Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sneak Peek!


So . . . when is this novel really coming out? I am VERY excited to share that Act of Hope is now complete! It is available for purchase on my blog here or on Amazon. I would love to hear your thoughts about the cover design, and check out a sneak peek of the first chapter!

Chapter One of Act of Hope (Copyrighted by Therese J. Roberts)


“I decided to send him a letter,” she said thoughtfully and looked out the window of their apartment. The traffic was backed up all along the highway in Los Angeles, California. The young woman noticed a little red car in the row near their building.
“What?” Ruth said to her cousin.
Penny Adams turned her head slowly repeating, “I’m going to send him a letter.”
“A letter,” Ruth mused. “No one writes letters anymore. You will be wasting your time.”
“Maybe not,” Penny murmured.
Ruth sighed.
“Don’t you like the sound of an old-fashioned fan letter? One you get in the mail?” Penny asked with a note of excitement in her tone.
Ruth finished pouring her coffee. “I do, certainly. Matt Snow is another story.”
Penny looked out the window again. The traffic had not moved. She stared at the same red car.
“I have to get to work now,” Ruth said as she prepared for her evening shift as hotel manager. She could conveniently walk to work.
“I hope you have a good night, Ruth,” Penny responded absentmindedly.
“And don’t even think about turning on that news again,” Ruth warned her. “It’s obviously doing you no good.”
Penny sighed as Ruth closed the door of their apartment. Penny, who never listened to her cousin, turned the television on once Ruth left the room. She flipped the channels until she found a broadcast that offered an update.
Addie Morn, the red-haired, petite woman who often reported Hollywood news, related, “Millions of fans all over the world were devastated at the news of the near death of Matt Snow. Policemen have the driver of the taxi in custody, who bowled through Snow’s limo this evening. The heartthrob actor had been heading to a multi-million dollar opportunity of starring in the final chapter of the saga that made his name famous, Cold News.”
An image of the series popped up on the screen. It was a familiar picture to Penny. “We have been waiting for hours on an update from the hospital after Snow was rushed into surgery, and now we have it. Watch this harrowing clip from Matt Snow’s manager, Ivan Clark.”
Penny leaned forward on the window seat as the voice of Mr. Clark pealed through in a gruff tone. He was tall, thin, and very polished. “There’s not much to say. We are afraid the unthinkable has happened. Snow may never act again.”
Penny’s eyes widened.
Addie Morn commented soberly, “Definitely a bold statement from Snow’s manager, if I ever heard one. The details of his injury have been kept secret, but we’re sure to find out. Everyone in Hollywood is asking the same question . . . is this the end for the great Matt Snow?”
Penny clicked off the television and leaned back on the pillow. “Matt Snow . . .” she whispered. Then she walked with determination to the desk in the corner and pulled out a sheet of stationery. It had roses along the edges. She scribbled the pen on a piece of scrap paper to get the ink to run down to the tip and then commenced writing her letter to the injured actor.

Dear Matt Snow,

My cousin says you will not appreciate an old-fashioned fan letter . . . but I want to prove her wrong. I know that your following is great and your messages so frequent that a simple note written on a piece of paper may seem meaningless, but what if it is not?
What does one write to their favorite actor at such a difficult time? I can say I’m sorry and feel your great loss, but those are simply words. No one can feel what you are feeling. No one can say they understand.
I saw on the news that your accident was very severe. You must be thinking a thousand thoughts right now of how life will be different. Don’t think, Matt. Just live each moment one at a time. You will get better. I know you will because I asked God to make you better. Don’t give up!

Signed your friend,

Penny held her writing instrument in mid-air. “Hmm . . .” she said meditatively. “How should I sign this?” Penny suddenly smiled to herself and finished her letter. She knew someone who worked at the hospital that was going there the next morning. Penny sealed the envelope and made her way to the entranceway of their apartment. Her neighbor down the hall received a knock at her door.


