Interview with Medical Thriller Author Richard Mabry and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Richard Mabry, author of Christian medical thrillers.

I am a LONG time fan of medical thrillers. I think I am fascinated by the science as well as the thriller part of the story.  Richard is a retired physician and medical professor, which means that his science is going to be scary accurate – as only the best medical thrillers are.

(An aside: My main character in A Carol for Kent is named Carol Mabry! How cool is that? It’s not a common last name.)

Please welcome Richard Mabry.  I hope you enjoy his interview as much as I did. And — His publisher, Harper Collins Christian Fiction, is giving away a paperback copy of Critical Condition!  See the Rafflecopter below for details.

Mabry headshotTell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a physician, retired after 36 years of practice, the last ten as a professor at a prestigious medical center in Dallas. I’m not a writer by temperament, and still am amazed to find myself preparing for the publication of my seventh novel of medical suspense.

Tell us about your current release.

Critical Condition deals with the struggles of a female physician struggling to overcome an incident in her past that still haunts her while dealing with problem after problem in her life in sister who’s a recovering (she hopes) addict, a father who has just been diagnosed with leukemia, and an almost fiancé to whom she can’t quite commit. Then, when a stranger is shot dead on her front lawn, the phone calls begin, saying, “Tell me what he said before he died, or you’ll be sorry.”

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?

When I first began writing fiction, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be from a Christian worldview. After my first few published novels, I’ll admit I had ideas of “crossing over” to the general market, but each time I tried to craft a story that would sell there, I found that I couldn’t do it. This wasn’t necessarily because it would compromise my standards. John Grisham is a great example of a Christian author who is popular in the general market but because I felt more comfortable being a bit more overt in my Christian message than most of those writers.

How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher?

I’ve found that I’m not alone among writers in suffering from what I call the “imposter syndrome.” From day one, every success has brought me visions of someone popping up to say, “You’re not that good.” I think we’re all afraid of being average, but the only way around that is to continue working to make each work better than the last and accepting any success as God’s gift for our lives.

What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?

I’m a believer in what Stephen King calls turning loose ‘the boys in the basement.’ When I’m stumped about where a scene should go, I put it aside and let my subconscious work on it. I go for a walk, read a novel, watch a TV program. Almost always, I get an idea of what to do next. I’ve found that, like trying to remember a name or date, the harder I try the more it seems to slip away, so I work to put the problem out of my mind until the solution comes to me.

Critical Condition cover revisedHow did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?

When I started in writing, ‘self publication’ was a dirty word, often called ‘vanity publication.’ The only legitimate way to seek publication was via a traditional, royalty-paying publisher. Of course, all that has changed over the past few years, and many writers whose works had previously been released by traditional publishers have chosen to self-publish some of their work. I still like the idea of the developmental and marketing assistance a publisher offers, even if the process is slow and the monetary rewards may be less.

What made you take the plunge and finally do it?

When I was in medical practice, although I wrote or edited eight textbooks and had more than one hundred papers published in professional journals, I never aspired to non-medical writing. Then, when my wife of forty years died suddenly, I felt a desire to share my journaling with others who were hurting. I had no idea how one wrote a book, much less got it published, but I attended a writer’s conference to gain such an understanding. That’s where I not only learned enough to get started on what ultimately became The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, but was challenged by James Scott Bell and Alton Gansky to try my hand at writing fiction. Four years, four unsuccessful novels, and forty rejections later, I got my first contract for the book, Code Blue.

Where ’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea?

On a visit back to Southwestern Medical Center where I was a professor for ten years, I entered the faculty parking garage, looked around me, and thought, “This would be a great place for a kidnapping late at night.” From that idea came the initial scene of my novel, Stress Test.

Which of your characters most reflects your personality?

I put a little of myself into each story, but I probably identify most closely with Dr. Shannon Frasier, the protagonist of Critical Condition, for one reason, she has to face a lot of problems -  personal and professional – and sometimes feels overwhelmed. I can’t get into specifics without spoiling the plot for readers, but let’s just say that I understand some of those situations.

Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and author of “medical suspense with heart.” His novels have been a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers’ debut novel, finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Reader’s Choice Award, and winner of the Selah Award. His latest, Critical Condition, is his seventh published novel.

Links to buying his novels from all major booksellers are found on his website . You can follow Richard on his blog, on Twitter , and his Facebook fan page.

Find Critical Condition at the following locations:

Richard’s publisher, Harper Collins Christian Fiction, is giving away a copy of Critical Condition to one lucky reader!  See the Rafflecopter for all of the ways you can enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Please Help A Melody for James Final in the Prestigious RONE Awards!

2013_RONE_Nominee_200A Melody for James, Book 1 in the Song of Suspense Series, is up for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE Award in the Inspirational Category.

Phase II of the awards is a public vote.

Please go to this link and cast your vote for A Melody for James. You do have to log in to vote, but it’s free.

Thank you so much for your support.

About A Melody for James:

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

A Melody for James is the first book in a set of Christian contemporary romantic suspenseful thrillers from best selling inspirational novelist, Hallee Bridgeman. The exciting new SONG OF SUSPENSE series premiers everywhere fine books are sold June 15, 2013 with book 1, A Melody for James.


Clash of The TitlesA Melody for James was voted the Clash of the Titles WINNER in July 2013.

Book Of The Month FictionA Melody for James was voted The Book Club Network‘s August 2013 Fiction Book of the Month.

Book Of The Year FictionA Melody for James was the first runner up for the 2013 Fiction Book of the Year as announced in the February 2014 edition of Book Fun Magazine.

Read the Book:

A Melody for James can be purchased in e-book format at the following places:

Deeper Shopping, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks , Apple iTunes Store , Kobo, eBookIt, Lulu, Bookie Jar

Olivia Kimbrell Press
EBook ISBN: 978-1-939603-07-4

A Melody for James can be purchased in paperback at the following places:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million

If you’d like an autographed copy, please visit my store at!

Ask your local library to order this title:

Olivia Kimbrell Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-939603-08-1
ISBN-10: 1-939603-08-0

Author Video:

The Back Cover:

Strangers meet during an unexpected layover. Hours later, their hearts sing a harmonious duet.

Melody Mason finds James Montgomery sincere, honest, and keenly intelligent with a tenderness that contradicts his broad stature. Melody lifts James from the depths of all- consuming grief for the first time since his wife’s murder. Uncannily, they learn that they share much in common. They begin to wonder whether God brought them together.

Though determined to unite, sinister events take an ominous turn. The couple won’t even see each other for four long years.

Melody rises to stardom as America’s newest Country Music sensation while James brings a billion dollar technological breakthrough within reach.

The two finally reunite and find the connection between them has only grown stronger in tempo, joining them like notes in a symphony. But once more, a terrifying hidden truth secretly sneers at their hopes for happiness. After so long apart, the couple must work in close concert.

They have to put all their faith in God as they solve the deadly mystery that ties their lives inexplicably together time and again.

Excerpt from the Book:

Chapter 1
ANGELA MONTGOMERY nearly missed it. She had lost herself in memories of her recent birthday celebration marking the passing of her 30th year on earth. Her husband, James, her junior by 2 short years, had gone all out. Being “much” younger, he had decorated the entire house with black balloons and held a surprise “wake” for the passing of her late youth. Daydreaming and lost in feelings of love and adoration for her beloved groom, Angela nearly failed to recognize the moment when it happened.

When her consciousness shifted from her reverie back to the present, for several breaths she simply stared at the smart board in front of her and ran through the calculations again. Then she tried to ignore the little shivers of nervous excitement that danced up her spine.

“Heeyyyyy …” Donald Andrews clicked a few keys on the laptop in front of him, magnifying the image on the smart board screen so that it covered the entire wall. “Did we just …”

Angela rose, her legs feeling uncharacteristically stiff, and walked forward while staring at the screen. “You know what, I’m cautiously going to say yes. Yes, we did.”

