Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Summer, 2018!

We had a huge event this summer – our daughter’s wedding! It was such a wonderful day, and I’d planned to share a probably painful (for you!) number of photos and gush about all of it 🙂 Except, I don’t have any pics! I didn’t take any myself because I wanted to simply soak up the day. Afterward, my daughter sent me a Google drive of all the photographer’s photos to download but…I couldn’t figure out how. And now the link has expired and I have to wait until she shares her files with me, and she’s across the country and busy with a work project and…please don’t tell her or my two sons about this problem, because the eye rolls and poking fun at my low-techness will never end!

SO. The wedding story and photos will have to wait until next time. Instead, I’ll share pics that I DO have from the week we spent in San Diego, just a few days after the wedding, at favorite uncle’s house at the beach. We’ve visited there nearly every year. This trip, though, was huge and unusual – my husband’s siblings, their spouses, and all the young adult children came, and even the newlyweds flew in for a few days after their honeymoon!

We always stay at Uncle Soc’s house at the beach, but the volume of humans meant hubby and I had to stay at a hotel nearby (I have two books set in San Diego, so now you understand why – love it there so much 🙂 ). Here’s the view of Mission Bay from the balcony, and a pic of one of the ‘rescue’ seals the hotel keeps in an enclosure – he looks like a fake rock sculpture or something, don’t you think?

 

 

And here is the entire crew, standing behind their Incan (or is it Mayan?) temple sandcastle they all enjoyed working on one afternoon.

 

 

Another pic of the whole crew! Hubby took this in panorama mode. Uncle Soc’s small house doesn’t actually curve around like this – we were all crammed in with card tables shoved against the dining room table to make it super long 🙂

Crew at dinner Uncle Socs

It was unusually hot while we were there, and the water crazy warm! It’s normally quite chilly to swim, but the water temp was the warmest it’s been since they began recording it over 100 years ago. Something to be concerned about, quite honestly, at the same time it was wonderful to swim in. The crew bought a large float meant for pools or lakes and took it into the waves, much to their screaming enjoyment. I declined to participate, figuring the last thing I needed was to re-injure my still-healing broken wrist. I think this photo shows I made the right decision 🙂

Wave:Float:San Diego

Do you have a favorite place your family enjoys going together? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

And by the way, I have a new release out this month! It’s set in a town in Alaska that’s fictional but loosely based on a place where family actually lives. I think that’s my next trip, for fun research, with more books set there in the future… 🙂

Alaska Cover

 

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Mail the Old-fashioned Way

 

(Giveaway alert! Check out the bottom of this post for the info!) 🙂

On my birthday this past spring, I was surprised to receive not one, but two lovely birthday cards in the mail. Actual paper cards in the actual mailbox! I realized I didn’t expect them anymore, as most of us are busy and that extra effort doesn’t seem necessary when greetings on Facebook and through email make it so easy to send birthday wishes. I’d also gotten a few funny get-well cards from friends when I broke my wrist, and those brought a smile to my face at a time I didn’t feel a lot like smiling!

When I had a book giveaway last November to celebrate my tenth release, one of my winners, Mary L. from Florida, sent me this photo of her waiting for my book. It made me laugh – isn’t she the cutest? It also made me think, again, about how nice it is to open up our mailbox to find a package or card amidst the bills and junk mail.

Mary Lawon:mailbox

Remember when we had pen-pals, and the fun of getting that overseas mail? When I was a young teenager, my grandmother, who was from Bolton, Lancashire, England, found one for me through a friend who still lived there. She and I wrote back and forth for maybe six years until she got married at 19 and worked as a nanny, and I was at college. Since our lives were busier, the relationship ended, but somewhere, I still have her wedding photo stashed away.

When I cleaned out my late parents’ home, I found huge stashes of letters my father had written to my mother during World War II. I’ve read a few – some she’d separated out because they had a lot of detail about events unfolding in the Pacific, with some of the information physically cut out of the paper. I found that astonishing – obviously they couldn’t risk classified information going out to families, but can you imagine having the job of editing every single letter sent home? The rest are in boxes and this Navy duffle – there’s no way I’ll ever read all of them and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to. Some of them are very personal and odd for me, as their daughter, to read what my twenty-three-year-old father said to his new bride. Surprising and a little uncomfortable! 🙂 But that’s the nature of a letter, isn’t it? A piece of paper that endures and can be kept, unlike electronic mail we can’t hold in our hands. That doesn’t bring with it the kind of personal feeling that reading someone’s handwritten words do.

