Today's excerpt comes from my first-ever novel, BENEATH SIERRA SKIES, traditionally published by Silhouette in 1990 and recently re-released by Belgrave House. You can read a longer excerpt on the Belgrave House web site. I quote here from the novel's beginning:
A breeze as soft and warm as an embrace carried the blossoms that fell from the almond trees. A preview of spring had come to the Sacramento Valley, and Robin reveled in it, lifting her chin into the breeze and tossing her red-gold hair. She’d lived in Chico long enough to know winter would return before spring finally came, but these lovely days in February gave her patience.
She walked briskly, stretching her stride. At five foot eight she’d always been long, leggy and with an ample figure, and men had appreciated her looks. Then why...? She shrugged the thought away. Perhaps the warmer weather had made her wishful, or maybe it was her sister’s wedding, only three days away. It seemed as though the whole world was pairing off in couples!
Robin quickly covered the few blocks between the university and the hospital, entered at the old doors off the Esplanade and skipped up the stairs.
Nancy, her supervisor, stepped from her office as Robin put on her lab coat. “Ah. The guest lecturer returns. How did it go?”
“I’m a hit. The students all want to be just like me, if you can imagine that!”
“I certainly can. You’re the best cardiac caseworker I have.”
“I’m the only cardiac caseworker you have.”
“In that case, get to work.” Nancy winked as she picked up her clipboard. “Oh, Dr. Collins’s office called about the Chilton case. They’re assigning it to Dr. Demarse.”
“I was afraid of that,” Robin grumbled.
Robin shrugged. “We really haven’t worked together often.”
“He’s supposed to be a wonderful surgeon. It’s the only reason we keep him. That and his blond hair,” Nancy said with a grin.
“He sure isn’t famous for talking with his patients. The first time we worked together was with a postsurgical patient. Just before he was to be discharged, he asked Dr. Demarse when he could make love to his wife again. Demarse just shrugged him off, saying ‘Sex is no big deal. If you can run up a flight of stairs, you can have sex, and if you can’t, you can live without it.”
Nancy groaned. “He didn’t really say that, did he?”
“He sure did, and two days later, the patient was back in the emergency room with a broken nose. He’d fallen while trying to run up a flight of stairs.”
“Oh, no!” Nancy was laughing in spite of herself. “Well, many doctors have a hard time talking about sex. That’s why the job often falls to us.”
“I know, but some doctors have a worse manner than others.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I’ve heard some interesting things about Demarse’s bedside manner...”
“Don’t tell me you listen to hospital gossip?”
“Come on, Robin. Are you going to pretend he’s not attractive?”
“Well, I’ll admit he’s nice-looking—”
“Great-looking,” Nancy corrected.
“Okay, great-looking, but that’s no excuse for the way he behaves.”
“Well, try to put up with him. He is a very fine surgeon."
Robin and Brandon were my first literary offspring. Although attitudes have changed since 1990 and I now find Brandon more obnoxious than I did then (actually, he's something of a jerk!), I still love them, and I love their grand adventure.