Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Welcome Author Ann McIntosh

by Susan Carlisle

I have the honor of introducing Ann McIntosh. She is our latest Medical author. I asked her to share a little about herself. Please welcome her with a hardy hello!

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I discovered Medical Romance when:

I didn’t discover Medical romances so much as always knew they existed, since my mother was an avid Mills & Boon reader from before I was born. As I got older, and started getting interested in her collection, I often found myself reading books with medical settings. Betty Neels was a huge favorite of my Mum’s. 

I wrote my first story when: 

I *started* my first story when I was about seven years old. I had watched an old, black-and-white movie about a Privateer and a noblewoman, set in the Caribbean, and was completely horrified and disappointed when, in the end, the hero sailed off, leaving the heroine behind. As far as I was concerned, there should have been a happy ending, and I set out to rewrite the storyline to achieve that. I never finished it, but I think back on that story as sowing the seeds of my future romance writing career. 

Where do you live? 

I live in Melbourne, Florida (not to be confused with the one Down Under.) It’s on Florida’s Space Coast, but I find the easiest way to describe it is, about an hour and a half south-east from Disney World. 

My best trait is: 

Hmmm…that’s a hard question. I’d say perhaps my interest in and empathy with people, which often leads me to be able to see multiple sides of most arguments. 

My worst trait is: 

Gosh, maybe the fact that, as I’ve aged, my nonsense meter has gotten smaller, so my tolerance for drama is pretty low. However, my husband would probably say my worst trait is how completely focused I get when I’m writing, which means he sometimes realizes he’s been talking to himself for five minutes LOL! 

Five things on your bucket list:

  • Lots of travel
  • Getting fit (but I’m laughing as I write this, as not only am I sloth-like but I also LOVE food and drinking beer!)
  • Upping my writing game, so I’m making a living from it
  • Getting a degree, as I didn’t have the opportunity when I was younger and I love learning!
  • Taking a pottery course. I do a lot of crafting and this is the one area I’ve always wanted to explore.

 

Ann’s book is out on September 1. Be sure and give her a read.

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She’s expecting a baby…but not to meet her Mr. Right!

After leaving her cheating ex, nurse Nychelle Cory decided to have the baby she’s always wanted through IVF. As she’s determined to raise her child alone, she must ignore her inconvenient attraction to gorgeous colleague Dr. David Warmington. Especially as David has his own reasons for not wanting a family. But could Nychelle’s long-awaited miracle help heal them both?

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

I’m Late, I’m Late, for a very important date…..

Apologies, I’m still recovering from two conferences, going back to work and being on a deadline. So I’m going to show you my whirlwind summer.

First, Portugal with the family.

 

Then there was the RNA conference in Leeds.

 

Spot Fiona Harper, Brigid Coady, our own Annie O’Neill and Jessica Gilmore.

And finally,……are you ready…..

there was RWA in Denver!

There is so many people to spot here- Amy Andrews and Susan Carlisle, Jane Porter and Megan Crane, Lynne Marshall, Abby Green, Maya Blake and Jackie Ashenden.

I might also have got my first ever author photo – nothing like watching some guy virtually Botox your face before your eyes!

Okay, I’m off to lie down. It’s the AMBA lunch in London in a few weeks……..

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Actually, it’s not perfect …

I’d like to think that all writers have gone through this.

They write a book. (hah! I made that sound dead easy. It’s not.) And they read it through, they redraft, they tweak and when they think it’s as perfect as they can make it, they send it in to their publisher.

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(Please note, I have NO IDEA why you might need a golden pineapple when writing a book. But perhaps that’s where I am going wrong)

The joy of finishing a book, of writing, The End, is a very special feeling. You have spent weeks, months with these characters. You have tortured them, you have stuck obstacles in the way of their happiness until finally you give them their Happy Ever After. You’re thrilled that the boy has got the girl and the girl has got the boy. Result!

