Path to Promise
by Sherryle Kiser Jackson
Sequel to Land of Promiscuity
There’s a difference between running scared and running free.
Rebecca Lucas is on the run again, running from rumors, running from reality, and most of all, running from Will, her best friend and soul mate. This time Rebecca is ready to reclaim the life she left behind in Salisbury before the burial of her mother and the handling of her mother’s estate. Time away, however, has done little to alleviate her biggest problem—her coworker Kenny Burke and the indecent proposal he pitched to her before leaving town. She’s back, and he uses every resource at his disposal to get her to go along with his plan.
Will Donovan, the man left in the trail of Rebecca’s taillights and exhaust fumes, has a few problems of his own. His father’s secrets have left the senior Pastor Donovan ousted from his longtime position as leader of Grace Apostle Methodist Church, and Will with one foot in the door. As a mandate of the church board, Will must apply and compete for his dad’s job. His competition is the very charismatic and well-connected Danny Glass Jr., heir of a televangelist empire. Will seems to be the only one questioning why Danny is on his turf when he has his own father to succeed. He struggles with the integrity of his decisions in an effort to carve out his own identity in ministry.
For Will and Rebecca, the Path to Promise is far from a utopian street paved with gold. Will their paths, marred with their own obstacles, cross and lead them to the promises of God?
5 of 5 stars - Early Book Review by A'ndrea Wilson's review
*Advanced copy review
Wow! In the sequel to Land of Promiscuity, Sherryle Kiser Jackson offers a beautiful and inspirational love story, resolving readers' lingering questions from Book 1. Path to Promise picks up shortly after Land of Promiscuity leaves off, addressing the issues that were introduced in the first novel-Rebecca's work woes, Will's reluctance to leadership, and the couple's hot-cold relationship. Rebecca finds herself drowning in harassment on the job by a lawyer who seems to stay one step ahead of her. With her legal career at risk, will she finally believe in herself enough to fight for her own justice?
Will's biggest fear has become reality-he is being pushed into the senior pastor role too soon. To make matters worse, instead of being given the position previously held by his father, he is expected to prove himself worthy in a battle against the son of a famous pastor. Can he gain the support of the congregation despite the obvious attempts to discredit his abilities? And will his undying love for his childhood best friend be enough to keep them both on the path to the promise of a future filled with hope?
I absolutely loved this book. I would go as far as to say that this book is my favorite from Jackson, demonstrating her growth as a writer and commitment to developing a great story. The characters felt so real that I experienced every emotion with them, leaving me in tears, celebrating, and even angry a few times. Readers of Land of Promiscuity will not be disappointed with this enjoyable conclusion. If you've ever felt unworthy, lost, insecure, or nonredeemable, Path to Promise is a must-read book that will encourage you to embrace God's healing and never go back.
Excerpt from Path to Promise
The next day Rebecca clung to her sixteen-ounce Colombian roast as life support to get her through the day. She practically had to reintroduce herself to the firm’s fifth-floor administrative assistant, Celeste, after she called out to the slightly older woman to hold the elevator on the ground floor. No greeting and no apology came from her colleague when they came face-to-face after Rebecca sacrificed her umbrella handle to prompt the door to open again.
“Thank you,” Rebecca said sarcastically before the elevator car became crowded with associates, who were just as rude, pushing them farther back with their wet umbrellas, their lawyer-speak, and their arrogance.
Their building had ten floors; the top five were occupied by the largest law firm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. When the elevator reached the fifth floor, an older man in an all-weather coat pushed the close button so quickly that Rebecca and Celeste couldn’t move forward and get off the elevator in time. The man acting as the lift operator then spoke loudly into his cell phone, letting the person on the other end of the line know his estimated time of arrival in the suite of offices on a higher floor. Having missed their floor, an indication of how insignificant they were on the firm’s totem pole, Rebecca and Celeste shared a perturbed look.
They rode to the top, stopping on practically every other floor, and then rode back down to the very bottom before they could move to the front and take control of the roving beast that was their elevator.
“I see nothing has changed around here,” Rebecca said once she was off the elevator and heading with her traveling companion to the administrative suite of cubicles and waiting rooms.
“Not a thing. I am glad one of us knows somebody that has enough pull to get a substantial vacation before vacation week.” Celeste smirked.
Apparently, Celeste hadn’t gotten the notice as to why she had been out, Rebecca thought. A “How are you doing?” would have been in order. Rebecca decided her business wasn’t worth telling. They weren’t friends. They had the same strained relationship Rebecca seemed to have with all women, one based on assumptions, envy, and petty arguments. She was thought to be worthless throughout high school because she didn’t hang in a clique of girls that had boyfriends, gossiped, or had a fashion obsession. Then she was considered a wanton threat because the boyfriends of those same girls got wind of the fact that she had contoured her body and wasn’t afraid to use it.
“I’m glad you’re back,” Celeste said, walking ahead to her command post, apparently in a hurry to grab something. Celeste grabbed a pile of papers and file folders with one arm. She turned at the precise time and practically shoved the stack into Rebecca’s midsection. “Now you can pull your own weight.”
Rebecca stepped back, not so much from the impact, but from the splash of her coffee. She fought to maintain her grip on the coffee cup. They were in a staring match, and it would continue, as far as Rebecca was concerned, until Celeste realized her hands were occupied. Still holding the pile of papers and folders, Celeste sighed heavily and begrudgingly followed Rebecca, whose gait was purposely slow. Celeste’s shoes squeaked due to the slickness of the floor from the spilled coffee and the cheap polyurethane material her shoes were made from. Before even attempting to retrieve what Celeste had for her, Rebecca sat her coffee down and draped her fur-trimmed sweater on the hook to the right of her desk once she was inside her cubicle. They exchanged smug looks and the load of papers before Celeste turned to leave.
