Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mix and Match

What I'm Reading:

I finished Matt Hilton's Dead Men's Dust and found it a mighty fine debut thriller. It's dark and not for the faint of heart. Intense action, a really horrid serial killer, and a hero (Joe Hunter) who lives on the edge of darkness himself. I think he's a bit like Jack Reacher but he carries more baggage (yes, the play on words was intentional). Joe, however, is a Brit who's only in the U.S. to look for his half-brother who has gone missing. Matt's next book in the Joe Hunter series, Judgment and Wrath, is scheduled for release in the U.S. in August 2010.

The next book in my To Be Read (TBR) stack is a mystery, Boca Knights by Steven M. Forman. I'm still reading the two nonfiction books on writing.

What I'm Thinking About:

When the news came out about the mammography recommendations, I couldn't help but wonder who the heck was on this panel and whether the panel was made up of insurance lobbyists or doctors or economists. Here's what I found at Medical News Today and I highly urge you read the whole article:

"The recommendation, dated November 2009, comes from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services."

And yet Katherine Sibelius, Secretary of Health and Humans Services, it was reported on the news yesterday afternoon, discounted the recommendation. As did the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and The Society of Breast Imaging. And yet, the members of USPSTF seem to have solid credentials.

You should be thinking about this. You should be wondering if insurance companies will take these recommendations as gospel and use them as an excuse to stop paying for annual screenings. If you're an "at risk" female under the age of fifty, you should be wondering how this affects you. I'm just sayin...

This Week's Quote:

"Of the first seven novels I wrote, numbers four and five were published. Numbers one, two, three, six, and seven, have never seen the light of day... and rightly so."
----------Sue Grafton (from

A Recommended Blog:

Guide to Literary Agents written by Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest.

The Best Thing I Had to Eat This Week:

Oh, hands down, it was the light, fluffy pancakes I had for breakfast Saturday morning at the NCW Retreat at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. I never fix pancakes at home, and I rarely go out for breakfast, so this was a wonderful treat.


Mason Canyon said...

I agree with you, I'm afraid these new recommendations were made to help the insurance companies out. It's wouldn't surprise me to see in a few weeks where people are complaining because their insurance companies have cancelled payments for mammograms. Once that information is out there, I don't know if there is a way to call it back (so to speak).

Paul D. Brazill said...

Good call on Dean Men's Dust. I real page turner.

Marvin D Wilson said...

Lovely Mix & Match post. Loved the quote - I have one book I've written that "rightfully so" has never been published, either! (wink and sigh)

The Old Silly

Patricia Stoltey said...

Mason -- I also read that Medicare does not tie its payment schedule to these recommendations. I would add "yet" to the end of that statement. So much conflicting information makes it very hard for women to know what to do.

Paul -- I do love a good thriller, and I've been lucky enough to find some very good ones lately.

Marvin -- There are two dead manuscripts on my shelf. And I have one more that I haven't called yet. Good writing practice, right?

Anonymous said...

I WANT those pancakes, I love the quote by Grafton, and I believe I'll keep having my yearly exam regardless what any pin-head recommends (since they won't be the one undergoing chemo should I come down with breast cancer).

Love your posts, Pat!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I do not know what they're thinking, as somebody that had a positive mammogram at the age of 45, although I couldn't feel a lump, and had said lump removed and am still okay, I am shocked at the suggestion that women wait until they're 50! Crazy.

Thanks for the book recommendation.

Carol Kilgore said...

If Sue Grafton can hang in through all that, so can I.

Terry Odell said...

Mammogram stuff reminds me of the HRT flap, which was about as unscientific study as anyone could do (scientist buddy looked at the original and said it would have been thrown out of a Jr Hi Science Fair for the way they collected data). My doctor agreed, but his hands were tied by the insurance company. It's about $$, not health.

Matt Hilton said...

Hi Patricia,
I'm really glad that you liked Dead men's Dust and thank you very much for giving it a mention here at your blog. It was nice meeting you (even though it was fleeting) in Indianapolis.