Code Triage, Mercy Hospital Series #3Code Triage, Mercy Hospital Series #3
Candace Calvert
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Dr. Leigh Stathos likes her ER shifts fast, furious, and adrenaline-infused-"Treat 'em and street 'em"-with no emotional complications. Life's taught her a soul-rending lesson: nothing lasts forever, including marriage. And the clock is ticking toward the end of hers. Then an unwelcome confrontation with "the other woman" begins a whole new set of lessons.

San Francisco police officer Nick Stathos never gives up, whether protecting his patrol neighborhood, holding fast to faith-or trying to save his marriage. Seven days is all he has to reach Leigh's heart. But when a desperate act of violence slams Golden Gate Mercy Hospital into lockdown, it starts a chain of events that will change lives forever.

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Candace CalvertCandace Calvert is an ER nurse who landed on the "other side of the stethoscope" after the equestrian accident that broke her neck and convinced her that love, laughter—and faith—are the very best medicines of all. The inspirational account of her accident and recovery appears in Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul and launched her writing career. The author of a madcap cruise mystery series in the secular market, Candace now eagerly follows her heart to write Christian fiction for Tyndale House. Her new medical drama series offers readers a chance to "scrub in" on the exciting world of emergency medicine, along with charismatic characters, pulse-pounding action, tender romance, humor, suspense—and a soul-soothing prescription for hope. Born in northern California and the mother of two, Candace now lives in the Hill Country of Texas.

Favorite Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.



 Our Interview with Candace Calvert


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a cheery, glass half-full person, once accused of being the Mary Poppins of my workplace—not easy in the chaos of a hospital emergency department! But those years taught me that love, laughter, and faith are the best medicines. They also left me with stories to share, pulse-spiking medical drama that invites readers to “scrub in” as part of the team. I love that I’ve been called an “author of hope opera!”  Apart from my writing, I’m a native Californian, wife, mother, grandmother—and a passionate foodie, as excited to sprinkle herbs as metaphors.
How did you come up with the concept for Mercy Hospital Series?

It disappointed me that while hugely popular TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, ER, and House offer adrenalin-pounding action, they rarely address issues of faith. After thirty years as an ER nurse, I know how many prayers are sent heavenward by patients, family members, and by hospital staff, too. I wanted to offer readers well-rounded, realistic glimpses into the world of emergency medicine. And into the hearts and souls behind the stethoscopes, badges, and flak jackets of medical, fire, and law enforcement teams. It is my way of honoring these heroes—while glorifying God.

Do you have a favorite character in Mercy Hospital Series? Why?

I think I identify most closely with Erin Quinn of Disaster Status, the feisty, stubborn ER charge nurse who takes her frustrations out on a punching bag. I love that she has much to learn about the difference between being strong and becoming a woman of strength. That difference is faith.  I learned it in a dramatic way when a serious equestrian accident landed me on a gurney in my own trauma room—with a broken neck and spinal injury. I sometimes say that God took drastic measures to get my attention!

How much research did Mercy Hospital Series take?

As an ER nurse, I spent decades immersed medical drama. And I’m blessed to have many friends who are still working in the fields of emergency medicine, fire rescue, and law enforcement. They graciously offer help. Because each Mercy Hospital story involves a disaster scenario, I’ve had to research critical incident stress, hazardous materials, and officer-involved shootings. I also visited the northern California settings: Gold Country, Monterey Bay, and even the famous “Tonga Room” in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco—tough duty, but someone’s got to do it.

What is the most interesting fact that you learned while researching and writing Mercy Hospital Series?

In Disaster Status, there is a secondary character named Sarge, who is a Gulf War veteran. He suffers from post-traumatic stress and has flashbacks. I interviewed an Army lieutenant colonel, who served during that conflict. He helped me see through my character’s eyes, and to feel, hear what Sarge experienced in the desert. Like how he’d saturate pieces of wool blanket and stuff them into his helmet to filter the stench from burning oil wells; how he heard the high-pitched squeal of Scud missiles . . . and that simple, terrifying “click” when he stepped on the landmine. 


What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
The biggest challenge is balancing the demands of the writing life with real life, so that neither suffers.  God, family, work—keeping the priorities in order is so important. I’m learning.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

The people, absolutely! I love being part of the writing community, the humor, empathy, support, and like-minded craziness. It’s so heartening to know you’re not the only one who talks to imaginary people! And I’m blessed beyond belief to connect with my readers—they are a joy.  The lure of working in your jammies is the frosting on top.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

I’m a (grateful, grateful) member of American Christian Fiction Writers, an amazing organization that offers education, inspiration and connections for writers—published and aspiring—and other industry professionals. It is invaluable.
I also belong to The Romance Writers of America, and am currently the secretary of the HeartBeat Chapter, a wonderful group of medical romance writers.

What new projects are on the horizon?

I have three new books contracted with Tyndale House, a second medical drama series that will be set in Texas locales.  This new series will stretch the hospital boundaries with plots that incorporate an urban free clinic, equine search and rescue, and a dramatic weather-related disaster. I’m thrilled to be working with the Tyndale team again, and excited to offer readers “hope opera” Lonestar style!



What message would you like your readers to take from reading the Mercy Hospital Series?

My tag line is “RX: Hope,” and that is what I want most to offer my readers. Exciting, heart-tugging stories that entertain, but also encourage and inspire—show that despite wounds, fears, betrayal, and very human flaws, we are promised hope. In these challenging times, I think that’s just what the doctor ordered.

What were your favorite books as a child?

So many. I remember finishing the last scenes of Charlotte’s Web just as my parents called me to dinner—and then sobbing into my plate of spaghetti.

What is your greatest achievement?

Thriving—not simply surviving—after a series of unexpected and very painful events that climaxed with the riding accident that broke my neck.  As I mentioned before, it taught me the difference between being strong and having true strength. And launched my writing career. God’s plan is awesome.

What do you do to get away from it all?

My husband and I love to travel, especially via cruise ship. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe all we’ve been fortunate enough to do, like . . . cuddle up in a gondola in Venice, paddle a raft in Alaska, dance the limbo on a jet-powered catamaran in the Caribbean, lunch while boating down the Nile, swim with stingrays, skim above a rainforest canopy, and view the Pyramids from atop a camel. Pinching myself, and counting my blessings—every day.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

My heartfelt thank you to readers of Christian fiction: for your encouragement of authors, your enthusiasm for these stories, and your generosity in sharing the news with friends, family—and even strangers. You are as instrumental in spreading hope as those of us penning the words.

Find Candace at:


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Code Triage, Mercy Hospital Series #3
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Disaster Status, Mercy Hospital Series #2
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Mercy Hospital Series, Volumes 1-3
Mercy Hospital Series, Volumes 1-3
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