Shannon's Hope (Paperback)

by Josi S. Kilpack


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Shannon’s troubled stepdaughter has been missing for two weeks. When Keisha finally calls, Shannon doesn’t hesitate to welcome her into her home — despite her husband, John’s, misgivings. As a pharmacist, Shannon has always taken an analytical view of Keisha’s addiction problems and feels that treating her underlying depression and providing a support system can break the bonds that have taken over her life.

When Keisha first begins breaking the rules, Shannon worries John will kick Keisha out and send her back to her druggie friends. Shannon commits to being even more diligent in helping Keisha. As more of her energy goes toward Keisha, a distance emerges between Shannon, her husband, and their twelve-year-old son, Landon. Shannon finds it easy to justify her own behavior as unconditional love, but as Keisha’s stumblings become dramatic falls, Shannon realizes this is no longer just about Keisha.

Shannon finds herself facing the reality that addiction comes in many forms. Can she shift her perspective from Keisha’s future — which was never hers to control — to her own? Can she keep from spiraling into a pattern of obsessive rescuing and find the strength to repair her own fractured relationships before she drives her husband and son away for good?

Product Details

  • Size:  6" x 9"
  • Pages:  224

About the Author

Josi S. Kilpack began her first novel in 1998. Her seventh novel,
Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/
Suspense. Rocky Road is Josi’s nineteenth novel and the tenth book
in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series.

Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband and

For more information about Josi, you can visit her website at, read her blog at www.josikilpack.blogspot
.com, or contact her via e-mail at

For more information visit Josi’s fan page on Facebook. (Click Here)

Chapter 1

The phone rang, and my brain and body reacted as only a brain and body can react to a phone call in the middle of the night: sheer panic.

I shot up in bed, scrambled across John’s still-snoring form—causing him to grunt—and fumbled for the phone on his nightstand. “Hello?” I said, not yet fully awake but alert enough to wish I’d taken just one full breath so it wouldn’t sound like I’d just been pulled out of REM sleep.

I could hear noise from the other end of the line—traffic, and a man’s voice shouting in the background.

“Hello,” I said again as I finished crawling over John, who was awake now, or at least not snoring.

“Can you come get me?”

My heart pitched, and I let out a breath as my grip tightened around the phone. “Keisha?” I asked, though we both knew I knew who it was; Keisha was my twenty-one-year-old stepdaughter, John’s daughter from his first marriage. “Where have you been? Where are you?” She’d fought with her mother two weeks ago and had left the house with nothing but her purse and her phone, which she hadn’t answered since then. I’d called her at least once a day.

“Please come get me. I don’t have anywhere else to go.”

I adjusted my position so I could sit on the side of the bed. John sat up behind me, listening. “Is it Keish?” he whispered.

I nodded and covered the mouthpiece of the phone. “She wants us to come get her.”

John fell back on the pillows, worn-out by one more crisis following the years of crises involving his daughter. Drugs, rehab, drugs again. Living with her mom, living with us, living with friends, living with her mom again. But, despite the chaos, we had always known where Keisha was at any given time. Not knowing during these last weeks had been horrendous.

“Where are you?” I asked into the phone.

“Compton. By the airport,” Keisha said, sniffling. “Can you come?”

“Of course I can come,” I said. John’s grunt from behind me communicated many things—disappointment in me, annoyance at this situation, and frustration with his daughter. I hoped, however, that within all those negative feelings was also relief that she had called, that we knew she was okay. I knew he’d been as worried about her as I was. I pulled open the nightstand drawer and found a pen and an envelope I could write on. “What’s the exact address?”

She gave it to me and asked me to hurry.

“I will,” I said. “I’ll have my cell phone with me, so call if you need to, okay?”

John climbed out of bed and turned on the closet light.

“I don’t know your cell number ’cause I lost my phone,” Keisha said, still crying. “I found some guy who let me use his to call you guys.”

The need for urgency was building in my chest. “Let me give you my cell number, then. Do you have something you can write it down with?”

“No, just come,” she said, sounding frustrated. “Please hurry, there’s some really creepy people down here.”

“Okay,” I said, standing up. “We’re on our way.”

I hung up the phone and relayed the information to John, who was buttoning up his jeans. “We should be able to get to Compton in about forty minutes this time of night, don’t you think?” I grabbed the hem of my knee-length nightgown and fluidly pulled it over my head as I crossed the room to my dresser to get some clothes. Keisha was okay. She was coming home.

“I’ll go,” John said. “You stay here with Landon.”

I stopped, holding up a pair of jeans and looking at him. Oh yeah, Landon, our twelve-year-old son. “I told her I would come,” I said. “Maybe you should stay with Landon.”


“And send you to Compton in the middle of the night by yourself?” He pulled a T-shirt over his head, sending his sleep-mussed hair even more out of control. His hairline was nearly halfway back on his head these days, and though he kept his remaining hair short, the half-inch strands stood up in fifteen directions.

He was right about me going alone, of course. It was bad enough that Keisha was there; to send me there too was ridiculous. But . . . “Go easy on her,” I said.

He gave me a look that bordered on a glare and went back into the closet to get his shoes. It was an old argument between us—tired, worn-out, and threadbare. I was too soft on his daughter, and John was too hard. When she’d gone to rehab the last time, he’d become a big proponent for “tough love,” and saying, “She’s an adult.” I wanted to believe that if he’d been the one to answer the phone he’d have agreed to get her like I had, but I didn’t know. The poor choices Keisha had been making the last four years had sent us on an emotional roller coaster as we tried over and over again to help, only to have her fall further down the pit of addiction. Maybe for John anger didn’t hurt as much as hoping did.

