About the Book
Genre: Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, LDS, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
True, it was her prison, but it was also her sanctuary.
Where can you turn when your house is not safe? In a small coastal town in Oregon, Amber and Kelly know the deadliest people sleep down the hall. As they attempt to escape the violent, domineering men in their lives, despair fights against faith and hope as an introduction to the Book of Mormon promises them a haven they can’t find in their homes. But getting out of these abusive situations is not as easy as it appears. With their lives spiraling out of control, can they have faith that God’s grace will save them?
About the Author
Shannon Symonds announces her first book, “Safe House,” a 2017 Whitney Award Nominee released by Cedar Fort Publishing and Media in July of 2017.
Shannon worked for 15 years as an Advocate. Shannon lives in a small seaside town where she works, writes, runs and paints. She believes the word can be changed one heart at a time and then even small acts can make a difference.
Check out the author interview HERE.
Grace drove up the winding road, high among large new homes. They sat along the edge of the lush Oregon forest on the Pacific Coast Range Mountains. She didn’t have to look too hard for the address. An ambulance and two lit up police cars, lights silently rotating, marked the last home at the top of the steep road. Light spilled from every window and the open front door. Ancient pines and a dark old growth forest swayed in the wind behind the house. On the front porch a woman was arguing with a medic, holding a bloody rag to her face…
…Making her way to the house, she walked between patrol cars and crossed the lawn. The ambulance driver had a clipboard and was trying to explain to Emily, the victim, that she needed to sign a waiver stating she was refusing services. Ignoring the ambulance driver and looking at Officer Hart, Emily was speaking and gesturing rapidly, demanding they leave her alone.
The officer she was spitting mad at was young and good-looking. Grace didn’t know how anyone could yell at Hart. His name was absolutely appropriate. Seeing Grace, he half-smiled, showing dimples, looking grateful for the interruption.
Flashing her own half-grin, her color rose. Looking down, she hoped he hadn’t noticed.
Sneak Peek of Book #2
Grace James had a smile painted on her face, but her nylons had gradually fallen until she was sure the crotch was at her bony knees and below the hem of her skirt. She had been wearing two hour high heels for four hours and her feet begged for mercy. She stood tall, at the end of her thirties, long blond hair sprayed into submission, on the stage next to her boss in the old Victorian Church, now the Bay City Performing Arts Center.
Grace’s boss Eunice had the microphone. Her gray bob looked purple in the spotlight. She took off her bedazzled cat eye glasses, letting them hang on their eyeglass chain and said to the audience at the annual Mother’s Day for a Safe House fundraiser, “Next I want to introduce our senior advocate Grace James who has worked over ten years as our lead domestic and sexual assault advocate. When victims of abuse are in need we can count on Grace.”
Grace wasn’t used to being center stage. Most of her life was spent working quietly behind the scenes, helping survivors of abuse, and that was how she liked it. She loved everything about her job, including the anonymity.
Would it be rude to just say, give us your money so we can get back to work? Grace thought. She wondered if the tall woman at the refreshment table was going to finish off all Mrs. Granderson’s lemon bars before Eunice stopped talking.
“We could not do what we do without dedicated senior advocates like Grace and Karen. When the phone rings, no matter what time of day they go to the scene of assaults or the hospital to meet survivors and give them options, empower them, putting them first, ahead of her own needs.” Eunice actually wiped tears from her eyes.
Grace stayed on stage while her boss talked about the rest of the staff, but her thoughts wandered home to the mountains of laundry waiting to be folded. She checked the wall clock and began wishing she was home watching movies and folding laundry with her girls until the sound of hail brought her right back to reality.
Hailstones started pelting the large stained glass windows in the ancient assembly hall. Every head turned to look at the row of 20-foot windows lining both sides of the room as a cascade of stones threatened to break through the glass. The echo was deafening and then ended almost as quickly as it started.
Her boss started talking again when Grace silently stepped out of her shoes, her eyes rolling back in bliss and sighing as she smiled. A snicker ran through the audience and an older woman on the front row covered her husband’s eye’s. Eunice turned around and realized what had happened. She shot Grace a look, but without skipping a beat, she turned back around and said, “Well I guess that’s my cue to start the bidding. Senator White will start the auction with a Deep-Sea fishing trip generously donated by the Jensen family of Jensen, Jensen and Olsen fishing.”
Senator White, larger than life in her XXL black dress, sensible shoes, short spiky gray hair and Clark Kent style glasses took the stage. Karen and Eunice exited the stage, leaving Grace trying to put her feet back in her shoes without success. She had to bend over and pick up her heels without flashing anyone. As she stooped, she realized she had a one inch wide run on her black nylons. From the wings, her boss gave her a look, sighed and shook her head as Grace scurried off stage.
***NOTE: The working title for book two is FINDING HOPE by Shannon Symonds. This book is not currently under contract and is in a draft form (although it has been to an editor).
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