Saturday, February 07, 2009

IMHO welcome Medical Romance Author Lynne Marshall!

Lynne Marshall took up writing romance in 2001, honing her skills through conferences and writing workshops while she pursued her dream of publication. As a registered nurse for over twenty years in California, it only made sense to her when a friend (whose initials are TJ, wink, wink) suggested she try writing medical romances along with her other passion, writing “Lady Lit” featuring older heroines. Sure enough, her medical romances starring professionals who are passionately devoted to their calling and to each other charmed the Harlequin Mills & Boon’s UK editors, and she got “the call” in 2005. Her first medical romance debuted in 2006, with five more coming out in rapid succession. Her most recent novel, Assignment: Baby, will be available on Mills & Boon’s website this month and in the UK in March. Lynne will put her fifth book Pregnant Nurse, New-Found Family in the Romance Roundup Gift Basket.

Readers often comment that Lynne’s books show an authentic knowledge of the human condition, both physical and emotional, teaching and entertaining them at the same time. I’m always amazed how she can cram such big stories into her shorter category-length books, but she continues to surprise and delight. Lynne has now made the leap to writing full time and loves to explore the potential for finding love amidst hospital drama.

IMHO: Welcome, Lynne, and please tell us what romance means to you.

LM: Hi, TJ! First off, thanks so much for inviting me to participate in your bonanza Valentine’s Day giveaway, and for the opportunity to give my take on what romance means to me.

Did anyone see the Super Bowl ad with the two horses and the great classic song – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” playing in the background as the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale chased down the horse of his dreams? That’s romance.

I’ve been dieting since the first week of January, so forgive the food metaphor, but romance is the appetizer for a well-planned meal. It perks up the taste buds and promises great things to come. Love is the main course. It nourishes and sustains us throughout life. And my favorite part of any meal, which helped get me where I am today – dieting! – is dessert. The sweet happy-ever-after, if you will. Also known as the final commitment. As with anything that tastes good, there are consequences, and here’s where things get complicated.

Sure, a guy can get an A+ at romance, and he can drop great hints about love, but unless he is able to commit to the real deal, he isn’t worth his weight in cream puffs. Can I get an "amen"?

I’m going to say something very unpopular now. Everyone raves about what a hunk George Clooney is, and yes, he is a very attractive man, but he doesn’t do a thing for me because the man cannot commit to a woman. When a forty-eight year old is still dating twenty-somethings (I know the mantra - because he can!) he becomes less hero material with each new girlfriend. So get over him already, ladies! He’s a commitment-phobe.

Dependable and trustworthy may not sound very sexy, but over a lifetime (in romance books that is the promise of happy-ever-after) it trumps a charming smile on a handsome face that can’t deliver the commitment goods any day.

There is a scene in Marley and Me where the John Grogan character, played by Owen Wilson, gets home from a day at the newspaper and sits in his car in the driveway. He stares into his house working up the courage to go inside. Yes, his wife has gone a bit loopy since quitting her journalism job to be a stay-at-home mom for two kids and a whacked-out dog, and Marley is up to his usual mischief, and two children are very demanding, as any of us mothers know. And his best journalist friend is writing a Pulitzer Prize worthy dream story and has invited John to come along for the ride. I could almost hear the thoughts running through his mind. Young man dreams versus adult male responsibility. It was hard to come home - to replace his professional hat with the more demanding daddy and husband hat. I felt that he wanted to run, to get out while he could. His wife, played by Jennifer Anniston, noticed him sitting in the car and with a perplexed look, waved him inside. He stopped his little fantasy about running away, got out of the car and went inside to his home. That was the point where I fell in love with him.

The country group Lonestar has a great song that captures the sentiments of a real everyday hero, unafraid to commit to his family: “There’s a carrot top who can barely walk with a sippy cup of milk; a blue-eyed blonde with her shoes on wrong ‘cause she likes to dress herself; and the most beautiful girl holding both of them; and the view I love the most – is from my front porch looking in.”

Changing the subject a bit, I wanted to take this opportunity to again thank TJ for inviting me, the only category author of this group, to participate. Medical Romance is a unique genre and I feel honored to be one of six Americans writing for the Mills & Boon line. I only wish we had more US exposure!

Now that you’ve listened to my rant of what romance is and isn’t, I’m dying to hear your take on the subject. As I munch on this piece of celery, I’ll look forward to your comments.

