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Thursday, 1 May 2008
Writing Contest
Topic: Miscellaneous

Here it is folks, the first ever Rainbow Writing Contest!!!! 

 I thought it would be fun to have a contest for you guys, since you have been so great at sticking with me!!  Here's how it will work:

I will give you a brief scenario that must be included somewhere in your story.  Stories can run anywhere between 250 and 2000 words, so you have lots of room to play with.  In addition, any genre that would fit into G, PG or PG-13 is acceptable.  That pretty much opens up most genres. 

Additional rules can be found here:

Of course there will be prizes--you didn't think I'd forget them, did you??:-)

First Prize will be either a book trailer or a trailer covering author's career and services--this will be author's choice--plus submission of said trailer to 25 video sharing sites. Video will be created by Surreal Storm Creations.

Second Prize will be copies of both Janet Elaine Smith's Promo Paks and Carolyn Howard Johnson's The Frugal Book Promoter.  (More information on each of these coming later this week).

Third Prize will be a surprise "rainbow package" with many rainbow-themed prizes included.

There will also be several Honorable Mention prizes.

Every semi-finalist will also be given a Rainbow Award of Writing Excellence to post on their website or blog.

The judging will take place in two parts.  First, a panel of six judges will read and rate each entry and he highest-scoring 25 entries will move into the semi-finals.  Here is where it gets fun.  These entries will be posted on my website for two weeks and viewers will vote on their favorites. 

Now for the scene that must be included:

It is almost night and there are several police cars with their lights flashing at a scene surrounded surrounded by yellow police tape.  Off to the side of this scene, a shadow of someone watching can be seen on the grass.

Okay....the rest is up to you!!!  

Again, please check out the rest of the rules at:

and get your entries in by May 31, 2008.

Have fun!!!

Posted by joyceanthony at 5:36 AM EDT
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Monday, 28 April 2008
Upcoming Events -- Blog Tours and a Writing Contest
Topic: Miscellaneous

I thought I'd take a moment today to let everyone know what is coming up for the month of May.  Besides the usual book reviews--I will be posting at least five within the next few weeks, there are several book trailers I want to share with everyone.  These were created by the up and coming Surreal Storm Creations.

 May will have four very exciting blog tours.  May 5-8, we will be visiting with Colin Davis, author of Tall Tales of the Iron Horse.  Christie Kremer, author of If Only, willl be paying us a visit from May 13-16.  Dyan Garris, who recently spent time here discussing her book will be back from May 17 thru May 20--and this time we get to explore all her wonderful works, from music to books and angel cards.  She will honor us with a live chat on chakras at 8PM EST on May 20.  May 21-May 24, our visitor will be Peter Knight with his interesting title 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make With Firearms.

As if all this wasn't plenty, may will see my First Annual (I hope it will become annual!) Writing contest.  I'll be giving the details of this contest tomorrow, so don't forget to come back and check it out!!!


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:18 AM EDT
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Friday, 25 April 2008
Getting to Know Margaret Norton
Topic: Author Interview
Margaret Norton the person:

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
How do you think others would describe you?

Compassionate, Serious, Hard Worker

2.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My children and grandchildren

3.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

One cat I adopted from a shelter. His name is Falcon

4.   What is your most precious memory?

Any memories involving my father and sister. Both are deceased.

5.   What is your most embarrassing memory?

A piano recital when I was 12 years old. I forgot the music.

6.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I have been working in the mortgage industry since 1994. The last few years the work has been unsteady and I've been trying to transition out of that to become a full time Personal Life Coach and Writer. If I had not decided to do this I would probably still be trying to stick it out in that field.

7.  In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Margaret, sometimes called The Cat Lady, was a person who gave her best to everyone and everything she was involved in. Some people viewed her as quiet and serious which she was. But that was because she was a deep thinker and very analytical. She believed she learned more by listening than by talking. She was honest, dependable and loyal. She liked people but was very content spending time alone.

Those who knew Margaret well describe her as a survivor and fighter.

She overcame several abusive relationships and endured mistreatment from her family. As a Christian it was her faith in God that helped her forgive and learn to love those who had hurt her deeply. After that she became a passionate fighter against all forms of abuse. In her book, When Ties Break/Thriving After Loss, she used her own life to show how easy it is to make mistakes. But she did not view these as failures but rather as opportunities to keep trying. She  became know for the statement she coined "Life gives you many chances to start over again, life a cat with nine lives."

