Colton And The Single Mom – New Romantic Suspense Release from author Jane Godman

JANE GODMAN is our guest on MBB today. Jane Godman writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Romance and thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. She also self-publishes her historical and gothic stories. She has been a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Nominee and The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award Winner.  Jane worked in a variety of shops, bars, and offices before settling into a career as a teacher. She was born in Scotland and has lived in Germany, Wales, Malta, South Africa, and England. Jane still gets the urge to travel, although these days she tends to head for a Spanish beach or a European city that is steeped in history.  When she isn’t reading or writing romance, Jane enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. She is married to a lovely man, has two grown-up children and has recently discovered the joy of becoming a grandparent (to two gorgeous boys). I had a few questions for author Jane Godman which she was kind enough to answer for me. Read on for the exclusive interview and information about author Jane Godman’s new release, Colton And The Single Mom.

Connect with Jane Godman on the web:

Website         Facebook          Twitter


What draws you to the Romantic Suspense genre?
I love the drama and the unique balance between love story and thriller. It’s important to give equal weight to both the romance and the suspense. And that can be hard to get right. As an author, you have to keep the threads of both stories entwined throughout. Ultimately, you have to rescue the characters from danger and give them a happy ending. It’s very satisfying.  

How did you learn the storytelling craft?
I read a lot! There’s no better way to learn than from seeing how others do it. And I’ve always written my own stories. Ever since I could hold a pencil, I’ve been writing. I wrote my first book when I was fourteen (although it was a long way from then to publication). 

Did your characters appear before your readymade, or did you create them?
The characters in Colton and the Single Mom were unusual because they did come readymade, in a way. Because this is a twelve book series, with a different author each month, there had to be an element of direction from the Harlequin editors about the central storyline. From then on, I found Brayden and Esmée totally took over and told their own story!  

Do you miss your characters when your story is complete?
I really do! That’s why I love writing a series, I get to take the readers back so we can visit them again. We get a peek into their lives, find out if they have kids, and see them happy and enjoying being together.  

What’s the core message of your story?
In Colton and the Single Mom, both the hero and the heroine have had bad relationships and it’s made them wary. They don’t want to be together, but they are so right for each other that they can’t help it. Although it’s a romantic suspense, the core love story is about trust and finding that one person who makes the world seem right again.   

And now, the book!

Colton and the Single Mom (The Coltons of Red Ridge)
This Colton cop falls for a ready-made family
A Coltons of Red Ridge story

Colton And The Single Mom by Jane Godman

A serial killer is on the loose, and true-crime filmmaker Esmée da Costa is on the case. K-9 cop Brayden Colton, the prime suspect’s half-brother, works hard to stop her prying, but sparks fly as he falls for Esmée and her son. When Esmée and Brayden’s little family comes under siege, can they save all they love?

Read Reader Reviews
Buy on:


Meet Author Robin Gianna – Interview and GIVEAWAY

Today, MBB is absolutely delighted to welcome the charming and very talented writer of medical/human interest romances, Robin Gianna, whose work I greatly enjoy.  Medicals are probably my favourite type of romance fiction (apart from historicals of course) because they always have a little bit more than a romance to them. That’s my thought, anyway.  So as you can see, I’m delighted to get Robin Gianna for an interview on MBB, now that she’s blog touring in connection with her latest release, FLIRTING WITH DR OFF LIMITS.

After completing a degree in journalism, working in the advertising industry, then becoming a stay-at-home mom, Robin Gianna had what she likes to call her ‘awakening’. While on vacation, lying in the sun with a beach read, she realized she wanted to write the romance novels she’d loved since her teens.
Robin loves pushing her characters toward their own happily-ever-afters! When she’s not writing, Robin’s life is filled with a happily messy kitchen, a needy garden, a wonderful husband, three great kids, a drooling bulldog and one grouchy Siamese cat.
Robin Gianna on the web:

Website             Facebook         Twitter

 How do you come up with the ideas for new stories?
 It might seem crazy, but the universe seems to throw story ideas at me (and probably most other writers feel the same way) all the time.  It might come from an overheard snippet of conversation, or a longer conversation with a stranger where you learn some incredible thing about their life and think ‘Wow, that has the bones of a great story!’  Or some surprising or emotional news item might get my attention, and have me thinking about a way to create a story around it.  The book I’m currently working on is set in Greece, because I got to spend two weeks there this summer and felt inspired by that experience.  I have a fat file of story ideas – the hard part is finding enough time to write them all!
 Does writer’s block ever happen to you?
 Unfortunately, yes!  It happens for different reasons, I think.  Most often it has to do with the story or characters, but recently it’s been due to the stress of my mother being seriously ill, and having to work through the mental and emotional fatigue of that.
How do you/would you cope if/when it strikes?    
Sometimes when I’m stuck, I just don’t know why.  If I can’t
unstick myself fairly soon, I have to dig deeper to figure out 
what the problem could be.  That’s when I go back and think
about what the characters want, why they want it, and what’s
keeping them from getting it.  Sometimes I realize I don’t have
as clear an idea of that as I thought I did!  Figuring that out
always gets me going in forward motion again.
Dealing with my mother’s failing health and caring for her really took its toll on my muse just recently.  Every time I tried to write, I simply couldn’t.  It was an awful feeling, and I finally realized the well had simply been sucked dry by all of it.  Adding to that the stress of needing to get a book written for a deadline when I was having so much trouble making that happen seemed to lock up my muse even more.  I finally confessed my problems to my editor, who was lovely about it.  The relief of her being so understanding, and my intentionally making time to refill the well (with long walks and time with writer friends) helped me break out of the block and get going again.  And let me tell you, I sent up a big prayer of thanks for that!
 Of all the stories you’ve written, what’s your favourite?
 Ah, such a hard question!  Honestly, it would probably be the first story I ever wrote, which is currently an under-the-bed-book (meaning, it can’t see the light of day in its current state!)  I’ve learned a tremendous amount about fiction writing since then, and one of these days I’m going to pull it out, dust it off, and rewrite it.  Stay tuned! 🙂
Do you live in your character’s world while you write?
I think you have to, to at least some degree.  You have to work to feel what they’re feeling, see what they’re seeing, for the characters’ experiences and emotions to become believable on the page.  Sometimes it comes easily, and it’s almost like being in a trance!  Other times, it’s an effort to get there, but definitely a necessity.


Flirting with the forbidden… 

For intern Dr. Katy Pappas, seeing delectable surgeon Alec Armstrong again is sweet torture! He might have rejected her after their sinfully delicious kiss years before, but he still sets her pulse racing!
Alec is captivated by gorgeous, grown-up Katy. But as his best friend’s sister, a colleague and his student, Katy is definitely off-limits! He’s made the mistake of mixing business with pleasure before, and he won’t risk Katy’s career. Yet can he resist the oh-so-wrong when it feels oh-so-right…?

Read Reader Reviews

Read an Excerpt

Buy Links:

Amazon         Amazon Aus               Amazon UK

Mills & Boon UK         Mills & Boon Aust   

Harlequin US                 B&N

Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win signed copies! 


Amy Ruttan’s New Release – DARE SHE DATE AGAIN

Today, MBB welcomes Amy Ruttan today.  Her new release, DARE SHE DATE AGAIN is a great read.  I took the opportunity to ask this talented author some questions about her work.

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. When she’s not furiously typing away at her computer, she’s a mom to three children.

Life got in the way, and after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a romance author.


Website       Twitter        Facebook

How do you come up with the ideas for new stories?
Anything can inspire an idea; music, a picture, a dream, a trip to 
a new place or even a trip to a familiar place. I like car rides. I 
hang around on Pinterest a lot and pin pictures I like. My current 
work in progress is based on a picture of a former Marine who 
does modelling now, but only has one leg. He’s my inspiration for 
my current hero.