IMHO: Thanks, Lynne, and I will overlook your slanderous comments about my man George because I think you might actually have a point. Hmmm. So, love is getting out of your car when your instinct is to put it in drive and hit the gas pedal. Very insightful! So what do you think, folks? Be sure to leave a comment for Lynne and at least one other author so you can have a chance at the BIG BASKET OF LOOOVE! And come back on Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009, as I welcome fellow Medallion Press author Lynda Hilburn to the Romance Roundup Gift Basket party!


Margay Leah Justice said...

I have to agree with you on your points, Lynne (sorry, George). There is nothing more romantic than the guy who comes home to his wife every night even when he knows he's walking into chaos. He helped create that chaos, by the way. To me, there is nothing sexier than a man who enjoys his children. Show me a guy holding his baby and I melt. I think we need more of those types of images and less of nearly-fifty guys with neophyte girls.

Christie Craig said...

Great post Lynne!

I agree, a keeper, is the guy who is there through thick and thin. Through dirty diapers and our fat years.


Amy Andrews said...

Hi Lynne - big waves from downunder.

Wow - you're full of insighful stuff tonight. Love the food metaphor, so true.

Have to diagree about the George thing however. Oh, don't get me wrong, I see your point but hell - I don't want to marry the man. That commitmentphobe? No way. Just a quick intense fling. The kind that you just know is going to ruin you for all other men but you do it anyway. When he was Dr Doug? Those intense brooding eyes mirroring his deeply honourable soul. Man, oh man!

That scene from Marley and Me you mentioned was fabulous. You could feel his conflict and yep - who can resist a man who chooses his wife and kids like that?
Just a quick warning thought to anyone here who hasn't seen the movie and owns a dog - DO NOT GO AND SEE THIS MOVIE. I was sobbing, my 11 y.o. daughter was crying. Hell, the whole damn cinema was bawling at the end.

And to cap your wisdom off (apart from the George thing) you go and quote one of my favourite country songs.

No wonder we write for the same line when we're so in tune ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Lynne, you are so right about George! I don't think I thought of it that way until just now. OK, I'll just have to think of him the way Amy does; as "quick fling" material :).

It's interesting; I hadn't really thought I'd see that movie, but given what you've said about it, now I want to. It sounds like it has real heart. Speaking of which, your books have real heart also, which is why I love them!

Except for my first love, I've generally gone for the bad boy committment-phobes (sad to say, although it's generally fun while it lasts). But the name I most remember (and wonder how his life has gotten on) is the one who was ready to make a committment when I wasn't. I hope he is living a happy and fulfilled life!

Colleen Thompson said...

Great to see you here, Lynne. I think you're right; women might fantasize about the bad boys, but at the end of the day, it's the good ones we want to make a life with.

Pam P said...

Hi Lynne. Of course we'd choose the good guy who is there through thick and thin, but when it comes to fantasizing and drooling, I'm with Amy about George.

Linda Warren said...

Hi Lynne,
What an insightful post. I love George, but now you have me thinking. Oh, it's hard to let go of the fantasy. He's so darn good looking!

We all want the man (smiling) standing on the front porch looking in. Ah! (Love that song)

Linda Warren

Anonymous said...

Great interview.

George Clooney - that's a hard one to resist, IMO. Yes, we want the dependable guy, but in the fantasy, getting the guy who can't commit TO commit makes a great read. I like George because (1) he seems to have a great sense of humour; and (2) he has more grey hair than I do, even though he's a year or so younger, LOL.

Isn't he committed to a pot-bellied pig? (Is it still alive?)There's something to be said for a guy who can commit to a pot-bellied pig? As for the younger woman thing, yes, they CAN do it, so they do, although I agree that there comes a point, George. Try telling that to Demi Moore, though. She's got the younger guy, but she did commit to him, so I guess she's one up on George.

Gwynlyn said...

Hi, Lynne,
Excellent insites. George never did much for me, anyway. Not into pretty. Much prefer manly. Sam Elliot comes to mind. That deep, rumbling voice just climbs into my skin and dances.

TJ Bennett said...

And, you have to admit, nobody can wear a black mock-turtleneck like Georgie boy.



CatherineKean said...

Wonderful post, Lynne! My favorite part of a meal is dessert, too! ;) And I agree with you; the sexiest man is one who is trustworthy and dependable--and who'll share his dessert. ;)

Best wishes,

Lynne Marshall said...

Good morning! I'm sorry to be so late, but I'm on the west coast and its Saturday morning so I slept a little later than usual.

