Today is that most uncomfortable of days, Friday 13th. When every kind of calamity is supposed to happen, and after dark… we just won’t talk about what happens after dark on Friday 13th…
But I’d like to take a different view. Welcome to this Friday 13th! I hope you have a great day! Because Friday 13th is my lucky day.
It hasn’t always been. I adopted this rather unlikely tradition after a discussion with a friend at work – we saw eye to eye on most things but Friday 13th was the exception to the rule. My friend was convinced that Friday 13th would bring her every bad thing that she could think of, along with a few that she couldn’t. To me, it was just another day.
So one Friday 13th, we decided on a little experiment. We’d start at 8.30 in the morning, when we arrived at work, and write lists. My list would contain all the good things that had happened that day, and my friend’s would contain all the bad things. We were each quietly confident that our own list would prove the longest and settle the question for good.
We stayed late after work, and compared notes (we couldn’t go to the pub or a coffee bar and do it in comfort, because my friend was sure that unnecessary travel would prompt all kinds of catastrophe). The lists were both long and detailed, and while I don’t remember exactly who had the most entries, it was more or less a tie. My friend continued in her dread of the date, and it became my lucky day.
So, it’s without any trepidation at all, that I bring you the cover of my latest book, which is released this month. Cal and Andrea are hoping to make their friends’ wedding day perfect, but they meet with their share of bad luck, including a particularly distressing accident with the cake! Somehow they manage to get through it all – and maybe that’s the whole point of my Friday the 13th story. That having our friends and loved ones stand by us, through both good luck and bad, makes everything better.
Do you have a particular charm, or routine, to bring you luck? I’d like to think that I’m not very superstitious, but then I do always cross my fingers when a new book makes its way out into the world…
EDIT – And I’ve just seen that Harlequin have a Friday 13th offer, to bring us some good fortune today! If you buy 4 books or more then you save 40% on your order – the offer runs from 12.00am to 11.59pm ET on Friday 13th November. Here’s the link!
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?
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 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
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?
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
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?
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.
There are many different quotes that have shaped my life and my writing. ‘Girls can’t do Physics’ is one of them.
Mr M. was the Head of the Physics department at my school. At the end of the 1970’s it was considered quite all right to express such an opinion, and he used to say it so often that it became a wry joke amongst the girls he taught.
In truth, this worked to my advantage. At age sixteen our sixth form syllabus offered a choice of either English Literature or Physics and although Physics was the obvious option in terms of the other subjects I was studying, I wanted very badly to study English Literature. So ‘Girls can’t do Physics’ played straight into my hands 🙂 (I’ll add that my mother, who was fiercely determined that her girls would have the opportunity to do whatever we set our hearts on, was well aware that I was doing exactly as I wanted, so held her tongue.)
I did, however, study Chemistry. The Head of the Chemistry Department was less vociferous on the subject of what girls could and couldn’t do but when we arrived in the Chemistry Lab on the first day of term, we found him no less opinionated. He re-arranged us, putting all of the girls in the back row and the boys in the two front rows. When someone put their hand up and asked why he told us that in these ‘modern times’ he was sadly unable to bar girls from his senior classes, but since he believed us unlikely to succeed, he intended to concentrate on educating the boys.
So we protested – with all the fervour of teenagers who can taste the sweet nectar of change. The Headmaster made sympathetic noises, claiming to understand exactly how we felt. But we had to understand that some of the older teachers needed time to catch up with the idea that girls could excel in the sciences. We were sent back to the Chemistry Lab to resume our places in the back row.
Some of the girls in my class overcame the obstacles by working twice as hard, and when national exam time came around they smashed their way through the first of a succession of glass ceilings. For my own part I had a very serious crush to contend with, and that didn’t leave me a great deal of spare time for extra Chemistry. Will Shakespeare might have been more than 400 years my senior, but since when did the sixteen year old heart bother about little things like that? I wondered whether true love had turned me into a traitor to my cause, but I couldn’t help the way I felt. If the sciences didn’t want me, that was actually fine, because I didn’t want them.
