Please welcome Autumn's Break to the Second Chance family! Autumn's Break is book #4.
For the last seven months--minus my theatrical time--I've been living in the story with Autumn and Gar, facing their difficulties and trials, and deepening their characters. These two. Boy, oh, boy, do they get to me.
Meet Autumn! For years, she longed to have children. After going through testing and much disappointment, she finally accepts she'll never have kids of her own. Her heart is broken. She pulls deeply into herself, keeping Gar at arms' length. She eats comfort food. In truth, I can't fully imagine the pain she's going through. But I tried really hard. For the first two years of our marriage, I wasn't able to conceive, and I was fearful I wouldn't be able to have children. I tapped into those feelings to reach into Autumn's heart. In her story, there are things that help draw her out of her hurts. And I enjoyed walking that journey with her. Autumn and I have something else in common--a love for chocolate! Mmmm. She's learning how to make specialty fudge. And I was thrilled to do research on that important topic.
Meet Gar: Gar loves youth theater and finds much of his self-worth in his onstage efforts and in his career as a teacher. I can relate! I worked for 18 years in Christian education, and I've directed 27 full-stage productions. There's nothing like the rush of Opening Night! And I'm always disappointed when the show is over. When the school board shuts down Gar's arts program, he struggles to make sense of it. Can't they see the good he's done? Gar's response to the principal is dramatic and unkind, but it was easy for me to imagine how the ending of his dreams--on top of the guilt he was already carrying over a flirtation that went too far--could bring him to the point of doing something stupid. Gar leaves his marriage. But he has much to ponder in the coming weeks as he faces his own shortcomings--and God's conviction.
The Lord is so good to put people in our lives at just the right time. While Gar is staying in Coeur d'Alene helping in his cousin Kyle's mechanics shop, he meets Ty Williams.
Ty is determined not to be pushy about discussing marriage and reconciliation with Gar. But if he gets the chance, he's going to share about his own journey back to God and his wife. Ty and Winter are going through struggles of their own. In this fourth installment, a past employee, Randi Simmons, is bent on revenge when she shows up at a women's conference in Bend, Oregon.
Themes: Marriage, teaching, directing, canoeing, fudge making, ministry.
Settings: Everett and Edmonds, Washington; Coeur d'Alene, ID, and Spokane, Washington. Bend, Oregon. Also, there's an episode outside of Moses Lake, Washington.
This series is dear to my heart because I believe that God can do amazing things in our broken relationships and bring about a beautiful healing. Beauty for ashes. Hurt and pride exchanged for His presence and peace. I look forward to the months ahead as I write the final installment to the Second Chance series: Season's Joy.
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