Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Holiday Celebrations, Hot Docs!, New Releases

I wish you a Merry Christmas…

All I Want for Christmas, emilyforbes-72dpi-1500x2000

I love Christmas and I love summer and, in Australia, two of my favourite things combine but I would love to experience a white Christmas. We watch it in the movies and sing about it in our Christmas carols -which is hilarious as Christmas Day Down Under can often be 100°F/ 39°C – while we are drinking chilled Champagne and eating seafood, fresh berries and pavlova (basically a big meringue but better  🙂 )followed by a swim in the pool.

What I would love to know is if anyone in the northern hemisphere dreams of a hot Christmas or is it a southern hemisphere thing?

Wherever you are and however you are celebrating I wish you a very Merry Christmas with love, laughter, friends and family. And if you haven’t finished (or started!) your shopping here are some suggestions gathered from around the globe.

From left to right, top to bottom:

UK, USA, Canada ; Germany; USA & Canada; Sweden

Australia; Italy; France

Italy; Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland; France; South Africa.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy and healthy 2018,

Emily xx

 

 

 

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

December Releases

Wow – where did that year go???? Is time speeding up, or what? Here’s six brand new sparkly titles to get you through the last few weeks of the year!

 

Christmas Bride For the Sheikh by Carol Marinelli (Ruthless Royal Sheikhs)med1

His midwife under the mistletoe

This Christmas, midwife Flo is determined to avoid all mistletoe! Though she’s a secret romantic, she’s fed up with only kissing frogs. Until she meets notorious sheikh prince Hazin al-Razim and is enticed into the most sizzling night of her life…

Hazin hides a wealth of pain behind his playboy facade, and beautiful Flo is the first person to warm his frozen heart. So, when she’s hired to deliver his brother’s Christmas Eve baby, it’s Hazin’s chance to claim his own Christmas miracle—Flo as his bride!

 

Christmas With The Best Man by Susan Carlisle (Christmas In Manhattan)

A kiss, a med2 fling…a wedding ring?

Dr. Helena Tate still believes in love, despite her past heartbreak, and that one day she’ll have a baby of her own. Her gorgeous but brooding colleague Dr. Elijah Davenport, however, is not the man to pin her hopes on. He’s no longer interested in long-term relationships.

But being maid of honor and best man at a wedding in snow-covered Central Park heightens their attraction. Soon their Christmas fling becomes so much more! Can Helena tame Manhattan Mercy’s playboy—so they both get the love they deserve?

 

Her Knight Under The Mistletoe by Annie O’Neil

MED3

All the single mom wants for Christmas…

London ER doctor Matthew Chase is shocked that his new role has become a job share with Dr. Amanda Wakehurst—the last woman he expected to see again.

Matthew is also unaware he’s the father of her little boy, until Tristan is critically injured. Yet Matthew is there to support Amanda in her hour of need, and he proves how much he wants to be Tristan’s dad. Dare she hope he still wants her, too? Being together as a family this Christmas would be her ultimate gift…

 

 

Her New Year Baby Surprise by Sue MacKay (The Ultimate Christmas Gift)

med4A new baby of her own?

Nurse Emma Hayes was happy being a surrogate to give her best friend, Abbie, her baby. She has her own daughter, Rosie, and everything she needs. Until handsome ER doc Nixon Wright gets under her skin!

Having lost his family young, Nixon is wary of falling in love. But there’s something about Emma… Soon he’s fallen under her spell, with very unexpected consequences!

 

 

 

Navy Doc On Her Christmas List by Amy Ruttan (Christmas in Manhattan)

A snowbound reunion!med5

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…

 

 

The Nurse’s Special Delivery by Louisa George (The Ultimate Christmas Gift)

med6A baby for Christmas…and a father too?

When nurse Abbie Cook meets gorgeous Scottish paramedic Callum Baird, there’s an instant attraction. But the timing couldn’t be more wrong…

Abbie’s best friend Emma is about to give birth to a longed-for surrogate baby for her. While Callum has responsibilities at home that mean he can’t commit to Abbie.

As Christmas approaches, Callum and Abbie cannot deny the passion between them. But will the sudden arrival of baby Gracie give them the miracle they long for?

