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Navajo Girl Escapes Kidnappers. A True Lady in Defiance!

I read this story the other day and just had to share it with y’all. I so often focus on writing stories about historical women who did amazing things, overcame staggering odds, accomplished outstanding feats. But this gal? Wow. Here’s a hat-tip to Deanndra Yazzie, a nineteen-year-old Navajo girl who escaped kidnappers! Deanndra, you go, girl! This is reprinted from the Navajo Times, article by Cindy Yurth. I saw no need to re-write it.

Diné comes forward, speaks out, puts sex trafficking suspect behind bars

WINDOW ROCK

Details gathered by a Diné kidnap victim who managed to keep alert despite being drugged, sexually assaulted, burned and beaten led Phoenix police to arrest Jonathan Rouzan, 33, a suspected serial rapist and possible sex trafficker earlier this month.

Deanndra Yazzie, 19, says she was trapped in Rouzan’s home from Dec. 18 to 20, during which she paid careful attention to his phone conversations and memorized his name from papers he had lying around. After escaping she was able to point out Rouzan’s home on Google maps and provide his correctly spelled name, a detailed description and other information to police, which led to his arrest on Jan. 4. Rouzan was indicted by a Maricopa County grand jury Jan. 12 on 33 counts of kidnapping, sexual assault and aggravated assault. He is being held without bail.

When one considers she had no food or water and was drugged with heroin, methamphetamines and vodka for most of the time she was locked in the closet, Yazzie’s presence of mind is nothing short of remarkable.

“The police were surprised,” Yazzie recalled in a phone interview from her home in the Phoenix area. “They said most girls kind of go blank and can’t remember anything after going through something like that.”

Yazzie attributes her attention to detail to her father, who warned her from an early age that as a woman, she would be vulnerable. “He said, ‘Men are going to want to do things to you,’” she recalled. “‘The best thing you can do is pay attention to your surroundings at all times.’”

Yazzie’s nightmarish ordeal started on Dec. 18. She was babysitting for some friends when they came home around 9 p.m. Yazzie reported there was no food in the house and the kids were hungry. “We decided to go to the store, but they needed a ride,” she said. “They called a friend of theirs to drive us.” Yazzie thought it was strange that, when Rouzan picked them up, her friends got in the back seat, leaving her to sit in front with Rouzan, whom she had never met.

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.

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And as always, my dear friends, THANK YOU so much for your support. I hope you know I do truly value my readers! You mean the world to me and I only wish I had more time to spend chatting with you!

Pre-Orders

Bonus Content for Pre-Orders!

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Forward snipit or copy of receipt to gowest36@gmail.com and you will receive in your email a Secret Link with a password to your bonus material! This is a one-time use of your email (unless you already subscribe to my newsletter)!

And as always, my dear friends, THANK YOU so much for your support. I hope you know I do truly value my readers! You mean the world to me and I only wish I had more time to spend chatting with you!

Pre-Orders

God help the man who ever gets in her way again…

YOU KNOW MY STYLE OF WRITING—strong heroines who don’t mess around. They roll up their sleeves and get the job done. I love the stories of women who persevere and overcome, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed writing Hell-Bent on Blessings. It releases on Feb. 14 but you can pre-order TODAY for only .99!
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Harriet’s worthless husband has snatched the world out from under her feet, and then gone and died on her, to boot. First, though, he left her in deep debt and facing foreclosure on the ranch that she loves almost as much as her own children. Livid, staring at bankruptcy and fighting hopelessness, she grits her teeth and comes up with a plan. Money, gold, and jobs are abundant in the boom town of Blessings, California. She’ll start over there, taking one step at a time to rebuild a life with her children, her financial independence, and her dreams of a new ranch.

God help the man who ever gets in her way again… Like Shakespeare warned, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Jason Meredith, an old friend, has a few things he’d like to say to Harriet, especially now that she’s a widow. He might have better luck surviving a bear attack, though, than thawing her frozen heart. He’s got his work cut out for him, but Jason’s a patient man. At least, he used to think he was…

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Get your copies today!

Announcing, the Brides of Blessings…

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The California Gold Rush—when Gold Fever spread across America, it emptied towns, stripped ships of their crews, left women husbandless, children fatherless. The stories, especially of the women who sought to make their own fortunes, are awe-inspiring and, in some instances, flat-out amazing.

