Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

All Travelers, Together

A small taste of Jamaica: Bamboo Avenue, St. Elizabeth

I’d like to tell you an immigrant story—not my own, which is pretty banal, but a far more interesting one.

My husband’s grand-uncle left Jamaica, bound for Britain, to sign up with the RAF in 1942. He served as a morse code operator, and also flew in reconnaissance missions during the war. Wanting to study medicine, he applied for and was accepted to Glasgow University, but the RAF refused to de-mob him, and by the time he was released from duty he’d lost his place.

Moving to Glasgow anyway, he met his eventual wife—a white Scotswoman—but faced the disapproval of both her parents and even the pastor of the church they started attending together.

After they married, and were looking at properties to purchase, he would see a listing for a house he thought might be suitable, and go to look at it. Over and over, when he went to look at the houses, he was told they suddenly were no longer for sale. His estate agent finally told him not to go, but to send his wife instead, and that was how they eventually managed to purchase a home.

While he still intended to study medicine, he had to work to support his family and save up to be able to go back to school. When a minister told him there was a dearth of Religious Education teachers, and there were grants available for that course of study, he decided to become a teacher instead.

Graduating as a mature student, he started his successful teaching career, eventually becoming the first black headteacher in Scotland.

I share Mr. Carl Vaughan’s story, not just because it is one of success against the odds, and in the face of intense opposition, but as a way to say, there are as many immigrant stories as there are immigrants.

Some leave their homeland in search of a better life, new horizons, or advancements unavailable in their home country. Others, like Mr. Vaughan and later the Windrush Generation, seek to serve. In 1796, Jamaican Maroons were deported to Nova Scotia, Canada, as part of a treaty with the British. They didn’t stay long, and were relocated to Sierra Leone thereafter. Men and women from Jamaica helped build the Panama Canal.

We Yaardies (Jamaicans) are pretty much everywhere! My ex-mother-in-law even tells the story of being on Malta and finding a Jamaican waiter in the Chinese restaurant where they stopped to have lunch.

My story is far more prosaic than any of the above.

I guess you could call me a double immigrant, really. Just over seventeen years ago, I left Jamaica and traveled to Canada and then, four years ago, I took a leap of faith and moved to Florida.

Neither move was easy. Both had to be carefully considered. But, in both cases, I think the right decision was made, considering the particular time of my life.

Thankfully, I was old enough, and had travelled enough, to know there was no ‘Land of Milk and Honey’ awaiting me in North America. I’d find no streets paved with gold. Instead, I expected that hard work and a willingness to fit in—without losing my innate Jamaican character—would carry me through.

Yet, even so braced and determined, there was no way to anticipate the myriad little ways that being an ‘outsider’ would hinder, annoy, and on occasion anger me.

But remember what I said in my last piece about if ‘yuh want good, yuh nose haffi run‘ (success often comes at a painful price, which has to be paid)? Well, here’s another Jamaicanism for you—When trouble tek yuh, pickney shut fit yuh (When trouble takes you, a child’s shirt will fit you; meaning, if things are hard, you make do with whatever you have to get through it.)

And that’s what I did.

But I did it with the conscious decision not to change the way I spoke, or to lose sight of my roots. Sometimes I think I’m even more in tune with my Jamaican origins since I left the island. There’s something about being far from home, living in places where hardly anyone understands the way I grew up, my idioms, or outlook, that has somehow solidified my very Jamaican-ness.

It’s a lonely feeling, leaving your country. Being apart from the places and people that helped shape and mold you, and supported you through your life. Physical distance from the familiar also sometimes leads to emotional distance from friends and family too.

Jamaicans might say, Yuh gone too far from yuh navel-string (You’ve gone too far away from your umbilical cord,) harking back to the tradition of burying a baby’s umbilical cord and planting a tree with it, signifying a connection to the land that can never be severed. No matter who you have around you, the separation from the place of your heart changes you—sometimes for good, sometimes for ill.

Because I didn’t know or understand some of the things happening around me, I became more cautious. When people laughed at me for my ignorance of things they took for granted because they grew up with them, I learned to hold my temper. Being unable to get a job in my field, and take whatever I could get, made me humble. Having people assume things about me once they heard my accent made me stronger—and I figured out how to get my own back with a smile.

Of everything I’ve been up until this point in life, I can’t help thinking that being an immigrant has had one of the biggest impacts on my life.

It permeates every facet of who I am now, and I see things through its filter.

