Tag Archives: Hope Sze

24 hour deal: FREE Kobo copy of medical mystery, TERMINALLY ILL, for choosecornwall.ca readers

Dr. Melissa Yi spoke with choosecornwall.ca about her latest medical mystery, TERMINALLY ILL, soaring to the Kobo Top 50 list.

In celebration, Olo Books, Windtree Press, and Kobo are partnering to offer all choosecornwall.ca readers a free Kobo copy of TERMINALLY ILL today.

1. Simply click on the article picture or on the choosecornwall.ca link

2. Like, Tweet, +1, or otherwise share this article.

3. Go to this link for your secret promo code: http://melissayuaninnes.com/secret-code-for-choosecornwall-ca-readers-only

Link will expire tomorrow, but the promo code will still be valid for a Kobo e-copy of TERMINALLY ILL.


If you have difficulty using the code, the direct link to the Kobo book is here.

Users have the option of clicking the Paypal option and getting to the PROMO CODE entry screen without ever having to enter a credit card or Paypal info. If you have trouble redeeming a free Kobo code, try this link, then contact Kobo: help@kobo.com

or click http://kobo.frontlinesvc.com/app/ask_NA to call, chat or email Kobo.

Happy reading!


Publishers Weekly Calls Terminally Ill “Entertaining and Insightful”

Publishers Weekly Terminally Ill Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.42.35 AM

Montreal physician Hope Sze is looking for simple entertainment when she attends escape artist Elvis Serratore’s show, but when Elvis nearly dies in mid-act, Hope’s medical skills are available to save his life. She is less enthusiastic about his plea for her to use her detective skills to find out who tried to kill him by sabotaging his equipment. The subject of unwanted fame as a sleuth, Hope struggles with a too-complex love life, is faced with an ominous death at the hospital at which she works and becomes concerned about a young patient whose requests have deeply disturbing implications. She soon learns that if she does not seek out mysteries, the mysteries will seek her. The most recent installment in a series comprised thus far of three novels and a radio play, this novel demonstrates familiarity with the conventions of mysteries without being constrained by them and with the realities of Canada’s medical world. Although the tone is light, the author is not afraid to introduce darker themes. The three intertwining mysteries and Hope herself provide a narrative by turns entertaining and insightful. (Feb.)        

Full review at Publishers Weekly. Buy Terminally Ill as an e-book or paper book here.

Join Melissa Yi, also known as Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes, for her book launch party on March 22nd, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexandria Public Library and at 2 p.m. at the Cornwall Public Library.

You’ll also learn cutting edge publishing tips from author, publisher, and Kobo director Mark Leslie Lefebvre, and enjoy a reading by Williamstown author L.K. Below. Full details at the event page.

Melissa Yi’s Terminally Ill Makes Local Front Page News

Terminally Ill, the third and newest release in the Hope Sze medical mystery series, debuted on the front page of the Standard Freeholder’s local news page.

Standard Freeholder local page Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.01.08 AM

In a heartwarming interview with Lois Ann Baker, Melissa Yuan-Innes, writing under the pen name Melissa Yi, describes how she first picked up a pen and became a writer as well as an actively practicing emergency physician.

Standard Freeholder close up Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.01.59 AM

If the sample above captures your interest, the full interview may be viewed through Press Display here.

Melissa will appear at the Terminally Ill launch party on March 22nd, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexandria Public Library and at 2 p.m. at the Cornwall Public Library.

She will welcome two special guests: author, publisher, and Kobo director Mark Leslie Lefebvre and Williamstown author L.K. Below. Full details at the event’s Facebook page.

terminally ill book launch poster with SDG & cornwall logos & kobo

Scalpels & Pens: Local Physician Releases Medical Thriller (Seaway News Article)

Thanks to Adam Brazeau of the Seaway News for an electrifying interview with Melissa Yi, a.k.a. Melissa Yuan-Innes, for the official launch of Terminally Ill (March 22nd, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexandria Public Library and at 2 p.m. at the Cornwall Public Library).

Author, publisher, and Kobo director Mark Leslie Lefebvre and Williamstown author L.K. Below will also make special appearances.

Read the full article here.

Seaway Valley scalpels & pens Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 7.59.03 AM

Terminally Ill Book Launch

Terminally Ill officially launches on March 22nd, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexandria Public Library and at 2 p.m. at the Cornwall Public Library.

Come join the fun!

Read all about it in The Seeker:

Seeker Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 7.58.42 AM

Winners of the Code Blues/Devil’s in the Details Contest

Congratulations to the wonderful winners.  Instead of posting little details like “My respirologist has a squeeze toy in the shape of lungs,” these people offered full-fledged stories! 

