Meet the Characters – Part 9

We continue to meet the characters of Beyond the Hardwood.  Today I introduce you to Nathan’s girlfriend, Gabby.

Full name:  Gabriella (Gabby) Renee Pervis

Age: 17

Physical Description: 5’1″, 108 pounds. Petite, athletic figure. Sapphire blue eyes and golden blonde hair.

Hometown:  Kirkland, WA

Family:  Only child of a single mother.

Education:  Currently a senior at Lake Washington High School. On the varsity cheerleading squad. Wants to attend the University of Washington and hopefully make it on the coed cheer team. Good at grammar and spelling, but does not like Math or Science.

Career Goals: To be an Elementary teacher.

Hobbies:  cheer, gymnastics, dancing, water skiing, arts and crafts

Favorite things:  cheering, tumbling, M&Ms, Diet Coke, watching Nathan on the basketball court, hanging out with friends, walks on the beach, and comfortable shoes

Favorite Places: dance clubs, a gymnastics mat, being on the sidelines of a football field or basketball court, cheer camp, the waterfront

Music Preference: Dance/ club music, Pop Rock

Relationship Status:  Committed

Weaknesses:  Poor relationship with her mother and constantly battles to gain independence. Overly sensitive to criticism and tends to trust people she shouldn’t.

Pet Peeves:  Gossip, unjust treatment, arrogance, and cliquey people who are unwilling to accept others for who they are.

Character traits:  Bubbly personality. Cheerful disposition. Spunky and energetic. Gets along well with others and fits in with most social groups. Patient, kind, and very tolerant of others’ beliefs. Although she’s competitive and has a high self-esteem, she sometimes struggles with self-confidence.

For other character bios, see links below.

Jane     Randy     Jim     Bruce    Mandy    Greg    Nathan    Mike    Lauren    Lacy    Roger    Max

Meet the Characters – Part 8

With the  release of book 3 in my series, Beyond the Hardwood, drawing nearer, I would like to introduce you to some of the new characters you will meet in this book.  I’ll begin with Nathan.

Full name:  Nathan James Hanson

Age: 18

Physical Description: 6′1, 185 pounds. Muscular, athletic physique. Charcoal grey eyes and brown hair.

Hometown:  Kirkland, WA

Family:  Oldest child of a prominent OB/GYN.  Father’s name is Dr. Randal Hanson.  Mother is Jane Hanson. Has two younger twin sisters, Lauren and Lacy.

Education:  Currently a senior at Lake Washington High School.  Plays point guard on the varsity basketball team. Wants to play in the NCAA for the University of Washington. Is dyslexic and speaks fluent Spanish.

Career Goals: To get accepted into college, hopefully on a basketball scholarship, and major in Biology. Eventually plans to attend medical school. Has career aspirations of being a doctor like his father and grandfather before him.

Hobbies:  Fishing, basketball, water skiing, snow skiing, hiking, photography.

Favorite things:  basketball, classic cars, food in any form, Mom’s cookies, watching his girlfriend cheer, hanging out with friends, traveling, anything that has to do with Science and History.

Favorite Places: the beach, Lake Washington, Science and History museums, being on a basketball court

Music Preference: Rock

Relationship Status:  Committed

Weaknesses:  Dyslexic. Not a good writer and a painfully slow reader. Knows nothing about romance, although it isn’t from lack of trying. Sometimes plagued with severe self-doubt and has difficulty balancing his responsibilities.

Pet Peeves:  Gossip, drama, and people who are mean to others.

Character traits:  Excels at Math and Science. Strong people skills. Respectful to authority, but doesn’t always follow rules. Natural leader. Dedicated student athlete, hard-working, doesn’t give up without a fight. Extremely competitive, especially on the basketball court. Willing to go out of his way to help others and is open to new ideas.  A team player, confident most of the time, but can become consumed by crippling self-doubt if under intense pressure.

For other character bios, see links below.

Jane     Randy     Jim     Bruce    Mandy    Greg    Gabby   Mike    Lauren    Lacy    Roger    Max

Book Mail – Scrubs by L. M. Nelson — O.D. Book Reviews

My books, Scrubs and Sand & Sutures, were recently featured on OD Book Reviews.

BOOK MAIL! (Latest book mail photographed on top of one of my scrub tops.) If you like shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scrubs” you will want to check out this series by L. M. Nelson. Descriptions off Amazon with links below. Scrubs Randy Hanson, charming playboy and son of a wealthy doctor, strives to reach one goal—graduating from medical school.…

via Book Mail – Scrubs by L. M. Nelson — O.D. Book Reviews

Review of Sand & Sutures

I am truly flattered by a review my second book just received from Opus Book Review. Check it out.

