Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt from Susan Carlisle’s latest – The Sheikh Doc’s Marriage Bargain

By Susan Carlisle

Sheik

Out in April

Dr. Laurel Martin placed the test tube into the rack with great care, her pulse racing in anticipation. This could be it. The breakthrough she’d devoted her career to finding. The process to stop the mutation in the factor IX gene in the X chromosome. If it could be tested for during pregnancy and corrected then thousands of lives could be changed, in some cases even saved. The key was finding that link.

To find the answer she had to have funding. That money was difficult to come by. She’d already been put on notice that hers was running out. Still she held out hope that would change. She’d submitted another grant application and should hear from it any day.

The study of hemophilia had become her life’s calling. In medical school it hadn’t taken her long to realize her comfort zone didn’t include interacting with patients and their loved ones. She didn’t like to tell them bad news. Being an introvert further hindered her ability to do so. Research had become her safe spot.

A tap on her lab window drew her attention. She pushed her glasses up on her nose. Stewart, the director of the lab, stood on the other side of the glass. His medium height was dwarfed by the tall, lean man standing beside him.

Oh, my. Laurel’s heart jumped then adjusted. She stared. The stranger was gorgeous. She hadn’t had that type of reaction to a man in years. Not since college when she’d first seen her ex-boyfriend, Larry. A college football player, he’d been shockingly good-looking as well.  She’d learned the hard way that good looks didn’t make a kind person.

The man beside Stewart had an exotic appearance that implied he might be of Middle Eastern decent. His skin had a warm pecan tint as if he spent a great amount of time in the sun. His proud baring gave him an aura of authority, as if he knew his place in the world and had no trouble holding it. The black tailored suit jacket covering his broad shoulders that matched his hair and equally dark, meticulously-groomed beard screamed wealth and power. His gaze locked with hers.

To her surprise his eyes weren’t like ink. Instead they were chestnut, reminding her of a racing stallion she’d seen once as a girl. One of his well-shaped brows rose slightly as if he suspected the effect he had on women and wasn’t surprised by her reaction.

His look bore into hers making her feel like one of her petri dish specimens under a microscope. The devil of it was, he was the kind of man she’d always been attracted to. The brand of male who had always looked passed her mousy, too serious and impossibly intelligent personality in favor of a tall blonde, with perky breasts, long legs and an engaging giggle that stood just behind her. She was wallpaper and his type were interested in the chandeliers.

Men like him didn’t seriously consider her worth noticing. The one time someone had, she’d been traumatized. Larry had damaged her that much. So much so she’d sworn off men and had stuck to that vow for ten years. Long enough to become so absorbed in her work she had little life outside of it. None of that had anything to do with the man before her.

The wave of hand Stewart’s hand drew her look away from the arresting stranger. Stewart indicated he wanted her to come out of her lab. Laurel checked her test tubes again and pushed the rack further away from the edge of the table before rolling her chair back. She exited the room door with a swish of the airlock seal behind her. In the outer room, she removed her goggles and adjusted her glasses. She pulled her mask, gloves and gown off leaving her in a simple round neck t-shirt and jeans.

Shrugging into her starched lab coat, she touched the bun at the back of her head making sure it was in place. She glanced over her shoulder. The stranger intense gaze remained on her. A ripple of heat went through her, disconcerting her even more.

Shaking off the response, she moved with cool proficiency into the main lab. It wasn’t until she’d almost joined the men that she noticed the two larger ones standing a few paces behind the man. How had she missed those intimidating figures? Because she’d been so absorbed by her reaction to the man standing front and center. These males were larger with bulkier shoulders and had even grimmer faces, if that was possible. They stood with hands clasped in front of them and legs wide as if ready to move into action. Who were these people and what did they want with her?

Laurel’s hands trembled. She shoved them in the pockets of her lab coat. Had she done something wrong? Her eyes narrowed and she gave Stewart a questioning look, relieved to have an excuse to break off eye contact with the other men.

Stewart’s voice shook slightly as he said, “Laurel, this is Prince Tariq bin Al Maktum, and he would like to speak to you.” Stewart enunciated the man’s unusual name carefully as if he’d been practicing in order not to trip over it.

Prince? Why would a prince want with her? A “lab rat” according to her siblings. Astonishment made her blurt, “About what?”

“I’ll be glad to share that in private,” Prince bin Al Maktum answered in a deep smooth voice like refined velvet with a thread of steel running through it. His accent made Laurel want to hear him say more.

She twinkled her nose as alarm washed through her. “Stewart, what’s this about?”

“I’ll let the prince tell you. Why don’t we go to my office?” Stewart turned and started toward the swinging doors separating the main lab from the offices. The prince stepped aside, allowing her to proceed him. Acutely aware of him and his security men, she walked stiffly. At the doors, he quickly stepped ahead of her and held one open. Laurel gave him a quick glance as she passed. His inscrutable look revealed nothing. She wouldn’t want to deal with him on a daily basis. How could she ever discern what he was thinking? Feeling?

As they walked down the tiled hall her low sensible clogs made a tap-tap but there was no sound behind her. How did such great men move with such agility? That thought didn’t comfort her.

Stewart swiped his card and pushed the office door open. She entered, expecting him to follow but instead Prince bin Al Maktum joined her and closed the door behind him. The already small space shrunk in proportion to his large presence. She faced him and shoved her hands into her lab coat pocket, bracing herself.

“Please Dr. Martin, have a seat.” He indicated the chairs in front of Stewart’s desk.

“No thank you. I need get back to my lab as soon as possible.” She wanted to return to her safe place. “How can I help you?” Laurel couldn’t imagine how but it seemed like the right thing to say to hurry this along.

“Sit.” The prince’s tone implied she had no choice.

She hesitated but eased into a chair, noting too late it put her in closer proximity to him. To her surprise he took the other chair. At this point she fully expected he might try to lord over her. After all, he acted as if he owned the place. Stewart didn’t allow just anyone to take over his office. She clasped her hands in her lap and waited for bin Al Maktum to speak.

“Dr. Martin, I would like you to come to Zentar with me.”

“What?” she yelped, leaping to her feet. Had this man lost his mind? Why had Stewart allowed this crazy person in their lab?

The prince raised his hand. “Just hear me out for a moment. Please.”

Laurel eased back into her chair more from shock than trying to please him. She glanced at the door.

“I assure you, you are safe. What I meant to say is that I would like to offer you a position. And chance to further your research.”

Laurel shook her head in confusion. That sounded completely different than his earlier statement. She already had a place to do research, one in which she was so close to a breakthrough. Her family lived near. She already had a settled and secure life. She cared nothing about going somewhere else. Where was Zentar anyway? Even if she know she had no intention of marrying a stranger. “Thank you, but I already have a position here.”

“I understand you are the top researcher in the field of hemophilia. I am the Minister of Health for Zentar. I have overseen the building of a state of the art laboratory. I intend for my country to be a leader in finding a cure for hemophilia.”

Really. That was interesting. Her interest pricked.

“I have vetted you and you come with the highest of recommendations.”

“Thank you but I have no idea who you are.” Why was some prince of some tiny nation she’d never heard of focusing on hemophilia? “I appreciate your confidence in me but I’m happy here.” She wasn’t the adventurous type and she had that fact driven home in no uncertain terms. The idea of living in another state much less some far flung country terrified her. “I don’t even know where Zentar is.”

Finally, there was a spark of emotion in those dark penetrating eyes. Was it pride? “It’s an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tunisia. We have beautiful white beaches and stark mountains that are amazing in their own right. We are a small independently wealthy country and progressive in many aspects. My brother, the king, has worked hard to make it so. Still we remain very traditional in others.”

What would it be like to have a man talk about her with that same admiration? She shook that shocking idea away. “It sounds nice but I have my work here.”

