Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

November New Releases

I can’t believe November is here! And we have some brand new releases to share with you all!

The Single Dad’s Holiday Wish by Susan Carlisle

All he wants for Christmas…

…is her!

Christmas is supposed to be the most magical time of the year. But for single dad and doctor Carter Jacobs, it only holds painful memories. He definitelyisn’t looking for romance. Until Carter meets hardworking Dr. Liz Poole. She offers a safe harbor and the promise of a future Carter thought lost to him… As Christmas approaches, might Carter’s happily-ever-after be just around the corner?

The Best Man and the Bridesmaid by Annie Claydon

The magic of a wedding…

…isn’t just for the bride and groom!

Dr. Andrea knows it’s a cliché for the bridesmaid to fall for the best man. But when Cal arrives in the Italian Alps for her best friend’s wedding, he stirs desires that have long lain dormant. When a series of disasters threatens the ceremony, Andrea realizes Cal is the only one who can help her save the day, even if it means risking her heart in the process…

Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember by Traci Douglass

Christmastime with a stranger—

A lifetime together?

Neurosurgeon Maxwell is determined to atone for the one life he couldn’t save…his late wife’s. Set to perform delicate surgery on a king, Max finds himself shadowed by PR director Ayanna. They must work together to keep the king’s case a secret. But when Ayanna temporarily moves in to Max’s apartment, they face a very different type of tension—their undeniable attraction!



Royal Christmas at Seattle General

Book 1: Falling for the Secret Prince by Alison Roberts

Book 2: Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember by Traci Douglass

Book 3: The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal by Charlotte Hawkes

Book 4: The Princess’s Christmas Baby by Louisa George

It Started with a Winter Kiss by Tina Beckett

Voted most likely to marry…

Will they finally have the chance?

Dr. Dexter Chamblisse always has a plan. He just hadn’t planned on an ER reunion with his high school sweetheart, Maura! She may work in his hospital, but Dex has tried to keep his distance. He can’t bear to be reminded of the tragic accident that tore them apart. But it’s getting harder to ignore the sparks still flying between them… Could this be their second-chance Christmas?

Falling for the Secret Prince by Alison Roberts

Revealing his past…

is a risk worth taking!

Dr. Dom di Rossi’s world literally crashes through the ER doors when his father, the king of Isola Verde, is involved in a car crash. Until now, Dom’s royal connection has been carefully guarded. But when Dr. Emilia Featherstone, his old medical school rival, recognizes a previously unseen vulnerability behind his delicious eyes, she unintentionally becomes the keeper of his secret—and his heart!


Royal Christmas at Seattle General

Book 1: Falling for the Secret Prince by Alison Roberts

Book 2: Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember by Traci Douglass

Book 3: The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal by Charlotte Hawkes

Book 4: The Princess’s Christmas Baby by Louisa George

A Reunion, a Wedding, a Family by Amy Ruttan

Reunited—

With the single dad

Candice Lavoie is stunned when handsome paramedic and single dad Jimmy Liu walks into her office. Ten years ago, he left her brokenhearted when he joined the army. Now he’s back and she’s his boss! As old feelings resurface, Candice and Jimmy share one stunningly passionate kiss. But can Jimmy ever let go of his past enough for them to find a future—together as a family?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

All in the threads by Kate Hardy

I’ve just rediscovered an old hobby – cross stitch. I used to do tapestry when I was a student (great for train journeys!), and embroidering with my mum. And then career, work, professional exams and children got in the way…

Now, I’ve also found that counting things is a good way to keep worries out of my head and let my thoughts percolate in the background. Sometimes that’s been at the gym, sometimes it’s been ballet class (thankfully on zoom, though it isn’t quite the same), and it occurred to me that a good way to help me think (and stop me spending too much time playing Boggle online) would be to go back to cross stitch.

And the bug’s caught me! These are some of my recent makes.

It was super-helpful during revisions – gave me something to do while I was sulking (!) and also gave me that thinking space I needed. It’s a lot like what I do with a book. Unpick things where it’s gone wrong, add more detail and some highlights. It’s amazing the difference a strand of floss can make! So on the left you have the ‘wee Hieland coos’ before the outline was added, and on the right the finished version with a fringe/shaggy hair, eyes, nose and the thistles. Same with writing: a little tweak here can make all the difference…

I can’t knit or crochet, mind. Just sew 😉 Do you do cross-stitch or embroidery? Are you a knitter or hooked on crochet? What’s your favourite thing you’ve made?

