Daughters of the Crescent Moon Trilogy, #1
by Patricia C. Lee
Date of Publication: August 22nd 2015
Publisher: Phoenix Literary Publishing
Cover Artist: Taria Reed
No-nonsense medical examiner, Kelly Richards, relies on the familiar comforts of science and scalpels to get her through the day. So when a not-so-dead guy who claims he's from the past lands on her autopsy table, she considers calling the men in white coats to escort him to a padded room. But Jarek’s old-world ways and hot gaze trick her heart into falling for him—a mistake she swore she’d never make again.
When Jarek, Prince of Leisos, discovers someone he trusts has been slowly poisoning him, he travels to the future in search of a cure. Driven by vengeance, he enlists the help of an impudent scientist to return him to his time.
As they try to find a solution, Kelly struggles with her feelings for Jarek while dodging the police and a visitor from her past.
Caught between his growing desire for Kelly and the need to expose his would-be assassin before they strike again, Jarek must decide between forfeiting his ticket home or losing the only woman he’s ever loved.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/_gSu2sFO48I
Kelly Richards was at her best when surrounded by death. Calm, centered, and confident, she was exactly where she was meant to be.
She plucked a pair of surgical gloves from a box on the counter, snapped them on, walked over to the open file on the desk and glanced at the information. Caucasian male, mid to late thirties, died of an apparent drug overdose.
Although she couldn't understand or agree with people trying to find answers in chemical substances, she felt a momentary pang of sadness at the needless loss of life.
She'd dreamed of becoming an MD because she wanted to help others. Taught to maintain emotional distance from her patients, their pain and grief brought her own inner struggle to the surface—the one buried deep to avoid living it day after day. Unwilling to turn her back on aiding people, she switched careers and became a Medical Examiner to assist families of the dead achieve closure.
Working the evening shift alone at the county morgue was preferable to being with people who made idle conversation, mainly about stuff she had no interest in. It also provided a way to prevent coworker's well-meant intentions to set her up. Her job offered escape from them, allowing her to hide from her past. And herself.
Five metal drawers occupied the far wall of the room, each containing bodies to be autopsied. Kelly pulled open the door to number three, rolled out the drawer, revealing the man she would work on.
Her eyes widened. Most of the time, the prep crew stripped cadavers of their clothing before putting them in the cooler, but if the autopsy couldn't be performed right away, they didn't bother. His clothing wasn't the issue. It was the type of garments that caught her attention. He wore a short sleeve shirt, almost like a tunic, made of a fine, silky material. His loose fitting pants were woven from an odd cloth, not the usual denim or twill. Dust covered dull tan sandals strapped to his feet.
He was foreign, exotic looking. Dark brown hair, longer than the norm, barely brushed broad shoulders. His skin was light bronze, yet the file classified him as Caucasian. A frown pursed her lips. Odd. The people in admitting didn't usually make mistakes. This male appeared of mixed Mexican or Spanish descent, maybe Cuban. She leaned closer. Hmmm. His skin didn't have the ashen grey pallor of death either. She reached out to touch his arm.
The phone on the desk screamed two jangling blasts.
Kelly started, heart pounding against her ribs. Muttering a soft curse, she answered the phone and gave the caller information on a body she'd autopsied earlier.
She braced the desk with a trembling hand. She hadn't been here long and working evenings still made her jumpy.
Her attention reverted to the file on the body she was supposed to autopsy. What the hell? The measurements were all wrong. No way was the body on the slab five-five. More like about six-three. Did she pull the wrong drawer out? The information at the top of the page confirmed no mistake. There must have been some kind of screw-up. Surely someone didn't switch bodies? Checking the others would be the only way to find out.
Kelly marched back to the bank of drawers. As her hand closed around the handle of the second one, a wheezing breath not her own interrupted the silence of the room. She turned in slow motion to the cadaver lying on the slab beside her. Her throat closed. Similar to a scene out of a horror movie, the dead man's chest rose and fell. Not the final gasp of air escaping lungs at death, he inhaled and exhaled in a slow, shallow rhythm.
Grabbing the edge of the slab for stability, she shut her eyes.
Easy girl. Calm down, it's just your imagination. When you open your eyes, there will be a dead person on the slab, and he will not be breathing.
"Oh, for heaven's sake. This is ridiculous. He's dead."
"Not yet," the body whispered.
Pat is a playwright and award winning author who has had a love affair with the written word since childhood, many times immersing herself in the stories of Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene. An active imagination gave inspiration to short stories and her first play as a teen.
