How to Get Over Your Ex by Nikki Logan – A Harlequin Romance

Being rejected is one thing. Being rejected live on radio takes it to a whole new level!

 

After her on-air proposal is turned down by her commitment-phobe boyfriend, Georgia Stone must learn to survive singledom. Unfortunately, thanks to a clause in her contract, she has to do it under the watchful gaze of brooding radio producer Zander Rush.

 And so begins the Year of Georgia! Lurching from salsa classes to spy school, Georgia discovers a taste for adventure. Her biggest thrill so far? Flirting with danger—aka the enigmatic Zander. But admitting she’s ready for more than just a fling…? Definitely Georgia’s scariest challenge yet!

 Next month, look for the second book in this duet: The Guy to Be Seen With by Fiona Harper. Harlequin KISS has 4 new fun, flirty and sensual romance books available every month.

 

 

Nikki Logan

Image of Nikki Logan

Nikki Logan lives amongst a string of wetlands in Western Australia with her partner and a menagerie of animals.

For many years she worked in advertising and film distribution before finally settling down in the wildlife industry. It wasn’t until Nikki had six months off work in 2007 that she applied herself to writing her first novel. Well and truly bitten by the writing-bug, she wrote more novels after her return to work and hasn’t looked back since.

Nikki was contracted to the Harlequin Romance line in December 2008 and has written fifteen books for them as at end 2012. The latest will come out around the world in time for Valentines 2013.

Nikki also writes Romantic Suspense for Entangled Publishing and her debut rom-sus “Wild Encounter” is out now.

Connect with Nikki at http://www.NikkiLogan.com.au

Enjoy an Excerpt: (from Amazon)

 Valentine’s Day 2012

 Close. Please just close.

 A dozen curious eyes followed Georgia Stone into Radio EROS’ stylish elevator, craning over computer monitors or sliding on plastic floor mats back into the corridor just slightly, not even trying to disguise their curiosity. She couldn’t stand staring at the back of the elevator for ever, so she turned, lifted her chin…

…and silently begged the doors to close. To put her out of her misery for just a few blessed moments.

Do. Not. Cry.

 Not yet.

The numbness of shock was rapidly wearing off and leaving the deep, awful ache of pain behind it. With a humiliation chaser. She’d managed to thank the dumbfounded drive-time announcers—God, she was so British—before stumbling out of their studio, knowing that the radio station’s output was broadcast in every office on every floor via a system of loudspeakers.

Hence all the badly disguised glances.

The whole place knew what had just happened to her. Because of her. That their much-lauded Leap Year Valentine’s proposal had just gone spectacularly, horribly, excruciatingly, publicly wrong.

She’d asked. Daniel had declined.

As nicely as he could, under the circumstances, but his urgently whispered, “Is this a joke, George?” was still a no whichever way you looked at it and, in case she hadn’t got the message, he’d spelled it out.

We weren’t heading for marriage. I thought you knew that…

 Actually no, or she wouldn’t have asked.

That’s what made our thing so perfect…

 Oh. Right. That was what made it perfect? She’d known they were drifting in a slow, connected eddy like the leaves in Wakehurst’s Black Pond but she’d thought that even drifting eventually got you somewhere. Obviously not.

‘For God’s sake, will you close?’

She wasn’t usually one to talk to inanimate objects—even under her breath—but somehow, on some level, the elevator must have heard her because its shiny chrome doors started to slide together obligingly.

‘Hold the lift!’ a voice shouted.

She didn’t move. Her stomach plunged. Just as they’d nearly closed.

A hand slid into the sliver of space between the doors and curled around one of them, arresting and then reversing its slide. They reopened, long-suffering and apologetic.

‘You mustn’t have heard me,’ the dark-haired man said, throwing her only the briefest and tersest of glances, his lips tight. He turned, faced the front, and permitted them to close this time, giving her a fabulous view of the square cut of the back of his expensive suit.

No, you mustn’t have heard me. Making a total idiot of myself in front of all of London. If he had, he’d have given her a much longer look. Something told her everyone would be looking at her for much longer now. Starting with all her and Daniel’s workmates.

She groaned.

He looked back over his shoulder. ‘Sorry?’

She forced burning eyes to his. If she blinked just once she was going to unleash the tears she could feel jockeying for expression just behind her lids. But she didn’t have the heart for speech. She shook her head.

He returned his focus to the front of the elevator. She stared at the lights slowly descending toward ‘G’ for ground floor. Then at the one marked ‘B’, below that—the one he’d pressed.

‘Excuse me…’ She cleared her throat to reduce the tight choke. He turned again, looked down great cheekbones at her. ‘Can you get to the street from B?’

