Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

How do you read, and what do you read?

I’ll start by telling you some of my favourite reads from last year: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo; Queenie By Candice Carty-William; Strangers by C L Taylor,  The Familiars by Stacey Halls; The Loop by Ben Oliver; Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier; American Royals by Katharine McGee; Clean by Juno Dawson. 

Like many others I still love the feel of a paperback. These are latest paperbacks on the TBR pile, and yes, the crate is full!


I’ve also fallen in love with audiobooks a little more. Prices vary across the globe. My local library has a limited audio collection, so I subscribe to audible for £7.99 a month which allows you to buy one book. I also subscribe to Scrbd for £8.99 a month. It initially claims to give unlimited audio and ebooks, but we all know that’s too good to be true. I’ve found when I save any newer books to my audio TBR, by the time I’ve read two or three the rest become available a month later when I’ve resubscribed. But there are a whole host of authors that do seem to be unlimited. I’ve found myself listening to a whole host of cosy crime.


Audible 2-in-1 sales mean I’ve also been introduced to the world of The Chronicles of St Mary’s – the story of a disaster prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Totally outside my normal reading genre but I’m a convert!

I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed listening to many crime books, The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley,  and The Last Time I Lied, Lock Every Door and Final Girls by Riley Sager, and three by Ruth Ware, The Death of Mrs Westaway, In a Dark, Dark Wood and Turn of the Key.

So, where is the romance in all of this? Ebooks, that’s where. I seem to fly through all my romance on ebooks, and it feels so strange because I don’t generally enjoy other books on ebooks.

So here is my summary in how I read:

Crime/psychological thrillers/cosy crime – Audio

Women’s fiction and Young Adult – Paperback

Romance – ebook

Do you have a preference for your reading? Or is there anything you want to recommend for my giant TBR list??!!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Reading outside your comfort zone

books1For those of you who don’t know me that well I am an avid reader – always have been.  I was the child that had three library cards in different names because you could only take out four books per card.

I was also the child who the teacher didn’t believe she’d finished books as quickly as she did, and would subsequently ask random questions on those books that I would always sigh and answer.

In recent years I tend to read a book a night in bed.  A Harlequin book takes around an hour.  A 3-400 page book around 2 hours.  I spend a lot of money on books, but still always have a ‘to be read’ of pile of around 100 books.  I have a fear of running out!  I’ve also developed a recent habit for audiobooks as I drive a lot for work.  They’ve been a revelation!

But this year I realised that there are some books I just don’t read for pleasure.  In fact, since school I don’t think I’ve read a single classic.  So this year, I decided to do something about it.  I tried The Picture of Dorian Gray first, and to be honest, found it a bit meh.  As I did Jane Eyre (ducking in case you all throw something at me!)  Mr Rochester does not translate well into modern day.  Then came Rebecca which I absolutely loved – so atmospheric.  Two of the above Sense and Sensibility and Anne of Green Gables I’ve still to start.  I’m currently midway through the audiobook of Alice in Wonderland and am currently reserving judgement.

The photo above shows some of the other books I’ve read this year and loved.

As a quick brief:

Sanctuary – a modern day version of the Salem Witch Trials, so, so interesting.

The Wicked Deep – an atmospheric Young Adult book about three ancient witches who come every year from the sea to take revenge for their deaths.

The Flatshare – a fabulous, deep hitting romance about two adults who share a bed, with one using it during the day, and the other using it at night, and they fall in love through a series of notes left for each other.

Clean – a non pc tale of recovery from drug addiction.

One of Us is Lying – A Young Adult mystery that’s basically the Breakfast Club with murder. (for those of us old enough to remember The Breakfast Club)

They Both Die at the End – a young adult futuristic book where you get a phone call to tell you that your time is up and you’ll die in the next 24 hrs. This a male/male romance of two boys who connect in their last 24 hrs.

The Shadow Cabinet – a young adult thriller series about ghosts set in the modern day world.

books2And the last two:

The Glittering Hour – a real heartbreaker set in the roaring 1920’s and covering two decades.  The story of a child wondering what happened to her mother.

The Familiars – set in the 1600s where a 17 year old girl becomes the mistress of a large estate, her sole job to provide an heir, and gets swept up in the hysteria of the accusations of witchcraft.  (Do you see a pattern here???)

I’ve also read some real hardcore sci-fi and fantasy.  I’ve found that I tend to prefer thrillers and mysteries on audio as they tend to hold my attention better.

So go on, give me a recommendation of your favourite book this year!

Susan x

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Heatwave for a Scottish Girl

I was nodding in appreciation when I read Susan Carlisle’s earlier post.  I attended the New York conference this year too.  I’ve been to New York on four previous occasions.  Three times in Winter and once in summer to a previous conference and liked it on all occasions.  This time?  Not so much.  The heatwave just about killed me – every Scottish cell in my body was protesting – particularly when my husband had the brainwave of walking the Brooklyn Bridge at midday during the hottest day.  Thank goodness we survived and eventually  made it to Top of the Rock.


I even got to meet my favourite space captain in New York!


The view from the hotel was spectacular as normal, but after sharing with my boys for five nights in one room, I was glad to wave them back home.


Conference for me is all about socialising with the people I don’t normally get to see.

From the Russian tea garden with my Australian friends, Rachael Johns and Emily Madden


To the romance author breakfast!


To another breakfast with UK and Australian friends


To the romance and medical author lunch (which I might have made Louisa George a bit late for!)


