Blog Archives

The Great Equalizer

Author Interview
Dennis Ross Author Interview

The Perfect Match follows a young man with renal disease who realizes that patients ahead of him on the transplant list are mysteriously dying. Nick Seratino is an interesting character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

It’s my feeling that in Italian families, if there is only one son, he’s likely the favorite child. Framing him as a wealthy, spoiled child that got what he wanted one way or another ( through his father mostly and his good looks), he had everything going for him until he got the news that he had end stage renal failure, and this became a life-changing event. I’ve seen this many times throughout my career. It can make people better or sometimes worse facing a life-threatening illness. In this case Nick was exposed to the other side of society in the dialysis center which I often say is the great equalizer. You can find a drug addict sitting next to a judge. Nick’s exposure to Derrick makes him realize what a true friend really is. I chose Nick’s father to make the story more intriguing with twists and turns relying on Emilio’s nefarious past to captivate the reader.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

All in all, I wanted to educate the reader about what someone goes through facing dialysis and the need for a kidney transplant. From your review, it appears I was able to accomplish this and still make the story enjoyable to read.

How far
would you go
to save someone
you love?

Nick Seratino is a vibrant, handsome young man starting college when he receives a terrible diagnosis. He has end stage renal disease, requiring dialysis and ultimately a new kidney, and is placed on a transplant waiting list.

Emilio Seratino is not willing to watch his son waste away. There are “many options” for a new kidney, and Emilio plans to utilize them all. When patients ahead of Nick on the waiting list start mysteriously dying, the authorities are called in to investigate. Meanwhile, Nick’s condition digs up family secrets better left buried.

Much as John Grisham educates readers about legal topics, Dr. Dennis Ross showcases his medical knowledge in The Perfect Match, teaching readers about kidney failure with many a thrilling twist and turn up to the final bloody crescendo.

You Find Out Who Your True Friends Are

Robert John DeLuca Author Interview

The Covid Kid follows a young adult in his first year of college who has all his plans turned upside down with the emergence of COVID. What made you write a story about this topic?

The pandemic had such an overwhelming influence on us all. I simply could not ignore the impact on my upbeat protagonist, who always seems to come out okay in the end but never takes the straightforward path. Placing the most important person in his life at risk with COVID, under circumstances that might have been attributable to him, created suspense and concern for my readers. 

Marshall’s plans for his first year of college change dramatically, and he has to adapt to many changes. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Boiled all the way down, it is a critical part of the maturation process from childhood to adult. Thankfully, most kids ease into adulthood without facing major trauma on the way, but they will have to deal with it at some point in their lives.

Marshall lived an admirable life with a sincere concern for others. I wanted to show that even the very best have problems, but his faith and perseverance won out in the end.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The pandemic was very serious business and should not be taken lightly, as it was by many young people. Marshall lost friends close to him and realized COVID must be dealt with seriously. Financial pressure can turn almost anyone to compromise their ideals and sworn allegiances, even a Hippocratic oath. When adversity rears its ugly head, you find out who your true friends really are.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next book in the Marshall Morris series is “The Battle of Sam Jacinto”.  (Yes, “Sam”) Marshall aligns himself with a group of old vets who rally with slingshots and baseball bats at the planned destruction of a Vietnam era local hero statue for a shopping center. In the process he forgets the proliferation of slavery advocated by many of the monuments and impact on his girlfriend African American Mallory. The one after that with a working title of “Hugs and Drugs” is about half written. Hopefully out in time for Christmas.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Texas high school graduate Marshall Morris is set to enter college when the COVID pandemic explodes into his life. Usually unsinkable, he is shaken but endures his “prison-like” quarantine with good cheer, thanks mostly to long chats with girlfriend Mallory.
The devastating loss of senior citizen war veteran buddies who survived combat bullets, but not this bug, leads him to become grimly serious about the pandemic, and he rails against young people who refuse to take precautions. His worst fears are realized when his precious mother is struck down by the dread disease, which he is certain he gave to her.
Though she worsens in an ICU he is unable to visit. He tries to keep busy working at a struggling real estate company. The owner, desperate for cash, becomes the middleman. in a bizarre international scheme to inject a bogus miracle cure into COVID patients at a local hospital. Marshall is shocked to learn the surely fatal drug will be given to his mother. He must get to her ICU before it is too late. The hospital’s COVID ward is a fortress. Can he get to her in time?