He studied her. Didn’t ask what she meant. ‘The basement has electronic gate control.’

Her heart sank. So much for hoping to make a subtle getaway. Looked as if the universe really wanted her to pay for today’s disaster.

Crowded reception it was, then.

She nodded just once. ‘Thank you.’

He didn’t turn back around, but his grey eyes narrowed. ‘I’ll be driving out through the gates. You’re welcome to slip out behind me.’

Slip out. Was that just a figure of speech or did he know? ‘Thank you. Yes, please.’

He turned back to the front, then, a heartbeat later, he turned back again. ‘Step behind me.’

She dragged stinging eyes back up to him. ‘What?’

‘The door’s going to open at Reception first. It will be full of people. I can screen you.’

Suddenly the front-line of the small army of tears waiting for a chance to get out surged forward. She fought them back furiously, totally futile.

Kindness. That was worse than blinking. And it meant that he definitely knew.

But since he was playing pretend-I-don’t, she could, too. She stepped to her left just as the doors obediently opened onto the station’s reception. Light and noise filled the elevator but she stood, private and protected behind the stranger, his big body as good as a locked door. She sighed. Privacy and someone to protect her—two things she’d just blown out of her life for good, she suspected.

‘Mr Rush…’ someone said, out in the foyer. The big man just nodded. ‘Alice. Going down?’ ‘No, up.’

He shrugged. ‘I won’t be long.’

And the doors closed, leaving just the two of them, again. Georgia sagged and swiped at the single, determined tear that had slipped down her cheek. He didn’t turn back around. It took only a moment longer for the elevator to reach the basement. He walked out the moment the doors opened and reached back to hold them wide for her. The frigid outdoor air hit her instantly.

‘Thank you,’ she repeated and stepped out into the darkened parking floor. She’d left her coat upstairs, hanging on the back of a chair in the studio, but she would gladly freeze rather than set foot in that building ever again.

He didn’t make eye contact again. Or smile. ‘Wait by the gate,’ he simply said and then turned to stride towards a charcoal Jaguar.

She walked a dead straight line towards the exit gate. The fastest, most direct route she could. She only reached it a moment or two before the luxury car. She stood, rubbing her prickling flesh.

He must have activated the gate from inside his vehicle, and the large, steel lattice began to rattle along rollers towards her. He nudged his car forward, lowered his window, and peered out across his empty passenger seat.

She ducked to look at him. For moments. One of them really needed to say something. Might as well be her.

‘Thanks again.’ For sanctuary in the elevator. For spiriting her away, now.

 His eyes darkened and he slid designer sunglasses up onto the bridge of his nose. ‘Good luck’ was all he said. Then he shifted his Jag into gear and drove forward out of the still-widening gate.

She stared after him.

It seemed an odd thing to say in lieu of goodbye but maybe he knew something she didn’t.

Maybe he knew how much she was going to need that luck.

Hell.

 That was the longest elevator ride of Zander’s life. Trapped in two square metres of double-thickness steel with a sobbing woman. Except she hadn’t been sobbing—not outwardly—but she was hurting inwardly; pain was coming off her in waves. Totally tangible.

The waves had hit him the moment he nudged his way into her elevator, but it was too late, then, to step back and let her go down without him. Not without making her feel worse.

He knew who she was. He just hadn’t known it was her standing in the elevator he ran for or he wouldn’t have launched himself at the closing doors.

She must have bolted straight from the studio to the exit the moment they threw to the first track out of the Valentine’s segment. Lord knew he did; he wanted to get across town to the network head offices before they screamed for him to come in.

Proactive instead of reactive. He never wanted someone higher up his food chain to call him and find him just sitting there waiting for their call. He wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. Or the power.

By the time he got across London’s peak-hour gridlock he’d have the right spin for the on-air balls-up. Turning a negative into a positive. Oiling the waters. The kind of problem-solving he was famous—and em-ployed—for.

The kind of problem-solving he loathed.

He blew out a steady breath and took an orange light just as it was turning red in order to keep moving. None of them had expected the guy to say no. Who said no to a proposal, live on air? You said yes live and then you backed out of it later if it wasn’t what you wanted. That was what ninety-five per cent of Londoners would do.

Apparently this guy was Mr Five Per Cent.

Then again, who asked a man to marry her live on radio if she wasn’t already confident of the answer? Or maybe she thought she was? She wouldn’t be the first to find out she was wrong…the hard way.

Empathy curled his fingers tight on the expensive leather of his steering wheel. Who was he to cast stones?

He’d recognised that expression immediately. The one where you’d happily agree for the elevator to plunge eight storeys rather than have to step out and face the world. At least his own humiliation had been limited to just his family and friends.

