MS Warriors Tell Their Stories

Interviews & Stories

Jenn Powell Chats with Author Melissa Cook on MS News Today

MS warriors connect through Jenn Powell’s MS News Today podcast, Thriving Over Surviving with Edie Sohigian, The New Faces of MS with Monica Tucker, and across social media. 

Jenn Powell interviewed me a few months ago, and we discussed my multiple sclerosis story. Find Jenn Powell on MS News PodcastAmazon, Apple podcast, or Spotify.

The New Face of MS – Meet Melissa Cook

In March, The New Faces of MS featured my MS story on their blog. Founded by Monica Tucker, the mission of her page is “to educate, motivate and inspire individuals diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.” You must join the page using your email, Google, or Facebook sign-in to participate on her website. You can also see the content on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter if you prefer. Each day, I receive a newsletter containing a new MS story. Click here to read my full story on The New Faces of MS or select “Share Your Story” on the page to tell your MS story.

Melissa Cook stands beside her blue Jeep as an image with this article about multiple sclerosis.

Upcoming Events

Wyoming Jeepers

Fan shows are coming up. We are heading to the Pryor Mountains on July 8, 2023, and the backroads of Cooke City, Montana, on August 5, 2023. Check our latest show, Pryor Mountains, to see what fans will be in store for in July, or click here to see our One Hail of a Day trip near Cooke City last September 27, 2022.

Wild horse with the Wyoming Jeepers cast in the background
Wyoming Jeepers

The Call of the Last Frontier

“Finishing This Book is Like Parting with a Friend You Love”

Fans have me smiling every day. I want to thank everyone who has rated The Call of the Last Frontier or left me a review, especially those of you who have left me feeling on top of this world with your kind words. A BIG thank you goes out to all those who send me fun photos to post, such as those below from Ron Wallace (love the headshot) and Melissa Billups. Below are only a few of my latest reviews:

“Awesome read… Finishing this book is like parting with a friend you love.” – John B on Amazon 4/6/23

“I loved every word in this book.” – Nancy on Goodreads – 4/18/23

“I didn’t want the book to end… A real treat for me.” – Richard Ince on Goodreads 4/26/23

“Thought-provoking memoir” – William Carpenter on Goodreads – 3/29/23

“Fantastic book… It is entertaining and eye-opening at the same time. If you decide civilization has lost its luster and you want to move to Alaska, by all means, read this book first. Beautifully written and fantastic photography.” – Craig D. Pindell – 3/13/23

Thank you to everyone who has ever rated or written a review for me. The best way to help your favorite authors is to leave them a rating or review.

Ron Wallace pointing to my book on the top shelf in Mosquito Books
Ron Wallace Found My Book on the Top Shelf
"The Call of the Last Frontier" on bookshelf
“The Call of the Last Frontier” at the Mosquito Books shop in the Anchorage Airport – photo sent by fan Melissa Billups – My book is next to Jon’s!

BOOK OF THE MONTH – April 2023

Book Recommendation – I recommend books that will benefit multiple sclerosis patients, people with chronic illness, and caretakers each month. I select books based on my recommendation and receive no compensation for choosing them. All links to Amazon are affiliate links, however.

Typically, I select a book with a multiple sclerosis theme or a self-help book for the Book of the Month. This time, I decided to choose Where the Crawdads Sing because sometimes we want to be taken away from our world and experience someone else’s life. Where the Crawdads Sing continues to rank in the #1 bestseller spot on Amazon after two years. I went to my local Barnes and Noble store and found that the book is not on the typical shelf but has an entire end display filled with copies of the book and several other splurge purchase items such as a book bag with the book cover on it.

“Any book that keeps me up at night reading under the covers with a flashlight so as not to keep my husband awake has earned a five-star rating from me, even if I do agree with many of the points made by the one-star raters,” I told an audience at author’s day at my local library.

This 4.7-star rated book now has 606,331 ratings as of May 1, 2023. After 26 months on the market, it still ranks in the top 100 in multiple categories, capturing the #1 bestseller flag on Amazon on occasion. Author Delia Owens was 72 years old upon the release of this tale, which sold 18 million copies and received a movie deal. That is impressive.

A child of the marsh in North Carolina in the 1950s, Kya Clark, is abandoned by her mother, siblings, father, and community to fend for herself. I agree with the one-star rating that this may not be a reasonable scenario, but most readers let some impossible story elements slide. The daughter of an alcoholic, Kya learns to cook, fish, captain a small boat, and earn a living at a tender age because no one else does it for her.

Despite Kya’s isolation, she manages to develop a few critical relationships. To avoid spoiling the book, I’ll say that these relationships and her survival create the meat of the book’s coming-of-age storyline.

The book flips between two periods, the first being Kya’s childhood and the second being a murder mystery in the same marsh a decade later. Did Kya commit the murder? The author has us wondering right up until the end.

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE—The #1 New York Times bestselling worldwide sensation with more than 18 million copies sold, hailed by The New York Times Book Review as “a painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature.” (Amazon)

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.