Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Giveaway - My Son, John by Kathi Macias

Murder. Could there be a more chilling word? When Liz Peterson’s elderly mother is found viciously beaten to death in her home, Liz and her husband, Charles, along with their grown son, John, and teenage daughter, Sarah, struggle to make sense of a senseless act. And then a second blow—more devastating, if possible, than the first—rocks them to their core. John is arrested for his grandmother’s murder. As what’s left of the Peterson family begins to crumble under the weight of loss and accusation, the Petersons’ longstanding Christian faith is put to the test in a way they could never have imagined, and unconditional love is stretched to its limits. Can God’s grace reach even to the deepest agony of the soul and bring healing to a family torn apart by a brutal crime?
“I was in prison and you came to Me…” (Matthew 25:36).
Tick, damn it, tick! I cried silently, oblivious to the fact that I had just thought a word I would never say out loud. I glared through bloodshot eyes at the large, round, schoolroom-type clock that was the sole decoration on the cold gray wall behind the metal chair where John sat, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and holding a phone to his ear, while gazing at me through a glass partition, no doubt knowing that I was avoiding eye contact because the pain was just too great.
Still staring at the offensive timepiece on the wall, I demanded silently, Do you think just because you don’t make any noise that I don’t know what you’re doing, that I don’t realize that with every sweeping circle you’re stealing more and more of my son’s life?
Oh, God, if only there were a window in here! If I could just reach through this glass and touch him…!
The tears came then, and there was nothing I could do to stop them. I pulled my vision from the clock and caught a glimpse of John’s anguished, sweat-beaded face before squeezing my eyes shut in a vain attempt to block out the swell of emotions that threatened to drown me. I had to stop this denial and refocus my efforts and energy on my son. He would never survive this nightmare if I didn’t; none of us would.
I forced my eyelids open, wiping the tears from my cheeks and wishing I had been allowed to bring my purse in with me. But, of course, everything personal had been left behind before I had been admitted to the visiting area. You’d think those in charge would realize a mother’s need for a tissue in such a situation.
Slowly, I cracked my lips into what I was sure was a wooden smile. “You look good,” I lied, knowing he knew better but hoping to convince myself. “Are they treating you all right…feeding you, and—”
Trembling but quite obviously trying hard not to show it, he pressed the palm of his free hand against the glass in what was doubtless an attempt to cut off my pointless questions. “I’m fine, Mom. Honest. I told you that last time. And…please, you don’t have to come here. I don’t want you to come here. Can’t you understand that?”
How could I understand that my son didn’t want me to visit him and support him when he’d been accused of something so horrific it was beyond comprehension? How could I understand anything anymore? Not only had John been falsely imprisoned, but he was losing weight and I could see he wasn’t well. He needed me….
“I want to come,” I answered. “I have to. I’ve never abandoned you before. Why would you think I would now—especially now?”
The pain and fear in his dark blue eyes flickered before fading to dull. He pressed his lips together and shook his head. “I have to go, Mom. Time’s about up anyway. I…hate talking to you like this…seeing you this way.”
I watched his Adam’s apple bob slightly as he swallowed and then said, “I love you, Mom. You know that. Dad and Sarah, too.” Then, after only a brief hesitation, he removed his palm from the glass, hung up the phone, and stood to his feet. Immediately a corrections officer was at his side, escorting him from the room.
Still pressing the receiver to my ear, I whispered, “You didn’t even say goodbye, John. You didn’t say goodbye….”
At the thick metal door, just below and to the right of the silent wall clock, John stopped, turning slightly as his armed escort unlocked the heavy barrier. Glancing backward, his lips spread ever-so-slightly in that frightened, little-boy smile he’d had since he was a little boy, the one he’d worn when he walked on skinny, shaky legs into his kindergarten room on the first day of school, assuring me that he was all right. As I had that day when I stood in the hallway outside his classroom, I now did my best to return his smile. Then he turned his back to me and shuffled on shackled ankles through the passageway.
So little had changed in the eighteen years since that first day of school—and yet the world my husband and I had known since our oldest child was born twenty-three years earlier had exploded and vanished, washed away in tears…and in blood. Nothing would ever be the same again.
John’s kindergarten smile had been his signal to me that he could handle things and I should leave. With legs of lead and a heart even heavier, I forced myself to honor his wishes.

Kathi's Blog

Kathi Macias is an amazing writer. I was blessed to win her book, Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today. That book has truly touched my life. I can't wait to read My Son, John.

Win your free copy of My Son, John

Must be a follower of my blog to enter.

1 entry for sharing your favorite activity with your children (or grandchildren, nieces or nephews). After reading this excerpt I thought once again how I need to savor each moment with my children because they will grow up and leave me.

