Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eileen Hinkle Rife's Chosen Ones

As a child, I loved writing and telling stories. On route to school every morning, I created characters, then talked to them as I ambled down the road, which was often my way of dealing with grief and loss. After the death of my brother, I learned to empathize with the underdog. My stories revolve around issues that many find difficult to talk about—death, homosexuality, sex trafficking. Through my characters, I offer readers an opportunity to draw close, peel back the layers of their own hearts, and examine what lies within.

And added to the mix—romance, always a romance around one corner or another!

An alumna of Christian Writers Guild and member of American Christian Fiction Writers, I have published several non-fiction books, written newsletters, a marriage column, and over ten church dramas. My byline has appeared in magazines, such as Discipleship Journal, Marriage Partnership, Mature Living, Christian Home & School, Drama Ministry, and ParentLife, as well as other print and online publications. My fiction works include Journey to Judah, Restored Hearts, and Chosen Ones, published as the Born for India trilogy by OakTara.

My husband, Chuck, a licensed professional counselor and marriage/family therapist, and I conduct marriage seminars for churches and organizations in the States and overseas. We have three married children and six grandchildren. My favorite past-time in this season of life is dancing with hubby, enjoying a day out with my daughters or friends, and playing with my grandchildren.

You can find Eileen online at

Chosen Ones

A couple in crisis.
A child taken captive.

Life in Chennai, India is complicated. While Maggie and Gavin Munsfield adjust to a new baby, missionary friends Dan and Yvonne Pratt experience the heartbreak of infertility and miscarriage. When their lives intersect with a young girl caught up in the horrors of sex trafficking, each of them will receive a precious gift. But will they find it in their hearts to accept an outcome so different than what they expected and hoped for?

Here's an excerpt of Chosen Ones:

The thought of going to see the baby was more than she could bear. Yet, it was expected. The other missionaries would be there, crooning over the new one. They would wonder why she hadn’t bothered to come. Who were they kidding? Of course they knew why she wasn’t there. Why did everyone pretend around her? While Dan would make excuses for her—he always did—everyone knew. With every passing month and now years, her disappointment festered into depression like a sore unattended.

Dan dropped his newspaper and eyed her from the kitchen table. “Sit down, Yvonne. You must have wiped that counter a zillion times by now. You’re going to wear the finish off.” He swiped a finger over his mustache and patted a chair beside him, then gulped some coffee.

Yvonne picked up two plates filled with eggs and toast and carried them to the table. Dan spread some jam over his bread as Yvonne slipped into her seat, her long legs bumping the table. She smoothed her hand over her kameez and bowed her head. Dan said a quick blessing. Afterwards, they delved into their scrambled eggs with a clank of knives and forks moving in morning rhythm.

Dan speared a piece of egg and shoved it into his mouth. Annoyed, Yvonne gaped at her husband. She squinted at his face, then flicked a piece of egg from his bushy mustache. “Why in the world can’t you be more careful when you eat?” She wiped her hands on a cloth napkin. “Maybe if you’d slow down, your food would get where it needs to go.”

“It’s a piece of egg, for Pete’s sake. I didn’t track grease all over the floor.”

Yvonne shot him a cynical sideways glance. “Well, that’s been known to happen, hasn’t it?” She got up to check the coffee maker. The rich aroma was about the only thing pleasant about this morning. She sat back down and in silence started to eat. He reached for her hand.

“When are you going to let it go?” His eyes were sympathetic, yet laced with determination.

She pursed her lips into a rigid point and wiped her hands repetitively on her napkin. Tossing the soiled cloth aside, she looked at the ceiling. She couldn’t even tolerate being in the same room with her husband. How was it she had let herself get this way? Let the love slip out of their relationship like water spiraling down the bathroom drain. She was as frustrated with herself as she was with him. After all, it wasn’t his fault, even though it should be. He was the former drug addict. It would make perfect sense for his reproductive system to be fried. But no, it was her fault. Her stomach churned at the thought. The tests had been conclusive: infertility was her problem, not his. Ten years and no baby. Why did she hold out hope? It kept her stuck in grief when she should be moving on. She had buried herself in teaching the primary children at the Oasis Compound. While she had taught them and played with them, in her heart, she had kept them at arm’s length. Was it fear?

“Come on, Yvonne. This isn’t about egg on the face, and you know it. When are you going to come to peace with the fact that we can’t have a baby? That we’re never going to have a baby?”

“Don’t say that. You don’t know that.”

“All the doctors—”

“Doctors make mistakes; we’ve all heard stories that belie the medical profession. They’re not gods.”

Dan sighed. “No, they’re not gods. But God has used them to show us His will.”

“How can you be so sure? Look at Abraham and Sarah; barren Hannah. Even Jack and Martha back home, married 17 years and then a son.”

He drew up his lanky frame and rose from the table. Shuffling to the counter, he retrieved the carafe from the coffee maker, poured another cup and sat back down. Whenever he was frustrated or confused, he reached for coffee, his drug of choice since he’d been delivered from crack cocaine. While Yvonne enjoyed a good cup of coffee, she wasn’t addicted to it and felt frustrated that the stimulant held such a strong sway over him.

“We’ve been over this multiple times, Yvonne.” His voice was steady. “The Oasis children are our children.”

Yvonne bit her lip and looked away. While she reveled in her teaching role at the Oasis school, it wasn’t the same as having her own baby. True, her classroom was her kingdom, an orderly one at that, and sometimes she was a severe taskmaster. Yet, on occasion, she surprised herself with her own gentleness. Just the other day, she had seen a little girl rock backwards in her chair grabbing the paper she was working on and crumbling it in the fall. Yvonne ran to the girl’s side, helped her up, and brushed off her dress. Typically, she would have accused the girl of mischief, causing a scene, then reprimanded her for her destroyed work, pressing the sheet to her chest and smoothing it. Perhaps she had not closed off her heart entirely.

Dan tossed his napkin aside and rose from the table. “Do what you will. I’m driving out to see the baby. If you change your mind—”

“I won’t,” she said, a stubborn bent to her chin. As her husband walked out the door, hollowness filled her heart greater than any empty womb. In the past, infertility had brought them closer together. A team effort. But lately, they couldn’t be further apart. She pushed her half-eaten eggs away. She dropped her head in her hands and sobbed.

Would she and Dan ever find closeness again?

Purchase at CBD

Purchase Chosen Ones at CBD.

Eileen is giving away a copy of Chosen Ones. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


cjajsmommy said...

My heart is already breaking for Yvonne. Please enter me for this book giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to win this book!

lgm52 said...

Sounds intriguing..would love to win it!

Linda said...

This is a book that needs to be written, but the subject is difficult to read. Still, I would love to win and read it for purposes of encouraging myself and others to get involved.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

lgm52 said...

Sounds intriguing..would love to win it!

Charity said...

Please enter me in this giveaway. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks!


ann said...

I'd like to win the book so please enter me

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jo said...

What a heavy duty book and my heart just breaks for these gals involved. Please enter me in the giveaway.


karenk said...

i'm interested...thanks for the opportunity to read this novel

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

apple blossom said...

love to win thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Chosen Ones sounds like a wonderful read, and I would love to win it!

Anonymous said...

Chosen Ones sounds like a wonderful read, and I would love to win it!

Meredith said...

Interesting. Would love to read it.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009 Design expanded and personalized by 2011.

Back to TOP