Does writer’s block ever happen to you?
Yes! It has happened to me. It happens mostly when I’m stressed. I had a heck of a time starting my current work in progress took a lot longer than I anticipated to start. I had everything worked out, my editor sent me her suggestions, but I was blanking. The end of summer and early part of the fall was a very stressful time in my personal life.

How do you/would you cope if/when it strikes?
I just power through. I have contracted deadlines and I know if I spoke to my editor or agent and told them why and what was going on they would give me an extension, but I can’t rely on that. This is a business and personally I want to meet the expectations. I want to meet my deadlines. So I power through, even if I only write half a page that will be edited out later at least it’s writing. As Nora Roberts said, “You can’t fix a blank page”.

Of all the stories you’ve written, what’s your favourite?

I don’t have a favorite. I like them all for different reasons. The 
easiest one for me to write was Melting the Ice Queen’s Heart 
(Feb 2014). The one that made me cry the most when I was 
writing it was Pregnant with the Soldier’s Son (July 2014). My 
most challenging to date was Dare She Date Again? (Oct 2014). 
It took a few revisions to get it right. Each book affects me a 
different way.

Do you live in your’ character’s world while you write?

I try to as much as I can. I can’t think ahead about my other 
projects too much. I’m very invested in what I’m currently writing 
at the time.



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?

Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win signed copies!

Enter this to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway//

Introducing India’s Brand New Harlequin Mills & Boon Author – Ruchi Vasudeva

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Ruchi Vasudeva to MBB today.  Ruchi is the author of the brand new Indian HM&B novel BOLLYWOOD FIANCE FOR A DAY.  At the moment, it’s available only in India, but we hope it will be available internationally very soon.


Blog/Website    Facebook    Twitter

How does it feel to be a Harlequin Mills and Boon author?

Great. Fabulous. Gorgeous. *smile* There are really no words to describe the feeling of being published and even less when it’s with a world renowned publisher like Harlequin. HMB is the leader in romance genre and it’s wonderful that they are giving opportunity to the Indian writers to come forward via the Passions contest. Winning this contest was a pivotal point in my writing career which finally led to the snapshot moment when I could actually hold my book in my hand. It was extremely thrilling.

As you are a doctor, would you like to write medical romances?

Yes definitely. For one thing I won’t have to do the research! I have had to do a lot of it for the Bollywood background in my book though the heroine is a doctor so some medical part does creep in. For some reason my muse has been concentrating on Bollywood stories but when the right one strikes me I’d love to write a medical. Used to enjoy reading those a lot, especially the ones by Sonia Deane.

How did you feel when you saw your book cover for the first time?

I absolutely loved it. I was in such a hurry to see it. Cue me reading the email that the book cover had been sent and then being unable to open the attachment in my phone! I could hardly breathe as the laptop started up and was in a tizzy till finally it was revealed. But have to say it’s more than I could’ve imagined. Really grateful to everyone involved.

Can you sum up your book in a Tweet?

Hmm I’ll try. Here goes : “Seeking distraction, she dates a brash Bollywood star, not knowing that a glimpse into his human side will only deepen her troubles.”

Future plans?
Writing and more writing. 🙂 My second book, that is Vishakha’s sister’s story, will be out in December. I have a short featuring in an anthology to be published by Harper Collins India by the year’s end. I’m working on a couple of ideas, let’s see which pans out for next manuscript.

The man of her Bollywood dreams

Winning the chance to meet the ultimate Bollywood heart-throb, Zaheer Saxena, is just What Vishakha needs to take her mind off her recent humiliation – being jilted the week before her wedding! And when gorgeous Zaheer offers to be her fake fiance, the chance to save with her family is just too tempting…

It’s a deal that benefits them both – Zaheer is warding off any unwanted female attention until his next film is finished; but can Vishakha trust herself not to hope that her dream fiance for a day will her forever man?

Get it her in India: Flipkart  Infibeam

Hopefully, the ebook version will be available internationally soon.

Jennifer Faye with RANCHER TO THE RESCUE – and a GIVEAWAY!


