Archive | May 2014

Chapter 2

Lucy yawned as she finished scrubbing in. The caffeine didn’t seem to be having the desired affect and she could feel her eyes closing. Just another couple of hours and then she would insist on sleeping. A colleague had offered to do Mrs Beaumont’s surgery as she’d just come on duty but Lucy declined. She felt a duty of care to her long-standing patient.

The theatre staff were all in position as Lucy walked in. One of the technicians pressed the ‘Play’ button on the CD and the theatre sister handed her a scalpel. Lucy hummed along as she made her first incision. Adrenalin surged through her body as she caught sight of the diseased bowel she was about to remove. The human body never ceased to amaze her and she felt like the luckiest girl in the world as she got to mend the broken parts. Half an hour into the surgery a senior nurse said, ‘Dr Soames, the patient’s BP is dropping slightly.’

‘Don’t worry, just keep an eye on it. Not much longer to go now.’ Lucy carried on.

‘It’s still dropping and so is the pulse,’ the nurse said sounding slightly anxious.

‘Dr Soames, there seems to be an awful lot of blood coming from the top of that incision.’ The nurse lifted out a blood drenched piece of gauze.

Lucy took her eye away from what she was doing and the scalpel made a small nick in the bowel wall.

‘Shit! More gauze please,’ Lucy said urgently. Mrs Beaumont’s insides were no longer visible through the blood that was gushing from two separate sites in the bowel.

It was exactly ten minutes later when Lucy called time of death. The theatre was eerily quiet, the staff speaking in whispers. All eyes were on Lucy. She was their most popular surgeon and all agreed that coming to work was a pleasure when she was on duty. Usually she was so meticulous in her work. So what had gone wrong today?

Lucy did something she’d never done in all her years as a doctor – she cried over a patient.

‘It wasn’t your fault,’ a senior technician said, gently touching Lucy’s arm.

‘Oh, but it was. I ignored a small bleed so I could get it finished as soon as possible. I’m just so tired … but that’s still no excuse.’ She took off her surgeons cap and threw it to the ground. ‘What on earth am I going to tell her family? It was supposed to be a routine op.’

‘A bowel re-section is never just a routine op. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Lucy. These things happen to the best of us.’

‘But not to me,’ Lucy said sobbing.

‘It was probably her time to go.’

‘Don’t start that again! It wasn’t her time. I hadn’t finished. It should be me telling her when it’s time to go.’

‘I don’t mean any disrespect … but you’re not God.’

‘No. I’m not. I’m better than God … I usually save people’s lives, not destroy them.’

Her senior technician and friend, Jasmin knew she was wasting her time arguing with her friend in this mood, so she didn’t answer.

‘You clear up here. I’ll go and contact the family. Please take good care of her … she was a lovely lady.’

‘We always do,’ Jasmin patted Lucy on the back as she walked towards the double doors and out of the theatre.

It was another an hour before Lucy felt she was ready to break the devastating news to Mrs Beaumont’s relatives. She sat in her office with her head in her hands trying to re-live every second of the operation to see where she’d gone wrong. ‘If only’ were the words that resonated through her mind over and over again.

Lucy looked up as she heard the door open.

‘Drake? What are you doing here? I thought you were on leave.’

‘I am – but Jasmin rang me and told me what happened. She was worried about you and I thought you might need some moral support.’

‘Oh, Drake.’ She ran up to him and threw her arms round his neck. ‘I killed her. I should never have operated … I was just too tired.’

Drake stroked her hair lovingly. ‘It’s not your fault. These things happen.’

‘You sound just like Jasmin.’

‘But it’s true. The lady wasn’t well – she was weak.’

‘Rubbish! She’d plenty of years left in her. I made a mistake and I’ll have to pay for it. I’ll probably lose my job.’

‘Stop talking like this, Lucy. It’s not like you.’

‘I haven’t told her family yet.’

‘Do you want me to come with you?’

‘No, thanks. It’s my mess … I’ll clear it up. Drake, thanks for coming in. It means a lot.’

‘Are you sure you’re going to be okay?’

‘I’m not sure of anything anymore.’

‘I can stay if you like and go to my parents tomorrow.’

‘Don’t be silly … I don’t want to spoil your plans. I’m a big girl – I’ll cope.’

Drake kissed her cheek as she prepared herself. Giving someone tragic news never got any easier but as Lucy walked down to the room especially for bereaved relatives she had all on to stop her hands from shaking.


The death of Mrs Edna Beaumont soon became a hospital matter and the next day Lucy was summoned before the Chief of Surgery, Mr Darcy. Apparently one of Edna’s children, her son Charles, had decided he wasn’t happy with Lucy’s explanation of his mother’s sudden death and contacted the Health Authority to make a complaint. Lucy sat outside Mr Darcy’s office well before the appointed time biting her nails. At two o’clock his secretary showed Lucy into his office.

‘Come in, Lucy. I’m so sorry about all this. I’m sure it’s just routine and once you’ve given me your side of the story we can put it to bed.’

‘Thank you, sir.’ Lucy perched on the edge of the chair.

‘So … what happened?’

‘Er … I don’t really know. Jasmine mentioned there was some bleeding from the top of the bowel which I tried to locate but my scalpel slipped and made a nick further down the bowel. I just couldn’t stop the blood loss. It was a silly mistake and one I’ve never made before.’

‘So, you’re admitting it was human error?’

‘I suppose I am. It was my error and I am human.’

‘Had you been on duty long?’

Lucy held her head down. ‘For eighteen hours.’

‘Eighteen hours and you still wanted to perform a surgery? I understand Harriet offered to do the surgery for you.’

‘She did – but Mrs Beaumont has been my patient for over five years I owed it to her to do it myself.’

‘You also owed it to her to keep her alive.’

‘I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know what else to say.’

‘Jasmin told me you didn’t take her warning about the blood loss seriously.’

‘So you’ve already talked to all the other staff, have you?’

‘Not all but I need to hear everyone’s side of the story.’

‘Before mine?’ Lucy was trying her best not to be annoyed.

‘Look Lucy – this is a very serious accusation. You’re being accused of negligence and there’s no place for sparing anyone’s feelings … no matter how valuable a member of staff you are.’

‘So what happens now?’

‘I think you should take some time off.’

‘Am I being suspended?’

‘Let’s just say I’m giving you a few days off.’

‘I’d rather you tell it like it is.’

‘In that case – yes, you’re being suspended pending further enquiries.’

From that sentence Lucy didn’t hear another word Mr Darcy spoke. She sat on the chair with a glassy expression thinking about the enormity of the charges against her. If she couldn’t practice surgery again she might as well join Edna Beaumont because since she was ten that’s all she’d wanted to do.

Press Release For How to Have an Amicable Divorce – Lindsay Harper

Press Release Launch Kit
How to Have an Amicable Divorce
Lindsay Harper




Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Contemporary
Release Date: May 15, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120441 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-044-2
Print ISBN-10: 163112045X ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-045-9
Purchase link:


How to Have an Amicable Divorce
Have you ever got yourself in so deep you feel like running away and starting a new life?

That’s exactly what wife and artist, Denizon Cartwright felt like doing. After deciding that she couldn’t put up with her unfaithful husband any longer, she leaves him for smooth-talking artist and professor, Damien Johnson – but she soon learns she’s swapped one liar for another and beats a hasty retreat … only to become entangled with Jay, the ex-lover of her best friend, Robyn.

Could her life get any more complicated?
Yes! A surprise encounter leaves Denizon with an ever-growing list of men falling in love with her.

Her escape route is at hand in the shape of Escuela de Montana d’Armentera, an artistic retreat high up in the Spanish mountains. But her problems only follow, as she discovers.

Will she find true happiness in the Spanish sun or lose everyone she ever held dear?

And is the cost of finding herself too high a price to pay?


About Lindsay Harper

Lindsay lives in Yorkshire, England with wonderful husband, Paul. She has two grown up children, three young grandchildren, and four springer spaniels! She gave up working full time in 2010 to write and has self-published three metaphysical romances to sell at Mind, Body and Spirit fairs. After having fantastic reviews she decided to embark on her passion – contemporary women’s fiction and now wants to reach a wider audience – hence 5 Prince. When she’s not writing, she’s a homeopath, a dog walker and a DIY enthusiast. For fun she loves Ashtanga yoga, Ascension meditation and the sea – and one day would love to live by it.

