Tuesday, March 18, 2008

CJ Lyons: The Most Dangerous Day of the Year

CJ Lyons has hit the bookstores at a full run. She's been featured in several online interviews and has appeared on television talk shows to showcase her amazing debut novel, Lifelines.

Even with her whirlwind schedule, CJ is here on Suspense Novelist today sharing some good information for everyone, and giving us a peek into what makes her book so great.

Here's a little about CJ, who I've come to think of as a friend:

As a pediatric ER doc, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about. CJ loves sharing the secret life of an urban trauma center with readers. She also loves breaking the rules; her debut medical suspense novel, LIFELINES, is cross-genre to the extreme, combining women's fiction with medical suspense with thriller pacing with romantic elements and is told from the point of view of the women of Angels of Mercy's Medical Center. Publisher's Weekly proclaimed LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), "a spot-on debut..a breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller" and Romantic Times made it a Top Pick. Contact her at http://www.cjlyons.net

Take a look at the two endorsements on the front of this. Wowzers! Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Gardner. Awesome.

The Most Dangerous Day of the Year by CJ Lyons

Thanks to Peg for inviting me! Peg asked me to talk about life in the ER and how it's different than the "normal" world.

One obvious difference is that for people who work in Emergency Rooms, holidays take on a whole different meaning than they do for the rest of the world. Here's a list of the five most dangerous days of the year to be in or around an ER.

Number 5: tie between Valentines Day and St. Patrick's Day
Valentine's Day has sloppy heart-broken drunks with suicidal ideations. St. Patrick's Day has more sloppy drunks puking up green beer and seeing leprechauns. Definite toss up (pun intended!)

Number 4: Christmas
Over the hills to grandma's—often while driving drunk on icy roads; stomach viruses, influenza, and respiratory diseases all hitting at once; curious kiddies surrounded by poisonous mistletoe and poinsettias; traveling out-of-towners who forget their heart, diabetes, blood pressure, or anti-psychotic medications….need I say more?

Number 3: New Years
More drunk driving, more icy roads, coupled with kids waking up before their parents and overdosing on left-over booze, add in a plethora of stroke of midnight kisses turned into date-rapes, hang-overs, and football bets gone wrong.

Number 2: Thanksgiving
Sharp knives do not mix with a once a year family gathering! Festering hostilities tend to surface, aided by liberal doses of wine and turkey.

Number 1: July 1st
Actually make that July 1st through the 4th. You see, for teaching hospitals, our calendar starts on July 1st. That's when the new interns—yes, the bumbling fools who were mere medical students on June 30th—hit the hospitals and start taking care of patients.

Add to that the age-old American traditions of drinking yourself stupid and shooting off explosives and/or guns while celebrating Independence Day and you have a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

Is it any wonder that my medical suspense novel, LIFELINES, takes place from July 1 through July 4th?

I remember my own Transition Day. Brand new, still not unpacked or moved in, barely finding the hospital parking lot (it was two blocks away in a gang-riddled, not-so-nice neighborhood) much less figuring out my way around the hospital and I'm suddenly on call, responsible for three floors worth of very sick kids!

No one died that night, not on my watch….for which I've forever been eternally grateful. I don't take credit for it—I think it was more likely because of the always-excellent nurses who were well aware of the dangers July 1st posed their tiny patients.

Of course, in my novel, things don't go quite so well for my main character. She loses a patient—the wrong patient, the Chief of Surgery's son. And she has no idea why he died….

If you want to learn more of what goes on behind the scenes at an urban medical center on the most dangerous day of the year, give LIFELINES a try!

Anyone out there with a favorite holiday disasters? I'd love to hear!

Thanks for reading,

CJ, my thanks once again to you for taking the time join us here. I'm excited to see what a fabulous liftoff LIFELINES has had. You go, girl!

It's all better with friends.


  1. Wow, CJ. If we could teach people to respect--or stay away from--alcohol, holidays might be fun for EVERYONE.
    Best of luck with Lifelines!

  2. Good point, Susan! Or at least stay away from cars while they're drinking.

    Thanks for stopping by!