Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday's Book Code Blue #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Medical suspense Hudson River

Code Blue

I began gatherine material for this book when I worked as a nurse. I've enjoyed medical suspense stories but there were usually evil doctors and sometimes nurses as the villains. This was my take with a little twist.

In the medical suspense Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters, published by Books We Love and previously published as Obsessions, nurse Susan finds the body of the hospital’s “gossip queen” in the orthopedic storage room. She doesn’t realize this is the first of a series of murders involving her colleagues or that her life is in danger. She is a widow and is exploring a new romantic relationship that promises love but she fears the man she is falling for is as controlling as her dead husband. The arrival of courtship gifts, at first, seen as innocuous soon takes on a sinister note.

Reviews

This book kept me on edge from the first page to the last. Several times I just 'knew' I'd figured out who the killer was, but each time, there was a bit of doubt there until the very last paragraph! I highly recommend this book. 4 Stars (Excellent!)"--Tracie's Book Reviews by Kathy's Faves and Raves

"A series of murders, suspense, action, a tad of love makes OBSESSIONS an intriguing tale designed to mystify your mind. If you love mysteries, you'll love Janet Lane Walters newest release. 4 Stars!"--Just Views

"Fast-paced mainstream novel ... Walters plots carefully, each scene constructed to perfection. For readers who enjoy being terrified, this is an author to turn to for entertainment. She tells all, while managing to create paranoia among the characters."--Affaire de Coeur

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday's Blurb features a Book by Joan Havelange #BWLAuthor #Mystery #golf


Wayward Shot (Mabel and Violet’s Excellent Adventures Book 1) by [Havelange, Joan]

When Mabel slices her golf ball into the town cemetery. She and her best friend Violet think the worst that could happen would be a lost ball. That is until they discover a dead body, and it isn't six feet under. Mabel's golf ball lays in the middle of his forehead, it’s murder.

The ladies take it upon themselves to solve the mystery of the dead body in the graveyard. Using the information gleaned from Coffee Row, a collection of eccentric townspeople. Leads them to investigate golfers and relatives of the deceased. Their investigation frustrates a newly appointed RCMP officer, who does his best to put a stop to their interference.
But nothing stops the intrepid detectives. Not the RCMP, a stampede of cattle or even shots fired at them in the dark. They have an uncanny ability to find trouble and dead bodies. Almost getting themselves killed before solving the murders

Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday, Joan Havelange is Visiting and Talking About Writing


1. What were you before you became a writer? Did this influence your career as an author.
I have worn a few hats, I worked for a mining company in Northern Manitoba. This was when computers were just ramping up. It was great fun being on the ground floor so to speak. I have also acted and been a little theatre director. I find writing a lot like directing, only your actors show up on time and know their lines, although sometimes they still go off in a direction that surprises me.


2. Are you genre specific or general? I don't mean major genres but do you write in a subgenre of romance, mystery or paranormal?
I’m a mystery buff, I tried writing romances, but I wasn’t romantic enough. So it’s murder for me. The Cozy Mystery kind.


3. What is your latest release?
Wayward Shot


4. What are you working on now?
My next mystery is set in Egypt, a country I enjoyed visiting a few years ago


5. Does your reading influence your choice of a genre?

I read many genres, but I’m a big fan of mysteries 


6. Where can we find you?




Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thursday - Murder and Sweet Tea - a look at Robespierre #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Cozy mystery #Maine Coon Cat


I turned into River Edge Road. Robespierre ambled up the street toward me. When he reached my side, the Maine Coon cat butted my legs with his head. Was this a welcome or a bid for more food? At twenty-two pounds, he was huge and his fluffy black, brown and white coat added to his bulk.



The cat dashed inside and did a little dance in front of his bowl. Lars sat at the table cradling a steaming mug of coffee. I sprinkled a few bits of dry food in Robespierre’s dish and filled a glass with iced spearmint tea. I sat across from my husband.
Lars looked up from the newspaper. “Did you and the coven solve the problems of the world?”

The next day, I spent time in the garden tending the mint beds in front of the bedroom area of the house. Their aromas filtered into the rooms and helped me sleep. Megan and Rose Prairie played with a ball on a string. Robespierre sat in his Sphinx position on the stone walk leading from the front door to the street. I wonder if he thought he was too old to play.


While watching the move, I gathered basil and mints for our evening meal. I pulled weeds from the beds.
“Hungry, Grandma Kate.” The small girl planted herself in front of me.
“Is it lunchtime already?”
“My tummy says yes.”
I clasped her hand and we walked to the house. A parade of cats followed. The pair scampered over the slate foyer and turned toward the kitchen. Robespierre and Rose Prairie dashed to sit beside their bowls in expectation of being fed. I chuckled. Megan’s pet had learned the drill.
She giggled. “They are so silly.” She shook a few nuggets into each bowl.



Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wednesday Meet some of the characters Code Blue #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Medical suspense

Code Blue

Join the writers at #MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com for some great excerpts. Mine is Code Blue, a medical Suspense. 
BLURB:
In the medical suspense Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters, published by Books We Love and previously published as Obsessions, nurse Susan finds the body of the hospital’s “gossip queen” in the orthopedic storage room. She doesn’t realize this is the first of a series of murders involving her colleagues or that her life is in danger. She is a widow and is exploring a new romantic relationship that promises love but she fears the man she is falling for is as controlling as her dead husband. The arrival of courtship gifts, at first, seen as innocuous soon takes on a sinister note.

Reviews

This book kept me on edge from the first page to the last. Several times I just 'knew' I'd figured out who the killer was, but each time, there was a bit of doubt there until the very last paragraph! I highly recommend this book. 4 Stars (Excellent!)"--Tracie's Book Reviews by Kathy's Faves and Raves

"A series of murders, suspense, action, a tad of love makes OBSESSIONS an intriguing tale designed to mystify your mind. If you love mysteries, you'll love Janet Lane Walters newest release. 4 Stars!"--Just Views

"Fast-paced mainstream novel ... Walters plots carefully, each scene constructed to perfection. For readers who enjoy being terrified, this is an author to turn to for entertainment. She tells all, while managing to create paranoia among the characters."--Affaire de Coeur


2019 Book Hooks

Some of the Characters

Barbara
     "Do you really think I'll tell you?" Barbara Denton's strident voice rasped against Susan's nerve endings. "Believe me, when I say it's dynamite. Someone isn't going to like what I've learned. And let me tell you, this time, I have all the facts."
     The practical nurse's harsh laughter and the veiled threat in her voice added to Susan's uneasiness. Whom had Barbara targeted this time? Her stories always contained a dram of truth but little more. Susan halted in the doorway and waited to hear further hints of scandal. When the practical remained silent, Susan stepped into the room and closed the door.
     The hospital's gossip queen sprawled on the bright green loveseat facing the door. She stabbed a cigarette toward the round table that was partly hidden by the jutting powder room wall. A gold bracelet glittered on her arm and slid up and down as she used the cigarette to emphasize the importance of the tidbit she dangled.
     Susan shook her head. Had anyone reminded Barbara that smoking in the hospital was illegal? Would it matter? The practical had chosen to break the rule, but so did the unit's nurse manager.
     "Don't tease," Susan said. "We know you're dying to tell all."


Julie
     Julie emerged from the med room. "How's your father? Barbara had me so rattled I forgot to ask."
     "As stubborn as ever. When I lectured him about the need for fiber in his diet, he laughed. What does one do with a father who's a junk food addict?"
     "Love him."
     Susan chuckled. "He handles the temporary colostomy like a pro."
     "Then I was right. He has diverticulitis."
     Susan nodded. "I owe you a dinner. Let me know when you're ready to collect." She reached for the district care plan book and motioned to one of the day nurses. As the woman began report, Barbara sauntered into the station and leaned against the counter.
     The early hours of the shift were hectic. Susan felt as though she chased the hours she'd lost on the airport runway and in crawling past construction barriers. With eleven unfamiliar patients, she had no time to dwell on the undercurrents she had sensed in the lounge or on her own restlessness.