Kate’s latest book – starring a male midwife – is out in October.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Royal Christmas at Seattle General Part 1

Falling for the Secret Prince, Royal Christmas at Seattle General, Book 1
Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember, Royal Christmas at Seattle General, Book 2
The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal, Royal Christmas at Seattle General, Book 3
The Princess’s Christmas Baby, Royal Christmas at Seattle General, Book 4

Hi All!

In the US today is Halloween, but at Harlequin they’re already gearing up for the holidays! This year’s Christmas Continuity involves royal secrets, dangerous surgeries, and lots of happily ever afters. As the continuity title suggests, the four stories take place in the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington and span November through December.

The first two books in the series, Falling for the Secret Prince and Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember, are out tomorrow, November 1st! With the second two books, The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal and The Princess’s Christmas Baby, out December 1st!

So, today, we thought we’d kick off the festive holiday season a bit earlier, to celebrate the launch of this great series, and have each of our four authors share one of their favorite holiday traditions!

We start off with Alison Roberts, author of Falling for the Secret Prince:

I found it difficult to pick just one holiday tradition as my favourite.  Some are long gone – like enlisting the help of my pet donkeys to sprinkle authentic looking reindeer droppings on my lawn during the night on Christmas Eve, near the overturned water bucket and half-eaten carrots.  And the return letter from Father Christmas (complete with sooty smudges) that got taped to the chimney.  The one that never gets old, however, is the collection of Christmas decorations that I’m still adding something to almost every year, and the way it makes decorating the tree so special.  There are way too many to mention but some spring to mind instantly, like the little wooden bells made from an olive tree that I bought in Bethlehem forty years ago and a felt angel sitting on a cloud that my daughter made when she was about seven.  Some little Santas that look like they’re made out of icing sugar are the most recent and were found in a Christmas shop in Berlin when I was there with a writer friend last year.  My tree is definitely not coordinated or sophisticated, it’s a riot of colour, shapes, lights and memories.  And I love it to bits…

Next up, me! Traci Douglass, author of Neurosurgeon’s Christmas to Remember:

My favorite holiday tradition starts with Thanksgiving Day here in the US. I always get up early to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, followed by the National Dog Show. Then it’s on to a huge dinner with family then back home to nap and do a bit of online shopping for Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is the day I put up my Christmas decorations, both indoor and out. A tree with ornaments collected for a lifetime and some treasured ones that have been passed down for generations, my nativity scene, and lots of lights and wreaths. Gets me in the holiday mood every year!

Third, we welcome Charlotte Hawkes, author of The Bodyguard’s Christmas Proposal:

Don’t be shocked but I confess that I don’t think I have any real holiday traditions! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed a glorious childhood with wonderful parents, but their respective work meant that winter was always exceptionally busy. Christmas was less of a ‘jolly’ time, and more of a looming-deadline-in-the-middle-of-chaos time. Before I went to boarding school, I spent more December evenings that I care to remember stamping thousands of customers’ Christmas cards and putting them in envelopes, whilst a Christmas tree was hurled up at the last minute (on more than one occasion that meant late on Christmas Eve).

So, since their retirement, my parents and I (and I shouldn’t forget my eternally patient husband) have loved nothing more than making new memories, most of which revolve around my two boys! My favourite new ‘tradition’ has to be getting both boys to bed early, waiting for them to fall asleep, and then creeping into their room to stick a little Elf door on the chimney breast in their bedroom. I then wake them up for a late night ‘toilet’ break and we all gasp with delight as they spot the faint glow from the tiny door and realise Father Christmas and his helpers must be close! I’m enjoying this new ‘tradition’ whilst I can; I know only too well that my boys will soon be too old for it!

And last, but certainly not least Louisa George, author of The Princess’s Christmas Baby:

Since emigrating across the world 18 years ago we have gradually got used to a ‘hot’ Christmas in New Zealand. However, I am not used to firing up the barbecue and grilling prawns/meat for our Christmas lunch as my fellow Kiwis do. Every year you will find me in the kitchen cooking the full turkey and trimmings with Christmas cracker hats, crisp tablecloth and linen napkins, just as my mother and grandmother before me did in our little kitchen in Yorkshire…as the oven is on for hours I have to have fans on full, all windows open and regular supplies of mimosas to keep me cool but I am determined to pass on my family traditional lunch to my kids. The only concession I make is for us to eat outside!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? We’d love to hear them. Please comment below and let us know!

