Monday, December 23, 2013

Frontline Outtake - Christmas Quitter

To thank all of you for your support this past year, here is an exclusive Frontline outtake. It takes place after Frontline, just prior to the sequel, which will be released in 2015. So if you haven’t read Frontline yet, please do so before reading this outtake.

Happy Holidays!!


The front of the card is a pencil drawing outlined in thick, black marker, showing a girl crowded by men and women, all curling their arms around her in a group hug. The girl doesn’t look comfortable. She looks like she’s being strangled by an octopus.
The message on the card reads:
They’re here for you every day,
(whether you want to see them or not)
Work with you through all your trials
(because they’re paid to)
Beg you to share the most intimate details of your private life
(because they’re bored)
And drink with you on paydays…
The illustration on the inside shows the girl standing by herself coupled with the punch line: But remember, they’re only work friends.
I don’t know whether to interpret the message to mean they’re not interested in keeping in touch, or look deeper to find some kind of pledge of friendship buried somewhere beneath the sarcasm. Messages and signatures are scrawled in different colored pens with barely legible signatures and initials beneath them.
“Barely knew ya! Good luck out there!”
“Sara, you’re special. Always remember that, okay?”
“Don’t be a stranger. Visit often!”
And the obligatory:
“Keep it real!”
I guess I should feel flattered that they at least went to this much effort. I didn’t expect any acknowledgement in the first place.
Tonight, I’m not just changing clothes and locking my locker until next shift. I’m emptying my locker, too, tossing out any garbage, leaving it clean and shiny for the next nurse to settle into it as a member of Manhattan General Hospital staff. I wonder if carving my initials into the back of it would be significant in any way, like an I Was Here message to all future nurses. I think better of it. They’d probably send me a bill for the paint and patchwork.
My last time in Manhattan General’s locker room.
I don’t plan to return. I finalized my decision two weeks ago when I slipped my notice of resignation under the office door of Valerie Hendrix, the tough-as-scabs nurse manager with a raging temper and words that bruise like a collapsed vein. I’ve avoided her successfully ever since. If I can make it out of here tonight without seeing her, I’ll be home free.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Am Worried About Trenton Merrick

One of the two principal characters in the romantic thriller, Frontline, Trenton remains a mystery even to me, the book’s author. I created him to be a quiet, enigmatic, brooding man on the surface. It’s those traits that first intrigue Sara Peters, the book’s other principal character, and inspire her initial curiosity towards him.

As the story progresses and different situations expose different sides of his personality to us (“us” includes me—remember, I’m on this journey with all of you!), whether the situation is romantic, sexual, suspenseful, or even death defying, Trenton remains stoic in the face of it all. He even refuses painkillers when injured.

I am a registered nurse by profession. I see how people respond to news of their progress: joy when the news is good, determination when things are on the fence and more tests are required. I’m lucky enough to see patients who have no hope on arrival at my hospital rally to make a full recovery. They carry a new perspective on life out the door with them when they leave. That experience is worrisome, but in the end, it’s joyful.

I’m also unlucky enough to see hope vanish in a patient’s eyes when the news isn’t good, when further tests or treatments ask not only too much of their bodies but too much of their hearts and minds. They leave with a different kind of perspective, if they get out of my hospital at all. Some of them don’t. But that experience is only worrisome for the patient at first. In the days that follow, as family members filter through to say their goodbyes, I’ve seen their worries and fears wash away beneath the first trickle of relief, by the hope that they’re going some place even better than this one. The human spirit thrives in these moments and the experience is life affirming.

When Trenton appeared in the opening chapter of Frontline, he immediately reminded me of a patient I helped treat who was admitted with a wound similar to his. This patient wouldn’t tell me anything about how it transpired. None of the members of my team, from rookies to senior staff with decades of experience, felt that he was telling us the truth.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Frontline (Frontline Series Book #1)

Cover Design by FS Meurinne

Frontline (Frontline Series Book #1)

When nurse Sara Peters treats celebrity billionaire Trenton Merrick for a mysterious injury to his forehead, she is blindsided by what follows: a passionate exchange in the examination room, followed by an invitation to Trenton's mansion the next night.

Trenton spins a web of deceit and seduction around Sara that both repels and attracts her. One part humanitarian, the other international financial mogul, his professional and public life are a curious contradiction. As Sara journeys deeper into her feelings for Trenton and begins unraveling the mystery behind his injury, she finds herself embroiled in a game of trust and betrayal, where the odds are stacked in Trenton's favor, and the outcome for the loser is too terrifying to conceive.

Bonus Content

Includes four short stories written exclusively for this release.
  • "Pleasant But Not Nice" takes a closer look at the friendship between Kelly Sheridan and Denim Jacobson prior to Sara Peters' arrival in New York.
  • "The Five R's" accompanies Sean Mavis and Christopher Maida on a stakeout and reveals their initial impressions of Kelly and Denim. 
  • "Dust" is an intimate look at Trenton Merrick's relief efforts in Haiti days after the devastating earthquake.
  • "The Celibate Spy" transports us back to 1968 when Randall Wolverhampton takes on his first mission as a junior agent in MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency.
  • PLUS the first chapter of the upcoming sequel to Frontline coming in 2014.

Available from:

Cover Design: FS Meurinne
Editor: Lauren Schmelz

Frontline Book #2

Coming Soon

Starlight (The Starlight Trilogy Book #1)

Starlight (The Starlight Trilogy Book #1)

October 1952 finds eighteen-year-old Marie Bates relocating from her rainy hometown in the Pacific Northwest to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, California. Marie's plans for a teaching career take an unexpected turn when she's asked to film a screen test at a major motion picture studio.
Renamed Elizabeth Sutton by the studio heads, she lands her first role as an extra. On set, Elizabeth spies Aidan Evans, a rebellious, twenty-three-year-old Method actor from New York. Aidan is branded as a stuck-up troublemaker by his famous Hollywood peers, but Elizabeth suspects a tragic secret lurks behind his steely facade.
As their careers hit the fast track and friendship evolves into romance, the expectations of Hollywood stardom threaten to shine a spotlight on Aidan's dark past before he can make peace with it. Elizabeth must help Aidan confront the painful event that shattered his life and conquer a terrifying truth before it destroys him and their future together.
Starlight is the first book in The Starlight Trilogy, a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age.
Five Reasons To Read Starlight:
  1. A sweeping technicolor tale of forbidden romance.
  2. A detailed homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
  3. Cameos from many of your favorite classic film stars.
  4. Transformation of a small town girl to silver screen starlet through Hollywood’s unforgiving lens.
  5. Close-up of a 1950s bad boy channeling a tragic past and the stress of sudden super stardom through the art of Method acting.

Available from:

Cover Design: Morwenna Rakestraw
Editor: Toni Rakestraw

Glided Cage

Gilded Cage
Cover Design by Alexandra Richland

Gilded Cage

A shy young woman, a reckless rock star, and one rainy night in Seattle that sets them both free.

Available in:

Cover Design: Alexandra Richland
Editor: Toni Rakestraw