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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's that time again...

Don't forget to visit the Mine today!! There is an awesome interview with author Deborah Piccurelli!!




 ~Chapter Twenty-Two ~


The sound of the bathroom door banging against the wall had Justin scrambling to stand up. As he turned toward the noise he saw a handsome policeman in riot gear.

Justin stuck out his hand. “Thank you, sir.”

The cop took the offered hand and pumped it up and down with enthusiasm. “You’re welcome. We’re just glad you folks weren’t hurt.”

Arianna stood up, her slight frame shaky. With trembling voice she asked, “Can I see my baby now?”

Justin’s heart went out to her. He laid a protective hand on her shoulder. “I’m afraid not, Sweetie. We have to fill out the proper paperwork and submit it first.” He looked down at her, hoping she understood.

He laughed at the look she presented. Her lips pursed in an impatient ‘o,’ and her eyes flashed with irritated anger.

“No, I want to see Chance now. This is ridiculous. He’s my baby—and they have no right to keep him from me,” she sputtered.

Justin had to agree, but it didn’t change the reality of the situation. She wouldn’t be able to see him until she submitted the proper paperwork.

Mary Jo, who’d just finished giving her statement, walked down the short hallway to join them. “She needs to see her baby, Justin.” She gestured toward Arianna’s top.

Justin glanced toward Arianna, not catching the nurse’s look. He shrugged. “I know, I...”

Mary Jo took a firm hold on his shirt sleeve. “No you don’t.  You’re missing the point.” She gestured toward Arianna once more.

This time Justin’s eyes fell to her chest, and understanding dawned. “Oh…I get it. She needs to see the baby.”

Mary Jo nodded, a huge smile covering her face. “Yes.”

Justin looked at the officer. “Sir, my wife needs to see the baby, and as soon as possible.” He gestured toward Arianna’s chest.

The officer looked, and his face turned a bright red.

Justin had to laugh. Such a big tough guy, standing there in riot gear, red-faced because a new mother’s breasts were telling her it was time to feed.

“I see—that, sir. Let me see what I can do about it.” He walked away.

Justin snickered continued to snicker, watching as the man said something to the woman behind the desk.

Arianna spoke to him now, this time her anger directed at him. “Justin, that was embarrassing. That guy was looking at my chest. I felt so exposed.”

“I’m sorry, Sweetie. I had to make him understand you needed to see the baby.

Hope swept across her face and Justin gasped as the color flooded back into her wan cheeks. She was beautiful…and so fragile, he reminded himself.

She smiled up into his face. “Do you think they will?  I can’t wait to hold him in my arms again.”

He nodded. “Maybe.”

Mary Jo didn’t smile. When Arianna looked at her, she shook her head. “I don’t think it’s wise to get your hopes up so high, child. They may not.”

Arianna’s face fell. “But why?”

As if explaining to a small child, she answered, “You have to look at it from their point of view. They have a newborn baby who was found in an old house. Neither his mother nor father was there. They have to be positive that baby belongs to you before letting him go. If they let you feed him, you two might bond. They can’t allow that with just anyone. I mean, they may have that baby for months and months. How foolhardy would it be to let him bond with some random woman who isn’t related to him?”

Arianna listened then gave a small nod.  “But I was there Mary Jo. I see your point, but you have to see mine, and so do they.”

Mary Jo’s face softened even more and she rushed to Arianna’s side, patting her shoulder in consolation. “I understand, Arianna, I really do.” She looked to Justin, as if he had some miraculous answer that would fix everything.

They walked into the main police station and stopped just short of the desk. Justin searched the crowds of people who stood about, gossiping about the uproar ‘the Monster’ caused, trying to catch sight of the nice policeman who’d disappeared in this general vicinity. When he spotted him, he held up a hand to get his attention.

The man locked eyes with him and Justin moved his little group forward. “What did you find, sir?”

The policeman looked to the woman who stood behind the desk and she turned around, grabbed a folder full of papers and slid them across the desk. She reached underneath and grabbed an old-fashioned clipboard and thumped it down on top of the folder. She pulled a blue ink pen from her pocket and added it to the pile. “Here Ma’am. Fill these out and we’ll see if we can at least get your baby here so he can feed.

Arianna’s face wreathed in a huge, bright smile. “Thank you so much.”

The plump woman shrugged. “Don’t mention it.”

Arianna smiled, sweetness dripping with every word. “Thank you so much. You don’t know what this means to me.”

The woman’s face turned to hardened anger. “No I don’t, but I can imagine the horror you must’ve gone through, knowing that monster had your baby.”

Arianna burst into tears while the others looked on in horrified surprise.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Chapter Twenty-One Broken Dreams...

Don't forget to visit the Mine today!! We have an awesome interview with Megan Besing!