Her full-length play, The Truth About Lies, was staged at a regional theatrical competition in 2006. She was selected as "One of 50 Authors You Should be Reading" in 2012. One of her novels achieved a finalist slot in the 2013 International Book Award Contest - fantasy category. She is also the winner of the 15th Annual Writer's Digest Short Story contest for A Holy Night.
Although still in pursuit of a place truly called home, Pat shares her life with her husband and three cats, all of which claim rule over the house at one point or another. Besides dreaming up the next novel, she enjoys traveling, baking, camping, wine, and of course reading – not necessarily in that order.
PATRICIA LEE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. What is your favorite line in Destiny’s Past? “When I came back from the pickup there were definitely five bodies in the morgue,” only one of them was still alive
2. Name one thing on your bucket list. Skydiving, which my husband bought for me when I became published and no, I didn’t scream like a little girl. I loved it!
3. What animal best describes your personality and why I’d say probably the cheetah. First off, as with any female animal I’m very protective of the ones I love. Also I don’t mind getting my “paws” dirty, and female cheetahs tend to be more solitary or live with their offspring, not like lions who live in groups (I’ve been told I’m fiercely independent!). Mostly, though, I can be fierce on the outside but just a big pussycat on the inside J
4. If you could speak with any person, past or present who would it be? Stephanie Powers because I think she’s brilliant and wickedly smart. I believe she speaks seven languages and I so admire what she does with William Holden Wildlife Foundation.
5. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, or peanut butter cookie? Absolutely chocolate chip, in fact make it a double dark chocolate chip and I’m there!
6. Where do you go or what do you do to get inspired to write? I don’t go anywhere special to get inspired since ideas come to me no matter where I am. But I have taken a week and rented a cabin with no TV, internet or radio and I go there just to write. It’s on one of the Great Lakes and the scenery is great for evoking those writing vibes.
7. If you were granted one wish, what would it be? For most of my life, I’ve only wished for good health and am very lucky to say I have gotten my wish. But if I did want something else, as corny as this is going to sound, it would be for the whole world to just get along.
8. Best Halloween costume you ever wore? I was in my early twenties and got dressed up as a greaser guy. My girlfriend drew a five o’clock shadow on my face and a tattoo on my arm (long before everyone jumped on that bandwagon) and she helped me bind my chest. It was so convincing, some young girls tried to pick me up at a donut shop after work, that is until I started talking LOL!
9. Name one thing you hate. Easy. Top of the list – dishonesty
10. Favorite piece of clothing I’d have to say boots. Doesn’t matter if they are cowboy boots or ankle boots. Just no minus fifty below snow boots.
11. What author influenced you to pick up the pen? Sidney Sheldon. A very sad day for me when I died.
12. How long have you been actively writing? More than 20 years.
13. How many rejections did you receive before you got the call for your first published book? Over 120 – yeah, ouch.
14. Favorite toy as a child? Hot Wheels racing car set
15. If you could travel either forward or back to any time what era would you pick and why? Definitely forward because I would hope humanity can move past their differences. One of the many reasons I love the original Star Trek
16. Name one thing you would like to change about yourself, whether physical or emotional. Try not to be so emotional at times.
17. Are you a plotter, or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer? Plotter, all the way.
18. What’s on your bedside table to read right now? Darkness Unleashed by Alexandra Ivy. Awesome series!
19. Who is your Favorite author (can be past or present)? Can I answer both? Past is Sidney Sheldon. Present is the incomparable Darynda Jones
20. Do you have background noise (music, tv, etc) when you write or do you need silence? Total silence. I’ve even gone so far as to write in my car parked in my driveway using an extension cord if my husband is making noise working on the house.
21. If Destiny’s Past was made into a movie, whom would you cast as your hero and heroine? I’ve been asked this question a few times and the only thing I can think of, is when I first started writing the book, I thought of Alyssa Milano to play Kelly. But that was a number of years ago and I don’t think that’s feasible now. As for Jarek, I have absolutely no clue. I must be the only author who doesn’t dream of having someone famous play their leading man. <shrug>
22. Would you consider writing outside your current genre and if so what would it be? I have considered it and may lean toward contemporary romantic suspense instead of paranormal. Or maybe even mystery with very little romance.
23. Any special words of wisdom you would care to share with other writers still trying to break into the field? Yes. What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want? Family time? Career? Sleep? Because something has to give while you’re pounding on the keys.
24. What’s next? I am hoping to get into a new series in a different genre. Just waiting to see if the character can hold her weight during the book.
Anyone want to chime in on any of these answers with some of their own?