2 entries for sharing the current giveaway on Twitter or Facebook (please provide a link)

4 entries for posting about the current giveaway or the month-long contest on your personal blog or putting it on your sidebar. If you post about the overall contest, please let me know which book you'd like your extra entries put towards. (please provide a link)

Please include an e-mail address or other contact info.

Contest closes January 28th.

Contest open to residents of U.S. and Canada.

Thanks for entering and spreading the word about the contest, my friends. All the contests posted this month are still open, so feel free to enter them all. Please join us on Friday when I'll be spotlighting and giving away Discipline Me Right by Mary Simmons. My three-year old and I really need that book!

This contest is now closed.


  1. This book looks great. I love playing dolls and make-believe with my younger nieces. With my older nieces we like to make cards!

  2. wow, what an excerpt to say the least. I so want to read this book.

    I play games with my niece such as Crokinole, dice games, word games. She could play forever.

  3. I would love to read this book. Please count me in.

    I love collecting beads, and my grandchildren and I spend time making jewelry together. Sometimes they make something for themselves, but most of the time they make a gift for someone else.


  4. Thanks for linking to The Book Connection's list of favorites for 2009. I've read several of Kathi's books over the past couple of years and she's easily one of my favorite authors.

    I'm excited that she has a new fiction series coming out this spring.


  5. I used to ride bikes with my kids. It was so much fun! I think the best biking adventure was one Saturday morning when we biked to the doughnut shop. My dad and I used to do that a lot when I was a kid, so I was very glad I could repeat this with my kids!

  6. Thanks for all the fun ideas to do with children. My boys and I love to swim, bike, and play lots of board games when it's cold. Monopoly is a big hit lately because Mom always loses!

  7. Thanks, Cheryl, for coming to visit my blog. I really enjoy The Book Connection and Kathi's books as well.

  8. Tweeted:

  9. Tweeted:

  10. I had my first real "craft" moment with my 2 year old daughter this week. We made a paper snow man, from a craft project we got during story time a the library. It was so satisfying to see the look on her face as she created something from a bunch of random papers. I see much more of that in our future.

  11. I have heard Great things about this book.....

  12. I really appreciate this chance to share how I enjoy my time with my kids! I love to turn up the music and dance with them--they have learned to move and I am so happy to see them laugh and move with me! ;)

    (I've posted this on FB too!)

  13. I love being able to just sit and play pretend or read with my son. I love it when he want's mommy time. I love watching him play, sing, dance, sleep, and just be. He is growing so fast and is learning so much.

    Thanks for the chance. I am a follower.
    bekki1820cb at gmail

  14. We like to play board games & family vactions.

    Thanks for having such a Great Giveaway!

  15. Thanks for all your fabulous ideas and reminders of how wonderful children are. I'm going to turn some music on and giggle with my cute dancers.

  16. My favorite activity with my children is movie night. We always have a blast and our bonds grow deeper and deeper. I truly savor these times and just that the Lord for every second I am granted with them.

  17. Tweet entry #1

  18. Tweet entry #2

  19. I love to cook with my daughter. Please count me in...

  20. Thanks, Cheryl and Susan. Movie nights are so relaxing and nice. I have to force myself not to run around and get things done while the cute boys are occupied!

  21. I have 18 grandchildren and love to spend time with each of them. 6 of them live out of state and so my time with them is limited. The other 12 are nearby and every year I make sure I do something special with them for their birthdays. It is always what they want to do for their special day. Sometimes it's only going to dinner, or it could be going to a movie, play or even the ice capades. I want them each to feel important and to know that I care about them.

  22. this looks like a wonderful read thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

  23. Favorite thing is to cuddle and read a book to the rocking chair. I love snuggles!
    coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

  24. Tweeted entry 1
    coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

  25. Tweeted entry 2
    coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

  26. Connie - Wonderful grandmothers are such a blessing. Keep it up!
    Robyn - That has always been my favorite too. My boys know the way to make Mommy drop everything is to say, Read me a story.

  27. I love to just spend time with my nieces & nephews - going shopping, going to a movie, working on a project at Grandma & Grandpa's house - whatever! There really isn't one favorite because my nieces & nephews are all ages and all have different interests.
    Thanks ~ megalon22 at yahoo dot com

  28. Our family loves to play board games and watch America's Funniest Videos together.


    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  29. Twet! Tweet!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


  30. Twet! Tweet!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


  31. Thanks Nancye, Cheryl, and Molly for the entries and fun ideas. Board games and reading definitely top my list. Lately though it's Monopoly and I really stink at that. I try to tell my husband that I was destined to be creative not manage money and property. Makes him worry a bit!


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