Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews, New Releases

February New Releases

Welcome to February medical romance fans. A great line up for you this month!

Carrying The Surgeon’s Baby by Amy Ruttan

What happened in Vegas…has life-changing consequences!

med6

An impulsive Las Vegas encounter that left practical Dr Emily West married to world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr Ryan Gary should have simply been a lesson learned – except now she’s pregnant with his baby!

When Ryan arrives at Emily’s Seattle hospital to assist on a case, they’re reunited and their powerful spark reignites. But can working side-by-side with Emily convince lone-wolf Ryan he’ll be the perfect dad, now and always?

 

 

Heart Surgeon, Prince…Husband! by Kate Hardy

med5

A convenient proposal…an inconvenient attraction!

Prince Luciano Bianchi is a top heart surgeon – but as a future king, he’s expected to rule, not operate! To convince his family saving lives is where his heart lies, he proposes a temporary convenient marriage to his new colleague, workaholic cardiologist Kelly Phillips.

Of course, there’s no risk of either of them falling in love – until their whirlwind ‘romance’ starts to feel tantalisingly real!

 

 

 

Island Doctor To Royal Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Working side by side…With a secret prince!

med4

In desperate need of staff for her small clinic on a beautiful Malaysian island, Dr. Arissa Cotter accepts the help of tourist Dr. Philippe Aronaz, little knowing her knight in shining armor is also a prince! But when he sweeps her away to his Mediterranean kingdom, she discovers Philippe faces battles of his own.

Arissa has always hidden herself away—dare she step into the spotlight and stand by her prince’s side?

 

 

 

Nurse To Forever Mom by Susan Carlisle (Single Dad Docs)

Could a temporary arrival…Lead to a forever mommy?med3

 

In this Single Dad Docs story, Maple Island Clinic founder Dr. Cody Brennan is committed to protecting himself and his two little girls from any more heartbreak. But vibrant temp nurse Stacey Ryder challenges him and their emotional connection slips past his defenses.

As Stacey’s time at the clinic draws to an end, can Cody and his daughters convince her she’s the one they’ve been waiting for?

 

 

 

The Baby They Longed For by Marion Lennox

med2One night in the surgeon’s arms…one miraculous surprise!

Obstetrician Addie and surgeon Noah’s relationship has always been complicated since he broke the news that her fiance had jilted her. Years later, finding themselves working and living together, they both agree to keep things professional. Until one intense day leads to one magical night, resulting in the miracle neither ever believed possible!

Now they must put the past behind them if they want to build a future…together.

 

 

The Single Dad’s Proposal by Karin Baine (Single Dad Docs)med1

Will their newfound love…Lead to an island wedding?

In this Single Dad Docs story, aristocratic surgeon Rafael Valdez might be the heartthrob of Maple Island, but he has eyes for only one girl—his daughter, Gracie! Until child life specialist Summer Ryan helps Rafael realize he doesn’t have to cope with the special care Gracie needs alone.

Can he convince Summer there’s room in his life—and his heart—for her, too?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Setting up a challenge by Kate Hardy

Kate HardyThis is the year I’ve set myself a challenge. One that I have a sneaking suspicion might actually be a little bit much for me, but I’m still going to try. Wait for it. Wait for it… I’m going to run the 10km Race for Life (for Cancer Research) in May.

Now, I’m not a runner. Give me a three-hour dance aerobics class or HIIT session, and I’d do it happily. But the idea of having to run for about 75 minutes… Um. That’s hard. I’ve never done that before. When I did the 5k, six years ago, it was half walk, half jog.

But it’s for a really good cause. Someone I love very much is going through chemo at the moment, and although I offered to shave my hair in solidarity she banned me from doing that 🙂 So this was my alternative solution: raising money for cancer research by doing something I am really, really not good at. To be honest, I’m terrified that I’m going to fall flat on my face and hurt myself. Especially as I already have a dodgy knee and a frozen shoulder.

So the next step was seeing a physiotherapist. (Knee fixed and has the green light for my training plan of couch to 5K, then add three minutes to every run after that until I hit 10k. Shoulder is going to take a bit longer.)

It would be lovely to be able to listen to music while I run. (I train at the gym, on the treadmill, when I’d much rather be bouncing about with a step and dumb-bells and a skipping rope.) But I can’t use headphones – without my hearing aids, I’d need my phone on full volume, which would obviously do more damage. I am however going to see the local deaf association’s assistance clinic this week, because they might be able to set me up with a gizmo that works with my phone and streams the music to my hearing aids. That would be immensely cool and I have my fingers crossed.

So. Challenge there. Mountain to conquer. And if anyone would like to sponsor me even 50p (because I know money is tight), or just wish me luck, I’d really appreciate it. My fundraising page is here (opens in a new page) and if anyone has great ideas for good music to run to, I’m all ears!

imageKate’s latest book is Heart Surgeon Prince… HUSBAND!

Luciano Bianchi is a top heart surgeon—but as a future king he’s expected to rule, not operate! To convince his family that saving lives is where his heart lies, he proposes a temporary convenient marriage to his new colleague, workaholic cardiologist Kelly Phillips. Of course there’s no risk of either of them falling in love—until their whirlwind ‘romance’ starts to feel tantalisingly real!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

The dark days of December and the art of self-care by Kate Hardy

Kate HardyDecember’s a bit of a tough month for me. I know it’s the one where everyone’s looking forward to Christmas, and it’s all glitter and tinsel and lovely stuff… But it’s also the month where I lost both my parents. My dad’s anniversary is today (where have the last eight years gone?) and my mum’s is just before Christmas. So this is the month where I find it hard to be my usual disgustingly happy, exuberant self. I want to celebrate my lovely memories rather than brood (both my parents would be absolutely furious with me), but there’s this big dark cloud that just seems to hang over me.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles at this time of year. For me it’s about getting through the days between now and Christmas and making myself smile, even when I don’t feel like it. Which means taking care of myself properly (aka cramming every moment so I don’t have to think). My tips for self-care:

  • Move – it stimulates endorphins. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dog-walk, dancing yourself silly, hitting the gym, swimming – whatever you enjoy. Just move. You’ll feel better.
  • Get outside – again, it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in a pretty spot having a coffee, or going for a walk: just get some sunlight. (Ironic, as it’s tipping down with rain here as I write this – but it’s one of the reasons why I go out with the dog just before dawn, so I get the pretty bits of the sky. This is our favourite spot at the beginning/end of the walk, where we catch the early sun reflected in the water. How lucky are we to have this on our doorstep?)
  • image
  • Connect – tell someone you love them. Think about what you appreciate about the people in your life and tell them – in person, by text/email/a daft notecard. Arrange to meet up with a family member or friend for lunch/coffee/theatre.
  • Do something you enjoy – for me, that’s a trip to the theatre or a gig, watching a film, or playing the guitar or piano (not to a high standard, but I don’t do it for other people – I do it for me), or a museum or pottering around old churches. Or, at this time of year, Christmas lights. (This is Somerset House from last weekend – I didn’t go skating, but I’d gone to London to see an exhibition at the British Library and also Antony & Cleopatra with my best friend, and we took a walk round the South Bank after the performance.)
  • image
  • Nourish – make sure you’re eating well. When you’re miserable, it’s tempting to stuff your face with something sugary, but it’s going to make you crash. (And this is why I’ve recently rejoined WeightWatchers – very impressed by their new attitude, and it’s making me rethink my choices so I enjoy what I eat and I don’t have to feel deprived.)
  • Create – if drawing or painting makes you feel happy, do it! (I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, so my ‘create’ is pottering about in the kitchen, creating something nice.)

I think the key here is being as kind to yourself as you are to other people. May December be kind to you – and be kind to yourselves.

imageKate’s latest book, A Diamond in the Snow, is a True Love rather than a Medical – but if you like Christmas decorations and lights, you like stately homes and ballrooms and all things Regency – oh, and dogs, then this has your name on it…

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Remembering Margaret Barker

We’re taking some time today to remember a wonderful author and friend.  Margaret Barker, author of over 60 titles for Harlequin/Mills and Boon Medical Romance, passed away earlier this year.  Writers Kate Hardy and Caroline Anderson, and Senior Editor Sheila Hodgson share their memories of Margaret, and Kate has also shared three photographs (Kate is the lady behind the lens in the first two).

