Saturday, November 2, 2013

33% off Sale all week on Treating Murder in the Amazon Kindle store

Treating Murder ebook is on sale for $1.99 November 2-8. Or for just $0.99 in the Amazon matchbook program. Check it out. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Call for Book Reviews on Treating Murder

Please check out Treating Murder: Book One of the Veronica Lane, M.D. series (medical thriller) , and give me a positive review online. Reviews are very important for a debut novelist like myself to let others know about the book. Did I mention FREE? It's free today, so you get to read a good book, and I get to receive a good review!

Instructions for posting reviews on amazon.
To review (after reading) Make sure that you are signed in. Then on the right next to the search bar it will say Hello (your name) and give you a menu. Click on the first one. Surprisingly named YOUR ACCOUNT again. Then, you have to go to the last topic on YOUR ACCOUNT page-- PERSONALIZATION, and click REVIEW YOUR PURCHASES under the COMMUNITY heading. 
 Thanks in advance. \

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Optimism and free books

I am an eternal optimist. I expect people and events to work out well, regardless of my past experiences. Therefore, in the sincere hope that amazon has gotten everything sorted, I am advertising Treating Murder: Book One of the Veronica Lane, M.D. series (medical thriller) for free for 1 day. October 16.Check it out, and let me know how it goes.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Boo Amazon!

I apologize to all of my supporters, and to all of the wonderful websites who work so hard to promote indie authors. The three advertised and scheduled free days for Treating Murder were interrupted not once but twice.

The short version of events is this:
(Keep in mind that the independent publishing branch of amazon does not accept phone calls, so all communications with them is via email, with a different representative each time, and approximately 24 hours between replies. This obviously leads to confusion and delay.)
October 2 was missed because of miscellaneous other corporate snafus that are not entirely on amazon. We'll give them a pass on that.
October 3 we were up and running, only one day late! Hooray!
Then, due to the above email situation, I awoke October 4, the last scheduled promotional day, to find that Treating Murder was again off promotion. I urgently emailed, and called the regular amazon customer service line to fix this while people were expecting to find it available for free. No go.

So again, I apologize that I was unable to have Treating Murder available free as scheduled. I will set up another promotion soon.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Amazon Kindle select promotion FREE days

Treating Murder, kindle version, is available October 3 and 4 for FREE. For those of you who were expecting it to also be free today, I apologize. Due to circumstances in the control of various mega-corporations, that was cancelled. But 24 hours of additional anticipation is always to the good, right? Remember the old ketchup commercials? Anticipation is making you wait... No? You're too young to remember ketchup in glass bottles? Oh, yeah, so am I. Um, I forgot. LOL. Just a little humor for the day. Like the bumper sticker says. If life sends you one step backward every time you move one step forward, just do the cha-cha. Go. Read. Enjoy! Gab

Monday, September 23, 2013


 I hope that you all remembered your Women in Business yesterday. If not, go say something nice today.

The Veronica Lane website has been updated. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Duck Dynasty

I am bound to write something about getting back to the land, especially farming, one of these days. It's something I love. I believe in backyard chickens for fresh eggs, and home gardening, even if it is just a few vegetables in your flowerbed. Do what you can.
But Duck Dynasty? What is that about? I'm not knocking it, it's one of my favorite shows. But I'm not known for going with the popular vote, and it is popular. Wildly popular. You can't drive down the road anymore without seeing signs outside of stores advertising their Duck Dynasty merchandise within.  For that matter, I don't know that I saw nearly so many Twilight/Team Edward merchandisers. Someone asked me the other day to just imagine how many Willie Robertsons there will be for Halloween this year. Wow.
So what is it about them? Where is the appeal? Why is my son running around with a 4 inch wide bandana on his head?
It's a reality show, but there are plenty of others. It's humorous, ditto. So what, then? Why are people watching a show that makes fun of smart phones and the internet age that we rely so heavily upon? It surely isn't so that we can watch whatever gross creature they've just found. 
I think it's about an extended family that sits down together around a home-cooked meal every night and prays over their food. For many of us that era is in the past, and in some ways we miss it.
With the Robertsons, everyone works hard and plays hard, but they are there for each other, and at the end of the day they find time to sit down together and chill (without their smartphones).
Happy, happy, happy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Woman in Business

I never visualized myself as a businesswoman when I was growing up. I was going to be a doctor and a writer. You just do those things, right?
I learned too few truths about life in school. If kids knew more about the real world earlier, then adolescents might be able to see beyond themselves and make better choices. (No promises.)
Nonetheless, I am now a businesswoman. I own two businesses as well as indie publishing. Sometimes I miss being an employee. It was much more relaxing. Clock in, clock out, and let someone else be in charge.
The lure of ownership was strong. I could make decisions the way I felt they should be made. I could make way more money! Utopia on earth.
Unfortunately, that is not the way life works. I have to make decisions based on economics rather than what is best, and I will tell you for a fact that the income is not better. Ever feel like a salmon swimming upstream? Dodging grizzlies? And fishermen? Right.
However, there is still a feeling of independence, and of charting my own course, even if that course is not what I had originally anticipated. All in all, I think I'll keep at it. At least for now. Who knows where my course will take me next.
Bon Voyage!
Give your cheers and encouragement to all of the independent women you know in business on September 22. American Business Women's Day. Well, heck, do it every day. We will be most appreciative.

Friday, September 13, 2013

My kind of Villain

It has been said that an antagonist in a story should be 3 parts bad and 1 part good, and that a protagonist should be 3 parts good and 1 part bad. That's useful. Purely bad characters are frequently too uni-dimensional to relate to. That doesn't mean that there aren't people in the world who have no redeeming qualities, but their thin little lives are seldom interesting or compelling to the reader. Fictional worlds can live without them completely.

In my previous post I linked to another blog because their villains list was so in tune with my own. In particular, the most compelling villain to me is from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Jack Randall is a horrible sadistic monster, but he will make great sacrifices for family.

In my upcoming novel, A Swift Taste of Red, the villain is the scion of an evil family, and is loyal to his family, while at the same time having a complete disregard for any other member of the human race. He is charming, brilliant, gifted, and very, very bad. That's my kind of villain.


P.S. New facebook page link-

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Author Interview with RT Bryant, author of Yesterday Mourning novella

Today I have the honor to present RT Bryant's book Yesterday Mourning. Here is my interview with her.
GB: Tell us a little bit about yourself:
RTB: I was born and raised in Fort Valley, GA which is where most of my family still resides. Friends would describe me as funny and outgoing although I would describe myself as somewhat shy. I’m definitely more of a homebody and I’ve always loved books.

GB: When is your birthday? 
RTB: October 8

GB: What kind of music do you like? 
RTB: I’m pretty open to most types of music but I prefer R&B, Pop, Jazz and Hip-Hop

GB: What does your name mean? 
RTB: Renita is Latin and means “Resistant,” “Reborn,” and “Dignified” but in some places it means “Little Queen”
GB: Are you an early riser? 
RTB: Unfortunately yes. I typically work out in the morning so I tend to get up pretty early.

GB: What subjects interest you the most? 
RTB: Politics, Business, and Psychology

GB: Which are three 3 physical features you often get complimented on? 
RTB: The whiteness of my teeth, my hair, and my cheeks

GB: Which is one rule you are proud of breaking? 
RTB: I’m not waiting to live. I watch people and it seems most are waiting for a certain time in their lives or a specific moment when everything will fall into place and they can actually start living. Maybe it’s a lack of patience on my part but I’m choosing to enjoy the minutes/days of my life right now. I make decisions based on my current truth/reality and I try not to apologize for it. The more I suffered through watching loved leave this earth the more I felt an urge and desire to explore and experience what life has to offer.

GB: What are your hobbies? 
RTB: I love writing and traveling. I published my first book, Yesterday Mourning, in May and I’ve already started releasing short stories via my blog ( Later this year, I kick off a three-month sabbatical from my job and I’ll use the time to travel (5 countries), write, and enjoy just ‘being.’

GB: What is the worst job you’ve ever done and why? 
RTB: Telemarketing. It was the summer after my junior year in high school and I wanted to make some extra money. It definitely helped me develop thick skin early on in life.

GB: Which was the scariest moment of your life? 
RTB: The second I realized my mother was dying and there was nothing I could do to stop it. That moment sparked a chain of events that inspired Yesterday Mourning.

GB: What advice would you give your 18 year old self? 
RTB: Everyone thinks you’re strong, smart, and capable because you are. There’s nothing wrong or arrogant with you believing it and saying it too.

Visit her and check out her book here.
Twitter: @Atiner

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

15% off Createspace discount code RYCP9MV3

Use this discount code to purchase the paperback at CreateSpace.


It is now available to order at all retailers!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I am embarking on my next book set in the Carribbean. And it needs a good villain. Help me out here. What do you think makes a good villain? Who are your favorite villains and why? I'll give my opinions next time.
 :-) Gab
 Here is a blog that lists several of my favorite villains. Her list is so in tune with mine, that I had to link to it here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Booksigning and free ebook events today

2 events today! FREE ebook at World Literary Cafe. and Booksigning at the Foxtales Emerging Author event at 6pm

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Treating Murder Book excerpt

