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

February New Releases

Welcome to February medical romance fans. A great line up for you this month!

Carrying The Surgeon’s Baby by Amy Ruttan

What happened in Vegas…has life-changing consequences!


An impulsive Las Vegas encounter that left practical Dr Emily West married to world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr Ryan Gary should have simply been a lesson learned – except now she’s pregnant with his baby!

When Ryan arrives at Emily’s Seattle hospital to assist on a case, they’re reunited and their powerful spark reignites. But can working side-by-side with Emily convince lone-wolf Ryan he’ll be the perfect dad, now and always?



Heart Surgeon, Prince…Husband! by Kate Hardy


A convenient proposal…an inconvenient attraction!

Prince Luciano Bianchi is a top heart surgeon – but as a future king, he’s expected to rule, not operate! To convince his family saving lives is where his heart lies, he proposes a temporary convenient marriage to his new colleague, workaholic cardiologist Kelly Phillips.

Of course, there’s no risk of either of them falling in love – until their whirlwind ‘romance’ starts to feel tantalisingly real!




Island Doctor To Royal Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Working side by side…With a secret prince!


In desperate need of staff for her small clinic on a beautiful Malaysian island, Dr. Arissa Cotter accepts the help of tourist Dr. Philippe Aronaz, little knowing her knight in shining armor is also a prince! But when he sweeps her away to his Mediterranean kingdom, she discovers Philippe faces battles of his own.

Arissa has always hidden herself away—dare she step into the spotlight and stand by her prince’s side?




Nurse To Forever Mom by Susan Carlisle (Single Dad Docs)

Could a temporary arrival…Lead to a forever mommy?med3


In this Single Dad Docs story, Maple Island Clinic founder Dr. Cody Brennan is committed to protecting himself and his two little girls from any more heartbreak. But vibrant temp nurse Stacey Ryder challenges him and their emotional connection slips past his defenses.

As Stacey’s time at the clinic draws to an end, can Cody and his daughters convince her she’s the one they’ve been waiting for?




The Baby They Longed For by Marion Lennox

med2One night in the surgeon’s arms…one miraculous surprise!

Obstetrician Addie and surgeon Noah’s relationship has always been complicated since he broke the news that her fiance had jilted her. Years later, finding themselves working and living together, they both agree to keep things professional. Until one intense day leads to one magical night, resulting in the miracle neither ever believed possible!

Now they must put the past behind them if they want to build a future…together.



The Single Dad’s Proposal by Karin Baine (Single Dad Docs)med1

Will their newfound love…Lead to an island wedding?

In this Single Dad Docs story, aristocratic surgeon Rafael Valdez might be the heartthrob of Maple Island, but he has eyes for only one girl—his daughter, Gracie! Until child life specialist Summer Ryan helps Rafael realize he doesn’t have to cope with the special care Gracie needs alone.

Can he convince Summer there’s room in his life—and his heart—for her, too?





Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews

Welcome New Medical Romance Author Traci Douglass!

Today, we’re thrilled to welcome Traci Douglass to the Medical Romance team!  We’ll be posting an excerpt from Traci’s debut Medical Romance  One Night with the Army Doc, on Monday, but first, over to Traci for her answers to the need-to-know questions!

TraciDouglassHeadshotI discovered Medical Romance when: 

I started reading Harlequins way back when I was in high school. Presents was my line back then—Penny Jordan, Charlotte Lamb. Good stuff. Then I moved into reading more single-title romances. My love for medical dramas began back in 1994 when ER first came on the air. For its time, it was a ground-breaking show and I was in school, studying to be a Certified Medical Assistant. I was in love with all the brave nurses and the handsome doctors working hard each week to save lives and find love (Luka and Abby forever!). Later, I watched both House, M.D. and Gray’s Anatomy religiously. Now, I’m a huge fan of Call The Midwife and have been binging all the seasons on Netflix. There’s just an added element of suspense and drama when you’re dealing with life and death and the essential things that affect people’s everyday lives so much. These are all the same things I love about the Medical Romance line and I’m so excited to share all the stories in my head when I’m watching these shows with all of you!

