The cover is absolutely beautiful, and the story solid.
Chance for Rain by Tricia Downing released in August n the Chick Lit/Romance genre.
Elite athlete Rainey Abbott is an intense competitor on the outside, but inside, she feels a daunting apprehension about her chances of finding true love. Her life as a downhill skier and race car driver keeps her on the edge, but her love life is stuck in neutral. A tragedy from her past has left her feeling insecure and unlovable.
Now that she’s in her thirties, Rainey’s best friend Natalie insists she take a leap and try online dating. Rainey connects with brian85 and becomes cautiously hopeful as a natural attraction grows between them. Fearful a face to face meeting could ruin the magic, Rainey enlists Natalie to scheme up an encounter between the two where Brian is unaware he is meeting his online mystery woman. Rainey is left feeling both guilty about the deception and disappointed by something Brian says.
When they finally meet in earnest, Rainey’s insecurities threaten to derail the blossoming romance. As she struggles with self-acceptance, she reveals the risks we all must take to have a chance for love.
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“Okay, you have a choice,” Natalie says as she begins on one of her famous lists of options. “A – You can either choose to love yourself so that someone else will love you or B – you can wallow in self-pity for the rest of your life. But I can’t sit by and watch you get in the way of your own happiness. I will always be your best friend, but there is so much you’re missing by avoiding a true, intimate relationship. You’re in your thirties for heaven’s sake, and the last time you even tried dating was in college. Sure, it’s hard to open yourself up and be vulnerable. It’s scary to let someone in so completely that they know your most intimate thoughts. But it’s a miraculous thing to know you don’t have to explain every little detail in your mind, and he gets you anyway. It’s fulfilling to be loved for exactly what you bring to the table, knowing your partner isn’t looking for one thing different. But I can’t make you want it. I can’t make you do it. Someday, though, I think you’ll look back and regret it if you don’t at least try. Being single and free certainly has its perks, but ending up lonely and alone? You deserve more.”
It is such a well-thought-out speech there is little I can say in protest. I want to mouth off and tell her that she is being a drama queen, but the truth is, she’s right. When I lay on my deathbed one day, will I wish I had someone beside me to hold my hand? Will I wish I would have taken the risk to love and be loved? Although her nagging words are not new to me, I still choke on their bitter sting. I don’t disagree. I only wish I believed it was so simple. But—it’s complicated. For a moment, I am speechless.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Paralympian, Speaker, Author, Disability Advocate
On September 17, 2000, Tricia Downing went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, but Tricia’s competitive spirit and zest for life continued on. Making the transition from able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability, Tricia has completed over 100 races, including marathons and triathlons, since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championship twice. Additionally, she was a member of Team USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tricia’s professional life has been immersed in sports as she earned a master’s degree in Sport Management in 1995 and worked at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was the press officer for the USA Table Tennis team at the 1996 Olympic Games.
She has received many sports accolades, including the USA Triathlon Physically Challenged Athlete of the Year (2003), Sportswomen of Colorado—Inspiration (’03), Triathlon (’05), Hall of Fame (’12) Awards, the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority.
As a community leader and disability advocate, she was a member of the 2013 class of the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction. She also received the 2019 Inspiration Award from Craig Hospital for outstanding community contribution from a Craig Hospital “graduate.” (Craig is a world-renowned spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation hospital) Tricia has truly excelled despite her life-altering injury.
In addition to her sports pursuits, Tricia has taken an active leadership role in her community as a peer mentor to others experiencing spinal cord injuries, she founded Camp Discovery (and subsequently The Cycle of Hope non-profit) dedicating 10 years to helping female wheelchair users gain confidence and self-esteem through a yearly sports and fitness retreat. Additionally, she serves on the board of USA Shooting, which is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of shooting.
Tricia published her memoir: Cycle of Hope—A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility in June 2010, with the second edition released in January 2017. In August of 2018, she published her first fiction novel Chance for Rain.
Tricia and Rainey
by Tricia Downing.
Rainey is feisty, she’s an athlete. She’s confident on the ski slopes, yet terrified of going on a date. She has a big heart, but is afraid of being vulnerable. But over the course of the story, she learns that to fall in love, she is going to have to let down her guard and truly trust in another person. When her best friend, Natalie challenges her to get online and begin dating, she visits the website mfeo.com (made for each other) Here we join the story in progress as Rainey and Brian describe themselves in their personal ads.
Excerpt from Chance for Rain
I ponder this as I push to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of hot Earl Grey tea, carry it to my desk and begin again.
As my fingers hover over the keyboard, I think, What I am looking for is this: I want that feeling when the sight of him makes your breath go away, where three hours alone together isn’t enough time, or when you can talk about anything or nothing and it’s still a perfect night. Does that exist or is it only in the movies? I take a deep breath and start pounding away at the keyboard.
Treading Lightly in the Sea of Love
About me: Some people would call me impatient and intense. I love driving fast, downhill skiing, and anything involving speed. I am competitive and driven. But I have another side to me that knows when to slow down because I am an elementary school teacher by profession, and impatience and intensity don’t have a place amongst my first graders. In the classroom, I have learned to take it slow, and that patience truly is a virtue. I have to be quick enough to keep up, but slow enough to appreciate the innocence of childhood.