“Sand & Sutures (Scrubs Book #2) is the second of a four book series by author L.M. Nelson.  Please allow me to introduce the other books in the series, the first being Scrubs (Scrubs Book # 1), Beyond the Hardwood (Scrubs Book #3) and finally, Center Stage (Scrubs Book #4).  The last two books have been written, (Thank goodness!) and will be published in the near future.

I recently had the opportunity to read Sand & Sutures, released in May 2016.  Soon I will be reading the first book in the series, Scrubs and let me tell you, I CANNOT WAIT to crack the spine on that one!  However, it is not necessary to have read Scrubs Book #1 in the series in order to FULLY enjoy Sand & Sutures.  The book stands alone just fine and I have to tell you, boy oh boy, did I enjoy it!  As I was nearing the end of Sand & Sutures, that time where I usually start to mourn the book if I have fallen in love with it, I took comfort in knowing that I would go back and read the first book in the series and see how all of this came about!  The original Scrubs, released May of 2015, has been re-released after undergoing a slight revision.  To further lessen my panic, I have the third and fourth books to look forward to and by then perhaps I will have talked author L.M. Nelson into writing these characters until they are old and grey, nearing the end of their lives…..and hey, there is always the next generation. I LOVED THIS BOOK.  Let me tell you why.

The story revolves around the life of Dr. Randal Hanson, his family and extended family as well as a wide, delightfully diverse group of close friends that are largely in the medical profession.  I quickly understood that these close friendships arose from the grueling and intense experiences of surviving medical school, creating a bond that could never be broken or forgotten.  They all became lifelong friends. 

Sand & Sutures has a very pleasing quick and efficient pace, covering about 3 years or so of the joy and happiness, anger and fear, the celebrations and some of the lower points that occur in all of the characters lives, much like the peaks and valleys that occur in own lives.  I never had the sense that any portion of Sand & Sutures was over described or went on too long about any particular thing nor did I feel that I was missing anything regarding any element of the book.  The timing and pace was PERFECT.  I wonder if this might be due to the author’s editing abilities and if this is true, author L.M. Nelson is a true GENIUS in that department.

In Sand & Sutures, the characters are incredibly well developed, each one as interesting as the next.  When reading a book that has many characters, I have often had the problematic experience of not being able to connect to each one, forgetting their name and relationship to the story, ruining that delightful flow of seamlessly reading by having to stop and think, who is this person and what are they doing here?  This is most definitely not a problem in Sand & Sutures.  Each character has a clearly defined personality and role in the story.  Author L.M. Nelson writes dialogue, both internal and verbal, with the precision of a surgeon, no pun intended.

Now, while we are on the subject of characters, OH, THE CHARACTERS!  I quickly became emotionally involved and invested in each character.  I find this to be a great asset to a story and an impressive skill on the part of the author.  My feelings regarding these characters are as such: I always want to be able to pick up a Scrubs book, check in and see what’s happening in their ever evolving lives.  Are they well?  How are the kids?  They must be growing up fast, can’t wait to see them in the next book.  I want to send Randy Hanson a nice coffee basket for Christmas; I know he would love it.  I wonder if so and so ever got over that difficulty they were having.  I also realized that these characters are universal in appeal.  “Scrubs” is a book series that will be enjoyed by men and women alike, the young and old, people from all walks of life.  A magnificently written, read at your own pace because the pace in the book will always be consistent with unforgettable characters and compelling, ever changing story lines.  Better yet?  There are FOUR books to keep you entertained for quite some time.  These are the kind of books that you will want to always have on your nightstand or keep in rotation with your other books because they will never disappoint, you can always count on it, a reliable good time.  If you know a book lover or have one in the family, the Scrubs series would make a great gift because of the book’s universal appeal and exceptionally good writing.

