New Release!

Beyond the Hardwood

bth-final-paperback-cover-5x8Beyond the Hardwood, the third book in the Scrubs series, follows the next generation of the Hanson family, focusing specifically on  Randy‘s son, Nathan.

From the time he was old enough to hold a basketball, Nathan Hanson dreamed of playing in the NCAA. Now a senior at Lake Washington High School, Nathan is a top-notch athlete with aspirations of attending medical school. Well known for his skills on the court, Nathan’s name and face are plastered across every sports page in Seattle. When a college recruiter catches wind of his stats, Nathan receives a visit from the head coach of the University of Washington, bringing him one step closer to making his lifelong dream a reality.

But sometimes pursuing your dreams comes with a hefty price.

You can learn more about the characters of Beyond the Hardwood or read the first chapter here.

Purchase Information:

Beyond the Hardwood is currently available for purchase through Smashwords, Kobo, and Amazon. Paperback is in progress.  Links coming soon. Beyond the Hardwood can also be found on  iAuthor, Bookbub, and Goodreads. It will soon be featured on Circle of Books, Author Pilot, and Texas Authors.

Other books in the series include Scrubs (Book 1), and Sand & Sutures (Book 2)

Sand & Sutures
Sand & Sutures (Scrubs Book #2)

Scrubs
Scrubs

Center Stage (Book 4 in the series) is currently in revision.

Beyond the Hardwood- Chapter 1

I completed the third book in my series this week, Beyond the Hardwood.  This book carries the story of Scrubs and Sand & Sutures into the next generation, focusing specifically on Randy’s son, Nathan.

bth-final-paperback-cover-5x8-1Synopsis is as follow:

From the time he was old enough to hold a basketball, Nathan Hanson dreamed of playing in the NCAA. Now a senior at Lake Washington High School, Nathan is a top-notch athlete with aspirations of attending medical school. Well known for his skills on the court, Nathan’s name and face are plastered across every sports page in Seattle. When a college recruiter catches wind of his stats, Nathan receives a visit from the head coach of the University of Washington, bringing him one step closer to making his lifelong dream a reality.

But sometimes pursuing your dreams comes with a hefty price.

 

I now present you with Chapter One of Beyond the Hardwood.

 Chapter One

Surrounded by family and friends, Nathan Hanson eyed eighteen candles flickering on the cake in front of him.

“Happy birthday, Nathan,” his mother said. “Make a wish.”

Nathan thought about this for a minute before he blew out the flames.

His father pulled a set of car keys from his pocket and handed them to Nathan.

Bemused, Nathan stared at his father. “What are these for?”

“Go look out front.”

Nathan gripped the keys in his hand and dashed out the door. A cherry red 1969 Ford Mustang Mach One was parked in the driveway out front. Nathan’s jaw hit the ground.  “Are you serious?”

“Happy birthday, Son.”

“Oh, sweet! Thanks, Dad.”

“Why don’t you take it for a spin?”

Nathan gazed at his girlfriend with an enticing smile. “Wanna go for a ride?”

She nodded, full of anticipation.

He unlocked the car and presented his hand to her, helping her ease into the passenger seat.

Once she was secured, Nathan walked around to the opposite side of the car. He sat in the driver’s seat and revved up the engine, letting the car idle for a minute so he could hear it purr. “Listen to that engine, Gab.”

“I can’t believe your dad bought you a car.”

“My dad is awesome.” He gripped the steering wheel with one hand and held Gabriella’s hand with the other. Then he glanced over his shoulder, backed out of the driveway, and drove down the street.

“You’re so lucky your dad is a doctor,” Gabby remarked.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because you and your family go on cool vacations, you live in a nice house, and your parents bought you a car for your birthday. They do all kinds of things for you.”

“Your mom does things for you too.”

Gabby shook her head and snorted. “Not like your parents do.”

He signaled to turn right, checked the rearview mirror, and switched lanes. “She sends you to cheer camp. That counts.”

“I guess.”

Gabby’s despondency led Nathan to believe something was bothering her. “What’s the matter?”

Not wanting to burden him with her problems, she stared at her hands with a dejected expression on her face.

Nathan pulled into the closest parking lot and put the car in park. He turned to face her, insistent that she talk to him. “What’s wrong?”

Gabby sighed. “My mom lost her job, and she pretty much told me she won’t be able to pay for any of my college expenses. Either I live off loans and work my way through school or I don’t go.”

“When did she lose her job?”

“Last week. And she refuses to let me work. Aside from my college problem, I don’t have any money to get a dress for the winter dance, so I won’t be able to go.”

