Those Difficult Cases in the Pro-Life Debate

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I attended the Bringing America Back to Life Convention in Independence, Ohio, for the second year in a row. Both times I’ve been amazed, stunned, shocked, grieved, and motivated by the talks, and I’ve come to realize that the pro-life issue is much bigger than I ever imagined. We have not faced an issue as widespread and devastating as this at any time in recorded human history.

And, as Obianuju Ekeocha, founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, said last year, “One day history will judge our generation.”

The life issue affects women, men, children, the old, and the unborn, doctors, nurses, health care facilities, science, marriages, relationships, families, societies, countries, and all of humanity. The damage runs deep. Perhaps because our culture has lost the sense of the sacred, it struggles to recognize the sanctity of human life.

But this is our culture and our generation. This is our battle. Please watch the short video I created, inspired by this amazing conference.

Some people are against abortion except for that 1 exception: cases of rape. I am pro-life without exception. And one of the speakers who touched me the most was Jennifer Christie, a blogger and pro-life speaker for Save the 1.  Save the 1 protects, supports, and empowers women who become pregnant by rape and their children conceived in rape. Save the 1 speakers represent the so-called “hard cases” in the abortion debate. Tired of people using their cases to keep abortion legal, these women speak up for the babies of the 1 exception.

They want to “…end the discrimination of the ‘least of these’ and to go into the world to change hearts and minds by putting faces to the issue…” ~from http://www.savethe1.com/

At this conference, Jennifer shared her story. She was brutally raped while on a business trip. The emotional damage took its toll and her body had only begun to heal when she discovered she was pregnant.

As I listened to Jennifer’s story, I confess that I fought back tears. I cried for what she went through. No woman should ever have to experience that. But I cried even more because of her love. And because of her husband’s love. While many urged her to abort, she and her husband welcomed this new life, this precious baby that came on the wake of a horrible nightmare.

Jenn and baby

“This child had nothing to do with the attack on my body or the scars on my soul. He had everything to do with my healing – giving me a reason to hope. I did not save my son. He saved me.” ~Jennifer

I encourage you to read her story at Save the 1.

Jennifer now speaks out for the unborn whose lives are threatened in those difficult situations where many want to make an exception. She recognizes that God can use the nightmare she’s endured to save babies and women. And so she blogs and she gives talks.

Sometime during the conference, I spoke with Jennifer. And I found myself on the verge of crying again. This time because I recognized a powerful, transformational love in her. Honestly, this woman radiates love, faith, and courage. And Jennifer not only blogs and gives talks, but she reaches out to women who have been hurt through rape, women whose lives have been turned upside down through this violent act. She reaches out to them even when they direct their anger at her because she chose life. And her love touches their hearts too, allowing them to finally heal.

Women who have been through violence do not need abortion. Aborting a child conceived in rape does nothing to diminish the memory of that violent event. It does not allow a woman to “get on with her life.” It causes great damage to the woman who has been hurt enough already.

“My son is a reminder every day that as women we can rise above our circumstances. My son is a reminder that love is always stronger than hate. And that who we are as human beings is not determined by how we were conceived.” ~Jennifer

For the love of women, for the love of the unborn, we must end abortion now. No exceptions.

Friends of mine who have learned about Jennifer have been “binge reading” her blog posts. Here is one you simply must read: When People Said We Shouldn’t Have You, We Loved You Louder

I will end with something else that Jennifer shared this with us during the conference. As she spoke these words, I couldn’t stop crying–but neither could anyone else in the room.

Jennifer was once told, “But if it’s RAPE…think about it from the woman’s point of view!”

“Okay. Yes, let’s think about it from the woman’s point of view.

The day after she is raped, she’s shocked to find out the sun still rises because everything in her world has changed. She feels different. Wrong. Inexplicably ashamed.

She’s certain that strangers can look at her and know that she is damaged. She walks around thinking “I am a woman who has been raped,” and knows her life has now been split in half.

Before she became a statistic. After. In the silence, she hears things he said to her. Things she knows she’ll never repeat. When she closes her eyes, she sees him looming over her. She can’t eat…the taste of her own blood lingers on her tongue…the dank earthiness of the ground as he held her head down.

She speaks with other survivors, with friends, with her lover who is trying desperately to comfort her, but she is terribly, terribly alone.

When a faint second line blossoms on the pregnancy test, for a moment, she feels as though the wind is knocked out of her. Instinctively, her hands drift to her flat belly as she tries to slow her breath. She knows what she should feel. Resentment. Anger, maybe.

