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In my newly released book, Stormy Weather, several pivotal storms wreak havoc in the lives of the main characters, Rae, Luke, and Mac, both literally and figuratively. Stormy Weather is a romance, so it will come as no surprise that it has a happy ending – the sunshine and joy after the rain, to quote the words of an old song, or if you prefer, the rainbow after the storm.
Anyone who saw “The Wizard of Oz” knows that “somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue.” Had it not been for the tornado that hit Dorothy’s drab, Kansas world, she never would have traveled to the wonderful land of Oz, nor learned to appreciate her precious Auntie Em’s love, or that there’s “no place like home.”
Like everyone, my life has had many bittersweet moments. The very day my first book, Night and Day, was released, I had surgery to remove a recurrence of skin cancer and ended up with a 4″ scar on my neck that left my head cocked to one side for about three weeks. One of the proudest and most exciting moments of my life; and I looked and felt so terrible that I wasn’t able to celebrate or promote the book until some time later. On top of that, the recession had finally come to the Midwest, and I was tense and worried about the repercussions to my business and those of friends and family.
Two other times in my life come to mind as well… on my wedding day, almost 6 years ago, my back was out, and I was so stiff and sore that my friend had to lift my feet into the car to drive me to the church. Due to another medical condition, I was in excruciating pain during much of our dream vacation to Scotland 3 years ago. The term “grin and bear” it took on a whole new meaning.
These incidents are nothing compared to the heartbreak many of you have endured or are going though right now.
Yet, much as these temporary storms may have marred or impeded my enjoyment of some of the most precious and pleasurable days of my life, as always, clouds do dissipate, sunshine reappears, and joy is to be found on the other side of the rainbow. My husband, the pastor, is quick to add that a house built of the solid rock of Jesus Christ will withstand the worst of storms.
Is there a time in your life that you’ve experience joy in the midst of a storm? Sunshine after the rain? A rainbow so unexpected and lovely that you find yourself thinking the fray was almost worth it just to have experience that one blessed moment in time?
You’ll have to read Stormy Weather to experience the moment when Rae’s worst nightmare coincides with an event so profound that it will change her entire life.
I hope, as you read about what happens to Rae, that your faith will be restored – that you will be able to see through the wind and rain and sleet and snow that’s pommeling you to the blue skies on the other side of the rainbow, to experience the sunshine and joy awaiting you.
I hope to see you there!
I finally downloaded my photos from the past two months and found a great photo of the authors and writers that attended the Writers Retreat we hosted at the Blue Belle Inn in October. Best of all, I’m not in the photo! Looking at it brings back fond memories of a wonderful weekend in which I was privileged to meet fellow Second Wind authors Christine Husom, Norm Brown, and Amy DeTrempe.
We had a great time learning more about writing, and watching a murder mystery, Next of Kin, by Haley productions.
On my birthday, when I was 10 years old, my parents let me invite 6 girlfriends over for a bunking party. My friends rode home with me on the school bus that cold, February afternoon, not knowing that a blizzard was bearing down on southern Minnesota, or that it would be almost four days before we would be plowed out and able to get the girls home. By the end of the four days, three of the girls had decided they didn’t like me, and preferred to be friends with my younger sister, Becky. The other three stayed loyal to me – the battles we had must have driven my parents crazy.
After that, it didn’t matter whether or not the buses were running on the country roads or how deep the drifts in the driveway were – my Dad would put us all in the pick-up and barrel down the road to town – whatever it took to get us out of the house and into town for school. If there was any way to avoid it, there was no way he and my mother were going to be stranded at home with four cranky, overly-energetic kids, ever again.
That was my first memorable experience with Stormy Weather, and the havoc it can wreak.
Since then, I’ve had to drive in sleet, through white-outs, and on sheets of glare ice. I’ve experienced floods, straight winds, and hail storms.
I’ve been on a mountain during a lightning storm, and headed to the basement with the tornado sirens blaring too many times to count.
In my soon-to-be-published, second book, Stormy Weather, Rachael Jones is caught up in a maelstrom of wild weather that acts as a catalyst for everything that’s good and bad and uncertain in her life. Focusing on Stormy Weather, and how different people react to it, has made me think about the rough patches in my own life, and how I’ve dealt with them.
When a tornado threatens your world, do you cower in the basement with your arms over your head until the storm has passed, or do you head out with the storm chasers in hopes that you’ll get some good photos of the phenomenon?
In my husband’s sermon a couple of weeks ago, Paul gave thanks for the storm that left them shipwrecked on the Island of Malta, where he was able to share the Good News with the islanders who rescued them.
When your life is beset by a rash of stormy weather, do you become bitter and cynical, even blame God, like Rachael does, or like Mac, do you believe that everything unfolds the way it’s meant to, that all things work together for good, that golden opportunities – even rainbows – are born out of even the most adverse situations…?
Does Stormy Weather terrify or excite you? How do you cope when the sky unleashes it’s fury on your little corner of the world?
“A storm is brewing, and as usual, Rachael Jones is in the middle of the fray. If the local banker succeeds in bulldozing the Victorian houses she’s trying to save, she’s in for yet another rough time before the skies clear. The only bright spots on the horizon are her friendship with Luke… and her secret rendezvous with Mac… Is Rachael meant to weather the storm with Luke, who touches her heart and soul so intimately, or with Mac, who knows each sweet secret of her body? STORMY WEATHER… Stay tuned for the latest forecast!”