I wrote my first story when: 

I wrote my first novel when I was in my early twenties, a romance that will remain hidden forever. LOL. It was a twisted tale of forbidden love between a handsome college professor and one of his shy, bookish students at an all girl’s university. After that, I didn’t pick up the pen again until November of 2011. That’s when I had a dream that just refused to leave my head until I wrote it down. One month later, I had 100K+ paranormal romance in my hands and no idea what to do with it. I started revising and joined my local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and found some fantastic critique partners and things just kept rolling from there. I started to submit that novel for publication in June of 2012 and it sold in October of that same year. I’ve been publishing ever since, both traditionally–and more recently—self-publishing (as I received the rights back on that first, original paranormal romance series earlier this year when the publisher closed its doors).

Where do you live

Midwestern United States. Amongst the corn and fireflies. Fun fact: The state where I live, Indiana, just named the Say’s Firefly as our state insect.

My best trait is: 

I’m very determined and focused when working on a goal. If I set my mind to do something, I’ll get it done or die trying.

My worst trait is: 

I’m very determined and focused when working on a goal… Oh wait. LOL. It’s a blessing and a curse, I suppose.

Five things on your bucket list: 

  • Make the New York Times Bestseller list
  • Spend an entire Spring in Paris
  • Live by the ocean
  • Own a huge ranch where I take in rescue animals of all varieties
  • Take a grand tour all over the world and visit as many countries as I can

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today! I’m thrilled to join the Medical Authors team and look forward to meeting and sharing more stories with all the lovely readers out there. Oh, and stay tuned. I’ll be back in a couple of days with an exclusive excerpt from my debut Medical Romance, One Night With The Army Doc. Until next time, Happy Reading!

 My first Medical Romance, One Night With The Army Doc, releases August 1st and is available now for pre-order on all major online retailers in the US, UK, and Australia. Universal Link (US): https://www.books2read.com/OneNightWithTheArmyDoc

IMG_0359Author Bio:

Traci is a USA Today Bestselling Author of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. Her stories feature sizzling heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes and heroines who are smart, tenacious, and always give as good as they get. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and she loves animals, chocolate, coffee, hot British actors, and sarcasm—not necessarily in that order.



Social Media Links:

Website: https://tracidouglass.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TraciDouglassAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Traci_Douglass
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracidouglassauthor/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/tracidouglass
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6767293.Traci_Douglass
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tracisdouglass/pins/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/traci-douglass
Author Newsletter Sign-up: https://mailchi.mp/tracidouglass/author-newsletter-sign-up
Triple T’s FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/275500899503961/


One Night with the Army Doc

Is it enough to convince her to stay…?

Filming the latest episode of her TV show, diagnostician Dr Molly Flynn clashes with privacy-loving ex-army doc Jacob Ryder! But as friction turns into flirtation does she dare believe they might have a future…together?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews

Welcome New Medical Romance Author, Becky Wicks! (And Announcing a Giveaway)

We’re thrilled to welcome new Medical Romance Author, Becky Wicks!  Becky is an author and freelance copywriter, who had various travel and romance novels published before joining her fellow romantics on the Mills and Boon team.  Her first Harlequin romance ‘Tempted by her Hot-Shot Doc‘ is out in February!

We’d also like to announce our Valentine’s Giveaway.  You can find the entry page here, and there will be a link in the sidebar until the 13th February.  But first, over to Becky… 

Becky WicksI discovered Medical Romance when:

This was waaaaay back… but maybe after I discovered Mills & Boon in general. I used to read my gran’s as a kid and I have memories of her wielding a can of whipped cream and threatening to spray my books if I didn’t stop reading! Medical Romance came later, perhaps after gaining an indelible appreciation for George Clooney in ER. He changed a lot of lives, that man. And not just on-screen.

