Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt-Blog Stop

» Posted on Oct 4, 2012 in Blog | 20 comments

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt:

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt!  If you at any time you need to read the instructions for the hunt, please visit www.christianfictionscavengerhunt.com.

I wrote Shattered Silence for the people in this world who have been bullied some time in their life. As a teacher I’ve seen what bullying can do to kids. I had a friend whose beautiful daughter, a cheerleader at her high school, was bullied by some other girls to the point she finished her last semester of high school online. Another time one of my students with special needs was ridiculed by a group of students during lunch. Thankfully a couple of teens who were in my peer tutoring program at the high school where I taught stepped in and said something to the bullies.

Below is the beginning of Shattered Silence by Margaret Daley: 

No one sees me. They walk right by me and don’t even know I am here. I’m invisible.

But that’s all going to change today. The woman who has agreed to marry me will be here soon. The world will finally know someone cares about me. It was worth all my savings to bring her across the border. I’m tired of being alone. Being nobody.

I’m getting married. I won’t be invisible anymore—at least she’ll see me.

* * *

Maria Martinez lay flat on the dust-covered wooden planks, her right eye pressed against the hole in the floor of the abandoned house. Pedro won’t find me here. I’ll win this time.

A sneeze welled up in Maria, and she fought to stop it. She couldn’t. Quickly she looked through the small opening to make sure Pedro hadn’t come and heard her. Her older brother always thought he could do everything better than her. Not this time. He’d never think to look here. He’d think she was too afraid to hide here. A rattling behind her sent a shot of

fear through her. She went still. Her lungs held her breath and wouldn’t let go.

There’s no such thing as ghosts. He just told me that to scare me. I’m not a baby. I’m eight.

Her words fueled her courage, and she popped up to look over her shoulder. Nothing. Just the wind blowing through the broken window. Maria sank to the floor in relief and took up her post again. Watching through the hole. If Pedro came into the house, she’d be ready to hide. He was not going to find her. For once, she would have the last laugh. He was just two years older, but the way he acted, you’d think he was Papa.

Another sound caught her attention. Down below. Footsteps. She started to hop up and scramble to her hiding place nearby, but a gruff, deep male voice stopped her. Not Pedro. Who?

With her eye glued to the hole again, she waited to see who it was. Another voice—a woman’s—answered the man, then she laughed. A funny laugh—like Pedro when he made fun of her.

“Dumb. Evil eye,” the woman taunted in Spanish.

The man raised his voice, speaking in the same language so fast Maria had a hard time keeping up. Mama insisted on only speaking English at home. Now she wished she was better at Spanish. But she heard some words—the ones he slowed and emphasized, repeating several times in a louder voice a few cuss words that got Papa in trouble if he said them at home. The deep gruff voice ended with, “You will pay.”

The woman laughed again, but the sound died suddenly. “What are you doing?” she said in Spanish.

Maria strained to see the two people. The lady moved into her line of sight as she stepped back, shaking her head, her long brown hair swirling in the air. Maria glimpsed the top of a tan cowboy hat that hid the man’s face from her.

The beautiful lady held up her hands. “No!”

The fear in that one word chilled Maria.

Before she could think of what to do, a gunshot, like she’d heard on TV, blasted the quiet. The lady jerked back. She glanced down at her chest, then up, remaining upright for a few heartbeats before crumbling to the floor.

Maria froze. Her mind blanked.

The man came closer to the still lady on the floor, her unseeing dark eyes staring right at Maria, pinning her against the wooden planks. She saw the gun as he lifted his arm and aimed it at the woman. He shot her in the stomach then the forehead.

Maria gasped.

The man must have whirled away. Suddenly he wasn’t in her line of vision. She bolted to her feet as the sound of heavy footsteps coming up the stairs echoed down the hallway.

Terror locked a vise about Maria and held her in place.

Then her gaze latched onto her hiding place—one she’d found when she’d first come to the house. She’d laughed out loud that her brother would never find her there. Now she wasn’t so sure it was perfect.

But the approaching footfalls prodded her into action. She had no other choice. She clambered toward the couch as quietly as she could. She ripped the seat cushion off and squeezed herself into the small place someone must have used before. The pounding of her heartbeat in her ears drowned out the sound of his footsteps.

