Last week, it was announced that Mills and Boon in the UK will be undergoing a transformation! A huge relaunch will be taking place in January, and we’ve been given a taste of some of the great things to come – a new logo, delicious new covers and re-designed point-of-sale material.
As romance readers, we’ve all done a bit of falling in love at the library! And in the UK, Mills and Boon, The Reading Agency and over 80 libraries around the country, have joined forces to encourage readers to fall in love at their local library.
The scheme is running until 31st July, and all of the participating libraries have created their own Mills and Boon displays. For a list of libraries taking part, please see the Mills and Boon blog. And even if you’re not able to visit in person, you can still see some of the fantastic displays on Twitter, at #LoveAtTheLibrary.
And now for our other news. At the beginning of 2016 we announced some changes and additions to the blog. Our features, guest blogs and regular blogs have all been popular, but the two most visited were the Medical Romance editors’ blog in January, announcing the 2016 Medical Fast Track, and Jennifer Taylor’s blog last month for Myeloma Awareness Week.
We owe a big thank-you to all of our guest bloggers, and we’ll be bringing you more guest blogs during the next six months. And in addition to the regular features that we introduced at the beginning of the year, starting in September some of our Medical Romance authors will be posting excerpts from their latest books. So there’s lots to look forward to!
We’re always open to new ideas, so if there’s anything you’d like us to consider for the future, please do let us know. And lastly – but most importantly – a huge thank you to all of our lovely readers!
I have to admit that I have a difficult time writing Readers’ Letters. Maybe it is because I’m so long-winded that I can’t get all I want to say into a few short paragraphs. Anyway, for my most recent release The Rebel Who Stole Her Heart I didn’t have that problem. I used part of my Readers Letter to share about two important people in mine and my son’s life. Here is the letter:
I’ve always been fascinated by the attraction between two people. So many times men and woman are complete opposites and still find that special spark. A good-looking man and an unattractive woman, or the reverse, the introvert and extrovert, the super popular person and the one in the corner. The person who loves adventure and the one who prefers to watch TV. It amazes me how humans manage to pair off.
These extreme differences are what I explore in Michelle and Ty’s story. They couldn’t be more dissimilar but yet they fit, complement each other as if they are puzzle pieces finding their spot. What made writing this book especially fun was watching the two characters squirm as they find that they truly do belong together.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention and thank Dr. Bruce Miller who is an anesthesiologist extraordinary. Much of Ty’s doctoring skills and sensitive interactions with patients I’ve witnessed firsthand by knowing Dr. Miller. I also have to say a big thanks to Dr. Kirk Kanter, a heart surgeon with a big heart. There is none better in the world. Through him I received amazing technical assistance that helped Michelle’s world become real. All doctors should be as good and as dedicated as these two men are to their patients.
I hope you enjoyed reading Michelle and Ty’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I love to hear from my readers. You can contact me at www.SusanCarlisle.com
Dr. Miller was my son’s anesthesiologist and Dr. Kanter his heart surgeon for over 21 years.
Do you know a doctor or someone who deserves to be pointed out publicly for what they do for others?
I would like to introduce you to Lucy Rider who has joined the Medical authors. She has agreed to share a little about herself so be sure and say hello. Welcome Lucy.
I discovered Medical Romance when:
I was at boarding school. I’d been punished for some offense or other—I was a bit of wild child rebel—and had been excluded from a movie outing. One of the older girls gave me a medical romance to read to keep me busy as I was the only kid in the hostel at the time. Do you know how creepy those places are at night?
I wrote my first story when:
As soon as I could write. I’ve always had an active imagination and used to spend hours in my head with fantasy characters and plotting all kinds of wild improbable adventures.
Where do you live?
I live in South Africa with my two human daughters and one canine daughter.
My best trait is:
My sense of humor. I keep my colleagues in stitches but often get into trouble from people who don’t know me because they don’t understand my humor. It’s pretty irreverent so I can understand if I offend people occasionally. That’s okay too because some people are easily offended by anything. My teenage daughters sometimes think I’m ‘random’ – whatever that is.
My worst trait is:
I’m HUGELY impatient with stupidity. I can’t take it in any form—especially people on the road. I’m pretty vocal about idiots on the road.
Five things on your bucket list:
I want to take my daughters to see the Aurora Borealis.
Stay at home and write full time.
Meet Janet Evanovich.
Spend an entire summer on a Caribbean island.
Buy a dishwasher – don’t know where I’ll put it but I’m sick of doing dishes.
Resisting Her Rebel Hero will be released on April 1.
I’ve been married to my husband for a long time but I’ve found some new loves. I was blindsided. I had no idea that I would or could fall so easily. But, I did.
Each of us came from different parts of the world and live a long distance way yet we hit it off as if we were family. I can’t remember in my life meeting a group that I liked more – instantly. I’m a happy author for Mills and Boon and I’m even happier to be associated with such a talented group of medical authors. I believe their inter beauty shows in their books. You’re missing a treat if you’re not reading them.
I hope they felt the same about me. If they didn’t that’s okay, I’m still going to stalk them at the next conference we attend together. There were a number of medical authors that I’ve not met yet and I’m looking forward to doing so one day. I expect to feel the same way about them.
Have you ever immediately connect to another person?
So how much in our novels could really happen and how much is total wishful thinking?
That’s a question authors ponder as much as readers do. I’m thinking the mix is different for each author.
For me, I spend hours (often, too many hours) researching to get the right facts. Do they make a difference? Would anyone notice if I made them up?
How much should I ask my readers to suspend disbief?
I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do. So, I’m into fiction based on fact—and that’s where everything gets fuzzy.
First off, by the time I begin my story, my characters are real inside my head. They have set personalities, predictable behavior and all-around realness to me. So, where Jason in The Baby Who Saved Dr. Cynical would react with bull-headed stubborness, Cole, in Return of the Rebel Surgeon, would use his businessman’s art of persuasion.
In Dr. Cynical, Jason is in a bit of a legal mess. I consulted with a lawyer to get the details realistic. In Rebel Surgeon, Cole is expanding his medical practice into large cities. Yup, talked to a doctor who did that and got the inside scoop.
So what about the medical details—the stuff these stories are based on. This is where I try my best, do the most research, then cross my fingers and hope it comes across with the right amount of detail.
In Dr. Cynical, a patient has Phelan-McDermid Syndrome where part of a chromosone is missing. Not only did I research the syndrome inside-out, I even got to meet Dr. Phelan who identified the syndrome. All for the sake of research.
In Rebel Surgeon, I researched, interviewed and agonized over getting the details right about autism in teenaged boys. What I found was, just like in all teens, every case is different.
Why all this research when I can just fall back on literary license and write?
Because someone, somewhere is dealing with the issues I write about. Patients are feeling the pain. Their doctors are trying to ease that pain. And their loved ones are hoping for the best.
And me? I’m right there with the loved ones, turning that hope into words on a page. Maybe this is my own personal fiction about what I do, but as I’m writing, I’m thinking that if I can make these stories end ‘happily ever after’ the real stories might end the same way, too.
What about you? Are you willing to hope? Are you willing to believe, as you turn the page?
Oh! Guess what? Dr. Cynical is out in Russian! Isn’t that awesome? Now, who here reads Russian so they can translate this title for me?
I recently received a questionnaire from Harlequin requesting I answer some questions for media proposes. I’m not a good questionnaire ‘filler outer.‘ I mess up on almost all medical forms in doctors’ offices. They always end up with big black marked out places on them. I’m not much better with IRS forms. Anyway, I wanted to do a good job this time.I filled in the pertinent info of who, what, when , where and why with no problem but the questions that stumped me were the personal ones about romance. I told my husband he was going to have to help me answer them. Now, before your mind goes to the gutter, that’s not what I was talking about. The question I was having the most difficulty with was this one: What is the most romantic thing ever done for you?
When I asked my husband what he thought was the most romantic thing he’d ever done for me, he just looked at me. The question hung in the air between us. Neither of us could remember anything. I finally came up with the time he cooked pheasant in wine sauce and dressing for me while we were dating. Not bad, but that was over thirty years ago!
Now, before you think how sad is that? I need to clarify. I’ve been married almost thirty years. We have four children. We’ve lived through some hair rising events together. We’ve traveled all over US and Europe together and still enjoy each other’s company. My husband still makes me laugh and I actually like him better now than when I married him. We understand each other. He lets me be me. I find that particularly romantic.
My book The Nurse He Shouldn’t Notice which is coming out in August is dedicated to my husband. It reads: To Andy, the Mr. Romance in my life. After what you’ve just learn you can understand why is a running joke in our house and between our friends.
After trying to remember the most romantic time in my life, I decide that I just have a different definition than the traditional one of roses, candlelight and fancy dinners. Romance to me is being supported and loved even when it is hard to do. It’s long term. Years and years worth. Romance is give and take, compromising and caring about the other person more than yourself. Romance is a man that will clean the baths because he knows you hate to do it.
Do you have a nontraditional definition of romance? What do you find romantic?