I wrote my first story when:

First ever story? Hmmm, that was probably at age 7 or 8. I used to fill huge notepads with stories written in pencil, usually by torchlight in my bed at night. Lots featured talking animals… I even wrote about an orphaned tadpole once (don’t ask). I think I always had a weird imagination; Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton were my inspiration! The romance writing really started later. I did a lot of travel writing first, worked my way around the world as a freelancer before getting signed by HarperCollins to write three travel memoirs. In 2013 I started self-publishing YA and adult romance on Amazon and never looked back.

Where do you live?

I’ve been lucky enough to live in a lot of places since my early 20s (NYC, London, Dubai, Australia), but my traveling brought me to Amsterdam in August 2016 and this is the first place I’ve been in a long time that truly feels like home. I might even get a cat (gasp). I’m British and I grew up in the South Holland District of Lincolnshire, a place that’s also surrounded by tulips. Maybe my subconscious finds a comfort in flowers?!  

My best trait is:

I guess I go with the flow most of the time. My friends would probably say I’m pretty happy and positive in general. Last year a friend pointed me towards an app called Insight Timer, which has been truly instrumental in helping me take time out each day to recharge my batteries. Ironically, it’s a big app that kind of drains my iPhone battery at the same time, but oh well.

My worst trait is:

I’m easily distracted… oh, can you hold that thought, I have to check Facebook….

Five things on your bucket list:

  • Write a New York Times bestseller and meet Oprah Winfrey
  • Marry the man who makes me laugh and gives me butterflies
  • Learn to ski (I’ve only tried snowboarding, and that was in Dubai, of all places!)
  • Buy a house with room in the yard for a ‘writing shed’, or a mansion. OK, let’s just go with the mansion
  • Start a podcast for writers and readers

My first Medical Romance, Tempted by Her Hot-Shot Doc, will be released to retailers (including Amazon, on February 22. The single digital edition will be released to the M&B website on February 01. You can now pre-order the UK version from Amazon.co.uk.


Madeline Savoia is thrilled to write sexy, infamous Ryan Tobias’s biography—and to accompany him to the Amazon to film his TV show! She won’t be tempted. She’s just been through a breakup and Ryan’s only interest is saving lives—perfect! Only, their passion sizzles before they reach the rainforest. Is three weeks up-close and-personal enough to turn into forever?

Thanks for the welcome, guys! Follow me on Twitter @bex_wicks, and on Instagram at beckywicks. Check out my blog and sign up to my newsletter at beckywicks.com, or find my Becky Wicks Author page on Facebook.

I’ll be scribbling more stories in a caffeinated blur, but distractions in the form of cat videos are always welcome.

Becky xx

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews

Introducing Nicki Edwards

Amongst our other new features in 2016, we’ve made some room in our schedule for guest bloggers.  Today, we’re thrilled to welcome Nicki Edwards, who writes medical romance for Momentum, the digital first imprint of Pan Macmillan.  Take it away Nicki!

G’day everyone. Thanks for having me here on the blog as a guest today. I thought because I’m still a newbie and most of you won’t have heard of me, I’d tell you a bit about me and why I love to read (and now write) medical romance.

Geelong Private Nursing copyWhen I was growing up I wanted to be a mounted policewoman. Or a nurse. Or a journalist. You get the picture. I really had no idea, so after school I travelled to the UK and worked as a nanny, then returned to Australia and worked a number of administrative jobs in different fields including hospitality, legal, accounting and human resources. I left work at 24 to have our first child and subsequently lost the rest of the 1990’s to pregnancies, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and toddler tantrums. It wasn’t until our youngest started school in 2006 that I decided to become a nurse. Plan B was teaching, but lucky for students everywhere, I fell in love with being a nurse.

In my short career I’ve been lucky enough to work in many different areas including aged care, general surgical, rehab, General Practice nursing and even school nursing.

I’ve also delivered a baby in a hospital in Vanuatu and been featured on the side of a bus advertising nursing as a career option!

