The Return of a Guest Fox
By Jeff Salter
When I found out my friend Sharon Connell had completely revised and re-released her Christian Romantic Suspense novel, There Abideth Hope, a couple of months ago, I told her she’d have to return to 4F1H for another Hound Day Guest Author visit.
“But I was already featured on your blog earlier this year,” she protested.
“Uh, well… which novel did we feature back in February?” I asked.
“I believe it was Paths of Righteousness,” she replied.
“Cool. When it’s a different title, I suspend the once-per-year rule,” I replied… after checking my Hound Day Regulations.
Anyway, let’s get right to it. First I asked Sharon to tell us how she came to write this story originally. Then you’ll see the brand new cover and the blurb. Next is the exciting new trailer… which makes the story sound a bit like a thriller. Then you’ll see Sharon’s photo and a brief bio blurb. Finally, there’s a short excerpt from the new edition.
But before I leave you to begin this journey, let me put in a plug for Sharon’s monthly newsletter. To me, it’s more of a magazine… with articles about writing, usually a poem or two, a monthly humorous piece (sometimes by yours truly), plus updates on Sharon’s writing projects. To see the new issues as they’re released, you need to sign up, which can be done here:
I’d be pleased if you subscribed to my monthly newsletter, Novel Thoughts, written for writers and readers. A variety of articles for anyone and everyone. Subscription form is in the right hand column on the first page of my website.
How I came to write this story:
This story came about because my dear friend and fellow-author, Alan O’Reilly, who had been proofreading and editing for me through my first two novels, fell in love with a minor character from book two. While I was tied up with the final touches of that book, he insisted I start a story about her but got impatient. He started the story without me, sending me scenes for my approval. Eventually the story was written by both of us, and because of all the changes made to the original manuscript, it did become my novel. Still, I have to credit Author, Alan O’Reilly, for being the pesky instigator of There Abideth Hope. And I’m so glad he was.
While attending the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Illinois, Chicago Campus, Lynne Temple witnesses the murder of one of her professors, an execution orchestrated by a master criminal known only as The Piper. Although his accomplices are convicted, The Piper escapes.
Upon discharge from the military, Lynne settles on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico in Pensacola, Florida and finds love. She also experiences déjà vu when an attempted murder takes place at the hospital where she works. Is The Piper involved?
As a storm brews off the Gulf Coast, rebellious teens, rave parties, and human trafficking add to the dangers Lynne and her boyfriend Nick face trying to help authorities locate a group of missing young people. Will Lynne and Nick survive to see their new love grow?
Exciting trailer for There Abideth Hope
Sharon K. Connell writes stories about people who discover God will allow things in their lives to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and/or increase their faith. Her genre is Christian Romance Suspense, always with a dose of humor and sometimes a little mystery. She also writes short stories in other genres (soon to be published).
Excerpt from There Abideth Hope [Chapter Two, Scene Two]
The stairwell door opened and closed again. Lynne peered down the hallway toward the sound. The doctor must have meant visitors, not visitor. Who could they be…and, now that she thought about it, why had both used the stairwell under repair instead of the elevator?
Wouldn’t Walter have directed them to the elevator or, at least, had them use the other stairs? Did he even know they were in the building? But he’d have to know, or how had they gotten in with the doors locked?
Lynne left the chair and tiptoed to the second hall. A mammoth planter housing an overgrown indoor palm in a shallow alcove at the corner screened her as two men in dark suits huddled under the red light at the stairwell door. Lynne hushed her breathing.
The glow over them distorted their features. Devilish. Thank God darkness cloaked her hiding place. A shiver ran through her, and she bit her bottom lip. What kind of business would they have with her professor?
As they came closer to the whitish glow of Dr. Lindstrom’s office, the heavyset man with short-cropped salt and pepper hair, a prominent chin, and slightly curved nose, glanced at his watch. In his other hand, he carried a dark briefcase. He spoke in a low tone, but his words traveled right to Lynne along the smooth corridor walls. “Fifty minutes for the guard to complete his rounds.” He turned to his broad-shouldered companion. “He starts on the tenth floor, so it’ll be at least thirty minutes before he gets here. That gives us plenty of time.”
Lynne narrowed her eyes. Plenty of time…for what? Obviously, these men were familiar with the medical building and Walter’s routine.
The bald man nodded as he handed something to the other. “I took care of the security camera after the boss sent me to help you. Are you sure there’s no one else in the building, Epstein?”
The man called Epstein opened the briefcase and placed the object inside. “I’ve had it under surveillance all day, except for the few minutes it took me to fix the door lock. Everyone but the doc and guard has left the building.”
Lynne shook her head. Why watch this building? He must not have seen her come in. Fixed the door lock?
“Let’s go, Cathcart.” They entered Dr. Lindstrom’s office.
When the office door clicked shut, Lynne inched her way along the carpet. Should she find Walter and report this? Report what? Maybe I’m just imagining something’s wrong.
From the hall, Lynne peered through the edge of the glass door. Dr. Lindstrom rose as the man called Epstein placed his briefcase on the desk behind the computer screen and flipped it open. The doctor lowered himself into his chair. Cathcart stood at the far side of the desk. Her professor craned his neck, looking toward the case, but Epstein closed the lid.
Drat. Can’t hear them. If she opened the door just a crack—