Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Young at Heart

It is true what they say about Baby Boomers (the demographic group born during the post–World War II baby boom, approximately between the years 1946 and 1964. This includes people who are between 53 and 71 years old in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau). We don’t age the same way our parents did. While we may complain now and then about our arthritic knees, the need to wear glasses to read our mobile telephone messages and our annoying bunions, we refuse to slow down. We fight the aging process by keeping up the pace we did in our younger years.

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Last night I was in the audience of an outdoor evening concert. A trifecta of musical talent. Australian legend, Russell Morris, the brilliant Doobie Brothers and the amazing Carlos Santana. Not even the bitterly cold breeze nor the threat of rain kept us away from the concert in the Botanic Park. Baby Boomers were there in droves, rugged up a little more than we might have been forty to fifty years ago but we were there among the towering gum trees swaying our hips to the rhythms and singing along in harmony … well we hope in harmony because most of us damaged our hearing over the years by playing our stereos far too loudly to really know how we sound.  But to be honest we don’t care because we are having a good time.  Enjoying life and not taking ourselves too seriously. We grew up in a time of change and rebelled against the establishment and rules that we knew in our hearts had to be broken.  Now we are going through the ‘other change’ but choosing to ignore the hot flushes and still rebelling by having fun.

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I love my life and after health scares along the way I appreciate everyone and everything in it even more. I am blessed to have grown up in a time that allowed me to find my own style and make mistakes without social media having a record of my dubious choices. We were not not the victims of technology instead we had just enough to make life interesting and still enjoy our freedom.

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Looking back is wonderful but Baby Boomers very much live in the present.  I am writing the blog at midnight because tonight (only one night after the trifecta outdoor concert) I was at a surprise 60th Birthday party … and it was a blast.

One day we may grow up … or not!

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Are you a Baby Boomer or do you know one who still likes to live life to the the fullest?

 

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A walk … or a bubble bath?

On the eve of Valentine’s Day I have decided not to focus on romance and instead write about ‘me-time‘.  Whether or not you have a special someone to spoil you on the most romantic day of the year,  you can always spoil yourself .  Sometimes even when you do have a partner it’s nice to take time out alone and do something that you want to do.  My ritual at the end of each day for as long as I can remember has been to soak in a relaxing bath.  The room is softly lit by a scented candle and despite the obvious romantic connotations this is my time and my time alone. No man required. The closed door keeps out the world … including hubby … the only company is my fur-baby who falls asleep on the bath mat. This is my little bit of heaven and sanity every day. My daydreaming in a blanket of bubbles is never interrupted. My tub could be in the marble bathroom of New York penthouse or on a cruise ship  in the Caribbean. And there’s no set time of day for this slice of indulgence. I will run a bath at midnight if the day has run away from me.

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And now I have found a new little piece of ‘me-time‘ that I am loving almost as much.  A long daily solo walk.  For the last seven weeks of weather, I have been donning my runners in the early evening and heading out the front door. With my headphones tuned to easy listening, which includes Michael Bolton and Richard Marx, I walk until the sun sets.

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A different route everyday affords me the pleasure of admiring beautiful perfumed gardens, stunning, diverse architecture from turn of last century bungalows to modern apartments and the occasional furry gatekeeper. And my fitness level is gradually increasing … 3km is now closer to 6km without much huffing or puffing.

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I hope you can spoil yourself by taking time away from everything now and then. Perhaps with a bubble bath … or a walk … or tucked up with a Mills & Boon Medical romance.

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Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Warmest regards

Susanne

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Christmas is only a few sleeps away…and I’m not sure I’m ready!

I’m not sure how you feel about it but I am both excited and nervous by the realization that Christmas Day is less than two weeks away.  Excited by the heart warming sounds of Christmas Carols in the shopping malls and also with our home being adorned with a ridiculous amount of festive decorations that date back to our now adult children being toddlers. Nervous with the worry that I may not have purchased, let alone wrapped,  all of the presents for the family.  It’s not that we have a large family but I do like to ensure that every gift is special and not something they will ‘re-gift’.  Not matter the age, unwrapping a gift should bring a brings a smile not a look of confusion or worse… horror!

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And then there is the table to prepare. I love a beautifully decorated table and put as much effort into that as the cooking.  This year the color scheme is gold and white with an earthy touch in the way of hessian place mats and centerpieces of gold tipped pinecones for our outdoor summer Christmas lunch. The hessian placemats were easy… I just bought a length of hessian and cut and fringed the placemats and with little effort they looked amazing.  The pinecones were a little more difficult.  So under the cover of darkness ( as it was late one evening when  I decided that I needed pinecones to complete the ambience) my husband drove me around in search of pinecones that had dropped to the ground.