Alvin Berry let out a loud, “Whoop!” He removed the ever present knit cap from the top of his head and tossed it into the air. The group collectively looked at each other and grinned. Years of work, and the breakthrough sat right there on that smart board, staring back at them.

“We should celebrate,” Lorie Frazier announced. She pulled her glasses from her nose and casually tossed them onto the stack of papers in front of her. “We need to celebrate, then we need to call a press conference. But only after we get to the patent office.”

Angela looked back at the screen. “We have to be sure.”

“We’re sure,” Alvin said. “Look at that beauty. It is so simple yet so elegant.”

“Call James,” Lorie said. “Tell him to make us a reservation in the most ridiculously expensive restaurant Atlanta has to offer. Tell him we’re going to celebrate.”

Despite her naturally conservative nature, Angela started to let the feeling of giddy excitement take over. She laughed and hugged Don as she pulled her cell phone from her pocket.

Her husband would probably jump up and down or do a little dance of celebration. She felt like she might just as easily be making a call to announce that she was expecting their first child instead of the conclusion of this long project.

For five years, she and this amazing team of engineers had worked to perfect this revolutionary data storage solution. For five years, usually working six days a week, usually not less than twelve hours a day, they’d toiled in this basement lab in her inherited home. While she’d hoped and prayed for all that time, now that the reality of what they’d accomplished actually shone back at her from that beautiful smart screen, she realized she hadn’t ever really been certain they’d succeed.

But they had.

She got James voice mail. “Darling,” she purred, knowing he’d hear the smile in her voice, “We did it. We’re done. I cannot wait to show you. Come home. Come see. We need to celebrate.”

As soon as Angela hung up, she gave Lorie a hug and said, “I vote for cheesecake.”

“Copious amounts,” the nearsighted genius agreed. “Oh! With strawberries! And really good coffee.”

Angela felt her heart skip when the red security light started flashing. Her eyebrows crowded together in confusion. Why was the intruder alarm going off now?

Angela had inherited the farmhouse from her late uncle at the age of 17 and lived there throughout her lengthy matriculation at Georgia Tech. For a brief time when this venture was just beginning, she and her brand new husband, James, as well as their business partner and his best friend, Kurt, had all lived there under the same roof.

During the initial months and years, Kurt and James had renovated the basement entirely; installing a T1, a two post rack of networking gear, a four post rack of high performance servers; and most importantly, a state of the art security system, designed and built by her brilliant husband himself. For the last five years, they had hardened the basement into a panic room with steel reinforced doors, magnetic locks, and pinhole security cameras. It took two-factor authentication to even get into the room.

When the magnitude of the fact that the security alarm was still sounding sunk in, Angela whirled around until her eyes met with Don. When she spoke, she hated the shrill edge of panic she detected in her voice. “Back it up to the Snap.”

His fingers clicked on the keys with the speed of machine gun fire as spoke. “There’s no time. We didn’t do an incremental yesterday because the waffle was running a defrag.”

“Right. Execute a differential and encrypt it.” She waited a few heartbeats while Don’s fingers played out a staccato percussion on his laptop.

With confusion clouding his eyes, he looked up and announced, “Our hard line is down.”

Alvin pressed a series of keys on his computer and several small screens appeared on the smart board, all showing different angles of her home. Men in masks moved through the empty house with military precision, high powered and very deadly looking carbine rifles tucked tightly into their shoulders at the ready. They stared around every corner through the sights on the short rifles.

Lorie gasped and said, “What is going on? Who are they?”

Fear and panic tried to take over. Her stomach turned into ice and Angela felt like her breathing wasn’t productive, like she could never get a deep enough breath. Focus, she said to herself. You will have time to be scared when it’s over.

“Can you remember how we got here since the last backup?” Angela asked Alvin, her hand pointing in his direction like a knife blade. If she’d ever met anyone whose memory rivaled her husband’s, it was Alvin.

His voice sounded flat, emotionless. “Yes. Of course I can.”

