by Melissa Koslin
I like writing strong women. I’ve written women who are CIA snipers, underground fighters and lots of things in between. At a glance, Dangerous Beauty may seem like a departure from that. Liliana was captured and torn from her home. Her family was murdered in front of her. She’s in a foreign country with limited understanding of the language, no understanding of her legal rights, no money, no transportation, no great skills and no contacts (literally no one left in the world). She’s seen death. She’s been battered and molested.
But Liliana is not weak. She refuses to see herself as a victim. She understands that as soon as she does that, she’s given up her power and her enemies have won. She’s a fighter, not a victim.
Along the way, she helps others whenever she can. She helps the girlfriend of an enemy, she helps women trapped in the clutches of evil human traffickers, and she helps Meric overcome his past, his origins. Meric is certainly a hero, but Liliana is not a damsel in distress. She’s just as much the hero of the story as he is.
And she does this all while keeping her faith. Not just keep it but live it.
I really wanted to write a different kind of strong woman. Someone soft. Someone without great talent or skill. Someone poor with little knowledge of the world. She has nothing, literally nothing but the dress on her back (not even shoes), and she frees four women from slavery and one man from his self-induced cage.
Watching Liliana unfold on the page makes me want to be a better person.
She makes me think of what I can do to help others. Not even in some great way. We have opportunities to help others every day.
That clerk at the grocery store who is always in a bad mood, smile at her. Ask her about her unique name on her name badge. Compliment her hair or her nails.
Take the neighbors some cookies when they move in. Make an extra loaf of pumpkin bread at Thanksgiving. Give them a tin of goodies at Christmas. (You may notice a theme of sweets with me!)
That HVAC tech or plumber or electrician who went the extra mile for you, reach out to his boss and tell them how great he is, specifically what he does that’s so helpful. Write a great review online.
Just smiling and being kind in everyday interactions can have a wonderful effect on the world. What if everyone did that? What if we all set aside our stress and anxiety and put others first, even just for a few moments? Everyone is going through something. You and I are not the only ones struggling. We should never assume our load is heavier than anyone else’s. A lot of people hide how much stress they’re under, how they’re at the end of their ropes. Just be kind to everyone. Maybe the kindness we share with others will help that person hold on just a little longer.
About the Author
Melissa Koslin is a fourth-degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. In her day job as a commercial property manager, she secretly notes personal quirks and funny situations, ready to tweak them into colorful additions for her books. She and Corey, her husband of twenty years, live in Florida, where they do their best not to melt in the sun.
About the Book
Stubborn and strong with a quiet elegance, Liliana Vela is determined to take back her life after escaping the clutches of human traffickers in her poor Mexican village. But she can't stay safely over the border in America—unless the man who aided in her rescue is serious about his unconventional proposal to marry her.
Did You Know?
Creativity was set in motion by God. The first five words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God created.” We follow God’s example when we express creativity. And research shows that art therapy can significantly decrease the symptoms of physical and emotional distress during treatment of disease.
Research from the Cleveland Clinic discovered coloring relaxes the brain and moves emotions from the negative to positive.
Dr. Stan Rodski, a neuropsychologist, has found coloring calms the heart rate and turns down the volume and distracts us from our worries, cares and anxieties.
Counselor Leslie Marshall asserts that coloring helps our mind better organize, helps us problem-solve and even aids in more difficult tasks like learning math or languages.
The simple act of coloring will often lead the reader to a deeper desire to learn other creative expressions. I have found that coloring and Bible art also slow my pace and focus my heart and mind so I can memorize and meditate and even ponder ways to apply the verse I am coloring.
-Pam Farrel, Jean E Jones & Karla Dornacher, Discovering the Good News in John: A Creative Bible Devotional Experience
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“I love my Christian bookstore because I can always trust the books I find on their shelves to be appropriate, uplifting and true to a Christian worldview.”
-Linda W. Rooks, Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated