Thursday, July 2, 2009

Excerpt from Have Mercy by Earl Sewell


If you want to read a book that will take you on a rollercoaster ride, this one is it. Life throws everyone a lot of curveballs but Carmen, Luther, and Marshall have been thrown more than their share. Their three lives become connected in a horrible way, and yet they have to find a way to pull themselves from the ashes. I hope that you will give this book a chance. It has all 5-star reviews on as it rightfully should. Blessings, Zane


After his idyllic life is shattered, State Trooper Marshall Turner must learn how to find it in his heart to forgive the man who killed his daughter.

Marshall Turner’s life is a dream come true. He is married to a woman he passionately loves and who passionately loves him back. He has a beautiful daughter who makes his heart swell with pride. But all that gets taken away in the blink of an eye when Luther Parker, a poorly educated and reckless man, kills Marshall’s beloved daughter in a horrible car accident. Unwilling to face the authorities for his crime, Luther flees into hiding. But living as a fugitive is never easy, especially since the police have launched a massive manhunt to track him down.

Meanwhile, Marshall’s marriage becomes increasingly strained by grief – and his wife leaves him. His life spirals further out of control as he becomes more and more depressed. But over time, Marshall begins a hot new romance with Carmen, a worldly woman who has survived her fair share of heartache. But just when life is getting sweet, Marshall finally gets a chance to confront Luther – and enforce his own brand of justice.

In Have Mercy, the national bestselling and award-winning author delivers it all with this riveting tale full of eroticism, romance, drama, and suspense.



Carmen’s period was two weeks late so she went out to the pharmacy and purchased a home pregnancy test to confirm suspicions. When she got back into the house, she was delighted Luther hadn’t yet made it home. They’d just gotten married and already he’d changed on her. He was suddenly more distant and irritable for no apparent reason. He was much more tense, irritable, and bad-tempered. She assumed the sudden change in behavior was job related and once he got fully acclimated to his new responsibilities, he’d turn back into the man she’d grown to love. Carmen went into the bathroom, slid the pink-and-white shower curtain all the way back, and sat on the side of the bathtub. She read the instructions carefully, being certain that she didn’t miss a step. She took the test and waited for the results.

When the little plus sign began to form, Carmen shouted out with joy. She’d been longing for the day when the situation was right to have a baby and start a family. Now that she was married and both she and her husband were working, it was the perfect time, in her mind, to begin. Ever since she was a young girl, she’d wanted two children, a girl and a boy. She’d already given great thought to their names. Her son would be named Nicholas and her daughter Roslyn.

“Yes, yes, yes!” she squealed out loud with joy.

The realization that she was going to become a mother exhilarated her so much she changed her clothes and rushed out the door. She had to go to a mall. She had to look at things for the baby. Her thoughts were racing as she imagined all the things she and Luther would need to get. They would have to sell her one-bedroom condo and buy a house. She got into her car, cut down the side street, turned onto Fifty-fifth Street, and headed west toward Cicero Avenue. She was going out to Sears at Ford City Mall. They had a nice selection of baby furniture, clothes and accessories. Although it was too early to spend any serious money, she felt compelled to buy something for the baby: a bib, a blanket, a rattle, or maybe a book.

“I need to make an appointment with my doctor,” she reminded herself as she drove. “I need to see about getting some maternity clothes. I need to start saving more money and do a budget plan.” Carmen was calculating approximate costs of everything in her head. “I need to call my real estate agent so he we can put the condo on the market and start looking for a new one. Luther will have to throw a fresh coat of paint on all of the walls so everything looks neutral.

“I need to plan a special candlelight dinner so I can tell Luther the great news,” she continued to talk out loud. He’s going to make a good father, she thought. He’s patient, caring, loving and doesn’t raise his voice too much, which is a good thing because children can be so frightened by the sound of a loud, threatening, male voice.

When Carmen walked into Sears, she headed straight for the baby section. Everything she saw was cute and adorable to her. While looking at teething toys, she saw another woman who appeared to be in her early thirties and was in the late stages of her pregnancy. Her husband was pushing a shopping cart close behind her. They were looking at the baby strollers trying to decide which one they wanted. Carmen began fantasizing for a moment. In a few short months, she and Luther would be shopping together for their child. My baby is going to be spoiled rotten, she thought. Just like Momma and Daddy spoiled Nikki and me. Then her mind drifted for a moment when she thought about Nikki. She hadn’t talked to her sister since she’d gotten jammed up and had to bail her out of jail. When Nikki took off and didn’t pay her back the bail money, Carmen had caught up with Nikki at Big Daddy’s.

