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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Unforgivable


Accused of the worst war crimes in the history of Argentina, Carlos Cornella is despised by a wounded nation…


“I’m in love with a monster. That’s what people call him anyway: monster, murderer, kidnapper, torturer, sociopath, even the devil. His crimes are so terrible that he may be unforgivable. But I have come to know him as something else. I know him as God’s Treasure. And I’m not sure what to do about that. So, here’s my story.”




Meet Tessa Stockton:
A former contemporary dancer of German and Jewish descent, Tessa Stockton—who has always had an interest in things of a debatable nature—now writes Christian political intrigue novels. The Unforgivable is her first book in the Wounds of South America series. Raised on the coast of Washington State, she currently lives in Tennessee with her husband and son. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), International Christian Fiction Writers (ICFW), and the Lost Genre Guild (LGG).


Excerpt: (please note, spacing problems are not the author's fault)


I don’t know how to explain it, but we connected. Right from the get-go we had an in with each other. I knew that this was a man I could understand—or wanted to understand more than anybody I have ever met.
Both our smiles faded and we stared at each other as if time stood still for us.
Then he pursed his lips and stood.
My heart sunk.

Glancing around him he took two slow steps and performed a smooth slide into the booth. My booth.

“Carlos.” He extended his hand. All business now, his brow had a slight furrow to it, the corners of his mouth tipped a bit downward.

“Genevieve.” I cleared my throat again. “Nice to meet you.”

“I was going to say the same.” This time he seemed to study me, his eyes like drills, burrowing to the core. For a second...for a second, I have to admit, I got a chill. I shook it off with an awkward smile. And then I realized his hand still held mine in a firm grip, as if he’d never let go. I wondered if he’d kiss it, because he kind of moved it side to side. I think he did that anyway.

The spell. That’s what I call it, whenever you’re so caught up in somebody’s gaze like Carlos and me. In some ways his eyes reminded me of a jaguar’s. Sleek and beautiful, mysterious, sly as in not entirely sure what he is thinking and—okay, I’ll say it—dangerous. We didn’t talk, just stared at each other. Er…well, we might have made some small talk but I can’t recall any of it, so I’m not positively sure those superfluous niceties took place.

Plates of food literally dropped onto the table with a harsh clang. That’s what broke the spell. One of my empanadas slid off the ceramic in reckless abandon. I gaped at it as it then sat lifeless on the tabletop, turned askew. And then I shifted my attention to Castel who hovered over us, seething under his breath.

“Castel, are you okay?” I asked.

He didn’t seem to hear me. If I didn’t know better I’d say he stared at Carlos with deep hatred in his gaze.

“Do you two know each other?” I gripped the table.

In a very careful, methodical manner, Carlos rose. He stood face to face with Castel who looked like he’d spring on him putting hands to throat. Man, if looks could kill!

Carlos delivered a gentle bow to me and stepped away. He wordlessly picked up his things—sunglasses, book and paper—and merely strolled out of the place like no unusual custom.

“Stay away from that man,” Castel said, his voice laced with acidity.

“W-what? Why?” I said, confused.

“Do not talk to him. I am warning you for your own benefit.” Castel delivered a stern glance at me and then returned to work.

Unbelievable—it seemed unbelievable. My heart sunk a second time. How do you prepare for picking your vital organs off the floor?

My line of sight pulled off of Castel who retreated to the kitchen, and roamed across the café until I found the valuable target outside the front window and locked on.

Carlos stood there, staring back in at me. He seemed to hesitate.

Should I go to him?
Would that set off Castel to the point that he’d wring my neck?

Do I need to heed Castel’s strong word of caution?

My glance returned to the kitchen. Then back to Carlos. Then to Castel who with plates of food moved about. And then, when I looked more deeply at Carlos there lingered something in his eyes that needed telling. I wasn’t sure if the expression he wore consisted of fury, or tragedy, or…maybe both.
Pushing my body up with my hands as if weighted, I began to rise. I wanted to go to him—to Carlos. But Castel had come to the table with the rest of the food right as Sally and Paloma plopped into the booth.

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