Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews

Welcome New Medical Romance Author, Becky Wicks! (And Announcing a Giveaway)

We’re thrilled to welcome new Medical Romance Author, Becky Wicks!  Becky is an author and freelance copywriter, who had various travel and romance novels published before joining her fellow romantics on the Mills and Boon team.  Her first Harlequin romance ‘Tempted by her Hot-Shot Doc‘ is out in February!

We’d also like to announce our Valentine’s Giveaway.  You can find the entry page here, and there will be a link in the sidebar until the 13th February.  But first, over to Becky… 

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Becky WicksI discovered Medical Romance when:

This was waaaaay back… but maybe after I discovered Mills & Boon in general. I used to read my gran’s as a kid and I have memories of her wielding a can of whipped cream and threatening to spray my books if I didn’t stop reading! Medical Romance came later, perhaps after gaining an indelible appreciation for George Clooney in ER. He changed a lot of lives, that man. And not just on-screen.

I wrote my first story when:

First ever story? Hmmm, that was probably at age 7 or 8. I used to fill huge notepads with stories written in pencil, usually by torchlight in my bed at night. Lots featured talking animals… I even wrote about an orphaned tadpole once (don’t ask). I think I always had a weird imagination; Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton were my inspiration! The romance writing really started later. I did a lot of travel writing first, worked my way around the world as a freelancer before getting signed by HarperCollins to write three travel memoirs. In 2013 I started self-publishing YA and adult romance on Amazon and never looked back.

Where do you live?

I’ve been lucky enough to live in a lot of places since my early 20s (NYC, London, Dubai, Australia), but my traveling brought me to Amsterdam in August 2016 and this is the first place I’ve been in a long time that truly feels like home. I might even get a cat (gasp). I’m British and I grew up in the South Holland District of Lincolnshire, a place that’s also surrounded by tulips. Maybe my subconscious finds a comfort in flowers?!  

My best trait is:

I guess I go with the flow most of the time. My friends would probably say I’m pretty happy and positive in general. Last year a friend pointed me towards an app called Insight Timer, which has been truly instrumental in helping me take time out each day to recharge my batteries. Ironically, it’s a big app that kind of drains my iPhone battery at the same time, but oh well.

My worst trait is:

I’m easily distracted… oh, can you hold that thought, I have to check Facebook….

Five things on your bucket list:

  • Write a New York Times bestseller and meet Oprah Winfrey
  • Marry the man who makes me laugh and gives me butterflies
  • Learn to ski (I’ve only tried snowboarding, and that was in Dubai, of all places!)
  • Buy a house with room in the yard for a ‘writing shed’, or a mansion. OK, let’s just go with the mansion
  • Start a podcast for writers and readers

My first Medical Romance, Tempted by Her Hot-Shot Doc, will be released to retailers (including Amazon, on February 22. The single digital edition will be released to the M&B website on February 01. You can now pre-order the UK version from Amazon.co.uk.

February2018

Madeline Savoia is thrilled to write sexy, infamous Ryan Tobias’s biography—and to accompany him to the Amazon to film his TV show! She won’t be tempted. She’s just been through a breakup and Ryan’s only interest is saving lives—perfect! Only, their passion sizzles before they reach the rainforest. Is three weeks up-close and-personal enough to turn into forever?

Thanks for the welcome, guys! Follow me on Twitter @bex_wicks, and on Instagram at beckywicks. Check out my blog and sign up to my newsletter at beckywicks.com, or find my Becky Wicks Author page on Facebook.

I’ll be scribbling more stories in a caffeinated blur, but distractions in the form of cat videos are always welcome.

Becky xx

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Excerpts, Guest Blogs

Excerpt – Greyfriars House, by Emma Fraser

isbn9780751566123

Prologue

Charlotte

October 1984

The house looms behind me, grey and forbidding in the moonlight. From the turret window a light flickers so briefly I can’t be sure I saw it. Ever since I arrived on the island I have had the sensation I am being watched, that someone wants me gone. But I no longer trust my senses. There is so much that is strange about Greyfriars.

It is very still. As if the island is holding its breath. I move towards the shore. What my great-aunt has told me so far has shaken me. And there is more to come. More secrets to be revealed. I am not sure I can bear to hear them.

As I pick my way along the rough path I think regretfully of the torch left behind in the porch. But I persevere, wanting to put distance between me and the house. The moon and stars provide just enough light although every now and again scudding clouds obscure the moon and I am momentarily plunged into darkness.

I continue through the trees, innocuous in the daytime, but in the shifting darkness as sinister as watching sentinels. Then at last I am in the open again, the sea, glittering in the moonlight, stretching in front of me. I suck in lungfuls of salty air and my pulse slows.

A rustle comes from the copse behind me and my heart kicks as I whirl around. Something has moved within the shadows. I think of the ghostly presences my mother told me about, then immediately dismiss the thought with an impatient click of my tongue. The only ghosts are the ones in my head. Some placed there by Georgina, others of my own making.

Tiger has run off and I can hear cracking of branches as she sniffs amongst the piles of rotting leaves. A shape swoops over my head and I smother a cry. A flutter and a flash. It is just the owl that roosts in the eaves, returning with a mouse trapped in its beak.

It isn’t just the house that unsettles me, or the two women within, it is me, the way I feel inside. Untethered and adrift. A boat without an anchor at the mercy of the wind and tide.

I’d told myself I’d come here to find answers although I knew, deep down, I was fleeing from the world, my grief, my guilt, from having to make a decision about the rest of my life.

Tiger growls. She has emerged from the bushes and is standing in front of the copse of trees, her ears up, her tail rigid behind her. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end. I know she is there before I see her. The figure emerges from the shadows, her face hidden. I have seen her before. Edith sleepwalking I’ve been told. I no longer believe it.

 

Greyfriars House‘ by Emma Fraser is available now in hardback and ebook, and in paperback in May, (available to pre-order from Amazon, now).

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Guest Blog – Emma Fraser

I have to write about stuff that excites, intrigues and delights me. In particular; real heroines of the past, old houses, WW2, and Scotland. And I’ve managed to find a way to incorporate all of those in my latest release, Greyfriars House. It’s a time-slip story, moving between the 1980s and WW2, based around a country house which stands alone on its own Scottish island. is about two sisters, a betrayal and the secret they kept for decades.

Eilean Donan castle
Eilean Donan castle

It’s hard to go anywhere in Scotland without tripping over evidence of the past – whether it’s brochs, wheelhouses, viking long houses, castles, country houses, historic cities with their tenements and ‘closes’ or wide open fields and glens that were once the scenes of bloody battles. Wherever I go I find stories I want to write. Who were the people who once lived here? How did they live? Who did they love? What were their hopes, what kept them awake at night?

Culross - where parts of Outlander filmed
Culross – where parts of Outlander filmed
One of over a hundred Green Men carvings in Rosslyn Chapel - home to the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail
One of over a hundred Green Men carvings in Rosslyn Chapel – home to the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail

We Scots have our fair share of local heroines not least Dr Inglis of whom I wrote in my first novel, When the Dawn Breaks. We have many, many others. For example Mairi Chisholm who treated wounded soldiers right on the front line during WW1; the Duchess of Sutherland who like Elsie Inglis set up hospitals to treat the wounded and, one of my favourites (who may yet feature in one of my books) Lady Nithsdale who rode all the way from her home in Traquair House to the Tower of London to rescue her husband – and succeeded. Traquair House was where I discovered the priest’s staircase – a secret staircase that provided an escape route for the resident priest as practising the catholic faith was forbidden during the reformation and once I’d learned about it, I had to use it in Greyfriars House.

In Greyfriars House, I return once again to WW2 and the women who lived through it and who faced unimaginable circumstances.

Finally, we Scots, or some of us, believe in the supernatural. My grandfather who came from the Western Isles firmly believed he had the ‘second sight.’ He said he dreamt of boats pulled up on the shore whenever someone was about to die. Ghost stories have always been an integral part of Scottish life and sometimes, when I stand in a ruin, or am alone in a Scottish glen, I sense the people who once lived there. There is an element of the supernatural in Greyfriars House too.