Letters from Dad:Navy

Mailboxes themselves can be so much more interesting than the basic one we have. Here’s a photo of one I adore that I came upon while walking on a Florida vacation trip. Isn’t it wonderful?

Mailbox-Reading boy

Our neighbors across the street enjoy wine, and have an entire vehicle (an old Jeep) covered in slices of cork from wine bottles, with the words “Cork my Ride” on the back – it’s much enjoyed by folks at wine-festivals! Here, she’s put just a few on the top of her mailbox. 🙂

Mailbox, cork

One of the things I’ve decided to do more this year is send old-fashioned mail. Birthday cards, cards to friends who are ill or struggling with life difficulties, and of course, mail out books to readers who want them!

How about you? Do you think mail is mostly obsolete, or will always be with us in a physical form? I’m honestly not sure it will be. Have you ever had an interesting-looking mailbox, or know someone who does? A pen-pal you got to know through only the written word? I’d love to hear about it xoxo

And speaking of wanting to mail things more often, I’ll be giving away a print copy of my May release, Tempted By The Brooding Surgeon, to a winner commenting on this post! 🙂

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Springtime and Mother’s Day

At least, it’s springtime here in the U.S. and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, though I know my friends on the other side of the world are enjoying the coming of autumn, instead! 🙂

The emergence and beautiful blooms of spring flowers feels bittersweet to me, as it was my mother’s favorite time of year and I feel her absence, especially since this weekend is Mother’s Day.  An avid gardener, she dreaded when her flowers would get zapped as winter approached by what she called, in a dramatic voice, “The black hand of frost.” So descriptive! 🙂 The first signs of spring made her beyond happy. She planted bulbs in abundance, and adored when her woodland flowers bloomed.

After she passed three years ago, I transplanted some of her flowers to my own garden. The trilliums and forget-me-nots, the bluebells and Jack-in-the-Pulpit and  Solomon’s Seal all blooming now make me think of her and smile, at the same time it makes my heart ache that we can’t walk through our gardens together, or go to various nurseries, or enjoy the several botanical gardens nearby the way we always did. But I remind myself that all those memories mean she’s still here with me, doesn’t it?

Here are a few of the transplants from her garden.

And then there are my own flowers. The azaleas – wow, they are gorgeous right now! And my lilac I planted about five years ago – it’s not quite as fragrant as the old-fashioned ones my mother had, but the flowers are spectacular.

And then a few other things blooming right now–allium (one of the few things the deer don’t munch on!) and lily of the valley, which I love, and which has gotten so thick and lush, filling in the large space I was hoping it would like.

And this pretty little thing which I planted last year and can’t for the life of me remember the name of. Will have to dig in the shed for the little plastic insert, as I expect I still have it. Unless someone knows and can tell me?

JthKvFRUQwKQTgtzuoYX4w

So, as I write this and look at the photos, I realize that spring flowers make me a lot happier than sad, and I’m blessed to have had a gardener mother to pass her love of flowers on to me.

How about you? What spring flowers grow in your world, and what are your favorites? Are there any that always remind you of someone you love or loved? I’d like to hear about them, and any special memories you carry with you.

I have a new release out this month, titled Tempted By The Brooding Surgeon. I have to say, I do love my hunky, brooding hero! 🙂 Which do you like best, the Harlequin cover on the left, or the UK cover on the right? xoxo

olhpxmefqbez9ejkljzpa.jpg

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I can still say Happy New Year, even though January is nearly half over, can’t I? 🙂

It’s been both good and bad for me so far. Had a crazy busy but very nice Christmas, with all three of my young adult kids spending the night here Christmas eve, which I loved. The tree went up very late – barely a week before Christmas, but it got done! Our favorite uncle that we visit in San Diego stayed here for a week, and when youngest came home from college, we got the tree. It stood naked for days, but finally got dressed for Christmas.

