Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

October New Releases

Happy October! Here in Canada we’re gearing up for our Thanksgiving (it’s a month earlier than our American friends to the south) and Spooky Season is upon us. It’s my favourite time of the year.

We have six fabulous reads for you.

Congratulations to our milestone authors this month. Juliette Hyland with her 5th book Reawakened in the South Pole and Me (Amy Ruttan) with my 30th Falling for His Runaway Nurse.

Falling for His Runaway Nurse by Amy Ruttan

Could a runaway bride…
…be the one to tempt him?
Brooding Thatcher Bell enjoys the anonymity of life as a cruise ship doctor. But when beautiful Lacey Greenwood storms into his life—wearing a wedding dress!—to take up the vacant post as nurse, he’s shocked by their instant chemistry. Lacey is obviously escaping something, and Thatcher recognizes some of the pain she’s hiding behind her dazzling smile. But as they set sail, there’s no way of running from their real and ever-growing feelings!

Reawakened at the South Pole by Juliette Hyland

An antarctic adventure
and a reunion of a lifetime…
ER nurse Helena Mathews wants just one thing: to show her parents that she’s no longer the fragile, premature baby they cradled in the NICU. So her new South Pole–based job is the perfect way to break free! But Dr. Carter Simpson’s arrival proves that you can’t just erase the past. Her one-time best friend may have left without a trace after a life-altering discovery, but he never left Helena’s heart…

Reunited by Her Twin Revelation by Shelley Rivers

“I just want to talk.”
Is he ready to hear her secret?
Nurse Thurza had pictured this day thousands of times. The day that Dr. Logan would return. Still, nothing could have prepared her for the real thing… Why? Well, when a mix-up led a brokenhearted Thurza to falsely believe that he had abandoned her and their unborn babies, she said goodbye to Logan—forever. But, as their past and the truth begin to unravel, will Thurza let Logan back in?

Starting Over with the Single Dad by Tina Beckett

A past kiss…
…A happy-ever-after?
For former army surgeon Mysti, a return to Forgotten Point was not in the cards…until a tragic accident while on duty leads her home. Her physical wounds may have healed, but it’s the invisible scars that remain. So the last thing that Mysti needs is to bump into Dr. Jesse: her unexpected new colleague and the one that got away. Now Jesse’s a single dad with his own hidden pain. Can they heal—together?

The Doctor’s Reunion to Remember by Annie Claydon

A forgotten past…
An unforgettable future?
In this Reunited at St. Barnabas’s Hospital story, former workaholic Dr. Gil Alexander is happy with the slower-paced life he was forced to adopt following his traumatic brain injury. The only things missing are his memories of just before the accident. But when Dr. Clemmie Francis is temporarily assigned to his rehabilitation center, he can’t shake the feeling he’s met this captivating yet cautious doctor before…and that this isn’t the first time he’s experienced their explosive chemistry!
 
Reunited at St. Barnabas’s Hospital duet
Book 1 – Twins for the Neurosurgeon by Louisa Heaton
Book 2 – The Doctor’s Reunion to Remember by Annie Claydon
 

Twins for the Neurosurgeon by Louisa Heaton

Two tiny heartbeats…
…will change their lives forever!
In this Reunited at St. Barnabas’s Hospital story, top neurosurgeons Samantha Gordon and Yanis Baptiste spend one unforgettable night together in Paris. Their reunion in London proves even more explosive when they discover Sam is pregnant with twins! Neither Sam nor Yanis is prepared for parenthood, but those two tiny heartbeats could help them find the family neither of them believed they would ever have…
 
Reunited at St. Barnabas’s Hospital duet
Book 1 – Twins for the Neurosurgeon by Louisa Heaton
Book 2 – The Doctor’s Reunion to Remember by Annie Claydon

Happy Reading!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

If Music Be The Food of Love …

I love music. Of all kinds. I don’t have a great singing voice – except for maybe when I’m in the shower (where everyone sounds great and the acoustics work in our favour) but I love singing to my favourite songs.

I have different playlists for different moods and different occasions.

When I’m writing, I tend to listen to film scores, or orchestral music, as long as there are no lyrics. I very quickly discovered that trying to write, whilst singing along, only resulted in me typing the lyrics, or not typing at all, as I sang along.

This is my favourite playlist for this. Romantic Film Scores. What else!

But if I’m not writing, then I love to listen to Pentatonix, an acapella band. They do an amazing version of Hallelujah.

I also like a little bit of Home Free, who do this amazing version of Ring of Fire, one of my Dad’s favourite songs.

So what sort of music do you like listening to?

Can you belt out a tune?

Tell me your favourites. I’m always on the lookout to add great music to my playlists.

Love,

Louisa xxx

Two tiny heartbeats…

…will change their lives forever!

Top neurosurgeons Samantha Gordon and Yanis Baptiste spend one unforgettable night together in Paris. Their reunion in London proves even more explosive when they discover Sam is pregnant with twins! Neither Sam nor Yanis is prepared for parenthood, but those two tiny heartbeats could help them find the family neither of them believed they would ever have…

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Down time!

There are times when a writer stops writing (gasp!).

Not permanently. Just between books. And I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve been getting up to recently in between mine.

The first thing to do, was to clear my desk.

Just so you understand, I thought my desk was clear. But then I looked at all the little things, the ornamental typewriter, the crocheted octopus I made, the one-armed zombie a friend got me, the candle, the other little things that made me smile and I realised, yes, I like them, but not as much as I like an empty, minimalist look. (Who am I kidding? I just hated having to dust all the little knick-knacks!)

So I cleared it of everything. And yes, my screensaver has a hanging man on it. I’m weird and I’ve been writing a creepy story and it just puts me in the right frame of mind.

You see the little paperweight on Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (that’s propping up the monitor). That went after this picture was taken. So did the tiny skull with a tinier spider on it (not a real spider. I’m terrified, but fake ones are fine). As did the little Lego Alien xenomorph and Predator. And the dragonfly.

You see? Knick-knacks! And still plenty of them there, AFTER I thought I was done.

I’ve also attempted to have a garden this year. We’ve never really bothered with our garden. Neither of us are green fingered and for years its simply been a place for the dogs to run in, the cats to chase butterflies in and for our kids to bounce around on their trampoline. But now I want it to look pretty.

I’ve planted lavender and sunflowers and we’ve got a greenhouse full of vegetables. Oh yes – we got a greenhouse on Freecycle for free! A glass greenhouse, 8 x 6 feet. But the most precious thing I planted, was my Dad’s memorial rose.

I had to ask for advice on how to get rid of the aphids and it turns out water mixed with washing up liquid, works an absolute treat! (and yes, I can see an aphid. Believe you me, it wasn’t there for long.)

My Dad’s rose has a wonderful scent and it bloomed on what would have been my Mum and Dad’s 60th wedding anniversary, that made me very happy.

The other thing I’ve been doing is returning to my cross-stitch. I’ve been stitching the Universal Monster SAL from The Witchy Stitcher. This is my progress so far. I’ve just to do the entryway (in the bottom centre square) and Dracula (in the bottom right), stitch the steps and basement and I’m done!

I’m also knitting this jumper by Andrea Mowry.

So, that’s it for me. Stitching, cleaning and gardening. I’m almost a domestic goddess. Who knew?

Or am I just turning into my Mum?

What have you been up to lately?

Louisa xxx

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

Reading List

I sometimes get asked, “What books do you read, when you have time?” and so I thought I’d make a list of the last few books that I’ve read.

Be aware, I don’t just read romance. I love something scary, too!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (V. E. Schwab)

When Addie La Rue makes a pact with the devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But there’s always a price – the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone.

Addie flees her tiny home town in 18th-Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day.

Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him.

Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can’t escape her fate forever.

The Giver of Stars (Jojo Moyes)

THE GREATEST LOVE STORY IS THE ONE YOU LEAST EXPECT . . .

Alice Wright doesn’t love her new American husband.

Nor her domineering father-in-law or the judgmental townsfolk of Baileyville, Kentucky.

Stifled and misunderstood, she yearns for escape and finds it in defiant Margery O’Hare and the sisterhood bringing books to the isolated and vulnerable.

But when her father-in-law and the town turn against them, Alice fears the freedom, friendship and the new love she’s found will be lost . . .

I Let You Go (Clare Mackintosh)

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .

Tome (Ross Jeffery)

Another dark chapter in the history of Juniper unfolds…Juniper Correctional, jokingly abbreviated to JC, a dark jewel in the crown of the godawful American prison system, where the very worst of Juniper rot for life-sentences that seem to stretch forever.

In this hell-on-earth, it’s hard to tell most days who is worse: the inmates or the corrupt guards that enact the will of the monomaniacal Warden Fleming. Fleming is a fallen star, a once bright-minded leader who turned the prison around, now hiding a terrible secret eating him away from the inside, a secret he’ll do anything to cover up.But Fleming has problems, problems that threaten to unveil his secret.

There is killer among those housed at Juniper Correctional. Inmates keep turning up dead, murdered in ungodly ways, but nobody knows how or why. The only thing that connects them is a nameless book from the prison’s library. However, there is one ray of light: Frank.

Frank isn’t like the other guards. Frank still sees the good in people and is trying to make a difference, to save those souls he can from the darkness in their own hearts. What Frank doesn’t realise, however, is that the darkness is real, and he is about to see its true power…

Aliens Phalanx (Scott Sigler)

Ataegina was an isolated world of medieval castles and rich cultures – vibrant until the demons rose and slaughtered ninety percent of the planet s population. Swarms of lethal creatures with black husks, murderous claws, barbed tails and dreaded “tooth-tongues” rage across the land. Terrified survivors hide in ruined mountain keeps, where they eke out a meager existence. Skilled runners travel the treacherous paths between keeps, maintaining trade and sharing information. If caught, they die screaming.

Ahiliyah of Lemeth Hold is an exceptional runner, constantly risking her life for her people. When she and her closest companions discover a new weapon, it may offer the one last chance to end the demon plague. But to save humanity, the trio must fight their way to the tunnels of Black Smoke Mountain – the lair of the mythical Demon Mother.


So, there you go! A mixed bag. Horror, fantasy, historical, romance. Maybe I’ve intrigued you enough to go look one of these up!

Can two love-weary doctors…

…heal each other?

Dr. Jess Young plans to use her time on the small Scottish island of Thorney to figure out how she can rebuild her shattered life, after a recent blow that has stolen the future she dreamed of. Only Dr. Adam Campbell is a complication she didn’t expect! Handsome but hurting too, Jess sees a kindred spirit in Adam. Will he heal her already fragile heart…

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

How I Got My Idea for ‘Risking Her Heart on the Trauma Doc’

Can two love-weary doctors…

…heal each other?

Dr. Jess Young plans to use her time on the small Scottish island of Thorney to figure out how she can rebuild her shattered life, after a recent blow that has stolen the future she dreamed of. Only Dr. Adam Campbell is a complication she didn’t expect! Handsome but hurting too, Jess sees a kindred spirit in Adam. Will he heal her already fragile heart…

I often get asked how I come up with ideas for my stories, so I thought I’d go through the thought processes of how I created my January release, Risking Her Heart on the Trauma Doc.

I love to write stories that take place on an island (because I live on an island and I like the community feel you get, where everyone knows one another.) Next to Hayling is an island called Thorney, but most of it is taken up by an army base. You’re allowed to walk the coastal walk, but that’s about it. Well, I liked the name, Thorney and decided that Thorney would be the great name for an island up in Scotland where I wanted to have a setting.

So, initially, that was all I had – a place, so then I had to think about what kind of medical establishments would be on this island. Would the island be big enough to sustain an entire hospital and the people to staff it? Or would there only be a GP surgery? With people going to the mainland for surgeries/emergencies, etc?

I preferred the intimacy of a small GP practice, with doctors that took on many different responsibilities and I knew there would have to be a resident doctor to be either my hero or heroine, with a new doctor arriving to play the other part.

Originally, I had my heroine, Dr Jess Young having arrived on the island to take over the hero’s job. She had already established herself there and was great friends with the hero’s family. His parents loved her and she had fallen in love with the stories they constantly told about him, the way he looked in photos and basically had developed a crush on a man she had never actually met (the reason for this crush on a man out of reach will be revealed later) The hero would then return from Afghanistan with PTSD and wouldn’t function well, however, my editor suggested that the hero could still have PTSD, but that he needed to very much be a fully functioning member of the medical team and that my heroine be the one arriving as a newbie and that we be there to watch her fall in love as they worked together.

So I went with that. But then I had to research PTSD and all the ways it could affect someone and how those issues might play into my story. Would there be night terrors, would he be affected by sights, or sounds? I decided that sound and night terrors would play into the story better, as I wanted my hero and heroine to be living in the same block of flats and that proximity would help for more scenes that would establish their burgeoning relationship.

So I knew what problems my hero had, but what about my heroine?

I wanted Jess to be as equally damaged as the hero, but how and why? Where Adam’s problems were mostly mental, I wanted hers to be physical and so I gave her a life-limiting disease. One that had killed her father, leaving her with slight Daddy issues and going after men that were never available to her emotionally.

Well, the Daddy issues were deleted! Mills and Boon like there to be strong heroines and Jess needed to be strong, to cope with her condition and also, to help Adam with his. I knew then, that Jess would be this incredibly caring individual, who put other people first, before herself and that this need to care, to deflect her concern onto other people, rather than herself, would be the key issue towards her and Adam falling in love and being vulnerable with each other.

Once I had all of that information, I began to write. A revised synopsis to send to my editor, and then a detailed chapter plan, exploring what would happen in each scene, before I wrote it. The chapter plan was six pages of single spaced work and as I wrote the book, became six pages of incredibly messy work, as I scribbled all over it and changed things as I went, as new things always occur to me, as I write.

I had this grand idea for a Black Moment at the end of the book, that took place in the pouring rain. You know that screen shot from The Notebook of the hero and heroine kissing in the rain, absolutely drenched? I wanted something like that, my characters arguing with each other, but only because they’re so frustrated and then they end up kissing and realising they can’t bare to be apart, but that idea was nixed by my editor (who suggested a different moment and I sadly placed my rain-drenched characters into a separate folder to be used in another story, at some point.)

So, there you have it. The thought process to starting a book.

It’s not actually as simple as it reads. It comes across that these Aha! moments come to you quickly and easily, but I promise you there were many days of head-scratching, hair pulling and biting of nails as I worked out various bits and pieces. There may even be lots of scrawled up bits of paper lying in rubbish tips with my notes still on them. Or maybe seagulls have used them to help line their nests? Who knows?

If you’ve got any writing questions, then please don’t hesitate to ask them below. I’m always happy to answer them.

Louisa xxx

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

January New Releases

Six new stories to see the New Year in with!  

y404Falling Again in El Salvador by Julie Danvers

A second chance…

…could be their greatest adventure! A humanitarian mission in stunning rural El Salvador will give obstetrician Cassie Andover the chance to focus on the medicine that she loves. But the one piece of her past she never expected to find there was the handsome Dr. Bryce Hamlin! And while this bold motorcycle-riding version of Bryce is nothing like Cassie remembers, he’s certainly one she’s compelled to know…

y404-1His Blind Date Bride by Scarlet Wilson

A missed blind date…

…leads to a chance at forever! After exchanging messages for months via a dating app, surgeon Ivy Ross is finally ready to meet up with “Mr. Right.” But when work calls her away the chance is lost…until fate intervenes and Ivy’s blind date—Travis King—arrives as her new senior medical officer…aka her boss! Travis and Ivy know mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea, but sometimes bad ideas feel so good…

y404-2One Night with Her Italian Doc by Karin Baine

One hot summer night together…

…that just isn’t enough! A Mediterranean cruise is exactly what nurse Sophie Blythe needs. It’s the perfect opportunity to rediscover the free-spirited woman she once was, before she met her cheating ex. And ship doctor Luciano Montavano could be the perfect fling… Gorgeous yet guarded, the irresistible Italian isn’t interested in settling down any more than she is. Until one night of passionate abandon forces them to acknowledge that they both might want more…

y404-3Risking Her Heart on the Trauma Doc by Louisa Heaton

Can two love-weary doctors…

…heal each other? Dr. Jess Young plans to use her time on the small Scottish island of Thorney to figure out how she can rebuild her shattered life after a recent blow that has stolen the future she dreamed of. Only Dr. Adam Campbell is a complication she didn’t expect! He’s handsome but hurting, too, and Jess sees a kindred spirit in Adam. Will he heal her already-fragile heart?