When I write, it’s almost always about people searching for belonging; for home. It can be emotional home, or a sense of family, or just someone who wants to learn about them and, in understanding, love them unconditionally.

This is a direct result of feeling adrift, different, misunderstood, underestimated. Of sometimes feeling inadequate, often homesick, and imbued with a heart-and-soul deep yearning for times gone, or friends missed.

I’ve learned to use all these feelings and emotions when I write, seasoning my books not just with Jamaican spice, but also the salt left by tears of separation and longing.

And this journey hasn’t been all bad—not at all! I’ve made great friends along the way, who appreciate my alternate views, or ‘outsider’ insights. My family of the heart has grown, and enriched me with their acceptance and love.

There are days when I think I’d like to be able to live in even more places, just for the wonderful experience of broadening my understanding of the world even more.

The life of an immigrant isn’t for the faint of heart, but there are rewards—both tangible and intangible—both for those who move to new places, and those already there.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Origin Stories

Looking Back to Craft the Future

Family of Ernest and Alice Delvaille. From left: Lawrence, Alice, Halford, Ruby, Gerald, Ernest, Leslie, and Edna.

This rather Victorian-looking pair are my paternal great-grandparents, and the serious and dapper young man seated at the left is my grandfather. I had a very special relationship with my Grandpa, who came to live with us the year I was born, after Granny—his wife—died. He was the first person I remember reading to me every day, and through those early interactions I developed both my insatiable reading habit, and the curiosity that’s a huge part of my character.

Judging by the ages of the children, I estimate this picture was taken circa 1907. My great-grandfather Ernest, an accountant, and Great-grandma Alice, Post Mistress for the district, married in 1888. Nothing unusual at all, right?

Although the picture was taken in the hills of St. Elizabeth parish, in Jamaica, from the clothing it could have been taken almost anywhere in the world European folk lived.

Yet, here’s something to consider:

The family in this picture is, at most, one generation removed from being slaves.

Ernest’s grandmother, Mary Gittoes, was a slave. His mother, Maria Miles Tomlinson, was born prior to Emancipation, and prior to her parents’ 1836 marriage, so conceivably was born into slavery too.

This isn’t something spoken about much, in families like mine. Older generations were determined to attain “respectability” and distance themselves from those types of roots. They were more focused on the European side of their lineage, ignoring all traces of any other. For as long as I could remember, my father swore his surname was French, his ancestors Huguenots fleeing persecution, and refused to entertain the suggestion that it was actually Jewish.

Even in a country with the motto “Out of Many, One People,” where many, if not most people are of mixed heritage, the vestiges of prejudice still lingered.

This is a legacy I had to break free of, and that shapes much of my outlook on the world. I have a very difficult time with racism, and colorism, and caste/class/social prejudice, because I’m not only a genetic melting pot myself, but the descendant of both enslaved Africans and European slave owners. Descendant of Low Country Jews, and Eastern European Jews, with a sprinkling of other genes to boot.

For me, that diverse blood is a source of great pride.

I was also privileged to grow up at a time when my country was learning how to throw off the bonds of colonialism, even as many of its citizens were mourning the loss of the “motherland’s” rule. While others might disagree, I think of myself as lucky to have experienced those turbulent times, when Jamaica was trying to find herself; trying to figure out who and what she was. There was a concerted push toward equality for all, and I like to think I learned the lessons of the time.

Everyone is worthy—of life, education, opportunity, and advancement.

Worthy of love.

When I started writing romance, there was room for werewolves and vampires, aliens and shape-shifters, even ghosts, but seemingly little for people like me, or my family. Yet, through travelling, I learned that while my appearance, experiences, and background may differ from those of the people I met, there were definite similarities too. Cultures, settings, professions, and appearances may be diverse, but the problems, joys, loves, dislikes, the pain and losses we experience make us more alike than different.

We’re all individuals, with our discrete backgrounds, hang-up, and desires, but there is always something we can share, and understand.

The commonality of humanity.

But, in the beginning, I wrote what the market seemed able to accept because, above all else, I wanted to be published and was trying to be realistic. After a while, I found solace in writing paranormal and fantasy romances, because I could people them with anyone I liked. I also found that readers of M/M romances were more accepting of diversity in race and culture, and had some small success writing those too.

I didn’t think there would be a place for me in mainstream publishing if I wrote the characters I wanted to. That was a painful realization, but in Jamaica there’s a saying: ‘If yuh want good, yuh nose haffi run’ (basically, if you want to succeed, you have to deal with any attendant pain) and I yearned for success. The type of success where family members, on hearing I had a contract for publication from an e-publisher, wouldn’t say, “Oh, soon you’ll be a real author!”