The man threw open a door at the end of the hall. The slam of it against the wall startled Maria as she set the cushion over her like a shield a knight used in a movie she’d seen. When he’d stormed a castle, hundreds of arrows rained down on him. He had survived. Could she?

The scent of mold and dust threatened to set off her sneezing. She held her hand over her mouth and nose praying that would stop her from making any sound.

As the man’s footsteps came nearer, her heartbeat reverberated against her skull, again overriding all other sounds. Surely he could hear it. Find her.

Please, Lord, help me. Mama said You protect children.

But not her prayers or her fear calmed her thundering heart- beats. The racket grew louder inside her chest and clamored in her ears. Her head spun. She uncovered her mouth to try and breathe deeply. She couldn’t get enough air.

The door opened, crashing against the wall. She flinched, hoping the seat cushion hadn’t moved. Please. Please, Lord. I’ll be good. The footsteps approached the center of the room. Lightheaded, Maria closed her eyes as if that would hide her

from the bad man. Something scurried over her leg. Something big. A rat? The urge to flee her hiding place robbed her of any thoughts. She curled herself into the tightest ball she could and prayed, her chest rising and falling so rapidly. The dark- ness continued to swirl behind her closed eyelids.

An eternity passed. A brush of whiskers reinforced her fright. She tensed, expecting any second the cushion being plucked off her hiding place or sharp teeth sinking into her. A warm gush between her legs and the odor of pee heightened her terror. He would smell it and . . .

I’m going TO die. Mama . . .

Above is a picture of me and the Texas Ranger I interviewed at Company B’s headquarters. I appreciated all of his help.

My own contest: If you want to be entered in a contest for a free autographed copy of Shattered Silence, please follow me on twitter, Facebook and/or my quarterly newsletter (all the information is on the righthand side bar of the blog under Find Margaret). Please also leave a comment on the blog if you want to be in the contest. For each follow you get one entry in the contest. Only US or Canada entries please.

To buy Shattered Silence:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Christianbooks.com

Don’t forget your necessary word for the quote for the overall contest. And now it’s time to move on to the next stop on the Scavenger Hunt! Click here to visit the site for Carla Stewart!

 

20 Comments

  1. I just LOVE your blog.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks for the giveaway, Margaret! I “liked” your page on facebook, looking forward to your updates 🙂
    Nice picture, thanks for sharing!
    Blessings, Kara

  3. I liked your page on Facebook. Thank you!

  4. I follow by twitter, Facebook, and newsletter.
    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  5. I follow your quarterly newsletter

  6. Thank you so much for the ooportunity to enter both contest, Margaret! Now following you on Twitter and have sent you a friend request on FB 😀

  7. Thanks for the giveaway! I follow you on Twitter and Like you on FB.

  8. I loved you on facebook and followed you on Twitter! Thanks for doing this it is great to get to know some new authors! I look forward to reading your book!

  9. Thank you for writing on this topic! Bullying has got to stop. I was bullied in my sophomore year and it became unbearable in my Jr. year. It affected me until I was 40 yrs. old and received some amazing counseling! God has healed the wounds completely but I know first hand how damaging be bullied can be!

  10. I love this scavenger hunt! Your book looks very interesting!

  11. As you know I love your books. I haven’t read this one and would love to win a copy. God bless you.

    Glenda Parker

  12. Wow, you have me hooked. 🙂

    Ginger

  13. You got me hooked. And you know I am your fan on facebook.

  14. would love to read YOUR book, maragaret…thanks for the chance.
    i’m a follower, too 😉

  15. Love to find new authors. Signed up for your newsletter.

  16. This book sounds amazing…..and I am now a new follower on FB too!! Thanks so much for being a part of this fun hunt!

  17. I like the cover for Shattered Silence and it sounds like a good story. I followed at Twitter and sent a Friend request. Thanks for participating in the hunt.

  18. One of my siblings changed high schools because of being bullied so badly. 🙁
    Subscribed to your RSS feed via Google reader. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Very nice excerpt. I’d like to sign up for the newsletter, but it’s not letting me.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  20. Hi Mrs Daley!

    I get your newsletter! 🙂

    The reason you wrote Shattered Silence is interesting and of course gives a more personal flair.

    I would love to win a copy! 🙂

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