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C.M. Stone, Author of HOW TO SAVE A SURGEON, Talks About Doctors and Heroes

Doctors definitely belong up there with cowboys and pirates! 😉

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Doctors, Doctors, Everywhere

When I wrote my first novella for Entangled—One Night in Vegas—I hadn’t been thinking of starting a series with it at all. I should have remembered the romance novel commandments: Thou shalt not introduce a hunky brother without also writing his story. My editor asked for a book about my heroine Eliza’s brother Jackson.

Her (yes, definitely hot) brother the very busy trauma surgeon.

Since he was a workaholic, it made sense to me that the only way he could ever spend time with somebody was within a medical context. Which meant this almost definitely had to be a medical romance. I’d never read that many of them (I lean towards pirates and cowboys), but I figured I’d grab some books, do some research and let the characters drive where it went from there.

That’s when my world spun out of control. Instead of my research involving leisurely days on my ereader, highlighting and bookmarking all the really good bits (isn’t this what everybody does?), my research ended up a little more hands on than that. My step-father slipped on some ice out in the woods and broke his ankle, so I had to call an ambulance and literally run out to find him. Recovery was long and complicated. I ended up spending more time talking to surgeons than reading about them.

Fate wasn’t done with my loved ones yet, though. About a week and a half after my step-father broke his ankle, my best friend—who’d been mysteriously ill for a while but couldn’t get a diagnosis—collapsed at home and was rushed to the hospital. Finally, she got a diagnosis, but it was a bad one: cervical cancer, which had spread well beyond surgical options and had even taken up residence in her lungs.

Luckily—much like romance novels everywhere—this story has a happy ending, because her treatment worked like a charm and she got a clean CT scan just a few weeks before How to Save a Surgeon came out.

All this going on while I was writing did give me a whole new perspective on medical professionals, though. These are some genuine everyday heroes, busting their asses to save people. I talked a lot with a friend of mine who was an Army medic in Iraq to get an idea of the emotional toll it takes on someone like Jackson to be seeing people on the absolute worst day of their lives every time he’s working. It’s intense—with a crushing amount of guilt when they inevitably lose patients—but so vital. I hope I managed to get that across when writing Jackson.

And now? I think I’m going to have to put doctors right up there with cowboys and pirates.


“It’s not like that,” Darla said. “It’s more like the lady version of wanting to rescue the damsel in distress.”

“The villain isn’t a damsel in distress.”

“But movies don’t make heroes emotionally vulnerable in the same way, and that’s what appeals about the bad guy. It’s not him being evil, it’s his pain. He’s hurt and looking for something. If he just let himself be loved, he could be saved.”

Jackson glanced at the screen. Had they watched the same movie? “Saved from what?”


There was something in the way she said the word. This time he couldn’t resist touching her. His hand cupped her cheek, his thumb stroking her skin. “Are we still talking about the movie?”

“Well, everybody could use a little saving now and then.”

Her eyes closed as she leaned into his touch, and he had the urge to kiss her eyelids and feel the brush of her lashes.

“What do I need saving from?”

His fingers slid from her cheek to the side of her neck, lightly tracing the lines of her body to memorize them through touch. She melted back against the couch and rolled her head, exposing more of her neck to his touch.

She was quiet for so long that he began to wonder if she’d respond at all before her eyes opened a slit. “Being a stick in the mud who only ever wants to do things the same way?”

His fingertips just barely teased behind her ear and at the fine hairs of her nape. It was the lightest touch he could manage without breaking contact, but it still flooded his body with heat. “Is that what you think of me?”

“I’m not sure, but it seems like you try really hard to make people think that.”

He drew his hand away, torn between what he needed to do and what he wanted. “Maybe. I might be compensating a little.”

She licked her lips, her heavy-lidded eyes never wavering from his. “Compensating for what?”

“For occasionally being very, very unprofessional.”


Author bio:

A native to Southern Nevada, C.M. Stone found happiness as an adult living a rural life in the frigid northwoods of Wisconsin. She wrote her first book at the age of seven–selling it door to door–and decided then and there that she would never accept any other career. Though she didn’t know it at the time, that first book was romantic suspense. A lifelong love for romance novels set in at an early age, despite the fact that Cee considers herself possibly the least romantic person on earth. When she’s not writing, Cee is busy wrangling critters and inventing new recipes.


Social media links:

Twitter: @CeeEmStone


Book Details:

Title: How to Save a Surgeon
Series: Gambling Hearts #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, novella
Length: 214 pages
Release Date: August 17, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-63375-336-5
Imprint: Lovestruck, Entangled Publishing

He’s sworn off all women…

When he lost the girl he loved, Dr. Jackson DeMatteo shut down his heart and became the kind of perfectionist surgeon that alienated him from the residents. Now Jackson has a very coveted promotion dangling before him…but it comes with a price. Working with adorably geeky first-year resident Darla Morales is definitely going to cost him. Big time.

She’s just what the doctor ordered…

Completing her trauma residency demands confidence and Darla, who’s already pretty high on the nerd scale, is definitely not confident. Worse still, she’s forced to work with Doctor Dreamy, who makes her even more nervous and defensive. Darla needs to focus on the work and not his bedroom eyes if she ever hopes to become a trauma surgeon.

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