The Writing Life

Farewell to a Furry Co-author

Long before I saw my name on the spine of a book, I liked to say that my puppies were my co-authors. No, they didn’t add much to the story line, but they were always there to snuggle when a rejection note came in and later helped keep me company on late nights writing for deadline. A few weeks ago, I had to say goodbye to one of my dear friends, and I wanted to give a farewell to one of the goodest boys ever.

Domino was a pound puppy. When we brought him home, the shelter told us he was a six month old Lab and Dalmatian mix, and they thought he would be around 50 pounds. I still remember the vet’s face as she asked if it was okay if he was bigger. I said yes, but what are we talking?

He was a three month old Great Dane mix. We had many conversations over the years about the fact that just because he could put his head on the table, didn’t mean he got too. A lesson made more difficult when my girls came along. As toddlers they believed it was their mission in life to ensure he ate at least a part of their dinner every night. A mission he fully supported.

Domino was my gentle giant. He never met anyone who wasn’t a friend. In his younger years, he accompanied us on walks all over town, gladly taking any of the pets on the head offered. He barked whenever the doorbell rang and then promptly ran up the stairs to avoid whatever mischief might have been behind the door (brave was not an accurate adjective).

Agnes Sligh Turnbull is quoted as saying, Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. And I couldn’t agree more.

He was not great at editing, in fact he couldn’t tell a run on sentence from an expertly crafted one. But he was always at my feet while I typed away. Or laying his head on my lab to beg for a treat – which worked almost always (writers do love to procrastinate).

We still have out Abby girl, and a rescue near us has a lovable big guy that we are going to visit. But Domino will always hold a very special place in my heart, as all my lost fur buddies do.

So here’s to Domino…may the fields be green and the tennis balls plentiful until we meet again.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

June New Releases

Happy June!

We have a bunch of new releases for you to enjoy this month.

The Vet’s Unexpected Hero by Traci Douglass

In the midst of the hurricane…
…will she find safety in his arms?
Vet Lucy Miller is happy with her quiet, ordered life. But when a tropical storm bears down on her Florida Keys animal sanctuary, the arrival of devastatingly gorgeous, yet equally guarded, emergency medic Jackson Durand brings disorder—and desire! He’s there to rescue her, but Lucy suspects her red-hot reaction to Jackson will be much more dangerous than the storm raging overhead…
A First Response in Florida novel 

First Response in Florida duet
Book 1 – The Vet’s Unexpected Hero
Book 2 – Her One-Night Secret

The Pediatrician’s Twin Bombshell by Juliette Hyland

The wrong time…
…to meet Mr. Right?
Why is pediatrician Tessa all work and no play? Well, she’s far too used to people not believing in her. Still, Tessa can’t resist one—incredible!—night in nurse Gabe’s arms…and the chance to feel wanted. But it’s not just Tessa who is battling her past. Widower Gabe has his own scars to heal. So when Tessa discovers she’s pregnant, he’s determined to look after her! But is Tess ready to trust Gabe?

Reunited with the Heart Surgeon by Janice Lynn

Life pulled them apart…
…Can fate bring them back together?
The minute nurse Natalie met Dr. Will, it was love. Still, that didn’t make the constant disapproval from Will’s wealthy family any easier to bear… At breaking point, Natalie ended their relationship. So, when they’re tasked with planning a charity gala—together!—Natalie is stunned. How can she work with the man she never stopped loving? And what happens when one last night leads to a lifetime of consequences?

Her One Night Secret by Traci Douglass

A return, a reunion…
…A shocking revelation!
Firefighter Stacy Williams knows two things about her return to Key West. Her promotion gives her the security she needs to raise her son, and it will be almost impossible to suppress the memories of her passionate night with Dr. Luis Durand. Almost…until working on the hurricane response team brings an encounter with the tall, dark and nomadic doc! And the chance to make her life-changing confession…
A First Response in Florida novel

First Response in Florida duet
Book 1 – The Vet’s Unexpected Hero
Book 2 – Her One-Night Secret

Healing Her Emergency Doc by Caroline Anderson

His runaway date is back…
…for good?
When Laura and Tom find themselves competing for a job in Yoxburgh Park Hospital’s ER, it’s, well, awkward! Last time they met, Laura ran…before they could become more than friends. But with just one job on offer, what’s the harm in giving in to temptation? They’ll hardly be working together. Right? Wrong! And when Tom gets a life-changing diagnosis, can Laura convince Tom that she’s ready to be by his side—always?

