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The Hidden Diamond

Crystal MM Huntley


I stared at the person who sat across the table from me. Every writer who came to this national conference with dreams of being discovered vied for the opportunity of a timeslot with this high-profile literary agent. Did I hear him correctly? He couldn’t have called me a nobody. That one brutally uttered phrase scratched open a deep running wound that resulted from years of not being held as significant enough to be seen or heard—of being treated as a nobody.


He swept his hand toward my manuscript. The stack of over 300 printed-out pages represented the past three years of hard-labored work coupled with the heartache of stirred-up trauma caused by digging deep into my past riddled with abuse.


“Why would anyone want to read this? To the world, you’re unknown, a nobody.”


As he repeated that ugly phrase, I fought back tears. A ribbon of shock threatened to weave into my cells. How could this person who held such power be so cruel? How could he callously shatter a person’s dream?



“My advice for you is to use elements of your story and rewrite them as fiction.”

My heart sunk into my chest like a rock plummeting to the bottom of a lake. The thought of starting over again filled me with dread.


Over the next two-and-a-half years, I threw out the dream of being a published author. But God had a different plan. The agent’s suggestion slowly simmered within me. Soon, ideas bubbled to the surface, flooding my thoughts. Within two years, I completed my first draft of Robin’s Gift.


The Behind Story of The Hidden Diamond


I started writing by journaling as a therapeutic method to heal from the multitudes of abuse that had filled my childhood. I naively believed I had left that reality, no longer to be victimized by another’s actions. Then, in 1986, I united with who I foolishly thought was a godly man and, within ten years, gave birth to our four children.


The programming of abuse etches deep trenches within the very DNA of a person. Also, when abuse is the only reality, it becomes impossible to recognize the opposite behavior. I had learned from my parents’ actions how not to raise children, and I strove hard to educate myself on what to do. I naively believed that if I tried hard enough, I could create the loving family I ached for and never had. I had no idea the man I had committed vows to was another version of the abusive father who raised me.


While surviving this second nightmare that I had stumbled into, I invested every ounce of energy into my children. I did all I could to nullify their father’s malice, yet unsuccessfully protected them from his abusive tactics, which they fell victim to and grew proficient in. As my children matured, things within the home escalated. Finally, in 2011, I escaped to a shelter for abused women and sought refuge within its walls for six months.


While dwelling within the safety of that haven, I successfully took that agent’s advice, given years earlier, and turned elements of my past into a work of fiction, The Hidden Diamond, my first published book, which came out at the end of 2022.


My parents’ standard abusive antics included holding up a “holier than thou” attitude while deliberately handing me over to known child molesters. In the 1970s, we moved near the east coast. Our new home sat across the street from one such perpetrator. Other victims of this man have dubbed this situation the Nightmare on Elm Street.


Somehow, despite every atrocious action I was subjected to, a tender space within my heart remained open. Through the grace of God, I remained unable to view my perpetrators as evildoers; but instead, I saw them all as wounded children. We are all created by God, which means we all contain a precious gemstone of His love somewhere within our souls. This idea sparked the title of my book, The Hidden Diamond.


In writing this story, I did not want to dwell on the crime. Instead, I burrowed into the villain’s mind to explore how a beloved child of God becomes so lost that they actively destroy their brothers and sisters in Christ. And here is where my favorite part of fiction enters in. It provides the freedom to create both a scenario and an outcome much different from reality, making it a powerful story of forgiveness.


I chose to write The Hidden Diamond this way because I believe that the only way to heal and become free from the sins of another is to, with carefully placed, healthy boundaries in store, forgive.


Since publishing The Hidden Diamond, a movement has stirred within my childhood town to open people’s eyes to the truth that victims have suffered.


I have received lots of positive feedback on The Hidden Diamond, including:

Easy to read with a good storyline that is relatable in today's world.

LINDA Kanai

Love this Novel; it's Awesome, I would spread it and recommend it to all my friends at my workplace!

Macc Emmatty

The Hidden Diamond is a heartwarming story that shows the power of God's love and forgiveness to break through even the most calloused of sinful hearts. The author does an amazing job capturing the emotions that go with a life lived in abuse and gives hope for forgiveness and healing of past hurts and actions.

Sharon

Crystal MM Huntley writes with a rarely seen, gifted talent of evoking the reader's emotions, drawing us in so we are reading her book and experiencing it.

Elaine


Future Projects


I rewrote Robin’s Gift, which will come out during the first quarter of 2024. It is yet another story twisted from truth into fiction. I also have been working on a sequel to The Hidden Diamond.


Back in 2008, when I first tried to publish my memoir, the world was a different place. Today, self-publishing is a common trend, and advocates against abuse openly speak out. This progressive movement is causing me to consider rewriting and publishing my memoir as a series.


No longer do I hide under the shroud of silence. Instead, I openly speak out against injustice. My mission to shine a light on the prevalence of stifling abuse drives me forward as I post weekly on my blog site at www.crystalmmhuntley.com.


I use my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1360983917796761 to update people on my blog posts and the progress of my upcoming books, but I also use my Facebook group as a way to bring a spark of God’s comfort into this troubled world.


My favorite way of doing this is through what I call “Crystalisms” that I create from photos taken by the love of my life and myself, then I add my own uplifting phrases and, or scriptures to these pictures.


You can contact Crystal at www.crystalmmhuntley.com.


Join Crystal and me at 6:30 pm MDT on Tuesday, September 19, 2023!



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