The Writing Life

How do you do it?

So, when I first started writing and then was published and even now after turning in book #20 to my editor I get asked: “How do you do it?”

Or: “I could never do it?”

Or: “How can one place inspire a whole book?”

The last question was my brother’s after he found out that I decided to write a series of books for a Kindle World set in and around Yellowknife, after I visited him this summer.

My question back to that is “How do you not?”

I guess I just don’t get not having an imagination, of having voices constantly in your head nattering at you to WRITE. My daughter who is very logical and very math/science oriented doesn’t get how I can sit down some days and write 8,000 words.

She finds writing painful. I find Math painful.creative-writing-final-meme

Ssshhh, she also gets annoyed because I’m fairly good at predicting movies. I was completely right about The Last Jedi. Not that it ruined it for me (Hello Reylo shipper here), I just did a fist pump and my daughter glared at me in the theatre. When a movie surprises me I love it all the more. Rogue One was the last movie that surprised me and I adore it.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I was asked by my daughter’s school to attend a career night and talk about the whys and hows of becoming a writer. And it got me thinking way back to when I was a teenager, sitting in a guidance counsellor’s office and getting asked what I wanted to do with my life.

“I want to be a writer.”

And my guidance counsellor told me that was not a logical choice. I would never make anything of it and I should probably think about becoming a legal secretary or something. No hate for legal secretaries, I was one for many years, but still all those stories played in my head. I was a day dreamer and I didn’t to do that.

I wrote and drew every day. And when I wasn’t doing that, my head was buried in a book.

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I applied for Art College, because I did do drawing and painting all through high school and the Art College interviewer looking at my portfolio smiled and said “Do you write?”

I blushed and said, “Yes.”

“I would love to see it. Don’t give up.”

I ended up not going to that school because of financial reasons. My parents did try and I ended up going to a college to learn legal secretary work, but that interviewer was the first person beyond my father, who thought I could do it.

I guess the purpose of this rambling post on a snowy groundhog day it to tell all of those who are thinking of writing DON’T GIVE UP! Even if you get rejections, we all get those!

Don’t give up.

If you love it, keep trying. Everyone’s path on this publication journey is so different and that’s okay …what’s not okay is not trying.

And believe me, sometimes writing a book is like pulling teeth. My 20th was hard to write, but revising is going well. LOL So, you just keep going.

Now, for some fun stuff. We’re having a Valentine’s giveaway. You can enter here and the winner will be announced on February 14, 2018.

Also, if you’re in the Sarnia, Ontario/Port Huron, MI area I will be running a Harlequin Romance Trivia at the Coles in the Lambton Mall in Sarnia on February 10 from 6-8 p.m. Copies of Navy Doc on her Christmas List and the Surgeon King’s Secret Baby will be with me, plus Harlequin is providing a BUNCH of prizes and really fun game. I’d love to see you there.

You can find more about Amy here

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Navy Doc on Her Christmas List

 

I can’t believe it’s December 1st. Today’s the day my 16th Harlequin Medical Navy Doc on Her Christmas List (Christmas in Manhattan) drops today. It’s the last book in the Christmas in Manhattan series which features, Alison Roberts, Janice Lynn, Robin Gianna, Amalie Berlin, Susan Carlisle and myself.

It’s a romance between Dr. Ella Lockwood and one of the youngest Davenports, Zac.

A snowbound reunion!

Tension between Dr. Ella Lockwood and former navy doc Zac Davenport is sky-high! All she can think about is how he once broke her vulnerable heart.

But now she’s a confident ER surgeon who’ll never let him hurt her again. And being snowed in together on Christmas Eve at Manhattan Mercy reveals his last tour of duty has changed Zac, too. But that compelling spark is still there—and one more irresistible kiss is all it takes to start healing the wounds that have held them back…

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I’m still in a bit of shock that it’s December. This year has flown by. My Christmas tree is up and the lights are on. My shopping is done. Yes, I am one of those people who shop early. I worked retail WAY to many years to attempt shopping when people in the malls seem the most surliest.

Beyond all the grumpiness of retail, I do love this time of year. I love seeing my kids get excited about the Elf on the shelf moving around (yeah we do that). I love buying presents for them. I really don’t care about what I get, I just like buying for them.

I love snuggling down and watching Christmas specials with them. I love it all.

It’s too bad at the start of my book, my heroine doesn’t like any of these things. Not that I blame her in the least, but by the end she doesn’t mind Christmas.

Sort of like the Grinch her heart grows to accept love. Unlike the Grinch she’s not green and hairy.

And in January my 17th Harlequin Medical releases and it’s a New Years book. I told you, I do love this time of year. 🙂

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Available January 2018

I’m getting my newsletter ready for a chance to win a complete paperback set of the Christmas in Manhattan series. If you’re already subscribed to my newsletter, you’re already entered. You can subscribe here.

Have a Happy Holiday. Whatever you celebrate, I hope that you are surrounded by love, health and happiness. On to 2018!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Up & Away!

So, right now while this post is live I’m at the amazing Romancing the Capital conference in Ottawa, Ontario. This is the third year for this conference that’s organized by Canadian author extraordinaire Eve Langlais. I went it’s first year and second year and now onto my third. I love it and I love that it’s close to home.

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Amazing as the conference will be I’m really looking forward to when I come back home. I have a day to recover and pack up my family before we fly to Calgary.

Now, I’ve been to Alberta before, but we drove last time so this is my kids’ first flight. I love the west, but this time after our plane lands we’re driving 17 hrs north to the Northwest Territories! I’m very, very excited. It’s been on my bucket list for years.

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Rapids of the Drowned. Great Slave River. My SIL to be took this pic.

I’ve never been north of 60. I’ve always wanted to go and I’m visiting a very special couple, my brother and his fiancee. They recently got engaged and I have to say my brother’s proposal to his intended was like the stuff of a romance novel. I’m super proud of him.

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Some of the local neighbours they regularly see.

His fiancee took a posting at the local hospital and has been teasing me with amazing pictures of her life in Fort Smith NWT.

Northern lights, buffalo, bears, Great Slave river, Great Slave lake and ice roads (I won’t be seeing ice roads in the summer). However, since she lives just outside of Wood Buffalo National Park and the night sky returns August 10th along with the aurora, I think my kids might finally be able to experience what I’ve only ever been lucky to see once in my life.

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Northern Lights

And Wood Buffalo National Park is Canada’s largest dark night preserve.

After a few days there, we’re headed back down to Edmonton to see my husband’s sister and her hubby. Then I get to roam Jasper National Park, Drumheller, Rocky Mountain House, High River and High Level! Also, for the first time, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.

I’ll be going from top to bottom in Alberta.

And I’m absolutely excited to soak up more great scenery, get inspired for more books and cross some more things off my bucket list.

What’s on your bucket list?

Check out Amy’s latest release here.

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Follow Amy on Twitter.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Happy April!

I was going to say something witty about the fact April showers bring May flowers, but it’s April 7th and there’s snow on the ground where I live. Boo!

I love April, even though it’s usually a rainy month. April is my birthday month. It means, ice cream cake! WOOT!

Although, since starting Weight Watchers in January I might opt for some frozen yogurt. *little woot*

April is also a very busy month for me. Ever since I sold to Harlequin, I always seem to have a deadline around or right before my birthday. I’m not complaining, because I love the work. And honestly, I never really noticed before until my husband started building my office in the basement.

See, I had this great office in the spare bedroom in the basement, but then my daughter became a teenager and wanted her own space (and bathroom), so I gave up that room so she could get away from her brothers. The boys each had their own room upstairs and I worked in the living room, with stuff scattered in boxes in the unfinished part of the basement.

Then, my boys missed being together. So they took their bunk beds and moved back into a room together. I took the other upstairs room. I loved it. I loved having that office again where I could close a door and work. I wrote One Night in New York and my Sealed with a Valentine’s Kiss duet in that room.

Ahh. It was heaven. That lasted about a year. Then, the fighting and bickering started as they got older.

I went back to my boxes in the basement and have been working in the living room. I escape to hotel rooms near my deadline to work, because it’s hard once the kids come home to write in the living room. Since I dropped Diet Coke for good, I can’t pull all nighters and with working out …I don’t want too. I’m tired.

My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said a small room where I can shut you all out. I love my family, but for my sanity and career, I need a door between us.

So, he went to work. Everything is done (as of writing this blog post) but the door.

The first thing up was my new wardrobe. It’s massive and I was finally able to take all the copious author copies from 14 books (currently out) and store them somewhere safe. This picture isn’t even the foreign translations. I keep one copy of foreign translation books and I’m shipping out a bunch to different libraries.