First place:  Michael Angel

Second place:  Anonymous

Third place:  Cindie Geddes

Honourable Mention:  Dr. Michael Moreton

And now, on to the stories!

First place:

Michael Angel

My only medical ‘detail’ story is really a small item that many others would miss, as it was about a young doctor, not a device or strange implement.

Back around 1999, I ended up in the emergency room when my ulcers ended up rupturing a blood vessel in the stomach. Once it was determined which end of my GI tract was bleeding, I was prepped for surgery to put a scope and a laser, I believe, down the esophagus to cauterize the leak.

I was very woozy, but remember being by myself in the hospital bed, late at night, feeling all alone. Two doctors, one crusty old resident and one young doctor, came to check on me one last time before I went in. I put on a brave face, but honestly, I was flat-out terrified. I’d never been so close to feeling out of control, completely at someone else’s mercy as to whether I’d make it through the night.

So I shivered. The older doctor noted this, saying something to the effect of “What’s the matter?” I replied, “I’m…just…cold.” He huffed, “It’s not that cold in here.”

The younger doctor didn’t say anything. He saw the look in my eyes, and simply reached out and took my hand in his. The very act, that ounce of compassion, instantly calmed me. He knew I was scared, knew I was shamming the ‘cold’, and let me know that though I wasn’t out of the woods, they were going to do their best.

I stopped shivering.

As you can guess, I made a full recovery, which included a regimen of drugs to kill H. Pylori. And though I never learned the young doctor’s name (I was too out of it that night to note his tag), I’ll never forget what he did.

– Michael Angel


Second Place (Anonymous)

Make Me a Woman

I recall as a teen contracting The Clap in the early ’70s, back when it was the second worst STD on the scene. (It was more fun to horrify each other with stories of Syphilis-inspired brain rot and madness.)

Although I made light of it, waxing lyrical about the “annoying drip, drip, drip of Gonorrhea”, and singing, “Gonorrhea, Why?” (to the tune of “Cara Mia Why?”) I was actually quite distressed, and I was a very shy young thing, too. I slipped into the VD Clinic as anonymously as possible (as I am now writing this post) and submitted with quiet dread to a pelvic exam given by a retired (back from the dead) male doctor with a hearing problem. Like going to Grampa for an oil check. (Oh, God.)

On my back, blinking at the bright light, trying my best to keep my mind elsewhere, I endured his fumblings with the speculum, which wouldn’t go in. Instead of taking it out and having a peek, he kept pushing on it, rather painfully from my end of things, as I, having analyzed the problem, called out, “I think I have a tampon in! I think I have a tampon in!” The nurse at his elbow lent her voice to mine. “Doctor, she thinks she has a tampon in!”

At last he heard us, stopped trying to shove my cervix up my nose from the inside, and allowed me to take the tampon out. It is no surprise that after the exam, when he got me to stand up and gave me a nice big injection in the butt, that I finally passed out cold on the floor.

Gonorrhea, why, indeed?


Third Place:  Cindie Geddes

I went to my favorite doctor for an allergy shot. We got to talking and I mentioned some pain I was having in my abdomen. He felt the spot I pointed to and said it was likely some kind of calcium deposit (he probably said something more medical, but I’m not a doctor, so I don’t really remember) on my sutures from a hernia operation a year earlier. He used to be a surgeon. “We can just go in the next room, and I can get it right now,” he said.

“Can I watch?” I asked. I’m always fascinated by how my body works.

“Sure. We’ll use the vasectomy table.”

We went in, set the table so I was nearly sitting up, and went to it. He gave me some numbing injections, cut my ab open and dug around until he found the sutures. Sure enough, he found what looked like little rocks at the ends of my sutures. But cutting them off was going to be awkward because he was the one holding the retractor thingies.

“Can I help?” I was loving the whole thing. Couldn’t feel anything but tugging, but he was giving me the tour of what he was cutting and why, and it all looked pretty damn cool.

“Sure,” he gloved me up and handed me the retractor thingies, and I held them while he snipped the little rocks off. Then he let me feel the little rocks (still gloved), and that’s exactly what they felt like — rocks. Suddenly, my pain made perfect sense.

My recovery was the easiest I’ve had of any ab surgery (I’ve had, I think, nine) because I knew exactly what had been done and understood exactly what was happening during recovery.

I had a similar little surgery two years earlier. Cost: $7,000 (thank dog for insurance). With that one, I was knocked out, had the usual huge staff, waited in pre-op for three hours, post-op for six. Cost for this one: $700. Complete time from entering the vasectomy room to going home: 35 minutes.

