Friday, March 11, 2011

Cue the Leading Lady . . .

Sunday March 20th, 1:56 PM ~ congratulations to our giveaway winner:
AMBER! I'll be sending her a signed copy of Disaster Status. Thank you all for stopping by the blog and leaving such nice comments. And stay tuned to see who "covers my shift" next.

As with the heroes, I think it's important that my readers' first glimpse of the book's heroine is a strong one. Usually she's involved in some physical action (whether at work or play)--and always, I strive to show her determination and passion. This, of course, will translate equally into her struggle toward her main goal for the story. If you've read Disaster Status, you may remember that our first sighting of nurse Erin Quinn involved boxing gloves:

Muscle it. Punch through it. Control it. Be bigger than the bag.

Erin Quinn’s fist connected in one last spectacular, round-winning right hook, slamming the vinyl speed bag against the adjacent wall. And causing a tsunami in her grandmother’s goldfish tank. Water sluiced over the side.

“Whoa! Hang on, buddy. I’ve got you.” She dropped to her knees, steadying the tank with her red leather gloves. Everything she’d done in the last six months was focused on keeping Iris Quinn safe, secure, and happy, and now she’d nearly KO’d the woman’s only pet.

Erin watched the bug-eyed goldfish’s attempts to ride out the wave action. She knew exactly how he felt. Her own situation was equally unsettling: thirty-one and living with her grandmother and a geriatric goldfish named Elmer Fudd in a five-hundred-square-foot beach house. With two mortgages and a stubborn case of shower mold. She caught a whiff of her latest futile bout with bleach and grimaced.

But moving back to Pacific Point was the best option for her widowed grandmother, emotionally as well as financially. Erin was convinced of that, even if her grandmother was still skeptical . . . and the rest of the family dead set against it. Regardless, Erin was determined to put the feisty spark back in Nana’s eyes, and she had found the change surprisingly good for herself as well. After last year’s frustrating heartaches, being back in a house filled with warm memories felt a lot like coming home. She needed that more than she’d known.
In my newest medical drama (working title) Trauma Plan, the heroine is Nurse-Chaplain Riley Hale. Many of you will remember her from Code Triage, an ER nurse sidelined after an assault left her with serious injuries. In this new series, she's moved back home to Texas, but has no intention of letting her prominent family fuss over her. She's determined to re-claim her career and her life. Here is where we meet her in Chapter One:

“Twenty one, twenty two, twenty three . . .” Trauma chaplain Riley Hale straightened her elbows and leaned over her patient’s bare chest, using her left hand to sink her right palm as deeply as she could into his pliable breastbone. Her long hair swung across her shoulders with each focused effort. She pushed again, counting cardiac compressions while visualizing the patient’s failing heart squeezed between sternum and spine, her rescue efforts delivering essential blood to his brain and vital organs. “Twenty four, twenty five, twenty six . . .”
Riley compressed again, felt sweat trickle beneath her tailored shirt, then glanced at her patient’s pale, waxen face. She told herself that she was saving his life with her bare hands. My own two very capable hands. A registered nurse performing exactly what she’d been trained to do, had done a hundred times during her years in the ER. Nothing had changed, except . . .
“Argh!” Riley yanked her hands away and whirled to face ER charge nurse, Kate McCord. Her right hand cramped mercilessly, fingers curling inward beyond her control. “I’m working on a dead body, right? He’s dead because I’m doing a pathetic job trying to save him. Tell me the truth, Kate.”
“Well . . .” The petite brunette took a long swig from her vitamin water, then leaned back in the conference room chair. “It’s not looking good for Mrs. CPR Training Manikin—she should probably buy a nice black dress.” Her nose wrinkled. “On the bright side . . . the chaplain’s already here?”
Riley tried to smile . . . and failed.
Kate nudged her lunch plate aside. “Look, you have spinal cord damage that affects your arm--it’s weak; you can’t help that. That sick maniac broke your neck! You could have ended up in a wheelchair. The truth is that I’m amazed you’re doing as well as you are . . . ” {scene snipped for excerpt}
Riley traced her index finger slowly across the training manikin’s plastic shoe, and felt nothing. Dull as wood, completely numb. Her heart—her life--had begun to feel that same way. Numb, except for unrelenting frustration and the miserable jabs of guilt that came every time people applauded her “brave” journey to recovery. “You could have ended up in a wheelchair.” Was she selfish and ungrateful to want to be healed completely? Was she supposed to be happy that a horrifying assault left her with “only” a permanently weakened arm?
“It’s been a year now.” Riley's gaze connected with Kate’s. “Physical therapy, occupational therapy . . . every kind of therapy. I want to be back in the ER”-- she glanced at her suit jacket draped over a chair—“in scrubs. I want to be a real part of the team. I have to make that happen.”
And I promise you, our new heroine is going to throw herself into that goal heart and soul.

I'm typing as fast as I can to bring you this exciting new story--in fact, those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook probably heard that I've completely worn the "L" off my keyboard! The "E" and "D" aren't far behind. So . . .

To celebrate this progress AND to applaud real life heroines everywhere, let's have a book giveaway!

Leave a comment below to have your name entered for a (random drawing) chance at a signed copy of Disaster Status. Keep it for your personal library, gift it to a friend, or donate it to a worthy cause. I so appreciate your encouragement and support as I continue this journey!

Be sure to leave an e-mail address so that I can contact you if your name is chosen.
I'll draw the giveaway winner on Sunday, March 20th.
Good luck to you all!

*** As mentioned before, Trauma Plan is a work in progress, and this scene excerpt will very likely change (several times!) in the editing revisions required to get this book to press ***


Jordan C said...

LOVE this series!!

Anonymous said...

The new book is sounding really good, can't wait to get my hands on it but for now would love to win this one.

Anonymous said...

The new book sounds great!!

Beth Gillihan

Rene Ashton said...

I can't wait to read your new books, it sounds fantastic. When is the new book suppose to be coming oust. Oh so exciting.

Casey said...

Looking all the more exciting each time you come back!! :) Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

The new book sounds great. I wish I could speed up time and read it now.


Kelli Jo said...

Oh, I can't wait until Trauma Plan comes out! Yay! I love your books!!

Mel said...

I want to read this!!

Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

lilac grandma said...

Your writing is amazing! I would LOVE,LOVE,LOVE to win this book! Thank You! Love and prayers Melody

Unknown said...

As an RN I love reading your books...ready for the next one!


Cindy said...

The new book sounds great! Would love to win this one to get me started with the series.