The sound of the flight attendant on the loudspeaker startled Jamison Jones Scott out of her light sleep. Despite having traveled frequently in her lifetime, she still couldn’t sleep comfortably on a plane. The seat location— first-class or economy—didn’t make a difference. The plane was nearing its destination, so the passengers needed to finish filling out their declaration cards. Jamie was returning to Atlanta to stay at her parents’ home with only the clothes on her back, a computer bag, the few items of clothing in her duffel, and a stethoscope. She had nothing to declare.
Her seatmate appeared to be sleeping through the announcements. Jamie was jealous. The four-year-old in front of her turned around and started babbling excitedly in French. She must have noticed that Jamie was finally awake. With her head still fuzzy from her nap, Jamie couldn’t completely follow the child’s rapid words, but the gist was that she wanted something from Jamie. Something about a playdate? Jamie smiled at the girl and hoped the girl’s mother would intervene. No such luck; she was asleep as well. The child eyeballed Jamie expectantly. Jamie realized she and the seatmate had started this situation by playing with the dark-haired child while they were over the ocean. Now, when she didn’t agree to the latest request, the little girl scrunched up her face to cry.
“Nous atterrissons bientôt. Elle ne peut pas aller avec vous,” Jamie’s seatmate answered, eyes still closed. “Mais vous pourriez être en mesure de visiter. Je suis sûr qu’elle tu aimerait garder les enfants.” He grinned.
Jamie gasped while the young girl clapped. This guy had just volunteered her as a babysitter!
“Je suis désolé, mais il se trompe. Je ne serai pas disponible,” Jamie stated. “Je parie qu’il a une surprise, pour toi.” The child looked at Jamie’s seatmate for her present and clapped again. This reply made him open his eyes.
“Qu’est-ce que c’est? Qu’est-ce que c’est?” the child asked. Startled, her pregnant mother woke up and turned around in her seat sheepishly.
I’m sorry, she mouthed. She made her eager daughter turn around in her seat and asked her to leave the other passengers alone. The girl was disappointed, but her mother handed her a shortbread, which made her forget the people behind her.
Her seatmate smiled, opened his eyes, and said, “I could have given her the stuffed bear I bought. I have a daughter the same age.” He stretched gingerly. “I can’t wait to get home. I’ve been traveling for too long. What about you? Looking forward to getting home?”
Jamie thought about her return to Atlanta. She hadn’t been home in a while, so she wasn’t sure how she felt.
Revel in the chaos.
Revel in the chaos.
Revel in the chaos.
Jamie tried to live by this motto for most of her life because her life seemed to invite chaos. She learned to expect—and sometimes encourage—complications. As the plane taxied to a halt, she repeated her motto to herself. This phrase, tattooed on her right hip, particularly applied now.
The international terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport had changed since she was last there. Her brother, Jonathan, would pick her up at the baggage claim—alone, she hoped, and not sporting a clingy girlfriend. Time to re-acclimate and re-establish family bonds. Dealing with an unknown woman in her face when she wanted to spend time quietly with her brother wasn’t at the top of her to-do list.
As she waited in line to get through passport control, she thought about how she got to this point—back in Atlanta after several years abroad. She had spent two of those years working with the non-profit organization Doctors Overseas. Jamie worked in several locations, including the Central African Republic. She had her reasons for joining the charitable organization; not all were altruistic, and she kept those to herself during her entrance interview. The horrors she witnessed overseas helped her put her personal chaos into perspective. She realized her issues were nothing compared to what people endured in other parts of the world. This realization allowed her to embrace her job and enjoy what she was doing, despite the frequent threats of bodily harm. To help maintain her sanity while overseas, she traveled a lot and spent six months in Italy working with a designer friend.
The agent summoning her snapped her out of her reverie. Handing over her passport, she said, “Nothing to declare. Coming back home for my mother’s birthday and Christmas.”
At the check-in counter, the inspector carefully examined her and her passport photo. Jamison understood the scrutiny. At the time of that picture, she had been at the height of her glamor phase with a history of modeling and a resulting, above-average concern about how she looked. In medical school, she often showed up at rounds with perfectly coiffed hair and more than a swipe of mascara and lip gloss.
But in Africa, those concerns fell away. Right now, Jamie was makeup-free, and a baseball cap covered her hair. She was still beautiful, but now it was a girl-next-door beauty. Jamie had high cheekbones, almond-shaped dark brown eyes, a straight nose, a square jawline, and her golden-brown skin was still smooth. She wasn’t stomping down runways anymore, as in her past life, because she had shifted her priorities.
Her mother would hate it.
“Welcome to Atlanta,” the inspector said as she stamped her passport. “Have a pleasant stay.”
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Release Day Blitz: Homecoming Chaos by D. W. Brooks
A Model MD Novel
D. W. Brooks
Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Contemporary Fiction/ African American
Publisher: Life: The Reboot LLC
Date of Publication: October 31, 2023
Cover Artist: 100covers.com
Jamison Jones Scott has been out of the country and out of contact with most of her family for four years. Distraught, she had left the States previously to join a physicians’ relief organization after canceling her wedding and turning down a cushy job offer.
Now Jamie is back. It’s a homecoming where she is unsure of her family’s reception—especially her mother’s—and she walks into a murder mystery at her family’s business and a big birthday soiree. While trying to navigate her return and learning more about this case, she runs into a tall, handsome detective who is working to solve the mystery and who finds her a sexy challenge even when she interferes.
Can Jamie survive the chaos and protect her family’s business, deal with her family, and handle the dance with the hot detective without managing to get herself killed?
The author lives in Texas with her husband and children. She enjoys trying to stay in shape, sporadically cooking, reading (still), writing, and working on her blog. She is eternally grateful to the woman who donated a kidney to her over 5 years ago and continues to advocate for organ donation as much as she can.
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