EMBATTLED SPIRIT STUDIOS
IS HONORED TO INTRODUCE:
(author: JULIE B COSGROVE)
[Scroll to the end to read the excerpt]
JA: Good morning, Marisol. Your story fascinates me, so I’m honored at the opportunity to talk to you personally. Tell us a little about you and how you came to meet your author. Share that story with us.
MARISOL: Thank you. Unfortunately my story begins the way it has for hundreds of thousands of others. However, my author wanted to write a story of hope and redemption instead of despair, so I am glad to have met her. Through her thought process, given to her by God, I have achieved true freedom.
I met my author, Julie, as she wrote the story of Jen in the first novel, Hush in the Storm. Julie wanted to add a social issue to her suspense novel, and after meeting three different missionaries in three cities in three weeks who deal with trafficked victims, she realized this is what God was calling her to include. So she added me as a teenager Jen meets. Both Jen and I are mistreated and lied to by the same man who coerced us into loving him.
JA: Wow! Sounds like Julie caught you just at the right time. Did you have any issues that you brought with you to challenge your author? If so, what were those issues?
MARISOL: I was twelve years old when I met my author so, in order to tell my complete story, she had to write some of it up to ten years into the future. I guess that was her biggest challenge, especially picking the brains of lobbyists and immigration attorneys about the laws coming down the pike for trafficked illegals in this great country called the United States. I think her late husband being a Sci-Fi freak helped her imagination when it came to the gadgets and technology. (giggle.)
JA: Ha. I imagine you had no problem letting your author do all the research while you relaxed with some coffee and a good magazine. Moving on, everyone has a history that shapes our hearts, our mindsets. What was it about your history—family, religion or something else—that either helped or hindered you most in your story?
MARISOL: My mother beat me and my father sexually abused me, and then encouraged my brothers to pimp me out so we could put food on the table. This made me angry, and I used my anger to hide my heart. But is slowly consumed me and shut me out form everyone, including God. My temper seemed to always get me in more and more trouble. But when I found people who truly cared, it warmed my soul. That made me appreciate their kindness all the more.
JA: That’s a beautiful illustration of a loving God’s unwillingness to give up on even the hardest of hearts. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” When God says, “all things” I believe He means even the bad things that happen to us. Did you discover this on your journey, and if so, how?
MARISOL: I didn’t realize it as I went through my life, but I see it now. At first, I was certain God had turned away because I had done so many bad things and experienced such cruelty. But as I look back over the last ten years, I see my friend Monica was right. I didn’t pull myself out of danger. God did. He was there. I won’t explain all of that because I want you to read my story and follow the steps it took for me to reach that conclusion.
JA: Way to tease my readers, Marisol (wink). Some of the people reading this might be on the same journey of discovery that you brought to your author. What bit of Godly wisdom or Scripture would you give to them?
MARISOL: The Lord’s Prayer asks God to forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. We can only experience forgiveness to the extent we can give it.
Sin, anger and hurt taint us before a holy God. But it also makes us ashamed and want to hide, just like Adam and Eve in the Garden. Eventually, it will harden our hearts and we will shut out the cries of our souls to seek forgiveness.
Until we can open our hearts to forgive others and then ourselves, we block God’s mercy and grace from acting in our own lives. It puts up a wall between us and Christ so we turn away and fool ourselves into thinking it is God who has turned from us. Anger and hurt harbored inside only hurt us, not the other person.
When we forgive, we realize how much more God can forgive us. And if He can forgive us, then we should in turn forgive others because Paul tells us in Romans we have all fallen short of His glory. My sins are no worse than anyone else’s sins in that all sins separate us from the love in Christ Jesus.
JA: Well said, Marisol. And your story sounds quite gripping. Thank you for stopping by the studio. I’m sending readers your way…
Shackled by her past, can she be freed to forgive?
Abused in her Mexican village, Marisol’s anger is her ticket to freedom in America or so she thinks. But her temper lands her in worse and worse situations. Trafficked and pregnant, she gives up the baby so it can have a better life.
Now, ten years later, her past returns to haunt her, just when she has caught the eye of Jesse, the one man who wants to know her…and not just her body.
Marisol has struggled hard to disguise her past, but will the unforgiving spirit she harbors prevent her from embracing her future?
Though delicately worded with veiled descriptions, this faith-based novel does depict some disturbing, yet unfortunately all too common, sex trafficking scenes necessary for the plot.
Authors love to be stalked!
FIND JULIE B. COSGROVE HERE:
A hand softly pressed onto her shoulder. “Are you okay, miss?”
Marisol buckled in dread. Another old habit.
Shoes shuffled towards her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.
You speak English?”
She bobbed her head.
He bent down to meet her face. A black shirt came into view as a whiff of woodsy men’s cologne filled her nose. A small, wooden cross dangled from beneath his open collar. Marisol dared to raise her eyes, just a touch. They were met by a warm smile. Two strong hands gently clutched her arms. “Come into the church. We can talk. Perhaps I can
Alarms went off. No. Never go anywhere with a strange man—ever again.
Marisol twisted from his grip, gaze returning downward.
The man released his hands and held them out, palms up. “My name is Pastor Jake. You can trust me.”
One eye cocked enough to peer into his. Honesty oozed from them, as did reverence, etched by slight crow’s feet. He appeared to be in his late thirties now. A gold band glimmered on his left ring finger.
A shudder raced under her skin. “No. I…I’ve got to go.” She didn’t deserve to be noticed by anyone who served God. She might taint him with her presence. She willed her shoes to move—away from the man, the marquee, and her memories. But they locked to the sidewalk.
His eyes narrowed. “Do I know you?”
Marisol inhaled a shaky breath. Yes, you do. She recalled him as well, though they only met twice before…many long and difficult years ago. But she’d never reveal it. To do so would dredge up too much sorrow.