BP Note: Few things bring the romance community together like those designed to help people who are in an abusive situation. We are all part of the romance community because we like the Happily Ever After(HEA) or Happily For Now(HFN) and that just isn’t possible if the hero or heroine doesn’t have a way to get out of the abusive situation. As a result when I was contacted about doing something to help provide some visibility for a two volume charity anthology with proceeds going to support RAINN (more information is provided in the guest post) I didn’t think twice before I accepted. On a more personal note, RAINN is one of the organizations that I donate to on a regular basis because their efforts are needed. Today, we have a guest post written by Ruthie Knox who is a contributed to Summer Rain Volume One. Later this month we will have a review of the stories and this fall we will also bring you information about the second volume. Thank you to everyone who participated in this project and your willingness to help support the possibility of a HEA or HFN for someone’s real life.
Gratitude by Ruthie Knox
I’m one of those people who likes to keep her computer desktop clean. Right now, there’s only one file there. It’s called “gratitude.”
It was my mom’s idea. I’ve been going through a difficult few months, and she told me that she’s been keeping a daily journal where she spends ten minutes every morning writing down what she’s grateful for. This task has worked better than any other single thing to make her feel happier, more herself, more positive in the world.
So I’ve been trying it. I’m not sure yet whether it’s helping, but I know that when I think about my participation in Summer Rain — an anthology of romance shorts for which 100 percent of author proceeds will be donated to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) — gratitude is my predominant feeling.
I’m grateful that RAINN — the largest anti-sexual-violence organization in the United States — exists as a resource for women and men who need it.
I’m grateful for the people who staff this national network, for the volunteers, for all the energy and talent that it takes to create and maintain a resource that the targets of sexual and emotional violence can count on to help when they need it.
I’m grateful that by writing a story — a creative act, a positive act, an act of love — I can contribute to such a worthwhile network.
And I’m grateful, too, to have been given the opportunity in the Summer Rain volume to tell a story I’ve long wanted to tell.
“Redemption,” my contribution to Summer Rain, is about a man and woman who have lost a lot. They’ve lost most of their money. They’ve lost dreams. They’ve lost their sense of sufficiency, and they’ve lost the ability to believe they have anything to offer.
The hero of the story is an out-of-work roofer who’s living in an apartment above a diner. The heroine runs a small business out of her home that’s being foreclosed on.
What they find, together, is the courage to believe that love is a risk worth taking. That none of us has to prove ourselves worthy in order to deserve it — because love is a gift in itself, and when it’s freely given, it can transform our lives for the better.
I’m grateful for my life, my safety, my loves.
I’m grateful for my coauthors in the Summer Rain volume, for their talent, their willingness, their vision. And particularly for Audra North, who organized the project and donated a huge amount of time to making it happen.
I’m grateful for my readers, and for all the readers who will find this volume and purchase it in the service of love and hope, and of making a positive difference in the world.
I hope each of you enjoys it as much as I’ve enjoyed being part of the project.
About Summer Rain
What happens when love gets caught in the rain?
In this romance anthology, RITA-Award winning author Molly O’Keefe shows us the power of a city thunderstorm from the top of a skyscraper, while Amy Jo Cousins soaks us in a rain in Spain. New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s heroine is devastated by a winter storm, while a summer thunderstorm grants Alexandra Haughton’s hero and heroine a second chance at love. Rain sparks self-awareness in the robot in Charlotte Stein’s story and allows Mary Ann Rivers’s heroine to fall in love with her hero and her own art. Rain causes romance between the college students in Audra North’s and Shari Slade’s stories, while romance causes rain in Cecilia Tan’s myth-inspired tale of a sacrifice to a demi-god. Nine romance novelettes, edited by Sarah Frantz.
All proceeds from the volume will be donated to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States.
“You want some soup?” she asked. “I’ve got plenty.”
Jessie led him upstairs. In the kitchen, she gave him the towel she’d set out. Beneath his cap, his wet hair was dark as an oil slick. He plowed through it with his fingers, shaking it loose so it fell over his forehead and obscured one eye.
She set out two bowls of soup, a small plate with crumbled manchego and crackers in the middle for both of them, mugs of coffee and hot tea. His steady gaze made her uncomfortable, so she turned on the radio to the channel that played Christmas carols all day long.
They sat together.
His wet white T-shirt clung to his chest and shoulders. He rapidly demolished the corn chowder she’d made, then gulped down his coffee.
He didn’t touch the cheese.
“Good soup,” he said.
The look he gave her. There was nothing in it—not sympathy, not judgment.
She didn’t understand how he could look at her with nothing in his face and it could be exactly what she needed.