She watched a crouched figure outside the entrance to the lab tape two liter plastic bottles filled with water to the hinges of the security door. The security that James and Kurt had installed was tight, state of the art even, and the door was sealed. But no seal in 100 miles would withstand the blast of a shaped charge pushing water ahead of a supersonic shock wave. It would slice through the steel door faster than the world’s most powerful cutting torch.

Whomever these people were, they had known the defenses they would have to overcome. They were prepared. They had planned. They had obviously even rehearsed as was apparent in their staged and perfectly timed precision movements. And the most dangerous thing Angela and her team had for protection once that door came down were a few custom computer viruses.

She’d known the risks. The success of their project was potentially worth upward of a hundred billion dollars in the first year alone, and that was on the conservative side. The long term applications of the soon to be patented technology could not even be calculated. The reason they worked out of her home instead of in some downtown lab was for the secrecy of the project, a vain hope of security by obscurity.

They’d taken additional precautions which Angela belatedly realized she had characterized as “paranoid.” A commercial exothermic incendiary device much like a military grade thermite grenade perched atop each server array that would, when detonated, melt their way through the machines at over 4 thousand degrees Fahrenheit, effectively destroying everything in a completely unrecoverable fashion. They would burn 3 times hotter than molten lava and the crew would have to be careful not to look at them since the radiant energy was bright enough to blind them without a welding visor.

“Then destroy it. Destroy it all.”

Lorie’s finger hovered over a steel pin. “You’re sure?”

The explosion above them shook the room. Alvin rushed to the inner door and made sure the panic room door remained bolted on all four corners. Angela closed the lid on her laptop and slid it into the 2 inch air gap between network switches. Then she draped her hand on Lorie’s shoulder and whispered, “Do it.”

She closed her eyes and started to pray as the room around her grew suddenly very hot and smoke started billowing up to the ceiling. “Lord Jesus, if I live through this, let me remain in Your will. But if I come home to you, sweet Jesus, please watch over my husband. Let him feel your comforting love and let him find the destiny you have in mind for him.”

Smoke alarms went off and the lights flickered. Then she felt herself being picked up and thrown aside, riding on the wave of a perfectly timed blast. As she flew backward from the shock of the multiple explosions blowing open her steel door she prayed even harder — she prayed for courage, for protection, for strength.

As she landed and fell against the tower of computer drives, she watched the thermite spill and splatter like lava, setting the entire area on fire. Her last thought was of pain as a spray of burning powder fell on her chest.

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She GOT It!

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

A Melody for James: Part 1 in the Song of Suspense series

I have to say, I am T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D about a recent review on Amazon for  A Melody for James by a reviewer named “mirpags”:

Hallee Bridgeman is such a great writer! She uses fiction almost like how Jesus used parables…to teach and portray a truth. I don’t normally write reviews, I just don’t have the time, but this author is definitely worth the review.

I could pull a dozen profound reviews that actually left me in tears, but this one floods my heart with joy! Why? Because this is my Mission Statement:

To prayerfully craft stories as modern day parables to uplift fellow believers and minister to seekers in our fallen world.

Wow. To have affirmation that I’m on “mission”. Wow.

Thank you so much to the reader who took the time that she stated she doesn’t have to encourage me on such a level. You have no idea.

I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Today’s Word of Promise

markEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today, I listened to Matthew 24 through Mark 5.

In the end of Matthew, I listened to Christ’s arrest and crucifixion. Having the sound effects really adds to the experience of reading what’s happening. It was such a strong message.

The part that stood out to me today came from the beginning of Mark 3:

And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.  And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. Mark 3:1-6

I’ve heard or read this passage countless times in my life. I knew what it said and I knew the context for what was said. So, when it started, in my mind, I imagined that Christ was belligerent and a little aggressive in healing the withered hand of the man.

Until I heard the words being grieved by the hardness of their hearts. He wasn’t being belligerent OR aggressive. He was giving them an opportunity to understand that doing good, that saving lives, is vitally important. But, they didn’t care about the human being with the withered hand. What they cared about was catching Him doing something that would give them an opportunity to accuse Him and thereby end the threat to them that was Christ Jesus. When their hearts remained hardened, it hurt Him. It grieved Him.