Just two hundred of his and Lara’s nearest and dearest.

Georgia Stone’s would be all over the city today and all over the world by tomorrow.

He was counting on it. Though he’d have preferred it not to be on the back of someone’s pain and humiliation. He hadn’t got that bad…yet.

He eased his foot onto the brake as the traffic ground to a halt around him and resisted the urge to lean on his horn.

Not that he imagined a girl like that would suffer for long. Tall and pale and pretty with that tangle of dark, short curls. She’d dressed for her proposal—that was a sweet and unexpected touch in the casual world of radio. Half his on-air staff would come to work in their pyjamas if they had th…

My Review

Imagine feeling confident enough in your relationship to actually propose on air. Even as much I love my Hubby and know that he loves me, I never would have done it. 

 This seems to be poor Georgia’s lot in life. Her boyfriend’s sister convinces her to enter a contest at the local radio station to win a free wedding and the chance to propose on air on Valentine’s Day. As luck would have it, she wins. Georgia not only proposed, but got turned down – with a long explanation as to why. Could it have been more humiliating? 

 This leaves the executive, Zander Rush, in a pickle. How can he possibly spin  the disaster to not only save his job, but the contest. And, as if his day couldn’t get any worse, he steps onto the elevator with the devastated young woman from the contest.

 Knowing exactly how Georgia feels, he comes up with what he thinks is a fail-proof plan to help her get over her ex and fulfil the year long contract she signed with the station; and he plans to document the entire year! What follows is a story about finding out exactly who you are and what you love to do. How to Get Over Your Ex is also about finding love in unexpected places. It was everything you expect of a Harlequin Romance novel. It was light-hearted, fun, interesting, and had great characters. I loved the cover and thought it represented the book.

 “We plan to keep you so busy you won’t have time to wallow.” Wallow? Anger rushed up and billowed under her coat. But she didn’t let it out. Not directly. “Busy with what?” she gritted. “Makeovers. New clothes. Access to all the top clubs…You name it, we’ll arrange it. EROS is making it our personal business to get you back on your feet. Total reinvention. And on your way to meeting Mr. Right.” She stared at him, aghast. “Mr. Right?” “This is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and to find a new man to love.” She just stared. There were no words.

 “I’m going to take a year off life to just get back to who I really am. To avoid men altogether and just remember what I liked about being myself.” The idea blew across her mind likes the leaves on the gravel path ahead of them. But it felt very right. “It will be the year of Georgia.”

 Georgia watched the woman walk away from her. Heels. They did something very special to a walk, even on gravel and grass. Pity she didn’t have a single pair above a serviceable inch. Maybe that was something she could put on her Year of Georgia list. ‘Learn to walk in heels.’ And not because men liked them – though the distracted glances of two groundsmen passing the woman confirmed that they did – but because heels were a side of herself that she just never indulged. Heels and pole dancing. They could go on the sidelist she was quietly developing. Tough both could easily break her neck.

 “I’m saying all the classes in the world aren’t going to make your life better, because life isn’t something you apply like make-up. It’s something you grow and tend. Like a garden.”

 “What fills your life?” His answer was immediate. “Work. Running.” The only two things he did. They couldn’t both be gap fillers, surely? “What are you filling?” He stared. “A whole lot of empty.”

 “It’s not stupid to want to spend your life with someone. It’s brave.”

 The Year of Georgia was supposed to have taught her who she was. It was supposed to have given her a taste of what was possible and highlighted the deficiencies in her life. And it had worked. She was Georgia Stone. For better or for worse. Weirdly obsessed with plants, content to walk alone amongst Roman ruins, uninterested in cooking or wine appreciation or shoes, but a crack shot with a blankpistol and the fastest code-cracker the spy school had ever seen. Terrible at the contrived sexy steps of salsa but a natural at the private undulations of belly dancing. A decent rower but a terrible swimmer. She was a lab rat and a loyal and ethical employee.

 Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation – monetary or in kind – has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm.

 

 

 

It’s Nothing Personal by Kate O’Reilley (Fiction based on a true story)

 

On a chilly January morning, anesthesiologist Dr. Jenna Reiner made her daily drive to St. Augustine hospital, completely unaware that her life was about to change forever. One of the surgical technicians in her hospital has been stealing syringes, and infecting patients with hepatitis C. The battle against the thieving surgical technician was only the beginning. Jenna Reiner was about to begin the fight of her life – the fight for her reputation, her pride, and her sanity. Beautifully composed, and inspired by real-life events, It’s Nothing Personal is a riveting, suspenseful, and emotional thriller that tells the story of faith and fortitude when an innocent woman finds herself surrounded by corruption and greed.

 Kate O’Reilley

Kate O’Reilley is a physician specializing in anesthesiology.  In late 2009, life brought Kate to her knees when she was named in a high-profile medical malpractice suit.  The ordeal nearly destroyed her.  When the dust settled, friends and colleagues urged Kate to write a book about her experience.

  

Heeding their advice, Kate poured her heart into her first novel.  IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL provides a fictional account of Kate’s experience, peppered with some unexpected twists.  To many, it will be an eye-opening glimpse into the relentless and corrupt world of medical malpractice.

 Working tirelessly, Kate has also completed her second novel.  IN GOOD HANDS is a gripping account of Dr. Mandy McGowen, an anesthesiologist who starts dispensing her own version of justice on patients at a county hospital.  IN GOOD HANDS WILL BE RELEASED SUMMER 2013.

 Kate O’Reilley also entertains her readers through her blog at www.katevsworld.com.  A demonstration of Kate’s wit and sarcastic humor, her posts expose idiosyncrasies, atrocities, and contradictions in our world. 

 A native of Colorado, Kate continues to live in the Rocky Mountain state with her husband and their daughter.  In Kate’s spare time, she enjoys running, reading and spending time with her family.  Her family vacations are always spent in Hawaii, a place that Kate and her family hold dear to their hearts.  Having lived on Oahu while her daughter was young, Kate and her family relish the day when they can return to the islands permanently.

 

My Inspiration for It’s Nothing Personal

A Guest Post by

Kate O’Reilley

 Some people feel inspired to write, and then they go about the arduous task of creating a story.  In my situation, things worked in reverse.  My story was thrust upon me with fury and venom.  When the dust settled, I was urged by close friends and co-workers to document my experiences.  From the depths of misery, the words poured from my soul, and It’s Nothing Personal was born.  

 On a cold winter’s day in 2009, a surgical scrub technician named Kristen Parker was allegedly targeting unsuspecting anesthesiologists.  According to Parker’s testimony, if she found herself alone in an operating, she would seize the opportunity – the opportunity to feed her drug addiction.  Reportedly, she would steal syringes of Fentanyl, a powerful and addictive intravenous narcotic, from anesthesiologists’ carts.  In order to conceal her theft, she stated that she would replace the stolen syringe with one containing saline and bearing a Fentanyl sticker.  To the naked eye, the two syringes would have been indistinguishable.  As time passed, however, Parker apparently became lazy.  Instead of substituting clean syringes for the stolen ones, she would simply refill the syringes that she had used to inject herself.  Purportedly, anesthesiologists used these syringes on patients during surgical procedures.  Unfortunately, the syringes were contaminated with Parker’s deadly hepatitis C virus.

 What ensued was a public health scare of epic proportions.  Over five thousand terrified patients were tested en masse for the virus.  Meanwhile, anesthesiologists at my hospital silently prayed that they would be spared and that none of their patients would end up infected.  I was one of those doctors, selfishly hoping that it would involve somebody else, but not me.

 Six months later, I was sued.  My patient’s attorneys were among the most aggressive, ruthless, and successful malpractice lawyers in the region.  As the lawsuit progressed, the stakes increased considerably.  The plaintiff’s attorneys threatened to include punitive damages in the charges against me.  If that happened, they could go after my personal assets.  I was thrown into a dangerous and very cunning game of chess, but instead of fighting to protect my king, I was fighting for my life.

 On my lawyer’s orders, I was locked in a world where I could talk to a very select group of individuals – my attorneys and my husband.  Isolated from my peers, I dealt the grief, guilt, despair, embarrassment, self-doubt, and immeasurable sadness on my own.  For over two solid years, the malpractice suit dominated my existence.  There wasn’t a day that went by where it didn’t creep into my consciousness – some days more than others.  During that time, I felt so alone, so tarnished, and so inferior.

 The ordeal didn’t just unleash its devastation upon me.  My husband and daughter both lived under a cloud of uncertainty and dread.  Everything was falling apart.

 When the situation finally came to a close, I felt obligated to document my experience.  Although It’s Nothing Personal is a work of fiction, it is inspired by my personal journey through hell.  As much as it is a story of sadness and corruption, it is also a story of survival.

 Up close and personal with author Kate O’Reilley:

 

Can you tell me about writing the book?

The book is inspired by my personal experience as a physician sued in a high-profile case.  I risked a great deal even writing it, and more so with my recent interviews with the local press.  In the end, I feel strongly that it is an issue that needs to be aired, regardless of the personal repercussions.  This event brought a hospital to its knees.  I’m sure there will be those who are angry with me for causing the story to resurface.  However, after living through the most stressful event of my life, I feel compelled to expose what a malpractice suit does to a physician.  I hope doing so helps other doctors in the future who are facing something similar.