We’ll be back next month to share our favorite holiday recipes. Until then, don’t forget to order your copy of the Royal Christmas at Seattle General continuity. Just click on the links below to start reading today!

Revealing his past…

is a risk worth taking!

Dr. Dom di Rossi’s world literally crashes through the ER doors when his father, the king of Isola Verde, is involved in a car crash. Until now, Dom’s royal connection has been carefully guarded. But when Dr. Emilia Featherstone, his old medical school rival, recognizes a previously unseen vulnerability behind his delicious eyes, she unintentionally becomes the keeper of his secret—and his heart!

GET YOUR COPY HERE!

Christmastime with a stranger—

A lifetime together?

Neurosurgeon Maxwell is determined to atone for the one life he couldn’t save…his late wife’s. Set to perform delicate surgery on a king, Max finds himself shadowed by PR director Ayanna. They must work together to keep the king’s case a secret. But when Ayanna temporarily moves in to Max’s apartment, they face a very different type of tension—their undeniable attraction!

GET YOUR COPY HERE!

The top of her Christmas list?

A family!

Nurse Kat Steel always wanted a big family, but a childhood accident and her ex’s departure ended that dream—she’s not about to lay her heart on the line again. Until Logan Connors—ex-bodyguard and new trauma surgeon—and his adorable son arrive! Logan’s complicated past means he’s not looking for happily-ever-after, either. Could a little mistletoe magic change that for them all?

GET YOUR COPY HERE!

A pregnant princess…

…and her knight in shining scrubs?

When a forbidden and oh so passionate weekend together leads to a veryunexpected consequence, Dr. Lucas Beaufort and Princess Gigi Baresi find their lives turned upside down. So when a car crash leaves Gigi’s father—the king!—with his life hanging in the balance, she’ll have to decide: duty to the crown, or claim the family, and love, she’s always wanted…

GET YOUR COPY HERE!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Release Day – Montana

Dear Love Is The Best Medicine Readers

Happy November to you all and waving from a beautiful morning in Australia. I took this photo just a few minutes ago from the veranda at home and would love to share it with you. No colour added except by Mother nature. It’s going to be a beautiful day.

Today I’d like to talk about series books.

IMG_2540

What do you love about series books? I’m a fan, and I think one of my favourite aspects, apart from the main romance, are the secondary characters we re-meet each time.  Quirky fun people and places that we settle back into each new book in the series. Lyrebird Lake is like that. Perhaps you’ve read a Lyrebird Lake book many years ago. Well we are starting from there, rewritten, expanded, and updated to really allow you to jump into the town and immerse in the people right from the beginning.

Welcome to Lyrebird lake 2020 and onwards. It’s going to be a fun ride and I hope you can join the party. One book a month for the next four months and more to come after that. Montana, Misty, Mia and Emma begin.

So many scenes have given me smiles, tears and laugh out loud moments. I do hope you get the chance to cherish the amazing community of Lyrebird Lake like I do, as well as the journeys my caring midwives take to find the happiness they deserve.

The Midwives of LYREBIRD LAKE

Every day brings a miracle…

It’s time for these midwives to become mothers themselves!

In the first book we meet widowed mum Montana Browne… I’ve loved Montana’s story from the first moment I pictured the sunrise on the mountain

Welcome to…

Montana                                                                                      

Book 1

For midwife Montana, finding out she was pregnant was the best moment of her life. But days later she was widowed.

Nine months have passed, her daughter is born, and Montana knows she needs a fresh start.

Dr Andy Buchanan is building services at Lyrebird Lake Hospital and he wants Montana for the new maternity unit. He can’t get the beautiful new mum out of his mind.

Lyrebird Lake is the perfect place for Montana to build a new life – with Andy?

