Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

My 2020 So Far

Hello, Friends!

I think we can all agree that 2020 is one strange and difficult year!

Mine started out in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on a ski trip with friends as the new year arrived. Frankly, I haven’t been in the best place mentally and emotionally for a couple years, and was excited to start fresh as 2020 arrived, with new goals and a new attitude. HA! Little did I know what we would all be dealing with very soon!

Here I am in Jackson Hole on New Year’s eve, pondering what I was going to do with the next 12 months and feeling happy and optimistic.

 

In late February my husband joined 10 friends in Vail, Colorado and I was to join him for some family and ski time, along with my daughter, son-in-law, and son (who all live near there), for a few days after his friends left. Except he and seven of his ten friends had felt sick for five days, beginning two days into their trip. Covid-19 was still barely a blip on the radar in the US at that time (hard to believe, I know) and was still simply being called Coronavirus. They were joking about having it, but figured it was the flu (ironic, since the men are all mostly doctors or nurses, and my husband is an Infectious Disease specialist). Anyway, he was feeling horrible when the rest of us arrived and decided to just go home the next morning. I had a lovely time skiing with my kids – here’s a pic of my daughter and me on a gorgeous, bluebird-sky day.

Me, Ari, Vail

Then the fun stopped. My youngest goes to the university in the same city we live in, and was checking on his dad and bringing him soup and such. He called to say his dad was super sick, had passed out cold in the bathroom while home alone, and that I should probably come home. So I cut my trip short and was shocked to see how ill he was and felt horrible that he’d been by himself.

At the time, there were no tests available where we live for Covid-19 (don’t get me started on how unbelievably under-prepared the US has been for this) and I was on the phone with his physician partners, trying to decide if I should take him to the hospital (which he refused to do, but since he couldn’t speak more than two words, I had the upper hand). Anyway, he did have Covid-19, confirmed by testing when it became available, and was sick for a month before he could return to work. I didn’t feel well for about three days, and had the dry cough for about six weeks (and my throat and chest still aren’t quite normal) but wasn’t even close to as sick as he was. SO! We are Covid-19 survivors, which actually puts us in a good position now, since we don’t have to worry about getting it or passing it on. ๐Ÿ™‚ But with him being so ill, and the two-month lockdown where we live, life was certainly very bizarre and unnerving throughout the spring, and I felt like I was spinning in circles, unable to accomplish much.

In May, my daughter came to visit and built us a hoop house so I could grow some vegetables! She and her husband had built a few at their house, so she decided to hone her new skills here. We had a large garden at our old house 20 years ago, but the deer population here made it too much of a battle and I haven’t even tried for a long time. Very excited to have a few veggies growing again! Here’s the netted hoop house with Swiss Chard, jalapeรฑos, a few kinds of lettuce and a cherry tomato plant that has grown too large for it. Live and learn! And my first handful of harvested lettuce!

 

Yesterday I returned from another visit to Colorado to help my son with some things, and to enjoy seeing my kiddos again. A few pics of the beauty there, Breckenridge ski runs between the trees in the summertime, and my son and me at the Continental Divide.

SO! That’s pretty much my year so far! Diving into a revision later today. How about you? How is the pandemic affecting your world? Have you done any fun things you wouldn’t normally have done? Are you feeling restless, or worried, or fine? Here’s hoping the second half of 2020 is less weird for all of us. xoxo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

New Year, New Decade!

Wow, is it really 2020? I remember as a kid thinking how far into the future it would be when the new millennium arrived, and how old I’d be! Now it seems that in the blink of an eye, twenty more years have passed. I can hardly believe it.

This past decade brought some events that were painful and difficult for me, and I sometimes still struggle to deal with the deep emotions involved in the losses and stress. There’s something about a new year that brings hope for new beginnings and new things, doesn’t it? And a new decade even more so, which I’m feeling excited about. I’m more than happy to put the 2010s in the rear-view mirror and move forward into a happier place. ๐Ÿ™‚

We were lucky enough to ring in the new year with friends in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Here I am wearing fun 2020 glasses, then a sparkly hat by the outdoor fire pit (with much snow behind me!) Two fun parties at a friend’s home that celebrated the new year and birthdays — we had a great time.

 

Then there was the skiing! Ten inches of snow dumped in two days, and it was just wonderful to ski on the beautiful mountains in such great conditions. Jackson Hole is known to be a challenging mountain, so I insisted on staying on the green and blue runs and not dive onto the black diamonds this year. Due to my broken wrist of a couple years ago, I had barely skied for three years and wanted to get my ski legs back, which I’m happy to say I did. Looking forward to skiing one more time this year with my kiddos in Colorado!