Geelong College Nursing  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA










Fast forward ten years and I’m now a Critical Care Registered Nurse and work in both ICU and ED and I love it! The sicker the patient, and the more equipment required, the better my day is. (Is it bad to admit that?)

ED Nursing copy   2015-03-27 17.33.26

At the end of 2013 I was contemplating further study but decided to enjoy Christmas and January before making any big career decisions. I received a Dymocks gift voucher for Christmas and although I’d always loved reading and have incredibly eclectic tastes, I’d never tried Australian rural romance – because I’d never heard of it. There was a small selection at the book shop and I chose one book by Rachael Johns and another by Fiona McArthur. I was hooked from the first page of both books and a sleeping giant was awakened.

From that moment on, I knew I wanted to write – combining my two loves – small country towns and medical dramas.

Embarrassingly, when someone told me that medical romance was a genre all of its own, I presumed the books would be about (male) doctor heroes falling in love with (female) handmaiden-like nurses. I had no idea how wrong I was. Imagine my delight at finding hundreds of heart-warming (and at times heart-breaking) medical romances from the sweet (which I enjoy, and which I write) to the very spicy. How awesome that there’s something for everyone.

The other awesome thing I’ve discovered about medical romances is they don’t portray nurses, and the profession of nursing, in a bad light. In today’s medical romances, nurses aren’t typified as incompetent sex objects who need a doctor to give them an order ‘stat’. Instead, nurses are characterised as capable, caring and compassionate individuals; as autonomous, intelligent, articulate women (and men) who are impacted by the medical situations they face. There’s nothing stereotypical about the characters in these books – not all of them feature a female nurse as the heroine – although in my stories, I have. In fact, one of my favourite books featured a female doctor who works for the Royal Australian Flying Doctors. I guess what I love is the variety of heroes and heroines as well as getting that behind-the-scenes glimpse into the medical world I have fallen in love with. Adding a touch of sweet romance just makes everything so much better.

So, after immersing myself in medical romance and discovering many wonderful new authors, I forgot all about further study. I started writing, joined RWA, went to my first conference, met some fabulous people and fumbled my way to my first publishing contract with Momentum, the digital first imprint of Pan Macmillan.

Like most authors, inspiration for my books comes from many different sources. I particularly get inspired by the incredible team of doctors and nurses I work with and of course the patients and family members I have the privilege of caring for. Many of my patient’s stories (with their permission and details changed) have ended up in my books. My hope is that people will read my books, fall in love with my characters, shed a tear or two along the way and feel uplifted with a lovely, sweet, happy ever after ending.

My first book, Intensive Care, (book #1 in the ‘Escape the Country’ series) came out in January 2015 and since then I’ve been busy juggling full time work, four kids and writing. I released Emergency Response in October 2015 then a Christmas novella, Operation White Christmas.

The third book in the series, Life Support comes out today!

4 books

Here’s the blurb for Life Support:

A piece of you will always be left at home.

When emergency nurse Emma Chirnside’s husband dies unexpectedly, she finds herself tangled in lies and secrets. The last thing she expected to receive from him was a heritage listed mansion in her home town of Birrangulla, but with her in-laws causing chaos, she flees to the country, hoping to rebuild her life. Fleeing, it turns out, creates new complications. The estate manager is none other than her teenage crush Tom Henderson.

Tom hasn’t thought about Emma since high school. They’d always been friendly – like Emma, Tom knows how it feels to care for a sick mother from a young age – but as far as Tom was aware, they were nothing more than friends. He had no idea of Emma’s feelings for him, or the way he’d once broken her heart.

When their worlds collide again, Emma realizes the depth of her feelings for Tom, and wonders if she’s been given another chance to find true love. But Tom has demons of his own.

Will Tom’s secrets drive them apart and break her heart again? Or will they both get their happy ever after?

The fourth book in the series comes out later in the year and all my books are now available in paperback too.