BLESSED BRIDE And I’m thrilled to tell you I’m in a new series focused on the Gold Rush era–the Brides of Blessings looks at the women of the California Gold Rush, spanning the years from 1848 to 1865. I have joined up with best-selling authors Lynn Winchester, Mimi Milan, Kari Trumbo, and Dallis Adams to share with you these richly researched, clean, inspirational historical western stories. In the vein of the inimitable Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, both the beloved town and its people grow as the women help settle the west and find their “happily ever afters.” I hope you’ll pick up your copy of The Blessed Bride for the special pre-order price of only 99 cents. http://amzn.to/2hyuAUi

She Chose the War Path

from my post over at https://cowboykisses.blogspot.comdahteste

Sometimes when I do research, I discover fascinating individuals who led gloriously exciting lives and then retired in peace, children and grandchildren sitting at their feet. The happily ever after. The ending we’d all like. Truth is, though, sometimes a hero has her moment early on and from there it’s not a very pretty spiral downward.

This is my impression of the life of Apache warrior woman Dahteste (pronounced ta-DOT-say).

Born around 1860 she chose her path as a warrior. The Apache let you do that. A fairly open-minded society, you could be a warrior, a homemaker, a medicine man, whatever, as long as you worked at it and could deliver. Dahteste was known for her beauty, but she was also clearly respected for her fighting, riding, hunting, and shooting skills. She was fast and she was mean. No man challenged her light-heartedly. And she proved her worth repeatedly on raids with the Apache. In fact, she rode with Cochise (you might remember him. He led an uprising against the U.S. government that started in 1861 and didn’t end until ’72). Remarkably, Dahteste was barely a teenager! Her fighting didn’t end, however, with Cochise’s acceptance of a peace treaty. She continued it by riding with Geronimo. Who knows how many “white-eyes” lost their lives to her rifle?

Geronimo surrendered in 1886. Dahteste over the years had picked up quite a bit of English, had even served as a cavalry scout for a time, so she negotiated the great chief’s surrender. Her reward? She was arrested and shipped to a prison in Florida where she stayed for eight years. Then she was moved to the military prison at Fort Sill, OK where she was a guest for nineteen years. During her time as a resident of the US Army’s military prison system, she survived pneumonia and tuberculosis. I suspect she survived much more than that.

During this time she divorced her husband Ahnandia (one of Geronimo’s original warriors) and within a few years married fellow inmate and former Army scout Coonie. The couple was released in 1919 and moved to the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico.

Dahteste, reports say, never spoke English again and wore only beautiful beaded native clothing. She left her long black hair down and unbraided, but always brushed. She was a proud Apache woman who walked with her chin up.

Though she did, indeed, retire with children and grandchildren around her feet, none of them were hers by blood, and she was not generally known to smile much. I hope she spent her final years enjoying peace and happiness, but I don’t get that sense. I think Dahteste was a survivor and she did so with more grim determination than optimism.

Faith from Fiction–a New Release to Benefit Samaritan’s Purse

And the victims of the recent hurricanes!


Has a character from a fictional story ever touched your heart? Have you ever identified with a hero who was struggling against a great obstacle or heavy burden? Have you ever found yourself weeping over a “make believe” heartbreak or triumph? Just as Christ touched the world with parables, fiction writers, too, have a chance to share Biblical lessons through inspirational tales. Our characters are real to us. Sometimes, they are real to you, too. In this NEW collection, Faith from Fiction, ten bestselling Christian authors invite you to ponder the meditations of some of their favorite characters and the everlasting principles on which their stories are built…

Contributors to Faith from Fiction are some of the biggest names in Christian fiction! Roseanna M. White, DiAne Gates, Jenn Faulk, L.N. Cronk, Lynnette Bonner, Christy Barritt, Heather Blanton, Melanie Dickerson, and Janice Hanna Thompson!

Faith from Fiction releases September 28. Get your copy here http://amzn.to/2xlftRm !

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The Reason by William Sirls TWO BOOK #Giveaway #LadiesInDefiance

Welcome to the Something Special for Mom Giveaway Hop hosted by Lindsey Blogs and Viva Veltoro. Mother’s Day will be here before you know it, which is why a group of fabulous bloggers have come together to share gifts and giveaways that are perfect for the special lady in your life – or maybe even yourself! Hop around to all the bloggers participating below and don’t miss the two amazing Grand Prizes from our Host Blogs!


Please check out the other giveaways going on at my site ———————————->


Right now The Reason is being made into a major motion picture. Read it first! The accomplished cast includes a host of familiar faces such as Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr., Beverly Todd, Tatyana Ali, Burgess Jenkins and Alan Powell while familiarizing audiences with the emerging talents of Sara Antonio, Michael Montgomery, and Kelly Carlson.

the reason by william sirls

WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE?

Welcome to southeast Michigan and the small town of Carlson where faith, hope, and struggle are defined by the different faces of those who live there.

An addict that sits at a bar to forget.