Honestly, when I heard that Harlequin was looking for diversity in their Medical line, I wasn’t sure if they meant it or not, but decided to try my hand at it anyway. I wanted the chance to write a variety of characters, using my own background, experiences, and observations when crafting some of them. If I could also get a chance to put a little of my own roots into some of the stories, using culture and place to add interest, I wanted in!

I was ecstatic when they accepted my first story, The Nurse’s Pregnancy Miracle. It featured a Jamaican, immigrant heroine—successful and headstrong—living life on her own terms, despite the pressures her family put on her. She’s based on women I know, and love. Strong, determined women, who’ve succeeded beyond, or in spite of, their roots and the expectations of others.

I carry the memories of my early life, and the lessons learned, to this day. They guide me in various ways, reminding me to remain open-minded, curious, and attentive to others. But just as what seems important when we’re fifteen seems inconsequential when we’re thirty, about twenty years ago I underwent a life change that shifted my perceptions again.

But that is a tale for another day.

Another facet of my Origin Story.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

The Difference in Style and the Lost Fingernail

Fairly early on in the advent of covid-19, my husband’s employer switched over to having their staff work remotely. Immediately Hubby and I, erroneously, thought that meant we’d have some time to get projects done around the house. In our defense, when we first got married he worked from home almost all the time, and there seemed to be quite a bit of time for us to do things together. Since then, however, he’s been given a new position and before the lockdown had been working in the office again.

That’s why I had really no idea just how incredibly busy he had become during the day!

Yet, that didn’t stop him from deciding at least one of the projects we’d talked about was definitely going to get done. Of course, he chose the most labor intensive one on the list. Which is why I now have a fingernail that looks as though I still bite my nails, and am gazing (with some dismay) at the insides of my (messy) kitchen cupboards.

My poor fingie!

In his infinite wisdom, Hubby decided we’re going to refinish those cupboards, and I somewhat reluctantly agreed.

Now, there are a couple of things you need to understand about us.

He’s decisive and a go-getter.

I think everything to death before taking it on and, while I’m not afraid of hard work, I guard my time and energy jealously.

He consistently underestimates the amount of time a project will take, while I subscribe to Murphy’s Law, knowing that if something can go wrong, and mess up the timeline, it will.

We’re both thrifty in our own ways, which should be a plus but, in this case, really isn’t.

We agreed that a kitchen remodel wasn’t necessary, but the horrible old stain job had to go.

I suggested we clean and sand the wood and paint the cupboards, knowing that will be quicker and easier. I also thought it would brighten the room.

He was horrified.

In Hubby’s world, solid wood cupboards should never, ever be painted. He likes dark wood, and that’s what he wanted again.

While I was still pondering all of this, and thinking it’s the kind of job best left for when it gets cooler, and he can take a week off, he suddenly just…started.

Without any kind of preamble, or warning.

He just went outside, came back with a screwdriver, and start taking cupboard doors off.

I. Was. Not. Ready!

At least the division of labor makes some sense—he does the initial stripping and sanding, while the detailed sanding is mine.

However, I didn’t factor in just how bad the previous job had really been, and the effect of the sandpaper on my nails, which are super-soft to begin with. I’m now in danger of having the quick of my index fingernail start to bleed.

And he didn’t factor in how often he’d be interrupted by work, or heat (we’re working in our garage, which doesn’t have AC, and summer in Florida is no joke!), or side projects he deems have to be done right away.

I, however, am left looking at the list of chores I had planned for the week, knowing they won’t get done.

Because now that we’ve started, I want this over with ASAP.

And there’s really no end in sight.

Update: This was written a week ago, in hopes getting one thing off my to-do list would make me feel better, and I’m sorry to report, things haven’t improved much. Cupboard doors are stripped, but the drawers aren’t even out in the garage yet, and the main inside job—the stripping of the actual bases—hasn’t even started!

Work is kicking his butt, and I’m immersed in final edits.

I’ve been waking up early to get outside while it’s not yet a hundred degrees, and anyone who knows me will tell you I’m NOT a morning person.

I’m going to use this blog post to remind myself that sometimes it really is better to pay the professionals to do these big jobs…although I doubt I’ll get Hubby to agree. Handyman sorts never like to hand over the reins to others!

Wish me luck!

