Monday, February 1, 2016

For the Warriors

When my friend and fellow mystery writer Tammy Kaehler offered to name one of her secondary characters after a female cancer warrior, I immediately wrote and nominated my high school classmate Tara Howell Raffield.

At the time, Tara was in the final stages of her battle against ovarian cancer. And oh, what a battle it was. Anybody who was acquainted with Tara will tell you this -- the woman was fierce, and tough, and strong, and she gave this fight her everything. But the most amazing part was that she never lost her compassion, her sense of humor, and her righteous love of friend and family and God. 

She shared her journey with all of us, her friends and classmates and community. And even though we lost her, she won. She triumphed. And this is what we remember of her, that no matter the pain that is left at her absence, we still have the joy that comes from having known her. What a privilege.

Tammy chose to name her character Tara Raffield. And so now a sassy, strong spitfire of a woman walks the pages of the book, Red Flags. She is fictional, yes, but she wears the name Tara well, and I can't help but think our Tara would be delighted.

Red Flags comes out April 12th. I plan on having some copies available at my Saturday, April 23rd book signing in Cochran. The cost is $15.95, and all profits from this one-day sale of Red Flags (and my own Reckoning and Ruin) will go to the American Cancer Society in the name of our BCHS Class of '85 members who left us too soon due to this horrible disease, including our beloved Allen Brantley.

If you'd like me to reserve an autographed copy for you, please write to me at tina @ tinawhittle dot com, and I'll have it ready for pick-up between 10 and 12 noon at Flowers by Jimmy in Downtown Cochran. I'd you'd like to order your own, it will be available on Amazon after April 12th, and I can have an autographed bookplate mailed to you.

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