Friday, 5 June 2015

Guest Post: Nashville Mercy by M. Maitland DeLand, M.D. #JKSCommunications

Paperback, $16.95, ISBN: 978-0-9862241-1-9

eBook, $8.99, ISBN: 978-0-9862241-2-6

Hardcover, $24.95, ISBN: 978-0-9862241-0-2

Mystery, 274 pages

When a promising country music singer on the verge of stardom mysteriously dies after undergoing a routine medical procedure, Kate Katelinson, an investigative reporter for the Nashville Herald, becomes personally tied to the case. After sources connected to the reporter’s investigation start dying, Kate finds herself thrust into a twisted labyrinth of betrayal, corruption, and murder. Armed with only her investigative instincts and an unlikely alliance of friends, the reporter enters a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse with a mastermind more powerful than she could have ever anticipated.

To complicate matters, Kate finds herself torn between her brilliant ex fiancé, and a charismatic hospital executive who both may be after more than her heart.

In her debut novel, Dr. M. Maitland DeLand takes readers through a rollercoaster ride of suspense while touching upon some of the most pressing social and healthcare issues of the 21st century.


When Life Inspires Art

At the heart of medicine is service. When you decide to dedicate your life to medicine, you are dedicating your life to serve and support the wellbeing of others. This is the commitment I made when first embarking on a career in oncology. It’s a commitment I honor today.


 While most of my peers and colleagues share this dedication, there are others who are missing the mark. These kinds of doctors are more motivated by money than service. With this greed comes carelessness and unscrupulous practices.


Some of these doctors, rare as they are, are pocketing extra money by ordering unnecessary tests and procedures for their patients. Their skewed logic runs along the lines of, “What does it hurt if I order an extra test or minor procedure? The patient is receiving extra care, perhaps even preventative care.”


A minor procedure may sound insignificant, but what happens when events don’t go according to plan? The human body is a complex organism with a never-ending list of variables.  Even the slightest misstep can cause the entire system go out of whack.


As I thought more about this little-known corruption in the medical field, that frankly more patients need to be aware of, I realized that not only would writing about it be a force of activism—it would be  a fabulous  entertaining medical thriller!


As I began formulating the story’s plot, I kept on asking, “What if?”


What if a “harmless” procedure prescribed for the pure intent of pocketing extra money went extremely wrong?


What if human life was put on the line—put on the line for no reason other than greed? Who is really paying for this mistake then?


Nashville Mercy, along with its fearless protagonist, Kate Katelinson, were the brainchildren of these questions. The novel’s premise addresses the most terrifying and twisted version of the, “What ifs?” while exploring the themes of power, greed, and justice.


I love inserting my expertise into the foundation of my narratives, and then letting my imagination run wild with the material. This is a time when I’m able to bring the gravity of my medical background and experience onto the creative playing field and watch the magic unfold. Sitting in front of my laptop with a steaming mug of hot chocolate in hand, I’m able to step away from the stress of the day and use it in a creative capacity. For me, there’s nothing better than turning the humdrum hospital halls I traverse on a daily basis into a dazzling new world filled with mysterious characters, dangerous exploits, and sudden plot twists.


Writing Nashville Mercy was a particularly fun process because I got to discard my doctor’s coat and approach the corruption in the story from an outsider’s perspective. Kate Katelinson doesn’t work in the medical field; she has no clue how to conduct a surgery or how to run a medical test. The asset she brings to the table is her unwavering loyalty to truth and justice.


When doctors, or other highly regarded professionals, abuse their power, it’s up to justice-seeking personalities, like Kate Katelinson’s, to hold them accountable. I made Kate strong and curious—even sometimes foolish—in her quest for the truth. It was important to me that her strength also be her source of vulnerability.  Perfect characters are not only boring, they lack the ability to inspire.


When characters with great flaws or setbacks achieve the seemingly impossible we readers walk away from that story feeling empowered. We finish such books with the blood-rushing feeling that if the protagonist we just followed through three hundred pages of suspense can achieve her goals— well, so can we.


This is the spirit behind, Nashville Mercy. It’s a story in which my medical expertise merges with my penchant for crafting suspense thrillers. Most importantly, however, it’s a story in which a vulnerable protagonist with fragile hang-ups and shortcomings—just like yours and mine—must defy great odds or die trying. It’s a story of coming face-to-face with the impossible, and choosing to fight anyway.


M. Maitland DeLand, M.D. makes her novel debut with Nashville Mercy, the first book in her Kate Katelinson murder mystery series. She is also the author of several children’s books collections, including The Great Katie Kate books focused on educating children about medical conditions.

Dr. DeLand is a radiation oncologist and founder of OncoLogics, a group of cancer treatment centers in the southern United States. A leader in her field, Dr. DeLand is chairman of the Health Education Authority of Louisiana Board and also serves as a member of the Professional Advisory Board.  She’s an active philanthropist, who is passionate about supporting diabetes and cancer prevention programs, as well as the special needs of children. Her experience in the medical field is prevalent in the stories she writes.

She also finds ample inspiration for her writing from her deep love of southern culture and colorful southern personalities. Dr. DeLand divides her time between Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee.

She spends her free time growing her fine antiques and art collection. A classic movie buff as well, Dr. DeLand is a regular at the Turner Classic Film Festival. She also never misses Amy Grant and Vince Gill’s Christmas Concert held in Nashville every year.


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