Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, Readers Blogs

Reading Romance can be Educational by guest blogger, Laurie Bodshaug.

Please welcome to the blog, Laurie Bodshaug, a delightful Amercian, and an avid reader of Harlequin Mills & Boon medical romances. Over to you, Laurie!

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I have been a voracious reader all my life. I read the Nancy Drew books, and became fast friends with the librarian at our Children’s library. Miss Lucy knew everything about books, and she sparked my interest in medicine because she had a disfiguring illness. I’m sure she wondered why a 10-year-old, who loved to visit the library, would want to spend hours talking to her about her disease and treatment. She pointed me to the Cherry Ames nursing books, and then to worlds of Penny and Pam, and Sue Barton, all nursing students who I followed through their studies and adventures when they graduated. After a brief flirtation with becoming an art education teacher, I changed my major to nursing, and I have been an RN for 39 years this week.

At 18, I discovered romance novels when I was babysitting; those very early and not so spicy stories had me hooked. Then came the bodice rippers, which I had to cover and keep on a high shelf to keep my young sons from being scandalized. In the early 2000’s, I came across a box of Harlequins at a yard sale and became hooked again.  About 3 years ago, I found a set of Medical Romances, and I was home! Books that combined my nursing background, love for travel and romance. What could be better? The community hospitals I worked at never had real life romances like those.

There was one thing I didn’t expect to gain from reading romance: it was a learning experience.  As I read, I kept a little notebook and pencil by my side and it became 1453769361153filled with things I wanted to learn more about. I looked up words, recipes, travel articles and medical textbooks from other countries to get a better feel for the stories and the things in them. The British/Australian spellings and alternate words have earned me hundreds of extra Scrabble points. (Thank you to the writers who gave me wadis, sirocco, kumaras and many other words). I have made lamingtons, bought Tim-Tams and attempted a Pavlova.

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I especially enjoy the books set in the UK, (because I have actually been there) New Zealand and Australia. The Sydney Harbor Hospital series reeled me in). If I HAVE to suffer through Italy or Greece, or any of the other countries written about, I will do so gladly. My travel bucket list has many new places, an Australian cruise/tour is at the top of it.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from all those medical romances is that love is what we all need and that you can find your happily ever after in the most unexpected place or situation. Sometimes, love finds you quite literally, by accident.  While things may not always be perfect, these heroes and heroines always look for a silver lining while helping each other and their patients, and it’s so nice these days to read about something that ends happily! lgcover.9781488022074

The first of the month will be here soon, and I will open my Kindle to 6 more medical
romances
and hours of reading enjoyment. Until then, I will have to daydream about being mildly injured in a desert wadi in Western Australia, being rescued by a gorgeous, blue-eyed Italian doctor bearing a green whistle and the key to my heart, who actually is my boss at my new job.  🙂

What do you enjoy most about reading medical romances?

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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

Hanging Out With Readers!

IMG_0810-1This weekend was the Australian Romance Readers Convention in the national capital, Canberra! Canberra was warm and sunny…not that I left the hotel but you know, it was nice to know the weather was glorious 😉

Although, teeny-tiny compared with Amercia’s RT convention, ARRA is a lovely warm and intimate gathering. It was a terrific weekend and a good opportunity to mix and meet with romance readers! Most of them were women but there were a few blokes about and the one thing they all have in common is a voracious appetite for reading romance. The weekened kicked off on Friday night with drinks, a full conference day on Saturday including a fabulous books signing and a splendid awards dinner that had a 1920’s theme followed by another day of sessions on the Sunday. Books were launched (Rachael Johns’ Road To Hope and the ARRA book Tribal Law, sensational food was eaten and the quirky QT Hotel in Canberra was awash with the love of romance fiction 🙂

I took part in a panel and the book signing. The rest of the time I popped to some sessions and caught up with some fellow authors I only get to see once a year or two including medical romance authors Avril Tremayne, Fiona McArthur and Amy Andrews. The best way to describe the fun is a photo stream so here goes!

Me chatting with Mr. President! (The QT hotel in Canberra has a political theme)
Me chatting with Mr. President! (The QT hotel in Canberra has a political theme)
The book signing. I just LOVE my banner and my cool Big Sky Country shopping bags!
The book signing. I just LOVE my banner and my cool Big Sky Country shopping bags!
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The wonderful regency authors in their garb.
Me as a flapper at the awards dinner
Me as a flapper at the awards dinner
Silly fun in the photo booth :-)
Silly fun in the photo booth 🙂
Book swag!
Book swag!
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Canberra airport art

So now I am home, the high heels are back in the cupboard and real life is calling. How was your weekend and have you ever attended a romance readers event?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!

A tour of Sydney: the places that inspired settings in the Sydney Harbour Hospital Series

For those readers who are enjoying the Sydney Harbour Hospital series I thought I’d give you a bit of a tour of  the Emerald City (Sydney) and show you some of the places that appear in the books and/or inspired places in the books.

My husband’s been working in Sydney on and off so I’ve been lucky to have a few trips up there. The harbour really does make it one of the most beautiful cities in the world which is ironic given it started life as a penal colony!

When a series is written, the authors involved come together to make a few decisions. As Sydney is a huge city we had to ‘place’ SHH. We chose North Sydney, which is just across ‘the coat-hanger’ otherwise known as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  This photo shows Kirribilli House (the Sydney residence of the Prime Minister) with buildings behind it. One of those buildings is Kirribilli View, the block of apartments where many of the staff of SHH live.
The swimming pool where Finn does his laps everyday to keep his pain at bay is the North Sydney pool.Emily Forbes suggested this and what an amazing place it is.  Even I’d swim laps with that view!  Luna Park is just next door.

The  beach-side cafe with the ‘best big breakfast in Sydney’ which  Tom and Hayley go to was based on  Doyle’s in Watson’s Bay.Doyles is a family owned and operated seafood restaurant which has been trading since 1885! In Australian terms that’s a very, long time.

Half of the Doyle’s experience is the very pretty ferry ride and it is magic on a sunny day. Once you arrive at the restaurant, the tables are virtually on the sand and the old wooden fishing boats are pulled up on the beach. You can sit and watch the ferries pull in and out and easily while away many hours and in the distance you can just see the tall, city buildings.

This is the view of Doyles from the jetty in the other picture. It was taken on my birthday last year.
Parkes University where Tom lectures
was inspired by  the
glorious sandstone of Sydney University. Isn’t it just fabulous? How could you not be inspired to study surrounded by architecture like that. Graffiti tunnel really does exist but unlike the scene in SHH: Tom’s Redemption, it is very safe. I love
walking through it and checking out all the art.
Amy Andrews came up with the idea of ‘Pete’s’, the bar/watering hole where the staff gather when they’re off duty. I’m not sure if she had a pub in mind or whether she was thinking of ‘Cheers’ but hopefully she’ll call by and tell us!
One thing you might be interested in is the picture I had in my mind of Tom when I
wrote Tom’s Redemption. It was from last year’s Sportscraft catalogue. The male model I felt depicted Tom perfectly….slightly ruffled and that jacket says ‘sexy professor’ don’t you think? And just picture the model with chestnut hair and we have Hayley.
There are eight books in this series of SHH and all are stand alone stories but they share an interesting thread between the enigmatic Finn and the lovely Evie.  The authors involved are Marion Lennox,
Alison Roberts, Amy Andrews, Fiona Lowe, Melanie Milburne, Emily F
orbes, Fiona McArthur and Carol Marinelli and yes, you guessed it, we all live in
 Australia or New Zealand, but ironically, none of us live in Sydney!
I hope this little pictorial tour adds to your enjoyment of the books. We’d love to hear what you think about the series so far!
Sydney Harbour Hospital:Tom’s Redemption is Fiona’s 16th Harlequin Medical romance novel and the first book she’s ever set in a big, city hospital. Riding on a gorgeous big, green Sydney ferry, flying on a helicopter over the opera house and the harbour bridge and eating at Doyle’s for research was extremely hard work and she hopes her readers appreciate her dedication to the cause.  😉