 Tell me about the characters.

When it comes to Jenna Reiner, her experiences and emotions are very much my own.  The other characters are creations of my imagination.

 Tell me about the deposition. Was it as intimidating as indicated in the book?

Much of the deposition reflects exactly what happened in that dreadful conference room high above the city.  

 Can you tell me about the publicity surrounding the your case?

As far as news stories, there are a few.  It humiliates me up to reveal them, but they are part of the story.  In late November, early December of 2011, we were in the middle of settlement negotiations.  I was broken, and I wanted out.  Just like in the book, my family and I flew to Hawaii on Thanksgiving Day.  My attorneys assured me that the lawsuit would be settled by the time we got back.  On Black Friday, the first ‘real’ day of our vacation, my office notified me that a reporter was attempting to reach me.

 Rick Salinger, a local television reporter, was demanding to reach me for comment.  That night, he aired a story on the CBS affiliate here in Denver.  A week later, while still on vacation, I was notified of another potential story being pursued by Michael Booth from the Denver Post.  That story ended up being published on the front page of the paper on my first Monday back from vacation.  The scenes and emotions from the book don’t begin to tell the true horror I experienced on that Monday morning.  That event pushed me into a very dark place.

 Why the pen name and not your real name?

At the time that I began writing It’s Nothing Personal, I was very wounded.  I thought it would be better to keep my true identity a mystery.  However, since the book’s publication, I’ve become stronger.  I’ve also become driven by the desire to help other doctors who are facing malpractice litigation.  In order to tell my story, I was compelled to reveal my identity.  However, I will continue to write as Kate.  For me, Kate O’Reilley represents hope and optimism.  In many ways, I identify much more with the new me (as Kate) than my former self (Sherry Gorman).

 Kate (Sherry) provided me with the following news links. Please pay special attention to her message below, because as most of us have already had the experience of knowing – the news media does tend to take things out of context in order to sensationalize stories. 

 Please know that when you read the article for Channel 4 and The Denver Post, the reporters took things out of context.  My attorneys forbade me to comment.  In the eyes of the public, “no comment” is equivalent to an admission of guilt.  

 In particular, the Denver Post article contains particularly damaging statements quoted from my deposition.  These words, admittedly, were uttered from my mouth.  However, they were taken completely out of context.  

 In one statement, Michael Booth writes that I consider drug diversion to be “urban legend” and “folklore.”  In reality, these words came after a series of hostile questions from the patient’s attorney.  She asked me repeatedly if I had knowledge of specific drug diversions that had occurred at Rose Medical Center, unrelated to Kristen Parker.  Each time she asked whether I had knowledge about a particular diversion, I answered, “no.”  Finally, she asked me if I had any knowledge that drugs are ever stolen.  I interpreted the question as being very general.  My answer reflected my interpretation.  I explained that everyone who works in the OR has heard stories of drugs being stolen, and that these stories were basically “urban legend.”  My intention was not to minimize or trivialize the issue.  It was merely to point out that, in a general sense, this is common knowledge.  In the same response, I explained that no one had ever heard any stories of a person doing something like Kristen Parker allegedly did.  That is, stealing syringes of narcotics, injecting them into herself, and replacing the stolen syringes with contaminated ones, knowing they would be used on patients.  Not surprisingly, my explanation was omitted.

 In my blog post, “My Redemption,” I further elaborate on these misrepresentations. I was also able to defend myself in my interview with Kim Christiansen (9News).

 My Review:

 I am going to say first of all that I have been spending some time over on Kate’s blog. It is well worth the trip – only if you are not opposed to rotfl (rolling on the floor laughing!) This brave lady also has a sense of humor!


My first chapter review:

It’s Nothing Personal is Kate O’Reilley’s first book and she’s started it with a bang. The writing is intelligent and the characters were well on their way to distinguishing their personalities in the just the first chapter. 

 The book begins with Dr. Jenna Reiner hurrying along snow covered roads to work, hoping to be on time for the morning’s surgery. The author then sets the scene with Dr. Jenna Reiner, the anaesthesiologist, Hillary the scrub tech, and Rebecca, the circulating nurse in the operating room, each setting up their respective stations. 

 The author’s background as an anaesthesiologist, plays to the reader’s advantage as she sets the scene for surgery. We watch as Dr. Jenna Reiner gathers the narcotics and supplies from the locked cabinet and places them in her surgical cart, and with a nagging feeling, leaves the OR and Hillary, the scrub tech behind. The chapter ends with Hillary removing the syringes of narcotics and replacing them with syringes of saline solution.

