Welcome to Author Take Over for today! I am beyond happy to introduce Samantha Ketteman to you all! So without further delay, I am leaving you all into her tender hands. :-)
Hey everyone! My name is Samantha Ketteman, and I will be your host for today! I am both a self-published and published author through Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing and Vamptasy publishing. I have been VERY busy, and have written three full novels, a novella, and three short stories found in anthologies in my first year! Needless to say, it's been a productive year.
Now, let me tell you a few things about myself, some widely known, others not so much. I am a giant, huge, obsessive procrastinator. I procrastinate procrastinating. I've turned it into an art form. I'm also scatterbrained and am usually entertaining three or four stories in my head at any given time. I talk about my crazy dreams and stories in my sleep, which is then followed by my waking up to my husband's laughter because he kept talking to me to see how long I would drone on in my sleep. Grrrrrr.
My novella with Vamptasy Publishing is titled Avenging Innocence, and it is the desperate tale of a mother seeking justice for her daughter when the justice system fails. It is a very emotional tale with a dark twist, and one I would not recommend for anyone under 18. Here is an excerpt from Avenging Innocence, available on Amazon for .99:
Jemma sat in the courtroom, staring out of empty eyes, numb to the murmurs of the family and witnesses exiting. She vaguely recognized someone calling her name, but could not tear her gaze from the plain, wooden defendant’s table in front of her. She looked up, into her mother’s suddenly aged face, when she felt a hand squeeze her arm lightly. Louise Aberdeen looked much older than her fifty years.
Her mother pleaded with her through bloodshot eyes, her tear-stained face the evidence of the hell they had just endured. “Jemma, we have to go.”
Jemma continued to stare, all rational thought eluding her grasp. She moved robotically, following Louise from the courtroom, through the old uneven hall, and down the crooked stairway, and out into the sunshine, pausing on the front steps of the courthouse.
Jemma couldn’t move. She couldn’t leave knowing that she had failed her daughter. She simply stood, staring at the traffic passing by, wondering how she could have done anything differently.
Louise held her arm, propelling her forward, as they walked around the town square until she reached her mother’s vehicle. The beep of the alarm disengaging sounded like the banging of the gavel as the verdict had been handed down. Images played through her mind, the scene unfolding all over again, as she entered the boxy Volvo and stared out of the window as they drove home.
She could hear the judge’s voice booming through her skull, the harbinger of her daughter’s injustice. She replayed the scene as the boy stood to receive his sentence, his family sighing in relief as his attorney patted him on the back. She remembered the look of pity on the child advocate’s face as the verdict and punishment were read.
Jemma felt the car come to a stop, and stared at her home through the tinted glass. She could feel the dam beginning to crack and wanted to be alone before facing the flood that would soon erupt through those fissures. “Thanks for the ride, Mom. I’ll call you in a little bit to let you know when to bring Mady home. I just need a little while to process everything.”
Jemma turned and gave a slight wave to Louise as she unlocked the door. No sooner had she entered the living room, she collapsed in a broken heap on the floor, sobs wrenching from her body. Her mouth opened in a silent scream of outrage as she curled tighter into herself on the cold, hardwood floor. With each tear that gathered in a puddle, her guilt threatened to drown her. Jemma laid there, allowing the emotions to pour out as her soul screamed in agony.
Once she was able to stand, she used the wall to guide her down the hall, staggering through the haze of fury into the bathroom. She barely made it to the toilet before her stomach violently heaved, rebelling against her as if it, too, wanted to punish her. Jemma laid her head on her arms, hugging the porcelain until her body stopped shaking and she could breathe once more. She turned on her knees and fumbled blindly for the tub faucet behind her, letting the water warm while she stood to disrobe.
Stepping into the shower, she allowed the scalding water to relax her tightened and knotted muscles, first in her shoulders, and then her back as she leaned forward and supported herself. Hands splayed against the terra cotta tile, she let her hair fall over her face as she hung her head, replaying the nightmare that would haunt her for the rest of her life, once more.
The judge had looked at the boy, anger on his face as he spoke words she had been told she would never hear. “You are lucky to be offered this plea bargain. If this had gone to trial, as was set for today, and I had deemed the evidence worthy of a guilty verdict, I would have made sure you did not see the light of day until your twenty-first birthday.”
Jemma remembered the tears that flowed unbidden down her cheeks as the judge continued talking. She had been told that there would be no hope of jail time for the boy who violated her daughter in the most reprehensible way. The State’s Attorney had assured her that the best course of action, the most she could ever expect, would be to offer the boy a plea bargain.
It had taken her months to swallow the bitter pill of a harsh reality, but she had done it. She resigned herself to the reality that she would never get the justice that her daughter deserved. She had failed her child. She allowed a monster to walk away with probation and a registration that no one would ever see. She had offered him his ticket to freedom, and the State’s Attorney had left her no other choice.
She grabbed the face wash and scrubbed away the dried tears and black mascara that streaked her flushed face. She closed her eyes, feeling the bitter sting of soap penetrate her eyelids, but the pain didn’t faze her.
The judge had read the terms of the boy’s probation to the court, but Jemma tuned out most of the stipulations as she grasped the waist-high banister that was all that separated her from killing the boy with her bare, white knuckled hands.
She had imagined jumping over the railing and watching the life drain from the boy’s eyes as she wrapped her long fingers around his pale white neck, crushing his larynx while watching his eyes bulge in fear. She imagined the joy she would feel as his mother screamed, watching her precious son breathe his last breath.
Jemma stepped under the spray, washing away the soap, as well as the lost opportunity to exact her revenge while she had the chance, and shook despite the uncomfortable temperature. She methodically continued her shower, managing to concentrate on the mundane task of scrubbing herself clean.
Steeling her resolve, she knew she had to pull herself together She turned the water off and stepped from the shower. Her body was scalded from the near dangerous water temperature, but it was no more than she felt she deserved. Wrapping herself in her robe, she walked across the hall to her bedroom. Fumbling through all of the drawers, she found her most comfortable pants and an oversized t-shirt, and dressed herself with shaking hands.
Jemma took a few deep breaths before she grabbed her phone from atop the bed and dialed her mother. Thirty agonizing minutes later, Louise walked through the front door hand-in-hand with Mady. Jemma gathered her little girl in her arms, running her hands over her beautiful blonde curls before leaning down and kissing her forehead gently.
Grab your copy at http://smarturl.it/
You can also find my short story Amelia in the Cogs in Time anthology, and the short story Bia in the Rise of the Goddess anthology.
or my other full length, Aphrodite's Secret, at http://smarturl.it/aphrodites
Keep your eye out for my next release titled Glimpse of Destiny, scheduled for release on June 12th.
Samantha Ketteman has resided in southern Illinois for 7 years, (though still claims to be an Alabama girl), with her husband and three crazy demon children. She started reading novels at a very young age and decided to write for herself. She is a caffeine addict, insomniac, and generally scatterbrained most of the time. When she's not writing, she's thinking of writing. Novels are an escape from the harsh reality of a cantankerous teenage boy and two drama queen girls.
She is the author of Aphrodite’s Secret, the first novel in The Forgotten series, as well as Avenging Innocence, a stand – alone novella published through Vamptasy Publishing. She has two short stories featured in the Cogs in Time anthology and The Rise of the Goddess anthology, both through Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly publishing. She is working on the upcoming Xade Daniels Chronicles and Reluctant Reaper series.
You can find Samantha here: