In these uncertain times … does anyone else feel like every single commercial or news story contains these words right now? We are all aware, so why keep saying it? I’m skating along a fine line of need to be informed and overwhelmed by the negativity in this world right now. I find myself more in need of distraction than ever—and also more distracted at home than ever.
Like every other parent in the country, my kiddos are home with an ETA on school starting back as vaguely (hopefully) in the fall. So my quiet peaceful days to sit on my porch and write have been replaced with the patter of (not-so-little) feet, squeals, and a constant chorus of “Mom, Mom, Mom” or “Can I have a snack?”, and attempts at doing something somewhat educational each day. I’m sure I’m not the only author struggling to get words on the page right now. (Right???)
Besides that, I’ve been trying to distract myself, when I can. Use this time to refill the creative well, so to speak. When the kids cooperate, I’ve been binge-watching some medical shows, reading a ton of books, and just brainstorming ideas. I’ve removed some of the pressure of trying to force daily word counts, and instead focused on trying to enjoy this time with my family.
My current favorite with kid distractions:
- Spending the day outside. We live on a farm and the kids are loving having land to explore. It’s, uh, science, right? Old school education.
- Cooking lessons. My 9 year old is very interested in cooking right now, so we are using this time for expanding her skills in the kitchen.
- Reading a book together and then watching the movie. We’ve done this on a much slower pace throughout the years, but with so much time now, we are getting through several. Any suggestions of good book/movie combos appropriate for 9 year olds are highly welcome!
My current favorite without kid distractions:
- The Night Shift. This cancelled medical drama on Netflix has really caught my attention. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this one before.
- Chicago Fire. Kelly Severide… enough said. I’m only on Season 3 though, so no spoilers, please.
- Stacks and stacks of romance novels.
If anyone is in need of a romance novel for a distraction, I have a new one out this month:
Heart Surgeon’s Second Chance
Can they leave their past behind…
To save her son’s life?
When paramedic Rhiann Masters’s young son needs heart surgery, there’s only one man she can trust—former best friend and top pediatric surgeon Dr. Patrick Scott. The only problem? After a tragic accident changed Patrick’s life forever, they haven’t spoken in years. Now as they’re thrown back together, they soon remember just how good life can be when they’re by each other’s side…
Dread pooled low in Rhiann’s stomach as the door to the exam room opened with a slow and ominous creak. Broad shoulders in a white coat filled the space and her eyes roamed the doctor’s familiar form, taking in the subtle changes time had wrought.
Three years ago he hadn’t had those deep lines etched into his face. His dark hair had a little more silver at the temple than she remembered, but he was as lean and handsome as ever.
Dr. Patrick Scott stepped into the room, his eyes looking down at the screen of the silver laptop in his hand. His movements carried the spicy aroma of his cologne into the small room, the pleasing notes covering the harsh antiseptic and teasing a part of her that had gone dormant since her divorce.
But on top of the overtly masculine scent he brought with him a wave of sadness that hinted at tragedy.
“Hello, Mrs…. Masters…um…”
His deep gravelly voice trailed off and his sky-blue eyes jerked up to meet hers when he recognized her name. The slight fake smile he’d had on his lips when he’d opened the door faded fast. Judging from the ice that frosted over his gaze, the animosity he’d held for her hadn’t eased since she’d last seen him.
The exam room door shut behind him with an audible click and the laptop clattered slightly as he set it roughly on the counter.
“What are you doing here?”
The uncharacteristic coldness in his tone sent a shiver coursing down her spine. Patrick’s voice had always held such emotion, its rich timbre broadcasting his feelings with the simplest words. In all the years she’d known him Rhiann had never heard this distant tone.
Rhiann hugged the baby in her arms close to her chest, tears filling her eyes as she fought to keep her emotions from overwhelming her. She’d hoped the time since they’d last seen each other might have given Patrick clarity and smoothed the raw edges of his anger, but clearly not enough time had passed. Now she could only hope that he would be professional enough to put their personal grievances aside and focus on her child’s best interests.
She needed to keep a clear head today, so she stuffed her feelings away as best she could. She had known coming here was a risk, but there was no other way or she’d have explored it already.
“I need your help. Well, he needs your help. This is my son Levi. He has a heart defect, and the cardiologist at St. Thomas’ wants to do surgery to fix it. But if anyone is cutting my baby open I want it to be the best surgeon I can find.” She paused to swallow down an oversized lump in her throat. “And that’s you.”
“You expect me to save someone you love. How ironic.”
A single dark eyebrow raised as he stared down at her, his expression unreadable and as cold as marble. His eyes searched hers—for what, she didn’t know.
Just as she was sure he was about to tell her to leave, to scream at her like he had the last time she’d seen him, his gaze flicked down to the baby in her arms and the ice in his eyes melted the tiniest bit.
“Please, Dr. Scott.”
The formality felt stiff and awkward as it rolled off her tongue without the teasing tone she’d used each time she’d called him by his title in the past. Years ago they had been the closest of friends, sharing every secret with each other. They had even flirted with the idea of a relationship on an occasion or two.
But it no longer seemed appropriate to call him by his given name. Not when their friendship had crumbled on the back of accusations and misplaced blame. Their personal connection was more of a hindrance than a help in her quest to get her son the care he needed, so she kept things formal, hoping to appeal to his professional side.
His eyes snapped up to meet hers and that hint of softening was gone. “You ask too much.”
The once happy-go-lucky Patrick had earned a reputation over the last couple years for taciturnity. His white-hot talent was tempered by his ice-cold bedside manner, but he was the best pediatric cardiac surgeon in the southeast, and that fact made people overlook his brusque manner.
He’d changed three years ago—just as she had.
Rhiann remembered the caring man he’d used to be, though, and she hoped there was enough of that man left deep inside for him to agree to help. Her son’s life depended on it.