Did I cave in under pressure and miss out on a glittering career in science? I think not – Will still leaves me slightly weak at the knees, and I don’t regret the choices I made back then. But it wasn’t until I was in my thirties and decided to do some Open University science courses in my spare time, that I realised what I’d missed out on at school. The elegant synergy in great books, plays and poetry, didn’t seem to be so far removed from the cause and effect of Science and Mathematics. We were shown how weirdly beguiling fractal patterns worked, taught the mathematics of a rainbow, and for the first time I realised that Science can also be incalculably beautiful.
Things are better now, of course, but many girls are still less encouraged to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and women are still under-represented in STEM professions worldwide, particularly at high levels. In 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations established The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, to be celebrated on 11th February. If you’d like to see more facts and figures, and how UNESCO and UN-Women are working to encourage girls and women in science, here’s the link.
I’ll finish with another quote, which is much closer to my heart. My great-aunt was born in Queen Victoria’s reign, one of eight sisters, and was considered the beauty of the family. By all accounts she’d been a little wayward in her youth, and in her old age she’d become a kindly and fragile lady, whose most fervent wish was to get through the day without the slightest hint of discord. Even as a child I knew that she was both clever and perceptive.
When I got a place to study English Literature at University, I was despatched off to visit various elderly relatives, to impart the news in person. I dutifully ignored those who appeared to believe that I’d be spending the next three years reproducing the complete works of Jane Austen in cross-stitch, or who told me that this would be a pleasant, if slightly unnecessary, interlude before finding a husband made my own career irrelevant. I’d heard it all before and learned that loving my great aunts and uncles didn’t mean I had to accept their outlook on life. But it was something of a relief when my great-aunt propelled me into the kitchen for tea-making and biscuit-choosing duties.
As soon as we were alone, she sat me down, and grabbed both of my hands, holding on so tight that I was concerned she might be unwell. She told me that I wasn’t to listen to anyone who said my degree would be of less value because I was a girl. And then the words that I’ll always remember, because they were spoken with a passion I’d never seen in her before. ‘I would have loved to have had the chance to go to University. You go. Do it for me.’
In the face of those words, ‘Girls can’t…’ dissolves in a puff of ineffectual smoke.
And that’s shaped my writing. My heroines can do Physics, Chemistry, or whatever else they choose, and my heroes are man enough to accept that without even having to think about it. If that’s the way the world works today, it does so because of the determination of my fellow occupants of the back row, and the women who came before us and encouraged us to take up the opportunities they never had.
Of course, once you’ve learned to question bias, it’s a difficult habit to break. So before I allow them to slip from my thoughts for good, I’d like to thank my old headmaster and my physics and chemistry teachers. Somehow, despite all of your efforts, you did manage to teach me one thing of great value.
I guess we’re all getting used to video conferencing these days. How not enough light can make you look as if you’re speaking from a dungeon, and too much light can turn you into a shadow puppet. The very lovely Annie O’Neil and I put all of our skills to good use the other day when we were asked to do a Facebook Live chat with Vic Britton, the Commissioning Editor for Mills and Boon. Did we have an amazing time? Yes, we did!
We had a few hiccups, of course, because that’s what live chats are for 🙂 Those of you who wear varifocal glasses will recognise my rather faraway look in the first few frames, which comes from trying to find the right part of the lens to read something on my screen. Annie had a special guest with her – Skye the border collie – who almost caused a disaster by sitting on her computer cable. When my connection dropped suddenly, Vic and Annie valiantly kept going until the internet fairies flew to my rescue. Oh, and if you want to know about the tennis ball, you’ll have to watch the video…
A huge thank you to the ladies at Mills and Boon, who invited us and made this possible, and to Vic who was our wonderful host. And, of course, wild appreciation for Annie O’Neil who is always a star in any given situation.
To round off Annie’s and my trip to Dolphin Cove, I’ll end with a short excerpt. Drew has been recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident, but is keen to get back to work. He’s taken his new puppy Phoenix to scout out the Veterinary Centre, early one morning, before anyone’s due to arrive for work…
The deserted reception area smelled of wax polish and hope. The consulting rooms were still the same, one of them filled with a mass of photographs of Ellie’s canine patients, and another with a more restrained set of framed photographs that belonged to Lucas. Drew’s was…empty. Neat and tidy, without a speck of dust. Drew smiled. It was ready and waiting for him.
‘Drew! What the blazes are you doing here?’
Ellie’s tone generally became firmer, in proportion to the size and momentum of the animal she was dealing with. This must be the one she reserved for charging rhinos.
Drew did the only thing possible and let go of Phoenix’s lead. When he turned, he saw the puppy barrelling along the corridor, the lead trailing behind her, and Ellie fell to her knees, scooping Phoenix up into her arms. Worked every time.
Or… Every time apart from this one.
‘Come on. What are you doing here?’ Ellie stood to face him, trying not to smile as the puppy licked her neck.
‘I could ask you the same question. Shouldn’t you and Lucas be staring into each other’s eyes over your cornflakes? You are technically still on your honeymoon, even if you are at work.
Ellie flushed slightly, presumably at the mention of Lucas’s eyes. ‘You do know what you’re doing, don’t you? Deflecting one question with another. It so happens that I didn’t have cornflakes for breakfast, and Lucas isn’t here. He’s doing the school run this morning.’
‘So you’re letting him in gently to the joys of parenthood.’ Drew grinned. He imagined that the other parents at the school gate were more of a challenge to Lucas than the whole six years he’d spent as TV’s favourite vet.
‘He said that yesterday was a bit like running a gauntlet of meerkats.’ Ellie shrugged. ‘He doesn’t mind, really.’
‘He loves it. You know that.’
Ellie nodded, smiling. She’d been in love with Lucas ever since the three of them had studied together at veterinary school. Lucas had left to become a celebrity vet, and Ellie had returned to Cornwall, where she and Drew had set up in practice together in Dolphin Cove. When Ellie and Lucas’s son, Mav, had been born, he had been so like his father, and a constant reminder that something was missing in all their lives.
But now Lucas was back. Ellie had never loved anyone else, and Drew was happy for them both.
‘You still haven’t answered my question.’
He hadn’t counted on springing this on Ellie today, but since she’d asked, he may as well grasp the nettle. ‘Why don’t we go and sit down in my office.’
‘I’m really getting worried now. You’re trying to butter me up by sitting down, aren’t you?’
Drew chuckled. ‘Yep. And I don’t want Phoenix running around here until she’s had her second set of vaccinations.’
He let Ellie tuck his hand into the crook of her elbow, but Drew was careful not to lean on her as they walked. He’d leaned on Ellie far too much already and he appreciated her support, but it had to stop. Leaning on the people around him was beginning to weaken him.
Ellie plumped herself down into a chair, keeping Phoenix on her lap for more cuddles, and Lucas lowered himself into the seat behind his desk. The surface looked as if it had been polished every day while he’d been away.
‘I’m coming back to work, Ellie.’
Ellie’s eyebrows shot up, but she took a moment to moderate her reaction. ‘We weren’t expecting you till the end of the month. Are you sure you’re well enough? What does your physiotherapist say?’
‘She says that if I think I can manage it I should give it a try, just for a couple of days a week for starters. She told me to take things slowly and stop if anything gets too much.’
Relief showed in Ellie’s eyes. ‘That…doesn’t sound so bad.’
‘You know I’ve been going crazy at home, Ells. I really need this and I’m going to need your support. I know you and Lucas can do with a helping hand here.’
‘Yes, we could.’ Ellie’s gaze softened suddenly. ‘Lucas isn’t replacing you, Drew. You know that’s never going to happen.’
It might. The complex animal surgery Drew excelled at took stamina and strength, and no amount of concentrating on the positive could tell him for sure that he’d ever be able to do that again. But he still had a lot to give, and if anyone was going to replace him, he wanted it to be Lucas. And if anyone was going to replace cool Uncle Drew in Mav’s affections, he wanted that to be Lucas too.
