Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saving Madeline Interviews and Blogs

Several reviews and interviews have been posted this past week about my upcoming novel, Saving Madeline. Comment on their sites and be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of the book at the end of the tour! (Winner posted shortly after September 25th.) I want to send out a thank-you to these bloggers for their time and comments. I'll post more sites every week!

Here are the URLS:
http://www.annebradshaw.blogspot.com/
http://www.utcolvins.blogspot.com/
http://www.jewelsbestgems.blogspot.com/
http://www.janetkayjensen.blogspot.com/
http://terirodeman.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 21, 2009

Agent in Old Lace

I'm a voracious reader, but it isn't every day I read a book I can recommend without reservations. Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston is one of these books. Tristi is known for her well-researched historical novels, but this book is something completely different. Both her current fans and new readers will enjoy this fast-moving, fun, contemporary mystery involving a betrayal and a dedicated FBI agent, Rick, who dons a dress in order to protect the heroine, Shannon Tanner. There is an endless amount of fun in this novel—danger, romance, action, suspense. If you are anything like me, you might not want to start reading at night if you have to get up early. This book keeps you turning the pages, and even when you think you have it figured out, you will probably be surprised. For more information, please visit Tristi's website: http://tristipinkston.com/.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blog Tour and a Free Book!

I'm doing a blog tour for my upcoming novel, Saving Madeline (http://rachelannnunes.com/SavingMadeline_book.php). If you find one of these blogs and comment on it, you will be entered into a contest to win a copy of the novel! Yes, if you find more than one of these blogs, you can comment on each of them and each one is another name in the pot and a chance for the book. The contest begins on August 21st (or whenever the first blog comes out on Anne Bradshaw's site) and will be concluded shortly after September 25th, when I have the last blog scheduled. Good luck!

If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the blog tour, please let me know by sending me an e-mail from my website: http://RachelAnnNunes.com!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Author's Note in My Upcoming Novel Saving Madeline

Several years ago, shock radiated throughout Utah when an infant was found dead after ingesting meth she had found in a plastic bag on the floor of her home. What made this tragic circumstance even more notable and horrific is that weeks earlier her father had forcibly taken her across state lines, hoping to protect her from her mother’s substance abuse. Authorities found the child, placed her back with her mother, and sent the father to jail for assault and burglary. A little over a week later, the baby was dead and the mother was charged with desecration of a dead body for moving her daughter to cover up the mother’s drug abuse. All charges against the father were eventually dropped.

Sadly, this is not the only story of a child becoming the victim of a parent’s drug use. In Tulsa, a young boy grabbed a drink of what he thought was water but which was actually lye used in making meth. He survived, but his esophagus was burned away and the child will never be the same. Other children who have ingested similar chemicals weren’t so fortunate.

One mother, heavily doped up on drugs, accidentally rolled over and smothered her child as they napped on the couch. A six-year-old boy in Tulsa showed law enforcement officers in detail how his daddy made drugs. In meth homes throughout the country, baby bottles share sinks and refrigerators with meth containers, and the drug is often made in the same kitchen where food is prepared. Poison is only inches away from dinner plates and glasses of milk. Law enforcement officers wear protective gear when dismantling these meth labs, but the children who live there on a daily basis are unprotected from the toxic fumes that saturate their bodies, clothing, and toys—if they are lucky to have such things. Often these houses have no food, no toilet paper, and no sheets on the beds. The children are completely neglected, and the houses are filthy. Many of these children show developmental delays, organ injuries from the fumes, heart problems, seizures, and violent behavior.

Chief Deputy C. Philip Byers from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina writes: "In 2004, over 2,700 children were found in methamphetamine labs seized by law enforcement officials nationwide. Children were present in 34% of the total lab seizures in the United States."1

Some of those children were injured or killed during the seizures. As shocking as that is, however, experts estimate that only a small percentage of meth labs are ever found.States seem to be losing the battle against methamphetamine addiction. Child welfare, law enforcement, substance abuse, and treatment systems are overloaded. Some estimate that over 8.3 million children in the United States live with a parent who has a substance abuse issue. Nearly 2 million child abuse cases each year are investigated, and a half million of those have enough evidence to act on. Some 200,000 children are removed from their homes each year.2

But what about the cases that aren’t proven? What about the children who fall through the cracks, but are still at risk? To what lengths might a non-custodial parent be compelled to go in order to protect a child from danger?

These were the questions I thought about as I began writing Saving Madeline. I wanted to show one man’s dilemma in balancing his need to protect his daughter with his duty to obey the law, to detail his struggle in an overloaded system where there are no second chances for the innocent victims. Please keep in mind that though the idea for this novel was inspired by the numerous true-life stories I researched, the plot, characters, and resolution in Saving Madeline are completely fictional. No actual experiences or interviews of real-life people were used in the text itself. (Neither does this story in any way reflect the life of the sweet Madeline I dedicated this book to. Though challenged with Muscular Dystrophy, that Madeline has the great fortune to have been born to loving and responsible parents.)

Could such a story actually happen? I believe so.

Backblurb for the book:
As a public defender, Caitlin McLoughlin dreams of someday locking the bad guys in prison instead of defending them. But prosecuting jobs are scarce, and Caitlin’s future seems bleak. When her current client is about to walk away from a brutal crime, she risks her career to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. Yet what if her choice means sacrificing her career and the means care for her mentally disabled sister?

Then Caitlin meets Parker Hathaway, charged with kidnapping four-year-old Madeline. Just another criminal, another job, Caitlin thinks.

But Parker tells a far different story. Can Caitlin believe him, as her heart urges? Is she willing to put everything on the line to defend her client—a man who claims to be protecting the child he loves? Or is her trust better placed in the handsome deputy district attorney with his undefeated record in court? Caitlin’s pursuit of the truth swiftly thrusts her into a maze of unanswered questions and unexpected heartache.

Meanwhile, time is running out for Madeline. If Caitlin doesn't find the proof she is looking for soon, there may not be a future for any of them.


1. http://www.sheriffs.org/userfiles/file/Congressional%20Testimony/Deputy_Philip_Myers_Testimony_on_Fight_Against_Meth.pdf
2. http://www.gu.org/documents/A0/Impact_Meth_Abuse_on_Children_and_Families.pdf

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chastity and Youth

I visited a blog recently where they were discussing chastity for youth. As a Christian, I believe there is no absolutely no substitute for chastity. Youth need to understand that it's vital they do everything in their power to safeguard the sacred power of intimacy and procreation.

However, at the same time we are talking about the importance of chastity, we also must stress very strongly that no matter where a youth is in his or her life that through the Atonement they can be made pure again in our Heavenly Father's eyes if they go through a true repentance process, which is always painful but worth it. Some youth feel it's too late for them. Some believe they are beyond redemption and love. And that's simply not true, no matter the degree of their sin.

When I speak to young women, I always tell them about my teenage son, his friends, and the girls that interest them. These really wonderful, intelligent, spiritual young men don't run after the sexy-looking/immodest girls because they are uncomfortable around them. Or at least they NEVER brought them to my house. Interesting.

As a mother, I would always point out certain girls to my son and say, "Oh, I'd like you to bring her over sometime. Hmm, maybe not her. Her clothes are too tight." But is that fair, judging someone by what they wear? Well, it doesn't matter because regardless of fairness we are all judged by the way we dress and act. (And to oversimplify the point, I'd hate one of my daughters to miss out on a really great guy because she was wearing the wrong clothes that day.) Youth need to understand that at all times they are representatives of not only themselves, but of their family, their church, and their God.

Thankfully, modesty seems to be a maturity issue that most girls eventually understand and grow into.