A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns at this time is for sale on the publisher's website and on this website at the links below. The official release date was January 5th.
Follow the story of a woman's journey from domestic abuse - through healing - to forgiveness.
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LaRae's hands trembled as she slowly hung up the phone. She rose from her chair—the caller’s mysterious words still fresh in her thoughts. Gazing out her apartment window she pondered over the conversation. The familiar scenery spread out before her as the autumn colored leaves danced about in the breeze. LaRae watched as a slender woman who appeared to be in her middle twenties carefully took the hand of the young girl standing beside her. Before crossing the street below, she waited for traffic to clear and then headed for the same apartment building LaRae has lived in for the past year and three months. She recognized them as the mother and daughter who occupied the apartment below her. Though she kept her own identity concealed from others, not allowing anyone too close, she made it a point to know as much as she could about the people living around her.
Watching the mother and young child brought back memories—memories of when she first left James. Memories that left her frightened and unmistakably void of all emotions except fear. He had treated her like a small child, making her believe she didn’t even know how to cross the street by herself without written directions. In time James had totally dominated her life to the point of telling her what to do, when to do, what to wear and whom she could speak with. She was allowed no friends and no contact with anyone outside of James.
In the beginning of the marriage he would give little excuses for why she could not visit with her family or friends. At first, her visits would always coincide with important business functions or he would claim he forgot and made dinner reservations, therefore canceling out any plans she may have had. He started demanding she be home when he called or wanted her home when he was home. Each day he took away a little bit more of her freedom until one morning she woke up to find she had no freedom; she was a prisoner in her own home. That’s when she knew she had to escape, no matter the cost she had to get away and find her independence. She had to try and find herself.
The reality of the resent phone conversation brought her back to the present. Gradually, fear begins to creep in like the cold on a winter’s night. The color drained from her face and her whole body shivered as the totality of it hit home with her.
"No, no, no not again, please not again,” she cried.
Looking about the room, the urge to run completely consumed her. She had stayed at her present residence too long. Way too long—months now! Her awareness of her surroundings was growing more intense. The urge to look over her shoulder grew stronger with every passing minute. Had she become careless? She thought she had been so careful this time. She started pacing back and forth across the bedroom.
“Where did I mess up? Did I take the same route home too many times? Did I buy gas or groceries at the same place too many times? Where, oh where did I mess up? How did he find me?” LaRae kept agonizing over her present situation. Even though it wasn’t James’s voice on the phone, she knew it was someone working on his behalf and he now had her phone number.
Knowing what to do, she walked to the closet, removed her clothes from the hangers, and tossed them on the bed. For over five years now, LaRae had gone through this horrible scenario countless times. First came the phone call, then the hasty packing, and finally driving off to who knows where in the middle of the night, never to look back, again. LaRae began to cry as she slowly sank to the floor.
“How could you be so careless? How could you let your guard down like that?” She kept chastising herself.
LaRae remained perplexed and unsettled over the phone conversation she had a few minutes ago. After thoroughly reviewing her actions, she knew she had been very careful to cover her tracks with the caution of a hunted animal. The horrors of the past five years had taught her to always be cautious and always be watchful for anything out of place, anything that wasn’t quite right. She had purposely taken assignments that would take her far from home and to remote areas, so that no one who had known her back then would even think to look for her in those areas. She was in one of those areas now and, yet, somehow James had gotten through.
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