Monday, December 19, 2011

A Picture is Worth . . .

A thousand words--isn't that the old saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words?" When you consider that I've probably teased you a hundreds of times about unveiling the cover for my upcoming book--the cover model hunt, a sigh-worthy Chicago photo shoot, the first cover art draft  . . .
Well, that in itself could qualify for a thousand words!.

So here it is: the official cover for TRAUMA PLAN, the first book in my new Grace Medical series--three novels, three exciting journeys, set in amazing Texas locales. The artist (and photographer), Tyndale House art director Stephen Vosloo, depicts our maverick physician hero, Dr. Jack Travis, in sharp contrast against an almost ephemeral image of heroine nurse-chaplain Riley Hale. At the lower border is the San Antonio skyline. The title is a bold cutout in red, with author name "chalked" in white. I think the whole composition makes a bold statement, supporting the back cover blurb:

Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, nurse chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to ER duties. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? Determined to prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge. 
Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen. 
As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion—and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack’s rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode, and Riley wonders if it’s dangerous to trust him with her heart.

Lest you think that the saying "worth a thousand words," means this cover allowed me to skimp on prose . . . no such shortcut there. This book may indeed be the longest I've written--packed with non-stop action, heart-tugging emotion, humor, great romance . . . all set against the colorful backdrop of San Antonio at Fiesta time. Though it's already available for pre-order, Trauma Plan is officially scheduled for release (on or perhaps slightly before) May 1st.  I can hardly wait to share! 

Here's what early reviews are saying about this book:

"Candace Calvert has crafted another gut grabbing medical thriller. Trauma Plan kept me engrossed from beginning to end as I immersed myself in the characters' lives, felt their pain and rejoiced in their victories. The faith message was clear, the medical traumas heart stopping and the romance heart melting. I loved everything about the story, especially little Hobo and his two wheeled cart. A great read and one for your keeper shelf." - Lynette Eason, award winning, best-selling author of the Women of Justice series 

 "Spine-tingling suspense  and a power-packed shot of adrenaline heat up Candace Calvert’s TRAUMA PLAN. Calvert’s tight writing and well-developed characters made for a story I could not stop reading. TRAUMA PLAN doesn’t disappoint, so grab your parachute and take a dive into an amazing story packed with solid characters, including Calvert’s Rx for great fiction—a heart-throb hero!!" ~~Ronie Kendig, author of the Discarded Hero series.

 "Candace Calvert paints an exciting story on a canvas she knows very well, the world of medicine and the people who inhabit it. Trauma Plan is a novel that will grip your heart and keep you turning pages."
--Richard L. Mabry, MD
--Author of the Prescription For Trouble series

I'm still pinching myself at the honor of having endorsements from those talented authors!

So, what do you think of the new cover: worth a thousand words?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Me . . .

Okay, I love this--it's from a post on Facebook, showing (in lighted glory) a holiday tree made from a stack of books. Sort of a virtual depiction of a book lover singing, "All I want for Christmas is . . . a box of books, crate of books, all I want . . ."  You get it.  I can relate, for sure. When I shared it on Facebook, the responses were similar--including one clever mention of trying to create a tree from Kindle downloads
And then I thought of this photo:

It was sent to me by a reader, showing a vintage 60's (ouch on "vintage," since I was most certainly a reader then) headboard bookcase. In the center book shelf cubby is my trio of Mercy Hospital books--that made me offer a vintage smile, for sure.

It all made me wonder . . . How big is YOUR stack of books? To be read, already read, destined for re-reading, signed by author, awaiting gift wrap? If you took them all, pulled them from cubbies, shelves, closets, under your bed (c'mon, there's one there, right?) and piled them up, would they be tall enough to string with lights for a tree? For the Rockefeller Center tree? 

And what do you do with your books after they've been read? Share them? Re-sell them? Donate them?

My mother was a voracious reader, at least one book a day. She had a room in her house that was off the kitchen, behind the basement door. It was once a watch repair workshop (my Dad's), but ended up a book room. Tidy shelves at first, then piles, then . . . very tall stacks. Avalanche worthy. Mom could have made a Christmas tree of books. With some left over to build a sleigh and big chair for Santa. Her collection was just shy of a "Hoarder's" episode--s book  lover's edition, but without that weird "Eeeeep" sound effect . . . you know the one.

My personal stack of books isn't tree worthy, as I tend to give them away--share them, forget to whom. And before we moved cross country I donated a carload for the local library's fundraiser. My office shelves do have duplicate copies of my own books, waiting to be sent to reviewers or blog giveaway winners. 
Here they are, in all their cover-hero glory: my Mercy Hospital series. In the photo, too, are bookmarks, a signed bookplate, and a handwritten letter--ready to send to a reader to include with a gift.
I wanted to remind you now--before it gets any closer to Christmas--that I am more than happy to send a free personalized book plate, bookmarks, and a letter for any Mercy Hospital book you're giving as a gift. As a reader just told me, it helps to make the gift even more special. Just let me know via e-mail:, and I'll get that right out to you.

So, back to that pressing question . . . is your personal stack of books tree-worthy? What's your number estimate? Should we say . . . "Eeeeep"?