He leaned forward. “I can offer you anything you desire. The best of equipment, assistants and endless funding.”

“But why me? Why hemophilia?”

He paused, looked away from her so long she became uncomfortable. “I have my reasons.” That sounded like a dismissal more than a confession.

Laurel started to rise.

His expression turned shadowy and looked away. “Hemophilia is a problem in my country and growing.”

Laurel now knew what drove him. “I see.”

He pierced her with a look. “I am not sure you do. In my country the number of children born with the disease is increasing. As the Minister of Health I must find out why. You can help me.”

Apparently he believed she would accept without question but it wasn’t going to happen. Just the idea of getting on a plane made her shudder. She could not and would not pick up her entire life and move to a strange country. “I can go.”

“Is there a husband or boyfriend keeping you here?”

“No.”

“Then why not?” He watched her too closely.

“I don’t fly.”

His silent steady examination lasted a heartbeat too long. “Ever?”

“More like never.”

“You would be taking my private plane. Every luxury would be afforded you. All I ask is that you come and have a look at our facility. Then you could decide.”

Laurel appreciated him thinking so highly of her but she had no interest in going to Zentar. She wasn’t a daring person. Her work, her life, was here. She stood and he did as well. “Thank you for the offer but I cannot accept. So I really shouldn’t waste anymore of your time. If you will excuse me, I need to get back to my lab now.”

The prince’s lips thinned and his eyes were emotionless again, more telling than if they had held some. She’d just refused a man who was used to getting his way. It took a great deal of willpower, but she stepped between the chairs into his personal space. A whiff of his citrus aftershave tickled her nose. A shiver ran along her spine as she hurried to the door. She was unsure if her body’s reaction was in response to his close proximity or from the anger gusting off him.

“Dr. Martin.”

Laurel turned.

In a low, even voice he informed her, “Just so you know, I make a point of getting what I want.”

 

That evening in his hotel suite Tariq poured himself a finger of whiskey.  Perplexed, he pondered where his interview with Dr. Martin had gone awry. The nondescript slip of a woman had refused him! He was both irritated and impressed. In his world, few if any people told him no, yet a wallflower doctor who lived most of her life closed up in a glass room laboratory had done so. He was confounded. What had gone wrong in the meeting he’d so carefully planned?

Leaning back in his chair, he stretched his legs out and crossed them at the ankles, swirling the transparent copper-colored liquid in his glass. He’d done his homework. In fact, he’d even called a couple of research facilities to verify she was the person he should focus his efforts on. It never occurred to him she would turn down his offer. What research scientist wouldn’t want to head their own lab and have access to all the research money they wanted? Apparently he had overlooked some pertinent fact about Dr. Martin. He didn’t have a Plan B formulated but by evening’s end he would. He wanted Dr. Martin in Zentar and he would have her.

After his brother’s death from a car accident, Tariq had taken over the responsibility of his sister-in-law’s and Roji’s welfare. Tariq would give anything to have Roji grow up with his father there. That wouldn’t happen now, but if Tariq had anything to do with it no more of his family would have to endure what Roji would. The future members of the royal family would be free of hemophilia. The cure was out there and he’d built a lab to find it in. Now he needed the right person to lead it, and that was Dr. Martin.

He would never put a wife and child in the same position as Zara and Roji. Despite being the only male in his family that did not have hemophilia he refused to take the chance on having a family. He didn’t deserve one when the others had to deal with the disease. As a doctor he understood that the ailment was thought to be passed by the female. What if he picked the wrong woman? He already lived with enough guilt.

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Interviews, New Releases

February New Releases

Welcome to February medical romance fans. A great line up for you this month!

Carrying The Surgeon’s Baby by Amy Ruttan

What happened in Vegas…has life-changing consequences!

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An impulsive Las Vegas encounter that left practical Dr Emily West married to world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr Ryan Gary should have simply been a lesson learned – except now she’s pregnant with his baby!

When Ryan arrives at Emily’s Seattle hospital to assist on a case, they’re reunited and their powerful spark reignites. But can working side-by-side with Emily convince lone-wolf Ryan he’ll be the perfect dad, now and always?

 

 

Heart Surgeon, Prince…Husband! by Kate Hardy

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A convenient proposal…an inconvenient attraction!

Prince Luciano Bianchi is a top heart surgeon – but as a future king, he’s expected to rule, not operate! To convince his family saving lives is where his heart lies, he proposes a temporary convenient marriage to his new colleague, workaholic cardiologist Kelly Phillips.

Of course, there’s no risk of either of them falling in love – until their whirlwind ‘romance’ starts to feel tantalisingly real!

 

 

 

Island Doctor To Royal Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Working side by side…With a secret prince!

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In desperate need of staff for her small clinic on a beautiful Malaysian island, Dr. Arissa Cotter accepts the help of tourist Dr. Philippe Aronaz, little knowing her knight in shining armor is also a prince! But when he sweeps her away to his Mediterranean kingdom, she discovers Philippe faces battles of his own.

Arissa has always hidden herself away—dare she step into the spotlight and stand by her prince’s side?

 

 

 

Nurse To Forever Mom by Susan Carlisle (Single Dad Docs)

Could a temporary arrival…Lead to a forever mommy?med3

 

In this Single Dad Docs story, Maple Island Clinic founder Dr. Cody Brennan is committed to protecting himself and his two little girls from any more heartbreak. But vibrant temp nurse Stacey Ryder challenges him and their emotional connection slips past his defenses.

As Stacey’s time at the clinic draws to an end, can Cody and his daughters convince her she’s the one they’ve been waiting for?

 

 

 

The Baby They Longed For by Marion Lennox

med2One night in the surgeon’s arms…one miraculous surprise!

Obstetrician Addie and surgeon Noah’s relationship has always been complicated since he broke the news that her fiance had jilted her. Years later, finding themselves working and living together, they both agree to keep things professional. Until one intense day leads to one magical night, resulting in the miracle neither ever believed possible!

Now they must put the past behind them if they want to build a future…together.

 

 

The Single Dad’s Proposal by Karin Baine (Single Dad Docs)med1

Will their newfound love…Lead to an island wedding?

In this Single Dad Docs story, aristocratic surgeon Rafael Valdez might be the heartthrob of Maple Island, but he has eyes for only one girl—his daughter, Gracie! Until child life specialist Summer Ryan helps Rafael realize he doesn’t have to cope with the special care Gracie needs alone.

Can he convince Summer there’s room in his life—and his heart—for her, too?

 

 

 

 

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Maple Island (Excerpt)

I’m posting an excerpt today from my latest release, Resisting her English Doc.  As this is the second book, of a four book series, I’ve chosen two short passages from the middle of the book, which mentions the heroes and heroines from the three other books in the Maple Island quartet.

So – just to set the scene – everyone on Maple Island has gathered together for the Fright Night, in the Library, which has been organised by Pamela Vandenberg, the librarian, and Fleur Miller, the heroine of my book.  She’s taken Dr Rick Fleming and his daughter Ellie along, and they get a chance to rub shoulders with Alex and Maggie (Annie O’Neil’s hero and heroine, from Book 1), Rafael and Summer (Karin Baine’s hero and heroine, from Book 3) and Cody (Susan Carlisle’s hero from Book 4).  Annie, Karin and Susan all chose their characters’ costumes for the event.

We also meet Salty Harrington – who was the hero of the hour when he helped save two children from a stranded ferry.  He’s the Clinic’s most awkward patient, and his story runs through all four of the books.

Next week we’ll be blogging again about Maple Island, so please drop in again, to have a chance to win one or more of the books in this four book series!  But in the meantime, please meet the Maple Island cast and crew.

