Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Ups and Downs

It’s been a strange old month. I started it off by spectacularly falling down the stairs – all because I turned around to pick up the remains of a paper bag, my dog had shredded halfway up. The small of my back took the brunt of the fall, resulting in these lovely bruises taking shape at the base of my spine …

Yes. They hurt. I also had some spectacular bruises on my right wrist, along with a carpet burn, so all in all, a pretty hard fall. I couldn’t lie down, stand up, sit down or move without sounding like a ninety-year old, but nothing was broken, so I pretty much just carried on with life. As you do, when you’re a mum of four and things need doing. Laundry doesn’t stop when you’re injured and apparently children need feeding three times a day, so …

A week or so after my injury, I went to the Reader’s Day at Guildford Literary Festival. I met my friend, Neats, from The Haphazardous Hippo Blog and we managed to get front row seats! It was just a shame that those seats were hard, wooden ones and we were going to be sat in them for six hours, so by the end of the day, my poor, bruised back was protesting.

Fanny Blake led the questioning of the authors and it really was a fascinating day and one I’d recommend anyone go to. Seven authors were interviewed – Polly Clark (Larchfield), Lucy Atkins (The Night Visitor), Rachel Joyce (The Music Shop), Veronica Henry (The Forever House), Fiona Barton (The Child), Kate Eberlen (Miss You) and as a last minute stand-in for an ill Penny Vincenzi, we also got Alison Pearson (How Hard Can It Be).

I loved listening to the authors talk about their inspiration, their writing routines and the challenges they face as writers and as women who want to write about relationships. Not just romantic relationships, but friendships, too. How friendships can blossom in the strangest of places and how truth is very often much stranger than fiction. And I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of Lucy Atkin’s literary agency when she rang up to say that the book she’d been working so hard on was all about dung beetles!

Research can take you down strange paths indeed!

The next book I have out is Pregnant With His Royal Twins and this book came about because I really wanted to write a heroine who was the survivor of an acid attack. There had been one or two stories in the news about the rise of acid attacks on both men and women and the research took me down some pretty grim paths and so I really wanted to write about the psychological effect this has on a person. Here’s the blurb …

thumbnail_IMG_1112Midwife Freya MacFadden has stuck to night shifts since she was injured in an acid attack. But a hospital costume ball offers her the chance to hide her scars, and, lost in the moment, she seizes a passionate encounter with a handsome stranger. Leaving her pregnant…with his twins!

Desert prince Jameel Al Bakhari fought hard for his medical career, far from his kingdom of Majidar. And he’ll fight for kind and courageous Freya and their babies, too! But first Jamie must show her how beautiful she really is!

It comes out December 19th, so just in time for Christmas! I do hope you’ll check it out and, as always, leave an honest review. Many thanks! And as I won’t get to blog again until after Christmas, dare I wish you all an early Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year? **runs and hides**

Louisa xxx

 

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Choices

We’ve been thinking a lot about choices in the Heaton household just lately and how important they are. How saying yes to one thing can take you down a completely different road to saying no, how saying this is what I want to do, can change everything completely and forever.

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Choices and change can be frightening. Choices can sometimes be made easily and sometimes, require a lot of forethought.

This year, I’ve had three teenagers receive their GCSE results. They had to make the choice as to whether they were going to put the work in, in class, whether they were going to revise and whether they were going to give their all in their exams. The results were mixed, but I know they did their very best and now my three teenagers have choices ahead of them.

Which college to go to?

Which courses are they allowed to do?

What do they want to do in life? What are their goals and ambitions?

These last questions are ones I frequently consider when thinking up a new story. What do I already know about my characters, but what do I think they want from life? What is it in their past history that might be holding them back? What are their goals, ambitions and values? What do they want more than anything?

Because once I make those choices for them, that is the road upon which they will travel. There may be bumps in the road, diversions. They may even do a complete about turn and make another choice, due to circumstances.

But there are always choices. There are always options, no matter how cornered or hopeless everything may seem.

medical3In Their Double Baby Gift, Dr Brooke Bailey makes the choice to return to work after having her baby girl. The hero, Major Matt Galloway makes the choice to take over his wife’s old post and uphold the promise his wife made to Brooke, before she died. Their lives could have been so different if neither of them made those choices.

