Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Informed Consent by Sandra Glahn


Informed Consent is a medical thriller.  The storyline centers around Jeremy Cramer, MD, the next Einstein of infectious disease research.  While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes a breakthrough discovery in AIDS research that thrusts him into the center of a media frenzy. But the publicity turns negative and his marriage reaches the breaking point when he accidentally infects a colleague and his negligence allows his son to contract a lifethreatening disease. The viruses test the limits of his new formula and his ethics. In his frantic efforts to save his son and his marriage, he must decide whether to allow his child to die or violate the rights of a young transplant donor. The choice forces him to stand face-to-face with the unfathomable love required to sacrifice an only son.


When I was asked to participate in this blog tour for Sandi Glahn, I immediately jumped at the chance.  I love books, and I enjoy sharing books with you, my readers.  Informed Consent was the first medical thriller I've ever read.  Rather than doing a *typical* review, I'm going to share some of the reasons why I think YOU should read Informed Consent for yourself:

     *It's a great book~ it is well-written, and the storyline is great. 

     *It's not predictable.  I've read so many books that, after reading just the first chapter, I can pretty much tell you how the  book will end.  This  book was NOT like that at all~ it held my interest to the very last page.  There were alot of *little stories* going on within the book and each and every plot twist was interesting.

     *It deals with some medical issues that we, as Christians, should be aware of.  For example, the AIDS epidemic~ after reading this book, you will question your response to AIDS as a Christian~ what it is and (maybe, or hopefully) what it should be. 

     *If you have ever lost a child, or experienced those times when you've sat with your child and waited for a medical diagnosis, then you will be able to really relate to the main character in this book. 

     *And lastly, if you are anything like me and tend to get *stuck in a rut* when it comes to reading~ always picking books from the same genre~ then I strongly encourage you to step out of your reading box and try something new and different.  This will not be my last medical thriller!

Sandra Glahn, Th.M.is adjunct professor, Christian Education and Pastoral Ministries, at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), her alma mater. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Aesthetic Studies (Arts and Humanities) at the University of Texas at Dallas. In addition she serves on the board of the Dallas/Fort Worth Christian Medical and Dental Associations, the Evangelical Press Association, the advisory board of Hannah’s Prayer, and the women's executive committee for bible.org.  

Ms. Glahn is editor in chief of Dallas Seminary's award-winning quarterly magazine, Kindred Spirit. Her books include The Coffee Cup Bible Studies series (featuring AMG's Mocha on the Mount, Espresso with Esther, Java with the Judges, Solomon Latte, Cappuccino with Colossians and Premium Roast with Ruth) and the medical suspense thriller, Informed Consent (Cook). Ms. Glahn has also coauthored seven books: When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden: Encouragement for Couples Facing Infertility (Broadman and Holman); Sexual Intimacy in Marriage (Kregel); Lethal Harvest (Kregel, a CBA best-selling Christy fiction finalist); Deadly Cure (Kregel); False Positive (WaterBrook); The Infertility Companion (Zondervan); and The Contraception Guidebook: Options, Risks, and Answers for Christian Couples (Zondervan). She has contributed to several additional works, including Genetic Engineering: A Christian Response; The Making of a Mentor and Insight for Living’s Bible Companion for Women

A popular retreat speaker, Sandra Glahn also leads seminars and workshops on marriage, infertility, slowing down, and writing. She and her husband, Gary, have been married twenty-eight years and have one child, who joined their family through adoption. 


Sandi has graciously agreed to do an Author Interview (Q&A) with me.........ENJOY!


Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for my readers and me!  It’s a pleasure for me to participate in your book tour, and even more so to have an opportunity to get to know you better.

Please tell us what prompted your writing of Informed Consent.

On one level, I needed Ph.D. credit. I'm working toward a degree in Aesthetic Studies (part philosophy, part history, and part creativity/writing), so I can better equip myself to teach writing students at Dallas Seminary. I wanted to write a novel and I found a way to get credit for doing so, while also benefiting from the input of about twenty smart people willing to critique my work.

What prompted me to tell the story I did came in part from a conversation I had with a medical doctor who had this idea for a heart transplant story I could do. Shortly after the wheels started turning, I had a conversation with an international aid worker who loved what the church in Africa was doing in response to the AIDS crisis, but in the U.S....not so much. So I wanted a vehicle for relooking at our stereotypes about HIV-AIDS and those who contract it.

You’ve got quite an impressive list of books to your credit.  Can you tell us what has been your favorite book to write, or which one you are the most proud of, and why?

Thanks. My favorite to write was Lethal Harvest, because I absolutely loved the characters. In fact, I liked Dr. Ben McKay from that book so much that I gave him a cameo appearance in Informed Consent.  As for the most proud...probably Mocha on the Mount in the Coffee Cup Bible Study series. I think Jesus has a lot more to say about social justice than we tend to think, probably because we're so nervous about the "social gospel." But writing that book gave me a chance to explore the implications of some of His words. To understand what it means to be "poor in spirit" we actually have to know something of what it's like to be poor. To "hunger and thirst" for righteousness, we have to understand something of literal hunger and thirst. And if we would do to others as we'd have them do to us, it means we have to care for the needs of those in poverty, hunger, and those without access to clean water. I've been told my readers that it's the most "convicting" of the series, and I think they mean that positively. At least, I hope so! 

I read in your bio that you have an adopted child.  I, too, am an adoptive parent (as are many of my blog readers).  I’d love to hear your adoption story, if you wouldn’t mind sharing.  Tell us what prompted your adoption, and why you are passionate about adoption.

 My husband and I experienced a decade of infertility that included seven early pregnancy losses and three failed adoptions before we adopted our girl, and an ectopic pregnancy afterward. In the process, we went to Russia twice, but nothing there worked out. Then a man at our church who owned a pawn shop knew of a situation with one of his employees. At that point, we had told our friends to quit sending us "leads" on birthmoms. But when he called us, we thought about it for...I dunno...maybe 20 seconds. Then we had a long, grueling two months during which my best friend had our girl while we waited for the birthdad to sign the papers. I had no desire to see this child whom I was sure would never be ours (I was jaded after the previous three disappointments). But my husband bonded with her and fought for her, and in the end, she was and is our great gift from God. 

You sound like a very busy lady!  Please tell us your favorite thing to do when you’re not working or writing?

I love to sit quietly with a cup of hot mocha by the side of a lake, especially first thing in the morning.

Do you have a favorite family vacation destination or is there a place that you would like to visit someday with your family?

We try to make it to the Oregon coast every year. I'm a fifth-generation Oregonian living in hot, dry Texas. Our favorite vacation is to rent a KOA Kabin in Warrenton, by the beach near Astoria, and go clam digging for razor clams every morning with the kids. It gets us up and out on the beach with something to do, and it provides the opportunity for the smallest cousin and oldest grandparent to work together digging or cheering each other on. 

We hope to get to Edinburgh, Scotland in the next year or so. I have a former student who lives there and has a place where we can stay. It's always better to travel when we know somebody locally.

My favorite family vacation spot is Disney World.  Please tell us~ which Disney character do you most closely relate to, and why?

Next to my computer I have a photo of Minnie Mouse with my daughter, who wears a smile as big as Minnie's ears. Minnie showed up in a kingdom that was truly magic for our young girl and gave generously of her time to make the experience memorable. That day she made me a fan. 

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to “chat” with us.  Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

Thank YOU for hosting me. Parting thoughts? My tagline is "Thinking that Transforms." And I consider my fiction to be a form of edutainment. I hope readers will enjoy losing themselves in a story, while in the process thinking in new, more generous ways about others with whom they share this fragile planet.




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