 

 

Then we had a DDD New Year’s Eve party – Dance, Drinks, and Dessert! 🙂 My hubby was quite excited about this, working on his dance playlist for a long time. Then he put our disco ball in the ceiling, which definitely added to the party atmosphere (can you tell he’s serious about parties?)  The young adults showed up, too – my daughter and her fiancé, two of his friends, and my nieces, which definitely added energy and fun! Our neighbors won a gigantic bottle of champagne which they brought, and that added to the fun as well 😉

 

 

So, on to 2018! We put our world back to normal and I finished the revision work I always do on a printed-out copy, ready to apply it to the computer manuscript. Which takes quite a bit of time, since some of my notes say things like ‘Better’ or ‘More’ 😉  Then what happens? I slipped and fell on our driveway, and broke my wrist. AARRGH! It happened last Monday, and is miserably handicapping, not to mention painful. But I’m lucky that it doesn’t appear to need surgery unless the bones shift, so keeping fingers crossed about that! It’s making finishing the revision extremely difficult, but my lovely editor has said to take whatever time I need, which I appreciate.

Wrist2

Lastly, you might have seen that Mills & Boon has redesigned their book covers,  point of sale design, and promotional items for 2018! Here are a few of the covers, and the cover for my May release – what do you think?

M&B New Design

51R1wpcSuRL

How has your 2018 been so far? Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year 🙂

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Things that make me happy

I’ve struggled with writing this year. Not sure of all the reasons, but I know the main one has been anxiety over the political climate in the U.S. and the bad news all over the world that keeps becoming worse news. It makes my gut churn and my heart ache, and it’s hard to write love stories with happy endings when I’m feeling that way.

I decided something had to change. And since I can’t change all the other stuff, I started focusing on things that make me happy. Things that make me smile and feel good. And it’s working! 🙂 I’m having a lot of fun with the book I’m writing now, thank heavens.

With the goal of feeling happy in mind, I’m sharing some of that happy with you. Here are photos of things that make me smile.

 

The autumn color here wasn’t as beautiful as usual, for the most part, probably because the weather has been strange (very cool in August, then hot in October!). It didn’t help that we had lots of rain this past week, which knocked leaves off trees that were turning. But here’s one that put on a show, anyway. The colors make me happy.

AutumnTree

Last month, my husband and I were at my favorite place – his uncle’s house on the beach in San Diego. I absolutely love it there. There’s nothing like the steady sound of the ocean and soothing feel of the breeze to make anyone feel calm and at peace. There’s also nothing like the amazing sunsets when the horizon is clear of clouds. Nothing makes me happier than waking up with the sounds and scents of the sea.

SDSunset

We’ve been to several family weddings this year, which were wonderful, especially because I got to spend time with all three of my kids together, which doesn’t happen often enough any more. Here are my three offspring spiffed up in their finery 🙂

Ari,James,GeoWedding

And speaking of weddings, my daughter is engaged! Apparently the thing to do these days is take engagement photos. Here’s one of them – I think it looks like a romance novel cover! 🙂

Ari:KyleB&W

Here’s the bluebird that has decided to stare at me through the window in my office. I think he’s been battling the bluebird he sees in the window, which is why he has an angry look in one of these photos 🙂 But lots of time he just relaxes there. And who wouldn’t feel charmed and happy with a bluebird by your side?

 

And speaking of wildlife staring at me while I’m working, this doe seems to be asking for me to bring her a treat, doesn’t she? 🙂

DoeStaringInWindow

And then there’s our silly cat. He’s supposed to be my son’s pet – his friend’s cat had a litter last year and he couldn’t resist the kitten cuteness, even though we told him not to bring it home! So of course, Anakin is here now even though my son is back in school in an apartment. But we lost our old cat last month, so I have to admit that having this one around makes me smile. He likes to ‘help’ me write, and also believes he should take up the maximum amount of space possible 🙂

 

 

While there are lots of other things that make me happy, I’ll close with a few photos of a drive my hubby and I recently took through country roads. It was a beautiful day, and the huge combines were everywhere harvesting corn. I wasn’t able to catch a photo of corn pouring from the chutes into trucks practically overflowing with it, but it was a sight to see. And then there was the new, green, winter wheat. A lovely sign of next year to come 🙂

 

 

One more thing to be happy about? My tenth release! THE SPANISH DUKE’S HOLIDAY PROPOSAL is out this month. It’s part of the Christmas in Manhattan series with books by Janice Lynn, Alison Roberts, Amalie Berlin, Amy Ruttan and Susan Carlisle.

