I love Christmas and I love summer and, in Australia, two of my favourite things combine but I would love to experience a white Christmas. We watch it in the movies and sing about it in our Christmas carols -which is hilarious as Christmas Day Down Under can often be 100°F/ 39°C – while we are drinking chilled Champagne and eating seafood, fresh berries and pavlova (basically a big meringue but better 🙂 )followed by a swim in the pool.
What I would love to know is if anyone in the northern hemisphere dreams of a hot Christmas or is it a southern hemisphere thing?
Wherever you are and however you are celebrating I wish you a very Merry Christmas with love, laughter, friends and family. And if you haven’t finished (or started!) your shopping here are some suggestions gathered from around the globe.
I am getting ready to write a new book, which is always an exciting prospect! One of a quad. And I am stoked. Because I’d already written a quad with the same fabulously talented authors, under the Hot Latin Docs! umbrella. We had a blast planning those books. And we’re already having fun figuring out how we’re going to link these new books, and most importantly…our heroes–hunky firefighters and paramedics who work out of the same station house. They also shared the same foster home growing up.
Did I mention how excited I am?
So, in planning my particular hero, Deakin Patera, I am having to figure out what makes this guy tick. Who is Deakin Patera? I’m discovering him little by little. And that makes me curious about what kind of heroes readers connect with.
I write a lot of playboys, but one of my favorite types of heroes is the angsty, broody, wounded, damaged, scarred–you get the picture–hero. Sometimes I dive so deep into the angst, though, that my hero has a hard time holding his breath long enough to reach the surface and retrieve his happily-ever-after. So this time, I will plan carefully (famous last words!).
Do you like angsty heroes? Or are you more of a fan of a hero with witty comebacks? Swashbucklers? Playboys? Bad boys? What kind of hero makes you go weak in the knees? I really want to know!
In the meantime, here are the covers from our Hot Latin Docs! quad, written by Annie O’Neill, Amy Ruttan, me, and Amalie Berlin. It was hard to leave those heroes behind, but I know I’m going to love this new cast of characters just as much!
Just recently on Facebook, there have been a whole sheaf of bucket lists appearing where you either tick or place a heart next to the things that you have done. To me, these mass bucket lists are bit weird. Some of them have things like, see a dead body; watch someone die; fired a gun.
Odd, really. None of those should be on a bucket list! These lists are about aspirational things, surely?
I have a few things on my bucket list.
Visit New Zealand.
Go on safari in Africa.
Swim with wild dolphins.
Write a bestseller! (of course! lol)
Be a passenger in an off road rally car.
But there’s one place I really want to go. A place I want to wander around for weeks, just absorbing the atmosphere and soaking up the nature and that place, is Yellowstone Park.
If ever there is a documentary about this place, then I watch it. If I come across someone else’s account of being there, I read it. Avidly. I stare at pictures on Pinterest, I dream, I wish, I wonder…
And so I decided to set a book there. Seven Nights With Her Ex. I figured that if I was going to write a book there, then I ought to go there (at least) and research it properly. I told my husband, who was thrilled at the idea and then we mentioned it to the kids.
Big mistake! My eldest son suffers from really bad anxiety, panic attacks and OCD and part of his OCD and anxiety are the thoughts that something really bad will happen to us. So when we mentioned we were thinking of planning a research trip to a majestical spot that just so happens to have a giant super volcano underneath it (that’s apparently due to go off at any moment, but its late, like a woman with a dodgy menstrual cycle) he told us, in no uncertain terms that we were not allowed to go!
So, I had to make do with my trusty, well-thumbed, Lonely Planet guide to Yellowstone and Teton parks. Oh, and my Pinterest board!
Seven Nights With Her Ex will be out September 1st, here are the pre-order/book buy links below. And do tell me what’s on your Bucket List!
I am fortunate to be included in another Mills & Boon miniseries
Welcome to The Hollywood Hills Clinic!
Where doctors to the stars work miracles by day—and explore their hearts’ desires by night…
Seduced by the Heart Surgeon by Carol Marinelli
Falling for the Single Dad by Emily Forbes
Tempted by Hollywood’s Top Doc by Louisa George
Perfect Rivals by Amy Ruttan
The Prince and the Midwife by Robin Gianna
My book is #6 – His Pregnant Sleeping Beauty
WATCH FOR TWO MORE TITLES NEXT MONTH FROM Amalie Berlin and Tina Beckett!
As doctors to the stars, these world-class medics are hand-picked by renowned plastic surgeon, Dr James Rothsberg, Head of the ‘Hills’. His clients expect the very best, and James delivers that and more – his team are global specialists in their field, unrivalled in their expertise and patient care.
Yet behind closed doors, when the pressure is on, sizzling passions run high – and for these dazzling docs, their biggest challenges are yet to come!
Passion, glamour, desire and drama …
So where does the amnesia come in? Thankfully it doesn’t. But when I read the bible for the entire project and the story assigned to me, my first thought was – she’ll wake up with amnesia, oh no! I’ve never written an amnesia story, and to be honest, it is the trope (hook) I like least for books. All I can say is, I thanked my lucky stars when my character woke up asking “Is my baby okay?” Whew!
Here is a sampling of the International covers. #1 is UK, #2 is Australia, #3 is US, and #4 is UK e-book version.
I hope you’ll give all eight of the books a read. We had a great time working as a group to iron out little things, and to make sure we got our parts of the overall continuity arc right leading up to James and Mila’s story in book eight.
If you read any of the books, why not write a short review and make an author very happy.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO HOLLYWOOD? SHARE A LITTLE OF YOUR TRIP IN COMMENTS. OR IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN BUT WOULD LIKE TO, TELL US WHY. OR IF YOU’VE READ ANY OF THE BOOKS, TELL US WHICH ONES! OR, HAVE YOU EVER HAD AMNESIA? (lol – in other words comment…on anything. Thanks)
I am a great believer in brand power – that unique promise that differentiates one product from another.
Each Harlequin series has its own ‘brand’. Medicals are intense and uplifting and…well, medical. Harlequin Presents are what you turn to for a passionate escape to a glamorous setting. Blaze stories are hot and steamy.
It’s all about letting readers know what they’re going to get – no nasty surprises!
But each Harlequin author also has a brand that layers over the top of the series promise – a unique voice and distinctive style that makes reading one author’s books a different experience from reading any other author’s.
As a reader, I am voracious and eclectic and I love to dabble in all things romantic.
But as a writer, I have a particular brand positioning: sexy, funny, modern, urban. That brand dictates that even when I am dealing with very serious issues – grief, betrayal, tropical diseases, neglected children, drug abuse, sexual harassment, media intrusion, sibling rivalry, to name just a few – the angst is never so soul destroying that my characters can’t stride into the world laughing as they grab it by the throat.
I’ve written across three sub-genres – Medical, Romantic Comedy, and New Adult – and I may well add a few more before I put down the quill. I’ve got a few romantic suspense ideas twirling in my head, for example, and I adore the idea of writing an historical romance. But whatever type of story I’m working on, and whatever the trope, sexy, funny, modern, urban is the way I’m going to tell it.
Want a saga? I’m not your girl. I prefer diving into the story of one couple in as tight a time frame as possible – a week or a month or a year, rather than a couple of generations.
Something rural? I’m city through and through, so the only time you’re likely to see me in a country setting is with a fish out of water trope.
Sweet romance? Not me – I like to know exactly what the hero and heroine are doing in the bedroom and why it’s important to them.
A three volume epic? Er…no. I’m generally worn out by my characters by the end of one book, and am anxious to find some new ones to throw into the world.
I’m never offended when someone decides I’m not their cup of tea. I read all my reviews, even the 1-stars, and whenever I get some flack about the issues I cover or the way I write about them, I always take a moment to reflect on what I could do better. Most of the time, however, it simply means those particular readers just don’t like my brand – and that’s okay.
On the flip side, I sure get a kick out of it when someone tells me I’ve given them a few happy hours. It’s a wonderful thing to know that my sexy, funny, modern, urban stories are right for some of the many diverse readers out there.
So, readers and writers, what’s your ‘brand’? And how much do you stray from it when you’re writing a book or choosing one to read?
I’m looking forward to diving into a new Medical story next year, but meanwhile, I’m featuring a little try before you buy opportunity. I have a short story in an anthology that is out now and it’s FREE! My story, When Jack Met Evie, is a prequel to my book Wanting Mr Wrong, so if you’ve never read my stuff, it’s a painless why to give me a try.
WHEN JACK MET EVIE he found his usual movie star charm wasn’t enough to catch her attention. In fact, she seemed to be actively avoiding him . . . He’s heard Evie has a fatal fear of paparazzi, but that doesn’t mean he should ignore his heart, does it?
It might have been different if I’d been born with honey blonde hair, or midnight black, or rich chestnut, or flame red – then I would have been a very happy naturalist.