“Nikki,” she’d called out her name as she walked into the dressing room where all of the dancers changed outfits, “I need to have a word with you.”

“What are you doing, coming down here to my job?” Nikki had asked, full of attitude.

“Bitch, you owe me five hundred dollars and I need my money,” Carmen had snapped out on her sister.

“Newsflash for you, Carmen. If I truly had your money, I would’ve given it to you. I don’t have it, okay?” Nikki had said, totally annoyed.

“No. Bitch, you said you were making tall-ass dollars up in here. Now I want my damn money.”

“Carmen. I don’t have it right now. What part of that don’t you understand?” Nikki didn’t seem to care that she’d put Carmen in a bind.

“Nikki, I really need my money. So you’d better stop bullshitting and give it to me,” Carmen had demanded as more of a threat than a request.

“Look. Let me make this clear enough so that even your dumb ass can understand. I used you, Carmen, to get out of jail. You like rescuing people, so I let you rescue me. You like being the superwoman who comes in to save the day. You’ve missed your calling. You should be working for the Red Cross or some other disaster relief agency.” Nikki had paused briefly. “I told you I had the money so that you would drive me back to the car before something happened to it. I don’t have your money and I have no plans of giving it back to you.”

“You are such a bitch, Nikki.”

“Well. I’ve been called worse by better people,” Nikki had responded defiantly.

“What happened to you? You don’t care about anybody but yourself. How did you get this way?” Carmen had asked as Nikki put on a long, blonde wig.

“That’s life, baby. You’ve got to look out for number one. Packard taught me that,” Nikki had boasted proudly.

“Momma and Daddy are probably turning over in their graves at the way you turned out. You’re a disgrace to the family. ”

“What? Like your shit don’t stank?” Nikki had pointed her finger in Carmen’s face. “You’re the one who sent Daddy to his grave, not me!” Nikki’s words had cut Carmen to her core.

“You shouldn’t have said that, Nikki.” Carmen’s heart had swelled with emotional rage.

“Well, it’s the damn truth. I saw the autopsy report you tried to hide from me, Carmen. And I read it.” Nikki had worked her neck.

“What?” Carmen had answered her with surprise.

“That’s right; I said I saw it. The report said that had Daddy been able to get medical assistance, he would have lived. It’s your fault he died, Carmen. All because you couldn’t pick up a phone and dial nine-one-one. Daddy sat on that kitchen floor all night by himself, suffering and bleeding to death because your ass didn’t know what to do. I had to go down there the next morning and find him like that. I was the one who called for help when it was too late. I was the one who cleaned up fucking blood stains. And ever since that day, nothing has been right in my life. You allowed my daddy to die! And because of that, Carmen, nothing in your life will ever go right. Something will always go wrong. No matter how hard you try to make things right by rescuing someone!”

“Nikki, I…” Carmen was in tears.

“You know what, Carmen. I consider Frieda to be more of a sister to me than you. So as far as I’m concerned, we don’t ever have to see each other again.” Nikki had turned her back on her sister and walked away. Nikki’s words cut Carmen deeply. She couldn’t defend herself against what Nikki had said; all of it was true.

“Do you feel better, now that you’ve gotten that off of your chest?” Carmen had asked.

“Get lost, Carmen,” Nikki had said, as she exited the dressing room.

“I’ll always be here for you, Nikki,” Carmen had mustered up the courage to say between her tears.

Thinking about Nikki and her issues gave Carmen a migraine. She refocused her energy and thought about the baby that was growing inside of her and how she was going to break the exciting news to Luther.

When Carmen left work the following evening, she stopped at the store to pick up groceries for a romantic candlelight dinner. She planned to cook a dish called Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Casserole. She pushed the cart through the store, picking up the ingredients she needed: lasagna noodles, four boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, carrots, onions, broccoli, alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. She was about to pick up a bottle of wine but quickly remembered she was pregnant and drinking wine wasn’t a good idea.

Carmen greeted Luther at the door with hugs and kisses when he arrived home.

“Hey, baby.” Carmen kissed him on his lips, cheek, and then his neck.

“What’s in those bags you’re carrying? Are they presents for me?” Carmen tried to take the bags from him but Luther quickly moved them out of her reach.

“No. These are some tools from my old apartment. I’ll put them up,” he said, nervously.