Do you have a particular heroine you’d like to tell us about? Have you ever felt ‘spooked’ by something you couldn’t explain? Have you visited Scotland and what did you love most? I’d very much like to hear.

isbn9780751566123.jpgThanks to my wonderful medical author colleagues who invited me to post here. On Monday I’ll be posting an extract of Greyfriars House now out in hardback and ebook and in paperback in May (available to pre-order from Amazon, now). I do hope you’ll return here to read it.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Happy Christmas! We’re taking a break, but we’ll be back in the New Year.

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This year, we’ve decided to take a break from blogging for Christmas and the New Year.  But don’t go anywhere – we’ll be back on the 8th January, refreshed and ready to plunge into our blogging programme for 2018!  We have some great blogs and features lined up for you already.

But before we go, we have a few thank-you’s.  We’d like to thank our regular bloggers, for everything they do to keep this blog a busy and vibrant place for us to meet.  A huge thank you too, to all of our lovely guests, who have joined us during the year.

Most of all, thank YOU.  Our readers.  Our stats, and the responses to our surveys and quizzes, show us that many people come here to read our blogs, and we’d like to thank each and every one of you.  You’re the reason we’re here 🙂  A special mention goes to Helen and Laurie, who have supported us so unstintingly with their comments on the blog this year.

All that remains is to wish everyone a joyful and very Happy Christmas.  We hope you’ll join us again in the New Year!

 

Excerpts

Excerpt – A Firefighter in her Stocking by Janice Lynn

CHAPTER ONE

IT WASN’T EVERY morning that Dr. Sarah Grayson stepped out of her apartment and saw a couple making out.

It had happened, though.

Same man, different woman.

Nausea churned in Sarah’s belly. She ordered her eyes away, but since a nice, but somewhat bland apartment building corridor offered nothing to snag her attention, her gaze stayed put.

Making out in her hallway might be a bit of a stretch. Still, the couple stood in her rather hunky neighbor’s apartment doorway, sharing a far from innocent kiss.

Even if the kiss had been a mere lip peck, her neighbor’s lean hips wrapped in only a towel knocked innocent right out of the ball park. Home run.

Grand slam.

Sarah ran her gaze over his chiseled torso. He rated pin-up-worthy—centerfold, for sure. Part of her couldn’t blame the busty brunette for clinging to his broad shoulders. Or for totally ignoring the fact Sarah had stepped into the hallway. Common decency said they should pull apart and look a little embarrassed, right?

When Sarah’s gaze collided with piercing blue ones, her breath caught. No embarrassment in those magnificent eyes. Just pure unadulterated sexual temptation.

Good grief. He probably was a grand slam.

What eyes. A color so intense they pulled you in and made you feel as if you were drowning, made you want to drown in everything promised in the enticing blue depths.

Not Sarah, of course.

She was immune to playboys like this guy. She’d built up her defenses years ago while listening to her mother harp about the blight of good-looking, fast-talking men.

Adulthood had fortified her defenses.

Still, she wasn’t blind. Her neighbor was hot. She knew it and so did he.

Even as his lips lingered on the brunette’s, those eyes crinkled with bad-boy amusement. Probably laughing at the fact Sarah had taken up full-fledged voyeurism.

Gaze locked with hers, he pulled back from the kiss.

“Baby,” the brunette protested, still not noticing Sarah as she tugged downward on her cocktail dress skirt.

Good, the skimpy material barely covered her perfectly shaped bottom. A sticking plaster would cover more than the clingy sparkling spandex. Then again, if Sarah had curves like the brunette maybe she’d wear shrink-wrapped clothes, too.

She doubted it, but who knew? Sarah dressed to avoid drawing attention so she could focus on more important things than meaningless ogling. Either way, she’d never know because her stick-straight slender body lacked the brunette’s hourglass shape.

“Brandy, we have company,” her neighbor said, much in the way a parent would to a petulant child.

The brunette turned, flashing big almond eyes, raked her gaze over Sarah’s shapeless body beneath her heavy jacket, scarf, and hat. She dismissed Sarah’s importance and quickly turned back to towel boy.

He was better to look at than a ready-to-face-the-chill-of-a-Manhattan-November-early-morning Sarah.

Or Sarah on any morning, really.

“Jude,” the woman practically cooed.

So that was his name. Jude.