Matt soldiers on through life despite his PTSD, putting on a brave face and creating a mask for everyone else, but what would his life be like if he gave into the fear and the terrors and flashbacks?

They would both be completely different people.

As authors, we are always making choices for our characters and this for me, is the best part of story-telling. We might put our characters through some rough ups and downs occasionally, but we’re always nice to them in the end! And after the book finishes? Well, their story and their happy ever after is completely up to them, though I guess we all hope and assume they continue to love each other for the rest of their lives.

We all make choices each and every day as to what we’re going to put into our relationships with each other. Supporting a spouse, guiding a child, being there for a friend or neighbour.

As writers we make good art.

But as people, let’s make good choices, too. Choices that show our love and support of one another through tough times and the sometimes difficult and unfair world we live in today. Make good art. Make good choices. And everyone will be there to support you.

Louisa xxx

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

If You Can’t Stand The Heat …

Here in the UK, it’s hot. Very hot. Late twenties, early thirties degrees Celsius.

Now, I appreciate that for some of you from traditionally warmer climes, that might not seem much, but we Brits are not used to such temperatures. We look forward to a bit of sun all year and then when we get it, we tend to moan and complain a bit about it being too hot.

We don’t mean to complain. We should be grateful. it is, after all, what we have been waiting for all year, but we can’t help it.

Our homes don’t have air conditioning. We have thermostats.

So, I thought I’d compile a list of all the wonderful things we could do to try and keep cool in the warm weather.

  1. Read. (I mean, this goes without saying, right?)
  2. Sleep. (if you’re lucky enough to not be surrounded by other people who want you to do stuff.)
  3. Eat ice lollies. (It’s just ice, right? Hardly any calories at all.)
  4. Sit in a paddling pool (the one you bought for the dog and grandchildren)
  5. Dream of winter. (Or, if you’re an author, write a book set at Christmas! All that lovely snow and frost. Mmm, icicles!)
  6. Run through  a sprinkler system. (multiple times)
  7. Go food shopping. (it’s always terrifically cold in the refrigerated section)
  8. Have a cold shower.
  9. Do a random act of kindness. Go visit an elderly neighbour and make sure they’re okay.

So, what do you recommend for a stiflingly hot day, when it’s just way too hot to do anything?

Louisa Heaton’s next release, Their Double Baby Gift, is released July 1st!

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Can two and two – really make four?

Widower Major Matt Galloway came to London Grace Hospital for his tiny daughter. But he finds himself facing a barrel of emotions on meeting beautiful Dr Brooke Bailey—his late wife’s best friend and single mum to her own baby girl.

Brooke can’t believe Matt is her new boss. But the feelings she has for him are even more troublesome. Brooke swore to raise her baby alone, but loving father Matt melts her heart and Brooke starts to hope…could they really make one big happy family, after all?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Quirky Stories

Reunited By Their Pregnancy Surprise

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I decided to write Reunited By Their Pregnancy Surprise for a very special reason. It uses the amnesia trope and some of you may already know, that my own parents had their very own amnesia story.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to write such a story. It had such personal significance to me, but I also knew a lot of people don’t actually like amnesia stories!

So, it was a risk. But one I wanted to take.

Years and years ago, when my Mum and Dad were engaged to be married, my Dad was in the army, the Sherwood Foresters (no prizes for guessing which city I was made in!) He got stationed abroad a lot – Malaysia, Cyprus, Ireland. But it was in Singapore, when he was driving a water truck through the jungle, that it overturned and he received a significant head injury.

Dad woke up in hospital, not knowing his name, how old he was, who he was or even where he was. The padre in the hospital went through his uniform pockets and found a love letter that my Mum had written to him, just the week before. So the padre then wrote to my Mum, telling her what had happened and that my Dad would be flown back to England and she and his family would have the job of re-educating my Dad.

I’m sure you can imagine my Mum’s distress. She and my Dad had fallen in love, but he now didn’t know who she was! Could she get him to fall in love with her all over again?

Happily (and obviously, because I am alive) she managed this task. My parents have now been married 53 years, have four children and five grandchildren and to this day, my Dad still doesn’t have any memories of his childhood.

It was hard to come up with a completely different story, whilst also documenting the angst the grief of such an accident and how it can affect two people and those around them. That it DOES happen. It’s a trope, for a reason.

I do hope you’ll be able to check it out. It has a lot of my heart in it.

