From Ice and Snow by Dianne Bunnell
Jane Bernard lost her 12-year-old twin daughters to a religious hijacking perpetrated by their father, Reverend Logan Churlick. Jane is heartbroken and embittered by the loss, causing her to jeopardize her once-happy marriage with her great love, Bolivar Bernard. When the twins are 18, Bekah reaches out to her mother. Darcy spurns Jane and wants nothing to do with her sister. Churlick thwarts Jane’s attempt to reunite with Darcy and his obsession to possess Jane grows more twisted. Will Churlick be successful in keeping Jane and Bekah from reconnecting with Darcy? Will Jane regain her daughters only to lose Bolivar? Will the strategy Jane sees as her only chance to save the marriage she has all but destroyed work?
Targeted Age Group:: Adult audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was inspired to write From Ice and Snow for the same reason I wrote the first book in the series, The Protest: My greatest writing achievement came out of my deepest sorrow. I lost my daughters to a religious hijacking when they were 10 and 12. Out of the heartbreak of losing my girls, I was driven to write The Protest and its sequel, From Ice and Snow. I felt my cautionary tales would help others. As a writer, I aim to create a better understanding of the world and our place in it by shedding light on dark places. My books make you think, they shed light, they even entertain, while they offer solace to those who need it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
From Ice and Snow is a fictional memoir. It is inspired by real events, but the characters, setting, and story are products of my imagination. Thankfully, this allows me to tell the story that must be told, but it will keep me out of court.
Bekah settled into life with Jane and Bo. However, being a rebel was a persona she found hard to give up. Though the eye rolling grew less automatic and her confidence was strengthening, the pendulum of Bekah’s rebellious response to her Rathcreek upbringing swung not as quickly back to contentment as Jane and Bo might have liked.
If Washington had not been a state that legalized marijuana, Jane would have been more worried. Even so, she knew her daughter, a legal adult, was regularly partaking of pot and hanging out with questionable new friends who Jane knew from her classroom at the high school. But she felt there was not much she could do without alienating her daughter.
Bolivar was not so understanding. “Jane, you’ve got to do something about this pot smoking.” He stood facing her sitting on the red couch that dominated the living room where she was reading the latest New Yorker.
She put down her magazine and took off her glasses. “What can I do? She’s eighteen. It is legal in the state of Washington, you know.”
Aware Bekah was out with friends that evening, he raised his voice. “I don’t care if the governor and every one of our state legislators smoke it. But I do care if your daughter, who lives with us, is a pot head. I don’t want her to influence Simon when he comes home from the university on break.”
Jane felt a fire ignite in her belly. “So you’re only interested in this because of how it affects your precious Simon?”
Bo came forward, reached out to her. “That’s not the only reason. I’m sorry – I shouldn’t have said it that way.”
She snatched her shoulder away and said, “Who are you calling a pot head?”
“Bekah. Have you thought about this, Jane? Who knows what else she’s doing, out till two in the morning?” He sat down at the other end of the couch.
“She’s looking for work,” Jane snapped. “Is it a crime for her to stay out late when she doesn’t have to get up early?”
Bolivar went on, relentless. “What if she’s drinking, too? At 18, that’s still against the law. As long as she lives under my roof, I can’t condone her breaking the law. What if she’s riding with friends who’ve been drinking? Do you know anything about the crowd she hangs out with? How many boys has she been with?”
“How many boys?” Jane shrilled. “What are you saying – that my daughter’s promiscuous?” The fire was consuming her. Any possibility of her remaining calm, drawing logical conclusions in the face of Bo’s inflammatory remarks, had turned into a smoldering pile of rubble inside her.
“I’m just saying she’s out getting high all the time, and that makes girls vulnerable. As a teacher, you know that. I know it, too. I’ve had talks with my students about this kind of behavior.”
In the past, Jane would have known Bo was right. If Bekah weren’t her daughter, if she were her student, she would have been able to see the red flags. But fear had Jane in its monstrous grip and she knew she could not say something that would cause Bekah to turn from her.
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