Claiming Jeremiah by Missy B. Salick
On the same night that twenty four-year-old Jordyn Sims has a miscarriage, her sister-in-law Tori Sims conceives a child. Nine months later, Tori, a long term heroin addict, abandons her two-hour-old drug addicted newborn Jeremiah, in a hospital stairwell. Jordyn receives the news and pursues foster adoption. However, Oscar, Tori's possessive drug-addicted boyfriend, is not about to give Jeremiah up so easily. While in confrontation with Tori and Oscar, Jordyn seeks help from the Administration of Children Services (ACS), only to discover she is faced with a maze of departments, regulations, legalities and overworked social workers. Jordyn, however, remains strong and continues to push through the uphill battle, even after she discovers she's pregnant. With all odds against her adoption of Jeremiah, and her pregnancy at high risk from increasing stress, will Jordyn win this tough battle, or will her world crumble before her?
Excerpt from Claiming Jeremiah by Missy B. Salick
The Sunn was a hazy silver ball swathed in clouds in a pale sky. Restless waves foamed and rippled along the surface of the dark brown ocean. A light mist hung in the air. Seagulls glided overhead.
The sand was like powder and felt gritty under her feet. Her daughter, her curls bouncing as she ran on ahead, chased a flock of birds that had landed in search of food. Pretty, she thought.
People huddling on chairs and towels looked at the girl and smiled. She had taken a piece of bread from her mother’s picnic basket and was crumbling it into pieces in her tiny hands, sprinkling it along the sand as she ran, a picture of joy and uninhibited freedom. The birds that had fluttered nervously into the air as she ran past floated cautiously back down to the sand to pick at the breadcrumbs.
She turned toward the ocean and closed her eyes, allowing the frigid breeze to graze her body.
She turned to face her daughter, who was waving and smiling happily. She waved back.
“Come here! Come here Mommy!”
Then the waves halted on their way to the shore. People on the sand froze in the middle of what they were doing. The wind stopped blowing. Her daughter stood with her hand outstretched, her happy smile frozen on her face.
What the . . . ?
A raindrop hit her face and rolled down her cheek. Another splashed against her shoulder. She looked up. A spray of raindrops was cascading from the pale gray clouds.
Terrified, she tried to run toward her little girl, but her feet sank deep into the soft sand, which sucked her down.
“Mommy! Come here!” Her daughter’s lips were still frozen in that achingly sweet smile.
“I'm coming!” Her voice was trapped in her mouth. In a flash of light, her daughter was gone.
The pain came in suffocating waves that squeezed great jagged groans out of her. Blood streamed down her legs. She fell to her knees, frantically clawed at the sand, sinking deeper.
“Jordyn?” Her husband's voice came from beyond the clouds.
“Julian . . .” She tried to push the words through paralyzed lips.
“Jordyn, baby! Jordyn, baby! Wake up!”
The pain slashed through her womb. She couldn't breathe. His voice seemed to pull her closer to the surface.
“Oh God, Jordyn!”
She opened her eyes and saw the top of her husband's head, his mass of unruly curls. His face was nestled against her breast as he tried to hear her heartbeat.
“Are you alive?” she heard him whisper, his voice laced with fear. “Baby, it’s gonna be all right. It's gonna be all right. I'm gonna call the ambulance. Don't move. Don't move, honey.”
The bed jerked roughly as Julian sprang from the mattress onto the floor, knocking something off the bedside table in a spray of splinters. Just before she was sucked into the darkness again, she heard him yell into the phone, “My wife's pregnant . . . ! Yes . . . ! Yes! You gotta get here now! She's lost a lotta blood!”
I’m too modern . . . too modern for him . . . I don’t cook . . . don’t do laundry . . .
She was pulled to the surface when the bed jerked again. Julian had climbed on top of her, his knees straddling her body, the phone cradled between his ear and his shoulder.
“No . . . she's still bleeding . . . even worse than before . . .”
Too modern . . . too freaking modern . . . can't cook . . . can’t bear him a child . . . What good am I to him?
Raw fear gripped her. She wanted to bawl like a child, but that would only scare Julian more than he already was. She held out her hand to him, and he grabbed it, as if holding on to her for dear life. His eyes stared wildly into hers.
“I'm okay, baby,” she whispered. But she wasn't okay.
I can't do this again. Not again.
A piercing siren wailed up the street. Red lights flashed outside the window. The ambulance had arrived. She kept her eyes on her husband.
“I'm sorry . . .” she said, her words trailing off as she sank into darkness.
( Continues... )
Copyright © 2013 by Missy B. Salick. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
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Meet the Author
Missy B. Salick is a new author who has written her first novel, Claiming Jeremiah. Her fictional memoir on foster adoption is drawing a hefty buzz around the sensitive topic. The novel is small in size, but contains a powerful message. "Children in foster care need a place to call home." Salick, a foster care advocate, wrote this book based on her personal journey of foster adopting her four-year-old son.
Before self-publishing, Claiming Jeremiah, Salick spent several years as a freelance business writer for Fortune 500 companies such as: Shearman & Sterling, KPMG, Deloitte and many more. She also had a stint with song ghost writing. Salick's experience in the entertainment industry stems from working with entertainment companies and media including Violator, MBK, Village Voice and more. As the founder of J.J. Autumn Publishing, her publishing company is geared towards highlighting urban fiction dedicated to special causes and community awareness projects.
When Missy is not promoting foster adoption, she can be found volunteering at Junior Achievement, being a Big Sister and counseling young girls through Journal Writing or helping to save the Polar Bears with WWF.