Thursday, December 18, 2008

WARNING SIGNS, first review!

C.J. Lyons
Jove, Feb 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515145830

This exhilarating medical thriller gets the blood pumping as readers will admire and root for courageous Amanda....This is a terrific thriller and fans of Michael Palmer will enjoy this fine tale of a brave but scared medical student in trouble.
The Mystery Gazette, Dec. 15, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

WARNING SIGNS cover art is here!!!

And it's gorgeous!

Thank you, everyone in the art department at Berkley/Jove, you guys rock!

Mark your calenders, WARNING SIGNS will be out January 27, 2009. Or you can pre-order here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Talk about Sex!

Thought that would get your attention, lol! Jordan Dane, Toni McGee Causey, Roxanne St. Clair, St. Martin's Publisher Matthew Shear and I did a panel at RWA National Conference called Sex and the Single Title.

It was in one of the larger rooms (I'm told there was seating for 75) but we had folks sitting on the floor, standing in the back, it was jam packed and one of the most talked about (and praised!) sessions of the conference....and now it's highlighted in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Writing sex scenes

Meanwhile, behind the doors of a nearby conference workshop, a panel of best-selling authors gave tips on how to write sex scenes - explicit and otherwise. Among their observations:

-- "A sex scene is an action scene," said Toni McGee Causey. Her latest "white-trash romance" is "Bobbie Faye's Very (Very, Very, Very) Bad Day."

-- "Younger romance readers have a higher tolerance for sex," according to editor Matthew Scheer of St. Martin's Press.

-- "It doesn't need to be a how-to guide," said Roxanne St. Claire, author of the Bullet Catchers trilogy. "A sex scene must be emotionally true to character - and it has to make the conflict worse."

Audience questions ran to the technical. This one busted up the room: "Do you practice your love scenes before you write them?" an aspiring author asked.

"Well, I don't recommend the spin cycle," Causey quipped.

Fellow panelist CJ Lyons, who writes medical-suspense, had a quick rejoinder. "I told you!" she said. "It's the dryer, on low."

Yes, probably the first and last time I'll ever get the last word in a conversation with Toni!!!

Read the entire article here and enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My, to-be-read-pile, overfloweth

So, before I left for TFest, I took a week off and gave myself the ultimate treat: a reading binge!! (If I sound like a book junkie, well, yes, Hi, I'm CJ and I love books...)

Here are the ones I indulged in that week: are the ones I came home with and that now sit tempting me everyday:

Oh my, just a taste, please--but once I start a book, I know the perils, it's so hard to stop!

Anyone else with this problem?

Hmmm....maybe I could give up cleaning the house to find more time to fit in reading? Whoops, I already do that to find more time to write!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TFest Fan-Girl moment: Me and Harlan Coben!

Thanks to Barbara Vey from Publishers Weekly for posting this "drive-by" video of me and Harlan Coben.

I can't believe I was coherent, I've been a huge fan of Harlan's for years and years! And Harlan was so sweet to mention my books! Just goes to show you the caliber of writers ThrillerFest attracts.

Monday, July 14, 2008

ThrillerFest Festivities!

I'm too exhausted to recap the entire week all in one post, so will start with some of the highlights:

Lee Child accepting his gift from the ITW Debut Authors--yes, it's a artist's rendering of Lee being chased by a hoard of 40 zombie-mutant-crazed debut authors for cover quotes!

What were they thinking? The very nice (and very cute!) ATF guys let me hold a M-5 submachine gun, woohoo!

Me and ITW president, Steve Berry, looking James Bond cool at the Awards Banquet.

Fun, friends, books, guns, readers--who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Anyone get Sirius?

I'll be appearing live on Doctor Radio (Sirius Channel 114) with Dr. Billy Goldberg, author of Why Do Men Have Nipples on Thursday, July 10th from 8am-9am.

Should be a fun time, so if you Sirius, tune in!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More LIFELINES sightings...

Ruth sent this pix and said:

I loved your book! I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the next one!
I was reading it while on a cruise in a caribbean, here's a picture of me at the beach in Labadee, Haiti with your book.

And Margie sent this pix--she drove all the way from Canada to have her picture taken with me and LIFELINES!

(well, I think her husband's fishing trip and vacation had something to do with it as well, lol!)

Thanks guys! And remember, if you want to enter for a chance to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and a LIFELINES t-shirt, just email me your photo of you and your copy of LIFELINES!

They'll be posted here and eventually on a special page on my website. Winner will be announced in my Summer newsletter!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wordsmiths Gala!!!

