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

The joy of research by Kate Hardy

Kate HardyI think my favourite part of writing a book is the research. The book I’m finishing writing right now is a cardiac book, and learning about the cutting edge treatment has been so interesting; my mum was a specialist cardiac nurse, so this one kind of feels special (and I brainstormed it in the British Library with lovely Annie O’Neil, so that was an extra bonus).

My next book is going to be set partly in Florence – so you can guess where we ended up 🙂 There were certain iconic places I wanted to visit (and I have to confess to becoming addicted to ‘Medici: Masters of Florence’ on Netflix since coming home – we’re dying for the next season to come out). And one of them was a certain art gallery. My research team balked at the idea of going to a modern art gallery; but this is Florence, so ‘modern’ actually means ‘1750 onwards’, which is his favourite sort of art. (I’ve tried to appreciate modern art, but…) So we enjoyed the Pitti Palace, the Uffizi and the Accademia; we also enjoyed visiting a number of palaces and churches, but my two big highlights of the trip were climbing inside the Duomo and visiting the library at San Lorenzo. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

 

And we had a bonus at the end – we were flying from Pisa airport. We were pretty sure that tickets to climb the leaning tower would be like the Duomo, i.e. you need to book days in advance, but I was in the queue to buy a ticket for the cathedral when I discovered we could visit the tower in 20 minutes’ time. That has to be one of the weirdest experiences of my life – you can really feel the ‘lean’ of the tower, and as you climb the spiral staircase you straighten up and then lean in the opposite direction. The steps are worn in a spiral rather than in a straight line! And I was very glad of the safety railing at the top 🙂

What’s been your strangest experience when visiting somewhere?

imageKate’s latest is Unlocking the Italian Doc’s Heart (set partly in Verona and written there last year!), out in UK/Aus shops now and online at the usual places 🙂 For more information, see her website.

 

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

That time Amy turned 40…

I realized that it’s been since February that I wrote something. It’s been a bit crazy around my neck of the woods. I had a deadline (when don’t I?) and my youngest son needed surgery. He’s 8 and he had a hernia. He just had his surgery in May and is on the mend.

And in April, I turned a big milestone and hit FORTY. I don’t know why I was dreading this so much. It’s been a month since I turned 40 and I feel good actually.

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Still, as it was approaching I got a bit bummed out. And the weather in Canada didn’t help. That winter held on for a long, long, long time. So, to cheer me up and celebrate my 40th the DH & I decided to go to Disney World for my 40th so I could hit that milestone with Mickey.

 

I love Disney World. I went when I was 14, on my honeymoon and a couple years ago we took the kids for the first time. The first time we took the kids my youngest couldn’t ride many rides (he’s on the shorter side even though my husband and I are super tall). This time around he got to ride Space Mountain and you can see this picture is worth the whole trip!

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Youngest’s first time on Space Mountain!

So this trip was my 4th time and my first time celebrating my birthday there.

ALSO we decided to go to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. I had never been to Universal Studios before and I love, love Harry Potter. OMG it was amazing! Although, my DH gets bad motion sickness on virtual reality rides and I hate rollercoasters. Sadly the Escape from Gringotts was a virtual reality with a rollercoaster. I had to go on with the kids. I thought I was going to die a few times and my kids just laughed at me. They think it’s hilarious.

Meanies! Oh and the wands my kids are holding are TWO Elder Wands (the boys of course wanted the most powerful wands in the world) and Malfoy’s wand. My daughter wanted Malfoy’s wand. I chose Harry’s.

While in Florida, I got to see my critique partner of many years again. She used to live in my town and then moved away. *sob* She also just sold to Medicals. So I was so happy to see Ann McIntosh again and bring her Red Rose Tea as they don’t have Red Rose Tea in the States.

She wasn’t the only one I got to meet. I got to meet Laurie! A long time medical reader and the sweetest person EVER. I brought her a bunch of treats too. It involved a lot of maple syrup.

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Eyes are closed because I’m not used to bright sunlight coming from the north! 😉

It was a great 40th. And yes, I let the kids dress me up like that because I’m a good Mom or just a sucker.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was so worried about by turning 40. I’m pretty dang lucky and it felt a bit freeing to hit that milestone! Mostly, because I realized I don’t really care about stuff I worried about when I was in my twenties or thirties. I’ve come this far and I’m enjoying myself!

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My kids got to dress me on my 40th. 

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A date with her former flame…

Brings the past flooding back!

In this Hot Greek Docs story, doctor Naomi thought her ex didn’t want kids. So she’s shocked to find Dr. Christos Moustakas at her new workplace—and he’s now a single dad! Chris has dropped his playboy ways, but he still has a hold on Naomi’s heart. And if she can now reveal their secret loss, it might finally give them another chance…

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Tectonic shifts!

Hello there everyone!

Today I’m musing on the way a story idea can ping up clear as a bell and then by the time you’re finished…it’s a totally different beast (or, in this case, love affair!).

That’s what happened when Amalie Berlin, Tina Beckett, Amy Ruttan and I began to pine for one another after the glowing tans from the days with our Hot Latin Docs began to fade.

What could we write about now, we mused?

The answer was obvious. Firemen in Canada. Sexy right? We thought so, too. And then as we began the back and forth with our editors – we pinged all the way across the globe to Greece and put our doctors at the fore of a huge earthquake on the island of Mythelios (that was an amazing name Amy came up with!).

Have you ever had an idea that comes to you and then the nurse becomes a princess, the blue accent wall becomes neon pink or the handbag dog becomes a Great Dane?

It happens to me alllllll the time. Does that make me fickle, or well-placed to get some kismet rays beaming through my life?

Either way – we now have four sizzling hot Greek Doctors…all very single and all unsuspecting that each of their lives is about to change.

Happy reading everyone!

PS – I’m off to Rome this week – can’t WAIT to tell you all about it. What do you think the chances are that my next hero is going to be Italian?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Royal Honeymoon!

Even the stoniest of hearts couldn’t fail to shed a tear over the wedding of Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on Saturday.  In a day full of special moments, what was your favourite?

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And after the wedding, the honeymoon.  The Duke and Duchess have decided to delay their honeymoon, and speculation is rife about where they might be going.

So – ladies – you’ve met your fictional prince and you’ve married him!  Where would you go for your honeymoon?  Would you spend a few weeks exploring his country and meeting the people?  Or would you choose a quiet get-away where you could (finally!) be alone with him?  Maybe you’d like a glamorous cosmopolitan location, surrounded by luxury, a cruise on the royal yacht (he has one…), or a stay in a Royal castle (he has more than one of those!). Or perhaps you’d just like to kick off your shoes and walk hand in hand along a deserted beach.  Let your imagination run free and tell us your fantasy Royal honeymoon destination.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Gratitude

I’m trying to learn to be more grateful for what I have and for the things around me. I’m not always successful, but I figure it’s a process. I posted a blog about eight months ago about buying a house in the country. When we moved in, there were wildflowers blooming in almost all of the beds. I love wildflowers. There were daisies, black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, etc.  So when spring came this year that’s what I expected to see push up through the ground first.

It didn’t happen.

Instead, gorgeous daffodils raised their heads, followed by pink and red tulips. And some purple flowers that I’m not familiar with. All the beds were blooming and colorful. I was amazed. And oh so grateful. The people we bought the house from had planned well. And worked hard to make the flower beds beautiful. I don’t have the greenest thumb and wouldn’t know at all how to go about planting a garden so that it was in constant bloom. The daffodils have faded and the tulips blooms are slowly disappearing, but there are new flowers starting to show themselves.

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So this morning, as I sit with my coffee and look out over our little patch of dirt, I’m grateful for the former owners and their green thumbs. I’m grateful for the flowers that are here now, and grateful for the wildflowers that soon will be.

What are you grateful for today?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Royal Wedding!

Just in case anyone hasn’t heard, there’s going to be a Royal Wedding on Saturday.  Don’t miss the Mills and Boon Royal Romance competition, for a chance to win a limited edition Royal Wedding teaset and an exclusive Royal Wedding book!

And, of course, the Medical Romance Authors LOVE a wedding.  So to get you in the mood, we looked back to find some Royal Romances from our own titles (and found there were plenty to choose from).

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Baby Surprise for the Doctor Prince, by Robin Gianna

Two months after her breath-taking night with Prince Enzo Affini, nurse Aubrey Henderson arrives in Venice to discover he’s her new boss. And even more shocking? The news she’s carrying his royal baby!

Guarded doctor Enzo has long protected his legacy—and his heart. He’s determined not to trust his attraction to irresistible, spirited Aubrey. But as their baby grows, so too does their undeniable connection…and a longing for a happy-ever-after that neither can deny!

