Origin Stories

Kate Hardy: Origins of a Dream-come-true

Hello!

Today I’m here to talk about my ‘origin story’ and my journey to publication.

First book launch, November 2002

Nobody in my family is a writer.

Actually, that’s not quite true: my mum used to make up stories for me when I was tiny, though she never wrote them down. Had she lived, I think we would’ve become a mum-and-daughter writing team, but sadly that wasn’t to be.

Mum and me (plus a loyal, lovable third!)

But I was always odd. I come from a very working-class background. Yet, there I was, obsessed with books from the moment I was old enough to pick one up. I could read from a precociously early age, and the quick way for my parents to keep me occupied was to give me a pencil, paper and a title (haha — not that dissimilar from how things work nowadays, because I never get my own titles!).

I talked my parents into giving me a portable typewriter for my sixth birthday because I wanted to be a writer. I typed away happily, creating pony stories and ghost stories. Everyone in the family (and at school) knew I was a bit strange. At eight or nine, we had to come up with three questions we really wanted to know the answer to. Others had questions such as, ‘How often should you feed your dog?’ Not me. No. The weird child in the class had other things on her mind. Exactly how far away is the moon? Who was the shortest-reigning queen in history? How long after you bury a body does it become a skeleton? (Fortunately my teacher knew I wanted to be an archaeologist and had already lent me books on Egypt. And my mum was amazing — she’d worked out that I was born to tell stories, and encouraged me to keep going.)

Mum

And then, when I was 13, I discovered M&B. (Sara Craven’s ‘The Devil at Archangel’ — years later, I was thrilled to meet her and tell her how she’d inspired me. And how amazing was it that she became my real-life friend, someone who met me at author events with a huge, huge hug?)

My romances didn’t get very far at that age, but I kept writing — very Tolkienesque stories (which I think might be lurking somewhere in the loft, along with reams of terrible poetry). I tried M&B again about ten years later, and was too young and naive to realise that a four-page rejection letter from M&B doesn’t actually mean ‘go away and never darken our doorway again’. So I wrote other stuff (including ghost stories — one of which was published by Virago), and lots of journalism. I wrote some raunchy novels. But, all the time, I wanted to write romance.  

And then, when I was pregnant with our daughter, my husband asked me why I didn’t try writing M&B Medicals, given that I loved romance and loved medical dramas on TV. Good point. So I read a few. They all seemed to be written by Aussie doctors, so I thought I probably wouldn’t fit.

But everything all changed the day I was writing an article about bronchiolitis (RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Chloe, aged 6 weeks, had this horrible cough. It was a couple of days before Christmas. Was I being paranoid, or was she showing the signs of everything I was writing about? I went for the cautious option (I’d much rather be called an overanxious parent than ignore something serious!) and called the doctor. Yes, indeedy, that was intercostal recession I was seeing. Textbook case. Half an hour after our appointment, Chloe was in hospital for a nasal swab, and she tested positive for RSV. She was on the ward for a week — on oxygen, fed by nasogastric tube.

The only way I got through that week at her bedside was to start writing my first Medical Romance. Once she was back home, I carried on. My agent loved it. M&B loved it. A Baby of Her Own was accepted on Chloe’s first birthday and published on her second birthday.

Chloe, a couple of months after bronchiolitis

Fast forward to today: she’s going to be twenty in a couple of weeks, and I’m currently working on my 94th M&B.

The point is: it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. If you want to write, then WRITE, and don’t let anything hold you back. Read craft books, yes, but don’t let yourself be boxed in by them; not everyone works the same way, and not every method works for every writer. If you’d rather work ‘into the mist’ (aka ‘pantster’) that’s fine, and if you’d rather plan everything up front (aka ‘plotter’), that’s also fine. Ditto being in the middle and doing a bit of both. Try it, and use what works for you.

No time? Then put half an hour in your diary every day. That could break down into two blocks of 15 minutes or 3 blocks of 10 minutes: whatever works with your schedule. Make sure you ringfence that time and do it every day. In that time, you write and do nothing else but write. Don’t edit, and don’t overthink or worry about the future: write. It doesn’t matter if it’s on screen, or scrawled with a pencil on paper (as long as you can read it!). One page (500 words) per day for 100 days will get you a first draft of a Mills & Boon in a little over 3 months. That’s when you start editing. The main thing is: write, because you can always change a page that doesn’t work, whereas a blank page gives you nothing to work with.

As for me: lockdown and Covid have both reminded me that life is short, so I’m sneakily writing the book of my heart. It’s something very, VERY unmarketable, so I might end up writing it just for me: but the story’s there and it won’t go away. Maybe it’s time to listen to my own advice… 😉

Oh, and my family? They all still think I’m weird. But I hope they’re quietly proud of me.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

The highs and lows of lockdown by Kate Hardy

Lockdown has been a strange, strange thing.

For me, it started when I had a ‘funny feeling’ the day before the UK went into lockdown, and insisted on the 5-hour drive (each way) to grab my daughter from uni and bring all her stuff home on the Monday. We managed to stop at McDonald’s for coffee and something to eat halfway home, literally half an hour before they closed for months – and a few minutes after we got home we had the notification that we were all on lockdown.

A week or so later: daughter and I both had a high temperature and no sense of smell… (No tests available, but we’re pretty sure we had a mild dose of Covid.)

The following six weeks, I struggled to write a single word, because writing a medical romance about a male midwife felt so insignificant and pointless when I looked at what was happening in the world. The only thing that got me through was early morning dog-walks to find the sunrise. (Spectacular, in my part of the world! No filters.)

Our pup Dexter (booked in February when it was confirmed that the pup’s mum was expecting) was born in lockdown, but thankfully restrictions eased so we actually got to meet him the week before he came home with us, and he’s been a total joy (see my personal blog for the Pipsqueak Posts – videos, pictures, and some things that might make you laugh). He’s become best friends with his older half-brother and he’s 18 weeks old now (seen here from his first day here through to last week).

My husband was working throughout (his job can’t be done at home and he’s classed as an essential worker). I managed to finish my medical romance. We also found a bluebell wood just up the road (ha, only took us 26 years of living here) and a field of poppies, and made a container vegetable garden (with varying success – it had to go behind chicken wire as our garden ‘helper’ kept harvesting things well before they were ready!).

I’ve had the joy of doing zoom calls with family and friends, and I’ve been grateful for facebook reading groups and meeting people who love books and dogs as much as I do. My weekly ballet class has moved online (with a ‘zoom coffee’ after) – which is as good as it gets in the ‘new normal’. But I’ve really missed theatre and live music seeing friends for coffee, and having a ‘plotwalk’ in the gorgeous medieval city where I live. So many wonderful things have been cancelled; I just have to believe that we *will* find a way to get it back. (The same as my son *will* get to take his driving test, which has been cancelled twice, and my daughter *will* get back to university. I think lockdown really has been hardest on the 16-24 age group.)

I also managed to write a True Love/HQ Romance, which was accepted last week. And I did my first ever Facebook Live, which was fun – though what I didn’t say was that I was suffering from a weird itchy rash and trying very hard not to scratch my shins throughout. Raised, bumpy, non-blanching and coalescing… Getting an appointment to see someone has been challenging. Phone triage (even with photographs) has been hopeless. The words ‘non blanching rash’ seemed to be met with ‘la la la, I can’t hear you’. Thankfully I got the good practice nurse, last time round, and he listened to what I was saying. It’s not contact dermatitis – I always wear long trousers for dog walks so I haven’t brushed against anything; no changes in toiletries/detergent/food. Not shingles, as it’s one-sided. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, antibiotics and anti fungals hadn’t touched it. It’s nothing to do with my underactive thyroid; and I’m not developing diabetes (recent annual blood tests are all in normal ranges). We’re going for a diagnosis of ‘idiopathic pruritic purpurae’ (cough – and you can bet this is going in my next booK!). Thankfully, now I’m heading towards the end of week 3, strong antihistamines and very strong corticosteroid cream seems to be helping – and cold compresses are my best friend. Could it be a Covid rash? Because I’m using the Zoe app, I was invited to have a test at our local drive-in centre. (Mask + closed window = very tricky for a deaf person… We improvised a lot with sign language!) The test was negative. So who knows?

