Oct 7, 2011

What do the Mills & Boon Loves... authors - and their pets - love?

My debut Harlequin/Mills & Boon Romance, Secrets & Speed Dating, is part of the Mills & Boon Loves... anthology, which is currently on the shelves in the UK. When I was in New York at the Romance Writers of America conference back in July, I was lucky enough to meet the other three anthology authors: Maisey Yates, Barbara Wallace and Aimee Carson - we even got a photo of us all together at the incomparable Harlequin Black & White Party:

Aimee, Maisey, Barb and me!
Aimee, Maisey and Barb have been kind enough to visit us today, and, as we all love our furry friends here at the LoveCats, to share a little bit about what their pets love, and also what they loved about their Mills & Boon Loves... story. Please make them welcome :)

Aimee Carson
The very gorgeous Akiko
Akiko loves . . . reprimanding her master when she doesn’t get her way!  She insists on her daily walk in the woods or she sends me evil looksa very un-doggy like expression complete with a Clint Eastwood-esque eye squint. Once when I arrived back home from a hike which I’d taken without her, Akiko entered my walk-in shower where I was trying to relax under a stream of hot water. My dog stood in the corner of the stall with her back to me, giving me the evil eye over her shoulder, literally, for the entire time I was there.  

Aimee Carson loves . . . that there are little pieces of me, good and bad, in both my hero and heroine. Even though my childhood was rather idyllic, I’m still a fighter like Alyssa.  And Paulo’s belief in a healthy work-life balance is something I’ve advocated for years.  Now, I realize every character an author writes is in some way a reflection of their lives, but Secret History of a Good Girl is my debut book, so seeing these two in print is a real thrill!

Maisey Yates
Maisey's adorable kids

Aidric, Kian and Alani love...chaos! And this is why Maisey doesn't have any pets. ;) I call the two youngest 'team trouble'. They will work together if it means they can snag a jar of jam from the kitchen and eat it with their bare hands before I can find them! And the oldest is much smarter than the rest of us, which is its own complication! ;) (he's been reading since age two...)

Maisey Yates loves....I think the thing I love most about The Petrov Proposal is Aleksei's relationship with his late wife, and how it changed him. It's a strange thing to love, I guess, but I HURT for that man while I wrote him. He loved big, and he lost big. So when he falls for the heroine, she isn't his first love, but he's fallen in love before and he knows how much it costs. Even knowing that, he wants Maddy enough to risk it. (Fun fact, Aleks has made me cry more than any other hero so far. ;) I really fell for him!)

Barbara Wallace
Minion (best name ever!)
Minion (Age 5 months) loves….Keeping the world safe from tin foil balls; proving his superior intellect over the dog.
Minion, the one-eyed kitten, is the latest edition to the Wallace Space for Misfit Animals.  Our other pets include Squeak, who suffered brain damage after a parasitic infection and Chuckie, a four-year-old rescue dog with anxiety issues.  All are incredibly pampered and spoiled in their new home.  Minion – who had his eye removed at two months – has already made himself at home, even claiming the most coveted sleeping spot in the house, the head of the bed.  This spot is desired because not only are there pillows to sleep on, but you can look out the window while feeling the warm air coming from the baseboard heat.

Barbara Wallace loves….Hinckley, the three-legged cat from The Cinderella Bride. Hinckley lives on Gideon Kent’s boat and eventually takes over Mariah Kent’s hotel penthouse suite.  I based this cat on our dearly departed Hobart who we owned for nearly twenty years.  Like Hinckley, Hobart thought he was a human and demanded the best seats in the house.  Worst part was, the entire family catered to this belief.  My elderly uncle once sat on the floor during a family gathering because “the cat looked too comfortable on the sofa to move.”  Hinckley would approve.  By the way, although it’s never mentioned in the book, Hinckley is named after a type of luxury sailboat.  Gideon would have named him Morris (after the boat he sails) but felt it was redundant.

Leah Ashton
Luna... on my lap :)
Luna loves... Laps. As I write this blog, she is (as always) sitting on mine, although she is very generous and will share herself around. Her second favourite lap belongs to my husband, with any other visiting lap in equal third place. Over the past few months she has begun a campaign to lay on our rottweiller (do dogs have laps?). So far the plan consists of laying very very close to the rotti in front of the fire, poking the rotti as she sleeps (checking for comfiness levels, maybe?) and spending hours staring at the rotti with a rather calculating expression - while on my lap, of course!

