Jeremy and Stacy Anderson

These two…wow.  They started out as very insignificant characters, but slowly crept up the ranks to main-secondary characters.  That’s okay though!  I like these two a lot and hope you will, also.

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Stacy’s growing-up years were full of abuse and terror, and her late-teen young-adult years weren’t any better.  Knowing that there was more to life than what all the other people her age were ‘enjoying’, Stacy kept her eyes and ears open for a different way of life.  Mercifully, a young friend led Stacy to Christ, and Stacy completely turned her life around for the better.
Jeremy’s childhood was better than Stacy’s, but not by much.  Though he didn’t experience physical abuse, the emotional abuse was enough to almost ruin him.  Jeremy became a Believer because of a brave college buddy, and this friend told Jeremy about a home church that met late at night so the Muslims wouldn’t catch the Believers worshiping.   Jeremy, though scared to death, agreed to attend.  At the meeting, he met a remarkable young woman named Stacy, who humbly told a few of the Believers her salvation story.  He knew that if this young woman, who came from a pious Muslim family, was willing to change her life and throw herself into danger of death or worse, she must be either completely insane or committed to truth.

Even though multiple months of hardships, trials, and persecution made it so that they weren’t able to see each other often,  it wasn’t long before Jeremy and Stacy were standing in the darkened basement of that home church, standing in front of that same pastor, saying ‘I do’.
That’s their back-story, but none of that happens in the book (I mean, it is mentioned, but only as back-story).  I can’t tell you what role they play in the book because to do so I’d have to give a lot of the book away. :)  So sorry.

These are the last characters I will be introducing.  There are lots more characters, but if I introduced every single one of them it would take a VERY LONG while.  :)

Chloe Wilson

Though Chloe has already passed away by the time the book begins and isn’t an active part of the story (she is mentioned a few times), I love this picture and wanted to find a use for it.

Chloe is Mr. and Mrs. Wilson’s third child.  She was born the same year that Bree Nickly was, but tragically, Chloe died of a brain tumor shortly before her second birthday.

Leslie and Chloe Wilson

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Violet Jenson

Oh, Violet.  I love this little girl.  Can you get any cuter?

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Violet is Jesse’s younger sister.  She is four years old, and oh my…if I had to pick a favorite character, I think Violet might be it!  Violet was born premature and had to be in the NICU for several months.  Because of the mistake of a nurse, Violet’s vocal cords were severed, leaving her completely unable to speak or make any sounds at all.  Violet isn’t at all put out by her inability to speak…she simply works around it and makes due.

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This is Violet when she’s older…probably around six.
Violet is serious and thoughtful, but always has a smile ready.  She loves her big brother dearly, but really attaches herself to Tim and becomes his little shadow.  Tim doesn’t mind…he feels that Violet helps fill the void left by Chloe (you will meet Chloe next week :) ).  The two develop a unique, strong, sibling bond that lasts forever.

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Jesse Jenson

Jesse was seven years old when his parents were arrested for unlawful religion and their house was burned. He and his four-year-old sister, Violet, hid in a barrel behind their house for days…until the Nickly and Wilson children, traveling through the area on their way to Canada, stumbled upon the frightened, traumatized, starving siblings.  With no relatives to speak of, no place to hide, and not being old enough to fend for themselves, none of the older children could think of leaving them behind.  The decision to add the children to their little troupe and bring them to Canada was unanimous.

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Jesse is soft-spoken and gentle, enjoying hugs and cuddles.  He’s mature for his age, and very protective of his little sister, Violet.  Jesse doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and is very much a follower.  He loves trailing behind the big boys and helping out as much as he can.

Matthew Wilson

Though Matthew is only three years old, he has lived through more trauma than any child should ever live through in a lifetime.

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Matthew was born the son of an underground Christian pastor, but when his biological parents were informed that they were to be executed for practicing unlawful religion, Matthew’s mother left him, an eleven-month-old baby, in the bushes beside the Wilson’s home.  Still grieving the death of their youngest child, Chloe, the Wilson’s happily kept the baby boy and raised him as their own.

Matthew is an easy-going kid, and is able to fall asleep just about anywhere.  He does have a stubborn side though, and when that comes to light you’d better keep a close eye on him.  He thoroughly enjoys the lack of proper bathrooms while hiking north, and takes advantage of that whenever he can.  Matthew loves his older siblings and thinks the world of them.

Brianna Nickly

At ten years old, Bree is the youngest Nickly child.  She and Callie get along well, though Bree shares her brother’s quiet personality more than her sister’s boisterous one.  Bree is perfectly content to play with her baby dolls for long periods of time.  Patient and loving, Bree will read the same book twenty times to a toddler without getting irritated.

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Bree is affectionate, a hard thinker, an encourager, an expert at making fires.  Even though she is the baby of the family, Bree is far more mature than other ten year olds.  She misses her parents more than she lets on, but is always willing to lend a helping hand.

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Child on the left

Bree was a character that came on the scene not too long ago.  Originally, Callie was an only child.  :)  I’m glad that Bree and Justin found their place in the story, though.  They’re fun characters to work with.

Timothy Wilson

Tim was one of the easiest characters to create, but I can’t think of exactly how to introduce him.

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Tim is sixteen years old.  He may look strong and tough on the outside, but inside, he’s a bucket of mush.  Tim’s belief in Christ is solid, though being ripped from his parents and thrown into the responsibility of keeping himself, his family, and his friends alive severely tries his faith, it doesn’t even come close to burning him out.

A talented musician, Tim enjoys playing the violin and singing, though not at the same time.  He always puts other’s needs before his own, even if it means giving up a meal so a younger child can eat his share. Tim’s soft side really comes to light when he befriends a traumatized four-year-old girl.

edf749c517b51623d4e4c019d8e4f180 Tim is a problem-solver and a thinker.  He isn’t overly talkative, but he isn’t quiet, either.  Rarely does he get his feathers ruffled…he’s kind of a ‘steady eddy’.  He tends to act older than he is, and most people think he is eighteen or nineteen…but that could also be because he’s almost six feet tall.

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I think Tim is one of my favorite characters.  Maybe because he’s always cooperated and never thrown me for a loop.  Tim hasn’t changed since the first draft that I wrote three years ago.  :)

Update: Still working on comments.  I don’t know what’s going on but sometimes I feel like throwing my computer in the lake.  :)

Justin Nickly

Callie’s twelve-year-old brother is quiet and reserved, quite the opposite of herself.  Justin isn’t shy, but he isn’t the type of boy who speaks the first thing that comes to his mind.  Justin is a thoughtful, caring boy, but he isn’t much for hugging.  He also has a boisterous side…but that isn’t so often seen.

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Justin is good at school and works through his books without much assistance.  Mathematically minded, he disgusts Callie with his uncanny understanding of algebra.

Justin is a hard worker and can chop more wood in an hour than even his dad can.  He’s very dedicated and will stick with a job until it’s done.

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UPDATE:  The comment feature still refuses to cooperate with me.  I am going to try using a plugin instead of the default commenting form and see if that will work any better.  Gotta love it when your blogging program is smarter than you are.  :)

Leslie Wilson

Leslie…she’s so specific, I’ve had a very difficult time finding a photo of her that matches what I’ve made her out to be.  Still, I haven’t found the perfect match, but here are some that are close.

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Girl on the left

The Wilson’s have known the Nickly’s for ten years, first meeting at an underground church when Leslie was eight and Callie was four.  The two families felt an instant bond and have been fast friends ever since.

Leslie is eighteen years old, and the oldest child in her family. Endless years of heartache have hardened and strengthened Leslie, but not so much to put a damper on her gentle, loving spirit.  Leslie deeply cares for her siblings and friends, and constantly fears for their safety.  More than once, she is willing to sacrifice her own safety for theirs

Leslie wins everyone’s affections with a firm hand and forgiving heart.  She and her younger brother Tim are a great team and can practically read each others mind…Callie calls it “eye language.”

833233793ae0e837017bc05ea4d4c624One can’t get any sweeter or kinder than Leslie, but mess with one of her siblings or friends, and suddenly she becomes a tiger…with claws.  She’s the perfect big sister, and the perfect friend.

Leslie possesses unwavering faith even in the most dire circumstances.  Not only that, but she is able to encourage others for Christ even when the situation is less than ideal.

Callie Nickly

I am so excited to introduce my characters to you!  I love reading other writer’s blogs and my favorite part is when they use photos and introduce their characters one by one.  It adds so much life to each character!  I hope all of you enjoy this as well…I will be posting one character every week, and I’ve got several characters I want you to meet, so this could take awhile.  :)

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Callie’s family has been living undercover since she was born, hiding from the Islamized American government.  Her parents are devout Christians, which makes trouble for the whole family.  Callie and her siblings spent much of their childhood years hiding in closets or playing in darkened basements.  Callie is fourteen when her parents are arrested in the night and the authorities searched every corner of their home, forcing Callie and her two siblings to flee for their lives.  Confused, scared, and upset, Callie desperately wonders why God allows such wretched things to happen.  You have to read the book to find out what happens after that. :)

Callie is fourteen years old, the oldest in her family.  She loves being outdoors and getting dirty, and has a difficult time sitting still for anything.  Outspoken and active, Callie often finds herself in trouble by acting before thinking through the consequences.  Callie does enjoy the finer things of life and would like nothing more than to spend all day curled up reading a book.  Though even she doesn’t know it, Callie has a show-stopping singing voice.

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Callie is the main-main character.  She is the focal point of the entire trilogy.  She hasn’t been an easy character to create, but I think that finally all of her flaws and positive traits are coming together into a believable character.  :)