Me:ski:Jackson

 

Then it was time to come home and get busy on all the New Year resolutions and goals. Yay! Goodbye Tetons! Until next time…

 

What did you do to ring in the New Year, and how are you feeling about starting a new decade? Anything you are ready to change, or accomplish, in 2020? xoxo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Life experiences

Hello, everyone!

A couple years ago, I attended a talk by a popular author where she suggested that if we have a big life experience of any kind, we should use it in a book. And so, for my November release, I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

I fell and broke my wrist in February of 2018 and had to have surgery. One lesson learned? DO NOT try to walk on ice in slippery boots when you thought more than once that you might fall if you kept going!

So a titanium plate with six screws now hold my bones together. I worked with occupational therapists three times a week for months (my hand was more swollen than most, post-surgery, and they told me I was so ‘special’ I had to have therapy longer than usually necessary!)ย I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with occupational or physical therapists, but they were awesome and managed to make a painful chore almost fun.

Having only one usable hand was horribly handicapping. We take for granted having everything working the way it should, until it doesn’t, don’t we? It was extremely difficult to wash my hair and virtually impossible to dry it so that it looked presentable, and I had to accept that I would look disheveled for a while! Once I started trying to cook dinner, I couldn’t chop anything so I had to buy pre-chopped onions and such. Had to ask hubby to pour out pasta water, or pick up a big pot, or whatever. Had to wear loose-fitting, elastic waist pants I could pull up with one hand. Couldn’t tie my sneakers. Couldn’t type, or play piano. It was NOT FUN.

Here’s my sad face as I felt none-too-good the day of the surgery, with soup and toast and flowers on a tray that my sweet hubby fixed for me. And my crazy swollen hand after they took the cast off. Looks like a latex glove blown up, doesn’t it? HA!

Me, Sad after wrist surgeryMe, swollen hand

It was a drag to go through, but I’m certainly blessed that I was able to get it fixed and eventually heal. While it’s never going to be quite back to normal again, I can do everything I want, and can’t ask for anything more than that.

So I thought, ah-ha! A life experience I should use in a story! Which is why my November release,ย Second Chance With The Surgeon,ย features an orthopedic surgeon hero and an occupational therapist heroine. The heroine breaks her wrist and has to ask her ex-husband to help with the dogs that she took custody of after their divorce, and it ends up that she has to stay with him for a few days post-surgery as well. Being together again reminds them of all the reasons they parted – and all the reasons they loved one another, once. As they begin to understand better what happened between them, will they try again, or is it too simply too late?

Have any of you suffered broken bones or injuries that were difficult to recover from, and how are you now? Anything you learned from the experience?

You might remember that I also had an October release, set in Antarctica. So I’m sharing both covers. Happy November! xoxo

Medical4ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  BOOKOct3

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Summer Family Time

Hello, All! I had a wonderful summer of travel to spend time with my kiddos, two of whom now live in Colorado, a state I love. First, I took my youngest (who is in college here in Ohio where we live) to Colorado without my husband as he had only a few days vacation left for the first half of the year and joined us later. We went all kinds of places, including the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Library (which was fabulous!!) and the Denver Botanic Gardens, also fabulous. I had such a good time I forgot to take very many pics, so here are the two I have of one room of the seven-story library, and the Japanese-style garden using native-to-Colorado plants, which really don’t do either justice.

Denver LibraryDenver Garden:me

Next was the Stevie Wonder concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater! I’d seen pictures of it and had always wanted to go, so I jumped at the chance to take the kids to what I expected would be a great concert, and it definitely was! Here’s the venue – it was a fabulous night we’ll long remember.RedRocks,night

And me with my sons and daughter

Then on to Grand Lake, which is the largest natural lake in Colorado, where the Colorado River first begins, and also where the continental divide forms. We were there for the Fourth of July fireworks, enjoyed the small town, and hiked for a couple of days.

GrandLake

Here’s one of our hiking trips in Rocky Mountain National Park, and wow, was it a lot of UP! I had to lag behind and rest a bit, but didn’t feel too bad about being slow after my daughter told me her app said we’d walked up the equivalent of a ten story building ๐Ÿ™‚ We ended up in this beautiful meadow for our picnic where people were trout fishing, and we saw a mama moose with her baby in the distance.

Driving in the park the following day, we saw more moose, caribou and mule deer. Here are two of the caribou with their amazing horns – I love the macho-looking guy lounging under the trees ๐Ÿ™‚

Then on up the mountain – the beautiful green valley you see below is where we had our picnic lunch above, then all the way above tree-line, where you can see my hubby standing near the snow, still there in July.

