Friday, August 4, 2017

Passion's Palette by Peggy Jaeger

Please welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Peggy Jaeger and her new book Passion's Palette! 



Title: Passion's Palette
Author: Peggy Jaeger
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:
Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he's looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

Buy Links: Amazon / Wild Rose Press 


Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s. 

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. 

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader's Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.








Thursday, August 3, 2017

[RELEASE DAY] Time Changes Everything by Melinda Dozier #Rerelease #99cents




Title: Time Changes Everything
Author: Melinda Dozier
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 3, 2017

BUY LINKS:

OTHER BOOK LINKS:

Blurb:
Amanda Larson is dedicated to her job and doesn't want to make time for anything else. Until she runs into Jake Edwards. He used to be the cute boy next door; now he's a sexy, big shot lawyer.

Jake Edwards isn't interested in commitment. He's successful, sexy, and single--and that's how he likes it. When he reconnects with Amanda, Jake realizes he might have to rethink his philosophy on the carefree, bachelor lifestyle.

But, is it too late for them? Or can he convince her that he's ready to give her his heart?


SNIPPET:
Jake leaned in closer, running his hand down her arm. “Know what I’m thinking?”

Amanda fiddled with her coaster and smiled at him. “I’m not sure I want to know.”

“I’m thinking we should spend a lot more time together.” He reached over and held her chin. “It’s been way too long.”

Amanda licked her lips, and damn it, it actually turned him on. Sweet little Mandy Larson wasn’t so sweet anymore. She was driving him crazy.

She moved closer bridging distance. “Why wait? There’s no time like the present.”

“Exactly.” He drank the last of his beer as the waiter returned with her martini sans olive.

Jake leaned on the table with his elbows, folded his hands together and studied her.

“Look at you, drinking a martini, living the life in New York City.” He examined her from head to toe. “A sexy skirt. Tall boots.” He ran a finger down her cheek. “A beautiful face.”

Amanda hiccupped and put down her glass. “Now, wait a minute. I know it’s been a while, but some things never change, including you.” She wagged her finger at him. “No smooth talking with me. Don’t forget I used to know you better than anybody.”

Because his fingers actually ached with the need to touch her again, he reached over and held her hand. “Yeah, but things have changed, Mandy. We’re two different people now, and I can’t wait to get to know who you are now.”




Reviews:
“Melinda Dozier did a fabulous job with this story. It was incredibly well written, and even though it was a quick read, it still had a lot of emotional depth.” - Harlequin Junkie, 4-1/2stars

“I love books like this.  Short, sweet, and just what every romantic wishes for.” - Waves of Fiction, 5 stars

“I loved this story and can't wait to read more from this great author.” - Romance BookWorm, 5 stars

Other books by Melinda Dozier:



Author Bio:
Reading romance has always been at the top of Melinda's favorite past times. You can always find a book in her hands no matter where she is. Melinda is Louisiana born, New Mexico raised, Guatemala adopted, and recently a newcomer to Houston, Texas. So, it's only natural that her stories take place all across the world. Melinda loves reading, reality TV (obsessively so), traveling, blogging, and playing Farmville.

Find Melinda on social media at:





Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer Lovin' Contemporary Romance Lovers: Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway! 8/1-22



Summer Lovin’ Contemporary Romance
Book Fair and Giveaway
August 1-22

This grand prize has beach reads from every contemporary romance lover’s TBR list, all loaded onto a Kindle Fire HD 8. One lucky winner will claim 80 books in all!

Included in the grand prize are bestselling titles from Nora Roberts, Susan Mallery, Kerry Lonsdale, Catherine Bybee, Alice Ward, J.S. Scott, and Debbie Macomber, plus dozens more, not to mention 27 fantastic books donated by the authors sponsoring the giveaway. You could also win one of two runner-up $25 Amazon gift cards.

Enter the Giveaway Here

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the awesome indie titles by our sponsoring authors. Cowboys, billionaires, Navy SEALs, bad boys, friends-to-lovers… we’ve got your next favorite late summer read.