“Okay, baby,” she said, sensing that something was slightly off with Luther. “After you do that, why don’t you go wash up for dinner? I’ve got a special surprise for you tonight.”

Carmen set Luther’s plate on the table and then closed the blinds in the dining room so she could light the candles. Once she got everything set, she sat down and waited for Luther to come out of the washroom. She found it odd that he was taking much longer than usual.

“Luther, honey, are you okay in there?” Carmen called out to him.

“Yeah. I’ll be out in a second.” When Luther emerged, Carmen could tell that he was surprised by all of the effort she’d gone through preparing dinner.

“What’s this all about?” Luther asked with an unmistakable edginess in his voice that Carmen picked up on right away. However, she decided to ignore it. She wasn’t about to let his new attitude ruin her evening.

“Sit down and relax,” she said.

Luther sat at the dinner table, feeling jittery. He didn’t touch his food.

“What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you eating? Did you eat already or something?” Carmen asked suspiciously.

Luther shoveled a heap of food into his mouth. “No. I’m fine.”

“Luther, we have to be able to communicate. Without communication, we will run into problems. Now, baby, if something is bothering you, tell me so we can work it out.”

“Carmen, I said, I’m okay. Nothing is wrong.” Luther raised his voice at her and she didn’t like it. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you. I’m under a lot of pressure at work,” Luther lied. “I’m having some trouble adjusting to my new responsibilities, that’s all.”

“I understand. If I can do anything to help, let me know and I’ll be there for you, baby.”

“Thank you for offering, but I have to work through this on my own.”

“Well. I have some good news, baby,” Carmen said, scooting her seat back and walking over to the china cabinet. She opened up one of the drawers and pulled out a small gift box.

“I have a surprise in here for you.” Carmen giggled as she walked over to Luther, who scooted his seat back and motioned for her to sit on his lap. Carmen complied and handed him the box.

“You shouldn’t have, baby. I don’t need any presents. I have you and that’s all that matters to me.”

“Go ahead, open it.” Carmen was anxious. Luther opened the box and saw a Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too book with a note stuck to it that read, Daddy, will you please read to me?

Luther was not amused. “What in the hell is this?”

“We’re going to be parents.” Carmen smiled at him. “I’m pregnant, baby.” Carmen hugged him.

Luther snatched her arms from around his neck and stood up, abruptly knocking over the chair. He looked at her like a madman. Carmen didn’t know what to make of his sudden change in behavior.

“How did this happen?”

“What do you mean, ‘how did this happen’? You know how it happened.” Carmen now raised her voice in anger; this was not the response she had expected.

“Vegas,” Luther hissed. “You purposely got pregnant in Vegas, didn’t you?”

“No, Luther, it wasn’t on purpose; it just happened. What are you so angry about? We’re married. It’s okay; that’s what married people do.”

“I told you from jump street that I didn’t want any damn kids.”

“Excuse me!” Carmen was pissed off now. “And you knew that I wanted to have children.”

“You knew I didn’t want to have children and you purposely got pregnant and I won’t take my words back!”

“I didn’t get pregnant by myself and you knew that I wasn’t taking anything. What is it with you and kids? Why don’t you want to have any?”

“Carmen, I—” Luther was interrupted by his cell phone. He looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Packard. “Shit!”

“Who in the hell is that?” Carmen demanded answers.

“That’s some business I have to handle,” Luther said as he answered the phone, rushing to pick up the bags he’d walked in with.

“Who is that, Luther?” Carmen demanded to know since Luther was acting strangely.

“Shhh!” Luther looked at her with murderous eyes. “Yeah. I’ll be right there,” Luther said and hung up the phone. He looked at Carmen as he moved toward the door.

“Get an abortion, Carmen. I’ll pay for it,” Luther said as he opened the front door.

“What did you just say to me?” Carmen asked for clarification.

“You heard me, Carmen. Get an abortion.”

“Fuck you, Luther! Go to hell, you bastard. I don’t believe you said that to me. I don’t believe that you told me to kill our baby.”

“Carmen, this is not a good time for us to have a kid! End of conversation!”


“I have my reasons, Carmen, and you really don’t want to know what they are.” Luther walked out the door.


Luther wished that he could tell Carmen about the jam he was in with Packard, but that would mean telling her his horrible secret. He didn’t want to break her heart and felt that keeping his dark secret away from her would protect it. To bring a child into a situation like the one he was in would most certainly end up in disaster. He’d make everything up to her somehow, someway, but right now, Packard had him between a rock and a hard place. And until he figured a way to get him off his back, that was the way things had to be.

