Monday, February 25, 2013

A group of authors each contributed segments to A Blizzard Wedding.  We never knew where the characters, Luke and Rachel, were headed.  After we wrote our segment, we’d send it on to the next writer.  It was fun to see how each of us moved Luke and Rachel to their chaotic wedding conclusion.  Rachel wanted it to take place in a ski lodge, but it never occurred to her that a blizzard might interfere, or Luke might not show up!

A Blizzard Wedding is a continuation—and the grand finaleof After the Storm and Lightning Strikes. If you haven’t read Lightning Strikes or After the Storm yet, download them for FREE on the Prism Book Group website. They are also available through most of the popular eBook retailers.

My segment appeared on the Prism Book Group site on February 20, 2013.

A Blizzard Wedding

Segment # 6 By Gay N. Lewis

Even though the well-insulated hotel kept most external noises silent, Rachel heard the wind howl. With a pounding heart, she sat straight up in bed and glanced at the bedside clock—a few minutes after seven o’clock.

Throwing aside the cozy, warm comforter, she ran to the window and flung open the draperies. “Oh no!”

Ivy groggily sat up and rubbed sleep from her eyes.  “What’s wrong?”

“The gale is in full force. We’ve got a whiteout.”

Ivy joined her, and they stood shoulder to shoulder. Through the murky, gray dawn, nothing but a thick blanket of white greeted their gazes. Mountains, trees, hotel parking lot, decorative miniature twinkling lights—all had disappeared.

“Wow! It appears as if the Almighty erected a dirty cement wall up against the building and imprisoned all of us inside.” Ivy shivered. “Not good for my claustrophobia.”

Tears streamed down Rachel’s cheeks. “My wedding!”

Ivy placed her arm around Rachel’s shoulder.  “I’m so sorry, but it will work out, I know it will.  Quick, turn on the television for a weather report.”

Sitting on Rachel’s bed, they tuned into a local station where a meteorologist gave the latest account.

“The brunt of the blizzard is blowing through at this moment. The squall is expected to rage its way out of the Sky Ridge Mountains by mid-afternoon, and state crews are set to clear roads as soon as the storm dissipates. The Trans-Mountain Pass should be open by nightfall, but all other roads will remain closed. Expect travel delays.”

Rachel hiccoughed through her sobs. “You think I should postpone the wedding for a day or two?”

“And miss your Valentine’s Day wedding? No way. You and Luke chose for your two hearts to become one on this elite date.  Joshua will make sure Luke is here for the ceremony, and in case the others can’t arrive in time, we’ll prepare a second party so they can congratulate the married couple. It’ll be fun.”

“Since when do you have faith in Joshua?” Rachel blew her nose noisily into a tissue.

Ivy finger combed her hair. “I decided to try optimism for a change, even if it means trusting Joshua.”

“What brought about that transformation?”

Ivy shrugged. “My complaints weren’t helping, and as the maid of honor, I should assist you to find solutions in this rather bazaar circumstance.  So, my friend, let’s have breakfast and attend to those details. An additional nuptial function will be perfect in case the guests can’t gather for the main event or the customary party that follows.

Giggling, Rachel hugged Ivy. “Okay, while we eat, we can make our prep list for two parties. We’ll need to order more food—the whole nine yards. I’ll try to call Luke and tell him what we are doing.”

Picking up the cell, Rachel punched in Luke’s number.

“Good morning, my love.  How’s your wrist?”

“Hello, sweetheart. It throbs a bit, but no worries, I’ll soon hold you and caress your sweet face. And…” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “Maybe a few other places too.”

“Oh you.” Rachel laughed. “Have you looked outside?”

“Yes, but I understand the bluster will be gone by this afternoon, and we’ll only have mounds of snow to contend with. Crews intend to plow the main road, and Joshua is with me now. He has an idea to get us over the offshoot road that leads to the inn.  If all goes well, we should be there by tonight.”

“Ivy and I are going to arrange a second reception, kind of a contingency strategy in case all the guests don’t make it to the ceremony.”

“Good idea. This is an exciting way to start our life together.  We’ll have such cool stories for the grandkids.”

Rachel laughed. “Cool stories? You mean icy cold stories, don’t you? As in freezing blizzard sagas?”

