Harper’s second chance at life will become a second stint in prison if anyone connects those two dead men to her.
New Hampshire, is as good a place as any to hide from the murderer
Harper left behind in Maryland. All she has to do is lie low and make
enough money to keep herself and Red alive until she can figure out who
her enemies are.
Jack Rossi isn’t sure what to make of his
beautiful new tenant and her confused grandfather. Something’s not
right, but the love he sees between them and the care she takes of the
old man convinces Jack they’re trustworthy. As drawn as he is to Harper,
she’s his tenant, so she’s off limits.
ex-boyfriend and Red’s grandson, needs to find his grandfather and get
his hands on the old man’s money before Derrick ends up with a bullet in
the skull. And when he gets his hands on Harper, she’ll be sorry for
what she’s put him through.
Harper and Jack grow closer,
but so do her enemies. If Harper can’t trust Jack with the truth, she
may lose more than just this glimpse of true love. She may lose her
freedom—or her life.
Her beauty once opened doors, but the felony conviction slams them shut.
Cloud used to love the gilded glamour of Las Vegas, but on the far side
of prison, she sees the cracks in the veneer. These days, she keeps her
head down and focuses on the elderly patients in her care. Even her new
wealthy east-coast boyfriend, Derrick, can’t entice her away. She’s
trusted men before, and look where that got her.
tries to brush off the feeling that she’s being watched. But when she’s
followed home one night and her pursuer gets within a hair’s breadth of
grabbing her, she knows it’s time to get away from Las Vegas.
Derrick can be trusted. Maybe his job offer—to care for his aging
grandfather in Maryland—will be the second chance she needs.
But Derrick has secrets of his own, secrets that could take him down–and take Harper with him.
Can there be a second chance for someone like her?
They came on suddenly. Sometimes, they were accompanied by a bang. Always, it felt like somebody picked up my life and shook it like a snow globe. Unfortunately, I’m not talking about the recent outbreak of earthquakes near my hometown of Edmond, Oklahoma. Over one hundred earthquakes have rumbled through central Oklahoma this fall, the largest hitting 3.9 on the Richter scale. The shaking and the bangs are unsettling, but they’re nothing compared to the tremors in my personal life.
I wish I could tell you about it, but the details don’t really matter. I’m sure you’re thinking of the rattling and shaking you’ve endured in your own lives, those shocking phone calls in the middle of the night, unexpected illnesses, sudden deaths. They come whether we’re prepared for them or not.
Sort of like earthquakes. Californians’ homes and buildings are built to withstand the sudden shifting of the earth’s crust. Even if geologists can’t predict an earthquake as well as an intuitive canine, their structures can stand up to much of the trembling. Makes me wonder—how is such a foundation built in the life of a believer?
We all know the stock answers. Read your bible. Pray. Go to church. And many of us do these things regularly, and yet our lives still feel more like a house of cards than an earthquake-resistant building. So what is that magic bullet that will prepare us for life’s earthquakes?
I wish I had a definitive answer. Living through these recent trials, I can only point to one thing that’s kept me going. Of course I read my bible daily, I have prayer time every morning, and I attend church every week. But those things alone will not keep the walls standing on the structure that is my life. I know—I’ve crumbled before.
After one such season of life-crumbing earthquakes, I participated in a bible study on faith. I don’t think it was the study so much as the way God spoke to me through it. I realized that the biggest problem in my Christian walk—and therefore, in my life—was my lack of faith. Oh sure, I had trusted God for my salvation years earlier. And I prayed for my kids, my husband, my marriage, and everything else I knew I was supposed to pray for. But I still felt like I was in control.
There’s nothing like an earthquake to remind us we’re not in control.
During that study, I decided to take God at his word. To trust his promises, to even remind him of his promises, and to believe he would do what he’d said he would do. Seems simple enough, right?
But after three-and-a-half years, I’ve developed a few habits. I’d like to share the most important one.
When the world trembles, and my heartbeat quickens in response, sometimes my stomach clenches in fear about some possible danger, I immediately lift it up in prayer. I don’t resolve to pray about it tomorrow morning or ask my friends to pray about it when I get the chance. I pray right then. Knowing that the One who formed me knows exactly what I’m thinking, I don’t explain my worries. Instead, I whisper a quick prayer, sometimes just the name, “Jesus.” If I hear about a fatal car accident, I pray, “Jesus, protect my loved ones from that.” When I learn someone has cancer, I say, “Lord, protect us from diseases.” If I hear of a friend’s child going astray, I whisper a quiet, “Keep my kids close, Lord. Make them love you.”
I do this ten, fifty, even a hundred times a day. Does God protect us from everything? Of course not—it’s through trials we learn to trust in him. But knowing I’ve laid it at his feet gives me peace. When the bad things happen, I know they have been sifted through his hands.
This habit has become so ingrained in my life, I found myself doing it during the 2013 World Series. “Lord, let Papi hit one out of the park.” I smiled when I realized what I was doing, and I smiled more broadly when David Ortiz hit a homerun.
So if you see me whispering under my breath in the oddest moments, don’t call the men with the straitjackets just yet. Instead, realize a little earthquake has just rumbled through my life, bringing so many possible aftershocks with it. And I’m simply whispering the name of the one who holds the earth—and my life—in his hands. Jesus.