Friday, July 18, 2008

Joshua's Hope - Excerpt - An Unexpected Turn

As promised, here is an excerpt from JOSHUA'S HOPE. The e-book release will be August 29, 2008, by The Wild Rose Press. Print version February 27, 2009.

Hope Courtland will do anything to save Joshua, but will the consequences separate them forever?


“Run, get out of here now!” the nanny cried.

Anna’s voice gave Hope wings. She held onto
Joshua and fled the house. Her feet slapped against
the ground. Joshua’s body bounced against her, but
he clung tight, making no sound.

She opened the back door and buckled him into
the car seat, and then handed him the treasured
stuffed dog.

Joshua pulled the animal close to his chest, his
eyes wide and frightened.

“It’s all right, peanut. Don’t be afraid.”

The old car started immediately and she quickly
gave thanks for Zack’s mechanical genius. A pang of
regret hit her when she realized she’d never see him
again. But it was too late for regrets.

Without looking for oncoming cars, Hope pulled
away from the curb. A horn honked and she stomped
the brake pedal, jerking the wheel toward the curb.
The car passed and the driver made a lewd gesture.
Hope took a deep breath. Adrenaline pumped
through her veins.


Assured the street was clear, Hope pushed the
gas pedal and steered into the street. “Yes, honey.”

“The bad polices yelled at Daddy.”

The man’s security uniform would have looked
like a policeman’s to Joshua. “He can’t hurt us,



“Do I have to go away with Daddy?”

“No, peanut. You’re staying with me.” She would
keep the promise.

“Is it all right to talk now?”

The truth of what she’d done began to sink in.
She’d kidnapped her son. Peter would have every
law enforcement officer in the state looking for them.
She gazed in the rearview mirror expecting to see
flashing lights, but none appeared. “It’s okay to talk
now, honey. Are you all right? I didn’t hurt you, did

“No, Mommy. Where is your house? How long
will it take us to get there?”

“It’ll be a long ride, but we’ll have fun.” She
quickly maneuvered out of the city, but avoided the
interstate. Her car would be easy to spot. She’d
head for Knoxville on the back roads and purchase
tickets on the first bus out of Tennessee—no matter
where it went. She had no destination in mind. She
only knew she had to get Joshua far, far away.


“Yes, Joshua?”

“Do I still haf’ta take a nap?”

“Not today. We’re going on an adventure.”

“Is Daddy going on a venshure, too?”

“Not this time.” She prayed her words would
prove true. She’d acted out of desperation, thinking
only of saving Joshua. Where would Peter expect her
to go?

In a short time, Joshua’s head bobbed and then
came to rest against the cushioned seat. Her heart
swelled with love. She had her son back and she’d
never let anyone take him away again.

Hope twisted the knob on the radio until music
drifted softly from the speakers. Troubled by
thoughts of Peter’s retribution, and the threat
against Joshua, she kept a careful eye on the
rearview mirror.

Doubt crept in. Had she acted too rashly?
Should she have contacted the authorities? Would
anyone have taken her side against Peter’s? In her
heart, she knew the answer. No one dared to cross
Peter Courtland.

The newscaster announced the two o’clock news.
Hope half-listened while she fretted about their
future. Then she heard Peter’s name mentioned and
turned up the volume. “—murdered in his home. Ms.
Anna Walters, a nanny to Mr. Courtland’s son, is
listed in critical condition. Mr. Courtland’s son is
believed to be with his estranged wife, Hope
Courtland. Police are urging anyone with
information on Mrs. Courtland’s whereabouts, to
contact them immediately.”

Her entire body began to shake. She pulled to
the side of the road. Peter was dead? Murdered? And
Anna was in critical condition? The man who’d been
arguing with Peter must have killed him. But the
police were looking for her. Did they think she was a
murderer? Shock nearly paralyzed her.

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