Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Vale Jennifer Taylor

Dear Readers,

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Jennifer receiving her award for her 75th book: a Tiffany solid silver keyring.

It is with great sadness that we’re writing here today to tell you that the wonderful medical romance author, Jennifer Taylor, has died after a long battle with multiple myeloma. She was courageous and generous to the end and she is greatly missed, not just in the medical romance family but also the Harlequin family and by her beloved readers.

Jennifer wrote 85 medical romance novels over almost thirty years, entertaining millions of readers and capturing their hearts with her heartwarming stories set mainly in GP surgeries, country hospitals, or in the Mediterranean, a place she loved.

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September 2017

A few of the medical romance authors have written tributes below and we invite you to leave your own in the comments section.

Fiona Lowe writes:  I like to think of Jennifer at home with her beloved dog. Way way back in the day, before I was published, Jennifer was a driving push to highlight medical romances and as a ‘wanna-be author’, I commented on the new blog.  I won a green leather keyring with gold lettering that said, ‘Medical Romance’ and it had  a gold heart.  As an aspiring author, I used that keyring every day as a talisman.

By the time I got published, I’d rubbed all the gold off the leather!  When I sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon, I was so excited to be welcomed to the author group and ‘e-meet’ the woman who had organized the keyring.  She was warm and welcoming and generous with her sage advice. I remember her sorrow when her beloved husband Bill died and I remember the quilt many of the authors contributed a square to when Jennifer’s first grandchild was born. Only two days before she died, Jennifer was contributing to our ‘staff room’ conversation. Recently, during a stay in hospital, she’d been cared for by a handsome, Rugby-playing doctor who she declared was perfect hero material and great research for a book.  Vale, Jennifer. You are dearly missed.

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Jennifer & Bill at their daughter’s wedding 2006
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The quilt the medical authors made for Jennifer’s first grandchild.

Amy Andrews writes: I read Jennifer’s books long before I was ever privileged enough to know her as a person. Her’s (and Caroline Anderson’s) were the books I glommed when I was learning the craft of medical romance. When I finally made it into the medical romance author fold, Jennifer was so generous and supportive of me, especially in the beginning when everything was a little overwhelming. I couldn’t believe that this woman, whose books I had read and loved, was being my cheer squad. It was my great privilege to meet her on three separate occasions and I was very excited that she came to London last April when I was there for our medical authors high tea. I know it was a hike for her and was touched that she went to the effort.

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From left to right: Amy Andrews, Jennifer Taylor & Caroline Anderson. (April 2016)

Kate Hardy writes: I’m so sad that our dear friend Jennifer Taylor has died. I ‘knew’ her before I started writing for M&B, because I loved her books, and I was so thrilled to meet her in real life and discover that she was one of the nicest women you could ever know. In fact, I’ve been friends with her right since my very first M&B authors’ lunch, so we’re going back more than 15 years. I have an early pic here of some of the medical authors from 2003, which puts a lump in my throat, because out of the five of us Sheila Danton, Jennifer and Roger Sanderson are no longer with us, and Margaret Barker is frail. (This pic made our editor, Sheila Hodgson cry, too.)

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From left to right: Kate Hardy, Sheila Danton, Jennifer Taylor, Caroline Anderson, Roger Sanderon and Margaret Barker. (2003)

Jennifer and I set up the email loop for the M&B medical authors, so we could get together and talk books, gorgeous men, medicine and inspiration – not to mention giving people a hug when it was needed and cheering on all the good times. And how amazing it was, in the days before broadband, to think that we could actually talk to people on the other side of the world!

My enduring memory of her is her laugh. That lovely Liverpudlian giggle. She was always so positive and upbeat (and down to earth – never any airs and graces with our Jennifer). Even when she was facing some really difficult personal challenges and ill health, she always found something good in life – she was absolutely inspirational. And she was always one of the first to put her hand up and say she’d come to a meet-up (such as here in London when Amy Andrews came all the way over from Australia and we had afternoon tea).

