Thursday, March 13, 2014

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Natalia

Book: Natalia
Author: Kenneth Rosenberg
Heroine: Natalia

Human beings have an amazing ability for survival. I’m reminded of this every time I see one of those shows on TV with real-life stories of people being stranded in the desert for days without water, or buried by avalanches, yet somehow pulling through against all odds. Often, we don’t know our own strength until it is put to the test. This is certainly the case with Natalia, the heroine of my suspense novel by the same name. As the novel begins, Natalia lives a sheltered life on a farm in the middle of Eastern Europe. She is beautiful yet shy, with a quiet reserve. It is only when faced with extraordinary hardship that her true strength will emerge.

I wrote this novel after spending time in Eastern Europe myself and hearing stories of women being kidnapped and sold into prostitution in the West. This is an epidemic that mostly goes unnoticed in the world today. People tend to think that prostitutes take up that line of work by choice. Sometimes this is true, but often it is not.

With this novel, I wanted to highlight the brutal realities that many of these women face, while at the same time creating a character that could take on these criminal gangs and make them pay for their sins. Natalia is that character. In the beginning of the novel she is timid and unsure of her place in the world, yet as the story progresses, Natalia finds that in order to survive she must channel a strength she never knew she had.

And I suppose that is the crux of it. Not all of us have this strength. Put a group of ten people in a life-or-death situation and some will make it out while others will not. Some have the will to survive while others will roll over and give up. Natalia is the story of a girl with the will and determination to do whatever it takes not only to survive but to protect her family and her loved ones, and to make sure that whoever would hurt them pays the ultimate price.

Blurb: Born into poverty in the heart of Eastern Europe, Natalia Nicolaeva dreams of a better life. When she is offered a job abroad, however, the promise of the outside world is as terrifying as it is thrilling. After gathering the courage to leave her tiny village, it doesn’t take long before Natalia’s worst fears are confirmed. Suddenly she is fighting, first for her honor and then for her life. This is a novel about the pain in the hearts of those made to suffer, the power of family to heal, and ultimately the grit of one girl determined to survive.

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