The wonderful folks at Wordsmith's Bookstore in Decatur, GA invited me to participate in their anniversary celebration last weekend and I had a blast!

The guest of honor was the unforgettable Toni McGee Causey (Bobbie Faye's Kinda, Sorta, Not Exactly Family Jewels) who taught us how to shuck crawfish.

Wordsmith's threw a cajun party, a fais do-do, for Toni and Tim from BabyGotBooks litblog did the honors of preparing the crawfish boil.

Um-um-good.....Wordsmiths promised more fun than is legally allowed in a bookstore and they delivered!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Whoops! Kinda forgot to blog...

Hey there! I know, it's been a while! Sorry, I got a bit distracted running hither and yon launching LIFELINES.

But, one of my stops was in Pittsburgh where I had the chance to have some fun research for Book 2, WARNING SIGNS, spending an afternoon with a few of the Pittsburgh River Rescue guys!

Here are some pix, enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Girls gotta have fun!

Check out the good time I had joking around with Jill Monroe and Gena Showalter on their Author Talk show!

Monday, May 5, 2008

LIFELINES tour wrap-up

One book, eight weeks, thirteen cities….

Hey, I'm back! Home sweet home for three whole weeks, yeah! On the plane back home, I was reflecting on some of the stats from my LIFELINES book tour.

Number of:

Flights taken: 25
Pieces of luggage lost: 0
Miles driven: 1927

Trains: 8
Buses: 6
Boats: 1
Hospitals visited: 2
Speeches/panels/workshops given: 15
TV/video interviews: 5
Print interviews: 8
"Live" Signings: 16
"Drive-by" Signings: 12
Conference booksellers sold out of LIFELINES: 100%
Friends old and new met: too many to count!!!

Thanks to everyone who made my first ever tour and first ever book release such a huge success!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Had a wonderful chat with the ladies of The Women of Mystery Bookclub the other night and they were kind enough to send this great picture:

The Women of Mystery Book Club in West Monroe, Louisiana
Pictured are Back Row left to right: Cynthia Malone, Laveda Clark, Linda Hill
Front row left to right: Beth Cornelison, Sheila Stracner, Jennelle Brulte

Mega-thanks to Beth Cornelison for inviting me and sending the pix!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

More LIFELINES sightings...

Larissa Ione took LIFELINES camping with her and wrote:
I finished Lifelines, and loved it! Now I’m DYING for the next one...Excellent book, lady – totally AMAZING debut! Congrats!

As promised, I’m sending proof that I read Lifelines while camping! It
annoyed the hell out of my husband, who kept saying I needed to do things like hike. Pfft. I was just way to engrossed in the book!

And a sighting from Toni McGee Causey in Baton Rouge, Louisiana...

Finally, one more from the Brazilian rainforest, courtesy of Leighton Gage:

Feel free to send me your pictures of any sightings of LIFELINES!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, April 21, 2008

LIFELINES international!

Leighton Gage, a fantastically talented crime writer from Brazil and author of Blood of the Wicked, sent me these pictures of LIFELINES in Sao Paulo.

Pretty cool, eh?

Feel free to send me pictures of you and your copy of LIFELINES--I'll enter you into a special contest and post them here!

Monday, March 24, 2008

LIFELINES scores a perfect 10!

coverIn addition to the accolades LIFELINES has received from Publisher's Weekly, The Baltimore Sun, and a Top Pick from Romantic Times, LIFELINES has scored a Perfect 10 from Romance Reviews Today!
The writing, storyline, descriptions, and characterizations are simply superb...a gritty, breathtaking, nail-chewing wild ride in and about Pittsburgh.

I found it difficult to put this book down. It is better than any medical story I have ever read and rivals the best in the movies and television. At the climax, readers will be hanging on by their fingertips. Emotions run high, and debut author C. J. Lyons blends everything and everyone seamlessly in this riveting drama. I award this must-read novel a Perfect 10.

~Vi Janaway, Romance Reviews Today

For the entire review, click here.

LIFELINES is available in stores everywhere now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CJ on Live TV!

Check it out--is that really me?

Click here, scroll down click on Author CJ Lyons.

Go ahead and laugh, I know I did!

What fun to go on live TV--no preparation, just have a seat, here's your mic, and go!!! Good thing I enjoy improvising, lol!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Just returned from Left Coast Crime in Denver where I had my official launch for LIFELINES and a rocking good time!!!