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From left to right: Jennifer Taylor, Caroline Anderson, Fiona Harper, Annie O’Neil, Lucy King, Amy Andrews, Kate Hardy, Annie Claydon. (April 2016)

I was proud to be there when she got her award for her 75th book. Here we are beforehand – Caroline Anderson, Scarlet Wilson, Jennifer and Annie Claydon.P1100603 2-1

My daughter plays guitar and recently Jennifer told me how she met Paul McCartney as a teen.  Her friend lived just down the road from him, and they went to the Cavern and everything. Even when you’ve known someone for years, they still have the capacity to surprise you! 🙂  The day she told me this was the last time I saw her. At the M&B lunch – here we are with Susan Carlisle.

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From left to right: Kate Hardy, Susan Carlise and Jennifer Taylor.


Jennifer was one of the best. I’m grateful for all the years of friendship and laughter and hugs. And those memories are always going to be there.

Fiona McArthur writes: Jennifer was one of life’s kindest ladies and I feel blessed to have known her. We last emailed each other just two weeks before she died.  The photo on the left below was taken in London 2011 just after we’d spent the weekend together in Paris. We took photos of each other next to the Louvre to say, ‘Yay! We were here’. 🙂

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Jennifer Taylor & Fiona McArthur in 2011

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Caroline Anderson writes:

I was so sad to hear of Jennifer Taylor’s death, because our lives have touched intermittently for the last twenty-seven years. In that time, she’s been not only a fellow author but also, because she was warm, friendly and open and always, always kind, she’s also been a friend. I can’t believe she’s gone.

We only met up once a year, twice at the most, and always at author functions – most of which are a good excuse for a party and a lot of talking.  Authors all over spend so much time locked up with their own thoughts, generating words, that having an opportunity to have a real conversation with real people is always a joy!  And seeing Jennifer was ALWAYS a joy.

I remember one occasion when she’d travelled down to London with her husband for the author lunch and I was privileged to meet him. What struck me instantly was how like her he was – funny, gentle, kind, with a mischievous sense of humour so like hers.  I was so sad for her when she lost him just a few years later.  She dealt with his loss with quiet courage and great dignity, just as she dealt with everything life threw at her, and there have been some great sadnesses in her life, moments from which you don’t recover but simply soldier on.

That was Jennifer all over.  She was always so positive, so genuinely pleased to see everyone, and although I knew she was fighting a running battle with her health, she never let it show, never moaned about it or let it interfere with getting on with her full and busy life.

I’m useless at taking photos of memorable events, but luckily I also share these special author moments with Kate Hardy, and she’s taken some great photos of us together, which I’ve been looking at again. They bring a lump to my throat, because I can’t believe she won’t be there next time, that there’ll never be a next time.

It was a privilege to know her, to share however slightly in her life, to feel the warmth of her smile, to hear her lovely laugh, and there will always be a place for her in my heart.  Rest in peace, dear friend…

(Caroline with Kate Hardy, scattering rose petals in memory of Jennifer Taylor)

If you would like to share a Jennifer Taylor story– perhaps a book of hers touched you or maybe you met her– please leave a message in the comments.

Vale Jennifer.

Thank you for touching our lives in so many wonderful ways.

 Rest in Peace.

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, Readers Blogs

Reading Romance can be Educational by guest blogger, Laurie Bodshaug.

Please welcome to the blog, Laurie Bodshaug, a delightful Amercian, and an avid reader of Harlequin Mills & Boon medical romances. Over to you, Laurie!

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I have been a voracious reader all my life. I read the Nancy Drew books, and became fast friends with the librarian at our Children’s library. Miss Lucy knew everything about books, and she sparked my interest in medicine because she had a disfiguring illness. I’m sure she wondered why a 10-year-old, who loved to visit the library, would want to spend hours talking to her about her disease and treatment. She pointed me to the Cherry Ames nursing books, and then to worlds of Penny and Pam, and Sue Barton, all nursing students who I followed through their studies and adventures when they graduated. After a brief flirtation with becoming an art education teacher, I changed my major to nursing, and I have been an RN for 39 years this week.

At 18, I discovered romance novels when I was babysitting; those very early and not so spicy stories had me hooked. Then came the bodice rippers, which I had to cover and keep on a high shelf to keep my young sons from being scandalized. In the early 2000’s, I came across a box of Harlequins at a yard sale and became hooked again.  About 3 years ago, I found a set of Medical Romances, and I was home! Books that combined my nursing background, love for travel and romance. What could be better? The community hospitals I worked at never had real life romances like those.

