What inspires me?
by RaeAnne Thayne
I just finished my 40th book last month. That number still astonishes me! Regardless of the varied conflicts, characters and plots, I have discovered a common theme that runs through each book. My core story is that we’re all here on earth to learn how to take care of each other.
Caretakers come in so many different forms. Grandparents raising their grandchildren, wives helping husbands through chemotherapy, mothers racing from soccer games to gymnastics class to the piano lessons.
In WOODROSE MOUNTAIN (April 2012, HQN), that lesson in caring comes to my heroine, Evie Blanchard. Still grieving after the death of her adopted special needs child, Evie has created a new life for herself in Hope’s Crossing, Colorado, the fictional town I first introduced in BLACKBERRY SUMMER (June 2011, HQN).
Evie has walked away from her life as a pediatric rehab therapist and is perfectly happy working in a bead store and selling her jewelry creations at summer bead fairs. But when business mogul Brodie Thorne pleads for her help in the recovery of his brain-injured daughter Taryn (injured in a car accident in BLACKBERRY SUMMER) Evie feels obligated by her friendship to Taryn’s grandmother to overcome her own reluctance and offer what assistance she can. She doesn’t want to allow herself to care for Taryn – or Brodie! – but in the process of helping this courageous girl recover from her severe injuries, Evie is astonished to discover healing and hope within herself.
I loved writing WOODROSE MOUNTAIN. Probably more than in any of my other forty books, I relied very heavily on my own experience while writing about Taryn, Evie and Brodie. You see, I’m a caretaker as well, to my 14-year-old son who has severe disabilities. He was born the very week I sold my fifth book and I’ve walked two sometimes disparate journeys in that time – parenting a child with special needs and writing happily-ever-after romance novels.
I leaned heavily on my own world view while writing WOODROSE MOUNTAIN. Wheelchair vans, lift systems, even seizure protocol are all things I’m knowledgeable about. I also know very well how vital good therapists can be in the rehab process – and also how important a strong, supportive community can be for those who struggle with challenges.
As the parent of a child with special needs, the key lesson I’ve learned is the inherent goodness of most people. We have been embraced and supported by our community from the day he was born. Even strangers often reach out to us. I’m always having people stop me in the grocery store when I’m juggling both a cart and a wheelchair to ask if they can help me (I always appreciate the offer but I’m an old pro at pushing a wheelchair with one hand and pulling a cart with the other! The trick is not to try this at a crowded Walmart on a Saturday afternoon LOL!).
The overriding message I hope readers take from WOODROSE MOUNTAIN is that even when life seems difficult and entirely too hard, moments of grace and beauty can be found in abundance!
Thank you Rae for stopping by today! I have a profound respect for parents who care for special needs children. Ive seen first hand the dedication, hard work and heartbreak that go's with it. Congrats on your new book and wishing you the best!!
Today I have one brand new copy of Woodrose Mountain to giveaway to a reader at TBR's. To enter please just leave a comment and a way to get in touch (email, link to profile) Winner will drawn March 14, 2012.
Evie Blanchard was at the top of her field in the city of angels. But when an emotional year forces her to walk away from her job as a physical therapist, she moves from Los Angeles to Hope’s Crossing seeking a quieter life. So the last thing she needs is to get involved with the handsome, arrogant Brodie Thorne and his injured daughter, Taryn.
A self-made man and single dad, Brodie will do anything to get Taryn the rehabilitation she needs…even if it means convincing Evie to move in with them. And despite her vow to keep an emotional distance, Evie can’t help but be moved by Taryn’s spirit, or Brodie’s determination to win her help—and her heart. With laughter, courage and more than a little help from the kindhearted people of Hope’s Crossing, Taryn may get the healing she deserves—and Evie and Brodie might just find a love they never knew could exist.