It gives me great pleasure to welcome debut Harlequin Mills and Book author Jennifer Fay to MBB today.  Jennifer’s contemporary cowboy romance RANCHER TO THE RESCUE is an emotional, uplifting read.  I’ve read it and can highly recommend it to readers who love emotional love stories.  You can read my review of it, along with reviews by the rest of Team RBH, right here, if you’d like to know more about the book.  Meanwhile, let’s get to know Jennifer a little better…..

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of Jennifer’s giveaway is Crystal Newman.


Website/Blog   Facebook    Twitter     Author Page 

What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer as far back as I can remember. When I was a little girl I was fascinated with Dr. Seuss. It grew from there. When I was a teenager and found my first Harlequin during a sidewalk sale, I knew I wanted to be a romance writer. Life just threw me a few detours, but I refused to give up my dream. And at long last my dream has come true and I couldn’t be happier. Dreams really do come true. 🙂

What’s your preferred genre?
If you are referring to my writing then it’s most definitely contemporary romance. There’s just so much the genre encompasses from sexy billionaires to rugged cowboys. I have a million ideas for stories, I just need more time to write them all down. 😉  But if you’re referring to my preferred genre in reading, well that’s a horse of a different color. It’s always Romance, but I like to switch things up now and then. I really enjoy contemporary (obviously), intrigue/suspense, historical, and medicals. If the book contains sympathetic characters and a vivid setting, I’m a happy camper.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’d say I’m a little of both. When I first started writing, I was 100% pantser. As a result, I ended up rewriting a book four times from beginning to end. That was a massive undertaking and not one I enjoyed. Let’s just say it was a huge learning curve for me. After that experience, I learned that it’s much easier to revise a synopsis/detailed outline versus a completed manuscript. With that in mind, I started working on my writing process. Now that isn’t to say my characters don’t head off on a detour now and then, but eventually they find their way back on track.

Sum up your book in a tweet (140 characters)
Hmm…RANCHER TO THE RESCUE in a tweet might sound something like this: Running from the paparazzi, a bride finds herself at the mercy of a reluctant rancher who knows what it’s like to be exposed in the tabloids.


Damsel in a wedding dress!

Jilted at the altar, celebrity chef Meghan Finnegan flees the scene–and the baying press–only to run straight into the muscled torso of Cash Sullivan. The former rodeo champion knows what’s it like to have your life crumble in the spotlight, so he offers Meghan a place to lie low at his ranch. Fresh air, no paparazzi and the brooding rancher’s lazy smile are making Meghan not want to leave her sanctuary. But she and her unborn baby can’t stay here forever…can they?

Get this book at:  Amazon   Amazon UK
Jennifer will be giving away a copy of the book to one lucky commenter, a print book if won in the USA or a Kindle copy for overeas,  so please leave a comment before you go.

Louisa George Speaks About The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date – And A Giveaway

It’s my pleasure today to welcome British but New Zealand based author Louisa George to MBB.  Louisa writes heartwarming medical romances for Harlequin. Her latest book THE LAST DOCTOR SHE SHOULD EVER DATE is an innovative one – a medical romance set in the world of sports.  After reading the book, I had questions to ask the author, so.over to Louisa….

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of a copy of Louisa’s book is…..And a Pinch of Love.  Pinch, leave me a comment here and we’ll figure out some way to get the book to you….

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog again- it’s always so much fun to be here!

Louisa, you’re very welcome.  You’re four books old now as an HM&B author.  Your latest release is  very unusual for a medical romance with regard to the fact that it’s set on a rugby pitch rather than a hospital ward.  Did you set out deliberately to write a different type of  book? 

Four books! I can hardly believe it- this time last year I was celebrating my debut- what a year! 

The hero of The Last Doctor She Should Ever Date, Zac Price, appeared (off page) in my first book, One Month To Become a Mum– his sister Jessie came back to New Zealand to locum at his practice while he was away…so when my editor asked me about Zac’s story I jumped at the idea. Our Mills and Boon editors are always encouraging us to explore all aspects of medical life- what are the trials and tribulations? What does it mean to be a doctor? It’s a profession that has a myriad of opportunities and I thought it would be fun to ride along with Sports Doctor Zac and see what his experiences were. 