Leila
     "Goodbye, Barbara." Susan carried a salad and a cup of coffee to the table. Fifteen minutes later, the lounge door opened and Leila walked in.
     "You're late," Susan said.
     Leila poured a cup of coffee. "It's been one of those evenings. ICU had a visitor who refused to leave. The OR needed four units of blood stat. A patient on Five Med/Surg fell." She sat across from Susan. "I like the hair. It's about time you colored the gray."
     "That's what my mother said, plus a lot of other advice." Susan closed the salad container. "Why don't we get together for lunch tomorrow and I'll fill you in about the state of nursing practice in Florida?"
     Leila lit a cigarette.
     Susan raised an eyebrow. "I thought you quit."
     "Stress."
     "And the rules?"
     "Will you turn me in?"
     "I might. About lunch?"
     "I can't. I have class. Just one more semester."
     Susan cleaned the area of the table she had used. "Wednesday?"
     Leila shook her head. "I'm picking up my new car. Do you have time to talk about one of your co-workers?"
     "Here? I wouldn't want to chance being overheard. What about Friday?"
     "I'll be away. It's a four-day weekend."
     "Joe?" Susan asked.
     A dreamy look misted Leila's dark eyes. "We're going to his hunting cabin."
     "Don't you ever get tired of spending so little time with him?"
     "Quality counts." Leila's smile brought an elegant charm to her pointed features. "It's a good relationship. We both know how much we're willing to give. I don't want him to leave his wife and marry me."
     A fleeting shadow in her friend's eyes made Susan wonder why Leila lied to herself. On the surface, her friend acted like a realist, but Susan knew the hidden romantic. For twelve years, she had watched Leila hide that part of her nature.



My Places

Buy Mark




Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday's Writer's Tip -- Speaking of Roaming Body Parts Janet Lane Walters #Writing #Body parts

There are some things when I read I start giggling. Like this gem> His eyes roamed around the room. Can you  picture him removing his eyes so they can look everywhere. Now if the writer had said his gaze roamed around the room, there would be no laughter. Removing the body parts from the characters can always bring a chuckle or two. Perhaps if you were writing horror they might work. Unfortunately this is a trap that's easy to step into. I know I've done it a hundred times and hopefully have caught at least 99 if them, There's usually something that slips through no matter how many times you go over the script or how many editors look at the pages.

Another area where parts don't make sense. Objects don't act on their own. The car swerved. Depends on if the viewpoint character is driving or observing. If he's driving, he swerves the car. If he's watching, the car does swerve. This is an area where I have trouble making sure the viewpoint character is in the right spot for the sentence. Boots scuffed the cement. Could be her boots scuffed the cement. A stranger;s boots etc. You get the picture

Monday, October 14, 2019

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Poem #Klutz #Writing

Meander 1 Poem -- Book Jacket --

I face you and i smile
Naked, surrounded by air.
A gleam of mischief lights my eyes.
Glasses slightly askew.
And while you see my flesh
Exposed.
My inner core is hidden under words.
It's you must puzzle meanings.
In my hand a corncob pipe.
 It lends an air of dignity.
The sweater, holes in sleeves tied round my neck.
Should have leather patches.
But I can't sew.

Meander 2 - Klutz - I fell today because I wasn't paying attention. This had to happen at the mall where people could see me. At least they helped my to my feet. I assured them I was all right. And I was but I must stop thinking about what I'm going to do next and realize there's a curb and not the pavement.

Meander 3 - Writing - I have started the last written draft of the book. They it will be a matter of proffing. Of course that's a way to go since there are probably a hundred or more pages to write. Twenty minutes to a page so I should finish by the deadline. I've made a bargain with myself. I intend to write three books next eyar but I'll tell my publisher and friend that I will write them and when each one is dong I'll let her know and she can fit me into the story. There are too many things happening in life to be on constant deadlines.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday's Book Murder and Sweet Tea #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Cozy mystery #Hudson River Valley


Murder and Sweet Tea (Mrs Miller Mysteries Book 6) by [Lane Walters, Janet]


This is the last book in the series and maybe in the future, Katherine will find anothe rmurder to become involved with. One never knows. Saying goodbye to Robespierre was sad years ago but I'm glad he now lives in memory and on the pages of these books.

