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Blog by Ron – Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season is upon us. Not only that but we are closing in on the worst storm to ever hit Florida. I am talking about Hurricane Ian, a category 5 storm that devastated southwestern Florida, destroyed businesses, leveled homes, and destroyed all the possessions that some people had. Moreover, it killed.

But September 28, 2022, will also be remembered because of an inspiring story that came out of its destructive power. This story is not only inspiring but true.

Hurricane Season is always Traumatic

Hurricanes are mindless, destructive forces that nature unleashes upon the world every year. Here in Florida it makes its presence known from June 1 through November 30th. But come the  latter part of the season and the storms become worse. On September 27th many people, including myself, evacuated because of the coming storm.

But Pastor Jay Sheppard and his family were prepared. They lived along the Peace River in Arcadia, Florida. As they prepared for the storm, their primary concern was for the church that increasingly looked like it would be in the path of the storm.

But the Sheppard’s had a plan. The storm, if it came, would likely come up the Peace River, so they prepared for that possibility. Pastor Jay and his sons worked hard securing anything that looked like it could be impacted, including the roof. They also had a plan B which included evacuation to a safer house not too far away.

It looked like they were ready.

They were wrong!

An Unexpected Surprise in Hurricane Season

The storm drove north along Florida’s southwest coast wreaking havoc and causing damage that would take months, possibly years, to recover. As the cone shifted eastward, it brough Charlotte Harbor into its sights. The storm landed on

Cayo Costa Island about 12 miles west of Cape Coral.

The storm’s path had changed over a brief span of a few days. This was not a great surprise, but it’s intensity and destructive power were surprises. It would soon turn northeast and follow the Peace River, beginning in Charlotte Harbor.

Still, there was no real surprise. Hurricanes were known to change course and to go inland. In my wife and mine experience it seemed normal for the storm to follow the path it was taken.

But then came the surprise. Hurricane Ian acted like it had intelligence. And its Plan was diabolical. While we were focused on the eastern edge of the storm, it unleased a flash flood from the north!

No one had anticipated that, including the Sheppard family. They were literally ambushed as the flash flood came right at them with overwhelming force, wind, and water.

They would end up losing the house, though the structure survived, and virtually all their possessions. But God stepped in and miracle after miracle took place. In the book, the story is told in the words of Pastor Jay and members of his family, as well as others. It is highly personal, but it is much more.

You get a picture of God’s Providence at work.

Anniversary Sale

Now that we are again in hurricane season, it seemed good to me to provide people with another opportunity to read this inspiring story. A story that was greater than Charlotte County, and greater that Florida. It inspired people throughout the United States.

Therefore, Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence and Provision is on sale through the remainder of hurricane season and ending on October 1, 2023.

Normally $18.43, it is now $16.80, a 9% discount. But it is over October 1st.

Click on Hurricane Ian Sale and get your copy today.

To visit our bookstore, go to TR Bookstore and look around. You’ll find books by my late wife Tess, plus books by me, including Hurrican Ian Winds of Providence & Provision.

Want to be be a published author, but don’t know how? Check Best Sellers.

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Blog by Ron – Writing Hurricane Ian as 1st Person

Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision book cover

Writing Hurricane Ian as First Person was not easy, but it worked. Titled Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision, the book is already the most successful book I’ve ever written!

But let’s take a deeper look at it. This is a book that tells the true to life story of Pastor Jay Sheppard and his family in their own words.

Hurricane Ian is Told in First Person

I am not a big supporter of first-person storytelling, but in this case, it works really well! If you have never tried this in either fiction or nonfiction, you might want to give it a try.

This particular book was not me telling the story in first person, but various family members telling about their particular situation or experience. In the book you get each person’s individual recollection and sometimes they don’t agree 100%! But that is ok, because in life different people see the same events differently.

More on the other side of this break.

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Now back to the article.

Hurricane Ian told Consecutively

This technique worked really well. Different family members related their experiences at approximately the same time. Their stories provide a background of their impressions, thoughts, and actions. In turn, this provides the reader with an expanded view of events, while also tying the recollections together. The reader gets a more complete picture of how each scene played out. Instead of getting the author’s viewpoint superimposed, you get individual stories that pull you into the action.

Hurricane Ian Divide and Conquer

What I am referring to here to is the methodology I used. After going to the various family members and friends and asking them to write down their own stories, I then divided their stories and juxtaposed them against one another.

By doing this, I allowed their comments, understandings, and recollections to be compared. Whether conscientiously or subconsciously, such comparisons add depth to the overall story. This is depth that I may not have been able to create by telling the story in 3rd Person.

This is just a short blog today, but it gives you something to think about. Namely, should you try 1st Person? It can be difficult voice to master. But if you can it might just prove profitable.


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Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision

As the author of Hurricane In Winds of Providence & Provision, I want to share the excitement that it brought me.

When Hurricane Ian struck there was widespread damage done. My wife and I had evacuated and were without WiFi for awhile. It was during this time that the events in this book took place.

The story, which is told in the words of several members of the Sheppard family, began with simple preparation for extremely high winds and surge. Pastor Jay Sheppard felt that he and his family had prepared their home for the expected surge as they lived next to the Peace River. But they did not know they would be facing a flash flood!

After the Lord laid it on my heart to write this book, I contacted Pastor Jay, who is my pastor, and told him of the burden. He suggested an idea I was already entertaining. Namely, that I get him and his family members to tell the story in their own words! It took persistence on my part to get those stories included in the book and to arrange them in a manner that made sense, but it was worth it.

Hurricane Ian Winds of Providence & Provision is the culmination of those efforts. I purposely only did light editing as I wanted each contributor’s voice to come through. The result is a book where the reader hears from each contributor and can identify with them. I know I am biased, but I believe this is a timely book showing God’s love and providence, and belongs in many personal libraries or bookshelves.

Right now it is in print form only but will soon be in eBook as well.