Bestselling novelist Erin Healy’s latest supernatural thriller, Stranger Things, comes to stores on New Year’s Eve! I can’t wait to read my copy; it sounds amazing and I’ve loved all her other work. In regards to this particular book, human/sex trafficking is a cause I am really interested in and support and I was enouraged to read that she also has a heart for this social issue and incorporated it into her novel.
As an author, she does a wonderful job of mixing spirituality with the supernatural and is one of the masters of allegorical literary fiction. I have always loved Ted Dekker, which introduced me to Erin after she has co-written several books with him. Both are stellar writers in that they succeed at opening those small windows in your brain to make you think harder and longer during and after reading their books. They are two of my favorite authors.
When I read Erin’s work, I delve deeper into myself, into humanity, into existence, and into the questions of spirituality and purpose. She reaches out and touches my soul. I imagine this book will also speak to me.
So here’s the synopsis for Stranger Things and a chance to read the first two chapters….then following is a short interview and all the other information about the upcoming book, Erin, and how to connect to her. PLUS there is a chance to enter for a giveway!
Stranger Things, Synopsis~
Serena’s career as a high school biology teacher comes to a halt when an angry student makes shocking accusations. Stunned and suspended, Serena retreats to the forest where she usually finds peace of mind. But on this day she encounters a killer and his prisoner—as well as a stranger who dies to save Serena’s life.
The stranger, Christopher, had dedicated his life to rescuing girls from forced prostitution—starting with his sister Amber. They formed a tiny nonprofit organization to protect girls and have been working furiously to bring down John Roman, the powerful criminal who first took Amber and has ruined scores of young women’s lives since.
When Christopher’s grieving colleagues suspect Serena of being in league with Roman, her life spirals further out of control. How will she clear her name? Why did this stranger protect her with his life? And what is the meaning of the visions she sees every time she visits the gutted house where he died?
If you’d like to read the first two chapters of Stranger Things, click here.
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ENTER TO WIN~
Enter to WIN one of 10 autographed copies by clicking here (A U.S. shipping address is required and books will be mailed after January 1 2014—-> a Rafflecopter giveaway or go here—> http://www.erinhealy.com/2013/11/30/stranger-things-giveaway/
Interview with Erin Healy~
Welcome, Erin! (BTW, that always feel a little strange, since it’s my name too-lovely to share it!) It’s so wonderful to feature you here on the blog. I’ve been a longtime fan of yours for many reasons. I’m looking forward to your answers surrounding some questions on your new book, Stranger Things!
Q: How was your idea for Stranger Things born?
A: Two years ago, during a Good Friday service, my pastor (Kelly Williams of Vanguard Church, Colorado Springs) asked the congregation: “If a complete stranger died while saving your life, wouldn’t you want to know everything you could about that person? Wouldn’t you want your life to honor that person’s death?” He challenged us to consider Jesus Christ in a new light—as a stranger, as a savior we might not know as well as we think we do. This idea has roots in Romans 5:8—“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Before I ever had the chance to know him, while he was a complete stranger to me, Christ died for me. The Message translation says “when [I was] of no use whatever to him.” Why would he do that? Have I investigated him thoroughly enough to connect my own life with his purposes? This is all background, though. Stranger Things isn’t an overtly Christian tale as my previous novels have been, but it’s a parable about these questions.
Q: Stranger Things sounds like a pretty dark read. Why did you choose to write about sex trafficking?
A: Human trafficking (of which sex trafficking is a subcategory) is the world’s third-fastest growing illegal industry behind drugs and weapons. It is the most horrifying kind of modern captivity I can imagine, and my research proved that even my imagination fell short of reality. I picked it because it’s a real contemporary crisis, but also because it profoundly symbolizes the kind of bondage that Christ came to end (Isaiah 61:1-3). Freeing the captive, physically and spiritually, is a high calling for followers of Jesus who want to express their gratitude for his sacrifice and demonstrate his love through the continuation of his work.
