I'm feeling excited about my newest project. It was giving me problems for several weeks, but I think I've finally found a groove that (Lord-willing) will carry me through to the finish line with this one!
Today I'm including a short snippet from my very first novel, The Beloved Daughter. If you haven't read it yet, you can grab it (and other religious/inspirational fiction titles) off of Instafreebie. It's totally free.
No, come on seriously. Go grab it. And find a few other favorite authors while you're at it! Need the link again? Click here to see what free Christian fiction titles authors are offering.
And now, the excerpt. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha, a twelve-year-old girl thrown into a North Korean prison camp. This scene may give you a hint as to why she was sent there.
Father always promised that God would care for us just like he cared for the sparrows. Years ago, I was quick and eager to believe Father’s words of faith. But as each month of the famine grew worse, as each night I shivered from the cold and clenched my empty stomach while listening in on my parents’ disagreements, I wondered if my mother could be right. Seeds of doubt found fertile soil in my empty belly.
In our Hasambong village, even the sparrows were dying from hunger.
Now with the inspectors here, the danger was even more real. The prison camps weren’t just rumors. Two families in our small village of Hasambong had been relocated since the start of the famine. One couple was caught with a stolen potato. The other family, whose infant I played with before she starved to death, was accused of cannibalism.
Was Mother right? With the People’s Safety Agency here to inspect us, wouldn’t God understand if Father was less vocal about his faith, given the circumstances and grave dangers to our family?
My father sighed, and I held my breath to hear what he would say in his defense. “I am not a fool. I know what risks come from following Jesus Christ.” Father’s voice wasn’t angry anymore, but gentle, like the snow that occasionally covered the Hasambong mountainside in a blanket of unblemished white. “Chung-Cha is a gift from God … as are you.” Father reached out his calloused, work-worn hand to wipe a tear off Mother’s gaunt cheek. She turned away with a disdainful snort.
Father continued, “Nevertheless, if I begin to love these gifts more than the One who entrusted them to me, then I would not be able to look my Savior in the face when I stand before him and give an account of my life. It is God who gives me breath.” The confidence of Father’s quiet confession filled our cabin with uncharacteristic warmth. “And as long as my old worn-out heart keeps beating, as long as these tired lungs continue to draw air, I will not remain silent. I cannot. I will proclaim the Good News until my Savior returns to rule the earth or until he calls me home.”
My heart swelled at Father’s words of triumph and faith. I watched Mother’s face to see if she felt the same wave of power, the same surge of hope, that transcended the suffering and fear – even the constant hunger – of our provincial lives in rural North Korea.
Mother brushed past Father and unpinned her hair. She walked to the bed, yanked down the tattered blanket, and hissed, “Your stubborn faith will be the death of us all.”
Want to read the rest of Chung-Cha's story for yourself? Read The Beloved Daughter for free from Instafreebie.