PepProject_FinalOn May 31st I have a single title, The Peppercorn Project, coming out in traditional print. This book is more of a straight rural romance than a medical romance, but it does feature a nurse who works in a GP clinic as well as some tense life and death moments.

Thanks again for having me. I love to hear from readers, so please touch base with me via social media.

www.nickiedwards.com.au is my website for more information.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews

New Medical Authors: Amalie Berlin and Amy Ruttan

We’re absolutely delighted to welcome two authors to the Medical Romance family. Amelie Berlin and Amy Ruttan are joining us here today, to tell us a little about themselves.

First, a round of applause please for Amy Ruttan!

Amy Ruttan

I discovered Medical Romance when:  I know I was about 13 when I snuck my first Presents from my mother. It was something about a Sheikh. Anyways, we spent our summers at our trailer and there was a small arcade there and women would drop off used books for others to enjoy. I was a bookworm so it was like heaven and I know a medical was among them. In 2010 when I saw there was a Fast Track coming up for the medical romance line I bought a bunch of medicals online to learn what they wanted. The first one I read was Laura Iding. I realized I really, really loved this line. Though the only medical show I like is Grey’s Anatomy. House was okay and I never got into ER.

I wrote my first story when: If you mean in general, then I was writing since I can remember. I loved creative writing in school and as I got older the stories became more complex. Writing for me was a nice escape. I always wanted to be an author, especially a romance author. In 2006 I had two children (I have 3 now) and my youngest at the time almost didn’t survive infancy. When he was out of the woods I thought what kind of role model would I be if I didn’t try to go after my dream? I was first published in 2007, but I still wanted in at Harlequin. I just didn’t know where my voice fit until I rediscovered the medical line in 2010, right before the fast track.

Where do you live? I live in London, but not England. I’m Canadian. I married a man from out this way, so I’m not originally from London. I was born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area, a little suburb called Whitby.

My best trait is: I think I have a good determination. If you want to achieve something in life, go for it, but it’s not going to come easy. You have to work really hard, learn and never give up. I revised for a solid year with Harlequin and it was not easy. They really put me through my paces, but I learned so much from the experience. I also had a great support group in the form of writer friends and my CP. I grumbled to them, but girded my loins and did the work my editor asked me to do. I wanted to be a Harlequin author and I worked hard to get where I am.

My worst trait is: Dreadfully shy in crowds of strangers. It’s horrible, but I am. I’m fine online, but face-to-face I have a hard time talking and I do stammer when I’m really, really nervous. Just can’t get the words out. It was a lot worse when I was younger and has gotten better. My determination to beat it is helping me a bit. I’m putting myself out there at conference and meetings, but I’m sure sometimes I sound like a loon to some people.

Five things on your bucket list:
1. Camp my way across North America. In a trailer though, definitely not in a tent. We drove out west this summer and I adored it. I’d like to see more of Canada and the US.
2. To see my three kids grow and reach their dreams. Right now they’re only 10, 7 & 4. So they have some time to figure it out. I hope I’m able to help them and guide them.
3. To be able to travel to England. It’s always been a dream of mine. I’m an Anglophile. Love to be able to come to England and soak up the history.
4. To travel to the arctic and see the northern lights there. I’ve seen the northern lights once near North Bay, Ontario and have never seen them since. I live too far south. I would love to see them again.
5. Make it to the summit of Whistler’s in Jasper National Park. I made it only to the upper station before my fear of heights and my youngest’s fear of heights, got the better of me and I didn’t hike up tot he summit with my older two children and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Next time I go to Jasper I want to take the hour hike up to the top.

Amy’s debut Medical Romance, Safe in his Hands, will be released in September 2013

And now, more applause please for Amalie Berlin!

Amalie Berlin

I discovered Medical Romance when: I discovered Medical Romance in 2010. I was relatively new to the Harlequin forums, and had never really heard of the line before. But the editors announced the Fast-Track, and after I read the details (hello rapid turn around), I popped over to the ebook store and downloaded a few to see if I would be at all interested in submitting. And I was!

