Author is Kay D. Rizzo.
Mr. Russo stepped into the kitchen, brandishing a pistol. Towering menacingly over his daughter Elvira, he forced her back against the cupboard. "As your father, I command you not to go back to that church again. I'd rather see you dead than to have you marry a man 11 years your senior."
Shocked and trembling, Elvira searched for an answer. "Papa, I have never answered you back before, but this time I have to. My church means everything to me. I don't attend it because Brother Rizzo is there. I go because that's where my Saviour wants me to be. Papa, you can kill the body, but you can't kill my spirit. It belongs to Jesus."
The tall man stared at his tiny daughter for several minutes, pointing the weapon straight at her forehead. She watched conflicting emotions flicker across his face. Finally, he lowered the gun and pointed his finger instead. "Don't you dare defy me. Don't you dare go that church this Saturday. I'll be down at the store and I'll be watching. And I will kill you."
Elvira's mother had died when the girl was less than 2 years old. The young new stepmother wanted to have nothing to do with her, so the child had been raised first by her grandparents, then in a convent. When the father had finally brought the girl home, the second wife made the girl's life a secret misery. Would Elvira ever have someone to love her, to care for her?