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14 books released so far, 3 books per shelves. All the hard covers are on the bottom. It’s a lot of books!

Then after the walls were up I got bookshelves! They’re pretty bare, but it’s a work in progress. Nice to have all my books together. Something to look at.

The table I work at is one my Mom made when she was moving into her first apartment, or rather she was going to move into her first apartment alone and then met my Dad. LOL

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Yep, that’s a Mountie Bear and the painting is one I did.

I can’t wait to finish unpacking, but I’m headed to Toronto this weekend for an all day workshop with the Toronto Romance Writers. Since it starts bright and early Saturday, I’m spending the night in my old hometown by myself in a hotel room to write.

And I’m taking the train. I love taking the train, especially business class because I can work on the train. It’s a 3 hr train ride (roughly) to downtown T.O.

It’s only one night away, since I’m catching the late night train back to London, Ontario Saturday night, but I’m planning on enjoying the silence and cranking up the word count.

Maybe, just maybe there will be door to my office on my return.

Oh and in March, I had 2 releases! Check them out.

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His Pregnant Royal Bride (Royal Spring Babies Book 1)

Pregnant with the prince’s baby

Nurse Shay Labadie’s one exquisite night of passion with Dr. Dante Affini was meant to be a beautiful memory. But now Shay’s expecting…and Dante is expecting her to take his hand in marriage!

Dante’s proposal is shocking enough, but then he drops an even bigger bombshell—he’s not just a doctor, he’s a prince! Now to win his child and the woman he loves, Dante will have to prove he can master his most important role yet—as the husband Shay deserves…

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The Omega Team: Biochemical Reaction

An attraction like no other…

Former Navy Seal Jack Crane walked away after a chemical attack wiped out his platoon and scarred him, forcing him out of the military–the hardest thing he ever had to do…Until Omega Team contacted him to protect an undercover agent at a secret lab.

Lisa Morgan had nothing to lose when she took on the assignment to uncover Bio-Tek’s dark secrets concerning the deadly chemical agent that killed her brother and cost her the only man she ever loved a decade ago when he walked away.

When the man hired to protect her turns out to be Jack, she’s forced to trust with her life the man she couldn’t trust with her heart, and make sure the antidote for that terrible chemical gets into the right hands before it’s too late.

 

You can find out more about Amy here:

Website: www.amyruttan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmyRuttanAuthor?ref=hl

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/ruttanamy

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyruttan/

Newsletter: http://www.amyruttan.com/contact.html#newsletter

 

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt Wednesday-Alejandro’s Sexy Secret by Amy Ruttan

Okay, maybe it’s no real secret what Alejandro’s Sexy Secret is. I mean, if you the blurb you sort of know.

medical2Alejandro is the youngest of the Valentino brothers and some sites list my book as the first book in the Hot Latin Docs, but I’m actually book two of four. And I have to say this was so much fun to write. I know, I know I keep saying that, but it’s true. I just loved working with Annie, Amalie & Tina.

We created the “ugly” brothers, as they affectionately refer to one another and we’re the “ugly” sisters. And yeah, there’s more stuff from us in the works, we just have to get our crazy squirrels in a row (we don’t have ducks).

Last week Annie had you pull up a chair at Mad Ron’s, but since this is Alejandro, he’d like you to take a seat while he shares his routine with you! 😉

 

KIRI WAS WALKING the halls of a darkened Buena Vista. She’d been working late again and as she walked she realized that no one else was around.

What was going on?

She turned and the lights dimmed. Alejandro was at the end of the hall dressed in a suit, his head lowered, his hands behind his back. She was completely confused.

“Dr. Valentino?”

Music started and he began to dance. Just like that night in his hotel room in Vegas. Right down to the same suit.

Kiri sat down in a chair that suddenly appeared. She wanted to tell him to stop dancing, that it wasn’t appropriate to do his routine in the hospital, but she lost her voice and suddenly it didn’t matter that he was doing this in the hospital.

She was transfixed as he undid the knot in his tie, slowly pulling it off. Those dark eyes were glittering in the dim light and were focused on her. Holding her captive.

Kiri realized then she was at his mercy. Her body thrummed with need as he pulled off his jacket and shirt. She ran her hands over his body, over his hard, rippling muscles. Then he leaned over her, his lips brushing her ear.

“Mi tesoro,” he whispered. “I want you forever. Always. Only you.”

She closed her eyes and waited for a kiss.

Instead a blaring noise echoed in the hall and he moved away…

Kiri woke with a start. Her alarm clock was going off. It startled her and as she groggily reached for her glasses, she fumbled to find the alarm and shut it off.
With a sigh she sank back into the pillows. Sunshine was peeking in through the venetian blinds that covered the bank of floor-to-ceiling windows in her apartment bedroom.

“Good Lord,” she groaned. Alejandro was invading her dreams again and even though it had just been a dream her body was craving the kiss she’d been waiting for. The kiss that was in her imagination. She hadn’t had an erotic dream about Alejandro in a long time.

Any dreams she’d usually had about him since the miscarriage had brought tears to her eyes and reminded her of what she’d lost. What she’d been denied.

So dreams about him were more like nightmares.

Except for the one she’d just had, which still made her blood burn with need.

–Excerpt Alejandro’s Sexy Secret, Available Now!

You can find out more about Amy at her website or follow her on Twitter.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Playlists & Such

I hear a lot of writers say that they need complete silence to write. No distractions. NOTHING but them and the voices in their head. I can write this way too, grudgingly, but I prefer music or at least something I’ve seen a million times playing in the background on the television as I write.

As book 15 was just accepted a week or so ago, I though I would share some of the music which was played repeatedly while I worked on various titles. Due to the beauty of Apple iTunes Music (Hooray because my memory can be sketchy on the best of days) it lets me know which songs on any given playlist that I listened to a lot.

It drives my DH a bit bonkers if I don’t have my headphones on and I’m listening to a song on repeat. 😉

Since book 15 was accepted, I thought I would start with the book that started it all, SAFE IN HIS HANDS. This was before I subscribed to Apple Music, but I do remember the song that inspired the book.

safeinhishands   The song that inspired this book was Adele’s Someone Like You. Safe in His Hands was a reunion romance. A second chance at marriage and love.

When I write about my Army Docs or Navy Docs, I always have to have Skillet’s Hero added to my playlist.

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And for my latest release Unwrapped by the Duke, even though it’s a Christmas themed book I didn’t listen to many Christmas songs, but instead went for something a bit sexier. Only fitting for that gorgeous hero.

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And the song that was on repeat for this book was Salted Wound from Sia.

Writers, do you listen to music while you write?

Readers, do the songs fit the books? Or did you envision something else when reading it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Fall

So coming up next week the DH and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary. You can say it was love at first sight, because it really was. We met New Years 1999, when it was  turning into 2000. We didn’t start really dating until spring 2001 and we were engaged in August 2001.

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Me and my DH, his sisters and grandmother.

October 2002 on Canadian Thanksgiving (because I love turkey) we were married.

My DH proposed to me at one of my most favourite places in the world. North Bay, Ontario. I know that doesn’t seem glamorous, but I spent many happy summers and falls in North Bay, Ontario. My father’s family is from the north and I love the north.

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The beach at Sunset Inn North Bay, Ontario. Where the DH proposed. The lake is Lake Nipissing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, 14 years later we’re going back to the north, not quite North Bay though. We’re going to Algonquin Park.

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The famous Fall colours of Algonquin.

In all my travels to the north I’ve never actually been to Algonquin Park, which is sort of a travesty. My paternal grandfather (who was quite venerable when my father was born so I never knew him) worked in the park in 1917, building railroads and knew famous Group of Seven artist Tom Thomson and remembers distinctly when the artist was murdered, though this disputed I believe.

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My paternal grandfather. He was born in April 1885 and helped build the rail way to northern Ontario, including the Polar Bear Express.

My father said his father always stated that Tom was murdered. My grandfather was friends with him.

Algonquin is also famous for the fall colours. I’ve always wanted to see them. So, this year my DH said “Let’s go!” And booked us in at a resort only for couples outside the east gate of the park.

I’m SO excited, but slightly nervous as this is Moose rutting season and they like to hang out on the roads.

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You don’t want to mess with these guys!

I’m also nervous because I’m going to be totally unplugged and I’m right in the throes of a deadline for my fifteenth book. So right now I’m trying to get in as many words as I can so I can enjoy my three days away from everything (which is why I was late posting here today).

To all my Canadian friends HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And to everyone else, what’s your favourite part of Autumn?

You can find out more about Amy here. Or Tweet her @ruttanamy.