Mimi Milan spent two decades scribbling away in notebooks before realizing that her life’s calling was to write. So she returned from Mexico and attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Film. She currently resides in the suburbs of Charlotte, making time for God, family and imaginary friends.
Writer with a Cause
Do you ever look around and think that a lot of senseless stuff goes on in the world? Let’s take for example, violence. Why does it have to exist? What? People can’t find better things to do with their time? How about poverty? Hunger? Why in the name of all that is holy is it too hot for me to stand outside for ten minutes on a Monday afternoon, then pouring buckets of rain on Tuesday?
It’s the tenth rainy day here in the Queen City (the kind of day that makes you think of Noah’s flood), and I’m trying to think of the best way to answer a question that has been posed to me… Where did the idea “Writer with a Cause” come from, and what does it mean to me?
Maybe I did come up with the title, but I certainly didn’t invent the idea.
Long before I ever came to be, there existed a belief that certain injustices needed to be addressed; action required to abolish them. From sit-ins to marches, speeches and protests, voices have spoken against all forms of evil – slavery, child abuse, domestic violence and many more issues that have no place in a society as technologically advanced as ours.
That’s what I thought the day I decided to write A Rebel in Jericho.
I was living in Michoacán, Mexico at the time (fighting for a cause of my own) when I got quite ill with Typhus. I visited the local pharmacy which had a small doctor’s office in the back room. While waiting for my turn to be seen, I saw a newspaper on the table beside me. “Mujeres Sin Rostro” (Women Without Faces) was printed in big, bold letters across the front. I thought the article might have been about a new suspense movie coming out, or something else equally interesting. After all, I was a tourist blinded by all the beauty of a foreign country. So I flipped open the paper and started reading the most astounding stories about abducted women who had no control over their lives. Some forced into slavery, others choosing it after feeling they had no options, all the women were at the complete mercy of others.
I asked my husband about the article. Was it true? Could this kind of evil exist in such a beautiful place? Of course, my husband said, especially since you wouldn’t expect it.
As a former Guardian ad Litem and activist at heart, it made me angry to think that women (and even little girls) could be abused in such a way. That’s when I began doing research and came to learn that this wasn’t a Mexico problem. This was a world problem. In places big and small – even American cities you would least expect – there are rings of smugglers and pimps trafficking people every day for sex, drugs, sweat shops and even organs. I learned that even my hometown – a city praised for its medical, financial and technology contributions – was a hub for human trafficking.
I wanted to do something. I wanted to make a difference. However, the only thing I knew how to do was write stories.
That’s when Catalina came to life and I wrote the first book in the series, A Rebel in Jericho. I decided that I would pen books that could raise money for causes dear to me. Then I chose to write in the genre of inspirational romance because I believe that 1) people can do with a little hope that they don’t have to face their hardships alone, and 2) love really does conquer all – especially tragedies like modern day slavery.
Stamping out this kind of evil doesn’t occur overnight, though. I know it will take more than one book to raise awareness and really get people to care about this fight. So I created the series, The Jericho Resistance, because that’s what we need. Resistance. We need to resist the habit of looking the other way when injustice makes us uncomfortable. We need to resist the urge to quit the good fight when it seems like our army is too small. That’s what being a writer with a cause means to me… to join in the resistance.
Excerpt from A Rebel In Jericho (The Jericho Resistance #1):
“A penny for your thoughts?” Catalina regretted asking almost as soon as the words were out. The less she knew about him, the better. Right?
Continuing to lean against the side, Matthew gave her a once-over.
He decided to have a little fun with her.
“Only a penny? Is that what people are charging nowadays? Not me. My thoughts are worth a whole nickel.” The laughter in his tone danced in his playful eyes, their brilliance shining like blue gems. A slow, infectious grin spread across Matthew’s face. He looked like a mischievous little boy who was trying to buy his way out of trouble after being caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Catalina bit her lip in a desperate attempt to remain serious, but it was of little use.
Charmed by her softened features, Matthew took a slow step towards her. He raised a tentative hand and pushed back a curl that had worked its way loose.
Catalina’s breath stilled as the light touch of his fingers slowly trailed along her cheek. Her beautiful eyes and full mouth were almost irresistible, and he wondered if she tasted as sweet as she looked.
Unasked questions blazed from his eyes, making the cage that she was trying to construct around her heart unhinge. The sudden attraction hit her hard. She forced herself to look away and break the spell. Falling for her escort was not part of the plan.
“Look!” Catalina pointed towards the bank. “We’re just about there.”
“Then I guess we best get back to the car.” Disappointment laced his words. She didn’t have any romantic notions about him, so he best leave it at just friends.
No more goo-goo eyes.
“It shouldn’t take too long to get it started.” He picked up the conversation again as he paced back to the car with a determined step. “It’s warm out. So she doesn’t need to be cranked or anything.”
Catalina questioned his sudden change in mood. She was grateful at the flow of normal conversation between them. Still, it felt like something was suddenly missing. “Well, I suppose that’s a good thing.” She plodded along behind him, dissatisfied when they reached the Model T. He took her hand and helped her up and into the front seat. “Shouldn’t I ride in the—”
“You’ll get a better view of things while we’re driving from up here.” He cut her off, patting the hood of the car for emphasis – a friendly grin that promised an exciting ride. After all, it was a long trip to Nogales. “Besides, it’ll be more fun.”
More fun? Hmmm...more trouble maybe. Definitely more dangerous.
A Rebel In Jericho (The Jericho Resistance #1)
Adult Historical Suspense
Published: 4 October 2015 by Eaton House
After years of preparing for marriage, Catalina Santé is interested in little more than making a good match. And why not? She’s young, beautiful, educated… everything a wealthy man should want. However, a tragic accident will leave her with less than a marriage proposal—she’s fighting for her very life!
Matthew Martin spends most of his time just trying to fit into American society. It’s one of the reasons he became a deputy. Willing to risk it all in order to protect Catalina, he can’t imagine what that entails… until she’s abducted and sold to a Mexican saloon, where a border battle rages between two towns.
Can love and faith survive in such a harsh place? Will Matthew even be able to save Catalina?
“Romance, intrigue and danger! It’s an exciting adventure as the reader joins Catalina on her perilous journey through the underbelly of Mexico’s dark side.”
– Patricia Highton
“A delightful blend of drama, romance, and self-discovery.”
– Tiffany Matus