If you’re still looking for a tropical summer read, Best Friend to Doctor Right is an island set, friends-to-lovers romance with a cast of characters that’ll make you smile, laugh and maybe even cry, but just a little…

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Holiday Celebrations

Escape with a Medical Romance

Hello!

It’s the Mills & Boon Medical Romance team, here! As the summer season kicks off, and our current reality may mean that we can’t actually escape in person to the beautiful holiday spots around the world, we thought we’d put together our top list of titles which will help to whisk you away to some fabulously exotic locations, as well as treat you to a healthy dose of medical romance too.

 

Gate 999 – Reading For Boarding

Kicking things off, how about some sun, sea and sizzling medical drama in São Paulo? Let Ann McIntosh, Charlotte Hawkes and Tina Beckett whisk you away with their South American trilogy:

A Summer in São Paulo – These medics are leaving their hearts in South America!

Invited to spend the summer in the high-tech, high-stakes world of São Paulo’s premiere teaching hospital, Hospital Universitário Paulista, it’s the chance for three visiting medical professionals to shake off their everyday routine – and embrace the vivacity of South America!

While they’re certainly turning up the heat during the long working days, the warm days and sultry nights are the perfect setting for romance… And none of them can resist the call of passion in paradise!

Awakened by Her Brooding Brazilian by Ann McIntosh – May 2020

Falling for the Single Dad Surgeon by Charlotte Hawkes – May 2020

One Hot Night with Dr. Cardoza by Tina Beckett – June 2020

 

Final Boarding…

Sometimes, a change is as good as a vacation, and so why not mix things up this summer with help from Kate Hardy and Scarlet Wilson’s fabulous life swap duet?

Changing Shifts – Swapping lives, finding love!

In London, widowed pediatrician Georgie is struggling with everyone’s sympathy when no one knows her husband was having an affair.

In Edinburgh, pediatrician Clara’s dreams of having a family lie in tatters as her ex parades his new love around.

Through a job swap website, Georgie and Clara impulsively swap cities and hospitals to escape their real lives and embark on new adventures! But when they arrive at their new destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects – romance!

Read Georgie’s story in Fling with Her Hot-Shot Consultant By Kate Hardy and Clara’s story in Family for the Children’s Doc by Scarlet Wilson. July 2020

 

Take Off…!

What a perfect way to escape it all than to travel to far-away Islands and find fresh starts and unexpected romance?

In Pacific Paradise, Second Chance by Susan Carlisle, we travel to the beautiful Pacific island of Saipan, where nurse Macie Beck is shocked to once again come face-to-face with past flame Dr Landon Cochran! Forced to work with each other, memories of the past and the chemistry clearly still strong – keeping things strictly professional soon becomes impossible… could they get their second chance in paradise? August 2020

Becky Wicks whisks us away to the stunning Indonesian island of Gili Indah in Enticed by Her Island Billionaire where Dr Mila Ricci is visiting world-renowned surgeon Sebastian Becker to see his pioneering techniques in person. The celebrity surgeon is not at all what she expected – nor is the immense attraction she feels for him! Could this beautiful part of the world help them both find a fresh start – together? September 2020

 

Other destinations to escape to:

Their Hot Hawaiian Fling by Traci Douglass – May 2020

From Hawaii to Forever by debut author Julie Danvers – June 2020

Best Friend to Doctor Right by Ann McIntosh – July 2020

So, even though many of us won’t be jetting off to far-flung places this year, we hope our selection of whisk-me-away medical romances for us to escape into will prove a fabulous alternative this year! They are all (or will shortly be!) available from www.millsandboon.co.uk

With love,

The Mills & Boon Medical Team

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

July New Releases!

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! Although, it’s a strange Canada Day with the pandemic, I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy.

July 1st also marks New Release Day!!

We also have a debut author with her first release this month! Congrats, Shelley Rivers!

Congratulations to Louisa Heaton on her 15th book!

Also big Congratulations to Scarlet Wilson on her 40th book!

MedJuly1

Tempted by the Brooding Vet by Shelley Rivers

Alex Morsi:

Heartbreaker…or heart healer?

The lush Dorset countryside is just what veterinary nurse Kiki Brown needs to regroup after her broken engagement. What she doesn’t need is grumpy-but-gorgeous new boss, local vet Alex Morsi, and the temptation of his sweet kisses! Yet the shadows in Alex’s eyes are all too compelling for soft-hearted Kiki. She’s been let down badly before, but can Alex prove that he’s the man who will always be by her side?

 

MedicalJuly2

Sarah and the Single Dad by Deanne Anders

He’s a part of her past…

Will she choose a future with him?