Offering support, he took both of her hands in his. “We will get you a dress. That is not a big deal.”

“Really?”

“Of course. There is no way I’m going without you.”

Those were the exact words she wanted to hear. “Thank you.”

“We’ll figure it out. We always do.” He drew her closer and tenderly kissed her on the lips.

 

Nathan came home a little after 10:00 P.M. that night.  He removed his letter jacket and slipped his car keys in the pocket of his jeans. “It’s cold out tonight,” he said to his father as he draped his jacket over the back of a chair.

Dr. Randy Hanson looked up from the medical article he was reading. “Is it?”

“Yeah.”

He set the medical journal on the coffee table and focused his attention on his son. “Did you have a good day?”

“I had an awesome day. That car is amazing. Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome. I had a Mustang when I was your age. It’s a nice ride.”

“It is,” Nathan agreed, taking a seat on the couch next to his father.

“How was the movie?”

“It was good. A few parts scared Gabby. She jumped and spilled popcorn all over herself then wouldn’t let go of my hand for the rest of the night.”

“Scary movies are good for that.” With a more serious tone, Dr. Hanson looked his son in the eye.  “Nate?”

“Yes, Sir?”

“You’re a senior now. You have important decisions to make about college and career choices.”

“I know. We’ve already discussed this.”

“Yes, but you haven’t told me what you’ve decided,” he insisted on knowing.

“Gabby and I are going to UW together.”

“And have you made any other decisions?”

Nathan knew exactly what his father meant. “Biology I think, with emphasis on pre-med.”

Dr. Hanson grinned, thrilled that his son showed an interest in pursuing a medical career. “Have you filled out scholarship applications?”

“Yup. Found a few I qualified for.” Nathan had something else on his mind that he wanted to discuss with his father, but since it was a sensitive subject, he wasn’t sure how to bring it up. “Dad, I need to talk to you.”

“About what?”

“Gabby and I have been talking.”

Dr. Hanson bobbed his head. “Talking is good.”

“You know, we’ve been together for over a year now.”

“I know. I like Gabby. She’s a nice girl, and I think she’s good for you.”

Nathan sat up to instill more confidence. “Gabriella and I…we…” He breathed in deeply before he said, “We want to have sex.”

Dr. Hanson knew his son was old enough to think about this, but wasn’t expecting Nathan to be quite this open about it. Seeking clarification, he asked, “She wants to or you want to?”

“We both do,” Nathan affirmed.

Dr. Hanson wasn’t convinced. “You’re not pressuring her, are you?”

“No, I’m not. She’s actually the one who brought it up.”

He snorted under his breath, not believing Nathan’s claim for one second. “Oh really?”

“Dad, I know what you’re thinking.”

“No you don’t,” he scoffed. “You have no idea what I’m thinking.”

“Then what are you thinking?”

Nathan’s father was an obstetrician who saw young pregnant girls in his office on a weekly basis. Nathan was convinced his father was about to lecture him about teenage pregnancy, or even worse, give him the abstinence speech. But his father did neither of those things. Instead, he simply said, “I understand. I was eighteen once.”

That was not the response Nathan expected.

Hoping his son had considered every aspect of this decision, Dr. Hanson threw him a thought-provoking question. “Have you considered what that means for Gabby?”

“What do you mean?”

“Son, once a girl loses her virginity, that’s not something she can ever take back. It’s done. And have you thought about contraception?”

Nathan knew the whole pregnancy issue would pop up sooner or later. “You mean condoms?”

“Yes, condoms. Be smart about this, Nate. Protect yourself, protect her. And for god’s sake don’t get her pregnant.”

“Dad.”

“I’m serious, Nathan. Use a condom, all the time, every time,” Dr. Hanson insisted.  “Is she on the pill?”

“No.”

“If you two are going to have a sexual relationship, she should be. I’ll be more than happy to get her a scrip for birth control pills, but I’m not going to do it without her mother’s consent,” he sternly stated. “Has Gabby talked to her mother about this?”

If Gabby’s mother knew they were even considering having sex, she would throw a conniption. Panic-stricken, Nathan replied, “Dad, she can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because. Her mom isn’t the most understanding person in the world, especially with sensitive issues like this.”

“Gabby should discuss this with her mother.” Dr. Hanson reached for a cup of coffee. “We’re going to get you a box of condoms. I want both of you to be safe.”

Nathan could see the seriousness in his father’s eyes. Dr. Hanson wasn’t about to let his son be the reason for another teenage girl having a baby. With a nod of understanding, Nathan replied, “Yes, Sir.”

 

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.