And then there’s the magical myth of the lyrebirds… ebook

Any of my signed print books

BookBrushImage-2020-10-20-9-1233

Aren’t the covers gorgeous? I love all the different Lyrebirds. And the river behind in that meme is our local Macleay River at sunrise. I was driving to mind the grandkids. Had to stop and take a photo. I hope your day is filled with beautiful snapshots and smiles, too. Thank for having me drop in. Xx Love Fi

FionaMcArthurAuthor.com

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

A Nurse, a Surgeon, a Christmas Engagement, by Allie Kincheloe

Normally, I’m not a Christmas in October girl, but 2020 has been one of those years that I can’t wait for the warm and cozy feel of the holidays. It’s time for Hallmark Christmas movies, a snuggly blanket, and as many Christmas romance novels as I can binge read.

What are some of your favorite Christmas reads?

I have my own Christmas story out this December. I hope you like Dex and Lena’s story. Here’s an excerpt (and a universal link, if you want to preorder).

Allie

https://books2read.com/u/bzgPlZ

From emergency wedding date…

To happily-ever-after?

Nurse Lena has serious doubts about playboy surgeon Dex’s request that she be his emergency date to his brother’s wedding… But when he offers to be her fake boyfriend in return to meet her family obligation, she reluctantly agrees. Maybe it’s the heady spirit of the season—or a Christmas miracle!—but Dex surprises Lena at every turn. Could he be the man she swore she never wanted?

Excerpt:

His grip tightened around the scalpel in his hand. He’d rather stab himself with it than give Westfield something else to gossip about. He had only been home once since his ill-fated trip to the altar, and it had been awkward to say the least. In a single week at home, his mom had stuck every single woman in town under the age of forty in his path in hopes that he’d finally move on from Jessie. Awkward? Nah… What could be awkward about a parade of women he wasn’t remotely interested in?

He had, though.

Moved on, that is. Even if his mother was having trouble believing that.

He dated. Quite frequently, even. But no one seriously enough to bring home. He only dated to have a little adult companionship on occasion. A physical release, not an emotional connection. No risk for either party. In fact, he told anyone he dated from day one just what he was willing to give, and he always made sure to end things before anyone got hurt. None of the women he’d dated recently would work for this half-hatched plan, either.

He wouldn’t want to lead someone on, after all. Taking someone home for a family wedding during the holidays implied so many emotions that Dex almost shuddered in revulsion at the thought. Asking a woman to be his date to a family wedding at Christmas implied that a box with a diamond ring sat under the tree. And he’d never take that step again.

No, he planned to stay single forever. He had zero interest in long-term commitment, and he’d hesitate to do anything that might give any impression otherwise. After his trip down Matrimony Lane had dead-ended with him standing at the altar alone, his entire hometown watching as he got dumped from afar, Dex could live the rest of his life without putting himself into that sort of situation again.

“Taking a date would save me from more than a few matchmaking attempts and a fair bit of pointed stares. But finding someone on such short notice would be nearly impossible. It’s a Christmas wedding,” he added aloud, his thoughts running with how much more difficult the timing made things.

Getting someone to pretend to be his new girlfriend in June would have been easy. He’d just spring for a few days at a luxury beach resort and voilà, instant girlfriend. But with the wedding planned for the holidays, it made it ten times trickier to find someone to go along with a fake relationship scheme.

“Ah…so you need someone to go home with you, pretend to like you, and for the holidays no less. That will be hard to find.” Lena’s green eyes sparkled and he thought he might be able to see a hint of a smile behind her mask. “Who would have thought that a handsome young surgeon would have to resort to a fake Christmas girlfriend?”

“Are you volunteering?”

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Christmas is coming….!!!!

Okay – it may be a wee way off, sixty days in fact (ack!!!!) – but this year I am particularly excited for the holidays. I don’t know if it’s the yo-yo ride of lockdown, or the fact last year’s Christmas was a bit weird (we were ‘in between’ dogs and I HATED it), or the fact that I have not one, but TWO Christmas books coming out, both of which I wrote this year, so my head’s pretty much been in a snow globe all year long. Thoughts?

The first book I wrote was for Mills & Boon/Harlequin and has the gorgeously evocative title Christmas Under the Northern Lights. It’s a journey up to a North Sea Scottish Island and is, I hope, a celebration of all of the medical professionals who offer home care. It’s an incredible service and let me be the one to tell you, Scotland was amazing at providing the service.

