Candace Calvert roped us all in with her fabulous debut novel, Critical Care and she continues that trend with her second medical drama, Disaster Status. Erin first appeared in Critical Care and has now met her match in Fire Captain Scott McKenna!
ER charge nurse Erin Quinn: Tall, slender but athletic, determined tilt of the chin, passionate spark in her green eyes–set aflame in a mane of auburn red hair. As seen through hero Scott McKenna’s eyes:
Erin strode toward him and Scott reached up to gingerly touch his shoulder. Not the injury from his ocean skirmish, but the site where she’d given that tetanus shot–it ached like a son of a gun. And after tonight’s meeting, he sensed his discomfort had barely begun; this nurse could become a royal pain in the . . . Scott’s throat constricted. Ah, man. Does she have to be so beautiful?
Tall and lean and dressed in jeans, with a sea-green sweater knotted casually around the shoulders of a simple white shirt, Erin looked fresh and wholesome. Like one of those women on the cover of a healthy living magazine. Or maybe a young mother headed to a PTA meeting. With her shiny hair lifted into a ponytail, a faint flush high on her cheeks, and the barest trace of freckles. As she drew closer, her brows scrunched together, eyes narrowed, and . . . uh oh. Not PTA. And definitely not good for his health. But too late
now . . .
Fire Captain Scott McKenna: Tall, granite gray eyes, close-cropped blonde hair, muscular–built to carry a child from a burning building . . . and the weight of the world on his shoulders.
As seen through heroine Erin Quinn’s eyes, the first time they meet:
“Excuse me,” she said, sweeping wind-tossed hair from her face as she peered up at him. Gray. His eyes were granite gray. “I need to get past you. Thanks. Appreciate it.” She twisted sideways, scrunched down a little and attempted to squeeze by him, catching a faint whiff of citrusy cologne . . . mixed with smoke.
“Don’t thank me,” he said. “And stop right where you are.” He stepped in front of her again, halting her in her tracks. His brows, dark like his lashes, drew together as he regarded her, and there was the slightest twitch at the corner of his mouth. Not a smile. He crossed his arms again. “No one can come through here. That’s the rules. And I go by the book. Sorry.”
By the book? As if she didn’t have policies to follow? Erin opened her mouth, then closed it, forcing herself to take a slow breath. Lord, show me the humor in this . . . She lifted her chin and met his gaze, noticing that he had a small scar just below his lower lip. Probably from somebody’s fist.
Erin Quinn: Young Nicole Kidman (way back, when she looked fresh and innocent but spunky–maybe in “Far and Away”?
Scott McKenna: Actor Chris O’Donnell of NCIS: Los Angeles
Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths: Passionately determined, fiercely protective of her grandmother and her ER team, prides herself on being strong–physically and spiritually.
Strengths: Responsible, born leader, honest, strong family ties.
Weaknesses: Emotionally wary to the point of loneliness, his own worst critic, blames himself for past tragedy–is sure God does, too.
Erin: Takes her frustrations out via a punching bag–owns red leather boxing gloves. Watch out for her right hook!
Scott: Too “by the book” for quirks–except when he has a karaoke microphone in his hand.
Your inspiration for the character
Erin: My inspiration for Erin Quinn was likely personal–I’m an ER nurse and long struggled with the need to be “strong” before I found the source of true strength: faith in God. Erin also reminds me a lot of my daughter, hence this dedication:
“For my amazing daughter, Brooklynn, who hikes to mountaintops, listens in pristine stillness . . . and knows her strength.”
Scott: This hero is likely a mix of the wonderful and dedicated fire fighter-paramedics I’ve had to privilege to know and mentor in the ER. Real heroes.
Background to the story
I think the book jacket blurb covers it nicely:
Charge nurse Erin Quinn escaped personal turmoil to work at the peaceful California coast. But when a hazardous material spill places Pacific Mercy Hospital on disaster status and stresses staff, she’s put to the test. And thrown into conflict with the fire department’s handsome incident commander who thinks her strategy is out of line.
Fire Captain Scott McKenna has felt the toxic effects of tragedy; he’s learned to go strictly by the book to advance his career, heal his family, and protect his wounded heart. When he’s forced to team with the passionately determined ER charge nurse, sparks fly. As they work to save lives, can they handle the attraction kindled between them . . . without getting burned?
On Thursday, the spotlight shines on Robert Elmer’s Pastor Steffen Petersen and Hanne Abrahamsen from his World War II novel, Wildflowers of Terezin.
Relz Reviewz Extras Reviews of Critical Care and Disaster Status
Character spotlight on Logan & Claire from Critical Care
Interview with Candace
Visit Candace’s website and blog
Buy Candace’s book at Amazon or Koorong