 The first chapter left this reader with a feeling of unease, imagining they were being prepped for the surgery that would be taking place in that particular operating room (and highly anticipating the second chapter).  If the rest of the book is as well written as the first chapter, then It’s Nothing Personal promises pages of nail-biting suspense and drama.

 My review of the entire book:

I was captivated after completing the first chapter and went on to read the entire book – as fast as I could! What unfolded and took up the remaining chapters of the book was a bone-chilling fiction documentary (right or wrong – these are my descriptive words) of the author’s life. Not only does the author use her anaesthesiology background to give the reader first hand knowledge of the inside workings of an OR, but she goes on to use her lawsuit deposition experience to enlighten the reader to the nerve wracking tactics of barracuda attorneys. The story also shows how friendships and marriage can be tested to the limits, and how even the most loyal of friends may be forced to do things to save themselves. 

 The author did an amazing job of taking the reader into her life, her being, her emotions, until the words on the pages left this reader exhausted from having stood by Dr. Jenna Reiner’s side for two years of her life. It’s Nothing Personal (and you will learn that phrase well) takes the reader through the two years of the battle; from the beginning when the surgical tech’s abuse of the operating room is discovered, through the agonizing period of waiting to see if the doctor’s patients have been infected, and the ensuing malpractice law suit.

 After reading the book and knowing that it was based on Kate O’Reilley’s real-life experience, my overwhelming curiosity led me to hit the Internet and begin researching. My first stop was the author’s website and blog page, and then an in-depth conversation with the author. 

 In the book, the author speaks of her one true disappointment in the ordeal her family experienced due to the lawsuits. She was not allowed the opportunity to stand up for what she she believed in – justice, and to be the role model for her daughter that she wished to be. She was finally able to accomplish this. The author, Dr. Sherry Gorman, revealed her true identity recently, with the help of Kim Christiansen (9News), in the hopes of helping other physicians.

 In closing, I would like to say once again, what a captivating book. It was intelligently written with fully developed characters. The story was intense and suspenseful. It is definitely a book worth reading and I would give it 15 stars if they were available. 

 Book Quotes:

I would sue everyone involved and take him or her for all that they had. I wouldn’t stop until everyone who bore any responsibility suffered miserable. I would seek revenge. At that exact moment, Jenna fully comprehended the degree of trouble she faced if she indeed had an infected patient.

At that moment, Jenna’s entire life was dissolving. Everything she had strived to achieve was blowing away, like a pile of dust. Standing in the small room, Jenna felt the air grow thick and heavy. It hurt to breathe. Scorching bile rose up from her stomach, coating the back of her throat. She stared at the letter, but the words bled into one another – a sheet of blurry black waves upon a white background. Jenna needed to flee before anyone could see her. Attempting to escape, her legs buckled beneath her. Unsteady and weak, she pushed herself into motion.

“The judge cleared his throat, never for a second taking his eyes off of Hillary Martin. “Ms. Martin, how do you wish to plea?” “Guilty, Your Honor,” she replied, this time slightly louder. “Do you enter this plea on your own free will and not under any coercion or external influence?” “Yes sir.” The judge smacked his gavel once. The thud echoed throughout the crowded courtroom, like a gun being fired. “The court rejects your guilty plea.”

“Besides your (Jenna) performance in court, your deposition will probably be the most important thing you contribute to your case. To be brutally honest, the purpose of your deposition is singular. It’s Anders’ chance to get you to hang yourself with your own words. She will try to get you to admit that what you did was wrong. She will attempt to twist our words, trip you up, and make you appear dishonest. She will hammer you with the same questions over and over again for hours in hopes that you will eventually contradict yourself. All while you are being videotaped, audiotaped, and every word you say is transcribed by a court reporter.”

“Mommy, please don’t cry,” Mia begged. “Everything will be okay. Daddy and I promise. Don’t we, Daddy?”…Jenna blindly followed her daughter into the bedroom. For Mia’s sake, Jenna let her pick out a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt. In a reversal of roles, Mia helped Jenna pull her cotton scrub top over her head and tossed it into the hamper…Indulging her daughter was the best thing that had happened to Jenna all day.

Lyle had been secluded in his office for the duration of the deposition. He watched the events unfold from a live video stream supplied by multiple hidden cameras embedded at strategic locations within the conference room. His entire day was spent dissecting the facial expressions, body language, and mannerisms of everyone in the room, particularly those of Dr. Reiner. On more than one occasion  Lyle fought the impulse to barge in and attack her. The doctor’s soft-spoken nature and composure incensed him.