Luther was doing exactly what Packard wanted him to do. Luther had obtained and used a master key to sneak into the medical storage area and steal needles and prescription drugs. But that wasn’t enough for Packard. He started giving Luther a list of pills his customers wanted like amphetamines known as uppers. Every time Luther saw Packard, the variety and quantity would increase. When Packard called Luther, he had to answer his phone no matter what time of the day or night.

“If I call you and you don’t answer the phone, I’m turning your motherfucking ass in. I’m not even going to hesitate. So you’d better stay in an area where you get damn good reception. If my dope comes up short, or if you fuck up my order, I’m turning your ass in. And when I’m ready for your wife to come suck my dick, she’d better suck on it like her life depends on it.”

“Packard, please. Can’t I just pay you the money back?” Luther asked once again.

“If you ask me that shit again, Luther, not only will I beat your motherfucking ass, I’m going to drive you to the police station my damn self. And if you ever think about running away or trying to turn me in, I’m going to have your ass taken out. Are we clear?”

“Yeah, man.”

When Luther exited the building, he walked across the street to where Packard was waiting with his henchmen. Luther handed the bags to one of the men sitting in the back seat.

“So tell me, Luther,” Packard asked, “Do you ever think about what you did? I mean, doesn’t that bother you? Doesn’t it eat away at your conscience?”

“I don’t want to talk about that, Packard,” Luther said softly.

“We’ll talk about whatever I want to, Luther. I know you. I helped to raise you, boy! I know you’re afraid to fuck up. You don’t like being the cause of something going wrong or the person that is blamed. You feel too guilty. You can thank your mother for making you feel that way. So now tell me. How do you feel about killing someone?” Luther’s jaws grew tight because he didn’t want to relive what he’d done.

“I don’t think about it.”

Packard laughed and then reached for a package and handed it to Luther.

“That’s what I thought. Here.” Packard handed him the package. “I took the liberty of keeping all of the newspaper articles that were written about the murder. Read them. The next time I see you, I want you to tell me how you feel.” Packard laughed and then took off.
Luther continued to steal for Packard for months. He was stealing so much that hospital administrators asked the Cook County Sheriff’s Department to investigate. It frightened the hell out of Luther because it meant it was now going to be difficult, if not impossible, to continue stealing for Packard. He had to stop, or else he’d be caught, and imprisoned.

Angry with how his life was currently going, Luther took out a lot of his frustration on Carmen, who had completely ignored his demand to get an abortion. Luther did everything he possibly could to make her do want he wanted and refused to be involved in any aspect of the pregnancy. He didn’t go shopping or to the doctor with her, and refused to sign up for Lamaze class. As she got further along with her pregnancy, he criticized and belittled her. Carmen had finally had enough of Luther’s antagonistic ways and decided that if her marriage was going to work, she needed to rescue it.

“Luther,” Carmen said to him one evening while they were watching sitcoms, “we need to get some help. I want us to see a marriage counselor.”

“I’m not going to see a marriage counselor, Carmen. I don’t need any help.”

“Luther, things between us are bad and I think we need to get some help.”

“No. Maybe you should get some help. You’re the one who has caused all of the stress in the marriage.” Luther pointed his finger in her face.

“Luther, the first thing we need to do is stop pointing fingers and blaming each other and find out what it’s going to take to get us back to happy. What would make you happy, Luther?”

“Putting that damn baby up for adoption. We don’t need it. We could go on with our lives and it would be just the two of us. You need to focus on me and my needs and not some baby’s needs.”

Carmen couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of Luther’s mouth. She was trying to figure out at what point his alternate personality had been born. What signs did she miss? Why wasn’t he happy to be having a baby? She wondered what horrible incident had taken place in his life that she didn’t know about.

“Is there something you need to tell me, Luther? Has something happened?” Carmen was trying to get to the root of his aggression.

“Like I said, I only want you to take care of me and my needs. There is not enough room in my heart for a baby.”

“Luther, I think you need to see a specialist,” Carmen said, and then left the room.

As the months continued, Luther realized that Carmen had no intentions of terminating the pregnancy. And by the beginning of the New Year, she gave birth to their son and named him Nicholas. A day after his son was born, Luther learned that the Cook County Sheriff’s Department had focused its criminal investigation on the hospital’s housekeeping staff. Luther knew it would not take them long to figure out he was the man they were searching for. So he beat them to the punch and resigned from his job.