y404-4Second Chance in Barcelona by Fiona McArthur

He’s the stranger she’ll never forget…

…she’s the midwife he still wants! Midwife Cleo Wren is horrified to discover the gorgeous Spaniard she spent an impulsive night of passion with is Dr. Felipe Gonzales, an eminent oncologist with VIP connections! She’s tempted to turn down the job of accompanying his young cousin back to his home in Barcelona. But she accepts…on the understanding that they never revisit what happened. Now Cleo just has to stick to her own rules!

y404-5The GP’s Secret Baby Wish by Sue MacKay

Is the future she wants…

…just a dream? Four years ago, GP Lily Scott walked away from Dr. Max Bryant and their sizzling fling. Why? Well, if the past had taught Lily anything, it was to be cautious with her heart. But Lily’s rule book is about to go out the window, because Max is her new colleague! She can’t ignore their powerful connection—or the family she pictures—every time she’s with him. Can that family become a reality?

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Origin Stories

Imagination was free.

When I was little, my parents didn’t have much money. What money there was, went on bills or usually, debts, so there was never anything left over to spend on something as extravagant as a book or magazine. Or toys. Everything I ever owned as  a child was second-hand. Clothes from an older girl from up the street (that never fit properly). Pyjamas from my three older brothers ( I had a great set with green tanks on) and anything else like shoes, were from a charity shop.

                So because of this scarcity in dolls and toys, I lived in my imagination and one day, I decided to go for a walk with my Dad to the local library, as he had some books to take back. I went with him and fell in love! With the smell of the place. The endless shelves, filled with tomes! And the fact that there was a separate room, just for children’s books, filled with beanbags and teddies and a dragon you could sit on.

                I begged for a library card and as it was free, I got one. I was allowed to take out eight books and so I did, marvelling at the card system and the stamper as it checked each book out. I chose Enid Blyton and read every Famous Five, or Secret Seven book I could lay my hand on. I read Black Beauty multiple times (which came in handy for a quiz as a teenager, when I was the only kid who knew the answer to ‘Who wrote Black Beauty?’ and won myself £10.)

                I quickly made my way through that children’s library and when I was eleven, I begged the librarians to let me take books from the adult’s section. They allowed it, as long as they could veto any, they thought were unsuitable for me (though I distinctly remember getting out a racy Sidney Sheldon and many doctor nurse romances by Claire Rayner.)

                I remembered thinking that authors were these strange creatures, who existed only in my imagination, all of them living someplace far away, like America, in houses made of gold and silver. I thought authors were magical creatures. Even though every night I would lay in bed thinking up my own stories and dreamed of being one myself. But I didn’t know any writers. It just seemed like a pipe dream.

                One year, I asked my parents for a typewriter. I’d been writing stories by hand for some time, taking them into school and letting my friends read them. Early reviews told me I was brilliant and could they have more, lol. But I didn’t think I’d get the typewriter. They were expensive and money was tight. But that Christmas, I got one. Second-hand, with a crappy ribbon that barely had any ink left on it, but I had one and by golly, I thought that made me a proper author!

                Tap, tap, tap. I think I drove my parents crazy. I wrote a letter to the local paper and it got published on their letters page. I wrote a short story about a mean woman who dumps a bag of kittens in a river that had nuclear waste in it, not realizing that one surviving kitten would come back and wreak revenge and THAT got published in an anthology. I was on a roll!

                But then, nothing seemed to happen. Nothing else got published. I saw my careers teacher at secondary and told her that I wanted to be a writer (this is 30 odd years ago, ahem!) and she said, “No, think of something proper you could do.” Was her response and she sent me to the knitwear factory where I worked for three years. I worked eight or nine hour shifts every day, head down over a lockstitch machine, thinking up stories.

                At the side of my mother’s bed, was a pile of Mills and Boons and I loved reading the blurbs on the back. A young teenage girl, reading about love and romance, what wasn’t there to love? Plus my older brother kept bringing back these paperbacks from authors such as James Herbert and Stephen King and I loved being frightened, too. That led me to JRR Tolkien, David Eddings and Terry Pratchett.

                Why couldn’t I write these things?

                So I started submitting to real publishers. I got The Writers and Artists Yearbook from my library and took notes of what people wanted, sending manuscripts out through the post (no internet or email back then!)

                It took me fifteen years of sending submissions to Mills and Boon, before I got The Call. Fifteen years of marriage and having four children inbetween making up stories when I could and when babies were asleep.