How many opportunities has He given me to set aside the things that I place as important above the things He places as important? How many times has the hardness in my heart grieved Him? What can I do to go forward today and see individual people as Christ sees them and metaphorically heal withered hands on the Sabbath instead of choosing to serve my own means toward my own ends?

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.


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Interview with Author Tracy Krauss

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions you would ask your favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I am thrilled to introduce you to multi-published Christian author Tracy Krauss.  When I first ventured into this publishing journey, Tracy was one of the first names I came across while pursuing the sight Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers, and our paths have crossed many times. I am so happy that she has joined us here today.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I teach secondary school for a living – mostly theatre arts, fine art and English. I have four grown children and one granddaughter. My husband was a pastor for many years and we still unofficially minister in our church when called upon to do so. We have moved more times than I have fingers and toes, so I have a lot of different settings and such in my head waiting to be made into novels!

Tell us about your current release.

Neighbors Vol 1Right now I am working on a serialized novel called NEIGHBORS published by ‘Helping Hands Press’. Each installment comes out approximately every three weeks. It centers around the characters living in an apartment building in Calgary, Alberta, starting with a relocated cowboy who has had to move to the city to find work. I am also collaborating on another series called COLONY ZERO, a Sci-fi novel that takes place 800 years in the future. I am excited about both projects and the whole process of collaborating is especially invigorating.

What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember?

I am showing my age here, but I distinctly remember the footage of John F. Kennedy being shot. I can see the black and white image of them in the car as it played over and over, and of course, remember my parents talking about it. I was only a little over a year old at the time, so I think it was probably replays that I was watching, although I actually have a lot of very early memories.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful?

Tracy Krauss Author photoNo, I don’t think so. I have been part of ‘Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers’ for some time and have championed the need for all kinds of Christian fiction, not just what fits neatly into a preconceived idea of what it should be. Also, I think we need more Christians writing secular work as well. We are to be salt and light in our society.

Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush?

I was a huge Star Trek nerd, so I was in love with Mr. Spock during my teen years. Maybe I still am….

Again, this is the nerd talking. I loved Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan series. (Although by book 28 it was starting to get old…!) I still love reading Sci-fi and paranormal, although I do not primarily write in this genre.

Colony Zero flatWhere’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea?

I have been in a lot of strange places when a snippet of dialogue, an idea for a scene, or even a whole plot line has popped into my head. Here’s an incomplete list: while curling (the game on ice); at the store; in the shower, gardening; walking; listening to music; playing a video game; sitting in an airport or doctor’s office; driving in the car (watch out that you don’t speed while this is happening!); at a funeral (I know that is terrible –sorry!); in the bath tub; at the beach; skiing; hiking… I guess you could say pretty much anywhere. You just never know when the muse will strike. I always find that I need to write the idea down immediately or I can’t rest, although this is not always possible.







Google+ –


Tracy Krauss is a multi-published author, artist, and playwright. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and teaches secondary school Art, Drama and English – all things she is passionate about. She and her husband have lived in five provinces and territories including many remote and unique places in Canada’s far north. They have four grown children and now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. She has several romantic suspense novels and stage plays in print. For more information visit her website at



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Fan Groups!

I’m so excited to share that I’ve started two fan groups on Facebook! One group is for Fans of The Jewel Series and the other is for Fans of the Song of Suspense Series.

The groups are casual. They’re there for fans of the series to talk about their favorite books, characters, plots, surprises (with spoiler warnings, of course!), lines, scenes, underlying messages — WHATEVER a fan wants to talk about — this group is there to talk. If you are a fan, this is your group

Please join by clicking the links below.  We are happy to welcome anyone — invite your friends.

If you’d like to see similar groups on Google+, I can create them there and am happy to.

Fans of The Jewel Series


Fans of the Song of Suspense Series


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