 

Salty Harrington was parked in one corner in his wheelchair, in charge of storytelling, and Ellie had run off to join the circle of children around him. A cocked hat, an eye patch and a wicked-looking cutlass were all that Salty needed to look exactly like a pirate. Fleur had left Rick’s side, to speak with a mummy who he guessed was Pamela, although it was difficult to tell under all those bandages. A taller mummy, who arrived with drinks for them both, and pressed his bandaged mouth against Pamela’s bandaged cheek, must be her husband.

The clinic staff were out in force, along with a few of the patients. Summer Ryan, the daycare assistant, was dressed as a white witch, complete with a basket of fragrant herbs. And the new spinal surgeon, Dr. Rafael Valdez, wore an immaculate dark suit and top hat, his face painted to resemble a skull, with intricate traceries of black and red on his cheeks and forehead. His little daughter Gracie was clinging to his hand, dressed as a fairy princess. Rick smiled. If Ellie was anything to go by, three-year-old girls rarely wanted to dress as anything else.

Wondering what Salty was filling the children’s heads with, he wandered over. Ellie was sitting cross-legged on the floor with a dozen others, drinking in the story.

“Are there trolls on the ship, Uncle Salty?” One of two identically dressed trolls, with pointed hats and patchwork jerkins over colored leggings and boots, piped up.

“Every ship has trolls, little ’un.Two trolls together is especially lucky.” The two little girls squealed with delight, and Rick saw Cody’s head turn at the sound of his daughters’ voices. It seemed that Cody’s imagination had been exhausted by finding costumes for his girls, and he’d come in a surgical mask and gown, looking exactly the same as he did most days at the clinic.

“No doctors in fancy weskits, though…” Rick jumped as Salty singled him out for comment and grinned, moving away. Clearly Salty had had his fill of doctors today.

Fleur was still talking to Pamela and Rick made his way over to the drinks table, accepting a fizzing purple concoction from a red-haired Bigfoot in a leather jacket. Tonight was going to be an interesting night.

*****

“Where’s Pamela?” Rick looked around.

“She was dreadfully nervous about this evening and ended up downing one too many of those purple cocktails. Her husband’s taken her off for a lie-down in the family pyramid.”

“She needn’t have worried. Tonight was amazing.” The library looked even spookier now that it was empty. Long, dark shadows, one of which seemed to be moving…

“Hey, you two. Take it home…” Fleur called out laughingly, and when Rick focused more carefully, he could make out two figures. Zombie superheroes, the tallest of whom had his cloak wrapped around the smaller one’s shoulders, were busy smudging each other’s face paint.

“Fabulous party, Fleur. Goodnight.” Maggie’s voice emanated from the smaller zombie, as she led Alex from the shadows. Rick and Alex exchanged a gruff “See you at work” and Fleur closed the library doors behind them.

“I’ll just check there’s no one else here and lock up.” Fleur flipped on the overhead lights, and suddenly the artistry of the decorations became apparent. Floating cobwebs, a few torn and painted sheets and cleverly placed lighting were all that she’d needed to turn the library into a place of shadows.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, New Releases

November New Releases!

Six shiny new Medical Romances, for November, including the first two stories from Hope Children’s Hospital!

lgcover.9781488080098.jpg A Daddy Sent by Santa, by Susan Carlisle

When a small-town mom…

Falls for a big-city doc…

Nurse Lauren Wilson is used to doctors coming and going in her Oklahoma town — and doesn’t expect prestigious Boston doc Paxton Samuels to be any different. Until they’re snowed in together and their sensual tension reaches boiling point! But knowing Paxton is due to leave after the festive season, can Lauren risk giving him her heart and her little boy a daddy for Christmas?

 

 

Midwife Under the Mistletoe, by Karin Bainelgcover.9781488080104.jpg

A kiss under the mistletoe…

A family for Christmas?