How to contact Lindsay Harper
lindsayharperauthor (facebook),
@lindsayharper (Twitter)

Excerpt of How to Have an Amicable Divorce
Denizon smiled as she saw whose name was flashing up on caller display.
‘Hello love, how’s it going? Are you still having a wonderful time?’
‘Yes brilliant, thanks,’ answered Robyn, her best friend and sister-in-law, speaking from the other side of the world in New Zealand.
‘You’ll be home soon, won’t you? I can’t believe you’ve been there eight weeks already.’
‘Neither can I,’ Robyn paused. ‘In fact, that’s the main reason I’m ringing. I’ve decided to stay.’
‘What? Forever?’ Denizon panicked.
‘No, not forever, silly. Just for four more weeks. Gerald has been invited to spend time at his niece’s new villa on the Cap D’Azur, so I thought I’d take advantage of the extra time off and spend it with my wonderful husband.’
‘I take it it’s still going well?’
‘I can’t believe how well. It’s like being in a new relationship, but better. We’ve fallen in love all over again.’
‘I’m really pleased for you, Rob.’
‘The training is also going better than anticipated and, hopefully, Dave will be finished in about six weeks, so he’ll be coming back to England then. He’ll have to be located in London for another few months, but at least we can spend weekends together … How’s my darling brother?’
Denizon sighed. ‘Chris is fine. He’s been promoted to Crew Manager.’
‘That’s great, isn’t it?’ Robyn asked on listening to her friends sigh.
‘Yes,’ Denizon said tentatively. ‘But he’s been away on two residential courses so far, and he’s got another one coming up.’
‘Let me guess, you’re bored.’
‘I suppose a bit, my best friend is at the other side of the world and my husband is never here.’
‘You’ve got Barney.’
‘I know, but he’s not great with the conversation.’
‘Cheer up, love. You sound like I did a few weeks ago … are you doing much with your art at the moment?’
‘Funny you should mention that. I received a phone call yesterday from the University. The Art Department is looking for tutors to teach a summer school and wondered if I’d be interested.’
‘Well then, that’s something to do,’ Robyn said enthusiastically. ‘Are you going to apply?’
‘I think so, but I’ve never taught before. There’s a training course in a couple of weeks that I could go on to teach me to teach. It would mean I couldn’t have Barney for a couple of weeks.’
‘Well, I’m sure Sarah could cope for two weeks. She leaves him with you enough. It’s only fair you have some time to do what you want, and I think it’d be good for you.’
‘You’re probably right. I’ll ring them back and tell them I’ll do the training course. If I enjoy it, who knows it might lead to something else.’
‘I think that’s great news. You’d be a good teacher.’
‘Thanks, love… hadn’t you better be going? This’ll be costing you a fortune.’
‘I suppose so. I’ll message you next week to arrange a time when we can all get together to Skype.’
‘Oh! Before I forget, Jay and Max were on Breakfast Time this morning talking about Jay’s book,’ Denizon added.
‘I thought he was in America.’
‘He was, but he’s back to do a short book tour round London.’
‘Was he good? I assume Max was.’
‘He was actually, a natural in front of the camera.’
‘It figures! What were they talking about?’
‘About affairs in general and why people have them. Max was defending monogamy and Jay was giving his contrary opinion, sharing his views on being with a partner as long as they make you happy. It was interesting, especially seeing as I know him personally.’
‘Did he mention his partner?’ Robyn asked with an edge to her voice.
‘Only that’s he’s with someone who he’s compatible with.’
‘For now,’ Robyn said scathingly.
‘You sound bitter! You’re not are you?’
‘No, not really. I made my choice as well, and I’m so happy I chose Dave. It’s just that I know his book was written when we were together, and I helped him with a lot of it. I just don’t get any credit.’
‘Don’t start all that again,’ Denizon reprimanded. ‘You’ve got a perfect life now, don’t even think about Jay.’
‘Ay, Ay captain. On that note I’m going now, and we’ll speak next week. Love you, Den.’

‘Love you too, Rob. Take care.’ She placed the phone back in its cradle and smiled. Her friend would never change.
If she was honest, the thought of teaching scared her. Being an artist was a very solitary profession and her own paintings were personal to her. She wouldn’t know how to bring out the best in her students or even if they’d appreciate what she had to say. But Robyn was right – it would be good for her – because not only was she bored, she was lonely.