The first day I had two signings, the first with Steve Hockensmith and Rhys Bowen at Murder by the Book. Check out the beautiful cake owner Lauri Ver Schure had made for us!

The second signing was in Boulder at High Crimes. Here's owner Cynthia Nye with her LIFELINES t-shirt.

And then my very first solo signing was at Tattered Cover. Look at what was greeting me when I walked in the door!

Sold a lot of books during the trip but even better was hearing from tons of folks who read LIFELINES and already fell in love with the women of Angels of Mercy's ER!!!

Will get these and more pix onto the website asap. In the meantime, if you've read LIFELINES, be sure to let me know what you think and send me your photo with your copy to be entered to win a prize!

Check out my website for more details.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Big Picture

AuthorLink has posted a video interview I did with them, discussing the trials and tribulations of getting published.

Click HERE if you want to see me up close and personal....

Plus more great reviews! This one from Sunday's Baltimore Sun, from Sarah Weinman:

Readers who prefer their medical thrillers to have characters with beating hearts and three dimensions are well advised to pick up this series debut by Lyons, a veteran of trauma centers and pediatric emergency medicine...Lyons captures the frenetic setting of the ER with a smooth style that demands the reader move forward to keep up with the piece, but she also creates winning portraits of the supporting players set to anchor the series.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

LIFELINES, out and about...

Recent sightings of early buzz about LIFELINES:

~Candy's Inside Books

~an nice feature from Ali Karim in January Magazine

~and, a mention in New Books!

Wow!!! This is actually starting to feel real! Six days and counting!

Don't forget, send me your picture with your copy of LIFELINES and I'll post them here and on my site--plus, you'll be entered to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card!

And save those receipts--enter my TREAT A FRIEND and WIN! contest for a chance to win an iPod Nano! Details on my site.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh my! I'm in Writer's Digest!!!

Okay, true confession time. I've been telling stories all my life (a constant dismay to my parents who swore I'd never learn the difference between fact and fiction!) and writing them down for as long as I can remember....along with that came the dream of someday seeing them published.

So, even as a kid, whenever I had some cash in my pocket, I'd buy a Writer's Digest and read it from cover to cover, trying to glean any insight into how to make my dream come true. Never bought a Cosmo or Elle or Redbook, nope, the only magazine I bought was Writer's Digest.

And now, there I am, a full page all about me and my book on p. 22 of the April WD issue (on newsstands now!) in Jordan Rosenfeld's First Impressions feature.

Jordan was so wonderful to talk with during our interview, I almost forget it actually was an interview! I'm so thrilled that she gives debut authors a chance to stand out from crowd and am so appreciative of her support.

So, go get yourself a copy! And don't forget, LIFELINES goes on sale March 4th--buy early, buy often and you could win a special prize!!! Check out the contest page on my website for more details.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

CJ in The Motivated Writer

If you want to know the story behind my "Call" when I first learned Berkley wanted to hire me, check out this month's issue of The Motivated Writer.

Oh, there are a few secrets about my past in there as well, lol!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Save the Cat!!

Want to rev up your writing? Learn how to plot, pitch, or develop a story from idea to finish?

Then I highly recommend Blake Snyder's Save the Cat workshops!

I just came home from an intense weekend seminar with Blake and some fellow writers--not only did we have a blast, we also left with our heads spinning with ideas.

More than ideas, thanks to Blake we had the tools to make them work.

Check him and his books out!

Friday, February 1, 2008

LIFELINES: Top Pick from RT!!!

LIFELINES will be out in the stores next month (March 4th, to be exact) and in addition to a glowing review from Publishers Weekly, it received 4 1/2 stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times Book Review (this is huge, believe me!).

This is what Romantic Times said about LIFELINES:
Top Pick, 4 1/2 Stars. Pittsburgh's Angel of Mercy Hospital comes brilliantly alive in Lyons ' debut novel. This enthralling medical mystery offers an intimate view of the personal and professional lives of its characters. It's a winner.

To celebrate, I'm hosting several contests--prizes include DVDs, t-shirts, free books, gift cards, and even an iPod.

For more info go to my website, You can also read an excerpt from LIFELINES, check out the photos, and other fun stuff.

And if you want to read a short story that is a prequel of LIFELINES, I'm the featured New and Notable author on Celebwire (alongside Heather Graham, woohoo!) this month and they're giving away free downloads. Just click here:

Take care all and thanks for letting me share this exciting time with you!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

CJ on The Rap Sheet!

