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Monday, August 15, 2022
It Never Occurred to Her Kick-Off Package
About the Book
Book: It Never Occurred to Her
Author: Michelle Jester
Genre: Contemporary Religious Fiction, Women’s Religious Fiction, Contemporary Christian Fiction
Release date: November 28, 2021
For two years Gabriel has followed every lead, no matter how small, in the hope of finding his wife who has been kidnapped. He and the police always seem to be one step behind, until investigators give him information that helps him launch the plan to find her.
When Lena looks up into the eyes of her husband, who she hasn’t seen in two years, she is humiliated and wants nothing more than to run before he recognizes her. And so she does. It’s only when she faces a desperate situation that she is forced to return and ask for his help.
As fate twists its way through both of their lives, they realize it doesn’t matter how much they have prepared to face the realities of losing someone, or finding them again, redemption is in letting go of the past and finding a future just off the beaten path.
Michelle Jester is the bestselling author of fiction novels, as well as contributing author to the nonfiction #1 bestseller, My Labor Pains Were Worse than Yours. She also writes nonfiction and children’s books. Michelle lives in Louisiana with her husband, high school sweetheart and retired Master Sergeant. She wears a bracelet with a single yellow, rubber duckie charm on it to remind her to enjoy the fun and happy things of life!
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When I first started writing this novel, it was because of a dream I had. I woke in the middle of the night crying, sweating, and praising God. I immediately got up, went to my computer and started writing about the dream. I was weeping the entire time and barely able to see through my tears.
In the dream, I was homeless, alone, and had drifted from God. I was hungry and went into a food kitchen to eat. I was dirty, smelled terrible, and missed Larry so much, only I knew I could never go home. I had done too much and had too much done to me to ever make it back to him.
After the person in the food kitchen put the food on my plate, I looked up and it was my husband, Larry. I was humiliated and desperately didn’t want him to recognize me. I was about to leave when in the dream Larry’s face turned to Jesus and He said, “I have been looking for you.”
That dream became the cornerstone of this novel.
Before the story gets started the author gives a warning for those who may be triggered by sensitive topics like violence , rape and neglect. I appreciate this because it allows readers to know that the book contains subjects that could be hard to read. With this information readers can determine if they are able to read the story without having anything to cause them anxiety. I applaud the author for being up front and letting us know that this may not be an easy story to get through.
As I dove into the book I realized just how difficult this journey would be. The author is very diligent in describing the horror that Lena is in. The reality that she has been kidnapped sinks in and I could feel the terror she felt. In one brief moment in time her world has suddenly changed from peace into a nightmare that cannot be described without screaming.
Human trafficking is something that I can’t grasp. What makes a person take someone off the street and put them through acts of violence and unthinkable bodily harm? The author does an excellent job of giving us a look inside the world where humans are treated with disgrace and used as a way to make money for themselves. My skin crawled every time someone approached Lena. Her faith was strong and cried out to God to rescue her. In the midst of darkness, she forgave those who violated her. As time goes by and she is rescued by another group she begins to have hope again. Then her story only becomes darker when she is sent to The Camp. She is still a prisoner but within the group is someone very special who will make a difference during her captivity.
Gabriel has been looking for Lena since the day she was kidnapped. He has never given up hope that one day he will find her. The day she walks into the shelter for food you could feel his heart beat a little faster. I liked how gentle he was with her and never pushed her even though his heart was breaking. How would you feel seeing your loved one after two years knowing that they had been through something awful? Will she acknowledge that she recognizes him? With Lena now living on the streets it is hard for him to grasp but he sees the physical scars and knows that she has been through a nightmare. Will he ever find out from her what happened?
This book has a deep message about forgiveness, redemption and unconditional love. It is a powerful look at a woman’s journey from despair and hopelessness to finding hope. It also shows the undeniable faith that Gabriel had in finding his wife. He never gave up and when she was found, his gentle spirit drew her back slowly to him. His faithfulness is a testament to how much he loves his wife. He showed gentleness to her, prayed for her and helped her find her way home. I loved his character especially because it illustrates the deep love a husband has for his wife. Gabriel never made her feel used or unwanted. What he did show her was that she was loved. Her scars didn’t matter to him, because all he wanted was for her to be free from the past.
I cried at the end especially because in those last moments we hear two testimonies that clearly show how God can turn something that was meant to kill and destroy and change it to healing, hope and freedom. “He will bring good out of the bad in your life.”
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a book gift box that includes: other titles from Michelle Jester, as well as several other authors from Rope Swing Publishing, bookmarks, a coffee mug, and a $20 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.