But…somehow, for the first time since crossing over into the ‘after’ she doesn’t feel adrift. For the first time since crossing over into the after, she has a reason to go on.

She feels a ferocious need to safeguard this delicate new life. She might not have been able to protect herself, but she can protect her baby. Her baby. Deep breath. It’s okay, she whispers to nobody and everybody. I’m going to take care of you.

But they take care of each other. And in little arms, and big eyes, and the purest of all love, she begins to heal.” ~Jennifer Christie

Perhaps it is even more powerful listening to Jennifer speak these words: Is abortion in a case of rape “compassion” to the woman?

Follow Jennifer and other 100% pro-life bloggers and speakers at https://savethe1.blogspot.com

Learn about Unbroken, a support and advocacy group for those impacted by pregnancy from rape.

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New Release: Newearth: Justine Awakens

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Hot New Science Fiction

Thought-provoking, creative, and at times humorous, A. K. Frailey has done it again!

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Newearth: Justine Awakens

by A. K. Frailey

Found guilty of war crimes, Justine Santana, a Human-Android hybrid is shut down. Taug, an alien from Crestar, must eliminate his father’s mistake—a Human-Cresta crossbreed named Derik.

When Taug awakens Justine and charges her with the assignment to kill Derik, he never suspects that she might discover the meaning of love and her intrinsic humanity.

Cerulean from Last of Her Kind aides Newearth in her first tottering steps toward freedom…

Now, after the last war crimes trial, Cerulean would finally be free to help humanity resettle on Newearth.  But this trial must come first. After all, Justine is human too….

Taug, an alien from Crestar, becomes entangled in inter-alien politics and is amazed by human decency.

His tentacles released the delicate equipment; Mitholie looked Taug in the eye. “The High Tribunal simply wishes you to…purge your father’s unfortunate experiment. That done, I’m sure this messy business can be consigned to the dark waters.”

Meet Bala and his wife Kendra, a couple joined by heaven who must endure the pains of hell—but despite every adversity—intend to make Newearth a better world for everyone.

“Kendra, Max would like to know why we had so many.” With a sweep of his hand over the children, he clarified his point.

Kendra’s nearly frantic chewing slowed to glacial speed as one eyebrow rose. “Well, you see, it’s our pleasure. We enjoy bringing new life into the world and training them to become wonderful citizens of Newearth.”

Bala stared at Kendra, his eyes rounding into orbs. “The truth? You told him the truth!”

Newearth: Justine Awakens

Paperback http://amzn.to/2HOP5U2

EBook http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

For more information about other science fiction novels by A. K. Frailey, visit her website.

Or check out her full line of novels, short stories, scripts, children’s book, and inspirational works: The Writings of A. K. Frailey.

Also check out my review of A.K. Frailey’s Last of Her Kind.

Blog Tour ~ Last of Her Kind

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Science fiction is one of those genres that lets the reader’s imagination take off. Through science fiction we get to explore new worlds or alien races, or our own world in the future. We get to consider the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals. And through some books, like A. K. Frailey’s, we get to look deeply at our own human nature.

I am happy to take part in the blog tour for A. K. Frailey’s science fiction Last of Her Kind.  And I look forward to the release of the next in her Newearth series, Justine Awakens.


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Anne Smith faces the end of one human era and the beginning of an alien alliance—united but unique in Last of Her Kind. A new future unfolds as Oldearth passes into obscurity, but the seeds of Newearth are planted. The human family faces a new horizon….

As a prelude to the Newearth series, Last of Her Kind sets the stage for an inter-alien alliance, which must learn to value human beings as more than throwaway tools. Cerulean’s admiration for Anne evolves into an extraterrestrial high road—offering the universe true humanity.

“This is a creative, thought-provoking, and visual science fiction. All the characters are well-developed with unique personalities, but my favorite is Cerulean, the “casual but dignified” guardian-alien, who develops strong feelings for humanity and for his charge, Anne. I love how the story unfolds and delves into human nature, exploring the possibilities of where humanity could end up, shown both through human characters and the eyes of Luxonian aliens.”                  ~Theresa Linden

More Reviews

With her latest journey, Last of Her Kind, I’m reminded of why I love her style. It’s fresh and new. I like the direction she takes in this new SciFi universe.”  ~Josh Beckman

Last of Her Kind is an inspiring triumph of faith and perseverance in the shadow of the impending apocalypse. Frailey’s emotionally captivating writing reminds the reader what it means to be human.”  ~TheNickofTime


Prologue…

In silence, Earth turned on its axis, a sharp contrast to the bustling reality on the surface. A hidden mind slipped past the blue and white sphere. His interest focused on Lux, a world of light beings, luminous in the reflection of their own glory.