I wrote my first story when: I have no idea. I have a vague recollection of a story about meeting a snake on the way home from primary school and entering into a stare-down with it to see if I could get around him and make it home safely. The phrase: Eye-to-eye-to-eye-to-eye sticks out in my memory, because neither of us were missing any eyes, so there were four eyes between us and they were ALL engaged in this epic stare-down. Very. Dramatic.

Where do you live? Southern Ohio, in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian mountains. The closest mall is in Kentucky. The closest bookstore is in West Virginia…(*sad-panda-face*)

My best trait is: My creativity?

My worst trait is: My creativity? The phrase ‘cripplingly right-brained’ has been used on occasion. No concept of time. Attention span of a gnat on crack… Easily distracted by shiny objects

Five things on your bucket list:
1. Summer in Alaska & Winter in the Caribbean
2. Stay overnight in a haunted castle in Scotland (Note: Must find haunted castle)
3. Learn to blow glass (I don’t know why, I burn myself lighting candles.)
4. Apprentice with a perfume maker (I also can’t explain this one)
5. Find a Dragon sleeping in an abandoned gold mine, and befriend him (who needs this one explained?)

Amalie’s debut Medical Romance, Craving her Rough Diamond Doc, will be released in October 2013

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, Interviews, The Writing Life, Women's Business

Maggie, let me in on the secret. How do I become a published medical romance writer

Well, I could say, ‘Write the best book you can’, and that would be true.  I could say, ‘Read as many modern medical romances as you can, and that will give you an idea of what the line is currently looking for,’ and that would be true, too. Joining a writers’ group is good provided you don’t join one where everyone trashes everyone else’s work, and you crawl home feeling completely disheartened, or – indeed – everyone says everything is perfect which isn’t helpful when you suspect in your heart it’s not.

Write. Write every day even if it’s only a little. Read – read a lot – but don’t assume that what you enjoy reading is what you’re going to be good at writing.  My favourite ‘comfort’ books are those by Terry Pratchett,  Terry Brooks – the Landover series –  and Georgette Heyer. Could I write books like that? Never in a million years. So, how can I help you?

Well – notice I’ve used yet another ‘well’ – bad Maggie but I’m just talking to you so that’s OK  – I  would love to be able to give you a set of hard-and-fast ‘rules’, a list of cast-iron certainties which – if you follow – will guarantee you success, but I can’t.  Sadly, no-one can, but what I can do is give you some tips, a list of things I’ve done wrong in my time so you won’t make the same mistakes. Will avoiding my disasters ensure you become published? I can’t promise you that, but I can promise, if you follow my tips, at least you won’t make the same cringe-worthy errors I did, so follow me, folks, as we go back in time to a younger, considerably more naive, and very much a beginner, unpublished Maggie Kingsley, talking to an editor.

Me:. ‘I know the beginning of my story seems slow, but you see I needed to establish the setting, and to get in my hero and heroine’s back story, but – trust me – it really gets going after page 30.’

Editor:  ‘Maggie, if it really gets going after page 30 then that’s where your story should start. Neither I, nor a reader, want to wade through pages and pages of back story, and setting. You can establish a rough setting in around three sentences, and then you can embroider that throughout the rest of your book. As for back story…..I don’t want to be bombarded with a lot of back story about people I don’t yet know so drip feed it to me over the course of your book. Hook me in instantly with a great opening line/ paragraph, make me want to read more, and don’t have me thinking, is this story actually ever going to get started.’

Me:  ‘You said you wanted conflict. .I ‘ve given you loads of conflict, and now you’re saying you don’t like it.’

