Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Playlists & Such

I hear a lot of writers say that they need complete silence to write. No distractions. NOTHING but them and the voices in their head. I can write this way too, grudgingly, but I prefer music or at least something I’ve seen a million times playing in the background on the television as I write.

As book 15 was just accepted a week or so ago, I though I would share some of the music which was played repeatedly while I worked on various titles. Due to the beauty of Apple iTunes Music (Hooray because my memory can be sketchy on the best of days) it lets me know which songs on any given playlist that I listened to a lot.

It drives my DH a bit bonkers if I don’t have my headphones on and I’m listening to a song on repeat. 😉

Since book 15 was accepted, I thought I would start with the book that started it all, SAFE IN HIS HANDS. This was before I subscribed to Apple Music, but I do remember the song that inspired the book.

safeinhishands   The song that inspired this book was Adele’s Someone Like You. Safe in His Hands was a reunion romance. A second chance at marriage and love.

When I write about my Army Docs or Navy Docs, I always have to have Skillet’s Hero added to my playlist.

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And for my latest release Unwrapped by the Duke, even though it’s a Christmas themed book I didn’t listen to many Christmas songs, but instead went for something a bit sexier. Only fitting for that gorgeous hero.

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And the song that was on repeat for this book was Salted Wound from Sia.

Writers, do you listen to music while you write?

Readers, do the songs fit the books? Or did you envision something else when reading it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Winter Whine & Covers!

I’m not going to whine too much about winter. Well, I’ll try not too. Winter is not my favourite season and you’ll find a lot of my heroines don’t like it much either. Hehehe. Usually the heroines who whine about winter in my books were written in winter. LOL I just noticed the pattern the other day when revising my quad book for the New York Docs quad coming out in the near future.

My heroine was whining about her move to New York City in the winter.

I feel for her.

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Ahh grumpy cat, you know me so well.

But enough complaining about winter. Last winter was worse. Last winter was the polar vortex and Southern Ontario apparently thought it was Iqaluit, Nunavut or Tuktoyaktuk Northwest Territories.

This year hasn’t been as cold …and it better not get that way. I’m watching you Wiarton Willie!

I’ve been keeping busy with deadlines and not getting lab confirmed flu again. Long story about how I got that.

And I also got a plethora of new covers to share. I love new covers! Especially foreign edition covers. So to warm up this cold wintry day before I head back to revisions (which are due Monday) I’m going to share my newest foreign edition covers.

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This is the German cover for Safe in His Hands, which is one of the stories in this trio. I share this with Fiona Lowe and Alison Roberts!

 

 

 

 

 

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Melting the Ice Queen’s Heart went to Italy this month. The doctor on the cover looks like a guy I went to high school with. It took me by surprise, but it’s an awesome cover.

 

 

 

 

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This is the Polish cover for Melting the Ice Queen’s Heart and I have to say I’m totally in love with this one. It’s beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

I love seeing the different interpretations!

And I also have a new cover for my March Release. It Happened in Vegas is the second story in a Duet with Dianne Drake in our Army Brothers Duo.

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The hero she never forgot…

Keeping out of the spotlight isn’t easy for senator’s daughter Dr. Jennifer Mills…especially after being jilted at the altar by her ex-fiancé! Arriving in Las Vegas, she’s just hoping to blend in… But then she meets ER surgeon Nick Rousseau—the same man she spent an unforgettable night with three years earlier!

Now returned from Afghanistan, ex-army medic Nick is struggling to come to terms with his time on the front line. Rekindling his romance with Jennifer reminds this brooding doctor that some things in life are still worth fighting for…

 

So stay warm everybody. Spring is coming …well for those of us in the northern hemisphere. I know my Aussie friend’s summer is winding down.

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Number Four!

I really can’t believe book #4 released yesterday, because honestly it feels like I just sold yesterday. However, that could be the left over sedation talking. I spent release day in the hospital having some invasive testing done. Not fun, but sadly necessary. Fitting that my fourth Harlequin Medical releases and I spend it with Doctors.

At least this time I didn’t tell the cute doctors that they were excellent hero potential.

Yep, I did that. Last year, during  a procedure.

D’oh.

I hope you all enjoy my 4th book. It’s related to my 1st. If you’ve read Safe in His Hands Dare She Date Again? is George’s story.

I better crawl back into bed and try to sleep off the effects of the meds. Have a fantastic day everyone! xoxoxo

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To love again…?

Single mom and paramedic Samantha Doxtator has been living with a broken heart after losing her husband years ago. Now she’s finally back on track and following her dream to become an air ambulance pilot…after training one last student—George Atavik!

Since nearly losing his life in a plane crash, George will not waste the second chance he’s been given, and he won’t deny the sparks flying between him and his new mentor. Does Samantha dare risk her own carefully guarded heart for another opportunity at happiness?

The Writing Life

One Month After

I can’t believe I’m here. I sometimes still pinch myself.

*YOWCH* Yep, it’s real.

I’m one month post debut release.

And it feels a bit …surreal still. I mean, I’ve wanted to be a Harlequin author for as long as I can remember. I remember sneaking peeks at my grandmother and mother’s stash.

My Nanny tend to read more “bodice rippers” as the old term goes. Historical romances by Woodiwiss, Lindsay and Mason.

My Mom read Harlequins. Presents and most of those were about Sheikhs. She liked the Sheikh books. She still does.

