The Hope of Azure Springs
Seven years of near solitude end when Em is injured and brought to the town of Azure Springs Iowa. For her it’s more than a welcoming sight- it’s freedom and it’s hope. Em longs to find the sister she was separated from so long ago and with the right help she might be able to do it.
Caleb the town’s sheriff and coveted bachelor has always had a plan for his life- have the right job, marry the right girl and someday make his parents proud. It isn’t long before he’s spending his days with Em as he tries to stop the men that injured her. He needs her help and she needs his. Together they embark on a journey that may do more than fill in the blanks of the past it may just set the course for the future.
Insights from the AuthorThe Hope of Azure Springs was the second manuscript I’ve ever completed (Someday I hope you’ll see the first). Writing this book was a strange experience for me. At first I flew through it. The words just jumped onto the page. I felt like I knew Em from the very start. I knew her and I loved her. I found myself rooting for her as I wrote her story. Everything about the writing experience was ideal. Every writer loves it when the story just tells itself and that’s what this one was doing for me.
But then my son, who was four at the time, became very ill. One night I drove him to the hospital and he was unresponsive and stiff. I was so afraid. After a lengthy hospital stay it was weeks of tests before we were given the diagnosis of Adrenoleukodystrophy. We were blessed to find out early enough to be able to try treatments but it was still a daunting diagnosis. For five months I didn’t open Azure Springs. I couldn’t. It all felt so trivial in comparison to the battle my sweet boy was facing.
I remember when I finally opened my story document how strange it felt. There was a level of guilt just knowing that as I typed the future was still uncertain. And yet, I’d felt called back to it. So much of Em and Caleb’s story was already written and I wanted to finish. I wanted something I could control and finishing their story was something I could take into my own hands. As I dove back in I found Em’s experiences of grief and tragedy more relatable. I cried with her and cheered her on. Desperately I wanted to give her a happy ending. Em learns to do more than survive but to really live. I had to rediscover that again as I went through my own trial.
I’m happy to report that my son is still doing well. His road is still uncertain but he, like Em, is a fighter. He’s one of my inspirations. In fact his name is in this book along with all of his sibling’s names.
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