Reprinted from Kate O’Reilley’s website:

 Kate O’Reilley is a physician, specializing in anesthesiology.  In late 2009, Kate was plunged into a painful battle in a high-profile, medical malpractice suit.  The calamity that ensued nearly destroyed Kate and her family.  After the suit ended and the wounds started to heal, Kate was urged by close friends and co-workers to document her experiences.  The words flowed, and It’s Nothing Personal was born from Kate’s journey through her temporary hell.

 Through the process of writing It’s Nothing Personal, Kate has come to terms with her ordeal.  She has emerged a new person, with a new goal — to share with the public and other doctors the brutal reality of medical malpractice suits.  Speaking openly about the trauma of being sued is considered taboo amongst most physicians.  That unspoken code of silence inflicts further isolation and grief upon the doctor who has everything on the line. For a doctor whose skills and judgement are publicly questioned and scrutinized, the stress is all-encompassing.  Most physicians are irrevocably changed, and some are even pushed to the ultimate breaking point — suicide.  In order to publicly address this topic, Kate was forced to summon the courage to reveal her real-life identity, Dr. Sherry Gorman.  Her story has been featured in a televised interview on the Denver NBC affiliate, on radio, and in the national publication, The Daily Beast.  If even one physician gains some level of solace in Dr. Gorman’s/Kate O’Reilley’s story, she will feel the personal risks she faces associated with going public will have been worth it.

Although Dr. Gorman has publicly shared her identity, she identifies more with her pen name Kate O’Reilley.  For this woman who has endured so much heartache, Kate O’Reilley represents her new spirit.  One that is filled with hope, optimism, and a new found passion in writing.

Kate’s second book, In Good Hands, is a moving, gripping, and tragic story of an anesthesiologist who dispenses her own version of  justice after being the innocent victim of a brutal crime.

Kate currently resides in Colorado with her husband and beautiful daughter.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, writing, reading, and spending time with her family.  Her family vacations are always spent in Hawaii, a place that Kate and her family hold dear to their hearts.  Having lived on Oahu while her daughter was young, Kate and her family relish the day when they can return to the islands permanently.

Goodnight Brian by Steven Manchester

Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.

 An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.

PUBLICATION DATE: January 8, 2013

GENRE: Fiction
# OF PAGES: 308

 

Buy ‘Goodnight, Brian’

 

   

 

 

 

About the Author:Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller TWELVE MONTHS and PRESSED PENNIES, THE UNEXPECTED STORM: The Gulf War Legacy, and JACOB EVANS, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today ShowCBS’s The Early ShowCNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly N ews. Recently, three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.

 

Excerpt

Enough time had passed for the shock of Brian’s condition to wear off. Joan had stumbled beyond the grieving process and had given up negotiating with God. She was now at a place called rage. Mama sat with her daughter at the kitchen table, trying to help her make sense of it all. “Maybe Brian’s a test from God?” Mama suggested.

 “Why would God test a little baby who’s never done a thing wrong? Why would He test an innocent child?” Joan snapped back.

 Mama shook her head. “I didn’t say God was testing Brian,” she said evenly. There was a thoughtful pause. “Maybe He’s testing everyone around Brian?”

 “I don’t want to hear that!” Joan roared. “My son will never be able to enjoy the life of other people who don’t…”

 Mama slapped her hand on the Formica table, stopping Joan in mid-sentence and turning her face into that of a seven-year-old girl’s. “Not another negative word, do you hear me?” she yelled back, quickly grabbing her daughter’s hands and holding them tightly. “Positive, Joan – everything must be positive! Negative calls for negative and positive brings forth positive. Brian’s already facing some unfair challenges. We have to be positive, Joan. We just have to be!”

 Joan wiped her eyes. “But what if the doctor’s right, Ma?” she muttered in a tortured voice. “What if…”

 Without letting Joan’s hands go, Mama took a deep breath and started in on her own tirade. “The doctors don’t know what the hell they’re talking about! I had a grandmother who lived her whole life as a brittle diabetic, but she ate anything she wanted. She died three days before her eighty-fifth birthday. Your grandfather supposedly had cirrhosis of the liver, but lived with his bottle for forty more years until old age took him. They don’t know beans! Besides, we need to have faith in a higher source.” She pulled her crucifix away from her neck and kissed it. “You have to believe, Joan. Before any of the healing can take place, you have to believe that it will.” She nodded and lowered her tone. “Only God knows how… and that’s enough.”

 Joan placed her face in her hands and began to cry. She was now completely removed from her rage and safely returned to the stage of grief. “I’m…just… so…scared,” she stuttered, sobbing.

 Mama stroked her hair. “Don’t you worry, love. They say that children are raised by a village.” She nodded her gray, curly head. “I think it’s about time we had a village meeting.”