But the late-night fears about being of no more use to anyone were just paranoia. They weren’t what Ellie needed to hear from him at the moment.
‘You’re not the only one who’s pleased to see Lucas back, you know. We were all friends, and I’ve missed him too.’
‘You never said…’
Drew rolled his eyes. ‘Of course I didn’t, not while you were missing him on a completely different level. And being remarkably tight-lipped about it.’
Ellie heaved a sigh. ‘Okay. You have my support, just as long as you don’t overdo things. If you do, I won’t hesitate to escort you off the premises.’
‘It’s a deal.’
‘I suppose…the accounts need signing off.’ Ellie shot him a mischievous look. No doubt it had crossed her mind that checking them through involved sitting down.
‘I can do that.’ Drew called her bluff. ‘Although I haven’t forgotten that it’s your turn this year. Or maybe we should give them to Lucas, since he’s our newest partner in the practice.’
Ellie didn’t take the bait. ‘We’ll both owe you one, then. Mrs Cartwright’s coming in this morning, with Tabatha…’
‘Okay. You take Tabatha, and I’ll take Mrs Cartwright.’ It was well known that whenever Mrs Cartwright made an appointment for someone to look at her cat, she really wanted to sit in the waiting room and chat for an hour. The vets at the Dolphin Cove Clinic always made sure that she got a cup of tea and that someone was available to listen to her.
‘You’re a darling.’ Ellie frowned. ‘I suppose you’re not allowed to drink welcome-back champagne…?’
‘At eight in the morning, and with painkillers, probably not. We’ll do that another time.’
‘Welcome-back coffee, then? Your mug’s in your top drawer….’ Ellie gave Phoenix one last hug and got to her feet.
‘You go and get on. I’ll make the coffee.’ Drew opened the drawer of his desk, finding pens and his coffee mug stacked neatly inside. He was going to have to do something about all this tidiness.
‘All right.’ Ellie planted her hands on his desk, leaning over to kiss his cheek. ‘I’m so glad you’re back, Drew.’
‘Don’t get sloppy on me Ells…’ Drew could feel a lump forming in his throat.
‘Tough guy, eh?’ Ellie shot him a speculative look.
‘Not really. I just don’t want you to get me started.’
‘That might not be such a bad idea, Drew. You’ve always been there for me, and now Lucas and I both want to be there for you.’
‘You are. And I appreciate it.’ He just didn’t want to talk about it. ‘White no sugar?’
Ellie rolled her eyes. ‘That’s right. Glad to see you haven’t forgotten.’
When Ellie left, he took a moment to soak in the feeling. He was here, sitting behind his desk, and already had a few things to do with his day. Looking at the accounts, making the coffee and chatting to Mrs Cartwright might not be quite at the cutting edge of veterinary practice, but it was a start.
When Dr. McKenzie Wilkes’s boyfriend dumps her before a family wedding, she desperately asks her colleague surgeon Ryder Andrews to take his place. There’s a connection with Ryder she’s never experienced before that she’s determined to ignore… Until one unexpected and impulsive kiss puts paid to that! As passion explodes between them, could McKenzie be heading for wedding bells of her own?
When Lucas Williams was forced to walk away from Ellie Stone, he knew he was giving up on their dreams of opening a veterinary practice together. Now he’s back and hoping to make amends. But he’s not surprised by how successful Ellie’s become or that their powerful connection has endured. The surprise is discovering that when he’d left six years ago, Ellie was pregnant—with his son!
Three years ago, nurse Stacey Wainwright shared one magical night with a gorgeous stranger before he flew back home to New Zealand. Stacey never got a chance to tell him about their baby…until now. Because surgeon Noah Kennedy has walked back onto her London surgical ward, ready to rekindle their passion. But is he ready to learn that he’s a dad?
