Thursday, August 4, 2016

Beauty Restored: Life after acquaintance / date rape

My critique partner Janet Ferguson, author of the Southern Hearts series, is visiting today to introduce one of the topics of her latest novel, Tackling the Fields. That topic, date rape, is a heavy one that hits close to an issue I’ve also written about in a novel: stranger rape.

One out of every six women has experienced a rape or attempted rape in her lifetime, according to the information available at

My blog is small. A post like this one, with both Janet and I sharing it, might get 200 views, mostly women. That means about 33 views from women who have experienced a rape or an attempted rape, whether by a stranger or someone they knew. And by the way, one out of every 33 men have also experienced a rape or an attempted rape (again, according to

We cannot stick a bandage over an issue that cuts this deep and wide with a short blog post. Even when we write books about this, we are only joining the discussion and offering some of the healing of the Lord Jesus Christ in hopes that the message will meet readers where they’re at, and that God will use our words in conjunction with a symphony of restorative experiences and relationships.

Since we can’t cover everything here or even in our books, if you or someone you know has experienced an assault, I urge you to explore the resources available from RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network). Their website is, and the number for the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 800-656-HOPE.


Here's Janet:

It’s in the media all too often. A young woman who has been violated by someone she knew or met. Perhaps she thought she might spend time with the guy, maybe even kiss the guy, but when a line was drawn, an attack ensued. Other scenarios involve a young woman having too much to drink, and a man taking that as license for indecency and cruelty.

Sadly, most of these incidents go unreported due to shame, self-blame, and guilt.

And the emotional scars usually last much longer than the physical.

If you or someone you care about has endured the trauma of rape, lingering issues with anger, fear, regret, and sadness are normal—a grieving process almost. Grieving for a loss of trust, grieving for a loss of innocence. Shame can leave a survivor feeling unclean, but God can re-clothe you with goodness and beauty.

Friends of rape survivors can offer a listening ear, support, and belief.

These issues are not ones I had hoped to delve into for a novel, but I felt a calling to write about young woman still struggling with the emotional aftermath of date rape, three years after the incident. She has been held captive by fear, plagued by nightmares, and has still been uncomfortable with physical contact.

Although written as a romance, it is a faith story. Of course, counseling has its place, but ultimately God is the healer of the heart, the restorer of beauty, the One who provides freedom for the captive of fear and pain.

My scripture theme for this series comes from Isaiah 61.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1-3, KJV

From both Janet and me, may the Lord, the Restorer of beauty and joy, touch and heal the wounds of your past as you run to Him.

About the book

Tackling the Fields

Southern Hearts Series ~ Book 3

Cole Sanders is a changed man. The university quarterback questions his direction in life after serving on a mission trip in Honduras. Things that used to fill Cole’s ego seem empty after witnessing the developing country’s extreme poverty and the death of a precious child. The one glimmer of hope through his confusion is the fresh perspective he now has about his tutor, Audrey. She possesses something beautiful inside and out—something that might help him become the person he wants to be.

University senior Audrey Vaughn tutored Cole Sanders for an entire year and never imagined the popular quarterback would see her as anything more than a friend. After partnering with him on the mission trip, they are drawn together. And he appears to have changed for the better. To let Cole into her life, Audrey will have to overcome not only her brother’s distrust, but also the paralyzing fear still lingering from a past she’s tried to leave behind.

Cole can’t walk away from Audrey now that they’re back in Oxford. He’ll have to figure out how to keep her giant of a brother, a lineman on his football team, from killing him when the coach has his back turned. But can Audrey trust her heart to a player so similar to the one who stole so much from her in the past?

Preorder the EBook Amazon   IBooks     Nook     KOBO

 Connect with Janet:

May the Lord, the Restorer of beauty and joy, heal the wounds of your past as you run to Him via @novelwritergirl @janetwferguson


  1. Thank you for having me on your blog today!

    1. Thanks for sharing today! Wishing you all the best with your launch!

  2. Beautiful and important post, Janet and Emily! Thanks for opening the conversation on this too-often neglected topic.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jerusha!

    2. Thank you, Jerusha. It's a tough topic, but sadly all too common.