When the Rivers Rise
Publication date: November 10th, 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
High school sweethearts, Niles and Eden shared a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love until an accident—and Eden’s subsequent addiction to pain medication—tore them apart. Now divorced, their son Riley is Niles’s whole world, and he’ll do anything to keep him safe.
In constant pain, chronically tired, and resentful of Riley’s relationship with his dad, Eden is a shadow of the woman she once was. When she meets Kirk, a charismatic drummer who makes her feel alive again, she’s torn between evacuating with Riley before a hurricane hits and the exciting new life that beckons.
Reese has never quite gotten over the death of her father, a cop who was shot in the line of duty. Now a detective herself, and the only special operations officer on the East Ridge, Tennessee, police force without children, she volunteers for an assignment in Eastern North Carolina to help as Hurricane Florence closes in on the area.
As a potential category five hurricane spins straight toward the North Carolina coast, their lives begin to intersect in ways they never imagined as each is forced to confront issues from the past that will decide the future…their own, each other’s, and Riley’s.
Emotions swell like the rivers in the approaching storm in this poignant story of guilt, second chances, and the lengths we’ll go to protect the ones we love.
Scene: Niles and Mickey receive advice from an older gentleman
Location: Chapter 4 (Manuscript Page 46)
When the guys finished mowing, the older gentleman shook their hands just like every other time, told them the story about working in the factory and wearing earmuffs, and ultimately handed over a check written in what looked like chicken scratch.
“Thanks,” Mickey said. “I bet you were quite the ladies’ man.”
The man snickered, and Niles wondered if he was recalling days past as he spoke, maybe seeing the face of a woman at the factory whom he had eyes for back then. Niles himself thought about women from time to time, even wondered if he’d eventually start dating. The weird thing was he never really dated. Eden had been his high school sweetheart, and he went to every school dance with her. He kissed a couple of other girls in middle school, but it was more like practicing than enjoying the game. The only woman he’d ever made love to was the one everyone knew he would end up marrying.
“This body has seen better days,” the man admitted, grinning through his dentures.
As Niles’s mind wandered, he let Mickey do the talking—a task for which he was always well prepared. After the divorce, Mickey told Niles that he was a lucky man because he had received a get out of jail free card. Said he needed to have sex with as many women as possible to catch up on all the missed opportunities he could have had in college if he hadn’t married so early in life, which was a weird way to put it because neither he nor Mickey ever really considered filling out a college application.
“You’re in good shape, Mr. Nelson,” Mickey pointed out. “Still walking up and down this driveway with a cane. Not many men your age can or would do that.” Pondering that thought, Mickey paused. “I bet you were chiseled in your day.”
Niles nearly snorted—not because he couldn’t imagine the old guy with a ripped chest and six-pack abs like the ones beneath his own sweaty shirt but because Mickey seemed so excited about this man’s romantic encounters. On another note, Niles was always impressed by how Mickey seemed to remember everyone’s name, even people he’d only met a time or two.
“Give us single guys some pointers,” Mickey requested before the guy could entertain the previous thought Mickey had shoveled out.
Mr. Nelson squinted his eyes. “One day, you’re going to meet a woman who will cause you to realize that every other woman on this earth exists for someone else. You’ll figure out that she’s the only one you’ll ever need.”
Pretty deep, Niles thought as his thumb traced the bottom part of his ring finger. Eden. That’s how he’d always felt about Eden. But then—
“I don’t know about all that,” Mickey chuckled. “If I meet her, I hope I meet a lot of other women first. I’m in no hurry to settle down, if you know what I mean, Mr. Nelson,” he announced, smacking the guy’s bony arm with the back of his hand as if a mosquito had landed on it.
“I remember those days, young fellow.”
“Niles here, he tied the knot before he realized there were other shoes out there to wear, but now that he’s divorced, I’m trying to talk him into trying on some other pairs.”
Once again, Niles nearly snorted. Mickey had a way with words, but as the ones his friend had just spoken traveled around in his mind, he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Mickey also had a tendency to say things around people that most others didn’t even think. He had no filter, which was both a good and a bad trait, depending on the situation.
“Women aren’t like shoes, my friend; they’re like a heart—you only need one,” the man said.
“Some men need a heart transplant,” Mickey uttered without skipping a beat.
This time, Niles did snort, but the frail man didn’t react one way or the other. His face was as straight as a pencil. “If you lose your heart like I did a long time ago, you’re right, you might need a new one. But, you only need one at a time,” he said.
Niles wasn’t sure if the gentleman was talking about his actual heart or comparing a woman to a heart again. There was a word for that, which he should have remembered from English class, but he had to admit that he had no clue. There were so many terms: irony, symbolism, analogy, metaphor . . . maybe it was one of those. He would ask Mickey later in the truck, but Mickey’s grades in school had been worse than his. Eden would know, he thought, without meaning to think about her.
The writing style of Joey Jones has been described as a mixture of Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans, and James Patterson. USA Today Bestselling Author Jeff Gunhus compared Jones’ work to Debbie Macomber, Nicholas Evans, and Sparks. National Bestselling Author Kristy Woodson Harvey described Joey Jones’ writing as “lyrical” and proclaims “he effortlessly pulls readers into the souls of his characters.”
The ratings and reviews of Jones’ novels A BRIDGE APART (2015), LOSING LONDON (2016), A FIELD OF FIREFLIES (2018), and THE DATE NIGHT JAR (2019) reflect the comparison to the aforementioned New York Times bestselling authors.
Joey Jones fell in love with creative writing at a young age and decided in his early twenties that he wanted to write a book. His debut novel A BRIDGE APART is a suspenseful love story that was years in the making as he tinkered with the story off and on while working full-time in the marketing field. In February 2016, Jones became a full-time novelist and published his second novel LOSING LONDON later that year. Three of Jones’ novels have earned 4.8 out of 5.0 Amazon stars.
In his spare time, Joey enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, working out, reading, and writing inspirational quotes. His favorite meal is a New York Style Pizza with sweet tea. He won the 8th-grade spelling bee at his school, but if you ask him how many students participated, he might say, “Such minor details are not important!” He currently lives in North Carolina with his family.
Joey Jones earned a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College where he graduated with honors (2006). He was the owner of a full-service advertising agency and taught business and marketing courses as an adjunct college instructor.