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?"

Could working with the Dead be Dangerous?
Suspense excerpt from Deliverance from Evil:

"Are you enjoying school, dear?" Dr. Madeline's seemingly innocuous question rattled Tessa. The therapist smiled. "I assume you must like it, since you went back voluntarily."

"Yes," Tessa finally croaked. "I'm looking forward to graduating next year."

"So you can work with the dead."

"Yes." She fixed her gaze on the gun in the doctor's hand and gulped back the urge to flee. Trying something while Dr. Madeline stared at her would be suicide.

The therapist cocked her head. "Why'd you choose mortuary science, Tessa? Why do you want to work with dead people?"

"Because the dead can't hurt me," she answered, unable to stop the flow of words. And live people, especially gun toting nuts like you and perverts like Dempsey and Stuart, have the ability to mortally wound me. She fisted her hands and glared at her captor. "It's safer that way."

"Oh, I see." The therapist made a note on her pad. "Well... I suspect that must be a residual affect from your stepfather's abuse."

"Probably so," Tessa answered, her mind whirring. This session was far from normal, but for some reason she couldn't stop answering the woman's questions. Was she that starved for attention? That desperate to be heard?

Dr. Madeline sent her a sideways glance. "Are you seeing anyone?"

"Yes. No." She shook her head. I can't say anything about Cash, especially since he's a detective. That might send the doctor into a tailspin.

The therapist lifted her brows. "Yes and no? Please... go on."

"Well..." Tessa swallowed and eyed the umbrella she'd pegged as a weapon, then jerked her gaze off it. She didn't want to give her plan away. "I-I almost went out with someone not long ago, but decided against it. I'm... I'm just too busy with school and work."

"You need to marry and settle down. Start a family."

"I'll do that later." She squirmed in her seat "Once I've finished school."

"We often think we have all the time in the world, when we really don't," Dr. Madeline said, pinning Tessa to the chaise with a bitter gaze. She lifted the gun. "Isn't that right, dear?"

"I-I guess so." Tessa went rigid. The therapist's persona had changed yet again, switching from curious doctor to angry villain in the blink of an eye. Who would she be next?

The doctor got up and paced back and forth, the pistol glinting each time she passed the window. "I've done my best to help you, Tessa."

"I-I know you have." Afraid not to give the woman affirmation, Tessa slid forward on the chaise, inch by inch, and prepared to drop her feet to the floor. "You've helped me be happy."

"Not lately." Dr. Madeline spun. "You've ignored me."

"That's not true." Tessa halted, afraid to move, not wanting to draw any more attention to herself. She had to get to that umbrella, and keeping the doctor pacing and calm was the only way. The more agitated the woman became, the more likely she'd shoot. "I readily took your call last week, when you told me you'd moved your practice here."

"You were just being nice." The therapist wagged the gun, then marched back across the room.

Tessa signed in relief and slid a little farther toward the edge of the chaise. "Wasn't your goal to rescue me from a terrible situation and help me grow up healthy and strong?"

"Of course it was," Dr. Madeline snapped, her eyes riveted to the plush carpet.

Tessa took advantage of the woman's temporary lapse to put her feet on the floor and transfer her weight to her heels. The desk was only a few feet away. If she could make a big enough leap...

The doctor whirled and shouted, "You work with dead people! How is that normal?"

"It's a job. Someone's got to do it."

"Not my Tessa." Dr. Madeline stalked toward her. "What are you doing?"

"I-I have a cramp." Tessa clutched at the back of her thigh, took a step to her right, and pushed herself to her full height. So much for subterfuge. "I need to stand up."

"Get back on the chaise," the woman cried. She raised the pistol and aimed it at Tessa. "Right now! Move."

"No!" Tessa shouted, diving for the umbrella. Her fingers hit it and sent it tumbling to the floor. She went after it.

A shot rang out...
Melanie Atkins
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EMILY'S NIGHTMARE--Coming August 1--Desert Breeze Publishing
DELIVERANCE FROM EVIL--Available now!--Desert Breeze Publishing
BLOOD RITE--Available now!--Whiskey Creek Press
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