Early the next morning, a young priest in a long black cassock was standing outside an occupied hospital room, watching a motionless patient inside. He had given the famous actor the Last Rites the night before on his way into surgery. The emergency operation pieced him back together but there was no question—the legs were paralyzed—at least for the time being.
“Father Charles,” a short, middle-aged woman with curly blonde hair suddenly said.
There was no answer.
“Father?” she repeated.
The young priest with dark hair roused himself. “I’m sorry, Pat.” He turned and tried to focus on the nurse in front of him.
“You have done everything you can for him, Father,” Pat Covington said encouragingly.
The priest nodded.
“Have you had any sleep?”
Father Charles shook his head.
“Maybe it’s time you did.”
Father nodded again. “Thank you, Pat. Please let me know if there’s any change in him.” He walked away slowly.
Pat entered the room and closed the door behind her. She approached the bedside and checked the vitals of the unconscious patient. She read the previous nurse’s chart noting his stable condition post-surgery. The actor had been in and out of fits of pain with no obvious improvement in his legs.
Pat returned the chart beside the hospital bed and looked over the patient. He was scratched up badly and had a broken arm, ribs, and shoulder. His usual perfectly arranged dark hair was a complete mess. Pat administered more pain medicine through his IV, which brought no more than a slight movement from the patient.
After finishing up and writing notes on his chart, Pat left a hand written letter in a sealed envelope on the side table. Upon closing the door again, Pat nearly crashed into Ivan Clark, Snow’s manager. “Excuse me,” she said.
“You’re excused,” he returned rudely. “What’s going on in that room?” he demanded.
“Same as it was an hour ago and the hour before that,” Pat said, trying to be patient with the overly polished man before her.
“Well, what’s the doctor’s verdict about it?” Ivan raised his voice.
Pat said testily, “The doctor is down the hall,” and pointed in the opposite direction. She walked away with that statement.
Ivan Clark barely glanced in the room of the actor and flew down the hallway in the direction of the doctor. Upon finding him, Ivan presented the same question, “What’s your verdict?” he demanded with his arms crossed.
Dr. Morgan stiffened. “I said I would speak with you half an hour from now. I’m in the middle of taking care of another patient,” he said as he took a chart from one of the nurses at the station and began looking it over.
“A meeting in half an hour is not good enough. Our production team was supposed to be underway yesterday,” Ivan practically yelled.
The doctor seemed almost amused. “If you think that actor is going to get up and start filming in half an hour, you are kidding yourself. In fact, he may not get up at all.”
“So, that’s your verdict?”
Dr. Morgan looked away and lowered his voice. “I said I would speak with you in half an hour.” He suddenly turned back to the manager. “And you said there is no family?”
It was Ivan’s turn to look amused. “Matt Snow left his family twenty years ago at the age of fifteen to become an actor and never looked back. He doesn’t know or care where any of his family is now. Does that answer your question?”
Dr. Morgan shrugged. “It seems that this would be an important time to bring them back together. If Mr. Snow has no family, does he have any kind of religion or faith?”
“Snow’s god is fame and money,” Ivan said flatly, his eyes cold.
“That actor is going to need someone . . .”
“As far as I’m concerned, no one needs him any longer,” Ivan said.
The doctor shook his head in amazement as the manager walked away down the hall.
Ivan turned the corner and bumped into a hoard of reporters. “Back off you leeches!” He brushed past them and went into an empty waiting area. The phone started dialing as he held the receiver to his ear. “Get me Craig Evans,” he demanded.


