Real stories. Real faith. Real suspense.
Save Me Once is a brand-new Christian thriller by USA Today bestseller Alana Terry.
It's every mother's worst nightmare. Except she isn't dreaming ...
Margot's daughter is missing, abducted by a man with a criminal past. A man who has been grooming her daughter for a life on the streets.
Fueled by love, terror, and unwavering determination, Margot will stop at nothing to save her little girl.
If you like faith-filled drama, high-stakes danger, and relatable characters, you'll love this gripping adrenaline rush from award-winning novelist Alana Terry.
Buy your copy today ... or read below for a sneak peek at this fast-faced adrenaline rush!
Margot Linklater woke up in her scrubs, her hair drenched in sweat. Another nightmare? If it was, she couldn’t remember it.
She’d have to thank Dr. Harris for those sleeping pills he’d prescribed.
What time was it? She groaned and silenced her screeching alarm. At least she tried to. Then she realized it wasn’t her alarm but her phone.
“Hello?” Her voice sounded awful. Awful and groggy and congested. She cleared her throat.
“Margot?” Paige. The office manager.
She jumped out of bed. “I’m so sorry. I forgot I was on the early shift today …”
A pathetic excuse.
“I’m already dressed,” Margot lied. “Just have to throw on my shoes. I can be there in ten minutes. Twelve tops. I’m so sorry.”
“I know.” There was a heaviness in Paige’s voice.
“It won’t happen again,” Margot promised while she rummaged through her purse. Where were her car keys? Wait, she didn’t need those yet. She needed clean scrubs. Clean scrubs, shoes, and then her car keys.
Hopefully, she could find a granola bar in her glove compartment to hold her over until lunch. And then at lunch break she’d call the … Wait. Detective Drisklay was out of town. How could she have forgotten? Three more days before she could get an update. What did he say he was doing in Las Vegas?
Not looking for her daughter, whatever it was.
Margot grabbed a pair of socks. One was inside out, but she didn’t waste time correcting it. That’s what work breaks were for.
Dr. Harris was an understanding boss. When Becky went missing last summer, he’d given Margot two full weeks off. But now it was getting on toward the end of the month, mortgage was due soon, and of course Becky’s father wasn’t going to offer a dime to help with that, now was he?
No, not Jack. Margot was on her own, just like she’d always been.
Even though she hated to admit it, the routine of work was good for her. Giving her a reason to have to get out of bed each day.
At least, when she remembered to set her alarm.
The last thing she could afford was to lose her job, and so she threw on clean scrubs, slipped into her shoes, and raced down the hallway, digging wildly through her purse in search of her keys.
She was panting by the time she reached the driveway. With her fingers on the handle of her car, she stopped. Jerked her head around so fast she might have just given herself whiplash. Which she definitely couldn’t afford now that Dr. Harris’s insurance policy no longer covered chiropractic services. He was a great doctor and a considerate person, but when it came to finances, he was almost as cheap as her ex-husband.
The vision that made Margot’s head jerk around was a head full of blonde curls standing near the corner bus stop.
Her heart leaping, flopping, and performing an impressive display of cardiac summersaults, Margot strained her eyes.
The girl turned, laughing as she talked with her friend.
No. Not her little girl at all.
And then came the expected, familiar crash.
It wasn’t her little girl.
Not Becky after all.
False hope in a situation that everyone else told her was hopeless.
Hopeless. That was what she was facing, right? It had been nine months since Becky disappeared. If that cynical detective with his stupid Styrofoam cups of cold black coffee could afford to take an entire week off the investigation to go vacationing in Las Vegas, did that mean he was giving up on Becky too?
It was ridiculous how quickly the world had moved on. The detective. Becky’s deadbeat father. Sure, Jack had postponed his honeymoon with that twenty-something, one-hundred-pound walking box of spray tan, but that was probably because at the time Detective Drisklay still hadn’t ruled him out as a person of interest. A few more weeks of somewhat intense scrutiny, a few more interviews spread out over the first month, and then he was a free man, able to move on with his life.
Just like everyone else was. Even Margot had to go through the motions. Wake up. Get dressed. Drive to work.
And nearly every day, something would catch the corner of her eye. A head of springy curls. A streak of blonde hair.
Or sometimes it was her other senses that taunted her. The sound of laughter, close enough that for a faint second she thought it was her daughter’s precious giggle. The end of summer had been the worst, all the neighborhood kids running around outside, laughing and shrieking.
“Mom!” they’d call out at all hours of the day and night. “Mom!” And each and every time, Margot’s heart would race.
Why did these parents let their children play outside to begin with? Didn’t they know what could happen?
A runaway. That’s what that serious-faced detective had called her daughter. Her Becky.
“Were you aware your daughter was in a relationship with an adult male?”
She didn’t want to believe it. The detective showed Margot the texts. But that was no relationship. It was brainwashing. Disgusting. To say Becky ran away was absurd. She’d been abducted. That was what happened. That pedophile, that miserable Xavier had kidnapped Margot’s little girl and taken her to God knows where.
She was still standing outside her car, but something was missing.
Why hadn’t she moved?
Car keys. She must have left them in the house.
Sprinting now, still feeling somewhat sweaty and gross as she raced back up to the porch. She couldn’t lose her job. She wouldn’t. Not with Jack refusing to lift a pinky finger to pitch in and help with anything.
When Jack had been a person of interest in Becky’s disappearance, Margot had vouched for him. No, she’d told Detective Drisklay. Jack wouldn’t do something like that. Not because he loved Becky. If he loved their daughter, he wouldn’t be so cheap. If he loved their daughter, he would pay the child support he owed so Margot didn’t have to work sixty hours a week just to keep the electricity on.
If he loved their daughter, he would have never abandoned them in the first place.
Jack was certainly no father of the year, but he wouldn’t have hurt Becky either. Not because he was a saint.
But because he was lazy.
Lazy and stupid.
Staging a kidnapping? That would mean Jack would have to keep his hands off that twenty-something trophy bride of his, get off his rear end, and do something.
No, she’d told the detective. Jack didn’t have anything to do with this. He wasn’t the kidnapping, murdering, vengeful type. He was the type to get caught having an affair on Saturday and have all his things moved out the following day.
That was Jack in a nutshell.
Car keys now in hand, Margot locked the front door and threw thoughts of her ex out of her mind. Her heart was still racing as she sped toward Dr. Harris’s office. It had now been 285 days since she’d cried. Yes, she was counting. Yes, she felt like a cruel, heartless monster.
For the first week, with all the media attention and the shock of Becky’s disappearance, Margot had been the proverbial deer in the headlights, too stunned to leak out even the slightest hint of emotion.
Then came the texts. The records gleaned from Becky’s cell phone. And all a result of the cell phone her father decided to buy for her even though Jack knew Margot could have used that money for something more practical.
She’d never forget the day Detective Drisklay brought her into his office, poured her a cup of cold, black coffee, and explained that her daughter had fallen in love with some adult posing as her boyfriend. Someone who lured Becky away from the peaceful, safe home Margot had worked so hard to provide.
And Margot had cried. Man, how she’d cried.
But then the mortgage was coming due. Paige kept asking when she’d be back to work. Jack stopped returning any of her phone calls.
And just like that, the tears turned off.
At first, she thought it was because she was strong.
Now she wasn’t so sure.
Not that she had time to think about that. It was hard enough to remember to brush her teeth. To eat her meals. To change her underwear.
Things that had once been routine, as natural as breathing, were now written out on tiny post-it notes left throughout her house so she wouldn’t forget.
Buy groceries. Start the laundry. Pay the electric bill.
It wasn’t until she felt a spasm in her forearm she realized how tightly she’d been gripping the steering wheel as she sped toward work. One day, she’d relax. One day, she’d focus on the self-care everyone around her (yes, even her cheapskate of an ex-husband Jack) told her was so important.
One day, she might even decide it was safe to turn the tears back on.
One day, she’d have her daughter back. Safe and sound. Even if Margot was the only person in the entire world who believed Becky was still alive, she would never stop looking for her. If that detective gave up the search, she’d work even more shifts or get a second job to hire a private investigator. If she had to, she’d show up on Jack’s porch every single morning and drop down to her knees and beg until he gave her the money she needed to hire an entire search team, an entire army, to hunt for their daughter.
She’d raise funds. Offer a reward. A hundred thousand dollars. A million dollars for any information leading to her reunion with her daughter. That and the arrest, castration, torture, and then execution of this Xavier, this monster who’d stolen her little girl away.
I’m still looking for you, Becky, she whispered as she pulled into her usual spot in front of Dr. Harris’s pediatric practice.
I’m still looking for you, and I’m not going to give up until we’re back together again.
Ready for more? Buy Save Me Once for an unforgettable read today.