775240B1-8F84-4F52-AB59-1DB056CA5D3E I’m just about to start my next medical romance, a duo about twin doctors which involves a kidney transplant. But this month my 90th M&B hits the shelves – and I had a lot of fun researching butterflies for it. So if you like the countryside, architecture, butterflies and a bit of a weepie with a happy ending, then hopefully you’ll enjoy this.

How has lockdown been for you?

Stay safe and keep washing your hands!

 

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, The Writing Life

Sharing the joy by Kate Hardy

Kate HardyFirstly – thank you from the bottom of my heart to our key workers, the ones who look after the sick and make sure we’re fed and keep us safe. We appreciate you.

Lockdown is a strange world. I’m super-lucky because (a) both kids are home with me (eldest finished uni, youngest just started so we had a 400-mile round trip to Manchester to get her because I had one of my ‘funny feelings’ – and then lockdown was announced that night). I live literally five minutes’ walk from open fields and woodlands, so I get to take my dog out at the crack of dawn and watch the sky become beautiful. I’ve been taking bits of birdsong on my phone and posting them on Facebook so people who can’t get out can hear/see it (sadly, I can’t post them here because WordPress seems to think that 6 seconds of birdsong means ‘file too big’!); and I’ve taken my proper camera out as well as my phone and caught some beautiful sunrises.

I’d like to share a couple of the pics here from three different mornings (the sun on the lefthand pic was actually a deep crimson, but the camera only picked that up behind the trees). I live on the outskirts of Norwich (roughly in the middle of the big bump above London if you look at a map of the UK), and it’s my favourite place in the world.

 

 

And then, of course, there is my BIG NEWS – those of you who follow me on Facebook know all about my beautiful Archie, and I’m thrilled to say that last weekend Archie’s half-brother was born (this was his dad’s last litter before retiring, so I went into nag mode the second our breeder told us, and Gerry finally agreed on the day after my birthday that we could have a pup – I’ve been excited about this ever since!). So meet Dexter – he’ll join our family at the beginning of June (or as soon as lockdown allows after then). Pre-lockdown, the plan was to go over and meet the pups and the pup would choose us, but in these strange days we had to do it by photographs. What settled me was seeing all the pups together – one all squished up in the middle just caught my eye and I thought, ‘he’s ours’. We know the mum’s dad as well, and our breeder tells us that the mum is an absolute sweetheart, so we know we’ll have a pup with a gorgeous temper like Archie. We can’t wait to meet him!

 

Stay safe, everyone, and keep looking for the joy – it’s still out there. And I hope that when this is all over the good bits will stay: keeping in closer touch with our family and friends, and being kinder and more considerate. Love to you all, Kate xxx

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life, Travels Around the World

Refilling the well – aka Tut!

Kate HardyI’ve had the most wonderful weekend in London. The tickets had been booked for months and months – and on Saturday I went to the Tutankhamun exhibition with my best friend. I went with her (and my husband and kids) when it was at the O2 about 10 years ago, and I went to the British Museum one in 1972 (I was very small and don’t remember that much of it, but it’s definitely where my fascination with Egypt started).

This one was spectacular. And fascinating. And we got to see things that hadn’t been out of Egypt until this particular ‘world tour’.

Bits I loved most? (Apologies; this will be a bit pic-heavy!)

The reed stylus case, a linen glove (3500 years old and in wonderful condition), and a vessel used in the ‘opening of the Mouth’ ceremony that was apparently shaped like its hieroglyph.

Statues, large and small. (The middle one is the guardian statue and it had obsidian eyes.)

Details – the drawing and lion on a bow case, and look at the toes on this statue!

It was absolutely fascinating. I learned that the Egyptians used boomerangs for hunting (waves to my Aussie mates – I couldn’t believe it, either, but there were 3500-year-old boomerangs in front of me). I learned that the Egyptian week had 10 days instead of 7. I learned how canopic jars worked, and how mummies were put together – not just the wrapped mummy, but all the layers on top of that.

Obviously *the* mummy case wasn’t there (too fragile), but the rest of that layer was exhibited. The gold etc was impressive, but I found the art around it much more interesting. (I would’ve liked more on the medical stuff, but sadly…)

DB09A4C6-2824-4CA6-BB5F-AD2B02389951It’s also very topical for me, because my latest book features an archaeologist — and although it’s not a medical, it kind of is because it’s an amnesia book. (And because it’s my first amnesia story, and because I’m interested in the medicine behind it… you can guess where this is going! Anyway, One Night to Remember is out now. (If you’re interested in Egypt, Regency England, the Roman baths, or cello music, this is totally up your street.)

So my question for you is – what’s the most memorable exhibition you’ve ever seen?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

December New Releases

I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of another a year! And we have some great new releases to end off 2019. Enjoy and tell us what’s on your TBR pile! 🙂

DecemberMedical1

 

A Puppy and a Christmas Proposal by Louisa George

Her ex-fiancé…

…is giving her paws for thought!

Alex Norton devastated Beth Masters when he told her he could no longer marry her. The last thing she wants this Christmas is to come face-to-face with him, clutching an adorable puppy! Warm-hearted vet Beth can’t say no to a four-legged patient in need, but she’ll need to guard her damaged heart from delicious doc Alex. Which becomes impossible when he finally reveals the reason why he left…

 

DecemberMedical2

 

Making Christmas Special Again by Annie O’Neil

Can the magic of Christmas…

…teach them to love again?

In this Pups that Make Miracles story, vet Esme Ross-Wylde simply wants to offer A&E consultant Max Kirkpatrick the proceeds from her charity ball to keep his Plants and Paws therapy unit open. Until this lone-wolf doc reawakens all her senses! Dangerous ground for Esme, who’s vowed never to love again… Can a week together at her castle this Christmas heal their wounded hearts?

Pups that Make Miracles quartet

Book 1 – Highland Doc’s Christmas Rescue
Book 2 – Festive Fling with the Single Dad
Book 3 – Making Christmas Special Again
Book 4 – Their One-Night Christmas Gift

 

DecemberMedical3

 

Mistletoe Proposal on the Children’s Ward by Kate Hardy

From Santa…

…with love!

Children’s doctor Anna Maskell loves Christmas. But Muswell Hill Memorial’s new locum surgeon, Jamie Thurston, hates it! So Anna makes him a deal—if she teaches him to embrace Christmas again, he’ll play Santa to their little patients! But as Anna tempts him with the joys of the season, they also discover a connection neither expected. Can Jamie find the courage to give Anna what she truly needs this Christmas—his love?

 

DecemberMedical4

 

Single Dad in Her Stocking by Alison Roberts

The greatest gift he could give her?

A family…

After losing her baby, and sacrificing her pediatric career, Emma spends every Christmas as an emergency locum—and this year she’ll be covering A&E consultant Max Cunningham. Their one kiss years ago was unforgettable, and now that this ex-playboy is daddy to three orphaned children, he’s dangerously tempting! But as Max welcomes Emma into his home, she soon wishes her family for Christmas could be forever…

 

DecemberMedical5

 

Taming Her Hollywood Playboy by Emily Forbes

Redeemed…

…by his fake fiancée!

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 open Oliver up to something he’s never had. Is this girl from the outback the key to unlocking his heart?