TREATING MURDER Chapter 1 Things would have been so much easier if I had known that the condition I was treating was in fact, murder. The outcome for the patient, well— all involved, but especially the patient—could have been so much better. I don’t blame myself for this…anymore. Unaccustomed to the bright sunlight, I started sneezing as I walked out of the medical school library, and cursed under my breath at the hypersensitivity of my pale, blue eyes. A med student strolling up the stairs in his short, white intern’s coat glanced up, saying, ‘God bless’ as he passed. I had just spent the last several hours searching the stacks for information on different treatments for multiple sclerosis. In fact, I had spent the last few months researching online, and in all of my medical journals, and had found nothing that would help me treat Sarah Summers. This morning, I had driven down to my alma mater to see what else I could learn. Now, having failed in the library, I had one last resort, my friend and mentor Ellen Krauss. I walked across the grassy quadrangle toward her office, reminiscing about my days in school. I missed being a carefree student, and only wished I still looked like one. Not that I look too bad now at thirty-two, but my cheekbones are certainly more prominent, and several brunette hairs have defected to gray around my temples. At the entrance to the old stone building, I paused to let another student pass. He held the door open for me. “Thanks,” I said as I maneuvered past him to climb the four flights of stairs. At the landing, I stopped again, gulping air and letting the burn in my calves subside. My daily jogging should have made that climb easier. As I glanced down the hall, an amused “Ha!” escaped my lips before I could stop it. There were several disheveled stacks of journals piled outside the door. Dr. Ellen Krauss’ papers had finally succeeded in overtaking her office, and were on their way to conquering the fourth floor. I always knew they would. The woman was an incurable packrat, if not quite a hoarder. “Nic? Is that you?” called a disembodied voice. “Yes,” I answered, smiling and hurrying the rest of the way to her door. I picked my way carefully around the stacks as I crossed the threshold. “Foof!” I blew out an upward breath, lifting my slightly damp bangs off my forehead. “Yes, it’s me. How’d you know?” “Why would I no’?” She smiled and gestured at an overflowing chair. There was the hint of a lilting burr in her voice that identified her as a Scotswoman. “I never forget a laugh, and I’m sure no one could ever forget yours; ye sound like a goose choking when you laugh. It’s been a while since I last heard it, though. Your practice must be keeping you busy.” Krauss stood as she spoke, and took a couple of chilled cans of Coke from a tiny refrigerator in the corner—a corner which was nearly hidden beneath its own stack of journals. She handed me one, then popped hers open with a hiss, a ritual of ours that had become automatic over the years. “So what brings you nearly a hundred miles to see me? Not a social visit, I suppose?” Before replying, I took a long sip of the icy Coke, taking a moment to savor the unique pleasure of that first tangy bite. I scooped a pile of files off an old wooden school chair she gestured to, and stacked them on another pile nearby. “No. I wish.” Plopping down in the seat the way I had a thousand times, first as a student, then as a resident, I said, “I came here to do some research. When I finished in the library, I thought I’d drop by.” Krauss sat down and chuckled, “Alright, my wee information hound. What kind of research would bring ye all the way down here?” I smiled. Our friendship had grown out of our mutual thirst for answers. The kind of thirst that slakes itself on stacks of journals, and then not yet satisfied, saves them all in case it might later discover a missed drop of knowledge. For the record, however, my journal collection is actually filed and organized on my laptop. I said, “The kind of research I was hoping you could help me with.” Dr. Krauss smiled and raised an eyebrow. “I have a patient with multiple sclerosis. For years she’s been stable, with only infrequent mild attacks that we controlled well. Now, for the past several months, she has had a completely downhill course—no remissions, no rebounds. Every medication has stopped working, and I’ve tried everything out there. I was looking for another approach, something that may not have hit the mainstream yet. I don’t know what to do, and frankly we’ve run out of options.” Krauss nodded and leaned forward on her desk, pushing her reading glasses up on her nose. “So what did you find out?” The window behind her needed washing. I stared past the grime as I considered what to say. Same grime, same streaks. It felt like home here, but this was not the same old school debate on another interesting academic conundrum. A life depended on the answers, so my tension did not lift, and the pleasure of our meeting was not what it could have been. “Well, nothing helpful. Everything I saw was old news. I’ve tried my ABC’s, then the rest of the alphabet.” I smiled wryly. “Tysabri worked best, but lately, nothing helps. Rebif helped some… for a while.” I took another drink of my Coke. “Sometime back, I saw a Newsweek article that mentioned someone doing bone marrow transplants with some success, but I can’t find anything on it in my journals. I don’t know who did the research, but I’ve got to find it, to see what they did, and if it really worked. I feel like it could be her last chance.” Krauss wrinkled her nose and nodded slowly. “Aye. I’ve seen something about that. Wait a minute, let me think.” She got up and turned slowly around the room, not really focused on anything, looking for all the world as if she was listening to someone I could not see. “Let’s see,” she muttered, continuing the slow spin. “Here.” She stabbed a pile of journals with a finger like a divining rod. I shook my head although I had seen the strange ritual before. Housekeeping was absolutely banned from the office. Years ago, she’d nearly gotten one poor girl fired for coming in and cleaning off her desk. “Here it is.” She pulled a journal from somewhere near the bottom of a stack and handed it to me. “They didn’t do it here at Emory, but it looked like a good study. I think the general conclusion was that it was effective in survivors, but too risky for the average MS patient because the mortality was rather high.” I slouched in my chair and flipped through the journal. “I guessed as much, but she is dying. It’s hardly increasing her risk.” Suddenly, all I could see was Sarah Summer’s wasted body at her last visit. She had vision in only one eye; a plaque on the optic nerve blinded the other. Her crumpled posture in the wheelchair spoke volumes, accusing me of failure. Even her graying skin haunted me. Sarah had been my patient for years, beginning when I was still a resident. Then she followed me to my new practice, after she wound up in Rome herself. Her loyalty gave my professional pride a boost in my first year of practice, but the price of that boost was the crushing sense of responsibility I felt now. Her life and mine were linked; her decline felt like mine as well. Sarah was twenty-four, and had a job at a mill, Ness Inc., where she loaded plastic rolls into a machine that meted them out into squares for packaging. When her legs became too unsteady to walk a straight line, much less stand for eight hours a day, she moved to a sorting table where she could remain seated. But with her hands so unsteady, she managed next to nothing. Ellen cleared her throat, startling me. I looked around and remembered where I was. “What?” I asked. “I said, what have the rheumatologists said?” “She quit seeing the one I sent her to, and refuses to go back. I’ve kept him in the loop though. He says he’s baffled by the acceleration of her symptoms too.” I shrugged. “He doesn’t really have much to add.” Krauss frowned, contemplating for a long moment, and then clasped her hands under her chin and propped her elbows on the desk. “Nic, is this the same MS patient ye were treating when you were here as a resident?” “Yes.” Krauss nodded. “She was a pretty young girl. That was a good catch ye made, picking up her diagnosis so quickly. Remarkable really. So, she followed you into private practice? Wise of her.” Krauss paused again. “Harder for you though, hmm?” I nodded, willing myself not to picture the healthy, vibrant girl Sarah had been when I met her. “Nic, ye spent a lot of time on her while she was here. She was a fairly needy case as far as I can recall.” I nodded. “I assume that she remained so?” “Yes.” I said. Krauss bit her lip considering what to say next. “Ye have a tendency to get too wrapped up in your cases, aye? This one in particular you had trouble with before. Ye need to distance yourself a bit.” I ducked my head slightly, abashed. “I know. You’ve told me before. I try to stay detached. I just feel such a responsibility.” “Yes, but ye’ll burn yourself out. To quote Hippocrates, ‘Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult.’ Be careful, my dear.” I got up and nodded again, leaving the unspoken possibility of Sarah's death hanging in the air. “Thanks, Ellen.” I smiled at her warmly. “I appreciate everything.” Sarah’s visit came a week later. I’d been rehearsing what I had to say all morning, and forgot it all the moment she arrived. I took her into my private office, where my old medical textbooks are lined up in a glass-front bookcase across from the desk. I enjoy my office. It’s the place where I feel most happy and comfortable, and consequently, I guess paradoxically, where I deliver the most bad news to my patients. There are two mahogany framed chairs of teal, slubby cotton in front of my desk for patients and family members. Beside the desk a large picture window that lets plenty of light in, as well as a view of the Appalachian Mountains. I hope it is tranquil and different enough from the sterile, white exam rooms to put patients at ease, and make it easier for them to hear whatever news I might have for them. I’d brought Sarah into my office multiple times to discuss her condition, and so I hoped that she was comfortable in there by now. What I was going to say required her complete attention and comprehension. Sarah rolled her wheelchair up beside my desk, and I took a seat by her in one of the teal chairs. I leaned in toward her, searching for the right words. She regarded me dully. “Sarah, you know that I went down to Atlanta looking for help.” A nod. “I didn’t find much.” Another nod. Sarah picked at her sweater with her better hand. She wouldn’t meet my gaze. I twisted slightly in my seat. The sunlight seemed too strong now. Too blatantly optimistic. “We’ve, uh, run out of options.” My throat felt like someone had wrapped a rubber band around it. I swallowed hard, put on my confident face, and went on. “We have to make some decisions about how to proceed.” Sarah looked up to meet my eyes. “I don’t want to die.” She leaned on one hand to shift her weight in the wheelchair, grunting with the effort. I cleared my throat, looking away first this time. Inhaling deeply, I forged on. “There has been some work done with bone marrow transplant in multiple sclerosis cases. The actual transplant protocol is well established. The centers that tried transplant in MS did see good the survivors.” I could feel Sarah’s eyes on me. “It's extremely risky. We have to kill all of your bone marrow first. The theory is that it’s your own misdirected white blood cells that cause the damage to your neurological system. Once those are eradicated, new, normal cells are introduced, and there are no more attacks on your nerves.” I clamped my lips together before going on. “The catch is that during the period while the new cells are taking over, your immune system will be practically nonexistent. If you were to catch a cold or get an infection during that time, or if the transplant failed, you could die.” Sarah looked over at my bookshelf and squinted with her good eye trying to read the title on the spine of the book nearest her. “Like one of those cancer patients?” I nodded. “And if I don’t do it?” I tilted my head slightly, “Your condition will probably continue to worsen. It is possible that it could remit and you could return to your former baseline, but I think that’s unlikely considering your recent history.” Sarah swallowed hard, but managed a brave smile. “Then I really don’t have a choice, do I? Every day I lose another piece of me.” She paused for a breath. Her face was ashy, with a sickly grayish tinge to it. “And you say my memory will go too? Then what? A nursing home? I can’t do that, I’m not even twenty-five years old!” I straightened up in my seat. “So you want to try the transplant?” She nodded. “Then we’ll plan to do it.” I put on my brightest smile, and headed over to page Vickie, my office manager. Sarah looked up at me. “Dr. Lane?” “Yes?” I paused. Sarah’s eyes wavered. She started to speak, stopped, started again. “Thank you, Dr. Lane, for taking care of me. I just, I mean, you mean so much to me. Nobody’s ever cared for me so much. You’re everything to me. Thanks.” I flushed slightly, flabbergasted. “Thank you, Sarah. That means a lot to me.” I sat back down and held her hand. “I’ll do the best I can for you.” “I know. You always do.” I closed my eyes for a long moment to prevent the tears I felt forming, and called Vickie, quickly resuming my composed facade. Then I walked around behind Sarah to push the wheelchair. My hands shook slightly on the handles as I took her back to the nurse’s station and assured her that we would start setting up her admission to the hospital and would let her know in a few days. Oh Lord, this had better go well. I mumbled a prayer, hoping there was someone out there to hear it.   Chapter 2 Vickie called the insurance company for pre-approval, and got turned down immediately by Kinder Benefit Health Care. They refused consent because it was, as they said, ‘experimental therapy’. As soon as Vickie reported back, I called them myself. This was going to take some serious pushing. “KBHC. This is Fiona Crawford. How can I help you?” “This is Dr. Lane. We just called to pre-authorize hospitalization for Sarah Summers. She’s being scheduled for bone marrow transplant.” I drummed my fingers on the desk while the woman tapped on her computer. At least she didn’t put me on hold. I glanced up. Damn, there’s a new stain on the ceiling. The roof’s gotta be fixed again. “I have your request in the computer. Again, we will not be able to approve that because of the experimental nature of the therapy.” I snorted. “Bone marrow transplant is expensive, not experimental. It’s been an approved technique for a number of years now. Maybe you should update your computers.” Okay, that was a little snarky. “We’ve looked at Ms. Summers’ policy. There is no exclusion.” I toyed with the coil on the handset. “Dr. Lane, it is not linked with multiple sclerosis. The approval is for cancer.” I sighed and rolled my eyes at the phone. “You and I both know that new uses for meds don’t go back through the FDA. It’s too expensive. And we both know that off-label uses are covered by insurance so long as the medication itself is approved. Bone marrow transplant has been shown to be beneficial in multiple sclerosis. It destroys the white blood cells that are attacking the nervous system in the same way that it destroys the cancerous white blood cells in leukemia. I will be happy to fax you copies of the journal articles if you would like.” I paused, then added, “We’re talking about the life of a young woman.” I’d played the insurance game often enough to know how to get approval. Kinder Benefit was one of the major carriers in the area, so I’d had discussions with Crawford many times, not just over Sarah. I’d dealt with one of her co-workers too. He was a buddy of my ex-husband Steve, and not on my nice list. “I’m not going to be able to approve it,” said Crawford. “It’s not on my list.” She sounded impatient. She was probably tired of these battles too. I took a deep breath and held it. I didn’t have time to argue my way up the chain of command at the moment. “Okay, thank you.” I hung up. Sometimes it helped to pressure the company with the possibility of legal action, particularly if they were making a call in what might be considered a gray area like this. I would get some advice from my friend Jacqueline, a lawyer, before I called back. After the last patient of the day finally left, I collapsed into my desk chair and leaned back to rest my eyes for a few minutes. I dialed Jacqueline’s number by rote, and spoke with her for a few minutes before calling Kinder Benefit back. Out the window, the sunset reflected shades of purple off the surrounding foothills. I enjoyed the view as I dialed the number for KBHC. I got Fiona Crawford on the phone again—a surprise given how late in the day it was—but again she denied her ability to approve the claim. “If you can’t approve it, then find me someone with the authority to approve it. Legally this treatment should be covered under her benefits.” I all but growled into the telephone receiver. “I’ve spoken to my attorney about it.” “Okay, Dr. Lane.” Crawford sounded irritated. “I’ll speak to my department head and get back to you.” “I’ll have her in the hospital two weeks from Monday to start treatment,” I said, giving them a time limit for their decision. Otherwise, they would try to wait me out, attempting a filibuster with all the gravity of congress. I hung up the phone and sighed, more annoyed than I had expected to be. Sometimes trying to explain the medical side of a decision to business people required more patience than I had. Two weeks from Monday came and went. After making several more phone calls and threatening them with wrongful denial of a claim, I finally got approval. Then another two weeks went before we were able to admit Sarah to the hospital. The week before my original admission deadline, Dr. Denby had seen Sarah in his office. It was unlikely that he would find a bone marrow donor, he'd said, because Sarah had no living relatives. Great. All that, and we couldn't do the transplant because we had nothing to do it with. But two weeks later, Dr. Denby called to say he’d found a compatible match on the national registry. Dr. Denby was around seventy. He could have retired, but he loved what he did so he continued to practice. The first time I ever saw him, he was shuffling down the hall on rounds, greeting every nurse by name. There were stories among the nurses that dying patients would hang on through the night just to see him on his rounds, and that many had expired after his visit, as though they had delayed death just to see him one last time. Sarah’s first round of chemotherapy, to destroy the original defective cells, was scheduled by Dr. Denby to begin early on the first day of her admission. I planned to stop by on my rounds after office hours to talk to Sarah, and relate more about what to expect during the week. Just after five o’clock, I arrived in the medical records department of the hospital to dictate some of my