How about you? Any recent memorable trips? I’d love to hear about them!

I do have a release coming out in October called His Surgeon Under the Southern Lights, set in Antarctica. Lots of research required, but it was really interesting. It’s book one of a duet called Doctors Under The Stars that I wrote with Amalie Berlin, so I’m sharing her cover here, too. xoxo

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Florida, Spring Break 2019

For more years than I can count, we’ve taken a ‘Spring Break’ trip with our three children. In recent years, as they’ve grown and are in college, or graduated and have jobs, it was sometimes only two of my three with us, or even just one a couple years ago. This year, it was only my hubby and me, and yet we still called it our Spring Break trip until several friends jokingly made fun of us, asking if we were still in school. ย I guess we need to just call it vacation, now ๐Ÿ™‚

We were invited by friends to join them for a few days at a condo they bought a couple years ago in Naples, Florida, so we happily accepted. I’d never spent time in that particular city, and it was just beautiful. Lovely beaches, great restaurants, and a pretty and enjoyable downtown. Here we are during a day trip on a rented pontoon boat, otherwise known as a Party Barge, where we ate stone crabs and drank wine, then stopped and dipped our toes in the sand and surf after enjoying lots of wildlife along the waterway.

George, Me,beach, Tampa

And at the Naples version of a farmer’s market, with great produce and honeys, as well as foods of all kinds. These are huge pans of paella – didn’t have any, but doesn’t it look yummy?Tampa:Jambalaya

And me enjoying a smoking cocktail, then eating fab sushi. I think you get the picture… Lots of drinking and eating! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

After we left Naples, we took a three hour ferry on the Gulf of Mexico to Key West – another place we’ve never been. It was crazy and fun – my husband said the main blocks were like ‘Bourbon Street on steroids’ but off the beaten path, it was totally different. The architecture was lovely, and we went to several fascinating maritime museums we really enjoyed.

 

 

Then we went to Ernest Hemingway’s house. Here’s a picture of one of the ancestors of his famous six-toed cats – there were so many of them there! And the first swimming pool within a 100 mile area that cost so much, Hemingway jokingly buried his ‘last penny’ in the concrete surround. And a pic of me hoping to channel great writing vibes as I stand next to his writing loft.

 

 

Can’t forget the sign showing that Key West is the southernmost point in the United States, and very close to Cuba! Lastly, a picture of the beloved and tiny Key deer that inhabit the area (we rented a car and drove up the Keys to explore). It doesn’t show how tiny it is – the size of a small dog – but does show how it’s totally unafraid of humans.

 

 

 

How about you? Did you take a ‘Spring Break’ trip? Or are you heading somewhere fun soon? xoxo

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Snow trip!

Happy 2019! My hubby and I rang in the new year at the lovely home of friends in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was a wonderful combination of fun (as in, multiple parties celebrating two birthdays and New Year’s Eve), skiing, and relaxation by the fire.

The views from the plane were the first enjoyable part of the trip – the clouds look like icy snow, don’t you think? And the Rocky Mountains are spectacular.

jh plane ice cloudsjh plane mtns

The first full day we were there, fourteen inches of snow fell. Powder day! ๐Ÿ™‚ Much as I was tempted, I decided to stay at the house and ski the following day, which turned out to be a good decision, as it was a white-out. Hubby said it was the hardest ski day he’s ever had, so setting up party decorations with the other women had definitely been the best choice! But I did ski the next day, and it was gorgeous. Here are hubby and I overlooking the Tetons and Jackson Hole. Just beautiful.

img_3872Then there were the parties. Wow, I’m going on a serious less-food, no-alcohol diet for the rest of the month! ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was fun while it lasted. Here’s an appetizer at one of the birthdays on New Year’s Eve. Then we went up the Gondola for a party up the mountain, which had a great band and lots of dancing. Here’s a pic of friend Susan and me enjoying ourselves.

 

 

jh nye gala:r & susan

 

 

How did you ring in the new year? Are you a skier? Any trips over the holidays, or coming up in the near future? I hope 2019 brings you good health and lots of smiles. xoxo

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ). 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Wave:Float:San Diego

Do you have a favorite place your family enjoys going together? I’d love to hear about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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… ๐Ÿ™‚

Alaska Cover

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Mail the Old-fashioned Way

 

(Giveaway alert! Check out the bottom of this post for the info!) ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ย 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, titledย Tempted By The Brooding Surgeon.ย I have to say, I do love my hunky, brooding hero! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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? ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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?) ย The young adults showed up, too – my daughter and her fiancรฉ, 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

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’ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย 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, ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