Thursday, 2 July 2009

Mona Risk: 'Babies in the Bargain'

Lindsay, thank you for inviting me to your blog. I am so excited at the thought that tomorrow is the D-day for my first book released by the Wild Rose Press.

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN is a sweet and spicy medical romance that garnered several wins in contests and is based on my daughter’s professional experience. Needless to say, the book is dedicated to her as she read and corrected the medical cases.

My heroine is a pediatrician and a neonatologist finishing her residency and training in a children’s hospital in Washington. Same as my daughter did. And my heroine Holly “coincidentally” shares some of the medical cases and emotional career turmoil that my daughter faced during her tough training. But the coincidental similarities stop here, except that Holly is attracted to a tall, dark and handsome hero (hmm son-in-law is also T, D, and H, pure coincidence again). But my hero is a Puerto Rican doctor and my son-in-law is neither Puerto Rican nor a doctor!

Contests nominations: The Beacon; Launching A Star; The Suzannah;
Great Expectations; Golden Gateway; Gotcha, Enchanted Words; Winter Rose;
Duel on the Delta; Linda Howard Award of Excellence....

A video trailer:

Short Synopsis:

With only one year left to complete her medical training in Neonatology, Dr. Holly Collier vows not to let anyone mess up her sacrosanct schedule. Especially not the drop-dead gorgeous Dr. Marc Suarez who broke her heart seven years ago.

When a tragic accident transforms the carefree playboy into a dedicated but novice father to his nephew, Holly gives in to her maternal instincts and turns her structured life upside down for the orphaned preemie. But can she learn to trust Marc again and believe in true love?


Had he been so insensitive? Judging by the shadow of sadness in her eyes, Marc had made a real mess back then. Damn it. “I’m sorry if I hurt you. That was never my intention.”
“It’s all in the past,” Holly said in the soothing voice she probably used with the parents of her little patients. She didn’t even seem to resent him. But he knew better. She had avoided him as if he could transmit germs on sight.
Her head tilted to the side, she stared at him like a porcelain statue, beautiful but cold. His fingers clenched on his fork to refrain from caressing her hair. She hadn’t asked for explanations, but as a doctor, he felt the need to disinfect old wounds.
“Let me explain the scene you’d witnessed. Several girls came to say goodbye. Some of these women were quite aggressive. But none was special to me. They hugged and kissed and wished me the best. That was it. I couldn’t throw them out when they were just being nice. Beside I was going away the next day.” He covered her fisted hand. It slowly relaxed. “You were the only one I wrote to.”
“A few lines to tell me you were extremely busy.” She pushed the croutons of her salad to the side of her plate with nervous little taps.
“I was. Honestly. My father’s health was failing. And then both my sister and Carlos had some, hmm, problems. But I wrote again as soon as I could.”
“Three letters in a year. Not that I’m blaming you. I didn’t have a free minute myself.”
He didn’t like her bitter smile. He tried to capture her gaze, but she kept looking at the damn croutons as if she were studying a medical sample.
“But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about you. In fact there wasn’t a day that I didn’t think about you.”
“Come on.” She raised her eyebrows in disbelief.
“Oh, yes. At least for the first two years,” he specified, a thorny regret twisting his insides. “When you never answered my last letter, I gave up and started flirting right and left to forget you.”
“That I can well imagine.” A sarcastic smile played on her lips.
She certainly didn’t harbor a good opinion about his character. He wasn’t at liberty to divulge the series of scandals his family had faced and the shame that muddied the Suarez name until he had repaired the damage. But he could at least explain his compulsive search for fun. An effective antidote to the troubles that had poisoned his life.
“Holly, you know firsthand that medicine is a tough field. The long hours, the stress. I was working like a madman. I saw death on a regular basis.” And an alcoholic father in a wheelchair, pathetic and loud. “I never thought twice about taking a bit of pleasure wherever I could find it. It was all part of the hectic life, part of growing up.”
Her lips puckered in a grimace. “No shit. I’m used to medical stress, Marc. I’m still in deep water now.”
“Yes, I know.” He raked his fingers through his hair. “But I’ve changed now. Trudging the poor areas of San Juan forced me to see life differently. And the old problems were settled.”
“You don’t have to.” She arched a skeptical eyebrow.
Words—even words from the heart—were not enough to convince her. He’d have to prove himself.
She flipped her hand in the air, in an I’ve-heard-it-all-before gesture. “I can deal with charming playboys. My father belonged to that club.”
“Your father? Is he...deceased?”
“To me. I haven’t seen him in twenty years. He left when I was ten and never asked for visitation rights.”
The bitterness of her words twisted at his guts. It was even worse than he thought. Holly was convinced he was nothing but a lecher, a younger version of her father.
“I’m sorry about your father. But for us, it was seven years ago. We’ve both changed. Matured.”
He knew he had. He didn’t need to flirt to forget the pain of losing his only brother. Having Holly with him was the only soothing his wounded soul hungered for. He smiled at her and squeezed her hand.
Holly’s heart somersaulted. Heat spread from her fingers, ran through her arm. His devastating smile was back in place, but without the hint of arrogance that used to put her on edge. A glint of affection reflected in his chocolate eyes.
Could it be possible?
“Yes, we have.” Under the table, she scraped her heels back and forth against the tiles. “Yes, of course. We’ve matured. You are the eminent anesthesiologist WCH hired, and I’m no longer a student.”
What was he getting at with these explanations and veiled apologies?
Would he ask her out again?
Good God, but this new Marc was more dangerous to her inner peace than the playboy of the past.