The Covid Kid: Another Marshall Morris Adventure

Robert John DeLuca’s The Covid Kid follows the misadventures of Marshall Morris, who we encounter as a high school student embarking on his first year at college. Having won an enviable football scholarship, Marshall expects his college experience to be full of sport and socializing — yet the encroaching presence of an unfamiliar virus threatens everything. As fear and tensions surrounding the virus continue to build, Marshall must decide what sacrifices he is willing to make for the good of his friends and the wider community. In the face of worldwide tragedy and conflicting opinions, the value of friendship is made clearer than ever before — something that the carefree Marshall must learn the hard way.

With its warm and humorous cast of teenagers, alongside ambitious antagonist Tommy Kinder, The Covid Kid encourages its readers to laugh ruefully at the hijinks and efforts of its characters — efforts which frequently backfire. There is a vein of tragedy that runs alongside this comic adventure, however — set during the rise of Covid-19, this story does well at balancing fun action with thoughtful commentary.

While I enjoyed the story, I felt that there were moments when we’re given a lot of exposition, and are told things about characters rather than shown. Otherwise, Marshall is a likable character that readers will enjoy following and the plot is compelling. The dialogue is straightforward and and delivers facts in a reporter-style of speech that serves an educational purpose, as characters’ fearful discussion of the impact of the virus marks a particular point in human history.

The Covid Kid successfully explores the effects of Covid-19 on society, particularly the younger generation. This is a compelling medical thriller that is as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Pages: 284 | ASIN: B09XWFMPR3

Buy Now From Amazon

The Perfect Match

The dread of discovering that your body is betraying you tends to leave you with more questions than answers. No one wants to wake up sick to their stomach out of nowhere and end up scheduling a doctor visit, only to then hear some upsetting news.

When young Nick, the son of Emilio Seratino, found out he was more ill than he thought, you instantly felt how heart-crushing the news was to receive. Nineteen-year-old Nick is suffering from a condition discovered from a minor car accident. Now, he must be on dialysis treatment before being added to the transplant list. As if the news couldn’t get any worse, the discussion of a perfectly matched donor has come up and the odds are not working in Seratino’s favor. Nick tries his best to create a sense of normalcy in his life. From attending classes, eating according to a restrictive diet, and taking treatments a few times a week, he seems to be managing quite well. The Seratinos are doing their best to help Nick while ensuring they remain hopeful for his future. Experiencing life through different lenses has allowed Nick a new appreciation for life and he’s become serious with his intentions. But something shocking is happening at the treatment center. The deaths of a few patients seem irregular. Could it be foul play?

The Perfect Match is a riveting medical thriller that grounds the story using accurate medical terminology. All the medical jargon feels real but understandable, and because of this sense of authenticity when patients start mysteriously dying it feels all the more real, terrifying and intriguing because of it.

This is a suspenseful crime fiction story that is as edifying as it is entertaining. The author’s knowledge of medicine is clearly seen throughout the story and I felt like I walked away from this book smarter. Readers will learn how important it is to have proper matching, especially where organs and possible transplants are involved.

The story slowly builds its characters so that we get to understand the emotional impact of kidney failure and how it affects everyone. The emotional weight is felt throughout the story and readers will empathize with Nick, even if they cannot relate. The Perfect Match showcases the hardships of dialysis and renal disease and inserts a compelling crime thriller in the middle of it.

Pages: 173 | ASIN: B07TTG6MZL

Buy Now From Amazon

Sociopathic Surgeon

Sociopathic Surgeon, by Mitchell D. Miller, is a dark and suspenseful read that consists of a series of unsettling vignettes, each a jumbled stream of consciousness that I found similarly exhausting and exciting. Our narrator, Sonny, meets a hurricane of a woman named Sara and marries her. Yes, she’s the “sociopathic surgeon.” Throughout much of the story, we witness many events where Sara matter-of-factly screams orders at people and makes questionable decisions with seemingly little to no consequences. Sonny himself is lost in the bottom of the bottle, and the whole thing is rather delightful in a slow-moving train wreck sort of way.

The novel’s tone is fluid as each vignette tells a different piece of the story. For example, when mentioning his own mother, Sonny states, “She was an unmedicated schizophrenic because Dad liked her that way.” It’s tough to tell if we’re to see that as a dark, dry joke or if we’re to pity her as a hopelessly lost soul struggling with her own mental illness. There are lines like this throughout the entire novel, where the reader is left wondering if we should feel sorry for the characters or if we should simply experience them the way they experience the ridiculously hard and absurd life around them.

Each of the strange situations seems to stem from Sara’s recklessness, as the main characters move from one place to another, dealing with alcoholics, racists, and drug dealers. Much of what happens seems to take place in a dream, as the author uses simple sentences to express some pretty heavy events that should elicit intense emotions. There’s a synchronicity in some of the narration that adds to the feeling of being swept away with the story. It’s hard to find your bearings, and I feel this was precisely the author’s intention.

Sociopathic Surgeon is a medical suspense thriller that leaves readers guessing from one page to the next. This is one novel you must keep reading to see where the characters end up. Can they break the cycle of abuse, or are they destined to repeat the past with their own lives.

Pages: 204 | ASIN : B006T0ZMVC

Buy Now From Amazon

Evidence Of Our Humanity

Dimple Patel Desai Author Interview

The Lambda Factor follows two doctors who are trapped in a hospital and must find a way to stay alive when a deadly virus is unleashed. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I have lived in both Texas and Florida, experiencing several hurricanes. After residency I personally assisted in disaster recovery efforts at the Dallas Medical Society Mega shelter in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey and in Puerto Rico in 2017 after Hurricane Irma. As such I am truly passionate about bringing awareness from a healthcare standpoint about the complexities that transpire during a crisis to a broader audience.

I have drawn deeply from my background as a family physician and scientist to bring The Lambda Factor to life. I’ve always felt that pop culture portrays medicine in a very one-dimensional light – either we are cold and calculating like House MD or over dramatized situations like in Grey’s Anatomy. I wanted to show a lay audience a more nuanced view of our job, possibly show some evidence of our humanity, and our vulnerabilities especially during a complex scenario like natural disasters.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the character’s personalities grow organically as you were writing?

They were an inspiration from people around me and myself, but they evolved the more the story evolved. There has an outline at the beginning at the start of the novel because I knew where I wanted where I wanted them to, however how they got there has changed and evolved as the story changed.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

Yes, most definitely. My character’s personalities and nuances were drawn from myself and the people around me.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have started writing a sequel which is another disaster medical fiction thriller. It is based in Canada where dormant pathogens that were once living under glaciers are now awakening due to climate change. So the story follows the aftermath of that. Not sure when it will be ready though.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“When people are dying, it’s easier sometimes. You can be
all-powerful-even heroic. You don’t have to think about how much courage it takes to dwell among the living, to fight for your own life. Lots of caregivers get addicted that way.”

When a category five hurricane threatens a Galveston hospital, patients and nonessential personnel are required to evacuate.
Doctors Danica Diza and Shaka Sen, a chief family medicine resident and a surgical attending respectively, are tapped, along with a skeleton crew, to stay during the storm and care for remaining patients. Their facade of confidence is shattered, however, when the hospital’s inhabitants are exposed to a weaponized strain of a virus with a forty percent death rate. Forced into quarantine, they must struggle to survive the ravages of the hurricane, a shortage of supplies, and the virus that threatens them all.
Written by physician and debut author Dimple Desai, this striking medical thriller provokes readers to consider the dangerous trends happening in our world today and the global changes needed to abate them.