So tell me your favourite trope and WHY?

Louisa Heaton’s next title is out in July, Their Double Baby Gift9780373215423

Can two and two – really make four?

Widower Corporal Matt Galloway came to London Grace Hospital for his tiny daughter. But he finds himself facing a barrel of emotions on meeting beautiful Dr Brooke Bailey—his late wife’s best friend and single mum to her own baby girl.

Brooke can’t believe Matt is her new boss. But the feelings she has for him are even more troublesome. Brooke swore to raise her baby alone, but loving father Matt melts her heart and Brooke starts to hope…could they really make one big happy family, after all?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

RoNA Nomination!

medcover3Now, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, I’m really not. I’m the kind of girl (woman) that sits quietly in the corner, watching everyone else have their fun, smiling broadly to let them know I’m part of it, but not really joining in kind of introvert.

When other people have got something to be proud of, I’m really happy for them and amazed by their luck and good fortune and kind of hope that one day that luck and fortune might smile my way.

And you know what? It has.

My release last year of Seven Nights With Her Ex is a finalist in the RoNA Rose Awards!

A finalist!

This kind of thing never happens to me. It just doesn’t. But I submitted my book to the awards, just to see what would happen. I didn’t expect it to get anywhere, because, let’s face it, there’s some amazing Mills and Boon authors out there in every line and there are some amazing stories out there, too. Authors that have been writing for years, who know what they’re doing (I still feel like an amateur) and I couldn’t possibly hope to compete with them.

And then I got an email. Back in November, I think it was, informing me that I had made it to the finals and could I please keep it a secret until they announced it on February 7th?

O. M. G.

Me? Little ole’ me?

Let me tell you something about Seven Nights With Her Ex. I was looking to set my book somewhere other than the UK and thought about the place I wanted to visit the most. That place was Yellowstone Park. I suggested a research trip to my husband, who was up for that, but then we ran the plan past our children and my eldest (who frets about these things) told us that there was no way in hell we were going to a park that happened to be sitting on a giant super volcano that was past its due date to go off!

Now I may have downplayed the ‘frets’ thing. My eldest suffers with anxiety, panic disorder and OCD and our suggesting the trip, made him bad. So much so, we cancelled the idea and I bought myself a Lonely Planet guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Hey, I had Google Earth, right? I could research it instead. Problem solved, I thought.

Only the problem wasn’t solved. I got about four chapters in and the writing dried up. I couldn’t think what to put next, I was completely frozen, tearing my hair out one day and crying the next, why on earth did I think it was a good idea to set a MEDICAL in the middle of a national park, instead of a hospital???

My husband would calm me down when I got frantic, tossing bits of paper here, there and everywhere, muttering “no, that won’t work. Nor that. This is stupid!”

He picked up the books I’d written before and placed them before me. “See those?”

I looked at them. “Yes?”

“You wrote those.” he said. “You can do this. Now get on with it.”

Okay, so it wasn’t an inspiring speech on par with the world’s greatest orators, but it did its job. I stopped freaking out, I got a grip of myself and I wrote. And wrote.Until it was done (disclaimer : I made this sound easier than it actually was) and then I sent it in to my editor to see what she thought.

It needed revisions. Two lots of revisions, suggestions that filled several pages, that I highlighted and diligently worked through until she finally accepted it.

This book was hard to write. It almost defeated me.

And now its up for an award. Which is odd and strange and delightful in equal measure.

Even if I don’t win, I will still feel like a winner.

Because I won the second I typed, ‘The End.’

So keep your fingers crossed for me. The awards night is March 13th in London. In fact, please keep your fingers crossed for those lovely ladies who are finalists with me – Scarlet Wilson (Cherish); Christy McKellen (Cherish); Virginia Heath (Historical) and Kate Hardy (Cherish)

We have all written the stories of our hearts and poured a bit of ourselves into each and every one. That they are recognised for that is pure joy for a writer, especially when we hear from readers just how much those stories mean to them, too.

So raise your glasses and toast the finalists.

We’re all winners in my book.

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Dublin ahoy!

This past weekend, myself and the other authors of the Kate Nash Literary Agency, went over to Dublin for a Very Important Business Meeting. The fact that our Very Important Business Meeting happened mostly in bars and pubs, was simply coincidental, but I can assure you all, that business was indeed taken care of, amongst the mingling with the RNA Irish Chapter, helped along with wine and nibbles and the occasional glass of Guinness.

