{New Release} Of Sand and Storm

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

By law, any child born in Idara is free, even if that child is born in a slave brothel. But as Cinder grows into a beauty that surpasses even that of her mother and grandmother, she realizes that freedom is only a word. There are other words too, stronger words. Words like betrayal and prison and death. And there are words even stronger still. Words like courage and family and love. 

In the end, if Cinder is to escape the fate of her matriarchs, she'll have to fight for her freedom. Because true freedom is never free.

Purchase links: 
Amazon Int’l: http://authl.it/5cs
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20734705-of-sand-and-storm
I remember reading an article a while back. It was about a girl taken captive by ISIS. The men and older women in her family were taken outside and shot. She and her female relative were taken to an older building, where men would come and bid on them. The man who ran the slave market hid her when the other men came. She thought he was being kind. He wasn't. He took her as his own.

She was smart and resourceful. They went from house to house (Christian homes, the owners dead or having fled). She pretended not to like one after another until they finally stopped at a house with a balcony off the master bedroom. It was from there that she escaped with another girl.

I read her story and I thought, this is the kind of stuff that happened in medieval times. Not now. Not in a world where people complain about WiFi cutting out on jet planes or that ketchup packets are too small.

But sex trafficking and abuse have never really stopped, have it? We all think we're civilized and past such darkness, but we're only a war away from being dipped back into that kind of evil. The girls ISIS has taken know this. Even here, amidst the strip malls and protest for "social justice", there are girls and boys hidden in the shadows. Used and discarded like trash while people scream about supposed offenses that are really just differing opinions.

When I saw the Abolitionists, I felt helpless. What could I do? How could a mom from the fields of Idaho raise her voice? The answer became clear. I had to write one of these girl's stories. Not a real girl, but a fictional one. Cinder's story was born. The story of a girl fighting a system designed to keep her under the control of people who have long ago lost their morality.

Part of me wants to apologize for this story—for exposing such darkness to the light. But there are people hidden in the shadows of slaver. If no one ever turns to look, help will never come. So I ask that you look. See them—those forced to give up the right to their own bodies. I ask that you be someone’s Darsam. To learn how you can help, visit the Abolitionists, a group who works to free children from sex trafficking: http://ourrescue.org/.

Tribute to Christine Weston Webb

Monday, August 22, 2016
This is my favorite picture of my Aunt Chris. Her husband and grandkids are circling around her, curling toward her like she was the sun. I love that it shows her hands too. She did so much good with those hands.
The first memory I have of my Aunt Chris was when she was pregnant with Kelsey. She was eating a salad with ranch and drinking a diet coke with ice, the glass slick with condensation. She made me Kraft macaroni and cheese and let me add the milk. I added too much, but she didn’t mind. “As long as you’ll eat it,” she said.

Later, Jeremy and Wes chased us around the house with some kind of spray. It ruined Tiffany’s umbrella and both boys ended up on stools at the opposite sides of the kitchen.

There was the smell of horses, makeup, and hairspray as Tiffany and I tried out for queen contests, rode in parades, or participated in 4-H. Bending down to pop tar bubbles on the hot asphalt, we would walk to the store for penny candy with their dog, Muffin. I remember rides in their boat, sand between my toes, skin peeling off my shoulders. Uncle Chuck telling me that if I swallowed a watermelon seed, I’d end up pregnant (I was seven, I think, and terrified).

I remember jumping on her trampoline and feeling like I could fly, just for a minute.

There were long summer afternoons in her beautiful yard—hot dogs that were a little burned and fingers stained with raspberry juice. When we were older, we would pick raspberries for hours, a cramp in our backs and our arms and legs scratched and stinging. But we didn’t mind as we laughed and chatted. Chris would always overfill her costumer’s boxes because that’s just how she was.

I remember Women’s Conference and trips to the craft fair. I remember her laugh and the way she would slouch in her chair, wrists on the end of the armrest so her hand’s dangled. And the crafts she could make with those hands! Beautiful blankets, doilies, scrapbooks—she crocheted the dress both my daughter and I were blessed in as infants. 

Whatever Chris touched, she made beautiful. It was a gift she had. A gift she nurtured. Taking scraps of paper or fabric or broken hearts and seeing possibility—nurturing that possibility until it became something lovely and new. I like to think of her that way in heaven. Sitting with my grandpa, hands dangling from the end of her chair as they look down on our big family and decide how to shape us from afar.

I love you, Aunt Chris. 

#Giveaway of Daughter of Winter #Paperback

Monday, August 1, 2016

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daughter of Winter by Amber Argyle

Daughter of Winter

by Amber Argyle

Giveaway ends October 07, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
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