Rescue Isn’t About the Numbers

The other day someone asked me what my book is about. I always find this hard to explain, partly I worry they’ll think it’s stupid and partly because I’ve yet to come up with a clear, concise two-sentence descriptor. I tend to stumble over my words, proliferating the ones that do escape with “Umm” and pauses nearing the point of incoherence.

But—my novel is about a girl, a young woman in a brothel in an ancient, fictional world. It’s about redemption and freedom. It’s about fighting for light, for hope in the darkness. It’s the struggle for freedom from within and freedom for without. 

Why this? I’m sure people wonder. I’ve always been fascinated by the redemption story, particularly as depicted in Hosea. The wayward wife wooed back again and again.

“I will betroth you to me forever…”

God is always faithful.

I’ve been working on this novel for years and it has transformed over and over again (thankfully!), and now I think it has the potential to tell a true story.

When I began researching brothels and prostitution in the ancient world (particularly in the Roman culture), the history was heart-wrenching. Prostitutes in brothels were almost always taken as slaves from foreign conquests. The woman would often be lined up naked for men to see what they were purchasing. In some brothels, the rooms were sorted by sexual act depicted in an engraving above the door. The beds—a concrete slab.

In England, archaeologists discovered an ancient mass grave of infants, most full-term, in what they believe was the seedier side of a Roman town. The only logical explanation they can think of? Brothel houses.

It’s sobering.

But it’s the reality of 27 million people today.

There are more slaves today than there were at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, more than any other time in history. And the conditions between ancient Rome and today aren’t so different.

It feels a near silent fight. But there are those—many—fighting.

The Exodus Road has supported 250 rescues. That number is small, so tiny when compared to the millions still bound.

But when you stop seeing the rescues as numbers and start seeing them as people, as children of God created in His image, these are lives changed. The flicker of hope being restored, the beginning of freedom. There is hope.

The Exodus Road - Fight to end trafficking.What Can You Do?

  • Pray for those waiting to be rescued, for investigators, for current cases to convict traffickers, and for the healing process of the rescued.
  • Join a Search & Rescue team and commit a $35 monthly contribution to the undercover investigation efforts.
  • Read the Parker’s What It Takes to Free a Sex Slave.
  • Spread the word and help educate others.

Rescue is coming. And it matters to every one.

To read this story of the rescue in this video, click here.

(In February, I’ll be reviewing Laura Parker’s book The Exodus Road: One Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking & Rescue and giving away a copy. Subscribe here so you don’t miss it!)


2013: The Year of Fiction & a few Other Reads

A Wrinkle in Time quote

When it’s the new year and you haven’t done the compulsory “one word” post, what do you write about? Books.

Last year was the year of fiction with a heavy dose of YA. And I don’t regret it.

I can’t even tell you if this is an exhaustive list of books I read, but it’s at least the ones I remember!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I started the Harry Potter series (for the first time!) after Olivia was born and finished the series

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeliene L’Engle, Before this the only other L’Engle book I read was Walking on Water, which I highly recommend. A Wrinkle in Time was brilliant and I can’t believe I haven’t read it earlier. It’s definitely on my list of favorite books of 2013 and I’m eager to read the rest in the series.

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Dectives (Bk 1) & The Unusual Suspects (Bk 2)  by Michael Buckley, I found this series perusing the children’s section of the library. They’re fun short reads and interesting to see another take on fairy tales. There are nine books in the series.


The Lost Husband by Katherine Center,  I really enjoy Katherine Center and her novel Everyone Is Beautiful is usually one of my first recommendations when people ask what to read. The Lost Husband is her latest book full of charm, fit, mishaps, and heart.




Every Sarah Addison Allen book. No, seriously. I’m a fan of magic realism, but it’s a narrow genre and heavily populated by South Americans–while good, can be heavy reads. I’ve been eyeing Allen’s books for years, but just didn’t know if they’d be worth my time.

My husband bought me one on a bookstore date night whim (thanks Joe!) and halfway through I requested copies of the rest of her novels from the library. In the span of a week, I read every Sarah Addison Allen book. New favorite author. Also, her latest book is coming out in February!

My favorite of Allen’s? Hmm…probably Garden Spells and then a tie between The Peach Keeper and The Sugar Queen.

Book Post Collage 2

It was also the year of Rainbow Rowell.

Eleanor & ParkAttachments. Fangirl. All great. E & P is definitely the landslide standout book. It’s first love and all its awkwardness and quirks, add in high school, and harsh realities of real life. This book will make you cry. I loved it. It’s another one of those “You’ve gotta read this!” books.

Attachments and Fangirl didn’t hold up to E&P, but both entertaining, curled under a warm blanket, smile to yourself type of reads.

Oh, and Rowell also has a new book coming out…in June.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, A long, but good read. A little slow at times, but if you like a mystery and can hand the point of view changing it’s worth it. And if you’re a fan of The Secret Garden, then even better.

 The Mark of the Lion Series: A Voice in the Wind & An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers, These were both a little slow to get into. I kept texting my friend I borrowed them from to ask if they were going to ever pick up. She assured me it was worth it and after a left it alone for a month or so, it was.

Book Post Collage 5

If E&P doesn’t make you cry, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars surely will. It was an honest, provoking read that had be ugly crying near the end. So good. Also, the movie’s coming out this spring, so read it before you see it.

I reread Catching Fire before seeing the movie, just so I could remember all those little details they leave out of the movies.

After months of a friend pleading with me to read Divergent by Veronica Roth, I did. And then Insurgent. Now I’m halfway through Allegiant and a tad bit disappointed the internet threw an uproar about the ending, so now I’m not so motivated to finish. But I will!

It’s another dystopian and I like it, though I felt there were inconsistencies in the character’s voice at times and some events weren’t as believable in the world as others. I enjoy another dystopian perspective and after Divergent thought it could be better than Hunger Games. It’s hard to say what I liked and didn’t like without giving too much away, so just go read it and see for yourself.

Okay. I don’t even remember how I found The Selection by Kiera Cass, but this may be the only one I’m slightly embarrassed by. Except I’m not.

Another dystopian, but with a reality TV style pageant to find the prince a bride. A caste system. Rebels. Old and new love. Secret passageways. How is that not interesting?

But, yes, this is probably the most fluff read of them all. I read these way into the night. And when I finished The Elite (book 2) and tried to find book 3…well, it was a 2am disappointment, because it doesn’t release until May. It’ll be a nice summer read.

Books I Read That Weren’t Fiction

{aka The Short List}

Parenting with Love & Logic by Jim Fay and Foster Cline. If you’re looking for practical how-to’s in parenting specific issues

and ages, I found this book very helpful.


Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

This is a good book, eve as review, if you’re interested in raising your children with less,

getting off the hamster wheel, or simply desire an intentional life and more room for your children to breathe, live, grow, become—read this book.

 What did you read last year? Or what are you hoping to read this year?

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