Candace Calvert: Home Grown Drama with a giveaway

Candace Calvert HS


Home Grown Drama:

Insider Truths About By Your Side


Candace Calvert



The Story

ER 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?



The Hero

To most closely resemble my character Fletcher Holt, the Tyndale House designer used a composite of handsome-guy features for the cover image.  A sort of (my editors joke) “Build a Perfect Guy” project.  I’d say they nailed it.  Wouldn’t you?

He glanced toward a slow-moving CHP cruiser, offering her a good glimpse of his profile. Nice nose, strong jaw. With his height, that close-cropped blonde hair, the blue eyes, and that intriguing Southern stretch in his voice, Fletcher Holt could be extremely attractive. If he weren’t a cop. And so determined to be a royal pain in the—


The Setting

Sacramento, California is my home town.

I loved the idea of hosting readers in this capital city.  And feeding them, of course.

Rick’s Dessert Diner exists. Ask my awesome editor, Sarah Mason, who (diligently) looked up the menu, then told me I was killing her.

“We’ll go to midtown . . .  Great, funky, retro spot—glass display cases, checkerboard floor, vinyl upholstered booths— with like two hundred or more desserts.” The tip of Macy’s tongue sneaked across her lower lip . . . “The air reeks of buttercream.”

Rick's Dessert Diner


The Climb

Yosemite National Park is even more amazing than I described.

My daughter Brooklynn (trail name “Landmark”) was my expert, having made her first climb up the daunting Half-Dome peak at the tender age of 13.  These days she solo-hikes the John Muir and Pacific Crest trails (as seen in the movie “Wild”).

“The last nine-hundred feet is really a rock climb; you have to pull yourself up the rest of the way—sometimes sort of hanging out away from the cliff—using steel cables. There have been more than few people who fell to their deaths. The whole first time, I didn’t want to trust those cables.”

“You . . .” Fletcher stared out across the rocky expanse. “You climbed that thing?”

“Four times.” Macy lifted her glasses, smiled. “And when you finally get up on top, you’re in serious danger of lightning strikes.”



The Sniper

Though I’ve never encountered a serial sniper, I did once find myself in a Sacramento bank that was being robbed at gunpoint. For By Your Side, I was privileged to work with a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Dept. homicide detective who walked me through details that helped make Fletcher “real.”

And the sniper too.

“He’s got a rifle, up there  . . . on the overpass!”By Your Side


“Down!’ Fletcher vaulted toward Macy.

Like an echo, his shout was repeated by the other officers:

“Down, down, take cover and stay down!”

“A snipe—” Macy’s heart lodged in her throat, choking her words. Her legs went weak. She dropped to a crouch next to the car in horrified disbelief, fingertips trembling against its side . . . The air pulsed with a surreal mix of helicopter blades, screams, and a sickening crack-crack-crack.

“Down!” Fletcher ordered again, grasping Macy’s shoulder hard. “All the way down, on the ground.”


The Crisis Chaplains

Writing this story brought me a full-circle blessing.

Long ago, a young law enforcement chaplain ministered to my family in a time of heartbreak, upheaval, and loss. Her compassion was a lifeline. I prayed that someday God would use me in a similar way. Twenty years later, that woman is the head of Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento. And I pen stories of hope. We reconnected during the writing of By Your Side. Both she and the director of US Crisis Care are valuable resources for the remaining stories in the Crisis Team series.

It’s my joy to honor these selfless and heroic community volunteers.

“She saw me at my worst and didn’t judge, just cared. I am still grieving, still sorting out what happened. But there is HOPE, and a deep sense that I am not alone. How do you get through crisis? With an angel by your side.”

I hope you enjoy your adventure in my home town.


**All photographs courtesy of Candace Calvert

Thanks for the fantastic insights, Candace! Readers – don’t miss your chance to win a copy of BY YOUR SIDE. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Character spotlight on Jack & Riley from Trauma Plan
Character spotlight on Nick & Leigh from Code Triage
Character spotlight on Scott & Erin from Disaster Status
Character spotlight on Logan & Claire from Critical Care
Visit Candace’s website and blog

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24 Responses to Candace Calvert: Home Grown Drama with a giveaway

  1. Candace’s book sounds very intriguing. I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Think I might like to eat at Rick’s Dessert Diner as well–how cute and yummy!!

    • Oops–didn’t reply to official question. I think what I enjoy most about Candace’s medical dramas are the mysteries that go along with them and the incorporation of a detective of some kind or another first responder or the action/suspense that she weaves throughout the story.

  2. I like how real they are. I usually learn something that I didn’t know before :)
    I do like your books Candace!

  3. I enjoy medical shows so I think I would enjoy the medical offset of the book along with the romance

  4. I more than enjoy medical fiction by another author and having worked in the medical field for 20+ years I would love to read some Candace Calvert!!

  5. I like all your books. I like medical fiction and the way you make the stories feel so real.

  6. I like the way you make your stories seem so real. I also like the medical part of it. Can’t wait for the next one.

  7. Edward Arrington

    Read the book and loved it. Waiting for next in the series.

  8. bonnie massicotte

    I like medical stories in themselves and to add the romance make it ripe for Grays anatomony!. besides Candace is a great author.I hate that I have to wait at the library line to get a book of hers.

  9. I have never read a medical romance book before but it sounds Very interesting. I would love to read it..

  10. I like the suspense in these novels. Not being medical myself, it’s an unknown world!

  11. I love the pace of a medical romance. Plus I worked in a Dr’s office for 2 1/2 years so I know a bit of the behind the scenes stuff and love being able to understand what Candace is talking about in those high-pace medical scenes. 😉

  12. i enjoy the way Candace brings the characters to life in her books.

  13. I love reading about the medical side of life. My sister and Mom are nurses and our conversations at the dinner table were always interesting!

  14. Once again, Rel, thank you for hosting me here–such a delight. And (waving) hello to you all who have stopped by. I think whether we are “medical” (employeed as such) or not, things medical do touch all our lives at some point. In my stories, I aim to put the readers “on the inside,” so they feel part of the medical (or rescue, law enforecment, fire fighting, chaplaincy) teams. And get a glimpse into the hearts of these community heroes. There is always a warm romance and more than touch of humor to balance the more serious themes. I welcome you to my world of “medical hope opera,” and good luck on the giveaway!

  15. I enjoy medical romances, because during a time of an emergency and the unexpected happens to you or a loved one….these caring professionals step-in and attempt to bring healing and compassion. They see people at the lowest points in their lives and yet have to focus on their jobs, but they too are human and things they see and do effect them. Getting a ‘behind the scenes’ view of their world is fascinating. Plus, anyone that doesn’t freak out over the sight of blood (this does NOT include me) is someone to be admired. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book. Looking forward to reading it.

  16. This sounds awesome! I like the medical romance novels because it’s more realistic and the settings are packed with so much compassion and drama. I am so intrigued with people who devote their lives to helping others and they inspire me.

  17. There is nothing romantic about being sick and in the hospital but a good medical romance novel will help get your mind off what you are going through.

  18. I like dramatic setting mixed with hope and compassion.

  19. I really haven’t read many medical romances. This is a new author to me and I would love the chance to read her book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  20. I appreciate that Candace uses her knowledge from her medical background in her novels. We know that it is accurate.

  21. I love all things medical and worked in the medical field for years. Medical romance was always my favorite tv shows too! :)

  22. I like how realistic the stories are. I have enjoyed several of Candace’s books so I’m sure this one will also be a great read!

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