He’d tried talking to her a few times when they’d bumped into each other in the hallway, but she’d ignored him. What would be the point? She wasn’t interested in going through his revolving front door and he didn’t seem the type to want to just be friends with a woman. Plus, he made her feel uncomfortable. Not a creepy uncomfortable, just a very aware of how male he was uncomfortable.

Realizing she was standing in the apartment hallway, gawking still, Sarah turned from the couple, locked her deadbolt, and pretended she couldn’t hear Brandy begging to do anything he’d like her to do. Had the woman no pride?

Go home, girl. He used you.

Too bad Brandy’s mother hadn’t warned about men like him as Sarah’s mother had repeatedly done.

At the woman’s next words, Sarah’s cheeks caught fire. Nope, no pride whatsoever.

Sarah turned and her gaze collided with Jude’s amazing blue one again. She’d swear those eyes could see straight into her very being, knew her thoughts. Maybe they even had some type of superpower because her stomach fluttered as if it had grown thousands of tiny wings.

Nausea, she told herself. Men like him made her sick. Out all hours of the night, never seeming to work, always with a different woman. Sick. Sick. Sick.

Maybe he was a gigolo or some kind of male escort.

Her nose curled in disgust to go along with her flaming cheeks.

“I think you’ve embarrassed my neighbor.”

His voice was full of humor, which truly did embarrass Sarah. What was wrong with her? Standing in her hallway, as if frozen in place, ogling the man as if she’d never seen a bare chest.

She’d never seen one like his outside magazines and television, but that was beside the point.

She needed to get her voyeuristic self to work.

She couldn’t make out most of what Brandy replied but caught the words “prude” and “dumpy”. Ouch.

Refusing to look that way again, Sarah dropped her keys into the oversized bag she carried to work, and got out of Dodge before she had to listen to Jude’s reply.

She hurried down the stairs, through the apartment complex foyer, and out onto the sidewalk to walk the few blocks to the hospital. The cold November wind bit at her face, but her jacket shielded her from the worst.

Too bad she’d not had a shield against what she’d just witnessed. That image was going to be hard to erase.

No doubt her neighbor had dismissed her as unimportant just as the brunette had. Sarah didn’t care what he thought. Or what any man thought. She knew her strengths, her weaknesses. She preferred to be known for her brain and her heart rather than for outward appearances.

She was quite proud of who Sarah Grayson’s brain and heart was. A dedicated emergency room doctor whom she believed made a difference in her patients’ lives.

She wouldn’t let her revolving bedroom door neighbor make her feel badly about herself. After all, what did he do?

He never seemed to do anything.

Except beautiful women.

On that, the man was an over-achiever.

A neighbor from the floor below said she thought he came from old money. Either Sarah was onto something with her paid male escort theory, or he was nothing more than a carefree, lecherous playboy using his family to fund his depraved lifestyle.

Maybe she would get lucky and he’d move.

* * *

Adrenaline drove firefighter Jude Davenport as he pushed his way through the flame-filled building. Or maybe it was the heat that kept him moving. Sweat dripped down the back of his neck and his ears burned beneath his Nomex hood.

First checking temperature with his thermal imaging camera, Jude opened a door and thick black smoke billowed out, banking low.

“Engine Seven to command. We are entering structure and making a left-hand search.”

“Command copies Engine Seven is entering structure, making a left-hand search.”

As lead man, Jude crawled to the left-hand wall and, staying in contact with him, his partner made his way around the room, using his axe to search. Visibility was next to nil thanks to the rolling black smoke.

They had to find her.

A four-year-old little girl was trapped in this hellish inferno.

Somewhere.

Along with more than a dozen tenants, they’d already rescued her mother and sister. Jude did not want to have to look that woman in the eyes and say he’d not been able to find her daughter.

He knew first-hand the pain of losing someone you loved and that drove him as he crawled toward a closed door he could barely make out.

A child was in there, was alive. Every instinct said she was.

He just had to get there, get to her, and pray that when he did find her, that she was still alive and he’d be able to get himself and her out of the fire.

Finally, he reached the door.

Then what he’d been dreading happened, what he’d known was coming because of how long they’d been searching in the burning building.

The air horn on the truck blew.

Once. Twice. Three long times.

“Command to all units. Evacuate the building. Repeat, evacuate the building.”

