Warning: This Doc May Cause Swooning!
I love writing the Montana Mavericks books! Since I use exclamation points sparingly, take note of that one. I’m a fan girl of the other writers in this year’s group: Christine Rimmer, Marie Ferrarella, Shirley Jump, Karen Rose Smith and Brenda Harlen. And very honored to be in their company. They’re incredibly generous with time and ideas. More than once a scene wrote easier and was sharper for having their input.
Each of us was given a bible containing outlines for all of the stories. Getting the bible is like hearing the starting gun at a NASCAR race or the Kentucky Derby. Ready, set, go and we’re off—using our imaginations, filling in the blanks, digging into emotions and motivations for our characters.
Her Maverick M.D. is the second book in this year’s series. From the bible I knew that Dawn Laramie is a pediatric nurse who left her job at a hospital to work in the Rust Creek Falls medical clinic. Her cover story is that the long commute to work got to be too much, but I came up with a deeper, more emotional reason, one that she holds back from everyone, including her mother. I also knew pediatrician Jonathan Clifton was recruited from the Thunder Canyon Resort because of the baby boom in Rust Creek Falls. But why did a highly trained doctor accept a less demanding concierge medical position after his specialized residency?
On paper these two are a match made in couple heaven—even if the sparks fly the first time they meet (and not always the good kind). Why wouldn’t they get along? The answer to that question is in their back stories. The beauty of the bible is that it starts from a place rich with characters but still gives a writer the space to play “what if”.
Dawn’s sister Marina is the heroine of book three, but I had the pleasure of introducing her. They share a father who dropped into their lives whenever he felt like it. He had a name in the bible but there were few other details. I could have gone several ways with him—an unseen influence and a terrible warning to avoid commitments of a romantic nature, simply dropping in now and then to disrupt Dawn’s life, or portray him as a man trying to make up for the past? You’ll have to read the book to find out which way I went. (Insert evil grin here.)
The bible also has the family tree of current and former heroes and heroines, which is incredibly helpful. This information contributes to creating well-rounded, believable and very human people. After all, there’s no escaping our DNA, both strengths and weaknesses, in fiction as well as real life.
I can trace my love of reading, language and writing directly to my parents. People always said I look and sound like my mother but I am my father’s daughter. He wanted to be published and took creative writing courses—not so easy before the internet came along. He was an avid reader who kept files of interesting names, occupations and newspaper clippings that might be useful. Journals held his thoughts and personal take on whatever was going on in his world or the world at large. And always there were books in my world. This is where I give a shout out to teachers who will always have my deepest gratitude for an education that included nurturing my love of the written word.
I didn’t start writing until after my dad passed away so he never knew about me following in his footsteps. Holding my first published book was bittersweet because he didn’t live to see it, but there’s no question in my mind that he would have been proud. “Atta girl,” he would have said.
And so it is with the Montana Mavericks and the smart, sassy women who love them. Family is threaded into their stories. It’s not just about eye and hair color, but the inherited traits. That temper from a grandfather that could use the feminine touch to tame him. Has he inherited the tendency to be a player from his notoriously womanizing uncle on his mother’s side? They’re heartthrobs at the mercy of human nature struggling to be honorable men. That conflict and the heroines who help them overcome are the reason I love romance novels.
I hope you enjoy reading Dawn and Jon’s story as much as I did writing it. And many thanks to all the faithful readers who make the series possible.
About Her Maverick M.D.:
Rust Creek Ramblings
I’m sure you’ve heard there is a new doctor in town. Sexy Jon Clifton looks more cowboy than pediatrician, he’s good with kids and dogs, and what we all want to know is: Why is this man still single?
Though there are plenty of ladies in Rust Creek Falls who would like to change the confirmed bachelor’s status, Dawn Laramie alone seems to be immune to his charms. The dedicated nurse works side by side with Dr. Jon day after day, intent on keeping things professional…and distant. Meanwhile, we here at the Gazette can practically hear the tension thrumming between these two. Our diagnosis? A classic case of lovesickness with an age-old cure! But will the doctor’s proposal heal Dawn’s wounded heart?
Be sure to collect all 6 titles in this year’s miniseries until December 2016!