It’s different in setting, yes, but all the elements of a good romance are still there- emotion, conflict, sensuality, humor, the push-pull of attraction….

Are you interested in writing romances in different genres?

Yes! I started out very unsteadily with a historical romance (which will never be published as long as I draw breath) and I’m hoping to branch out into something new and exciting later in the year. But I will still write medical romances, I love them.
Did you have to do a lot of research for THE LAST DOCTOR SHE SHOULD EVER DATE, or are you familiar with the world of sports?

My husband is a sports doctor (and GP). He has worked with international teams in basketball, rugby and football (soccer). I also have two sports-mad teenage boys. So I didn’t need to do much research, to be honest. This is my world (not my story, but the reality I live in every day).  New Zealand held the rugby world cup in 2011 (and won!) and I attended 7 matches and drank in the electric atmosphere. Millions of people across the globe watched these games with such passion and enthusiasm I thought it’d be interesting to explore what happens behind the scenes- and have a little fun too.  I tried hard to make the story much more about the romance and just a little about the back room action. 

Can you tell us a little something about your two main characters?

Sure thing. I wondered what it would be like if you were a sibling in a very famous family (like say, the Kardashians) and you didn’t WANT to be famous- what would life be like for you? If you’d been brought up in the headlines with a family who craved publicity, what would happen if you did something really dumb, felt totally humiliated and then wanted to live somewhere quietly?  This was Daniella- one time IT girl who made a big mistake.

Zac has his own demons- he also made an error of judgement once and that nearly proved to be fatal for someone close to him. So now, while he loves to get close, he doesn’t do personal. So an undeniable attraction to his boss’s daughter rings all the alarm bells.
We were delighted to notice that one of those glamorous sisters was called Desere, like our reviewer at RBH.  It’s a gorgeous name, isn’t it?  And please tell us, what’s next for you, Louisa.

I have a July medical romance release, How To Resist a Heartbreaker. This is a duet written with the amazingly lovely and talented Sue Mackay. For those who don’t know the terminology, a duet is two books where the stories are related in some way- in our case we have two brooding duelling identical twin brothers who are surgeons working in the same hospital. (So yes, I’m back to a more traditional medical setting  !). I have no back cover blurb to share yet- but will try get hold of some and share as soon as possible! Suffice to say, stubborn Max and feisty Gabby have a heck of a challenge to let themselves fall in love….

Once again, thanks for having me!

Thanks for sharing Louisa.  I look forward to the next book coming from you.



British Edition

International Edition

A mistake waiting to happen?

It’s been four years since infamous party girl delectable Daniella Danatello brought her powerful family the wrong sort of publicity! Dani’s desperate to get back in their good books, and accepts a job as a physiotherapist on her father’s rugby team.

There’s just one thing- one man- standing in the way of earning back her self-respect: the team doctor, Zac Price. With killer abs and infuriatingly sexy arrogance, Zac is one massive distraction- and now she’s his colleague, any involvement with him would break all the rules. Dani’s determined to keep away…but Zac’s just too tempting to ignore…
Currently available in print  and digital in the UK and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand,  Available in USA only as digital release.
Giveaway:  Louisa is giving away a free copy of the book to one lucky commenter.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday.  So please remember to leave a comment before you go……

Natalie Charles With a Seven Day Target and a Giveaway

Today, I welcome Natalie Charles to MBB.  Natalie is the winner of the Mills & Boon New Voices Competition in 2011.  She’s  an attorney by profession, but she writes incredible romantic suspense.  when she’s not at her day job.  Natalie lives in New England in the USA with her family.  Her novel, THE SEVEN DAY TARGET, is an April 2013 release.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of  the giveaway of Natalie’s book THE SEVEN DAY TARGET is bn100.  Congrats to the winner


