Ever have a day (week? month? year?) when Murphy’s law kicks in? Everything that could possibly go wrong… just did. Sure, there might’ve been a pleasant moment or two in there as well, but it seems those were only in there to get your hopes up so they could be crushed again!
As much as we all love it when things go smoothly, we kind of hate reading books like that. Boring! We don’t want perfect characters who only smile and nod and enjoy their peaceful existence without a single wave in sight. We want the author to throw some adversity at them and make them fight for their happily ever after. We want them to suffer along the way, even in Christian contemporary romance. Sure, the kinds of pain and angst and struggles are different for every genre, but even in CCR, the path should not be sweet and idyllic without a hint of a storm… much as we long for that lovely sunset walk on the beach, hand-in-hand with our beloved!
You, dear reader, might think the author controls all that, and you’d be (mostly) wrong! Writers fall somewhere in the range of having everything plotted out ahead of time, down to the smallest detail, to sitting down at the computer every day with no preconceptions of where God and the story are going to take them today. Of course, most fall somewhere in between.
I tend more toward the latter. I’m familiar with the setting, have a vague clue about the themes from the title I’m working with, and, where possible, I introduce the next book’s main character in a previous story so I can get to know them a little before turning them loose in their own tale.
All that to say, Sadie Guthrie, heroine of Raindrops on Radishes — which releases TODAY!!!! — turned out to have some issues I didn’t see coming before I started writing. I knew she was overweight. I knew she was adopted and resented it, but I had no idea of how deep her bitterness, anger, and denial went.
At one point, another character (Jasmine) confronts her with the story of the egg, the potato, and the coffee. You can find a well-known version here.
The basic gist is that the three ingredients react very differently to being immersed in boiling water. The potatoes go in hard, but come out soft. The egg goes in soft, but comes out hard. And the coffee grounds infuse the hot water with a fragrant brew. The narrator asks, which are you? When you’re dumped into adversity, how do you react?
Of course, in Raindrops on Radishes, Jasmine changes the potatoes to radishes in her version of the story. Because the title contains radishes, not potatoes!
Someone pointed out to me that she didn’t care for that little parable, because it’s not like we can choose what personality we are. We can’t choose to be coffee grounds instead of an egg. And while that’s true, the meaning of the tale is more metaphorical than that. We can choose how we let adversity affect us. We can choose whether to accept the situation and let God soften us in it, molding us more into His likeness. We can choose to become a fragrant aroma to those around us. Or we can choose to become hard, flaunting our bitterness to all who come near.
Which do you want to be?
For Sadie, it was a hard battle. She’d let resentment take root deep in her soul. She’d made excuses and cast blame on others. But, ultimately, she, like every one of us, had to face her choices and decide whether to keep hugging her bitterness tight to her chest, or let it go and accept the freedom found in Jesus.
If you haven’t picked up Raindrops on Radishes yet, what are you waiting for? It’s at the introductory price of $2.99 through the weekend, after which it will rise to $3.99 to match the rest of the books in the series. While it can be read as a standalone, you’ll find the experience richer if you’re already familiar with the characters of Bridgeview in the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series.
Interested in reading Raindrops on Radishes? I’m offering one reader a copy (e-book only, worldwide). If you’d like to put your name in the hat, please comment by Saturday evening, February 16. Winner will be announced in the Sunday Edition.
“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.”
Royalty-free images found on Pixabay.