CLICK AT THE END OF THE POST FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED COPY of Shattered Guilt. I’m celebrating Release Week with a new giveaway each day. You can enter until June 22nd, and winners will be announced on June 24th. I hope you win, but you have to click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway at the end of this post to enter.
Faith-Based, Romantic Suspense, and Human Trafficking. Why?
After living my young life as a self-centered, soul, coming to know Jesus as an adult suddenly brought purpose into my life. As a Christian, I believe everything I do is in service to God. Marriage, family, career, hobbies, it’s all for His glory. Therefore, when I began writing, a faith-based story was my target, basically, Christian Fiction. I had no idea the sub-genres that existed within. Anyway, I love romance, always have. But I’ve come a long way from understanding what real love is. I’ll save that for another blog post. Still, I’m a sap for a romantic movie, but not so much with books, until I started writing and reading. Romance novels didn’t keep me turning pages so much as a good suspenseful book. They’re what kept me up at night. So when I discovered romantic suspense, the genre suited me well.
When I first started formulating Shattered Guilt, I had my potentially romantic couple, Melanie Thompson, divorced single-mom, and Pastor Desmond Brooks, a widower. It was a challenge for sure, but then I had to make it suspenseful, and I started writing a kidnapping/ransom story. Melanie has a teenage daughter and an irresponsible ex-husband with questionable business clients. It made for some good mystery. But as often does with characters, they have a mind of their own, and took me in another direction. Here’s an excerpt…just a hint, I didn’t go with the kidnapping.
The phone rang, and glancing at the caller ID, she rolled her eyes. Her ex-husband. Forcing herself to smile, she answered. “Hey, Chris. What’s up?”
“Wow. I love you, too, babe.”
She stopped and forced another smile. “So, you got that referral for me?”
“Yeah. Yeah. Listen, about that wedding gig. It’s not a good idea.”
Melanie placed a palm down and rose from her desk. “What do you mean, it’s not a good idea? Chris, I was counting on you. I mean it.”
“I know. Just hold your horses, Mel. I got a funny feeling about it. I work for the bride’s father, and I’m not feeling it. In fact, after a year of closing deals for him, I just quit. Something’s not clean about the guy.”
Can you guess what’s coming?
My husband and I often walk along the harbor in Dana Point. We like to watch the boats come and go out of the channel. Sailboats, Kayaks, stand-up paddleboarders, rafts, and dingys with outboard motors are among most traffic. But it’s the yachts and large party boats that get our attention. Sleek, fun, and friendly. Everyone on those vessels always waves, and we wave back. But once, along came a rusty old fishing boat. The scruffy captain never looked our way, and my mind went wandering. What if the boat was used to abduct girls and take them to a port to traffic? It could happen. No spoilers, so I won’t say anymore.
But why Human Trafficking?
Consequently, a series of movies about girls abducted and sold hit it big at the theaters. It piqued my interest and opened my eyes. At first, I didn’t research too much. What I found, though, wrenched my heart and propelled me to dig more. I’m sensitive to graphic material, and I cautiously read the information that I found, but I couldn’t watch most videos on the topic. What I did discover, though, I want to share with you, and I’ll be doing that all week.
I have some personal stories to tell as well, about how this horrific crime affected me. Things that I have encountered. But more importantly, I’ll be sharing resources and practical tips on what you, as a citizen, can do. to help fight human trafficking. It’s simple but impactful.
Tomorrow’s Sneak Preview on this blog.
Have you ever heard of Amy Carmichael? Well, tune in tomorrow. Years ago, I read a book about her, and my heart cracked open. She’s an amazing woman of God who, in the 1900s, spearheaded the fight to save child temple prostitutes in India. Her pioneering ministry shocked the world, and thankfully today, awareness of the exploitation of children and adults has exploded, and that’s a good thing. I’ll share more tomorrow.
That’s it for today. Please click below, “Rafflecopter Giveaway” for a chance to win a signed copy of Shattered Guilt, and thanks for celebrating Release Day with me.