You see, another reason last Christmas wasn’t entirely wonderful, was that my beloved father-in-law wasn’t in the best of health. He was dead set against going into hospital and we were pretty keen to keep him out of it because…Christmas in the hospital? Probably a lot more magical in a M&B Medical Romance. The Scottish district nurses came to our rescue IN SPADES. They were absolutely amazing. There, morning and afternoon, like clockwork. Even on Christmas Day. And I couldn’t have been more impressed. They were cheery, kind, thoughtful and, above all, helped us keep my father-in-law home for Christmas. This book, is without reservation, for them.

Has there ever been a better time for a…

The second book I wrote (pretty much exactly when lockdown began) was as close to swan-diving into a snow globe as possible. I had SO MUCH FUN writing this book. To my husband’s horror, I involved our new hounds in my merriment.

The premise of Miracle on Christmas Street comes from a real life event I heard about in Australia – a living advent calendar. One in which a street with twenty-four homes (or thereabouts) turned each of their homes into an advent calendar with either a little celebration or a display in the window. The idea has been replicated around the globe (well, from the top to the bottom anyway!) and it seems the perfect way to truly emulate the spirit of Christmas which, to me, is the ultimate celebration of love, peace and joy. In other words, the ingredients that can make being part of a community amazing. It’s had some wonderfully kind feedback from some great authors and I’m just over the moon to join the tinsel-laden squadron of authors who write an annual Christmas book.

Not having any children of my own, I love to borrow other people’s children to decorate cookies. What sorts of traditions do you have for the holidays and, like me, do you find yourself getting ready for this year’s holidays even easier?

Big kiss everyone! xoxo Annie O’ho ho ho!!!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Our 1,000th Blog Post!

It doesn’t seem ten minutes, since we were talking about names and sorting through images for our blog.  After weeks of preparation, Love is the Best Medicine went live in February 2012. 

Since then we’ve posted 999 blogs (this is the magic 1,000th) and written over half a million words (577,805, if anyone’s counting).  And we’ve posted so many photos that we almost broke the site at one point! 

We can’t thank you enough for being with us on this journey, we’ve had thousands of comments and countless views, and each one of them is important to us.  Those views have come from 170 different countries, and so what better way to celebrate our 1,000th post than to ask our authors to send a postcard from places they’ve visited in their books.  

Emilypostcard

Susancard  .

Amypostcard

Anniepost

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Reading, The Writing Life

Filling The Well

These are difficult times. Stuck in this pandemic, trying to get through this second wave and here in the UK, puzzling over the different rules for different tiers and for me in particular, trying to make my mother adhere to the rules especially as she is in Nottingham (an area of the country with some of the highest Covid infection rates) and who is starting down the terribly rocky road of Dementia.

Put simply, she lives alone, now that Dad has died and she forgets that there is a pandemic. We do what we can from 200 miles away. She has signs on the doors reminding her to put on her mask before she goes out (even though we tell her she shouldn’t be going out) and other reminders throughout her flat to wash her hands and to sanitise and to try not to touch her face.

It’s difficult. Especially when I receive calls from one of my brothers to say that he went to take her some groceries, found her flat empty and tracked her down in someone else’s flat, without a mask, laughing and joking!

Grr!

So, despite all of this, despite the fact that I am still trying to get over the death of my father, I have been trying to find things that make me happy. Trying to find things to occupy my mind, that fill the well, that gives me ideas, that allows me to learn new things, to always try and make my writing as good as it can be. So I thought I’d share a few things I’m doing, a few things I’m reading, to maybe give you all some ideas, or even to just spark a light in these weary times.

Books I’ve Read

What if you had a second chance with the one who got away?

Ben’s always loved December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old flame Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

I adored this book. A cross between One Fine Day and A Christmas Carol. Definitely high on my list of recommended reads and it’s perfect with Christmas coming up!

She must marry the knight .

By order of the king!

Widow Eleanor of Tallany Castle knows her people are broken by the taxes demanded by King John. So when she’s ordered to marry Hugh de Villiers, a knight loyal to the king, she’s furious—even if he is handsome! As gallant Hugh begins to heal the scars of Eleanor’s abusive first marriage, she’s even more determined to keep her secret: she is the outlaw the king wants to send to the gallows!

This book won the Joan Hessayon Award and rightly so! It’s a wonderful delve into the past with the Lady Eleanor who is passionate about protecting the people of Tallany from the severe taxes placed upon them by King John, being forced to marry Sir Hugh de Villiers who is the king’s man, determined to find the outlaw who is stealing all the taxes back! Very Robin Hood, I must say!

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

This was perfect! Wonderfully eccentric in that British way, with dabs of humour sprinkled throughout as Joyce and her friends try to solve a murder from their retirement home! I zoomed through this one and enjoyed every single page and shall definitely read more from this author.

Classes

Taking Risks As A Writer (with Julie Cohen, Novel nights)

Julie Cohen chats to Novel Nights about taking risks in a writing career, overcoming writer’s block and challenging the status quo. Her award-winning novels have sold over a million copies worldwide and she’s twice been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Julie runs an oversubscribed literary consultancy which has helped many writers get published. She is a Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, founder of the RNA Rainbow Chapter, and a Patron of literacy charity ABC To Read. Her latest novel, Spirited was published in July 2020.  This author talk and Q&A is hosted by David Lloyd.

By the time you read this blog, I will have taken this class. I love listening to other authors and hearing about what they’ve done, how they work and seeing if I can apply anything to my own writing.

I think it’s always worth continuing to learn, always striving to do better.

Building A Successful Partnership With Your Editor (Harlequin)

This will be a chat for Harlequin authors with Stephanie Doig (editor, Carina Press), Flo Nicoll (senior editor Harlequin presents), Johanna Raisanen (editor Harlequin Heartwarming) Ruby Barrett (author), Sasha Summers (author) and Maisey yates (author). The panel will discuss the ins and outs of editorial partnerships and share tips on building a successful author-editor relationship.

Now, I have a lovely relationship with my editor, don’t get me wrong! But, like I said, it’s always worth finding out more.

Sometimes when I take classes, I find that I know a lot of the information that is presented, but there are always one or two nuggets that I can add or incorporate to my own experience. It’s about being willing to be open to new ideas.

Hobbies

I’m currently into blackwork embroidery and I’m LOVING it! There’s something very peaceful and calming to the mind about it and it’s also an opportunity (when the pattern isn’t too complicated) to think about my story and characters and plot out scenes!

I’m currently working on a pattern called – Save The Stitches.

You can find this FREE PATTERN at Blackwork Journey if you want to take a look at it.

But I have plans to do so many more! The problem is seeing all the wonderful patterns I want to get started on, but know that if I do too many at once, some may get neglected, or they all will, if I get too overwhelmed with projects, so I’m trying to stick to this one, right now.

But, oh dearie me, it’s difficult!

So, what about you, dear reader? What have you been up to? What have you been reading? Doing? Learning? Have you taken up a new hobby? Have you tackled all those DIY projects that have been waiting in the wings? I’d love to hear from you!

Louisa xxx

Their passionate fling…
Has given them a gift to last a lifetime!

When pediatrician Merry Bell turns up at his hospital in Iceland, Dr. Kristjan Gunnarrson’s quiet Christmas is shaken up. After a hot fling together in Hawaii, they both agreed to walk away. But now Merry has brought him life-changing news – she’s pregnant! Commitment phobic Kristjan will not waver from his responsibility, but is his bruised heart ready for a family?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Milestones by Amy Andrews

This is me and my dad, Noel, who turns 80 next week.

Eighty!!!!

I wonder every day where the hell that time went as I’m sure he does, too. He’s been without my mum for 9 years and is about to downsize and move into a retirement village. He’s in good health and I’m very aware – particularly right now with the state of the world and his age – of how lucky I am to still have him.

I am blessed, as is my family and we’re having a small gathering to celebrate becasue if there’s one thing I really believe in, it’s that milestones should be celebrated. Another year older, another book published, a special award, achieving a goal weight or xyz months since you had a cigarette. Whatever it is, big or small – milestones should be celebrated! After all, its the celebrations that keep us going, that make it all worthwhile!

Am I right, or am I right? 🙂

What about you? What milestones do you celebrate?

PS – I have a smutty little medical rom novella that just got a new cover that I’m celebrating at the moment 🙂 if you want to check it out!

Origin Stories

Kate Hardy: Origins of a Dream-come-true

Hello!

Today I’m here to talk about my ‘origin story’ and my journey to publication.

First book launch, November 2002

Nobody in my family is a writer.

Actually, that’s not quite true: my mum used to make up stories for me when I was tiny, though she never wrote them down. Had she lived, I think we would’ve become a mum-and-daughter writing team, but sadly that wasn’t to be.

