With only days until A Symphony of Cicadas is released, I am both on pins and needles that it’s so close, and totally tapping my fingers that it’s not here yet.
Would time please hurry up and slow down!!!
So to pass the time, I thought I’d share a little bit of the book and what it’s about. And the best way to start this off is by sharing the text of the back cover:
Loved and in love, Rachel Ashby’s life is filled with a joy and contentment she’s never had as she scrambles to finalize the details of her wedding. Together, she and her fiance are finessing the art of parenting their blended family of two teenage sons, all while building their life and their dream home in Northern California. Life has never been so good, and they are looking forward to a lifetime together after saying “I do.”
But weeks before the wedding, a devastating accident changes all Rachel ever knew about life and tears away everything she once held close. Breaking all the rules, Rachel is on a journey of exploring what it means to love…and she discovers who she is in the process.
I started this story last year around June. I was planning my wedding to my now-husband and had just stepped up all the details. So naturally, I had wedding nightmares. This book is based off a bad dream I had that was so vivid I knew I had to write it down. So before I even got out of bed, I wrote down the bones of the dream and planned out this novel. I spent a few months dabbling in it. But I didn’t totally get down to business until November when I took part in NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month. I already had 30,000 words plus character sketches on every main character, and a timeline that pulled it all together. So when I sat down and hammered out the last 50,000 words, I had a plan on where I was going. And when I typed out the last two words, The End, I knew this novel was different from every other novel I’d written – that this one I could easily clean up and put it out there for everyone else to see.
The main character is Rachel Ashby. She’s a single mom of a 13 year old boy, Josiah, better known as Joey. Since Joey’s dad took off (he left before Joey was born), Rachel hadn’t dated much. When she did, it always ended up being a huge disappointment. But when John walked into the flower shop Rachel owned with her sister, he changed everything – especially her cynicism towards love. They fell in love, got engaged, and moved in together while they planned their wedding.
Everything was headed towards perfect. That is, until one freak accident changed everything, forcing them all to adjust to the new normal.
Through the book, we learn a lot about each character as they remember things before everything changed. We discover Rachel’s struggle with being the stepmom to John’s 14 year old son, Sam. We learn that John struggles with being an attentive father, habitually just going through the motions. We learn that Sam holds his fears close to his heart, and he keeps people at bay by being aloof or explosive – but underneath, he just wants to be noticed. We commiserate with Joey who is in the throes of his awkward teens. And we meet new friends and family who made Rachel the person she is. But most of all, we follow Rachel as she figures out where her path in life lies, what’s important to her, and what it really means to love.
Despite the short amount of time between ending the rough draft and bringing it to completion, there has been a lot of hard work placed in this novel. I’ve picked at it over and over, reading it through at least a dozen times before I was satisfied. My mother and my husband read it, pointing out anything that needed to be tweaked. Chapters have been changed, details toyed with, and adverbs picked at. I worked with an editor to clean everything up. There wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t working on the novel. I woke up at 5 every morning, tinkered with it on my lunch break at work, and sometimes even holed up in my room after work to paint the picture of Rachel’s story.
When you read this story, know that you will be reading a piece of my soul.
So that’s the background of the story, and a bit of what it’s about. Stay tuned, I plan on releasing a sneak peek inside the pages in the next day or two!
Enter to win a free copy of A Symphony of Cicadas over at Goodreads.com!