Dublin itself was amazing. It was my first time there and my husband and I (I sound like the Queen) had the morning to ourselves, so we went exploring. We were hoping to find the museum with the Bog Bodies, so at first we went to the Natural History Museum where we saw the skeletons of some huge Giant Irish Deer, that I’d never heard of before, and thought (initially) that they had to be some sort of joke. They were scarily large and a quick search of our friend Google assured me, that they were indeed real in the Pleistocene era.

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A bit further along in some of the smaller cases, I found these spooky-looking bats and this other chap, who being the size of my outstretched hand, scared the hell out of me.

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Around the corner from the NHM, we found the Archaeological Museum, which housed the Bog Bodies and loads of other interesting history artefacts.

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The detailing of the mummy sarcophagi in the Ancient Egypt section was incredibly fascinating and I could have stayed there all day, but I had a pub to get to.

We met the RNA Irish Chapter in JW Sweetmans, just over the River Liffey near Trinity College and O’Connell Street, after we’d had a quick stroll down a heaving Grafton Street. The authors from the agency did a quick ‘panel’ handed out books and postcards and bookmarks and then we got to mingle, which was great fun. The ladies over there were so welcoming and warm and none of us seemed like strangers at all. It was like we’d always known each other and the camaraderie and laughter lasted all afternoon until it was time to return to the MS Boudicca, our ship for the return home. This was my last sight of Dublin.

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All in all, it was a fabulous trip! And I miss all my new friends already. Still, there’s always the next RNA event to look forward to next year!

So all that’s left, is for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Louisa’s latest book, Christmas With the Single Dad is available at all good bookstores, brick built and online! Click on any of the buy links below.

Amazon (US) Amazon (UK) Mills and Boon (UK) Barnes & Noble 

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

People Watching

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy the time you read this, I’ll be on this vessel. The Independence of the Seas. I love cruising and watching my family have a great time and there’s nothing more relaxing than being on a cruise ship. If you’ve never tried one, do it if you can! It’s an experience.

Where else can you be treated like a queen? Because it doesn’t happen at home, I can tell you! At home, I’m chief maid, laundry person, cook and nurse. Not to mention chauffeur, homework advisor, birthday rememberer (is that a word?) and a whole lot of other job titles.

But not queen.

The one thing I love the most about being on board, is the people watching. I have one or two favourite spots, overlooking the promenade that runs down the heart of the ship and I can fully indulge in my favourite hobby, whilst I sip my tea and eat the cookies that have been made especially for me (queen, remember?) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I go all Sherlock. Analysing everything about them to see what I can define about them. I give them names, I imagine what job they have and how they are with their friends. Whether they have an accent, what kinds of things they like doing – I create their story. (I also get to do this out dog walking every day. People wear some weird things when they dog walk and let’s not forget that chic accessory of a bag of dog poop!)

Because all good writers need great characters for their stories and they have to be fully-fleshed out individuals. Not just a name, an age and a backstory of something tragic. They have to be a person. With quirks and traits, not just physical description. I have to know who they are. What their dreams are. Their secrets. Their fears. I have to know the one thing they would never tell anyone else. I have to know who broke their heart, or who betrayed them, or what their opinions are on anything from Trump v Clinton, down to whether they like to eat Brussels Sprouts!

img_9982People are weird and fascinating. Even my own family are weird and fascinating. (Here’s my husband and one of my sons. Told ya. Weird.) Six individuals who have all been living together for years and each of them different and unique, with strengths and weaknesses that would surprise a lot of you.

People watching is an endless fascination, because there are so many different stories. Each person will inspire something wonderful when I see them, surprising me and letting me store that fact away, so that when I’m thinking up new characters, I can take ickle bitty things from each one, to create someone new.

If I could get away with just people watching on the boat, I’d be a very happy woman, but there’s so much to do, I’m probably off ice skating, or playing golf, or eating. (yeah, probably eating, to be honest!) img_1188

Do you like people watching? Who is the most unique character you have ever seen? I’d love to hear about them!

Louisa’s next title, Christmas With The Single Dad is out December 1, 2016 and is available from all good stockists.

Amazon (UK) Amazon (US) Barnes & Noble Mills and Boon

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