Nurse Sarah sought solace in her decision to donate her young son’s organs, guided by a man who desperately needed a miracle for his own child. The same man who’s now her hospital’s newest transplant surgeon—single dad David. Shaped by their past, their connection runs deeper than Sarah imagined she’d ever want again. That’s why she must find the courage to reveal her heartrending secret…

 

MedicalJuly3

 

Healed by His Secret Baby by Louisa Heaton

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…

 

MedicalJuly4

Fling with Her Hot-Shot Consultant by Kate Hardy

Changing Shifts #1

Time’s running out…

…on their Highland fling!

Pediatrician Georgie Jones knows how she’s going to deal with the pain her cheating late husband caused—move to Edinburgh! The last thing she needs is to share a house with gorgeous consultant Ryan McGregor, but living under the same roof only intensifies their attraction! Their stolen kiss under the northern lights is inevitable, and potentially life changing if Georgie chooses to let her heart lead the way…

 

JulyMedical5

 

Family for the Children’s Doc by Scarlet Wilson

Changing Shifts #2

A new job, a new city…

A chance at a forever family.

Pediatric registrar Clara Connolly needs a break from heartache, so she signs up for a temporary job swap in London. After a rocky start with single dad and head of Pediatrics, Joshua Woodhouse, the sparks of fury flying between them ignite an unexpected chemistry! Clara promised herself no more romantic distractions, but Joshua and his daughter are definitely stealing her attention…

 

MedicalJuly6

 

Best Friend to Doctor Right by Ann McIntosh

Sometimes the deepest desire…

…is the one you’ve hidden the longest.

Realizing her world is dramatically falling apart, surgeon Mina’s childhood friend Kiah offers her a fresh start on the beautiful Caribbean island he calls home. She’s beyond grateful for his help in regaining the spirit and purpose she feared she’d lost. But when a long-denied attraction spills into their friendship, they must decide whether to risk everything on the breathtaking passion that’s quickly unraveling between them!

 

Happy Reading! xo

–Amy

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt from Best Friend to Doctor Right

I’m so excited about release day on July 1st, I can hardly contain myself. Best Friend to Doctor Right allowed me to write some of my favorite characters to date, and invent a Caribbean island reminiscent of my own home, Jamaica.

Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes, but somehow I’d never gotten around to writing a story centered around it. Mina and Kiah allowed me to tap in to some very personal experiences and memories, as well as writing about some other aspects of life that I love. Like family bonds, and the value of being accepted exactly as you are, without expectations or qualification. I experienced that, as an immigrant, in Canada, and will always be appreciative of it, because it didn’t necessarily need to happen that way. (Looking at you, Amy Ruttan, and my other Canadian friends!)

I hope you all enjoy the excerpt, and the book itself. It’s my favorite, and I’m so happy that it’s almost time for my book baby to fly into the world!

Excerpt:

There were footsteps in the hallway leading from the kitchen, and when Kiah came into the dining room, both Mina and Charm turned to look at him.

“What are you two up to in here?” he asked, giving them an exaggeratedly suspicious glance.

Totally deadpan, Charm responded, “Plotting to take over the world.”

“Well,” he shot back as Mina sputtered into laughter. “I’m sorry to interrupt the planning session, but it’s time for you to start getting ready for bed. All your homework done?”

“Yes,” Charm said. “I didn’t have a lot. Just some math problems, and they were easy-peasy.”

“Lemon-squeezy?” Kiah tacked on, making it a question.

“You know it,” she replied, pushing back her chair and getting up. “Mrs. Hastings is talking about letting me do some advanced work for the rest of the year. I brought home a note about it but told her she’d have to wait for you to get back before she got an answer.”

“I’ll take a look at it tomorrow,” Kiah said, snagging Charm as she was going by and pulling her in for a hug.

Even though Charm said, “Uncle,” in a disgusted tone, Mina saw how she rested her head against Kiah’s chest and smiled when he planted a kiss on the top of her head.

“Have your shower, and then you can read for half an hour before it’s lights out, okay?”

“It’s still early,” Charm said, ducking out of the hug and heading for her room. “If I hurry up and bathe, can I read for an hour?”

“Bathe properly, and then forty-five minutes.”

“Deal,” came her answer from down the hall.

Kiah gazed after her for a moment, and then turned his smile on Mina. Something about the tender set of his lips melted her heart, and she smiled back.

“If I don’t keep an eye on her, she’d stay up all night reading,” he said, holding out his hand to Mina. “Let’s go sit outside for a while. There’s a nice breeze tonight.”