Packard was furious that his free pipeline to prescription drugs was now severed. But instead of turning Luther in like he’d promised, he forced Luther to work for him indefinitely.

It was 7 p.m. and heavy snow had been falling for about an hour. Luther and Carmen were driving on the highway heading home from a suburban grocery store that they’d gone to before the snowstorm hit. Carmen turned around in her seat to make sure Nicholas, who had drifted off to sleep, was securely strapped into his car seat. Once she was confident that Nicholas was safe, she focused her attention on Luther and all of the bullshit he’d been putting her through. She’d found out that Luther was selling drugs and she wasn’t happy about it.

“After all of the hard work you’ve done going back to school and getting a degree, I can’t believe you want to blow it on something ignorant like being a damn drug dealer.”

“You don’t understand, Carmen. It’s not like that.”

“Well then, make me understand, Luther. What is it all about? I’ve been trying to understand you ever since we got married.”

“I can’t tell you, okay? I just can’t.”

Carmen folded her arms with disgust.

“Luther, I have really had it with you. I can’t go down this road with you. I can do bad by myself.”

“You can’t leave me, Carmen. I need a little more time to figure things out.”

“Figure what things out, Luther? You’ve been saying that shit for months and it has worn thin with me.” Carmen paused for a moment, waiting for his explanation. “Fuck it. You’re going to have to find a place of your own. You can do whatever it is you want to do. Just don’t come around to see me and the baby at all.”

Carmen’s words connected directly to Luther’s heart. Her words hurt him. The last thing that he wanted to do was lose her. All he wanted was for her to understand he was dealing with something he couldn’t tell her about. The fact that he couldn’t tell her made him edgy and he pressed the accelerator and picked up speed as he sped up an incline. The car fishtailed a little, but Luther quickly gained control over it.

“Slow down, Luther, you’re driving too fast in this snowstorm,” Carmen snapped.

“You don’t tell me what to do!” Luther shouted back and sped up even more.

“Luther! Slow down! The road is slick out here!”

Luther ignored her and went even faster down the other side of the incline.


“I got this! I’m tired of people telling me what to do all of the damn time,” Luther growled at Carmen and pinned the accelerator to the floor of the car.

“Luther! There are police lights ahead.”

Carmen pointed out of the window to the flashing lights of a squad car. Luther ignored her and refused to slow down. He zoomed past the state trooper and tried to switch lanes but quickly lost control of the car. The car spun around like a spinning top. Carmen braced her arm against the dashboard and screamed. Luther pressed hard against the brakes and kept turning the steering wheel, attempting to gain control, but he couldn’t. The car ran off the road and onto a frozen lake. The car spun around at a dizzying pace until it came to a complete halt about fifty yards from the shoreline. It was eerily silent and calm for a brief moment. Once she realized that she was alive, Carmen glanced over at Luther with murderous eyes before unloading on him.

“What the fuck is wrong with you!”

“Shhhh!” Luther held his hand up. He needed her to be quiet. He tried to turn the car around and drive back to shore but the ice wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight of the car. In an instant, the horrific roar of ice splitting a thousand ways began singing its gruesome melody.

“I’ve got to get out of here. This ice isn’t going to hold the car! I’m going to make a run for it!” Luther panicked and thought only of his own survival. He immediately unlocked the door, exited the car and ran as quickly as he could on the slick ice toward the shoreline.

“Luther!” Carmen called after him. He was crazy, but never, in her wildest dreams, did she think he’d leave her and the baby in such a life-or-death situation.

“Luther, get your ass back here and help me!” she called to him again, but Luther had disappeared into the driving snowstorm. Carmen quickly unlocked her seatbelt, turned around, got on her knees, and began to free Nicholas.

“Oh, God; oh, God!” Carmen yelled in terror as she fumbled with her son’s seatbelt. The moment Carmen freed Nicholas from his car seat, she heard a thunderous snap, followed by a violent jerk of the car. She twisted her body, glanced over her left shoulder, and saw that the nose of the car was about to drop below the surface. She immediately rolled down the window before turning back around and snatching Nicholas up in her arms. Her hasty movements caused the ice to groan even louder.


