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Something New: A Fresh Chapter

In the first book of the Mount Sterling Collection, Beautiful Chaos, the main characters deal with what seem to be a myriad of unrealistic problems.  While I won't go into specifics -- I don't want to spoil my own book for you guys in case you haven't read it yet! -- I think it exemplifies life itself.

Oftentimes, we're faced with what seems to be an insurmountable list of problems; whether it be with our families, jobs, school, finances, relationships, or health.  Sometimes all of the above all at once!

Joanna's big brother, whom she saw as a best friend, pushed her aside in his teen years as he spiraled into deviant behavior that eventually was his death sentence.  This pushed her family apart, some irretrievably, and to top it off, she lives with a terrible secret that nobody else will believe.  Her family life isn't what it should be, nor does she exactly know what it should be.

Walter is thrust into a caregiver role with his father, who suffers from a cognitive disease, and despite having older siblings, he is the one who has to support his family through his father's death and take care of them thereafter, since his older brothers have moved out and aren't willing to step up to the plate, and his mother and younger sister are all that's left.

In these two circumstances, it seems as though most of the problems I listed above are touched on, especially considering that in Beautiful Chaos, Joanna and Walter are still in college.

Something New is a fresh chapter in their lives.  Not only is their marriage coming up, but the fallout from many of the issues in Beautiful Chaos continues.  Joanna's secret finally comes to light and justice is sought.  A boy (or should I say scumbag?) who lusted after Joanna until he was willing to kill her just for the sake of assuring that Walter couldn't love her either, is finally brought to court.  Walter struggles to maintain a strong face as he watches his father waste away.  Not to mention a few other things I can't mention because, again, spoilers....

However bleak these situations may be, they find ways to turn them into lemonade as Joanna, Walter, Alison and a couple of others begin a mission to combat substance abuse on their college campus.  This program leads Joanna and Walter to meet a social worker who has a plan that could change their lives...maybe forever.

I am writing these stories because -- truly, life happens.  We can't expect to sail through life smoothly.  We can't expect things to go easily if we're Christians, either.  God never promised that; He promised to be near us and help us through our struggles.  We simply have to hang on and make the best out of it, and that is exactly what Joanna and Walter Larkin (yes, they have the same last name now!) will be doing in the forthcoming novel.

This series is being created with the hopes that it can touch the lives of anyone seeking the knowledge that while life may be a struggle, those struggles can either define or refine you -- you'll either live stuck in the past or you'll learn from them and become a better person.  This is a central theme in these books, and I hope they show a message of hope to anyone who reads them. 

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