There was one thing I didn’t expect to gain from reading romance: it was a learning experience.  As I read, I kept a little notebook and pencil by my side and it became 1453769361153filled with things I wanted to learn more about. I looked up words, recipes, travel articles and medical textbooks from other countries to get a better feel for the stories and the things in them. The British/Australian spellings and alternate words have earned me hundreds of extra Scrabble points. (Thank you to the writers who gave me wadis, sirocco, kumaras and many other words). I have made lamingtons, bought Tim-Tams and attempted a Pavlova.

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I especially enjoy the books set in the UK, (because I have actually been there) New Zealand and Australia. The Sydney Harbor Hospital series reeled me in). If I HAVE to suffer through Italy or Greece, or any of the other countries written about, I will do so gladly. My travel bucket list has many new places, an Australian cruise/tour is at the top of it.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from all those medical romances is that love is what we all need and that you can find your happily ever after in the most unexpected place or situation. Sometimes, love finds you quite literally, by accident.  While things may not always be perfect, these heroes and heroines always look for a silver lining while helping each other and their patients, and it’s so nice these days to read about something that ends happily! lgcover.9781488022074

The first of the month will be here soon, and I will open my Kindle to 6 more medical
romances
and hours of reading enjoyment. Until then, I will have to daydream about being mildly injured in a desert wadi in Western Australia, being rescued by a gorgeous, blue-eyed Italian doctor bearing a green whistle and the key to my heart, who actually is my boss at my new job.  🙂

What do you enjoy most about reading medical romances?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life, Travels Around the World

A Cornucopia of rambling thoughts by Fiona Lowe

18339146_1826881800964104_534464569_oI’m taking a mini break cum writing retreat cum visit with my eldest son and escaping to our island state for the week :-) For those of you not familiar with Australian history, the British, who in 1788 were a naval force to be reckoned with, kept skirmishing with France and Spain and they  needed flax for sails and straight, strong trees for masts. Captain Cook had reported both these things grew in abundance on a little island off Australia, they’d named Norfolk.  Of course, they wanted to keep that information on the down low so the Spanish and French didn’t get there first, so they hid their plans behind a secondary problem; what the heck did they do with the ever-expanding prison population? They sent 7 ships, full of convicts to Australia; many of them with 7 year sentences. The moment they had offloaded the contents of a couple of ships, they shot across to Norfolk Island only to discover that the pines were soft wood so useless for masts and the flax wasn’t any good for sails. Damn!

Meanwhile, when you get a group of convicts together, stuff happens, and soon they needed aIMG_2841 second tier goal/jail.  They settled the island of Tasmania and some of the worst treatment of human beings…both of the convicts and the Aborigines…. began. But that’s a  whole other story as is islands and refugees today…. Fast foward 200 odd years and my son was ‘transported’ to Tasmania for 7 years to study medicine at the University of Tasmania. Today, it is a glorious place to live and I doubt we’ll ever get him back to the mainland.

IMG_2880Fellow author, Melanie Milburne lives down in Tasmania and she has a holiday house, or ‘shack’ as the locals call it. If I can stop staring at the view, I might get some writing done on my next medical romance.  At the end of my four days of ‘enforced writing’ I am heading back to Hobart to spend Mother’s Day weekend with my eldest son.  Given that the youngest is in Italy, Tassie was closer 🙂

I am not a big fan of Mother’s Day…a day that can be fraught with heartache and disappointment unless handled right… and the fact I am down in Tassie for the day is more of a coincidence than planning. It was the only weekend I wasn’t doing book signings for Daughter of Mine. So, in this reflective mood,  I offer you my  amassed knowledge of 22 years of motherhood and say, ‘if you want a happy day next Sunday, stage manage it so 18238928_10155268263202090_1775623558389478762_oyou get what you deserve.’   I was signing books at a department store on Saturday and as I handed over books to kids, I said, ‘Now you know that you’re not only giving Mum the book, you have to give her the time to read it.’ I got a few confused looks 😉

So, start thinking and planning now… you have a few days… and let me know what you are doing so you ensure a part of your day is for YOU. 🙂

31011Talking books.Daughter of Mine is available for all the Aussie and New Zealanders. Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon, book 2 in the Paddington Children’s Hospital series is out now. I hope you enjoy Claire and Alistair’s story as they finally work out the important things in life.  I also have a backlist of 22 medical romances, ripe for reading:-) For the full list click HERE. They are all available digitally. Happy Reading!

