Is it hypocritical to write about a mission trip when you’ve never been on one? I hope not, because I sent two of my characters in Healer off to the Appalachians to repair a school. They’d been looking forward all spring to volunteering together, but by the time the bus pulled out of the church parking lot, they (small spoiler alert ahead) had been pulled apart by supernatural circumstances. The mission trip is one of my favorite parts of the book, though, because 1. It’s something I haven’t done but am excited about doing soon; 2. It involves a wild whitewater rafting ride that marks a turning point in the book; and 3. It’s probably the book’s heaviest concentration of action, drama, romance, blood, and emotion. The book, in general, is not bloody, but on the rafting trip…nevermind, that would definitely qualify as a spoiler. So what can I tell you about Healer? Here’s the synopsis:
Hovering just below the surface of Shilo Giannelli’s average existence lays an amazing spiritual power. Late one night, her world erupts with the revelation that, like her great-grandmother, she has The Gift. But the power to heal isn’t something she can share with the soccer team, her genius little sister, or her boyfriend, Kenji.
Definitely not Kenji.
Deep beneath Misty Morning’s tough façade is a lifetime of abandonment, foster homes and broken dreams. When her two-year-old son is abused by her boyfriend, her fragile world shatters…until Shilo prays for Tyler and he is healed, leaving Misty grateful but incredibly curious.
Shilo can’t give Misty the answers she needs; she only knows she has a God-given destiny, and despite facing strained relationships, impossible decisions, and the threat of being hounded day and night for her abilities, she will fulfill it.
The journey Misty and Shilo take together unites them as friends but invites danger into their lives. And it will take a miracle for these unlikely friends to elude a gang bent on revenge, keep The Gift a secret, trust God in extraordinary circumstances, and hold on to the people they love.
Healer is told from Shilo and Misty’s points of view in alternating chapters, but it isn’t Misty who goes on the ill-fated mission trip; it’s Kenji. Misty isn’t thinking about mission trips, she’s focusing on the faint light guiding her out of the shadowy tunnel she’s walked through for years. And as her scarred heart begins to heal, she becomes aware of a horrific crisis taking place worldwide, and wonders if she could be a hero to someone someday. Misty, like most of us, doesn’t possess the phenomenal power to heal. In fact, she doesn’t possess much of anything. She’s a single mom with no money, no family and a ton of baggage, but when it comes to helping others, she has the only thing necessary. Compassion. And with a little bit of that, any of us can do something, however small, to help fix this broken world.