Website/Blog     Facebook     Twitter     Amazon     Goodreads

Can you share briefly about your journey to publication?
 I have always loved to write, but I only started writing with a goal of publication after graduating from law school. I wrote short literary fiction for a few years and had some publishing success. Then I decided to write a romantic suspense novel. My first attempt was just awful. It took Harlequin less than a month to reject me — form letter rejection, no less! — and I received that letter in July, 2011. I decided to try again and entered Mills and Boon’s 2011 New Voices competition in September of that year with a new story. My only hope was to grab an editor’s interest, and I was shocked to win the competition and to receive the call in November. I still can’t believe it.

What’s your writing routine?
 I work full time and take care of a toddler after that, so my only time to write is in the evening. I have a desk in an office that I never use. Instead, I prefer to sit on my living room couch with a cup of tea, prop up my feet, and write as much as I can before I collapse from exhaustion. If I can write 1 to 2k a night, I’m happy with that. When I’m out of the plotting phase and aggressively writing, I try to write 10k a week. After the book is finished, I edit like crazy.
Do you prefer to plot or would you rather let the muse lead you?
 I’m a pantser, and part of what I love about writing is discovering stories I didn’t consciously intend to write. However, I found when writing my second book that I would frequently get stuck or led astray by my muse, and there’s nothing more frustrating than writing a chapter only to have to go back and cut it entirely. Therefore it’s my New Year’s resolution to start outlining. I’m not sure how that’s going to go, quite honestly. Roman numerals make me shudder. More likely, my outlines will look like little books, and then I’ll go back and fill in the details later. You know, pantser outlining. It will be an adventure!

Can you sum up the essence of your book in just one Tweet sized sentence?
 FBI Agent Nick Foster must protect his ex-fiancee, Libby Andrews, from a killer who promises six signs over six days before killing her on the seventh — even if it means putting his heart at risk.

Thanks so much for coming over to talk to us. Can you share what’s next for you?
 Thank you for having me! I’m keeping my fingers crossed as I wait to hear back from my editor on my second book, and in the meantime, I’m plotting my third. I’ll keep you updated on my blog,
Love never dies, but can it kill?

He never meant to speak to her again. Back in Arbor Falls for a funeral, Special Agent Nick Foster has moved on. He has no plans to stay in his tiny hometown—or to reunite with the beautiful Libby Andrews. His onetime fiancée broke his heart, and what’s past should stay buried.

Libby doesn’t want his help. Her childhood sweetheart can never know the real reason she ended their engagement three years before. But when a serial killer targets her, she must team up with the rugged agent for her own safety. Something in her past has put her in danger, and the passion they’ve reignited puts their future in deadly jeopardy.

Read the first chapter here.

Buy Links::  Amazon     Amazon UK     Barnes & Noble

There’s a draw for a free copy of  THE SEVEN DAY TARGET for one commenter and the winner will be announced on Thursday this week.  But if you don’t win, there’s no need to miss out.  The book is easily available at the buy links posted above.  No need to miss out on Natalie’s book.

Louisa George’s Latest Novel – And A Giveaway!

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of a signed copy if Louisa’s latest release THE WAR HERO’S LOCKED AWAY HEART is Fiona Marsden.  Congratulations Fiona.

Louisa George has just dropped in to talk about her latest novel, THE WAR HERO’S LOCKED AWAY HEART and she has a signed copy for one lucky commenter.  She is one of my favourite novelists in the Mills and Boon Medical Romance imprint and I had a lot of  questions up my sleeve to ask her.  So here we go:

Louisa-  Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog! It’s lovely to be here.

Maria-  You’re very welcome, Louisa.   I’ve noticed that your characters, particularly the heroines are very well  drawn and tend to come alive on the page. The heroines in your first two novels, Jessie and Mim, were very likeable. Both of them struck me as women who I’d lik e to have as a friend. 
I loved Jessie in ONE MONTH TO BECOME A MUM for her
no-nonsense, get on with it attitude when her marriage  broke up under such tragic circumstances, especially the way she just dedicated herself to helping others.  I also admired Mim in WAKING UP WITH HIS RUNAWAY BRIDE for putting her passion for rural community medicine before her engagement to a man who back then was rather shallow and selfish.  What I wanted to ask you was what is more important to you when writing your novels?  The characters or the plot?

