Line of Fire, An Autumn Rain Novel
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As a public defender, Caitlin McLoughlin dreams of someday locking the bad
guys in prison instead of defending them. But prosecuting jobs are scarce,
and Caitlin's future seems bleak. When her current client is about to walk
away from a brutal crime, she risks her career to make sure he doesn't hurt
anyone else. Yet what if her choice means sacrificing her career and the
means care for her mentally disabled sister?
Then Caitlin meets Parker Hathaway, charged with kidnapping four-year-old
Madeline. Just another criminal, another job, Caitlin thinks.
But Parker tells a far different story. Can Caitlin believe him, as her
heart urges? Is she willing to put everything on the line to defend her
clienta man who claims to be protecting the child he loves? Or is her trust
better placed in the handsome deputy district attorney with his undefeated
record in court? Caitlin's pursuit of the truth swiftly thrusts her into a
maze of unanswered questions and unexpected heartache.
Meanwhile, time is running out for Madeline. If Caitlin doesn't find the
proof she is looking for soon, there may not be a future for any of them.
What Others Are Saying
I can't wait to read this book! I have read all your other ones and have enjoyed them very much. Keep up the good work.
Anna Francks of Ephraim, , UT
I loved this book! I started reading it not quite sure what to expect and ended up unable to put it down!
Kari Crowther of Hermiston, OR
This book was very goodI couldn't put it down. I read it in 2 days!!!
Hollee of Centralia, Wa
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Several years ago, shock radiated throughout Utah when an infant was found dead
after ingesting meth she had found in a plastic bag on the floor of her home.
What made this tragic circumstance even more notable and horrific is that weeks
earlier her father had forcibly taken her across state lines, hoping to protect
her from her mother's substance abuse. Authorities found the child, placed her
back with her mother, and sent the father to jail for assault and burglary. A
little over a week later, the baby was dead and the mother was charged with
desecration of a dead body for moving her daughter to cover up the mother's drug
abuse. All charges against the father were eventually dropped.
Sadly, this is not the only story of a child becoming the victim of a parent's
drug use. In Tulsa, a young boy grabbed a drink of what he thought was water but
which was actually lye used in making meth. He survived, but his esophagus was
burned away and the child will never be the same. Other children who have
ingested similar chemicals weren't so fortunate.
One mother, heavily doped up on drugs, accidentally rolled over and smothered
her child as they napped on the couch. A six-year-old boy in Tulsa showed law
enforcement officers in detail how his daddy made drugs. In meth homes
throughout the country, baby bottles share sinks and refrigerators with meth
containers, and the drug is often made in the same kitchen where food is
prepared. Poison is only inches away from dinner plates and glasses of milk. Law
enforcement officers wear protective gear when dismantling these meth labs, but
the children who live there on a daily basis are unprotected from the toxic
fumes that saturate their bodies, clothing, and toysif they are lucky to have
such things. Often these houses have no food, no toilet paper, and no sheets on
the beds. The children are completely neglected, and the houses are filthy. Many
of these children show developmental delays, organ injuries from the fumes,
heart problems, seizures, and violent behavior.
Chief Deputy C. Philip Byers from the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office in
North Carolina writes: "In 2004, over 2,700 children were found in
methamphetamine labs seized by law enforcement officials nationwide. Children
were present in 34% of the total lab seizures in the United States."1 Some of
those children were injured or killed during the seizures. As shocking as that
is, however, experts estimate that only a small percentage of meth labs are ever
States seem to be losing the battle against methamphetamine addiction. Child
welfare, law enforcement, substance abuse, and treatment systems are overloaded.
Some estimate that over 8.3 million children in the United States live with a
parent who has a substance abuse issue. Nearly 2 million child abuse cases each
year are investigated, and a half million of those have enough evidence to act
on. Some 200,000 children are removed from their homes each year.2
But what about the cases that aren't proven? What about the children who fall
through the cracks, but are still at risk? To what lengths might a non-custodial
parent be compelled to go in order to protect a child from danger?
These were the questions I thought about as I began writing Saving Madeline. I
wanted to show one man's dilemma in balancing his need to protect his daughter
with his duty to obey the law, to detail his struggle in an overloaded system
where there are no second chances for the innocent victims. Please keep in mind
that though the idea for this novel was inspired by the numerous true-life
stories I researched, the plot, characters, and resolution in Saving Madeline
are completely fictional. No actual experiences or interviews of real -life
people were used in the text itself. (Neither does this story in any way reflect
the life of the sweet Madeline I dedicated this book to. Though challenged with
Muscular Dystrophy, that Madeline has the great fortune to have been born to
loving and responsible parents.)
Could such a story actually happen? I believe so. Trust me about the outcome of
my story, though, okay? My young character has a lot of people fighting for her.
But keep in mind as you read my story all the children who have no one to fight
for them and who do not survive.
Caitlin McLoughlin's client was guilty. In a vicious and premeditated attack,
Chet Belstead had pushed his former girlfriend down in the new grass o (more...)
Where to Buy
Softcover Tradeback $17.95 suggested retail price. Buy at Amazon
Buy for Kindle
for more stores.
Shadow Mountain, Softcover Tradeback, Romance, 321 pages.
First printing in September 2009
Book also includes a discussion guide.