GP Fraser McColl longs to be part of a loving family, but past experience has taught him he’s better off alone. Only, thrown together with gorgeous yet guarded midwife Iona Munro, to care for two children at Christmas, he’s tempted to believe in miracles… After one passionate night together, can he persuade Iona that they deserve a lifetime of happiness—together?

 

 

 

lgcover.9781488080081.jpgFirefighter’s Christmas Baby, by Annie Claydon

A festive fling…

With consequences!

Firefighter Ben Matthews is committed to his job above all else since his last relationship ended badly. Until he meets alluring and fiercely independent paramedic Callie Walsh! Their fiery exchanges over the project she’s working on at his fire station, leave Ben unable to deny their chemistry… Then Callie turns up on his doorstep — pregnant! Can some Christmas magic turn their holiday fling into a forever family?

 

 

lgcover.9781488080074.jpgNew Year Wedding for the Crown Prince, by Meredith Webber

Can the charming prince

Claim his gorgeous bride?

When Crown Prince Charles of Livaroche turns up on Dr. Jo Wainright’s Australian doorstep, their two worlds collide. Only while Charles is seeking clues to his past, Jo is determined to forget the heartbreak of hers. Stranded together this Christmas their magical connection becomes hard to ignore… But when Charles proposes, dare Jo reveal the reason that’s standing in her way of becoming his New Year bride?

 

 

lgcover.9781488080067.jpgOne Night, One Unexpected Miracle, by Caroline Anderson

Can one illicit night…

Lead to the love of a lifetime?

In this Hope Children’s Hospital story, senior pediatric surgeon Alice Baxter believes she’ll never conceive. So is stunned to find she’s pregnant after one spontaneous night with colleague Marco Ricci! She might be his buttoned-up boss but their chemistry is off the charts. And when Marco whisks Alice to his family’s Italian castello she discovers he’s determined to claim both his baby…and her heart too!

 

 

lgcover.9781488080050.jpgTheir Newborn Baby Gift, by Alison Roberts

Could an abandoned baby…

…melt the surgeon’s frozen heart?

In this Hope Children’s Hospital story, pediatric heart surgeon Ryan Walker knows that shy receptionist and neonatal “baby cuddler” Evie Cooper is off-limits to a jaded playboy like him! But when they discover an abandoned newborn, they must work together to care for her. Ryan will do everything he can to mend baby Grace’s heart—will he lose his own to Evie in the process?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Now That You Are An Author What Are You Going To Do?

by Susan Carlisle

For many years in America when a football team won the Super Bowl they would show a picture of the winning quarterback holding up the trophy and being asked, “So-in-so, now that you’ve won the Super Bowl what’re you going to do?” The guy would yell, “I’m going to Disney World!”

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That is something like how I felt this past week. It all started 47 years ago for me. My grandmother, we called her O’ma, was a teacher. When my grandfather retired he wanted O’ma to do so as well, and she did, but she continued to substitute. Her sister lived in the Orlando, Florida area and kept talking about someone buying up all the land, much of it swamp. It turned out to be Mr. Disney who was developing Disney World. O’ma decided she wanted to take her grandchildren when it opened. She substituted a day per grandchild to pay for the tickets. There were seven of us. I went to Disney World the first week it opened!

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When I started having grandchildren I promised them that I would take them to Disney World when they turned five. I wanted them to be able to remember the visit. So when I started writing novels I started saving. For five years I’ve been saying, “Now that you have become a romance author what’re you going to do? Take my grand kids to Disney World.”

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So last week I took my first group to see Mickey Mouse. All together there were ten of us. I started planning in earnest over a year ago for the visit. I made special t-shirts for the kids and all of us wore matching shirts one day. On the front they read ‘The Marvelous Adventures of Mickey and May May.’ The Mickey part was just his head.

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We spent three days in two different parks riding rides, visiting characters, having breakfast with Mickey and Minnie, taking a pirate boat ride, seeing a parade, watching fireworks, and having pictures made with princesses. I smiled a lot. I’m pretty sure O’ma would be proud of me.