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Quirky Stories

Moon madness by Kate Hardy

kate hardy sept 2015 1200pxSome of you may have noticed that I’m a bit obsessed with the moon. There’s usually a moonlight scene in my books (my favourite is one of my Modern Heats, taking place on a volcano – because, well, that’s two obsessions at once). Apparently my parents used to have to shine a torch outside my window when I was tiny so I could say goodnight to the moon, otherwise I wouldn’t go to sleep!

Last night was the supermoon. It was too cloudy to see it last night, but this morning it was just glorious. I had to take my daughter into college really early for a sixth form trip to London, and the first thing I noticed when I walked into the kitchen was the bright light streaming in…

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It lit our way into the city, and this beautiful enormous moon was in front of me all the way home. I usually take the dog out before sunrise anyway, but this time I took my proper camera rather than just the phone and hopped over a ditch or two (poor dog thought I’d gone barmy). And I got the shot I was hoping for, reflected in the trout lake.

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As the sun started to rise, the moon turned pink. Now, I’ve always wanted to do one of those massive moon shots but have never quite managed it before. Today I ended up with two shots I’m so, so pleased with. (That streak across the moon is a cloud, by the way.)

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The book I’m writing now is set in the summer, so I’m not quite going to be able to get away with using these in a scene. But watch out for future books 😉

Did you see the supermoon? Do you have a pic to share? I’d love to see it!

 

 

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!

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

Pregnant With his Royal Twins

thumbnail_IMG_1112Freya surreptitiously slipped the packet from her locker and into her uniform pocket, hiding it under her notepad. The lack of her period and the increasing nausea she was experiencing each morning seemed obvious signs enough, but Freya wanted proof. Scientific proof.

Night shift it might be, but to her this was morning, and walking into the staff room and smelling the strong coffee that had been put on to brew had almost made her share with everyone the ginger biscuits she had forced down for breakfast. It had taken a gargantuan effort to control her stomach, and a sheen of sweat had prickled her brow and top lip as she’d fumbled with her locker. Her fingers had almost tripped over themselves in her haste.

Heading to the ladies’ loo, she told Mona she’d just be five minutes and that she’d catch up to her at the staff briefing in a moment.

‘Okay, hun, see you in five.’ Mona smiled and headed off, her hand clutched around a mug of that nausea-inducing coffee.

The toilets were right next door to the hub, so Freya slipped in and locked the door behind her, leaning back against it, letting out a long, slow breath of relief. She took a moment to stand there and see if her stomach settled.

There didn’t seem any doubt about what was happening to her, but she needed to do this just the same. She pulled the pregnancy test from her pocket and stared hard at it, not quite believing that she was actually going to.

She’d always hoped that one day she would become a mother. But the actual chances of that ever happening to her had—she believed—become very slim the day she had been scarred for life. Because who would want her now?

‘Come on, Freya…you’re better than this,’ she whispered to herself, trying to drum up the courage to get herself through the next few minutes.

Freya loved the nightshift, working on Maternity here at Queen’s Hospital. There was something extra-special about working nights. The quiet. The solitude. The intimate joy of bringing a new life into the world and being with that family as they watched their first sunrise together. A new day. A new family. Life changing. Getting better. New hopes. New dreams. There weren’t the distractions of daytime—telephones constantly ringing, visiting families all over the place. It was secluded. Fewer busybodies.

It was the perfect hiding place for her, the hospital at night time, and those nights afforded Freya the anonymity that she craved. Lights were kept low. There were shadows to stay in, no harsh fluorescent lighting to reveal to her patients the true extent of her scarring.

It was better now than it had been. She had some smooth skin now, over her cheeks and forehead, where just two years before she’d had angry red pits and lines, her face constantly set and immovable, like a horrific Halloween mask.

Not now. Not now she’d had her many, many reconstructive surgeries. Thirty-three times under the skilled scalpel of her plastic surgeon.

And yet she was still hiding—even more so—in a bathroom. Her hands sweating and fidgety as she kept glancing down at the testing kit.

‘Only one thing to do, really,’ she told herself aloud, shaking her head at the absolute silliness of giving herself a pep talk.

She peed on the stick and laid it on the back of the sink as she washed her hands and then took a step back. She stared at her reflection in the mirror, refusing to look down and see the result. She saw the fear in her eyes, but she also recognised something she hadn’t seen for years—hope.

‘This is what you’ve always wanted,’ she whispered.