This Giveaway is Sponsored by


Alicia Kobishop • Amanda Uhl • Anna Durand • Anne Stone • Ashlee Price • Bella Winters • Brenna Ash • Bria Quinlan • Calinda B • Carla Krae • Charlene Bright • Connie DavĂ© • Constance Phillips • Debbie White • Gemma Snow • Jacqueline Diamond • Joanne Dannon • Jody A Kessler • Kim Golden • Kira Blakely • Krista Ames • Kristen Strassel • Liz Durano • Maria K. Alexander • Melinda Dozier • Patricia M Jackson • RR Banks • Sarah Williams • Selina Coffey • Shaniel Watson • Stacy Gold • Stella Marie Alden • Summer Cooper • Tamara Ferguson

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cover Reveal! Time Changes Everything #Romance #Rerelease

We are happy to present the cover reveal for Time Changes Everything...



Title: Time Changes Everything
Author: Melinda Dozier
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 3, 2017


Preorder Links:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | ITUNES | Smashwords




Blurb:
Amanda Larson is dedicated to her job and doesn't want to make time for anything else. Until she runs into Jake Edwards. He used to be the cute boy next door; now he's a sexy, big shot lawyer.
Jake Edwards isn't interested in commitment. He's successful, sexy, and single--and that's how he likes it. When he reconnects with Amanda, Jake realizes he might have to rethink his philosophy on the carefree, bachelor lifestyle.
But, is it too late for them? Or can he convince her that he's ready to give her his heart?


Excerpt:
Jake sighed. “I’ll get your door.” He got out and ran to her side of the car. As he opened the door for her, he held out his hand.

Amanda ignored him as she got out. I can’t look at him. If I look at him, I’ll melt into his stare. Get out, say goodnight and go home. As the car door closed, she turned and he leaned against the shiny, black fender with his hands in his pockets.

Jake lowered his gaze in confusion. “I hope you had a good time tonight, even though you’re acting like you didn’t.”

Amanda crossed her arms in front of her chest and sighed.

He took a step closer and shook his head, looking hotter than she’d ever seen him. His hands still rested in his pockets and his serious deep-blue eyes stared at her. “You don’t have to be scared of me.”

“I actually don’t trust myself, Jake.” She switched her weight to her other leg and rolled her eyes.

“Why? You think you’re going to jump me?” He chuckled as he took his last step to her. “I wouldn’t mind.” His gaze traveled over her face, as if he were memorizing every freckle.

He wanted more. Hell, she did too. But then what?

“So, you think that after I jump you, all this will go away?” She pointed back and forth.
“That this attraction will be out of our system and we can continue to be friends? Is that how it works for you?”

He clasped her body tightly to his, his hands wrapped around the sides of her waist, his breath on her face. “What I know is we’ve passed the line of friendship already, so we should just stop holding back.”

Then he kissed her. Completely. Thoroughly. Long and slow and deep. His lips were perfect and she found herself moving to get a closer touch – if that was possible. His hands roamed her back and warmth shot up her neck and back down to her toes. The man knew what he was doing. Either he was a pure player or his desire ranked up there with her own.

Since her knees wobbled, she balanced her hands on his chest, and before she was ready for it to end, he stepped back and smiled, “See what I mean?”


Reviews:
“Melinda Dozier did a fabulous job with this story. It was incredibly well written, and even though it was a quick read, it still had a lot of emotional depth.” - Harlequin Junkie, 4-1/2stars


“I love books like this.  Short, sweet, and just what every romantic wishes for.” - Waves of Fiction, 5 stars
“I loved this story and can't wait to read more from this great author.” - Romance BookWorm, 5 stars


Author Bio:
Reading romance has always been at the top of Melinda's favorite past times. You can always find a book in her hands no matter where she is.

Melinda is Louisiana born, New Mexico raised, Guatemala adopted, and recently a newcomer to Houston, Texas. So, it's only natural that her stories take place all across the world.

