Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Why strong women need to write about strong women in fiction by Fiona Lowe

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Out now in print and eBook (Aus & NZ) and in AUDIO for the rest of the world.

I’m writing this on International Women’s Day on the back of being asked to pen an article for the Australian press on why it’s important for strong women to be writing about strong women in fiction. So I thought I’d share the article here, but without all the ads.  I’ll pop the link in too  just so you know it’s legit 🙂 https://bit.ly/2TPVLJp

Fiona Lowe’s new book looks at the reasons why Australia needs strong women

“When I finished high school, the contraceptive pill had been around for twenty years and Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch had been out for a decade.

But the messages about careers from my private girls’ school were mixed. I’d been placed in the science stream. I was expected to go to university. But when I announced I wanted to be a park ranger, I was given a “dose of common sense.”

At an interview in the late 80s, I was asked how I could possibly manage working and studying full-time as a student midwife when I had a husband. Apparently, he’d starve without me.

The generation of women following me received a very different message: you can have it all — a high-flying career and a family. That message is as flawed as all the others preceding it.

“To be a captain of Australian business you are 40 per cent more likely to be named Peter or John than to be female,” leading workplace expert Conrad Liveris said in a report that went viral in 2017.

Women continue to do a larger percentage of domestic chores irrespective of whether View More: http://sarataylorphotography.pass.us/fiona-fridaythey work in paid employment, as Annabel Crabb demonstrated in her book The Wife Drought. These two issues, along with many more, are why I write about strong women living ordinary lives and facing extraordinary challenges.

I receive letters from readers sharing their own life adventures, many similar to my characters. This sort of connection with fiction normalises experiences and helps women know they’re not alone. Women do most of the emotional heavy lifting and, no matter the generation, they face unrealistic societal expectations. As a result, they are inherently hard on themselves for perceived failures.

The four women in Just an Ordinary Family are no exception.

By and large, women are the emotional cornerstones of their family and community. We work outside the home, but a certain portion of our brain is always connected to the domestic sphere — the mental load. Who is picking up the kids? Delivering food to sick parents? Buying the gift for the fifth birthday party? Or as GP Libby Hunter in Just An Ordinary Familydiscovers at breakfast as she’s racing out the door to work, it’s yellow day at school and her daughter doesn’t own a single piece of yellow clothing.

Life’s a constant juggle and balls get dropped. Instead of blaming themselves, I want women to fight back against learned behaviours and look at the division of labour in their family. I sew these seeds in fiction. We don’t need to do everything even if we feel we should. I’d love it if someone reading Just An Ordinary Family took away something from Libby and Nick’s teamwork in parenting and division of household tasks.

With Australia’s current childcare arrangements, more women than men are questioning the impact of their career choices on their children, although I also sense a shift in younger fathers. Is this why many women are stepping back from the less-than-family friendly corporate world? Jess, the career single mother in Just An Ordinary Family faces this dilemma. She has chosen to relocate and start her own business so she can to work around her young son, however this decision too comes with its own set of challenges.

And what of women who are childless by choice or circumstance?

Alice Hunter was working for her partner’s company when the relationship broke down. She found herself out of a job and a home. At thirty-four, a time when women are expected to have their life under control, society views this as failure — no children, no career, no money. This impacts on self-esteem and mental health. A single, childless man is not scrutinised with quite as much judgment.

Older women are also challenged by societal expectations. Post-menopausal women become invisible. Try getting served in a technology store!

When a woman has defined herself by her career and her mothering, the loss of both can leave her floundering. Karen Hunter doesn’t particularly want to retire, but at sixty-five she is feeling that pressure. She enjoys being a grandmother but she’s raised her daughters so surely there’s more to life?

In Just an Ordinary Family, I’ve explored four women trying to live their best life against a backdrop of expectations, loss, betrayal, heartache and regret. Sure, they make mistakes — we all do that. It’s what we do with those mistakes that counts. This is why portraying strong women in fiction battling real moral and ethical dilemmas matters.”

So what are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them!

7B300F51-F2BD-4F6E-8AE7-C954131659B9Meanwhile, for a bit more information about Just An Ordinary Family,  my meaty saga about family, friendship and the complexities of modern relationships, head on over to my website  and read the blurb, an excerpt and some reviews. For photos  of the setting, check out Pinterest.