He hadn’t needed the sound of the horn or command coming over the radio speakers in his air pack to know things were bad and the building was lost.

Things were bad.

Somewhere in this hellhole was a terrified four-year-old.

“Command says part of the stairs has collapsed,” his partner, Roger Woods, yelled. “We gotta go.”

Jude had to check the room. They were too close to turn back without doing so.

“Seriously, Davenport,” his partner called from behind Jude. “Don’t make me drag your butt out.”

“As if you could.”

Roger was one of his best friends and Jude trusted the man implicitly. There was a reason Roger was his partner. Because they had similar life philosophies. They valued others’ lives much more than their own. Roger wouldn’t turn back any more than Jude would. Not when they were so close to where the girl was supposed to be.

Finally Jude got to the door. Using the back of his wrist and his thermal imaging camera, he checked the door for heat.

Hot, but not unbearable.

He reached up, grabbed the handle with his gloved hand, and opened the door.

The room wasn’t quite as smoke-filled as the one he was leaving, but visibility was still barely above zero.

Reaching again for the camera hooked to the strap of his breathing apparatus, Jude scanned the room. The left and right walls glowed white, indicating that there was fire on both sides of the room. Jude was pretty sure the wall not lighting up, the opposite wall from him, was an exterior wall, which was good, because he was also pretty sure they weren’t going out the way they’d come in.

Then, with the aid of the TIC cutting through the smoke and steam, the image of a little body not moving made his heart pound.

“Davenport? Do you hear me? Get out now,” Command screamed in his ear.

It wasn’t the first time Command had screamed at him.

He prayed it wasn’t the last.

He didn’t answer his boss. What was the point? He wasn’t going anywhere. Not without the girl. He wouldn’t leave her. He couldn’t walk out of a burning building when the child’s thermal image was in his sight. Reality was that Command wouldn’t want him to. None of their crew would exit when a fire victim was within sight.

“There she is.”

“Thank God,” Roger called from behind him.

“Engine Seven to Command—we need a ladder to fourth division A-side window for rescue.” God, he hoped there was a window on the exterior wall because he couldn’t see a thing. “We have one victim.”

Command acknowledged, repeating the call.

“Keeley?” Jude yelled, hoping the girl could hear him above the fire’s loud roar. Hoping that she’d answer, that she’d move.

She didn’t.

Please, don’t let us be too late.

He couldn’t see her with his bare eyes, but used the camera to guide himself toward her. The room was a sweltering hot box.

Then the thermal image on his TIC moved and Jude wanted to cry out in relief. She was alive. Who knew how much smoke she’d inhaled, what kind of burns she might have endured, but she’d moved so there was hope.

“Keeley,” he called again, crawling toward her. “We’re here to get you out of this place.”

He had no idea if she could hear him over the deafening sound of the fire destroying the building. If she could, he wanted her to know he was on his way.

Finally, he reached the far corner of the room where she was huddled beneath her mother’s bed.

Coughing, the little girl stared at him with watery eyes, but didn’t make any move toward him or respond to his motioning for her to come to him. Was she asphyxiated?

In his gear, he couldn’t fit under the huge low-rise bed she was hidden beneath and wasn’t quite sure how he’d move the massive bed with her beneath it without risking hurting her, but he had to get to her fast. They had to get out of the building pronto.

“Keeley, we have to go.” He tried again, tugging on the corner post of the solid wood monstrosity without any success. Was the thing nailed down? “Come to me, honey. Let me carry you out of this place.”

“Don’t leave me.”

He could barely make out her words. Maybe he even lip-read them more than heard them, but they rang loudly through his very soul.

As did the terror in her big puffy eyes as she coughed again.

“I won’t leave you, Keeley. I promise. Crawl to me, Keeley.” He purposely said her name over and over, hoping to get through to her, to let her know to come to him. He stretched his arms as far beneath the bed as he could. “Just move close enough that I can pull you to safety, Keeley, so we can get out of this building.”

He heard a crash and knew another section of the structure had given way.

Any moment the building could come collapsing down.

They had to go now.

“Keeley, come to me,” he pleaded, pushing against the bedpost again to see if it would move. Nope. The piece was solid, low to the floor, and heavy as hell.

