Thank you for the opportunity to introduce my first book “Crosswinds,” which was released on Aug. 29, 2014 by The Next Chapter Publishing. I’m N.R. White, and after 30 years of writing stories for the newspaper I finally listened to what others have been urging me to do for years by putting my talent as a storyteller into book form.

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A love story is at the heart and soul of “Crosswinds.” In fact, it is the common thread that weaves the book together through a series of stories that challenges the way we look at love – and life. You never forget your first love. I’m not talking about puppy love, a high school crush or a passing infatuation that all of us work through as we progress from teenagers to young adults. I’m talking about our first true love – a love so intense that when that relationship ends, we would rather die than endure another day having to live with the thought of not spending our life with that one person we believe with our all heart we were meant to be with. Yes, it is true that time has a way of mending broken hearts. But if we are honest, we all will admit that a broken heart never truly heals. Most of us find a way to let go and move on. The pain eventually goes away. Yet warm memories of those feelings still linger decades later. Some, like Jack, equate “true love” to the emotions he felt for Holly and as a result, spent his life going from relationship to relationship, never able to tear down the walls and accept the love that was being offered. In a smoky airport bar while waiting out the storm, Jack sees a younger version of himself in Bobby, who after a few rum and cokes admitted he joined the Navy to get as far away from North Carolina as fast as he could after the girl he knew was “The One” shattered his heart.

For Bobby, a 19-year-old sailor fresh out of boot camp catching a flight to his first duty station on the other side of the world, the book is very much about coming of age during a time in his life filled with uncertainty about the road ahead. For Jack, an old salt who has seen and done it all, the fluke wind that allowed his path to cross with Bobby’s provides an opportunity to impart valuable life lessons he wishes someone had shared with him when he was Bobby’s age. “God doesn’t make any mistakes,” Jack tells Bobby as he subtly teaches those lessons through the sharing of stories from his past. “Walk a mile in another’s shoes before you decide to judge them. … And when you’re journey is delayed because you’ve been blown off course, don’t get mad at the wind. Open your eyes and start looking for the reason God wanted you to move in a different direction.”

“Crosswinds” is the first in a three-book series. The second book, “Wind Speaker,” picks up four years later as Bobby is leaving the Navy. “Wind Speaker” is anticipated to be released in 2015.

To learn more about the series (as well as updates on the ongoing story line), follow my author’s page on Facebook at N. R. White as well as my author’s blog at nealwhite.blogspot.com. I always love visiting with readers and welcome your questions.

My thoughts….. 

Bobby, fresh out of boot camp and A School, is en route to Japan to report to his first ship when he’s delayed in the Charlotte, N.C. airport.  In the NASCAR bar and grill, the only smoking area indoors, he meets Jack when he asks to bum a cigarette.  The two strike up a conversation.  This encounter will change Bobby forever.   

CROSSWINDS is more than an old sailor helping out a young sailor, it’s more than a budding friendship between men of different generations, and it’s more than passing on knowledge and life lessons.  In CROSSWINDS Jack challenges Bobby, and readers, to open their minds and question their beliefs. Why do you believe as you do? 

Do you follow blindly or is there conviction and thought behind your beliefs?  

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality? 

How well do you know your history? 

The history of your country?   

CROSSWINDS gives the reader and Bobby much to ponder.  Will examining your beliefs make them stronger?  Could you rethink a few?  Set you on a path leading to a complete overhaul?  Whatever response(s) Jack’s stories and questions evoke you aren’t likely to read CROSSWINDS and be unaffected in some shape, form, or fashion.

3.5 stars

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