Friday, September 28, 2012
My newest novel, The Ninja Tattoo, makes its debut from Tirgearr Publishing
Teague McMurtry thinks that the most dangerous time in his life was serving in the Army in Afghanistan. Little does he know that something far worse awaits him at home. Teague's been targeted for death by a deadly gang. The man who kills him will earn the coveted Ninja Tattoo, showing that he's attained the gang's hierarchy.
Teague must put all his training and ingenuity to the test to protect himself and the woman he loves.
Teague sat up in bed, listening, trying to decide what had woken him. His door opened quietly, and he had his gun out, pointed at the door as his cousin stepped in, closing it behind him.
"What the f***?" Teague whispered. "Are you insane?"
"I knew you wouldn't shoot until you saw me," Jed said, putting a finger to his lips. "That wasn't you, was it?"
The sound repeated, faint but distinct—glass tinkling against the hard, marcite floor. Teague put on his boxers and jeans quickly, following Jed out. Closing the bedroom door quietly, he locked the knob before pulling it shut. Vivica hadn't stirred and Teague hoped they wouldn't wake her. Joel was waiting for them in the living room. He motioned that the sound had come from the side door facing the street. There were three directions of approach, from the Florida room on the front of the house, the living room or the kitchen. Teague took the kitchen as it afforded the most cover. He was the only one without a vest, wishing he'd thought to grab his when he had the chance.
Jed came up from the other side and Joel faced the door. As they watched, an arm came through the hole in the small, glass pane, snaking around to unlock the deadbolt. Teague's impulse was to shoot first and then ask questions, but Joel was in charge as senior officer. He didn't want to, but he bowed to his cousin's judgement. Joel concealed himself in shadows, waiting to see if there was more than one. A tall, bald man walked in, looking around as if he owned the place. He shut the door behind him, getting his bearings. Jed came up behind him, pressing his gun to his head. Instead of fighting, the man held up his hands, clicking the safety on his weapon, he spun it on his finger, handing it butt first to Joel without being told. His face was up against the wall, cuffs on wrists before he spoke.
"Which one? You got three of us," Joel replied.
"Ah, the cop cousins. Where's Teague?"
"Why do you want him?" Jed said, spinning the man around to face them.
"Because I have a message for him," he said calmly. "Someone is trying to kill him."
"Yeah, who?" Jed asked.
The room exploded in loud, masculine curses and disbelief.
"Reach into my right front vest pocket. My ID is in there. You can check me for other stuff, but that's my only weapon. My name's McCaffrey. I'm a fed."
A number of things happened very quickly. Joel checked the man's ID, ordering Jed to release him immediately. He did so after a thorough pat down. They holstered their sidearms when the lights blazed on, dazzling them all. Vivica stood in the doorway, a pistol in her left hand, her right on the switch. The men blinked against the glare, shading their eyes as Vivica stared at the man in disbelief.
"Mac? What the hell?" She collapsed, weapon clattering to the floor.
The Ninja Tattoo is available now from Amazon, Smashwords and Tirgearr Publishing.
Tirgearr Publishing: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Oakes_Dellani/the-ninja-tattoo.htm
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Speaking of cancer....
I've got this on my mind today because I went for my mammogram yesterday. They tell you “Everything looks good”, but you don't get the official results for several days. The waiting sucks. Needless to say, I woke up in a bad mood today and I'm trying to shake it. THINK POSITIVE! Not easy to do after you've had cancer.
I was talking to the technician yesterday and she asked me how I discovered my lump. So I told her. I had been part of a drug study the year before and was preparing to participate in another. As part of the preliminary work-up, they did a screening mammogram. They found something. That's a very ominous sound on the phone. “It's probably nothing,” the nurse in charge of the project said. “But you need further tests to be sure.” So we had further tests.
I had cancer.
On the plus side, if there is such a thing with that diagnosis, it was a very small tumor and it was stage one. On the negative side, it was a very aggressive type of cancer. They throw all kinds of words at you when you get a cancer diagnosis, none of which really sink in. You hear things like malignant, tumor, surgery. Then you hear more scary words, but the only one that really makes an impact is mastectomy.
Of course, they don't tell you at the time that mastectomies can be done with reconstruction. Not only do they get rid of your tumor, they give you new boobs at the same time. I heard the scary word and opted for a lumpectomy, because I didn't know any better. Neither did my husband. He's an RN, but this was as new to him as it was to me.
If you're diagnosed with breast cancer and are told about a mastectomy, remember that this doesn't mean you'll wake up without breasts. This means you'll have surgery to remove the cancer as well as plastic surgery to give you a whole new chest. I didn't know this, so I didn't do it. I wish I had.
Now, I go back every six months for a screening. Yearly, they do both. At the six month mark, they screen the right breast, since that's where my cancer was. My cancer was hereditary – also didn't know this going into surgery, or I would have had the mastectomy. There is a test, but it's very expensive, and a lot of insurance companies won't cover it. Mine did. Thank you, United Health Care! I had the test done after I'd had chemo and radiation.
I think my doctor talked to me about it before hand, but once again, you only hear a little of what's being said. Also, when you consider that you have a surgeon, a chemo oncologist and a radiation oncologist, each doctor is giving you more and more information. That's confusing. As the patient, you start to get sensory overload. So much to remember, so many BIG WORDS!
Fortunately, my doctors were good about answering any questions I had. My radiation oncologist answered 90% of my questions before I even asked them. The oncology team I'm with has been wonderful. The nurses and doctors are compassionate and efficient.
Ladies, I urge you to have regular mammograms and do self-exams. If you don't know how, your doctor or a nurse can tell you. Men, if breast cancer runs in your family, find out how you can prevent it in yourself.
I was lucky, we found mine very early with the screening. The placement of the tumor was such that I wouldn't have found it on my own until it was much bigger. Don't be like some people and put the doctor's appointment off because you're afraid it “might be cancer”. Yes, it might be, but you can't fight it if you don't know. Why be scared of something unknown when you can put that energy into fighting it?
Don't let cancer beat you. You beat the cancer.
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