The fun part for me is definitely the socialising, I might have even shopped a little in the huge Barnes and Noble, where I decided to take a look at the ‘cosy mystery’ section as we don’t have these in the UK.  Forgive me all, but I bought a Murder she Wrote book!




Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Chaos….and fun

So, this weekend has been a disaster.

I had requested annual leave from work on Friday (and had to do battle with a few other folks!) so I could attend a Young Adult book event in Worthing.  In case you don’t know, that’s the very bottom of England and far, far away from where I live in Scotland.

So, I got to Glasgow airport where I was flying to Gatwick, then getting a train to Worthing.  Or so I thought…

The plane was delayed, delayed then finally cancelled.  When they handed out coffee vouchers, there were 200 passengers and one guy working on the coffee cart…

There were no other seats on flights between Glasgow and any of the other London airports, causing distress for lots of people who were connecting.  I had to battle for an 85 yr old lady who’d checked in her two cases, was flying to the US from Gatwick at 5 the next morning, and was offered a seat from Edinburgh airport to London City arriving at 1030 at night.  Collecting her cases, finding a way to Edinburgh airport, then getting herself between London City and Gatwick, alone, at that time of night seemed unreasonable to me.

Once there was a written guarantee of taxis for her with assistance, I felt as if I could go home, but got messages from the kids who’d wanted to meet me and get me to sign their books that night.  I felt terrible.

By the time I got home I might have felt a bit crappy.  But then I found this….


I’ve honestly never laughed and cringed so much.  The Northall restaurant in London is the place that the Mills and Boon editors have taken me twice, when I’ve been a finalist for the RNA Rona Rose awards.  Some of my other writer colleagues were with me at the time.

What does this mean???

It means they just took me on the wrong day!


Scarlet x

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Deadline Hell


So…….because I am current deadline hell with…my Young adult space book due 30 April and I’ve just realised I’ve written ten thousand words and they’re the WRONG ten thousand words……

I also have a medical romance due 30 May which will require another 50,000 words

And another book due 24 June which requires another 50,000 words

because of all this I have decided to post the picture of my May release which I actually love

And say I can’t wait to get to RWA conference in July where I get to see my writing buddies in New York and hope I finally get some momentum going!




Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels


So today I am juggling – stories that is.

I have a new book out next month that I need to promote.


I had a new book out last month that I’m still promoting.


I’m brain-storming a midwife series with three other medical authors, my story is due by end of May.

I have a Christmas story to write by end of June.

I have two books that I’ve just written (just sent back revisions on the second) based in Vietnam.  Copy edits will be due on these two stories in the next few weeks.

Oh, and I’m currently writing my Young Adult Space story that is due end of April/beginning of May.

Then, of course, there’s the day job…. I still work full-time as a nurse in public health.

I also agreed to do a few school talks as part of the promotion for my YA story Rebel.  I’ve already done a trip to Brighton where I got a gorgeous runner up award.  Those kids were great and I was there with four other YA authors.  The rest of the school visits?  I’m on my own and feeling a bit scared already.

What if the kids hate me?  What if I’m boring?  What if they don’t read?

What if I can’t engage them?  Can you feel the terror?Susan award


Anyway!  Add to the list above – do a powerpoint presentation about dinosaurs for teenagers!

I have six school visits, one of which is down in England.  I may be gone for sometime.

Okay, off to lie down now!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Is it really 2019?

By the time you read this I’ll be back at the day job after being off for a few weeks and finally stopped watching Kurt Russell in The Christmas Chronicles.  Before we go any further can I just say – sexist Santa ever!

Being off work should have been fab.  I should have been reading a billion books and writing a few other billion.  Truth was, I was too tired and couldn’t concentrate to do any of that.  I ended up trying something I haven’t done in years – a jigsaw.  Of course, I picked one of a library.  You have no idea how frustrating it was until that final piece slotted into place!  Here’s hoping it woke up other parts of my brain,


Once I was finished I pulled out the pile of books I have for January.  Here they are!

January is an exciting time for romance writers if they are members of the Romance Writers of America.  By around the third week in January, I’ll receive some books to judge for the Ritas – the romance writers equivalent of the Oscars, which is why I haven’t got quite so much on my reading pile this month.  I can’t wait to see what else I get to read – and of course, I can’t tell you, because judges are sworn to secrecy!

In the meantime, I’ve started this pile and read this little beauty.  As a nurse it evoked many memories in me of the range of doctors I’ve worked with throughout the years. Some lines made me laugh out loud, other situations made me cry.


In other news, my third Young Adult book comes out next month and I’m delighted to see this series completed – I was running out of dinosaurs!  My next YA story will be set a million miles away from the dinosaurs.  Let’s just use a famous sentence.  Space. The Final Frontier.


I”m pleased to say I’ve read some brilliant books this year.  I’ve also had the revelation of finally getting to grips with audiobooks.  Narrators can make or break a book and I’m ruthless.  If the audiobook hasn’t captured my attention in fifteen minutes I return it for another.  My favourites so far have been Sadie by Courtney Summers, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee, The Wife Between Us, by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks, Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys.  Quick thing, some of these books have subject matter that could be triggering.

If you have any recommendations for me please let me know!

Finally I have two new medical romances scheduled so far this year with another two to come.  Island Doctor, Royal Bride is out in February and Tempted by the Hot Highland Doc is out in May 2019.  Happy New Year folks!