I'm loving everyone's reactions!

Margay - right on sistah! I melt when I see men with their kids, too. That's sexy - to me.

Christie - hey! Thanks for stopping by.

I belive in a guy who has "staying power" if you will. ladies, get your heads out of the gutter, I'm not talking about sexual stamina. I mean the kind of guy who'll stick around!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Amy! I can always depend on you to tell it like it is! ha ha

And Pam P. you belong in this post too.

OK, ladies, so I get what you're saying about him just being a fantasy - so we can make him be any way we want.

Well, in that case - I'm thinking of George longing to meet the right woman.

Tip to George - quit looking for the cocktail waittresses at your favorite clubs. I'd suggest you check out a hospital or a teachers' lounge or ... well you catch my drift.

Meljprincess said...

Hi Lynne,
LTNS! Romance isn't George Clooney. It's Johnny Depp. *g*
My favorite Super Bowl ads were the E-Trade babies.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Tai Shan - that's a wonderful sentiment about your first love. Timing is so important in life!

Maybe it's just not George's time yet.

Colleen - thanks for popping in. when I was dating my husband, I was already thirty-one - so I gave him a time ultimatum thinking I'd scare him off. (I had so many friends dating/living with guys for years and years - and then they'd break up) His response was something like - "How many kids do you want?"

I may have been waffling until that point, then I knew he was the one. If I'd known him and he'd asked me to marry him at twenty-one I'd have said - no way! In fact , I'd never have dated a guy like him when I was 21.

Yeah - it's all about timing

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Linda W. I didn't want to put you off George, but I'm just saying ... ; )

Now Cindy P.K. you make a great point. George does seem to have a great personality - in public. And I can't say I'd retract my comments if I'd known in advance he loves his pot bellied pig - it does put him in another light.

It's a start!

I suspect he'd make a great father if he'd give himself a chance.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hey Gwynlyn - thanks for reading the blog. I love your description of how your skin dances hearing Sam Elliott's voice. Yes, he definitely has SOMETHING! And his eyes are gorgeous, too. but what I like the best about Sam Elliott is that he has been married to Katherine Ross for close to thirty years!

Hi CatherineKean - you made me laugh! Thanks. There's much to be said for dessert sharing.

Lynne Marshall said...

He Mel-JP - I love those e-trade ads with the baby, too! What does LTNS mean? (I know I'm a dork)

TJ - what the deal with "mock" turtlenecks? Not that there's anything wrong with that.(a little Seinfeld humor)

At my age, I prefer to cover the whole damn neck up! :o

Lynne Marshall said...

Oh, and a word in favor of Johnny Depp - he is committed to his (is it a wife or not?) with kids and he seems to be a happy family man.

go Johnny go!

And as for his soft brown eyes ...

Anonymous said...

Lynne, you said exactly what I've always felt. Sure, George is sexy as can be, but he's not hero material, at least not in my house. My husband always put his family first and that's why we've been married 50 years!

Jessica Matthews said...

Hi Lynne,
Your comments about George made me smile. He's definitely "fling" material but as Cindy P-K said, our romances are all about those special sparks that turn a guy from being footloose and fancy free to one who wants to settle down with the one woman who makes everyone else pale in comparison.... Although I didn't see the movie, Marley & Me, there's nothing sexier than a guy who puts his family ahead of everything else.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Pat and Jessica (fellow medical romance author - along with Amy Andrews, too!)

Pat and Jessica - you both put it perfectly. Sexy flings are only fun while they last. What then?

Merri said...

Great insights, Lynne!

George isn't my type in more ways than one. Call me weird but he isn't even fantasy material in my eyes. I love what you said! I dated the bad boys in college and all I can say is BORING! No depth. To me romance is a man who wants to know ME, every detail, not some self-centered guy needing to prove himself. For me, romance is commitment without even any question--- both the man and the woman knowing without a doubt that no matter what life brings, life is better shared with the other than not. I would include no children in that as well. I met my husband late in life and we are unable to have children.

While you are mentioning Hollywood stars, I would add that my idea of love is NOT Brad Pitt and his new life with Angelina Jolie and all his talk about how leaving his first marriage is so right because because, wow, he is in love with someone else. Men like that are just young and immature and give love (and men) a bad name. Or Tom Cruise's fling with Penelope Cruz which I suspect was marketing driven.

