All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Doctors Beyond Borders – Georgie Tyler

9780857991133_500Doctors Beyond Borders
Georgie Tyler
Harlequin Escape
2013, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Australian doctor Ariadne Tate is fleeing a failed relationship when she takes a deployment to Sudan with Médecins Sans Frontières. Romance is the last thing on her mind and in the country devastated by war, famine, crimes against humanity and disease, she vows to find a way to both make a difference and forget the betrayal she left behind. But she didn’t count on meeting American doctor Ford Gosden, also in Sudan.

Ford is too attractive for his own good and Ariadne, who has been called cold before, isn’t ready for what he can make her feel. She doesn’t want to get involved with him – she’s already had her heart broken enough and even if they were to give in to their feelings, it would only get messy. They live together and work together but only for a little while longer. When their deployments are over, Ford will go back home and America and she will go back home to Sydney. There’s no point losing her heart when nothing can come of it.

Ariadne throws herself into doing the best she can for her patients, inoculating them against disease, trying to treat them for the ones they already have and trying to get them enough nourishing food so that they survive. But as the political tensions escalate, Ariadne has caught the eye of a local militia leader who sees her as a prize he must have. When she is taken during a run to deliver supplies to communities, Ford cannot sit around and wait for MSF or the UN to attempt to negotiate her release. He’ll do anything he can to get her back…..or die trying.

I’ve never read a novel set in Sudan before but it’s an area that’s been in the news an awful lot recently. This book is apparently set before the creation of South Sudan (it’s talked about in the novel as likely to happen soon) but it’s set in the politically tumultuous region of Abyei, which even now, is the subject of fighting by both the northern (Sudan) government and the newly-created South Sudan. It’s been seized by the north and at the moment, seems to be held to the stricter rules of the Islamic authoritarian state. For the purposes of this review I’m going to assume that it’s all ruled by Sudan and each part of it is held to those rules, because I’m surprised that the doctors consumed alcohol often and kept it within their house, especially given that local militia often made drive bys in the night to intimidate them. Alcohol is illegal in Sudan – the consumption of, the making of, the importation of. And although regions of the more moderate south do make their own ‘moonshine’ type grog, it can often be laced with some pretty bad stuff and it’s a risk to even consider drinking it. To be caught either possessing or drinking alcohol is an offence punishable under Sharia law. I’m not sure if the MSF or UN forces would be considered exempt from this but I’d guess that if they’re going to be tolerated in the country providing aid then they’d probably have to adhere to the laws. Ariadne also spends a lot of time wandering around the desert in tiny shorts and singlet tops which seems a pretty awesome way to get skin cancer. But perhaps I just feel that way because I’m a ridiculously pale redhead with genes more suited to Scotland than Australia and I can get burned on an 18 degree day.

On to the actual story. Ariadne was involved with someone she worked with back in Australia only to be betrayed by him. She seems to have run away from that situation and decided to immerse herself somewhere totally different working for the greater good providing medical assistance to those that need it. But her vow against romance lasts for only as long as it takes her to lay eyes on Dr Ford Gosden and his emerald green eyes. Ford too is scarred by something gone wrong back in America and he’s also been the subject of unwanted attention from a MSF midwife as well. But he wants Ariadne (boy does he want Ariadne) and he sets about attempting to break down the walls she has constructed around herself. It’s not an easy task but Ford is very persistent and he keeps chipping away at her defenses. There’s very much an instalust situation going on here – Ariadne can’t stop staring at his eyes and fantasizing about his body and it seems to go both ways. Ford is a ball of hormones – randier than a teenage boy with his first sexual experience dangling in front of him! They certainly had a lot of sexual chemistry and passion but the transition to love does feel a little rapid. Their interactions are all mostly sexual or concerning patients/the situation in Sudan.

Ariadne was a prickly character, quite stand offish but she developed a good friendship with one of the other female doctors. However some of the characters in this book did odd things – Gabriella was such a stereotype it was almost embarrassing and some of the locals felt very cliched, especially when they waxed lyrical about their country and what it had done to them. Ariadne also does something incredibly stupid going off alone with just Jack, the driver, to deliver supplies. Why she’d even think to get that idea into her head is beyond me, especially when she’d already had a run in with the local feared militia leader and seen his rather sinister interest in her. Characters who make decisions to do such things in a foreign country, especially a foreign country as unstable and dangerous as Sudan (seriously, read the warnings about travelling both into the country and around it, it’s rather enlightening) frustrate me enormously. There’s wanting to help, and that’s fine. It’s her job. But there’s also a matter of personal safety. And not putting yourself in a situation where you can get kidnapped, raped, tortured and probably murdered.

