I’m proud to reveal the cover for book two in the Reaper Series, Resuscitation. The cover art was created by Rebbekah White. You can go to http://www.masterkoda.com to view more of her artwork. If you’re looking for a book cover, she’s worth her weight in gold.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved the art of literature. I’ve enjoyed many a story in many different genres, my favorite being Romance. More specifically, Paranormal Romance. A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at writing a story of my own. And when I made the choice, there was no going back. My passion for reading, became my passion for writing. With that, my own personal style developed along with my writing genre of choice – that being “Interracial Paranormal Romance”. I do however, intend on trying my hand in many different genres in years to come.
I come from humble beginnings. Brought up in the “ghetto”, I made a choice long ago, that I would not let my past define my future. And, I’ve been lucky to accomplish many things in my life – but I have got to say, that the one thing that sparks a fire in my soul like nothing ever has, is Writing. I feel as though my characters are my very best friends. It’s a feeling beyond compare, and an amazing journey each and every time. Withal, my only hope is that when someone reads my stories, they too are elevated into that world and taken on that journey.
Amaryllis is an English lady. One with an open heart, gentle spirit, and shining eloquence. She knew that she should not desire MarcoAntonio. Still, a love feeling so right couldn’t be so horribly wrong!
Travel with MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis as they duel with internal and external forces threatening to tear their powerful love apart. In the midst of troubles the likes of which have no compare, MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis find themselves having to fight the most unexpected of adversaries, just for the right to love each other.
Discover why their LOVE is the result of ALL things conquered!
It was still dark, but it did not matter. MarcoAntonio was certain that his brother would provide him help. Pulling up to his brother’s home, Marco called out, “Damian!” The lights inside were out, but upon his call Marco heard some movement, so he tried again. “Damian, despertad. He llegado en necesidad de vuestra ayuda, hermano.”
“You know that I do not require much of anything. However, t’would be nice if you would at least give me the respect of speaking in English.” Rye spoke ironically as he did so well.
“Alright,” Marco responded with a tiny smirk, as he walked towards his brother’s dormitory door and knocked. He could already hear his brother up and about. “Damian, my brother, I’ve come in search of you because I need your help.”
“Yes. Yes. I’m coming!” he heard Damian call to him from inside. Suddenly, a female voice giggled from behind the door. Marco and Rye heard Damian hushing someone “Shhh… behave, Ma’ Lady. I’ve company. ‘Tis my older brother. Now behave.” Marco heard Damian speak to the lady in question lightheartedly.
The female voice replied, “Alright, but only if you gift me first, a kiss.”
“Oh, Ma’ Lady… naughty, naughty.” The female laughed.
Rye was appalled and disgusted. “Really, Marco? This playboy ’tis the man that shall help us?”
“Fine.” He crossed his arms on his chest.
In just seconds the door flew open. Behind it stood a statuesque man of about MarcoAntonio’s height, weight, and color, and as strong as well. His curls were looser than Marco’s. His eyes green, as opposed to Marco’s brown, and he bore no facial hair. He resembled Marco quite a lot. He fought to put his shirt on properly.
Rye’s face went blank. His skin went pale, eyes opened widely. Then Damian spoke. “Ah, my dear brother. How may I assist you?” Finally adjusting his shirt in the right place, Damian made space through the door way, and extended his hand out to his company. “Come in. Come in.”
“Brother!” MarcoAntonio said with glee, and gave him a big hug.
“Marco. ‘Tis been way too long.”
Both Marco and Rye walked in. Rye was practically mute. Something about this man, not only resembled Marco, but also reminded him so much of Fonso. He was flabbergasted.
“Damian, this is my assistant, Rye. Rye, this is my younger brother, Damian.”
Damian extended his hand offering Rye a shake. Rye moved slowly and awkwardly, offering Damian his. “’Tis a rather small man, brother.” Damian told MarcoAntonio in an odd tone, as if Rye were not standing right in front of him.
Shaking himself back into reality, Rye spoke. “We gypsies have no need for size or strength. We’ve speed, agility and intelligence in our favor,”
“Touché!” Damian replied. “Well, ’tis nice meeting you.”
Damian’s conquest for the night peeked around the corner of the wall, which divided his living room from his bedroom, and she assessed the men in the room. Then glancing over at Damian with coquetry she queried with a flirting delivery. “Damian, will you have me waiting all night?”
Damian looked back at her, and then at his visitors. Lifting a single finger in their direction, he hinted to them to wait a moment. “Ah. Ma’ Lady, I’ve something for you.” He jumped towards a shelf and grabbed something, then jumped back in her direction. “Ma’ Lady, please accept this trinket of my affection. And know that the rarity of this represents the rareness of my sentiment for you.” Then he placed the small box in the palm of her hand. “Now Ma’ Lady, I must tend to my brother and his companion, and I am forced to ask you to relinquish our venture for the night.” He took hold of her hand and kissed the back of it softly and winked. The girl sighed with a mixture of disappointment and rapture.
I had something happen on a call today and it infuriates me. Someone please explain to me how someone can assault a law enforcement officer, and they get the book thrown at them. Yet, someone can do the same to a health care provider, but nothing happens to them. Please, someone explain what the difference is.
I went on an overdose call today and found a man barely responsive. We took him out to our ambulance and when I started to assess him, he woke up. He punched me in the face, knocking my glasses off in the process. I’m not sure what angers me more, the fact that he hit me in the face, or the fact that I didn’t see it coming. I’m usually very good about dodging fists and feet, but not today.
In my twenty year career, I’ve been bitten, punched, kicked, nearly stabbed, and even had someone who was HIV positive spit blood in my face. Yet, charges are never filed and they get away with it. But, if I was a law enforcement officer, they would be appropriately charged. Please don’t take this rant as I’m bashing law enforcement, because I’m not. We couldn’t do our job without them. But the combative patients get away with murder against a healthcare provider. If anything, I think people should be charged more heavily since we don’t carry weapons that can be used to protect ourselves.
You here about healthcare providers being assaulted around the country without charges being filed. In my past experiences I’ve been told the courts either plea bargain down the charge or drop it all together since the people aren’t in their right frame of mind, so why file charges? My question is aren’t the people that are high on drugs or drunk that assault police officers charged? I’ve seen it on more than one occasion.
Healthcare providers need more protection. I think it would be fair for us to carry pepper spray or even tazers. Then, we could protect ourselves. Thankfully I train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and can handle myself with close quarters combat, but not all of the healthcare providers out there do the same as I do.
We need to protect our healthcare providers! That’s all I have to say about that!
After missing a few weeks of author spotlights, I have my computer repaired making it easy to support my fellow authors with Master Koda Select Publishing. This week I have the pleasure of having John Augustine on my blog. I read his first book, From the Abyss, and it was a great read. I can only imagine the second book will be just as good, if not better.
Having survived an abusive marriage, thirty-year-old John Augustine finds himself venturing into new territory. A girl with a son of her own lives far away but decides to uproot her life and make the move to be with John. However, John’s ex looms in the wings, and her fears of John’s new family situation threaten John’s relationship with his new wife, her son, and even his own son. A greater threat is John’s lack of time, as working two jobs and taking night classes leaves John’s new wife feeling alone and vulnerable in a strange town. Relationships will take dangerous turns, and chances will not return when John is faced with a crossroads for which he could never have prepared.
“I loved the first book and this one did not disappoint. John Emil Augustine’s writing style is just so smooth and easy to fall into. Right away I felt like I knew the characters. His books are quick reads that, as a reader, I didn’t want to put down. I can’t wait for his third book to come out. That will make it a perfect trilogy. This book is very realistic, bold and heartbreaking at the same time. I so enjoyed the honesty and the rawness of this story. I didn’t want to put it down because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen next. I am so happy to have come across such a great writer. I hope he becomes very famous one day. I could see that happening as his talent should be shared with the world.”
“Brave, Bold, and Intense! In John Emil Augustine’s second book you read and feel his love, anger, thoughts, and decision for family, friends, career, and financial security. His provocative and evocative detail intensify his journey. At times it is abrasive and seemingly insurmountable. Augustine holds the attention of the reader as he questions, searches, and moves forward. He grows from a kitten in the first book to a cat securing his territory in book two. The book did not end, I wanted more, and see the possibilities for book three. Excellent writing and read.”
“The second book of John Emil Augustine pulls you into his life from where he stopped in the first book. A biography of his struggles about life, God, marriage, relationships and intimacy. Meeting a woman and her son to begin their own family. It will shock you in many ways. His frankness and blunt, no-nonsense way of writing bring a tale of sorrow, survival, and love and make it a great read.”
John Emil Augustine grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and toured in his twenties and early thirties with local and national acts; writing, arranging, and performing with notable jazz, blues, gospel, reggae, post funk, prog rock, and folk groups. John has also been a landscaper, mail carrier, English professor, and forklift operator. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and four boys. John is the author of the From the Abyss book series and has also recorded the album Chants for Renewal, Presence and Awareness.
My plane touched down in San Diego, and I immediately texted two words once my phone rebooted: “Just landed.” It was a Thursday evening in May, 2005. The captain thanked us for flying as the plane taxied across the sunny pavement. The scene from my window a few minutes before had been beautiful as we made the final turn onto the runway below. The city sitting on the edge of the ocean looked a lot like Minneapolis, though Minneapolis was a river town. But the size of San Diego’s downtown, and the sparse reflective skyscrapers reminded me of my own city. Only the extra presence of the ocean, blue and sparkling through my tiny airplane window, reminded me that I was not in Minneapolis.