There are two other very prominent characters in Sand & Sutures and I suspect in all of the books in the Scrubs series that have no dialogue.  The first quiet but ever present character is the city of Seattle, Washington.  You can feel the green, picture the fog, sunshine and rain.  The features and terrain of Seattle have been lovingly and subtly written in as the characters walk through their days.  It now comes as no surprise to learn that the author spent a great deal of time in Seattle and I have a feeling she loved it because it feels loved in the reading.  The second character is the medical profession.  When I began reading the book, I asked the author, how do you know all this?!  All of the details of what happens in a hospital setting, in neurosurgery, in the field of an OB GYN?  I fully expected her to come back and tell me that her husband or father was a Doctor.  The detail is so good, so spot on, completely relatable and not too technical.  My thoughts were that someone who is very close to her in her life MUST be in the medical field.  At no point in this book does the backdrop character of the medical profession feel “researched” or foreign.  Nor is it ever overdone or under done, purely well done.  The medical environment in which the book takes place felt so natural that I thought the author must be immersed in it somehow.  I was very surprised to learn that that was not the case at all.  Her answer to me was research.  After completing the book, this one answer really goes back to everything else I have learned about author L.M. Nelson.  Her style is precise but not sharp, her characters are warm and inviting but not sticky and gooey and she is a master when it comes to dialogue and pace in her writing, a perfect trifecta!   

If I may, I would like to tell you of my experiences and interest in the works of independent authors.  It began when I became somewhat bored of reading the books of the usual.  You know the ones, the usual authors with the big publishing houses behind them.  The usual books that are easily recognizable due to expensive marketing campaigns.  The usual widely read books due to their familiarity.  I read a lot.  I mean, A LOT.  If you are reading this, you probably read a lot too.  I became so familiar with each of the usual author’s style, methods and writing formulas that I felt I was reading the same old things in the same old manner over and over again.  I began to seek out new material and it was then that I came across independent authors.  These were books that I could not find in my usual book haunts, or in my book trade with my neighbors or on my library’s shelves.  The works of independent authors are the books that I have come to read on a regular basis with very few exceptions; I do like a Michener every now and again.  My point is that there are so many extremely talented writers out there that you might not ever have the opportunity to enjoy because they don’t have expensive marketing campaigns or name recognition.  These authors write because they love to write and in the past several months, I have read so many wonderful, beautifully written books that I have absolutely loved.  Sometimes I think to myself, I cannot believe that these quality works of art will not be as widely read as some other books that I actually find to be of lesser quality.  It boggles my mind and I find it to be so unjust and I feel for the others like me that love to read, for so many it is a way of life, that they may not stumble upon these lesser known but highly talented independent authors.

That being said, I highly recommend the Scrubs book series as a great place to start or continue if you are so lucky as to already know about these hidden gems!  Start with Book #1 or just dive in and get all the books in this series that are available!  I am certain you will enjoy them just as much as I have. I consider myself to be a pretty good authority on the subject of books due to the mere fact that I have read for nearly my entire life, thousands of books.  As I mentioned above, for some reading is a way of life.  It is my lifestyle.  I now feel very fortunate to have discovered this whole new literary world.  I no longer judge a book by its shiny new cover and a photograph of a well known author.  I have now immersed myself into the world of independently published books and have the joy of judging it purely by its content.

Today is a great day to support this magnificent independent author, L.M. Nelson AND be as thoroughly entertained as I was in the reading of Sand & Sutures.” – Opus Book Review

Character Interview

stethoscope_0

I recently had a  character interview from my main man, Dr. Randal Hanson, featured on Mary’s Bookcase. It was fun to answer interview question from his point of view.

Although she included biographical information about me,  links to my books, a synopsis, and a excerpt (see above link), the interview itself is posted below.

Now for the interview…

MY: Welcome to the blog. Firstly, would you please introduce yourself to my readers.

RH: Certainly.  I’m Dr. Johnathan Randal Hanson, but my friends and family call me Randy.  I recently graduated from UCSF Medical School and am currently doing my OB/GYN residency at the University of Washington.  I’m planning to practice medicine with my father when I finally finish all of this.

MY: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

RH: My home is and always will be Seattle.  I can kinda picture myself living the life of a beach bum, though.  Water is my home away from home.  I certainly wouldn’t mind soaking up life in the sand and surf.

MY: What would you consider to be your greatest strength?

RH: Oh man.  That’s a tricky question.  I think I would have to say it’s my ability to communicate with people.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a pretty social person.  I make friends easily and seem to connect with people.  I’ve found that this ability has made me a better doctor.  I establish rapport with my patients, and I think because of this, they find me easy to talk to.  When my patients feel comfortable with me, they open up more, which makes treating them easier.

MY: What is your biggest regret?

RH:  I wish I would have established a closer relationship with my brother.  He’s always been a mixed up kid, but if I would have put forth more of an effort to connect with him, he might not have some of the problems he has today.  There were times when he needed his big brother’s guidance, but I was always so wrapped up in myself and medical school that I kind of neglected him.  I think that if I would have had a stronger bond with him, he wouldn’t feel so lost now.

MY: Describe your perfect day.

RH: Hanging out at the beach with my wife.  The sound of the waves splashing on the shore relaxes me, and conversations with my wife take my mind off the pressures of work for a while.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.

MY: Have you ever swum naked?

RH: Oh yes.  On my honeymoon in Bermuda.  That’s all I will say about that.

MY: What is your most embarrassing memory?

RH: Medical School was loaded with embarrassing moments.  But I think the most humiliating thing that ever happened to me was on the first day of my Psychiatry rotation.  My attending physician threw a patient file in my face and demanded that I give him a diagnosis.  Took me completely off guard.  Mind you, I had barely walked in the door and had no time to even look at the patient’s symptoms.  When I couldn’t give him an answer, he reprimanded me right there in his office.  Totally embarrassing.  I spent the whole night researching symptoms to come up with a full report for this guy by morning.  I’ve never been so humiliated in my life.

MY: Fine dining or a picnic?

RH: Depends on who I’m with.  I love taking my wife out on romantic dinner dates, but at the same time there’s nothing more fun than packing up a picnic lunch and hanging out at the park.  Definitely love to mix it up.

MY: What makes you angry?

RH: You mess with my wife, you mess with me.

MY: If you could choose a magic power, what would it be?

RH: Flight, without a doubt.  I love to fly.  In fact, it’s always been a dream of mine to learn to fly an airplane.  That might be something I pursue in the future, if my schedule ever dies down.

Meet the Characters – Part 7

With the release of Sand & Sutures, the second book in the Scrubs series, it’s time to introduce you to a new character, Greg Hutchins, a resident doctor at the University of Washington.

Full name:  Greg Hutchins

Age: Late 20’s

Hometown:  Bend, OR

Education:  Earned his M.D. from Oregon Health and Science University.  Currently in the OB/GYN Residency Program at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Career Goals:  Obstetrics and Gynecology

Hobbies:  basketball, fishing, playing darts, shooting pool

Favorite Places:  billiard halls, Starbucks, singles bars

Relationship Status:  actively seeking

Character traits:  outgoing, has difficulty maintaining relationships, a bit of a party boy

For other character bios, see links below.

Jim     Bruce    Mandy    Sarah   Randy   Jane

Sand and Sutures – Chapter One

Woohoo!  I’m celebrating because I have finally finished all revisions and editing for my second book, Sand and Sutures.  This book is a continuation of the first one and takes my characters through their residency.  Here’s a preview.  Hope you enjoy.  (Copyright L.M. Nelson 2016)

About-UWMC

Chapter 1

The Maternity Ward of University of Washington Medical Center overflowed with patients.  Unoccupied delivery rooms were scarce.  Nurses, patient technicians, and doctors frantically bounced around from one room to another attempting to dodge the chaos and tremendous influx of people who seemed to swarm the ward today.

Dr. Randal Hanson flipped through yet another patient chart, trying to comprehend the information in front of him.  He hadn’t had a cup of coffee all day and his energy tank was quickly depleting.  “Who opened the flood gate?” he said to one of the on-duty nurses.  “Did every single pregnant woman in Seattle go into labor today?”

The nurse gave a bemused smile.  “I don’t know, Doctor.  But the patient in room 213 is crowning.”

“Who’s her doctor?”

“Dr. Jamison, but he’s on vacation this week.”

“Who’s covering for him?”

“Dr. Drexol, but he’s not available right now because he’s busy with the patient in room 220.”

With a heavy sigh, Dr. Hanson put the chart back and headed to room 213.  When he walked into the delivery room, a young woman gripped her hands into her bulging abdomen and pulled her knees up to her chest.  Her facial muscles tensed, her teeth clenched, and she screamed in excruciating pain.

The nurse glanced up at the clock on the wall, turned her eyes to the doctor briefly, then focused on the clock again.  “Dr. Hanson.  Thank goodness you’re here.”

Calmly, Dr. Hanson headed over to the sink to wash his hands.  “How’s she doing?”

“Baby’s head has crowned.”

He pulled a couple of paper towels from the dispenser, dried his hands, then turned the water off.  Being a first-year resident doctor, Randy Hanson held a medical degree but could only practice medicine under the supervision of a fully licensed physician. Fully understanding that the attending physician in charge was ultimately held accountable for anything that happened in that delivery room, Randy asked, “Has Dr. Drexol been notified?”

