Every Shattered Thing by AUTHOR
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Amazon ♥ B & N
Stephanie fights reality every day. The voices inside, the ones declaring her worth, deem her broken, used and dirty. She is an object. A toy. Something to be tossed aside when bored. Who will believe her if she whispers the truth about her wrecking ball of a family?
Eventually, her secret explodes and the person who means the most to her knows just how shattered she is and why she's so afraid. But rescue is closer than she realizes. Hidden in plain sight, her horror hasn’t been ignored by everyone.
Racing against the truth of what she faces, forces are joining together and developing a plan to free her from the hell in her own backyard. And while she’s at her lowest point, she’s hit with the beauty of love at any cost - redemption in the face of ruin. Will it be enough?
As always, dinner at the Stevens’ house proves to be an event. Emma worked all day on braising beef into some incredible creation. She gives me a generous portion and at first I’m wondering if I will ever be able to finish it. Halfway through, I understand this is a far cry from the SPAM I normally eat, and I determine to shove every piece in to my mouth.
“How was work today, love?” Emma asks Jude while fighting Benjamin’s attempts to grab every utensil he can reach.
“It was good. Tiring. We’ve limited our search to a few key players in the field. No names, just leads. The progress seems promising.”
“What exactly are you looking for now, Jude?” I take a breath from eating to join the conversation. I’ve never known what Jude does for a living. It’s always been slightly mysterious and covert. Every time I see him I try to find out more, hoping to get a little peek into his life I didn’t know before.
He stops mid-bite and catches Emma’s eye before answering the question. “Well, I work for a non-profit partnering with local law enforcement. We haven’t been fruitful, for some reason the police department is a bit reticent to join with our agency.” He glanced at me. “We aren’t delegated by the government but through our own desire to see justice in our area. We see a rising issue with organized crime, specifically drug trafficking and prostitution. We’re trying to get to the bottom of these problems to see if there’s any darker force at play.”
I struggle to swallow my food. Suddenly I’m not very hungry. I’m not sure what I was expecting him to say, but it wasn’t this. I fight for control, to mask the emotions running wild inside. I fidget with my fork and ask the question I fear I already know the answer. “Could the cops be involved?”
Jude lowers his eyebrows. “Be involved? Like how?”
“Well, if they are unwilling to help, could it be they’re involved with the very forms of organized crime you’re trying to prevent?”
Emma clears her throat and gets up from the table to refill her glass. I watch her and catch a single look thrown Jude’s direction. I know there’s something deeper here, something they aren’t saying. I bite my lip and turn toward Jude. His fork is on the table now, his hands clasped in front of him. This is his power stance. He means business.
“That is something we’ve considered, but we really aren’t in the situation to tackle that level of corruption. We do have a few partner organizations who could help us, if in fact the police force is corrupt.” His voice is...detached? He turns his head and looks out the window, making circles with his fork on the plate. He finally turns back and catches my gaze. He smiles. A small, knowing grin that makes me feel safe. Protected.
He continues, a little more present with the conversation, “Whatever the case, we’re committed to keep those in harm’s way safe. I have guys all over the field, watching and waiting. We’ll be there at the first misstep these guys make. It’s been far too long and far too complicated a situation.”
I study his face for awhile before nodding and returning to my food. I feel strangely comforted by his words. Emma knows my story. She knows my frustration with the local police’s inaction at my expense. But as we finish our meal, with the talk shifting to Benjamin’s latest antics and words he possibly uttered during Jude’s latest trip, I wonder how much she truly knew. How much she would be able to handle?
Elora Ramirez lives in Austin, Texas with her chef-husband. At the age of four, she taught herself how to read and write, cutting her teeth on books like Dr. Seuss and writing anywhere she could find the space--including her Fisher Price kitchen set, the pages of picture books and Highlights Magazine.
Since then, she's grown to love the way words feel as they swell within her bones. Writing holy and broken is her calling, and pushing back the darkness and pursuing beauty through story is her purpose. She embraces the power of story and teaches women from all parts of the world how to embrace theirs. She has a knack of calling things out , the truth and the detail, the subversive threads that make a life a story.
She loves hip-hop, wishes she lived by the beach and cannot write without copious amounts of coffee, chocolate, music, and her husband's lavender liqueur.