Have you seen Mickey Mouse? Would you like to?

I want to add that I have a new book out in November just in time for Christmas.

Santa Daddy

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Four Writers and an Island

51EtM4S1QZL.jpgAnnie O’Neil and I have swapped blog dates, so I’m here today instead of Annie.  So what better time to tell you about a project that we’ve both been involved with, along with Susan Carlisle and Karin Baine.

First though, I’d like to show you my new cover.  Firefighter’s Christmas Baby will be released in November, and it’s a festive fling with consequences!  (As you can see from the cover 🙂 )

But on with the blog.  A little more than a year ago, Susan Carlisle, Annie O’Neil, Karin Baine and I began to plan out a four-book series.  Set on an island, off the coast of Boston, The Maple Island Clinic was to be home to dedicated doctors, nurses and therapists who would be the heroes and heroines of our stories.

But first, we created the island.  It had a name and we gave it a history, too.  The autumn reds of the maple trees which cover the island are visible from the mainland, and early settlers in the area made their way across the water to tap the trees for their syrup.  A small town was founded on the island and one of the wealthier town fathers left his house and collection of books to the people of Maple Island.  Today, the town library is still housed in the building that Ezra Van Den Berg donated, along with his books and papers.

We probably went into far more detail than we really needed to – but we were having such fun!  Ideas came thick and fast from both sides of the Atlantic and we wondered whether we were going to have to make the island a little bigger to accommodate everything.

We wanted a New England style covered bridge for the island.  Orchards and a harbour with fishing boats.  An old town on the East side of the island, facing out to sea, and opulent holiday homes for summer visitors on the West side, facing Boston.  A ferry.  A LIGHTHOUSE!  Why hadn’t we thought of a lighthouse before…?  We took walks along our imaginary High Street, planning out the shops, the Town Hall and the Sheriff’s office.

And then came the people.  There’s a cake war going on in the High Street between the Brady family, whose five red-haired children all help out at Brady’s Bistro and Bakery, and Phoenix Flame Jones and his wife Sage Blossom, who are vegan bakers and the proprietors of Sunbeam Victuals and Delectables.  Theodore Harrington – known to everyone as ‘Old Salty’ is a cantankerous old fisherman who becomes the hero of the hour in the first book of the series – and his story is carried through all four books.  Each of us added new characters and their stories, along with events that are held on the island to brighten up the long, cold winter evenings.

It’s been the most enormous fun and an absolute honour to work on this project, with three of the nicest and most talented women I could ever hope to meet.  Annie, Susan and Karin have a special place in my heart, along with the island that we created together.

Of course, it’s just a backdrop to the serious business of romance!  But sometimes the location of a book catches my imagination in a special way.  Do you have any favourite locations in books you’ve read?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Life in a Turmoil

By Susan Carlisle

 

I like order. I keep files – in order. I make lists. I have to have things in their correct places and one job finished before I move on to the next one. Right now my life is completely disorder.

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My husband and I recently bought some land and plan to build a house. Now we are in the process of selling the home we live in. It is filled with thirty years’ worth of stuff and memories. I won’t even allow myself to think about the memories because I will cry. I am focusing on the stuff. I am busy de-cluttering, which means throwing away, giving away and packing away the things that are more keepsakes than useful items. In other words, I am staging the house so it will show in the best light.

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I am being tough on myself. I have given items away I would have never dreamed I would part with. Our new house will not have as much space and will be an open-living plan so there is less wall space. I have hesitated more than once about giving something away but have remain strong as a general rule. I did slip once. My grandmother always served jelly in a certain jar when I was a child and I just couldn’t give it up even though I don’t use it often.

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So what does all of this have to do with my need for order? Almost everything is out of order in my house. There are boxes and things everywhere. The house is a general mess. That means I can hardly work on my current book because my world is in such a tumble. The one place that is neat and put together is my bedroom. It is the only sanctuary in the middle of the chaos.

Do you like order or are you good with upheaval?