Tag Archives: medical suspense fiction

Book Review: Doctor’s Dilemma

27 Mar

Dr. Tyler Gentry had it all planned out, but the death of his parents in a plane crash changed everything. When he discovered his father had left him a mountain of debt, piled on top of his own student debt, the offer from Dr. William Hall to join his group of surgeons seemed a perfect solution. But the night before he was to start, Tyler received a call that told him to get out while he could. Despite the salary and perks, Tyler found a curtain of mystery surrounding the surgical group. The only thing that made it worthwhile was the lovely operating room nurse, Ashley Wynn, with whom Tyler seemed to make an instant connection. But when their first date ended with his car exploding while she watched, Ashley seemed hesitant to continue their relationship. The stakes continued to rise while Tyler was faced with his dilemma: stay or go?

 

 

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of five published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year, and have won the Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

Richard’s non-fiction book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse (Kregel Publishers), has ministered to multiple thousands of grieving individuals. His meditations and short pieces have appeared in The Upper Room, In Touch, and several other periodicals.

When Richard is not writing, he spends his time reading, working fruitlessly to improve his golf game, and defending his title as the world’s best Granddad. He and his wife live in north Texas and are active members of Stonebriar Community Church, pastored by Dr. Chuck Swindoll.

Connect with Richard on his blog or website.

 

My Impressions:

Do you like fast-paced medical suspense novels? Me too! That’s why I always reach for a book by Richard Mabry, MD. Dr. Mabry knows his stuff — he is a retired physician who takes his work experience and blends it with good storytelling and a firm faith. His latest novella-length book, Doctor’s Dilemma, is a winner. I could not put it down! The main characters are likable, and the mystery they face will keep you guessing until the end. And because this one is a quick read, it’s perfect to tuck into a tote bag for a weekend getaway. I loved it, and I think you will too.

Tyler Gentry has just finished his medical residency and has a dilemma. He had been planning to join his father’s medical practice, but the deaths of his parents changed his life and his plans. Student loans and an unforeseen debt from his father have made Tyler desperate for a job. A too-good-to-pass-up job offer seems to be his salvation. But there is something off about the Hall Group and Tyler is soon plunged into solving the mystery.

Action-packed is a good descriptor for Doctor’s Dilemma. The story is the focus, but the characters are interesting and believable. Twists and turns in the story keep Tyler (and the reader) off-balance. I got to the point that I suspected everyone! A sweet romance develops for Tyler and his faith is re-engaged at the end. Overall, Doctor’s Dilemma was a fun read.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE. (It’s currently FREE for Kindle Unlimited.)

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinion expressed are mine alone.)

Guest Post + Giveaway! — Dr. Richard Mabry, Author of Doctor’s Dilemma

15 Mar

By The Book welcomes Dr. Richard Mabry. Dr. Mabry writes medical suspense with heart and does it really, really well! Today Richard is sharing the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing. Also he has generously offered a copy of his newest novella, Doctor’s Dilemma, for one of my readers. Leave a comment or question for Dr. Mabry to enter the giveaway. Giveaway runs through March 22. (Please note: entries from the US only.)

SELF-PUBLICATION AND “TRADITIONAL” PUBLISHING

When I first started down this road to writing, self-publication was a phrase often equated with “vanity publishing.” It was generally held that those who chose this route were people who couldn’t get a contract with a traditional publisher, or for some similar reason chose this way to make certain their work was published. But that’s changed a lot over the past decade.
I’m not going to go into the arguments that exist to this day between those who choose the self-publication route and those who seek a traditional contract. Suffice it to say that there are valid reasons now for good writers to oversee the entire publishing process themselves, just as there are arguments to be made for asking a traditional publisher to share the responsibility for a book’s publication and marketing.

I’ve had ten novels of medical mystery published by traditional publishers. I’ve also dipped my toe (or perhaps I should say, my pen) into the self-publishing waters with three novellas. That makes me a member of a group called “hybrid authors”, having had books published both ways.

Why did I choose to self-publish this novella? There are two main reasons. The first is that only a very few publishers are interested in medical suspense/thriller/mystery books right now, either novels or the shorter form, novellas. I’ve had the good fortune to have publishing contracts with a number of respected houses, but in many cases those publishers have eventually shut down their fiction line, making the odds of getting a traditional contract slimmer still for authors.
The other factor is getting a book out frequently enough to keep name recognition going. Some authors do well publishing one book a year, while others do it more or less frequently. No one really knows whether an author’s fans forget him/her if there’s not a book to remind them of their writing. But no one wants to test that theory. I received enough questions about when my next book was coming out that I finally decided to self-publish this novella. The response of those who buy and read it will tell me a lot. I hope it’s a positive experience — for you, the reader, and for me, the author.

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical suspense with heart.” He is the author of ten published novels, three novellas, and a non-fiction book. His novels have garnered critical acclaim and been finalists for ACFW’s Carol Award, both the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year and Reviewer’s Choice Awards, the Inspirational Readers Choice, and the Selah Award. He is a proud member of the ACFW, the International Thriller Writers, the Christian Authors Network, the FHL chapter of the RWA, and Novelists Inc.

You can connect with Richard on the Internet at his blog page and Facebook fan page, as well as Twitter and Goodreads.

Doctor’s Dilemma — Dr. Tyler Gentry had it all planned out, but the death of his parents in a plane crash changed everything. When he discovered his father had left him a mountain of debt, piled on top of his own student debt, the offer from Dr. William Hall to join his group of surgeons seemed a perfect solution. But the night before he was to start, Tyler received a call that told him to get out while he could.

Despite the salary and perks, Tyler found a curtain of mystery surrounding the surgical group. The only thing that made it worthwhile was the lovely operating room nurse, Ashley Wynn, with whom Tyler seemed to make an instant connection. But when their first date ended with his car exploding while she watched, Ashley seemed hesitant to continue their relationship.

The stakes continued to rise while Tyler was faced with his dilemma: stay or go?

Book Spotlight: Medical Judgment

6 Jun

I am in the midst of a very, very busy reading period. I am judging for the Inspy Awards and am immersed in that reading. And that’s all I have to say about that! 😉 (Per Inspy Judge Rules!) To that end, I have few book reviews to post right now. But . . . here’s a book that will be making its way to the top of the TBR pile in a few weeks. Cannot wait! Have you read Medical Judgment by Richard Mabry? Let me know what you think. If not, take the time to check out this book that is getting rave reviews.

51q86k0gnUL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. They’ve stalked her and set a fire at her home. Trying to recover from the traumatic deaths of her husband and infant daughter is tough enough, but she has no idea what will come next. Her late husband’s best friend and a recovering alcoholic detective are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, but both appear to be vying for her affection as well. Sarah finds herself in constant fear as the process plays out.

As the threats on her life continue to escalate, so do the questions: Who is doing this? Why are they after her? And with her only help being unreliable suitors in competition with each other, whom can she really trust?

Purchase this book HERE.

Mabry.closeDr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of five published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year, and have won the Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

Richard’s non-fiction book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse (Kregel Publishers), has ministered to multiple thousands of grieving individuals. His meditations and short pieces have appeared in The Upper Room, In Touch, and several other periodicals.

When Richard is not writing, he spends his time reading, working fruitlessly to improve his golf game, and defending his title as the world’s best Granddad. He and his wife live in north Texas and are active members of Stonebriar Community Church, pastored by Dr. Chuck Swindoll.

(Thanks to Abingdon for a review copy.)

Author, Author! (+ Giveaway) — Richard Mabry

12 May

Mabry.closeI am very pleased to have Dr. Richard Mabry visiting my blog today. What a great writer of medical drama with strong faith messages. Plus, Richard is graciously giving away a copy of his new book, Medical Judgment, to one of my readers. Yay!! Thanks so much, Richard! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment. (Giveaway runs through May 25)

By The Book — In your career as a physician you wrote/edited numerous textbooks and professional papers. When did you realize you were also an author of fiction?

Richard Mabry — I never considered becoming an author outside of medicine until the death of my first wife, Cynthia. Almost a year after her passing, I began to consider turning the journaling I’d done into a book, but had no idea how. Finally, at a writer’s conference, I got an inkling of 1) how to write a book, and 2) how hard it is to get one published. But I did and it was. The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse has been out for a decade and ministered to many thousands who have suffered a similar loss.

BTB — Who influenced you to try your hand at fiction?

Richard — At that same writing conference, Alton Gansky and James Scott Bell suggested that I try my hand at fiction. Well, you don’t challenge a man to do anything — whether bowling, golf, or writing — without his taking action. I took up that challenge, and after four years spent writing four novels that garnered forty rejections, I got my first fiction contract.

