Surviving the Storm by Sherry A. Burton is available Friday, June 13, 2014. Can you survive the storm? I could not. This is an absolutely brilliant book. It is one of those books that will remind you of why you love reading. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. This book has to be on your #SummerMustReads.
Following a tragic year, Abby thinks she is making a wise choice when she agrees to marry Jacob. While admittedly not in love with him, he has always made her feel safe and protected. That feeling quickly dissipates when he reveals his true colors on their wedding day. With no means to escape, Abby must decide her fate. Not willing to bend to her new husband’s rule, she is in a fight for survival, and a desperate race to discover what secrets he is keeping from her. Secrets that threaten to destroy the very foundation of her soul. Set in New Orleans during a storm that devastated so many, Surviving the Storm is a tension-building tale of suspense that does not let up until the two storms collide.
Abby was browsing the meat aisle when she saw her. The elderly woman jerked her head to the side and disappeared down a center aisle. Abby didn’t know why she felt compelled to follow, but somehow knew it was what was expected of her. Sure enough, the woman was waiting midway down the aisle.
As Abby approached, she noticed the woman’s red-brimmed eyes. Without speaking, Pearl placed her hand at the small of Abby’s back, causing a chill to race the length of her spine. She couldn’t tell if it was from the woman’s touch or from the fact that she’d known about her injury.
“You are thinkin’ bout leaving, but it no good. He the devil. He will fin’ you. You mus’ stay. It the only way. You are protected.”
The pain was easing. She felt laughter bubbling up inside of her, yet did not know what she found amusing. “Yeah, I feel protected.”
“He strong man child. You mus’ listen to Pearl. You mus’ wait for the sak of you and your bebe.”
“Baby? I’m not pregnant!” It was an accusation, but Abby knew it was made out of fear. She felt like her legs were going to give out. The nausea, vomiting; she’d thought it was because Jacob revolted her, not because of pregnancy. There’d been a time when she’d have given anything to have a baby, but not now. She would not let a child suffer at the hands of her husband. Fear welled inside her until she thought she’d scream.
Pearl reached up and placed a hand along her face, calming her instantly. The woman produced a pouch and handed it to her. “You take this.”
“Will it get rid of the baby?” she asked, her voice fearful. It was early enough in the pregnancy, but even still, the thought nearly broke her heart. She would never even consider such an option under other circumstances.
The woman shook her head. “No, child. It will help with the sickness. Make this into a tea each morn. It will keep you weel. He must not know about the bebe. It’s too dangerous to the wee one.”
Abby was not sure if she was relieved or disappointed. But her hair stood on end at what the woman said next. “I will tell ya when the time is right. I will show you the way out.”
The lady took her hand and squeezed it hard in warning. “You no leave. No matter what happens. Tis the only way. You understood?”
No, she didn’t understand. Not any of it. She shook her head in protest.
“I know tis hard, child, but you must endure this. It is the only way you will be safe. You need to know who you are. Find the key and you will find yourself,” the woman insisted.
Abby searched the woman’s eyes. “What key?”
“The key will unlock the past. So many things are not as they seem. You must know the past to protect your child’s future.”
Abby wrung her hands. While she really wanted a child, she was afraid. “But the child is his. It will be like him.”
The woman’s face softened. “No child. The baby will be yours. You must believe.”
She did believe. She had to. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t still scared.
“You no leave till you find what you are looking for. You understood?”
Abby nodded her head yes, but in reality, she didn’t. Not by a long shot. How did this woman know how to find her? Know she needed her? Kevin must be right. It was the only explanation. If he was right and Pearl was indeed a voodoo priestess, ignoring her could be more dangerous than anything Jacob could ever thrust upon her.
The woman smiled. “I no mind a hurt you, child.”
More chills. The woman had read her mind.
“My sister, she deed because of your man. She no wish you the same fate.”
Deed? Oh, dead. The thought tugged at Abby’s conscience. “I’m sorry.”
“No need. T’wasn’t you.”
“I go now. Remember, you must no tell about the bebe. It no safe. Stranger no safe.” The woman turned, disappearing around the corner before Abby could ask what she meant.
“Hey, you’d better hurry before your babysitter decides to come looking for you.”
Abby froze. Was everyone following her? No, this was no mere coincidence; was this the stranger Pearl had warned against? She whirled around and faced her neighbor, her words louder than intended. “Why are you following me?”
He put his hands up. “Whoa. Put a leash on the psycho, Sunshine.”
She lowered her voice, but didn’t let down her guard. “You can’t tell me that this is just another chance meeting.”
“Well, it is the closest store to the house.”
“Well, maybe we’ll just have to see about that,” she said, reaching into her pocket and pulling the small pouch.
His eyes went wide with the knowledge of what she held. “Now, wait a minute. I was only trying to help. I thought maybe I could give you a ride somewhere. You know, take you away from all this.”
She felt herself relax in spite of herself. “Kevin, I didn’t think you were the type to ride a white horse.”
He returned her smile. “Well, if I did, I’d want you to ride it with me, my queen.”
She laughed. “I’m really not the queen type.”
“No, I guess that is more my slate in life. Besides, I’m afraid your babysitter may take exception to your leaving with me.”
Babysitter! Shit, she was taking entirely too long. “I have to hurry.”
He followed her as she filled her cart. “You may want to get some witch hazel.”
He shook his head sadly. “The bruises. I hope they were not because of me.”
“No, he was a bit suspicious, but I threw him off.” She touched her face gingerly. “No, I’m afraid these are on me. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut.”
He wagged a finger at her. “You are not to blame. That man is a monster.” His eyes hardened. “He gets turned on by hurting others.”
She dunked a package of pork chops in a clear plastic bag before setting it in the cart. “You seem to speak from experience?”
He waved her off. “Another lifetime, darling.”
“But you got away?” The hope was evident in her voice.
He clutched her shoulders in determination. “As will you, my love. As will you.”
Or purchase a signed copy from Ms. Burton via her website.
About the Author
Born in Louisville Kentucky, Sherry was raised in the small town of Fairdale Kentucky. Eloping December of 1980, with a Navy man, while still in her teens, she has spent all of her adult life moving from state to state counting over thirty-two moves in her thirty-three years of marriage. Sherry can attest first hand to the fact that a whirl wind marriage can indeed last. Sherry credits her frequent moves and long separations to her ability to feel her characters desire to find true happiness.
Sherry has worked as a private nanny and is a certified dog trainer. Sherry is a mother to three adult children and has six grandchildren. Sherry’s hobbies include reading, walking, and mostly spending time with her “friends” which is how she refers to the characters she creates. She believes in daily affirmations, positive energy and feels that karma will have the final say. Sherry currently resides in Chesapeake Virginia and has several other books in the works, including a sequel to Tears of Betrayal. Sherry A. Burton is her pen name. Sherry writes children’s books under her real name of Sherry A. Jones.
You can connect with Sherry at the following social media sites: