Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Four Writers and an Island

51EtM4S1QZL.jpgAnnie O’Neil and I have swapped blog dates, so I’m here today instead of Annie.  So what better time to tell you about a project that we’ve both been involved with, along with Susan Carlisle and Karin Baine.

First though, I’d like to show you my new cover.  Firefighter’s Christmas Baby will be released in November, and it’s a festive fling with consequences!  (As you can see from the cover 🙂 )

But on with the blog.  A little more than a year ago, Susan Carlisle, Annie O’Neil, Karin Baine and I began to plan out a four-book series.  Set on an island, off the coast of Boston, The Maple Island Clinic was to be home to dedicated doctors, nurses and therapists who would be the heroes and heroines of our stories.

But first, we created the island.  It had a name and we gave it a history, too.  The autumn reds of the maple trees which cover the island are visible from the mainland, and early settlers in the area made their way across the water to tap the trees for their syrup.  A small town was founded on the island and one of the wealthier town fathers left his house and collection of books to the people of Maple Island.  Today, the town library is still housed in the building that Ezra Van Den Berg donated, along with his books and papers.

We probably went into far more detail than we really needed to – but we were having such fun!  Ideas came thick and fast from both sides of the Atlantic and we wondered whether we were going to have to make the island a little bigger to accommodate everything.

We wanted a New England style covered bridge for the island.  Orchards and a harbour with fishing boats.  An old town on the East side of the island, facing out to sea, and opulent holiday homes for summer visitors on the West side, facing Boston.  A ferry.  A LIGHTHOUSE!  Why hadn’t we thought of a lighthouse before…?  We took walks along our imaginary High Street, planning out the shops, the Town Hall and the Sheriff’s office.

And then came the people.  There’s a cake war going on in the High Street between the Brady family, whose five red-haired children all help out at Brady’s Bistro and Bakery, and Phoenix Flame Jones and his wife Sage Blossom, who are vegan bakers and the proprietors of Sunbeam Victuals and Delectables.  Theodore Harrington – known to everyone as ‘Old Salty’ is a cantankerous old fisherman who becomes the hero of the hour in the first book of the series – and his story is carried through all four books.  Each of us added new characters and their stories, along with events that are held on the island to brighten up the long, cold winter evenings.

It’s been the most enormous fun and an absolute honour to work on this project, with three of the nicest and most talented women I could ever hope to meet.  Annie, Susan and Karin have a special place in my heart, along with the island that we created together.

Of course, it’s just a backdrop to the serious business of romance!  But sometimes the location of a book catches my imagination in a special way.  Do you have any favourite locations in books you’ve read?

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Things I thought I’d never do (and ended up doing)

Well, looking back there are a LOT of things I thought I’d never do and ended up doing.  But that’s another story.  Because I’ve been thinking recently about the things I thought I would and wouldn’t do when I started out writing.  And, fortunately, experience has made me re-assess those dos and don’ts.

Tropes was one thing that I had a set of very definite ideas about.  I reckoned I’d never do a fake engagement – I’ve read a lot of wonderful fake engagement stories, but I couldn’t think of an original situation in which a modern woman might need to fake an engagement.  Amnesia was another that I didn’t feel that I could do well.  And a prince for a hero – well I love a hero prince as much as the next girl.  I just felt a little unequal to the challenge of writing one.

But, of course, I lived and I learnt.  And one of the things that I learned was that limiting myself to a set of rules, which were largely based on what I thought I could and couldn’t achieve, wasn’t a terribly good idea.9780373070671 copy.jpg

My first foray into the world of ‘forbidden’ tropes was The Doctor she couldn’t Forget.  As you can probably gather from the title, this was an amnesia story, and I’m showing you the cover from the US because I love it so much.

My actress heroine hasn’t forgotten everything – she’s suffered a traumatic head injury and as a result of this she’s unable to retain some memories.  There’s no rhyme or reason to what does and doesn’t remember, and she’s struggling to live a normal life, making endless lists and always stressed out by the knowledge that she may have forgotten something important.  So my hero doctor has to deal with a woman who’s fast getting a name for being a bit of a diva and is about to ruin her own career with the tantrums she throws, to cover up when she hasn’t remembered something.  And unfortunately (particularly for a romance), one of the things she has difficulty remembering is the hero’s first name.  So for much of the book she resorts to calling him ‘Dr Taylor’.