I guess for me, romance or the kind that moves me heart, mind, body and soul is the man with whom I can share everything -- in fantasy and real life. The bad boys just get boring very quickly because there is little left to discover after a short time.

I'd like to add that I am a fan of the Medical Romances even though I an so NOT a medical person and Lynne Marshall's book PREGNANT NURSE, NEW-FOUND FAMILY was a fantastic romance I thoroughly enjoyed!

sheandeen said...

Well, as much as I liked the looks of George Clooney in his ER days, I so understand your position of GC as a commitment phobe. As such he really cannot be thought of as hero material. Good looks are not everything. First, what is good looking is so personal and second, looks fade with time--there needs to be something of substance. But I wonder how many of our visual arts "heros" would make true the definition of a hero. Paul Newman, maybe.

Robena Grant said...

I left a message this morning, while slurping down my first cuppa joe and it hasn't shown up. So, could have been me forgetting to send it, or the snow that is settling on the Santa Rosa Mountains behind me. Yes, snow in the California desert in February. The storms here always play havoc with the internet.
Anyway, love your medical romances, Lynne. I hope they do find a place in the U.S. market. As for George, you can keep him, or give him away, I'm easy on that. I heard him interviewed on a talk show about ten years ago. He giggled like a girl. What is it with guys who giggle? Sheesh. That was a total turn off and any prior fantasies flew out the window.
Give me an intelligent guy with soft eyes, an easy smile, a big manly laugh, and the capacity to give big bear hugs. That is romance for me. The rest is window dressing.

Estella said...

Romance is a man who loves you through pregnancys, the terrible twos, teenagers, college agers, weddings, the middle age spread, and now all of the wrinkles and droopy skin.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Merri!
Thanks so much for your kind words about my book.

One thing about bab boys in romance, we usually watch them transform into that guy you are talking about, and it is a wonderful thing to behold - they grow, mature, and realize what life is about - digging and and getting committed to another person!

Thanks for stopping by, Merri,it's great to see an eHarlequin community friend at TJ's blog!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Sheandean!
You are so right about the "faces" we use when we create our heroes. Many are just that pretty faces. What makes them special is the author turning that pretty face into a super guy - one who will stick by his woman, once he finds her.

So - I'm waiting for George C. to weigh in on this topic! ha ha.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Robena!
I'm glad you gave a second try at commenting. Your definition of what a hero is sounds purrr-fect to me, too.

No giggles! Definitely no giggles. Though I do love to hear men laugh, especially belly laughs.
: )

Lynne Marshall said...

Hey Estella! I'm with you! And I'm grateful to say I've got a guy like that. Whew!

TJ Bennett said...

Meri, I want to back you up and say that ALL of Lynne's books are fabulous reads. I remember after I read the first three chapters of her then-unpublished critique submission, titled "Code Pink" and later re-titled by her editors as "Her Baby's Secret Father," I looked across the table at Lynne and said, "They're going to buy this book. They'd be stoopid not to, and they are not stoopid." Lynne didn't believe me then, but I think I've finally got her convinced. LOL! I always enjoy a Lynne Marshall read.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne & TJ

Great Blog, very insightful. Yay for our keeper heroes - and the nice men we marry!

Lynne, I just loved that line you quoted from Lonestar - I'm pretty lazy about trying new music but I'm going to have to follow them up. It's just beautiful.

And thanks for the advice re Marley and Me, Amy. I'm not overly fond of Owen Wilson movies but that sounds like one that's worth seeing.... but definitely on DVD in the privacy of the lounge!


Anonymous said...

TJ, I, too always enjoy a Lynne Marshall read!

About George...I think he hasn't committed because he hasn't ever been really, truly in love. I think he's enjoying his single life, and a full, happy one at that. But I believe that if he fell in love, all of his commitment-phobic stuff would go right out the window. It's kind of hard to walk away from, and I don't think he'd let her get away :)

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Sharon! I'm so glad you stopped by and enjoyed the blog. Yeah, Marley and Me is a definite tear jerker and totally out of character for Owen Wilson. He should do more serious but sweet characters like the John G. character.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Is there fire near you? Heard about the Aussie fires.

Take care!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Gina! I like you take on George. In fact, I think that should be our story and we should all stick to it. He will be true hero material once he finds that right lady.

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. I'm still waiting for George to check in. ; O

kaisquared said...