 My Review:


As promised, I am back with my review – or will be, as soon as I dry the tears in my eyes and splash cold water on my face. Goodnight Brian is a truly remarkable book and it next to impossible to review the book without book quotes and giving away part of the storyline.  

 The title would have you believe that Brian is the main character in the book, and while he is definitely at the heart of the story, it is Mama who at the center. Brian was born with a nutritional disorder that was intent on destroying him and leaving him severely handicapped. And while his mother and father were at a loss as they sat in front of a doctor telling them that he would never walk or talk, or accomplish even the smallest of tasks, it is his grandmother, Mama, who refuses to accept defeat – and with her faith, erased the word “can’t” from the families vocabulary.

 “Joan, you listen to me right now. That doctor’s wrong! Brian’s going to write his own story. He’s going to sing his own song and no one’s going to sing it for him. It’s his life and it’s between him and God…not some fool doctor who’s had so much schooling that he’s forgotten the power of faith.”

 “No such word as can’t!” she blurted. “Brian is abled, not disabled…and we’re never going to treat him like he’s handicapped. Let him learn to do it for himself, please.” 

 There is so much to say about this book. The story shows the love and determination of a family matriarch determined to have her grandson be as self-sufficient as he possibly can. Mama devotes every fiber of her being to Brian and enlists the help of everyone in the family; aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings. She teaches the children that Brian is like a butterfly and they must allow him his struggles and not do everything for him. She instills life lessons at every turn as only a grandmother can. I loved the analogy the author used about the butterfly and it becomes a thread throughout the book. She used it to explain to the children that instead of doing for Brian, they needed to let Brian figure some things out.

 “Butterflies start out as fuzzy, crawly caterpillars.”…”And when the time’s just right, each caterpillar forms its own cocoon. About two weeks later, when it’s time for them to fly off into the world as a butterfly, they have to struggle with all their might to break out of that cocoon. And believe me, they can’t fly until they’ve struggled for a very long time.” She searched their faces. “If they didn’t have to struggle,” she explained, “then they wouldn’t be able to build up the muscles that they need to fly.” She looked at Brian and rubbed his belly. “We don’t want our little boy to be a caterpillar forever, right?”…”Brian’s our butterfly, so he’s going to have to learn how to break out of his own cocoon.”

 It was Mama who took over and did what needed to be done when the parents had exhausted themselves. This grandmother’s love, deep faith, and determination holds the family together and it is Brian who teaches the family about unconditional love. The book also showed the real human side to the parents as one parent was better able to cope with the handicaps than the other. Mama was a wise woman and the life lessons she imparted to her loved ones throughout the book, I also found myself taking them to heart. 

 Goodnight Brian is a heart wrenching, heart lifting read that goes so much deeper into the soul of the reader than I have words for. I recommend this book to everyone, regardless of a favorite genre. 

 “Heaven is our reality,” her mother explained. “It’s life on Earth that’s the dream.”

 Book Quotes:

 “So you think Ross is ready for a new brother or sister?” Moma asked…”It’s gonna sound strange, Ma, but it’s like he’s more protective of the baby than jealous”…As if on cue, Ross walked into the kitchen and approached his mother. After giving her belly one quick rub, he headed back to the T.V.

 “I don’t know…maybe nothing. It’s just that since I put Brian on the formula, he’s been irritable and even cries sometimes after feedings. And that’s not like him”…As she yawned, she spotted Brian lying motionless in his crib, a zombie’s expression on his face. “Oh God!” she screamed and leaped to her feet, nearly tripping from the lack of blood in her legs. Her baby was gray, with big, black circles under his eyes. He’d lost so many bodily fluids through the night that he was scratching at death’s door.

 Mama sat with her daughter at the kitchen table, trying to help her make sense of it all. “Maybe Brian’s a test from God?” Mama suggested. “Why would God test a little baby who’s never done a thing wrong? Why would He test an innocent child?” Joan snapped back. Mama shook her head. “I didn’t say God was testing Brian,” she said evenly. There was a thoughtful pause. “Maybe He’s testing everyone around Brian?”

 “I’m just so scared,” she (Joan) stuttered, sobbing. Mama stroked her hair. “Don’t you worry, love. They say that children are raised by a village.” She nodded her gray, curly head. “I think it’s about time we had a village meeting.”

 “Here’s the real secret to succeeding in life: You get knocked down, you get back up. You get knocked down again, you get back up. It’s not getting knocked down that’s the problem. Life does that to everyone. It’s when you don’t get back up that you’re in trouble.”…”Fortunately, Brian refuses to stay down.”