“Yes, Doctor.  He said to get started and he’d be in as soon as he could.”

Randy tossed the damp paper towels in the trashcan and slipped on a pair of latex gloves.  While the nurse filled him in on vitals and other pertinent information, he took position at the end of the hospital bed, helped the patient slide her feet into the stirrups, and prepared to deliver this baby.  “Alright, go ahead and have her push.”

With the nurse assisting the patient, who had no labor coach of her own, Randy monitored the delivery to ensure that nothing went wrong.

Five minutes into the pushing process, Dr. Drexol shuffled into the room.  “How’s it going in here?”  He picked up the patient’s file to check her stats then peered over Randy’s shoulder.  “Looks like you have things under control.”  He scrubbed up, slipped on latex gloves, and stood behind Dr. Hanson, looking on while he continued to make the delivery.

Pushing proceeded for another ten minutes before the baby made his grand appearance.  Several loud cries followed, as well as tears from the mother when Randy placed the baby on her chest.

“Nice job, Dr. Hanson,” Dr. Drexol told his protégé.  “Your father would be proud.”

“Thank you.”  Randy’s father was a local obstetrician with an impeccable reputation in the Seattle metropolitan area.  Once his residency training was complete, Randy planned to fulfill a lifelong dream of joining his father’s private practice.

“How is your dad anyway?  I haven’t spoken to him in a while.”

“He’s doing well.”  Randy removed his latex gloves and threw them in the hazardous waste bin.  “Stays pretty busy with his practice.”

“Does he still fish?”

“Yes he does.  In fact he and I went fishing last weekend.”

“Give my regards to your father for me.  He’s a great man.”

“Will do, Doctor.  Thank you.”

“I have a scheduled Cesarean this afternoon and I’d like you to assist me in the OR.”

The first time Randy met Dr. William Drexol was during his residency interview.  He was one of UW’s upper division clinical teaching physicians.  Not only was he a wonderful mentor, he was also one of the few physicians who did his best to get to know his mentees on a personal level.

“Put on some fresh scrubs and meet me in the prep room in fifteen minutes,” Dr. Drexol instructed.

“Yes, Sir.”

Randy reported to the physician’s locker room.  As far as hospital locker rooms went, this one was pretty comfortable.  Each white locker, labeled with a physician’s name, had a small storage compartment underneath.  In the corner was a large cabinet, which held several pairs of scrubs folded neatly and sorted by size.  A comfortable white oak futon gave physicians a place to take a load off, and two windows allowed natural light to enter the room.  Overhead, florescent lamps brightened up the area and several green potted plants added a spark of color.  The facility was well-organized and clean.  This hospital treated its doctors well.

Randy opened a drawer full of blue disposable non-skid surgical shoe covers.  He pulled out a pair and slipped them over his loafers.  He locked up his belongings, put on his hospital photo ID badge, which also served as a controlled access card and gave him access to the Pneumatic Tube System, and headed to the OR to scrub up.

The main entrance of the University of Washington Medical Center displayed framed photos and informational plaques of all the attending physicians and resident doctors affiliated with the hospital.  Randy’s photograph hung among them—J. Randal Hanson, M.D.  

Even though Randy walked past this wall daily, he still beamed every time he saw the letters M.D. after his name.  The process of getting his medical education had been grueling, with long hours, arduous classes, obnoxious and demeaning physicians and residents, and exhausting tests.  For him, even with the difficulties, that journey had been worth it—every long hour, every second of humiliation he was subjected to, every minute of stress.  He was a physician now, an obstetrician/gynecologist, and he was ready to take the next step—that long four-year residency.

After a long day of hospital rounds, performing multiple deliveries, pelvic exams, and surgical procedures, Randy went back to the lab to process some samples for testing.  Feeling antsy, he glanced at his watch every ten minutes.

A colleague of his questioned his restlessness.  “Anxious to get home, Dr. Hanson?”

“I’m looking forward to this weekend so I can spend some time with my wife.” Randy and his wife had recently relocated from San Francisco to the Seattle area.  They were finally settled into their new home, but now that she was in grad school and Randy was working an average of 60-70 hours per week, adjusting to their new schedules had proven to be a bit challenging.

“How long you been married?”

“About three months.”

“Still newlyweds.  Congratulations.”  He shook Randy’s hand.  “I’m Greg Hutchins, second year resident.  I’ve heard about you, but we haven’t officially met.  Welcome to the UW Residency Program.”