Q: What does all this have to do with the “thin places” that you’re always talking about?
A: The traditional (Celtic) definition of a thin place is a physical location in the world where the division between physical and spiritual realities falls away, a place where we can see the greater truth of our existence. In my stories I use the term “thin place” to define moments when a person experiences a sharpened spiritual awareness about what’s really going on in his or her life. Stranger Things is the first novel in which I’ve combined both ideas. The thin place is a physical location, a burned-out house in a sparse terrain, where Serena discovers her purpose. “There are places in the world where you will encounter things so real that you will be surprised others don’t have an identical experience,” Serena’s father tells her. “But then you will realize that the clarity given to you is a gift from God. Perhaps this gift is just for you, maybe also it will touch the lives of others.”
Q: Did anything surprise you while writing the novel?
A: I started with intentions to write about an Asian-based trafficking ring, but in the course of my research was distressed to learn just how close to home the problem lies. Though it’s impossible to get a precise count of how many people are victims of sex trafficking in the US, most estimates fall between 100,000 and 300,000 (mostly women and children). Since I learned this my own awareness has expanded, and I’m happy to see just how many efforts are already underway—not only in the US—to end this atrocity. The Polaris Project is a great place to begin learning about global human trafficking.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from Stranger Things?
A: I hope the novel is layered enough to meet each reader individually. Maybe some will be challenged to investigate Jesus Christ further. Maybe some will use their new awareness of trafficking to do something about it. (I’ve joined the prayer team of a local home for girls rescued from sexual slavery.) To date my favorite response to the book was from the person who found herself looking in a new way at the strangers who surrounded her. She felt unexpectedly protective and concerned, on heightened alert to ways in which she might be able to help them. In other words, ways in which she might be able to do what Christ did for her. So many opportunities! If we all moved through the world with eyes like that, what might change for the better? I love to think of all the possibilities.
Stranger Things Details~
Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: Dec. 31, 2013
Company: Thomas Nelson
Of the novel, Library Journal says: “Serena Diaz’s teaching career came to an abrupt end when a student falsely accused her of sexual misconduct. Seeking solace in the woods, she discovers that a gang of sex traffickers has taken over a vacant house. Serena is almost captured by one of the criminals but is saved by an unknown man who has been shadowing her. He is shot, and Serena escapes with her life. But she is drawn to know more about this stranger who died for her. What follows is a suspenseful story of danger and pure evil. Whom can Serena trust in a world that seems intent on serving its own self-interests? VERDICT – Healy (Afloat; coauthor with Ted Dekker, Burn and Kiss) has written an edgy, fast-paced spiritual thriller that will please Dekker fans.”
Erin Healy, Biography~
Erin Healy is the best-selling co-author of “Burn” and “Kiss” with Ted Dekker and an award-winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her novels “Never Let You Go,”,”The Baker’s Wife,” “House of Mercy,” and “Afloat.”
Healy earned her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in communication studies from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. She began her career as an editor for Christian Parenting Today before serving as a book editor for WaterBrook Press. Healy founded WordWright Editorial Services in 2002 and specializes in fiction book development. She has worked with many popular authors in a number of genres such as Frank Peretti, James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Robin Lee Hatcher, Gilbert Morris, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer and Robert Whitlow.
While her interest in supernatural fiction grew she while working with Dekker (she edited 12 of his well-known, heart-pounding stories before collaborating with him as a co-author), her interest in the spiritual realm has always been a part of her. “The Irish girl in me is fascinated by the concept of thin places, a Celtic name for locations in the world where the veil between physical and spiritual realities is so delicate that a person can see through it. For me, thin places are revelations about what it means to be a spiritual creation in a physical world. I write supernatural suspense novels from a Christian worldview, with eyes open to God’s mysterious side and where His world world intersects ours,” she explains.
Healy currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO, with her husband, Tim, and two children. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Erin can be contacted through her website www.ErinHealy.com or through Facebook at erinhealybooks.
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