Melinda loves reading, reality TV, traveling, blogging, and playing Words with Friends.

Find Melinda on social media at:



Other books by Melinda Dozier:
New York Minute | Breaking the Rules | Time Out, Valentine | One Lucky Night

Monday, June 19, 2017

[Cover Reveal] Torn Away by Vincent Morrone #TWRP


Title: Torn Away
Author: Vincent Morrone
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT:

“My father was always mean and cruel,” Drew said. “And we never knew when he’d strike out. Smacking us with the back of his hand, giving us a kick when we didn’t expect it, but normally it was quick and it was done. Those rages he went into, they were rarer. Sometimes you could go days, other times weeks, but when they happened, it was legendary. It was three weeks before it happened again. Something set him off. Not sure what, but he came home looking for us and we knew. So I did almost the same thing again.”
“What do you mean almost?”
 “Ashley begged me to hide in there with them,” Drew explained. “But I knew he’d look for us and break down the door to get to us. He was already slamming doors downstairs. So I pushed both of my sisters in there. And then I locked the door.”
Sam blinked. “You had a closet door with a lock on it?”
“We did then,” Drew said. “I’d managed to change it out after the last time. I didn’t want them getting out again. So I locked my sisters in a closet and dealt with my father. Ashley is still afraid of enclosed spaces. I did that to her. I knew they’d be stuck in there until I could manage to let them out and sometimes that was hours later, but I stuck them in there whenever I knew he was in a rage. I tried to protect them from my father, but there was nobody there to protect them from me.”

AUTHOR:


Find Vincent on social media at:

Monday, June 12, 2017

I'm Back! #AmWriting #writerslife


Did you notice I disappeared? I sure have! Life certainly got in the way of my dream and I've decided it's not worth forgetting about. So, I'm back! 


My Personal Story


What happened?
To make a long story short, my family and I moved back to the United States in the summer of 2015. We didn't have a home, a car or full-time jobs. Did I mention that I have three boys? It was CRAZY! By the end of summer, I got a job to support our family (a great teaching job that I love, but it's oh-so-challenging) and we moved to an area that we are happy to live, by the water and with excellent schools. We couldn't afford to ship our "home" from Guatemala, so we basically lived with very little. During all this, my father-in-law passed away from cancer, then, a year later, my oldest son moved off to college (Hook 'Em!) and that was a whole other emotional roller coaster.


Slowly, but surely, our lives started to get on track...


This past year, hubs finally got a secure job, and our middle son got a job working for NASA Space Center in Houston and just finished his junior year of high school. My youngest was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease (another life hurdle, but we're ready!), but he's excelling in the States! Best of all, we finally shipped our belongings a few months ago and our "home" is slowly becoming our HOME.

So, in a nutshell, life has been tough. I wouldn't change it for the world, because I have grown through this process. I've realized a great lesson that it isn't the "things" that we need in life, but it's each other. I'm so lucky to have such a supportive family who stood by us! I'm also so lucky to have a husband who I love and would navigate any life's hurdles with again and again (but please slow down, God!)


My Life as a Writer

The bad news...
I have been so out of touch with my "happy place" -- my writing.  It truly depresses me. Two years is a long time to go with nothing to count for in the publishing world. My agent dropped me (rightfully so) and I lost touch with so many great writing friends. I haven't published a book in years. YEARS!!! Now I feel like I'm starting over again from zero. It's no fun.

The good news...
Though I have been busy with life trials, I've been working on a book that I'm almost finished with! My goal is to finish this summer and hopefully find a home! This has been in the works for years now, so I am excited and tremendously motivated to get back at it. Also, I'm working on self-publishing my very first novel, Time Changes Everything. Though this is a whole learning process, I'm so excited to get this novel out there as this book is so dear to me!

Lessons ...

Many people may forget that writers are people too. We have lives, hurdles, trials and triumphs. Usually, we don't like to talk about the tough stuff. Why burden others with our troubles? But I challenge you to reach out to others who you may sense is going through something, be it a writing friend, an author you love, or even an acquaintance. A simple "I'm thinking about you" can go a long way! 

