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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.
read an excerpt...
“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.
Read an Interview with Tricia Downing:
Read an Interview with Tricia Downing:
Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
Chance for Rain is my first fiction novel, and for me, it represents something I never thought I could or would accomplish. At the time I began writing this novel, I had no intentions to write, but one night in bed as I started to fall asleep, one of the scenes for the story kept coming to me. Each time, I sat up in bed and wrote down the words and dialogue that continued to surface and before long I had a solid section written, which would become one of the scenes in the middle of the book. Still I didn’t sit down and begin to write, but over months, more of the plot would surface and reach a point where I could no longer ignore it. The book was going to write itself. Of course, it took time (8 years) to convince myself that I would complete the writing, editing and publishing process, but I am glad a saw it through, because now I have the confidence that book number two is on the way.
One of the reasons I followed through is that my protagonist, Rainey, a young woman in her 30’s, looking for love—has a disability. As an individual with a disability myself, one of my hopes is to continue to see a rise in the number of characters in books, on television and in the movies, who have disabilities and are portrayed in positive, real-life scenarios. Often disabled characters are the pity characters and I would like to see that changed. Disability is simply another version of the human experience.
Where do you get your storylines from?
The story line for this book came from both my experiences as an individual with a disability, as well as the experiences of other women I know who have experienced the search for a meaningful relationship, while navigating the perceptions and often bias of others. My goal was to create both an entertaining and interesting novel as well as, creating educational elements for people to understand that living with a disability does not have to be a negative experience. Quite the opposite. Many individuals with disabilities life extraordinary lives.
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
My first book, Cycle of Hope, was a memoir. I tried for over six years to write that book and could never quite get the first words on paper. But once the book was ready to be written and I had a focused mindset, I wrote the first draft in nine days. Chance for Rain, on the other hand was an eight-year process. Though, part of the reason it took so long to write was that I didn’t quite believe in myself as an author and didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted out of the process. Once I figured out where I was headed, the process became much more streamlined. However, the process of writing and re-writing was still time intensive.
Do you only write one genre?
As I am still creating my identity as a writer, I can imagine that I will experiment with different genres as I work my way through the different subjects and stories I have in mind to explore. I’d like to think that I can diversify my writing and build a variety of skills.
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
To the present, I have done all of my writing in my home office. Several years ago, my husband and I redecorated—painting the walls Tangerine Orange and a Turquoise Blue. I decorated the space with paintings I had done myself at one of my favorite places to relax and have fun—Canvas n’ Cocktails in Denver, Colorado, where I live. To me having my own work on the walls and on display reminds me of my creativity and willingness to put my work out in the world.
And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I was prompted to write my memoir as a companion to the motivational speaking I have done around the country and at the request of many people to hear more of my stories. Once that book was completed, I didn’t think I’d write more. But after having finished Chance for Rain, I am sure that I will write more fiction and already have the beginnings of many manuscripts started on my computer. I just have to figure out which one I will publish next!
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.
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