Thursday, January 9, 2014

Not Guilty by Teresa Pollard

Back Cover Blurb:
Rape is a Four-Letter word.

But it is one that Christians need to discuss more openly.

It’s 1974, and Carrie Shepherd, daughter of the minister at Windspree Community Church, is a college senior with plans to be a missionary in Africa.  Raped by a masked assailant, Carrie is so traumatized she tells no one until she realizes she’s pregnant.  Refusing to have an abortion, she must find the courage to face her family, her fiancé, her friends, and a gossiping, angry congregation which may include her attacker.

Can Carrie find a way to cope with the secrets, silence, and shame that threaten to tear apart her family and church?



Read an Excerpt:


Chapter One

September 24, 1974

As Carrie Shepherd stepped down from the city bus, she admired a newly erected “Welcome to Windspree, Home of the Whispering Warriors” sign with stone columns and freehand-style lettering. It was surrounded by multicolored leafy branches waving as if to dry the fresh paint. She made her way past the sign and up the log steps to a footpath which laced through the woods
toward her house.

She loved her parents’ home in the suburbs. Close enough to everything to be convenient, but far enough away to keep from being too busy. The road that went up the hill to the Shepherd’s two-story stone and cedar house was the shorter of the two routes, but the footpath was less steep and much prettier. She never minded the quarter mile it added to her trip because she welcomed the opportunity to be alone with her Lord and His creation.

Ambling along the path, she barely noticed the beautiful autumn leaves; her mind drifted back two years to a Foreign Mission study on the Ivory Coast. She shuddered as an image of men with mutilated bodies practicing voodoo washed over her for a second.

No doubt, our lives will be much different in the field. But the Lord will be with us in all that we do; wherever we go. It’s so hard to understand why people would rather be used by Satan than to serve you, Lord. Give me understanding so I can reach them.

Soon after their wedding, and right after college graduation, she and Joe would be heading for the wilds of Africa as missionaries. Her thoughts turned to Joe and their wedding, and she firmly thrust aside any lingering uneasiness she felt about Satanic forces. I’m safe here and the Lord will protect us when we get to Africa. I have too many positive things to plan to dwell on the negative. She began to contemplate the details of the ‘wedding to beat all weddings.’

She could envision Joe in a white tuxedo, standing at the altar of the church, surrounded by white: white Easter lilies, antique white candles, the floor made white with the petals of dozens of white roses, and herself coming down the aisle toward him, a picture of white on white, in her Grandmother Carrie’s lace-on-satin wedding gown. In her daydream, even her father’s hair was white, though she realized nothing could ever be bad enough to turn his salt and pepper hair totally white in such a short time. She couldn’t pass up this chance to look at Joe’s picture in her wallet for the twelfth time today. She missed him terribly. As she focused on his face, she thought, I know it’s silly. It hasn’t even been a full month since he left for seminary. He’s been home every weekend, and he’s only a hundred miles away. A hundred tiny miles. But the distance felt infinite. She continued gazing dreamily at the photo. His piercing blue eyes looked back and bade her miss him all the more. Carrie loved Joe’s eyes. With a look, he could call her, correct her, or love her, and she was compelled to respond.

“Ooh,” she mused dreamily as she put her wallet back into her purse, ”If Easter is as pretty as this day, maybe we ought to have our wedding outdoors. The birds’ singing would make such a beautiful accompaniment to Andrew’s voice.“ Even as the words came out of her mouth, she suddenly realized how quiet the birds had become. She was startled when a small group of sparrows flew from a bush into higher branches of a nearby tree. A few of the birds had been so close to her she felt the air moving as they darted past. It took her a second to catch her breath. “W-well, pardon me. I didn’t mean to come so close. I wouldn’t hurt you. You d-mmph.”

As one large hand encompassed her face, another grabbed her shoulder like a vice. Uselessly, she dropped her books, kicked and tried desperately to grab above and behind herself at the head of her attacker. It was all happening so fast, her mind staggered. He threw her to the ground with the cool determination of someone driven not by malice, but by a job to be done. There was little anger evidenced in his onslaught, even as Carrie frantically grabbed for the gray knit ski mask that kept his identity hidden from her.

He calmly collected her hands and drew them into one of his and held them there as easily as a father holding back the hands of a toddler straying too near a flame. His grasp didn’t hurt her, he just possessed tremendous strength. In Carrie’s mind, he was huge. Her efforts were thwarted at every turn, as he had his way. He tore her clothes as if they were made of tissue paper. She screamed and yelled and kicked with all her might, jerking her tiny fists as if convinced she could actually free them. By now, he had already restrained her legs so that the only weapons left to her were her mind and her mouth. “Satan, I rebuke you!” she cried, using what little strength she had left. His body tensed and he breathed in spurts, like a bull preparing for the charge. Her rebuke had angered him, and he became deliberately cruel. He was relentless in the pursuit of his goal, and Carrie was helpless to do more than just cry out, “No, No! Oh, my God help me, NO!” Mercifully, she fainted, and her torment was over. Or had it just begun?




To buy the book, go here:

amazon 
barnesandnoble



About Teresa:
Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age.  She has a Masters Degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years.  Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia.




Connect with Teresa here:
www.teresapollardwrites.com


Teresa is giving away a copy of  Not Guilty. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on tomorrow's post)










Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

9 comments:

Susan Johnson said...

I'm sure this is a very difficult subject to write about, but it looks like a really good book. I agree that Christians should discuss rape more openly, but that is hard to do. Thank you for your effort to do that.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

PriviesAndPrims said...

You got my interest!

Doreen Brannan
priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Teresa Pollard said...

Dear Susan, Linda & Doreen,
Thank you for your kind words. Yes, in a way, this was
difficult. Stop by again tomorrow
to hear the story of how it came to be.
It's not what you might expect. God bless you all. Teresa

Jackie McNutt said...

Teresa, I found your excerpt chilling. I cannot imagine the horror of getting through such a life changing event except for the Grace of God. Thank you, I would like to see how your story unfolds.
mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

sm said...

Our oldest son was adopted by us at 1.5 days old. He was a 'halted' abortion! by a pastor who knew his birth mom. He is a treasure and named Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5). Love to win and read your book. sharon wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Teresa Pollard said...

Dear Jackie,
Thank you. I hope you enjoy reading Not Guilty.
It's all about the grace of God.
Although it was not written
from my personal experience, unfortunately,
it is the experience of many women today, and I
believe an issue Christians need to address.
God bless, Teresa

Teresa Pollard said...

God bless you Sharon!
Jeremiah was so blessed
to have you, and I am sure
he's been a blessing to you
too! You wouldn't believe
the stories I've already
heard since writing this
novel, but one thing
seems to be constant.
The children grew up
dearly loved by a parent
or by an adoptive parent.
This is a pro-life book
that seeks to tell women
that there is an alternative
to abortion even is a case
of rape.

Deb R. said...

I knew someone years ago with a very similar story. I'd love to read this book and see how your character's story develops. cjajsmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

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