A beautiful journey is coming to its end, and I couldn't be happier about it. My serial collection Diving for Pearls–the entire reason I decided to begin writing books under my given name and to truly become Melissa Storm–is approaching its end. Part 10 of the serial just released and the special collector's edition (filled with cool bonus content and other extras) will be available as an eBook, audiobook, and print book on April 1.
I can't wait to hold this story in my hand!
And I truly believe that Diving for Pearls is the most important thing I've ever written, maybe that I ever will write. So I want to take this opportunity to tell you why I wrote it and what it means to me.
I'm also including a sneak peek of the amazing audiobook. It's a full thirty-minute reading of my Angels in Our Lives short story. You can also grab the eBook version of it for free by signing up for my newsletter. Just be prepared to cry, because this story is even sadder when it comes to life with Ann M. Richardson's beautiful narration.
How can I even begin to convey how personal and deeply meaningful this story is for me? Perhaps I’ll start with the true story that inspired it.
In 2013, I was heavily pregnant, expecting my first child and facing a number of complications, both physical and emotional. The preeclampsia, polyhydraminos, and sciatica all severely limited my activity, but the onset of pregnancy-induced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder kept my mind spinning all hours of the night, wondering what if?—always picturing the grimmest of possible outcomes for me and my child.
Then one day, all my fears came to a head. I was admitted to the hospital after an abnormal ultrasound and was told I couldn’t leave without first having a cesarean section and bringing my baby into the world. All my fears of the past several months converged, and I was convinced I would die, had prepared myself for the end.
Only, instead of greeting death, I said hello to the most precious little girl, thus beginning a new, better life. I felt instantly better once I was no longer weighed down by the 11 ½ lb child in my womb, but I also couldn’t forget the months of fear.
Every day felt like a blessing, having survived the unsurvivable, and I began to wonder what if?—once again, crying tears of joy for being able to accompany my daughter through her life. But I also knew my love for her was so strong that we’d still find a way to be together even if I hadn’t made it out of the operating room with my life intact.
That’s when I met Elizabeth. Her story starts where a new chapter of mine also turned the page: on the operating table and with eclampsia. While I pulled through, she didn’t—but fate provided a way for her to be there to help her daughter through life regardless.
This story, which started as a thought exercise, quickly became a love letter to my daughter, and evolved even further to encompass my answers to all of life’s most difficult questions.
What is the meaning of life?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Is Heaven real? What is it like? What about Hell?
Are angels among us?
Elizabeth’s story provides my answers, answers that have given me peace as I face each new obstacle in life, as I watch my baby grow into a young lady, as I continue to strive to live life to its fullest, and just to be.
This journey wasn’t just Elizabeth’s—but mine also—and I hope you’ll find a special place in your heart for it too.