Shannon here: Romantic Suspense author, Margaret Daley shares an excerpt for her latest release, Saving Hope. Every time you comment on any post dated March 5 – 7, your name goes in the drawing for a copy. Deadline: March 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Margaret:
Rose gripped her cell phone so tightly her muscles ached. “Where are you, Lily?”
“At—Nowhere Motel.” A sob caught on the end of the last word. “Help—me.” Lily’s breath rattled, followed by a clunking sound as though she’d dropped the phone.
Rose paced the small bathroom at Beacon of Hope. “Lily?”
Sweat coated her palms, and she rubbed her free hand against her jeans.
Silence taunted her.
What have you done? But the second that Rose asked that question, an image came to mind of her friend lying on the dingy gray sheets in the cheap motel, wasted, trying anyway she could to forget the horror of her life. “Lily, talk to me. Stay on the line.” Pulling the door open, Rose entered her room. When she saw her roommate, she came to a stop.
Cynthia’s wide-eyed gaze fixed on Rose for a few seconds before the fourteen-year-old dropped her head and stared at the hardwood floor. Rose crossed to her dresser, dug into the back of the top drawer, and grabbed a small, worn leather case.
She pushed past her roommate and headed into the upstairs hallway.
Striding toward the staircase, Rose dismissed her roommate’s startled expression and focused on the crisis at hand. “Lily, are you still there?”
A sound as though someone fumbled the phone and caught it filtered through the connection. “Rose, I need—you.”
“I told you I would come if you wanted to get out. I’ll be—”
A click cut off the rest of Rose’s words. No, Lily. Please hang on.
Rushing down the steps to the first floor, she quickly redialed the number and let it ring and ring. When she approached the program director’s office, she finally pocketed her cell, took out her homemade tools, and picked the lock, a skill she learned to give her some sense of control over her life.
In the past she’d done what she had to in order to survive.
Guided by the light through the slits in the blinds, Rose entered Kate’s darkened office and switched on the desk light.
A twinge of guilt pricked her. If Kate found her in here afterhours, how could she explain herself? Especially with what she was going to do next to the woman who had saved her and taken her in.
Kate’s gonna be so disappointed in me for stealing—no, borrowing—the van. She’s put so much faith in me. But I’ve got to save Lily. I promised her. When I bring Lily back here, Kate will understand.
Rose used her tools to open the locked drawer on the right. Pulling it out, she rummaged through the papers to find the set of keys at the bottom, then bumped the drawer closed with her hip.
I have no choice, Kate. Please forgive me.
The memory of the words, I need you, spurred Rose to move faster. She had to get to her friend. Get her out . . . finally. Bring her to Kate.
Clutching the keys in one hand, she turned off the lamp and carefully made her way to the office door. She eased it open a few inches and peered out into the short hallway. The empty corridor mirrored the feeling inside her.
When would it go away? When will I feel whole?
After she checked to make sure the office door was locked, she hurried toward the side exit of the building that housed the residential program for teens like her. Outside the summer heat blasted her in the face even though it was past midnight.
Her heart pounded as hard as her feet hitting against the concrete. Sweat beaded on her forehead as she rushed toward the parking lot to find Beacon of Hope’s van. The security light cast a yellow glow on the vehicle at the back of the building.
Visions of her friend slipping into drug-induced unconsciousness, no one there to care whether she died or not, prodded her to quicken her steps.
I won’t let you down, Lily. She was the reason her friend was where she was right now, stuck in a life that was quickly killing her.
As Rose tried to unlock the white van, her hands shook so badly the keys dropped to the pavement. Snatching them up, she sucked in a breath, then another, but her lungs cried for more oxygen. With her second attempt, she managed to open the door and slip behind the steering wheel. Her trembling hands gripped the hot plastic.
After backing out of the parking space, she pressed down on the accelerator and eased onto the street in front of Beacon of Hope. With little driving experience, she would have to go slower than she wanted. She couldn’t get caught by the cops. This was her one chance to save her friend. If all went well, she could be back here with Lily before morning.
About the book: When a teenager goes missing from the Beacon of Hope School, Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan and school director Kate Winslow are forced into a dangerous struggle against a human trafficking organization. But the battle brings dire consequences as Wyatt’s daughter is terrorized and Kate is kidnapped. http://www.margaretdaley.com
Now it’s personal, and Wyatt finds both his faith and investigative skills challenged as he fights to discover the mastermind behind the ring before evil destroys everyone he loves. Learn more:
Purchase: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Hope-Texas-Rangers-Book/dp/1426714289/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327991212&sr=1-3 or Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-hope-margaret-daley/1105315589?ean=9781426714283&itm=3&usri=margaret+daley
About Margaret: Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Golden Quill Contest, FHL’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, Holt Medallion and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines, romantic suspense for Abingdon Press and historical romance for Summerside Press. She has sold seventy-five books to date.
Margaret is currently the President for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization of over 2300 members. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.
Until she retired a few years ago, she was a teacher of students with special needs for twenty-seven years and volunteered with Special Olympics as a coach. She currently is on the Outreach committee at her church, working on several projects in her community as well as serving on her church’s vestry.
Come back March 9th for contemporary romance author, Delia Latham.