Luke chuckled. “Might make a good novel someday. Since we’re both writers, maybe we’ll publish it. How about this for a title? A Snow White Wedding.”

“That’s an awful heading! You’re simply trying to make me forget my worries.”

“Am I succeeding?”

Rachel giggled, and after a few words of love, she disconnected.

“Feel better?” Ivy finished her ablutions and came out of the bathroom.

Rachel grinned. “Luke always restores my sense of humor.”

After Rachel donned a warm ski suit, they avoided the elevator and walked downstairs to the dining area. Over eggs, toast, and coffee, Ivy pulled out pen and paper to go over ceremony preparations and make a detailed list for two parties.

“What about music? The pianist may not be able to come in from town. We might need a back-up minister too.” Ivy munched a buttered bite of bread.

“Joshua brought his guitar.”

Ivy nodded. “Yeah, I suppose he can play the thing.”

“He’s the music minister at his church, and if the local pastor doesn’t make it, Joshua can unite us.”

“Yeah, Mr. Goody Two Shoes.” Ivy scrunched her nose.

Rachel reached over to pat Ivy’s hand.  “Just because Barry was a dud doesn’t mean all men are bad news.”

“Maybe not, but Barry came on strong and seemed a prince of a guy at first, and look at how he treated me.”

“Give Joshua a chance. Luke wouldn’t have an unkind person for a friend.”

“Have you forgotten one thing?” Ivy stared at Rachel through squinted eyes.

“About the wedding?”

“No, about me. I’m divorced, and I doubt some crummy ole minister will have anything to do with a divorcee. So don’t play matchmaker.”

“Do you think a former marital status would make a difference to Josh?”

“Yeah, I do.  A lot of guys I’ve dated seem to consider me damaged goods.”

“Oh, Ivy, honey, I’m sorry you feel that way. You aren’t flawed because you selected the wrong men—your picker apparatus is broken. I think it’s time we changed that.”

Before Ivy could retort, the electricity went off.

Will Luke show up in time to place a ring on Rachel’s finger? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Day of Love

Day of Love

Bah, humbug.  Oops, wait a minute, that’s Scrooge’s line from A Christmas Carol. Okay, but some of us feel that way about Valentine’s Day.
Truthfully, it is my least favorite holiday. Not that I don’t enjoy a good romantic, love story—I do!  I write them, read them, and must hear about them. When my husband brings home a box of chocolates, along with a card and flowers, he makes Valentine’s Day special. Then I suddenly enjoy the occasion.

But what if you have no one to share your life with? Consider the one who longs for a significant other. Perhaps that person has searched for years for that singular someone and hasn’t found him or her yet. The day other couples celebrate becomes torture for them. And how about the one who maintains a special sweetheart, but the relationship has soured?

Every person should know that he or she is wanted and loved.
Oh hold up a second!  God gave us that kind of extraordinary Valentine when He sent Jesus.  Jesus is the One who makes us recognize we are desired and valued.

And that heaven sent gift is factual.  However, even though the God/man connection is essential, we long for human touch and social interaction. For many these are missing elements, and February 14th is a day of dread.
My heart breaks for the lonely, the unloved, the abused, and the forgotten.  Yes, God remembers them, but we should too.  Send a card to the person you know who finds Valentine’s Day a sad time.

On a happier note.  Please check out the new short story on Prism Book Group’s website.  Many of the authors, including me, contributed a segment.  The story begins February 11th with segments posted daily. A Blizzard Wedding is a continuation of Lightning Strikes and After the Storm.

Rachel and Luke are ready to marry, but a major blizzard blowing over the ski lodge where the ceremony is scheduled may change all that. Ivy, the maid of honor, and Joshua, the best man, meet for the first time and instantly express hostility.  However, they join forces to make a wedding happen right in the middle of a snowstorm.  A missing groom and no electricity are two obstacles they face.

 Ivy and Joshua are a story in the making.  Stay tuned to see where their new relationship heads.

 I wrote one of the segments for this short story, A Blizzard Wedding. I hope you will join the fun and win a prize!




PBG Insider: Gay N. Lewis Introduces her "Sarah" series

Sarah at Christmas