Welcome back to A Blizzard Wedding! Now that we’ve kept you on the edge of your seat a few days, let’s find out what happens next with Rachel and Luke’s wedding. Will it be called off? Or, even worse, is Luke risking his life to make it to Rachel?
Today’s author is Jayna Morrow. Jayna is new talent with Prism Book Group, and her very first book, Sweet Home: Garrett, is scheduled to be released this March. A heartwarming contemporary romance, Garrett is set in Sweet Home, Texas, a small town where everyone knows everyone, and land developers are determined to corrupt their peaceful existence. Garrett yearns to sell out and escape the tiny home town an old injury has trapped him in, but will Micara’s love change his mind?
Since Jayna’s book is being released so close to St. Patrick’s Day, she’s offering up a four-leaf clover kitchen towel and some Luck o’ the Irish table scatter to one reader who comments. Comment must be made before midnight 2/19. Winner to be announced 2/20. Good luck!
For those of you who are just joining us, A Blizzard Wedding is a continuation—and the grand finale—of After the Storm and Lightning Strikes. You can read the first two segments of A Blizzard Wedding right here on our blog.
If you haven’t read Lightning Strikes or After the Storm yet, download them for FREE on our website. They are also available through most of the popular eBook retailers.
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A Blizzard Wedding
Segment # 5 By Jayna Morrow
Rachel led the way back to their hotel room on the second floor of the beautiful Sky Ridge Lodge. There was no news about Joshua or Luke yet, so her feet felt mired in cement. She was also worn out from travel and worry. Every window they passed presented a view of the snow storm that kept Luke from her, a mirror image of the storm that raged within her spirit. When Rachel finally spoke with her mother earlier, letting her know that she was waiting for ease in the weather so her plane could take off, her mother had reminded her that prayers never worry and worriers never pray.
One of the hardest things to master on her spiritual journey, she concluded. What she needed right now was a good night’s sleep. As soon as Luke called her back, she planned on climbing into her cozy hotel bed. Rachel was thankful for her mother’s counsel. After this whirlwind day, it was just what she needed.
She shuffled into the room, then immediately went into the bathroom to shower and get ready for bed. She turned her cell phone volume up to the loudest level and laid it on the counter top. Then she stepped into the large shower and let the world slip away down the drain for a few luxurious minutes. Refreshed, she dressed and curled up in bed with her cell phone. Getting through the next twenty-four hours wouldn’t be an easy task for her.
Or for anyone involved in this wedding for that matter. Delayed flights, dangerous travel conditions, and a raging snow storm weren’t a part of the sweet, romantic Valentine wedding she’d originally planned. It effected those closest to her, too.
Ivy took her turn in the bathroom, then sat down on the edge of the adjacent bed. She preferred showering in the morning, so it hadn’t taken her long. Something heavy hung in the short distance between them. She’d known Ivy long enough to know when something was on her mind. Any minute now, she’d let her know what it was.
Rachel leaned her head back against the rustic headboard and closed her eyes as she clutched her cell phone tighter. It wasn’t yet eight o’ clock, but she could go to sleep anyway. When she felt her muscles start to relax, her cell phone rang, and she jumped. The volume was still set to the loudest setting possible. The back of her head banged against the headboard. “Luke, I’m so glad to hear from you. I’ve been worr…er, praying. How are you feeling?”
“My wrists hurts pretty bad. Even with the pain medication they gave me, it’s throbbing and aching constantly. It’ll feel a lot better when I see you.”
“Did you and Joshua come up with a plan?”
Luke laughed. “You could say that. I must hand it to him for thinking outside the box. He made a friend with an all-terrain vehicle who agreed to drive me all the way. Provided the roads aren’t closed, he’s on his way.”
Rachel relaxed a little as she listened to Luke and Joshua’s plan. She didn’t like the idea of Luke getting back out on the roads, but what choice did they have at this point? She’d also hoped to have Luke here to help with all the final wedding arrangements. Now she was on her own to get the job done. She was determined to make everything come together beautifully in spite of the weather and circumstances. No time for tears or complaining. It was all up to her now. Glancing out the window at the heavy snowfall against a black sky, she smiled. Luke needed her to be strong for the both of them.
“I’ll make sure everything is taken care of here. I can’t wait to see you.” She switched her cell phone to her other ear, then reached for the tissue box sitting on the nightstand and wiped at the silent tears that fell.
She looked over at Ivy and smiled, who reached over and patted her leg. They both had things to discuss this evening.
“I know I can always count on you, sunshine or rain.”
“Or heavy snow.” She laughed, then sniffed.
“Are you crying?”
She nodded, even though he couldn’t see over the phone. “A little, but I’m okay. I feel much better now. Mom called, by the way.”
“Is she going to make it?”
“She’s waiting for the weather to ease up, so her plane can take off.”
“I’ve heard from my parents and my brother, too. They’re taking a train and everything seems on schedule with that. They weren’t planning on arriving until tomorrow anyway. You know how my dad hates to sleep anywhere but his own bed. The photographer canceled, so I guess we’ll have to be thankful we own a decent digital camera.”
“I suppose that’s not the end of the world. What about your cousins?”