Without Robyn on the other end of the phone or just round the corner she had nobody. Both her parents had been dead for years, and she was their only offspring. Robyn was the closest thing to a sister she’d ever known, and she totally relied on her for everything. She’d never been one for making friends easily and had gotten so used to her own company all day that sometimes she found it difficult to start conversations. She knew this frustrated her husband, Chris, who was the most gregarious person she had ever met.

She often thought it was why Chris had been tempted to seek out the company of other women throughout their married life and probably why she’d made allowances for that particular trait. Chris loved going out and socialising, whereas she preferred a good book or a black and white film. Robyn had loaned her Dr Max Hammond’s book, “Effective Communication”, and it made her realise that the two of them didn’t have a lot to talk about. She had become infatuated with him at age sixteen and hadn’t really looked at another man until she finally snared him six years ago.

Chris loved her, of that there was no doubt, but she just wasn’t stimulating enough for him, and he wasn’t intellectual enough for her. He was ruled by his body, and she was ruled by her brain. Since her dice with death last year their relationship had been the best it’d ever been. It was the first time since they’d got together she could honestly say she trusted him. But it had been to the detriment of his personality. He no longer went out as much, offering to spend every evening with her. She could see the life slowly seeping out of him as he tried his best to be something he wasn’t.
The recent promotion at work seemed to perk him up slightly and, even though she missed his company, she knew it was best for his sanity. Maybe tutoring would be the incentive I need to make new friends – and going out to work at a real job could, potentially, make me more interesting. It was with that thought she picked up the phone to ring the University and booked herself on the short teacher training course.

The Road to Salvation

Over the next few months I’m going to share with you one of my new books – The Road to Salvation. I am going to post a chapter a week like Charles Dickens did in times gone by. I hope you enjoy the journey and look forward to reading each chapter as it appears. The Road to Salvation is the story of four lost souls who through awful tragedy find a deeper meaning of life. Whether you follow an organised religion, a Spiritual path or your own moral code, I hope you will see and appreciate the journey my characters take to a fuller and more satisfying existence. Your comments as we go would be greatly appreciated.

I’m going to start with LUCY.

The Road to Salvation

Chapter 1

As Dr Lucy Soames poured boiling hot water into her large mug she knew four cups of strong black coffee in under an hour would be no good for her health, but it was the only way she could ensure remaining awake for the remainder of her eighteen hour shift. She was under the misapprehension that once she secured the promotion to senior registrar in General Surgery her hours would reduce. Sadly, with the shortage of doctors in her field, they had increased and rarely did she do anything less than a twelve hour shift.

‘Not another coffee, Lucy! Don’t you get palpitations drinking so much?’ asked Drake a fellow surgeon, also taking a well earned break in the staff lounge.

‘Yes, but it’s the only thing that works. I don’t like the cold caffeine drinks, they’re too sickly,’ Lucy replied, sipping the treacly mixture.

‘What time are you off?’ he asked.

‘I’ve got a couple more wards to visit now and then I can sleep in the on-call room for a few hours.’

‘What, you’re on again in the morning?’

‘Yes, I’ve got a bowel resection before breakfast! Just what I need to set me up for my Weetabix,’ she said, smiling. ‘How about you?’

‘I finish tonight for a week. I’m going home to see my parents.’

‘Good for you! I haven’t got any time booked off until we appoint a new consultant.’

‘Poor you. There’s no rest for the wicked! Isn’t that how the saying goes?’ Drake teased.

‘In that case I must be very bad.’ Lucy looked at her watch and drained the remains of her coffee. ‘I‘d better be off on my rounds. If I don’t see you before you go, have a lovely time.’

‘I will thanks. Don’t work too hard,’ he added. Lucy walked away giving him the finger. All she had to do was turn round and she would have seen the look of longing smeared all over Drake’s face but Lucy never looked back – she had far too much work to do.

Her first port of call was the Women’s Surgical ward. In the first room on the right was one of her favourite patients – Mrs Edna Beaumont, a sixty five year old lady with Crohn’s disease. She’d been attending St.Luke’s for over five years for various operations and it was her bowel resection Lucy was performing the following morning.

‘Hello, Mrs Beaumont,’ Lucy said cheerily.

‘Evening doctor. I do wish you’d call me Edna. You’ve known me for so long, you seem like part of my family.’

