The Story Behind Free To Live By Tracey Jerald
15 Jul 2019
By Tracey Jerald
Love isn’t perfect. It’s messy and complicated; just like life is. It can be brutal but if we’re lucky, there’s someone out there we’ll find who will want to take our hand and say, “You are worth it.”
That was the jumping point for Holly Freeman. As a photographer in her adoptive family’s renowned wedding-event planning business, she uses her camera to mask the vulnerability she never let go of as a result of a horrendous childhood. That is until she became involved with a local fundraiser for the first responders where she lives in Collyer, Connecticut.
Enter Joseph Bianco, a broody fireman, who has been heading the fundraising committee. A single-dad with the weight of the world on his shoulders, he’s close to the end of his rope when he meets Holly.
Wait, do you hear that sound? That’s the emotional freight train carrying the baggage of these two characters who start out as friends.
I was sitting in front of a roaring fire on vacation in Montana when the idea of throwing these two characters came to mind. I knew I needed to tell Holly’s story – with a twist. And there it was. The fire luring me deeper into its depths. Daring me. Could I? Should I?
Joe’s story had already been told. And while I was frustrated by the hand life dealt him, did Holly need his baggage on top of her own?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
What they ended up becoming were two souls forged from the flames of life’s fire; each who gave up on the idea of love. They balanced out the other. They gave each other perspective.
They gave the other the will to live.
In this book, it’s not just Holly’s story who had to be concluded. I had to snip off any loose ends from her other four sisters and her brother. Phil – Holly’s brother – made a noteworthy appearance in every book of the Amaryllis Series. He wasn’t always there for comic relief, and Holly’s story showcased that.
What he offered was balance. And in life, we do need that.
No, love isn’t perfect. Neither is life. What love gives us the will to survive life’s tragedies.
For me, readers, even if we’re not perfect, we have the right to a Happily Ever After. To have hope that love can come even amidst some pretty horrific reality.
This story taught me to take your best shot when you’re given the opportunity. Love is always worth the chance.
You get the idea. At least I did.
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