Friday, April 29, 2011

Whee . . . Free!

There's nothing like the feeling of FREE, whether that brings to mind a patriotic image of the American flag, a pulse-spiking leap from a skydiving plane, the soul-soothing peace of forgiveness, or . . . something as simple but rare as a no-strings-attached FREE GIFT! I'm delighted to say that my publisher, Tyndale House, is doing just that. They are offering everyone a free e-book! My second Mercy Hospital novel, DISASTER STATUS, will be a free download between May 1st and May 28th. Which means that right now, you can go to the Amazon Kindle page and download this exciting story--no need to own a Kindle or other e-reader device; you can download it to your computer, or to other options. The Amazon Kindle page offers several free applications to get you reading the book in mere minutes! I had a great time writing this drama set at the California coast, and I think you're going to enjoy it. Here's the story summary from the back cover of Disaster Status:

Charge nurse Erin Quinn escaped personal turmoil to work on the peaceful California coast. But when a hazardous material spill places Pacific Mercy Hospital on disaster status and stresses staff, she's puts to the test. And thrown into conflict with the fire department's handsome incident commander who thinks her strategy is out of line.

Fire Captain Scott McKenna has felt the toxic effects of tragedy; he's learned to go strictly by the book to advance his career, heal his family, and protect his wounded heart. When he's forced to team with the passionately determined ER charge nurse, sparks fly. As they work to save lives, can they handle the attraction kindled between them . . . without getting burned?

Sound exciting? Fun? You betcha! I'm excited to share this story with you. And with your family and friends--please DO let them know about this free gift.

I would like to ask a favor during these upcoming weeks: if you enjoy reading Disaster Status, will you please consider posting a positive book review on Amazon?A few minutes of your time would be a huge blessing to me. One reason that publishers offer free books, is to introduce readers to authors. Your positive, star-studded reviews go a long way in encouraging folks to "scrub in" for my stories of hope. And inspiring and encouraging people is at the very heart of why I show up at the keyboard each morning. Your enthusiastic comments can welcome thousands of readers to take a chance on a new author--me. If you've read (and enjoyed) Disaster Status in the past, but haven't had a chance to post a review, I hope you'll do that now. It would mean a lot to me. Thank you in advance for your time and kindness!

And now, on a personal note, I'll offer another definition of FREE: this author on vacation.
On April 4th I finished the first draft of Trauma Plan, the first book in my newly contracted series. Though there is "polishing" to do before my official deadline, this is the time that I let my story sit in a drawer (okay, in a computer file) and "steep." So that I can pick it up with fresh eyes, read it, and make some necessary changes before sending it to my editors. Having the bulk of the work finished early is the consummate definition of FREE for an author. To celebrate this (and so many beautiful recent blessings), I'll be climbing hand-in-hand with my wonderful husband up the gangway of a cruise ship. Yes! So excited! As I write this, we are packing up, compiling instructions for the house-sitter, and counting the scant days until sailing: from Florida across the Atlantic to the Azores, and on to ports in Ireland, Scotland, Wales . . . and then France, to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary in Paris (yes, my knees are weak at the thought). We'll spend a few extra days in London before flying back home--all in all, nearly 3 weeks. I'm. Jazzed. Big time!

I will to try to post photos on Facebook, to give you a bit of the flavor of our journey--pretending that I've tucked you along in my luggage (ouch, sorry about the shoes!) Wouldn't that be cool?

So, yes, FREE. Please enjoy my publisher's book gift to you. And bear with me if my response to your e-mails is slow. Rest assured that I'm missing you and that I'm percolating a sequel to Trauma Plan. Really. Even if it appears that I'm dressed in evening wear and standing at a ship's rail. In a romantic Atlantic crossing, with a handsome silvery-haired man dressed in a tuxedo and toasting me with a glass of champagne. Ah, yes . . .

Bon Voyage, my friends!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Author Richard Mabry M.D. ~ Cover My Shift #3

Weds. April 27th: Congratulations to our book winners Vanessa, Carol Moncado, and Marjorie!!

