Today, I am pleased to host Crystal Walton, who is here to tell us a bit about her recently released book – Light Unshaken.
There are so many times in life when circumstances strip away the familiar and leave us with a choice. Trust or not. Give in to fear or grapple for courage. Stand upon what we’ve known to be true in the light or cower to doubt when darkness rushes in.
And let’s be honest, the courageous choice doesn’t come easily. But maybe that’s the point.
Whenever I read stories about courage, I’m reminded that bravery isn’t necessarily about vanquishing fear or performing valiant feats. I think real courage is found in everyday choices. When circumstances back us against all odds, with fear pressing in from all angles, and still we choose to walk by faith.
That’s the kind of courage that inspires me. And it’s one of the main reasons I get so excited about inviting you to join Emma in this inspiring story about real love, costly choices, and the courage to fight for what you believe in.
Here’s an excerpt from Light Unshaken:
I made sure the front light was on before stepping foot outside. A quick glimpse down the bricks on either side of the doorway confirmed all was clear.
A coarse rustling followed a shadow flickering in the streetlight at the end of the walkway. Clinching my purse strap with both hands, I forced in a breath and crept around the building into a gust of wind.
Something flew straight at me. My heart leaped far enough up my throat to block my scream from escaping. I shoved my mangled hair away from my face and let out a deflated huff. A foil hamburger wrapper. Wow. Some menacing enemy. Another burst of wind swept it past my feet down the street. Good thing I hadn’t run to get A. J. He’d be laughing it up right now.
Shaking it off, I grabbed the charger from the glove box and slipped it into my purse while hustling back. If I didn’t get to talk to Riley until tomorrow because of this, I’d—
The pavement gripped my shoes halfway across the street. Two faces emerged from the shadows, their expressions perversely intoxicated at the thrill of catching me off guard.
I stayed frozen. No breath. No sound. Just the heat of panic throbbing through my veins.
The tallest guy advanced straight for me with a smile taunting me to try to outrun him. A stocky one flanked his left side at a lag.
I stumbled backward with nowhere to run. My pulse out-thundered the crude banter rebounding from guy to guy closing in on me. I yelled for A. J., even if he couldn’t hear me.
My heels scraped into the brick wall. I couldn’t wait for him.
The guy closest to me made the first move.
Adrenaline surged. My reflexes kicked in. I stomped the assailant’s foot, bent his arm backward, and maneuvered out of his hold. I kneed the second one in the groin and sprang for Riley’s car. Someone yanked my arms and pushed me into the wall.
My hope of escaping crashed onto the concrete with the contents of my purse.
The tall one stormed up to me. Hot, cigarette-tainted breath poured into my face and onto the ring of sweat soaking the top of my shirt.
“A. J,” I screamed again.
A hand covered my mouth and shoved the back of my head harder into the bricks.
“T, let’s bail,” a third kid called from a significant distance behind the other two.
The apparent leader jetted around with a clenched fist in the air. “Go up to Twenty-Third Street, and make sure we don’t get no unexpected guests.” His voice held authority. The kind I doubted anyone in his crew would test.
Staring at me, the kid didn’t move at first. The look on his face blended into the darkness stretching behind him. My eyes screamed for him to intervene.
“Dee!” the leader shouted this time.
The kid flinched. Without a word, he jogged backward, turned, and ran in the opposite direction. Away from the center and away from his chance to help me.
The leader grabbed my chin and forced me to look at him. The intent in his gaze seeped through my clothes and crawled over my skin. Glancing at his friend, he ran his finger under my necklace. “Looks like senorita gots more than one pearl to give us.”
I spit in his face with all the vehemence I had in me. Seething, he wiped his cheek with his sleeve. I tried to break free, but he blocked my arms and pounded my shoulders, crashing my whole body into the wall. The scene swirled. Coarse bricks scraped through my shirt as I slid down the building.
Consciousness drifted. A third figure emerged. Had that kid come back? Muffled voices trailed the hazy shapes scuffling around me. Someone dropped to the ground. Noises raged. Movements blurred. A second person fell a foot away.
In the darkness, it turned quiet. Too quiet.
Just as someone knelt in front of me, everything went black.
After a summer of overcoming her fears, Emma can’t afford for the news she just received to shake her. Not when it might jeopardize her future with Riley. And not when the kids in downtown Portland are counting on her to keep the center’s doors open. With the added strain of a broken relationship and an unexpected friendship reminding her what’s at stake, what other choice does she have?
But as mounting danger compromises her safety, friction intensifies until the risk of keeping her promise threatens all she’s fought to believe. Caught in a moment when every light in her life goes out, Emma must find the courage to lead her heart no matter what it costs her.
Crystal writes contemporary inspirational fiction fueled by venti green teas from Starbucks.
When not working her accounting day job, she’s delving into the wonder of words, supporting her Starbucks habit, or laughing over movie quotes & singing eighties songs with her husband. She’d love to connect with you at http://crystal-walton.com