by David Holmes
Emily Parkhurst is running to save her and her daughter’s life. Roger, her unstable ex-husband, is on a murderous rampage to eliminate his family as witnesses to the despicable things he has done. His carnage and outrageous acts bring devastation to the North Shore of Lake Superior in his quest to remove anyone who gets in his way ‒ or who can implicate him.
Emily’s story has been out since September, 2010, and is gathering attention from more and more people. The overwhelming comment I get is: “I couldn’t put it down” and, “I found a part of myself in it.”
Before it was published I sent a copy of the manuscript to Judy Pearson, director of the Pearl Crisis Center. She read it and loved it enough to offer an endorsement. Judy and I have worked on fund raisers for Pearl putting the story in front of people with the message, “The abuse needs to stop.” Because of my interest in women’s rights and the elimination of abuse, I am now sitting on the Board of Directors for Pearl.
I put a request on Reporter Connection asking for stories from women who were victims of abuse to put into a real-life story. I received comments from all over the country and some from abroad. However, an overwhelming number of women asked that their story not be put into print. They were afraid of recrimination and some just couldn’t bear to see it all over again. Respecting those wishes, I put Emily’s story into a fictional format. It is a compilation of many different events, but hidden behind the fictional shield.
In my marketing and signing tours, one event took place that I will never forget. I was signing books when a woman came to the table and literally froze in place. She looked at the cover, put her hands to her face, and burst out in tears before running away. She was a victim that was living in pain. I pray that I will meet her again someday and at least talk to her.
Emily’s story doesn’t delve into the actual physical abuse. People know what happened to them and don’t need to go into it again. Instead, I have tailored the story to follow Emily while she is running and what she needs to do to protect her daughter. She develops relationships while running; some are good, and some are bad. The story has a positive ending and I am proud to say that the effect will stay with you. The message of the book is clear, and if it bothers anyone—it probably should.
The last pages of the book show the National Hotline numbers for abused, run- aways, and victims of crimes. It also pays homage to Jacob Wetterling, Jaycee Lee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, and others.
One note I am compelled to add is that my son, Jeff Holmes, did the amazing cover art. The picture alone is a story narrative.