Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Anytime Darlin'...

First up – does anyone know what I did with my red and white striped knee socks? Most perplexing. Some days you just need to wear certain socks - but then - that's obvious - I don't have to tell you that.

Second – I have been listening to the news in Oz about men now being able to re-claim back child support for children that are not theirs. This has been determined after DNA tests and that the women have to pay the money back. I think that’s fair enough. Personally, paraphrasing Lady Astor - I don't care what anyone does as long as they don't frighten the horses - but in this case if you have slept with several men during the period of conception then I believe you are morally obligated to have the DNA tests before you tag a man as a father. It is not only unfair to him but think of the emotional cost to the child who thinks this man is his dad. I am all for women’s rights but if you have multiple partners think of others and not just yourself. And what about the rights of the real father?

Okay – off my soapbox….. Julia Barrett is an author you are going to hear a lot of. Why? Because her books are fantastic reads. Anytime Darlin’don’t you just love that title – is out now a Cerridwen Press – click on the cover to buy.

Anytime Darlin' - Julia Barrett

The blurb…

Jake McKenna is one of the first responders when a young runaway is found unconscious. She's desperately ill and has been beaten and sexually assaulted. Jake saves her life and is determined to protect her from the man who is equally determined to destroy her. Ultimately Jake realizes he must allow her to make her own decisions about her future, though it breaks his heart.

Devlin Barre survived the destruction of everything she held dear then learns she has been given into the care of the very person who stole her life. Her risky escape nearly kills her. One man brings her back, Jake. She loves him, but he has his own path to travel. Devlin refuses to become a burden. Brokenhearted, she leaves to rebuild her life.

Years later Jake and Devlin meet again. Has their connection survived? What of the monster who attempted to destroy Devlin? He's still waiting for the opportunity to finish what he started.

The Excerpt….

Jake applied the electrodes to her chest and flipped on the portable EKG machine. After a quick glance at her heart rhythm, he began a systematic head-to-toe assessment as Kyle radioed each finding back to the ER. Jake felt sick as he stripped her and ran his hand over every single bruise and abrasion, checking for broken bones and possible internal injuries, anything they might make worse by moving her carelessly. The girl had been badly beaten. Her back was scraped raw and there were thick purple wheals around both wrists. Her left side was swollen and covered with bruises. From the feel of things, Jake suspected at least a couple of broken ribs. He didn't find needle marks—her arms and legs were clean. This wasn't likely to be a drug overdose. Leanne and Lou got the IV started and Jake sighed with relief as fluids began flowing. The EKG showed a normal sinus rhythm but she was tachycardic and the woman was right, she was hot. Her axillary temp was one oh three point four. Her lungs sounded congested. Probably pneumonia. Jake suspected she'd been outdoors for several days and she'd probably been guarding her respirations because of the rib pain, which meant she was a sitting duck for pneumonia.

Mike cleared his throat. "He was wearing waffle-stompers," he said, "look at the marks on her thigh."

They stared in silence.

Then Jake broke it. "Let's move it people."

Kyle and Lou wheeled in the gurney and the four of them lifted the girl gently. As they laid her down, her eyes flew open. Jake was by her head, looking right at her. He started. Her eyes were unexpected, aquamarine with flecks of gold, wide and slightly almond-shaped and when she slowly lowered her lids, her long lashes cast faint shadows on her pale cheeks. Suddenly her eyes opened again and sought his. Jake was surprised by the intensity in her gaze. He saw confusion mingled with pain and a flat-out panic, the kind of panic one would find in a cornered animal.

Jake felt a hand wrap around his as he pushed the gurney.

"It's okay, darlin," he whispered soothingly, "it's okay. We'll take care of you. We're taking you to the hospital."

He thought her panic increased for a moment but then she nodded, almost imperceptibly and he could tell she understood him.

"You got a name, sweetheart?"

She closed her eyes and shook her head slightly. "No."

"C'mon, everybody's got a name," he coaxed, "it's all right, you can tell me, sweetheart, nobody's going to hurt you."

"Dev," she said after a moment, so softly beneath the mask that he almost missed it. "Devlin." Her eyes closed.

"Devlin," Jake repeated, "I'm Jake and I won't let anything happen to you."

Suddenly the hand in his went rigid and the rapid respirations turned to gasps.

"Heart rate increasing!" called Leanne. "One sixty a minute!"

"Lou," Jake spoke with deliberate calm, "give me an ET tube now and get the ambu-bag."

Jake and Lou worked fast and had the girl intubated before Kyle could even put the vehicle in gear. Mike slammed the ambulance doors shut.

"I'm right behind you," he called.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?