Lynne, I enjoy medical romance but there is not much here in the US market. I agree with you about George, I think dedicated family men such as Paul Newman, Sam Eliot and Hugh Jackman are much sexier than the aging gigolos hooking up with barely legal starlets. Commitment to someone other than self is key to romance.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Kai, I wish there was a way to fix the difficulty about getting medical romance more easily available, but so far Harlequin only puts the four monthly Medical Romances on sale at the Harlequin website. And they put us under the tender category - which we are not! Amy and Kate Hardy both write very sexy books, I write at the sensual level along with so many other authors. But in medicals they run the gamut from tender to hot - so that's another plus, there is something for everyone.

And hear hear to your summary of commitment to someone other than self!

Thanks for stopping by.

Donna Caubarreaux said...

I'm in the Sam Elliot camp. In one tv drama about the war he turned his head just so, and I could swear it was my hubby!

But mine doesn't have that deep voice.

Gotta love a guy with a sense of humor about life. Right now I'm dealing with health stuff, and the dh is there supporting me all the way. That's romantic. Someone who will hold your hand during the scary times, making the moment seem like you can make it. That's dedication.

I'm one of the lucky ones, and have been for forty-six years.

Lynne Marshall said...

Dear Donna, whatever your health issues are, I want you to know that you are deeply blessed by having the husband you have described. Give him a big hug from me on Valentines Day!

And I agree, Sam Elliot has the most wonderful voice - and eyes, even though he's a bit craggy around the edges.

So am I!!!!

Lynne Marshall said...

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who stopped by today. I've totally enjoyed your input. I'm not giving up on George, (though I'm still waiting for him to tell us like it is.) but I do envy how men (someone mentioned Warren Beatty finally settling down with Anette Benning) can postpone the marriage thing until much later in life. I wouldn't want to be a mother for the first time at 55, but I do envy how men can put it off. I guess our only revenge is knowing that at 55 they are faced with walking the floor with a collicky kid, and they run the risk of people asking them if the toddler is their grandchild. ha ha. Yeah, I'll take my pot shots anyway I can. Forgive me.

One last thing I'd like to say: TJ Bennett is a friend I will always cherish. She is the kind of critique partner who you can depend will tell you the truth, even when it hurts. But when she says - this is the one - they would be "stoopid" not to buy it, you know you're on to something! And that was the first manuscript that sold to Mills and Boon - so thank you good and dear friend. You're a peach!

Thanks for inviting me to your Valentine's extravaganza!


TJ Bennett said...

Thanks for a spirited discussion, Lynne, and for telling us what romance means to you. It's been grand. :-)

Feel free to continue leaving your commens for Lynne and the other guest hosts as well, folks. And remember, we've got two more guests hosts to go, paranormal fiction author Lynda Hilburn on Feb. 11 and historical romance author Sharie Kohler/Sophie Jordan on the big day itself, Valentine's, Feb 14! I can't wait to read what romance means to them. And my collection of delicious autographed romances for the basket is steadily growing (and I'm anxiously awaiting Grace the bookseller's picture of said basket!)

See you then.


Meljprincess said...

LTNS means long time no see. :-)

Anonymous said...

I very much value a man who's reliable and there for you through thick and thin. I don't find that boring at all. Yes, a fling with a sexy, bad boy might be fun. But you want to have someone with you forever, not just with you right now.

Lynne Marshall said...

Thanks for the clarification, MelJP - and you're right - it has been a long time! Nice to "see" you hang out with some pretty hip bloggers - ahem - TJ!

And Jody - well said. Thanks for stopping in and reading the blog.

Val said...

I agree that marriage takes work between us both thru thick and thin,ups and downs. I enjoyed reading this today on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. I just brought my dog's inside with me after a nice walk, now its tea and blog fun.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Val! I'm really glad you've had a good day and got some exercise, but I am also very happy that this is one of your blog choices for today.

For those still wondering, George still hasn't contacted me. :(

Anonymous said...

Quoted from above: "...Paul Newman, Sam Eliot and Hugh Jackman are much sexier...."

I think I just went to daydream heaven! Please, nobody wake me!


CrystalGB said...

Great post. When a guy is there for you through thick and thin then that is true love.

Sue A. said...

My feelings exactly. What we need isn’t always what we think we want or fantasize about. Dependable and trustworthy are two traits that will sustain a relationship for the long hull.

Maureen said...

You have a good point. Big romantic gestures are sweet to hear about but it's being there day in and day out that counts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynne! What an insightful post! I believe there is nothing sexier than a guy is there for you through the good times and the bad times. A forever kind of guy. :-)