6/10

Book #336 of 2013

 

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Guest Post: Escape Publishing’s Georgie Tyler

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As part of the birthday celebrations for Escape Publishing, Harlequin Australia’s digital first imprint, I’ll be having several of their authors on the blog to share some posts about their upcoming titles. First is Georgie Tyler, author of Doctors Beyond Borders which will be released on the 1st January 2013. Here’s a little about the title (from the publisher/Goodreads):

9780857991133_500

She’s about to find out that nothing is fair when it comes to war, except, the healing power of love. 

When Ariadne Tate takes a deployment to Sudan with a medical aid organisation, romance is the last thing on her mind…but Dr Ford Gosden puts a glitch in her plans. Too damn attractive for his own good and a thoroughly nice guy, Ford slowly seeps under Ariadne’s skin.

But Sudan is not a stable place to form a relationship, and as political tension escalates in the region, Ariadne has no choice but to focus on her job and her safety. Under the protection of a UN convoy, she heads out into the war-torn countryside — and the unthinkable happens. Captured and held hostage by a renegade with no chance of escape, Ariadne’s hope for a new life with the man she loves begins to fade and the fight for her life begins.

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Sudan? Sounds interesting! Not sure I’ve read anything set there before but I’m always keen to try new locations and Africa is one of my favourite settings to explore. Here’s Georgie with a little more about why she chose that particular location and some other motivations behind her story.

GeorgieTyler

 

What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind. Isn’t this a great quote? It’s by The Buddha.

People often ask why I chose Sudan as the location of my debut romance novel, Doctors Beyond Borders. It’s a good question. It’s not a country familiar to many nor frequently visited since it has suffered from civil unrest for years. But when I pen a story I can’t help but draw on and be inspired by events from my own life while at the same time be challenged with situations and characters that pour from my imagination. Buddha’s quote has always resonated with me. As a writer, I’m creating lives and situations in my books and these are spurred by memories, thoughts and ideas from my past.

Doctors Beyond Borders was born from an association I had with a charity program where I sponsored a couple of children. Corresponding with the family of my first child through an interpreter was a wonderful experience until I received word from the charity that they had to move away and out of contact. I’ve always wondered why they moved and whether my boy ever grew to be a man. So, my thoughts of yesterday planted a seed in my present (let’s say, 18 months ago) brain and I wrote a romance, one whose heroine and hero are natural champions, using their medical skills to help the afflicted citizens of Sudan. It’s no safe haven though, as dangerous renegades with their own agendas threaten the security of not only their own people but international aide workers too.

When writing a book like this, memories and imagination can only get you so far. Research plays an essential role to create an authentic manuscript. As a serial student, (I’ve just completed my third degree) I find researching characters, places and other details a fun part of the process. And it is a process. An author friend of mine once told me when I was starting out that authors need ‘bum glue’. And boy, was he on the money. Writing equals many hours of sitting at your desk or on the couch with a laptop either tapping away at those keys or staring at a blank screen. ‘Bum glue’ is what gets books written, edited, submitted, accepted and edited some more! Hopefully, I’ve got a lifetime supply.

Right now though I’m thrilled to be able to share Ariadne and Ford’s story with you. I feel so lucky and grateful that Escape Publishing took it on and made me part of their wonderful crew of authors. I’ve applied some glue and continue to delve into my thoughts of yesterday, mold them with those of the present throwing a dash of research into the mix, as I embark on some more writing and another story.

Bree, thank you for giving me the opportunity to showcase my upcoming romance title Doctors Beyond Borders on your blog today. I hope your readers enjoy it.

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Thanks so much for stopping by Georgie and telling us a little more about Doctors Beyond Borders. I look forward to reading it in about six weeks!

Don’t forget you can still enter to win a bundle of 5 Escape Publishing titles. Just check out this post and fill in the form.

 

 

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