Today I wanted to share something a bit different -- nothing having to do with gluten-free dining or travel, actually. But perhaps something to read while on your next trip...and since today is Valentine's Day, it's only fitting that it's a romance!
I recently learned about author Sherry A. Burton and her latest novel, The Scars Between Us, in which the main female character has Celiac Disease. Although Sherry herself does not have Celiac Disease, she was forced to live a completely gluten-free life for nearly three years, due to medical issues. Eventually, the issue resolved itself, and while she is no-longer gluten free, she finds herself limiting the amount of gluten she ingests, lest the problem return. This personal experience gave her a new appreciation for what people on special diets due to medical issues go through -- and the challenges they struggle with each day. She wanted to keep this issue in the forefront of people's minds, especially given the increasing rate of Celiac diagnosis and food allergies/intolerances in our society today.
Here is the gist of the plot of The Scars Between Us: Haunted by dreams of her dead husband, Elizabeth spends five years of her life beside his grave with the blind hope that he would return to her. She eventually alienates every one of her friends before slowly rebuilding her life. When Joseph crosses her path, with his piercing eyes and electric touch, the flame of passion is ignited. But Joseph has a painful secret buried within the scar on his wrist – one he must protect in order to keep his new life, and new love. Will Elizabeth ever be able to truly let go and stop seeing her dead husband everywhere she turns? And can Joseph risk exposing his past in order to be with her?
Actually, both the lead character, Elizabeth (a yoga instructor), and another character (Elizabeth's newest client Silvia Carmichael-Davenport) have Celiac Disease. So in the midst of this romantic novel there are also fun and sometimes outlandish moments sprinkled within, as a unique friendship quickly forms between the yoga instructor and her quirky socialite client. While Elizabeth has to be careful of her choices, Silvia has the finest chefs preparing her meals.
"I wanted to have characters that people could identify with, and I was not aware of any other novel that had a character who was suffering with Celiac Disease," said Sherry. "Given the fact I was struggling with my own gluten issues at the time, I had this desire to show that people with Celiac are, in fact, normal people. Okay, maybe waiting for her dead husband to come back from the grave isn’t so normal, but it is a romance, and sometimes you have to allow your mind to think outside the box. Whether it is being creative with the written word or in finding things that fit into your gluten free lifestyle, it is imperative to spice things up once and a while!"
You can read more about Sherry and her other novel, Tears of Betrayal, by visiting her Blog. You can also Like her page on Facebook. And please share your thoughts below if you have a chance to read The Scars Between Us. I haven't yet had a chance myself, so I'd be interested to hear from you!