Enjoying the Best of Two Worlds

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Madelaine Grant sharing her artistic and literary passions and new release, A Total Mismatch.

Here’s Madelaine!

I wrote my first story at age ten. The story was originally accepted by my elementary school magazine. Ecstatic with joy, I told everyone I was being published. However, fate intervened and my teacher told me, sorrowfully, that they had decided not to publish my story since an older student had written something similar. I guess they figured I’d have time to write more stories and be published later on. Taking this rejection really hard I decided then and there I wasn’t going to be a writer after all.

When my art teacher complimented me on my pastel drawings in sixth grade and told me I used colors well and could become an artist, I was delighted. That’s the direction I chose and followed for the next several decades. First I concentrated on commercial art, since I did have to make a living. Later on I began teaching art to children at a nearby museum. That led to more teaching jobs and finally to becoming Assistant Director of Art at that same museum.

But the writing bug would not totally disappear. I tried writing and illustrating a children’s story which almost got published. The company went bankrupt however. I finally joined RWA and my local chapter Tampa Area Romance Authors. After writing several romance novels which never made it I began writing short stories for True Confessions and True Story magazines. I had met one of the editors through TARA and, with her help, was finally able to see my work published. Emboldened by that first success I wrote several novellas which were published by Extasy Books. And now my first full- length novel, a romantic comedy titled “A Total Mismatch” by Madelaine Grant (pen name) has been published as an e book by Soul Mate Publishing. It will go into print in March and is available on Amazon and other distributors for pre order. Here’s a quick summary of the book:

Romantic comedy “A Total Mismatch” takes polar opposites Samantha Peabody and Jordan Hart on a wild courtship ride from lavish weddings and fine art to belly dancing and barroom brawls. This rollicking journey includes the best flavors of ice cream in New York City and a touch of tai chi. To read the first chapter of the book you can visit my web site http://www.madelainegrant.com.

I haven’t given up art. I still paint and exhibit my work. The combination of writing and art seems to be the best of both worlds. I love both and hope to write more books and paint more pictures for years to come.


Fate brings polar opposites Samantha (Sam) Peabody and Jordan Hart together. Free spirit Sam is an artist, occasional belly dancer, and sloppy housekeeper while Jordan is a lawyer, fitness and neatness freak, and lover of ice cream.

The one thing they have in common is their dislike of big, fussy weddings.

After a fight with her oldest sister, Andrea, Sam decides not to attend Andrea’s lavish wedding. When Jordan is invited to a wedding, he asks Sam to accompany him, not knowing it’s Sam’s sister’s affair. Complicating Sam’s busy life is an offer from a local craft beer company to belly dance for a TV ad and become the symbol of their new beer company.

Sam’s disastrous first marriage and the difficult dynamics in her family make her insecure about a new relationship. Besides, she hates the idea of marriage. Can Jordan’s persistence win Sam over and dissolve her fears?


Where to find Madelaine…

Website | Blog | Facebook | Amazon

Joanne here!

Madelaine, I’m impressed by your creative talents. Best of luck with A Total Mismatch. It sounds delightful!


In Praise of Indirect Paths

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

It’s easy to get discouraged when Plan A doesn’t work out, especially if considerable time, effort, and money is involved. But that shouldn’t stop any of us from implementing a Plan B, C…Z. Here are some examples of people who took indirect paths to success.

Believe in Yourself

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Australian author Maggie Mundy sharing an incredible journey across two continents and Idolize, Book One in the The Dark Storm series

Here’s Maggie!

When I think back over my life it is separated by one major event. I moved from one side of the world to the other. I was brought up in the UK and immigrated to Australia at aged twenty-nine. I knew my husband wanted to live there when we married and was excited at the prospect. I came from a dysfunctional family so it seemed like a new start for me. I was a trained nurse and I had a job waiting for me.

What triggered the need for change?

I felt I could never truly be me unless I broke away from family, and needed to strike out on my own. It was scary to sell everything up and give up a good job. Also leaving all your friends behind and stepping into the unknown. I knew if I had children I would have probably stayed. It was a now or never moment.

Where are you now?