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And I found them, all twenty, and with the assistance of a surgical mask and a can of gold paint they were just what the table needed … and they looked perfect.

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In my December release, White Christmas for the Single Mum, Dr Juliet Turner’s Christmas plans are thrown into disarray when she is seconded to Teddy’s Maternity Hospital in the Cotswalds to perform life-saving surgery.  And if that wasn’t enough for her to manage,  adding to her mixed emotions about being away from her home in Australia, is the very handsome Dr Charlie Warren who threatens to capture her heart and become a daddy for her tiny daughter. Christmas in nothing close to Juliet’s plans … it suddenly becomes so much better!

How are your Christmas plans coming along?  Are you on schedule to serve your perfectly seasoned turkey?

Wishing you all a wonderful festive season with your family and friends. xxxx

 

 

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Learning to pace oneself …

As I am writing this I am thinking about how easy life would be some days if only there were two … or three of me. Then I realize that I am the one solely responsible for creating job opportunities for clones. I need to slow down and pace myself but that is easier said than done when I have a bucket list that is overflowing – amazing family and friends with whom I want to spend as much time as possible; a day job I really enjoy; my writing which brings me so much joy; my fur children who love walks and cuddles; the ‘to be read’ pile of books in the study (many brought home from the amazing ‘Ain’t Love Grand conference) ; and a room full of beautiful fabrics begging to be brought to life and made into outfits.

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And let’s not forget the gym … which I need more than ever after a winter of wonderful family gatherings with too much delicious Greek food.

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Apart from the obvious difficulty in arranging a clone,  an equally difficult part would be deciding which bits of my super busy life to hand over to someone else.  I don’t think that decision would come easily  as I love each and every bit of it.  Even the sad times and the disappointing moments make my life complete.  All of it brings me joy, challenges, enormous satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment.

Eldest daughter asked me to stay a few extra days in Sydney recently, so of course I agreed. And it meant that I attended my first NRL grand final and my first day at the Randwick races.  Life is so full of exciting experiences that need to be embraced and I do find it difficult to pace myself.

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Just as I thought I was getting close to limiting my activities … yesterday I noticed something on the way to do the grocery shopping (actually the supermarket visit is one chore I could readily hand over to my clone).  A sign announcing bridge lessons for beginners caught my attention. A light went off in my brain and a tiny opening appeared in my calendar.  I have always wanted to learn to play bridge.  I can’t play any seriously grown up social card games. My expertise in this area is limited to UNO and snap.

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So I have decided I will learn bridge … but lessons will wait until next year.

Do you struggle to pace yourself … or is saying no a little easier  for you?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Conference Costume Considerations

As the Romance Writers of Australia 25th Anniversary Conference Ain’t Love Grand draws near there are many decisions to make. Fortunately for me, it is being held in my beautiful home town of Adelaide, so one decision I won’t have to make is what I must leave out of my suitcase.  I am driving 15 minutes to the stunning seaside venue of the Stamford Grand so I will not be faced with excess baggage costs no matter how heavy my bags might be!

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What I do have to decide is my costume for the Friday night Cocktail Party Love is a Cabaret. There are quite a few choices that would meet that brief.  I could channel my inner Liza Minelli, find a bowler hat, a short black wig and a little black outfit … but alas I think my days of suspenders are behind me …

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My next costume consideration would need a lot of feathers, a padded and bejeweled bra, fake tan and about three years of sit-ups …. maybe not …

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My final … and more realistic consideration will involve fringing, a bob and some fishnet stockings … no sit-ups required… and my chickens can hold on to their coats!  I think the decision has been made – a flapper it is!

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Not all decisions are that easy … or the outcome so much fun.  I hope if you have any decisions ahead they can be solved as quickly as mine … and if you’re heading to the RWA Aint Love Grand conference that you have your costume all packed… and you are looking forward to partying at the Cabaret Cocktail Party!

Happy 25th Anniversary to the Romance Writers of Australia!

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Change can be good…

I am one of those people who embraces change. I like to think of change as an adventure. Something to take you out of your comfort zone; spice up your life; test your mettle; and provide the fortitude and resilience checks we need occasionaly. Sometimes the change is small so the adventure is short lived.  Other times the change is monumental and in turn the adventure grows. Mind you my adventures have not included jumping out of a plane or coming close to considering Everest as a holiday destination…mine are a little more reserved but changes to my routine nonetheless.