A mother whose five-year-old boy has leukemia.

Two doctors. An atheist haunted by his past and a brilliant young oncologist that places all her hope in the power of modern medicine.

A blind pastor whose son hasn’t spoken a single word in thirty-eight years.

But the minister sees by faith. He knows there are answers and believes that someone who cares is watching… someone with a greater purpose. Yet there is something he doesn’t know… that none of them know.

In the midst of the ordinary and the devastating, there is a reason these lives will be changed forever.

Lightning is about to strike.

The Reason opens with a thunderbolt and never lets up as it introduces us to everyday characters who are wrestling with questions: Where is God when bad things happen? Does God ignore the prayers of the faithful? The answer each character receives will astound readers while offering an unforgettable call to hope, to change, and to believe.

About the Author

Over the course of his life, William Sirls has experienced both great highs and tremendous lows–some born of chance, some born of choice. Once a senior vice president at a major investment firm, he was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering, where he learned a great deal more than he ever bargained for. Life lessons involving faith, grace, patience, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. He is the father of two and makes his home in southern California. Visit his site at: www.williamsirls.com.

The Giveaway

Thank you so much William, and as a bonus, he has offered to giveaway TWO copies of The Reason to ONE lucky winner. One to keep and one to give to a friend! Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US address. Enter through the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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If you’d like to find other blogs offering awesome giveaways, click the link below for the list, and start “hopping!”

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So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, and the Something Special for Mom participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar Q&A and #BookGiveaway #LadiesinDefiance

Tessa AfsharThank you Tessa for joining us today to learn more about you and your latest book Land of Silence!

  1. Land of Silence is based on the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Did you learn anything as you researched this novel?

 I have always known that there are no throw-away phrases with Jesus. He is very intentional with every word He chooses. Interestingly, the woman with the issue of blood is the only person that Jesus addresses directly as daughter. I was intrigued by this anomaly, and based a large part of the storyline on Jesus’ reason for addressing her in such a tender manner. Ultimately, I think He addresses all His followers in the same way. We too are daughters and sons. And when we grasp the depth of that claim, our internal lives are transformed.

  1. The heroine of the story, Elianna, tells her sister: “One step at a time, we can go forward, and learn to be faithful in suffering.” What did she mean by this?

We all suffer in this world. As hard as we may try to control our circumstances, suffering will find us and make its home with us for a season. It demands a response from us. Will we be angry? Will we despair? Will we reject God? Elianna’s response is to be faithful to God one step at a time. One painful hour at a time to trust Him still and call Him Father. I think that is the most effective response to suffering, and the one Jesus modeled for us.

  1. You write: “Despair is an invitation to prayer. You can either sink or pray when it lodges at your door.” What did you mean by those words?

There are seasons of life when we may land in despair. Even the Apostle Paul admits to experiencing despair when he says: “we were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure so that we despaired, even of life.” In such seasons, we have only two real options. We can either sink under the weight of despair, or pray ourselves out of it. God has the power to destroy hopelessness and its repercussions. In His presence, we enter the power that binds despair.

  1. Speaking of Jesus, one of your characters in Land of Silence says, “Compassion becomes a weapon of warfare in Jesus’s hands. No heartache can stand against it.” Can you expand on that?

In the time of Jesus, most Jews who were expecting the promised Messiah thought that he would come as a warrior king, much like David, and defeat the Roman occupation. Jesus was a warrior king, but He did not use the weapons of human warfare. Instead, He turned to the weapons of righteousness. When He was moved by compassion, darkness could not withstand His power. Sickness and death were defeated.

  1. Why do you write biblical fiction?

The Bible is the greatest book ever written. Something about the stories it contains has managed to grab the human heart for thousands of years. More often than not, God chooses deeply flawed men and women through whom He fulfills His purposes. That’s why so many of us can relate to them! A broken woman who rises above her circumstances to make the right choice, to cling to God, and to ultimately overcome is an inescapably powerful character to read about. I relate to her brokenness and am inspired by her victory.

In my experience, all of us struggle with various kinds of insecurities. We doubt ourselves. We even doubt God. But in God’s hands, these fissures that run through the very fabric of our being can turn into glory, because the light of His countenance can shine through them. This is why I like writing Biblical fiction. That doesn’t mean I have stopped liking Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte or some contemporary YA fiction!

  1. Outside of the Bible, what resources do you use?

Historical and archaeological records, academic books, online sources, museums, photographs of ancient buildings, and even interviews with my Middle Eastern relatives about the weather, topography and geography of a particular area they are personally familiar with.