“Thank you.”

“What’s your wife’s name?”

“Jane.”

“What does she do?”

“She’s in grad school, studying psychology.”  Randy checked the time again.  This day seemed to be dragging endlessly.

Randy’s watch had the Lakers logo on it, which instantly piqued Greg’s curiosity.  “Are you a Lakers fan?”

“Yup.”

“So am I.  Maybe we can catch a game together sometime.”

“That would be great.”  Wanting to learn more about this doctor, Randy asked, “You married?”

Greg blew off this question as if it had little importance in life.  “Nah.”

“Have a girlfriend?”

“Nope.  Not looking for one either.”

Greg’s tone was a bit hostile.  Randy was drawn back by this, wondering why this man was so openly negative.

“My bitch of an ex cleaned out my bank account, stole a bunch of my shit, and left,” Greg snarled.

Well, that explained the hostility.  “Ouch.  Damn, that sucks.”

“Yeah, well, shit happens.”

A young medical student stepped into the lab, interrupting their conversation.  “Excuse me, Dr. Hanson?”

Randy turned his head.  “Yes?”

“I’m sorry to bother you, but there’s a woman in the waiting room asking for you.  She claims to be your wife.”

Randy said, “Is she 5’7” with long brown hair, green eyes, and an amazing smile?”

The medical student nodded.  “That would be the one.”

“Yes, that’s my wife.”  He dropped what he was doing and went out to greet her.

Curiosity led Greg to follow him.

With a wide grin, Randy ambled over to Jane.  “Hey, Babe.  What are you doing here?”

“I left you a text.  You didn’t get it?”

“Been busy,” he admitted.  “Haven’t checked my messages in a while.  What’s up?”

“Aren’t you off in twenty minutes?”

“If I get this lab report done I am.  Why?”

“Because I thought we might go out for Chinese food tonight.”

“Alright,” he said cheerfully.  “Give me a minute to finish this.  You can wait out here if you want.”

Randy left Jane in the waiting room while he went back to the lab to finish his report.

“That’s your wife?” Greg asked.

“Yes.”

Greg turned his head and glanced at Jane once more.  “Wow.  Beautiful.”

“I think so.”

As soon as Randy finished his report, he grabbed his belongings and reported to the medical student he was working with.  “Mr. Allen.”

The medical student turned around.  “Yes, Sir?”

“Thank you for your help today.  When you get a chance Monday morning, check on the lab results and let me know if you find anything unusual.”

“Absolutely, Doctor.”

“Have a good weekend, and try to get some rest.”

The medical student replied, “Thank you, Sir.  You too.”

Randy swore he would not be the condescending ass so many residents he encountered in medical school seemed to be.  He made every effort to be courteous and kind, and because of this, the UW medical students floating around the hospital liked him.  As a mentor, Dr. Hanson was well-known for his kind, helpful attitude and friendly personality.  He was very understanding and tried to guide the medical students, not put them on the spot.  The attending physicians and other residents found him knowledgeable and hardworking.  He was thorough in his reports and clear and concise during Grand Round presentations.  He quickly became popular in the OB/GYN professional ranks.

Goodreads Review

Goodreads review of Scrubs.

scrubs-cover

“Scrubs is a YA novel about a group of college students. The story focuses on Randy, a medical student, and his romance with Jane, a psychology student. The timeline begins at the start of Randy’s second year of med school, and concludes just days after his graduation.

The author does a realistic job of depicting the enormity of commitment necessary to succeed in the medical field. She also weaves into her story several other components of a med student’s life: fear of failure, fatigue, family sacrifice, and attrition.

Nelson does an EXCELLENT job of handling multiple characters. In fact, although Scrubs holds almost nothing in common with Gone With the Wind, Nelson is comparable to M. Mitchell in her ability to juggle several characters. Effortlessly, the reader is able to meet multiple distinct personalities. A young heroin addict, an older bereaved widow, sorority sisters, and darling toddlers all come to life for us.

Jane, the heroine of the story, undergoes great character evolution. She undergoes a period of stifling bereavement resulting from her mother’s death, and transitions to a young woman who functions well with happy memories of her mom. She also (begrudgingly) nurtures a life-altering relationship change with her father, and she transitions from an athlete who has abandoned her love of basketball to one who once again claims her prowess on the court.

Overall, I’d say this is a wonderful effort for a first-time author. Nelson shows great promise. Scrubs is the first of a four-part series, and readers will surely enjoy her subsequent YA novels.” J. Monk