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!

Excerpt from Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon by Fiona Lowe

London

Being invited to be part of the Paddington Children’s Hospital series was an honour and it was great to work closely with a group of medical romance authors. Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon is the second book in the series and there’s a nice twist. I have an uptight Australian female surgeon matched against a laid-back British neurosurgeon. Claire and Alistair are chalk and cheese but they have valid reasons for their different approaches to life, but that doesn’t stop them from rubbing each other up the wrong way.  I hope you enjoy getting to know the two of them. Here is an excerpt from Chapter Three.

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Alistair high-fived Tristan Lewis-Smith. ‘Way to go, Tris,’ he said with a grin.

The kid had just whooped him at virtual tennis— twice— but he didn’t care. He was too busy rejoicing in the fact that the ten-year-old had been seizure free for a week. That hadn’t happened in two years and it was moments like these that reminded him that what he did each day mattered. Hell, it reinforced his mantra that each day mattered and life should be lived to the full.

He’d almost lost the opportunity to do that and when he’d woken up in the coronary care unit, he’d vowed never to forget how life could change in a heartbeat— or the lack of one as the case may be— and how close he’d come to death. He’d been blessed with a second chance and he never took it for granted. He was thrilled to be able to give Tristan a second chance at a normal life.

‘Right-oh, mate.’ He pulled down the sheet and patted the centre of the bed. ‘Time to tuck in and pretend to read or the night sister will have my guts for garters.’

Full of beans and far from quiet, Tristan bounced onto the bed. ‘You’re just saying that because you’re scared if you play another game I’ll beat you. Again.’

‘There is that,’ Alistair said with a grin. ‘Hurry up, I’ve got somewhere I need to be.’

Tristan scrambled under the covers. ‘Nurse Saunders said you couldn’t stay long because you’ve got a hot date.’

‘Did she now?’ Funny that Lindsay appeared to know more about this hot date than he did. He found himself automatically tucking the sheet around the little boy only this time an odd feeling of something akin to emptiness accompanied it.

He immediately shook off the feeling. He had no reason what so ever to feel empty or lonely. Life was good. He had a job he loved and a spacious and light-filled apartment just off the Portobello Road that he’d filled with curios from his world travels. Three years ago, he’d added to his property portfolio and bought a pretty stone cottage surrounded by fields of lavender in Provence. When he was there, he revelled in the sensory delights of sunshine, hearty Mediterranean food and great wine. He visited at least once a month either alone or with companionship depending on whether or not the woman he was dating was still focussed on having fun. The moment a woman started dropping hints about “taking things to the next level” she was no longer welcome in France. Or in Notting Hill for that matter.

He loved women but he didn’t do next levels. It was better to break a heart in the early days, well before things got serious, than to risk shattering a life, or worse, lives. His childhood was a case in point and on top of that devastation no one ever knew precisely the duration of a second chance.

Surprised by the unexpected direction his musings had taken him— he didn’t do dark thoughts and he certainly wasn’t known for them— he left Tristan’s room and contemplated the hour. It wasn’t quite eight. As it was a Thursday night there’d be a sizeable hospital crowd at the Frog and Peach and he’d be welcomed with open arms for his dart skills. Oddly, the thought didn’t entice. He had an overwhelming urge to do something completely different. Something wild that would make him feel alive.

Parkouring in the dark?

    Alive not dead, thank you very much.

    Still, parkouring in daylight this coming weekend was worth investigating. He pulled out his phone and had just brought up a browser when he heard, ‘G’day, Alistair.’

Astonished, he spun around at the sound of the broad Australian accent. Although he’d heard Claire Mitchell use the informal Aussie greeting with other people, she’d always been far more circumspect with him. Well, with the exception of one or two lapses. In general, he knew she tried to be polite with him and that she found it a struggle. Did it make him a bad person that he enjoyed watching her keep herself in check? The woman was always buttoned up so tightly it wasn’t surprising she cracked every now and then.

Now she stood in front of him with her hands pressed deep into the pockets of her once starched, but now very end-of-day limp, doctor’s coat. Her hair was pulled back into its functional ponytail and a hot pink stethoscope was slung around her neck. A tiny koala clung to her security lanyard along with a small pen on retractable elastic. Her utilitarian white blouse and medium length black skirt were unremarkable except that the skirt revealed those long shapely legs that taunted him.

Her feet were tucked into bright red shoes with a wide strap that crossed her instep just below her ankle and culminated in a large red button that drew the eye. He suddenly understood completely why Victorian Gentlemen had waxed lyrical over a fleeting glimpse of a fine ankle.

He scanned her face, looking for clues as to why she was suddenly attempting a colloquial greeting with him. ‘G’day, yourself,’ he intoned back with a fair crack at an Aussie accent.

Behind her sexy-librarian style glasses, her eyes did that milk and dark chocolate swirly thing he always enjoyed and— Good Lord. Was she blushing?

‘Do you have a minute?’ she asked, quickly pushing her glasses up her nose as they continued walking toward the lifts.

‘Always. Problem?’

‘Um,’ she surreptitiously glanced along the corridor taking in the nurses’ station that was teaming with staff. She suddenly veered left into the treatment room.

Utterly intrigued by this uncharacteristic behaviour, he followed. ‘Shall I close the door?’

She tugged hard at some stray strands of her hair before pushing them behind her ears. ‘Thanks.’

He closed the door and flicked the blinds to the closed position before leaning back against the wide bench. Claire stood a metre or more away, her plump lips deliciously red. He shifted his gaze and— Damn it! His eyes caught on a fluttering pulse beating at the base of her throat. She really had the most gloriously long, smooth neck that just begged to be explored.

That as may be, but remember most of the time she’s a pain in the ass. Not to mention, she’s your trainee.

‘Alistair,’ she started purposefully and then stopped.

‘Claire.’ He couldn’t help teasing back. He’d never seen her at a loss before and it was deliciously refreshing.

She took in such a deep breath that her breasts rose, stressing the button he was pretty certain sat just above her bra line. Was it delicate sheer lace or plainly utilitarian? It was his experience plain women often wore the sexiest underwear.

With that mouth, she’s hardly plain.

As if on cue, the tip of her tongue peeked out, flicking the bow of her top lip.

His blood leapt.

She cleared her throat. ‘I hope you won’t take this the wrong way but…’

Trying to look utterly unaffected by her, he cocked one brow and reminded himself of the times she’d been critical of him. ‘My sensibilities haven’t stopped you from giving me your opinion before.’

This time she definitely blushed but somehow she managed to wrestle her embarrassment under control with dignity. ‘True, but that was work. This doesn’t exactly fall into that category. Although I suppose it does technically if you—’

‘You’re babbling,’ he said hoping it would force her to focus. At the same time, he had an absurd and unexpected need to rescue her from herself.

Her head jerked up so fast he was worried her neck might snap but then she hit him with a gimlet stare. He forced himself not to squirm as an unsettling feeling trickled through him. Did she see straight through the man he liked to show the world? Had she glimpsed the corner edge of the bubbling mess he kept securely sealed away?

‘As the head of the department of neurosurgery,’ she said tightly, ‘I think it’s important you lead by example and attend the Spring Fling.’

The Spring Fling? Surely he’d misheard. ‘You mean the neurosurgery spring symposium?’

She shook her head and once again the blush bloomed on her cheeks. She swallowed and that damn tongue of hers darted out to moisten her lips. This time as the zip of heat hit him, he pushed off the bench to try and shake it off.

‘I mean the fundraising ball,’ she said slowly as if the words were being reluctantly pulled out of her.

He couldn’t resist. ‘Are you inviting me to the ball?’

Her eyes widened in consternation. ‘No!’ For a moment, indignation spun around her before fading with a sigh and a fall of her shoulders. ‘I mean perhaps. Yes. In a manner of speaking.’

His mouth twitched. ‘It’s good to know you’re so decisive.’

Her chin shot up jabbing the air. ‘You can tease me all you like, Mr— Alistair, but you know as well as I do that at the bare minimum there should a neurosurgery staff table at the ball.’

Damn it to hell. She was absolutely right but how had she found out he wasn’t going? He’d been keeping that bit of information on the down low more out of embarrassment than anything else. A couple of months ago, just before Claire had arrived, he’d had a particularly tough day. He’d lost a patient— a two year-old boy with a brainstem glioma— and for some reason he’d avoided the sympathetic eyes of his staff at the Frog and Peach. He’d hit a trendy bar in Soho instead and in retrospect, he’d consumed one whiskey too many.

It had been enough to scramble his usually accurate crazy-woman detector. As a result, he’d allowed himself to be tempted by the Amazonian features of Lela. The thirty year-old was a fitness instructor as well as being a part-time security guard. They’d had a lot of fun together until he’d realised her possessive streak wasn’t limited to bedroom games.

He knew the ball committee had flagged the idea of auctioning off the chairs next to eligible bachelors. Usually he’d have been fine with the concept and embraced it, but he’d been worried Lela might turn up and cause a nasty public spectacle. Or worse, buy the ticket. To save himself and the hospital embarrassment he’d decided not to attend the ball but to make a sizeable donation to the cause instead. The only person he’d mentioned this plan to was Dominic.

Stupid! Stupid, Stupid. The paediatric trauma surgeon had obviously broken the bro-code and told Victoria. What was it about a man in love that made him prepared to throw his mate under the bus just to stay in sweet with his lady? Now the i-dotting and t-crossing Claire Mitchell was calling him out on a perceived lack of social etiquette.

He ploughed his hand through his hair. God, he’d been raised on etiquette and the irony that an Australian with their supposedly class-less society was reminding him of his social responsibilities almost made him laugh. Perhaps he could turn this whole Lela-and-the-ball mess around and use it to his advantage.

‘Let me get this straight,’ he said with a lazy smile. ‘You’re prepared to spend an evening with me just to make sure I do the right thing?’

This time she was the one to raise an eyebrow. ‘As your 2IC, I can’t expect you to attend the ball if I’m not prepared to attend.’

‘Ah, yes, that sucker duty gets you every time.’

She stiffened. ‘But it seems you’re often immune.’

Ouch. Her words tried to scratch him like the sharp tip of a knife but he didn’t need to justify himself to her. He was very well aware of his duty. Ironically, duty had arrived in a rush just after he’d vowed to make the most of every new day that had been gifted to him. It was the juxtaposition of his life.

‘None of us are immune, Claire. It’s just I try to have a bit of fun with duty and not take it too seriously.’

She narrowed her eyes, ‘And you’re inferring that I don’t have fun?’

Not that I’ve seen. ‘Have you had any fun since arriving in London?’

She looked momentarily nonplussed. ‘I…um…yes. Of course.’

Liar. But he was planning on having some fun with her right now and killing two birds with one stone. ‘Excellent. I can certainly promise you fun at the ball. Especially considering how you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty and bought the seat next to me.’

‘What?’ She paled, her expression momentarily aghast and then she rallied. ‘I don’t get paid enough for that.’

‘Brutal.’ He exaggeratedly slapped his chest in the general area of his heart, his long fingers grazing the lower edge of his pacemaker. ‘And here I was thinking I was your date. I tell you what. I’ll pay for both of our tickets.’

‘That won’t be necess—’

‘It’s the least I can do,’ he interrupted, waving away her protest. ‘I imagine it was Victoria who dropped you right in it.’

She grimaced. ‘You’re not wrong there.’

He made a huffing sound more at the absent Dominic than her. ‘The good thing is you’ll be saving me from having to play nice all evening.’

Effrontery streaked across her face. ‘Well, when you put it like that, I can hardly wait,’ she said drily.

Her sarcasm was unexpected and delightfully refreshing and he heard himself laugh. He wasn’t used to a woman viewing an evening with him as a trial. The women he dated erred on the appreciative side and often went to great lengths to make him happy. Not Claire Mitchell.

A streak of anticipation shot threw him. Without realizing, she’d just thrown down a challenge. He wasn’t totally convinced she was capable of having fun and he had a sudden urge to know what she looked like when she was in the midst of a good time.

She’d smile like she did when you let her operate solo. Remember how you felt then?

    He disregarded the warning that it was probably unwise to be looking forward to the ball quite this much.

‘So will you be picking me—’ His phone rang with the ICU ringtone and as he pulled it from his pocket, Claire’s pager beeped.

‘North,’ he said answering the call just as Claire mouthed to him ‘ICU?’

Listening to the nurse on the other end of the line, he nodded at Claire and opened the treatment room door. As she walked quickly past him, her crisp scent of the sea drifted back to him and he was suddenly back on Bondi Beach when his life had been simpler and with few restraints placed upon it.

‘We’re on our way,’ he told the worried nurse. Stepping out into the corridor, he followed Claire down the fire escape, taking the fastest way to ICU.

****

You can buy Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon and all the other books in the series at Mills & Boon UK, Harelquin USA and Mills & Boon Australia

Book Awards, The Writing Life

Celebrating Milestones By Fiona Lowe

RIMG0010Back in 2006,when my debut novel, Pregnant on Arrival , a medical romance, hit the shelf, I had a party. I had two actually! One at home with a small book signing and the other at the RWAustralia conference. Fast forward to 2012 and my first single title novel, (my 9th overall) Boomerang Bride gave me a party when it unexepectedly won amefave1
Rita award. Since then I have happily bounced between writing medical romances and the single title romances, taking me up to 28 books. Apart from online ‘parties’ to launch these books, I haven’t done much more than that. Well, there has been the odd glass of champagne 😉

So here I am at book 29, Daughter of Mine, which in some ways is a big departure for me and yet it isn’t. I wanted to write a multigenerational novel  about mothers, daughters and sisters, and to do that I had to move beyond a novel that focused on one or two couples. Yet, I couldn’t have written Daughter of Mine without the preceeding 22 medical romances and six single title romances 🙂 Romance fiction taught me how to write deep emotion…how to wring feeling out of words, and I channelled all that into Daughter of Mine.  So with this new book baby in my hands, I decided it was another milestone and a party was in order. We threw a book launch 🙂

Boy Wonder, who is on a gap year, organised it. After meeting with me in the office (aka, the kitchen table) and being given the budget, he set to work. He designed the invitation, he found the venue, he bought the alcohol, he liaised with the caterer, he made sure the microphone had batteries……  All I had to do was buy a dress and shoes, write a speech and turn up 🙂

70 people came to help me launch Daughter of Mine, including the fabulous Julie from Dymocks, who brought the book store 🙂 I even read a passage from the book! There was champagne, some yummy nibbles and a lot of joy. The old blue stone mansion’s ballroom was THE perfect venue as the book features two such houses.

The experts are always telling us that acknowledging milestones and having traditions are important for our mental health and family cohesion. To that end, I’ve always made a fuss of birthdays, and singled out turning 13, 18 & 21, along with graduations from school levels.  I’m just not that great at throwing parties for me, but I am really glad we did it.

Are you a milestone/traditions person? How do you celebrate?

BOOK NEWS!  Two books! Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon and Daughter of Mine!

Daughter of Mine CoverDaughter of Mine, is out now in print and eBook in Australia and New Zealand. (Oh, and Harriet is a surgeon…)

And here’s the blurb….

When your world falls apart the only person you can depend on is your sister. 

The three Chirnwell sisters are descended from the privileged squattocracy in Victoria’s Western District — but could a long-held secret threaten their family?

Harriett Chirnwell has a perfect life — a husband who loves her, a successful career and a daughter who is destined to become a doctor just like her.

Xara has always lived in Harriet’s shadow; her chaotic life with her family on their sheep farm falls far short of her older sister’s standards of perfection and prestige.

Georgie, the youngest sister and a passionate teacher, is the only one of the three to have left Billawarre. But is her life in Melbourne happy?

Despite all three sisters having a different and sometimes strained bond with their mother, Edwina, they come together to organise a party for her milestone birthday — the first since their father’s death. But when Edwina arrives at her party on the arm of another man, the tumult is like a dam finally breaking. Suddenly the lives of the Chirnwell sisters are flooded by scandal. Criminal accusations, a daughter in crisis, and a secret over fifty years in the making start to crack the perfect façade of the prominent pastoral family.

A thought provoking novel about family expectations, secrets and lies.

Buy links are here

9780373215218On March 21st April, Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon, a Mills & Boon medical romance and book two of the Paddington Children’s Hospital series is on side. 🙂 Set in London, it features a buttoned up neurosurgeon and a fish-out-of-water Australian, who is driven to succeed. There is also a fairy tale ball  so what more can you ask for 🙂

The blurb: Unbuttoned—and out of bounds!

Sparks fly from day one between playboy neurosurgeon Alistair North and his talented, sexy trainee surgeon Claire Mitchell. He’s on a mission to help überserious Claire relax, but his cavalier approach is driving her crazy.

Alistair is completely out of bounds, even if he is completely gorgeous—he’s her boss! But when he confronts Claire after a difficult surgery, desire overcomes reason. With secrets holding them both back, can they find a way to turn their forbidden passion into forever?

Buy Links are here

Happy Reading! Fiona x

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Summertime and the Living is Hot!

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The heat has hit and the energy levels have plummeted. Combine that with being the one person in the household who is working…make that supposed to be working…while everyone else is on holidays, well, I’m lacking in commitment.

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I’ve had a sensational two months. I spent that last 8 days of November and the first 14 days of December in the USA. Ten days in New York City, Baby! And 12 days in New Mexico and Texas; the urban jungle and then the wilderness. All of it was fabulous. In NYC, Boy Wonder, the son who loves a musical, saw 7 shows, Billy Joel in concert and jazz at the Lincoln Centre. Not bad! I saw half of that…

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We got home a week before Christmas, a time filled with shopping and baking followed by family celebrations, New Year, and houseguests. I did print out the 183 pages of the novel am writing and read it to remind me of the story. I don’t think my mind was ready to cope with an analytical read and I just wanted to change every word. I set it aside and rationalised that a new website was necessary before the cover reveal for my next book.

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The website is live! (Please take a peek, cos Boy Wonder did an amazing job with some help from an IT coder) The cover for Daughter of Mine* is revealed! Can I settle to work? NO!

Boy Wonder is waiting for university offers, which is VERY distracting and I am supposed to be going to the beach to camp for a couple of weeks. I am going to have to take my battery operated word processor and try and write some words each day. That is fine in theory but mostly I am missing the desire to work. I can’t seem to find it anywhere!  It happens every January. The heat zaps my energy. Half the country is on holidays and I willingly and easily distracted.

Anyone got any tips on how I can find my mojo cos I tell you, the deadline for the book isn’t scaring me enough yet and it really should be!

(Shh, but Daughter of Mine isn’t a medical romance per se BUT one of the protagonists is a female surgeon. It’s a 500 page novel about family, tangled secrets and lies. It’s being released on March 1st in Australia and NZ and can be preordered now.)

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Life in Limbo

Hello! It’s my turn to blog and I’m sitting here thinking a lot of cool stuff is about to happen but none of it has happened yet so I am in information limbo!

dscf4598I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to show you my cover for my novel Daughter of Mine, which is out March 1st but it’s not quite ready. There’s been a lot of back and forth getting the design ‘just right’ and I’ve enjoyed the process. I flew up to Sydney last week to meet with the sales and marketing people at Harper Collins/Harlequin Mira, which was exciting. An added extra treat was Kandy Shepherd, a Mills & Boon Romance author, popped across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and met me for breakfast! How lovely was that?

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Boy Wonder is now in full-on exam mode. Many of his mates have finished but as he chose to do the International Baccalaureate, his exams started a bit later. The house has been in limbo for three weeks now while he studies and we are all ready for that to be over. Roll on November 21st! Mind you, it’s going to be odd next year when I don’t have to do a school book list, organise uniform, pack lunch…. New era coming. See? still in limbo…48354afebb7bf0f3d782b349d7cd460a

20081027-igobblenyOn November 22nd we fly out to New York City, baby!! We’re having 10 days there in an apartment and then ten days touring around New Mexico. I’m calling it the “New” tour. Dear friends are flying from Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with us there and we have shows booked and so much fun planned, but, can’t tell you about it cos it hasn’t happened yet!  Right now, I’m in the yucky bit of trying to get all the Christmas cards written, the cake baked and a few other things done before I leave. I also have to write a “How the house works” guide for The Lad, who is staying at home to work and mind the house. And don’t mention packing…I am also the worst procrastinator for packing so gah! I have to start thinking about that. All top tips for packing light appreciated!

Right now are you treading water waiting for things to happen OR are you in the thick of things?