Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Tis the season…

Oh it’s the season alright! The season where I – and I suspect – a whole lot of you start going berserkers! As my good pal, Susan Carlisle mentioned the other day, I’m an overseas American. I’m not shy in letting people know Thanksgiving is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE holiday. So much so I tend to have it twice. Once, low key style on the actual day because strangely enough, the whole of Britain doesn’t grind to a halt so I can have my tuIMG_3483rkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Then again about a week later on the weekend so that if a bit too much wine has been enjoyed…there’s a chance for a lovely lie-in the next day.

This year? It’s all bonkers. We had a brilliant Thanksgiving day at the local pub thanks to ‘Mad Ron’ our local publican who regular readers might see (you will always see this) appear as a publican in just about all of my books. He’s fab. And he made me turkey burgers. A first for the pub, and an absolute

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delight for me! They were Delicious!!!

On the weekend I would normally host a Thanksgiving feast of my own, we went out with friends to a Simon and Garfunkle Tribute Band. They were amazing! I love Simon & Garfunkle and I LOVE a tribute band. The only thing that would make it more fun would be roller-skates. (Seriously…I should’ve just had my entire life in the 70s over and over).  Next on the list? A trip to Vienna with one of my former professors. I’m so excited. Kaffee und Kuchen! Cake and coffee in one hundred year old cafes? Yes, please! Then it’s back to the UK to make a long overdue Thanksgiving….and then….whooooosh! Christmas! Which is my second favourite holiday. Love it. I love the cookie making (I regularly borrow friend’s children to make cookies with me and, of course, I adore writing Christmas books. This year’s no different.Army Doc's Christmas Angel.jpg I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of the fabulous Hope Children’s Hospital series. The other books are by the fabulous Caroline Anderson, the delightful Alison Roberts and the wonderful Tina Beckett.

In my book, my hero – the rather gorgeous Finn Morgan – lost his leg whilst serving his country in Afghanistan. I ran a half marathon a couple of weeks ago and about mile twelve, when I was pretty close to throwing in the proverbial towel…I caught up to a real life Finn Morgan. A former marine running for fallen soldiers who had run the marathon with a blade for one leg. I can’t even begin to tell you how emotional it was. I kept bursting into tears! Talk about a dehydrating experience. And powerfully moving.

So that was all an incredibly long winded way of saying…I love taking an annual stop and regroup to really think about what I have to be grateful for. I’m going to start with YOU. Thanks for being here. And see you soon. xx Annie O’

 

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

One Way To Beat ‘The Shys’

Photo on 19-04-2017 at 10.29.jpgI know most people who have met me would find it difficult to believe I am actually shy. (Although – it could be that I’m an introvert and can’t tell the difference between the two, but that’s a whole other barrel of fish…next time? NB: Smiley face courtesy of the rather fabulous Louisa Heaton!)

Now. Back to being shy. I know. I know. I seem gregarious. I’m a goofball of the highest order. I have been known to perform interpretive dance…in public. There’s even more evidence against me: I think people are fabulous. I love watching them, talking with them, hearing their stories, writing their stories…but! I’m also, unbelievably and incredibly shy… too afraid to approach a group, nailed to the wall if everyone else is laughing and I don’t have an in….stuck in a blinkered tunnel of flashbacks to being picked last for the dodgeball team unless…I have a job. IMG_2033.jpg

Which is why I signed up to help organise the Romantic Novelist’s Conference here in the UK. It gave me a job. A reason to be brave enough to speak with all of the writers and agents and editors and all of the other wonderful people who bundled their way to Leeds to talk Romantic Novels for 72 glorious hours.

Turns out pointing people to the loos and their conference rooms is a wonderful way to start a conversation. I’m so glad I did it. A wee little chink in my Oh-Crikey-I’m-Too-Scared-To-Talk-To-You-Armour.

Do you have any fabulous things you do to trick yourself into doing something you know you’d be good at if only you weren’t afeard?

Throw your ideas/theories/experiences my way. Oh! By the way – my next book isn’t coming out until November. There are a raft of lovely new books by all of our fabulous Medical authors and if you’re new to the genre?  Check out the Mills & Boon Hot Single Doc collection. It’s MEGA! (Just click to go to the link)9781474085441

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Tectonic shifts!

Hello there everyone!

Today I’m musing on the way a story idea can ping up clear as a bell and then by the time you’re finished…it’s a totally different beast (or, in this case, love affair!).

That’s what happened when Amalie Berlin, Tina Beckett, Amy Ruttan and I began to pine for one another after the glowing tans from the days with our Hot Latin Docs began to fade.

What could we write about now, we mused?

The answer was obvious. Firemen in Canada. Sexy right? We thought so, too. And then as we began the back and forth with our editors – we pinged all the way across the globe to Greece and put our doctors at the fore of a huge earthquake on the island of Mythelios (that was an amazing name Amy came up with!).

Have you ever had an idea that comes to you and then the nurse becomes a princess, the blue accent wall becomes neon pink or the handbag dog becomes a Great Dane?

It happens to me alllllll the time. Does that make me fickle, or well-placed to get some kismet rays beaming through my life?

Either way – we now have four sizzling hot Greek Doctors…all very single and all unsuspecting that each of their lives is about to change.

Happy reading everyone!

PS – I’m off to Rome this week – can’t WAIT to tell you all about it. What do you think the chances are that my next hero is going to be Italian?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

New Year? New You?

Hello there everyone!

Are you fresh in from a long run? Has your Christmas Fitbit clocked your steps yet? Just finished off tucking into that amazing Veganuary veggie burger?

Me neither.

But if so, huzzah for you! Goal setting is great and for me – it’s the New Year’s List that nudges me to try new things. I love it. It’s how at the ripe age of *cough cough* I rode my bike from Saigon to Hanoi. It’s how I managed to start and finish a book. It’s how I learned how to make doughnuts from scratch. (Well…that just might have also involved showing off a bit for my future husband!)

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This year…for probably the first year since I could read or write….I didn’t kick off with a ream of goals. VERY unusual for me. images-2.jpegWhilst the holidays were overall lovely (Santa brought the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned, the turkey wasn’t dry, no family feuds or rifts)…I wasn’t really up to speed because I’d lost my beloved pooch, Jorjie Porjie Wiggly Bum Smorjie, and I found it really tough. As such – I’ve found it harder to look towards the future with my usual gusto – HOWEVER – I’ve just started writing a Christmas book and it’s definitely making my cockles warmer.

Another thing that’s cheering me up is that my February book – Reunited With Her Parisian Surgeon is ALL. ABOUT. YOU.

That’s right. Remember when we did those quizzes about a year ago with Annie Claydon and Susan Carlisle? You invented a hero (brooding Frenchman, Raphael Boucher) and our heroine (feisty Aussie redhead, Maggie Louis). You also gave them some dark pasts. (Sorry, folks. I had to lose one of the dead relatives, because there was a pretty high body count if I took all of the quizzes ‘wish lists’ into account). The story was to be set in Sydney and Paris. Which it is…but there’s also a road trip to Broken Hill! I really hope you enjoy it, because I had SUCH a great time writing it.

And next on the list? I’m going to sit down and pop a new bucket list of goals onto a legal pad. You can bet your bottom dollar there’ll be one certain entry: Write More Books! In the meantime, if you fancy seeing your poll results in action….here it is, in the new-look M&B format…Reunited with Her Parisian Surgeon!9781335663313.indd

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Leftovers…or are they?

I don’t know about you…but when I plan a big feast (for me it was Thanksgiving which we held late as I live in the UK and I can’t seem to convince Parliament to give everyone the Friday after off, but that’s another story)….when I plan a big feast, I also plan for the leftovers. The first year I made Thanksgiving with a friend she was HORRIFIED that I hadn’t bought a turkey big enough to feed my family, her family and then the two of us and our housemate for the next week. Horrified.

Now I feel her pain.

We even have a whole set of Thanksgiving fans who come over….JUST for the leftovers! We get a couple of baguettes, people make sandwiches, or have exactly what they had the night before (I even made my sweet potatoes with marshmallows for the first time ever! Note to self: those don’t really play well on Day Two).

Now, I don’t know about you, but…my favourite is the good old-fashioned Turkey Sandwich. I like it with some cranberry sauce, some stuffing (my mother’s recipe…always my mother’s recipe…loads of onion, an embarrassment of butter, some toasted bread, walnuts, celery, little bit of this and that….delicious). I can tend to eat turkey sandwiches for about a week before I max out…or the crab and stuffing run out. But I’ve also made turkey stroganoff. Turkey curry. No one needs and excuse to finish pie. For the record, the pecan always goes first, no one but me eats the pumpkin (except this year my friend Charlotte confessed to a closet affection for it) and, just to be wild I threw apple into the mix.

Do you have any left over dishes you adore? Anything wild and wonderful you do with that half bowl of mashed potatoes, staring up at you…pleading for you to do something magical with it. Croquettes? Potato pancakes (aka latkes)? Mashed potato on your finger while deciding which pie to eat?

I know it sounds excessive…but this is a waste not want not scenario. I love my in-laws but they do not do leftovers and actively planHer Knight Under the Mistletoe to not have them. We also sell beef and whenever I am selling someone a joint or a piece I know they are planning to have on a special evening I always ask, and will you be wanting leftovers? Got any great left-overs recipes? Feel free to throw them my way.

Here’s a quick note about something new….I have a new book out in a couple of days…Her Knight Under the Mistletoe! I hope you enjoy it. (There is never a Christmas story I don’t love writing).

xx Annie O’

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Turn, turn, turn….

As I typed the title, I just realised I could be writing about turning pages (which is something I hope you all want to do when reading a medical romance), but I was actually going to write about the leaves turning into the glorious, magical shades of autumn. As all of our Antipodean friends are enjoying the lush, first fecund flushes of Spring, I am absolutely beside myself with the arrival of autumn. I LOVE IT.

I love getting to wear turtlenecks.

I love the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

I love the Pumpkins (especially the blue ones and, as my fellow writer, Amalie Berlin, just reminded me there is an actual Cinderella Pumpkin. (Which just may be that mahoooosive pumpkin I spotted at my parent’s local grocery store. It was over 500lbs!).

I love that my typewriter has started typing pictures. And that my editor (see top middle pic) had a chance to meet me for lunch where they serve espresso the same way they serve tequila. The tomatoes that insist on ripening (or not as in the case of some of them).

Sunsets get better. Honey gets harvested. I love the nights closing in and thinking about lighting the fire. The cows will come in soon. I have legitimate reasons to start thinking about baking an excess of cookies. And wearing cosy clothes. Aaaaand…most of all I love reading. This year my To Read Pile is IMMENSE.

Oh!

And did I mention I’m going to meet a pal from New Zealand in Saigon and we’re going to ride our bicycles to Hanoi? There’s that as well. All busy and exciting.

What’s happening in your neck of the world? If anyone can inspire me to start working on the quilt I’ve been promising to make for the past *cough cough* years, You win a prize! xx Annie O

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

And the winner is…..

Good morning everyone! Apologies for being a day late – I know you all have been on tenterhooks waiting to find out the poll results (the one about the tropes).

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AND – the answer is – I can’t figure out who answered what. There goes my career at the office for statistics!

HOWEVER…there are TWO people who got the first question right and we have two books to send out so…whoever answered PERFORMER to the pick the real trope question – you have just won yourselves a book! If you could either comment below and/or get in touch with me with your mailing details via annie@annieoneilbooks.com that would be absolutely fantastic. I would like to send a special shout out to everyone who answered Monkey in a Hurricane because that was my very own specially made up trope – but I think I am going to start writing it and making it real.

Now for the other results:

Question two asked which one you thought was a fake romance and nearly all of you selected right – Nun. It is not a popular romance trope. Turns out, it pretty much only worked for Maria von Trapp (Mother Superior really had called it when she slapped the flibbertyjibbet label on Maria, didn’t she?)

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Question Three asked your favourite princess and she is: Cinderella! Nipping on her heels were Rapunzel, Snow White and Lara Croft – who had a fleeting lead – but lost it in the end (tight shorts aren’t ALWAYS the answer, ladies).

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Then we had out dreamboat heroes and the winner is: Prince Charming! He had an impressive lead over The Beast, Other (Gaston and Charmer got votes), Romeo and Brad Pitt came last! Imagine that.

On to favourite tropes: Tied at number one was Enemies to Lovers and Fake Engagements! (Note to self: write next book as a fake engagement between enemies who become lovers). Taking a close second is Forbidden Love and lagging behind was the Love Triangle. None of you didn’t like the Love is a Myth idea…I was deeply unsurprised by this.

Out of my favourite tropes you went for: Reunion, Military, Jilted bride then cowboy. There goes my jilted cowhand story (hee hee!)

And finalliy – tropes that make you a little bit sick? No heroes teaching our girls the ways of love. We’re not stoopid! Really bad boys, scarred childhoods, friends to lovers, amnesia in heroines (but heroes could – you better check out Louisa Heaton’s library – she’s got a boy who had a conk on the head) and here was a new one for me – heroes and heroines who are TSTL – Too Stupid to Live. That made me laugh. Oh! And a final shout out to the lover of Betty Neels physicians who always had a ‘vast person’ in her books (Neel-speak for Tall and Broad).

Thank you all so much for participating in the quiz. It was great fun. Please do get in touch if you guessed the ‘performer.’ Otherwise – there will be more quizzes in the future!

Today is publication day for me, so if you fancy a new duet – here they are! All the best everyone, speak soon xx Annie O’