Story Quote…

“It’s like Sunday night. Remember, when you were a child and vacation ended? School on Monday was staring you straight in the face, and you had to get to bed. You wondered, ‘Did I waste it? Did I waste my chance?’ But nothing you did could keep Monday from coming.”

Coming Soon…

Newearth: Justine Awakensa world where deception rules but truth prevails.


Jane Eyre Lives!

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I loved this unique dystopian trilogy, and I am certain you will love it too! For a limited time, all three books in the The Memoirs of Jane E, Friendless Orphan are on sale for only 99 cents each.

I love the old classics but I also love futuristic stories. “Unclaimed: The Memoirs of Jane E.” combines both elements in a fun-to-read, hard-to-put-down book. With imagination and a great writing style, Erin McCole Cupp has created a powerful futuristic story that is a real thought-provoker. Science fiction readers will love the creative futuristic elements. At times humorous and other times heart-wrenching, this story delves into issues worth considering as society advances. Having developed a strong connection to Jane E, I found myself incredibly moved by a climactic scene where faith plays out in a natural but powerful way. I can’t wait to read more of Jane E.!

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You can read an amazing review of the book on Catholic Reads.  If you haven’t heard of Catholic Reads, here’s what I found out about them on their website:

“We are a resource for Catholic readers hungry for fiction that explores their faith through creativity and fosters Catholic writers by promoting good books.”            ~excerpt from Catholic Reads mission statement

Kindle links:

Unclaimed (Book 1)

Nameless (Book 2)

Vanished (Book 3)

These book are also available in other formats:

Unclaimed on Nook, iBooks, Scribd, 24Symbols, Kobo, Inktera, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori

Nameless on Nook, iBooks, Scribd, 24Symbols, Kobo, Inktera, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori

Vanished on Nook, iBooks, Scribd, 24Symbols, Kobo, Inktera, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori

A to Z Blogging Challenge: U is for Utopian

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“U” is for Utopian

I write dystopian fiction. A dystopia is an undesirable or frightening society characterized by misery. It is the opposite of utopia.

A utopian society has perfection in law and politics and very little crime, violence, or poverty. The term was first used by Sir Thomas More in his book, Utopia.

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Saint Thomas More was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, and councilor to Henry VII.  He was beheaded for refusing to acknowledge King Henry’s annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and for refusing to recognize the king as the Supreme Head of the Church of England.

His parting words: “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

In 1516, he wrote a political satire called Utopia. While the word utopian has come to mean “a good place,” in Greek the word means “not place” or “nowhere” because the place doesn’t exist anywhere in the world. More’s story is all about the religious, social, and political customs of a fictional island. Through his story of this fictional land, he discusses some of the bad things going on in Europe at the time and he proposes a society based on rational thought, where there is no poverty or class distinction, and little crime or immoral behavior, and no threat of war.

It is a good idea for a writer to have a version of utopia in mind, all that is good and true, when they are writing conflict, challenges, and failings into the plot. We can’t delve into the bad if we don’t have the framework of good.

What would an ideal society look like to you?  What would an ideal life look like to you? What does “the ideal” look like to the protagonist in your story?

 

 

 

A to Z blogging Challenge: R is for Research

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“R” is for Research

Love it or hate it, every writer needs to do it. Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, your book can benefit from research. Since the research aspect is obvious for non-fiction, and I don’t write non-fiction anyway, this blog will focus on researching for fiction.

Ideas for Research

Characters – we want our characters to have unique talents, interests, and abilities, but we also want them to be realistic.

Got a child in your story but no child at home to base him on? Visit family or friends or even the library. Pay attention to the unique speech, mannerisms, interests, and interactions of children of different ages.

Got a teen in your story? Head out to the mall for some people watching! Pay attention to clothing styles and jewelry, along with the unique way each teen’s personality shows through body language and verbal communication.

For adult characters, consider people in your family or workplace and note different characteristics, personality quirks, and manners of speech that might work for a character in your book. Warning: don’t create a character that resembles a real person too closely if the person might take offense.

IMAG0097I modeled Toby Brandt in Roland West, Loner on my oldest son, who has autism. This character captures the personality and interests of my son at age 8 or 9, including his manner of speech and interesting behaviors and obsessions. And even some of the story conflict. While every child with autism is unique, I hope that people will find Toby a realistic character.


Setting – long, detailed passages of weather or setting descriptions will bore our readers, but we need enough details to allow them to picture the setting in their minds.

When possible, go on location to gather details. Go into the woods, warehouses, wilderness, or wherever your scene takes place. Take a notebook and focus on all five senses. When you can’t go on location or you want even more ideas, use the research of other writers, for example try the Setting Thesaurus on the Writers Helping Writers website.

I will share another favorite resource for setting details on the “V” blog next week.


Story ideas – these can come from anywhere and go in any direction but getting a few facts can go a long way in making a story feel believable. We don’t want readers to be thrown out of our story world because something doesn’t ring true.

Rightfully Ours Front (002)In Carolyn Astfalk’s new release, Rightfully Ours, sixteen-year-old Paul Porter relocates to Pennsylvania during his dad’s deployment. He makes a temporary home with the Muellers and develops a friendship with Rachel, the Muellers’ teenage daughter. Their abiding friendship deepens as they work side by side to uncover what could be lost treasure.

Author Carolyn Astfalk wanted to get her facts straight with this story so she researched sink holes (where and how they happen and how you rescue someone from one). She also researched how custody of a minor is handled when a single parent is deployed. And, she had to research how gold bars are authenticated.

Her hard work researching for this story makes it all the more believable and allows readers to truly immerse themselves in the romantic and adventure-filled story line. The e-book is available on Amazon and the paperback is coming soon. You can check out the book trailer here.


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The ideas for my dystopian trilogy came directly from the news. Governments too often step on the rights of the individual. Scientific and technological developments often cross ethical boundaries. And special interest groups attempt to indoctrinate us in order to push hidden agendas.

Because this trilogy is set in the near future, I did an incredible amount of online research into actual ideologies that influence world governments, the latest scientific developments, and cutting-edge technology. Unlike some dystopian stories, nothing that happens in this trilogy is that farfetched. If we don’t reclaim our culture and cling to faith, family, and freedom, this is a real possibility for our future.

The more I learned from research, the more I realized I needed to write this dystopian story. I only meant to write one book and get back to my other stories. I wanted to end Chasing Liberty showing a seed of change being planted. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What exactly is this freedom we should be fighting for? And how can one person make a difference?

This trilogy is available through most online booksellers and you can find the book trailers on my website.


What type of research have you done for your stories and what are your favorite resources?

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Letter F ~ Founding Fathers

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F is for Founding Fathers

When God made me, He decided when I’d come into the world and where. He chose the year 1966 and He chose America. According to some statistics, a billion children live in poverty today, 400 million do not have safe access to water, and 1.4 million die from poor sanitation. And of the 194 countries in the world, forty-nine are under dictatorships. 36% of the world population does not have freedom. And another 24% has only partial freedom.

But I was born here. And I am proud to be an American. While our country isn’t perfect, I believe it was founded on solid principles that were designed to protect our freedoms and God-given rights, and give us every opportunity for success.

Our Founding Fathers had strong faith. I wish more in government office had similar faith, courage, and humility. The proud and arrogant push their own agenda, which inevitably leads to destruction. But the humble, those who readily admit they cannot do it alone and who turn to the Lord and Giver of all victory, bring blessings to the land.

Here’s a quote from George Washington:

“Thursday the seventh Instant, being set apart by the Honourable the Legislature of this province, as a day of fasting, prayer, and humiliation, to implore the Lord, and Giver of all victory, to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness’s, and that it would please him to bless the Continental Arms, with his divine favour and protection’ – All Officers, and Soldiers, are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverence, and attention on that day, to the sacred duties due to the Lord of hosts, for his mercies already received, and for those blessings, which our Holiness and Uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through his mercy to obtain.”

                             ~General Orders, March 6, 1776

The Founding Fathers believed in freedom. One of my favorite quotes is by Patrick Henry, from his Speech to the Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia, March 25, 1775

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

I have a shirt with this quote on it. It makes me think how tragic it is when we try to compromise with evil to get things we want, including so-called peace and even life. Did you know that according to the Vatican some 100,000 Christians are murdered for their faith every year? This far surpasses the numbers during the Roman Empire persecutions.

Having never been tested, I do not know if I have the courage of the martyrs or of our service men and women to lay down my life for the faith, for our country, to save another, or for what is right. But I hope I do. I hope to always have the strength to be on the side of truth and goodness and to allow no compromise.

So what does it take to secure freedom? Here is a quote by Samuel Adams:

“If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.”             

                      ~Letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

Not just knowledge, but virtue and knowledge. I pray for an increase of faith and for “holiness and uprightness of life” in our country that we may receive those blessings that the “Lord and Giver of all victory” has prepared for us.

Remember, everyone who is reading this blog, you were made for this time and this place. God has a purpose for you.

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