Author Guest Posts

Finding the Courage to Love


Finding the Courage to Love

Jacquie Underdown, author of the Wattle Valley series, on the inspiration behind her latest book Meet Me in the Middle

‘Life isn’t perfect’ is an inevitable lesson we learn. You will never meet a flawless person. We have accumulated baggage, dirty laundry and scars. Without fail, we will encounter hardships at unexpected moments. But despite all this, we endure.

I’m not one to shy away from exploring the less-than-perfect moments of life in my stories. I like to lay it all bare and make my readers feel ALL the emotions. I do that because I want to show that despite the hardships we bear or the wounds we have, love can still be found, and love is what will get us through those difficult times. We can appreciate the loveliness of love even more and see love for the prize that it is because of the perspective earned during the low moments in life.

But, for many, to love requires courage. Sometimes, because of tough life lessons, our self-worth and our willingness to embrace a new relationship can become skewed. I wanted to explore this universal experience more, and so ‘finding the courage to love again’ became the inspiration for Meet Me in the Middle.

The story is set in the fictional small town of Wattle Valley during a cold winter, where Neve, after an accidental naked encounter with Anders—who happens to be her brother’s best friend—discovers she has a small crush on him. Neve is a character who embodies the realities of life—she has a facial scar, some heavy past-relationship baggage and is supporting an ill mother. Anders, because of experiences while growing up, has lost sight of his own worthiness.

These two characters, despite their pasts and present doubts, must be brave enough to meet each other on middle ground. It is there that love can be found, and it is there, after they shove aside their vulnerabilities and accept themselves, faults and all, for who they are, that they can allow something enduring and wonderful into their hearts—love.

Meet Me in the Middle (Wattle Valley, #2)

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