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Marjorie Casten moves far across the United States to the beautiful town of Rangeley, Maine on a journey to find herself leaving the control and manipulation of her family in Ohio. She falls in love with a handsome man name Ember, and both share a journey of pain, and love, and change.

C Anne Flores
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Happiness. Being and not being; a craving of something both attainable and what seems to be barely reachable. It sits right in front of me every day, it doesn’t laugh at my face when anxiety creeps up like a serpent, but I do feel it in my body some happiness, I think. Sometimes when I am baking sweets for my kids, or when my house is clean and everything is in order. It doesn’t take much for that sparkle of happiness to be drowned away by the little things I want to avoid in my life; money, the inability to please people, the inability to be pleased with myself.

I wonder if all those years of horrible occurrences in my life were the reason that my reading comprehension sucked so bad, or if I was just too bored wondering about love stories and the perfect ideal lives of characters that my own life never measured up to. If I picked up a book at any library or book store it was solely for the cover, catchy title and quality of matte hardcover goodness. None of those books ever turned out great, and I could never get passed the first chapter until I watched the first Twilight movie. I thought I would die having to wait five years for the rest of the movies to come out had I not started reading the entire book collection. I read the entire series from beginning to end in a matter of 4 weeks. I loved how much Bella felt like me, she was really reclusive on the outside and dying for something really big to happen on the inside; it made love come to life inside of me. I felt the way she did in those books as if I became her character. I felt all of her screams as she felt the pain of Edward having left her forever in those woods and the nightmare of a hole, she felt gaping in her stomach. I have never been so fortunate to meet my own personal vampire, and I never met an actual person worth screaming over the way Bella did for Edward. But all of the horrible things that happened in my life, became my own Edward that left me in the woods. It became its own person I somehow now screamed over deep inside of my very own heart. As sad as that sounds that “person” never came back for me the way Edward did for Bella, although not a real person he was the representation of the biological father that had done so many drugs that altered his brain so much he could never really love me. That person was the drugs my mother did, the people who made fun of me, he was my sister leaving to live with that crazy biological father who she later saved herself from running away to find her true love. My own life troubles became the manifestation of Edward Cullen leaving that gaping painful hole of hell inside of Bella swan.

I now sit 13 years later snuggled up in my bed reading books and sipping pudding tea. Stories of the kindest hearted women and strong fierce men who come and sweep them off their feet and defend them against any odd. I hold close to my heart their stories, stories of loss and longing, and of happiness. A happiness I wish I had in my own life, not to say that I am not happy but true happiness how we all envision it in its end result. It is one where we come to meet our purpose, having lived a full life beyond simply trying. The love stories I dive into every night are the only ones that really appeal me, ones that I don’t really have to sit back and chalk myself up to reading. I think they are the representation of what I desperately need in my life, what I have needed all along, and what will be the ultimate happiness in the end for all of us. These stories of alpha males and tender women who want nothing but to be loved and fought for are really just a representation of what we need from God. We are destined to be one with someone to share our worries and fears, and be swept up in total love, and be caressed by the one who is chosen for us. The happiness of those love stories are the deepest longings I believe of every person. The unhappiness of life is to be mended by the one who wished it never had to be in the first place. The intimacy we long for so much is meant to be caressed by the hands of God; only his love is the ultimate happiness.

This book is for all of the people who find themselves only able to read the fantasy stories of valiant love. The person who see themselves in the characters; who envision all of their broken parts of life in the plot twists and turns of the words on every page of those captivating novels. To the woman reading this now, you are loved, you are valued, and you really do deserve the valiant hero to come and rescue you from the troubles that have occurred in your life. That person will be there forever waiting for you to turn to him; where you truly belong.

For my children,

Whatever brokenness you experience in life never forget that love is the one thing that conquers all. Never give up on it, always hope for it, and never faulter on being the beacon of it to the people you meet.

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