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Authors: Deborah Raney

After the Rains

BOOK: After the Rains
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Praise for
After the Rains

“Once again, Deborah Raney gives us a memorable story with real heart and life-changing redemption. Her characters ring true as they’re plunged into complex circumstances.… And when bad turns to worse, we’re reminded that life’s toughest challenges are only conquered as we turn to a God who cares.
After the Rains
is a must-read for teens as well as adults.”

—M
ELODY
C
ARLSON
, author of
Blood Sisters, Looking
for Cassandra Jane
, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series

“If you liked
Beneath a Southern Sky
, you’ll love
After the Rains.…
God’s love shines through the clouds and dark, lighting up even the corners of tragedy. If you want to know how life can be continued after one careless but devastating mistake, this book more than answers the question.”

—J
ANE
O
RCUTT
, author of
Lullaby
and
The Living Stone
Praise for
Beneath a Southern Sky
by Deborah Raney
Winner of the 2002 RITA Award
2002 Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Readers Choice Award
2001 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Best Inspirational Novel
2002 Holt Medallion Finalist

“In
Beneath a Southern Sky
, Deborah Raney reminds us that God’s ways are not our ways … but His paths lead to fulfillment and joy.”

—A
NGELA
E
LWELL
H
UNT
, author of
The Note
and The Heirs of Cahira O’Connor series

“There aren’t many novels that keep me awake reading into the wee hours of the night, but
Beneath a Southern Sky
did. Nathan, Daria, and Cole slipped from the pages of this book and into my heart. I experienced all their heart-wrenching emotions, agonized over every decision they had to make, and rejoiced as they triumphed by God’s grace in the midst of an impossible, hopeless situation. Bravo, Ms. Raney!”

—R
OBIN
L
EE
H
ATCHER
, best-selling author
of
The Forgiving Hour
and
Whispers from Yesterday


Beneath a Southern Sky
has magnetic qualities! I just couldn’t seem to put it down! In her normal, five-tissue fashion, Deborah Raney has created an impossible situation for her heroine, Daria Camfield. As I read, I thought I imagined all the ways Raney could tie her book into a neat little bow. Not so! The poignant ending of this thought-provoking novel took me unaware and lingered in my mind for days afterwards. You
definitely
won’t be disappointed.”

—L
ISA
E. S
AMSON
, best-selling author of
The Church Ladies


Beneath a Southern Sky
captured my attention on page one and held me in its grips to the last page. Deborah has written an incredible tale of passionate love, tragic mistakes, and second chances. Write faster, Deborah Raney!”

—D
ENISE
H
UNTER
, author of
Reunions

“Deborah Raney dug deeply into my heart with this story of sacrificial love. No reader could walk away from this novel without a clearer, more personal picture of the love of Christ. I thank Deborah for reminding me that even though life’s choices aren’t always easy God is always there to help us make them.”

—H
ANNAH
A
LEXANDER
, author of
Sacred Trust,
Solemn Oath
, and
Silent Pledge
O
THER
B
OOKS BY
D
EBORAH
R
ANEY
A Scarlet Cord
Beneath a Southern Sky
Playing by Heart
A Vow to Cherish

AFTER THE RAINS
PUBLISHED BY WATERBROOK PRESS
12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921

Scripture taken from the
Holy Bible, New International Version
®
. NIV
®.
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The characters and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or events is coincidental.

eISBN: 978-0-307-81362-6

Copyright © 2002 by Deborah Raney

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Published in the United States by WaterBrook Multnomah, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., New York.

WATERBROOK and its deer colophon are registered trademarks of Random House Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-In-Publication Data

Raney, Deborah.
   After the rains / Deborah Raney.— 1st ed.
      p. cm.
   1. Young women—Fiction. 2. Guilt—Fiction. I. Title.
   PS3568.A562 A688 2002
   813′.54—dc21

2002007394

v3.1

In loving memory
of my grandparents:
Francis and Helen Reed,
married fifty-nine years
till parted by death
J. W. (Bill) and Dorothy Teeter,
married sixty-eight years
till parted by death
And with love to:
my husband’s grandparents,
Bud and Lottie Turner,
married seventy-three years … and counting

Contents

Cover

Other Books by This Author

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Prologue

Relámpago: Lightning

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen

Trueno: Thunder

Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty–One
Chapter Twenty–Two
Chapter Twenty–Three
Chapter Twenty–Four
Chapter Twenty–Five
Chapter Twenty–Six

Lluvia: Rain

Chapter Twenty–Seven
Chapter Twenty–Eight
Chapter Twenty–Nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty–One
Chapter Thirty–Two
Chapter Thirty–Three
Chapter Thirty–Four
Chapter Thirty–Five
Chapter Thirty–Six
Chapter Thirty–Seven
Chapter Thirty–Eight
Chapter Thirty–Nine
Chapter Forty
Chapter Forty–One
Chapter Forty–Two

Acknowledgments

Prologue

T
he road rose and fell beneath the wheels of her car as though she were navigating a boat on a choppy lake. Why wouldn’t the steering wheel obey her commands? Head throbbing, Natalie Camfield hunched over the steering wheel and narrowed her eyes, trying to see through the windshield. The highway continued to undulate before her, swells of black asphalt broken by erratic white lines.

The moon broke through a smoke-colored column of clouds and illumined the highway for a brief moment before disappearing. Gripping the wheel tighter, she glanced over at Sara Dever. Her best friend clutched the handle of the passenger door with her right hand and the dashboard with her left. Her eyes were wide, and Natalie wondered what they saw that her own eyes had not.

Natalie shook her head. The moon reappeared, only this time its beam shone through Sara’s window and was as brilliant as a floodlight. Natalie put up a hand to shield her eyes. Sara screamed.

What was happening? Time had no meaning. She struggled to remember why she was in the car. Where was she? The road she was on seemed familiar, yet something about it was eerily foreign. Had she fallen asleep at the wheel? Or was she dreaming?

The light that poured into the car completely obscured her view of the road now, yet it lit the interior of the car as though it were daylight. A strange moon on a strange night.

Beside her, Sara’s face was transformed into a mask of terror as she clawed at the dashboard, her cheeks bled of color. Sara opened her mouth, and Natalie watched her perfectly bowed lips form syllables. Everything was happening in slow motion now, and her friend’s words came at her through an endless tunnel.

“Natalie! Look out!”

Another scream. She couldn’t tell if it was Sara or if the high wail came
from her own throat. Pain sliced through her ears, as the deafening sound of an explosion pierced the night. The screams were replaced by dead silence. Natalie felt herself being lifted high into the air. She was flying now, exhilarated, feeling no fear. She had to be dreaming. But just as suddenly, she was hurled to the earth again. Falling, falling, she grappled frantically for something to hang on to.

Something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong. Where was Sara? This wasn’t a dream. It was too real.

“Sara? Sara!” Natalie’s own voice echoed back at her.

For one split second in time everything became clear and sharp in her mind. She knew where she was—and why she was here.
Please, God, let me be dreaming. Please, God! Oh, dear Jesus, what have I done?

And then everything went black.

R
ELÁMPAGO:
L
IGHTNING

BOOK: After the Rains
5.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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