I was recently contacted by a friend on Facebook who is an author. She asked me if I was interested in reading and reviewing her newest book “Ransomed”. Because I had already read “Forsaken” also written by her, I quickly responded that I would love to review “Ransomed” for her.
I must admit I stayed up a bit late twice while reading Ransomed. While the writing voice is the same as in Forsaken, the story lines couldn’t be more different.
I loved the book and yet when I was trying to decide how to best portray the story without completely spoiling, I was stuck.
So, I’m going to share a little about the book, and then I put together some interview questions, that author Shelly Ring has kindly agreed to answer.
Ransomed brings together, the evils of human trafficking, the spiritual warfare that goes on unseen around us, the feelings of failure that the devil uses to keep us down, and the all abounding love and mercy of our God towards his children!
With a story-line so different than your first book, what inspired you to write Ransomed?
Each of my novels begins by considering someone in the Bible, and asking how we might relate to that kind of person or situation today. I’m especially interested in the named women of Jesus’ lineage – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary – because they were imperfect and not necessarily Jewish. They messed up sometimes, but they were strong women and fierce in their faith.
So anyway, I began researching Rahab, a prostitute and a Gentile. I asked, “What happens to make a pagan-worshipping prostitute confess faith in the living God? And how does a person who confesses that belief continue in a lifestyle so opposite to His desires for us?” I discovered a woman very much like myself. She was human, she was warm and funny and loyal and scared. She loved her family, yet she wanted more from her life.
Rebecca, my heroine, grew out of that discovery. Instead of willingly engaging in prostitution, though, Rebecca is forced into human trafficking. Her conflict comes when she decides to take action against the only lifestyle she remembers. It became a crucial point for me in the course of her story to illustrate that we all are captives of something – and that Jesus paid the ransom for each of us.
While the true hero of our story is God; Micah could also be considered the hero. However Micah doesn’t feel like the hero and in fact, sees himself as a failure. What can you tell us about Micah?
I’m totally crazy about Micah. He’s a guy’s guy, a man with a broken past, and a former Marine with PTSD and survivor’s guilt. Now working as a bodyguard, he has a strong protective instinct. Micah gets supernatural visions, as well as physically oppressive “visits” from demonic presences. He’s determined to right some of the wrongs of his past, but there are some things only God can make right…
Brainwashed, and with no idea as to who she was before she was “rescued” by her pimp, Rebecca’s story is very real for many young women in her position. Why did you choose human trafficking as a subject for your book?
I think God directs my novels because I’m often surprised by them. Human trafficking, sadly, was not really on my radar when I began researching for Ransomed. I wanted to write an entertaining story that pointed to the power of the living God, but to make it real to me I had to take one of my deepest fears and torture my characters. There is a scene between Rebecca and Micah where Micah explains to Rebecca what her family went through when she disappeared, and I drew from my mom-fear to write that.
The reality of human trafficking is enormous, and it’s much, much more terrifying than most people can fathom. It is indeed a world ruled by the powers and principalities of darkness. I pray people read Ransomed and see how the light penetrates every darkness. Not to minimize the pain and destruction of human trafficking victims, but to emphasize the power of God, I want to show that we have to call on the name of Jesus.
The fight between good and evil is constantly around us. While we cannot see this fight because it is spiritual, you did a good job of bringing it to light. Did you have a particular inspiration for adding this into the story?
One of my passions is to help people change the way they think. Every battleground begins in the mind, where our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs form. The mind is where our voices scream loudest, where our encouragement can be crushed with a single whispered doubt, and where the still, small voice of the One who cherishes us fights to keep us alive.
My inspiration for adding that usually unseen element of spiritual battle was simply to bring it to people’s minds. We can’t fight if we don’t know we’re in the battle. And if we don’t fight, the enemy has already won.
Tell us a little about you! Wife, mom, writer, what else? 🙂
My days are mostly filled with being a wife and a mom. It’s the dream of my heart, even more than writing stories that encourage and inspire. In my free time, I love to read romantic suspense and historicals, watch sci-fi films with my hubby, go thrift-store shopping with my mom, sister, and nieces, and dote on my kids – which includes my bossy-but-so-gentle-Rottweiler. My current project is an e-book that teaches writers how to create back cover copy for their novels, as well as other marketing materials to help them spread the word about their own life-changing words. Like many people, Facebook and Pinterest are constant distractions! People can connect with me via my author page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shelleyringauthor and on my website at shelleyring.com.
Ransomed can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.