Tuesday Sampler: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation by Lynn Hobbs
December 1, 2015
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Tuesday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Sin, Secrets, and Salvation by Lynn Hobbs
Sin, Secrets, and Salvation is book one of three in The Running Forward Series, a powerful faith and family saga. The novel won first place in Religious Fiction for 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors.
A powerful faith and family saga. A Christian wife, Susan Penleigh, is unequally yoked to a non-Christian husband. Follow her victorious journey through a shaky marriage. Inspiring and action-packed.
Reader will have a clear understanding of a Christian viewpoint by her actions.
Scripture, prayer, and intrigue round out this suspenseful, Christian women’s fiction novel.
“Susan, are you and your husband saved, are you both Christians?” Pastor Dempsey queried.
“Yes, I am, but my husband Dave isn’t.” She answered.
“Let me explain some things to you. If an unsaved man, or woman, has a choice between doing right or wrong, he would choose wrong. The man would not have enough strength to do right in a difficult situation. A saved man, or woman, would have the faith to do right because he wants to serve God. He would want to do right, no matter how hard it might happen to be. His faith would give him strength to do the correct thing.” He reached for his glass and drank a long swallow of the refreshing beverage.
“Reminds me of my favorite verse, Psalms 28:7,” Susan told him. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song I will praise Him.”
Pastor Dempsey nodded his head in agreement. “Susan, you and your husband are unequally yoked,” he continued. “That comes straight from II Corinthians 6:14: Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness?” The pastor closed his Bible.
“Unequally yoked people don’t know what blessings they are missing. That’s sad.” She sighed.
“Yes, it is. Susan, I want you to picture two oxen, yoked together, pulling a plow. Dave would be going off in one direction, while you are trying to plow straight. A Christian couple would plow straight together in harmony.”
“I do understand.”
While he and Abby were leaving, he held the door open and turned towards Susan.
“You are in an unsafe situation.”
“That’s it! That is exactly what I felt. It was hard to explain, but you got it right. Thank you so much for everything. I’ll always remember our talk, Pastor Dempsey.”
“Abby, thanks for being here when I needed you.” Relieved, Susan smiled as her visitors got in their cars and drove away.
Kerrie arrived within the hour, along with their parents, also. A major discussion developed about Dave.
“It’s a mere coincidence about the radio.” Kerrie announced.
Susan shook her head, hurt that her sister ignored the facts.
“No, this is all planned.” Sam spoke with the authority of being Susan’s father, his tone of voice changed to harshness, clearly angry.
“We believe Dave’s directly involved with the hang-up phone calls too. Someone is following his instructions.” Brenda, being a typical mother to both daughters, fumed and paced the floor.
“He is sly and cunning, he’ll fight you like a fox,” Sam added.
“Remember, Dave warned me he’d fight me like I’ve never fought before.” Susan reiterated. “I opened the mail a few weeks ago and discovered Dave refinanced some property we own. He received twenty-six thousand dollars from the transaction. The bank sent a letter to thank him for his business. Dave has this money now, yet the same unpaid bills keep being sent to us.” Susan stated.
“So, Dave never told you about the money, right?” Kerrie inquired.
“No, and he’s not aware I found out about it. Let’s go over the options about the money issue. I think three questions share priority:
- what are his plans for the money;
- where is it;
- could Dave be paying people to try and confuse me?”
Susan also gave them a quick update on new developments, and told them about the guy in the neighborhood, and the assortment of vehicles driving by.
Any useful opinions were put on hold, and suddenly all ideas came to an abrupt halt. School ended for the day, and Susan’s three kids hurried in the house to see everyone.
After they were greeted and properly hugged, Susan asked the kids to sit down and join them in the living room.
“While you are all together, I want you to know I talked to Abby and her pastor about this.” She explained what Pastor Dempsey said. She mentioned being told she was in an unsafe situation, and the kids squirmed in their seats.
“Mom, the house has been open several times when we’d get in from school.” Scott stated.
“What?” Susan gasped, and leaned forward in her chair.
“It started a few weeks ago. Sometimes the front door would be unlocked, and other times the door was wide open.” Karen’s voice trembled.
“Nothing was missing, though.” Molly bounced off the couch and ran to hug her mother.
“Guys, please tell me if it ever happens again. I can’t stress enough how serious this is. Call me at work. Anyone could have hidden inside this house when you entered. Don’t go in anymore if you find it unlocked or open.” Susan hugged Molly back and looked at each of her children.
“Okay, don’t worry, Mom. We thought perhaps Dad left the house in a hurry, and that’s why we didn’t say anything.” Scott assured her.
Karen and Molly both nodded their heads in agreement.
“All of you need to be cautious.” Sam advised. He and Brenda got up and walked towards the door.
“Call us anytime, and we’ll be right here.” Brenda added as they left.
Susan attempted further discussion with Kerrie, who dodged issues and refrained from agreeing with Susan. They quietly prepared dinner together, everyone ate, and all went to bed.
Dave came home hours later and spent the night alone in the bedroom.
Susan groaned. The constant beeping sound emitting from the alarm clock rang out like a car horn blasting away in a car parking lot. Large, red neon numbers glared at her―5:30A.M. The fresh brewed aroma of coffee aroused her senses and got her going.
Thank goodness I remembered to set it on automatic last night. She poured a cup of the strong, black liquid and sat on a bar stool near the phone.
Dave strolled into the kitchen and got his coffee.
“The phone will ring at six o’clock.” She told him.
Dave just looked at her over his coffee cup.
“I get hang-up phone calls, and there is a pattern established.”
“Why haven’t you told me sooner?”
She shook her head. “Oh, I’m sure it’s a prank, whoever is behind it will soon get tired.”
Even though she anticipated it, the jangle of the phone unnerved her. She jumped and hot coffee splattered on her blue chenille robe.
Dave grabbed the phone.
“Hello?” He glanced at the clock, straight up six o’clock. “Hello?”
He hung up. “Some kid probably getting a laugh.”
“Probably.” Susan blotted the robe with a paper towel. “I have to be at work. I need to get ready.”
“I have a full day also.” Dave replied.
On the way to the museum, Susan turned the radio on. In between songs, the disk jockey got her attention immediately.
“Good morning, Greenville,” the announcer said. “Aren’t wake – up calls nice?” What did he say? Maybe I should bring a recorder next time.
She remembered last week a group of employees from the radio station came for a tour. They all wore t-shirts with the call letters, KDUM.
I wore my name badge, and I am listed in the phone book.
A wave of nausea rolled over her as she reviewed the possibilities, even the idea that Dave had a girlfriend. She was convinced he must, because his same past behavior pattern was happening again. His girlfriend could be making the calls.
Maybe his latest flame is behind this.