‘You also know, I’m not supposed to.’ Lucy chided. ‘But okay, seeing as it’s you. Are you ready for tomorrow, Edna?’

‘As I’ll ever be, but this helps,’ Mrs Beaumont said, pointing to the well-worn copy of the Holy Bible in her hands.

‘As long as you find comfort somewhere that’s all that matters.’ Lucy picked up her notes and examined them.

‘Do I take it from that comment, you don’t read the bible?’

‘No, I don’t. I haven’t read it since I was made to go to Sunday school as a child but I even stopped that when I was eleven when my parents gave me a choice.’

‘Don’t you have a faith?’

‘Only in myself. I’m a scientist and tend to believe in things I can see and sadly no-one has seen God and come back to tell us what he’s like.’

‘I hadn’t put you down as a sceptic.’ Mrs Beaumont tutted. ‘There are so many things we can’t see that exist. Surely you believe in love and you can’t see that.’

‘True, but I see so much doing my job that if there was a God, why would he let all the bad things happen?’

‘Ah! You’re one of those that believes all evil in the world is God’s fault. Where does personal responsibility come into your world?’

Lucy looked up from her notes. ‘I’m sorry Mrs Beaumont, as much as I’d love to stand here and discuss comparative religion with you, I really must get on.’

‘I’m sorry, doctor, for holding you up but I’m sure believing in God would help you in your job, not hinder you.’

‘You’re probably right. My mum and dad still go to Church and whenever I’m at home they try to persuade me to go with them but I’m not convinced.’

‘You don’t know what you’re missing! But I’ll shut up now. That’s enough preaching for one night. What time’s my operation in the morning?’

‘Theatre’s booked for nine. By dinnertime tomorrow you should be sitting up in bed with it all over.’

‘I hope so. I’ve been praying that this is my last operation. I don’t want to go through it all again. So, I’ll either be sitting here like you said or you’ll be visiting me in the morgue!’

‘Edna! Don’t say things like that. I’ve told you before it should be routine. I’ve done so many operations like this before, it’ll be like a walk in the park.’

Mrs Beaumont reached for Lucy’s hand and said, ‘Thank you, doctor. You make all the pain bearable,’ she squeezed it tight.

‘It’s my pleasure. Patients like you are the reason I love my job.’ Lucy carefully removed her hand from the grip. ‘But I really must be going. Even I need a few hours sleep and I’ve got another ward to visit after this one.’

‘Then, I won’t keep you a second longer. Good night doctor and God bless!’

‘Goodnight,’ Lucy closed the door behind her. She smiled. Whenever she visited Edna Beaumont, she was reading her bible. What it must be like to have such faith, Lucy thought as she moved onto the main part of the ward.

The few hours sleep never materialised for Lucy, as a child with a ruptured appendix was admitted at two o’clock in the morning. Lucy was the surgeon on-call so it fell to her to perform the emergency surgery. It was five o’clock before she finished and saw no point in lying down for an hour. Another cup of strong black coffee would have to suffice.





Loving my Life



Loving my life

Loving my life is far more important than selling books (although my publisher might disagree!). Unless I’m really mindful, I find myself obsessing about how sales are going, how many people RT’d me, and whether my likes on Facebook have increased– so much so, that I miss all the wonderful things that are going on in my life.

That is why going on holiday is so important to me. It takes me away from my computer and makes me appreciate real life. I’ve just come back from the Isle of Wight where we’ve been on holiday for a week. I know I’ve been there already this year but I love it so much! Even though we go at least three times a year we still managed to discover three new beaches that we hadn’t found before.

Every time I go on holiday I take my lap-top intending to write some of my current book and each time I open it about once. I can’t Tweet or go on the internet in the holiday cottage as there is no internet (apart from on my phone which I purposely leave at home). At first it feels like the world will end without me knowing what’s trending but then I relax into a life without technology and it’s really refreshing.

We spent the week walking and sunbathing (and I even paddled in the sea!). I read other people’s books instead of my own and completed a whole edition of the Puzzler. Now I’m back and raring to go. My new book ‘How to Have an Amicable Divorce’ is out on Thursday 15th May and this time I’m not stressing about it, because it’s not the only thing that’s important in my life.

Having said that I do hope you buy it. How else am I going to fund my next relaxing week on the Isle of Wight!