Injured vet Drew Trevelyan is relieved to be back at work. He just wants to leave his past behind, but is irritated to learn he’s relegated to desk duty! Apart from one new project—liaising with shy robotics engineer Caro Barnes. At her cliff-top cottage, Drew discovers that finding ways to put the light back in Caro’s eyes is restoring his own faith in life…and love!
ER nurse Amara Patel is starting over. Running into her ex, physician Eli Collins, on her first day at Boston General throws a major wrench in the works! Because despite his still irrefutably sexy appearance, he’s not the Eli she remembers. He’s always put work first, but now that he’s bringing up his niece, everything’s changed—except his and Amara’s feelings for each other! Dare Amara allow herself a second chance at love?
Dr. Mila Ricci is excited to visit the stunning Indonesian island where Sebastian Becker is pioneering a technique to heal scars. But he’s the exact opposite of the rich celebrity surgeon she’d been expecting—and Mila is immediately attracted to him! Wrestling his own demons, Sebastian might be sexy but he’s no superficial playboy; he craves a home and family. Things Mila feels are not for her, especially not with him…
We’d like to introduce you to the Vets of Dolphin Cove, Ellie Stone and Drew Trevelyan. Their stories feature in a new duo, Ellie is the heroine of ‘The Vet’s Secret Son’, by Annie O’Neil and Drew is the hero of ‘Healing the Vet’s Heart’, by Annie Claydon. But since Ellie and Drew have been friends since childhood, we thought we’d let them introduce each other to you.
Let me introduce you to Ellie Stone. Also known as Ells to her friends, Mum to her son Mav, and… on second thoughts I won’t mention the nickname I gave her when we were both kids. Ellie’s got a very vivid imagination when it comes to pay-back.
Ellie’s an all-round great person, and I’m proud to call her my best friend. We’ve known each other since before we could walk and some of my first memories are of playing on the beach at Dolphin Cove with Ellie. Our first taste of beer was sneaked out of the pump at her Dad’s pub, The Hungry Pelican, and our first teenage attempt at changing the world was to persuade my Mum to drive us into town so we could attend a rally to protect Cornwall’s sea-life. We shared a love of animals and going to the same Veterinary School in London, was an obvious first step on the ladder of our careers.
During our university years, I fell in and out of love on a pretty regular basis, but Ellie found her one true love. She and Lucas were made for each other, and when he left her the circumstances were enough to make anyone crumble. Not Ellie, though, she’s made of sterner stuff. She picked herself up and announced that she and I were going to make our childhood dream a reality. Establishing a veterinary practice in Cornwall, in our home village of Dolphin Cove.
We worked hard and made a success of the practice, and now we have a brand new building, along with an Innovation Centre and a wildlife sanctuary. We’ve had our ups and downs, raising a child on her own has been tough for Ellie, but she’s done a great job with Mav. And she’s always been there for me, too. I couldn’t have made it through the last two years without her.
And… the question that everyone always asks. Ellie’s gorgeous, we get each other’s jokes, and her son calls me his cool Uncle Drew. We’ve stuck together through thick and thin, and we love each other. Hasn’t there ever been just a hint of romance?
I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but… No.
The truth, although Ellie would never admit it to you, is that she’s still in love with Lucas. I’ve had my share of love and loss too, but I’ve never seen Ellie in that way. She’s my best friend, and like a sister to me.
Apart from that one time… But a gentleman doesn’t tell. If you want to know about that, you’ll have to ask Ellie.
Drew Treveleyn? *shakes head* Where do I begin? The day I was born? The day after? We’ve pretty much been friends since then. Or near enough. Our parents used to park our pushchairs next to one another on the quay out front of my parent’s pub at Dolphin Cove and I would say our mutual love of animals started then, too. That’s what happens when you’re battling seagulls and passing dogs and cats for your summer ice creams.