My doc gave me his cell phone number to keep him posted on how my recovery was going and insists I use it still for any little question or concern I have.

This is all very very wrong in the US. I don’t use his name because I suspect he could get in big trouble. But it’s my favorite interaction with a doctor ever. And the easiest procedure I’ve ever had. I love this guy.

Cindie Geddes


Honourable Mention:  Dr. Michael Moreton

Dr. Moreton was gracious enough to contribute two stories.

The call came when I was in the Ante-Natal clinic at the United Family Hospital
in Beijing. It was from the Consular department at the American Embassy. A
pregnant American woman who was working with an aid agency in Tibet had
gone in to premature labor, they had contacted the assistance company to fly her
out but Washington had insisted that an Obstetrician go with the team. A wise
precaution. As, at that time in 2000, I was the only licensed western Ob in Beijing
there was not much choice of who should go.

I picked up an Emergency delivery pack from Labor and Delivery and the
appropriate medications that we were using to relax the Uterus from the
pharmacy and while waiting the SOS team to pick me up, did a little shopping.

We were using a military plane as they were roomier than any other planes. The
Chinese military is very business orientated and their ambulance planes were
available for hire.

We took off and had an uneventful flight and we landed in Lhasa. It was crystal
clear day and after the murky skies of Beijing the intensity of the light gave
everything film-set appearance. Unfortunately there was no time for sightseeing
and we drove to the hospital.

I was apprehensive; I had been to Chinese hospitals on evacuations before where
they were reluctant to release the western patient. Partly as it was a loss of
face but also a loss of a golden goose. This time it went without incident and
the staff were very accommodating. I handed out the products of my shopping,
canned hams, pantyhose and cigarettes always seemed to be useful for this part
of the ceremonies. The patient was pleased to see us and her contractions were
infrequent and mild. After monitoring things for a few minutes we loaded her
onto the ambulance and started for the airport. It was at this point that I started
to feel light-headed and a little breathless. I discounted this feeling that just
thinking about Mountain sickness had caused psychosomatic effects.

When we were on the runway loading the stretcher on which she was lying
was a difficult maneuver. It took four of us to do it as we had to raise it to chest
level to get it onto the plane and I was in a position where I took a lot of the

weight. When the stretcher was loaded, I stepped back and at that point it hit.
A blinding headache, a wave of nausea and a desperate feeling of shortage of
breath overwhelmed me. They bundled me onto the plane, shut the door, gave
me oxygen and within minutes I felt better. Luckily the plane had two beds, so the
patient and I lay alongside each other on the return journey. She was very calm
and reassured me that everything was under control.

Dr Michael Moreton is a Canadian OB/GYN who spent over nine years in China. He is now the International Medical Coordinator of The Bangkok Hospital, Thailand.

I was a House Physician at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary in 1964. A

patient was admitted with confusing symptoms and after investigation
it was found that he was suffering from chronic arsenic poisoning, as he
had been exposed to arsenic in his workplace for many years.

Even on the professorial medical service nobody had any experience in
treating this problem. We made rounds and presented the case to Dr
Sutton the junior consultant on the service. When we came to therapy
he turned to me and said “Phone Dr Preble and see if he has any
advice” This was quite logical Dr P was a Consultant Veneriologist and
had had experience in using arsenic in the treatment STDs before the
advent of penicillin. He surely would have seen overdoses and would be
able to advise.

I called him at his private clinic in Rodney St.

‘Good afternoon sir, I am Dr Moreton, a House Physician at the Royal
and I need your advice —- “ He cut me off.

“Don’t say a word on the phone, dear boy. Come and see me this

For more of Dr Michael Moreton’s tales, please read the Medical Post.

Behind “Code Blues,” with Melissa Yi

Code Blues, by Melissa YiAvailable at Kindle & Smashwords

In Melissa Yi’s debut medical thriller, Code Blues, Dr. Hope Sze tries to resuscitate a doctor who died in the men’s locker room of a Montreal hospital.  Then she uncovers his killer with the help of not one, but two, delectable men.  Yi, who is a real-life emergency doctor, offers an exclusive interview about her novel.

Why did you write about Hope Sze, a medical resident who turns into an amateur detective?

I think it’s a matter of “write what you know,” since I had just finished my emergency medicine training, plus I like mysteries and romance.

