River of Tears

ABOUT Michele L Montgomery

Michele L Montgomery
I live in a place where I allow my imagination to rule me. I have lived most all of my life wondering-- 'What If?' Things just sorta go from there. I have more fun sitting in front of my computer getting lost in my "characters' lives" than riding a roller coaster. Then again, I l More...


River of Tears is about a woman's struggle as she searches for her missing husband that leads to shocking revelations about him, his family, and the crime of adult kidnapping.

Abby meets Caiden when she is sixteen years old and knows she has met her soul mate. At nineteen Abby marries the love of her life and together they begin a family of their own. Life gives them a gift, but this gift is short lived. After seven years of marriage it ends.

Abby is left alone with her two children and the bloody clothes that Caiden was last seen in. With the horrifying revelations from her mother in law Abby sets out to prove her husband is indeed alive and that he's been taken against his will by his mother, brothers, and sisters in a sick and twisted game of keep-away.

Knowing her husband isn't dead, Abby, with the help and support of her family, begins a search that takes her from Arizona to Arkansas and lasts for a span of eight years.

On a visit to Caiden's birthplace, Abby and her brother Chase meet with Caiden's best friend who fills them in with the secrets of her husband's childhood and of the hell he endured. He tells them of the nightmares, the deceit, and the abuse Caiden suffered at the hands of his family.

More determined than ever to locate her husband, before his family kills him, Abby hires a private investigator who opens the doors to Caiden's private world of hell and exposes his family for what they are, but will he be on time? Will Abby be on time to save her soul mate? Can she make him want to fight one last time?

River of Tears is a tale of personal triumph over heartbreak, of unconditional love and bravery. It is a compelling modern-day story depicting how the power of love can overcome even the darkest facets of human nature. The story demonstrates how self-determination and loyalty can lead to unimaginable accomplishment, regardless of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It is a story of faith in the face of tremendous loss, where fear and discouragement threaten to steal the last glimmer of hope. Will this shred of hope be enough to sustain, or will it ultimately crush Abby's dreams of lasting happiness?

River of Tears will take you on a journey you will never forget, it will make you want to gather all you love close and keep them there, because we never know what's around the next corner of our lives.

Warning: Contains instances of Violence

I began writing River of Tears about fifteen years ago as a way of dealing with some insecurities I was trying to work through. I've always dabbled in creating my own worlds with interesting characters, but I never brought it to the level I did with this book. Though this story is indeed fiction, and the characters are figments of my imagination, there are always some truths behind every book written.

A book that will stay with you long after you finish reading it, December 24, 2009
This review is from: River of Tears (Paperback)
When you hear of someone being kidnapped, you usually think of children first. In River of Tears we get to learn about adult kidnappings.

I will warn people ahead of time that this is not a light read. You will be amazed at how the author can pull you into this book and make you go through every emotion possible with just words on a page. You will experience pain, sadness, pity, hate and love throughout this book. My heart ached with every word that I read. I couldn't believe what some people could do to family. I had to put this book down several times just to get my emotions back in control. When an author can do that to you with simple words on a page, then you know you have found a great author and book.

This was such a wonderful read for me, that I can say without a doubt, that this is my favorite fictional read of 2009. This is a book that touched my heart so deeply, and one that will stay with me for a long time, that there is no words that can really describe the power of this book. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a moving read that you will remember long after you finish reading it.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I expected, More than I was prepared for., November 22, 2009
This review is from: River of Tears (Paperback)
When you hear about a kidnapping - the first thing that naturally comes to ones mind is where, when and how was the child taken, is there a chance to rescue him/her and you all pray that the child is not traumatized in anyway possible. But what if the kidnapping is an adult kidnapping, what if it's done by a family member and what if no one believes you.

This is where Michele Montgomery pulls me into RIVER OF TEARS. The book is told in total hindsight and I looking back now, I think that is the only way I could have handled this book - the stress along would have made me hyperventilate.

The story revolves around Abby and Caiden - from the moment they met when they were sixteen the two were inseparably and they had six years together that saw them learn together, grow together and form friendships and a family together. The life they lead was the stuff of dreams, they worked, they played and they loved together, the only fly in the ointment of these two life was Caiden's family. Not that Abby didn't try to form a bridge between the families and always extend the olive branch, but with an inbred sense of violence and total lack of self they made Abby grit her teeth every time they came around.

However in the interest of fostering a relationship between Caiden and his family, Abby was willing to put up with a lot from them - she however had to draw the line at some point, after all she had a family to look out for. Then Caiden did not come home.

This starts a journey that took Abby and her family along with some ultimately brothers in arms to the dead of beyond, open them up to a world they never knew existed, hurt unlike any thing they have ever known and expose then to a crime that so little is known about that Abby felt like she was the only one fighting the battle to find her husband at one point.

This my first emotional read in a long, long time. When Michele approached me to review this book instantly it called to me. From the minimalistic look of the cover, to the blurb and just something that said take a chance on this one - it's time.

I hanged on to this book with my heart in my mouth - it was everything that I was ready to read. Meeting Caiden and Abby along with friends and family, I grew to love them, their sprit, their drive and that naive little quality about them that thought the world would be kind and good to them if they loved all and played fair.

Abby was clearly the go getter in that family and with a steel to her spine and a definite moral code, she set the tone of the relationship, don't get me wrong Caiden was loved and he loved in returned and all of Abby`s family loved him and he revelled in their affection. Caiden was from a different upbringing and no matter how he naively thought the love he was now being exposed to would solve all the evils of his upbringing - he had another thing coming.

With stranger towns and even stranger tales - Abby, her brother, her family and an officer and an investigator was was worth their weight in gold went on a eight year journey - that almost sucked the life out of her and me if truth be told.

This journey with Caiden and Abby is heartbreaking, it brings to light a matter that I certainly have never thought about. As an adult there is freedom of choice, freedom of movement - but when you are trapped and conditioned to a certain way of life - it is the hardest thing to get away from. I gripped my mouse as I read this, at one point I just had to stop and go for a walk, I just could not imagine the unbelievable events that unfolds over a period of eight years.

Ms. Montgomery reigned it all in and did a magnificent job in creating the balance between, love, affection and this thrilling hunt that saw me wanting to do bad bad things to these people.... Hope was never lost. Abby was the corner stone of that search and she did everything humanly possible to find the man who was everything to her. There are unexpected twist and turns in this book that had me thinking WOW - I didn't see that coming, but it came and it only made the book more of a powerhouse than it already was.

Bottom line
I am so pleased I jumped in and read this book - right from the outset I knew it was going to an emotional right, but this was a ride that I would have regretted not taking. Ms. Montgomery voice is gentle, it is not forceful and there is a certain firmness to the language that was the right tone for the type of plot that was revolving around me - I at no time felt let down by the tone or the flow of this book. I can't say how much this book surprised the hell out out of me and I loved it. RIVER OF TEARS is a book that comes full circle and in that process held me, wrapped me up in a battle of wills, of heartache and heartbreak but also of hope, gentleness and the will to survive at all cost.

You MUST read this book.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and chilling, November 19, 2009
This review is from: River of Tears (Paperback)
Compelling and chilling are the first 2 words that come to mind on first time author Michele Montgomery's "River of Tears." The story seems like a simple love story of Abby and her soul mate Caiden, as they meet early in the novel and fall in love. But, that is just the calm before the storm. Soon the reader learns of his darkly disturbing family and before long he disappears---without a trace. Could Caiden have left the love of his life and their children? Or is his disappearance linked to his family's very troubled history?

Abby is determined to find out and sets out on a journey that will change her life once and for all. The story is fast paced and leaves the reader eager to see what will happen to the fairytale romance of the heroine.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Recommended Read - Above Average Story, February 22, 2010
By Rebecca J Vickery (Upstate SC, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: River of Tears (Paperback)
Ms. Montgomery uses strong emotions, descriptive passages, faith, and even man's ability to be cruel to man to grab and hold the reader's attention in this unusual tale of a man kidnapped by his own family and the love of his life who relentlessly searches for him. Many paragraphs brought tears to my eyes and others put a smile on my face. I was haunted by the despair of loss and then uplifted by the love of family depicted so believably as I turned the pages.

I normally am not caught up in books written in first person, but River of Tears by Michele Montgomery definitely held my attention from the beginning. Not your typical romance by any means, the book is a unique and emotional love story filled with tension and unexpected occurrences.
This was an above average story and I recommend it for anyone who wants something a bit different.

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect combination of romance and thrilling action, March 11, 2010
By Jeffrey Erno (Oxford, MI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: River of Tears (Kindle Edition)
Michele L. Montgomery introduces herself beautifully as a first-time author in her suspenseful romance River of Tears. This modern-day drama chronicles the relationship of Abby and Caiden, a young couple who experience love at first sight and eventually marry and begin a life together. Abby narrates the story and relates a shocking tale of deceit, betrayal, and what appears to be abandonment. When her husband suddenly becomes missing and seems to have vanished off the face of the earth, Abby begins a quest to track him down and get some answers she desperately needs for herself and her three young children. Caiden's departure stretches into a period of years, but Abby never gives up.

The journey Abby embarks upon leads her back to Caiden's home state--Arkansas, and she reluctantly must face head-on the family from which she'd once before rescued her husband. Will she reach him in time, or is she already too late?

The book is not a particularly challenging read, written in a vernacular that is plain and understandable. Montgomery's writer's voice is very authentic, and her characters are easy to love and easy to identify with. The text is not without grammatical errors, but the depth of the story and the genuineness that the author conveys seem to outweigh any such minor flaws.

Montgomery is a natural story-teller, and she skillfully draws the reader into her fictional world of suspense and nail-biting drama. River of Tears will keep you up at night until the last page is turned, and it is for this reason I proudly award it five stars.

Amber Lehman rated it: 5 of 5 stars
Read in May, 2010
Wow . . . how do you put into words such a chilling story? Michelel L.Montegomery’s “River of Tears” is a story that will stick with you long after you’ve finished the book. I read this book in two days and had a hard time putting it down. I have never read about a family so twisted, sickening and hateful as Caiden’s in this story. Michele tells her story in a very straightforward manner that makes you feel as if you’re going through the hell that Abby is herself fighting. The pain C...more Wow . . . how do you put into words such a chilling story? Michele L. Montgomery’s “River of Tears” is a story that will stick with you long after you’ve finished the book. I read this book in two days and had a hard time putting it down. I have never read about a family so twisted, sickening and hateful as Caiden’s in this story. Michele tells her story in a very straightforward manner that makes you feel as if you’re going through the hell that Abby is herself fighting. The pain Caiden suffers at the hands of his family is utterly inhumane and sadistic and I’m surprised he survived at all. But his love for his wife Abby was the one focal point of hope that didn’t allow him to give up. Abby too, shows her devotion to Caiden by searching for her husband for 8 long years. This book left me drained just by experiencing the emotions of sheer inhumanity at the hands of others. This book is a great read, but it is not a light read, for sure. I applaud Michele for taking on the subject of adult kidnappings, something that is overlooked in our society. I also commend her on the content of the book as I imagine it could not have been easy to write. This gritty story was well worth the read!