But wanting something and actually achieving it, when you believed it to be impossible, was another thing altogether. If it were possible then she’d finally get her childhood dream. To hold her own child in her arms and not just other people’s. To have her own baby and be a mum. Even if that meant she’d have to revert back to living in sunlight. With all those other people.

Even if they didn’t stare at her, or do that second glance thing, she still felt that they were looking. It was human nature to look at someone different and pretend that you weren’t. And your face was the hardest thing to hide.

Still…this wasn’t exactly how she’d imagined it happening. As a little girl she’d dreamt of marrying a handsome man, having his babies and being in a settled relationship.

She had no one. Even ‘the guy’ had been a mad, terrific impulse, when her body had been thrumming with joy about the fact that she was out amongst people, having fun, enjoying a party behind the veil of her fancy dress costume.

It had been so long since she’d last been to a social event. Too long. Years since she’d stood in a room full of people, chatting, laughing at poor jokes, being normal.

Mike had taken that away from her. That joy and freedom. His jealous actions had imprisoned her in a world of night and pain, surgeries and hiding. Feeling unable to show her face to the world without fearing people’s reactions. A frightened child turning away as if to clutch her mother’s skirts when a stranger did a double-take and tried not to look appalled or disgusted or worse.

The veil she’d worn that night had hidden everything. The high-necked Victorian steam punk outfit had hidden the scars on her neck that had not yet been tackled, and the veil had added a note of mystery.

That night people had looked at her with intrigue and with delight. They’d smiled…they’d complimented her on how wonderful she looked. Their words had made her giddy with happiness. She’d been normal there. Like them.

And then he’d been there. The guy. The pirate. He’d seemed uncomfortable. Had appeared to be waiting for enough time to pass so he could make his escape.

She knew how that felt. She’d felt a kind of companionship with him, despite their not having exchanged a word.

It had helped, of course, that he had seductively dark eyes and a wickedly tempting mouth, and she’d almost stopped herself. She’d taken a moment to register the fact that she was attracted to a man when the very idea of that had been anathema to her for so many years.

But not that night. The costume, the veil, had given her a sense of bravery she hadn’t felt for a long time.

‘I’m Freya. Pleased to meet you.’

‘Jamie.’

‘I saw you eyeing up the exit. Getting ready to make a break for it?’

‘I’ve been thinking about it.’

‘Please don’t. Stay for a little while longer. Let me get you a drink.’

It had been crazy how emboldened she’d felt. Her entire body had been thrumming with adrenaline and serotonin, her heart pounding like a revved-up engine. She’d felt alive, happy, normal again—having a conversation with an attractive man, feeling the thrill of first attraction.

Silly. Childish, maybe, when she really ought to have known better, but it had just felt so good!

He had made her feel that way. The way he’d looked at her, his eyes sparkling with inky delight, his full lips curved in a wicked smile. He’d laughed with joy at her anecdotes, had genuinely seemed happy to stay.

She’d felt warm and wanted again. Desire had filled her the second he’d let go of the stem of his glass and let his fingers trail delicately over the back of her hand. She’d focused on that movement, watched his fingertips on her skin—her very sensitive skin. She’d looked up and met his eyes, and the most extraordinary question had left her lips.

‘Are you married?’

‘No.’

‘With someone?’

‘No.’

‘Do you want to be?’

She’d startled herself with the sheer audacity of her question. That wasn’t her! Freya MacFadden did not proposition strange men!

She’d pulled her hand away then, retreating into the shell she was so accustomed to being inside. But then he’d reached for her hand again. Not to stop her from running away. Not to try and possess her or control her. But just to get her to make eye contact with him.

‘I’m guessing you didn’t mean to say that?’

‘No.’

‘Then we can both forget it. Don’t worry.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘Don’t ever be.’

He’d been so kind. So understanding. So she hadn’t bolted and neither had he.

They’d continued to sit with each other and talk about what the other guests were wearing and why the charity they were there to support was so important. They’d laughed and had a good time, enjoying each other’s company.

He’d offered to walk her out at the end, and she’d let him, intending to say goodbye at the door. To fetch her coat and leave. For ever to remain an enigmatic stranger at a party that he would remember with fondness. Like Cinderella leaving the ball at midnight, only without the glass slipper.

Freya let out a deep breath. She couldn’t stay here in the bathroom for too long. There was a hand-over from the day shift.

Freya loved her daytime colleagues, and they her, but she was happy when they went home. Because then she could begin to craft the intimacy that the night shift brought. Lowering the lights. Softening the voices.

