Book Title: My Beauty For Your Ashes
Paperback: 454 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 21, 2012)
Genre: Christian Fiction Romance
Traci Wooden-Carlisle began writing poetry and short stories as soon as she was able to form words on paper. She used that as a way to creating worlds, as well as, to communicate with God. A native of Los Angeles, California, she grew up attending United Methodist Church under the leadership of a pastor whose heart was for youth. Once she finished college at Humboldt State University she found herself at a loss. She felt caught in the transition between childhood and adulthood. She received a great deal of her answers through a Tuesday night Bible Study. As she continued to attend classes, the Bible became real to her and the scriptures were more than just words on a page. They came to life and she was able to identify with the teachings. She was filled with the Holy Spirit one November evening in 1995 and soon found that when she wrote to God, the Holy Spirit would respond; at times in the form of poetry and other times in conversation. She was amazed, awestruck, and humbled to know that He had not only been listening, but also wished to have a more intimate relationship with her. As she continued to write she joined a smaller church closer to her home in the San Fernando Valley and became an intercessory prayer, volunteered at the juvenile hall in the area, participated in door-to-door evangelism and shared her first love of dance by creating a praise dance team. She surrounded herself with saints and volunteered her services as a graphic artist. Through the early-morning prayer, all night Friday prayer and 3-day shut-ins she started on her journey toward her most desired gift, an intimate relationship with God.
Today, Mrs. Wooden Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband, David Carlisle. She serves as a church Office Manager, teaches fitness classes, continues to praise the Lord through dance, and is currently writing her third book in this Christian-fiction series.
Though they hail from backgrounds that are worlds apart, it only takes one fateful accident to rearrange their priorities and set them on roads that intersect, forcing them to acknowledge the relationships they can’t do without.
Elder Paige Morganson has worked hard to overcome the anger, hate and abuse of her past. With God’s help she believes healing and wholeness is within her grasp when she is propelled into a world of secrets and lies that threaten to unravel the very thread of hope she’s clung to in her struggle for peace.
Mason Jenson is a self-made man who has been able to create his own fortune and build a home life with his wife and child void of God’s help…so he thinks, but as the world he knows balances precariously on the edge of destruction, who will he turn to?
Elder Brandon Tatum’s, new in town, has prided himself on not making a move until he’s heard God, but even as he accepts his new position in ministry, he is faced with decisions of the heart; a whole new territory for him.
Victoria Branchett has ruthlessly survived the death of her only daughter by fierce determination, but is the strength she has relied on enough to see her through a failing marriage and an ailing grandchild?
This novel merges colorful characters facing one untimely circumstance after another, and mixes in a serious spin on how one views God, both inside and outside of His will. Of course, this is just the beginning. More people emerge from behind the scenes; some to help and others, to hurt. With everything happening simultaneously, one would almost question if God is able to truly fix and heal everything, and the readers will see just how far each person’s faith (or lack thereof) will carry them. As they sift through the debris of past dreams and hopes left by the wayside, they are offered a lifeline and given an opportunity to receive God’s Beauty for their ashes.
With a knot in her stomach she packed quickly, rescheduled some meetings that were set for the next day, wrote out specific instructions three times, and on the fourth attempt gave up and decided to just call an emergency meeting with the immediate staff.
By six the next morning, she was ready and waiting at the private airport with Richard, watching as a sudden and violent rainstorm delayed her flight. It rained consistently for four hours, not letting up until just before the afternoon. Seeing her agitation grow, her husband whispered in her ear just as they were leaving the small terminal, beginning boarding the aircraft.
“Well, at least you won’t have to water the roses when you get back.” She turned to him with a quick retort ready on her lips, but was defused by the smile on his lips. “Oh, you almost got it that time. Thank you for trying though.” She touched her hand to the side of his check as a form of endearment.
Once they arrived at the hospital, all thoughts of her hopeful reunion faded when they exited the elevator and came face to face with a sobbing Vivian. Richard bent down and tried fruitlessly to console the child. Victoria raced passed them to her daughter’s room where the doctor was talking to Mason over her daughter’s body, now covered by a sheet. She was too late. Her legs threatened to give away beneath her so she sat down in the chair just inside of the door. The sound of the chair scraping the floor caught Mason’s attention. He came towards her, arms reaching for her with the purpose to comfort.
The slap resounded through the room. Victoria watched as Mason’s head snapped to the side. When he straightened she came at him again, catching him across the other side of the face, and throwing him off balance. Reaching out to stable himself, he caught hold of the bed Rachael’s body was laying on, pulling the sheet as he stumbled back.
Victoria would have hit Mason again, but the site of Rachael’s body momentarily paralyzed her. She watched as Mason righted himself again, and all she could think of was causing him as much harm as he had caused her daughter. Her daughter was dead. Her daughter was dead, and he killed her. He killed her with his inability to listen to anyone due to his selfish pride. “Rachael is dead,” kept ringing in her ears, until the volume drowned out every other thought or sound.
She stood there staring at the arm that had been uncovered. It was unfair. It was so damn unfair. The anger built up in her, quickly turning to rage.
She charged at Mason with a sound coming from her, foreign to her ears. All she wanted to do was cause him bodily harm. She hit him with all of her force once, then twice. Why wasn’t he defending himself or hunching to protect himself like the coward he was? He wasn’t fit to even be in the same room as her daughter’s body.
She couldn’t control it anymore. She hit him a third and fourth time before he went to one knee, and the doctor that had been standing in shock on the other side of the of the bed grabbed her from behind, holding her arms to her sides. She cried out in frustration using whatever part of her that was free, to reach Mason.
She kicked at him, catching him in the shoulder once and the chest on the next try, but neither one of those blows was satisfying. They felt superficial, like she was slightly off target. She struggled to kick him in the face, but was pulled out of reach by the interfering doctor. She screamed and cried out again, the anger and frustration causing tears to spill from her eyes.
“No!” she screamed. “He killed her. That bastard killed my daughter! Don’t let him get away. He has to pay. He has to!”
Two nurses came in to assist the doctor in holding her away from Mason. Then Richard was in front of her, holding her face in his hands so that he was the only thing in her line of sight.
“Victoria!” He shouted, shaking her almost violently.
He came into focus. His hair tossed, eyes red and wet. The energy drained from her body. She didn’t think she could hold herself up any longer.
“Richard,” she whispered as if she were afraid to hear what she was about to say. “Our baby’s gone.” She felt his hands tighten on her face, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in focus. She sought the peace of the dark she was slipping into.