. . . Growing up in Lafayette Falls, senator’s daughter Natalie Layton hid her sorrows behind a bright smile that charmed everyone in high school—except Brett Harris. Hardworking and highly motivated, Brett dismissed Natalie as a slacker. Instead, she’s become an acclaimed photographer. And when Brett, now a successful cardiologist, needs her family’s help to secure a coveted position, Natalie’s more than happy to prescribe a little payback…
. . . .Hailing from the wrong side of the tracks, Brett believed he could never win the school’s popular princess. Now he’s intrigued by the complex and compassionate woman Natalie’s become. Gaining her grandmother’s goodwill is the key to becoming chief cardiologist—and Natalie has no intention of making it easy. But as mutual mistrust gives way to pure chemistry, there’s more at stake than either ever expected—and much more to learn about matters of the heart…
Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Patricia Preston and Natalie Layton from Patricia's latest release Everything His Heart Desires. First up is Natalie.
Where are you from? Lafayette Falls, Tennessee
Tell us a bit about Everything His Heart Desires. I’ve returned home after 15 years to find my stubborn grandmother won’t see a doctor about her heart. My family concocts a scheme involving my old high school adversary, Brett Harris, who, of all things, is a heart doctor now. This plot involves me inviting Brett over to Nana’s for dinner. He thinks charming an old lady will be easy. He is so wrong.
What did you think the first time you saw the good Dr. Harris? .That he hadn’t changed at all. He still has that “James Dean,” born on the wrong side of the tracks thing going. Still Type A for ambitious, arrogant and asshole.
As an former OR nurse, we thank you for the more than accurate description of a surgeon, right down to his starched lab coat. What was your second thought? That, despite everything, I still liked him.
Was it love at first sight? More like war at first sight
Good one. What do you like most about Brett? I like that he always believed in himself. Raised by his uncle, he had no parents and no money, but he never gave up and settled for less.
How would you describe him? He was our class valedictorian. Smart, sexy and sure of himself.
How would he describe you? He always called me Slacker because I never worked hard in school. He resented that I came from a rich family and I grew up with everything he never had. But there were things about my life he didn’t know and I am Type B totally. An artistic slacker. And now I’m responsible for his success. Karma!!!
What made you choose photo-journalism as a career? I always loved photography. I thought I’d have a photography studio or maybe work for a home and garden magazine. All that changed when my husband was killed during a robbery and I headed to the Middle East to take the kind of photographs no one wants to see.
Gutsy. We like that. You need that to put up with a cardiologist's schedule. What is your biggest fear? I was fearless for a long time. Until after I was in a bombing in Kabul. I fear my future is in shambles.
Yikes. Have you learned how to relax? I love to hang out with my wild friend, Amber.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Frodo. He overcame darkness.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “It is in the small stories that we find our truth.” That came from my grandmother, who helped me find the truth when it comes to life and love.
This has been fascinating. Now we'd like to talk with Patricia.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? I love epic movies. The heroic ones like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. I love stories that use the hero’s journey motifs. I loved Letters to Juliet and The Holiday, which are lighthearted romantic stories. Those are my favorites when it comes to romance and what I aspire to write.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I spent years working for doctors and in the medical field, so that is why I decided to write a series featuring doctors as main characters. But the stories are not medical dramas set in a hospital like Grey’s Anatomy or ER.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I didn’t make that decision. My agent submitted to them.
What project[s] are you working on now? I am going to be writing more books in this series.
What's up next for you? The next book is Not Through Loving You and it will be out in June 2017.
To learn more about Patricia Preston, visit her on her Blog where she has a lot of fun posts and follow her on Twitter
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Patricia brought along an excerpt from our featured novel:
Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime. If he could become Anna Layton’s physician, he would literally have it made. He would have Harry and Sheldon’s support and gratitude, which meant he could create a superior cardiology program at LFMC. Perhaps, someday, there would be a heart center named after him and he would be remembered for all posterity. Yes, he was definitely Type A.
“Do you want to speak with your mother and then give me call?” he asked Harry.
“Well, we have a little something different in mind.” Both Harry and Sheldon looked at Natalie as if it were her turn to speak up.
She tapped her fingers on the table. “I’m home for a few weeks, and I’m staying with my grandmother.” She managed to choke out the rest, “You can come over as my dinner guest tomorrow night.”
It took him a moment to process that. “Okay. So I’m not coming over as a doctor. I’m coming over as your date?”
“A date is kinda stretching it,” she said as if to say that was never gonna happen. “An old friend from high school.”
“Friend,” he repeated, meeting her gaze. “Seriously?”
“It was Uncle Harry and Aunt Lorraine’s idea.” She was quick to clarify, and she frowned at her uncle, who had a mouthful of cheese Danish. “And it’s not a good idea. It’s not going to work. Not with Nana.”
“Natalie, you promised us you’d help out.” Harry took a swig of coffee. “We’re counting on you.”
She shook her head, and Brett realized she was totally against the idea, which might cost him the chief of cardiology position.
He sat up straight. “Natalie, you do understand what’s at stake here?”
“Besides your ego?” She didn’t blink as she looked him straight in the eye. It appeared that, since high school, she had developed a Terminator stare.
He didn’t flinch. “Do you want me to help your grandmother or not?”
Her phone lit up, and she checked a text message. She stuck her phone back in her purse and withdrew a small notepad. She scribbled on it, then tore off the paper and folded it. “I’ve got to meet someone,” she announced.
She hitched her purse strap on her shoulder, and she leaned across the table to hand Brett the folded paper. “Here’s my cell number. If something comes up and you can’t make it tomorrow night, call me. Otherwise, dinner is at seven. Sports jacket. No tie. Be at Nana’s house, which is the Castle House on Rosewood, by six forty-five.”
“I’ll be there.” He tucked the paper into the pocket of his jacket.
In a low, vindictive voice, she said, “Isn’t it amazing to think that I’m the key to your success?” She glanced at Sheldon and Harry before she delivered a parting blow. “Nana is a piranha, Brett. She’ll eat you alive and not even burp.”