She now loves medicals. Nope, she’s not biased! Not at all. LOL 😉

Still, it’s been one heck of a journey and I’m so glad to be here. Some things I learned through this process, don’t give up. If it’s your dream, keep trying! Learn to listen. Learn to accept advice from your editor. When they give you specific revisions, take them to heart and pick your battles! Write what you love. It shows in your writing when you try to force it. Read your work out loud and backwards. Hey, it works!

Above all read. Read lots. Writing is all about growing and learning.

Now, I’ll head back into my cave. Book three will not write itself, no matter how many times I tell it to. 😉

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

My “Fast” Call Story

Hello everybody! (And from this I always hear “Hi, Dr. Nick!”).

It’s so awesome to be posting here for the first time. Well, actually I was introduced in April with the other new Medical Author Amalie Berlin, but this is my real first time actually posting and exposing you to my crazy.

Okay, not totally crazy. Just a touch.

It’s awesome because I’ve been lurking here since I started actively writing for medicals, which was the 2010 Fast Track. Seeing how I didn’t sell until 2013, it’s kind of ironic that it was my fast track submission Safe in His Hands which sold in January 2013, but I can safely say that it wasn’t ready until then.

My call story was a long, HARD journey. The path to publication with Harlequin was NOT an easy one, but I’m glad for it because it made me work for what I wanted.

In 2010 I entered the fast track with Safe in His Hands, which had the terrible title of City Surgeon, Wilderness Doctor. I kind of still cringe when I read it with that title. I love, love, love the one Harlequin gave me.

I entered one chapter and synopsis and then Tessa Shapcott asked to see the partial, but she gave me some ideas to keep in mind going forward.

I sent in the partial in November of 2010 and I waited.

July 2011 Lucy Gilmour asked for the full at a really, really, REALLY bad point in my life. You see, one of my best friend’s died. Suddenly. He was my youngest son’s godfather, he was married to my other best friend (who is more like a sister) and she had a two-year old son (like my youngest) and was 16 weeks pregnant with their second son (my godson).

He had routine knee surgery that went smoothly. The nurse spoke with him and within the moment of her turning to the next bed he threw a clot and passed away. There was nothing they could do and tragically his life was over. To say we were all devastated in an understatement.

The request for the full came two days after his death. I couldn’t even contemplate it. Couldn’t even think. For a while, I wasn’t sure I could, but then I remembered my conversations with Chris and how life is too short, too precious to not take a chance to achieve your dream. My dream was become a Harlequin author. If I didn’t do it I know he would be kicking my BUTT.

I poured EVERYTHING I had left emotionally into writing the full and sent it to Lucy in December 2011.

And then I waited, but only until March 2012 when I got an email from then editorial assistant Caroline Kirkpatrick.

Caroline worked with me from March until August on turning my Beta hero into a dishy Alpha. I was ready to kill my hero. One moment he was emasculated, the next he was a jerk. I even admitted that to Caroline in a phone conversation how much I hated the jerk version of him. Actually I referred to him, at the time, as a douche and she laughed. There’s nothing douchey about him any more though!

Also during this time I went on a 10,000 km (that’s round trip) across country for my sister-in-law’s wedding in Alberta. I was in the midst of planning and a wee bit stressed.

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Above is me and my youngest at the wedding rehearsal, June 29, 2013 in Camrose, Alberta. Far, far from home.

I edited on the road. It was nuts, but I wanted in at Harlequin and I would just be thinking about it the whole month we were gone anyways.

August Caroline called to tell me she was leaving. *SOB* I was so worried that the next editor would HATE it, hate my voice and me. I was assigned Suzanne Clarke in October 2012. She tore into what I had, told me in a list what to change and that she wanted it in the new year. I worked like a fiend, I mean, I’d come this far. I was scared out of my gourd, tired of working on the story, ready to tear my hair out, but I did it. What was the point of giving up now?

The worst that could happen was she’d say no. You don’t know unless you try, eh?

I sent it off early January 2013 and prepared myself to wait.

January 25, 2013 I woke up on a bitter cold day at 6 a.m. and decided to check my email. Usually, I don’t do this. I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I’m more like a zombie in the mornings, “Need brainzzzzz.”

There was an email in my inbox from Suzanne. My heart dropped into my stomach, probably farther.

This is it, she HATES it.

Instead she asked me when it would be a good time to call.

I freaked out. My husband couldn’t figure out why the heck I was so perky for 6 a.m. on a day it was minus 30 out and the fact I still had to take the kids to school in this nasty winter weather. Usually I’m calling for brains (see above), but I was excited because I knew something good was going to happen. She wanted to call. I didn’t read and obsess over all those call stories for nothing! (Tina Joyce Beckett, I read yours a billion times! LOL)

I set up a time for her to call me at 9:00 a.m. EST which is like 2:00 p.m. her time. At 9:15 a.m. the phone rang and Suzanne offered me a two book deal.

I tried not to sound like too much of a goon, but I was a dancing all over the room as she went over stuff with me. The next day I hosted a crazy Star Wars birthday party for my middle guy who was turning 7.

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The only birthday party where I wasn’t crazy exhausted after dealing with six 7-year-old boys, probably because I was on an adrenaline high from the previous day.

Anyways, I digress.

It was a long road to hoe, but it was worth it. It was what I wanted, more than anything and what made it even sweeter was the blood, sweat and tears I put in to it. I hope I showed my three kids ( 1 girl and 2 boys) that you can achieve your dreams.

So if there’s anything other lurkers can take away from my call story is (and yes I’m quoting Galaxy Quest here) “Never give up, never surrender.”

Give it your all. Capture your dreams.

And thanks for letting me ramble here today.