Louisa I’m so glad you like my characters! For me character is the most important thing. If you think about all the great books you’ve read, I’ll bet it’s the characters that stand out rather than the action: think Scarlett O’Hara, Heathcliff etc  One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to make the heroine sympathetic from the start, that way your readers will be rooting for her. So I try to get them in situations at the beginning that a reader can identify with.

Maria I’d also like to ask you where do you get the inspiration for your characters for your novels?  From your imagination, or are they inspired by real life people you know?  And are your plots inspired by real life or are they entirely inspired?

Louisa The heroines are all from my head, in fact, I think they’re who I’d like to be if I was braver, stronger, taller, funnier, younger! I possibly take traits from people I know and admire, but I couldn’t possibly say who! The secondary characters are sometimes little bits of people and I have fun creating them. However, I do get myself into a bit of a hole sometimes, like when Skye (secondary character in book two) became the heroine for her own story- what to do with a nose-pierced black-haired goth? Hopefully I managed to make her likable (in The War Hero’s Locked-Away Heart). As for plots- that all stems from the internal conflict- e.g. in The War Hero’s Locked-Away Heart I started with an image of a man standing on an outcrop, a loner who wanted to hide from the world, and I had the feeling something terrible had happened to him, and that he didn’t trust himself to love again. Enter Skye- lovable, bubbly Skye who is the total opposite of him, and who believes the world is her playground – so much potential for plot there.

Maria  When you sit down to actually write a novel, do you have the whole thing plotted out from start to finish?  Do you go with a rough outline, being open to new developments as they occur to you in the writing?  Or do you just start with a blank page and work it from there?

Louisa I’m developing a process, but I’m still learning. Currently I have to force myself to think out a whole story – especially if I have to pitch it to my editor. That’s hard for a pantser! I usually thrash out the first 3 chapters and get to know the characters, then plot more from there.*

Maria It probably comes quite naturally to you to set your books in the medical world in New Zealand.  Living as you do in New Zealand and having a medical background means that you know the world about which you’re writing.  Do you ever have to do additional research to help with a book you’re working on?

Louisa I do research all the time, particularly about the medical things- I feel it’s so important to get every fact right! (I’m paranoid about it!).Luckily I have a husband who’s a doctor so he can help. As for settings,usually I make them up, but my current work in progress is set in London and even though I lived there for 7 years it was a long time ago, things change so much. Thank goodness for the internet!

Maria Are you good at spotting your own mistakes when you re-read your drafts?  I know I’m not!

Louisa  I find the best way to spot mistakes is to print the whole thing out in smaller font and single spaced (to save on ink and paper) and read in a different room to the one you wrote the book in. (weird, I know, but it works for me!)*

Maria  I know you’re a novelist.  Could you share with us if you’ve dabbled in other types of writing too?  Articles?  Short stories?  Anything else?

Louisa  I’ve written articles about health for magazines – mainly in New Zealand- under my real name.  When I was working as a nurse I had a few articles published (as joint author) in the British Medical Journal too.

Maria  Of the three books you’ve released so far, which is your absolute favourite and why?

Louisa  Oh, gosh- that’s a toughie! I’ve loved all of them; they’ve all brought their own challenges and were all fun to write at various stages. Possibly, Waking Up With His Runaway Bride is my absolute favourite- not because I love the story so much as it was my second medical and after the long revision process for the first one I thought Mills and Boon had signed me up by mistake, or that me writing a publishable book was a fluke. I absolutely didn’t know if I could do another one (there is an affliction that all writers want to avoid,  called ‘second book syndrome’). So, finishing it and getting only minor revisions gave me much more self belief
as an author. It was my ‘rite of passage’ book (plus it has dancing/ballet/salsa in it, which I adore).

