Jasmine Santoro was once that kind of romantic. She’d fallen in love with Nathan Hamelin back in high school, and she could glance at a wildflower and know whether to start with “he loves me” or with “he loves me not” to get the outcome she wanted. She had their future planned: their careers, their kids, the neighborhood where they’d build their dream home.
Until the day Nathan transferred colleges and ghosted out of her life without a backward glance. It’s been eight years. He’s dated. Well, and more. She hasn’t. She’s done with love. And now he’s back in Bridgeview, thanks to his friendship with Jasmine’s older brother, who lives to make her life miserable.
Nathan figures they were just kids back then. Their marriage likely would have ended in divorce, so he’d really done her a favor by leaving. Funny she didn’t see it that way… still doesn’t. He has no wish to fall in love with Jasmine all over again, but it would be nice if she didn’t spit daggers at him. Would a truce be too much to ask? Maybe. Maybe it is.
I wrote the first 80% of Wishes on Wildflowers in September and October. I was on track to send it to beta readers by mid-November when my husband and I would leave for a very much-needed vacation. A cruise. My body — and God — had other ideas. On October 27, I suffered a heart attack. The cruise disappeared. The deadline (ha, do you even SEE the parts of that word???) vanished. Everything faded away except survival. And then a slow recovery.
It was mid-December before I even opened the file to discover I’d been in the middle of a scene I had no clue how I’d intended to complete. Delete, delete, delete. My fingers were rusty. My brain, rustier. Where before, two or three thousand words before lunch was typical, now I worked painstakingly to nail down two to three hundred words in an entire day. Slowly I found my groove, wrapped up the novel, and sent it off for beta and then editing.
Wishes on Wildflowers is up for pre-order on Amazon for $2.99 with an expected release date of February 22, when it will rise to its regular price of $3.99. The pre-order will be going live on other retailers later this week.
He loves me… he loves me not.
Having a heart attack made me take a long, hard look at… well, everything. For one thing, I had a lot of unaccustomed time on my hands, especially for the first while. Can I examine that experience and assume God forgot to care about me? That the petals were plucked and ended with “He loves me not”?
Not even a little bit. My family, my friends, my church held me up in prayer. I could literally feel many hands supporting me. Those hands raised in prayer were as real to me as the stretcher beneath my body, as the IVs in my hands, as the oxygen mask over my face, as the beeping machines and antiseptic odor, as my husband’s face beside me and the pressure of his fingers against mine.
God loves me. He would have loved me just as much if He’d welcomed me through the pearly gates as He loved me by allowing me to stay a while longer. I’m thankful every day for the chance to bless my family, my church, and my readers with more love, time, prayers, and attention.
He loves me. He loves you, too.
I’m giving away one advance copy of Wishes on Wildflowers to someone who comments on this post before Saturday, Feb 10. The winner will be chosen randomly.
“Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.”