Check out my fun conversation with Ali Karim on The Rap Sheet!

We discuss how hard it is to write fictional bad-guys, especially after dealing with ones in real life.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Patry Francis Blogday: A Life with No Buts

Today is dedicated to Patry Francis and the release of the paperback edition of her debut novel, The Liar's Diary. Go here to see what it's all about and here to read Patry's blog and here to buy the book.

One of the things remarkable about Patry and her battles (to be published, to fight cancer, to continue sharing her work and world view) is that she has learned to live a life without "buts."

No, not that butt, the one brought on by holiday over-indulging. I'm talking about the more insidious, poisonous one that infests our society and prevents so many from daring to dream, much less live their dreams.

You know what I'm talking about. The "but" that starts so many conversations…and brings them to a screeching pre-mature halt.

"But, you don't understand, I can't…"

How many times as a physician have I heard that from patients and parents who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions? Who deny themselves the chance at a better life with a simple three letter word, "but."

My own life has included encounters with death (my own, my family's, my patients'), head-long collisions with "facts of life" (which often turn out to be nothing except urban myths cloaked in authority), and scrambling, tooth and claw escapes from poverty.

We've all lived through hard times. We've all had plans go awry, dreams lost, hopes dashed. We all feel sometimes that it takes more than we have to simply struggle out of bed each day and trudge through the routine we've substituted for our life.

I dare you to go read Patry's blog chronicling her current fight, then return to your own life ready to challenge your own "buts."

Try it. Banish three letters from your vocabulary, eliminate that one tiny word from your thinking for one day, and see what dreams you can set into motion!

While you're at it, don't forget to pick up a copy of The Liar's Diary and visit Patry on her website or blog.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Karma strikes writer!

No, not me (although I've had my share of karmic fortune, good and bad) but a wonderfully talented fellow writer who just won the short fiction contest at Once Written.

Click here to read her story, "The Comic Who Couldn't Laugh"--you'll be glad you did.

And watch for more from this award-winning literary talent!

Friday, January 18, 2008

10 things everyone needs to know about the ER

If you think you might ever, ever, ever make use of an ER, read this first!

Very sound advice from someone on the front lines...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Switching Gears

Ever feel like your brain is just plain tuckered out? The writing goes stale, nothing you read is pulling you in….heck, even your fav authors aren’t engaging you, much less inspiring you to get back to work.

Try taking a break from processing words and switch gears to more visual pursuits. Grab some paints or crayons and create some art (no one has to see it except you). Or re-cycle those old magazines by cutting out photos and creating a collage. For those more computer savvy, make a video.

Think of your story as you work, use it as your inspiration. Relax. Have fun. After all, it’s not writing, it’s playtime.

You might be surprised by your results! I know I was.

I created this video that I posted on my MySpace page ( as a way to think about my characters and I like it enough that I’m going to see if my editor can use it to give the sales staff a visual handle on my cross-genre book. I think it nicely captures the romance, suspense, medical elements and that this book focuses on the women characters.

Switch gears and return to your writing rejuvenated and refreshed!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why we do what we do....

Everyone's probably heard about CNN's Beck and his hemorrhoids surgery gone awry. For those who haven't, basically he went in for an outpatient procedure, woke with uncontrollable pain that the surgeons weren't able to control and ended up spending 5 days in the hospital.

Then he went home and produced a video tape about his experiences and how awful they were. His conclusion:

"The politicians are right that we have a health care crisis in this country," he said. "Where they're wrong is that it's not going to be solved by government, it's not going to be solved by getting the HMOs out, it's not going to be solved by a new marbled-lobby health center," he said. "It's by hiring people that understand about caring for people."

Right....we doctors spend four years in college, four years in med school (at the cost of $100,000 +), four to seven years in additional training working 80 hour weeks for peanuts, just so we can face the threat of malpractice suits, insurance company hassles, and patients like Beck who think they're the only patients in the world....Why?

And what about the nurses--don't even get me started on the long hours, low pay and crap they have to put up with.

Seriously who would want a job like this? Who would want to work every holiday that your family has off, nights/days/swing shifts, weekends, be on call to drop everything to answer a summons from a patient? Does that sound like the kind of job you would want?

Unless you cared.....which of course is why we do what we do.

And why, if Mr. Beck felt less than appreciated by the numerous medical personnel he was involved with, then he might want to either look in the mirror at his own actions and attitudes as well as what it is about our health care system (the system he says doesn't need any government or HMO intervention to make constructive change) that has sucked the life and compassion from people who have sacrificed so much in the name of caring?

