When I think about what 'Love Is', it's strange to know that I'm a forty-two-yea-old woman, wife, mother and a romance author, yet sometimes love just isn't the normal, expected love of family, friends and pets. Sometimes, it takes a drastic, traumatic event to show you or better yet...remind you that love is everything.
Last week, wildfires raged through Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Those who know me and who've followed me for years know that The Smokies hold a piece of my heart. Many go there for vacation or to unwind. The entire area...Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge...The Smokies, despite its busy tourism driven economy, is more than just a place to visit.
From the generous, kind-to-their-bones residents to its breathtaking scenery and wildlife, The Smokies feel like home to so many people who don't even live there. So, as we all watched, prayed and hoped for the rains to fall last week to help the efforts of the fire fighters, National Guard and first responders...to help save as many people, animals, acres and structures...It hit me.
Love Is...Home. I used to believe 'Home Is Where the Heart Is'. It's still true...but, I believe that your heart can belong to more than one place...more than one home. Along with everyone whose ever visited The Smokies or lived there, I felt my heart breaking as the flames licked at everything in its path, as it danced across the mountain with no planned path of destruction and yet, it seemed to spare many and for that we are all grateful. The community, in their time of sadness, have risen up...resilient and hand-in-hand, they stand together...helping one another with love for each other. Complete strangers connected in their love of family and heritage.
The Smokies have always been my second home and from the first moment I set foot there, my heart...my soul was at peace. (When we return home, its always hard to leave.)
There's a magic there. An incredible and indescribable power that could melt the coldest of hearts. Anyone whose ever visited there would surely agree. It's an unforgettable place...a natural, seemingly palpable extension of every person whose ever been there.
When I think about how love should be a feeling...an emotion...it's more than that. It's a completion of one's soul. My love for that place, the people and the animals are part of who I am...part of what love is for me.
I'll be donating all of the proceeds from my erotic romance Smoky Mountain Escapes series (first written in 2011) to wildlife rehab in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from now on. Paperback sales as well as ebook sales will be sent as I receive my royalties and there will be more books added to the series in the months and years to come. Every dime will go towards repairing the scarred, broken and ravaged piece of soul and heart that belongs to so many people.
You can find these 99 cent novellas on all outlets. Paperbacks are also available. I hope you'll check then out and I hope my love for The Smokies translates well to you allvailables the reader.
The Smokies have given so much...I can only hope to help in this small way. I truly believe the people there will look to those scarred mountains that still stand proud and tall and they'll see they are one and the same. They will rebuild, grow and flourish despite all that has happened because they're connected with the land they live on. That is what makes The Smokies one of the most amazing places on earth...the people and the love they've given to a natural wonder. A love born of hardship over many, many generations and nurtured to outshine God's darkest days. That is what love is to me.
Now, for the contest:
Tell me what place...outside of your own home fills your soul and restores your spirit? I'll choose one person to receive a swag pack.
Thank you for reading about my unorthodox version of what love means to me.
I hope you enjoyed my visit. Have a wonderful week.
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Twitter: @MadisonSevierInstagram: madison_sevier