What was I doing? I hadn’t been on an airplane since I was a kid. I didn’t travel. People with established lives traveled. Business people like the ones in the cheap suits surrounding me, the uniform of self-proclaimed importance, traveled to places like San Diego. I did not. This was not me at all. No one even knew I was doing this. My family didn’t know I was gone. My ex-wife and my son knew nothing of my trip. Only my buddy Roland, whose house I was living in while he waited for the new occupants to take possession, knew of my trip. I was otherwise homeless, and he wanted his house to be occupied, so it was a mutually helpful arrangement. Except that I would be away for five days. So I had to let him know I would be gone. He was the only one who knew anything of my trip.
I sat in my seat watching everyone scramble for their carry-ons in the overhead compartments. Mine was up there, my only bag, but I wasn’t in a hurry to get to a rental car or go find a second suitcase in the baggage claim. I didn’t need either. So I just waited. A reply to my text came back: “I am here.”
“Still on plane,” I replied.
This was crazy. Like something out of a terrible movie with a plot I abhorred. One minute, I had been tallying the final grades for my last class of the semester, the next I was sitting on a plane in San Diego texting someone I had never seen in person. Was I insane? Stupid? Completely gullible? What ridiculous turn of events had put me here? Like a fading dream, I almost couldn’t remember. I should have learned my lesson by now, by age thirty. I should have been wise to the trickery I was perhaps subjecting myself to. Why wasn’t I smarter than this?
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Dinner and a Cardiac Arrest
You think you are having a bad day? I am sure you cannot hold a candle to a man I responded on many years back. We’d gotten our butts handed to us on this particular shift. It was early spring and the amount motor vehicle accidents we responded to more than doubled. It was something about the warm weather that brought more people out on the roads and onto their ATV’s. I will never understand how someone could ride a four-wheeler or motorcycle without a helmet on. I will save that soapbox for another day.
We’d run ten calls already and finally made it back to our station to grab a bite to eat. The pit of my stomach ached for sustenance. I tended to become angry if I didn’t get to eat. While transporting a patient to the hospital, our communications center alerted us we had another call. This went on the entire day.
Now back at our station, I just warmed up a chicken potpie when the station tones blared over the speakers. I couldn’t believe my ears. Another call? Enough was enough! I shoveled the scorching potpie into my mouth as I ran out the door toward the ambulance bay. I am sure I burned the top four layers of skin on my tongue, but my stomach was satisfied.
My partner and I climbed into the ambulance and she sped down the main street toward a busy eatery. It was her third shift on the street and I had to hold her hand on every aspect of the calls. We were all new once, so I did not hold it against her. Normally I enjoyed teaching new people, but we were on the way to a cardiac arrest. Not the type of call you wanted a new person with you.
I glanced over and noticed my partner biting down on her bottom lip. I flashed back to my first cardiac arrest. I will not bore you with the details, but let’s say I was as useless as a one legged person in a butt kicking contest. I wore out a circular path in the carpet from running around like a chicken with my head cut off. My partner was more than understanding and laughed at me. Back then, I did not find the humor in it, but now I laugh at the rookie I once was.
My partner weaved in and out of cars racing toward the call. She only knew one speed and it’s called warp speed. I held onto the handle and all you could see was the whites of my knuckles. We pulled up in front of the restaurant and before my partner had the ambulance in park, she started the exit the ambulance. I yelled and got her attention. She realized what I was screaming about, smiled, and shifted the ambulance into park. The truck jerked to a stop. My neck cracked and I felt tingling in my fingertips, but I did not have time to worry about that, we had a dead person in the restaurant.
We exited the ambulance, grabbed out equipment, and ran toward the front door. Once inside of the restaurant I looked around, but no one flagged us in the direction of the patient. I am sorry, but if I had someone on the cusp of death in my establishment, I would’ve met the paramedics in the parking lot.
The smell of cigarette smoke and grease wafted through the air. It did not sit well with my stomach and nausea rolled up toward my mouth. I choked it down. A haggard looking waitress carrying a pot of coffee walked from the kitchen.
“He’s over there,” she said in her manly voice pointing over to the right.
We walked in that direction and then around a corner into a room full of tables with chairs around them. A pasty looking male was supine on the floor. I ran over, knelt down next to him, and felt for a pulse on his neck; there was not one. I glanced over my shoulder and my partner stood behind me, staring at the man.
“Put the monitor on him and start CPR,” I instructed her.
She did not move.
“Hey! I need you on this call. Snap out of it and help me!” I bellowed.
That did the trick and she snapped out of her daze. She walked over, knelt down next to him, and stuck the electrodes to the cardiac monitor onto his chest under his shirt. I handed her the defib pads. She studied the picture on them trying to figure out where to place them. A volunteer firefighter joined us and I instructed him to initiate CPR. He placed his meaty hands on the man’s chest and started compressing.
Two older men sat at the table with the patient.
“What happened?” I asked in their general direction.
“I dunno. He grabbed his chest and fell over,” one of the men offered.
“Does he have any medical problems?”
My agitation level rose at a rapid rate. “What do you know?”
Par for the course! I opened up my equipment case and pulled out the necessary IV supplies I needed. I wrapped a tourniquet around her arm and a large antecubital vein bulged. I successfully established an eighteen gauge IV in her arm and hooked up a bag of saline to it. I rolled the blue clamp down and watched the normal saline drip into the chamber in rapid succession.
I glanced over and my partner finally had the pads placed on the man’s chest. She had a triumphant smile on her face. I turned on the monitor and the rhythm showed ventricular fibrillation, one of the two rhythm’s we shocked. I charged the monitor.
“I’m clear, you’re clear, everyone clear!” I yelled. I pushed the shock button and the man’s body violently jerked.
The volunteer firefighter continued CPR.
The sounds of dishes clanking and quiet chatter was all around us. I could not imagine watching a life or death situation and eating dinner before I started a career in EMS. To each his own, I guess.
Something did not seem right as I grabbed my medication bag. I noticed my partner had not cut off the patient’s shirt yet. I instructed her to do so as I grabbed the preloaded vials of Epinephrine and Atropine. She pulled out the trauma sheers from her pants leg and cut up from the bottom of his striped polo shirt.
I administered the medications. But when I looked at the cardiac monitor, a dotted line scrolled across the screen. Checking the cable connections, everything appeared intact. I glanced up to my partner, but before I could say a word, a tear streamed down her cheek.
“I’m so sorry,” she mumbled.
I looked down at her trembling hands and I could feel the color fading from my face. My rookie partner cut through the monitor cable while cutting off his shirt. Are you kidding me? How in the world could she do that? We do not carry spare monitor cables. No monitor meant no shocks, which is what he needed. Electrical therapy was the only chance the man had.
“What’s wrong?” The volunteer firefighter asked.
I held up the cut monitor cable.
“Oh, is that bad?”
“Just a little,” I responded and then sighed.
The other unit we shared the station with went on a long distance transfer earlier in the day, so we were out of options. Two more volunteer firefighters showed up and I instructed them to retrieve our cot. They came back with it and we loaded the patient onto it. Once we gathered all of our equipment, we pushed the man out toward the ambulance.
The haggard server stepped in front of us, blocking our path out of the restaurant. She had her hands on her hips. “Who’s going to pay his bill?”
I looked over my shoulder. “Ask his friends that know absolutely nothing about him.”
We pushed passed the server and out into the ambulance. I instructed a volunteer firefighter to drive and had my rookie partner climb in the back of the ambulance with me; she was not in any shape to drive.
I grabbed the intubation kit and slid an endotracheal tube into his airway. I hooked a bag valve mask onto it and misting appeared with each ventilation. After securing the tube, I gave the firefighter a break and took over CPR. The hospital was only a few miles from our location. My partner sat in the CPR seat with her arms crossed over her chest. I felt bad for her to some degree, but her mistake was a monumental one.
We arrived at the hospital. I filled in the doctor and nursing staff with everything that transpired; including what happened to the monitor cables. They coded the man for another thirty minutes until the doctor called the code.
“Time of death is eighteen thirty-two,” the doctor said.
My partner covered her mouth with her hands and wept. She dashed out the emergency room toward the ambulance parking. I walked outside and sat down on a short retaining wall.
“I killed him,” she said barely in a whisper. She hung her head and would not look at me.
I placed a hand on her knee. “No, you didn’t. What happened was an accident.”
She shuttered and tears trickled down her cheeks dropping onto her navy blue duty pants. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know if I’m cut out of this job.” She glanced up at me with red and puffy eyes. “How am I ever going to forgive myself?”
I sucked in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. “Right now it doesn’t feel like you can to the job, but I know you can.” I grasped her hand and stared into her eyes. “Trust me, what happened was an accident. This is not going to be the first thing you do wrong. We have all made mistakes. You learn from it and move one. It will get easier, I promise.”
I patted her on the back and went back inside of the emergency room to fill out my paperwork. She worked for a few more shifts, but ended up quitting. One of my colleagues told me she went back to school and became schoolteacher. From what I had heard, she was doing well and was happy.
Not everyone is cut out for our job. It takes a special person to have someone’s life in your hands and not go into a panic mode. Everyone has a calling in life and I think she found hers in a roundabout way.