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I have recently taken on a new ‘day’ job which includes new colleagues, a new workplace (closer to the shopping mall which is an added bonus) and a few new government policies and programs to understand. Of course with any change there are a few teething moments but fortunately I have been able to bring my some of my previous body of work and remain in regular contact with my much respected colleagues. Most government initiatives in the space of improving the economic outlook for First Australians are interdependent and so I did not have to cut ties… just loosen them to try something new.

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This is not the first time that I have not only embraced but in fact sought out change. Moving to Los Angeles in 2006 was a huge change but doing so with both of my adult daughters made it a lot easier. Although in saying that, on the flip side of the coin, as a parent you also instinctively absorb some of the change adjustment for your children. In the most part, it was exciting but again I was tested and soon found out ‘there’s no place like home‘ and I’m right back where I started from living back in Adelaide with a whole wealth of experience to my name (and quite a few US designer shoes).  One daughter has decided to stay and call the US her new home because for her the change was not temporary and her adjustment to this huge change was successful. Her decision has meant that I make regular trips to the US and in the process have small adventures.  In January I visited the Bahamas for the first time with her and despite the overnight storm at sea, including huge waves and 50 mile an hour winds, it was still a wonderful adventure.12646966_987123328024316_6361669523495630673_n

Change in the form of relocating 6000 miles across the ocean for my American furry-grandchildren was not of their choosing but it is one they have embraced.  Not that Pumba or Harriet had much say (or woof) in the matter as they waved California farewell nearly eighteen months ago.  They took to Adelaide like super-sized ducks to water and blossomed in their new home. While they miss their busy touring mother they do love having a large backyard to call their own; constant attention from the entire family; and being able to run on the beach in summer and the new experience of splashing in the shallows at Glenelg.

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Sometimes change can be intimidating but without change you may not move forward in the direction of your dreams. Change can force you to leave a situation that you have outgrown or appreciate even more what you have when you finally return.

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In my new book Twin Surprise For The Single Doc, my heroine Claudia Monticello leaves the UK in search of change and finds herself abandoned and pregnant … with twins.  It also finds her trapped in a Los Angeles elevator in premature labour and sharing the confined space with a man she assumes to be another Hollywood player. But soon Claudia discovers former obstetrician, Dr Patrick Spencer is everything she needs at that moment… and perhaps forever.

Do you embrace change … or prefer to keep your life just the way it is?

 

 

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Winter Warmers

 

While those of you in northern hemisphere await with anticipation the long glorious days of summer, here in the southern hemisphere, we are unpacking our coats, boots and gloves.

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I must admit while my romantic side loves hot summer days that become evening walks on the moonlit beach and my practical side enjoys having my washing dry on the line in a matter of hours, I do love winter just a little more.  There is little better than staying inside listening to the rain on the roof, the aroma of a roast slowly cooking or snuggling in bed with my comforter …and hubby.  Also being a ‘clothesaholic’ I think of my winter wardrobe, the same way I think of a good book, all my spends are investment even the ones that make me cringe with guilt when I cut off the slightly extravagant swing ticket. I know a well cut woolen jacket, a pair of Italian leather boots and gloves are bought to last a lifetime.

I will revisit them each season, or perhaps every second season to keep out the bite of the cold winter breeze, the way I will look back at the classic stories sitting in my bookcase and know they are there when I need my heart warmed.

While there are some bitterly cold winter nights in my home town, we do not have snow to speak of, save for a dusting on the top of Mount Lofty, so I do love to read stories set in a winter wonderland.  The pristine white backdrop, the raven haired hero with a heart as frozen as the ice beneath his feet … and the heroine who melts his defenses.  My Christmas book, ‘A Mummy to Make Christmas’ saw my heroine, Phoebe leave the snow covered streets of Washington and her cheating fiance to travel to the heat of Australia  and her new boss, the handsome single dad, Heath Rollins.  With the soaring summer temperatures and the nearness of Patrick, Phoebe faints … into his arms.   She just has to decide if that is where she wants to stay.

In my June release, single mother-to-be Claudia Monticello has plans of returning to her home in snow covered England but the early arrival of her twins changes her plans and she is forced to remain in a very hot Los Angeles.  With an equally hot OBGYN, Dr Patrick Spencer who thankfully was sharing her jammed elevator when the first sign of labour began … and her adorable twin boys came into the world. But will Patrick be able to walk away from Claudia and her sons or convince her to turn her back on the cold and stay in LA?

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Do you love winter or does it leave you cold?  And do you have a favorite winter read?

Warmest regards

Susanne Hampton.