Mum and me (plus a loyal, lovable third!)

But I was always odd. I come from a very working-class background. Yet, there I was, obsessed with books from the moment I was old enough to pick one up. I could read from a precociously early age, and the quick way for my parents to keep me occupied was to give me a pencil, paper and a title (haha — not that dissimilar from how things work nowadays, because I never get my own titles!).

I talked my parents into giving me a portable typewriter for my sixth birthday because I wanted to be a writer. I typed away happily, creating pony stories and ghost stories. Everyone in the family (and at school) knew I was a bit strange. At eight or nine, we had to come up with three questions we really wanted to know the answer to. Others had questions such as, ‘How often should you feed your dog?’ Not me. No. The weird child in the class had other things on her mind. Exactly how far away is the moon? Who was the shortest-reigning queen in history? How long after you bury a body does it become a skeleton? (Fortunately my teacher knew I wanted to be an archaeologist and had already lent me books on Egypt. And my mum was amazing — she’d worked out that I was born to tell stories, and encouraged me to keep going.)

Mum

And then, when I was 13, I discovered M&B. (Sara Craven’s ‘The Devil at Archangel’ — years later, I was thrilled to meet her and tell her how she’d inspired me. And how amazing was it that she became my real-life friend, someone who met me at author events with a huge, huge hug?)

My romances didn’t get very far at that age, but I kept writing — very Tolkienesque stories (which I think might be lurking somewhere in the loft, along with reams of terrible poetry). I tried M&B again about ten years later, and was too young and naive to realise that a four-page rejection letter from M&B doesn’t actually mean ‘go away and never darken our doorway again’. So I wrote other stuff (including ghost stories — one of which was published by Virago), and lots of journalism. I wrote some raunchy novels. But, all the time, I wanted to write romance.  

And then, when I was pregnant with our daughter, my husband asked me why I didn’t try writing M&B Medicals, given that I loved romance and loved medical dramas on TV. Good point. So I read a few. They all seemed to be written by Aussie doctors, so I thought I probably wouldn’t fit.

But everything all changed the day I was writing an article about bronchiolitis (RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Chloe, aged 6 weeks, had this horrible cough. It was a couple of days before Christmas. Was I being paranoid, or was she showing the signs of everything I was writing about? I went for the cautious option (I’d much rather be called an overanxious parent than ignore something serious!) and called the doctor. Yes, indeedy, that was intercostal recession I was seeing. Textbook case. Half an hour after our appointment, Chloe was in hospital for a nasal swab, and she tested positive for RSV. She was on the ward for a week — on oxygen, fed by nasogastric tube.

The only way I got through that week at her bedside was to start writing my first Medical Romance. Once she was back home, I carried on. My agent loved it. M&B loved it. A Baby of Her Own was accepted on Chloe’s first birthday and published on her second birthday.

Chloe, a couple of months after bronchiolitis

Fast forward to today: she’s going to be twenty in a couple of weeks, and I’m currently working on my 94th M&B.

The point is: it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. If you want to write, then WRITE, and don’t let anything hold you back. Read craft books, yes, but don’t let yourself be boxed in by them; not everyone works the same way, and not every method works for every writer. If you’d rather work ‘into the mist’ (aka ‘pantster’) that’s fine, and if you’d rather plan everything up front (aka ‘plotter’), that’s also fine. Ditto being in the middle and doing a bit of both. Try it, and use what works for you.

No time? Then put half an hour in your diary every day. That could break down into two blocks of 15 minutes or 3 blocks of 10 minutes: whatever works with your schedule. Make sure you ringfence that time and do it every day. In that time, you write and do nothing else but write. Don’t edit, and don’t overthink or worry about the future: write. It doesn’t matter if it’s on screen, or scrawled with a pencil on paper (as long as you can read it!). One page (500 words) per day for 100 days will get you a first draft of a Mills & Boon in a little over 3 months. That’s when you start editing. The main thing is: write, because you can always change a page that doesn’t work, whereas a blank page gives you nothing to work with.

As for me: lockdown and Covid have both reminded me that life is short, so I’m sneakily writing the book of my heart. It’s something very, VERY unmarketable, so I might end up writing it just for me: but the story’s there and it won’t go away. Maybe it’s time to listen to my own advice… 😉

Oh, and my family? They all still think I’m weird. But I hope they’re quietly proud of me.