UnknownBTB — Why inspirational fiction?

Richard — I suppose it has something to do with wanting to write a book that I wouldn’t be ashamed to have my name on the cover. Besides, I’ve been a Christian since my early teens, and it just seemed natural to write in that genre.

BTB — Your experience in medicine must be an advantage in your medical suspense novels. What additional research do you do?

Richard — The main thing my years as a physician do is give me the ability to “speak the language.” I know how things go in a medical setting. I can read the journals, textbooks, and online posts and understand them. But every medical scenario in every novel I write requires my going to appropriate sources to see what the symptoms, treatment, and natural course of each disease or injury would be. By the way, one of the things I teach in courses aimed at writers is to be wary of research on the Internet that comes from people with something (an idea, a procedure, a product) to sell. I stick with well-known, reputable sites like WebMD, the NIH, and the American Academy of Family Practice.

BTB — You have an impressive list of awarding winning novels. What does your writing/researching day look like? And how long does it take you to craft a book?

Richard — Unlike some of my author colleagues, I have to admit that I don’t write every day. Yet I seem to always meet my deadlines. I use Jim Bell’s LOCK system when I’m starting to consider a book: lead, opposition, conflict, and knockout ending. I first decide on the thrust of the story, reducing it to one line (the high concept). Then I populate the story with the main characters. I decide on the ending and formulate the twists to maintain the reader’s interest throughout the book. Ideally, I’d like to take a year to write each book, but — for some reason — my contracts keep calling for one every six months, so that’s how long I take.

BTB — Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel, Medical Judgment?

Medical JudgmentRichard — I wanted to feature a single parent (since two members of my extended family fit that description). After that, my curiosity about what problems a widowed physician might encounter was the impetus for this novel, which begins when Dr. Sarah Gordon is awakened by the smell of smoke. Her first thought is to yell for her husband and grab her daughter. Then she rouses enough to realize both have been dead for months. She’s alone. And the house is on fire.

BTB — Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

Richard — My next novel is Cardiac Event, and although I can’t yet share the name of the publisher (sorry), I can assure my readers that it and my next two books after that will have a home. We look for Cardiac Event to be published this fall. In it, Dr. Kirk Martin, a cardiologist, crosses swords with an older internist, Dr. Cliff Hamilton, who tends to exceed his privileges because he’s had a bit of cardiology training. Then, when Dr. Hamilton himself has a heart attack, he asks Dr. Martin to care for him. The cardiologist pulls the older doctor through, but Hamilton dies while still in the hospital — and Martin is a suspect.

BTB — If you would like, please share a little about your personal life.

Richard — I had a full career as a physician (specialist in nasal and sinus disorders and related allergy), but retired from that more than a decade ago. As most retired individuals will tell you, I’m busier now than I ever was when working. God has blessed me once more with the love of a wonderful woman, so now I have two families — which means twice as many Girl Scout cookie sales, school field days, soccer practices, and everything else that seems to fill my days to overflowing. In addition to writing (which includes marketing, and don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t), I enjoy an occasional golf game, watching the local baseball team on TV, and spending some time reading my favorite books — mysteries and crime novels, of course.

Thanks so much, Richard, for sharing with my readers!

 

Dont’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for Medical Judgment.

 

 

Book Review: Miracle Drug

29 Oct

Miracle-DrugOvercoming these odds will take more than a miracle drug—it will take a miracle.

The infection wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did. The treatment was supposed to take care of it, but it didn’t. Then Dr. Josh Pearson discovers why—his patients, including the former President of the United States, have been dosed with a different strain of the original virus, one that is universally fatal. The only chance for survival is treatment with an experimental drug, but the manufacturer might already have discarded its supply.

As if treating the President of the United States isn’t stressful enough, the situation goes from bad to worse when Rachel Moore, a nurse Josh is falling in love with, falls ill. With the nation’s eyes on him, Josh must pull off a miracle to save a man who holds a good deal of power and the woman who holds his heart.

RMabry-120Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician who writes “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have won multiple awards: a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel; finalists for the Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award; and both finalist and winner of the Selah Award. Miracle Drug is his ninth published novel. He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas.

Find out more about Richard at http://www.rmabry.com.

 

My Impressions:

Richard Mabry will have you turning the pages to keep up with the twisting action in Miracle Drug. This medical drama left me tense as I joined with the characters to find a miracle cure for a rare and deadly bacterial infection. And if that’t not enough, the struggle to survive is complicated by hired killers! Miracle Drug is another winner by Mabry.

Josh Pearson is surprised to find himself charged with the care of former President David Madison.  But a serious medical emergency turns deadly as Madison and nurse Rachel Moore are infected with the universally fatal Bacillus decimus. As Josh fights time, bureaucratic red-tape, and an elusive supply of an experimental antibiotic, he finds his efforts challenged by the threat of a killer determined to remove Madison from the international stage.

Miracle Drug left me holding my breath! I could feel my shoulders tense as I entered into the engrossing plot. The race against the clock and the murder conspiracy had me rooting for Josh and the other medical personnel while suspecting any and all involved with President Madison. The twists and turns kept me on my toes and the pages flying. Mabry also includes a strong faith message of relying on and trusting in God no matter the circumstances and the impact that has on those around us. The characters’ varying levels of belief and resulting attitudes are realistically portrayed.

A quick read, Miracle Drug is just what the doctor ordered for fans of medical suspense.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and Abingdon for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway!

miracle-drug-400

Richard Mabry’s new fast-paced medical drama, Miracle Drug, will keep you turning pages until you find out if the experimental drug can cure the fatal disease the former President of the United States has contracted. The situation goes from bad to worse when Rachel Moore, a nurse Dr. Josh Pearson is falling in love with, falls ill. With the nation’s eyes on him, Josh must pull off a miracle to save a man who holds a good deal of power and the woman who holds his heart.

Enter to win a copy of Miracle Drug — five winners will be chosen! Click HERE to enter to win. The winners will be announced November 2 on Richard’s blog!

Book Review: By Your Side

2 Apr

390321ER nurse Macy Wynn learned essential, gritty lessons in the California foster care system: land on your feet and trust no one. She’s finally located the fellow foster child she loves like a sister, but the girl’s in deep trouble. Macy’s determined to help, no matter what it takes. Her motto is to “make it happen” in any situation life throws at her—even when she butts heads with an idealistic cop.

Deputy Fletcher Holt believes in a higher plan, the fair outcome—and his ability to handle that by himself if necessary. Now he’s been yanked from Houston, his mother is battling cancer, and he’s attracted to a strong-willed nurse who could be the target of a brutal sniper.

When everything goes wrong, where do they put their trust?

 

CCbooksignedFormer ER nurse, wife, mom and proud grandmother, Candace Calvert believes that love, laughter, and faith are the best medicines. Her popular medical fiction offers charismatic characters, pulse-pounding drama, romance, humor, suspense–and a prescription for hope. Think, “Grey’s Anatomy finds its soul.” She is . . .

A Northern California native who spent several years in Hill Country Texas — where she learned to check her shoes for scorpions and plucked an armadillo from her swimming pool. Thinks cruising is the best way to travel: honeymooned in Venice, swam with stingrays, rode a camel at the pyramids, and sang (badly) with a Newfoundland country band. She’s passionate about cooking, loves bird watching, gardening, and gets goose bumps when her handsome husband hits the low notes at karaoke. She writes inspirational fiction because . . .

God blessed her with a quirky wit, buoyant optimism, and a contagious sense of fun — but she didn’t come to know him until after the Triple Whammy that turned her life into a bad country song. A painful and unexpected divorce, the Northern California floods of 1997, and (just when she was coping like a champ, no problem) an equestrian accident that left her with fractured ribs, a bleeding lung, broken back, neck fractures and a spinal cord injury. She’ll tell you that God took drastic measures to get her attention.

In the months of rehabilitation, Candace healed in body and spirit. And came to fully understand the difference between being a strong woman and a woman of strength. The difference is faith, and that lesson has been her biggest blessing. Her story, By Accident, appears in Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, and launched her writing career. Now . . .

She is honored to bring readers medical fiction that offers exciting entertainment and a healthy dose of hope.

 

My Impressions:

Candace Calvert writes romances with a big dash of adrenaline. Set amid the drama of a busy ER and first responders, By Your Side has just the right balance of romance, suspense, and faith. If you are a fan of medical TV shows, then you need to check this one out.

Macy Wynn has a past that she needs to overcome, and she will do it her own way. Capable and competent, Macy is determined to make a difference in the lives of her patients, friends and sister. Even when she meets Deputy Fletcher Holt, Macy resolves to stick to her own plans. But her heart tells her otherwise. Fletcher is a take charge kind of guy too. He believes in God, but he often puts more faith in his own abilities. Macy and Fletcher are drawn to each other, but trust is something that is hard to find on both their parts.

By Your Side is full of action — with snipers, medical emergencies and unpredictable people. The characters are easy to relate to. They exhibit doubts and fears found in real life, and some exhibit a deep faith that is inspiring. This is the first book in Calvert’s new Crisis Team series, so there are lots of minor characters that hopefully will get starring roles in future novels. If you are a fan of Calvert’s you may recognize a few characters from her last series too. The theme of trust runs throughout the novel — especially the question of who you can trust in a chaotic world. And I really liked the chaplaincy program that forms the framework for this novel. It really adds a depth to the story lines introduced.

Good writing, interesting and complex characters and a faith message that rings true, not preachy — all this and more can be found in By Your Side.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Tyndale for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click HERE.

 

 

Book Review: Peril

14 Nov

442134_w185Dr. Thomas Reeves is at the pinnacle of his career. The Department of Defense has awarded him a lucrative contract for his new research into superior autobiographical memory, which promises the ability to create combat troops able to quickly learn complex battle plans and enact them perfectly under the most demanding battlefield scenarios.

An elite unit has received neural grafts from fetal cadavers of genetically altered brain cells with enhanced NMDA receptors. The results are remarkable . . . until the recipients begin suffering hallucinations, nightmares, paralysis, . . . and death. Dr. Reeves searches for answers, but DOD insiders want him to stop the search.

The situation becomes public when pediatric ICU nurse Morgan Adams, Dr. Reeves’s daughter, is taken hostage by three research subjects in an attempt to force Dr. Reeves into disclosing why they are sick. If answers aren’t revealed within twenty-four hours, patients in the pediatric ICU will be killed.

This spine-tingling conclusion to the Bloodline Trilogy raises spiritual and ethical dilemmas torn directly out of today’s headlines. When does life begin? How far does commitment to family go? And can the sins of the father ever be forgiven?

Jordyn-382a-199x300Jordyn Redwood has served patients and their families for nearly 20 years and currently works as a pediatric ER nurse. As a self professed medical nerd and trauma junkie, she was drawn to the controlled chaotic environments of critical care and emergency nursing. Her love of teaching developed early and she was among the youngest CPR instructors for the American Red Cross at the age of seventeen. Since then, she has continued to teach advanced resuscitation classes to participants ranging from first responders to MD’s.

When she discovered she also had a fondness for answering medical questions for authors, this led to the creation of Redwood’s Medical Edge. This blog is devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction.

Jordyn lives in Colorado with her husband, two daughters and one crazy hound dog. In her spare time she also enjoys reading her favorite authors, quilting and cross stitching.

Jordyn loves to hear from her readers and you can contact her at jredwood1@gmail.com.

My Impressions:

Looking for an edgy suspense novel with heart-racing action and a chilling look at medical technology? Then you need to get a copy of Peril, the third book in Jordyn Redwood’s Bloodline Trilogy. (Click on the following titles to read my reviews of books 1 and 2 — Proof and Poison.) Bringing together new characters with favorites from the previous books, this novel is a look into the ethics and morals of transplantation and abortion. It also begs the question, is there a limit to what science can or should do?

Morgan and Tyler Adams’ world has been shaken by tragedy and illness. Holding onto their marriage by a thread, the despair of losing a child and facing the necessity of a transplant have caused a dangerous rift in their relationship. And the pressures of job and family are adding to Morgan’s depression. In the midst of this, a child is murdered and another finds new life through the donor’s heart. But something sinister seems to be following this transplant recipient and others in the research that Tyler is doing. Can memories and traumatic events be transmitted through donated tissue?

Redwood offers up food for thought in Peril while producing a page-turning, action-packed thrill ride. Characters are well-developed — even the bad guys are given a well-rounded approach. And I loved the depiction of the dedicated nurses and staff in a PICU unit. Great for those who love suspense, Peril would be great for a discussion group with questions about when life begins, medical ethics and the consequences of science gone too far. Peril can be read as a standalone novel, but this trilogy is really good. Get them all!

Recommended.

Great For Book Clubs.

(Thanks to Kregel for my review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase Peril, click on the image below.