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?"

Simmering Saturdays

I recently read a romance that the author's view of making a romance simmer was the romantic lead's constant whispering in the protagonists ear and his fingers always wrapping a lock of her hair around his fingers. In my opinion that is not simmering, that borders on letting the romance go stale!
And yet not every scene can hold a sizzling kiss so where does that leave us? My answer? Letting the relationship simmer to a boiling point.
Okay, granted -- I am far froma amaster on this one, but here is what I propose in the novel I am currently working on, Book One in The Talisman Series. Mind you, this excerpt is still in the writing stages...

A breeze stirred Trish's hair about her face, tickling her nose and eyes. Echoes of a sharp headache reminded her of her collision with the livery door. She slowly opened her eyes. A man stood at her window. She squinted, forcing bleary eyes to focus. "Quinn?"

He turned slowly and she noticed he held something. Fabric. Her clothes? "My bet is that this ain't your blood. No woman bleeds like this."

Trish tried to sit up, a wave of dizziness making her head spin pulled her back down. Swallowing hard and refocusing, she pushed herself upright. "Blood? What blood?"

"Found these bloody clothes. Ya had 'em tucked under your mattress. Whose blood is this?"

Trish stared at him wishing his back wasn't to the light. She couldn't make out his expression. His tone was as level as it had been at the poker table with Ace. Usually his tone held a vibrant quality, even when training a young horse. Not now.

"You rifled through my things?"

"No. Answer the question, Trish. Whose blood?" his tone, though still quiet had an edge to it.

Trish struggled with how to answer, her words rushing out without the usual care of an attorney. "I'm sorry, Quinn. I couldn't save him. He died in my arms. I didn't kill him. You've got to believe me."

Quinn's chest expanded with his deep intake of air, yet his words remained calm. "Whose blood?"

Trish shook her head, the pain rolling from side to side as the tears she'd held back burst to the surface. "Albert," her voice cracked. "I didn't--"

"Why didn't you stay with him?"

"I did," she swallowed trying to regain her composure.

"No. You weren't there when I found him," he said, his words accusing her.

"I did. I just-- I heard someone coming and realized how it would look if they found me with him. You have to believe me, I didn't kill him."

He stepped closer and she shrank back. "And the blood? Why?"

Trish kept her hands close to her body, but raised them defensively.

"I found him there, bleeding when I arrived. I held him in my arms and tried to comfort him. I lost it. I didn't know what to do. The horse was stamping. The scent of blood-- oh." Her hands flew to her face, covering her tears. "So much blood-- I tried to stop the bleeding and it just kept coming."

Sobs drowned out her words; she shuddered wishing she had done more. Wishing she'd never been there. Wishing she had never come here. Wishing he believed her.

Quinn stepped to the bed, dropping the stained clothing between them. "Ya should have stayed."

"I didn't know it was you. I thought the murderer…"

Quinn sank to the bed. The bedsprings groaned under his added weight, but he didn't touch her. "Ya should have stayed and told me who murdered him."

"But I don't know who did it."

Quinn glowered at her. "Tell me. No more lies. No more tears."

Trish stared at him in silence. She couldn't tell him.

"Damn it, Trish," his words sounded tortured. He pushed her back on the bed, seizing a handful of hair, constraining her. His kiss demanded she yield herself to him. At first she fought him, but when the weight of his chest came down on her, she surrendered.

For most of a week she had dreamed of his kissing her here. Her dreams had warmed her with excited anticipation. This was not as she had hoped. Tears of abject horror replaced tears of sorrow. The pressure of his lips bruised hers and yet his hands remained in her hair and against her cheek. The moment was brief, feeling torturously long.

He moved away, turning his back to her and breathing hard. "No more lies, Trish. The truth. All of it."

She remained prone on her bed where he had left her. "I told you," she whispered.

"Start at the beginning." He pulled the sheet up to cover her. "Why did Curly have you tethered?"

"I guess because he was sick. I certainly didn't deserve it."

"He isn't your papa?"

Trish gasped. "No!"

"Where you giving your--your body to Albert?" He sounded like he might choke on his words.

"No!" Trish rolled away from him, coming to a sitting position. "Never, how could you think that?"

Strong hands reached for her pushing her back to the mattress. "Woman, I am through playing games with you. Tell me the truth, all of it."

She stared up at him, willing him to believe her. She shook her head, fresh tears spilling form her eyes, marking fresh trails to her ears. "I can't."

He let go of her only to flick his bowie knife free, placing it at her neck. "Tell me the truth."

"I would never offer myself to Albert," she whispered. "I couldn't."


She swallowed and answered, "Because I'm --."

"He didn't want your body so you swung the hammer at his head in jealous anger. Is that it?" Twisted distaste wrinkled his handsome features.

"No," she gasped. "I'm not a murderer."

"But you killed Old Curly." Quinn's eyes glared at her, daring her to lie.

"That depends on how you plea and your defense attorney. Technically, I could plea self defense and get off while you would be found guilty. I'm only an accessory."

"How do you know that?"

"You wouldn't believe me." He applied pressure to her skin with the knife.

"Try me."

"Put your knife away and pull up a chair."

He looked around her scantily furnished room. "You don't have a chair."

She forced a weak smile, "Details… the knife, put it away?"

With a flick of his wrist the knife disappeared. "It is where I can get to it if you don't tell me the truth."

"Then you better find yourself a really comfortable place to sit and have an open mind."

Tension? You decide.

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