PROLOGUE

The room gradually chilled as dusk turned into night, enclosing them in the comfort of darkness. The baby stirred and whimpered, and the young girl held her close, cradling her in her arms. “Shhh…” she shushed as she rocked gently back and forth. “We mustn’t wake Husband or Mother.”

Her gaze went to the bedroom door, her heart pounding and her thoughts muddled by the conversation she’d overheard. Her lower lip trembled as she whispered, “Husband is going to take a new bride, Hope. He told Mother he was leaving in the morning and would return before nightfall.”

She shuddered as an image of Isabella’s battered and bloody body crept into her mind. In less than a week, he would come for the child, and soon thereafter he would come for her, and two more graves would line the banks of Devil’s Creek.

That’s why the old woman has been starving me since the baby was born. She wants me weak so I can’t fight when she comes to take Hope. And even if I try to run, I won’t get far.

Holding the baby closer to her heart, she brushed her lips against the soft skin of her cheek and rolled onto her side as she searched for memories of her own mother. Her real mother, not the old bitch Husband forced her to call Mother. The effort caused an immediate headache. They had stripped her of everything over the years—even her own name.

“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me,” she whispered. “They told me I couldn’t name you, but I did. I called you Hope because that’s what you gave me.” Hope snuggled against her. “I’ll find a way to save you.”

A light snow was falling outside the window, and the temperature in the room continued to drop. God, if there was one, would show her the way to save the baby. She’d prayed for three years to die, and instead He’d given her a reason to live. A real God wouldn’t do that unless He had a plan, would He?

She closed her eyes and willed herself to sleep. With Husband gone, tomorrow would be the only chance she’d have to escape. Even if they froze to death, at least they’d be together, and freezing would be less painful than the torturous death the devil had planned for them.

Now available for pre-order!  Just click on the bookcover.  Release date March 7, 2017.

 

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