                                   Enjoy a few of my favorite pictures...





~ Chapter Twenty-One ~

Two hours and three officers later, Justin was finally beginning to make some headway into getting the baby brought back to the police station.

Officer Mendez, the third officer, was being very helpful. She was taking his statement when a commotion at the front desk grabbed their attention.

Justin turned, trying to see what was going on. What his eyes focused on turned his blood cold.

Harry, AKA ‘the Monster’ was shoving through a group of policemen.

Justin stood up and yelled, “No, don’t let him go.”

The officers were intent on trying to restrain the man, but even Justin could see his determination was causing him to move with almost super-human strength.

Justin stood, scraping his chair back, grabbed Arianna and without a backward glance ran to the bathroom. The huge solid wood door slammed closed and Justin’s fingers shook with fear as he snapped the lever over to the locked position.

Arianna looked up at him from her cradled position against his chest. “How?”

“I don’t know, but the guy is either the luckiest person alive, or the most evil. I don’t know how we’re going to find out anything from in here, but I didn’t have time to think and this was my first reaction.”

Arianna reached out a trembling hand and laid it against his cheek. “It was the right thing to do if it keeps us safe.”

The tenderness in her eyes was his undoing. He turned his face, his lips landing on her cold fingers. He kissed them. “Let’s pray.” The trust she bestowed upon him caused tears to well up in his voice, but he continued, “Dear Lord, Your will be done in this situation, and all of them, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”

They sat there for a moment, silent. The bathroom was pretty sound-proof, leaving them ignorant to what may or may not be happening on the other side of it.

“Do you think Mary Jo is okay?”

He squirmed around for a moment, digging in his pocket. He pulled his cell out and tapped her name. He didn’t call, but sent her a text, hoping she had her phone on silent. Are you okay? He typed.

Almost instantly, the reply came. She will be when you come out.

Arianna cried out, “Oh no.”

“What have I done? I should’ve told her we were going. How could I leave her out there alone?”

Tears poured down Arianna’s face, but she said, “You were trying to protect me. It isn’t your fault.”

But he knew it was. Mary Jo was as much his responsibility as Arianna was. “Dear Lord, please keep her safe and give me the answers on what to do.”

Arianna grabbed his hand. His phone buzzed.

The text read: Well?

So many things ran through Justin’s mind he couldn’t think straight. If he opened the door, ‘he Monster’ would take Arianna. If he didn’t, Mary Jo could die. Not only her, but hard telling how many other people were being held captive out there.

Indecision held him in its evil grip.

And suddenly, it became clear. Pray some more.

“We have to pray again.”

Without one word or question Arianna squeezed his hand tighter and bowed her head.

“Dear Lord, we commit this decision into Your hands. No matter how much we think we can help, we know it is only by Your grace that we live and breathe. Your will in this situation.”

He lifted his head and looked down at Arianna’s strawberry blond head as it rested against his chest. She depended on him, but he depended upon God. So they would wait.

The phone continued to vibrate, the same message being displayed across the screen: Well?

After what seemed like hours, but was probably only minutes, a loud bang reverberated through the whole building.

Concussion bombs… Good idea.



The next thing Justin knew, he was waking up with a huge headache and the sound of someone beating on the bathroom door. “Hello in there? Are you okay?”

The door was so thick it sounded like it came from a long way away, but Justin made it out. “Yes, we’re fine. The man?”

“In custody,” a male voice returned.

Justin smiled. “Awesome!”

God had come through. And He always would.

He scooted up, the slight weight of Arianna keeping him down a bit. He shook her shoulder until she was roused enough to slide off his lap into a weak heap on the floor.

She looked up into his face, hers a mask of pure trust and joy. “God saved us Justin.”

He smiled down at her. “Yes. Yes He did.”


Monday, August 11, 2014

Chapter Twenty of Broken Dreams... Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!!

Don't forget to stop in at the Diamond Mine and check out our interview with the talented Julie B. Cosgrove.



 ~Chapter Twenty ~

Harry writhed on the floor, tears streaming down his face. His head pounded in excruciating pain, and now a cop was pushing him over onto his belly. He pulled his arms back and hand-cuffed him. Harry let out a tortured moan. “You’re hurting me,” he whined.

“Get over it Dirt Bag. This is nothing compared to what you’re going to be facing here pretty quick.”

Harry stopped sobbing and did his best to turn toward the cop. He couldn’t get turned over because the hefty officer had a knee in his back. “Wh…what do you mean?”

“You’re going to prison, jerk. You don’t do things like this and get away with it.” The cop pulled him up none too gentle-like and shoved him toward the top of the steps. Come on; let’s get this show on the road.”

Harry planted his feet, trying to stall the inevitable. “But it wasn’t me,” he protested.

“You’re an idiot, Harry. They can’t see me,” Adam laughed in scorn.

“But it was you, Adam,” Harry screamed. “This was all you.”

The police officer yelled, “Get some help up here. The Perp’s going off.”

Harry struggled now, trying to displace the cops hands. “Let me go. I can explain. Just give me a chance…”

A woman police officer  rushed up the stairs, pepper spray in hand. She pressed into the top and a steady stream spewed into Harry’s face.

He screamed. “Ow, it hurts.”

“Judy, call some muscle. I’m gonna have him carried out of here so nobody takes a tumble down those steps.” He gestured down the steep staircase.

“Got ya, Joe.” She pulled the mic attached by a cord to her mouth and called for help. Seconds later two strong young men came rushing up the steps.

Anger washed through Harry as the two men carried him down the steps as if he were nothing more than a ragdoll. He let Adam take over.

Adam fought the rage, wanting to keep calm enough to speak. He took a deep breath and yelled in his low voice, “You all are a bunch of imbecilic idiots. Don’t you know you can’t cage us? You may have us down now, but we’ll be back!”


Justin pulled into the parking lot of the police station, heart hammering against ribs that felt too close. He couldn’t wait to see the look on Arianna’s face when she saw her baby. He hoped they would let her hold him. Wouldn’t they be able to tell he belonged to her just by seeing them together?

Arianna sat up and looked around. “Are we there?”

Tenderness washed through him at how innocent and expectant she looked. “Yes.” He didn’t resist the urge to bend down and plant a kiss on her small, upturned nose. Almost loath to remind her, he asked, “You do remember you won’t be able to take him tonight, right?”

Her face fell. “Yes. In a way I think it’s stupid, but I also understand why, but I just want to take him home and hold him in my arms. It feels like an eternity sense I last held him.”

Her huge, haunted eyes filled with tears and  Justin reached over and hugged her, giving her skeletal back a comforting rub. “I’m sure you’ll be able to see him every day.”

Her lips curled at the edges. “Do you think so?”

“I do. Come on, let’s go.” He got out and helped her out, pulling her close to his underarm, wanting to protect her, and help her into the building.

Mary Jo walked just behind the newly married couple. In an overly happy tone, she said, “Can you believe the ordeal is almost over?”

Arianna turned to look at the nurse, still walking forward. “I can’t, but I’m so happy it is. I didn’t think I would ever get out of there alive.” She looked up at Justin. “And to think my father might’ve had something to do with it is enough to turn my stomach.”

Mary Jo gasped and Justin looked down at her in surprise.

“Yeah, I overheard you two talking. At first I was angry, but the more I thought about it the more sense it made. I can remember my mom and dad fighting like cats and dogs around the time I was kidnapped. Dad had gambled away most of the estate and they were close to financial collapse. My dad wanted to tell everybody. He said it would be less humiliating to tell it themselves rather than let people find out on their own and make up their own reasons why it happened. But my mom wouldn’t hear it. She insisted he keep it a secret.” She shrugged. “And if that’s the reason my dad had me kidnapped, I wonder how she’ll feel. If she feels anything at all.

Justin gave her slight shoulders a comforting squeeze as he opened the door and followed her inside. “I hope we’re wrong and he had nothing to do with it. I can’t imagine anyone’s parents allowing something like that to happen, let alone orchestrating it.”

Arianna shook her head in agreement. “Me too, but something tells me my parents did. At least one of them.”

They walked up to the first counter and Justin did all the talking. He explained what had transpired and told the plump woman behind the counter they wanted to see the baby. He moved Arianna in front of him and gestured down at her. “This is his mommy.”

The woman stared down at the computer screen in front of her, moving fake-nailed fingers swiftly over the attached keyboard. After a couple minutes she looked up, made a sympathetic tsking noise. “I’m sorry sir. Ma’am. Child protective services picked the baby up an hour ago. You’ll have to go through the proper channels to resolve this.”

Anger rose within Justin and he tried to tamp it down, but wasn’t entirely successful. “They knew we were coming. The police officer told me to bring Arianna here.”

The lady cop nodded. “I understand what you’re saying, but there’s nothing I can do. The baby’s gone.”

Arianna collapsed against his shoulder, sobs of sorrow issuing forth from her tensed body. She looked up into his eyes, the  devastation in her own almost unbearable to look at. “I want my baby.”

He patted her awkwardly. “I know, honey. So do I.”

“Please Justin. Make them bring him here.”

In that moment he knew if it were possible, he would make it so.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's that time again...


         Don't forget to stop by the Mine today.

        As always, some pictures to enjoy in case you don't like the story. (Hahahaha!!)



