Thursday, March 2, 2017

Excerpt of Finding Emmeline

Here is an excerpt of the just published book titled "Finding Emmeline." Hope you enjoy the read. The book is available through

"Anxiety rippled through Elsa Delgado’s heart with a damp chill as she tightly held her daughter Ava’s hand. The mother’s body heaved with each anxious breath as she nudged the eight-year-old child back away from the weighty raindrops dripping off the overhead stone archway. No matter how many times Elsa had been a courier for the counterfeit documents, the task never got easier over the last eight years on the run from her abusive husband.

Elsa felt like she was forced to carry on with life against her will. First, with her husband Charles. And now her landlord and employer Bill Hobbs. Both men felt like ever-present hurricane-force winds slamming her from every direction.

This day was no different as sheets of windy summer rain howled along Main Street in Northland, a small town tucked away in a valley, deep-seated, in the Pocono Mountains region of northeastern Pennsylvania.

The drenched wind picked up street debris here and there. A stray sheet of soppy morning newspaper clung to a trash receptacle before being ripped away by a gust of blustery rain. Elsa saw a waxy paper wrap from the burger takeout across the street. The airborne wrapper touched down on the wet roadway like a skateboarder and then swirled back into the air for its next flip.

With each shift of wind, the storm plastered its pickings randomly against the old brick-façade downtown buildings, serving notice to the historical structures—Mother Nature is in charge on this August day in Northland.

But to Elsa’s employer Hobbs, the weather mattered little. The small town was an ideal location for his business, with fewer law enforcement eyes peering over his shoulder and only 90 miles to Manhattan where most of his customers came from. Torrential mountain rains and paralyzing winter storms were of no consequence to Hobbs. His unique covert printing business was driven by undocumented customers and their need for employment papers … a Social Security card, a passport, a required visa. Few suppliers in Manhattan could match Hobbs’ price for his high-quality counterfeit documents.

Today, Elsa welcomed the teeming rain. There were fewer people navigating the downtown streets, and that kept suspicious looks to a minimum.

She pushed back further into the archway that led to the entrance to what had been the Northland City Bank. The vacated building had been donated to the city and was now retrofitted as a repertory theater highlighting local playwrights."

Robert Parlante

March 2017

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