And then, just as you’ve already embarked with another set of characters, to send them on their journey of happiness (torture), your email pings and there’s the dreaded revision letter for the last book.

I positively DREAM of one day sending in a book that needs no revisions. It has been done! (not by me, but others have)

And it turns out that the book that you thought was as perfect as you could get it, needs help. Your editor likes it very much, but they think you can strengthen certain aspects, or they think you need to rethink a certain aspect of a character’s backstory and the most common note, I think we all get is, DIG DEEPER. (If I had a pound for every time I have DUG DEEPER, I would be a rich person)

So you pull your hair out, rant and rage and tell yourself that your editor thinks you’re useless (you’re not. That’s just the process) and then once you’ve had time to let the revisions marinade in your head, you get to work. There are many ways to tackle revisions. Do the little changes first and then the big ones. Or just start at Chapter One and make them as you work your way through (my preferred method)

And then finally you resubmit the manuscript, believing it is all over. Your editor will say WE LOVE IT and issue payment for that book.

Or, in my last case, they tell you that the revisions haven’t worked at all and actually they’ve had a rethink themselves and think that the story needs a vast overhaul.

You know The Scream by Edvard Munch? Well, that was me, recently. Rewrite the entire thing? Aaaargh! All that work! All those hours, days, weeks spent creating that world, those characters, all for nothing?

It was hard. I might even have had a little cry about it. But I put on my Big Girl hat and my Wonder Woman pants (thanks, Annie O’Neil) gritted my teeth and got on with it and you know what? I rewrote that entire book in eight days. EIGHT DAYS! My family barely remembered who I was. All they knew was that there was some weird woman upstairs, with bad hair, muttering to herself, that could be kept under control with copious amounts of tea.

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But I did it. I rewrote the book and sent it back in. And STILL there were more revisions, a third set came back!

Even though I’d already written twelve other books and thought I knew what I was doing, i totally screwed that one up! But, as I said on Facebook, the last time this happened to me was when I wrote A Father this Christmas, my third title and that book had FIVE sets of revisions and is now my best seller.

 

So, I’m hoping no more revisions ping back into my inbox. At the moment, the book is with my editor. AGAIN. Fingers crossed, it gets accepted.

And if it doesn’t? Well, I’m just hoping I have another best seller about to hit the shelves!

Louisa Heaton’s latest book (that didn’t require copious rewrites) is Saving The Single Dad Doc! Available from all good bookstores.

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Their Own Little Miracle, by Caroline Anderson

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A surrogate mum—
And then she fell in love…

When Dr Iona Murray agrees to be her sister’s surrogate she never imagines it will lead her into Dr Joe Baker’s arms. Joe has no intention of ever being a sperm donor again, or of becoming emotionally attached after his painful divorce. But when he meets Iona his boundaries become truly blurred. Will they be able to give up their baby…or each other?

 

 

 

He still had her stethoscope.

The graduation present from her sister, the one he’d been told in no uncertain terms not to lose or damage. He could see why, it was a really expensive one, although it had to be a few years old now. No wonder she’d been precious about it. His own was only slightly better, and he’d bought it last year because he’d mislaid the one identical to this.

That was getting to be a habit.

He changed out of his scrubs, pulled on his clothes, clipped his watch on his wrist and checked the time. Seven-thirty. She’d be long gone, unless she was on a late shift, but it was worth a try. He might even invite her out for dinner—assuming she’d speak to him. He’d been a bit tough on her, but he felt a grudging admiration for a junior registrar who’d had the guts to stand up to him in defence of her patient.

He headed down to the ED, found the nurse who’d been with them in Resus and asked her where Iona was.

She folded her arms and looked him straight in the eye, and he had the distinct feeling he was in trouble. ‘She’s gone.’

‘Do you know where I can find her? I borrowed her stethoscope and forgot to give it back.’

‘Yes, she mentioned that. She wasn’t happy about it.’

He laughed softly. ‘No, I’m sure she wasn’t.’

‘You can leave it with me.’

‘I can’t do that. She told me I’d be dead meat if anything happened to it and I don’t think it was an empty threat. I’ll hang onto it and give it to her tomorrow.’

‘She’s away this weekend. She’s not back in till Monday.’

‘And I’m on a course next week. Great.’ He hesitated. ‘I don’t suppose you know her address or mobile number?’

Jenny raised an eyebrow. ‘Now, you don’t seriously expect me to give it to you? I do know where you can find her, though. She’s at the Queens Hotel just round the corner. There’s a charity speed-dating event raising money for the new IR angio-surgical suite. I’m surprised you aren’t going anyway as it’s in aid of your department, but here’s your chance to support it. Out of the drive, turn left, five hundred yards on the right. You can’t miss it.’

Speed-dating? Seriously? She was gorgeous! Why would she need to go speed-dating, of all things? And then he realised she’d be helping with the organisation. Idiot.

‘OK. Thanks.’ He headed for his car, followed the directions and parked on the road opposite the hotel. The speed-dating event was signposted from Reception, and he headed towards the door. It shouldn’t be hard to find her—

‘Oh, excellent, we’re short of men, especially good-looking young doctors. That’ll be ten pounds, please. Can I take your name?’

He frowned. ‘How do you know I’m a doctor?’

‘The stethoscope?’

‘Ah. Yes. Actually—’ He was about to tell the woman why he was there, and then spotted Iona at one of the tables that were arranged in a circle, a man sitting opposite her. OK, she wasn’t just helping, she was actually doing it as well, and if he wanted to see her, he’d have to pay up and queue for his slot. That was fine. It meant she’d have to listen to him for three minutes or whatever it was, which meant he’d have time to apologise for pushing her so far out of her comfort zone in Resus. And having three minutes to look at her was no hardship. He might even persuade her to go out for dinner—

‘Name, please?’

‘Sorry. Joe Baker. I’ve only got a twenty-pound note,’ he said, but the woman just smiled, said, ‘That’ll do perfectly,’ plucked it out of his fingers, stuck a label with ‘JOE’ written on it on his chest and handed him a printed card and a pencil.

So he could score the ladies? Good grief. He wrote her name and ten out of ten, and waited.

There was a gap before Iona, maybe because of the lack of men, so he hovered and then pounced when the bell rang and the man at her table got up and moved on.

He sat down in front of her, and she looked up from her score card and did a mild double take, her eyes widening.

‘What are you doing here?’

He took the stethoscope from round his neck and handed it to her with a rueful smile. ‘I forgot to return this, and when I refused to give it to the nurse who was in Resus because you’d told me in no uncertain terms what you’d do to me, she told me where to find you.’

Her mouth flickered in a smile. ‘Ah. Jenny.’

‘Yeah, that’s right. She wouldn’t give me your address.’

Her eyes widened. ‘I should hope not!’

He gave a little huff of laughter at the outrage in her voice. ‘I might have been insulted if I hadn’t been glad she was so protective of your privacy, but I also wanted to apologise for pushing you out of your comfort zone in Resus.’

‘You don’t need to apologise,’ she said, her clear and really rather lovely green eyes clouding, ‘even though you were rude and patronising—’

‘Rude and patronising?’ he asked, pretending to be outraged, but she held his eyes and a little smile tugged at her mouth, drawing his attention to it. Soft, full, and very expressive. Like her eyes. He wondered what it would be like to kiss her—

‘You were a teeny bit. I was way out of my comfort zone, because I thought you’d need more from me than I could give you. I’ve never led before on a case that critical and I should have appreciated you’d only do what you knew you could, but I was afraid Jim was going to die and I was freaking out a bit. I’m sorry you took it wrong, it really wasn’t meant like that.’

‘Don’t apologise,’ he said wryly. ‘Standing up to me took guts, and you were quite right about the risks. Without image guidance there were no guarantees I could get the guide wire in without causing more damage, but I’d had a good look at the X-rays and I was pretty sure I could do it, and anyway, as I think I pointed out fairly succinctly, Jim had run out of options. He’s OK, by the way. I sorted the bleeds, repaired the entry site and shipped him off to the orthos with a nice healthy reperfusion and well within the time limit. They’ve put an ex-fix on in Theatre and he’s doing OK.’

He saw her shoulders sag slightly with relief. ‘Oh, good. Thanks for the update. I’ve been worrying about him.’

‘No need to worry, he’s sore, he’s broken but he’ll make it. Good stethoscope, by the way. Very good. Your sister must think a lot of you.’

She smiled, her eyes softening. ‘She does. That’s why I was worried about you walking off with it, knowing you’d already lost yours. It didn’t bode well.’

He laughed at that little dig. ‘I hadn’t lost it, it was in my locker, I just failed to pick it up—but I did lose the last one, so you weren’t wide of the mark. You did well, by the way,’ he added, sliding his score sheet across the table to her. ‘It was a tricky case to manage and you’d done everything right. You should be proud of yourself.’

She glanced down at the paper and her eyes widened. ‘Ten out of ten? That’s very generous. You must be feeling guilty.’

‘No, I just give credit where it’s due, even if I amrude and patronising. And I did return your stethoscope, so hopefully that’ll earn me a few Brownie points.’

‘Maybe the odd one.’

Her lips twitched, and he sat back with a smile, folded his arms and held her eyes, trying not to think about kissing her. Or peeling off that clingy little top and—

‘So, anyway, that’s why I’m here. What about you?’

‘Me?’ She looked slightly flustered. ‘Because it’s a good cause?’

He raised an eyebrow at her, deeply unconvinced, and she smiled and shrugged and took him completely by surprise. ‘OK. You asked. I’m looking for a sperm donor.’

Joe felt his jaw drop, and he stifled the laugh in the nick of time. Of all the unlikely things for her to say, and to him, of all people…

‘You’re kidding.’

‘No. No, I’m not kidding. I’m looking for a tall Nordic type with white-blond hair, blue eyes and good bone structure, so you can relax, you don’t qualify.’

‘I might feel a bit insulted by that,’ he said, still trying to work out if she was joking.

She smiled, her eyes mocking. ‘Oh, don’t be, it’s not personal. I have very specific criteria and you don’t fit them.’

He frowned at her, but she was so deadpan he didn’t know whether she was completely off her trolley or winding him up. He turned and scanned the men in the room and this time he didn’t stifle the laugh.

‘OK,’ he murmured in a low undertone. ‘Nor does anyone else in this room. So far you’ve written zero out of ten against everyone, and the nearest candidate is white-blond because he’s twice your age. He’s also about three inches shorter than you and twice as heavy. And the lady on the next table looks utterly terrifying, so frankly I reckon we’re done here. I’m starving, I haven’t eaten since breakfast and I don’t suppose you have, either, so why don’t we get the hell out of here, go and find a nice pub and have something to eat? And that way I can apologise properly for being rude and patronising.

‘Won’t your wife mind?’ she asked, clearly fishing, and he raised an eyebrow and gave her the short answer.

‘I don’t have one. So—dinner?’

She hesitated for so long he thought she was going to say no, but then the bell rang, the lady at the next table was eyeing him hungrily, and she looked at the man heading to take his place, grabbed her bag and stethoscope and got to her feet.

‘Sorry. We have to go,’ she said, squeezing round from behind the table, and they headed for the door amid a chorus of protests. From both sexes. He stifled a smile.

‘Right, where to?’ he asked, and she shrugged.

‘What do you fancy? Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Asian fusion, pub grub, Italian, modern British—’

‘Good grief. All of those in Yoxburgh?’

She chuckled. ‘Oh, yes. They might be busy, though, it’s Friday night.’

He had a much better idea. ‘How about a nice, cosy gastro-pub? There’s one right round the corner from my house that comes highly recommended, and we’ll definitely get a table there.’

‘Is it far? Can I walk back? My car’s at home.’

‘No, it’s a bit out of town, but that’s fine, I’ll drive you home. Look on it as a hire charge for the use of your stethoscope.’

Again she hesitated, a wary look in her eyes, but then she nodded as if she’d finally decided she could trust him. ‘OK. That sounds good.’

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Snapshots from Conference by Amy Andrews

I’m just back from RWAustralia and, as usual, it was a weekend full of the 3 L’s. Love, laughter and learning. Full of catching up and networking and replenishing the well.

And Sydney sparkled in an all its winter sunshiney glory. Although, it was kinda cold outside despite the deceptive sunshine….

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The Wenworth Hotel is a grand old beauty full of art deco loveliness including the most amazing chandeliers in all the publice spaces. They were stunning and I reckon I took about 500 pics of them while I was there!

The food was pretty good too.

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And there was even some Karaoke!

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Not to mention some very interesting day time content about consent and romance’s responsibility in the age of #metoo And a interesting talk about naming our, ummmm, lady parts… ?

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And glamour and parties and fun, of course!

But now its back to reality and the WIP, refreshed and raring to go again after a weekend with my tribe.

Who’s your tribe?

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Life in a Turmoil

By Susan Carlisle

 

I like order. I keep files – in order. I make lists. I have to have things in their correct places and one job finished before I move on to the next one. Right now my life is completely disorder.

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My husband and I recently bought some land and plan to build a house. Now we are in the process of selling the home we live in. It is filled with thirty years’ worth of stuff and memories. I won’t even allow myself to think about the memories because I will cry. I am focusing on the stuff. I am busy de-cluttering, which means throwing away, giving away and packing away the things that are more keepsakes than useful items. In other words, I am staging the house so it will show in the best light.

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I am being tough on myself. I have given items away I would have never dreamed I would part with. Our new house will not have as much space and will be an open-living plan so there is less wall space. I have hesitated more than once about giving something away but have remain strong as a general rule. I did slip once. My grandmother always served jelly in a certain jar when I was a child and I just couldn’t give it up even though I don’t use it often.

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So what does all of this have to do with my need for order? Almost everything is out of order in my house. There are boxes and things everywhere. The house is a general mess. That means I can hardly work on my current book because my world is in such a tumble. The one place that is neat and put together is my bedroom. It is the only sanctuary in the middle of the chaos.

Do you like order or are you good with upheaval?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

And The Winner Is…

Sydney!!!

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August is definitely Romance Writers’ conference time and next up is the Australian  conference which is in Sydney this year.

I know lots of authors and readers have already landed but I will be there in time for the Harlequin author afternoon and the cocktail party! I have checked in on-line for my flight and am about to start packing – as always culling shoes is the hardest part 🙂  My few days involves a cocktail party (or two), a dinner, meetings, an interview, lots of walking and an afternoon sailing on the harbour. I’m not sure that four pairs of shoes will be enough!

I’ll shortly be celebrating the release of my latest book, out in September (October in Australia), which is set in Sydney.  Reunited with Her Brooding Surgeon, is one of a duo with Amy Andrews, Tempted by Mr Off-Limits. Our Nurses in the City books tell the stories of siblings, Grace and Hamish, and their search for love and happiness.

In the meantime, on behalf of all the medical authors I want to wish Fiona Lowe ‘GOOD LUCK’ for the awards ceremony. Her book, Daughter of Mine, has been nominated for the Romantic Book of the Year. Daughter-of-Mine-Cover-Fiona-Lowe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will you be in Sydney for the conference? Have you got a costume for the Tuxedo and Tiaras cocktail party? And how many pairs of shoes have you packed!? Let me know in the comments,

See you soon, Emily xx