Thanks for such interesting questions.  I’d love to give away a copy of The War Hero’s Locked-Away Heart to one commenter!

Maria  Thank you for coming Louisa and thank you for the giveaway.




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Helen Lacey Talks About The Second Book!

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of  the giveaway for Helen’s latest novel MARRIAGE UNDER THE MISTLETOE is Libby Mercer.  Congratulations Libby.

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A warm welcome to author Helen Lacey, who is joining us on the blog today from Australia.  Helen’s first published novel MADE FOR MARRIAGE was released earlier this year as a Harlequin Special Editions book.   Her second release, MARRIAGE UNDER THE MISTLETOE,  also on Harlequin Special Editions, is now hitting the shelves.  I followed Helen’s blog tour (following her first release) with great interest and I can hardly believe that it’s time for the next book already.  Helen agreed to answer some questions for me about this second release, and how it feels to have the second book published.

1.Helen, it seems like hardly any time since your first book MADE FOR MARRIAGE hit the shelves and now it’s time for the next one. How does it feel to have a second book coming out? Is it as exciting as it was the first time around?

Yes, absolutely. My second release is equally as exciting as the first. Both characters in Marriage Under The Mistletoe featured in the first book, so it was lovely to write their story and give them a happy ending.

2. Now that you’re a published author, has it made things easier for your writing, or harder?

Not harder, I just make sure I am organized and meet my deadlines.

3. Is your second book MARRIAGE UNDER THE MISTLETOE set in the same world as your first book, or in a different one?

Yes, the same little seaside town of Crystal Point, which sits at the most southern tip of The Great Barrier Reef.


4. I noticed that horses were featured prominently in your first book and I came to know through following your blog tour that you’re a keen horsewoman. Will horses feature in MARRIAGE UNDER THE MISTLETOE?

Unfortunately there are no horses in Marriage Under The Mistletoe – but there certainly will be in future books. The heroine in my third book which releases in January has a horse. Since animals are such a big part of my life, sharing that connection with readers is very important
to me.

5. MADE FOR MARRIAGE had a thought provoking message, that it’s not biology that makes a parent but commitment, love and caring. When your hero, Noah, revealed that because of his first wife’s affairs, he wasn’t sure if he was the real father of his
kids, that really rang a bell. I had a friend who married a man with a similar situation and approach, so I knew that this can really happen. This was the surprise factor that made your novel a little different from a run-of-the-mill story. Will MARRIAGE UNDER THE MISTLETOE have a similar surprise hidden inside?

Thanks you so much for saying that. Special Edition books draw on the theme of Life, Love & Family, with the things that happen in the stories being parallel to what happens in real life, to everyday people. When I wrote Marriage Under The Mistletoe I wanted to explore the older woman/younger man theme and create a heroine who’d shut down after the death of her husband and believed love the second time around had passed her by.

6. After the excitement of your first release, was it hard to come back to normality and adopt a routine to write every day?

The excitement was fabulous and I enjoyed every moment, but I was on a deadline during that release month so still had to keep writing. Plus, I had been writing for a long time before getting published and was in a steady writing routine. Now I feel incredibly grateful to be able to write full time.

International Edition

7. Can you give us an idea of what MARRIAGE UNDER THE MISTLETOE is like? I’d love if you could tell us a little about the main characters.

I’d love to share a little about my book. The heroine, Evie, is a thirty six year old widow with a teenage son and lives a quiet life running her bed and breakfast. She is solid and sensible and the kind of person everyone goes to for advice. When Scott Jones arrives in Crystal Point to attend his sister’s wedding he quickly falls for Evie. However, she has no intention of falling in love with the young and sexy fire-fighter. But, it’s Christmas and well, there’s mistletoe . . .

It’s been great to be here. To celebrate the release of Marriage Under The Mistletoe I have a signed copy to give away to one commenter.

Helen, that was very interesting.  Thank you for sharing with us today.


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