I’m pleased to be sharing #TenThings about author Melody Saleh with you today. Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to be part of the tour. You can order your copy of Melody’s book Deja Vu here.
I’ve recently been asked, If I could go back in time and change anything, would I? And, if so, what would it be? My reply, “Only if I could end up exactly where I am today—I love my life.” It’s been a hard road, but the life lessons I’ve learned along the way, have been well worth it.
In April 1998, I was diagnosed with triple-negative, Stage II, breast cancer at the young age of 35 (I was told it was probably a cyst that needed to be aspirated—I was too young), undergoing four-rounds of very harsh chemo, a lumpectomy, and radiation, my life flashed before my eyes. I’ve never been so scared in my life. Would I see my daughter graduate high-school? Would I be the mother-of-the-bride one day? Would I meet my grandchildren? Do I have any regrets?
Less than two years after being diagnosed, I met my husband. He lived in Texas, I was in Florida. My daughter was in high school at the time, if this got serious, I wasn’t going anywhere. It was fate, the stars were aligned, we were meant to be together. He moved to Florida just two-months after our meeting. We’re celebrating our 20-year wedding anniversary next year.
In April 2008, we took thirty-two of our closest family and friends on a four-day Caribbean cruise to celebrate my ten-year, cancer-free milestone. Yippie! I was considered cured. In July, just three months later, as I was showering the day of my annual mammogram, something felt off. No lump, just didn’t feel right. I had picked up running less than a year before, training to run a half-marathon the following year. Ladies, we all know where we lose it first, and luckily for me, it helped me find my second breast cancer, a new primary, on the other breast. We caught it very early, Stage I, ER/PR+. Didn’t have to think about it, take them both, double mastectomy with reconstruction. I would have bigger, perkier breasts now—my silver lining.
Shortly after that second diagnosis and having recovered from surgery, I set out to finish the novel I began many years before. No regrets, right? During the summer of 2009, the first draft of Facade was complete. I also competed in the half-marathon I was training for. I wasn’t fast, but I finished.
During the ten-years I allowed the first draft of Facade to sit unedited, I studied for my Graduate Gemology degree, which came about Googling, “What gives a yellow diamond it’s color?” I simultaneously obtained my Pearls Graduate degree, because… why not? I began creating one-of-a-kind designs and donating them to local charities. After several donations, it became obvious I would need to start a business to pay for my very expensive hobby. Gem Couture was formed to create custom high-end designs for South Florida’s elite and allow me to continue gifting precious pieces to help the community.
In the summer of 2019, and despite how much I loved volunteering my time, I decided to cut back on my outside responsibilities and focus on my novel. Facade, Book I in the Unbroken Series, was released on December 31, 2019, on my 57th birthday. Book II, Deja Vu, will be launched on June 23, 2020, finishing up with Book III, Cést la Vie, will be out in December. Once the series is complete, my next book will be a SciFi Thriller to be completed sometime in 2021.
Here I am now, a published author, twenty-two years since I first heard the words, “You’ve got cancer.” I saw my daughter graduate, she married a wonderful man in 2014 and I was present when both my grandchildren came into the world. Yes, life has been hard, really difficult at times, but I have no regrets what so ever. I’m so in love with my family and I have the most amazing friends that surround me so no, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing if it meant I couldn’t be exactly where I am today.
From the back of the book
Happiness is finally within reach for best friends, Amber, Dominque, Debra and Zya. But fate has other plans…
Pregnant and widowed, Debra is engaged to suave and charming Italian heartthrob Roberto. So why does her heart race when she thinks about her therapist, Brian? Has she said yes to the wrong man?
Dominque has found the love and acceptance she always longed for with Tad. But devastating news soon threatens their future together.
Successful fashion designer Zya has discovered her own unexpected happily ever after with Tina . . . until her daughter, Ashanti is bullied and becomes the focus of a police investigation and the media. Now Zya suddenly stands to lose everything she holds dear.
Finally, together with the only man she’s ever loved, Amber is determined to not let anything come between her and Patrick—not even her jealous and vindictive identical twin sister. But someone is watching . . . waiting for the right moment to destroy her . . .
Will the women get their happy ending, or is it déjà vu all over again? Find out in the dramatic and suspenseful second book of the Unbroken series.
More about the author
After 35+ years in operations for various businesses (including her own), Melody pursued her dream of writing a novel. Having written for business publications, local magazines and even publishing a poem, Chemo’s not for Sissies, during treatment after her first cancer diagnosis, it was time to finish the novel that was started many years ago. When she started writing, “Facade: Things Aren’t Always as They Appear,” she had no idea where her characters were going to take her. “The story basically wrote itself. It was like a movie projector playing in my mind,” is how she describes her experience. It soon became apparent, their voices were not to be silenced… “The Unbroken Series” was born. “Deja Vu: Here We Go Again,” Book II, to be released June 23, 2020, followed by C’est la Vie, Book III, in December.
Melody lives with her husband in her native home state Florida. She’s blessed to be alive today after two cancer diagnoses and enjoys watching her grandchildren grow up; something she doesn’t take for granted.