Women’s fiction author, Jennifer Slattery shares an excerpt from her debut novel, Beyond I Do. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a print or digital copy. Deadline: Oct 25th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer:
Ainsley’s stomach churned as she eased into the Whispering Hills Apartments’ parking lot. Broken beer bottles and other trash littered the ground. A few tenants had draped sheets across their windows. Other windows were boarded up. One was busted in, shards of glass held in place by silver duct tape.
Please tell me this isn’t where Marie Nelson lives.
Ainsley compared the address Deborah had given her to the rusted numbers on the complex in front of her. This was the place. And from the looks of it, the very place Ainsley shouldn’t be, at least, not alone.
Her phone chimed, making her jump. She glanced at the screen. Her fiancé’s number flashed. Cutting her engine, she answered. “Hey, Richard, what’s up?” She shoved her purse and computer case under the passenger seat.
“Where are you?”
“Doing a favor for Deborah. Why, you need something?” She grabbed her pepper spray from the glove compartment.
As if she hadn’t talked about the woman countless times over the years. “Deborah. Eldridge, the one who told me about Christ.” And kept her from going completely insane or spiraling into rebellion when Ainsley’s home life fell apart. “Sometimes I wonder if you ever really listen.”
A pack of muscular and hard-faced men gathered around a navy pick-up watched her, causing her already queasy stomach to cramp. There were four of them, two dressed in black with thick chains draped across their neck. The largest was covered, neck and arms, with tattoos. She looked away, suddenly acutely aware of her shiny Honda Accord and department store garb.
Oh, Lord Jesus, please keep me safe.
“That Deborah. Right.” A keyboard clicked on the other end of the line. Richard was probably working on final edits on his book. “Now I remember. So you’re in Smithville?”
“Not exactly. More like…” She scanned her surroundings again, her gaze lingering on a used diaper decaying on the ground ten feet away. “More like… the Admiral Boulevard area.”
Richard made a choking noise, as if spewing coffee. “You’re where? Please tell me you are not in the crime center of Kansas City.”
Used by Permission. Beyond I Do: A Novel, by Jennifer Slattery (New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, AL) NewHopeDigital.com.
About Jennifer: Jennifer Slattery writes missional fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes Christian Living articles for Crosswalk.com, writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries, and writes devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutloud, and Internet Café Devotions. When she’s not writing, her and her husband are probably sitting at a coffee shop somewhere, him reading a sports article on his phone while she loses herself in a great novel.
About the book – Beyond I Do:
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/beyond_i_do_sample?e=6362996/8842858
Question: Have you ever been in surroundings that made you nervous? Tell us about it.
Come back Oct 20th for the cover reveal for my next release!