Caroline Anderson

caroline and margaret
Margaret and Caroline

I first met Margaret in the early 1990s as my first book hit the shelves, after I’d been asked to do an interview on local radio with Mary Lyons, who had been writing romances for Mills & Boon for some time.  It was a hilarious interview, and afterwards Mary invited me to lunch in Colchester with another author, Margaret Barker, who also wrote Medicals.  It was a fabulous lunch, and Margaret then invited me to her house for an author ‘do’.  What a great introduction to life as a real author!  We had a marvellous lunch cooked for us by Margaret’s charming husband John, and it was a great day.  I saw Margaret frequently after that, at theirs, or at Mills & Boon functions, and it was always a joy to see her and John who often accompanied her.  On one occasion Margaret and I did a library talk somewhere near St Albans.  We dragged our husbands along, too, which of course involved lunch as well, which I began to realise seems to be a feature of author get-togethers!

Margaret came to London every year for our annual Author lunch, usually accompanied by John until his untimely death in 2006, and then she continued to come alone, still every bit as vibrant and elegant and funny as ever.  Then bit by bit she herself became more frail, until her osteoporosis was so bad she was unable to make the journey alone.

She had countless fractures but brushed them aside and carried on, and it never dimmed her spirit, she never lost her sense of humour, her charm, her wicked twinkle, her elegance or glamour.  She’ll be sorely missed, not least by her large and very close family of whom she was always so proud.

Rest in peace, my friend, and give my love to John.  I’m glad you’re together again at last.

Sheila Hodgson

margaret, sheila, caroline
Margaret, Sheila and Caroline

I was Margaret Barker’s editor for many years, and she was always a lady of style and glamour, the soul of any party, spirited, a little naughty (loved bubbles) but always so wonderfully genuine and charming with it.  But it was just part of the wonderful exuberance and joy of life that was essentially Margaret.  She approached every turn with positivity and grace.  She was never afraid of doing something different, she loved travel, lived in France, and did everything from nursing, teaching, writing and was also a mother of three, her family, including her many grandchildren were at the heart of everything for Margaret.

I remember she used to love to meet me for lunch at the Royal Overseas League, where she would relish chatting about her next storyline, she would jump on every idea we discussed and make it into something wonderful. And I’ll never forget the first time I met her after the death of her husband, she talked about him with such love, and such joy but she also was looking forward to what came next, her next book, her next venture, she particularly touched me that day.  And she never allowed any health issue of her own to stop her from doing anything.  Margaret always found a way.

She was such a wonderful lady, you couldn’t help but smile and laugh in her presence, and her belief that everything would turn out fine and that there was always more of life to be enjoyed was an inspiration, both to me, and of course it was the essence of her romance writing.  I will miss her hugely, and I know that her readers will too.

Kate Hardy

102-0271_IMG
Kate, Sheila Danton, Jennifer Taylor, Caroline, Roger Sanderson and Margaret.

I first met Margaret Barker in the late 1990s at an East Anglia RNA lunch. She was the first M&B author I’d ever met and she was INCREDIBLY glamorous! Very charming, very funny, and great company. She used to head the RNA chapter back then, and persuaded me to organise a couple of lunches. I do remember her trying to persuade me to take over the RNA chapter – but I had to decline as I’d discovered earlier that week I was expecting my youngest.

She was always a delight to be with at M&B and RNA lunches, full of wonderful tales of her travels in India, and she was always very kind. She always greeted me with a hug (a gentle one in later years when her osteoporosis took hold) – and to be honest the M&B author lunch this year is going to put a lump in my throat because it won’t feel the same without her and Sara Craven.

When I think of diamonds and champagne, I’ll always think of Margaret Barker, with a very big smile.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

September Releases!

Howdy all and Happy September. Wecome to Autumn for the northern hemisphere and hello spring in the southern hemisphere! Six new books to feast your eyes upon including out latest debut author and two wonderful covers celebrating the diversity of human beings and the diversity of experience in love, sex and romance.

 

The Nurse’s Pregnancy Miracle by Ann McIntosh

med6She’s expecting a baby…not to meet her Mr. Right!

After leaving her cheating ex, nurse Nychelle Cory decided to have the baby she’s always wanted through IVF. As she’s determined to raise her child alone, she must ignore her inconvenient attraction to gorgeous colleague Dr. David Warmington. Especially as David has his own reasons for not wanting a family. But could Nychelle’s long-awaited miracle help heal them both?