51uRXRwZLjL.jpgHaving broken my self-imposed rules once, and really enjoying the process, I threw everything out of the window for Doctor to Princess?  Not only do I have a hero prince, who I adored, but a fake engagement.  Nell, my heroine, is doctor to Prince Hugo deLeon.  A doctor himself, Hugo is having some difficulty in admitting that he needs medical care too, and it’s Nell’s job to keep him in line.  Her constant presence at his side, provokes press speculation that she is his latest girlfriend.

But when her ex-boss, who hounded Nell out of her last job because she rejected his advances, sees the stories he contacts the papers with a spiteful story of his own.  Hugo’s family have negotiated an agreement with the press that children under eighteen and engaged couples are shielded from articles that haven’t been vetted and agreed with the Royal Family.  So the only way that Hugo can stop her ex-bosses lies from ruining Nell’s career is to fake an engagement…

So – I guess that I’ve learned.  The new rule is Never Say Never, because one of the great things about writing is that there are so many possibilities, and it would be wholly wrong to arbitrarily forbid myself from doing anything without first trying it.

product_825-1.jpgAnd… this isn’t really breaking my rule about not writing about countries I haven’t visited, because the book’s not set in Iceland.  But I love both the cover and the fact that I now have three books which have been translated into Icelandic!  So I’ll include this edition of Saving Baby Amy anyway.

And come to think of it – an Icelandic heroine, who’s lost her memory and finds herself in a fake engagement with a prince…?  I’m starting to like the idea.  (And hoping my editor isn’t reading this!)

Writers – are there some tropes you’d never try?  And readers – are there some tropes you just wouldn’t read?  Or are you happy to try anything – because in the end it’s all in the way that it’s written.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews

Welcome New Medical Romance Author Traci Douglass!

Today, we’re thrilled to welcome Traci Douglass to the Medical Romance team!  We’ll be posting an excerpt from Traci’s debut Medical Romance  One Night with the Army Doc, on Monday, but first, over to Traci for her answers to the need-to-know questions!

TraciDouglassHeadshotI discovered Medical Romance when: 

I started reading Harlequins way back when I was in high school. Presents was my line back then—Penny Jordan, Charlotte Lamb. Good stuff. Then I moved into reading more single-title romances. My love for medical dramas began back in 1994 when ER first came on the air. For its time, it was a ground-breaking show and I was in school, studying to be a Certified Medical Assistant. I was in love with all the brave nurses and the handsome doctors working hard each week to save lives and find love (Luka and Abby forever!). Later, I watched both House, M.D. and Gray’s Anatomy religiously. Now, I’m a huge fan of Call The Midwife and have been binging all the seasons on Netflix. There’s just an added element of suspense and drama when you’re dealing with life and death and the essential things that affect people’s everyday lives so much. These are all the same things I love about the Medical Romance line and I’m so excited to share all the stories in my head when I’m watching these shows with all of you!

I wrote my first story when: 

I wrote my first novel when I was in my early twenties, a romance that will remain hidden forever. LOL. It was a twisted tale of forbidden love between a handsome college professor and one of his shy, bookish students at an all girl’s university. After that, I didn’t pick up the pen again until November of 2011. That’s when I had a dream that just refused to leave my head until I wrote it down. One month later, I had 100K+ paranormal romance in my hands and no idea what to do with it. I started revising and joined my local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and found some fantastic critique partners and things just kept rolling from there. I started to submit that novel for publication in June of 2012 and it sold in October of that same year. I’ve been publishing ever since, both traditionally–and more recently—self-publishing (as I received the rights back on that first, original paranormal romance series earlier this year when the publisher closed its doors).

Where do you live

Midwestern United States. Amongst the corn and fireflies. Fun fact: The state where I live, Indiana, just named the Say’s Firefly as our state insect.

My best trait is: 

I’m very determined and focused when working on a goal. If I set my mind to do something, I’ll get it done or die trying.

My worst trait is: 

I’m very determined and focused when working on a goal… Oh wait. LOL. It’s a blessing and a curse, I suppose.

Five things on your bucket list: 

  • Make the New York Times Bestseller list
  • Spend an entire Spring in Paris
  • Live by the ocean
  • Own a huge ranch where I take in rescue animals of all varieties
  • Take a grand tour all over the world and visit as many countries as I can

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today! I’m thrilled to join the Medical Authors team and look forward to meeting and sharing more stories with all the lovely readers out there. Oh, and stay tuned. I’ll be back in a couple of days with an exclusive excerpt from my debut Medical Romance, One Night With The Army Doc. Until next time, Happy Reading!

 My first Medical Romance, One Night With The Army Doc, releases August 1st and is available now for pre-order on all major online retailers in the US, UK, and Australia. Universal Link (US): https://www.books2read.com/OneNightWithTheArmyDoc

IMG_0359Author Bio:

Traci is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her stories feature sizzling heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes and heroines who are smart, tenacious, and always give as good as they get. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and she loves animals, chocolate, coffee, hot British actors, and sarcasm—not necessarily in that order.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://tracidouglass.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TraciDouglassAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Traci_Douglass
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracidouglassauthor/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/tracidouglass
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6767293.Traci_Douglass
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tracisdouglass/pins/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/traci-douglass
Author Newsletter Sign-up: https://mailchi.mp/tracidouglass/author-newsletter-sign-up
Triple T’s FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/275500899503961/

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One Night with the Army Doc

Is it enough to convince her to stay…?

Filming the latest episode of her TV show, diagnostician Dr Molly Flynn clashes with privacy-loving ex-army doc Jacob Ryder! But as friction turns into flirtation does she dare believe they might have a future…together?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

An Irrational Fear

I’m afraid of dogs.  I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been, but I’m told it all started when I was three years old.  An incident with a very large dog and an owner, who thought that trying to force a screaming terrified child to hug her dog was a good idea, left me physically unhurt but not without scars.  To this day, man’s best friend is still capable of filling my heart with terror.

Things have got better over the years.  When I was little, I went through phases of having to be dragged out of the house, I was so afraid I might meet a dog.  My mother would put pepper dust onto the soles of my shoes, telling me that it would keep dogs away from me.  (I’m not sure that this was a wholly practical proposition but I believed it because my Mum had told me in no uncertain terms that it was true, and it gave me the confidence to walk to school on my own.)  In my teens, I’d avoid streets where I knew ‘monsters’ lived, and cross the road if I saw someone approaching me with a dog on a lead.

In my twenties, I made a breakthrough.  On a long train journey I fell into conversation with a couple who were blind, each of whom had a guide dog.  These beautiful, placid creatures didn’t seem so very bad to me, and after a while I gathered up the courage to ask if I might touch one of them.  They agreed, giving their dogs a command to sit still, so that I could reach out and stroke them.  I’ll always remember this couple, who so generously helped me face my fears and shared in my achievement.

And… it’s better now.  I walk wherever I please, and if I give dogs a wide berth, and sometimes jump when one takes notice of me, then so be it.  But here’s the thing.  It’s an irrational fear.  Annie O’Neil’s gorgeous, gentle Bernese Mountain Dog failed to scare me even slightly, even though I’m sure he was bigger than me!  Another friend has a Red Setter, whose main aim in life seems to be to knock visitors over and lick them to death, and I can deal with that.  I adore Kate Hardy’s and Lynne Marshall’s Facebook posts about their dogs, and have been known to reach out and stroke them on my computer screen.  But at times, even the tiniest dog can have me racing for cover, and I can’t be persuaded to approach it.

The only answer I have for loving owners who push their dogs towards me, telling me that I can’t possibly be afraid of their dog, is that yes actually, I can.  I have no idea why some dogs scare me and some don’t, but I’m always immeasurably grateful to those owners who allow me to keep my distance if I need to and approach their dog in my own time.

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s to respect other people’s fears.  To accept that it takes courage to face them, and and that everyone needs to be able to dictate what they can and can’t do.  In every other area of my life, I can assess risk and use logic to decide what I should and shouldn’t be afraid of.  I’ll pick up the biggest spider from the bathtub and carry it carefully out of the house, I know that flying is statistically a very safe form of transport… and so on.  But this is a fear I can’t explain, and if it doesn’t make much sense to anyone else I guess that’s the thing about irrational fear…

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that after all this I’d tell you that I don’t like dogs.  But strangely enough I love dogs.  I’ve always wanted one, even though I know it’s impossible.  Imagine me at a puppy training class 🙂  Or in the park, when another dog wanders innocently up to make friends with mine 🙂  But if anyone’s ever wondered why so many of my heroes and heroines have dogs of their own…  well they’re my dogs.  The ones I can’t have in real life, but can love and look after on the page.  Bruno, the retired rescue dog, who has the courage to save his master.  Trader, who’s at his mistresses side when she’s alone and frightened.  Jeff the faithful friend who’s been with his master through thick and thin, Maisie the mountain rescue dog, and Arthur the beagle puppy.  They all mean a great deal more to me than just four-legged characters in a story.

I have to admit that it’s taken a bit just to write about my irrational fear, and I’m not sure that I understand it any better.  Do you have an irrational fear?  I guess that everyone has something…  And can you explain it?  I’d love to hear what you think!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Somebody’s watching me!

Well, I knew that already.  One of the things that I was told when I first ventured onto the internet, back in the old days of dial-up connections, was that you’re never alone.  It went against all of the things I’d learned about the world up until then – you can be sitting behind locked doors and closed curtains, and yet what you do is still out there somewhere.

And that’s something which has hit the news recently.  I’ve been getting emails and notifications about internet privacy, following reports concerning the collection and use of internet data.  And the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation means that come May 25th, those of us in Europe will not only have the right to know what kind of information is collected, but also to see a copy of the actual data.

So – I’m not going to comment on individual cases 🙂  But I welcome an increased accountability for the way information that’s collected from the internet is used.  And I welcome accountability over what people do on the internet – bullying, revenge porn, and intrusion on privacy are real and devastating problems, which affect people of all ages, many of them young.  We must protect them.

But on the other hand, the internet is full of places we love to go.  (I hope that this is one of them!).  Safe places, where we can meet new friends, who we might not otherwise get to know.  See things that we might not otherwise get to see.  I used to teach a weekly class on internet use at a care home for the elderly, and it provided a window on the world.  Ladies who’d been unable to ‘hit the shops’ for years, were suddenly able to take their time browsing the season’s new fashions again.

I guess, like almost everything that’s driven by human nature, the internet has its good and bad sides.  And like any relatively new phenomena, we’re learning.  How to be safe.  What’s appropriate.  How to be polite.  What we need to protect ourselves and others from.  For me, these are important issues that need to be thought about – but they don’t mean that I’ll be switching off my broadband any time soon.  Despite all its problems, the capacity for human interaction that the internet provides us with, is immensely valuable to me.

And – here comes my ‘romance writer’ point of view 🙂  We’ve heard about ‘profiling’ and that’s a term I’d always applied to the kind of thing that the FBI did with criminals.  But it seems that the practise has been extended to the innocent internet user.  I happen to think that we’re all a lot more than that, though.  I write about characters who, at first glance, shouldn’t be together but who are ultimately completely right for each other.  There’s something wonderful about the human spirit, which defies any attempt to pin it down.  We all might fall into a number of demographic groups, but those groups don’t define us.  Like the characters in a romance, we all have the capacity to think for ourselves and break out of the boxes we find ourselves in.

Finally – let’s bring the discussion home.  Like many sites on the internet, this blog carries ads from time to time.  I don’t see what those ads are because I have an account that allows me to post on this site, but I know they’re there.  It’s the price we pay – we get to run our blog for free and the cost of that is borne by the advertising.  I do see ads on other sites, and I view them as something that’s necessary to cover their costs.  I can’t help wondering at times why anyone ever thought that the targeted ads I see might apply to me – but then maybe that’s my point.  ‘The machine’ might be doing its level best to define me, but so far it doesn’t appear to be doing all that well 🙂

What do you think?  As you’re here then, like me, you obviously haven’t deserted the internet in disgust.  What makes you stay?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

May New Releases!

Six more new releases to feast your eyes on!

Tempted by the Brooding Surgeon, by Robin Gianna

lgcover.9781488079733.jpgThe one man who won’t let her in…

…is the only man she wants!