I moved to Australia in 1986. I now live in Adelaide and love it. I see myself as Australian now more than English. I have two grown up daughters, one of whom lives in the UK due to employment opportunities. I am also a nannie which is a joyous experience beyond belief. I am still nursing and have fourteen books published. I have a Degree in English, Drama, and Creative Writing. I am now going through a stage in my life when I am looking at my past and coming to peace with it.

Advice to those thinking about a second act…

Do it. I could just stop at that because it’s all you need to know. I remember someone once said to me, you sometimes feel like you are standing on the end of a springboard. You can turn back to what you know, or jump. I am so glad I decided to jump and create a new life for me and my family. It hasn’t always been smooth, but I would not change a thing. It has made me who I am today and I quite like that person.

Motivating Quotes – “Believe in your dreams and they may come true. Believe in yourself and they will come true.” – Typographical vector design


Cassi moved to LA to escape a violent past and wants anonymity for herself and her son. She is starting to get her life back on track when she meets Declan Reed. He is latest hit on the Hollywood scene, playing the lead in the TV series Dark Storm. She gets the love of a TV star, and the fame that comes with it causes her past to come back and haunt her with what could be fatal consequences.

Tag line

You can’t be found if no one knows where you are.


Cassi knew it was the brandy talking, but when would she have a Hollywood actor captive in a cabin again? He put his glass down and raised one eyebrow as he peered at her. Then he patted the couch in front of him. Okay, she had drunk two big brandies, but what was he suggesting here?

He placed a finger under her chin and lifted it, so she gazed in his eyes. She gulped. He didn’t need to say anything. She would kiss him anyway. All he needed to do was ask.

“When you left that day, you took part of me with you. I’ve been looking around and meeting other people and other women trying to find it. I was a fool to let you go then. Now you’re here, Cassi, I’m not going to let you go without telling you how much I care.”

His face was close as his palm cupped her cheek. Her mouth hung open, and she felt a strong ache between her legs showing the need for physical contact she had not received for so long. She could feel his breath on her lips. His eyes connected with hers and then moved down to her lips. He ran his thumb along her lower lip, and she moved forward. She knew this wasn’t real and something he had rehearsed, but didn’t care. He only had to say the word, and she would have sex with him all night long. He didn’t say anything more, but their lips almost touched. Then he moved away.


“It’s a scene from our next episode. It doesn’t turn out well as she’s a vampire and sells me out. I get back at her through some crazy ritual, though. Sorry, I took the advantage by adding your name.”

Declan was still holding his palm against her cheek, and she didn’t want him to move away.

“You’re good.” He was more than good as she was putty in his hands right now.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon AU | iTunes | Evernight Publishing | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Bookstrand


I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband, one cat, two dogs and a snake. I have a motorbike that I would like to ride more than I do and I love walking at the beach and listening to the waves. I’ve always loved reading all forms of fiction from high fantasy and paranormal to contemporary and decided the stories in my head needed to be written down. It was either that or start on medication. Unlike many, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until a few years back. I started off doing a degree in drama but soon realized my love was in writing, though there is a play lurking somewhere on my computer. My day job is as a nurse in the operating room. I believe romance can be fun to read and write, but it’s exciting to spice it up with the uncertainty that comes with suspense where the rules can be broken.

Where to find Maggie…

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub | Pinterest

Joanne here!

Maggie, Thanks for sharing your insights and advice. Best of luck with Idolize.


An Unexpected Second Act

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Mabry Hall sharing insights from her multi-act life and her novels: An Engaging End and A Regrettable Reunion.

Here’s Mabry!

As I prepared to guest on Joanne’s blog, I looked over the stories that have come before mine. So many of my fellow writers seem to have known since childhood that they wanted this career. Not I. It never occurred to me that I could spend my life making things up for fun and not get in trouble for it.

If I could have chosen my studies based on my interests, I’d have been an English or history major. In the interest of practicality, I became a nurse. As my mother said, I’d always be able to get a job wherever I moved. Within a month of graduation, I came to the stark reality that hospitals are open every day of the year. And at night. And on holidays. And as a new grad, it would be years before I moved my way into a semi-normal schedule. (Yes, I admit I should have faced these unwelcome facts earlier.)

I returned to graduate school and became a nurse anesthetist, which gave me much more job flexibility. I was able to work part time while raising our two sons, and I also had more time to read for pleasure. My attention span had dwindled since high school, and I found myself devouring historical romance novels rather than history tomes. It wasn’t long before I complacently said to myself, “I could write one of these.” It certainly wasn’t as easy as I thought, but four years later I’d completed three books and progressed to receiving encouraging personalized rejection letters from agents and editors. I promise you those are much better than form letters, but at the end of the day, I was still rejected.

I stopped writing and focused on my garden, sewing, and taking care of two, by now, teenage boys. I continued to work, and occasionally my husband would prod me to give writing another go. Two instigating factors prompted my return to the computer. The first was the end of my anesthesia career following a dramatic slip-and-fall in the operating room. Since I worked at a children’s hospital, I couldn’t even go to their emergency room. EMS came in, slapped on a neck brace, and scooped me off the floor onto a stretcher. I was wheeled through the front lobby to a waiting ambulance to the bemused interest of patients and family members. Truly a day to remember, and by the way, it was our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Needless to say, my husband did not take me out to a fancy restaurant to celebrate that evening.

As I pondered what to do with my untimely retired self, I became aware that I could now publish my books on my own. At my point in life, I wasn’t willing to spend months waiting for replies and requests for revisions to suit the taste of someone else. There’s a saying that if you aren’t a control freak before you go into anesthesia, you soon will be. I love the fact that I can write what I want, hire the editor that I want, select the cover that I like, and publish on my own schedule.

I love antique jewelry, so Annalee Wyatt, my protagonist, buys and sells it. This gives me excuses to create gorgeous Pinterest boards and do some serious window-shopping when I travel. I love the South and miss my childhood on my grandparents’ farms. I’ve recreated that experience for Annalee by having her inherit her family’s Goat Hill Farm. I’m even thoughtful enough to have her pasture land leased out to a neighboring farmer, so all she has to do is enjoy the view. The fictional community I created in northern Louisiana is populated by people who remind me of someone I like, or in the case of villains, someone I don’t like. Thank goodness the murders come totally from my imagination.

The most rewarding aspect of this new career comes when someone I’ve never met tells me that my books made her laugh and took her away from reality for awhile. With the state of the world these days, that almost qualifies as a public service.

Last July I underwent another reinvention when I became grandmother to a sweet baby girl. Much to my authorial surprise, Annalee’s best friend is pregnant in the book I’m currently writing. I began the first page, and poof, it was a done deal. Finally there’s one part of my life where I totally call the shots!

18 Karat Sold? Or 18 Karat Cold?


Antique jewelry dealer Annalee Wyatt recently moved from Houston to Goat Hill, her family’s ancestral farm in Louisiana. Okay, admittedly she knows jack about farming and makes her living selling expensive baubles, but she’s returned to her roots and wants everyone, including the citizens of nearby Berryville, to be as enthusiastic about it as she is. Her goal of acceptance gets a boost when the scion of an old family pays her big bucks for an engagement ring. When his intimidating mother invites her to attend the ceremony, she really feels like she’s made it.

Unfortunately, “Happily ever after” turns into “Happy never again” when the young bride shockingly dies at the wedding reception. Soon Annalee is dealing with a grieving, hostile groom and unpleasant accusations regarding her honesty.

Though there seems to be no way to prove her integrity, Annalee can’t afford to give up. With the help of her hunky cattle-rancher neighbor and the town book club, she sets out to solve the mystery that threatens her reputation. It comes as a nasty surprise to find that her life is in jeopardy, too!



Antique jewelry dealer Annalee Wyatt has settled into life on recently-inherited Goat Hill Farm, and gamely agrees to accompany her new boyfriend to his class reunion. Former football star Ryan Dawson shows up with his adoring wife and slides right back into his role as big man on campus. By evening’s end, he’s bragged to the guys, pawed the women, and generally convinced everyone he isn’t the great guy they remember.