Marshall was on duty when the heavy snowstorm hit. Weather forecasters were predicting eight to ten inches. Marshall had pulled over and turned on his squad car lights in an effort to slow motorists driving down a slick incline. He was waiting for a snowplow to clear the roadway. As he waited, he spotted a car pass him at an alarming rate of speed. Before Marshall could even put his squad car back in gear, the driver lost control of the vehicle and drove straight into a nearby lake. Marshall immediately radioed in the location of the accident and requested emergency personnel. He then drove his squad car to the accident site and got out. He opened the trunk, grabbed some emergency blankets, and rushed to the shore. He saw a man rushing toward him in a hurry to get off of the thin ice. Marshall quickly rushed over to help the man. Several motorists who were passing by also pulled over to help.

“Were you the only one in the car?!” Marshall shouted into Luther’s ear as he tossed a blanket around him.

“No. My wife is still out there,” Luther said, as another motorist tossed a second blanket around him.

“Damn!” Marshall said, “What’s her name?”


“You.” Marshall pointed to another motorist who rushed over with a flashlight to help. “You make sure the fire department comes to this spot.”

“Yes, sir,” said the motorist.

“And shine the beam of the light out onto the dark lake so I will know where the shore is,” Marshall said as he prepared to walk out onto the thin ice.

“Okay,” the man said.

Marshall removed his gun belt and rushed off into the darkness, calling out to Carmen.

“I’m over here; help me, please! The car is sinking fast!” Carmen shrieked. When Marshall reached Carmen, she was desperately trying to get out the car through the passenger window but was having difficulty because she had an infant in her arms. Marshall knew that every second counted. The moment the car began taking on water, it would sink rapidly and take Carmen and her baby with it.

“Give me the baby.” Marshall reached out and took the child from Carmen so that she could escape more easily. Every maneuver Carmen made to get out caused the ice to crack and split some more. The sound was unsettling.

Once Carmen was out, Marshall said, “Let’s go now!”

He held on tightly to her son and they both began walking as briskly as they could on the slick and unsteady ice. Marshall heard a thunderous snap followed by the sound of the car sinking into the frozen lake.

“Keep moving!” Marshall urged Carmen to get ahead of him. “Don’t look back!” Marshall yelled. Carmen had just about made it to the shoreline when the ice buckled beneath her feet and sucked her down. Marshall immediately stopped moving because he couldn’t see where she’d fallen through. He heard a chorus of voices screaming and shouting, “Pull her out!”

Through the blinding snow Marshall could see the silhouettes of motorists and rescue workers who’d arrived on the scene frantically working to pull Carmen from the icy water.

“I’m over here!” Marshall shrieked. “Shine the light over here so I can see!”Within an instant there were lights shining on him. He saw that if he’d taken another four or five steps, he would’ve plunged into the icy water with the baby. Marshall took a few steps to the left and was unnerved by the moaning of the ice.

“Hurry! Run for it!” he heard one of the rescue workers shout. Marshall was able to take two steps before the ice caved in and swallowed him and Nicholas.

Marshall’s heart was thudding against his chest so hard and fast he feared it would burst from the electricity of adrenaline pumping through it. He held Nicholas close to his chest and kicked his legs ferociously in the icy water. Marshall kept kicking with all his might. He finally split the surface, and took a big breath of air before he rolled onto his back. He released the baby’s nose and heard Nicholas cough before he began crying.

With his last bit of breath, Marshall shouted, “Over here!”

He couldn’t hear his own voice because his ears were filled with water. Out of the corner of his eye, all he could see was a series of bright white lights shining his way.

“Over here!” he shouted out again as he shivered and twitched uncontrollably. Hypothermia would take over in a matter of moments if he and Nicolas didn’t get out of the water.

The icy water felt like a million ice picks jabbing him all at once. His legs began stiffening up and he felt as if he was going to go back under. Both his arms and legs felt like a sack of bricks, but he clutched Nicholas tightly, refusing to let him go. Marshall used only the strength in his legs to keep them afloat until help arrived. The last thing he wanted was to give up and sink into a dark watery tomb. At that moment, Marshall needed the miracle of an angel or some other type of divine intervention.

“Lena!” He screamed out his daughter’s name. “Help me!” At that very instant, Marshall felt hands pulling Nicholas away from him. Then he felt someone pulling him up and out of the water onto a small lifeboat. The last thing Marshall saw before he passed out was a fireman giving him the thumbs-up sign.

If you enjoyed reading this excerpt, please purchase it at your local bookstore or you can order it online at at this link:


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