Have you ever heard of this remarkable inspiration of a woman?

I hadn’t until I read her obituary in the Economist. She died on December 30, 2012 at the age of 103.

Her Victorian mathematician father believed that women should not study, but she defied him and went to medical school. Upon her graduation, the fascists barred her from academia, so she set up a laboratory in her bedroom to carry out work on chicken embryos, collecting eggs from neighboring farms and using scalpels made out of sewing needles.

She was concerned with how nerves growing from an embryonic spinal cord find the particular developing limbs they will innervate. She went on to prove the existence of nerve-growth factor (NGF).

She divided her time between a research laboratory in St. Louis and one in Rome, slept five hours a night, ate one meal a day at noon (soup and an orange), never married or had children.

Her mother and twin sister were painters, and she loved to illustrate her scientific papers with fine pen-and-ink drawings. She made her own clothes and designed her own jewelry. She set up a foundation for the scientific training of women, became a senator at 91, funded the European Brain Research Institute at 100.

In the 1950s and 1960s—when she was in her forties and fifties—she began to produce her finest work but was ignored. At last her work was publicly recognized when she and her colleague Stanley Cohen shared the Nobel prize for physiology in 1986. She was 75 years old.

So there you have it, my friends. Take care of yourself, stay mentally and physically active, have a purpose in life, and stay alive. The best may be yet to come!

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Love a historical mystery? Passionate romantic suspense?

Try Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)!

Lily is not quite a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896. She may be repressed and dependent on her husband, but she supports the vote for women and has a mind of her own. When Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (Apple iTunes, Kobo, Sony)!

Or try this series in affordable installments.

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (Apple iTunes, Kobo, Sony)! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (Apple iTunes, Kobo, Sony)! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. As they begin a passionate affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom (A Lily Modjeska Mystery). Lily and Tremaine journey to Imperial China, confronting soldiers of the Boxer Revolution and brutal slavers. Lily discovers secrets vital to the identity of the Celestial Girl. In Celestial Girl, Book 4: Terminus (A Lily Modjeska Mystery). Lily and Jackson return to San Francisco and solve the tragic mystery of the Celestial Girl. Both on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (Apple iTunes, Kobo, Sony).

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

Enjoy the punch of a short story?

New! Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (all other readers including Kobo, Sony, and Apple). Acclaimed short fantasy and science fiction by Lisa Mason published in top magazines and anthologies worldwide.

From Goodreads: “Hilarious, provocative, profound.”
Five Stars on Amazon: “Great work!”

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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