The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…

CJ Lyons’ Urgent Care

October 26, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books

According to medical suspense author CJ Lyons’s website, “no one is immune to danger” and the acclaim received from her two previous novels — Lifelines, Warning Signs — (notice the flashing reviews) proves that this writer has indeed found the pulse of her genre. For fans and potentially new fans, she continues to write “Thrillers with Heart” in her third book, Urgent Care, due in bookstores and online retailers tomorrow.

Having practiced as a pediatric doctor for seventeen years, this author knows about the depth of heart and writes about the life she has lived by telling the tales of the women of Angels of Mercy Hospital. These four main characters are: Lydia Fiore, MD, ER attending physician; Dr. Gina Freeman, third year Emergency Medicine resident; Nora Halloran, RN, BSN, SANE; and Amanda Mason, fourth year medical student. Meet them here and by reading the FAQ about CJ. For that’s where you’ll discover that each of these women bears a part of the author:

“Like Amanda, I was the outsider in med school, only a Yankee down South. Like Gina, I was seen as a rebel during residency and my fellowship. I once thought following the rules was the best way to save lives, like Nora, and I now, like Lydia, have learned to live by a different set of my own “’rules.’”

Yet it is in CJ’s Monday, October 19, 2009, popculturedivas post, Living a Life of Crime, where the author explains why she forged a new set of rules and how she found her way “out of the darkness” as Nora finds her own way in Urgent Care.

Although the following describes CJ’s reason for “darkness,” please read the entire post:

“For my pediatric internship and residency I returned to my home state of Pennsylvania and my favorite city, Pittsburgh. During my internship year, something happened that would change me forever.

“One of my fellow interns was killed. Murdered. In the most heinous ways imaginable.

“His death hit us all. We were all very close, the twelve—now eleven—of us. We had to be—no one else understood what we were going through that first year as a doctor when you hold life and death in your hands and have no experience to follow, forced to trust your gut and your heart to make the right decisions. No one else worked our crazy hours, no one spoke our short-hand, stressed-out, sleep-deprived language.

“Then we were twelve no more.

“His killer was caught—thanks to the hard work of several law enforcement agencies. Four days later we were all back to work. He was gone.

“But not forgotten, never forgotten.

“We each found our path out of the darkness. Just like Nora finds her way in my new book, URGENT CARE.

“For me, my path was through my writing. I put aside the science-fiction and fantasy I wrote in school and turned to the gritty, dark world of crime fiction.”

And eventually — years later –that personal life experience would take on another shape and become the kernel for the backstory of Urgent Care. Here’s the synopsis:

CJ Lyons returns to the front lines of the ER and the lives and loves of four very special women. Angels of Mercy Hospital charge nurse Nora Halloran has been living with a painful secret for two long years. When a coworker is assaulted and killed, Nora must face her deepest fears and reveal all her secrets to the man she loves to stop the killer from striking again.


A TV commercial that will be airing in the southeast this week:

And, of course, an URGENT CARE excerpt.

In the interview, Meet Medical Thriller Writer CJ Lyons, at Vivian’s Mysteries this past January 27, 2009, when the author was asked, “Where do your ideas for medical thrillers come from?” she replied:

“Most of my ideas come from things that frustrate me and that I want to change. Topics that I feel passionate about. LIFELINES was pure thriller, WARNING SIGNS more of a mystery but URGENT CARE (due out in October) is psychological suspense. It’s about facing the truth of your past, learning how to trust again. In it, Nora, the ER’s charge nurse, deals with her past as a survivor of a sexual assault.

“While writing it I was very cognizant of the fact that this is an uncomfortable subject for many. But I also wanted to be as honest as possible, to illuminate the courage I’ve seen in victims—and how an assault changes their lives. I can only hope that I did their stories justice and that URGENT CARE will help to inspire and empower readers.”

Even as a novelist CJ Lyons still sounds like a physician who wants to heal others, doesn’t she? Her fourth book, Isolation, to be released next year, will be Gina’s story and the finale of the quadrilogy. But it’s Urgent Care that garners the attention now and will be available for you tomorrow.

What an extraordinary individual capable of making two dream careers come true and be successful at both! For those who wish to learn even more about CJ, please visit (usa) where she’ll be the guest blogger this week.

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand will be giving away two copies of Urgent Care. To enter, please leave a comment on this post before the deadline of Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The winners — based on a random drawing — will be announced here in Thursday’s post.

The Revealing of CJ Lyons

October 21, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles

The first sentence of this bestselling author’s website Bio page reads:

CJ Lyons has lived most of her life on the edge.”

TRUTH: That is an understatement! For, by reading on, you’ll discover that:

“Trained in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, she has assisted police and prosecutors with cases involving child abuse, rape, homicide and Munchausen by Proxy. She has worked in numerous trauma centers, on the Navajo reservation, as a crisis counselor, victim advocate, as well as a flight physician for Life Flight and Stat Medevac.”

And then there are CJ’s further adventures both in the US and abroad.

Her writing comes from being a story-teller and creating dramatic tales about “people discovering the courage to make a difference. This is what drove her into writing thrillers with strong relationships and led her to coin the term: Thrillers with Heart.”

CJ’s first medical suspense novel, Lifelines, debuted in March 2008 and became a national bestseller. The second in the Angels of Mercy series, Warning Signs, followed in January 2009 and her third book, Urgent Care, will be released next Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Urgent Care will receive a full presentation here on The Divining Wand next week but, for now, it’s time to reveal CJ Lyons.

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Daring to dream by taking leaps of faith

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: No rules, just write!

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Actually, my current life is pretty darn close–living the way I want, doing a job I love, friends and family to share successes with and who listen when I need a sympathetic ear, things to strive for but also content with what I have and who I am right here and now.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Becoming bored or boring

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Right here, right now

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: Katherine Hepburn

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: The Dalai Lama

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: Patience…..I have none, seem to be missing the gene for it!

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: As a pediatrician, saving lives; as a writer becoming a National Bestseller

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Lack of patience.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: Sheer stubbornness–I’m half Irish, half Italian, so it comes naturally.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: Believing what others thought instead of believing in myself

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: Gene Krantz–the man who brought Apollo 13 home

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: Did I mention being a tiny bit stubborn?

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: The Stainless Steel Rat

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Francis Dolarhyde

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Jesse Owen–wouldn’t be able to say anything, I’d be awe-struck, but it would be a privilege to shake his hand.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: People wasting my time with meaningless blather.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Walking on the beach and watching the dolphins frolic

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I’ve already lived it–being a pediatric ER doc. But for one I haven’t tried yet, it would be to become a film editor–I can name my favorite editors and I can often see exactly how/when a movie needs trimmed or cut differently.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Vision, Passion, and Commitment

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Dark Chocolate

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Can’t narrow it down and it depends on my mood–I listen to everything from head-banging heavy metal to zydeco to Celtic ceili music.

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
WAY COMES, Mark Helprin’s WINTER’S TALE, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s MISTS OF AVALON, Joseph Campbell’s MYTHS TO LIVE BY, Katherine Neville’s THE EIGHT

Strong, smart and full of surprising answers, don’t you agree? To learn more about CJ, please follow her on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.