Title: Special Delivery
Author: Kathi Macias
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: New Hope Publishers
In book two of the “Freedom” series, readers find Mara fighting against her attraction to Bible college student Jonathan Flannery, even while wrestling with risking her own precarious safety to become involved in the rescue of another girl who is pregnant and desperately wants to escape her captors and save her own life, as well as her child’s.
Halfway around the world in a brothel in Thailand, a young girl named Lawan is rescued with the promise of being reunited with her little sister who was adopted by an interracial couple in the States, friends of Jonathan’s family.
Meanwhile, Jefe—Mara’s uncle, who held her as a sex slave in his brothel in San Diego for years—seeks revenge for Mara’s testimony that put him behind bars for life. Will his underworld connections be successful in kidnapping and killing the girl who believes she has finally won her freedom?
It was good to be back in San Diego, though Mara made it a point to avoid going anywhere near the area where she’d once lived as a modern-day slave. The memories were too ugly, and she did everything possible to block them out. When the topic came up—which it did all too often these days, as the general public became more aware of its prevalence—Mara immediately changed the subject or walked away. It was an evil best left for others to combat.
The early summer sun shone warm on her dark hair, cut short now in a modern style that complimented her dainty features and accentuated her large hazel eyes. Her good looks and trim figure often drew whistles and comments, but she ignored them all. Having a man in her life didn’t even rate at the bottom of her priority list.
Mara closed her eyes and let the mild breeze toss her hair and caress her skin. There was nothing she liked better than coming to the beach and finding a deserted spot to sit and listen to the waves rush in and break on the packed, wet sand. It was nearly impossible to find such a private place on the weekends, but this was mid-morning on Monday, and the place wouldn’t start filling up until closer to lunchtime. By then she’d be at work.
She smiled at the thought of her new job. She was a waitress now, making enough in wages and tips to rent a room and meet her basic needs. Though she’d taken advantage of UI benefits, specifically designed to help people from other countries who had been victims of crime while in the United States, it had still taken her nearly two years to get all the necessary paperwork cleared so she could not only come to the States legally but do so as a U.S. citizen. But she’d been persistent, determined to leave her homeland of Mexico, with all its violence and corruption and poverty, behind. Even with all that had happened to her here in Southern California during her youth, she knew that America held more promise for her than the country of her birth. And besides, what did she have to hold her there? It was her parents who had sold her into slavery, and her own uncle, her tio, who had stolen her innocence, held her captive, and served as her pimp until at last he was captured and sent to prison. So far as she was concerned, her family was dead to her. She had no desire ever to see any of them again.
Mara opened her eyes and watched a tanned, bathing-suit clad couple stroll along the sand in front of her, the waves lapping at their bare feet. Arms wrapped around one another’s waist, they seemed oblivious to anything or anyone else, talking and laughing together as if they were the only human beings on earth. The thought skittered through Mara’s mind that she might have a relationship like that one day, but just as quickly she excised it from her realm of possibility. At barely twenty years old, she’d already had enough of the male population to last her for several lifetimes.
Affirming that thought with a quick nod of her head, she grabbed the towel she’d been sitting on and stood to her feet. She didn’t have a car yet, but it was only a ten-minute walk to the seafood café where she was now employed.
Gainfully and respectably employed, she reminded herself. Tio used to tell me I’d never be anything but a prostitute, and that he’d kill me before he’d let me leave. But look at me now—free as a bird while he rots in prison. Maybe there really is a God after all….
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored more than 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association). Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al. You can find Kathi at www.kathimacias.com or www.boldfiction.com.