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Dark Past

Dark Past is an LDS thriller, and it was inspired by experiences that I had working with the Tongan people. I have included an excerpt from Dark Past below. If you enjoy reading this excerpt, I would love for you to read the rest of my book.  

When Chelsea Jackson left on her mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she expected the best year and a half of her life. However, her mission isn’t going the way she planned. Someone is looking for her. Someone who want her and her family dead.

Sister Jackson is no longer the shadowy, dangerous young woman she was before the light of the Gospel entered her life.

Can she save her family without losing herself in the process?


A movement in my peripheral vision startled me before I could get the first words out. There came a dark blur and the sound of squealing tires as a large, gray sedan—a Holden Commodore—pulled up directly behind our car.

“What the—?” Sister Masima twisted around with panic flashing in her widened eyes.

My heart sank.

I’d foolishly parked up against the wall of the park- ing lot to be in the shade of the building, and now   we were trapped. I honestly thought we lost our tail and were safe on our home territory. Dad would be so annoyed at my complacency.

Before I could unclip my seat belt, two large, sin- ister-looking guys in dark suits clambered out of the sedan and walked slowly to either side of our Corolla.

“What’s going on, Sister?” my companion asked. There were tears welling in her eyes, and it hurt my heart to see her looking so terrified.

“Everything’s going to be okay.” I tried to reassure her, but I’m sure the tremble in my voice gave me away.



I’d been totally wrong about whomever had followed us from East Melbourne. This wasn’t some poor, mis- guided teenager. This was something altogether more menacing. The thought spread through the back of my mind like a bushfire: my past life had finally managed to catch up with me.

I fumbled with my seat belt, desperately looking around for a way out of this predicament . . . What would my dad do?

The only way out I could see was to reverse the mis- sionary car into the Commodore and hope that there was enough of a gap—and the Corolla had sufficient torque—to push the larger car out of our way. It would mean crunching the back end of our car, but I had to consider our safety first.

I twisted the keys in the ignition, and the Corolla sprang to life. Without making any sudden move- ments, I reached for the shift stick and eased it into reverse. “Hold on, Sister,” I said to my petrified companion.

“Turn off the car!”

A loud voice to my left made me jump almost out of my skin.

“Now!” The guy rapped his knuckles hard on the window, and his wedding band rattled against the glass with a cheap, tinny sound.

Too scared to move, I stared out at the dark shape with my heart hammering away so hard in my chest  I feared it was about to burst out. The guy held



something up against the window. Instinctively, my mind racing, I ducked. The guy had a gun!

“We’re the police!” the voice boomed. “Get out of the car!”

I honestly don’t think I’d ever been quite so pleased to see a cop before. My dad’s natural aversion to   law enforcement had been deeply ingrained in me throughout the years of my former life. With a deep sigh, I peeped up and saw with immense relief it was a silver badge the cop was holding to my window and not the gun my runaway imagination had seen.

Sister Masima looked across at me, then back at the cop standing at her side of the car. “Are you in trouble for driving so badly?” Her voice was barely a whisper. I shook my head and couldn’t help but smile a little.

“I don’t think these are traffic cops, Sister Masima,” I told her. “I’m sure it’s all a misunderstanding.” I shifted the stick back to park and switched off the Corolla’s ignition. Keeping my movements slow and steady, I opened the door and got out of the car. Sister Masima followed suit, not once taking her eyes off the short, squat cop who held her door open for her like he was the perfect gentleman.

“Is there a problem, officer?” I asked politely.

“You need to come with us to the station,” the cop on my side of the car replied. His voice was gruff, uncompromising, and his breath smelled of stale cof- fee. “We need to ask you a few questions.”

“Are we under arrest?” Sister Masima asked.



To my knowledge, she never earned a speeding citation in her entire life. My stomach churned at the thought of what all of this must be doing to the poor girl’s nerves, and I asked Heavenly Father to guide her gently through whatever this was.

“No,” the squat cop told her, “but if you refuse to come with us, that can easily be arranged.” There was no humour in his tone, and I got the impression he was itching to break out the cuffs.

“What is this about, officer?” I asked. I had a thou- sand thoughts racing through my mind—all of them to do with my dad and the Cafero family—and I prayed to God that my family was okay.

The cops ushered Sister Masima and me away from the Corolla and toward their unmarked sedan. “We’ll be asking the questions, young lady,” he told me. “Get in.”

I clambered into the car, and Sister Masima shuf- fled in beside me. We wrinkled our noses in unison at the smell inside. It was decidedly stale, despite the air conditioning. It was a stomach-churning combination of body odour and an unpleasant, greasy reek of fast food that no doubt emanated from the multitude of food wrappers and empty drink cartons strewn across the floor.

The cops had obviously been watching someone for quite some time.


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