I woke up with the idea of writing a series about a resident doctor named Hope, starting with Cross My Heart, where she solves a mystery but romance is key.  In Hope to Die, she would receive death threats.  I changed the titles, but the ideas stayed.  Of course, I thought the third would be called Stick a Needle and be set on surgery and the fourth, In My Eye, would be on ophthalmology, but I’ve only written the first two.

Some people think it’s not realistic that Hope would agree to solve crimes.

I don’t know.  If I found someone I knew who had died under mysterious circumstances, I might investigate it.  Doctors tend to take charge and I’m nosy.  It doesn’t mean I’d be any good at it!  But I tried to write it as realistically as possible while still keeping it a good story.

What about Alex Dyck and John Tucker, the two men vying for her attention?  Is that realistic too?

It could happen, but I made them up.  Unfortunately.  Or maybe not unfortunately, as you can see in the book.

You didn’t have two guys fighting over you?

I wish!  Actually, I’m one of those annoying people who found the right guy almost immediately.  I married my high school sweetheart during medical school.

So you’re not into bad boys?

I’m into self-preservation.  But it doesn’t hurt to imagine how the other half lives.

What about the medicine?

That part’s all true.  I was actually cringing during the edits, remembering what it was like, having to explain to patients’ families on the internal medicine ward and on pediatrics that they had to bring their own diapers (BYOD.  Much less fun than BYOB), or running up the stairs and finding plaster that had crumbled off the wall on the stairs.  A nephrologist told me that their weight scales were broken, but no one would pay to fix them, so they just had to guess how much to dialyze their patients.  A neurologist told us he needed heating packs when testing patients’ nerve function, or else the test wasn’t accurate, but no one would pay for those, either.

Is the Canadian medical system that bad?

No, parts of it are excellent!  Seriously, Quebec is in a crisis.  Like Hope, I came to Montreal from Ontario (a neighbouring province) after doing medical school at the University of Western Ontario and I was shocked at the difference.  Like, on one floor, the nurses didn’t do electrocardiograms or draw blood, so if a patient had chest pain, I was supposed to do everything–and run all the other patients at the same time, all night.  Sadly, the Ontario system has now deteriorated as well, but there are so many good doctors, nurses and administrators fighting the good fight to give patients the care they deserve.

Isn’t this an argument against socialized medicine?

No, it’s an argument against medicine that’s poorly executed, which can happen anywhere, whether it’s for profit or non-profit.  A one-tier system, where government pays the bills instead of multiple insurance companies, saves about 10 percent of costs right off the top.  And in general, it doesn’t make sense to me to have companies making a profit from ordering scans or offering surgeries you don’t need.  I’d rather have healthy people who only come in to emerg when they really need it.

I’m in favour of medical care for everyone.  I think it should be accessible to all, just like clean water, unpolluted air, and a proper education.

You wrote “favour” and “neighbour”.  Your spelling is…

Not American.  I know.  Canadian spelling incorporates British and American spelling, which means I’ve made up my own hybrid.  My copy editor made changes, but I changed them back.  To me, anaesthetist just looks cooler than anesthetist.  More learned, somehow.  Yet anaestheologist seems stuffy to me.  Strange, I know.

Why do you use a pseudonym?

Well, my real name is Melissa Yuan-Innes.  Try saying that three times fast.  For the record, I pronounce “Yuan” like “It’s just YOU ‘n’ me, kid.”  I have now worked for years with nurses and unit coordinators who mispronounce it or who say, “I know how to pronounce it.  It’s Dr. Melissa.”

I started publishing under my real name, mostly fantasy and science fiction and medical humour, but for mystery/thrillers, I decided to go with Yi, pronounced Yee.  It’s snappier.  It also helps people distinguish between genres.  My kids books will be under Melissa Yuan and romance will be Melissa Yin.

Thank you for explaining.  So what are you working on now?

The sequel to CODE BLUES, NOTORIOUS D.O.C., debuts September 3rd.  Hope decides to help a grieving mother investigate a hit-and-run accident from eight years ago.  And the love triangle continues.  I remember Sting once said that if it’s just “I love you, you love me,” that’s boring, but once you bring in a third party, it becomes interesting.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

But I hope to release novels in all my genres before my maternity leave ends in October.  Thanks for reading!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Code Blues is available on Kindle and Smashwords.

Notorious D.O.C. continues Hope Sze’s adventures September 3rd, 2011.

Melissa Yuan-Innes is also the author of the radio medical drama No Air (on Smashwords andKindle) and a collection of medical humour called The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World and Other True Tales From the Emergency Room (on Smashwords & Kindle, under the name Melissa Yuan-Innes).  She welcomes visitors at  www.melissayuaninnes.net.