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.

 

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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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Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Seven Nights With Her Ex!

Hello and welcome! Can you believe it’s nearly the end of August? I’ve already started planning Christmas! It’s shocking.

Well, my next book is about to be out, depending on where you live and whether you want to purchase a Kindle version or the paperback – Seven Nights With Her Ex.

It’s set in Yellowstone Park and I had great fun writing this story (*read moments of sheer terror that I no longer had the ability to write a book/should never have set it outdoors/must have been having an out of body experience/occasional moments of joy)

516YRfywusL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_But by the time I had my first draft done, I was beginning to feel calmer. Beau and Gray, the hero and heroine of my story were beginning to cooperate and by the time I’d redrafted once or twice (maybe even three or four times) with the help of my editor, Nic, I finally had a story that I was really happy with. When I read it now, I cannot find the chapters that haunted me, the chapters that I struggled with or the chapters that made me want to run screaming into the streets.

So I thought today, I’d share with you a little snippet from Chapter One. Hopefully to whet your appetite! Beau has just arrived at the ranger station in Yellowstone Park and has discovered that the man who left her at the altar twelve years ago, is also going to be sharing the next seven days with her! But here we start with Gray’s POV.

But here there was peace. And quiet. And–

The door swung open with a loud creak and suddenly she was there. Alone. Before him. Those ice-blue eyes of hers were staring him down. Cold. Unfeeling.

He got to his feet, his mouth suddenly dry.

‘I think it’s time I made some rules about the next week.’ she crossed her arms, waiting for his response.

‘Beau, I–‘

‘First of all,’ she interrupted, holding up her hand for silence, ‘I think we should agree not to speak to each other. I appreciate that circumstances may not always allow for that, so if you do speak to me, then I’d prefer it was only about the course. Nothing else. Nothing personal.’

‘But I need to–‘

‘Second of all, you are to tell no-one here what happened between us. I will not become the subject of idle gossip. And thirdly, when this is over, you will not contact me, you will not call. You will maintain the silence that you have been so expert at keeping for the last eleven years. Do you understand?’

He did understand. All too keenly. She wanted nothing to do with him. Which was fair enough. Except that he felt that now she was here, right in front of him, this week might be his chance to explain everything. Forget a pathetic phone call or a scrappy little email. That had never been his style anyway. He had seven days in which to lower her walls, get her to accept his white flag of truce and ask her to listen to him.

So! Hope you guys enjoyed that. Seven Nights With her Ex is available from the Mills and Boon website, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, plus Barnes and Noble and Kobo. (Click on any of the blue highlighted text to take you straight through to a buy link)

Enjoy what’s left of August! (School starts soon. Eek!)

Louisa xxx

http://www.louisaheaton.com

Twitter – @louisaheaton

 

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

Bucket Lists

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Just recently on Facebook, there have been a whole sheaf of bucket lists appearing where you either tick or place a heart next to the things that you have done. To me, these mass bucket lists are bit weird. Some of them have things like, see a dead body; watch someone die; fired a gun.

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Odd, really. None of those should be on a bucket list! These lists are about aspirational things, surely?

I have a few things on my bucket list.

  1. Visit Canada.
  2. Visit New Zealand.
  3. Visit Australia.
  4. Go on safari in Africa.
  5. Swim with wild dolphins.
  6. Write a bestseller! (of course! lol)
  7. Be a passenger in an off road rally car.

But there’s one place I really want to go. A place I want to wander around for weeks, just absorbing the atmosphere and soaking up the nature and that place, is Yellowstone Park.

If ever there is a documentary about this place, then I watch it. If I come across someone else’s account of being there, I read it. Avidly. I stare at pictures on Pinterest, I dream, I wish, I wonder…

And so I decided to set a book there. Seven Nights With Her Ex. I figured that if I was going to write a book there, then I ought to go there (at least) and research it properly. I told my husband, who was thrilled at the idea and then we mentioned it to the kids.

Big mistake! My eldest son suffers from really bad anxiety, panic attacks and OCD and part of his OCD and anxiety are the thoughts that something really bad will happen to us. So when we mentioned we were thinking of planning a research trip to a majestical spot that just so happens to have a giant super volcano underneath it (that’s apparently due to go off at any moment, but its late, like a woman with a dodgy menstrual cycle) he told us, in no uncertain terms that we were not allowed to go!

So, I had to make do with my trusty, well-thumbed, Lonely Planet guide to Yellowstone and Teton parks. Oh, and my Pinterest board!

Sigh.

