadn’t realised it at the time, but she was laying the subliminal ground work for me. Watching her toil at her own creative endeavours had sown the seeds of conviction in my self-conscious – no matter how deeply – that anyone could write a book. Even me. You just had to sit your ass in the chair (or on the electric blanket) and do it.
Suddenly, it all made sense and the rest, as they say, is history.
I wrote that book long hand in ten days – a chapter a day. Yep, that’s right, ten chapters of 5000 words each just flew from my fingertips. It was like I cracked open a portal in my head that day – the creative portal – that I’ve never been able to shut. The door opened and I stepped over the threshold and shazam!
That book didn’t succeed. The rejection after nine months was cutting in its brevity but thankfully it wasn’t a fatal blow. In fact, I always say that it wasn’t writing my first book that made me a writer but my first rejection that transformed me. Rejection made me determined – bloody minded my husband calls it – to succeed. To prove to the publisher and the world and me that I would succeed, that I would write a book that a publisher wanted to publish.
Rejection made me a writer.
Eighty books down, I know so much more than I did then and yet, perversely it feels I still know so little. But none of that matters – because I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and figure it out as I go along. With thanks to you guys, the readers, for your fierce love of books and reading.
This is me and my dad, Noel, who turns 80 next week.
I wonder every day where the hell that time went as I’m sure he does, too. He’s been without my mum for 9 years and is about to downsize and move into a retirement village. He’s in good health and I’m very aware – particularly right now with the state of the world and his age – of how lucky I am to still have him.
I am blessed, as is my family and we’re having a small gathering to celebrate becasue if there’s one thing I really believe in, it’s that milestones should be celebrated. Another year older, another book published, a special award, achieving a goal weight or xyz months since you had a cigarette. Whatever it is, big or small – milestones should be celebrated! After all, its the celebrations that keep us going, that make it all worthwhile!
Am I right, or am I right? 🙂
What about you? What milestones do you celebrate?
PS – I have a smutty little medical rom novella that just got a new cover that I’m celebrating at the moment 🙂 if you want to check it out!
So….I’ve been busy this year re-editing, re-covering and re-releasing some old Harlequin medical romance titles to which I’ve had some rights reverted. It’s been super exciting and super interesting. I’m learning a lot as I step into the unknown – indie publishing. Eep!
This is what’s out so far! And, as you can see, they can all be read for FREE if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited!
News in this week that two medical romance authors are finalists in the contemporary romance section of Australia’s prestigious Ruby award!
Fiona MacArthur scored for The Desert Midwife
What if the love of your life forgot who you were?
When outback midwife Ava May meets Zac on a flight to Alice Springs, they tumble into a whirlwind affair. But an exciting adventure leads to a terrible accident, with shattering consequences. The couple who had so much going for them now find themselves with everything to lose.
Devastated, Ava retreats to her family cattle station to help salvage what she can of the critical situation. But at home on the drought-ridden farm, her brother is being pushed to his limits, and as his depression intensifies, Ava must step in to prevent another family tragedy.
Against the majestic backdrop of Australia’s Red Centre, old dreams are shattered, new babies are born and true love takes flight.
By Australia’s renowned midwife and bestselling author of Mothers’ Day, The Desert Midwife is a romantic drama about strong families, medical miracles and new beginnings.
And Amy Andrews finaled with her romcom (non medical) Nothing But Trouble
For five years, Cecilia Morgan’s entire existence has revolved around playing personal assistant to self-centered former NFL quarterback Wade Carter. But just when she finally gives her notice, his father’s health fails, and Wade whisks her back to his hometown. CC will stay for his dad—for now—even if that means ignoring how sexy her boss is starting to look in his Wranglers.
To say CC’s notice is a bombshell is an insult to bombs. Wade can’t imagine his life without his “left tackle.” She’s the only person who can tell him “no” and strangely, it’s his favorite quality. He’ll do anything to keep her from leaving, even if it means playing dirty and dragging her back to Credence, Colorado, with him.
But now they’re living under the same roof, getting involved in small-town politics, and bickering like an old married couple. Suddenly, five years of fighting is starting to feel a whole lot like foreplay. What’s a quarterback to do when he realizes he might be falling for his “left tackle”? Throw a Hail Mary she’ll never see coming, of course.
I don’t know about you but I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix this year! And other streaming services. Two things I’ve consumed with much interest are the Netflix adaptions of two of Harlequin’s popular series.
The first is Robin Carr’s Virgin River
And the second is Sherryl Woods, Sweet Magnolias.
Who else has watched them and what did you think? Like. Love. Loathe? I have kinda mixed feelings but I would love to know what you thought and, if you’ve read the books as well, how do you rate the adaption?