 

 

 

The Family They’ve Longed For by Robin Giannamed5

 

Paediatric surgeon Rory Anderson is dreading returning to her small Alaskan hometown and seeing her ex, local doctor Jacob Hunter! After everything they lost, discovering he’s a single dad brings back so many painful memories. Only when it becomes clear their chemistry’s as powerful as ever, Rory dares to hope Jacob and his son could be the family she’s always longed for…

 

 

 

Carrying the Single Dad’s Baby by Kate Hardy

med4One night of comfort… One unexpected miracle!

Beatrice Lindford’s fresh start is abruptly derailed the moment she starts working with gorgeous single dad Dr Daniel Capaldi. He instantly ruffles her guarded feathers, but Beatrice must keep her mind on her new job and away from the temptation of Daniel’s charming yet sorrowful smile. Both try – and fail! – to keep their professional distance, and they soon find themselves unexpectedly bound by a tiny miracle.

 

 

 

The Surgeon’s One-Night Baby by Charlotte Hawkes

A desire they can’t resist…A consequence they’ll cherish forevermed3

Still reeling from her failed marriage, Archana Coates is ready to rediscover the vibrant, fun-loving woman she once was. So an unexpected encounter with her childhood crush, playboy surgeon Kaspar Athari, leads to temptation she can’t resist… Then Archie arrives in LA—pregnant! And when she and Kaspar discover their baby is at risk, Archie will do anything it takes to fight for her new little family.

 

 

 

 

Rescued By Her Mr Right by Alison Roberts (Bondi Bay Heroes)

med2Dancing in the best man’s arms…is her biggest risk of all!

In this Bondi Bay Heroes story, injured nurse Harriet Collins agrees to let hunky paramedic Jack Evans get her fighting fit and back on the Specialist Disaster Response team. After all, it’s purely platonic, right? Plus she’s already nursing a broken heart. But when she’s the bridesmaid and Jack’s the best man at their teammates’ wedding, Harriet wonders if it could be more…

 

 

 

 

med1

 

Healed By Hr Army Doc by Meredith Webber (Bondi Bay Heroes)

Her army doc returns…but can she tell him her secret?

In this Bondi Bay Heroes story, general surgeon Kate Mitchell is reunited with Dr. Angus Caruth—the gorgeous army doc she spent one night with three years ago. Working together on the Specialist Disaster Response team reignites their flame, but before Angus moves on again will Kate finally be able to share their secret heartache…and believe their temporary fling can lead to forever?

 

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

Taking the Waters by Kate Hardy

 

Kate HardyBack in the nineteenth century, people used to go to a spa town and ‘take the waters’ to cure themselves of anything from skin complaints to leprosy…

And this weekend I fulfilled a long-time wish to go and see the Roman spa and baths at Bath. (If you’ve read Unlocking the Italian Doc’s Heart, my last Medical, you might have noticed the reference to the Roman Baths in London  – this is a continuation!)

The hot springs in Bath bubble up into three springs at the rate of 1.17 million litres a day, at a temperature of 46 degrees C.

In Celtic times the goddess Sulis was worshipped there (hence the town’s Roman name, Aquae Sulis) and then in Roman times the bath complex was built in about 60AD and Minerva was worshipped. There are remnants of a temple here as well as the bath house, changing rooms and saunas; and a really stunning survival is the lead curse tablets. Citizens who were unhappy about something would write it down on a lead tablet, roll it up or fold it into an ‘envelope’, and throw it into the spring to let the goddess deal with it. One of the curse tablets is written in Celtic – it’s the ONLY known piece of Celtic writing. Anywhere. In the world. (It’s untranslatable, but I was very excited about it.)

Piccies: the Great Bath.

image

The head of Minerva.

image

Curse tablets (one Roman, one folded over, one Celtic – you might be able to make out the diagonal downstroke of the letter L). Plus Roman remains and a middle-aged medical author…

 

Originally people bathed in the waters for a cure (anything from skin ailments to leprosy), and from the 17th century people drank it. You can actually try the waters here in a little paper cone. As a Medical author, I knew my duty was clear. As an English graduate, I knew Dickens had mentioned the waters in The Pickwick Papers – Sam says, ‘I thought they’d a wery [sic] strong flavour of warm flat irons.’

image

I was expecting it to be vile (because the biggest component of the 43 minerals is sulphate), but I wasn’t expecting it to be warm (despite what I said about the temperature above!). And, actually, it wasn’t that bad. ‘Interesting’ is probably the right word. It didn’t restore me on a very hot day (that was the iced coffee I had later!). But it was interesting…

imageKate’s latest book, Carrying the Single Dad’s Baby, is out later in August. If you like Notting Hill, astronomy and cute children, this one’s for you 🙂

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

An Irrational Fear

I’m afraid of dogs.  I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been, but I’m told it all started when I was three years old.  An incident with a very large dog and an owner, who thought that trying to force a screaming terrified child to hug her dog was a good idea, left me physically unhurt but not without scars.  To this day, man’s best friend is still capable of filling my heart with terror.

Things have got better over the years.  When I was little, I went through phases of having to be dragged out of the house, I was so afraid I might meet a dog.  My mother would put pepper dust onto the soles of my shoes, telling me that it would keep dogs away from me.  (I’m not sure that this was a wholly practical proposition but I believed it because my Mum had told me in no uncertain terms that it was true, and it gave me the confidence to walk to school on my own.)  In my teens, I’d avoid streets where I knew ‘monsters’ lived, and cross the road if I saw someone approaching me with a dog on a lead.

In my twenties, I made a breakthrough.  On a long train journey I fell into conversation with a couple who were blind, each of whom had a guide dog.  These beautiful, placid creatures didn’t seem so very bad to me, and after a while I gathered up the courage to ask if I might touch one of them.  They agreed, giving their dogs a command to sit still, so that I could reach out and stroke them.  I’ll always remember this couple, who so generously helped me face my fears and shared in my achievement.

And… it’s better now.  I walk wherever I please, and if I give dogs a wide berth, and sometimes jump when one takes notice of me, then so be it.  But here’s the thing.  It’s an irrational fear.  Annie O’Neil’s gorgeous, gentle Bernese Mountain Dog failed to scare me even slightly, even though I’m sure he was bigger than me!  Another friend has a Red Setter, whose main aim in life seems to be to knock visitors over and lick them to death, and I can deal with that.  I adore Kate Hardy’s and Lynne Marshall’s Facebook posts about their dogs, and have been known to reach out and stroke them on my computer screen.  But at times, even the tiniest dog can have me racing for cover, and I can’t be persuaded to approach it.

The only answer I have for loving owners who push their dogs towards me, telling me that I can’t possibly be afraid of their dog, is that yes actually, I can.  I have no idea why some dogs scare me and some don’t, but I’m always immeasurably grateful to those owners who allow me to keep my distance if I need to and approach their dog in my own time.

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s to respect other people’s fears.  To accept that it takes courage to face them, and and that everyone needs to be able to dictate what they can and can’t do.  In every other area of my life, I can assess risk and use logic to decide what I should and shouldn’t be afraid of.  I’ll pick up the biggest spider from the bathtub and carry it carefully out of the house, I know that flying is statistically a very safe form of transport… and so on.  But this is a fear I can’t explain, and if it doesn’t make much sense to anyone else I guess that’s the thing about irrational fear…

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that after all this I’d tell you that I don’t like dogs.  But strangely enough I love dogs.  I’ve always wanted one, even though I know it’s impossible.  Imagine me at a puppy training class 🙂  Or in the park, when another dog wanders innocently up to make friends with mine 🙂  But if anyone’s ever wondered why so many of my heroes and heroines have dogs of their own…  well they’re my dogs.  The ones I can’t have in real life, but can love and look after on the page.  Bruno, the retired rescue dog, who has the courage to save his master.  Trader, who’s at his mistresses side when she’s alone and frightened.  Jeff the faithful friend who’s been with his master through thick and thin, Maisie the mountain rescue dog, and Arthur the beagle puppy.  They all mean a great deal more to me than just four-legged characters in a story.

I have to admit that it’s taken a bit just to write about my irrational fear, and I’m not sure that I understand it any better.  Do you have an irrational fear?  I guess that everyone has something…  And can you explain it?  I’d love to hear what you think!