Best-selling romance author Maya Smith’s life is far different from the characters she creates in her novels. Left to raise a baby without the assistance of the married father, she has given up on finding a prince on a white horse to rescue her.
Enter Cardiologist and single father, Ford Tucker. Dr. Tucker is all work and no play. He has dedicated his life to work and raising his daughter. When Ford becomes Maya’s Cardiologist, he is instantly smitten with her.
Sparks fly and the passion’s hot as ever between the two. But just when Ford thinks he has finally found Ms. Right, and Maya thinks she’s found her prince, a devastating secret is revealed that will rock the core of their relationship. Will their bond survive the terrible secret? Or will Ford end up alone and Maya prince less?
Targeted Audience: 20 50 women
Best-selling author, playwright and entrepreneur Dee Dee M. Scott’s motto is “The sky is not the limit; the limit is higher than the sky” and with her extensive resume of creative works, she is certainly doing her part to live up to that motto.
Born and raised in Florence, South Carolina, Scott exploded onto the scene in 2009 with her debut novel, My Husband’s Woman, a tale of love and deception which Scott later adapted into a stage play that toured South Carolina and continues to successfully tour to this day. The play earned Scott The Golden Pen Playwright Award, and the Columbia Theater Review named her Playwright to Watch in 2013.
Scott’s follow-up novel, Sent From Heaven, was released in 2013, and she recently served as supervising producer for the horror movie Lake House, a psychological thriller that will hit select theaters soon. (www.lakehousefilm.com)
When Scott isn’t writing, she runs Awesome Scott PR Firm & Talent Agency with her husband and heads her non-profit, Joseph & Kathy Gregg’s Child, which provides theater and acting classes for children, teens and adults.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Years ago, while vacationing with my family, the idea for the story popped into my head. It stayed on my mind for the remainder of the trip. I couldn’t wait to get home to write out my thoughts. I wrote the first book and had no intention of writing about them after that, but the characters continued speaking and before I realized it, I had a story for each family member.
Read more, including a sample from the book
Sample from Book:
“My life is never going to be the same,” Maya Smith whispered. Her dark brown eyes twinkled with joy. She studied the snugly wrapped infant, asleep on the hospital bed. Gently, she stroked the baby's tiny hand. The little one whimpered, but remained in a sweet sleep. The newborn had taken her dimples, but the caramel hue and round face had come from the handsome father.
He should be here, Maya thought. Tears burned her eyes. She shook her head. She would not ruin the joyous moment by crying. This was the second happiest day of her life. Yesterday, she’d delivered an eight pound baby girl who she named Angel. Within minutes after the infant’s birth, she’d felt an intense attachment to her. She loved the little one more than life itself.
Picking up the telephone, she dialed the familiar digits. She hadn’t called him in months, but he had to know about his child. She was surprised to hear someone was on the line.
“Congratulations on the baby!” It was her literary agent, Kimberly Davis. “Your book is on the New York Times bestseller’s list again!”
“Thank you, Kim.” Maya plopped down on chair next to the bed, happy that her career was going so well.
She was a popular Romance author who’d been writing bestsellers for the past twelve years. However, her love life was far different from the beautiful characters and perfect endings she crafted in her novels.
This is not supposed to be my life, she couldn’t help but to think as Kim continued chatting. She was supposed to have a successful career, a loving husband and then a baby. Instead, the successful career as a writer had come first. When she was nineteen, she’d sold her first book to her current publisher. Immediately, her book had turned into a bestseller and won many awards.
Afterwards, any novel she wrote became gold. She was dubbed the queen of romance and writing full time as she traveled the United States, greeting adoring fans. Then she met him. Her heart dropped.
“Can I get back with you later, Kim?” Maya asked.
“I’m afraid not. We need to talk. You’re deadline is approaching.”