 

DecemberMedical6

 

Their One-Night Christmas Gift by Karin Baine

An unexpected Christmas arrival…

…on his doorstep!

In this Pups that Make Miracles story, twelve years ago neurologist Charles ended his engagement to orthopedic surgeon Harriet to fulfill his duty to his family—he couldn’t let Harriet sacrifice her surgical dreams for him. But a recent chance reunion at a medical conference led to one more unforgettable night… And what should’ve been the perfect goodbye is now just the beginning… Harriet’s arrived at Heatherglen Castle Clinic—pregnant!

Pups that Make Miracles quartet

Book 1 – Highland Doc’s Christmas Rescue
Book 2 – Festive Fling with the Single Dad
Book 3 – Making Christmas Special Again
Book 4 – Their One-Night Christmas Gift

 

Happy Reading! ❤

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Getting organised by Kate Hardy

Kate HardyWhen I last posted, things were in a bit of a state of flux. We were waiting for exam results, and I’m thrilled to say our daughter got in to her first-choice uni (though I miss her horribly – she’s five hours away!). But now things are settling down, with our son back home from uni and our daughter moved away to uni, and I’m getting used to a whole new set of routines – and so is the dog!

The biggest change is to the mornings. Our son has a six-month chemistry job, which is wonderful (very good experience, plus time hopefully to get through his driving test, so applying for a permanent job next year will be easier) – but it means I need to drop him at the train station at 6.15. In turn, that means the dog is getting a rather earlier walk! We’ve been lucky to see some amazing sunrises. (And we won’t talk about the flooding this weekend, when we got two inches of rain on Sunday and a few major roads became impassable…)

261CBDD3-2422-4059-A550-8370DAB296F8

I’m back at the point of being able to organise myself again. So I have my diary and two small whiteboards – one on the fridge so I can organise meals for the week/see appointments and everyone’s work shifts at a glance (which also makes it easier to do the grocery shopping list), and one propped on the piano so I know what I’m doing each day re work projects and exercise routine. It’s all very nerdy, but if I don’t tick things off then things just get missed.

How do you organise yourself? What’s your top tip?

Kate Hardy has two new releases coming up: The Soldier Prince’s Secret Baby Gift in October (if you like snow, Father Christmas and royal romances, this will be up your street) and Mistletoe Proposal on the Children’s Ward (which you’ll enjoy if you like Christmassy things and ballet).

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

July New Releases!

Happy July! We have some brand spanking new releases for you this month. Perfect for the beach or to snuggle up under a blanket with, depending on which part of the world you’re from!

JulyRelease1The Army Doc’s Baby Secret by Charlotte Hawkes

His wife is back…

…with his secret son!

Since losing his leg on a mission, soldier Zeke Jackson has worked hard and come a long way; now a multi-millionaire he’s also committed to helping others. Yet nothing can prepare him for the moment his wife, army doctor Tia Farringdale, walks back into his life and reminds him just how powerful their connection still is… And Tia isn’t alone — she’s brought his son with her!

 

JulyRelease2Saved by Their One-Night Baby by Louisa George

Can a shock baby…

…redeem this damaged doctor?

In this SOS Docs story, the last person pediatrician Ethan Reid expects to see on board the rescue boat during his latest humanitarian mission is nurse Claire Durand. The woman he shared an electrifying, anonymous encounter with is now his newest colleague! Life’s taught Ethan to keep everyone at arm’s length, but Claire’s bombshell changes everything. Because Ethan’s no longer alone — Claire’s pregnant, with his baby!

SOS Docs duet

Book 1 — Saved by Their One-Night Baby

Book 2 — Redeeming Her Brooding Surgeon

 

JulyRelease3Redeeming Her Brooding Surgeon by Sue MacKay

He couldn’t save his friend…

Can she save his bruised heart?