Here’s a photo of my book with me holding my 10th book pin from RWA 🙂

SpanishDuke:pin

Here’s hoping for you to feel a whole lot of happy too, starting right now! xoxo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Summertime Busy!

Summer is always a busy time around here, but this year has been extra crazy! It started before summer, with my youngest graduating from high school. It was a beautiful day! Then lots of yard work and flower-planting and food preparation for his party the following week. Here are the two of us, then him looking at me grumpily, asking why I’m taking so many photos 😉

 

After that, I went to an out-of-state wedding by myself to see my cousin’s daughter get married. Then, as a family a week later, we spent four days in Atlanta, Georgia for our nephew’s wedding. Here are my three kiddos dressed in their finery. It was a really fun time with lots of family from all over the country.

Ari,James,GeoWeddingBefore the wedding, my husband asked me how I felt about having a Summer Solstice dinner for a few friends, and I said “Uh, sure…” not paying attention to when that actually was. Which turned out to be two days after we got back from Atlanta. So there was a bunch of stuff to do for that, and it turned into 16 people somehow, but we had a really good time. Here’s a photo of a bit of the sashimi appetizer some gourmand friends brought to the party, and it was amazing! And here’s a photo of all the cleanup left for the next day – unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the actual food. 🙂

 

I was finally able to get going on my new book, but lots of interruptions have made it slow-going. For the past 26 years, ever since we got married, we’ve had an annual July 4th party. So we couldn’t exactly have this be the first year without one! Here are the menfolk admiring the chickens on the rotisserie, and my hubby, after getting the chickens on and before guests arrived, taking a moment in the pool on our new floatie – Pegasus 😀 My goal is to get a hilarious picture of myself on that thing, as I haven’t experienced it yet.

 

And next week, we’re having an engagement party for our daughter and her fiancé to introduce the two families. I shared the pictures of him popping the question on my last blog, but here are a few of the engagement photos they’re planning to use on the wedding website and Save-the-Date announcements (weddings seem more complicated than in the olden days!).  I think they all look like they could be a romance novel cover! 🙂

 

And after the engagement party, I’m off to Orlando for the Romance Writers of America Conference. So you can see why I’m struggling to get this book written!  How’s your summer been?  Fun, busy, relaxing, or all of the above?

Robin xoxo

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Wedding Coming Next Year!

A couple Sundays ago, my daughter texted her father and me to say she and her boyfriend Kyle would like to stop by that evening to show us something, and would we be home?

We were tempted to throw a bottle of champagne into an ice bucket, but figured we should wait to see for sure exactly what they wanted to show us! But we had a pretty good idea, as a couple months earlier, Kyle had contacted my husband and me, asking if we’d meet him at a coffee shop. Looking very nervous after initial chit-chat (and we were feeling nervous, too!) Kyle asked for our blessing to ask Arianna to marry him. While my husband privately felt they’re too young, I pointed out that must a father thing, because they’re both 25, have been dating three years, have college degrees, and good jobs 🙂 Kyle said all the right things to make our hearts happy and put a little tear in our eyes, (not to mention that he’s a really wonderful young man) so we gave our blessing.

Fast forward to a couple months later, and Arianna thought they were just going hiking to a beautiful spot near here with Kyle’s dog, Kyle’s sister Lauren, and her dog. But he and Lauren had it planned out, and she snapped photos of him proposing to Arianna, capturing my daughter’s reaction.

K&A1

KyleProposing.JPG

Awww! Isn’t that beautiful? I’m really happy for both of them. Arianna is our oldest, and our first wedding, so this will be exciting! Stay tuned for me likely torturing you about it in the future (they’re planning on it happening summer of 2018). 🙂

So here are a couple more photos of the happy couple, and Kyle’s dog who doesn’t seem terribly impressed by the whole thing. 🙂

K&Akissing.JPGAriKyleHappyLaylaHH

Any advice you can give me regarding planning a wedding? Pitfalls, things to include or avoid? I’d love your input! xoxo