Please Join me in Welcoming back Harlequin Presents and Medical author Melanie Milburne to HJ!
Melanie Welcome, for all of my readers who may not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
I’m an award winning, best selling romance author for Harlequin Mills and Boon in London. I write for both Presents and Medicals. I live in Tasmania with my husband who is a surgeon. We both have big careers so it is a real juggle at times!
What was the first romance novel you read that made an impression on you?
My first Harlequin was An Apple in Eden by Kay Thorpe. I was swept away by the Italian hero and the sheer romance of it. But then I discovered Mary Stewart, in particular, Nine Coaches Waiting and This Rough Magic. Those books really nailed it for me. I’ve been an avid romance fan ever since.
Tell us about your writing process. What comes first, characters or story?
The characters usually come first to me although on the last couple of books I’ve started with a story idea and found the characters to suit the story. I think it’s a very intuitive thing, really, so it’s hard to know if the story propels the characters or visa versa.
From all your published books which of your characters would you most/least like to invite for dinner and why?
I would most like to meet Lucas Banning from an upcoming Medical – Their Most Forbidden Fling. He’s deep, he’s wounded and he’s desperately lonely – until Molly comes along! I love complicated, tortured heroes.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life who would you like to see play the lead role as you? Why?
Maybe Natalie Portman as we have the same colour hair… well, let’s just say my hair used to be that colour!
If you could be someone else for a day, from anytime in history, who would you be and why?
I would like to be my maternal or paternal great- grandmothers for a day. It would be fascinating to compare their lives with mine.
Let’s Talk about your newest release Surrendering All But Her Heart
That is the magic of storytelling, sometimes you don’t really know where the idea came from – it was just there. I’d been thinking about doing a redemption plot for a while. I wanted to explore the issue of forgiving yourself for the unforgivable, or being released from a lifetime of guilt via a revelation or realization.
If you had to sum up Surrendering All But Her Heart what would you say?
This is a story about a young woman who was wrongfully blamed for the death of her baby brother when she was seven years old, and the man who loved her enough to finally unlock her tragic secret.
If you had to pick your favorite scene in Surrendering All But Her Heart what would it be?
I think it’s the one where Natalie finally tells Angelo about her brother Liam. She’s expecting blame and condemnation but instead he gives her comfort and understanding. True hero material!
I also like the scene where Angelo discovers Natalie’s fear of flying. It’s the beginning of him getting to know the real Natalie, not just who she pretends to be.
Who would play Natalie Armitage and Angelo Bellandini in the movie version of your book and why?
Natalie Portman would be Natalie, not just because of her name but she was the person I had in mind when I wrote the book. I had a photograph of her from a magazine pinned near my computer. Angelo would be a younger version of George Clooney or maybe Antonio Banderas.
What else are you working on? What can we expect in the future?
I’m working on my 49th book, which is book one of a Presents trilogy.
Raffaele Caffarelli is a man who has the money to buy anything he wants meets Poppy Silverton, a feisty young woman who will not be bought.
It’s a David and Goliath battle and while not as dark and tragic as Natalie and Angelo’s story, it definitely has plenty of emotion. It’s a fast-paced sexy banter between two total opposites. I love enemies to lovers stories.
Melanie Thanks for the Fab interview!
Giveaway: Melanie will be giving away a signed hard copy of Surrendering All But Her Heart plus a Medical title- Dr Chandler’s Sleeping Beauty to one lucky winner.
To Enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form below and post a comment to this Q: What is the worst thing about keeping a secret? Who would you trust with your most painful secret?
Excerpt from Surrendering All But Her Heart– Melanie Milburne©
Natalie opened her eyes and found Angelo’s dark, thoughtful gaze trained on her. She had some vague memory of what had passed during the night but it was like looking at something through a cloudy, opaque film. ‘I hope I didn’t keep you awake,’ she said. ‘I’m not a very good sleeper.’
‘You’re certainly very restless,’ he said. ‘I don’t remember you being like that when we were together before.’
She focussed her gaze on the white cotton sheet that was pulled up to her chest. ‘I sleep much better in the winter.’
‘I can see why you choose to live in Scotland.’
She felt a reluctant smile tug at her mouth. ‘Maybe I should move to Antarctica or the North Pole.’
‘Maybe you should talk to someone about your dreams.’
She got off the bed and snatched up a bathrobe to cover her nightwear. ‘Maybe you should mind your own business,’ she said, tying the waist strap with unnecessary force.
He got off the bed and came to stand where she was standing. ‘Don’t push me away, Natalie,’ he said. ‘Can’t you see I’m trying to help you?’
‘I don’t need your help. I was perfectly fine until you came along and stuffed everything up. You with your stupid plans for revenge. Who are you to sort out my life? You don’t know a thing about my life. You just think you can manipulate a few things to suit you. Go ahead. See if I care.’
She flung herself away, huddling into herself like a porcupine faced with a predator. But her prickly spines felt like they were pointing the wrong way. She felt every savage poke of them into her sensitive soul.
‘Why are you being so antagonistic?’ he asked. ‘What’s happened to make you like this?’
Natalie squeezed her eyes shut as she fought for control. ‘I don’t need you to psychoanalyze me, Angelo. I don’t need you to fix me. I was fine until you barged into my life.’
‘You’re not fine,’ he said. ‘You’re far from fine. I want to help you.’
She kept her back turned on him. ‘You don’t need me to complicate your life. You can have anyone. You don’t need me.’
‘I do need you,’ he said. ‘And you need me.’