Margaret Norton the writer:

8.      Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

In March, 2008 one of my articles was published, along with my picture, in a local newspaper.  I've had several articles published other places but there was something about being in the paper that made me feel like I was a real writer.

9.    What is going on with your writing these days?

As I mentioned above I have been transitioning from my old career to writing. I'm still learning and exploring different types of writing. I'm taking a creative writing class with Long Ridge Writing Academy with the hopes of having some of my articles published in major magazines. Two months ago I discovered the avenues of writing available on the internet and started to pursue jobs as a freelance writer. I've completed four paying jobs and I'm working on four more.

10.  What are your future goals for your writing?

My biggest goal at the moment is praying that my agent will find the right publisher for my book. Once the book is published I hope it opens doors for me to be more involved in programs aimed at stopping abuse. I would like to eventually write a second book. One of my goals is to make enough money as a writer (combined with Personal Life coaching clients) to support myself.

11.   Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Because I have still been working mortgage jobs none of my days are typical. An ideal day for me would be: Sleep until I wake up. Have my morning coffee & a light breakfast. Daily devotion, meditation & prayer. Go for a short walk. Then spend some time writing. Finish up in the early afternoon leaving most of my evenings free. I'm not there yet but that's what I'm working toward. Now I'm doing so many things because I'm still learning how to write, promoting my freelance business, taking classes, entering contests, submitting articles, etc.

12.  Why do you write?

I started writing in 2005 after 8 people connected to me died. It was therapy and I was searching for answers. When I shared my work with several people they encouraged me to think about writing more. It was then that I turned my journals into a book. I discovered that I enjoyed writing. But more importantly I feel that I have a message to convey.

13.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

There are many writers who have inspired me through the years. It would be difficult to name  just one. A writer who makes me think, challenges me to change and forces me to view things differently inspires me. I have a fondness for self-help books. I am always inspired by the Bible.

14.  How do you define your writing?

That's difficult because my style is still developing. I'm leaning toward nonfiction, especially creative writing where I share my experiences to help others. I struggle with that because I worry that people will become bored hearing about me and it is sometimes difficult to talk about myself. But I do have many stories to tell.

15.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Margaret's writing helped me to better understand abuse and motivated me to make changes in my own life.

Margaret Norton the details:

16.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

17.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

My email address is

There's a contact form on my web sites and a sign up for my monthly newsletter.

18.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

 Short Story published in A Light Along the Way

 Short Story published in Story Circle Network Quarterly Journal

Blog for &

Articles published with Ezine, Xomba, AC and How to do Things (on line magazines)

These are not book titles but as a new writer this is a good start.

As soon as my agent finds a publisher I will have more details on   my upcoming book. I have titled it, When Ties Break/Thriving After Loss, but the publisher may want to change that.  

19.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

To know everything about my life. A story about beating the odds,       surviving difficulties, never giving up. A happy ending. Should encourage and uplift many people. It has a little of everything:

coming of age story, sibling abuse, raised by a farmer/marine/minister father and mother who spend time at insane hospitals, dealing with speech problems & chronic illness,

bad choices - bad men - bad marriages, spouse abuse, adultery, abortion, betrayal, divorce, single mother, remarriage, step families, children who were abused & struggled with ADD & ADHD, drug addition, homosexuality, bankruptcy, failed business, death of my sister, father and brother, angry at God & struggle to understand my life, and low self-esteem.

All of this would be more than enough but none of these were the defining moment in my life. To learn what happened to me that shattered my whole world and hurt me so deeply that it took years to recover ... you will have to read my book. 