For readers outside of Australia and New Zealand, you can LISTEN to Just an Ordinary Family on Audible in your region.

JUST AN ORDINARY FAMILY

Liane Moriarty meets Jodi Picoult in this tensely negotiated story of family ties, betrayal and sacrifice.

Every family has its secrets…

Alice Hunter is smarting from the raw deal life has thrown her way: suddenly single, jobless and forced to move home to her parents’ tiny seaside town. And now she faces an uncomfortable truth. She wants her twin sister Libby’s enviable life.

Libby’s closest friend Jess Dekic has been around the Hunter family for so long she might as well be blood. She’s always considered herself a sister closer to Libby than Alice ever could be…

Libby Hunter has all of life’s boxes ticked: prominent small-town doctor, gorgeous husband and two young daughters. But when she is betrayed by those she loves most, it reveals how tenuous her world is…

For Karen Hunter, her children are a double-edged sword of pain and pride. She’s always tried to guide her girls through life’s pitfalls, but how do you protect your children when they’re adults?

As the family implodes, the fallout for these four women will be inescapable…

Bestselling Australian author Fiona Lowe wields a deft hand, creating utterly addictive storytelling that will have you questioning your own perceptions of what family is.

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

Reunited By Their Secret Daughter, Emily Forbes, March 2020

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Her three-year-old secret…

…is about to be revealed!

Between her job with Queen Victoria’s Air Ambulance and raising her three-year-old daughter, midwife Chloe Larson’s too busy to find love. Only maybe love has found her… Xander Jameson—the gorgeous Australian doctor she had a fling with and who disappeared without a trace—has joined her team! The attraction is definitely still there. But first, Chloe must tell Xander he’s a father.

 

 

Excerpt

The barman served Chloe’s gin, placing it on the bar. She couldn’t believe Xander had remembered her favourite drink and the idea that he had pleased her.

Xander picked up her glass and put it in front of her. His leg brushed against hers and the contact made her jump. It was nothing really, his knee just brushed the outside of her thigh but she could feel his body heat and her body responded to his touch.

She took a sip of her drink and tried to ignore the fact that his leg was still resting against hers. Sitting at the bar with Xander felt the same but different. Familiar but strange. Things had changed. At least for Chloe. She was no longer young and carefree. She was a single mother with responsibilities. But the chemistry was still there. She was still drawn to him. She longed to touch him properly, to see if her memories were real.

He was still gorgeous. Still a Norse god. His grey eyes still held a trace of melancholy. She’d always attributed that to his divorce but surely that couldn’t still be the case. He’d been divorced almost five years now. He must have put that behind him?

She forced herself to focus on the present. She couldn’t dwell in the past.

‘How long have you been living in Wales?’ she asked when she recovered her power of speech. She was desperate to know where he’d been and what he’d been doing for the past four years but she couldn’t ask such a direct question.

He frowned, his grey eyes cloudy. ‘I don’t live in Wales.’

‘Oh, I thought Rick said you had come down from Wales to cover Eloise’s sick leave.’

‘I’ve been working in Wales with their air ambulance unit but it wasn’t permanent. It was a six-month rotation. I was glad to get out of there to be honest. I didn’t mind Wales but it wasn’t the smartest move, spending winter there. I should have timed it better.’

‘And what are your plans when you finish with us?’ she asked. She needed to find out where he was going next. Did she need to tell him about Lily if he had no plans to stay in England? Was there any point in disrupting everyone’s lives? She and Lily were fine, they’d been fine for years on their own. They didn’t need Xander and he might not need them.

He might not want them.

He might not want her.

The drink he had bought her could be for old time’s sake. He wasn’t wearing a wedding ring but that didn’t mean he didn’t have a wife or significant other waiting for him somewhere.

‘I haven’t worked it out yet.’

‘Are you travelling with family?’ she asked as the barman cleared the remnants of Xander’s dinner away.

‘No. It would seem we’re both still single. What are the chances?’

‘Coincidence?’ She said with a smile.

‘I don’t believe in coincidences.’

‘Me either.’

He was holding her gaze and she was lost. She couldn’t think. She could only feel.

He reached for her and the clocks stopped.

He tucked a stray curl behind her ear and Chloe’s knees trembled. ‘It’s been a long time,’ he said as she held her breath. ‘It’s good to see you. Did I mention I’m staying just around the corner?’

