Tom Davis has always had a heart for orphaned children, stemming from his own fatherless childhood and now personally as a father of seven, including two adopted daughters, and as CEO of Children’s Hope Chest, a Christian ministry to orphaned children. How he finds the time to write is beyond me!
His first novel, Scared, tells the story of orphans in Swaziland and his latest novel, Priceless, focuses on Russia and the sex slave trade. These books should have a place on your bookshelves.
Over to you, Tom:~
Stuart Daniels – a little taller than six foot, short brown hair, deep blue eyes, a salt and pepper goatee that has fuller hair than the top of his head. He’s more comfortable traveling around the world than he is sitting in his stuffy Manhattan apartment, but the birth of his little girl is starting to change that.
Katya’s favorite past time is to spend her evenings in a Russian banya which she credits for keeping her pores clean and her skin glowing and youthful.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Stuart is willing to do anything, at anytime, for someone who is suffering. He looks tough and rugged, but the truth is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. That’s why he can’t say no when he gets into one of the most dangerous situations of his life. There’s a little orphan girl in the middle of this and her life is at stake. All bets are off.
Katya holds her emotions very close. When she was young, life was too difficult and cruel so she learned how to survive. Today she exudes strength, the kind of strength that makes you think she can get through anything. Fear doesn’t reside in her eyes and she doesn’t care what most people think. All that matters is the mission. Her weakness is that she’s short-sighted. She’s not able to see the bigger picture. Her relationships can be shallow and if you tell her something she doesn’t like, she’ll shut down on you at the drop of a hat.
When Stuart gets nervous he turns red as a beet. It’s made it kind of hard to lie over the years and it doesn’t help in undercover operations.
Katya has near perfect English but because she’s a native Russian speaker there are words she cannot say, no matter how hard she tries. “Th” always comes out as a “Z” so it’s not together, it’s togezer.
Katya’s character is based on a real person. If fact, I dedicated the book to her. She’s actually the National Director for Children’s Hopechest in Russia (www.hopechest.org). Her entire life is lived caring and rescuing orphans. She’s devoted, selfless, and quite a real life inspiration.
The inspiration for Stuart’s character comes from a real South African photojournalist named Kevin Carter. Carter won the Pulitzer prize for a photo he took of an emaciated African girl who fell on the way to a feeding center. A plump vulture landed behind her and he took the picture. Fourteen months later, Kevin committed suicide. He struggled in life, but one of the things he couldn’t handle was becoming famous for taking a picture like that. Stuart represents a redemptive Kevin Carter.
Background to the Story
I’ve been to Russia almost fifty times, so the imprint of that country is etched on my heart. Orphans leave the orphanage at fifteen or sixteen and there are incredibly difficult situations waiting for them. Many girls end up becoming victims of trafficking because they have no one in their lives to help them. It’s also true that much of sex trade industry is controlled by the Russian mafia. I wish I could say that the accounts in this book were all fiction, but that’s not the case. The vast majority is true. Every two minutes another innocent girl is sexually exploited.
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