Leah Ashton loves... the little bits of Croatia in Secrets & Speed Dating. My mum's family is Croatian, and while I'd never been until last year, the Croatian culture (and food!) has had a huge impact on my life. I announced the opening line to Secrets & Speed Dating at my regular family dinner at my Nana and Dida's house, and then began to write it while on holiday in Vela Luke, Korcula (Croatia), staying at my Nana's old cottage, right on the water. Then, I found out that my book would be published while visiting my Dida in hospital - he passed away at the age of 97 only two days later. So - the little glimpses of Croatia in my book (my hero is half Croatian, and Croatian food is mentioned more than once!) are a little part of me, and my family - and I love that they are in my debut novel.

Thanks for visiting the LoveCats Aimee, Maisey and Barb - and especially for bringing along your furry (and not so furry) friends!

So, what do you - or your furry friend - love?


  1. Hi Leah,

    It was lovely reading about you, Maisey, Aimee and Barbara!

    Looking forward to reading your M&B Loves Anthology!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Saxon my older cat loves to roam free and sleep on the deck in the fresh air. She also loves a person to sleep on. She is only 6 pounds but boots her younger brother out of his warm spot quite often.

    Dash my young male loves to dig his way under the covers. He loves cuddles and pets. If he decides to sleep on you he stretches from one end of your legs to the other end. He weighs in at almost 20 pounds so leg numbness is a common after effect of Dash, the Incredible Pest, sleeping on you. Once or twice a day I get my face washed ending with a love nip on the nose.

    I (Kaelee) love debut authors, books by my favorite authors, tomatoes (although after processing numerous pounds of them today I'm craving something different). I love blogs where I get an insight into author's lives. The more I know about you the more likely I am to buy and read your books. I love soups, stews, oven roasted vegetables and DESSERTS. I love the fall ~ we have wonderful colors here right now.

  3. My Tinkie (who looks like Minion but with two eyes) loves to wake us up around 3 in the morning by scratching on the glass door. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch and on and on until we let her out. Because it's good fun, she waits 20-30minutes to make sure we're asleep again before scratching to get back in. (Repeat at will or until humans are severly sleep deprived)
    Akiko's expression is priceless!!!!

  4. LOL, Robyn. The picture of Akiko kinda sums up her personality. She gets even more squinty eyed when suitably pissed off :-)

  5. I love - the blueberry pankcakes that I can smell cooking in my kitchen. I have the best dh. :)

    Leah, thanks for bringing Aimee, Maisey and Barbara to visit - loved meeting them and their furry/not so furry family!

  6. Nas - I really hope you enjoy it! I started Aimee's and was really enjoying it, when revisions hit! :)

    Kaelee - Dash sounds like my Luna! Luna sleeps on me - either under the covers or on top, depending on how cold it is. I love your list of personal loves! I'm glad you like blogs like this one, sometimes it's hard to know how interesting (or not) we are :) And I'm definitley with you with the desserts! Yummo!

    Robyn - I'm going "arrggghhhh!" for you! Naughty cat!

    Aimee - you made it, yay!

    Rachel - Yes, you have the best dh! Soooo jealous.

  7. Great to meet your wonderful anthology partners, Leah! Congratulations to all of you and a special wave to Aimee who I "know" from Heartbeat!

    Aimee, Akiko sounds like a character! Great squint - I'd be leaping to obey!

    Maisey, lovely to meet your chaos-causing kids!

    Barb, you've got an unusual brood there and they all sound really special!

    Leah, Luna is gorgeous - she's been on our Catwalk, hasn't she!

    Good luck with your careers! It's been fabulous to have you visit!


  8. Thanks all for having us. Robin -- your Tinkie sounds like our sweet Ho. He would go out and then around 11:30 just as everyone was asleep he would appear in the window and meow. Minion is an indoor kitty because of his eye so at least we're spared that.

    Sharon thanks fir thinking they're special. We love them even if they are all a bit off. As I type this all three are sprawled around me looking for attention

    And blueberry pancakes...mmmmm

  9. Yes, a big thank you to you all for having us, ladies!!

    Good to see you, Sharon! *waves back*

  10. Thanks so much for having us! Me and my...not usually...furry kids. :)

  11. Hi Ladies

    I love the sound of this book and all the stories I need to get this one.

    My little dog Brandy is getting a bit old these days and she loves being close to me wherever I go she goes and just sits next to me you gotta love her

    Have Fun

  12. Late to the party as usual but Blogger has only just decided to let me back in...

    Lovely to meet the furry-people that are important to the M&B Loves people :)

    Akiko is esepcially adorable (showing my dog bias, there...)