My family had no electricity or water. They’d filled the bathtub with water for drinking. Seemed odd to be in the midst of a flood and have no water to drink. Our house wasn’t hit too badly, we only had about 4 feet of water in the basement. We lost a lot of books and most of our games and toys, but that was nothing compared to what some people went through.
With so many places experiencing floods lately, my heart goes out to the people who have lost everything. That’s what prompted my story in the Summer Lovin’ anthology. That isn’t the only flood story I have. I’ll share more later this week, but for now, here’s a blurb and an excerpt for “Summer Storms”:
SUMMER LOVIN’ is a collection of love stories by six Climbing Rose authors about life on a ranch, summer jobs, sandcastle competitions, the tragedy of a flood, and falling in love with a rock star.
My story in the anthology is “Summer Storms”: Sixteen-year-old Paige nearly drowns trying to rescue a Pomeranian trapped in floodwaters that sweep through her town. Chase, the hottie who saves her, wants to help her and her mother, but Paige won’t accept charity. And can she risk him unmasking the family secret she’s kept hidden?
If you want to find out what happened next, you can get a copy of Summer Lovin’ from the Climbing Rose store. And “Summer Storms” is only one of six stories in the anthology. All the stories in Summer Lovin’ are different, so I’m sure you’ll find one you just love.
Picking her way over the broken glass, Paige lunged for the tree. Icy water soaked her sneakers and jeans. The suitcase banged against the trunk and almost slid from her grasp. Her fingers raked down the rough bark, tearing her palms. The tree bobbed up and down as water assaulted it.
Paige climbed on and wrapped one arm around an upright branch. Staying seated was like riding a bucking bronco. She wedged the suitcase between two branches and then leaned forward to extend a hand to Mama, who was scrambling for balance.
As she got Mama situated, another wave rocked the tree. The suitcase slid. Before Paige could grab it, it plunged into the water below. What had they lost? Her mind was a blur. But Mama was safe. That was the important thing.
She wrested the other suitcase from Mama’s grip and slid the handle over an upright tree branch. Mama clung to another branch as the tree shuddered. As long as the tree didn’t roll, they could float to safety. She hoped.
Wood cracked and splintered. Only a bit more and the branch would break free. Then they’d be at the mercy of the river.
A tiny yip caused Paige to turn. A Pomeranian paddled furiously in the sludge between their house and the one next door. Its fur slicked tight to its head, the dog panted as it struggled to keep its head above water. The tree had dammed the floodwaters between the buildings, but once the dog reached the rushing water, it would be doomed.
Paige clutched the branch with one hand and leaned back until her muscles screamed in agony. The dog struggled closer, but she couldn’t reach it. She gripped the trunk between her legs and let go of the branch. Still, the gap was too great.
Mama screamed, “No, Paige, no!”
But Paige ignored her. She inched backward and reached for the dog. With a great rending sound, the branch holding the tree in place tore free of its mooring. And with a sucking sound, the tree shot into the raging current.
Stop back tomorrow for more Summer Lovin’ fun with Kimberlee Mendoza, author of “Rock Star.”