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

A Cornucopia of rambling thoughts by Fiona Lowe

18339146_1826881800964104_534464569_oI’m taking a mini break cum writing retreat cum visit with my eldest son and escaping to our island state for the week :-) For those of you not familiar with Australian history, the British, who in 1788 were a naval force to be reckoned with, kept skirmishing with France and Spain and they  needed flax for sails and straight, strong trees for masts. Captain Cook had reported both these things grew in abundance on a little island off Australia, they’d named Norfolk.  Of course, they wanted to keep that information on the down low so the Spanish and French didn’t get there first, so they hid their plans behind a secondary problem; what the heck did they do with the ever-expanding prison population? They sent 7 ships, full of convicts to Australia; many of them with 7 year sentences. The moment they had offloaded the contents of a couple of ships, they shot across to Norfolk Island only to discover that the pines were soft wood so useless for masts and the flax wasn’t any good for sails. Damn!

Meanwhile, when you get a group of convicts together, stuff happens, and soon they needed aIMG_2841 second tier goal/jail.  They settled the island of Tasmania and some of the worst treatment of human beings…both of the convicts and the Aborigines…. began. But that’s a  whole other story as is islands and refugees today…. Fast foward 200 odd years and my son was ‘transported’ to Tasmania for 7 years to study medicine at the University of Tasmania. Today, it is a glorious place to live and I doubt we’ll ever get him back to the mainland.

IMG_2880Fellow author, Melanie Milburne lives down in Tasmania and she has a holiday house, or ‘shack’ as the locals call it. If I can stop staring at the view, I might get some writing done on my next medical romance.  At the end of my four days of ‘enforced writing’ I am heading back to Hobart to spend Mother’s Day weekend with my eldest son.  Given that the youngest is in Italy, Tassie was closer 🙂

I am not a big fan of Mother’s Day…a day that can be fraught with heartache and disappointment unless handled right… and the fact I am down in Tassie for the day is more of a coincidence than planning. It was the only weekend I wasn’t doing book signings for Daughter of Mine. So, in this reflective mood,  I offer you my  amassed knowledge of 22 years of motherhood and say, ‘if you want a happy day next Sunday, stage manage it so 18238928_10155268263202090_1775623558389478762_oyou get what you deserve.’   I was signing books at a department store on Saturday and as I handed over books to kids, I said, ‘Now you know that you’re not only giving Mum the book, you have to give her the time to read it.’ I got a few confused looks 😉

So, start thinking and planning now… you have a few days… and let me know what you are doing so you ensure a part of your day is for YOU. 🙂

31011Talking books.Daughter of Mine is available for all the Aussie and New Zealanders. Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon, book 2 in the Paddington Children’s Hospital series is out now. I hope you enjoy Claire and Alistair’s story as they finally work out the important things in life.  I also have a backlist of 22 medical romances, ripe for reading:-) For the full list click HERE. They are all available digitally. Happy Reading!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Special Days Bring Mixed Emotions

As I IMG_1688[2]write this, it’s Mothers’ Day in a vareity of places around the world. In Australia, it was  yesterday but due to the time difference, it’s still MD in the USA, Italy and Mexico. The UK celebrate Mothering Day in March and for some reason, in France, it’s not until May 31st. According to Google, Oman has THREE Mothers’ Days in the year so I guess around the world mothers are covered at some point across the year.

My definition of motherhood is very loose on this day and I like to think it acknowledges all adult women, because  most women are “mothering” aka caring in some way for someone.

I have absolutely NO expectations on Mothers’ Day and I learned fast that the best mothers’ days are the ones I stage manage. 😉 That way there is absolutely NO room for disappointment 😉 Yesterday, as a mother, I was required to attend a school jazz lunch and listen to talented students playing jazz.  I was served champagne, the food was yummy, I didn’t have to wash up and the music was great. When I got home, I decamped for the couch, where in very unusual circumstances, I had total control over the television and I sobbed my way through an episode of Call the Midwife. Bliss!

I know Mothers’ day can be very fraught for many women and my only advice is to own the day and make it yours. Celebrate it the way you want; be selfish for once! Do what you need to do so the day doesn’t drag you down.

If you celebrated Mothers’ Day, what did you do?

Book News!

I’ve got two books up for pre-order and both are out the first week of July! Unlocking Her Surgeon’s Heart, is part of the Midwives on Call series and Truly Madly Montana, is book two in my Medicine River series. Click on the titles for the blurbs and the buy links.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Holiday Celebrations

A Mother’s Love by Dianne Drake

276128_617439466_23617576_n[1]Admittedly, I used to be a bit of a cynic when it came to what I call greeting card holidays – holidays I believed were either created by, or bumped up by the greeting card industry to sell its goods. In fact, I remember in my flippant teenage years even telling one boyfriend I didn’t want a card or a gift for Valentine’s Day because that just put more money into some greedy pockets. Likewise, I avoided Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with a passion.

Then the strangest thing started happening when I was about 14. One Mother’s Day, my mother gave me a card and a gift. She said in deference to my individuality and my opposition to the whole tradition, she respected Mother’s Day and wanted to pay honor to the fact that she was a mother. So, even though it didn’t mean much to me, it did to her and all she wanted from me for Mother’s Day was for me to allow her to express her sentiment. She told me the best part of her life was about having two children and being a mother.

As it happened, I grew up and got over myself. Got over my misguided opinions, and eventually realized that this was one of her gentle lessons…one of the many. That was her way of teaching me – not by yelling or nagging or getting angry or even drumming it in my head. She showed me life through gentle ways and trusted that in her teaching I would find my own way.

My mother never got to read any of my work, and for that I’ll always be sad. But I truly believe it was her spirit that became my muse. So in tribute of my mother, and for all mothers who gently guide their children – a poem. No, not of my creation. I’m not a poet. But the words of Helen Rice Steiner say the things I should have been saying in cards to my mother all those years ago.

A MOTHER’S LOVE
A Mother’s love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotionand of sacrifice and pain,

It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy itor take that love away . . .

It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking . . .

It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems . . .

It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation . . .

A many splendored miracle man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence of God’s tender guiding hand.

I hope you have a very happy Mother’s Day!
Dianne

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Holiday Celebrations, The Writing Life

Happy Mother’s Day

Marguerite Catherine White HolmesHello, again.  It’s always good to be back here.  I like to blog, but for me the hard part is coming up with new ideas.  I know that seems a little strange for someone who spends her days writing, but for me, fiction is much easier to write than real life.  This month though, the topic has been tapping on my shoulder.  So forgive me for being a little too sentimental, but sometimes that is real life.

Mother’s Day is coming up, and for me it’s a melancholy time, remembering my mother and grandmothers, all who left me too soon, and thinking about my own place in the world as a mother.  I’m not sure I’ve ever lived up to the three great ladies who made me who I am today.  They were tough role models – a nurse, a suffragette, a concert pianist.  All women who achieved things in their time that women weren’t supposed to be achieving.

Maybe one of the sad things in my life is that my mother never knew me as a writer.  She was responsible for that, actually -because she died so young, and without doing all the things in life she’d set out to do.  It was my wake-up call, the defining moment in a person’s life when things are made clear.  Either do it or don’t.  Because she hadn’t, I knew I had to.  With all my college background, various degrees, different career directions, the only constant was that I wanted to write.  Without doing that, my life would have ended like my mother’s, with so many things left unfulfilled.

The thing is, my mother guided me in the choice to write from the time I was born, and she didn’t even know it.  I’m not sure I knew it either until long after she was gone and I was writing my 20th or 30th book.  That’s when it dawned on my that everything I am today I owe to my mother, as cliche as that may sound.  Why?  Because she read to me before I was able to read.  And she bought me books. When other children were getting toys and games, I received books.  To a child, that’s not so fun.  Except, because I didn’t get so many toys to play with what else could I do?  I read.

I remember one summer, I think I was probably eight or nine, I dedicated myself to reading every volume of Nancy Drew ever written.  It became a plan between my mother and me.  She rounded up the books for me, and I read them as fast as I could.  I seem to recall her bringing me glasses of lemonade throughout the day, and making me my favorite peanut butter and mustard sandwiches (yes, I love mustard on my peanut butter).  But I ran out of Nancy Drew half way through summer vacation, so she introduced me to authors such as Gene Stratton-Porter, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Daphne du Maurier, Louisa May Alcott.  My favorite book that summer was a Newbery winner titled The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare.  As it turns out, it’s still my favorite book today, with any and all of the Nancy Drew books coming in close behind.  And not far behind that, A Girl of the Limberlost, Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca and Little Women.

It was an amazing summer and, not surprisingly, the one that stands out in my mind over every other summer vacation.  I read every single day, couldn’t wait to get up in the morning and get to the next book.  Ironically enough, years later my mother caught me reading one of “those” books, and had a fit because I was much too young to be reading stories like that.  Maybe I was, but because she forbade those saucy Mills & Boon romances all my friends were sneaking home, that made me want to read them all the more.  She would have gotten a kick knowing I ended up writing “those” books for Mills & Boon years later.  I think somewhere, somehow, she knows.  Maybe she’s even having a fit.  I prefer to think of her as taking pride in the legacy she created.

I have a plan for this coming Mother’s Day, but it’s not with my own kids.  This year, it’s with me.  I’ve dug out several of my old Nancy Drew books, as it turns out a number are first editions given to my mother by her mother, and I’m going to spend the day reading them, drinking lemonade and eating peanut butter and mustard sandwiches. And thanking my mother for the greatest gift I’ve ever received, other than my actual existence.  It would be a lonely life without my books.  But I’m never lonely because my mother knew, from the day I was born, how books would shape my life.  And you know what?  Every time I open one, and turn the pages, whether paper or electronic, my mother is there with me, maybe smiling even when it’s one of “those” books.

Happy Mother’s Day!

As always, wishing you health & happiness (and one-time only, a peanut butter and mustard sandwich!)

Dianne