But being born with what I call medium-grade rat – not too light, not too dark, not too interesting, not too anything other than indistinct – I’ve felt no compunction to stick with the colour I was born with. And I have to say, the urge to whack on a scalp full of dye and see what happens, purely because my own colour is not so fabulous, is something I’ve come to appreciate. Put simply: change is fun.
Over the years, I’ve been through most of the traditional colours – variegated browns, every red from burgundy to copper to strawberry, a smorgasbord of blonde from gold to platinum, and the darkest shade of chocolate through to blue black. I’ve done two-tone, highlights, lowlights, permanents and semis, flirted with deep purple rinses and had a few pinkish moments.
In fact, there was a period of my life where I went through so many colour changes, my work colleagues joked I must have been in the witness protection program! When I look back at photos of myself from those days, I’m torn between laughing and wincing. But the truth is, I regret not one thing.
Which is probably why I enjoy plotting my characters’ hair. Fair or dark? Naturally, or by choice? Short or long? Straight, wavy, curly? Neat or tangled? Do they spend time worrying about their hair, or dash a comb through it and go? Fiddle with it or leave it alone once it’s done? Like or loathe going to the hairdresser?
Just answering those questions, I already have an idea about my characters. And in the interests of full disclosure, I’m going to answer those questions about myself:
Fair by choice
Depends on the month but currently collar-length
Like the hairdresser, but it’s about the ends result, not the experience
At the moment, I’m sporting a mid-range bob in red gold (I think it’s a reaction to writing a few too many redheaded heroines, and perhaps a little obsession with Demelza Poldark). I am, however, already thinking ahead to early 2016 when I’m contemplating going pixie blonde (think Mia Farrow in the 1960s).
Is it a coincidence that the heroine I’m currently writing sports a baby blonde pixie cut? Hmm, I’m starting to see a pattern.
I’d love to hear if you’re a naturalist or an experimenter. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with one of my most recent redheaded heroines…
He suggested a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement…
It was going to be:
Two nights a week
One month only…
It might have been his proposition, but lawyer Kate Cleary is so buttoned up she whips out a contract for them both to sign! Seeing her in her high heels and stockings, all Scott Knight can do is sign and quickly move on to the implementation stage!
Kate couldn’t be more jaded about relationships. After all, she’s in the business of ending marriages! Millionaire architect Scott might be seriously sexy, but he’s also a complicated enigma—one she’s quickly becoming determined to solve…even if that means breaking the terms of her own watertight contract…
Ever thought you’d fall in love with a George? Would you picture someone reliable, slightly dorky, who had his own set of socket wrenches or a daredevillishly handsome cad?
I would pick the former. But then again…Mr Clooney? Who knew a George could be so sigh inducing?
Or a Hugh (Jackman, Bonneville, Grant) or a Bradley (Cooo-aiiiii-carumba-Cooper) or a Benedict. Benedict? Yup. We seem to have collectively swooned at the magnetic pull and dying-to-be-traced cheekbones of ol’ Bennie Boy Cumberbatch.
So this morning – coming up with the name of my new hero (I landed on Dr. Aidan Tate – Boom chica woo woo!) I went through a list of names with my pal and she tried to convince me Howard was a sexy name. I don’t know. I couldn’t bite. Then again – I returned to the George scenario. To me? Not sexy. George Clooney? Knee weakener. Howard? Eww. I still wasn’t there. But then it hit me – the name is less important than the man. Who is this guy? Could I make Howard sexy? Howard Halt.
Enhhh. Not so much. A but too costume drama.
Hmmm. He might be up to something. Howard Stone. Blonde or brunette? Piercing blue eyes or dark as a vat of Ecuadorian chocolate brown? Bolshie Alpha hero or a gentle paediatrician who would really love to settle down with someone who was as passionate about having a family as he was. A Howard Stone who would drop everything to help a mother whose child has been pushed off the top of a slide and a Howard Stone who got the other kid to apologise not by shouting but by getting him to realise the error of his own ways through humour. A Howard Stone who makes a ‘famous’ lasagna and laughs at your jokes. All of ’em. And has one of those Kirk Douglas dents in his chin that keeps teasing you to trace a finger along it.
Okay. I could probably like a Howard.
And a Will, a Tim, a Jack(!!!), a Finn and a Sam. I clearly like my solid, non-wavering, monosyllables. As long as the man who comes with them likes to talk. Okay – the floor is open: what are some of your favourite names and why?
PS – my latest hero to hit the shelves will be Jack Keller – fireman and chocolate milkshake lover. If you read The Surgeon’s Christmas Wish and want to find out what happened to Liesel….this is her story!