A Baby to Rescue Their Hearts by Louisa Heaton

From partners…
…to parents!
Paramedic Theo Finch is a confirmed bachelor—with his life spent caring for others, from his sisters to his former army buddies, he doesn’t need any romantic entanglements. So why can’t he get his new colleague, paramedic Sophie Westbrook, out of his mind? Sophie is pregnant and going it alone, so Theo knows he should stay away… But could this brand-new life help them find a brand-new beginning—together?

Happy Reading! xo

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Spring is on the Way!

It’s April, and in the Hyland house that means it’s time to try not to kill the veggies my girls have been begging me to grow for years. Here is the thing…I covet my neighbor’s beautiful bounty, but my thumb has no touches of green. I joke that plants see me coming and push their nearly dead friend forward.

Come on Fred…take one for the team!

This year my brother-in-law (an avid gardener) set my girls up with twelve seedlings…each. So there are now twenty-four plants spouting on a table in my dining room. My co-authors have both voiced their displeasure that the plants are taking up prime window sun space.

If all goes well, we will have cantaloupe, cucumbers (my oldest wants to make pickles), tomatoes, watermelon, carrots and lettuce. Plus, I promised I would buy strawberry plants. May as well go all in right? Anyone else trying their hand at gardening? Or do you have a bright beautiful green thumb?

While I have never been a big gardener, I have always been impressed by them (and secretly jealous). So my next medical, The Pediatrician’s Twin Bombshell, has a heroine that loves creating green spaces.

You can read the opening of Tessa’s story now. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/bombshellfirstchapter

https://bit.ly/TwinBombshell
Quirky Stories

Brrrrrr!

I know that it is February. I know that in Ohio, February often means cold…and snow. However, the Texan in me is NOT a fan. I prefer the cold to be in my books and if forced to deal with the white stuff, I like to do it from the comfort of my living room with a warm cup of coffee and fuzzy socks.

My children and husband have a very different view! So over the last several days they have been taking full advantage of sledding and snow ball fights. Though the snow we have is not the heavy wet stuff that is best for building snow men and snow balls. I had no idea there were multiple types of snow, and what the building properties of each was, until I fell in love with a man who yearns for cold winters!

I enjoy the pictures of my girls having fun in the snow. But I am the queen of having hot cocoa ready for when the chill eventually drives them back in (usually within thirty minutes for my youngest and after I have to warn my oldest, she could get frostbite if she stays out any longer).

What about you? Do you yearn for sledding and snow fort building? Or are you more partial to the less wet, warm and toasty inside? (Yes, this was a biased way to ask the question – and I stand by it.)

Hope everyone is having a lovely winter, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. And for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, please feel free to send a bit of your summer heat this way!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

February New Releases

Happy February and as I prep this blog for release on February 3rd, it’s actually February 2nd and Groundhog Day, which is a thing here in North America. There are 3 main ground hogs I’m watching today, Puxatawny Phil, Shubencadie Sam and my local hero Wiarton Willie.

Anyways, I digress (you know the level of lockdown is bad when you’re talking about rodents excessively).

On to the new releases. Whether we get an early spring or 6 more weeks of winter, these medicals will get you warm and cozy.

The Doctor’s One Night to Remember by Charlotte Hawkes

A night to remember

A man she’ll never forget!After her failed engagement, a relationship is the last thing on junior doctor Isla Sinclair’s mind. She’s focused on her forthcoming new life, working aboard a prestigious cruise ship. But before she even reaches the gangplank, she meets Nikhil… Their connection is unlike anything Isla has experienced before! But Nikhil is clear. One—unforgettable!—night is all he can offer…leaving Isla wholly unprepared for their unexpected reunion aboard ship!

Reunited with Her Secret Prince by Susanne Hampton

Second chance with a doctor…

Forever with a prince!Four years ago, Dr. Daniel Dimosa disappeared and left nurse Libby McDonald with a broken heart…and a tiny life growing inside her. Now, unexpectedly reunited in the Caribbean, Libby’s in for another shock: Daniel, the father of her little boy, is a prince! Stuck together on assignment, Libby and Daniel discover that keeping the past in the past isn’t quite as easy as it sounds…

Awakening His Shy Vet by Shelley Rivers

They’re looking for a fresh start…

…with each other?After the tragic death of his wife, horse trainer Kern MacKinley shut himself off from the world—and love. Until the arrival of vet Ruby Day… Ruby may be reserved, but she has an unrivaled way with animals. Soon Kern discovers it’s not just her patients that Ruby has the ability to heal. But once he lets Ruby in, there’s no going back… Can he heal her, too?