It was time.

She couldn’t wait any longer.

It was now or never.

She looked down.

And sucked in a breath.

‘I’m pregnant.’

Pregnant With His Royal Twins is available from :

(Kindle, Amazon UK) January 2018

(Paperback, Amazon US) December 19th, 2017!

(Paperback, Barnes and Noble US) December 19th, 2017!

(Ebook, Nook US) January 1, 2018

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Leftovers…or are they?

I don’t know about you…but when I plan a big feast (for me it was Thanksgiving which we held late as I live in the UK and I can’t seem to convince Parliament to give everyone the Friday after off, but that’s another story)….when I plan a big feast, I also plan for the leftovers. The first year I made Thanksgiving with a friend she was HORRIFIED that I hadn’t bought a turkey big enough to feed my family, her family and then the two of us and our housemate for the next week. Horrified.

Now I feel her pain.

We even have a whole set of Thanksgiving fans who come over….JUST for the leftovers! We get a couple of baguettes, people make sandwiches, or have exactly what they had the night before (I even made my sweet potatoes with marshmallows for the first time ever! Note to self: those don’t really play well on Day Two).

Now, I don’t know about you, but…my favourite is the good old-fashioned Turkey Sandwich. I like it with some cranberry sauce, some stuffing (my mother’s recipe…always my mother’s recipe…loads of onion, an embarrassment of butter, some toasted bread, walnuts, celery, little bit of this and that….delicious). I can tend to eat turkey sandwiches for about a week before I max out…or the crab and stuffing run out. But I’ve also made turkey stroganoff. Turkey curry. No one needs and excuse to finish pie. For the record, the pecan always goes first, no one but me eats the pumpkin (except this year my friend Charlotte confessed to a closet affection for it) and, just to be wild I threw apple into the mix.

Do you have any left over dishes you adore? Anything wild and wonderful you do with that half bowl of mashed potatoes, staring up at you…pleading for you to do something magical with it. Croquettes? Potato pancakes (aka latkes)? Mashed potato on your finger while deciding which pie to eat?

I know it sounds excessive…but this is a waste not want not scenario. I love my in-laws but they do not do leftovers and actively planHer Knight Under the Mistletoe to not have them. We also sell beef and whenever I am selling someone a joint or a piece I know they are planning to have on a special evening I always ask, and will you be wanting leftovers? Got any great left-overs recipes? Feel free to throw them my way.

Here’s a quick note about something new….I have a new book out in a couple of days…Her Knight Under the Mistletoe! I hope you enjoy it. (There is never a Christmas story I don’t love writing).

xx Annie O’

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Holiday Celebrations, New Releases, The Writing Life

Rainy Days and Mondays

Well, today isn’t Monday, but as I was writing this blog post, it was. And it was definitely raining. Most of the day, in fact. But, unlike the song, those kinds of days don’t “get me down.” I tend to like the rain. And sleeping to the sound of thunder is just bliss.

What wasn’t so blissful was the cold that went along with the rain, since we’re headed into winter, and the days are getting shorter. But what does make me happy is that I just got my story bible for the continuity I’ll be writing. And it’s a Christmas story. One of my favorite kinds of books to write! Did the editors plan it that way, hoping the festive lights and tinsel would light my muse’s fire? I don’t know, but I think it’s going to work. I’m very excited about the plot I’ve been given, and on Monday, I was busy setting up my chapters in Scrivener (the writing program I use). So, right now, it’s literally a series of twelve chapter headings and an expanse of empty pages. My imagination is running wild with how I can make this story my own.

Monday’s rain just added to my momentum, since I couldn’t get out and do anything. In fact, I drove to a nearby supermarket parking lot to get some peace and quiet, pushed back the seat as far as it would go and listened to the rain while I got my program set up. It was wonderful. Just me, the warmth of the car heater, and my still-to-be-written book.

rainy days and Mondays
The view from my car on a rainy Monday

And I can’t wait to start! I just came off a frenetic writing schedule and finally had time to stop and recharge my batteries. So just like the rain that was washing the thin layer of dust from my car, it cleared the cobwebs from my mind too. I’m ready to write.

I’m in love. With my characters. My story. My life. Even on a rainy, Monday morning!

To add to my joy, I just received the cover for my latest book. I love that too!

How about you? Do you like rainy days?

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