Blurb
Lars is her new husband. He loves Katherine but doesn’t understand why she’s always trying to protect her near and dear. Even though she saved his life while visiting him in Santa Fe, he often questions her involvement in other people’ lives.

Into their lives arrives a new neighbor, Sabrina Gates. Sabrina bought the house next door. She has had a phenomenal success as a new author but moes from her past and present threaten her peace and ability to write. There is the blogger who posts snide and not so nice posts about other authors. Sabrina’s former agent wants a share of the huge amount of money Sabrina has received for a trilogy. And there is her ex-husband, a needy greedy coward who wants money.

Above all there is Robespierre who makes his presence known.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Paul DeBlassie III #MFRWAuthor #Visionary Fiction #Award winner

The Unholy: A Supernatural Tale by [DeBlassie III, Paul]

Winner of the Independent Press Award and the NYC Big Book Award for Visionary Fiction!

Eve Sanchez, a scholar of esoteric studies, is driven into unreal dimensions of horror and hope as she encounters a seductive and frightening man, criminal lawyer Sam Shear.

Sam introduces Eve to a supernatural world in which the wicked powers of a surrogate mother’s twisted affection threaten love and life. Struggling to sort through right from wrong, frightened yet determined, Eve nears despair.

In the magical realm of Aztlan del Sur, a mythopoeic land of hidden horrors and guiding spirits, Eve, with three friends and a wise old woman, is caught in an age-old struggle about love—whether bad love is better than no love— and discovers that love is a wild thing.
Goddess of the Wild Thing reveals the dramatic tale of one woman’s spiritual journey where metaphysical happenings, unexpected turns of fate, and unseen forces impact her ability to love and be loved. 
The Unholy: Amazon - mybook.to/TheUnholy

Winner of the International Book Award and Pinnacle Book Award for Visionary Fiction!
Haunted by the memory of her mother’s murder, Claire has lived most of her life in fear.
But the Archbishop’s mounting horror compels her to expose the dark side of his religion and face the truth: good is not always what it appears to be.
Confronting Anarch means risking her life and uncovering the closely guarded secrets of her past.
Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, a metaphysical realm of hidden terrors and guiding spirits, The Unholy is a supernatural tale of Claire’s confrontation with destiny as healer and slayer.








Friday, October 11, 2019

Friday Paul DeBlassei III is visiting and Talking about Who He Was Before #MFRWAuthor #Psycologist #Archetypal #Supernatural


1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing? It’s my take that I’ve always had the words and books fulminating, churning, and readying for birth. I think writers are born and life hones that calling. So, I’d say by profession I’m a depth psychologist and writer, treating the deep unconscious mind and writing books about archetypal/supernatural happenings for the past thirty-five years. Stories I’ve lived through with traumatized patients have confirmed the workings of an unseen world, a mysterious zone that’s forever been an influence from childhood to adulthood. The magic of the mystic helped my wife of forty-years, Kate, and I to raise our four children – two phantasmagoric writers and two alchemical artists.

2 Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above. As far as genre, my reads are visionary/metaphysical, supernatural/occult, and horror. They got the stuff that pops the top off the rule bound and rigid mind.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres? What I read is laced with visionary intrigue. They’re the psychically titillating stories that whisper to me, tell me things about life and the images and symbols of the dark recesses of the mind.

4. What's your latest release? Goddess of the Wild Thing breaks into the question of love and whether bad love is better than no love. You’ve got a consciousness oriented narrative replete with archetypal themes of the wise-old woman, the witch, and a man and woman struggling to find their way through a complex and, at times, horror-ridden relationship.


5. What are you working on now?  I’m finishing up The Goddess of Everything. It’s a horrifying, visionary thriller about mother love gone bad and the need to break free. It’s got action going from what folks live out to one degree or another, the instinct to be free of stifling parenting, free to live and be according to our own choosing.


6. Where can we find you? pauldeblassieiii.com


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thursday Murder and Herbal Tea More of Katherine's world #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Cozy mystery #Robespierre

Katherine's plans and some regrets. Her world is changing.


One hour later I checked the last card in the pile and studied the sheet. One line remained blank but today’s mail hadn’t arrived.
     A long sigh escaped. The finished chore called for a reward. With a stretch to relieve stiff bones, I strode to the kitchen to brew a pot of mint tea and to defrost a brownie from the freezer. The cat abandoned his battle and padded after me. While the water heated, I pulled my favorite teapot from a shelf. It was a duplicate of the one Brenda had refused to sell. I smiled.
     Some days I felt as though I was the woman climbing from hot water. Though I dearly love Lars, I wished he’d agreed to elope. Instead I was stuck with a summer wedding and two receptions, the first at the church and the other at Cedar Inn. At least he’d agreed to a list of local charities instead of gifts we would never use.
     The kettle whistled. After warming the teapot, I hung a stuffed tea ball on the rim and poured. A cloud of aromatic steam brought a moment of relaxation. With a filled mug and a brownie on a plate,      I walked to the living room. Robespierre abandoned his food and followed.
While sipping tea and eating the chocolate treat, I sat on the window seat and stared outside. When I converted the house to apartments I’d chosen the second floor. When the trees lose their leaves I have a great view of the Hudson River. A nice treat in winter during the days when a walk was impossible. The cat curled beside me. His rumbling purrs set me into dreams of the coming day.
     Nearly thirty years of being a widow have given me a sense of independence. Lars has been a widower for twenty years. My husband and I had been friends with Lars and his wife. Those bonds of friendship hadn’t been broken by death. This winter’s events in Santa Fe had removed the obstacles to our marriage.
     Was I sorry Bonnie had been killed? My sorrow was for Lars’ pain. His only daughter had been responsible for the death of his daughter-in-law and for trying to steal his investment company and turn it into the kind that buys and ruins businesses for profit instead of lending a hand. Years ago, as a teenager, Bonnie’s tantrums had ruined Lars and my chance of a wedding.
     My thoughts shifted to the coming day. Suit and shoes were in the closet. Hair appointment to keep my tresses the auburn of my youth had been made. All was set, even our honeymoon plans.

Plans change again

Edward stepped from the podium and clasped our hands. “I present you Katherine and Lars Claybourne.”

     The recessional began. Instead of walking down the aisle, Lars and I led the way to Fellowship Hall where the Women’s Guild had prepared the first reception. Wine, iced tea and coffee and fruit punch were served along with finger sandwiches and other appetizers. Two five tier cakes stood on a table, one iced with white and the other one of my chocolate cakes. Lars and I stood at the door to greet the guests and hear good wishes.
     As the line grew shorter, I realized Joyce hadn’t arrived. Worry stuttered through my thoughts. What had happened? Traffic. Construction. An accident. Illness. Brenda.
     Lars clasped my hand and startled me. My fears for my friend remained strong.
     “What’s wrong?” he asked.
     “Joyce didn’t come.”
     “I’m sure she left a message for you. We’ll learn when we go for your luggage. It’s time to taste the food and cut the cakes. On our way to Montreal, we’ll stop at her house.”
     His belief in a logical explanation brought a moment of relief. We reached the buffet table where Lars filled two plates with an assortment of tidbits. I tasted a slice of brie topped with sliced strawberries and put the plate down. Though I’m sure the food was delicious, concern for my friend killed my appetite.
     When Lars finished sampling every offering, we cut the cakes and fed each other a small piece. A flawless tasting. Both cakes were terrific. Two of the Guild women cut the bottom layers cakes into slices for the multitude of guests. The two middle tiers would be taken to the restaurant for the second reception. The top ones would be boxed for Lars and me.
     Edward strolled toward us. “Katherine, Lars, what a fabulous celebration. The cakes are fabulous but of course I’m partial to the fabulous chocolate confection. Did you make both?”
     “Just the chocolate.” My smile threatened to morph into giggles. Fabulous must be his word of the day.
     “Lars, a word in private. I’ve had a fabulous idea.”
     Before I could protest he drew Lars away. Moments later two of the Elders joined them. The four walked toward the door leading to the garden.
     Not today. I needed Lars’ phone to make a call. I was convinced Joyce was in trouble. Since the incident in Santa Fe he kept his cell phone in his pocket. Mine was at the apartment. This suit had no pockets and my purse was at home.
     Following to snatch Lars from his kidnappers proved impossible. Every time someone stopped me to gush congratulations, my stomach tightened. I thought about being rude but we were in church and today was meant to be a joyous occasion.
     I noticed Sarah’s foster son near the stage. He held a rectangular object in one hand. His fingers moved so fast they blurred. Texting, I hoped. I hurried toward him. He held a phone.
     "Jamal, could I use your phone? There’s a call I must make.”

What will the call reveal?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Wednesday Meet the heroine and hero Code Blue #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Medical #Suspense

Code Blue

For some great excerpts join the authors #MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com to read. Mine is a bit from Code Blue

Blurb:
In the medical suspense Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters, published by Books We Love and previously published as Obsessions, nurse Susan finds the body of the hospital’s “gossip queen” in the orthopedic storage room. She doesn’t realize this is the first of a series of murders involving her colleagues or that her life is in danger. She is a widow and is exploring a new romantic relationship that promises love but she fears the man she is falling for is as controlling as her dead husband. The arrival of courtship gifts, at first, seen as innocuous soon takes on a sinister note.

Reviews

This book kept me on edge from the first page to the last. Several times I just 'knew' I'd figured out who the killer was, but each time, there was a bit of doubt there until the very last paragraph! I highly recommend this book. 4 Stars (Excellent!)"--Tracie's Book Reviews by Kathy's Faves and Raves

"A series of murders, suspense, action, a tad of love makes OBSESSIONS an intriguing tale designed to mystify your mind. If you love mysteries, you'll love Janet Lane Walters newest release. 4 Stars!"--Just Views

"Fast-paced mainstream novel ... Walters plots carefully, each scene constructed to perfection. For readers who enjoy being terrified, this is an author to turn to for entertainment. She tells all, while managing to create paranoia among the characters."--Affaire de Coeur


September 24, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I enjoyed this book - The characters had you guessing who it was in the end - Would happily recommend it to others


April 25, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I work in the medical field and love a good medical thriller. I liked the twists and turns. Kept me guessing.


January 16, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Good book for anyone to read. Very little medical term if any. Liked that it didn't contain Harlequin-type romance, but real people with real lives, along with murder and mystery, it was great, quick read.




December 26, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Code Blue is an interesting book that keeps you trying to out what the identity of the killer was. It's an amazing book.
Excerpt:
Susan 
     Home at last. Susan Randall moved her shoulders in slow circles to ease the tension raised by the series of delays she had experienced during the morning's journey from Florida. An hour's delay in the departure of the flight. Traffic snarls due to construction. She had hoped to be home long before noon. She looked at her watch. Nearly one o'clock.
     The limousine driver dropped her bags on the porch. After paying the man, she waited for him to leave. Then she fished the house key from the jumble in her purse and opened the front door. Why
 hadn't she stuck to her original plan and left last night? Instead, she had allowed her parents to persuade her to stay until this morning. Another failure in assertiveness, she thought.
     The two weeks in Florida had exhausted her. With a sigh, she opened the front door and lifted the suitcases. Worry over the outcome of her father's abdominal surgery and coping with her mother's fears had drained her. Her father's uncomplicated recovery had given her parents time to offer advice on how she should live her life.
     "It's been nearly a year and a half since Jim's death. How long are you going to grieve? You're thirty-five. Isn't it time to let
 him go and build a new life?"
     Variations on the theme had been endless. The unsolicited advice and opinions had only increased
 her inner restlessness.
     Susan dropped the suitcases beside the brown and white couch. How could she admit to her parents that fear of losing her identity again and not grief had governed her choices? Until the restraints had vanished, she hadn't realized she had been
 wrapped in a cocoon. If Jim hadn't died, her contentment
 with her life would have lasted. He would have continued to make decisions for every moment of their life and she wouldn't \have protested. He had bound her so tightly, there had been little need for family, friends or children. During the past eighteen months, making decisions for the slightest change had been difficult, but she had learned. She had no intention of ceding her newfound independence.
     Why would she want to find another man and plunge into the same kind of dependency? The odds of settling into a similar relationship were high. How many of her friends had she watched leave one man and find another with the same traits? She couldn't take the chance--not until she gained confidence in herself. Besides, her life would remain serene as long as her 
 emotions remained in a coma.
     The wall clock chimed. Startled, she looked up. One forty-five. How long had she drifted in thought? She'd better move
 before she arrived late for work, an act she hadn't committed in her thirteen years at Bradley Memorial Hospital.
Patrick
     Patrick stood on the porch. The ceiling light glinted on his honey-blond hair. She left the car and walked to the porch.
     "Welcome home. Long night." His deep voice promised security.
     For an instant, she thought of finding forgetfulness in his arms the way she had the night Jim had died. But 
that encounter had nearly destroyed their friendship.
     Tears spilled down her cheeks. Were they for Barbara, herself or some unknown reason? She fought to
 control feelings of helplessness. If Patrick saw her as weak, he would react the same way Jim had. She never wanted to be smothered again.
     He reached for her hand. "Don't tell me you knew the nurse I heard about on the police band."
     She nodded. "I found the body." She fumbled in her purse for the house key. Patrick put his arm around her shoulders. For a moment, she leaned against him. "I'll be all right."
     "I know, but it must have been a brutal shock. If you need a shoulder, mine's broad." He plucked the keys from
 her hand and opened the door.
     She dropped her coat on the arm of the couch. A splotch of dried blood stained the right knee of her uniform. She gasped. Why hadn't someone told her?
     She felt unclean. Her skin itched. She wanted to tear off the uniform. As she hurried to the stairs, she unfastened the buttons of her white shirt. "I have to shower."
     The note of panic in Susan's voice drew Patrick to the stairs. When she turned, he saw the 
bloodstained knee of her uniform. He gripped the newel post. She must have found the body not long after the woman had been killed. His muscles tensed. Had the murderer seen her?
     Long after she vanished, he remained at the foot of the steps. He wanted to follow her, to hold her, to protect her. She might
 be in danger. What if she had seen something that could identify the killer?
     He released his held breath and walked to the kitchen. There, he measured coffee and turned on the machine. While the coffee brewed, he returned to the living room and took a bottle of brandy from the antique icebox Susan used as a bar.
     Memories of the night Jim died arose. He had held Susan in his arms. A light kiss meant to offer comfort had ignited passion. He had forgotten her grief, forgotten his friend and had drowned in the heady sensations of making love with the woman he had wanted for years. The shock of hearing her
 call him Jim had iced his desire.
     For months after the funeral, she had avoided him. Though he had understood and shared the guilt,
 he had feared they would never regain what had been lost. This past summer, they had become friends again, but he wanted
 more. Sometimes, he thought his desire for her had become an obsession.
     Patrick leaned against the counter. He loved her, but she had to be more secure about her ability to 
deal with life before she would be ready for a relationship.
     He reached for two mugs hanging from hooks above the kitchen table, poured coffee and laced 
Susan's with brandy. Just as she came down the stairs, he entered the living room. His body reacted to

 the gentle sway of her light brown caftan.
     She sat on one end of the couch and tucked her feet under her. After taking the mug in her hands, she sipped 
and coughed. "You should have warned me."
     "The perfect antidote for tonight's shock. Will help you sleep."
     "Thanks, and thank you for the flowers." She leaned forward and stroked one of the chrysanthemums with a
 finger.
     Patrick imagined her touching him in the same way. He lifted his mug. "Who was killed?"