The Lethal Elixir

The Lethal Elixir by Dennis Ross is a mystery romance novel that follows the events of a strange outbreak at Deaconess Hospital in Chicago. First, a man is brought in ailing from an unknown disease, prompting the staff to call on Dr. Maggie Hamilton, one of their Infectious Diseases specialists, for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, it is discovered the man has an altered strain of Ebola. Soon more people are found with the strain, sending the hospital into an outbreak scenario. In their search for answers to the origins, Maggie teams up with the FBI, led by Agent Matthew Johnson. As the pair investigate the possible source of Ebola, they uncover a nefarious plot on the nation and possibly find love along the way.

I find Maggie to be everything I’m looking for in a leading lady: a smart, stand on your own kind of woman. She’s the head of her field and quickly takes charge. Matthew Mack, to most people, is a great leading man. He’s described as strong and handsome, but he’s also not afraid to show his creative side in things like dancing. These are unique characters who compliment each other well. I also liked the medical side of the story. It was well researched for that genuine “I could believe I’m in a hospital right now” feel. I also loved that we saw from the villains’ side of the story. It kept me interested in reading and wondering if our pair would stave off the dark plot we saw unfurling.

While the concept of the novel is stellar, I didn’t feel like the mechanics of the story succeeded in conveying that concept in a way that was equally compelling. I felt that the dialogue could have used some of the creativity that went into the plot to breakup the otherwise stiff writing. This is a medical thriller so there is a lot of technical medical jargon that is being used, which provides an authentic feel to the story, but I would have liked a medical term dictionary at the back of the book to help me understand the technical terms.

This fast-paced novel is an instalove romance. The characters fall in love quickly, and given that they are rushing to stop an epidemic, this feels plausible. The high-stress conditions, and working closely with someone you find attractive, set them up for romance while still getting their job done. The relationship adds to the drama of the plot rather than overtaking it.

The Lethal Elixir is a dramatic medical mystery novel that feels realistic. The attention to detail with the medical conditions adds credibility to the story. In addition, readers will get caught up in the whirlwind romance of the characters as they work to stop a worldwide epidemic.

Pages: 280 | ASIN : B09CD4669N

Buy Now From Amazon

Type B

Type B is set in Cincinnati in 2006. Courier John Davis has worked as a Biological Fluid Courier for Christ Hospital for twenty years. When John began noticing unusual activity, he starts paying attention to the increase in blood tests at the lab. What follows is the discovery of the Sanguis virus, which is responsible for the disease called BARD – B Antigen Resistive Disease. Anyone with a blood type other than type B could die from this disease. John comes up with a daring plan to save his family while the impact of BARD is felt by the entire world.

Type B is a thrilling and fascinating novel that provides readers with detailed scenes, intriguing characters, and uniquely unusual events. Author Steve Mitchell provides a visionary look at what could happen if the world is struck by a fast-acting and lethal disease.

I enjoyed Steve Mitchell’s writing style because it is fast-paced and succinct. I found myself wanting to read more and it was hard to put this book down as it was eerily relatable to current events. Johns character felt authentic and his family also felt realistic. This helps ground this otherwise wild story and propels the story forward in a way that feels like it could happen.

John’s character is intense but he can also be caring and I feel like he really pulls the reader into this thrilling novel. John’s children are also believable characters as they are innocent and unaware of what is going on in the world. It is through them that the reader gets to experience what it would be like to risk family members in such a catastrophe. This brings a surprisingly emotional aspect to a novel that is overtly intense.

There are many scenes throughout the book that are very detailed. If you are a reader that enjoys detailed scenes then you will enjoy the visuals the author creates of the events taking place. The reader is able to feel the intensity and the stress that this virus brings to Cinncinati as the characters in the story either take it seriously or don’t.

Type B is a fascinating and fast-paced medical thriller. In a dystopian society, readers will feel the suspense as John and his family fight for their very survival. This novel is best for mature audiences due to the nature of some of the scenes.

Pages: 285 | ASIN : B08Z738LW2

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: