Friday, December 16, 2011

Beneath the Starry Sky and Alopecia Areata

by Jessica E. Subject

The heroine in Beneath the Starry Sky, Tamara Johnston, deals with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune skin disorder which may appear as one or more small, round or oval-shaped patches on the head, to a complete loss of all body hair. This non-contagious disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakes hair follicles as foreign invaders. Often beginning in childhood, Alopecia Areata affects almost two percent of Americans regardless of sex, age, or Ethnic background.

If you have a close family member with Alopecia Areata, you have a slightly increased chance of developing the disease, but it often occurs in people with a family history of other autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and more.

In most cases, hair does grow back, but it may fall out again before the disease runs its course. There is no cure or drugs approved to treat Alopecia Areata, although some medications approved for other purposes can help hair to grow back, at least temporarily.

It is important to note that while the effects of Alopecia Areata can be socially and emotionally disturbing, it is not a painful disease, nor does it make people physically sick. Those with the disease are generally healthy otherwise.

To learn more about Alopecia Areata and to help find a cure, visit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation

Beneath the Starry Sky Blurb
Left at the altar with bald patches on her head and her self-confidence stripped away, Tamara Johnson must pick up the pieces of her life and face her Alopecia, the autoimmune disease causing her hair to fall out. She is convinced no man will date a bald woman and arranges a one-night stand through Madame Evangeline’s popular service, 1Night Stand. With her new wig held firmly in place, Tamara arrives at the Castillo Hotel in Las Vegas for a night of passion and pleasure. Anything more than one night would mean exposing her bald head, and she will never do that to any man again.

Running into the Castillo Hotel, away from the paparazzi constantly at his heels, Josh Summers wants to spend his next few days locked away from the flashing lights and screaming fans. When he finds an incredibly sexy woman lying on his hotel room bed in nothing but lingerie, he thinks management has made a mistake. Leaving her behind, he heads for the lobby to get the situation rectified. But an unexpected text from Madame Evangeline sends him back to his room. Though unsure whether the woman on the bed is really his perfect match or just another fan believing him to be like his character on television, he knows he must find out, even if it means he must risk telling her his own secrets. If Tamara can handle his imperfections, she just might be his ideal woman.

Available from Decadent Publishing and other ebook retailers.

Jessica Subject started writing to encourage her daughter to read. Now she writes to keep herself grounded. Although she reads many genres, she enjoys writing Science Fiction Romance the most and believes everyone in the universe deserves a happily ever after. She lives Southwestern Ontario, Canada with her husband and two kids and loves to hear from anyone who has enjoyed her stories.


  1. I'd never heard of this disease, it'll be interesting to see how your heroine deals with the insecurity in your 1NS work.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. This sounds like such a sweet story! I have a problem with hair loss myself so I can totally relate.

  3. It's a horrible thing to happen to anyone but I always feel really sorry for teenagers who have it. They have enough to deal with without that as well.

  4. @Olivia - Many people haven't, but I hope to make people aware of this autoimmune disease. Thanks! :)

    @Casea - Thank you! I think many people can relate, including those going through cancer treatments. :)

    @Barbara - Yes, being a teenager is hard enough. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  5. I knew a lady who got this after her 4th pregnancy. She's never really gotten her hair back, wore wigs forever in public. I think she got so used to it that people were more embarrassed about it than she was herself. I like that you've used your writing to help people understand this disease, Jessica. My mom has Sarccoidosis (I know I spelled that wrong), an auto-immune in the lung. She has been in remission for a long time, but it was very scary for some years there because it can cause blindness, can go into the brain and cause death. But she's had it for 17yrs and is doing well. :)

  6. Thanks, Jess, Since you've been working on this story I wondered how the disease worked.

  7. @Heather (Decadent) - Looking back, I knew many people who had Alopecia Areata, although I never realized they had the disease until I grew older. That is scary, but I'm glad your mom is doing well now.

    @Kate - While I was doing research for this story, I learned about other autoimmune diseases as well. I'm glad I can bring awareness to Alopecia Areata.