Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Book - The Issue of Abortion

Welcome once again to my author/friend, Eileen Rife. Read on to discover her new book, Laughing with Lily, and some of the issues addressed in this book.

1.      What inspired you to write Laughing with Lily?
Two things: I wanted to take a trip down memory lane, returning to a time when my husband and I were newly-married, thirty-seven years ago. I also wanted to highlight abortion, showing the struggle that many mothers have in the wake of aborting their babies.
2.      Are any particulars of the story based on your own experiences?
Yes. The adorable white-frame dollhouse is modeled after Chuck’s and my first house when we lived in Warsaw, Indiana. I drove by the house every day on my way to the Cardinal Center where I worked as (you guessed it) an aide with mentally-challenged teens. When the FOR SALE sign went up in the yard, I begged Chuck to take me for a tour of the home.
As an aside, as far as I know, there is no Schreiber, IN. As with most of my novels, Laughing with Lily is a combination of both fictional and real places.
3.      Your stories typically revolve around an issue that is red-hot on your heart. Why did you choose abortion to profile in Laughing with Lily?
Psalm 139 details how a loving God carefully and meticulously fashions each one of us in the womb, thinks about us day and night, covers us with His hand, and numbers all our days. We are made in His image. So, both pre-born babies and their mothers are precious to God. To destroy a life He has created is to tamper with His image. And that breaks His heart. I want to be a person who shares the heart of God.
In addition, I want women who have undergone abortion to know that God loves them, just as deeply and completely as He loves their babies. Through Christ, He wants to draw them close, forgive and heal them.
4.      Does the story hold any particular meaning for you personally?
Yes. In 1981, my husband and I lost our second baby at four months gestation—a perfectly-formed baby boy spanning the length of the obstetrician’s hand. He called it a “spontaneous abortion.” We called him David Nathaniel.
I had no choice in the abortion. My body simply and horribly rejected my child. I not only grieved over my loss, but for all the babies who had been aborted by choice. And for all the mothers who had been duped into thinking that their babies were merely globs of tissue, easily discarded.
In 1985, the unthinkable happened. I lost another baby, a little girl—Allison Marie—again at four months gestation. My doctor determined that my uterus, which is supposed to be shaped like a pear, is actually shaped like a heart. David and Allison attached to the crook in the heart (a weak place) and at a certain size automatically detached, inducing labor and subsequent delivery. 
5.      What do you hope will stay with readers long after they’ve read the book?
I want readers to know that God delights in making something beautiful out of the ugly circumstances of our lives. Whether it’s an abortion attempt like Celeste encountered or a serious, debilitating accident as in Joe’s case, God can use human tragedy to draw us close and move us into relationship with Him. I also want readers to know that often in the “letting go,” we can discover God’s love in deeper ways.  
6.      Who do you hope to touch through Laughing with Lily?
 First of all, I want to touch readers who have in some way been affected by abortion. I want them to know that no matter the guilt or grief they carry, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Wounded Healer, stands ready to cover them with His healing and forgiveness (Isaiah 53). Secondly, I want readers who have not experienced abortion to show both truth and grace toward those who have.
 7.      How can readers reach out to a woman with an unplanned pregnancy?
 Supporting and/or volunteering at your local crisis pregnancy center are two ways a concerned person can get involved. In fact, a portion of proceeds from Laughing with Lily goes to support my hometown agency, Blue Ridge Women’s Center. Their website www.blueridgewoman.org details who they are and what they do to help women.

A long-buried secret.

An unexpected encounter.
A quest for answers.

Celeste Tatem, a special-education teacher at The Brighton Center in Schreiber, Indiana, couldn’t be more in love with her husband, Joe. But the memory of one day in the past haunts her, threatening their relationship. When Joe dies in a factory explosion, she sinks into depression.
It will take the arrival of a new student, Lily, and her delightful honesty, laughter, and joy at life’s little things to awaken Celeste to hope. When Don, an old flame from college, reenters Celeste’s world, the flickers of love stir once again, and startling questions arise. Questions that threaten to rip the veneer off of her carefully guarded secret. Then the most unexpected thing of all happens….
A story of love and forgiveness
in the most unexpected places.

Thank you, Eileen, for sharing with us about this new book. Sounds like a definite don't miss. 
Some of my readers know that I am the devotion leader at our Baptist association's Pregnancy Crisis Center. We've seen many babies saved from being aborted, and many young women saved from their sins and find salvation through Christ because of the mission of this center.


Eileen Rife said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Paula!

Eileen Rife said...

And how wonderful to learn about your involvement in the center and all the lives touched by God's gracious hand.