Featured New Release: Sleight of Hand by CJ Lyons


I’ve been mentioning CJ Lyons here enough that you guys ought to have figured out by now I’m a fangirl. Of CJ’s writing. Her storytelling. And, mostly, of who she is as a person. She’s what you’d want from a pediatric ER doctor: calm, in control. She exudes these qualities and best of all, she’s funny at the same time.

When she said at the Pennwriters Conference last month that she’d just put out a new book, I got very excited. “You have to stop in for a Featured New Release for it!”

And, so, here she is. CJ Lyons, answering the famed one-question interview: What song makes you think of your book (and why)?

I always write to music and often find one song that I play over and over again because it resonates so much with the theme and characters of a book, so this question was easy!

For NERVES OF STEEL, the first in the Hart and Drake series, the song was Chad Kroeger’s Hero (from the Spider Man soundtrack). He sang a line about needing a hero, “but I’m not going to stand here and wait.”

That so perfectly summed up the main character of NERVES, Cassandra Hart, an ER doc who is so passionate about protecting her patients that she risks her career and her life to save them.

SLEIGHT OF HAND, the second in the series, was just released and it’s more about the relationship between Hart and the police detective she becomes involved with, Mickey Drake.

They’re both wounded heroes, fighting to regain their balance after the trauma they experienced in the first book. They guard their hearts, frightened by the feeling of vulnerability love brings–especially after almost losing each other in NERVES OF STEEL.

The song that I kept coming back to, over and over, while writing SLEIGHT was Godsmack’s Touche.

The refrain is: I’ll only do for you what you’ll do for me….perfectly capturing that post-honeymoon phase of a relationship (especially one so young and fragile and already bearing scars) where it’s a give and take between two people, until they both surrender and learn to dance together rather than spar.

Another line from Touche that struck a chord was: wasting time like it was free…again, reflecting the essence of both Hart and Drake’s inner conflict, that they want to do so much more with their lives but outside forces keep curtailing them, drawing their focus from what is truly important: their love and their passion for protecting the innocent.

SLEIGHT OF HAND really ups the ante on an emotional level while also raising the stakes for both characters until they end up risking everything but discover that the one thing they can’t lose, no matter how hard they try or what the outside world throws at them, is each other.

Wow! And CJ says she doesn’t like to do promo… she’s NUTS, I tell you. This was a fantastic answer, probably one of the most detailed explanations we’ve ever gotten around these parts. Just… wow. Awesome.

Go pick up Sleight of Hand. (Yes, this link is an affiliate link, which means if you use it, I’ll get a few pennies. Those pennies will either support maintaining this site, or they’ll go into some cool gives for you guys. It’s all up to you!)

And can I just comment on how most excellent CJ’s musical tastes are? Chad Kroeger and Sully? Two very hot singers, indeed. (But they ain’t got nothing on a certain Mitchell Voss, now, do they???)



  1. Laurie

    June 15, 2011 10:18 am

    What a super guest post. Very interesting and entertaining. I’ve not read Nerves of Steel and I like to read series in order. This sounds like a really good series to read. Thanks so much!

  2. Karen C

    June 15, 2011 4:40 pm

    I’m a big CJ fan, too, although relatively new. I didn’t become a fan with her Angels of Mercy series, though. Blind Faith was the first book I read and have since picked up and read everything I can. CJ has the knack of grabbing you and taking you on a ride in each of her books – just love it. And what a great explanation regarding the songs! Nicely done, ladies!!

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