I could tell you more than a few stories about him, but we’d probably better focus on the ones that don’t embarrass him too much. Like the time he triaged a seagull’s leg with a pair of ice lolly sticks. Or the time he carried a dog who’d been hit by a car three miles to the next village (there wasn’t a veterinarian’s at Dolphin Cove then) even though it weighed practically as much as he did (he was a string bean for quite a while before he developed into the strong, sea-loving, muscular veterinarian you see before you today). And that was because my parents were working and his were fighting (pretty normal back in the day before they got a divorce which I would say was a good thing, but as their kid, it obviously wasn’t very nice which was why we hung out at ours more often than his, but really we were usually wandering all around the countryside trying to find animals to fix).
Did we ever fancy each other? (falls about laughing)
Erm. Maybe once we thought we did. For about three seconds. We were teenagers and thought we knew absolutely everything there was to know about everything, but obviously we were hormone-addled idiots who knew absolutely nothing about anything other than the fact that we were best friends. It was summer, the beach was perfectly lit by moonlight and we were buzzing from the excitement of both of us getting into the Royal Veterinary College in London and, possibly, a pint or two from my parent’s pub…and we never, ever discussed it again because then I met Lucas.
And enough said about that.
Drew’s romantic life hasn’t been that much better than my own, to be fair. He had a proper rough run when his fiancée…well…he’d better tell you about that because he went through the wringer bigtime and suffice it to say, it’s been an uphill battle for someone who seriously does not deserve it.
Anyway, I’m risking getting waaaay too sentimental here and that is not how we roll. Long story short, a girl couldn’t ask for a better best friend than Drew. He plays boardgames, can swim like a dolphin, knows exactly what type of ice cream to bring over after we’ve had a tough day at the clinic and is the absolute best cool Uncle to my boy, Maverick, ever.
Ellie and Drew’s books will be published in September. Any questions for them?
Humans are a lot like magpies sometimes. We collect shiny little pieces of information and store them away carefully, our instincts telling us that at some point we’ll be glad we knew that there are 270 stations on the London Underground, or that peanut butter can be made into diamonds. (There! That’s two off my list already.)
The sad fact is though, that a lot of this interesting information resembles an iceberg. One tenth of it may be majestic and shiny in the sun, but nine tenths remain submerged, stored up for a future that isn’t going to happen. Our brains are wonderful and sometimes mysterious things, and our innate curiosity about the world is one of the things that fuels science and innovation, but there’s also a degree of frustration. When am I ever going to be able to slip the fact that opposing faces of a dice will always add up to seven into everyday conversation? (Did you see that? Three off my list! Squeee!)
But sometimes, just sometimes, a writer gets the pleasure of being able to dredge beneath the surface, and haul something up that they never thought they’d need. Take Latin, for instance…
There’s a story attached to this. For some reason, my parents thought that learning Latin was going to add to my life skills. I have no idea what that reason was, I was too busy trying to avoid the subject, which in retrospect was probably a mistake because at fourteen I found myself sitting in class at school, struggling with a language that seemed to me to be totally irrelevant to modern life.
I tried – I really did. Two of the more unlikely things that stick in my mind from my teens are being able to decline a Latin verb, and knowing all the words to ‘American Pie’ (in order, no less!). But after a year, the indignity of being thrown out of the Latin class when I’d worked so hard to get to grips with it, was far outweighed by relief that I was never again going to have to know how to stab someone with a sword in many different tenses.
(Just a moment ago, I went to look for my old Latin primer, so I could take a picture of it. It seems that at some point I had the good sense to throw it away, which is more than can be said for some of the books on my shelves, which are a pretty random collection as well. But that’s another blog.)
And – yet again, writing has proved me wrong. Because when I wrote about a doctor hero and an archaeologist heroine, who solve an ages old medical mystery together, a Latin inscription became an integral part of the puzzle. (I’ll add a picture of that book, instead.) I dedicated the book to teachers everywhere, and particularly my Latin teacher, who after all these years had been proved right. Finally, finally my impoverished understanding of the language had come in handy.