The invitation was unspoken but there was no mistaking it. But she couldn’t accept. She had to get home. To her daughter. Their daughter.

‘You did.’

‘Would you like to come back for a coffee?’

Chloe smiled. ‘You know I don’t drink coffee at night.’ She wondered if he remembered that too.

‘I do.’

Her smile got wider. ‘Will you take a raincheck? I’m on an early tomorrow.’

He nodded as she slid off the barstool and picked up her coat. She needed to get out of there while she still could. Before she made a hasty, hormonal decision that she would more than likely regret when her head overtook her heart again.

‘I’ll walk you out to a cab.’

‘It’s ok, I’m taking the Tube.’

Xander shook his head. ‘No, it’s late. That doesn’t sound safe.’

‘I do it all the time after work.’

‘Really?’

She nodded as he held the door for her.

She stopped on the footpath, reluctant to walk away but knowing she had to go. A cab pulled up on the street beside them.

‘Please, let me pay for a cab,’ Xander offered. ‘I’ll feel better.’ He reached out and opened the door, ensuring the cabbie couldn’t drive away, but then he took her hand, holding her back before she could step inside.

She turned to him. Instinctively. Her breath caught in her throat as he stroked the palm of her hand with his thumb. She was pinned by the force of his grey eyes. Held immobile by the intensity of his gaze. She couldn’t breathe. The air was thick with tension. Her mouth was dry, her skin warm, her cheeks flushed. Her heart was beating quickly and her stomach was fluttering.

‘Are you sure you have to go?’

She nodded.

He bent his head until his mouth was next to her ear. His breath was warm on her cheek as he repeated her earlier words back to her. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to find out what happens next?’

She knew what was coming and she was powerless to resist. She didn’t want to resist.  She turned her face towards him and whispered. ‘I know what happens next.’ And then his lips were on hers. Warm, soft. Then harder.

She parted her lips and tasted him. He tasted familiar. He tasted sweet.

Her body remembered his touch. Her skin remembered the softness of his mouth. Her tongue remembered his taste.

The years fell away as the memory of him returned.

Xander’s fingers were on her face, on her bare arms, her skin was on fire and she melted against him as her body responded to his touch. She was aware of nothing else except the sensation of being fully alive. She wanted for nothing except Xander.

One hand was pressed to her spine, holding her close and she could feel the heat of his palm through the thin fabric of her shirt. She felt her nipples harden as she pressed herself against his chest instead as she kissed him back. All her senses came to life and a line of fire spread from her stomach to her groin. She deepened the kiss, wanting to lose herself in Xander.

‘Do you want the cab or not?’

She jumped as the cab driver’s voice interrupted their moment. Her eyes flew open as Xander straightened up. He was studying her face as if committing each of her features to memory.

He smiled as his fingers trailed down the side of her cheek sending a shiver of desire through her. Her heart was racing in her chest and her breaths were shallow.

‘Are you sure you don’t want to come back to my apartment?’

She hesitated. The kiss was wonderful. Magical. She felt as if time had stood still and brought her back to Xander, back into his arms but she couldn’t stay with him.  She had responsibilities.

‘I can’t,’ she said as she stepped back, breaking their connection. ‘You promised me a rain check, remember?’

She waited for him to agree before she made herself get into the taxi. Made herself leave him.

He closed the door and blew her a kiss.

Chloe gave the driver her address but scarcely recalled getting home. Her world suddenly felt full of possibility but she needed to be sensible. She needed to be careful not to get carried away.

Last time she got carried away she’d wound up pregnant.

***

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Reunited by Their Secret Daughter is available hereMills&BoonAusMills&BoonUK and Harlequin USA

Read a review here https://harlequinjunkie.com/review-reunited-by-their-secret-daughter-by-emily-forbes/

 

London Hospital Midwives quartet

Book 1 — Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Book 2 — Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Book 3 — Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes
Book 4 — A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

March New Releases

We’re finally into March! Spring (for some us) is just around the corner. Not that I’m counting down the days or anything!

So to tide us over during the transition from season to season we have some brand, spanking new Harlequin Medicals for you.

 

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A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

Can they afford to risk their friendship…

…by giving in to their desire?

Following her painful divorce, nomadic midwife Isabella Nicholson is determined to put down roots, and where better than in London with best friend obstetrician Raphael Dubois? However, temporarily living together leads to an unexpected yet powerful attraction… And when Izzy discovers Rafe has been hiding his own attraction, the temptation suddenly becomes hard to resist!

A London Hospital Midwives novel

London Hospital Midwives quartet

Book 1 — Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Book 2 — Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Book 3 — Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes
Book 4 — A Fling to Steal Her Heart

 

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Conveniently Wed in Paradise by Meredith Webber

A marriage made on paper…

A passion explored in paradise!

When nurse Kenzie Steele takes a job as a companion for a wealthy lady on an idyllic Thai island, she’s certainly not looking for love. But to secure her family’s legacy, she does need a husband! Enter Alex McLeod, the charming A&E doctor whose grandmother’s dying wish is to see him happily married. Only, while their wedding in paradise is all business, their intense chemistry is anything but…

 

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Reunited by Their Secret Daughter by Emily Forbes

Her three-year-old secret…

…is about to be revealed!

Between her job with Queen Victoria’s Air Ambulance and raising her three-year-old daughter, midwife Chloe Larson’s too busy to find love. Only maybe love has found her… Xander Jameson—the gorgeous Australian doctor she had a fling with and who disappeared without a trace—has joined her team! The attraction is definitely still there. But first, Chloe must tell Xander he’s a father.

A London Hospital Midwives novel

London Hospital Midwives quartet

Book 1 — Cinderella and the Surgeon by Scarlet Wilson
Book 2 — Miracle Baby for the Midwife by Tina Beckett
Book 3 — Reunited by Their Secret Daughter
Book 4 — A Fling to Steal Her Heart by Sue MacKay

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Stolen Kiss with the Single Mom by Deanne Anders

A stolen moment…

A lifetime together?

Three years ago, single mom and nurse Lacey lost her husband in the same IED blast that left his best friend, ER doc Scott, with an injured leg and survivor’s guilt. Thrill seeker Scott’s sworn to always be there for cautious Lacey… And on one fraught night shift, this leaves them entwined in an electrifying kiss—an impulsive encounter that has him longing to keep her in his protective embrace always…

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The Nurse’s One Night to Forever by Janice Lynn

One shy nurse…

One liaison of a lifetime!

When surgical nurse Riley King shares an unexpected night of passion with heartthrob surgeon Justin Brothers, she vows that their intense connection is for one night only! Riley’s not looking for a relationship—she’s been there and been left at the altar to prove it. But there’s more to Justin than meets the eye… Can she let her past go and allow herself to risk her heart?

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Winning the Surgeon’s Heart by Annie Claydon

The ultimate prize?

Capturing the guarded bachelor’s heart…

Entering the “Hospital Challenge,” the last person single mom paramedic Hannah Greene wants to be partnered with is Matt Lawson! She’d planned on winning the competition, not getting distracted by a sexy surgeon! But forced to put her trust in lone-wolf Matt, Hannah uncovers the compassion behind his charisma and can’t help inviting him into her world. They make the perfect team. Could they also be the perfect family?

 

Happy Reading!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Garden transformation

We have a small back garden that has, until the last couple of years, been the place where we sent the kids out to play, kick a ball around etc, while we had some peace and quiet.

We have a few beds down the side of the house where I put most of my energies, growing herbs and veggies with some success.  But last year, around May time (autumn here in NZ) we took a long hard look at the back and realised we’d let it go. Badly!! The fence needed cleaning, the plants were sad and the lawn wasn’t grass but mainly moss and weeds. The boys have both moved out, so we have no need for back yard cricket spaces any more. Something needed to be done.

It was going to be a big job for two of us and embarking on it coming into winter was probably not the best idea, but enthusiasm was high so we hired a rotovator, took a deep breath, and dug up the lawn.

We had a landscaper friend design the flower beds and paid a man to lay the hoggin paths and edging, and roped in one son to jazz up the fencing and then for the last few months we have been learning a whole new language…leucadendron, protea, lomandra, tecamanthe….and learning what goes where, what colours not to put together (reds and pinks!!), what is hardy, what makes good soil (Note: not clay like we have here!!).

 

It’s been a huge learning curve but I’ve loved getting my hands dirty and best of all, I now love sitting outside looking at all the lovely blooms and plants. (excuse the terrible photos, I’m a rubbish photographer. Also, we had high winds last night which brought down a load of leaves!!)