He and Roger could stand, use their weight against the frame to see if they could shift it, and pray Keeley got out of the way if they did manage to move the massive piece of furniture.

She was crying, but she scooted forward a little, then back to where she’d been against the exterior wall.

Precious seconds were ticking by. Despite his protective gear, Jude could feel the worsening heat.

Instincts kicking in that said bad was about to get a whole lot worse if he didn’t get her and get her now.

“I know it’s scary, Keeley, but you’re going to have to crawl to me so I can pull you to safety.”

That was when she moved.

Finally.

“Just a little closer, Keeley.” He reached as far as he could beneath the bed. “Just a little closer.”

Then her hand touched his glove.

“That’s it, Keeley. Just a little more.”

His hand closed around her wrist and he pulled her to him.

“I’ve got her.”

He wrapped his arms around her, just as a window burst out on the exterior wall.

Thank God. An exit.

No doubt the aerial truck platform was just outside the window and some of his guys were waiting to pull Roger, Keeley, and him through to safety.

Thank God.

“Don’t leave me,” the girl repeated, clinging tightly to him and then going limp in his arms.

“Never,” he promised again, praying he’d not been too late.

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Fright Night!

So… this is one of those blogs where we throw the forum over to you!  Because tomorrow is Halloween, and we’d love to know what you’ll all be doing.  Will you be dressing up, and going out into the night to face whatever comes your way?  Do you plan on a Fright Night, with scary books or movies?  Or do you prefer to keep the lights on, and indulge in some more calming and down-to-earth pursuits?

We’ve put together a Fiendish Quiz, to get you in the mood, and please leave us a comment and tell us your Halloween stories.  Do you have a favourite scary book?  Or perhaps an all-time favourite Halloween costume?  Please tell us about it!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Hello and Waving from Oz, by Fiona McArthur

Hello and waving from Oz. It’s always fun to drop in and say hello and I thank the lovely Medical Romance ladies for inviting me back to visit you. As I sit here on our farm on the mid north coast of New South Wales, the sun is almost up because the sky is turning pink over the paddocks and I can see the cows in the mist coming into focus. A little more on that later. But first …

 

In my Harlequin Medical Romance news, the first of the Midwives Of Lighthouse Bay Series, A Month To Marry The Midwife, arrived in March this year and the second, Healed By The Midwife’s Kiss, comes out in April 2018. It’s also lovely to see past books pop up in Christmas Editions like MIDWIVES ON CALL AT CHRISTMAS with my favourite authors, authors like our beautiful Jennifer Taylor, whom I still can’t believe is gone, though her uplifting books will live forever.

And talking of gifts, I feel so fortunate with my latest news, the release of another big book outback medical for Penguin Australia, THE BABY DOCTOR. My new book baby has hit the shelves. Yayyyy.

THE BABY DOCTOR was one of those books where I couldn’t help myself – I had to write Sienna’s story because I glimpsed her potential as one of the sisters in my earlier

RED SAND SUNRISE and I loved that she lusted after Douglas but couldn’t see a future with him. It’s a fish out of water – opposites attract book, and I had such fun with Douglas and Sienna, two totally different secondary characters, and an outback mystery. Plus it has a gorgeous cover.

 

Here’s the blurb. for THE BABY DOCTOR

‘The right people turn up in your life at the right time if you let them.’
Sienna Wilson is living her dream in the city – a rewarding obstetrics job in a leading hospital, an apartment with a view, and handsome Sergeant McCabe on call whenever she needs him. The last thing she wants is a posting to a remote outback town to investigate a medical mystery.

But on arrival in Spinifex, Sienna is brought to life in new and exciting ways. In a community riddled with secrets, she meets troubled young barmaid Maddy, and tough publican Alma, both with their troubles to hide.

As they draw strength from each other, new friendships, new loves and new babies are born, proving that when strong women join forces, they can overcome even the greatest odds.

So, I hope that intrigues you, I know I enjoyed following Sienna and Douglas on their journey across the Australian outback.

Which brings me back to not quite the outback, more of a coastal persuasion with cows, and my beautiful, cloud-washed breaking of dawn.

Wishing you a serene and serendipidous day, with lots of smiles.

with warmest regards Fi (writing as Fiona McArthur Author)