You can read more about my books at:

Lindsay, thank you for inviting me on your blog.


Lindsay Townsend said...

Fascinating post, Mona! Happy Release Day for tomorrow - I wish you many sales!!

I love the excerpt - very tense and exciting! I can't wait to read more.

Thank you for being at the blog today.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Mona and Lindsay,
This sounds like a have to read. Best wishes for a huge success.
And Mona, sounds like you have a daughter to definitely be proud of.


Hywela Lyn said...

Happy release day, Mona, wishing you many happy sales, as they say!

Celia Yeary said...

MONA--Good luck with your wonderful new release--Babies in the Bargain. Who can resist babies in stories? and I know you have a special connection to your fictional characters--even the babies. How perfect--Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Mona ~ Happy Release Day!

Beautifully written excerpt. I betcha you sale lots!

Fran Lee Romance said...

Sound marvelous! You can bet it's gonna be on my list!

Francesca Prescott said...

Happy release day, Mona! I'm a sucker for hospital stories, and from reading the excerpt I know I'll enjoy this. How brilliant to have had your daughter involved in helping you with the medical details of this book.

I wish you great success :)
xx Francesca

Mary Ricksen said...

Good luck Mona!!!

Mona Risk said...

Lindsay, thank you for having me on your blog. Did I tell you I love the pink color?

Rebecca, I am definitely proud of my daughter. You should see her with the preemies. She's so good at resuscitation procedures.

Thank you, Hiwela,from your mouth to God's ear.

Mona Risk said...

Celia- The baby is cute but the hero is better. LOL I had George Clooney in mind--in a white coat with a stethoscope around his neck-- while writing the story.

Thank you Savanna. I hope readers like it. Contest judges seemed to love it before publication.

Fran, you have great taste with your TBR list. LOL

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Mary. Missed you.

LK Hunsaker said...

Congrats on your release! Best of luck with it. :-)

Mona Risk said...

Francesca, I am a big fan of Grey's anatomy and ER. I am so glad you like medical stories 'cause I love them and I wrote four of them. Next one is coming in December, Rx For Trust, the first in a series called Doctor's Orders.

Francesca Prescott said...

Mona, I had an ER-fest last night; Swiss television aired three in a row of the final season! It was great...but sad as ç&%ç died and %&/% left (don't want to give away the names and spoil it for anyone).

How exciting you're doing a series!

xx Francesca

Mona Risk said...

Cesca, I love ER and I am totally addicted to Grey's Anatomy. Actually it's the only show I watch on TV. Thanks for stopping by.

Chelle Cordero said...

Hope release day was everything you wanted... and more. Great excerpt!

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Chelle. It was indeed a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!!!Celebrating both my book and the holiday.