Excerpt From “Tell Me, Dr Grace,” a novel by Brucella Newman

Tell Me Dr. Grace front cover

Chapter One

Dr Vanessa Grace

Dr Vanessa Grace swept into her sleek contemporary office, dropped her leather Gucci briefcase down by the side of her desk and picked up her messages that her assistant had, without fail, left for her on top of her beige suede-bound blotter, which sat dead centre of her giant, solid waxed oak desk.  Why she even needed a blotter, she was unsure.  But it made her desk look like it had seen its daily share of written anti-depressant prescriptions, patient reports and case studies.   A low-lit silk-shaded lamp adorned her desk, giving just enough light for Vanessa to see what she was writing, but without ruining the influence of the decor.  Vanessa had called on her friend, top interior designer Kelly Hoppen to give her office a new makeover and, true to form, Hoppen had done a stellar job.  As far as Vanessa was concerned, the blotter could stay.  Vanessa slid into her cream coloured high backed leather swivel chair and hit the intercom.

“Sasha, are there any changes to my morning schedule?”

“No, Dr Grace, not a single cancellation.”  There followed a slight pause, followed by the sound of Sasha shifting impatiently in her chair.  She seemed keen to get on.  “Is there anything else I can get you?”  Sasha really was an excellent find.

“Mmm, yes, please.  Can you bring me a warm croissant and one of those especially thick hot chocolates from Apostrophe?  I’m gasping for my chocolate fix.”

“Right away, Dr Grace,” came Sasha’s ready response.  “It will be with you in ten minutes.  You’re first patient will be here in half an hour.”

“Perfect.  Thank you, Sasha.”

Vanessa surveyed her newly decorated office.  As her eyes scanned over the plush, cream leather sofa and easy chairs, scattered with gold and champagne silk cushions, Vanessa smiled with pleasure.  She could definitely detect the faint scent of citrus furniture polish, which meant that Sasha had given everything the once over again this morning, despite the cleaning lady having done the very same the night before.  Sasha had lit and inconspicuously placed an essential lavender and bergamot-scented oil burner to add to the atmosphere.   She had even semi-closed the oak Venetian blinds, shutting out the harsh city light.  The waxed oak long sideboard, holding an elegant, soft uplighter warmed up the room, giving just enough of an ambient glow to put patients at ease.  The matching, low, heavy oak centre coffee table, placed on the two thousand pound white shaggy rug pulled everything together beautifully.  Vanessa wanted to kick off her Gucci loafers and run her toes through the rug, but she thought better of it.  Instead, she padded over to her filing cabinet and pulled out the file for her first patient.  As she closed the unit, as if on cue, Sasha appeared at the door with a warm croissant in one hand and hot chocolate in the other.  Vanessa thanked her, slid back behind her desk and opened the file.

© Brucella Newman 2013

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