Maw of the Monster

On January 22, 2008, if I’d known I was being thrust into the maw of the medical monster I would have shown up with more than a plastic spatula.
It was a frigid morning when the phone rang, too early to be anything but rude. “You want me to do what?” was my equally impolite response. I’d been snuggled under my yellow comforter. Now, I was supposed to get myself across Puget Sound asap to a hospital. Not a long journey, as the crow flies, but crows don’t care that Vashon Island has no bridge and only one ferry was in service that morning.
A half hour later I was outside, hopping from one freezing foot to the other and staring at my red Jeep, covered from roof to fender with a thick coat of frost. Back in my native Northeast, I’d have been better prepared. But the Northwest was supposed to have mild winters, so a black plastic spatula was all I could find as an anti-frost device.
Many blue-fingered scrapes were required to get me on the road at last. If I’d realized how rough that ride would be, I’d have stayed under the yellow comforter. If I’d realized I had breast cancer, I never would have answered the phone.
Skip ahead to December and another anomalous Northwest winter of blizzards and deep chill. By then, we had acquired a bona fide ice scraper, the red Jeep auto-piloted to the hospital, and the maw of the medical monster had grown to a chasm over which I dangled, holding on for dear life to the nearest fang.
You’ve probably heard the urban hospital legend where the trusting patient enters with a hangnail and ends up an amputee. I’d been inserted into my personal version of that tale. I thought I was in the home stretch, ready for brand new breasts to replace the old now-absent ones. Instead, I faced the two-pronged attack of a raging staph infection and surgical procedure #8, both of which would conspire to kill me.
Flash forward again to today. The cold, the ferry schedule, the infection and the surgeries are ten years past, but this was a horror story nonetheless. One I survived with the help of faith, family, friends and a miracle or two. I pray there will never be another shocking phone call or any of what followed, for me or for you. Meanwhile, my advice is that we all arm ourselves with mammograms against this monster because a plastic spatula simply will not do.

Alice Orr –

A Time of Fear and Loving by Alice Orr

A hot car and a hot guy can get a girl into trouble.
Maybe that’s what Amanda Miller needs. But how much trouble is too much trouble? Dead bodies on the riverbank? A possible kidnapping? Sexy detective Mike Schaeffer might save the day. But who will protect Amanda’s heart?
Alice Orr is known for Delicious Suspense Spiced with a Love Story.
She does it again in A Time of Fear and Loving.
A Time of Fear and Loving is Book 5 of the Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series set in Riverton, New York featuring the Kalli and Miller families and the Women of West Main who will debut in Book 6. Find out more at
Genre Romantic Suspense
Book heat level (based on movie ratings) R
Publisher. Alice Orr Books

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Alice Orr is the author of 16 novels, 3 novellas, a memoir and No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells. A former book editor and literary agent, Alice now lives her dream as a full-time writer. She has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and resides with her husband Jonathan in New York City.
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