I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by and that we are in the second half of September already. If I didn't know better, I'd suspect someone of taking a couple of months out of the calendar! I also find it impossible to believe that I am currently in the process of writing my thirteenth Medical Romance when it seems only yesterday that I was bouncing with excitement on hearing the news that my first had been accepted! That excitement has never gone away and I feel so blessed to have been able to continue to grow and expand my loosely-linked books set in and around my fictional town of Strathlochan in rural Scotland.
My ninth Strathlochan story is out now in the new duo format and sharing space with a story from the excellent Emily Forbes. Italian Doctor, Dream Proposal brings Rico & Ruth to the fore. Both have been secondary characters in past stories and now it is their turn to shine. As the second of a trio of friends, Ruth was always destined to have her own book. Staff nurse Gina McNaught came first in An Italian Affair, meeting her scrumptiously sexy doctor, Seb Adriani, on the magical island of Elba off Italy's Tuscan coastline. Specialist immunologist and allergist, Rico Linardi, also featured in An Italian Affair because he is Seb's cousin and close confidant. I'd never intended Rico to be more, but it soon became obvious that not only did he need his own story but that he was the perfect hero for over-achieving and emotionally repressed GP Ruth Baxter.
Both Rico & Ruth are bright, intelligent and professionally successful. Not to mention gorgeous! Both are focused on their careers and have not allowed anything to distract them from achieving their goals. So both are shocked at the intense connection when they first set eyes on each other ... a meeting that changes both their lives forever. Neither has any idea at the beginning of the wider links between them through their relationships with Seb & Gina. The reality of that unexpected coincidence comes later! After Ruth, overwhelmed by the instant blaze of passion between them, scared at being so out of control, and fearing Rico has nothing more to offer her than a temporary fling, has run away. Rico has reluctantly granted her time to think. But he is not going to let her go. The men in his family fall once and fall hard when they meet their soul mate. It happened to his father over thirty years ago. It happened to Seb when he met Gina the previous year. Now it has happened to Rico, and he is determined to win Ruth's trust and her heart ... and make her his wife.
All characters are different and some are easier to write than others. I love Rico & Ruth to bits, but they were very independent, and determined all along to do things their own way, so I ended up with a very different book to the one I had envisaged when I started! Not that I'm a plotter. Far from it. I fly by the seat of my pants when I write and I invest totally in my characters, so there are often surprises along the way, but I usually have at least some idea where I want get to by the end, even if quite how I'm going to get there is often somewhat fuzzy!
For those who fell in love with the wonderful Medical Romance series, The Brides Of Penhally Bay which ran one a month throughout Mills & Boon's centenary year in 2008, I'm delighted to say that the first of the 4 new books that continue the story threads on from those first 12 books, is also out now. The Rebel Of Penhally Bay, by Caroline Anderson, is a terrific read and gets the continuing mini series off to a great start. In November comes Anne Fraser's Spanish Doctor, Pregnant Midwife while in December we have Falling For The Playboy Millionaire by the wonderful Kate Hardy. The latest mini series comes to a close in January 2010 with my own book, A Mother For The Italian's Twins, (by Margaret McDonagh). All 16 stories from Penhally Bay are now available as e-books to download from the Mills & Boon website.
Thank you for sharing some time with me. I hope you will enjoy the new Penhally Bay books and also a return to Strathlochan with Rico & Ruth's story.