In conclusion:

20.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

As open and honest as I've been in the above comments there's not   much more to say.   Sometimes people ask me very cautiously what I think is so special about my life that I would want to write a book about it. I am quick to comment that I don't feel my life is special at all. I've had more than my share of problems for which I am grateful. This made me who I am today. Everyone has a story to tell but not everyone can tell their story. I have changed the names of the people in my book but it is a true story - not a James Frey situation - I had so much stuff I did not need to exaggerate or add details. People who know me and my family will recognize the characters in the book. Most people are not willing to put the dirty details of their life and their family under public scrutiny.   I did not plan to write a book. But rather I felt compelled to share my story with the world. Not enough people speak out when they are mistreated. Not speaking out is almost a passive form of acceptance. But there are many who can not speak out, for one reason or another. I am speaking on their behalf. I think others can learn from my mistakes. I think I can make a difference in the world by telling my story. It wasn't that I wanted to talk about myself but rather this was something I felt I must do. A calling or ministry of sorts.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 25 April 2008 2:22 AM EDT
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Thursday, 24 April 2008
Getting to Know Elaine Cantrell
Topic: Author Interview
Elaine Cantrell the person:

1.   What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

First, I'd have to say I'm a laid back sort of person.  Most things sort of roll off my back, but if I feel strongly about an issue I don't mind standing up for myself.  Second, I'm passionate about what I do.  I've been teaching social studies for 28 years, and you can't do that unless you're passionate about it.  Since I've been writing I'm equally passionate about that.  Third, I'm loyal, loyal to my friends, my family, causes I support, etc.

2.  How do you think others would describe you? 

Oh, pretty much as I've described myself.  I didn't really think those up on my own.  My friends have told me those things throughout the years.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing. 

I suppose my family.  I have two sons and three fine grandchildren.  If you know a grandmother who thinks her grandchildren are just perfect then you know someone just like me.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them. 

I have two mean cats and one nice dog.  One mean cat, Perci, belongs to my husband.  She was a stray who followed him home, and he fell in love with her.  He made me take her to the vet, get her shots, the whole nine yards.  She repaid me by disliking me and falling for him.  He can't pet any of the other animals.  If he does she'll jump in his lap and get between the two of them.

5.  What is your most precious memory? 

Every time something wonderful happens I believe it will be the most precious memory, but truthfully, that's too hard a question to answer.  My life is sprinkled with amazing memories.  I can't pick just one.  The most recent, though, is what my grandson said to me on Sunday.  I was getting in my car to go home, and he said, "Grandma, don't leave me."  Then he ran over and hugged me.  It'll be a long time if ever before I forget the sweetness of that moment.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory? 

This one's easy.  A local woman gave a reception for me when my first book came out.  When I went into the dining room to get some refreshments I picked up a cracker that had some kind of spread on the top.  As I brought it to my plate, it broke in two, and one part fell into the punch bowl.  That was truly an awful moment.

7.   If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life? 

Thinking about retirement from the school system and wondering how I'd be able to fill the hours.  

8.   In two paragraphs or less write your obituary. 

New York Times best selling author Elaine Cantrell died today...  Okay, let me dream. 

Elaine Cantrell the writer:

9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer? 

It's been four years since my first book came out, and I still don't feel like a real writer.  It still seems impossible to think that I've signed five contracts.  I'd dreamed about it for so long! 

10.  What is going on with your writing these days? 

I still want to write in the romance genre, but I'd like to try an inspirational romance and maybe a sci fi romance.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing? 

My goal is to write the best story I'm capable of writing.  I want my writing to improve with each book I write.   I want my readers to hate to turn the last page because there isn't anymore.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you? 

When I'm not working I get up around eight, have breakfast, and write until lunch time.  After lunch I do errands, chores, etc.  After dinner I'll write a little more.

13.  Why do you write? 

Because I can't help myself.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why? 

Karen Kingsbury inspired me to try an inspirational romance.  Others whose writing inspired me are Danielle Steele, Elizabeth Peters, oh too many to name.

15.  How do you define your writing? 

I'd define my writing by saying that I write about things that could happen to ordinary, everyday people.  After people read my work I want them to think, "Wow, that could be me she's talking about."

16.  In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years? 

Too bad there aren't any more stories.

Elaine Cantrell the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog? 

My website is at  At the moment I'm blogging at My Space at

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you? 

Go to my web site and there's a link to send me an email.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

I sure can.  On you can buy A New Leaf and The Welcome Inn.  Purple Heart is available at  Grandfather's Legacy can only be purchased from me as the publisher of the book died, and the publishing house was shut down.

20.  For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)? 

They can expect a quick, fast paced read with sympathetic characters and a great supporting cast.  I don't usually write anything stronger than PG13.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing? 

For me, writing a book was a long standing dream come true.  I had wanted to write ever since my mother took my sister and me to the public library when we were in elementary school.  Still, I probably never would have tried it if not for my son.  He came home one day and told me he'd written a book.  I was totally amazed.  I was even more amazed when I read it.  He's good. 

He gave me the courage to write my own story.  I may never make it to the New York Times best seller list, but the sense of satisfaction and achievement I've felt since publication of my books is worth a fortune to me.  What I've learned from this experience is that if you have a dream, no matter how unlikely you think it is to come true, you should go for it.  It sure won't come true unless you do.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2008 12:39 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Storm--The Trailer
Topic: Miscellaneous

I have a very special post tonight.  Ron Berry, one half of Surreal Storm Creations (yours truly is the other half) has created a book trailer for my book, Storm!!  Please let me know what you think!!!

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:30 AM EDT
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Monday, 21 April 2008
A Word From Lacresha Hayes--Excerpt from The Rape of Innocence
Topic: Blog Tours

  For all the things that God does here on the earth, it seems He always uses a person. God rarely uses birds to bring us food as He used ravens to feed Elijah. Most people probably won't experience manna raining from heaven in their lifetime. God uses us to minister to each other, and it is shameful for the Body of Christ not to have an answer for those who are hurting. Where can a person find the answer if not in the Church? If a person cannot trust the people in today's churches to really love them, where should they search for love?

 Everyday the Kingdom of God is losing people to the streets. Children are searching for answers to their troubles. If the Church does not have the answer for these children, the streets will pacify them with a lie.

Everyday, neglected and unloved women take up the search for an answer to their pain. They search for unconditional love. The local assemblies of the saints proclaim to have the answer, yet their profession isn't backed with action. Hurting people come to church day after day and leave the same way they came. Some people come into the churches heavy hearted and burdened. They then leave disillusioned and hopeless.

Though this may not be the case everywhere, unfortunately, it is the case for a lot of people. Therefore, I lend you this advice: If you are blessed with great leadership in your home church, stay there even when you don't understand everything. The grass is probably not greener on the other side of the fence.

One of the things we don't seem to understand is that not everyone is able to endure the heartache of unfaithful and unloving Christians. For centuries, the church, as an institution, has been lifted up as a beacon of light for the hopeless, the destitute and the mournful. When people come and find it to be anything short of a loving assembly, not all of them will recover. In that case, who is guilty? We can't blame it on the devil, but must cleanse our own hearts from hypocrisy. It's okay to have a bad day or moment in life. It's a different thing to habitually practice behaviors that cause the morale of in the Church to decline.

When innocence is lost, the Body of Christ should be positioned to take in the hurting souls. It is our job to nurture people and give them back to God.

Many children have lost faith in adults. Some children are not raised with parents that understand what it is to protect their children. Some children need protection from the very people that should protect them. Some children are defenseless against the adults in their lives.

In my childhood, my problems were not with other children. My problems came from adults forcing me to grow up too fast. My problems came from men who refused to allow me a childhood. My problems came about when the people who were supposed to protect me did not do what they promised. I'm only one person. There are many more who have endured similar or worse problems.

When innocence is lost too early, a young person's world can soon deteriorate into a pit of darkness. When life seems continually dark from a very young age, hope is easily lost. As adults, we should seek to protect children, even if the children are not our own. We should foster a child's individuality while yet cultivating the attributes of Christ in them. We should provide a safe haven for children, giving them a place where they can grow into who God called them to be without fear of harm or negativity. We all have a part to play in protecting and safeguarding children since they cannot do it for themselves.

 Of course, not only children are affected by the darkness in this world. Adults are just as often disheartened by the cruelty in the world as children are. For those blessed to go through life in a somewhat naïve state, the sure awakening to the brutality of life can be very disturbing. Life doesn't just happen to the unsaved, but life happens even to the saved. Life happens inside and outside of churches. Life happens to people of all ages and in all cultures. To live means to endure hardships and trials. Adults are sometimes robbed of their ability to bear up under burdens. Just like children, many adults are forced to realize that not everybody in their lives mean them well.