  1. What is your idea of a favorite vacation?

To have one? If you want me to be more specific, then I would love to visit a sunny island nestled against a deep blue ocean, with nothing to do but eat, read, swim, and walk on the beach with my wonderful husband. On the other hand, I would take a vacation in Italy. Or a tour of the churches mentioned in the book of Acts. Or a few weeks walking about Israel. As you see, I’m not picky.

  1. What would you tell an aspiring writer?

Persevere. Dream big. Hone your craft. Love the characters you choose. Be emotionally honest. Write because you love telling stories, not because you want to be recognized or admired or to make money. For me, writing is not a hobby. It’s not even a job. It is a call. I believe I was created to do this. The Bible says that God created us in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10). I believe, in my life, part of that work is writing. So what shall I say when things become hard or seem untenable? Shall I walk away from God’s purpose? Shall I ditch my destiny just because it’s hard? If writing is a call in your life, you must persevere.

  1. Why is perseverance so important to you?

Life can be a battlefield. Your job, your relationships, your heart, your destiny—they can all come under assault. Without perseverance, it’s easy to lose hope in the darkest hours. When you feel most overwhelmed, remember that the Lord has not forgotten you. He is on your side. He is for you, even when you feel you are unworthy of His care. Your worth does not depend on what you do or whether you fail. Your worth is in His love. His covenant of peace in Jesus will never be shaken. You are His and He will not give you up.

  1. How did you become a Christian?

Although I have lived in the Christian West my whole adult life, I never heard the gospel until I was in my mid-twenties. During a particularly difficult season in my life, I had a vivid dream. In my dream I was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. From a distance I saw a man walking toward me and I knew instantly that this was Jesus. As He drew closer, I felt very disappointed. You see, He was not handsome by any stretch of the imagination! The only Jesus I had seen up to this point was portrayed by a couple of very good-looking actors in TV movies. I thought, This is Jesus?

As He approached I realized, Of course this is Jesus, for in His eyes I saw such depth of love and power that I almost fell to my knees. He asked me to follow Him and I did. In the dream not only did I know Him as Jesus, but I also knew beyond the slightest shadow of doubt that He was the Son of God, very God of very God, and unlike anyone else in the whole universe.

Shortly after that dream, friends began to ask me to go to church and Bible study. It was as though God Himself first opened a door in my inmost being and then He arranged for me to find out the facts! I simply fell in love with Jesus. There’s no one like Him.


land of silence by tessa afshar

Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body, heart, and soul?

The Giveaway

Thank you so much Tessa, and as a bonus, she has offered to giveaway a copy of Land of Silence to one lucky winner. Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US address. Enter through the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run through May 15, 2016 and the winner will be announced on May 16.

If She Could Drink and Wear a Badge, She Sure as Heck Should be Able to Vote

phoebe

Phoebe Wilson Couzins was, to say the least, a trailblazer for women. She was one of the first female lawyers in the United States, the first female U.S. marshal, and, not surprising, an outspoken supporter of the suffragist movement. But temperance, not so much …

Phoebe was born on September 8, 1842 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father John E. D. Couzins was an architect, builder, and a natural leader. Traits he passed to his daughter. During the Civil War, John served as the city’s chief of police and sought to keep Missouri in the Union. Adaline, Phoebe’s mother, was a member of the Ladies’ Union Aid Society in St. Louis and volunteered as a battlefield nurse.

After the war, Phoebe, inspired by her parents, joined the St. Louis Woman Suffrage Association. The inability of a woman to vote incensed her, considering all the things a woman could do. She made a name for herself in the organization and, encouraged by a family friend, applied and was admitted to Washington University Law School in St. Louis.

In 1871, Phoebe became the first female law graduate from GWU! She practiced law for two months but the suffragette movement called her name. She began traveling across the country to give speeches in favor of women’s rights.

In 1884, Phoebe’s father was appointed U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri and he swore her in as one of his deputies. When he died three years later, she served as the interim U.S. marshal, appointed by President Grover Cleveland. She was the first woman to serve in the position.

Not interested in being a lawman, though, she eventually moved to Washington, DC. She made a modest living as a writer, but maintained her involvement with the women’s rights movement. New blood entered into the suffragette arena, though, and Phoebe’s contributions, as well her Old Iron Pants attitude, tended to alienate the more politically-savvy ladies. Not to mention, Phoebe liked her high balls, and many of the suffragettes were passionate about the evils of alcohol. Hence, these last years were stormy ones for Phoebe. She hung in there, fighting the good fight, while, ironically, working as a lobbyist for a brewery.

Phoebe died in St. Louis in 1913 and was buried wearing her US marshal’s badge. Here’s to you, Phoebe!


By Heather Blanton
https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton
copyright 2015

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