Did that pique your interest? How about a fun excerpt?
The day the music died, Caterina Shaw did as well.
Not physically, although she understood the death of her body was inevitable. She had come to terms with that reality some time ago. She had even managed to deal with the blindness caused by the tumor eating away her brain. But then the pain had
become so great that it had silenced the music, stealing away the only thing that had made life worth the anguish.
“You understand this treatment is new and uncertain,” Dr. Rudy Wells explained, his voice smooth and comforting. The touch of his hand, warm and reassuring, came against hers as it rested on her thigh.
“I understand,” she said and faced the direction of that calming voice.
Another person abruptly chimed in, his tones as strident and grating as a badly played oboe. “We’ll begin with laser surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor followed by two different courses of gene therapy.”
Two? she wondered and sensed Dr. Wells’ hesitation as well from the tremble that skated across his fingers. He removed his hand from hers and said, "Dr. Edwards believes that we can not only shut down the tumor growing in your
brain, but possibly regrow the portion of your optic nerve that the tumor
Caterina’s only wish when considering the experimental treatment had been to stop the pain so that she could play her cello once again. So that her last months would be filled with the vitality her music provided.
It was through her music that she lived. That her mother lived, Caterina thought, recalling the passion she had felt as a small child when her mother had played the piano for her; the way her mother’s fingers had coaxed life from the keys much like she now did with a stroke of her bow and the deft touch of her fingers on the strings of her cello.
Or at least like she had up until the cancer had put an end to her music, bringing her life to a close. Except now she was being told something different.
Caterina had never thought about eliminating the tumor. Every prognosis so far had been that she was terminal. Now these new doctors told her not only that might she live, but that she might actually see again too. She didn’t dare believe that she would be able to get her old life back completely, as well as her sight but . . .
“You think I’ll be able to recover? To see again?” Caterina asked, needing to be sure she had understood correctly.
“The risks are great, my dear,” Dr. Wells urged gently.
“But you qualify for the human trials because of the advanced state of your illness, Ms. Shaw,” Dr. Edwards added, annoyance at his partner evident in the staccato beats of his voice.
Her advanced state which could possibly bring death even with this treatment, Caterina thought. Not that she feared her end. What she did fear was letting the pain in her head rob her of the one thing she could not live without.
She knew without hesitation that it was worth any risk to regain that part of her. To drive back the illness so she could play her cello once more and reanimate her heart for as long as she had left if the treatments couldn’t stop the tumor.
“What do you need me to do?”
Copyright 2009 Caridad Pineiro
Now, I'm pleased to introduce Caridad!
People always ask how book ideas come to me, but in actuality, I usually get the ideas for the characters before the idea for the plot. When it came to SINS OF THE FLESH, Caterina’s character popped into my head first. I knew I wanted her to be vulnerable, but strong. I wanted her to be elegant and creative. I used to be a musician and that career seemed perfect for portraying those attributes.
As for Caterina being vulnerable, it came to me that she would have to be ill and with that suddenly came the idea for something else – a radical gene therapy.
Because I wanted that aspect of the book to be accurate, I did research into how gene therapies were being done, how DNA was replicated and tested, and how foreign genes incorporated into humans could be seen.
I discovered lots of interesting things, like that there were ways to replicate tissues perfectly with certain amphibious genes and that you could make people/animals glow in the dark by introducing fluorescent protein markers. These are real life things that some might see as “fiction” in the book.
As for the real “fiction” – Caterina’s skin changing capabilities and altered eyesight – I totally played around with what might happen if foreign DNAs were introduced into a human body.
Which I guess makes me think about what traits people might want to get by receiving foreign DNA. Would they want to be able to change their skin colors in order to hide? Or have extra-sensory vision to help them see through walls?
If I could have a special power, I would probably choose to have super strength. I’m protective by nature and would like to be able to take care of other people with my super strength. Kind of like Wonder Woman.
How about you? If it was possible to combine foreign DNA into your body, what traits do you think you would like to have?
Answer one of these questions or leave one for myself or Caridad and you'll be entered in the drawing to win one of five copies of Sins of The Flesh!
Bonus: +1 Entry for being a Follower, +1 for Tweeting this contest (leave your twitter name or the link in your comment).
Only comments that answer one of the questions or ask additional questions will be entered to win. Sorry, contest open only to US and Canada per the publisher.