Instinctively she took that outstretched hand, and then everything froze, just for an instant.

Something shifted inside as an indescribable sensation crashed through her, causing a jolt of adrenaline, sharpening her consciousness so that she saw Kiah as though for the first time. Became aware of his beauty anew, just as she had so long ago when she’d watched him walk past her desk on the first day he’d come to school.

And as though to emphasize the strangeness of it all, she caught a hint of his scent, warm and woodsy, as familiar to her as her own, and yet suddenly different, too. Not that it had changed, but it was somehow interpreted in a new way, so that her pulse began to pound and warmth flooded her belly.

“Mina?” Kiah’s gaze sharpened, became probing. “You all right?”

The words shocked her out of whatever the heck she’d been going through, and she blinked, as though awaking from a dream.

“What? Yes, I’m fine,” she replied, getting to her feet, firmly shaking off the last vestiges of her strange mental hiatus, although they wanted to cling, like cobwebs. “Just woolgathering for a second. Lead the way.”

Kiah didn’t move immediately, just held her hand, his fingers firm and strong around hers. “You sure?”

“Of course I’m sure. Come on. I could use a little cool breeze just about now.”

And that was no word of a lie. In fact, she’d go so far as to say she could use a cold shower. The lingering effects of whatever she’d just gone through felt suspiciously like arousal.

But that was impossible.

Wasn’t it?

“You Canadians and your inability to enjoy whatever the weather is. You constantly complain about it being too hot, or too cold, or too wet, or whatever.”

His teasing words were exactly what she needed and led to a spirited argument about his expecting her to not feel the heat when coming out of the winter’s cold. But even while they were going back and forth with each other, she felt his gaze on her and knew something had irrevocably changed.

Now she needed to figure out what it was.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Determination

I’ll be honest. There are days when I’d like to declare, “I’m staying in bed for two weeks.” Then, amply supplied with food and snacks, books and some feel-good movies (Dirty Dancing, or Bride and Prejudice anyone?) I’d hunker down, hoping when I emerge from my self-imposed exile, everything will be better.

Of course, I can’t do any such thing. Although over the years I’ve battle anxiety, and gone a few rounds with depression, what I end up doing is coping. It isn’t always pretty but, somehow, I keep putting one foot in front of the other, until I make it through to the other side.

And during those hard times, I learn a lot: about myself, and about others, and that helps me when I sit down to write. Because, in the end, we authors really are writing tales of how people cope with life, their pasts, and their hopes and dreams for the future. In the case of romance writers, we try to figure out how our characters cope with all those things so as to find their way to love.

And one of the things I constantly remind myself is that I can’t fix everything. I fact, there’s very little I can fix beyond my attitude toward, and the resolve with which I face obstacles and problems. Growing up, I had a great example of how to handle whatever life throws at you with grace, style, and determination: my Granduncle, Dr. William “Billy” Aird.

Uncle Billy was our family doctor, and delivered all three of my mother’s children. He had a storied career, including being the head of Kingston, Jamaica’s only psychiatric hospital for a while. But by the time I knew him, he was in private practice, and it never occurred to me at the time how unusual it was to have a doctor with only one arm.

You see, one night, Uncle Billy was driving home from work in his huge old boat of a car, and passed too close to a parked truck. His arm was sheared off just above the elbow. The way I heard the story, he pulled to the side of the road, took off his tie, and made it into a tourniquet. He then drove himself to the hospital. Once there, he was rushed into surgery but, before that, he was joking with the nurses, trying to cheer them up because they were all crying at seeing him in that condition.

It seemed to me that Uncle Billy’s continued success in life came from his refusal to lie down and give up, just because of his circumstances. Of course, not everyone has that ability, and I don’t know what agonies of spirit he went through privately, after his accident. All I know is that he only retired because of old age, many years later, not because of his amputation.

His story is, obliquely, the inspiration for my July release, Best Friend to Doctor Right. I found myself wondering (as we writers do) what it might have been like for Uncle Billy had he been practicing today rather than fifty years ago, and came to the conclusion that he would have found a way to keep on going. He’d have probably been right there on the frontlines, doing whatever was necessary to help.

And that’s the kind of determination we all need right now.

No matter our circumstances, our impediments or situations, we can all make a difference.

Sometimes the deepest desire…

…is the one you’ve hidden the longest.