Writing’s a bit like that. Putting our characters into situations that we don’t generally find ourselves in. Needing to know things that aren’t generally necessary. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where that ‘never need to know’ information has come in handy? Does anyone have any of those sparkly, useless facts for me to add to my ever-growing collection? Or have you acquired the knack of concentrating only on what is useful or beautiful, without that clutter of random things? (If so, any advice on how to do that would be much appreciated!)
Two more recommendations from our Medical Romance authors, who have sorted through their backlists to recommend their favourite escape stories. Enjoy!
Taming Her Hollywood Playboy, by Emily Forbes
…by his fake fiancee! Hired as the on-set paramedic on Hollywood actor Oliver Harding’s latest film, Kat Angelis finds herself equally as charmed by his off-screen persona. And when his playboy reputation threatens his hard-earned career, she’s the first person Oliver turns to – to pose as his fiancée! Kat’s warm personality and commitment to her family opens Oliver up to something he’s never had. Is this girl from the outback the key to unlocking his heart?
Why recommend? I think this book might be the perfect antidote to being stuck indoors – it will take you to the Australian outback where there are no nasty viruses lurking!
It is set in Coober Pedy, South Australia in the middle of the red desert where my hero, Hollywood actor, Oliver Harding has been sent in order to keep him out of trouble. Needless to say – it doesn’t work!
English Rose for the Sicilian Doc, by Annie Claydon
Uncovering a sizzling attraction…
Burned in love, Dr Matteo Di Salvo knows he should stay away from single mother, Rose Palmer. But as he gets to know the beautiful English archaeologist, he longs to chase the shadows from her eyes…
Rose is drawn to the handsome radiologist, though after her disastrous marriage, getting emotionally entangled is out of the question! But as the sun-drenched island of Sicily works its magic, she wonders if she’s finally found a man she can trust…with her heart and her son.
Why Recommend? The book features a beach, a handsome doctor, a vineyard and a hot spring – along with an archaeological mystery, solved by modern medical knowledge.
Her rivalry with doctor Jamie Campbell-Clarke is fun and, most important, strictly professional! After the devastating demise of her brief marriage, that’s all plastic surgeon Anna Caulder can handle. But when Jamie’s own painful past arrives at her London clinic, Anna’s compelled to seek a deeper connection… Once in his arms, Anna knows that’s where she wants to stay—if only she can find the courage to share her heartbreaking secret.
When her perfect life implodes, high-flying city doctor Kat Murphy plans the ultimate escape. In Hawaii, she finds sun, sea and sand on her doorstep—and delicious paramedic Jack Harper to rescue her from drowning! Her fascinatingly carefree new colleague is temptation personified… And when Kat can no longer resist, she has an enticing offer for the island’s most eligible bachelor: a fling without forever…
Physiotherapist Amy Woodell is going to use her time in Brazil to embrace her heritage. She might even let loose while she’s there! Who better to indulge in than her new colleague, sexy ex-footballer turned orthopedic surgeon Roque Cardoza… Only, once she uncovers the passionate man behind the determined bachelor, Amy knows one night—no matter how hot—is never going to be enough!
Nurse Vicki has always supported her husband, Cole, even when he enlisted in the army, leaving her behind. But after going through the agonizing loss of their baby alone, she vows to pursue her own dreams. So when Cole returns wanting a second chance, Vicki finds herself waging war with her heart—especially when a disaster means joining forces and remembering just how good they are together…
World-renowned transplant surgeon and single dad Seth Davenport will do everything to save his royal patient. Even if that means a reunion with his patient’s daughter—Princess Kaja Alderisi, the surgeon who once ran from him…after he’d offered her a diamond ring and his heart! But one look into Kaja’s captivating gaze and it’s clear that their past isn’t so willing to be left behind…
Thrown together with motorbike-riding, leather-wearing midwife Ari Lawson, cautious paramedic Kelly Reynolds is immediately out of her comfort zone. But when they find their paths keep crossing, Kelly discovers she was too quick to judge, because beneath his bad-boy exterior, he’s dedicated, kind—and irresistible! Being around him makes her finally feel safe—and, dare she say, loved for the first time?