In this SOS Docs story, haunted by the fact he couldn’t save his best friend, brooding surgeon Chase Barrington dedicates himself to saving lives. He won’t get close to anyone again, but is blindsided by a passionate kiss with stunning ex-army doc Kristina Morton. Suddenly Chase is on a rollercoaster of emotions, but can he leave the past behind and embrace a future with Kristina?

SOS Docs duet

Book 1 — Saved by Their One-Night Baby

Book 2 — Redeeming Her Brooding Surgeon

 

JulyREelase4Pregnant by the Single Dad Doc by Louisa Heaton

Working with her ex…

…leads to unexpected consequences!

Turning her life around after a crushing loss, medical student Ellie Jones is shocked to discover her new mentor is Dr. Logan Riley—who broke her heart years earlier! Single dad Logan’s hands are full raising his autistic daughter, but Ellie finds herself more drawn to him than ever. And when the family losses they’ve both experienced bring them closer, reigniting their old flame, it leads to an unplanned surprise…

 

JulyRelease5A Nurse to Tame the ER Doc by Janice Lynn

Their connection is undeniable…

Will it last forever?

Nurse Taylor Hall is finally putting her life back together post-divorce. And a fling with sexy playboy Dr. Jack Morgan, when they’re both working at a music festival, is the perfect way to move on. Their chemistry is electric, but Taylor isn’t looking for commitment and besides Jack’s leaving town soon… Unless their deep unexpected bond can convince Taylor to fight for a second chance at forever…

 

JulyRelease6A Nurse and a Pup to Heal Him by Kate Hardy

A nurse, her puppy…

And the family he never thought he’d have?

After losing his wife and baby to his best friend, guarded GP Ben Mitchell’s sworn off love. But nurse Toni Butler and her adorable therapy dog Archie are drawing him out of his shell. When a romantic weekend in Vienna leads to an unexpected pregnancy, Ben’s painfully reminded of the family he lost. What will it take for Ben to believe this family’s for keeps?

 

Happy Reading! xo

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases, The Writing Life

Running and techy stuff by Kate Hardy

Kate HardyIn my last post, I talked about the challenge I’ve set myself this year: running the 10k Race for Life on May 12th to raise money for cancer research. Race day is only six weeks away – and it’s definitely a challenge still! I’m come to terms with the fact I won’t be able to run the whole thing from start to finish. But what I can do is intervals: so that’s a couple of minutes running and a minute fast walking. I’m going for endurance now and adding 5 minutes to each session until I hit 10k.

This is me, this morning, at the gym: red-faced and sweaty after clocking up an hour on the treadmill. And here are my Fitbit stats – because, being me, I have techy stuff to support me.

 

 

The first thing the Fitbit – I love it because I can see how I perform during a workout and where I need to tweak things (in my normal training, to make it harder, but here it’s to see where I’m flagging and what I can do to get myself over the humps and keep going). I know money is tight, but if you’d like to sponsor me 50p or even the price of a cup of coffee, all donations are really welcome and the link is here. (But some rah-rah cheering would be equally appreciated!)

imageThe other thing is something called a Compilot – it basically streams my phone to my hearing aids (because my hearing is so poor that I can’t use headphones like normal people do). You have to wear it round your neck for it to stream the signal, so I needed to find a way of attaching it to my running shirt. I was going to make a little padded bag and use safety pins, but I thought I’d check the running shops first to see if anyone had something that proper runners use to keep their keys in etc. What I found is a ‘running buddy’ which works with magnets. Utterly brilliant. You can get bigger ones which would fit a phone as well, but this is just the right size to clip onto my neckline. It’s wonderful to be able to hear music again. I’m putting my playlist together and basically what works for me is short songs with a strong beat (about 125 beats per minute) that I can ‘sing’ along to. What works for me is a mix of Wham’s Freedom, Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ and Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of 69’ – all suggestions welcome!

imageKate’s latest book is Finding Mr Right in Florence – if you like art, you’ve ever enjoyed the TV programme ‘Fake or Fortune’ or you just love Florence, this book has your name on it…!