I want to thank those few who have stood by me in this hard time. Who have just said "hello" or asked how I was doing. Knowing that you've been there for me means a lot. 


Now, onward and upwards to my "happy place." The writing world awaits! 

I had to add a little Ry-Ry. ;)





Wednesday, June 7, 2017

[Book Promo] Sworn to Protect by Susanne Matthews


Book Blurb:

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?

Buy link:

Excerpt:
Mustering all the dignity she could, Nancy led the way back to the small space she’d called her own. In her absence someone had emptied her desk and packed up her photographs and other memorabilia. The partially filled box sat in the center of her blotter.
“If you’ll put your arms out at your side, I’ll search you.”
Gritting her teeth, her cheeks burned.
“Oh no, you won’t. I warned you what will happen if you put your paws on me again. There are no pockets in this skirt or jacket, and I’m not about to let you cop a feel,” she ground out, her chest heaving in her fury.
Glaring at her, he mumbled into the radio he carried. Within seconds, a woman, not an employee she recognized, arrived.
“Put out your arms,” the woman said brusquely.
Grudgingly, her mouth a thin line, Nancy complied, allowing the woman to pat her down, more roughly than necessary.
“She’s clean.”
“Satisfied?” Nancy asked, her fury and humiliation warring for dominance.
“Empty your purse,” he stated baldly, while the woman crossed her arms and stood by the open door.
Clenching her teeth to hold back the scathing remark on the tip of her tongue, Nancy turned over the bag allowing its contents to fall on the desk.
“If you’re checking to see if I’ve stolen company pens, don’t worry about it. I haven’t. I prefer something of higher quality.”
The man rifled through the items, checking inside each small bag and pouch and finally nodded.
“Keys.”
“You could pretend to have manners,” she grumbled. Removing the keys and the electronic fob that opened the garage door from her key ring, she handed them to him. As quickly as she could, she stuffed the items back into her purse. He picked up the box.
“Hang on a second. Let me check to make sure whoever packed this didn’t miss anything.”
She opened her desk drawers, but each one was empty. Turning to her filing cabinet, the suspended files were nothing but frames. Even her trash can was gone.
Stunned by the speed with which they’d erased her presence here, Nancy grabbed her coat and followed the two security people out of her office. She didn’t look back. Walking between the rent-a-cops, she held her head high, looking neither left nor right, hiding the fact she was devastated.


Author bio and links:
Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Her first novel, Fire Angel, set the tone for an exciting new career. While most of her books are romantic suspense, Susanne writes stories that range from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America.

When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books or as interesting entries for her blog, Living the Dream. During the summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website     Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt
Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

Monday, March 21, 2016

[Cover Reveal] Torn by Kara Leigh Miller

Today we're excited to help author, Kara Leigh Miller, spread the cover love! Her newest book, TORN (THE GEORGIA CORBINS, Book 1) is an upper young adult / new adult contemporary romance and the first in a planned trilogy. 

Coming May 3, 2016....


Cover art courtesy of Eden Plantz

Two years ago, Alison "Ali" Philips watched her two best friends  -- Levi and Tucker Corbin -- pack up and move away from the only home they'd ever known. Being apart is difficult enough, but going years without so much as a phone call or email from either of the brothers was heartbreaking for Ali. But life goes on, and Ali learns to slowly pick up the pieces of her life and mend the hole they left in her heart. She's doing pretty dang well, too. Until she comes face-to-face with Levi Corbin during Monday morning Physics lab.

The pain of being left behind still stings, but seeing the boys makes her want to go back to the way things were. Unfortunately for her, they've returned with only one thing on their minds: Winning Ali's heart. Ali soon finds herself in the middle of a love triangle she never intended to be a part of. As she tries to reclaim the friendships she's lost, unfamiliar feelings begin to stir. It's time to make a decision, one that will forever change all their lives: Levi or Tucker Corbin?

Ali is only certain of one thing -- She can't have one Corbin boy without losing the other.


To celebrate this cover reveal and the upcoming release, Kara is giving away a $15 Amazon gift card to one lucky person. Keep scrolling to enter the giveaway below!

About the Author:
Represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Kara is a multi-genre published author, and an avid reader with eclectic tastes that range from the tame to the taboo. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband, three kids, three pit bulls, and two cats. When she's not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she's spending time with her family. Find her anytime on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

[Book Tour] Dangerous Love by Kara Leigh Miller & Jody Holford #Giveaway

Dangerous Love banner

Anaiah Press proudly presents
DANGEROUS LOVE by Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford
a romantic suspense novel available NOW!


He’s fighting to forget his past while she struggles to remember hers…  

Doctor Josh Parker lives with guilt about his wife’s death every day.  

He believes himself incapable of ever loving again, but when a mysterious woman arrives in the Emergency Room, brutally beaten and left for dead, he starts to feel something he hasn’t felt in far too long: hope.  

Alessandra Matthews has no memory of the events that led to her being hospitalized. Worse, she has no idea who hurt her or why. Although she’s uncertain of who she is, she is fully aware of one thing—she’s falling for her doctor.  

Sometimes, what you don’t know can kill you…  

As Josh and Alessa work to solve the mystery surrounding her past, she soon realizes just how much danger she’s really in, but Josh refuses to let her face the darkness of her memories alone. With each of them struggling to put their pasts behind them, theirs is a DANGEROUS LOVE.  


Get your own copy of DANGEROUS LOVE by Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holford:

Amazon      B&N     Smashwords



 
About the Authors:

Kara Leigh Miller


Kara Leigh Miller

Kara lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three kids, three dogs, and three cats. When she's not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she's spending time with her family or attending one of her many writers groups. An active member of The Romance Writers of America and the CNY Writers Haven, Kara is also Managing Editor for Anaiah Press' Surge and Romance Imprints. She absolutely loves to hear from her fans and fellow authors, so feel free to drop her a line anytime!

Website     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook


Jody Holford


Jody Holford

Jody lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters. She is a fan of Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson, and Rainbow Rowell. In reading and writing, she likes characters who are flawed, but driven toward the pursuit of love and happiness. In November 2013, she published A Not So Lonely Christmas with Foreward Literary. In December 2014, she published Forever Christmas through Kindle Direct.


Website     Twitter      Goodreads     Facebook
 


Book excerpt:

The long, drawn out beep of the heart monitor silenced the room. “Call it,” Dr. Parker said, his voice strained and low with defeat.
“Time of death, eleven twenty-four p.m.” Nurse Renee pulled the sheet over the patient’s head.
Dr. Parker walked out of the room. Once in the hallway, he leaned against the wall and lowered his head. Losing a patient sucked, but knowing he had to go tell a waiting room full of friends and family that their loved one was dead made it much harder. He rubbed his hands over his face and blew out a long breath. The smell of antiseptic and blood still permeated his senses.
“You did everything you could, Josh,” Renee said, joining him in the hallway and patting him on the back.
“Thanks.” He smiled weakly. “I’m going to go tell the family.” Dr. Parker headed down the hall toward the bank of elevators, the sound of his dress shoes clapping the linoleum. He hated this part of his job. Working in the ER was good to keep his mind busy, but it was taking its toll. It was physically and emotionally exhausting. Not to mention, it always seemed when he was on duty, there was at least one death. He couldn’t handle much more.
Josh pushed the down button and waited for the elevator to arrive. The idea of opening his own practice was becoming more and more appealing. The doors slid open, and he stepped inside, forcing himself to breathe deeply. Pushing the button for the lobby, he made a decision to take a short break and grab some coffee, maybe a sandwich from the deli across the street.
The elevator dinged, the doors slid open, and because he had no other choice, he stepped out. As soon as he came into view, the boy’s parents stood. The patient was a twenty-year-old college student who’d been out partying with his friends, drinking, and was in a car accident that left two of his friends in critical condition and him dead. It was such a senseless waste of life and a prime example of why drinking and driving, in any amount, is harmful.
“Doctor, how is our son?” the mom asked.
Josh’s stomach lurched, making the words catch in his throat for a moment. “I’m sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Sutton, but Jackson didn’t make it. There was a lot of internal bleeding. We did everything we could.” Mrs. Sutton shook her head, denying what Josh said. Her husband’s face crumpled as he reached for his wife, pulling her into his arms. She let herself fall into him, and Josh looked away in an effort to give them some privacy. After a few moments, Josh said, “I’m very sorry for your loss. The hospital has grief counselors on staff if you’d like to meet with one of them.” His words did nothing to ease their pain, and he knew it. He knew firsthand just how empty they were, how daft and cold they sounded, but they were protocol.
With a sad nod, Josh left the family to grieve. He needed some air that didn’t taste like the hospital. Stopping at the nurses’ station, he said, “Renee, I’m going to go out for a bit. Page me if you need me.”
She looked up from the chart she read and gave him a weak smile. Concern shone from her dark, quiet eyes. She knew him well, had worked beside him many times.
“You look tired. Try to sneak in a nap.”
“Thanks.” He smiled, but there was no emotion behind it. He often wondered if he had the ability to feel emotions anymore. Ever since Laura . . . He shook her name from his mind. Thinking of her would only bring his mood down even more than it already was.
He stepped out into the cool, evening air and took a deep breath, letting his eyes close momentarily. His stomach had been in knots all night, and he didn’t know why. There was a sense of unease, restlessness coursing through his body. It was wreaking havoc on his ability to concentrate, and he couldn’t help but wonder if his lack of concentration led to a mistake in the ER—a mistake that had cost that boy his life.
“I did everything I could,” he muttered to himself, not finding any solace in the words. Josh took several steps toward the road, toward the deli when his beeper went off. “Shoot.” He jogged back inside and met the EMTs as they wheeled a stretcher into the ER. “What do we got?” he asked.
“Young woman, early thirties, beaten unconscious, trauma to the head, stomach, and chest,” the EMT ticked off the woman’s injuries. “Possible broken ribs, too. Breathing is shallow.”
Josh pulled a tiny flashlight from his pocket and checked her eyes. They were reacting to light. That was a good sign. Unhooking his stethoscope from around his neck, he checked her heart. Slow, but steady. “Do we know her name?”
“Alessandra Mathews.”
“Okay, Alessandra,” Josh said in a soft voice. “My name is Dr. Parker. You’re at Metro General Hospital. Can you hear me?”
On the stretcher, she groaned in pain. Tears fell from her bruised and swollen eyes. Dried blood coated her face. Dear God, she looked horrible, so scared and weak.
“We’re going to take care of you now. You’re safe.” Josh put his hand on her shoulder in an attempt to soothe her. It unsettled him to see this woman so shaken, perhaps more than it should. He kept his hand light on her but with enough pressure for her to register that he was there, that she wasn’t alone. “Okay, let’s get her into room four. Renee,” he motioned for her to follow, “we need to get her into a gown and cleaned up.”
At the count of three, the EMTs lifted her from the stretcher and onto the bed. Josh went about checking her from head to toe. There were several deep lacerations on her face and neck that would require stitches. There were also defensive wounds on her hands and arms. Who would do this to her? And why? The depravity of mankind would never cease to disgust him.
“Laceration above her left eye needs sutures. Abrasions on her lips, along her jaw, on her cheek.” Josh lifted her eyelids, checking her pupils against the light again. “Possible concussion.” He moved down her body, inspecting for further injury. “Ribs don’t appear to be broken, but we’ll need an X-ray to be sure.”
Renee efficiently scribbled each one of them down, nodding to confirm she’d heard and noted them.
“A rape kit will need to be done.” He hated having to even think that let alone say it, but in this type of situation, it was a bleak reality. “And get a tech up here with a portable X-ray, STAT.”
He would not lose another patient tonight. He couldn’t.