Novels by Elaina John

States Trilogy

State of Restraint

State of Assertion

Chapter 1

I thought fleeing the United States and leaving everything I’d ever known was the hardest thing I’d have to do.


That honor was reserved for carpentry.

The metal head of the hammer slammed against my thumb and I bit back a curse, remembering where I was.

“Darn it,” I said instead.

Pastor Joyce took the hammer and smiled. “Oh, Melissa,” she stated with amused exasperation. This was the second time today my measly carpentry skills led to bodily harm and the umpteenth time over the last month and a half. “Building houses is not easy.”

I tried to shake the pain away. “You’re telling me.”

“A sore thumb is minor compared to the blessing that we’re giving an otherwise homeless family. It makes our missionary work worth it.”

I smiled, wincing only slightly at the word missionary and where life had taken me. Not that I did not believe wholeheartedly in building houses for the less fortunate and the work of God, but it just made the charade of my life that much more distinct.

I looked around at the kindhearted, generous folks lending their time and halting their lives to do a good deed. Many of these men and women quit jobs, left families and so much more because they felt it in their hearts to help those less fortunate.

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