As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

Tickle/Tease Tuesday

In the Manor of the Ghost

Excerpt is unedited and used by permission.

Marrying Jean Marc was a dream come true. This marriage might well become a nightmare.

Yet here she stood. What an idiot?

Her first wedding was held in a pristine chapel in southern France, with several from the gentry in attendance. No one dared compare this weathered church with the finery of Europe. Those attending now, though dressed in their Sunday meeting clothes, their finest, looked liked they prepared to go to work in one of the homes of Paris' wealthy.

None of that really mattered. Caitlin didn't care if they didn't reach the standard of the people in the life she'd known before. She didn't care if there were no royals in the small gathering. What she really missed and what she wanted now, was to know she made these vows with someone who loved her. She missed Jean Marc so strongly in that instance her tears welled up.

She missed her husband's touch -- he never gripped her hands so callously as the man who stood beside her now.

What was she doing?

She missed Jean Marc's voice -- tenor, smooth and musical. Devlin spoke curtly in deep trembles of baritone.

Could she really find happiness without love?

She missed her husband's eyes -- rich brown, soft, concerned. She looked up hoping for them and caught a chill from the black eyes that stared at the preacher. They bore contempt. Hatred. She shivered and looked at the preacher.

Reverend Marlow smiled at Devlin and bowed his head to her then graciously continued with the service.

Caitlin could barely recount the ceremony, but she could remember, with clarity, the way Devlin looked at her. Did she see a hint of a smile before his lips met hers to seal the pact they'd spent the last few minutes vowing to keep -- in words she wasn't sure she'd spoken? His eyes were black, foreboding, but shining with hidden words she dare not let herself read or believe he'd even spoken.

By the warmth and the pressure of his lips on hers, she could, for a moment, almost believe that this was her love. Devlin gave more than required under the circumstances. With each passing second, where his mouth molded and searched hers, she found herself wanting things she'd told herself she'd never have again.

Her body defied her mind, almost verbally, as it cried out to be loved again. It'd been so long. Sinking further into the bliss, she fought to maintain her calm, her heart wouldn't let her. Letting her fingers burrow into the thickness of his ebony hair, along the nape of his neck, she kissed him back with equal fervency.

When he pulled away, she felt breathless, shaky. It wasn't from fear. Had he felt it too? No, it was nothing. Devlin had put on a show for those in attendance. So why did that bother her, why did she want it to be more than a kiss? More than a business deal? She hated herself for her weakness, hated herself for signing the papers.
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