“We just want her to be safe,” I said, reminding him of our shared alliance.

He nodded, though reluctantly, and kissed me quickly on his way to the door. “Try to sleep.”

“I won’t be able to sleep,” I said, shaking my head at the idea. “Call me when you get there, okay? I want to know she’s with you.”

He nodded again and disappeared through the doorway, leaving me standing in the middle of our bedroom. I listened carefully for the sound of the garage door closing before putting my nightgown back on and puttering into the living room. It would be at least an hour and a half before they got back, but if I stayed in bed, I would just stare at the ceiling. I’d rather clean to pass the time; heaven knows with both John and me working more than full-time, and with John coaching whatever sport-of-the-season Landon was playing, there was always something in need of cleaning, but then I saw the yellow-and-purple book cover peeking out from beneath a pile of mail and newspapers on the kitchen table.

I’d bought The Help last week at Walmart after Aunt Ruby told me it was the title for next month’s book group. We’d been meeting for four months now, and I had yet to finish any of the other book club books. I’d seen the movie for this one, though, and liked the idea of comparing the two formats. I glanced at the clock. It was 2:14. Was John to Anaheim yet?

The Help

I sat down in John’s recliner and pulled back the stiff pages of the book. An internal hesitation almost stopped me; I’d developed a prejudice toward fiction many years ago. Why read fiction when there were so many fascinating truths out there waiting to be learned? I pushed away the thoughts and honed in on the first page, determined to make this work. I was thirty-eight years old and in most ways I was well-rounded, but I could use some more things to talk about and think about. Landon was almost thirteen and more independent than ever before. John was extremely involved in Landon’s athletics, leaving me with time I didn’t know how to fill. Hence, I’d accepted Aunt Ruby’s invitation to join her book group and yet hadn’t finished a book. This time would be different.

I looked at the clock again and hoped that this experience with Keisha would be different too. She’d lived with us half a dozen times since she’d turned seventeen and first starting hitting serious turbulence. Once she stayed with us for five full months; all the other times were just a few weeks here and there until she got back on her feet or repaired things with her mother. These last two weeks when she’d been gone were the longest weeks of our lives. We’d filed a missing persons report with the police, we’d contacted all of her friends we knew, and we’d called the local hospitals more than once. And now she’d called us. Thank goodness. I hoped that her calling us was a sign that she had finally hit the bottom of her trials and was ready to build her way up. I had always been able to see incredible potential in her, and I was determined to help her see it too.

But right now I needed to stop obsessing about her. I needed to get lost in something else and prepare for whatever tomorrow might bring. I smoothed my hand over the first page of The Help, took a breath, and started reading.

The Help,

Gripping, heart-wrenching!

by  Heather  -   reviewed on  July 31, 2013

SHANNON'S HOPE kicks off the 2nd set in the Newport Ladies Book Club series. You can start with this one, or read the 1st set (Daisy, Olivia, Paige, Athena). Shannon is a pharmacist, married, with a 12 year old son. She's also Ruby Crenshaw's niece and gets roped into attending the book club by her aunt. Just before one of the meetings, her step-daughter comes back into her life after a failed stint in rehab. Determined to help Keisha in anyway she can, Shannon brings her step-daughter to book club. What follows it a gripping, heart-wrenching story of a woman who only wants to help her step-daughter overcome her addictions and get her life back on track. In the author's introduction to the novel, she says, "In my years of writing there are few books I've written that have explored things that are a part of my personal experience. SHANNON was one of those books for me . . . I have been a participant in the 'dance' of addiction and codependency and boundaries and letting go and forgiving . . . There is a fine line between hope and hopelessness sometimes; between love and self-preservation; between kindness and enabling . . . If you are a dancer, on any side of the issue, of which there are many sides, I wish you peace and perspective as you figure out your own steps." Thank you, Josi. I hope my journey will be stronger from learning about Shannon's hope..

Great Message

by  Andrea  -   reviewed on  November 01, 2013

I've enjoyed reading all of the novels in The Newport Ladies Book Club series, and I was excited when I heard that Shannon's Hope had been released. Shannon played a very small role in the other books, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I found her story to be pretty interesting. It didn't suck me in-I could put in down without a problem, but Kilpack's writing ability helped me feel a connection to the characters, and I was interested to see what would happen with Shannon and her family. I was bothered by all of the dishonesty in the story. I appreciated that it bothered Shannon too, although it was the sort of thing that made me feel a little uncomfortable just waiting for when and how the truth would come out and the repercussions from it. I liked the message about helping people in our lives, both close loved ones and acquaintances. And, that the best way to help them might not be the way we want to help them. 3.5 stars.

Great insight to addicts and addictions~

by  Shauna  -   reviewed on  September 11, 2013

Touching! Gripping! Revealing! This book will bring out a lot of emotions within its readers... Maybe empathy. Maybe anger. Maybe hope. Maybe healing. Each one of us knows an is all around us. So many pains, so many ways to handle it, and sometime people make a wrong choice.... We must be willing to TALK about it... Shannon's stepdaughter, Keisha, is an addict and has come to live with Shannon's family. Shannon desperately wants to help her. But is she helping or enabling? The women from the Newport Ladies Book Club help Shannon see some revealing truths about herself and her situation. I found this book to be very fascinating!

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