more delinquent charts before completing my evening rounds, and seeing Sarah. The record room overflowed with stacks of manila folders lined up along the walls with multi-colored ID numbers facing out like confetti. One day, hopefully soon, the hospital would catch up with technology. The charts needed to be put into an electronic medical record database in the worst kind of way. The only other person with me in the records department was a clerk behind her computer at the end of the cramped L-shaped room. She glanced up and offered a half-smile as I collected my pile of charts from the rack and found a carrel to start my dictation. Immediately, a metallic voice spoke overhead, startling me so that I stopped to listen to the announcement. “Code Stat 3A, Code Stat 3A.” That was the wing where Sarah was. My heart sped up. I hovered over my seat unsure whether to stay or go, waiting to hear whom it was. I jumped anyway when my phone buzzed in my pocket. I shoved my charts off to the side as I rushed out, not bothering to call back. The floor secretary on 3A would see me soon enough. Hurrying down the corridor, I reminded myself not to break into a run. I was mumbling to myself, trying to imagine what could have gone wrong so quickly, when I stepped through the doors of the elevator. Several heads turned to stare at me. One look at my distraught face, and lips moving inaudibly, probably convinced them that I was in need of medical, make that psychiatric, attention myself. I shut my mouth and stared straight ahead. In Sarah’s room, there was a full team of nurses and anesthetists already in action. They handed control of the code over to me when I arrived. The nurse anesthetist turned to me as he finished placing an endotracheal tube down Sarah's throat, and began squeezing a large purple air bag rhythmically between chest compressions, to simulate breaths. He said, “They called the code when the tech came in here and noticed Ms. Summers was not breathing. She was pulseless and apneic at that time, but we don't know how long she had been in that state since she was not on a cardiac monitor. Defibrillator pads showed asystole. We began CPR at once, but she’s still flatlined.” I pulled on a pair of gloves as he spoke, and turned to look at the monitor where occasional irregular waves were visible. “Hold compressions.” The patient care tech, who had initially triggered the alarm, straightened and glanced at me with a look of relief for her moment’s respite. The waveforms disappeared, replaced by an ominous straight line. “Resume compressions.” The tech bent back to her work, counting under her breath, and pausing regularly to allow for a breath cycle. I put my hand on Sarah's upper thigh palpating for her femoral pulse. Even though I knew that it was a false beat I felt, I was reassured by it. We were circulating oxygen, and that would sustain her brain and organs for the moment. “We have a pacemaker?” “Yes ma’am.” A nurse standing by the code cart held up the defibrillator pads, and passed them across the bed to me. I slid closer to the head of the bed and interrupted the tech and her compressions again to place the pads on Sarah’s chest. Another nurse quickly passed me the leads and we connected the transcutaneous pacemaker. If there was any electrical activity in her heart we would encourage it. “Okay. Clear.” I nodded to the nurse by the defibrillator. He clicked over to pace mode and pressed the button. I held my breath and watched the monitor. Five seconds, eight seconds, ten seconds. Still no waves. I let out my breath again. Damn. “Okay, resume compressions. Get me 1 of epi.” I glanced around the room, thankful to have such a well-trained code team present. Everyone knew their jobs, knew what was coming before I even said it, and moved swiftly without fumbling. “Epinephrine is in,” said the nurse by the cart. I nodded and repeated the pacer trial. Again we dosed the epinephrine. Then again, and again. My stomach clenched. Another nurse replaced the tech at her compressions. I stared at the monitor with every pause, willing Sarah’s heart to beat, to let the pacer spark a response. I wanted to kick the bed, to kickstart her heart back into action like a flooded engine. We cranked and pumped, cranked and pumped. Sarah! I wanted to scream at her. Sarah! Wake up! The nurse anesthetist looked at me. “Dr. Lane?—It’s been thirty minutes.” Everyone paused with their eyes on me. I swallowed. “One more time.” He nodded faintly, and the motions resumed. A trifle less enthusiastically than before, I thought, but maybe I was imagining things. After all, they had to be tired, I was limp with fatigue. Again, the compressions paused. Again, I faced the monitor, the judge of all our efforts, as the final compression waveform traced its way across. I waited, and... nothing. I continued to stare at the traitorous monitor. The face of the grim reaper. And I did kick the bed. Hard. Startled, the others stopped and looked at me. “Okay.” I said in a strangled voice. “Call it.” The tension drained from the room immediately, quickly replaced by a sense of failure. The team members were silent as they began removing the various leads and tubes attached to Sarah’s dead body. I sank into the visitor’s chair and stared as people began to file from the room to return to whatever duties they had been attending before the code was called. Within two minutes, everyone except for nurse anesthetist was gone. He paused to give my shoulder a squeeze as he passed. Then I was alone. I stood to pull the curtain around the bed, and took Sarah’s hand in mine. On the bed lay Sarah—alone, orphaned, and now gone. Her dusky, white face was distorted by the disconnected ventilator tube, which reared its knobby, white head from her slack mouth like some kind of movie alien; its very presence a violence and a violation. The tiny room was hot and suffocating. More so now, because of the dull polyester curtain I had pulled closed around three sides of the bed, which now clung to the backs of my legs when I stood up. I felt trapped and edgy, verging on panic. I took a deep breath, trying to lift the pressure weighing on me. Stiffly, I released Sarah’s hand and started checking her body, lifting the sheets, looking for signs of allergic reaction: a puffiness of the legs or hives on the skin. I was looking for something other than the signs of malnutrition her body bore, something to explain why she was dead. There was nothing. I sighed, and sat down on the edge of the bed, staring for a long moment at her lifeless face. I yanked out the alien tube and bent over her. “I’m so sorry, Sarah,” I whispered. I turned and walked out into the glaring light of the hallway, avoiding the glances from the nurses at the station, to put a final note in Sarah Summers’ chart. My hand trembled as I turned the pages, but no one paid any attention. Dr. Peter Zacker appeared around a corner, still too far away to see my distress. I gave him a grave nod and looked back at my chart, hoping he would see that I was busy, and not stop to chat. He was a member of my call rotation and we spoke frequently, but we were not close, and I was not feeling sociable, to say the least. “Hi, Veronica. How’s it going?” I looked up with another stiff smile, pretending as always that his high-pitched voice didn’t grate on my nerves. “Hi, Peter. I’m just reviewing the chart on my patient.” “Was that the code I just heard up here?” “Yeah, it was.” I flipped a page and tried to look occupied. Sally, the nurse who had been in charge of Sarah Summers, chose that moment to appear. She cleared her throat to get my attention. “Dr. Lane, I can’t believe how she died. I’ve worked the cancer ward for eleven years, and I’ve never seen a patient go like that. One minute she was cheerful and talking, the next she was dead.” Sally stopped and looked at me clearly expecting an explanation. “What time did she get her chemotherapy?” I frowned in thought. “Two o’clock. The meds were delayed getting to the floor.” I scratched my head. “That’s about enough time for an allergic reaction, not much else, but I didn’t notice any edema or urticaria. Did she have any other symptoms?” Sally shook her head. “No. Nothing. She was smiling and talking at four-fifteen when I checked the room. I came back right after five and she was gone.” Before I could respond, a call bell rang and pulled Sally away to other duties. Zacker remained, hovering by my elbow during the exchange. He raised an eyebrow. “What was her story?” “We were going to do a bone marrow transplant for multiple sclerosis.” I answered. “You’re kidding?” Zacker’s voice screeched in disbelief. “What in hell were you thinking? Bone marrow transplant? Why weren’t you using Rebif?” I eyed him narrowly. Peter Zacker was a cookbook man. He carefully followed the path and pattern of those who had gone before. To him, practicing medicine was like following a recipe. It was satisfactory medicine, and I could trust my patients to his care when he was on call, but it lacked heart. Modern medicine was built on the backs of great innovators. Zacker’s kind would still be bleeding the evil humors out of people if they were the only practitioners. I blew my bangs off my forehead in consternation, one of my nervous habits. “I tried it. She failed everything, and this was her last shot. She knew the risks.” I closed the chart with a snap and stood in preparation to leave. I really didn't feel up to a debate of philosophy. Zacker obligingly stepped back, but I noticed that he tipped up the chart and read the nameplate as I started down the hallway to finish my rounds.  

Successful giveaway!

The giveaway on Labor Day was a success. Over 2000 copies were downloaded. I look forward to hearing from these readers.


Monday, September 2, 2013

FREE day

Treating murder is FREE today, Labor day. It has made it to #16 in the Murder genre. :-) Come help push it to number one before midnight when it turns into a pumpkin. Gab

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Paperback link

In case you missed it, here is the paperback link.


The Decatur Book Festival is a paradise for readers. We had a great time yesterday touring the festival. The speech and book-signing went well, and I got to meet so many friendly writers and readers. I look forward to meeting more people on the sixth at Foxtales.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

At Decatur Book Festival--Emerging Authors stage at 3:40

It's today. My first official speaking and book-signing engagement. And here is the link to order your own copy of the paperback.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Just back from a relaxing vacation. Just the thing I needed. It rained a great deal of the time, but it was raining somewhere other than home which makes all the difference. ;-)

Remember the Decatur Book Festival over Labor Day weekend. I'll be speaking and signing book on August 31 starting just after 4pm. See you there!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Decatur Book Festival Labor Day Weekend

Did you know that Decatur, Georgia has been ranked one of the best small towns to live in America? I'm not sure how this is possible, since it is right in the middle of the Atlanta urban jungle and can hardly be considered a small town, but it is a nice place. I've spent a lot of time there.

The big news about Decatur is that it is hosting a Book Festival downtown on Labor Day weekend--with an emerging new authors section. That's me! An emerging new author! I will be speaking there, and signing books beginning at 4:20 p.m. August 31. :-)

Come see me there.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Paperback is here!

Shop today for the paperback edition of Treating Murder!
It will be available in additional venues within the week.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The paperback is on its way!

The paperback proofs are on the way from the printer. That means that the actual paperback will be available right after that! I am so excited to finally have a copy in hand.
Look for it first at Amazon before the month is out.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Now on!
Treating Murder is free of Amazon restrictions. Look for it to appear on all your online sellers.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Veronica Lane, M.D. synopsis

Internal Medicine doctor extraordinaire.

Veronica Lane, M.D. is a highly dedicated internist with familial altruistic tendencies. (Her father is in India treating the poorest of the poor). 

One of her (special pet project) patients dies, devastating her. 

Then, to add insult to injury, she is charged with the murder. She has to fight to clear herself and get back to saving the world. 
She makes jewelry as a way to get some downtime.

You can see an interview with her to learn more about her personality by checking previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Free Days for Treating Murder July 13 and 14

The ebook version of Treating Murder is free one more time before coming out in paperback. Experience hospital life first hand with Veronica Lane, M.D. More drama than SCRUBS!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


It's mosquito weather in the Deep South. Way back when, that was a cause of malaria and all sorts of other nasties. These days, it's just an occasional West Nile infection. Nonetheless, we need some control here. When I was growing up, they had trucks that drove around spraying poison to kill the mosquitoes. It worked well--except for that whole DDT destroying everything problem. 
I read of a potential solution to this problem if only someone would implement it. It's pretty cool if you think about it.
First, mosquitoes are bred in captivity.  The females are destroyed--they bite. The males are sterilized--whoa that's a lot of tiny vasectomies! But there's a better way. They can be treated with x-rays until they can't reproduce, kind of like radiation therapy for cancer. Then the males are released into the environment. They don't bite.
The farm-raised mosquitoes breed with the wild females and produce--nothing. No larvae. No next generation, and so the mosquito population decreases.
Meanwhile there are still plenty of male mosquitoes and other bugs for insectivores to eat. The sterile males do not adversely affect the environment, or the food chain.
Rinse. Repeat.
See? We don't have to suffer the mosquito plague every summer.

Author of Treating Murder: Book One of the Veronica Lane, M.D. series (medical thriller)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Laurie's Non-paranormal Thoughts and Reviews: Treating Murder by Gabrielle Black: Tens List and ...

Laurie's Non-paranormal Thoughts and Reviews: Treating Murder by Gabrielle Black: Tens List and ...:

June 13 Last Day for Giveaway

Last day for the Giveaway. Enter now!
      In other news, I'm grateful for air conditioning. I may be slaving away 70+ hours a week, but at least I am in the air conditioner in the --it's not Summer yet-- Summer heat. If this is Spring, be afraid. Be very afraid. For those of you working outside in Atlanta today, I feel for you. Make sure you have plenty of water. And once again this evening, we have dangerous storms predicted. Everybody be careful on your way home. In honor of our fair Atlanta weather, I'm including a tip sheet on Heat Stroke from WebMD.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Artistic Temperament

Welcome back to me! I took a little impromptu holiday. I've decided to call it bloggers block. I think this will catch on. We all know that writers sometimes can't write. Well, sometimes they can't blog either. Can this be addressed at my next writers' conference?
Meanwhile back at the ranch...
The giveaway is still going on. Only 3 more days to enter! Go do it now.
Blog tour posts are up for the first part of June, and more are on the way as the month progresses.
Keep blogging!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Blog Tour

Blog tour stops coming up this week.
June 3 at
June 3 at
June 4 at
 More to come!

And don't forget the Treating Murder giveaway June 1-13 on previous post.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Treating Murder free ebook giveaway June 1-13

Treating Murder will be on a blog tour for the first half of June. To celebrate this, we have a free ebook giveaway. Click to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jamie Marchant, author of The Goddess's Choice and Demons in the Big Easy