A Surgeon with a Secret by Alison Roberts

It’s time…

…for the surgeon to take a chance!Pediatric surgeon Lachlan doesn’t do emotion. Until nurse Flick comes crashing into his orbit! She may be poised and professional, but it’s Flick’s warmth that tempts Lachlan to open up. Now, as his world begins to crumble, Lachlan knows she may be the only person he can trust with his secrets. Can Flick also show him they deserve a future—together?

From Harlequin Medical: Life and love in the world of modern medicine.

Twins Reunited on the Children’s Ward

Book 1: A Pup to Rescue Their Hearts

Book 2: A Surgeon with a Secret

A Stolen Kiss with the Midwife by Juliette Hyland

Dare these best friends…

…risk it all?Midwife Quinn Davis and Dr. Milo Russell have been friends forever. So why is it now that they’re working together things have become…awkward? Quinn can’t get Milo out of her mind—and when they share an explosive kiss, she’s left questioning everything! Free-spirited Quinn never planned on settling down…and Milo has a life plan of his own. Are they ready to think about a new life—together?

A Pup to Rescue Their Hearts by Alison Roberts

Could an unlikely bond…

…be the answer to their dreams?Nurse Stevie hates feeling out of her depth. But with a new job and a son who’s struggling to settle in, she needs help. She just didn’t expect it to come in the shape of her boss and one adorable dog! On paper, Josh is everything Stevie should avoid. But beneath his charming exterior is a heart also in need of rescuing…

From Harlequin Medical: Life and love in the world of modern medicine.

Twins Reunited on the Children’s Ward

Book 1: A Pup to Rescue Their Hearts

Book 2: A Surgeon with a Secret

I hope you’re all staying safe this month! Check in, how are you doing so far?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt: A Stolen Kiss with the Midwife

Let’s talk tropes! My sister and I love reading romance books and we’ve had more than one discussion on the tropes we love and hate. In fact, I still wish I had the discussion we had while I dished on my enjoyment of paranormal fated mate stories and her utter horror of the trope on tape! It was hilarious as I tried (in vain) to convince her of their wonderfulness. I still claim that if she could only find the right fated mate story…but I digress!

When I started A Stolen Kiss with the Midwife, I knew I was going to play with my sister and mine’s favorite tropes. She loves midwife stories and I will read anything with a best friends turned lovers tropes. What was born was Quinn and Milo’s happily ever after.

I have never had a book that was so easy to write. I think if I spent all my time writing best friends I’d be my happiest self. Though my editor might have something to say about it.

Quinn and Milo’s story is a February release, I hope you enjoy this short excerpt. You can find it from your favorite online seller here: https://bit.ly/StolenKissMidwife

Excerpt from A Stolen Kiss with the Midwife:

A hot cup of coffee pressed against her fingers and Quinn lifted it to her lips without opening her eyes. The black coffee was bitter, and a bit burned, but the caffeine kick was what she needed. And she was grateful for any distraction.

“Seriously, Quinn. What’s going on?”

A knee connected with hers as Milo slid into the chair across from her, and Quinn ignored the tingles that slid along her leg. She was tired, worried, and her emotions were tangled. That was the only reason she was reacting to Dr. Milo Russell this morning, she told herself, ignoring the fact that she’d felt those same tingles yesterday morning…and every other day since she’d walked into his arms at the airport eight months ago. Such a simple welcome that had shifted everything in Quinn’s soul.

Almost a year later and she still couldn’t explain the feelings.

Or why those emotions hadn’t made her pack her bags and flee.

Luckily, Quinn’s brain was too full of other worries to let that one take residency in the front of her mind today. Not that it ever wandered away for long, though…

Opening her eyes, Quinn tipped her cup at Milo as he took a seat beside her on the lounge chair. His jade eyes bore through her and she barely kept herself from leaning into him. Milo was her friend. Her best friend. He was the reason she’d leaped at the opportunity to work at St. Brigit’s.

Sure, he was gorgeous. Stunning. His deep dimples were the stuff of legend. She’d heard more than one single lady talk about what it might take to get those dimples to appear outside the birthing center. But Quinn never swooned over anyone. Not over her cheating ex-fiancé and certainly not over Milo. At least, that had been true until she’d moved back to California. Now she yearned for any contact with him.

