"" Writer's Wanderings: Books For The Road - Divide The Child

Monday, July 29, 2013

Books For The Road - Divide The Child

Something old is new again! Twenty-three years ago I wrote and published Divide The Child. The cover was ugly and my picture on the back made me look like a real estate agent. But the story was too good to let go of so I pulled it out of the recesses of my computer, dusted it off and brought it up to date with cell phones, Google maps, and several other new popular techo-fangled things that weren't around in 1990. And added
a new cover and author picture.

Here is the teaser:

A mother's worst nightmare. Her child is snatched.

The kidnapper is Sebrena Warner, the child's real mother. Or is she? It has been six years since their rescue of a baby girl who was born alive after a botched abortion and Julie and Rick Sierra had begun to relax. No one questioned the adoption papers and their move out of the area to avoid being discovered. Now they are about to become embroiled in a custody battle only the wisdom of Solomon could decide.

Sebrena vows to use all the power her politically aspiring husband, Wynne, will bring her. But Wynne's life is complicated further by a reporter, Michael Boston, who threatens to expose Sebrena's past.

Judge Helen Belmonte must decide Kathy's future. She turns to the only place she knows she will find true wisdom, her Bible.

Here's an excerpt:


            Coffee dripped into the decanter. The aroma drifted through the quiet nurses’ station in the maternity ward. No mothers-in-waiting tonight. One lone nurse waited patiently to fill her cup. Suddenly a light flashed on the intercom board. A doctor’s voice crackled over the speaker, “Nurse! Get in here immediately!”

            At the delivery room door, the nurse paused for a moment to take in what was happening. A woman on the bed moaned and thrashed about—obviously in heavy labor. What was going on? There was no one in labor when she started her break and no notice of an emergency.

            “Quickly!” The doctor grabbed her arm and pulled her to the bed. “We need to give her a general.”

            “I’ll call for the anesthesiologist.” She turned to reach for the phone.

            “No! There isn’t time. I’ll administer it myself. Get over here and help me.” He moved to the head of the bed.

            The nurse was shocked and confused. This wasn’t proper procedure. Her mind raced as the urgency of the situation accelerated. Moments were precious when a delivery went bad but training and experience kicked in. She rushed to help the doctor strap the woman’s arms down and place the mask over her face.

            “Monitor her blood pressure and respiration and keep me posted while I get the fetus out,” the doctor ordered.

            Fetus? Horror struck her as her gaze fell upon saline solution and instruments on the table next to the doctor. This wasn’t a delivery. This was an abortion!

            “Doctor, I can’t take part in this. I don’t believe in abortion.”Her protest was futile. There was no one else around to call for help. No time. She adjusted the blood pressure cuff and prepared to monitor vital signs

“This is not the time for a political statement. We’re here to save lives.” The doctor sat down behind the white cloth draped across the knees of his patient. “I can’t worry about your confounded religious rubbish right now. What are her numbers?”

This wasn’t right. She shouldn’t be here. When abortions became an accepted procedure after a lengthy labor dispute, the hospital made a new policy. It allowed a nurse to decline an assignment to assist in an abortion provided the nurse had registered her religious objection with the department. Why hadn’t this doctor arranged for another nurse? And why was he doing this in a delivery room hadn’t been reserved?

            She repeated the blood pressure and respiratory counts to him. They were precarious but not life threatening. Ironic, she thought, you tell me we’re here to save lives while you stand there taking one.

            “Finally,” the doctor said with relief as he took the bloody form of a baby and roughly laid it in the bin normally used for disposing of the afterbirth. She felt sick. Concentrate on the gauges and try not to think of what is happening she told herself. At least a saline abortion was not as horrendous to watch as a dilation and evacuation—a partial birth abortion. This baby would be in one piece.

            The nurse glanced at the little body in the bin. She blinked. Had she seen movement? Yes, the arms were moving slightly. She left her post and looked closely.

More movement.

            “This baby is alive!”


            The driver paused at the stop sign and looked both ways to confirm that the woman and little girl were still headed south on Watkins Street. She eased the yellow Mustang convertible through the intersection and made a left at the next corner. The old houses framed by scarred trees and aging shrubs disgusted her. She renewed her vow to never live in a place like that again.

            As her Mustang turned left and crept to Watkins Street, every nerve in her body sparked. Twenty minutes ago, the elementary school five blocks away had released its contents of noisy children into the neighborhood. She had followed the two before. Each time she had observed the woman meet the girl at the school and walk together down Watkins Street to a dingy little house with a decrepit porch, weather-worn siding, and missing shutters.

The driver looked left and confirmed again the two still walked in the same direction as before. Yes, there was no mistake. They turned into the house almost exactly the same time as yesterday and the day before that. They were creatures of habit she observed. Morning and afternoon, they had a dull routine that fit perfectly with her plans. A lip-glossed smile crept across her face. Yes, perfectly.

It's available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon,  for Nook at Barnes and Noble soon, and in all e-formats at Smashwords.

Happy reading!

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