No one is sorry to see him leave the party, but someone is angry enough to make sure he’s gone for good. Though short on detective skills, Annalee’s jewelry expertise pulls her into his murder investigation when an unusual brooch is found in the possession of the accused killer. Doubtful someone would commit murder for the small, salamander-shaped pin, she’s convinced there’s more to the story and can’t resist poking her nose into small-town secrets.

Join Annalee and her cohorts as they traipse through northern Louisiana and east Texas in avid pursuit of another 18 Karat Cold criminal.



Mabry Hall is a Southerner who writes what she knows, except for the murder part. She’s traveled the globe but always comes back happy to be with the friendly and quirky people who populate Louisiana.

Where to find Mabry…

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Follow me on Instagram @18karatcold

Joanne here!

Mabry, thanks for sharing your journey and insights. Best of luck with all your creative endeavors.


The Art of Reinvention

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have multi-published, award-winning author Claire Gem sharing her leap into a spectacular second act.

Here’s Claire!

The day I turned fifty years old, I had what could be described as the perfect life. I was healthy and happily married to the same man since I was twenty. My kids were all healthy, successful adults. I’d recently landed a fantastic job at Tufts University in the field I’d been working in all my life – scientific research – and was making more money than I ever dreamed. My 35-hour workweek was Monday through Friday, no weekends or holidays. I was the manager and had free reign to redesign the department any way I saw fit.

Still, something was missing.

It took me the next four years—and many thousands of dollars—to find out what that something was. I wanted to be a writer. It was an activity I’d always enjoyed, but I’d never taken the time to develop the skill. Being the scientific, logical thinker that I was, I decided I needed to go back for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. I needed to learn “the right way” to become a writer.

Now, don’t get me wrong: The time I spent earning my degree at Lesley University was enlightening, enriching, and motivating. But honestly? I don’t think I had to spend an exorbitant amount of money to “validate” my writing talent. I’d already gotten that validation, almost forty years earlier, when I was in the seventh grade. I just hadn’t believed in that advice, or in myself, enough.

My English teacher, Nancy Prather, taught heavy on the essay skills and was equally scorned by all her students. That included me, until the day she called me up to her desk waving my latest essay like a flag, a serious expression on her face. I was terrified.

“Miss DelNegro,” she began, and none too quietly. “You have produced a rather impressive piece of writing here for a girl your age.”

I blinked. The way she said it—almost accusingly, I wondered . . . was that a good thing, or a bad one?

Miss Prather saw the confusion that was apparently written all over my face. “What I’m saying, my girl, is that you have a natural talent for writing.” She thrust the paper at me and issued a stern command. “No matter what you choose to do with your life, remember this: You are a writer. Don’t let this natural ability go to waste.”

Oh, if only I’d believed her. Turns out my writing ability was not only a talent, but also critical to my state of balance, of well-being. To be fulfilled, and completely happy, I had to be writing.

Still, at fifty years old with not a single piece of published writing to my credit, I needed additional validation: those three little letters—MFA—behind my name. And I’m sure those letters did catch the attention of the editors to whom I submitted over the next few years. But I still had enough rejection letters to paper my office before my first novel, Phantom Traces, was accepted by SoulMate Publishing in 2013. That was five novels, two short stories in anthologies, a memoir, a writer’s resource book, and numerous literary awards ago.

Today, at sixty, I still work by day in scientific research. But my dream—to be a full-time writer—is right around the corner. Yes, it’s been a hard-earned dream. Dedication and focus. Many midnight hours and long weekends at the keyboard. But I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Is fifty too old to reinvent your life? Is sixty? Hell, no. Does it seem crazy to some of my family, friends, and colleagues that I yearn to leave the security of a dream job to become a writer? Sure does. But the ones who truly know me see that I am now what I was not ten years ago. Complete.

And I will say it to the world, as well as to Nancy Prather, wherever she is now: I was born to be a writer. I am a writer.

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself into what you were born to be. Everyone has a secret passion. A gift. Figure out what yours is, and don’t let anything stand in your way. Go for it.


Strong Women, Starting Over
~Redefining Romance~

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of five titles in the genres of contemporary romance, supernatural suspense, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing.

Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched, won the 2016 New York Book Festival, and was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards. Also in 2017, her women’s fiction, The Phoenix Syndrome, was a finalist in the National Reader’s Choice Awards, and her contemporary romance, A Taming Season, was a Literary Award of Merit finalist in the HOLT Medallion Awards. Her latest release, Spirits of the Heart, was a finalist in the 2017 “I Heart Indie Awards.”

Creating cross-genre fiction she calls “supernatural suspense,” Claire loves exploring the paranormal and the unexplained, and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from the Rhine Research Center of Duke University.

A New York native, Claire has lived in five of the United States and held a variety of jobs, from waitress to bridal designer to research technician—but loves being an author best. She and her happily-ever-after hero, her husband of 39 years, now live in central Massachusetts.

Claire is available for seminars & media interviews & loves to travel for book promotional events.

Where to find Claire…

Website | Blog 1 | Blog 2 | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Youtube Channel

Joanne here!

Claire, I’m in awe of your achievements. Thanks for sharing your inspiring reinvention story.


Sometimes It Just Takes Courage

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have author D.R. Grady sharing her writing journey and latest release, The Nerd Who Spied Me.

Here’s D.R. Grady!

I knew I wanted to be a writer from the first moment I learned that by combining words you got a sentence and sentences a paragraph and then – wow, a story! The story teller within me awoke—a magical moment in my young life.

However, I’m a practical person, and I knew becoming an author who could support herself with her art probably wasn’t in my immediate future. So I opted to study Biology at college and graduated with a B.S. in Biology. This led to a series of jobs after college, and I did manage to support myself with my lab skills.

I did not, however, write. The stories were there, piling on top of each other, but I didn’t have a computer at the time, and buying one wasn’t cheap then, so I worked and saved and ignored my muse.

Over the course of a few years, and after making rent, student loans, and a car payment, I finally had saved enough money to buy a computer. A massive desktop that I couldn’t believe I finally owned!

For the first year or so I used it to keep in touch with friends via email, and I started a file for all those books in my brain. Then I changed jobs and moved a couple of times and life got busy. I kept up with email, but no writing.

One day I mentioned to my boss at the time how I had this idea in my head that kept niggling. He encouraged me to start writing the story. And he and a work colleague both urged me to attend my first Romance Writers of America local chapter meeting.

That took more courage than I thought I had, because I had convinced myself all the writers there were multi-published senator’s wives who lived in their dream homes with dream careers and… I was daunted. After much support from my fabulous boss and colleague, I finally mustered the courage and attended my first meeting.

And found people just like me!

Not a senator’s wife in sight (who are probably lovely people, by the way). I instead met plenty of other authors who were just trying to build a career writing books they loved and that they hoped others would love too. I finished that first book and many more since.

Since then, I’ve just seen my twentieth book published, The Nerd Who Spied Me! I continue that idea file and have replaced that first computer several times. (: All it took was courage to take that first step!


Cian Hunter is tasked with the impossible: find Verity Wellington and bring her home safely. His survival is not guaranteed.

Everyone in their business knows Verity is perfectly capable of getting herself home, since she’s the gut-them-first-and-ask-questions-later type of operative. She also has the advantage of knowing where she is, which would be helpful.

He accepts the assignment, aware two operatives are better than one when dealing with the nebulous factions who lurk in the shadows. Plus, the chance to get close to Verity to see if his attraction to her is more than a fleeting interest is too good to pass up. Provided she doesn’t gut him first.

Cian is confident in his secret operative abilities, despite wishing to leave them behind. However, his relationship goals leave something to be desired. If he can figure those out… he might stand a chance of getting them both home alive.

Pitch line: They’re confident in their secret operative abilities, but maybe not so much in their relationship goals.


“Thanks for playing nice with my family.” He whispered this to Verity as Chrissy flitted into the kitchen to get them both a beverage. Jay followed, to “help” her. Cian guessed.

Jay tagged along to steal a smooch or two.

“I have no reason not to.”

Her logic was faultless.

“I’m still thankful for the effort.”

She didn’t snort but did eye him as though sorting through the various means she had of offing someone—as though deciding which to use proved challenging.

It sent all of his blood fleeing from his brain. His eyes dipped to her lips.

“Don’t even think about it.” Her warning came a second too late.

“Sorry, already did.”

“You’re not sorry,” she scoffed. “I will eviscerate you in your sister’s living room.”

“That’s not nice.” More blood pumped from his brain. This was not going as well as could be expected. He couldn’t seem to drag his gaze from those pouty lips.

One side of those delectable treats rose in a snarl. “Don’t even think about kissing me, Hunter.”

He, in usual form, ignored her warning. Wrapping one arm around her waist, he yanked her against him. Then he melded their lips because he had to know.

“You are in such big trou—” Her words halted because his mouth blocked them and he ran his tongue over the seam of her lips. She gasped, and he pressed the advantage, using any and all available.

A groan escaped his throat and meshed with hers.

Buy Links

Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Smashwords |
Createspace – Coming Soon!


D.R. Grady lives with her husband near Hershey, PA. She adores chocolate, laughing, collecting bags, books, and shoes, and writing stories that resonate with others.

Where to find D. R. Grady…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Google+

Joanne here!

Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey. Best of luck with all your creative endeavors.


The M.D. Writer-Mom

I’m happy to welcome doctor and award-winning mystery author Melissa Yuan-Innes aka Melissa Yi to the Second Act series. Today, Melissa shares her multi-act life and the Hope Sze Medical Mystery Series.

Here’s Melissa!

So far, I’m spinning three different careers simultaneously. I’m an emergency physician, which is my most stressful, high-stakes job. I’m a writer who professionally published her first short story and poem in medical school. And I, personally, wouldn’t feel complete without my children.

Medicine takes up the most real estate in my life. I was a perpetual student for a quarter century, memorizing facts, waking up at all hours of the night, and eventually making life and death decisions.

When I finally finished training in emergency medicine, I felt uneasy. I’d been shackled to a schedule, rotating from specialty to specialty and hospital to hospital, and now I could literally practice anywhere in the world, as long as I got the proper licensing and my husband agreed to it.

I told my friends, “It’s like the Simpsons episode where Homer goes up in space and smashes the terrarium, and as the ants go flying off in zero gravity, they’re chittering, ‘Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!’” Watch here.

In my heart, though, I knew what I wanted to do. The same thing I’d wanted to do since I was five years old. I wanted to write.

For that, I needed time and energy. Since 24 hour shifts are not conducive to creativity, I had to limit my emergency shifts.

I said to my husband, “Now that I’ve graduated, I can finally make money. That’s what everyone else is doing. Is it crazy that I want to write?”

Matt is an engineer who takes emotions out of the equation. He basically said, “You went to school for so many years so that you can afford to write.” He has offered to support me if I want to write, but I never really considered it. I wanted to be my own patron of the arts, able to support myself, my family, and my writing.

It means that I’m a relatively impoverished doctor. One of my friends made fun of me because she made more in six months than I did in a year. I wish I were a more productive writer. And my kids constantly complain that I don’t spend enough time with them, and were quite piteous as they waved goodbye to me yesterday, as I drove through the ice to my evening shift.

On the other hand, I am happy. I can and did run last Saturday’s night shift—and CBC Books selected Human Remains (https://windtreepress.com/portfolio/human-remains/), my latest medical thriller, as their top mystery pick for their holiday gift guide (http://www.cbc.ca/books/10-books-for-those-mad-for-mysteries-on-your-list-1.4442631).

Where to find Melissa…

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter here and get a free novella starring Dr. Hope Sze.

Joanne here!

Melissa, thank you for sharing your intriguing journey. I’m impressed by your work ethic and the number of books you have written. Best of luck in the future!

Intrigued by the author’s back story, I decided to read Code Blues, the first book in the Hope Sze Medical Mystery series. Captivated from the start, I found myself enmeshed in a medical drama that kept me up two nights in a row. From Ms. Yi’s vivid descriptions, I could easily imagine the dilapidated Montreal hospital and the conflicted characters, who struggle with boundaries and relationships. The murder of a beloved doctor sets in motion a riveting narrative that takes many unexpected twists and turns. I continually second-guessed myself as I attempted to identify the murderer in this well-plotted, character-driven novel.