When they told her about Southern hospitality, no one mentioned human trafficking.
The move to Bay Town, Mississippi was supposed to be a fresh start for single-mom Melanie and her daughter, Lacy. The quiet Southern town offers a nice relief after the frenetic-paced life of Los Angeles, but something sinister lurks beneath the surface.
Her bridal business struggles to take off, and instead of turning to the Lord, Melanie makes a desperate plea for help–from her ex-husband. Lacey is attacked, and while she is hospitalized, her friend goes missing—a victim of human trafficking out of New Orleans.
With her ex-husband showing true signs of repentance, the pastor she’d begun to fall for is taking a step back, and her daughter’s friend lost to the animals who stole her, Melanie goes on a desperate, dangerous mission to rescue the girl and get their lives back.
And she’ll do it with or without the Lord’s help.
How can Melanie find the girls and rescue them without getting caught herself? Why can’t she trust the Lord to keep them all safe, and which man in her life is the right one–if either?
Read this heart-gripping, pulse-racing novel and see how the Lord’s hand is on us, even when He seems so very far away.
My thoughts: One the outside, Melanie's quaint town looks idealistic, even if it has a hard time supporting her small business. When her daughter is attacked and a teen goes missing, the hunt to find out what is going on exposes some heinous crimes that have to do with child trafficking. With living in a small town, I could relate to some of what the author wrote in this story, since I have seen some of not so quaint side of small town life. I appreciated how this book informs and educates readers on child trafficking. This is an excellent mystery to pick up!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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About the Author
Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American. Born in Okinawa, raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels are the inspirational settings for her stories. She and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with fourteen grandchildren and counting. The diversity of their 31 family members provide the inspiration for more lively characters than can be imagined. Her husband grew up in the streets of Los Angeles raised by a single working mom, and that life provides fodder for many of the conflicts of her characters.
Tackling difficult life’s trials with God’s strength are the central theme of Kathleen’s stories. She hopes to inspire her readers to trust God and with His strength, weather through and rise above trials and tragedies. If you like suspenseful stories with a thread of romance, you will enjoy Kathleen’s Bay Town Series!
More from Kathleen
Guilt comes from within. Shame comes from without ~ Voddie Bouchman
I homeschooled my eight children, and they all attended a conservative Christian university. My husband is a pastor. So, when I started writing Shattered Guilt, the running joke in the family was, “Mom wrote a book, and it has no bad language, no sex, and no graphic violence, but it’s about human trafficking.” And they were right, but God gave me the words to depict a passionate stance against sin, a pure romance, and horrific tragedy…hopefully, all without offending my readers.
The story begins with Melanie. A delightful single mom and her teenage daughter living in a charming little town on the gulf coast of Mississippi. I love their relationship and their faith, but Melanie’s past mistakes linger in the back of her mind, and she somehow thinks herself not worthy. The theme of guilt runs throughout this book in both the lives of those trafficked and those not. When young girls are targeted for human trafficking, Melanie lays aside the self-imposed shame of her past and fights to save those who will suffer far worse feelings of guilt and shame, for which they had no control.
My heart breaks for those whose lives are paralyzed by their pasts. While writing Shattered Guilt, I didn’t realize the connection between Melanie’s shame and the victims of trafficking. The latter suffer guilt and shame through no fault of their own. Yet, all of us carry baggage; if it’s something that needs forgiveness and confession, and we’ve done that, it’s a done deal. We shouldn’t let the past paralyze us from living a life of fullness in Christ. Melanie and even Pastor Desmond come to realize this in their lives. We need to be the best that God desires for us to be, and to be effective in His work, we must experience his love and forgiveness.
Years ago, when I was first writing the rough draft of this novel, human trafficking was finally getting recognition in the world, and the horrors of who was being trafficked were shocking. That’s what gripped my heart, and I was embarrassed that I didn’t have a clue about the scope of this morally reprehensible practice. Enslavement of human beings by another has been on this earth forever, and that’s why awareness and action are so important today. In addition, there are so many facets as to how one becomes a victim in this tragedy. I now try never to assume how someone’s life takes the path it does, but I only care that they find a way to hear God’s voice calling them. Every Christian story is about God’s love.
Although I love writing a suspense story, I love creating my characters too. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the people of Bay Town as much as I enjoyed writing about them. I look forward to sharing more about these endearing characters and the trials they face. Please come back and visit the charming community of Bay Town in the continuing series.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 2
Texas Book-aholic, July 3
Blogging With Carol, July 3
Simple Harvest Reads, July 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 5
Inklings and notions, July 6
For Him and My Family, July 7
deb’s Book Review, July 8
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 9
Stories By Gina, July 10 (Author Interview)
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 10
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 12
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 13
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 14
Cats in the Cradle Blog, July 15
To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.