In my own life, many times I was dismayed at how fickle friends can be, at how phony saints can be and at how easily hurt I could be. It seemed that just as I figured myself out, a change would come. Just when I thought I couldn't cry any longer, more tears would make their way to my eyes. I found myself distraught in the world and disenchanted in the fellowship of believers. I wondered where my answer would come from. I had no role models and nothing tangible that I could grab hold of. I felt destined for history to repeat itself.

There is a terrible injustice both in the world and in today's churches, a common ground, if you will. Neither the world nor some churches like to be confronted with issues of moral decay and degradation. People hate to come face to face with any issue that shows they have been failing in their duties. It is not customary for most people to deal honestly with themselves. It's easier to deal with others from far off distances. A child marrying her teacher in another state is considered "sad and heart-wrenching", but we only shake our heads at it. It's news and nothing more. It serves as entertainment, in the crudest sense of the word. Of course, if our child marries his/her teacher, then it becomes an outrage and something must be done! How sad! Innocence is innocence, whether far off or close to home.

When innocence is lost and even beforehand, the answer is always found in Christ Jesus. No matter the circumstance or trial, we must learn to develop a relationship with God, and to introduce our children to God while helping them to build a relationship with Him for themselves.


Lacresha Hayes has honored us with her wonderful message the past few days.  I want to thank her for being so open with everyone.  We love you Lacresha!!!


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:03 AM EDT
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Sunday, 20 April 2008
Lacresha Hayes on Healing from Childhood Trauma
Topic: Author Interview
1.  Lacresha, from experience, a child who is violated goes through a kind of grieving process over loss of innocence and loss of trust.  There is often self-blame then anger, sometimes even denial.  Would you describe the process you went through?

Well, so much happened to me for such a long period of time that I'd say the first emotion I remember having about it was guilt and pain. Afterwards, there was numbness. I think that deadness was what led to the majority of my mistakes. The numbness was interrupted periodically by intense hatred, self and otherwise. I actually tried to commit suicide several times, once after being saved. I also went through a period of awakening after salvation. I woke up to a life that had been tainted with bad decisions and was full of regret. You'd think after all the pain I'd been through that my biggest source of pain would be the rapes and molestation. To the contrary, it was the pain of a missing father and mother that kept me up at night. I guess I felt like none of those other things would have happened if I'd been born into a "normal" family.

The healing started when I was put into a situation where I had to face what was going on inside me. God shut down everything around me. I had to start at the presence and work my way back. I had to find the root to the bitterness, hatred and vengefulness inside me. Anyway, long story short, I ran the gamut of emotions during the healing process. There were a lot of tearful nights. Then, I began to meet and minister to others who had similar pasts. I gave myself to prayer and God gave me strength to choose how I felt. That was my point of deliverance. I don't everyday feel good about my life, or myself but I know that my emotions are my choice, even about the things that has happened to me.

2.  Do you feel forgiveness must occur before healing can be achieved?

I think it's absolutely necessary. How can a person truly say they are healed when their heart is filled with bitterness? I kept saying that I was healed, but I also hated. I was trying to convince myself of that. I tried to convince my minister friends of that. It's impossible. There has to be a release before complete healing happens. I have a long chapter in my book about forgiveness, but in a nutshell, I talked about how forgiveness takes the power away from the victimizer. When you forgive, you take your life back. You empower yourself to be free from what happened to you and what you've done.

Honestly, I've found that a lot of people cannot forgive others because they've not yet learned to forgive themselves. Mark a person who is hard on themselves. They do not forgive easily. They don't know how to have mercy. They must be taught. I had to be taught the beauty of mercy and forgiveness. In it all, the hardest person I ever had to forgive was me. There's a lot that goes into forgiveness and healing, but you have to have them both. They are like an inseparable tag team.

3.  Do you believe a face-to-face confrontation must take place to heal?  If so, what can a victim do who does not have that opportunity, such as when the violator has died or is miles away?

I don't personally believe you have to have face-to-face confrontation. In my situation, many of the people are dead now. I believe the only person who an ex-victim needs to confront is themselves. Healing is also a choice. It takes standing up to your emotions and saying that you will not be led by them. You have to confront your memory and demand your freedom from that. You have to confront your fears and say no to them. Those are the necessary confrontations. We may long for that apology, but honestly, sexual abuse is not the kind of offense that an apology fixes anyway.