I'm delighted to have Dr. Richard Mabry "cover my shift" today! A bit later, he's going to explain the circumstances under which we met, but let me tell you that it's been wonderful to have my Mercy Hospital series released along the same timeline as Dr. Mabry's Prescription for Trouble series. And, from our mail and reviews, it seems that our readers heartily agree! Though we both write medical fiction, sometimes I smile to myself about our differences--it's kind of like when Marie Osmond would tease her brother, "I'm a little bit country . . . he's a little bit rock and roll." Only with us, Richard's emphasis is on suspense and mine tends toward romance. Yet we each include both elements in our books, along with plenty of exciting medical detail . . . just for you.

Before we meet Richard, here's a brief bio:

Richard L. Mabry, M.D., is a retired physician and medical school professor who achieved worldwide recognition as a writer, speaker, and teacher before turning his talents to non-medical writing after his retirement. He is the author of one non-fiction book, and his inspirational pieces have appeared in numerous periodicals. He and his wife, Kay, live in North Texas.

The first two books in the Prescription for Trouble series are Code Blue and Medical Error. The third book in this series, Diagnosis Death, has just released:

From the back Cover:

The threatening midnight calls followed Dr. Elena Gardner from one city to another, prolonging her grief. Even worse, they are echoed by the whispers of her own colleagues. Whispers that started after her comatose husband died in the ICU . . . then another mysterious death during her training. When a third happens at her new hospital, the whispers turn into a shout: “Mercy killer!”

Why doesn’t she defend herself? What is the dark secret that keeps Elena’s lips sealed?
Two physicians, widowers themselves, offer support, telling Elena they know what she is going through after the death of her husband. But do they? And is it safe to trust either of them with her secret? Soon Elena will find that even when the world seems to be against her, God is for her, if she'll only trust him.

For more information, and to connect with Dr. Richard Mabry, check out these links:

And now here's his message just for you:

Nurse Candace Calvert and Doctor Richard Mabry first met as they kneeled across from each other, ministering to a member of ACFW who’d crumpled from her chair at lunch during the annual meeting. Thankfully, her problem wasn’t serious, but it brought together two people who were members of the medical profession and enjoyed writing about it.Since then, Candace and I have been cyber-friends, even though shortly after that time she traitorously left Texas for the California territories. For a while, Amazon was packaging books from Candace’s Code Triage series with those my Prescription For Trouble books. And now she’s asked me to “take her shift.” This may be the first time in history that a doctor has stepped in to cover the shift of a nurse, and I hope I can handle it. After all, doctors and nurses, although both are important members of the health care team, are trained differently. We’re used to doing different jobs. And that’s a good thing.
You can draw a parallel with the professions Candace and I have moved into from our medical careers: the publishing industry. When an editor accepted my first novel, I figured I’d done all the work necessary for its publication. Oh, someone would have to see to the mechanics, but the writing was obviously so good that it could go right to the printed page. Wrong! There was the macro-edit, the line edit, editing the galley proofs, designing the cover art… You get the picture. I was no more the most important member of the publishing team than a doctor is the most important part of the health care team. The novel needed more than I could give it, and the work was best done by people skilled in that area.
Two of Candace’s readers will win ARC’s (advance reading copies) of my novels. ARC’s are generally printed from the author’s first revisions, the version of the book that incorporates changes suggested by the macro-edit. But there are still more edits to come, so what appears in an ARC may not be what the consumer eventually purchases. That comes after others add their magic touch. It’s a team effort. And I’m glad it’s that way…in medicine and in publishing.
Candace, thanks for letting me cover your shift. Now I think I’ll put my feet up and have some coffee. This is tough duty.

Richard, wise words on all counts! I SO appreciate your "covering my shift,"--even though (giggle) you turned down my offer of matching red scrubs. Seriously, it's been a complete pleasure to have you here, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing you again at the ACFW conference in St. Louis this fall.

Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to share your exciting medical mysteries with my readers!

To be entered for the book giveaway drawing, please leave a comment and e-mail address below. I'll draw three names randomly on Wednesday April 27th. I'll post the names here as well as contact winners by e-mail.

Good luck to you all. And have a wonderful Easter celebration!