Innocent Lives: Guardians of Grace, Book 1 released in November as the debut novel by North Beach Books. I am particularly excited to bring this title to you. As most of you know, it has been about 15 years now since I brought you a book! After this very long pause in my life (be assured that I was still writing), three years ago Innocent Lives came to mind. It lingered a bit, I worked on it, procrastinated a bit and finally, along came NaNo WriMo. I determined to finish this novel in that 30 days! I stayed up many late nights and wrote til my eyes were saggy on the weekends to make the deadline. But I finished this book that has long been on my heart.
Innocent Lives follows the story of 12 year old Jasmine and 14 year old Cienna who are abducted while on a family vacation camping trip and are trafficked. The book follows their very different journeys, as Jasmine wakes up in a brothel and Cienna is sold to a man who seems friendly and yet ends up being a monster. With bravery, tenacity and the warm presence of what they come to know as angels, they survive their horrific journeys and emerge forever changed.
The best part of this book is that it will also help change lives of people who have been affected by abuse and violence. A percent of book sales will be donated organizations that are close to my heart, the Family Justice Center of Washington County and ARMS/Abuse Recovery Ministry Services. They are both organizations that are doing AMAZING things in helping people escape and heal from abuse and controlling behaviors.
Here is what some are saying about Innocent Lives:
“Julie tackles a difficult subject. One that is hard but necessary to face. She draws you in fully to the lives of two different victims, crosscut stories, but also manages to show you where angels show up. She gives hope in the midst of the trials, and the encouragement to press through.” – Cheryl McKay (Hollywood Screenwriter The Ultimate Gift and Co-Author, Never the Bride)
“In Innocent Lives, Julie Bonn Blank has artfully captured the heartbreaking story of child-human trafficking. This is a difficult subject, but one that must be known so action can be taken. These precious children endure more than we can imagine, and their hearts and lives are shattered…sometimes forever. I recommend this book to anyone who cares that such atrocities are being visited upon our youngest and most vulnerable. And I implore everyone to get involved any way possible. We must rescue our children!” – Kathi Macias, award-winning author of more than 50 books, including Deliver Me from Evil.
“Bravo! A powerful book on the heartbreaking issue of trafficking. I highly recommend this to everyone, especially those who have a heart for the wounded. Truly an excellent read.” – Carla Ashton, Counselor, Co-Founder and Director of Soul Restoration Ministries
“I’m not really a reader and tend to read slowly. However, one day last weekend I set my timer. I was going to read this book for 15 minutes and then clean the bathroom. Well, I set the timer two more times after that. After that, I finally downloaded the book on my tablet and took it to the bathroom with me. I leaned it against the toilet to read as I scrubbed the bathroom floor!” -Sharon Creaser, ARMS (Abuse Recovery Ministry Services Group Leader).
“This is a riveting story, which opens eyes to the abuse that is so prevalent in our countries today. Expertly and discreetly told, Bonn Blank pulls the reader into the harsh lives of these girls while portraying a message of hope and faith.” –Julie B Cosgrove, author of the award-winning Hush in the Storm, Legitimate Lies and Freed to Forgive trilogy.