“Dr. Botox” to the bored rich women of Chicago, plastic surgeon Max Jordan is shocked by his son Joshua’s decision to focus his medical degree and talent on Haitian orphans. Embittered by Joshua’s sudden death, Max searches for resolution in the place his son called homean orphanage outside of Port au Prince.
The selflessness of Joshua’s coworkers stuns Max. He is particularly taken with American volunteer Valerie Austin, whose dream of a tropical honeymoon has been crushed, replaced by a stint working in the impoverished orphanage. But Valerie’s view of Joshua’s sacrificeand her ownchallenges everything Max knows. Have the doors to his gilded cage finally opened to a freedom he’s never known?
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Deborah Raney’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched Deb’s writing career. Twenty-five years later, she has written more than thirty-five books, including novels for imprints of Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Harlequin. Deb is on the board of the 2600-member American Christian Fiction Writers and teaches at writers conferences around the country. Her novels have won RWA’s RITA Award, the ACFW Carol Award, the National Readers Choice Award, and the HOLT Medallion. She is also a three-time Christy Award finalist. Deb is a recent Missouri transplant, having moved with her husband, Ken Raney, from their native Kansas to be closer to kids and grandkids. They love road trips, Friday garage sale dates, and breakfast on the screened porch overlooking their wooded backyard. Visit Deb on the Web at www.DeborahRaney.com.
Julie Lancelot lives in a cabin with her wonderful husband of twenty-three years, three feisty teenagers, and a lazy beagle. She was a tax auditor for nine years before spending twelve years as a stay-at-home mom. Most recently, she has been a substitute teacher for special education classes, and now enjoys narrating audiobooks.
Read an Excerpt
Over The Waters
By Deborah Raney
Steeple HillCopyright © 2005 Deborah Raney
All right reserved.
Chicago, Illinois, November 16
Dr. Max Jordan finished his dictation, clicked off the recorder, and slid from behind the polished mahogany desk. He strode across the plush celery-colored carpet to gaze, unseeing, out the window of his seventeenth-floor office overlooking Lakeshore Drive. After a minute, he turned and walked down the hall to his receptionist's desk.
"Okay, Dori, I'm ready," he said quietly.
"Yes, Doctor." Dori Banks rose gracefully from her seat and stepped into the waiting room.
Max heard her well-modulated voice call Felicia Sinclaire's name. Back in his office, he washed his hands in the corner lavatory.
A few minutes later he opened the door to the treatment room where his nurse had prepped Ms. Sinclaire. The woman, forty-three according to her chart, reclined in the comfortable chair, but her death grip on the padded armrests revealed her apprehension.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Sinclaire."
"Hello." She smiled tightly, her sun-baked skin crinkling into fine crow's-feet at the corners of her eyes.
It was obvious that Felicia Sinclaire had once been a stunningly beautiful woman. But the clock was ticking on her youth. She was a perfect candidate for Botox. She would be pleased with the results of his handiwork. Women like her were the reason Max Jordan enjoyed minor celebrity.
He glanced at the chart. "Felicia, is it?"
She nodded. "May I call you Felicia?"
"Yes... Of course."
He put a steadying hand on her forearm. "How are you feeling today?"
"I'm...a little nervous."
"This is your first treatment. That's completely understandable. You've seen the video?"
"Good. I'll go over the procedure in detail again before we begin. Of course, you can decide at any time to reschedule if you feel you're not quite ready. But as I'm sure you know, this is an extremely simple and safe procedure. We do hundreds of injections a year and pretty much the only complication we've had in the five years since we began using Botox is an occasional treatment that didn't 'take.'"
He'd started adding the "pretty much" clause to his disclaimer after a prominent Chicago businessman's wife had had an allergic reaction to the Botox, developing a severe respiratory infection along with swallowing difficulties. She had nearly died. Lawyers for Jordan & Associates were still trying to settle the case out of court.
Max opened a drawer in the tabouret beside the chair and pulled out a laminated card that illustrated the procedure. He pointed to a photograph. "Very rarely a muscle simply won't respond to the botulinum toxin. It's nothing more than an inconvenience. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time everything goes just fine."
Felicia Sinclaire relaxed visibly, her fingers unclenching from the armrest. "It's just that it's a little scary shooting something into my skin that's...well, it's a poison, isn't it?"
It was a common question. Among his golf buddies, it was a joke that he'd made his fortune injecting women with poison. But he doubted Felicia Sinclaire would appreciate the humor just now. In practiced tones he soothed her fears. "Yes, Botox is derived from botulinum toxin, the bacterium that causes botulism, a severe form of food poisoning. But to be lethal, it would take up to two hundred times the quantity I use cosmetically. As you saw on the video, the amount I use for this procedure merely interrupts the nerve impulses to the specific muscles I inject. That's the beauty of it." He watched her face, waiting for the slow release of her breath that would tell him she was convinced. He'd become a master at reading body language.
"Well," she said, her voice reedy, "let's do it."
"I think you'll be extremely pleased with the results. You'll be gorgeous for the holidays."
She shifted in her seat and beamed at him.
Max yanked a surgical glove from the dispenser and pulled it on with a practiced snap.
Twenty minutes later, Felicia Sinclaire walked from his office with a few barely discernible bruises, a wan smile and Dr. Jordan's cheerful instructions: "Remain upright for the next four hours, exercise the facial muscles often, drink plenty of fluids and look forward to waking up in the morning even more beautiful than you already are."
He washed his hands again and took the short walk down the hallway to the waiting room. He usually used the back elevator to the surgery center and rarely set foot in his own waiting room. But today, for some reason, he felt the need.
Strains of Mozart met his ears as he poked his head into the forty-by-forty-foot space that could have belonged to a suite in a five-star hotel. The Qom silk carpets were plush beneath his feet, muffling his footsteps. Intimate groupings of overstuffed chairs sported Brunschwig & Fils upholstery, each cozy trio anchored by an expensive antique table. The tabletops were artfully arranged with softly lit lamps that illumined tasteful sculptures commissioned by a local artisan. The decorator had excelled here, and the room exuded exactly the aura of extravagance and indulgence Max had envisioned when he designed the place.
The walls were lined with expensive framed art prints that he and Janie had shipped home from the South of France ten years ago. The prints had doubled in value since then. Not that it mattered. The image they imparted to his practice was worth many times their monetary value.
His gaze panned the half-dozen women who graced the chairs, legs crossed elegantly, fashion magazine or carefully chosen New York Times bestseller in hand. Max Jordan knew that each of them could identify the art these walls bore as easily as they recognized the Hermes and Fendi the other women in the room wore.
He'd expected the climb to the top to be far more painful. Instead, he'd reached the summit at the tender age of thirty-five when he'd opened his now-renowned Jordan Center for Aesthetic Surgery.
He shuddered to think how his entire career had almost gone down the tubes with Janie's announcement that she was pregnant before he'd even earned his bachelor's in biology from Southern Illinois University. It had cost him a semester of college, but he'd stuck it out through a quickie wedding, the birth of a colicky baby and a wife who complained constantly that he was never home. Four hard years later he'd become Maximilian Alexander Jordan, M.D., graduating with honors from the university's school of medicine. He'd even had one of his papers published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Excerpted from Over The Waters by Deborah Raney Copyright © 2005 by Deborah Raney. Excerpted by permission.
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