Most of you have read the Emily books in the What Doesn’t Kill You mystery series. You learned about the story behind them in a series of posts:

The Emily novels introduced Laura, who appears as well in the recently released WDKY prequel novella Act One. Laura is a champion quarterhorse-racing jockey who lives on the Wrong Turn Ranch in New Mexico with her husband Mickey. She’s a native of Wyoming, a U of Wyo dropout to pursue her racing passion, and a new foster-pending-adoption mother to Farrah, a Syrian refugee whose painful past in foster care inspires Laura to pursue a degree in therapy, certify in equine therapy, retire from racing, and open an aftercare center for survivors of human trafficking on the ranch, specifically survivors of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).

As I wrote the Emily novels and later began work on Laura’s stories, my heart moved closer and closer to the need to learn more about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the USA. Up until that point, I’d explored it through the lens of immigration, and I wanted to see how this evil really manifested itself in our communities. In my community.

Enter Hope Rising Ministries, half an hour from our Nowheresville, TX home. They offered a 4-day certification program called Hands That Heal, to train people who want to work with survivors of CSEC. The things I learned there blew my mind and opened my heart in ways I can’t describe in words (and I’m a words girl, y’all). I’ll tell you what most impressed me is that while the program is faith-based, it isn’t church-y. It’s about loving survivors as you find them. Period. The whole program in fact could be summed up in that one word: LOVE.

The impact of CSEC on our country chilled me to the bone. It was far more evil and pervasive than I’d even imagined it for my novels, and it was in my small towns. Your small towns. Our home communities. Not just impacting illegal immigrants (who are terribly at risk because of their off-the-grid status); the majority of the victims in the US are US citizens.

Yes, the things I learned are horrifying, and they are inspiring and impacting my Laura novels. Even more, they are changing my life. I now volunteer with Hope Rising, I’m getting certified in equine therapy, and I’m using my TTT (time, talents, and treasure) on CSEC, through Hope Rising.

If you have a heart for this issue, your help is needed. Things you can do, right now, if so:

  1. Pray
  2. Learn and Share (recommended: Roadmap to Redemption, Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale: A Memoir)
  3. Get Certified
  4. Volunteer
  5. Donate silent auction items and/or money for the March 25, 2017 Hope Rising 2nd Annual Boots N Bows and Ride for Hope. I can’t attend, so we’re donating a few packages including home stays at our Nowheresville, TX and Snowheresville, WY properties and a deluxe reader collection of my books and assorted book-related funsies.
  6. Chip away at their wish list
  7. Become an equine sponsor
  8. Become an ongoing partner of Hope Rising

{About Hope Rising: Hope Rising at the Meadows Ranch is a faith-based aftercare program that offers outpatient and short term stays (6 week intensive outpost program) to adults and (coming soon) family-style foster living for girls that include therapies that are experiential in nature and are proven to accelerate stability in trauma victims. We use equine therapy, art therapy and discipleship character building to bring the trauma victim out of survival mode and into self-awareness and emotion regulation as well as help them with developing healthy interpersonal skills. Contact the inspirational, loving, and stronger-than-steel Sherri Clement, 832-779-2190, 

Thanks for tuning in, you guys, for this crisis which has inspired my heart, my passion, and my Laura novels, which will launch, BTW, starting in 2019 (Ava gets her turn first! Look for Bombshell Summer 2017.).

Life, imitating art, imitating life. Crazy.

p.s. Don’t forget:

  • You can get cool stuff like #TeamPetey  and #NotFiringOnAllSyllables merchandise, HERE.
  • Subscribe to my newsletter to get your free WDKY prequel mystery novella Act One ebook, HERE.
  • When I’m writing, I write. Brain on, game on. Some days I wake up with poems or lyrics in my head. Do you do this? One morning’s Snowheresville, Wyoming insomnia was thanks to moon shadows on snow, a magical sight words can never do justice.

Moon Shadows

Inky black moon shadow
Overflows on ghost snow
Blackens, drips, pools

Rorschach glimpse quickening
Shape shifts bear to hawk wing
Lightens, flows, cools

Sunrise robs moon’s remains
White paged spirits domain
Unseen, churns, fuels

Night vows a swift return

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One Response to Not in My Town: The Story Behind the Story of My Upcoming Laura WDKY Novels

  1. Eric Hutchins says:

    Not light funny casual reading. Tough gritty heartbreaking stuff, and terribly important. I am proud of you for getting behind this organization and using your reach to make people look at something that no doubt makes them uncomfortable.

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