Although with most things in life I am not afraid to jump right in, dating, for me, is where I put on the brakes. I don’t know why I am confident careening down a mountain or driving at speeds that will get you put in jail, yet I can’t wrap my head around falling in love or even the thought of it. Love is really so similar to sports: daring, adventurous, and with an element of danger. At any time, you could get hurt. Both sports and love can change the course of your life.
What are you looking for in a relationship?
I’m looking for two different sides of one coin. I want someone who makes me smile and makes me laugh. Who can make the load on my shoulders feel lighter and make me feel like I’ve taken a breath of fresh air. I am looking for conversation that is captivating and takes me places I wouldn’t ordinarily go. I want to feel emotion—maybe ones I have hidden away for one reason or another, and to be with someone who makes me want to share those feelings. I want to open my mind and my heart and be with a guy who is intriguing to get to know, who will let me in and be the best friend I’ve ever had. I’ll know when it’s true because there will be a connection and electricity you can feel yet can’t define. I am looking for a man who, in turn, can be vulnerable and strong. Your infectious sense of humor, generosity, and kindness are traits on which all of your friends would agree. I also love to be with someone who is spontaneous and can switch gears and turn a romantic night out for dinner into a crazy all-nighter of bar hopping or go to the movies on one ticket and sneak into five other theaters (I know, juvenile, right?) or take off to who knows where on a midnight, moonlit bike ride.
On the other hand, I am looking for someone who offers stability. Who can be a rock when I feel like I need something solid against which to lean. I want to meet a man who isn’t afraid to say “forever” if or when the opportunity to speak the words “till death do us part” comes about, and can truly mean those words. I seek comfortable, unwavering, trusting love. I want to love someone with his flaws, quirks, and differences, and I want to be loved for mine.
I am not in a hurry. I don’t want to meet for drinks tomorrow night or a quickie next week. I’m not rushed for love, and my clock isn’t ticking. I want the suspense to grow as we unravel the mystery of each other through our words and thoughts. I think it’s much easier to reveal yourself online, with the anonymity it provides, and that is where I would like our relationship to begin. For now, I don’t want to see you, hear your voice, or know where you work. I want to know what makes you, you. If you are game to play by these rules, the ball is now in your court.
I sit back and read what I’ve written. Not half bad, I think. With that checked off the list, I navigate back through the “man menu,” careful to be less absolute in my preferences and 547 profiles load. I don’t know how I can possibly choose between that many men, but I scroll down until I find a warm, inviting-looking smile on Brian85. His headline and description encourage me to take a step forward into his world.
Looking for a Great Adventure
About me: Some people are voted most likely to succeed. Some, class clown. My high school classmates voted me best listener. I have invariably been the mediator—the one to hear both sides of a story and draw conclusions based on what he said and what she said. I’ve always been interested in hearing each point of view. I want to know what people think and what shapes their personalities. We all have stories to tell, whether happy or sad, funny or serious, and I enjoy hearing them all. I am a curious person by nature, which is why I became a journalist. I wanted to learn other people’s stories, write them down, and savor them. My parents raised me to open my mind and my ears. Getting to know and understand people is what I perceive to be one of my strengths. Some would say my curiosity is a coping mechanism to take the spotlight off of me, which may or may not be true. I’m not sure, but I maintain that I find others’ stories are more interesting than my own and I love to hear them.
But aside from my love for stories and my inquisitive nature, if I had to pick one word to describe me, it would be adventurous. When I’m not delving into research or an interview, I spend my free time enjoying the outdoors. I don’t like to be still, and it’s almost impossible to get me to sit down in front of the television. An occasional movie, maybe, but I enjoy cycling, snowboarding, or rock climbing. I’m not the gonzo thrill-seeker type, but I like to have fun and stay in shape. I have a long history of competing in sports from being on the cross-country team in high school and college to the occasional mountain bike race. I am competitive but also enjoy sports for the sake of physical and mental release.
What are you looking for in a relationship?
I am looking for someone who wants to go on an open-eyes and hearts journey. I want someone who is athletic and adventurous … who likes to play hard but cleans up nice. I don’t want someone who will try to change me, so I’m a take-me-as-I-am kind of guy. I like a woman who enjoys her independence and lets me enjoy mine, but we can still come together to be a cohesive unit. I like a low maintenance woman, natural in her beauty, who doesn’t come with a makeup bag bigger than my suitcase.
In my personal life, family is extremely important to me. Eventually, I hope to meet a woman who will be my other half, complementing my strengths and helping me grow in my weaknesses. I love kids, but only time will tell if I will have my own someday.
I am looking forward to a woman who is willing to share her story and be open to hearing mine.
As I read his description and study his picture, I imagine staring across a candlelit table at the man with chestnut brown hair and piercing blue eyes. The thought makes my heart palpitate, and a hot flash of excitement or nausea (I’m not sure which) comes over me. I decide it’s time to take the plunge and connect.
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