 

 

9781474051484.jpgThe Doctor and The Princess, by Scarlet Wilson

Her very own Mr Darcy.

As a rule, Gabrielle Cartier prefers the title ‘Dr’ to ‘Princess’. And when sexy surgeon Sullivan Darcy joins her humanitarian mission in the jungle, she’s desperate to explore their chemistry. Until sudden news of her brother’s abdication means Gabrielle must return home to rule!

Sullivan longs to offer Gabrielle the support she needs but the pain of loss haunts him. Yet she stirs long-dormant feelings in him, feelings that give him the courage to confront his demons…and the determination to win his princess!

 

9781474051514.jpgEngaged to the Doctor Sheikh, by Meredith Webber

Exile or marriage, the choice is hers…

Sheikh Tariq al Askeba knows Lila Halliday is trouble… From the moment the Australian paediatric doctor arrives wearing an ancient amulet stolen from his family years before, scandal precedes her.

Lila is stunned to discover the sordid history of her birth mother’s pendant. She came to Karuba to discover her true heritage, not set the whole palace in uproar!

Knowing there’s no other way to quell the upheaval Tariq gives her a shocking ultimatum: leave…or become his desert bride!

 

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Claiming his Pregnant Princess, By Annie O’Neil

“Hello, Beatrice.”

Face-to-face with the man she’d loved and lost two years ago, Dr. (and Princess) Bea di Jesolo knows she has no right to forgiveness, but she hopes they can call a truce for the sake of their patients.

Pediatrician Dominic Coutts had always seen the woman beneath the royal fanfare that surrounded Bea: at heart, she was more surgical gown than ball gown. But loving her had cost him once. Could he risk his heart again—especially when he discovers her secret?

 

 

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The Prince’s Cinderella Bride, by Amalie Berlin

Operation Marriage…

Prince Quinton Carlow’s life was turned upside down the day his divorce was filed and his military papers were executed. Seven years later, the embittered soldier returns, only to walk straight back into his ex-wife!

But when Quinn discovers he’s still married to the one woman who could claim his heart, he realises he must tackle the past for the future he wants…the future Anais wants too. But can he convince his Cinderella bride to fight for their love?

 

 

9781474051798.jpgReunited with her Surgeon Prince, by Marion Lennox

Claiming his secret heir – and his bride!

Dr Ellie Carson once married her secret prince, but then duty tore their whirlwind marriage apart – only Ellie was also pregnant!

Now, surgeon and Crown Prince Marc Falken is soon to become king – and he’s discovered he has a son! Claiming his heir means seeking out Ellie – the woman he’s never stopped loving. But can Marc convince Ellie she can be a doctor and his queen, and that finally they can become the family they were always meant to be?

 

 

9781474051903.jpgChristmas Bride for the Sheikh

His midwife under the mistletoe

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

Hazin hides a wealth of pain behind his playboy façade 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!

 

 

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The Surgeon King’s Secret Baby, by Amy Ruttan

A family by New Year’s Eve?

Reagan Cote left war-torn Hermosa thinking the gorgeous surgeon she’d shared a brief affair with was lost on the frontline. So she clung to the child she was carrying.

While Kainan Laskaris’ voice is damaged, he’s alive. And when he finds Reagan in Toronto and discovers he’s dad to their sick baby boy, he asks her to marry him. Now he’s King of Hermosa, he needs a queen and heir, but before she’ll accept, Kainan must prove that marrying Reagan means more than claiming his kingdom.

 

9781474074810.jpgPregnant with his Royal Twins, by Louisa Heaton

New year, twin babies!

Midwife Freya MacFadden has stuck to night shifts since she was injured in an acid attack. But a hospital costume ball offers her the chance to hide her scars, and, lost in the moment, she seizes a passionate encounter with a handsome stranger. Leaving her pregnant…with his twins!

Desert prince Jameel Al Bakhari fought hard for his medical career, far from his kingdom of Majidar. And he’ll fight for kind and courageous Freya and their babies too! But first Jamie must show her how beautiful she really is!

 

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! 🙂

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.  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! 🙂 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  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?

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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, titled Tempted By The Brooding Surgeon. I have to say, I do love my hunky, brooding hero! 🙂 Which do you like best, the Harlequin cover on the left, or the UK cover on the right? xoxo

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