Annabelle Richards arrives in Peru to find she’ll be working with renowned surgeon Daniel Ferrera—the man who almost ruined her career! She’s worked too hard to let him get in her way again. But when Annabelle learns that Daniel’s brooding exterior hides a wealth of pain, an unexpected passion ignites between them. Will temptation prove too much to resist?

 

 

 

From Fling to Wedding Ring, by Karin Baine

9781474075107.jpgShe thinks she wants no strings…

Can sexy surgeon Ben change her mind?

Nurse Mollie Forrester has a reputation as an ice queen, and the scars from a childhood accident have convinced her no man could love her. When she’s paired with handsome surgeon Ben Sheridan in a dance competition, Mollie discovers he’s not the playboy everyone thinks he is. She finds passion in his arms—but can Ben persuade Mollie she’s worthy of love?

 

 

 

The Reunion of a Lifetime, by Fiona Lowe

9781489262486.jpgThey once had a summer of passion…

But is it too late to walk down the aisle?

Lauren Fuller hasn’t seen Charlie Ainsworth since he unexpectedly left Horseshoe Bay twelve years ago and burst their bubble of love. Now he’s back, and working together at her GP practice is torment—their chemistry reminds Lauren how good they were together. And when she learns the tragic truth that drove him away, can it finally reunite them forever?

 

 

 

Resisting the Single Dad, by Scarlet Wilson

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A doctor looking to cure his son…

Does his own heart need fixing, too?

Dr. Gene Du Bois arrives at Geneva airport with more baggage than Cordelia Greenway expected—his adorable young son! She usually avoids reminders of the family she’ll never have, but there’s no escaping this devoted dad when they’re working and living together. Gene’s sexy Texas drawl soon weakens her defenses, leaving Cordelia wondering—could this little family be her future after all?

 

 

 

Reunited by Their Secret Son, by Louisa George

 

9781489261083.jpgIt started with one night…Will it end with them becoming a family?

Sophie Harding can never forget her sizzling encounter with gorgeous stranger Finn. How can she, when her beloved little boy is a daily reminder? And she can’t forgive Finn for disappearing without a trace afterwards. But she’s shocked to come face-to-face with him at her son’s physio appointment, and sees how much he’s changed. Could this be their chance to finally become a family?

 

 

 

A Bride to Redeem Him, by Charlotte Hawkes

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Redeeming his reputation…with a diamond ring!

Louis Delaroche is world-renowned for his surgical skills — as well as his seduction skills! He’s happy to let his Lothario reputation precede him…until it threatens to cut him off from his family’s charity foundation. Now Louis has only one choice if he is to redeem himself — get married! Warm-hearted anaesthetist Alex Vardy is the perfect bride. But soon their fake kisses for the cameras start to feel sensationally real!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Siblings Day

I’m filling in with a post for the blog today, and in an attempt to put myself in the path of a few passing ideas, I hit the internet.  And what should I find but that yesterday was Siblings Day.  It’s an American holiday, but have a feeling I’ll be appropriating it on an ongoing basis.  All good things should be shared, after all!

So I’m writing today in praise of siblings.  I have one of each, a brother and a sister.  I can’t think of many other people that I’ve fought with so often, or defended so implacably.  Who have forgiven so much in me, and supported me beyond the point where any rational person would have given up on me.  And we’ve done all of that since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.  Not many people know me so well, and there’s no-one who’s known me for so long.

Maybe the fact that I’m a ‘middle child’ has moulded my personality – lots of people say that it does, although I’m a strong believer in the idea that you are whatever you make of yourself.  All I can say is, that I’d be a very different person without my brother and sister.

And – of course, it’s not just the people that we share parents with.  Calling someone a ‘brother’ or a ‘sister’ is a way of saying that they’ve been with us through thick and thin.  We all have brothers and sisters – even the only children amongst us.

So – are there little things that your brothers or sisters do for you, which no-one else does?  My sister called me her ‘skin and blister’ when I was a baby, and continued to do so  when we grew up.  My brother makes me chocolate cake, because he knows how much I like it.

Do you celebrate Siblings Day?  I didn’t this year, because it’s a new one on me, but there’s always next year…