|Safe Harbor Medical Center|
Following a career as an Associated Press reporter, USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold more than 100 novels. She is especially known for her 17-book Safe Harbor Medical romance series and is currently writing the fourth book in the spin-off Safe Harbor Medical Mystery series. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
My Town: Safe Harbor
No need to bring an umbrella or put on sunscreen as we stroll along the harbor, linger over a cup of tea at the Sea Star café, check out the latest paintings at the Wine Arts Gallery, or adopt a pet at the Oahu Lane Animal Shelter. While you won’t find it on Google Maps, the town of Safe Harbor, California, has become more real to me than many places that actually exist.
We could also take a floor-by-floor tour of Safe Harbor Medical Center and the adjoining medical offices. There are up-to-the-minute laboratories, an extensive fertility program with its own egg donor project, and that centerpiece of staff gathering and gossip, the indoor-outdoor cafeteria.
Creating a fictional town presents many advantages, but I never expected to develop one with such depth. My file describing it runs to seventeen pages, while my desk drawers contain half a dozen maps in varying degrees of detail.
What are the advantages of constructing my own community? Real towns and cities pose logistical problems. There isn’t always an appropriate bus service or school or shop to fit fictional needs. Furthermore, if I stir up trouble at a police department or a hospital, I could step on someone’s toes, perhaps even invite a lawsuit. And as the years pass, towns change so that descriptions in novels may no longer match reality. None of that is a problem when I “own” the place!
This isn’t the first town I’ve dreamed up over the course of writing more than 100 books, but it’s by far the most complete. Initially, I planned to write three books, but minor characters kept demanding that I tell their stories. New staff arrived, and the hospital’s personality evolved as it grew. If you watch Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll know what I mean.
Although my series is set in and around the medical center, my heroes and heroines sometimes fall in love with people from the wider community, including police officers, attorneys, and private detectives. My maps expanded; more supporting characters sprang to life, and some insisted on finding love, as well. My file of characters, with backgrounds and descriptions, has bloomed to more than 100 pages in its own right.
Does this mean I achieved perfect consistency during the nearly ten years I’ve been writing these books? Well, no. Occasionally, I find small glitches. Fortunately, I’ve been able to reedit the earlier novels. While the series was originally published by Harlequin, I have regained rights and reissued nine of the romances under my K. Loren Wilson imprint. The mysteries—I’m currently working on the fourth—are all self-published originals.
Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone, from the first romance, The Would-Be Mommy, to the latest mystery, The Case of the Desperate Doctor. In Safe Harbor, the welcome sign is always visible on the main boulevard and the doors of the medical center are always open. Stop by any time!
The Would-Be Mommy
A Safe Harbor Medical Romance, Book One
When reporter Ian Martin stirs trouble with his story about a hospital welcoming abandoned babies, he ignites a firestorm around public relations director Jennifer Serra. Now she faces losing her heart to a baby she can’t keep, and losing her job due to a scandalous secret. To help her, Ian must choose between his ambitions and his unexpected love for her.