Editor: ‘Because you haven’t given me conflict, Maggie. You’ve given me two people who do nothing but bicker, and argue, and shout at one another.  Conflict arises when two people have different goals, different dreams. Conflict occurs when your central characters are unable to let go of the past because of something traumatic that happened to them, or they are stuck in a rut because they are afraid of an unknown future. Conflict is a hero never wanting children, and a heroine who longs for a family.  Conflict is when a working class hero thinks he will never fit in with your heroine’s posh family.  Conflict can arise from many things, but a couple arguing all the time doesn’t create conflict, only two very annoying people you’d cross the street to avoid.

Me: ‘Why don’t you like my hero and heroine?  They’re lovely people – the kind of people I’d want as my best friends.’

Editor : ‘I’d want them to be my best friends, too, but two nice people who meet, fall in love, and get married…..?  Sorry, Maggie, there’s no tension there, no drama.  Throw stones at this couple, put believable obstacles in their path, give them flaws, weaknesses, hang ups. Nobody is perfect, and if they truly are perfect then I’m sorry but I suspect their story will be rather boring.

Me : You said you liked my ‘voice’, but now you’re saying my story isn’t ‘fresh’ enough. How can I come up with a new, fresh, plot when it’s all been done before?

Editor: ‘Of course there’s nothing new under the sun, but it’s your job to put a new spin on it, make it seem new.  Think of Beauty and the Beast. It’s Twilight, it’s a scarred war veteran who is sure no-one will ever love him, it’s a woman who has had a mastectomy, and never wants a man to see her body. Take any well worn theme and, if you think out of the box, that’s how you’ll get originality.’

Me: ‘You say my language is too ‘flowery’. It’s not ‘flowery’. I’m simply being literary, erudite.’

Editor:  ‘Maggie, you’re being pretentious. A ‘he said/she replied’ or ‘she declared/he exclaimed’ will slip past your readers unnoticed. Saying things like ‘he reposted’, ‘she ejaculated’ –  I’m sorry but that’s just pretentious. And not just pretentious. I shouldn’t be sniggering when I’m reading what you’ve written, but I was.’

Me: ‘My hero, and heroine, meet, have problems, resolve these problems, and finally get their happy ever after. How can you say it’s not emotional enough?’

Editor:  ‘Well, maybe the fact that your h and h fought all the way through your book, only to declare their undying love for one another in the last three pages might have something to do with it.  Maggie, I’ve got to see the gradual change in how your h and h feel about one another. I want you to give me highs, and lows. I want black moments, I want moments of tenderness. I want to smile, to reach for my handkerchief, I want to care about your h and h. Make me care, Maggie. Make me think that even though this couple clearly belong together there is still a chance they might not actually get their HEA. Wring every last bit of emotion out of their story so when I read the words ‘The End’, I’ll smile with delight.’

Me:  ‘I’ve put in loads of medical detail, and you’re saying it’s too much. How can it be too much when the line is called Medical romance?’

Editor:  ‘It’s too much because you’re forgetting this is first and foremost, a romance. If your readers want to learn about various operations/procedures they will buy a medical text book. That is not to say the medical detail should simply consist of a cut finger, or a split lip, but you’re getting bogged down in medical detail. If you’re unsure about whether you have too much ask a friend, or a relative, to read your medical ‘passages’ then ask them how much they skipped. If they skipped over a lot you’ve got too much. If they say, ‘What medical detail?’ you’ve got too little.’

Have I made any other mistakes on my writing journey? Oh, my heavens, yes. I use the word ‘that’ far too often. I always have to go through my finished manuscript removing loads of them, as well as all the unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Sending my first mss to a publishing house in single line spacing not realising it should be double ensured it rocketed back, rejected, faster than the speed of light. Peppering my dialogue with exclamation marks which – as the editor said – made it look as though my characters said everything at a hundred decibels was another stupid error. I still make mistakes. There’s that red nightdress for one. It’s actually in one of my published books, and I didn’t notice what was wrong until a reader pointed it out to me. I still wince over that red nightdress. Maye I’ll tell you why I wince one day, and maybe I won’t, but for now, have a good day, and I hope to see you again soon.

Maggie Kingsley