February 4, 2015

Blog Tour: Enslavement by Melinda Friesen – Excerpt and Giveaway

Enslavement Banner

Welcome to our tour stop for

Enslavement by Melinda Friesen

presented by Rebelight Publishing.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


“One world. One currency. One bright future.”

That’s the promise made by OneEarth Bank after a global economic collapse–but only for those who accept the insertion of a commerce chip.

When Rielle’s parents refuse to comply, government officials tear her family apart. As punishment for her parent’s crimes, Rielle is forced into a Community Service Contract–a legalized form of slavery–and sold a wealthy, abusive banker.

The Banker’s secrets hold the key to Rielle’s freedom, but will she risk prison or even death to escape and search for her family?

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Title: Enslavement (One Bright Future, #1)
Publication date: October 31, 2014
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing Inc.
Author: Melinda Friesen

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | IndieBound


A few days later, I’m polishing the silver in the dining room when the nephew walks into the solarium and plunks himself down in front of the piano. The piano that no one has ever played. The one I wish every day I could play.
He’s finally put on some real clothes. It must’ve been exhausting for him.
The nephew taps the keys, high, low, high, low and then a clipped staccato version of “Mary had a Little Lamb”. I wrinkle my nose at the sound of it. He’s desecrating that fine instrument.
I rub a cloth over a tarnished sugar bowl, recalling the hours I spent practicing music, all the lessons and nerve-wracking recitals. I look down at my hands, red and calloused, my fingernails broken and stubby. Once, these hands made beautiful music. Seems like a million years ago.
Hopelessness envelopes me, crushing my chest. Those dreams, their passion, their consuming fire in my life, are now extinguished. After all the time and emotion poured into them, the only thing these hands will ever do is scrub floors and disinfect bathrooms. Tears well, but I push them back. I’m a captured bird, wings clipped.
I sense eyes on me. For a moment, I forgot that I’m not alone. I lift my gaze to find Justin’s stare fixed on me.
Oh, not good.
I scrub the sugar bowl more vigorously, my heart racing and my cheeks hot.
“What do you think of my amazing musical skills?” he calls.
They suck, just like you.
Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t speak. Who knows what would spring from my mouth. I work up what I hope is a genuine-looking smile and shrug.
“Do you know how to play?”
I pause. Should I be honest? I don’t want to share this part of me with him. Him of all people. But if he found out I’m lying, that would be bad too. There’s no good way to answer that question, so I give him a non-committal shrug.
“You do play.”
I keep my head down and concentrate on applying silver polish to the coffee urn in a circular motion.
“Why don’t you come over here and play something. I don’t think this piano has ever been used.”
That’s true. I itch to touch the keys, but I shake my head. If the Banker found out, I’d be punished.
“Why not?”
This is a game for him. Pressing my lips into a tight grin, I hold up my cleaning rag and return to work.
His voice lowers. “My uncle said you have to listen to me. I’m asking you to play.” His smile fades, replaced by an expression I can’t read. Does he feel badly ordering me around? No, he’s probably just annoyed that I didn’t play the first time he asked.
I tighten my fist around the rag. My heart thumps erratically, both with fear and excitement at the prospect of playing, and at the thought of the nephew—Justin—watching me. I set my rag down on the table and walk to the solarium. I have to play.
As I approach, I wipe my hands against my skirt. It would be a shame to soil the keys with my grimy hands. Justin stands, leaving the bench empty for me. I stop, taking in the beauty before me—the piano and the boy. His designer clothes are perfectly pressed—obviously Lydia’s work—and his clean, honey-brown hair is combed down in the back, but intentionally messy at the bangs. With only a bench length between us, I can smell him—cedar and vanilla.
I can smell myself too—ammonia and sweat. I drop my head and inspect my dress. It’s smudged with dirt and cleaning fluid. Even if it were clean, it’s plain, utilitarian. To sit at this beautiful piano next to this handsome boy offers a study in contrasts. Pearls and pigs, mud and diamonds come to mind. I ease myself down onto the bench, while trying desperately to find a way out of this.