March 10, 2021
Dear Book Friends,
I am delighted to share with you today’s guest writer. Willow Winters is on the blog today and the skies just got a whole lot sunnier. Winters is a Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY Best Selling Author of romance books. She writes under Willow Winters and under the pen name, W. Winters for her darker and steamier works. She is the QUEEN of steam, book boyfriends, a few bad boys and most importantly…happily ever afters. Winters is the founder of the Big Book Lover Box, Top Shelf Romance and the charity, Live a Thousand Lives Project. With more books published than I can count, branded merchandise for book lovers and a love for all things books and reading, Winters is an absolute gift to the book loving community.
Winters is an inspiration to young girls and women who dream of writing one day. During her pregnancy with her daughter, Winters voraciously read all the romance novels she could get her hands on. In the beginning of 2016, Winters decided to put pen to paper, writing down all the stories she dreamed up each night. Fast forward to 2021, and Winters is now a mom to three (one of them being a newborn) and living her wildest author dreams. She has literally built her very own literary empire while “momming hard” during the day and endless writing at night.
I hope you enjoy her gorgeous essay to Mr. Hemingway and follow her on all her romantic adventures.
P.S. Check out what I had to say about one of Winters’ steamier romances RIGHT HERE!
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
The gray clouds are staying too long and coming back too soon. I didn’t realize it at first, because we were all living through it. But my goodness when I look back at the past year, so much of it is gray. I have to tell you, gray has never been my color.
They came at first with thunder and lightning; with loud booms and cracks that split the sky at night. We all saw it, we all felt it and we took shelter. It’s nothing we haven’t been through before, but Mr. H., it feels different now and I think it’s because of what I’ve just told you: the clouds stay too long and they come back too soon. They’ve gotten comfortable and I’ve never been used to such settings.
In the beginning of this past year, I looked forward to the sunny days and moments of warmth. I craved them and braced myself during the stormy nights. But hunkering down and waiting is tiring. It feels as if it’s stolen from me, if nothing else, my time, but I know it’s seized so much more. It’s taken tears and sleepless nights, it’s taken the hopes of what I thought life would be and it’s morphed my expectations into something weaker and lesser than the dreams I had as a child. Or at least it attempted to do such things, the gray clouds tried, and nearly got away with it. Not because of the booming thunder, simply because it snuck in and stayed, like I said, for far too long.
They almost got away with it, Mr. Hemingway. Almost.
The thing I’ve learned is that the clouds may come and they may stay, but I’m not alone in all of this. We brace ourselves because it’s worked before, but maybe it’s time to stand straighter and carry on in a different way even if it seems dreary. It’s not the absence of clouds that brought happiness before. That’s what’s important to note. It wasn’t because of their absence that the world – felt – brighter. It was because we didn’t hide then. It’s the hiding and quiet that’s driven me mad.
Perhaps the laughter and gentle things in life should grace us always … even if there’s no sun shining down. Maybe waiting for better times and allowing the darkness to steal our days and months and even years is where we made our error. We have forgotten that we can write letters and so much more today and as these days pass slowly yet with a blur, we are always together.
We live in a time where we are never alone unless we want to be, which is a natural desire at times. But it’s quite easy to spread youthful memories in vulnerable times, laughter in times of sadness. We’ve been waiting, we’ve been quiet, and I think even in the shadows of what plagues us, we can hear the joy of celebration and we can share smiles and triumphs, so long as we remember we’re in this together.
One thing I’ve done while hiding which has made me feel the vibrancy of others is falling into books. My children get them every night and in the gray skies, I’d forgotten them myself. They take me to different worlds and on adventures with celestial spheres I’ll never live under but I feel as if I know them well. Romance has been my saving grace. Not for the knights in shining armor or for the embrace during long, cold nights. Simply because the dark moments always happen, and yet, so does the love. It blossoms most beautifully in the end, after weathering the violent storms. Romance is boldly known for such endings and Mr. Hemingway, I think the world would seem less bothered by any sky at all, if a book like that were always in our laps.
I am grateful to brace for drearier skies with plans of happily ever afters, as many as I can get my hands on.
Please remember, we can deliver pleasant moments where often we don’t find them. It happens so quickly too, in only seconds of our thumbs clicking away rather than twiddling amongst themselves, which, admittedly, I did in the beginning. If we lived in another time, the gray clouds may have wreaked havoc on my weaknesses, but through all of this, I have not been alone and that has saved me. I may not have been able to hold the hands of distant friends, or kissed my lost loved ones before their sunset, but I shared smiles with them, even on the cloudy days.
Did you know though, that the shades of grays still paint pictures in the skies and my children have found animals and stories where I used to see nothing of interest but mourning? My daughter has learned to wear the color as if it is sunshine itself. It’s quite a beautiful, but unexpected thing. I must say Mr. H., she doesn’t care for weather at all, it doesn’t dictate her smile and she always looks forward to the bed time stories. Thank goodness for that.
Lots of love in all the days and nights,
Willow Winters xx
P.S. Be sure to check out my latest book below!