What was her problem? Rebecca thought. No amount of coercion or sweet talk could make Celeste fill in for a paralegal. On numerous occasions, she had let attorneys and their lackeys alike know she was an administrative assistant. She worked with Windows software, not Workshare, and she absolutely wasn’t running back and forth across the street to the courthouse. Bethany or any of the other three paralegals in the building might be called upon to assist in her stead, but definitely not Celeste.
Rebecca’s desk was neat, and the pile of depositions and files that she now held would give her a time line of what had gone on in her absence. She walked to the break room before taking on the task of going through the pile and devising a to-do list from it. She needed to refresh her cup of coffee and, in doing so, checked off her first assignment. It was her duty to start a pot of generic roast for clients and guests who would check in on their floor. A sad cutout of a Christmas tree, tacked up on the huge memo board and cluttered with generic cards from random staffers, was the only reminder of the holiday that had just past. Rebecca concentrated on setting the coffee machine to brew so she could forget how she had spent Christmas day sulking and sorting through mail of her own.
She backtracked now to her desk to grab her calendar to confer with Celeste. Like a chess player did a chessboard, she studied her calendar and kept it up to date at all times. She had to know where all the major players were. Jacobs, God help him, was no doubt in court. That left Minor and Burke, whom she was uncertain about.
Burke. The thought of him gave her shivers. She used to think the way he looked at her was sexy, but now it brought a curl to her lip. Would he be in today or out wooing some client? Maybe he had started his vacation. Would he be looking for her to help him entertain his potential client list, like he had implied before she left? Hopefully, he had found someone else to harass.
Maybe she could get a reprieve today. Yeah, who came in between Christmas and New Year’s, anyway? she told herself. Then she thought of all the attorneys in the elevator this morning. She bent back the corner on her agenda book, just thinking about it. It was crazy to keep dwelling on Burke’s proposition to befriend his client, Walter Calhoun that had happened just one time and would more than likely not happen again. Her plan was to attack the pile on her desk while attacking her anxiety. She did a one-eighty back to her desk, but like a revolving door, she spun around again with a favor in mind to ask Cruella De Vil at the front desk.
Rebecca stopped at Celeste’s desk and inhaled deeply as she waited to be acknowledged. “Celeste, since it’s my first day back, I’m really, really, really trying to play low key today. It’s like I’m not here. I wasn’t even going to report until Monday, anyway. Until I can weed my way through this pile and get things in order, I’m no good to anyone, anyway. I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell Burke that I’m back here. I’m not saying to lie, but just don’t make an announcement.”
“Oh, no way, sista. Then he’ll be loading me up with things to do, or he’ll have me searching for Bethany, who, between the two of you, hasn’t worked a weekend’s worth of time this month.” She leaned in, and although Rebecca found that odd, she leaned in as well to catch the apparent scoop Celeste was dishing. “You know, she’s nearly four months pregnant.”
Rebecca blinked several times as she digested the news, and wondered for a moment how much of her own business Celeste shared in this same manner with friends and foes alike. “Please, Celeste. I don’t ask you for much.”
“So you’re hiding from Burke?” Celeste gave her top molars a satisfied suck.
“Not hiding. I’m just a little disoriented. See,” she said, holding out her agenda book. “I don’t know where anyone is in any of their cases. Jacobs . . .”
“Is due in court at nine,” Celeste said, finishing Rebecca’s sentence for her.
Rebecca shrugged and shook her head at the same time. “They do that to him on purpose.”
“He does it to himself. He’s served more court time than a repeat offender, but he’s on a winning streak now. If he was smart, he’d hook up with seven and eight, like Minor is doing, working on a corporate bid. It should be interesting to see who between Burke and Minor wins an office upstairs first,” Celeste said, referring to the status of senior attorneys, who were housed on the seventh and eighth floors.
Rebecca had underestimated Celeste’s knowledge of office politics. Rebecca didn’t want to play them, but it was good to know the house rules.
“He’ll be in here, all right, without me saying a word,” Celeste said.
Rebecca gave her a quizzical look. “Who?”
“Burke. That’s who you’re worried about, aren’t you?” Celeste snapped.
Rebecca leaned in as Celeste had done to get her to pipe down. “What makes you so certain?”
This time Celeste backed away, as if Rebecca had some sort of disease. “One thing Mr. Kenny Burke can do well is sniff out fresh meat and money. In your case, meat he hasn’t fully picked over yet.”
Rebecca watched Celeste suck her teeth again, as if to dislodge remnants from her breakfast, before turning on her swivel chair. Rebecca was thoroughly disgusted. What did that mean? And what did she know?
( Continues... )
Copyright © 2013 by Sherryle Kiser Jackson. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Sherryle Kiser Jackson. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
About the Author
Multipublished author, wife, mother and teacher, Sherryle Kiser Jackson strives to be a fresh voice in Christian Fiction. Born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, Sherryle went on to get a degree in Elementary Education from from Salisbury State University. Her triumphant debut novel, Soon and Very Soon (2007) was followed up by her sophomore release, The Manual (2009), Soon After (2010),Taylor- Made (2011) and Land of Promiscuity (2012) for Urban Christian Books. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.
Sherryle Kiser Jackson
Multipublished Christian Author
2013 -Thrive in God's grace and abound in His love
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