                And now here I am, 18 books in and with other short stories published in magazines and online.

                Sometimes, it’s really hard. Sometimes, it isn’t.

                You just keep having to chase the dream.

                As Kevin Costner would say, ‘If you build it, they will come.”

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

Filling The Well

These are difficult times. Stuck in this pandemic, trying to get through this second wave and here in the UK, puzzling over the different rules for different tiers and for me in particular, trying to make my mother adhere to the rules especially as she is in Nottingham (an area of the country with some of the highest Covid infection rates) and who is starting down the terribly rocky road of Dementia.

Put simply, she lives alone, now that Dad has died and she forgets that there is a pandemic. We do what we can from 200 miles away. She has signs on the doors reminding her to put on her mask before she goes out (even though we tell her she shouldn’t be going out) and other reminders throughout her flat to wash her hands and to sanitise and to try not to touch her face.

It’s difficult. Especially when I receive calls from one of my brothers to say that he went to take her some groceries, found her flat empty and tracked her down in someone else’s flat, without a mask, laughing and joking!

Grr!

So, despite all of this, despite the fact that I am still trying to get over the death of my father, I have been trying to find things that make me happy. Trying to find things to occupy my mind, that fill the well, that gives me ideas, that allows me to learn new things, to always try and make my writing as good as it can be. So I thought I’d share a few things I’m doing, a few things I’m reading, to maybe give you all some ideas, or even to just spark a light in these weary times.

Books I’ve Read

What if you had a second chance with the one who got away?

Ben’s always loved December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old flame Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

I adored this book. A cross between One Fine Day and A Christmas Carol. Definitely high on my list of recommended reads and it’s perfect with Christmas coming up!

She must marry the knight .

By order of the king!

Widow Eleanor of Tallany Castle knows her people are broken by the taxes demanded by King John. So when she’s ordered to marry Hugh de Villiers, a knight loyal to the king, she’s furious—even if he is handsome! As gallant Hugh begins to heal the scars of Eleanor’s abusive first marriage, she’s even more determined to keep her secret: she is the outlaw the king wants to send to the gallows!

This book won the Joan Hessayon Award and rightly so! It’s a wonderful delve into the past with the Lady Eleanor who is passionate about protecting the people of Tallany from the severe taxes placed upon them by King John, being forced to marry Sir Hugh de Villiers who is the king’s man, determined to find the outlaw who is stealing all the taxes back! Very Robin Hood, I must say!

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

This was perfect! Wonderfully eccentric in that British way, with dabs of humour sprinkled throughout as Joyce and her friends try to solve a murder from their retirement home! I zoomed through this one and enjoyed every single page and shall definitely read more from this author.

Classes

Taking Risks As A Writer (with Julie Cohen, Novel nights)

Julie Cohen chats to Novel Nights about taking risks in a writing career, overcoming writer’s block and challenging the status quo. Her award-winning novels have sold over a million copies worldwide and she’s twice been selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. Julie runs an oversubscribed literary consultancy which has helped many writers get published. She is a Vice President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, founder of the RNA Rainbow Chapter, and a Patron of literacy charity ABC To Read. Her latest novel, Spirited was published in July 2020.  This author talk and Q&A is hosted by David Lloyd.

By the time you read this blog, I will have taken this class. I love listening to other authors and hearing about what they’ve done, how they work and seeing if I can apply anything to my own writing.

I think it’s always worth continuing to learn, always striving to do better.

Building A Successful Partnership With Your Editor (Harlequin)

This will be a chat for Harlequin authors with Stephanie Doig (editor, Carina Press), Flo Nicoll (senior editor Harlequin presents), Johanna Raisanen (editor Harlequin Heartwarming) Ruby Barrett (author), Sasha Summers (author) and Maisey yates (author). The panel will discuss the ins and outs of editorial partnerships and share tips on building a successful author-editor relationship.

Now, I have a lovely relationship with my editor, don’t get me wrong! But, like I said, it’s always worth finding out more.

Sometimes when I take classes, I find that I know a lot of the information that is presented, but there are always one or two nuggets that I can add or incorporate to my own experience. It’s about being willing to be open to new ideas.

Hobbies

I’m currently into blackwork embroidery and I’m LOVING it! There’s something very peaceful and calming to the mind about it and it’s also an opportunity (when the pattern isn’t too complicated) to think about my story and characters and plot out scenes!

I’m currently working on a pattern called – Save The Stitches.

You can find this FREE PATTERN at Blackwork Journey if you want to take a look at it.

But I have plans to do so many more! The problem is seeing all the wonderful patterns I want to get started on, but know that if I do too many at once, some may get neglected, or they all will, if I get too overwhelmed with projects, so I’m trying to stick to this one, right now.

But, oh dearie me, it’s difficult!

So, what about you, dear reader? What have you been up to? What have you been reading? Doing? Learning? Have you taken up a new hobby? Have you tackled all those DIY projects that have been waiting in the wings? I’d love to hear from you!

Louisa xxx

Their passionate fling…
Has given them a gift to last a lifetime!

When pediatrician Merry Bell turns up at his hospital in Iceland, Dr. Kristjan Gunnarrson’s quiet Christmas is shaken up. After a hot fling together in Hawaii, they both agreed to walk away. But now Merry has brought him life-changing news – she’s pregnant! Commitment phobic Kristjan will not waver from his responsibility, but is his bruised heart ready for a family?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

October New Releases

Happy October! We have some brand new releases to enjoy, whether your summer is on its way in, or you’re heading into fall and want to curl up.

The Icelandic Doc’s Baby Surprise by Louisa Heaton

Their passionate fling…
Has given them a gift to last a lifetime!

When pediatrician Merry Bell turns up at his hospital in Iceland, Dr. Kristjan Gunnarsson’s quiet Christmas is shaken up. After a hot fling together in Hawaii, they both agreed to walk away. But now Merry has brought him life-changing news—she’s pregnant! Commitmentphobic Kristjan will not waver from his responsibility, but is his bruised heart ready for a family?

Tempted by the Heart Surgeon by Lucy Ryder

A dance floor rescue…
…a reunion they’ll never forget!

Boston socialite Samantha Jefferies leaps when offered a job with a charitable foundation in California. It’s the escape she needs after her broken engagement. But the new role reunites her with a man she never expected to see again—cardiothoracic surgeon Adam Knight. He once saved her with an earth-shattering kiss, but now she must find a way to resist her insatiable desire for this far too delectable doctor…

Second Chance with His Army Doc by Charlotte Hawkes

From first love…
To forever?

Fourteen years ago, teenage Kane Wheeler disappeared from Mattie Brigham’s life without a word of explanation. While nothing has filled the void left by Kane, Mattie has forged a successful life as an army doc. When they’re unexpectedly reunited in the line of duty, their attraction is still as fierce as ever. And Kane’s determined to convince Mattie they can still have a happy-ever-after above all!

Reunited on the Front Line

Book 1: Second Chance with His Army Doc

Book 2: Reawakened by Her Army Major

Reawakened by Her Army Major by Charlotte Hawkes

Could their one night together…
Change everything?

When playboy army major Hayden Brigham meets innocent nurse Bridget Gardiner in a nightclub, the chemistry between them is impossible to ignore! But when they must then work together in a hostile and challenging environment, it means keeping their focus on the job! Being under fire only brings them closer…but is Bridget ready to accept that their relationship could survive beyond their mission?

Reunited on the Front Line

Book 1: Second Chance with His Army Doc

Book 2: Reawakened by Her Army Major

One Night to Forever Family by Meredith Webber

The baby she always hoped for…
The family she never expected!

Dr. Sam Reilly can’t believe it. She’s standing face-to-face with Andy Wilkie, her late husband’s best friend—and her new boss! Sam cut ties with Andy years ago. But for their patients’ sake, they must learn to work together. They just didn’t expect to learn that, maybe, they might want to be more than just colleagues! A temptation that leads to one baby bombshell…

Christmas with Her Lost-and-Found Lover by Ann McIntosh

He’s walked back into her life—
After half a lifetime…

It’s been years since Rohan Khan promised Dr. Elise van Hagen that he would be back for Christmas. But he never returned and Elise raised their son alone. So when the veterinarian reappears during a rescue in snowy Banff, Elise can’t believe her eyes! But Rohan has no memory of their past. Can these long-ago lovers make up for all the Christmases they have missed?