Seven Nights With Her Ex will be out September 1st, here are the pre-order/book buy links below. And do tell me what’s on your Bucket List!

Amazon (UK)

Amazon (US)

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Pets

In My ‘Spare’ Time

IMG_0547I’m about to embark on writing my seventh title for Harlequin Medical and in and around writing, I have to lead this whole other life. Apart from being a wife and a mother to four (16yrs, twins of 15yrs and a 12yr old) I also run a dog walking business and find time to do some hobbies.

I love dogs. Plain and simple. From mongrels to pedigrees, Great Danes to Teacup Yorkies, I love our four-legged friends. I have two of my own, Daisy (a 9 yr old Golden Retriever) and Mango (a 4 yr old Yorkie Terrier). And as I live on an island, I get to walk on the beach every day, come rain (which we get more than our fair share of) or shine (which we don’t get nearly enough of!)

I love walking every day. It blows away the cobwebs and of course, its perfect thinking time for when I’m stuck on a plot point, or can’t quite work out what to do next. I can talk out loud, asking myself ‘what if?’ questions and no-one bats an eyelid! Mainly because I just pretend I’m talking to the dogs, and, to be fair, I think I get away with it! We all talk to our animals, don’t we? Ask them questions? In that little sing-song voice?

And when I’m not writing, or dog-walking, or being a mum, or running the house, then I like to quilt. I currently have a few projects on the go at the moment – a quilt for my daughter (in progress below) and a hand-sewing project, which I can sit and do in the evenings, usually listening to an audiobook, or a podcast.

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And when I’m not doing ANY of that? I’m Konmari-ing my house! Has anyone heard of Marie Kondo? The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Tidying Up? Finding objects that Spark Joy?

So….not much to be getting on with!

How about you? When you’re not writing, or reading books, what’s going on in your life? What do you like to do in your ‘spare’ time? I’d love to know!

Louisa Heaton’s last release was One Life-Changing Night, a story of second chances, set in a busy London A&E.

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Spoiler Alert!

You know how it is….you’re watching a series on television and you’re hooked. Anxiously awaiting the next episode because you just have to know what happens next! You so love said show, e.g., The Walking Dead, you read anything you can get your hands on about it. You read about Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) you look at cool (could they be anything else?) pics of Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) and you hate it when they have that mid-season break, agonising over when it will be on again, checking the TV schedules, finally happily posting on Facebook and Twitter, that there’s just one more week before it starts again!

And then you read a spoiler. By accident or not, it somehow reaches your eyes and you feel a vast vat of emotions:

Rick does what?

Carol kills who?

Daryl puts down his crossbow and takes up knitting? What?????

Part of you is gleeful at having got some secret info, but another part, the writer part, is a little unhappy. You kind of liked the suspense. You kind of liked not knowing where it was going to go. You kind of liked asking yourself, ‘What If?’ Because, hey, that’s a writer’s favourite question.

So what about when it comes to books? There are people out there, hiding amongst us, that when they come to choose a book for purchase, they check out the cover, they read the blurb, maybe the acknowledgements and the dedication and the first page and then they READ THE LAST PAGE OF THE STORY!!!!!!

They do it on purpose. They want to know how the story ends, before they even start reading it properly. To make sure…..what? That it has a happy ending? That it’s not secretly some part of a trilogy and they can’t be bothered to trawl through three books? What is it?

I don’t understand this. To me, a book is the start of an exploration, an adventure, in which you get to delve into the lives of some people and follow them through their life, laughing with them, despairing with them, crying with them, sometimes (ooh, matron!) being with them whilst they have sex! I want to be with them during all of this, I want to feel their pain, their hope, their joy and yes, whilst I do very much want a happy ending, I don’t want to know how that ending will be, until I get there naturally. I still want to be surprised. I want to smile to myself and think, “yes, of course!” or “oh my god, I never expected that!”

I couldn’t possibly enjoy a book, knowing how it ended, before I started reading it. Unless I’d seen it in a film first, for example, but even then, books are often completely different and have more depth than a film. It’s more intimate.

Isn’t reading the last page first, like knowing what presents are under the Christmas tree? Is it about being in control?

So I’d like to know where you all stand on this point. Are you a back-page-reader? Do you have to know without a shadow of a doubt that there will be a happy ending? Or are you like me and enjoy the delayed gratification? The (j-word alert!) journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

In the meantime, let me finish by saying, my fourth title, One Life-Changing Night is released on March 1st! It’s my favourite story and stars the delectable Dr Tom Williams. Do take a look and er…don’t read the last page first!

Louisa xxx

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