Realizing her world is dramatically falling apart, surgeon Mina’s childhood friend Kiah offers her a fresh start on the beautiful Caribbean island he calls home. She’s beyond grateful for his help in regaining the spirit and purpose she feared she’d lost. But when a long-denied attraction spills into their friendship, they must decide whether to risk everything on the breathtaking passion that’s quickly unraveling between them!

And the wonderful Honey Magnolia PR is hosting a Blitz for my release on July 1st, 2020. There’s a giveaway too!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

May New Releases

Happy May! We made it!

Although the weather here in my part of Canada doesn’t feel like May. It’s snowed. I don’t know what’s going on. *shrugs*

However, we have some MILESTONES this month with our new releases!

Celebrating a debut is Juliette Hyland.

Celebrating their 5th book is Traci Douglass  and Celebrating their 25h book is me, Amy Ruttan. Which is kind of shocking!

I love there are so many big milestones this month, a long with some GREAT new releases.

 

MEDICAL1

 

Awakened by Her Brooding Brazilian by Ann McIntosh

The playboy surgeon—

and the shy workaholic!

Dr. Krysta Simpson feels a connection with brooding Francisco Carvalho immediately. The ex-model turned surgeon is nothing like the cruel rumors would have her believe. And if she’s determined to use this temporary placement in stunning S‹o Paulo to reset her priorities, she’s running out of time…leaving one important question: Will Francisco show her the pleasure she’s never experienced?

An A Summer in São Paulo novel

A Summer in São Paulo trilogy

Book 1 — Awakened by Her Brooding Brazilian
Book 2 — Falling for the Single Dad Surgeon by Charlotte Hawkes

Look out for the next book, coming soon:

Book 3 — One Hot Night with Dr. Cardoza by Tina Beckett

 

Medical2

 

Baby Bombshell for the Doctor Prince by Amy Ruttan

His secret: he’s a prince!

Her secret: she’s carrying his baby!

After ER doc Lev Vanin shared one unforgettable night with gorgeous Dr. Imogen Hayes, he never expected to see her again. He couldn’t tell Imogen he’s actually a prince! But when a revolution at home forces Lev into hiding, he ends up working in Imogen’s hospital and his secret is out! Plus, Lev’s life is about to be turned upside down once again…because Imogen’s pregnant with his heir!

 

Medical3

Falling for the Single Dad Surgeon by Charlotte Hawkes

From single parent…

To family man?

Struggling to bond with his orphaned nephew, Brady, surgeon Jake Cooper hopes a summer in Brazil will help them connect. And it’s Jake’s chance to meet world-renowned medical researcher Flávia Maura. He just never expects their immediate attraction, or for career-driven Flávia to be a natural with Brady. As she chips away at Jake’s hardened heart, dare he believe she’s just what they need to become a family?

An A Summer in São Paulo novel

A Summer in São Paulo trilogy

Book 1 — Awakened by Her Brooding Brazilian by Ann McIntosh
Book 2 — Falling for the Single Dad Surgeon

Look out for the next book, coming soon:

Book 3 — One Hot Night with Dr. Cardoza by Tina Beckett

 

Medical4

The Nurse’s Reunion Wish by Carol Marinelli

Her ex-husband’s back in her life…

Can she let him back in her heart?

Emergency nurse Rachel Walker’s astounded when Dr. Dominic Hadley walks into her hospital. She hasn’t seen him since the tragic breakdown of their shotgun marriage, and she’s not remotely prepared for the electrifying jolt to her heart! Brooding Dominic has an edge Rachel doesn’t recognize, but her body remembers his touch… Bonded inextricably by their past, could it be enough to build a future?

 

 

Medical5

 

Their Hot Hawaiian Fling by Traci Douglass

All’s fair in love and war…

…when passion explodes in paradise!

Having survived a horrific car accident as a teen, Dr. Leilani Kim has dedicated her life to saving others. Now her dream job as head of Emergency Medicine is finally in sight…but she has competition! In the form of scarred yet sexy trauma surgeon Dr. Holden Ross. And when their rivalry stirs a desire they can’t escape, Leilani and Holden will have to decide: Business…or pleasure?

 

Medical6

 

Unlocking the Ex-Army Doc’s Heart by Juliette Hyland

It will take someone special…

…to thaw her frozen heart!

The Arctic Circle’s remote tranquility made it the perfect place for ex-army doc and former child star Annie Masters to open her clinic. But her cherished anonymity is ruined when celebrity surgeon Rafe Bradstone arrives in town! Seeing that she uses her work as a safe haven, dynamic Rafe seems determined to show her what she’s missing out on. And it’s working… She’s beginning to imagine a future—with him!

 

Have a safe, healthy and happy May! xo

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Winter in the South

Most folks up north probably shake their heads in disgust when they hear Floridians talking about winter, but we here in Central Florida don’t care. There’s a reason we live here, and that’s because it’s warm. From November to February, Mother Nature usually tells us that it’s unwise and no fun to do the things we enjoy, like swimming and boating. We may not have snow, but the winds, rain, and lower temperatures often make going out on the water not that pleasant. So when a good friend asked if a group could come down for a visit from Canada, I was a little worried. I wanted them to enjoy all the Space Coast had to offer, but if the weather wasn’t going to cooperate, I thought they’d be disappointed.

Turns out, I shouldn’t have worried. Mother has been kind, and they’ve been able to see and do many of the things that make this part of Florida so special. You see, Central Florida is best known as Mickey’s home, but here on the coast, the Mouse isn’t the main attraction. Central Florida isn’t “sexy”, like the Keys or Miami, and not as wild as the Everglades, but we have our own brand of entertainment.

My friends arrived just in time to see the Spacex Flacon 9 go up.

Monday’s launch, at 10:10am, Cape Canaveral

And we were able to go boating down the Indian River Lagoon, which is part of the Florida Intracoastal. The weather was lovely, and the wildlife was out and about. Storks lined the grass alongside the pier, and while on the water they saw pelicans, ospreys, cormorants, and gulls.

Storks hoping a fisherman will come along and give them some handouts!

Best of all, as we went along, there were dolphins aplenty, and when we stopped at our favorite anchorage (known just as The Sandbar) a pair of manatees swam by. They’re difficult to photograph, since they stay under the water and only come up for air periodically, so kudos to my friend for her patience in getting the shot below! I teased her that she was like one of those wedding photographers who only take pictures of people with their mouths open…

Manatee coming up for breath in the waters of the Indian River Lagoon, with the Sebastian Inlet bridge visible in the background.

They’re having a beach day, and then later, if the weather permits, there may be an airboat ride, but I’m thinking we might be getting a little greedy. This year, three days without rain might be asking too much. Even as I type, I see the clouds massing to the west… At least I know the temperature will remain in the 80 degree range, and they just had a cold snap in Ontario.

I think they’ll be happy just sitting on the patio, watching the rain fall, knowing they don’t have to put on their winter coats for a few days more. Winter in Florida… You gotta love it!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Holiday Celebrations

Christmas in October is better than Christmas in July!

When I was a child, like most kids, I loved Christmas. There was so much to look forward to. Not just gifts, but, in my case, a trip to my Grandma’s house in the country, visits to my Aunt at the beach, and Christmas brunch at my Grandaunt’s house too.

Even as a young adult, I enjoyed the season, for different reasons. In Jamaica, “the season” pretty much starts on December 1st and lasts until after New Year, with parties of all kinds, family visits, etc. abounding. Also, my mother loved Christmas and we’d spend happy hours decorating the house and planning for the making of Christmas puddings, along with figuring out who was hosting what event among the family members.

Truthfully, my feelings about Christmas starting changing the year my mother passed away. Although by then I was a mother myself, and I always tried to make it special for my son and step-kids, but my own personal feelings about the holiday took a bit of a dive.

The final nail in my Christmas cheer coffin came from working in a retail craft store, after I moved to Canada. Initially the needlework and cross stitch kits started coming out in June, and then we’d have a reprieve until about September but after that it was all Christmas goods. A few years later there was a “Christmas in July” event at the store and then it was all Christmas thereafter, until I was, frankly, sick of the whole thing.

By the time actual Christmas came, I was without even a modicum of seasonal cheer. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I was more likely to say, “Bah, humbug” than “Merry Christmas.”

Last year, though, I found myself looking forward to Christmas once again. In this new life of mine there may not be any winter snow, but I’ve rediscovered the joy of the season. Having a Christmas themed story coming out in October this year though, almost set me back! “Too soon!” I thought, when I saw the October 1st release date, but I’ve gotten over that knee-jerk reaction, to rather enjoying the thought of those people who really love the holidays getting a chance to get their hands on Christmas books!

BookOct6My Christmas story, The Nurse’s Christmas Temptation, is available now, for all you folks who just can’t wait until December to get your Christmas fix. I hope you enjoy Harmony and Cam’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Unfortunately I’ll be offline when this post goes live, but once I get a chance to check, I’ll make sure to reply to any comments.