No, medical providers aren't perfect. But we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't care....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Into the Woods

This post originally appeared at Romance Worth Killing For where I blog monthly about fun medical facts for your fiction.

We all love to throw our Heroes curve balls, move them out of their comfort zones, give them physical challenges to overcome, and place them in life or death situations.

One of the most common of these is the wilderness--the stuff of Grimm fairy tales, boogey men and primal nightmares. But what to do once we get our characters out there in the deep, dark woods-- how do we realistically get them back to the ranch in one piece?

Let's use an example from one of my old manuscripts. The hero, Lucky, is a city boy, an ATF agent whose cover has been blown by some renegade militia types. Poor Lucky, he's been shot, the bad guys are hot on his tail, and the only place to go is into a wilderness area. Oh yeah, it's January and a nor'easter is heading right toward him.

What does our hero need right now to ensure his survival?

The most important survival tool is attitude. Not just a stubborn will to live, although that is vital, but also the ability to focus and prioritize, to accept that something bad has happened and move on, and to improvise, think outside the box.

Aron Ralston, the climber who amputated his own hand when pinned beneath a boulder, didn't waste time on self-recrimination. He spent five days improvising various methods to either move that boulder, attract help or free his arm. At the same time he also attended to his other physical needs: temperature stability, water, food.

Top of my wish list if I was stranded anywhere: duct tape.

Got a broken arm or leg? Duct tape holds your splint together. Deep cut or gunshot wound (as in Lucky's case)--duct tape holds the edges together or secures a dressing. By the way, your heroine can really help out if she's prepared for that time of the month-- maxipads make ideal dressings.

Need to build a shelter? Or make a pair of sunglasses so you don't go snow blind (punch a small hole in the duct tape for each eye to look through); wrap it around your ankles as gaiters to keep snow or water out; tape up a sprain; make a sling; blaze a trail; patch up some blisters (once applied, try not to remove it until you're back in civilization or major ouch); you can even fashion clothing from it!

A few trash bags can also come in handy. Lightweight, easy to carry, cheap and versatile. Got rain or snow--instant rain poncho. Need a shelter to bivouac the night in? Fill one with dry pine boughs or leaves, and you've got an itchy but warm sleeping bag. Or cut it open and use your duct tape to fashion a "pup" tent. You can also cut strips to blaze a trail or to use as lashing. Caught wearing sneakers in the snow? Make goulashes.

For first aid it gives you waterproof dressing material, also use the bag part (Ziploc bags work great for this as well) to flush out and irrigate wounds or burns. Just cut the corner off the bottom of the bag, fill with water, hold the top tight (or duct tape it) and poke a hole in the corner, and you have a high pressure irrigation system. And if you need to carry water but didn't bring your Camelbak, you can haul as much as you can carry.

What if you are caught out in the woods with "nothing"? Do a quick inventory, you'd be surprised what you really do have. Nasty gash on the scalp-- tie the edges together with your hair; it worked for the frontier pioneers. Got a broken arm or collarbone? Use the cuff button to attach your shirt sleeve to your collar and viola, instant sling.

Bitten by a snake and no Acewrap handy to use as a compression dressing to stop the venom flow--use your sock. (Note: compression means you can slip one finger beneath it--NOT a tourniquet, and please, no cutting and sucking snake bites! Depending on the kind of snake, almost half are "dry" or venom free, and all you're doing is making it worse by adding a laceration and your dirty mouth germs to an area that's already damaged.)

Fall in the water and need a flotation device? If you're wearing anything water repellant, take it off, tie it like a balloon and blow it up. This technique is one of the reasons people in Alaska swear by Carhartt clothing--there have been several people there literally saved by their pants!

Need lashing for a shelter or to make a splint? Shoelaces or your belt. Need a signal mirror--wearing any jewelry? Want a compass--use your watch, or make a "sundial" compass with a stick. Got matches but no dry tinder? How about the lining from inside your coat or fuzz from your socks?

You get the idea. Remember, attitude is the most important survival tool there is, followed by imagination. Writers, with our positive, no quit attitudes and familiarity with the realm of possibilities, should make for the perfect survivalists!

Anyone with their own wilderness survival techniques or stories? I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I know I haven't posted in a while, but it's because I've been working hard to get my new website up and running.

Check it out at and let me know what you think!

I'll also be moving as many of my older wordpress blog posts over here so everything will be in one place. So if you're trying to find something and it's gone, please be patient.