~ Chapter Nineteen ~
Justin was so excited the trip to the cabin went by in a flash. He pulled into the driveway and turned the truck off.
He sat for a moment, taking in the reality of his situation. He was married. His wife was in the house waiting on him. On news of her son. A warm feeling washed through him when the image of the tiny baby flashed in his mind. He was also a daddy. Was he ready for that? Yes.
He got out and ran up the four steps to the porch and opened the door. “Honey, I’m home,” he called.
Laughter met his silly entrance. He stood in the doorway and looked down at his new wife, who lay on the couch. She wasn’t near as pale as she’d been before and he said a silent prayer of thanks to God. “You’re looking lovely.” He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. She didn’t pull away, and he smiled. Maybe they could really do this marriage thing.
Arianna’s face turned blood red. “Thanks. Do you have anything good to tell?”
Justin felt his wide grin grow so much he imagined his face splitting.
Arianna’s hands came together, and she gasped. “Did you find Chance?”
He nodded.
Arianna wrestled with the light blanket covering her slight body, trying to get up. “Oh Justin, I knew you would.”
Surprise filled him. “You did? Because I didn’t.” He laid a gentle hand on her shoulder to keep her lying down.
Arianna tried to look around him. Confusion settled on her bony face. “Where is he?”
He held up his hands. “I have to take you there first, Arianna. They want to make sure he’s yours so they’re doing a DNA test.”
Her face fell. “But that takes weeks.”
“I know, Sweetie, but that’s what has to happen.”
Fat tears of grief pooled-up and poured down her cheeks. Compassion filled him. She’d been through so much. Why couldn’t they just let her have her baby?  “I’ll tell you what; I’ll ask if you can at least be with him while they wait for the results.”
She shook her head. Why would they do that? I mean, what if it turned out I wasn’t his mom?”
“I don’t know, but we can ask.” He looked over at Mary Jo. “Let’s get her ready to go back to the city. The sooner we get the ball rolling, the sooner she can have the baby back.”
Mary Jo already had a zippered bag in hand. She was stuffing clothes and toiletries in it as he spoke.
“Have I told you what a gem you are, Mary Jo?”
She laughed. “I think so, but you can do it again.”
“Well you are. I’m so glad God put you in our paths. We couldn’t have found a better nanny for the baby.”
Her eyebrows rose. “You mean you want me on a permanent basis?”
He nodded. “Unless you don’t want to for some reason. I mean, I don’t want to try to force you to do something you don’t want to.”
“Oh, no, I want to,” she beamed.
“Good, good.” He leaned down and picked up his wife. “Let’s go get our son.”
Arianna whispered, “Thanks Justin.”
He laid his lips against her brow as he settled her in his arms. “You’re welcome.” He pushed the handle on the screen door and pushed it open with his foot.
As excited as Arianna was, she fell asleep soon after he pulled out of the driveway. It was going to take a lot of recuperating for her to get back to normal. Whatever that was for her. Sadness filled him that he didn’t know. He wanted to know everything about her. Now. He didn’t want to wait. His thoughts caused a small chuckle to escape.
Mary Jo asked, “What’s so funny?”
He shook his head. “Nothing really. I was just laughing at myself for being impatient to know Arianna.”
The nurse nodded. “I know what you mean. She seems to be a wonderful person. Only God could keep someone in her position from turning into a basket case, or a monster.”
“I believe you’re right.” Justin wanted to confide his suspicions  about Arianna’s dad to the nurse, but was a bit undecided. He shrugged. Oh well. He needed to tell someone before he burst at the seams. Glancing over at her, he said, “Mary Jo, if I tell you something, will you keep it private? At least for now?”
She sat up straight. “Of course. What is it?”
He gazed at Arianna’s still form to make sure she was asleep. “I have a strange feeling Arianna’s dad had something to do with what’s going on.”
Mary Jo leaned over and stared hard at Justin without saying anything.
He felt as if he’d made a mistake, but it was too late now.
Finally, she asked, “What do you mean?”
He glanced at Arianna’s sleeping form once more, liking the feel of her head resting against his shoulder. “I mean, I think maybe he sold her, somehow.”
“Why on earth would you think that?”
He shook his head. I’m not sure. It’s just a feeling, but a strong one. I mean, don’t you think he acted strange around her?”
Mary Jo seemed to be digesting his words. After a few moments, she shook her head. Yeah, come to think of it, I do. I remember thinking he wasn’t as happy to see her as he let on. But Justin, who would do that to their own flesh and blood?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know, Mary Jo, but we have to find out somehow if it’s true. If it is, I don’t want him around us.”
“I don’t either. Are you going to tell Arianna your suspicions?”
He shook his head. “No, not yet anyway.”
Arianna lay against his shoulder, taking in his words. Could it be?