Maya squeezed her eyes shut and sighed. “Can you give me some time to get situated?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Kimberly said. “I know you haven’t had much time to write due to your pregnancy and the birth of your baby, but I need book three of: Late Night Creep, ASAP. Your fans are anxious for a follow up, and so am I. Please, tell me what’s going to happen between Jewel and Tyson,” she added, referring to the popular characters in the book.
Maya shook her head. She had no idea what road she would lead her famous characters down this time. Lately, her mind had been so stressed, she’d developed writer’s block. “You’ll find out soon,” she promised. She said goodbye before disconnecting the call.
She massaged her neck. She felt a tension headache building. She tried not to think about how she’d gone through her pregnancy alone, without him or his support. As she stood, her heart began palpitating. She became lightheaded. She leaned on the wall for support. Maybe she was stressing too much. Her Cardiologist had warned her to take it easy and not to worry. Her heart condition was sure to land her in the hospital if she didn’t heed to his advice.
At seven weeks into her pregnancy, Maya’s Cardiologist had diagnosed her with Mitral Valve Prolapse, the most common congenital heart issue found in women of childbearing age. She would have to take good care of herself if she planned on being there to raise her child. Still, she couldn’t help but to think about him. He should be here, Maya thought once again.
She shook her head in disgust and moved to the hospital bed. She scooped up the baby and placed it gently into the basinet. She was exhausted. Her back ached, and she was sore from the stitches.
However, with her smile and fancy attire, no one could tell she was in pain.
She walked the short distance to the mirror and fixed her curly, red hair. She massaged lotion onto her arms that was the matching shade of a russet potato. She scrutinized her curvy, petite figure. She’d just had a baby, however she didn’t look it. Except for the barely noticeable belly pouch, she looked excellent.
She reached for the telephone, this time being sure the line was clear before dialing the familiar digits.
Her breath stopped short in her chest when she heard Big D’s deep voice. She was unable to speak.
“Hello? Who is this?”
“Maya,” she whispered, incapable of making her voice register any louder.
There was a brief pause followed by erratic breathing. “Why are you calling?”
“I had our baby.”
“Baby?” His voice cracked. “I paid you five hundred dollars to get rid of it!”
Maya’s heart pounded in her neck. Her sweaty hand tightened around the phone. “The ‘it’ you’re referring to is a girl. She’s your daughter. Her name is Angel.” Tears blinded her view. She paused to gain control over her quivering voice. “I didn't go through with the abortion. I couldn’t get rid of her. I’m glad I made that decision. You should see her. She’s beautiful.”
“Are you serious?" Big D laughed, but his chuckle held no trace of humor. "How do I know she’s mines?”
“You were the only man I was sleeping with.”
“That’s what they all say,” he snapped.
Maya squeezed her eyes shut in anger. “We can take a DNA test.”
“Look, you decided to have her, so she’s your problem. I’m married. I have a family, remember?”
“So what are you saying?”
“Set up the DNA testing, but don’t expect anything from me. I’ll gladly sign away my parental rights if she’s mines.”
Stunned, Maya hung up the telephone. Tears leaked from her eyes. Quickly, she wiped them away. She would not cry or stress over this situation.
At the moment, she had to face the facts: Big D didn’t want to be a part of his daughter’s life. She would not force him. She could do it on her own. She had all the right ingredients to raise the baby by herself. She was successful, financially stable, and lived in a luxury, gated community. After the DNA test, Big D would never hear from her again.
The baby began crying. Angel was hungry. Smiling, Maya quickly retrieved a bottle and scooped the baby into her arms. She sat in the rocking chair, adoring the tiny miracle. She’d done her part by telling Big D about his child. It was on him if he didn’t take an active role in her life.
She kissed the baby's wrinkled forehead. “It’s just you and me,” she whispered tenderly as she fed her. “Mommy promises she will take good care of you.”
Unlike her romance novels, there would be no happy ending, or a prince on a white horse to rescue her and be a father figure to her child. She was on her own.
Cardiologist Ford Tucker waved off the thunderous applause of the nurses as he exited the surgery room at the Heart Hospital. Minutes ago, he had completed implanting a defibrillator in the chest of forty-year-old father of three, Todd Edmonds.
A week earlier, Todd had been rushed into the emergency room, complaining of searing pain in his chest. The heart attack had damaged his heart, causing it to beat irregularly.
Today, Dr. Ford Tucker had inserted the defibrillator in his chest with ease. The entire procedure had taken less than two hours, and would keep Todd’s heart beating regularly. He would be able to raise his children, and hopefully, grow old with his loving wife.
Ford breathed a sigh of satisfaction. He strolled into the hospital’s waiting room. He informed Todd’s wife that the procedure was a success, and that he was being transferred to a monitored room. “I’ll check on him later,” he promised.
Saving a life was one of the best parts of Ford’s job, but nothing compared to the feeling he got when he saw the pain ebb from the families’ faces once he informed them that their love one’s would be okay.
He did not want to fail them, or their families. More importantly, he didn't want any family to feel the pain of losing someone they loved. When he’d been twelve, he had experienced that pain. Now, he worked ten times harder on every patient to ensure their love ones wouldn’t have to.
After hugs and countless praises from Todd’s family, Ford exited the Heart hospital. His work seemed to never end. He had new patients to visit at the Labor and Delivery unit.
He whistled as he maneuvered from one building to the next. Soon, he was in the Maternity Ward. He glowed as he headed down the hallway. His size thirteen shoes clicked on the shiny, white tile. His blackberry began singing. Reaching into the pocket of his dry cleaned jacket, he lifted it to his ear.
Ford cracked his Colgate smile. It was his six- year- old daughter, Claire. “Hello beautiful. What are you doing?”
“Waiting for you.”
“I have a few more patients to see." He glanced at his watch. "I should be home in an hour, sweetheart.”
“Pinky promise.” He laughed.
Ford believed in keeping his word. His number one pet peeve was when someone lied. He’d been lead astray in the past. It had almost ruined him, so whenever he told someone he was going to do something, he did it no matter what. He was not a perfect man, but in that area of his life, he was flawless.
“Hurry, daddy,” Claire said excitedly. “I want to give you the picture I painted before I leave.”
“Are you spending tonight with your Aunt Emily again?”
“No, daddy. Mommy’s picking me up.”
Ford cringed. His ex fiancé, Simone, was far from being a mother. She'd almost broken little Claire’s spirit with her lies. “Claire, I don’t want you to get your hopes up too high. Your mother has told you many times before that she was coming and never showed up.”
“But daddy.” Claire whined. “Mommy promised.”
“I know but-”
“When you make promises to me, you always keep them,” Claire interrupted. “Mommy will too.”
“Look sweetie; I’ll be there soon,” he said, deciding not to upset Claire any further. Even though he was sure he knew the outcome of this situation, he would wait and see how things played out. Maybe, by some miracle, Simone would show up this time. “I’ve got a surprise for you,” he said, changing the subject.
“Did you get the puppy?”
“You’ll see when I get there.” He laughed as he thought about the cute, black bull dog he would pick up on his way home. It would go perfectly with the new house that they'd moved into yesterday. He thought about all the unpacking he had to do and sighed. “See you later, baby girl.”
Ford stopped in front of the nurse’s station at the maternity ward. He flipped through the chart in his hand. “Hello; I’m Cardiologist Ford Tucker. I’m here to see, Ms. Smith.”
Twelve pairs of women’s eyes swiveled in his direction. The flock of giggly nurses rushed to the front desk.
“Let me get her information for you, honey,” the head nurse said flirtatiously.
“My name is Fatima,” she shared as she gave him the files. She grinned, revealing a gap tooth smile. Fatima moved her hand to her name tag, but not without first letting a finger slide slowly across her double D breasts peeping out of the top of her nurse’s uniform like two water balloons.
Being the breast man that he was, Ford shot a quick glance, but he wasn’t at all interested. For the past six years, he’d been a workaholic who busied himself with saving lives and more importantly, raising his daughter.
“Where is Dr. Bailey at today?” Fatima asked, blushing.
“I’m replacing him,” Ford said, jotting down notes on his chart.
“Oh; that’s too bad.” Fatima smiled. “Well, we look forward to working with you.”
Ford smiled as Fatima gave him the patient’s room number. He could feel their eyes burning holes into his back as he moved away. He overheard one of the nurses say he had a nice butt. He was sure it was Fatima. He listened to them all giggling. He shook his head and smiled as he traveled down the hallway.
Stopping at the closed door of room 333, he studied his chart. He always familiarized himself with his patient’s information before meeting them. He knocked twice before entering.
“Hello, Ms. Smith. I’m Dr.-” Ford lost his train of thought and everything else on his brain when he saw the stunning woman with the curly, red hair standing over the bassinet.
He could not move his eyes away from her. She had the most seductive dark brown eyes he’d ever seen. She smiled slowly, revealing a sexy grin and dimples. He felt as if his heart was a drum, beating outside of his chest.
Ford looked at his chart again, thinking that maybe he'd entered the wrong room. “Does this room belong to Ms. Smith?”
“Call me Maya,” she said, stepping to him.
“You’re Ms. Smith… I mean, Maya?” Ford asked in skepticism.
Ford shook his head, trying to pull his mind together. “You certainly don’t look like you had a baby yesterday.” His eyes quickly appraised her fit body clad in a black Mossimo dress that accentuated every part of her pleasing 5’10 figure.
Maya took a few steps toward him and folded her arms across her chest. “Tell me doctor; how does a woman who just had a baby look?”
He was caught off guard by her forwardness. "Uh… not like you," he muttered.
Maya smiled, revealing a perfect set of choppers. "This is 2012, doctor," she said with sassiness. "Women no longer have to stay in a hospital bed after delivery. Times have changed.”
"They certainly have," Ford agreed. He shook his head as he slowly appraised her again. Being that he was a well traveled Cardiologist, he’d seen many types of women, but Maya was the most stunning of them all, and the confidence she had made her even more alluring.
"Do you have a name, Doctor?" Maya asked, taking another step closer.
“Where is my head?” He extended his huge hand. “I’m Dr. Ford Tucker; your new Cardiologist.”
Maya’s arched brows furrowed. “What happened to Dr. Bailey?”
Ford sat his chart on the table. “I’m replacing him.”
“You look a little too young to be a heart doctor.” Maya’s gaze followed the tall giant to the sink where he began lathering his huge hands.
Ford chuckled softly. She’s a feisty and aggressive little thing, he thought as he dried his hands. He turned toward her. “For the record, I’m thirty-eight."
“I hope you can provide quality treatment like Dr. Bailey being I have a baby I have to be around for.”
He threw the paper towel into the trash bin. "I’m more than qualified to treat you. That is, if you will give me a chance.”
"Fair enough," Maya answered.
Ford breezed past her to the bassinet. He peered at the ball of pink and found the chubby face of a sleeping baby peeping out.
“She’s beautiful,” Ford complimented, thinking of his daughter then. “Her father must be very proud.”
“Actually, he’s not. I’m her father and her mother.”
Ford was unable to hide his shock that a woman this eye-catching did not have a husband planted by her side. He felt the urge to tell her that, but he was professional and could sense she was becoming upset, so he directed his compliment to the baby. “Well, it’s hard to believe a father wouldn’t be proud of this pretty, little one,” he said, stroking the baby’s plump cheeks. “I’m sure you are a proud mother.”
“Yes, I am.”
As she spoke, Ford couldn’t help but to watch her sexy lips decorated in what smelled like cherry lip balm. He imagined how good it would feel having those lips sucking on his neck, chest, and her tongue swirling around his.
Suddenly, he realized she had stopped speaking and that he was just staring at her. This had never happened with any of his other patients. He prided himself on being professional. He did not know what was wrong with him? Embarrassed, he cleared his throat and looked away. “I need to check your heart. Please lay down on the bed.”
Maya dutifully did as she was told.
Ford watched as she moved away. His heart jack-hammered when her dress inched up, revealing her shapely thighs and toned legs. Instantly, he became aroused. If she continued affecting him this way, he was the one going to need a heart doctor.
“Unbutton your dress,” Ford ordered.
Maya’s left brow elevated.
“I need to listen to your heart,” he quickly clarified. Nervously, he pulled the stethoscope from around his neck.
Maya wrapped her manicured fingers around the button. Slowly and seductively, she unloosened every one, teasing him with the possibilities of what was beneath.
Sweat began forming on Ford’s forehead as her bra peeped out. Her breasts were full and firm just the way he liked. He forced his gaze to her eyes which were even more alluring, and to top it off, she had the nerve to have dimples.
His hands trembled as he placed the stethoscope under her breast. He forced himself to focus on her heart and lungs. He didn’t want to miss anything. He was determined to give every patient quality care.
Instead of the normal lubb-dupp of a healthy heart, he heard swishing. It was an obvious sign of the midsystolic click. The valve, which separated the upper and lower chambers of the left side of her heart, was not closing properly. He told her to stand and the murmur grew louder. After a few minutes of checking, he pulled the stethoscope away and placed it back around his neck.
“Any chest pain or difficulty breathing?” Ford asked, retrieving his medical chart and taking notes.
“No,” Maya answered, buttoning her dress.
“What about shortness of breath when lying flat?”
“Do you have heart palpitations?”
Ford eyeballed her. Damn, she's gorgeous and her smile… He shook his head and forced himself not to stare. “I need for you to make an appointment at my clinic so that I can run more tests, and do an MRI of your chest.”
“Is something wrong?” Maya asked, running a hand through her red curls.
He caught a whiff of her hair scent and almost lost his train of thought again. “No; everything is fine," he assured her. The truth was the appointment would guarantee he’d get the chance to see her again. He wanted that badly. He did not understand what was happening with him, or why he was so intrigued by Maya, but there was something about her that made him want to know more.
"This heart condition should not negatively affect your lifestyle," Ford said, pulling out a pen. "But just to be on the safe side, I want to make sure that the prolaspe is not causing blood to leak backwards, causing mitral regurgitation.”
He cleared his throat and began scribbling his John Hancock on the prescription. “In the meantime, I want you to continue your medication. Here’s a prescription for the heart palpitations.” Ford shook her hand to signal the end of the conversation. Her hand was soft, and her fingertips were manicured and polished. His mind conjured up another wicked daydream. He imagined her fingernails clawing at his back as he slid deep inside her body. Quickly, he shot down his lustful fantasy.
At this moment, he had to get away. He was a little too curious about her. He headed for the exit. Noticing a book on the stand with an exotic cover, his curiosity got the best of him. He stopped and picked it up. “Books are a great way to relax."
"Writing is even better," Maya shot back.
Ford glanced at her again. "She just has to have the last word. But she's gorgeous and sexy. He forced his gaze back to the cover. "Just do whatever it is that makes you relax. If you haven't already, you should read this book. The author, M.K, is talented.”
“Really?” Maya asked with a sly smile. “How do you know?”
“My sister is in a book club and they read every M.K novel that comes out.”
Maya moved beside him, looking at the steamy hardback cover. “What’s your sister’s name?”
Maya picked up a pen and autographed the inside of the cover. “Please give it to her for me.”
Ford looked at her incredulously. “You’re M.K?”
Maya nodded and smiled.
Ford’s eyes grew wide and bright like his smile. He was speechless as she placed the book into his hand. “I don’t know what to say. Thank you! Emily is going to be tickled when I tell her I met you.”
Ford shook his head again and stared at the beautiful woman. Again, wicked thoughts of her pleasuring him with her mouth, hands, and that jaw-dropping body hijacked his mind. “Be sure to make an appointment,” he said, shaking her hand again before rushing out of the door. He had to leave before he said or did something he might regret later. A woman that fine was sure to make him lose control.