Today I'm pleased to host Jamie Marchant author of Demons in the Big Easy. We're interviewing Cassandra, our protagonist. GB: When is your birthday? The fifteenth day of the third lunar month. I guess that would be around March 15 by your calendar. GB: What kind of music do you like? I think you call it jazz. I got quite attached to it during my earlier visits to Earth. GB: What does your name mean? It means Prophetess, quite a grandiose name for a simple old lady. GB: Are you an early riser? I am now. I can’t sleep as much as I did in my youth. GB: What subjects interest you the most? Herbal craft and healing. While my magic can bring death, I prefer to bring life. I only grieve that it wasn’t enough to save my own children. GB: Which are three 3 physical features you often get complimented on? Go on, now! Who compliments a seventy-year-old woman on her appearance? But in my youth, I was known for my lush hair and brilliant eyes. My eyes are still my best feature. GB: What are you excessively obsessive-compulsive about? My demon banishing spells. It’s important to be a bit obsessive about such things because a mistake can be fatal. GB: What do you prefer, eating salsa or dancing it? Definitely, eating. I’m much too old to be dancing salsa. My knees would never forgive me. GB: Do you believe in God? I believe in the Goddess, the great Mother of us all, and I suppose for there to be a mother, there must also be a father, but I have never concerned myself with him overly much. GB: What are your hobbies? With banishing demons, playing midwife, raising children, who has time for hobbies? GB: Is there someone you look up to? My old mentor, Briallen. GB: Why? She taught me everything I know. GB: Do you think it's okay to lie in certain circumstances? The truth is a sacred thing and should be treasured, but in circumstances where lives are at stake, lying is sometimes necessary. GB: What are the three things that you cannot live without? At my age, I’ve learned that things don’t mean a whole lot. Still, without my staff, I’d be prey to demons, and I couldn’t bear to lose either of my granddaughters. GB: Which was the scariest moment of your life? When I realized my granddaughter had fallen through an unstable gateway and I was the only one who could bring her back. GB: Well, thanks for giving us this interview. Look up Jamie at: Jamie Marchant, author of The Goddess's Choice and Demons in the Big Easy. Website: Facebook: Goodreads: Marchant, author of The Goddess's Choice and Demons in the Big Easy. Title: Demons in the Big Easy Author: Jamie Marchant Blurb: Adventurous in her youth, Cassandra built gateways between Domhan and its parallel realm of Earth. Now she’s too old for that kind of thing. But something is making it easier for demons to pass into Domhan. Not only that, but their behavior becomes inexplicable: whenever Cassandra banishes one, it laughs at her rather than resists, and it promises it will soon devour her essence and that of every resident of her small village. Cassandra is certain such a thing is impossible, for strong wards protect her village. But then Cassandra’s granddaughter Aine falls through an unstable gateway. Cassandra is the only one within a hundred miles capable of creating a gateway and bringing Aine back. Despite her aching joints, Cassandra goes after her, and the gateway lands her in New Orleans. But something goes wrong with her tracking spell, which indicates Aine exists in four different places at once. As Cassandra struggles to find the true location of her granddaughter in the Big Easy, she discovers the source of the demons’ confidence. Now, with an unlikely pair of allies—her timid granddaughter and a homeless man who may or may not be crazy—she has to not only save her granddaughter but also prevent both Domhan and Earth from being overrun by demons. Author Bio Jamie Marchant lives in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband, son, and four cats, which (or so she’s been told) officially makes her a cat lady. She teaches writing and literature at Auburn University. Her first novel The Goddess's Choice was released in April 2012 from Reliquary Press. She released Demons in the Big Easy in January 2013. She is hard at work on the sequel to The Goddess’s Choice, tentatively titled The Soul Stone. Her short fiction has been published in Bards & Sages, The World of Myth, and Buy Link: Amazon Contact Links (Facebook, Twitter, etc): Email: Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: @RobrekSamantha Goodreads:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Post Memorial day

Yes, I will post the rest of the crime fiction series soon. Just as soon as it gets written. But, I just want to comment on the day after Memorial day in the office. We have been swamped today. Everyone is banged up, bruised, and broken. Plus a few cases of overindulgence. This happens every holiday weekend. Seriously folks, be careful out there. Just because you are not driving, does not mean that you can't get hurt while drunk. And now that you are forty, you can't just go out and play when you haven't exercised in 6 months. Take preventative measures: Limit any alcohol intake to when you are sitting around safe at home. Four wheeling and beer don't mix! Wear the protective equipment recommended for your activity. Don't just wear the minimum to meet legal requirements. Wear what you need to keep you intact if something goes wrong. Use your sunscreen and insect repellent. Have plenty of drinking water handy. Don't try new risky activities when everyone else is out doing the same thing, and likely to blunder into you. And God Bless our military and their families. That's what this holiday was all about anyway. :-)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Crime Fiction: Part 2

The next disease we will discuss is schizophrenia. 
The good depiction of this disease would be Parry in the Fisher King. This is far more common in real life than pure sociopathy. It is a product of nature, not nurture (Fisher King notwithstanding), and it has profound effects on the sufferer. This is the paranoid; the one who hears voices. This disease strikes at all socioeconomic levels, but consistently results in lower socioeconomic levels. Because it is very difficult to medicate, it frequently results in the sufferer being unable to hold a job or function in society. To draw a true schizophrenic, you have to remember that there is a certain pathos to these characters, regardless of what crimes they might commit. They do not pre-meditate, plot or scheme. They do act from the confused jumble of their brain. A schizophrenic has trouble distinguishing the real world from the one inside their head, and will frequently obey the voices they hear, and the people they see in their minds. These are the people for whom the 'by reason of insanity' plea exists.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Crime Fiction. Psychology for Writers: Part One

Crime fiction. Criminal Psychology 101

As a physician, I have gotten a special glimpse into abnormal psychology. I have treated convicted, but sane, criminals in my office; I have treated not yet convicted criminals; and I have treated unincarcerated people with every flavor of psychological abnormality.
I received training in the largest inpatient psych facility in the southeast, and Georgia's largest maximum security hospital for the criminally insane. (You know, where they go when the lawyer gets them 'off' on insanity pleas.) In England they sent people to Bedlam. In Georgia, we send them to Milledgeville. We may not like to deal with them in real life, but we LOVE to examine them in fiction, so what makes the crazy people tick?  (I will be using examples that have been in movies so as to be recognizable by the widest audience.)
 First, we'll look at the most famous fictional malady. The serial killer/psychopath. These are best represented by Hannibal Lecter. Their fictional defining characteristics are generally that they are brilliant, cannier than most of the criminologists assigned to them, and absolutely sociopathic. These are fortunately extremely rare in real life. Regular, non-wunderkind sociopaths are far more common.
The important thing to remember about them is that they do not care. Sociopath means that a person is completely separated from societal and cultural norms. They do things that you and I would avoid because it is frowned upon, or because we live so far inside the lines that we would never think of doing them. A sociopath does not even know where the lines are. Or he does, but the concept that these rules might apply to him is completely alien. These types are fun to write about, but there are a few things that are necessary when writing about them. You must first have an idea of what happened to them to make them sociopaths. This disease is a product of nurture, or lack thereof, not nature. Second, you will have to invent a world from the sociopath's point of view. This can be as complex as inventing a sci-fi or paranormal world. You must delve into his set of rules, and the traumas/motivations leading to these rules. These rules will be as foreign to a normal person as those of Tolkien's middle-earth would be, yet the organized sociopath is very strict within his rules and is bound by them. To draw a good sociopath, you must learn his rules, and why he has them.  He will take you from there.

Next time: Schizophrenia