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Are you a gardener? Or do you prefer just sitting in the garden with a glass of wine and a good book?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Healed By His Secret Baby

Can I first say just how lucky I am with this cover? The cover fairies were more than kind. How CUTE is this baby???

This book was written after a year’s hiatus and though I told my editor I needed a year off, my writer’s brain carried on working, even though technically I was supposed to be taking a break. But along came Lane Carter, my heroine, whispering insistently in my ears that she needed to find the baby’s father! Pronto!

I kept telling her to be quiet, but what can you do? And when I probed to find out who the father actually was, I discovered Cotswolds GP, Dr Cole Branagh and he had no idea he was a father! I mean, how are you supposed to break news like that?

My mind mused on the problem for a few weeks and I thought to myself, I’ll just write a few notes. No biggie, right? I’m not actually writing. I’m taking notes. Scribbling ideas. Scenes. Plot points. I mean, I was only trying to help them out, right?

And before I knew it, I was emailing my editor with a book proposal and boy am I so glad that these characters began talking to me, because I had so much fun writing them! These characters made me fall in love with them and I hated having to say goodbye. They were the sort of characters that I felt I could have continued writing about even after their Happy Ever After, just so I could keep an eye on them.

Only I couldn’t. I had to say my sad goodbyes. But I am cheered by the fact that all of you will get to spend some time with them! And I hope you love them as much as I do and always will.

An unexpected baby made him a father…

But she’ll make them a family

GP Cole Branagh’s cozy Cotswolds surgery is all he wants and needs. Which is why he’s determined to help beautiful new nursing assistant Lane Carter get settled quickly! Until she rocks his world by introducing him to her baby goddaughter, who she’s caring for…and reveals he’s the father. Cole knows he’ll need Lane’s help navigating unexpected parenthood—he’d just never planned on needing her, too…

Available June 2020!

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Welcome Allie Kincheloe

By Susan Carlisle

It is always my pleasure to get to introduce a new medical author. To do it twice in the same mouth is extra special.

Today I like to be the first to welcome Allie Kincheloe. So that we can get to know Allie I’ve asked her to answered a few questions

I discovered Medical Romance when:

I discovered Harlequin books in my teens and haven’t looked back. Some series I’ve visited more than others, with medicals being one of them. I’ve always been fascinated by medical stories, and I do love a good romance, so when the two are combined, I find that the best of both worlds. As you might guess, I’m a huge fan of medical dramas on TV, like Grey’s Anatomy and New Amsterdam.

I wrote my first story when:

As clichéd as it sounds, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Even as a child I carried around little notebooks with story ideas—some complete, others not so much. However, I only got serious about my writing about a decade ago and wrote my first full-length novel then. That one will never see the light of day, but I learned a lot writing it.

Where do you live:

For the last 15 years or so, I have called middle Tennessee home. I live in a tiny little town with easy access to Nashville. It’s the best of both worlds.

My best trait is:

I’d say my best trait is my creativity. I love to create things from stories to crafts. I love re-purposed items and old-made-new.

My worst trait is:

My focus would be my worst trait. I have struggled with attention issues my entire life. If there’s a shiny, I’m distracted. It’s problematic with writing because those bright new ideas sometimes pull my attention away from my current work-in-progress.

Five things on your bucket list:

  1. travel outside the USA
  2. Have a book on a bestsellers list
  3. Become fluent in another language
  4. Learn martial arts.
  5. Finish my degree (Will cross this one off this fall!)

 

My first medical is Heart Surgeon’s Second Chance and it releases in April 2020.

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Can they leave their past behind…

To save her son’s life?

When paramedic Rhiann Masters’s young son needs heart surgery, there’s only one man she can trust—former best friend and top pediatric surgeon Dr. Patrick Scott. The only problem? After a tragic accident changed Patrick’s life forever, they haven’t spoken in years. Now as they’re thrown back together, they soon remember just how good life can be when they’re by each other’s side…

 

Do say hello and welcome Allie and also check out her book.

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

How do you read, and what do you read?

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here is my summary in how I read:

Crime/psychological thrillers/cosy crime – Audio

Women’s fiction and Young Adult – Paperback

Romance – ebook

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