Guest blogger: Fiona Lowe
Pretty and perfect is all very well but most of us aren’t perfect. Most of us have moments of perfection—that time we were gracious to an extremely rude person. Most of us have one part of our body that is perfection—my legs are sensational; it’s shame about my big nose. I can relate to the lumpy, bumpy flawed character both as an author (it gives me something to work with) and as a reader (because it gives me someone to relate to and root for).
Let me introduce Millie Switkowski, the heroine of Truly Madly Montana. She’s got the triple treat of red hair, freckles and a solid build. She’s everyone’s mate and best friend. Guys like her because she can shoot pool and talk sports. Women like her because she’s not a threat to them and added to all of this is the icing on the cake—at sixteen she developed type one diabetes. In her own words, ‘she came with a faulty equipment sticker and an expired warranty’.
The frustrating thing about diabetes is that no matter if you do everything your doctor and diabetes educator tells you to do, your blood sugar can still swing like crazy. Most people don’t understand that. They think that the diabetic is doing something wrong and they’re not backwards in coming forwards in mentioning it! Of course, this is exacerbated for Millie because she lives in a small town and everyone knows about her diabetes. It makes her mad. It makes her irritable (so does plummeting blood sugars) and it makes her feel different. None of us likes feeling different; most of us like to belong. Millie is doing her best to live an independent life and achieve her dreams against the backdrop of an insidious disease that means spontaneity is out and planning is everything. Chronic illness sucks and there are times when it gets in the way of feeling sexy, acting sexy and, hell, it can even get in the way of sex.
I was pretty mean to Millie. I matched her up with a drop-dead gorgeous, externally flawless guy, Will Bartlett. He doesn’t have bruised, pin-pricked skin with blotchy patches of eczema from pump tape. Will is heart-stopping handsome but under all that dusky, tan skin is a mess of pain and sorrow. Can a guy who believes he can’t protect anyone from harm end up with a woman with a chronic illness who believes she’s unlovable? I had fun trying!
One of my favourite romance heroes is Laura Kinsale’s Duke of Jervaulx from the novel, Flowers from the Storm. Jervaulx had experienced a stroke and at the start of the book, he couldn’t speak and his gait was unsteady. In the books you enjoy to read, what sort of flaws do you like the heroes and heroines to have? Physical? Emotional? Both? I’d love to know!
Summer in Montana brings heat with a chance of romance in the new Medicine River Romance from the award-winning author of Montana Actually…
Sexy and charming Australian doctor Will Bartlett will do anything to help out a friend, even if it means moving to Bear Paw for the summer. Some small-town hospitality, and the uncomplicated friendship of his co-worker, Millie, is just the ticket to shake off the restlessness that’s been gripping him lately.
Millie Switkowski, RN and medical student, is home for her clinical rotation and she’s determined to make this summer so much better than last. She’s got a year of medical school under her belt, her diabetes is under control, and she’s kicked her crazy crush for Will Bartlett, who only ever treated her as ‘one of the guys.’
But when Will turns out to be Millie’s supervising physician, without warning the summer just got a whole lot hotter than either of them anticipated. With both of them holding onto thorny secrets, can they walk away with their hearts intact?
Truly Madly Montana is published by Berkley Sensation. Out now in paperback and ebook:
Read an excerpt for Truly Madly Montana.
‘Lowe’s storytelling infuses contemporary romance with delightful banter. Will and Millie are an adorable pair with infectious chemistry. Lowe’s knack for creating characters who are genuine, everyday people who readers can relate to is the strength of this delightfully modern story.’ Melanie Bates, RT Magazine.
‘Truly Madly Montana has all of the awesome. Big yay for the diabetic heroine—perfectly captured.’ My Written Romance