Readers' Favorite

Featured Post

Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

September 12, 2012

Elizabeth M. Lawrence: My Apple Tree (guest post)

It's Writer Wednesday and I'm pleased to introduce you to Elizabeth M. Lawrence. She is a romance author with Renaissance Romance Publishing and will have her story My Apple Tree published at the end of the month as part of the Harvest Treats collection. A lifelong writer and former paralegal, Elizabeth divides her free time between her
husband and two sons, her three cats, her collection of cozy murder mysteries, and her mildly severe
caffeine addiction. A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Elizabeth now works from her home in Cleveland, Ohio.

My Apple Tree

My Apple Tree will be published on September 25, 2012, as part of Renaissance Romance Publishing’s Harvest Treats collection, as well as individually as an e-book. I’m very excited about this release, since this will be my first work in print.

This story began years ago as a daydream I had while listening to an old Celtic song about the grief of losing the person you have sworn to love and protect for the rest of your life. It isn’t a particularly happy song, but the lyrics’ raw and unapologetic emotion paints a very vivid picture. As time wore on, the original tale of pain and hopelessness grew and changed into something more, but the story was not
really complete until this year.

My great-aunt Helen has lived in Joplin, Missouri, for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I have become very familiar with the city, its people, and its landmarks. When it was struck by a massive tornado on May 22, 2011, Joplin was changed forever. So many people lost so much, and I was heartbroken over the death and devastation that was left in the storm’s wake.

One year later, in May 2012, I traveled to Joplin with my mother to visit Helen and got to see the remaining damage first hand. It’s difficult to wrap your mind around it. You drive along the rolling hills under the shade of the trees, and then suddenly – wasteland. The change is so dramatic that you can almost believe you’ve been transported to another planet. By the time you begin to adjust to the new landscape, boom! The trees and houses and shops reappear as if by magic.

The good news is that people are rebuilding. Life in Joplin keeps moving forward, in spite of the horrible destruction and grief. When you’re there with the people who lived through it, you hear stories so heartbreaking that even the news reports didn’t broadcast them. It’s hard to imagine moving forward and continuing on when you contemplate the enormity of what these people faced. But there are signs of hope and new life and perseverance everywhere, and this is what struck me as I tried to come to terms with what I was seeing as I drove through this forever-altered landscape.

Not far away from the city is a large, out-of-the-way cemetery where a large number of my family are buried. While we were there, I took a photo that is now the cover of the ebook version of My Apple Tree. I decided to use this particular picture because, even though the story itself is about living with the aftermath of death and loss, it is also about learning to embrace life again. That is precisely what the Joplin community showed me this past spring, and it brought an entirely new dimension to my story. I hope that I managed to capture that sense of hope and renewed life well enough to share with readers who pick up the Harvest Treats collection.

Connect with Elizabeth M. Lawrence:

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. This sounds like a wonderful inspirational story. I look forward to reading it!