“Again, canceled, but it’s my parents I was most concerned with. So that leaves your Aunt Mabel, right?”
“Dear Aunt Mabel. She hasn’t called, but you know that doesn’t mean anything is wrong. She never knows if she’s coming or going, but always manages to make it on time. And since she’s survived exotic trips to the Outback and Africa and a tropical rainforest in South America, I’d say she can handle a little snow storm.”
Rachel felt better already. Talking with Luke always had that effect on her. His cool head was highly contagious.
“Very true. I’ll work on an alternate plan for your mother just in case. If I have to pack her in a crate and send her by ship, she’ll be there.”
“I don’t think there are any harbors nearby.” She laughed again.
“Just don’t worry, please.” He lowered his voice, soothing her with his words. “I have faith that everything will turn out just fine. I’m going to let you get some rest now. Promise me you won’t stay up late writing.”
“I promise. Promise me you’ll call every so often and let me know you’re safe.”
“That’s a promise. Everything is going to work out. Our family will be there very soon. And I’ll be there very soon. Then we can all be stuck in the snow together.”
“I couldn’t think of a better plan. Goodnight, Luke. I love you.”
“I love you, too. Goodnight, Rachel.”
Rachel hung up the phone and gave her eyes another good swipe with the tissue before wadding it up and tossing it into the trash. Ivy moved over and sat cross-legged on the mattress beside her. It felt like one of those times when they were teenagers having a sleepover. “I’m so glad you’re here, Ivy. I only wish things weren’t such a mess.”
“My whole life is a mess, so it seems normal to me.”
“Is that why you were so rude to Joshua? Talk to me, cousin.”
“It wasn’t so much him as what he represented.” She looked down at chewed fingernails and picked at the chipped nail polish.
“I figured it was something like that. I’m tired, but not too tired to listen.”
She sighed. “I can tell you really love Luke.”
Rachel’s head nodded automatically. “Without question, absolutely yes. I do. I wish you had someone to love like I do. If only you’d give the guys a chance…”
“I do give chances. That’s how I ended up this way.” She shrugged. “It’s like I have a sign that says tread on me stuck to my back.”
“You still shouldn’t give up. Think about what all I’ve been through when it comes to relationships. By the time I met Luke, I was convinced that all men were angry, disapproving liars. About as useful as a flat tire. Then Mr. Sunshine moved in upstairs. He was the opposite of all that—positive, supportive, honest. And the most helpful man I’ve ever known, willing to give the shirt off his back if needed. I immediately disliked him because he made me that spark of hope return. With hope, as you know, comes heartache.”
Rachel studied Ivy’s face in the dim hotel lighting. How could any man have been so cruel to such a dynamic person as Ivy Tower? She was exotic and exciting, just like her mother. But with a sense of balance. That ability to balance her traveling toes with her practical side had landed her a stellar career in the travel industry. Ivy was a sensible girl who knew how to have fun, and that was difficult to find these days.
“I know what you mean.”
“There are lots of good, Christian men out there still to be found. Men that like to travel.” Like Joshua, she thought, who thrived on the chance to sing anywhere he could. “Men that also appreciate down time at home.” Also like Joshua. “Men that are looking for that one, special girl to spend forever with.” Joshua had loved one girl until the day she died. He was fiercely loyal.
Since she’d only heard about Joshua but never met him until today, she’d never given matchmaking a thought. The more she thought about it, the more she thought Joshua might be a good match for Ivy.
“That sounds like such a beautiful dream.” Ivy shook her head. “I want to believe you, but it’s hard for me right now. I need to focus on getting my life right with God and my mother.”
“I think you should start by joining a church. You’d be surprised how beneficial it is to fellowship with others. In fact, I think I remember seeing a nice-looking church close by your house. Have you visited it?”
Ivy shook her head. “I’ve heard great things about the music program there.”
“It couldn’t hurt to visit.”
“I will.” She gathered her cousin in an awkward hug, considering they were sitting on a springy mattress. “I’m so glad we got to have this heart-to-heart. I’m going to have a little chat with God before I go to bed. Then tomorrow, I’ll start working out the issues I have with my mother.”
“Sounds like a good plan. See you in the morning.”
Rachel stared out into the dark room until she heard the steady rhythm of her cousin’s restful breathing. Distraught as she had been only hours earlier, she was glad for this special time with Ivy. It was no wonder they adopted the motto cousins by birth, sisters by choice.
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Will Rachel’s plan to start playing matchmaker succeed? Or backfire? Or will Joshua even return with Luke?
Will Rachel and Ivy have to go rescue the boys?
Stay tuned for Jayna’s upcoming book, Sweet Home: Garrett!
Sparks fly when Micara Lee and Garrett Heart meet for the first time at a city hall meeting, where she tries once again to save the small town she loves from land developers. She believes Garrett Heart, from one of the town’s founding families, is on her side. They begin to fall in love, but eventually the truth comes out.
Disenchanted with his career, Sweet Home, and life in general, Garrett is ready to cash in and get out of town for good. He isn’t prepared for his attraction to Micara or her beautiful spirit. It isn’t long before her unyielding faith rubs off on him and he starts to see the world around him differently. His faith restored, he and Micara then work as a team to save the legacy of Sweet Home, Texas.