The eyes of Matt Snow started flickering later that afternoon. The room around him felt like riding a merry-go-round. He moaned and waited to open his eyes again until the carousel slowed down. His eyes fell on a little boy sitting on a chair beside him. The actor swallowed and whispered hoarsely, “Do I know you?”
The eight-year-old boy smiled at the question directed to him by his favorite actor. “No, you don’t, Mr. Snow.”
Matt stared at the ceiling and whispered, “Where am I?”
“You almost died!” the boy said with eyes wide open. He was holding a small notebook and pen, waiting for the right moment to ask.
Matt’s eyes returned to the boy. “What’s your name, kid?”
“Billy,” he said softly to his hero. “I’m William Matthew Covington.”
Matt nodded as well as he could. “It’s nice to meet you . . . William Matthew Covington.”
“Did you pay attention when I said my middle name? Just like your first name!” Billy said, hardly containing his excitement.
Matt said, “I noticed.”
Billy glanced down at his notebook again and fingered the outside.
Matt turned his head slightly. “What have you got there, little guy?”
“Well . . .” Billy hesitated. “It’s a notebook . . . for my favorite actors to sign.”
“How many signatures do you have?” the man with dark hair wanted to know.
Billy looked into the deep brown eyes of the actor. “You will be my first,” he said simply.
Matt tried to hide a smile. He glanced down at his broken right arm that rested in a cast. He moved the fingers of his left hand. “Well, if you don’t mind a crooked signature?” He leaned toward the boy and then suddenly felt his handicap. The actor’s eyes grew large. “My legs!”
Billy looked worried. “Oh my gosh, are they . . . gone?”
Matt no longer noticed Billy. “My legs!” he cried out again.
“Oh no, something’s wrong,” Billy said. “I better push the special button.” The call button for the nurse started blinking and the boy’s mother came in a few seconds later.
“What’s going on?” Pat said quickly. Matt was breathing heavily. “Billy, wait for me outside the room,” she said to her son.
“But, Mom . . .”
“No but’s.”
Billy closed his notebook and walked to the door, exiting quietly.
“Mr. Snow, please calm down. You are not helping yourself.” She checked his vital signs.
“Calm down? Calm down? I can’t feel my legs! They won’t move!” His eyes were flashing.
Pat hesitated. “I know, Mr. Snow. You were in an accident. You are lucky to be alive.”
“Lucky? You call this lucky? I can’t get up!” Matt yelled in frustration.
Pat sighed. “Mr. Snow, with physical therapy you may easily regain the use of your legs. Please, calm down.”
Matt’s eyes moved restlessly around the room. He swallowed hard. “My life is over.”
“No, it’s not.”
“My . . . my manager . . . where is he?” Snow suddenly asked.
Pat looked away. “You’re going to be all right.”
“Where is Ivan Clark?” the actor demanded.
“I don’t think now is the time to discuss this. The doctor wants you to rest. You are still considered in critical condition.”
The reality of the situation started to dawn on the actor. “I’m alone then.”
Pat glanced over at the door where a young boy was peering through the glass, all his attention on his hero. “I wouldn’t say that.”
Matt followed her gaze. The boy’s face lit up at the recognition by the actor and he waved. Matt looked up at the ceiling again.
“You also have a letter beside you from a person who seems to care a lot about you,” Pat added.
“From two million fans to two single fans,” the actor murmured to himself.
“You are going to be all right,” Pat repeated, trying to reassure him.
Matt was still staring at the ceiling.
“Read the letter, Mr. Snow,” Pat said and left the hospital room.
Matt hesitated before picking up a single page with delicate script filling the space. He tried to focus on the words and read:

Dear Matt Snow,

My cousin says you will not appreciate an old-fashioned fan letter . . . but I want to prove her wrong. I know that your following is great and your messages frequent that a simple note written on a piece of paper may seem meaningless, but what if it is not?
What does one write to their favorite actor at such a difficult time? I can say I’m sorry and feel your great loss, but those are simply words. No one can feel what you are feeling. No one can say they understand.
I saw on the news that your accident was very severe. You must be thinking a thousand thoughts right now of how life will be different. Don’t think, Matt. Just live each moment one at a time. You will get better. I know you will because I asked God to make you better. Don’t give up!

Signed your friend, Hope

Matt fingered the page thoughtfully.

Enjoy readers!!!

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