New Book Day!

Hey everyone, Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas to you all. I love this time of year, the music, the lights, and just the overall feeling that accompanies the holiday season. I hope you and your loved ones are having a great one, so far.

I’m really excited today. A very dear friend of mine, Angela Morales, is officially a published author! Her book, Beyond the Stars: The Lost Child, is out on Amazon in both e-reader format and in paperback. She and the team that worked with her on it did such an amazing job getting everything ready.

the-lost-child-cover-kindle

With her blessing, I’m able to share with you the first chapter of her story right here! In a tale about love, friendship, and the beginnings of a galactic revolution, I hope you enjoy this preview as much as I did.

Chicago

It was a cold winter night in Chicago, and a snow storm was making its final rounds around a small humble neighborhood. Just a few hours before, fireworks filled the sky as people celebrated New Years. Liam Preston paced through the kitchen of his small townhome, frantically taking quick sips from his tea cup, and then scribbling some notes on an old legal pad on the table. Liam’s wife of seven years, Marjorie Preston, was sound asleep upstairs. All he could hear was the ticking of the kitchen clock, and the wind whistling at the window. Suddenly, a high pitch sound began piercing through his head – one that no one else could hear but him. His large built body dropped to the floor as he clutched his head in agony, leaving shattered pieces of his tea cup all across the kitchen floor. Marjorie rushed down the stairs in a panic.

“Liam? Are you okay?!”

Marjorie knelt down next to her husband to help him up when they were both startled by the doorbell.

“Shhh,” he whispered as he put one finger over his mouth and tried to regain his strength from the fall.

Cold horror struck Marjorie. It was ten ‘til three in the morning, and they hardly knew anyone in Chicago. “Who could it be at this hour – in the middle of a snow storm?” she asked, softly.

Liam cautiously signaled for his wife to stay in the kitchen.

“I’ll check it out.” He reassured her. “Maybe someone is lost.”

Marjorie grabbed a kitchen knife and followed her husband, trying to remain unnoticed. To their utter surprise, no one was at the door.

“Liam…Liam!” she yelled in a frantic whisper.

“Marjorie, I told you to stay in the kitchen!” he said through gritted teeth. “It’s a package…,” Liam said curiously.

On the doorstep was a basket with a bundle of blankets.

“What is it?” Marjorie asked as she stood near the staircase. She relaxed her sweaty palms that still held a butcher knife.

“I’m not sure…,” his words barely audible.

Liam brought in the package and closed the door quickly, bringing in a rush of cold air that made Marjorie tighten her robe. Although she remained mysteriously nervous, she suddenly felt foolish and set the knife down on a nearby end table. All of Chicago isn’t sleeping on New Year silly! Maybe it’s a gift from someone festive? She thought to herself. But who? They didn’t have many friends.

“What is it, Liam?” Marjorie began walking towards her husband and sat beside the package as her husband rummaged through the pile of heavy blankets.

Suddenly a baby’s cry was heard!

Marjorie gasped as tears filled her eyes. “Liam. Who would do this?!”

Liam was silent and pensive.

“It’s a girl,” Marjorie said, as the memory of not being able to have her own child made her heart and stomach drop.

The baby’s eyes were like emerald beads that left Marjorie mesmerized. She locked eyes with the infant – those green crystals were more beautiful than anything she’d ever seen. Marjorie picked her up and held her close, and the baby’s cries quieted. Her skin was like porcelain, and her black silk hair made waves around her little face. Her hair was more abundant than any average newborn, making her look like a heavenly cherub.

Liam looked at his wife and then walked to the window to look out cautiously, as if waiting to find someone on the snow-filled sidewalk looking back at the house.

Liam slowly walked over to his wife Marjorie who was still cradling the green eyed angel. She rocked her and gently played with her curls. Liam noticed something hanging out of the blanket. He slowly reached down and held up a piece of jewelry that had been tucked safely in the basket. The pendant danced in the dim light from a small gold chain, but the inscription was in a foreign language. Liam squinted to make out what it read on the other side. “Inanna…,” he said as he turned pale. He stared at the pendant and laid it across the palm of his hand, as if he were trying to solve a riddle. Swallowing hard he placed the pendant on the coffee table and looked back at his wife.

Marjorie didn’t break her gaze from the baby. “That’s a beautiful name. Inanna…,” she whispered. The helpless baby girl suckled on her fist.

“I’ll call the police,” Liam rushed to the phone.

“Wait!” Marjorie looked up at her husband. “This is a sign Liam. We’ve been trying so hard…what if she’s God-sent?”

“She’s someone’s child, Marjorie. We can’t just keep her. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that,” Liam said as he lovingly caressed his wife’s face.

“But it’s a girl…” A tear strolled down Marjorie’s face and she smiled in disbelief.

“If they can’t find her parents, then we will talk to the police about keeping her until they find someone who can take her. We don’t know where she came from.” Liam said with a worried look on his face.

“Who would leave their child on a doorstep? It must have been desperation. She looks well cared for. She looks healthy.” Marjorie looked down at the baby and kissed her forehead.

Liam just looked at his wife as she lovingly rocked the baby. His eyes were full of love and hope, and he smiled warmly at the sight. After a moment, he looked back down at the pendant that now lay on the table. He walked back to the window to cautiously look outside again. Still, the streets and sidewalks were only full of the snow from the storm. No one stood nearby. The neighborhood was quiet, except for the light posts and dim lights coming from inside some of the homes. He let out a sigh of relief and walked over to his wife. He lovingly held her, as she cradled the baby in her arms. The Preston home felt different, and Liam knew it would be forever changed.

If you’d like to learn more about Angela’s story, pop on over to: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0Q3RH6/.

Thanks for stopping by today and supporting Angie in her writing pursuits. I know she appreciates it very much!

-Jeremy

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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/jcroston2 (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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