Author Elizabeth Bruening Lewis conceived her 2011 novel "To Live or Die in Arizona" (published by Trafford Publishing) - which is getting a revived marketing push - after she received a successful transplant necessitated by polycystic kidney disease (PKD). As a journalist and historian, she tried to use her journalistic skills to publicize PKD, by far the most prevalent of all life-threatening hereditary diseases, but it was to no avail, even after the beloved Erma Bombeck died. "I guess kidneys just aren't glamorous," Elizabeth speculates. So she turned to fiction, using mystery, adventure and romance, to raise awareness for medical matters, as well as the environment.
When Abby Taylor, a single, accomplished, 40-something professor of Old English from Vassar College, is unexpectedly diagnosed with a serious kidney disease, the somewhat lonely professor realizes her life will never be the same. Attractive, well-liked and highly esteemed in her field, Abby has always stood up determinately to the buffets of fate. But now she finds herself running from the past with its personal tragedies, and from the disease that threatens her future with failing kidneys and impending dialysis. She runs - a blind reaction triggered by the instinct for survival.
She eventually settles in Flagstaff, Ariz., finding a moment of respite from her fright and loneliness with friendly neighbors, an intriguing new man and a darling, lost corgi dog. A great climate, breathtaking scenery and a peaceful, safe environment (as she reassures her sister), will be the perfect place to begin her uncertain journey. Or will it?
A stolen Alpha Romeo, the inexplicable death (or is it murder?) of a close friend, ominous goings-on in the forest with eco-warriors on the loose, all throw a dark shadow over the scene. From the moment of diagnosis, Abby has known that she would have to fight to maintain her sense of self in the face of the major life changes demanded by her disease, but will she also have to fight for life itself?
Will she live, or die, in Arizona?