In my case, I also had to confront God. It is my personal belief, and in fact the truth that God is sovereign. I know that He could have stopped it all. He could have given me to saved people, but He didn't. I had to come to terms with some things. Now, I wouldn't trade my past for anything, not that I always feel that way. My small cross was nothing compared to those some carry. I was special to God. I believe all of those who endure such things are special, remarkable in some way; hence the reason the devil perpetrates such an evil upon them. So, we also need to recognize that no matter who actually did whatever to us, our confrontation and fight is with the devil. This is another wonderful tool for forgiveness too.

4.  Forty years after my own experience, I still can't stand things like having my wrists held, half-opened doors or the smell of Old Spice. Do you believe that a person is ever fully healed from this kind of betrayal, or is there always some remnant left behind no matter what?

I do believe you can be totally healed. Nevertheless, the memory is there. Sometimes, we win the fight against the fears that lie in the things we remember. Sometimes, we don't. I think it does take years and lots of purposeful choices to overcome those kinds of things. For instance, I hate freshly shaven men when you can still feel their prickly hairs on their face. That un-nerves me. It reminds me of my great, great uncle. Still, when I see it coming, I make a choice to not give in to the temptation to hurt all over again, or to be disturbed. It takes a lot of focus and I don't always get it right. I can certainly understand what you are describing. It probably seems that just when you're feeling good, someone goes and leaves a door cracked. Either everyone around you will cater to you, or you'll look up one day and find that cracked doors no longer have an affect.

5.  This may be a hard one, Lacresha.  If you were able to speak to those men and women in the world who molest children, what would you say?

Yes. This is a hard one. I'd definitely tell them that they need to look at what effect their actions have on the children's lives long term. Maybe they need to use a little imagination. You have molesters who love and almost worship their parents, but treat their children or the children of others with disdain. Maybe they need to imagine it happening to their mother or father as a child. Maybe they need to get in touch with their own hearts and past pains so that they can realize a fraction of what they are perpetrating upon others. Most importantly, though, I'd like to tell them that Christ died for all sinners. They can still be forgiven. They can be saved. There is indeed a penalty for all sin, but salvation is free, even to them.

I personally hate to see people swallowed up in guilt. There's no one beyond God's love and salvation. Therefore, though they need to pay for what they do, that does not keep God from loving and accepting them. The time can be redeemed and they can spend the rest of their lives helping those who have been victims and victimizers.

6.  I want to touch on an area that often gets overlooked when a child has been traumatized--the parent.  What would you say to a parent who learns a child has been violated that might help them deal with the circumstances and still help their child heal?

Gosh. That is so important. If the perpetrator is the husband/wife, then leave him/her immediately for the safety of your child. I'd also tell them to seek counseling as soon as possible, either by a professional or a pastor. They need to give the child time and room to grieve. They need to avoid any questions that might even insinuate that the child did anything that caused it. Words are very important in the beginning and the child needs to be surrounded with love.

I'd also tell them to press charges and see them through, primarily for the sake of other children out there. It takes time and patience, but if a parent builds their child up, the day will come when the family will be healed and whole again.

7.  This is a two-part question.  First, what words would you say to comfort a victim who had just been molested--while the anger and confusion is still fresh?  Second, what words of comfort can you offer adults who have kept that pain inside since childhood?

I'd tell them something that I hold true to my heart. The Bible says at 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 says that God chose the weak, base and foolish things (people) of the world. You may feel like you have been let down by nearly everyone in the world, but God says when mother and father put you down, then He will lift you up. You may feel angry and dejected. You may be full of fresh hatred toward everyone around you. Nevertheless, you must bring yourself to a place where you can use this fresh anger, channel it to do good for others, to see the perpetrators of such horrid acts put behind bars where they'll never hurt anyone else again. Now is the time to stand up and fight for your future since you can do nothing to change the past.

As for adults, I know that sometimes you can feel like your life is so full of responsibility that you load down with things to do rather than work on healing. But, you need to spend some time dealing with your pain. Don't hide it. Face it, rather face it down. Don't carry this burden around with you any longer. Go on and release the anger against the person(s) who've hurt you. Then, forgive yourself and move into a future without all that baggage.

8.  Is there anything else you would like to tell those who are reading this, Lacresha? 

Sometimes, I tend to ramble on. However, I want the people reading this to know and understand that the stigma we've attached to this kind of abuse causes victims to suffer in silence. It's unfair to think of a victim of abuse like they have some kind of scarlet A on their forehead. I believe we as a society need to work at making sure that we don't treat people like this any differently than someone else. They aren't to blame for rape, incest, or molestation. There is absolutely nothing a person can do to ask for rape or bring on incest. These abuses come from a perverse heart and evil imagination inside the person who do these things. We must always remember that.

There's a lot I could say, but I won't go on any further than that. I just want people to be whole again because I believe they can.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:58 AM EDT
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Saturday, 19 April 2008
Trust Betrayed--Childhood Sexual Abuse
Topic: Miscellaneous

We are visiting for a few days with Lacresha Hayes, author of The Rape of Innocence.  Lacresha recounts how childhood sexual abuse took her childhood and how she came to overcome the pain to grow and become a minister who helps others in the same situation.

This is an isolated case, correct?  It doesn't happen often, does it? When it does happen, it's some shifty-looking stranger who just happened by, correct?  Wrong! A child is sexually abused every four seconds. One of every 3 girls and one of every 4 boys is sexually abused by age 18. Ninety percent of sexually abused children know and trust the perpetrator.  The little old man with the sweet smile next door could be a child molestor.  The daycare worker, minister or local police officer could all be hiding a horrid secret.  Child sex abusers come in every age, size, race and social class.

So, if there is no way to tell a child molestor by the way he or she looks (Yes, women can be child molestors too!) what can a person look for that might be a clue?  There is no one particular profile, but a majority of child molestors have the following characteristics:

  • Usually an adult male.
  • Often appear to be hard-working, family men.
  • Tend to be better educated and more religious than the average person.
  • Find ways to be alone with children; for instance, teachers or coaches who are in a position to give individual attention to students.
  • Tends to be well liked by parents and children; often one of the most popular teachers in school.
  • Actively seeks children who are quiet, needy, or have problems at home.
  • Often photographs the victim.
  • Often collects child pornography.
  • Usually accomplishes molestation by gradual seduction, not coercion.
  • Lavishes attention on children they don't abuse to build a sense of trust by parents and other students.

Unfortunately, we can't always protect our children no matter how hard we try.  To keep them totally safe, we'd have to lock them away from society and that in itself would be abuse--a child needs to interact with people to learn, grow and develop into the wonderful being they are meant to be. 

There are some signs you can watch for that might alert you to the fact that something is drastically wrong in your child's life.  While these can be symptoms of something other than sexual abuse, they do indicate a need to find out what is wrong:

  • Changes in behavior, extreme mood swings, withdrawal, fearfulness, and excessive crying
  • Bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of going to bed, or other sleep disturbances
  • Acting out inappropriate sexual activity or showing an unusual interest in sexual matters
  • A sudden acting out of feelings or aggressive or rebellious behavior
  • Regression to infantile behavior; clinging
  • School or behavioral problems
  • Changes in toilet-training habits
  • A fear of certain places, people, or activities
  • Bruises, rashes, cuts, limping, multiple or poorly explained injuries
  • Pain, itching, bleeding, fluid, or rawness in the private areas

Parents can help keep their children safe by teaching children that their bodies belong to them alone and nobody has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.  If someone violates that wish, children need to know they can come to you.  Let them know that even if they are told things like people will think they are bad or that someone will hurt them or their family, that they must still come to you because these things are not true.

Most of all--if your child comes to you and tells you someone touched them inappropriately, BELIEVE THEM!  It is very rare that a child will make up a story of this nature.  If trust has been violated, your child needs you to hold onto and believe them.

Posted by joyceanthony at 7:03 PM EDT
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Friday, 18 April 2008
The Rape of Innocence
Topic: Blog Tours

The Rape of Innocence:  Taking Captivity Captive-No More Victim Here

The title of this book may seem long, but it only captures a small portion of what lies within its pages.  Over the next couple of days, we will be visiting with the author of this book, Lacresha Hayes.  We'll look inside the book and talk with Lacresha.  Hopefully, before it is over, some of you will find hope and healing in your lives.

On April 18 at Noon EST, please join me as I welcome this inspirational woman to my chat room for an hour-long talk on not only how her innocence was tragically ripped from her, but how she came to heal, grow and thrive today. 

Below is an excerpt from The Rape of Innocence by Lacresha Hayes:

Molestation happens across cultural lines. It happens across racial lines. It isn't based upon intelligence. It isn't based upon financial health. It may seem to happen more in poverty-stricken communities, but I can assure you that most of it just goes unreported.

I found out the hard way that molestation isn't just a black thing or a poor thing. It is a perversion thing. It happens to God's called and chosen people, and it happens to the average Jane Doe in an average home. God created each of us with purpose. I don't believe the enemy would waste his time tempting people to molest or rape a person who has no destiny and no call upon their life. Because of the very nature of the crime, it can be nothing less than a device of the enemy, one of his strongest weapons.

Someone reading this book may think that they have never been molested when indeed they have been. A molester is a molester long before he touches his first victim. He is first guilty in his thoughts. Some men never actually touch their victims. They just think and fantasize about touching. They rent the videos of children with adults engaging in sex acts. Some molesters do it with the words of their mouths. They talk filth to children. They take advantage of their positions in those children's lives. They open a door that should not be opened by planting filthy word images in young minds. Some of you haven't actually been touched, but you have been molested.

That family reunion opened my eyes to a lot of things. Because of that repressed memory, this book exists. God had to allow a series of events to happen to make me go back and deal with my past. This testimony was freed while I was in jail.

I was arrested in August 2005 for old fines and failure to appear warrants.  While I was in jail, God kept bringing the memory of what my great grandfather had done back to my mind. It seemed to torment me. It had been 2 years since I first remembered and here it was, still cropping up.

One night as I was praying, God spoke to me in a whisper and told me that I would be in jail until I learned obedience. He would never specifically tell me what I needed to do because I already knew. I was in jail for 44 days, skirting the issue, hitting and missing at what He wanted from me. Finally, I put pencil to paper and began to write. With every paragraph I was stopping and crying. It was dreadful! I didn't feel prepared for the suffering!

With every page I completed, the family reunion kept coming back up. The answer had been right before my eyes. The reason the memory continually resurfaced was that God was telling me to share my testimony with the world. He wanted to use my story to break heavy yokes of oppression, depression, worthlessness and anger off of others. In my own family, rape had happened... not only to me, but to others that I loved. I was angry. I was really angry at the devil for the first time and God helped me to channel that anger onto these pages.

My family reunion was the genesis of my assignment, my destiny. I was called to bring the light of exposure to the hidden world of familial incest and perversion inside and outside of the Church, and to bring encouragement to men and women around the world who have been victimized and disillusioned. Though this call is not easy, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Posted by joyceanthony at 2:34 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 18 April 2008 2:38 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Money and Manifesting--A Review
Topic: Book Review


  • Perfect Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Journeymakers Inc; 1st edition (February 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977614069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977614066
  • Price: 14.99

    Author:  Dyan Garris



    I opened the pages of Money and Manifesting with an open mind but not many expectations.  Having read quite a bit on manifesting throughout the years, I thought I'd be in for the usual "Think positive." and "Concentrate on what you want, and you will receive it."  I was pleasantly surprised that this book packed a great deal more into its pages.

    Dyan Garris explains not only what manifesting is, but goes into detail about why most people fail to achieve success with the run-of-the-mill postive-thinking behavior.  She delves into what blocks energy and causes us to merely attract, rather than create what it is we want.

    Money and Manifesting takes the reader through the individual chakras and explains how to know where our blocks are.  Ms. Garris then walks the reader through the process of unblocking his or her chakras, enabling the reader to truly allow the creation energy to flow free.

    I closed the book literally feeling the truth in the words I had read.  A subject that many find confusing is made so clear there can be no way to go wrong if you follow the words.  You will soon see your life changing for the positive as you implement the process written in this book.

    Don't be put off by the small size of this book.  Its pages hold within them the power to change lives and help readers realize dreams.  Not many books hold as much power and truth as Money and Manifesting by Dyan Garris.


    Posted by joyceanthony at 1:17 AM EDT
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