Quinn and Milo had always just been Quinn and Milo. They’d been best friends since grade school when Quinn had refused to name the person who had started the epic food fight. She’d stood in the principal’s office, refusing to out the new kid, when Milo had marched in and declared that he’d thrown the first nugget. In truth, neither had thought tossing a few hard chicken nuggets would result in pandemonium and pudding on the walls—but they’d cleaned it together. And they’d had each other’s backs ever since.

Even when wanderlust had taken her to the other side of the country or the other side of the world, she and Milo always kept in touch. Video calls, emails and social media had meant they were only ever a GIF away. He was the one constant in her rambling life. Always there to make her laugh, to bounce ideas off about her next move, to make her happy.

He’d always just been her friend Milo and working together at St. Brigit’s was a first for them. She’d enjoyed every minute of it, even if she was in a constant battle to get her body to stop substituting friendly feelings with romantic ones.

The cover for A Stolen Kiss with the Midwife. The hero is embracing the heroine and almost kissing her forehead.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

September New Releases

Happy September!

We have a some brand spanking new releases this month!

Weekend Fling with the Surgeon by Janice Lynn

A boyfriend for the weekend…

A love of a lifetime?

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?

The Vet’s Secret Son by Annie O’Neil

Returning for forgiveness…

Staying as a father

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!

The Nurse’s Secret by Sue MacKay

A single mom and her daughter…

Could he complete their family?

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?

Healing the Vet’s Heart by Annie Claydon

Can his shy colleague…

…mend his wounded heart?

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!

Falling Again for the Single Dad by Juliette Hyland

Fatherhood has changed him—

But can she risk her heart?

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?

Enticed by Her Island Billionaire by Becky Wicks

Tempted…

By a man she can’t have!

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…

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

 

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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!

 

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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

 

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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?

 

 

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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?

 

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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

Adventures in Homeschooling – or Stuff I never Planned For!

Like many around the world, my girls were released from school by the governor of Ohio. This resulted in a bit of a mad scramble as my husband and I tried to adjust our schedules. My girls are in the fifth and second grades, and we dealt with more than a few understandable tears about missing friends and teachers.

Before I became a cubicle dwelling civil servant, I went through all the steps to be a high school teacher. Except actually getting my license. So, I told the girls we would be moving to a homeschooling routine because “Mom’s got this.”

UntitledNarrator voice: Mom did not, in fact, have this!

I decided that my girls would pick a topic and research it throughout the week and then give a small presentation. My youngest picked jellyfish. Which have no hearts or brains and have been around since before the dinosaurs! But I digress.

My oldest chose volcanoes. She loves all things rocks and has planned to be a geologist since she was six. She read through all her library books on volcanos during her reading and free time on day one. Maybe I should have made her pick books from the adult section…live and learn.

When she asked to do additional research online, I said sure. I figured she’d watch a few Youtube videos on volcanic eruptions and lava flow before getting bored and moving to something else. What could go wrong?

Pompeii. Pompeii. Pompeii.

Five minutes into research, my ten year old was looking through images with her eight year old sister. Who then came running to me after seeing the famous picture of the mom laying in the street covering her baby with her body. Less than forty-eight hours in, I had one in tears and another horrified.

If they’d been a bit older, this would have no doubt been a great learning assignment. Instead, it heightened fear in a time when fear is already baked into the atmosphere.  Mom fail!

From a geography standpoint, both my kids now know there are no volcanoes in Ohio. Or the surrounding states. And our topics for this week do not include any things that cause natural disasters.

One thing I did get right was letting them watch the Facebook lives that the Cincinnati Zoo is posting every day at 3 pm Eastern Standard Time.  So far, we have learned about hippos, sloths, porcupines, lions, and penguins! If you can’t catch it live, they are keeping the videos on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatizoo/

JulietteWe are also practicing cookie decorating this week:

Our schools are out for at least the next four weeks, so I am sure there will be more mom fails. And that’s okay because there will undoubtedly be mom successes (at least one or two).  I hope everyone stays safe and sane. Remember – you got this!

If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some resources I found helpful.

https://www.khanacademy.org/

https://www.homeschool.com/

https://www.thoughtco.com/homeschooling-basics-101-1832577

https://www.facebook.com/KennedySpaceCenterVisitorComplex/ – live science lessons