A Woman’s Choice Novel Excerpt

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Publication Date: Feb 16 2015
ISBN/EAN13: 1508519374 / 9781508519379
LCCN: 2015902876
Page Count: 214
Related Categories: Fiction / Christian / General

Available in paperback and eBook formats.
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5322792
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Womans-Choice-Barry-Irwin-Brophy/dp/1508519374 or http://www.amazon.com/Womans-Choice-Barry-Brophy-ebook/dp/B00TSR8VGG/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of A Woman’s Choice

Chapter 1

It was early…way too early to be awake. The sun still slept under the heavens while a misty fog had crept into the streets before the town awoke. Everett, Washington was a tiny city on the outskirts of the Puget Sound. It bordered the threshold of Washington’s mountainous evergreen forests to the north with the tumultuous life of the Seattle city suburbs to the south.
An eerie quietness wrapped the city in an embrace reminiscent of life from the 1900s. The silence of the city could be felt by Katrina as she quickly and quietly trekked through the town. Clutching what belongings she possessed, she focused her attention onto a crumpled piece of paper in her hand, trying to decipher the writing in the dark morning light. The piece of paper echoed its presence like an ancient metronome inside her mind; shaking her with each penetrating sound. What haunted her more were the words on the paper and the decision she wrestled with in her conscience.

Masked and coated with bits of charred eye shadow, Katrina tried to mask her weariness. Like a porcelain doll, she had caked on too much makeup masking the identity of her sorrows; these sorrows, sealed in her hollow shell of existence, would periodically creep out of her body and call eerily out for someone to rescue her.

No one answered her soul’s cry for help. No one ever seemed interested in her long enough unless they were using her for something. She had no one she could trust with the intimate details of her life.

Blonde streaks of cheap hair dye seemed to signify some quality of cleanliness but her unkempt manner left her hidden physical beauty an outward reflection of grotesqueness concealed in the gutters and back alleys famous to this small town. Katrina was a woman of many sorrows.

The rank stenches of toxic and decaying pollutants from factories filled her nostrils as she breathed rapidly while walking the streets of Everett. Seeming to clasp her in its malevolent presence, the accompanying fog invited Katrina to disappear from existence; a self-annihilation to the present problems in her life. All of these combinations of emotions, sights, and smells blended together to remind Katrina it was another Friday morning.

As Katrina turned right onto Pacific Avenue and continued to walk briskly down the street, traffic seemed non-existent during the early awakenings of the day. The sun slowly crept up over the mountains to the east as Katrina scouted the location for the nearest bus stop she commonly knew by heart. Her feet ached like an elderly woman’s flaring arthritis, twisting and grinding her ankles she used thanks to the dingy pair of stilettos she wore; they were two sizes too small. Checking her purse for change, Katrina counted just enough money and a little extra to fund a bus fare to spare her feet from perpetual torture from her stilettos.
Finding it excruciatingly painful and hard to sit on the bus stop bench, Katrina gazed down at her abdomen and resented her pregnancy. What a worse time to be expecting a child, she thought, I can’t work like this.

Having racked up quite a tardy record at her job, Katrina’s boss had threatened to fire her more times than she liked to remember. Now with the pregnancy, he had commented that her weight would also be bad for business; Katrina was forced to solve the problem or die on the cold streets she called home. She had nothing to turn to and no one to aid her in her life. Katrina felt cursed. With every waking moment, the burden of survival was too much.

The pregnancy is too physically draining, she thought, destroying my pitiful life like a cancer. The clinic was her only option of solution. Feeling tears well up in her eyes, Katrina cursed God.

“Why have You done this to me?” she whispered in frustration, “I never asked for any of this! I hate You!”

Katrina’s eyes locked onto her bulging stomach again; her sadistic self-hatred seemed to burn an invisible hole of emptiness through herself. I’m the size of a whale and every guy knows it, her twisted addict thoughts chided through various portions of her mind. I’ll never have someone to call my own. No man wants to shack up with a knocked up girl like me. Katrina endured never ending pain and numbness from these types of thoughts as they stirred her emotions.

An elderly woman approached the bus stop as Katrina began to drift into an unconsciously awake state mostly from the residual hangover of alcohol and drugs from the previous night. Rolling her eyes in judgment, Katrina noted the bright blue dress of the woman. Obviously two decades too old, cackled her thoughts. The old woman appeared so out of place. Something about her presence marveled Katrina though; she could not fathom cohesive words to describe why she was drawn to her. It must be her awkward appearance, Katrina concluded.

“Beautiful mornin’,” smiled the elderly Jamaican woman with a thick accent, “good bein’ alive.”

Katrina’s eyes fluttered a few times in surprise to her address. This lady is crazy, she thought. What a joke laughed Katrina to herself as she taunted the woman with more insults inside her mind: delirious and poorly dressed.

“If you enjoy the rancid smell of pollution,” snapped Katrina as she began to contemplate a method to slip the woman’s purse away from the bench.

“You gotta take one day at a time child. Each one’s a gift from God.”

“Or a curse,” snorted Katrina in arrogance.

“What’s makin’ you think ‘dat?” asked the woman.

Katrina’s mind was bursting with erratic and irrational thoughts. Why are you talking to me, thought Katrina as she felt rage build up inside of her body? Stupid cow, continued her thoughts, how dare you think of something so cruel. Katrina’s negative thoughts bounced from one topic to the next like a tennis ball ricocheting back and forth against the wall. Did she know her life? Did she know her pain? Did she know what it was like to use every relationship imaginable for your own survival? Did-she? Did she? Did-she?! Of course not!

“Do you have the time?” barked Katrina, as she waited for the right moment to slip the lady’s purse unknowingly away from her sight.

“Seven forty-seven,” smiled the lady as she turned to watch Katrina’s feeble hand gently move away from her purse. Just play it cool, she thought, the dumb broad is too old to notice. Feeling paralyzed with embarrassment at her unsuccessful robbery, Katrina felt flabbergasted by the woman’s next question identifying her real need.

“Did ya be needin’ sum money?”

What? She asked what? Katrina said nothing as her eyes widened in utter disbelief and her pupils dilated in confusion at the woman’s response. She should have called the police by now because of her attempt to take her purse. Has not my unkempt manner scared her off, thought Katrina?

The woman continued talking, “You not the only one to grow up on the streetz. I spent twelve years on the streetz of Kingston. How much ya needin’?”

Silence. Katrina did not reply at the embarrassment of her botched burglary attempt.

“Well,” began the woman, “here’s a twentah’. Should be getting ya a bus fare and sum mealz. You children always takin’ without no askin’. No mannerz ‘dese dayz.”

Katrina felt dumbfounded: why did this lady want to help her? No person ever wanted to help her in the past. Why now? Was something different? Had some cosmic exchange of chance transpired in her pathetic life? What had happened? What was…?

“Do ya have a name?” inquired the lady as she reached into her purse and pulled out a pink stick of chewing gum, “don’t talk much? Well, mine’s Anita. Anita Moore.”
“Katrina,” she squeaked in reply. Maybe…maybe I should walk this time, thought Katrina, this lady is way too friendly. The continual chattering of Anita continued to irk Katrina’s thoughts. The lady garbled on and on about her late husband. She must have spent ten minutes chiding away about her life’s story. Boring, boring, and continuing, lamented Katrina.

Gazing into the street, Katrina noticed various ancient debilitated buildings that surrounded the city like soldiers inside a fort. Most buildings stood out like weeds in a garden; however, the city’s ongoing development was a fusion of past and present architectural brilliance. Housing the first levels of the buildings were various businesses, cafes, and other assorted shops of knick-knacks reminiscent of the 1900s. The shops were packed tightly together offering a beautifully eclectic visualization of compartmentalization. It was the epitome of an illustration of small town America. Thinking about anything besides Anita’s ramblings was more tolerable.

“Ya know,” said Anita, “if ya needin’ help ‘dere’s a mission down the road.”

“I don’t need help!” screamed Katrina as she jumped up from the bench, tripped and snapped her left stiletto heel, and ran away from the bus stop as fast as a limping individual could.

The echoing sound of scraping heels against concrete and one stiletto pierced her feet in agony with the remembrance of the pain these shoes created. The clamoring sound of concrete seemed quite low compared to the screams her feet yelped out in sorrow. The pain was unbearable. Her emotional torment was illustrated in the repetitive grinding of her feet as she hobbled towards the clinic. She could not deal with the stress anymore.

“I hate You,” cried Katrina as she waved her fists in rage towards God, like a toddler exhibiting a tantrum, “Why have You done this?”

Tears flowed from Katrina’s eyes like a great flood. Slowly feeling her anger bury itself back into her mind, Katrina gathered her rumpled self and tried to locate the nearest coffee shop.

I’m starving, she thought, I haven’t eaten in two days. Her stomach cramped in rebellion as she hobbled down the street seeking much needed nutritious sustenance. Her body was plagued with continual muscle spasms of all shapes, sizes, and proportions while her stick like bones stuck to her skin like old crusted pieces of leather wrapped around tent poles. She felt as though an octopus was wrapping its tendrils slowly around her organs. With each passing minute, she felt her organs ache and convulse under the weight of her misery. Turning from the alley, Katrina glanced across the street and noticed a small coffee shop.

The storefront was like a small shanty squished between two four level brick buildings. No more than ten feet in length, Katrina could see the hazy, blurred windows tinted to produce shade in the summer months. An “open” sign shone its vibrant red color tainted into a cool dark crimson with the added window tint. Extremely old bricks plastered the foundation of the building like old cobblestones lining the streets of some Hollywood rendition of past century living.

Feeling the inclination of some driving force stir her inside, Katrina carefully crossed the street and peered inside the window. Through the distorted bronze glass windows, Katrina watched as an Asian man rustled through different dining materials; trying to organize the cafe before anyone entered.

Placing small sandwiches, freshly made, onto the nearby shelves for purchase, Katrina longed to engulf one of the sandwiches to quench the agony of her starvation. Like a warm touch enrapturing her nostrils, Katrina could smell the different combinations of freshly baked goods complemented with the different blends of freshly brewing coffees. Reaching into her pocket, Katrina pulled out the crumpled twenty dollar bill Anita had given her. Feeling the bill’s crispness between her fingers, Katrina turned around in disappointment as she realized she would have to repress her insatiable appetite for physical nourishment.

Starting to walk up Pacific Avenue again, Katrina fought her emotions from snapping her sanity like twigs. She felt hollow, empty, and lifeless. It was as if Katrina lived inside a cage in the deep dark levels of her body. Her physical actions and expressions were mere random reactions in which she had no control over. Over the years, her real identity had disappeared. Life was pain and that’s all Katrina had ever experienced. God was dead; yet, when the world was silent and all was still, Katrina dwelt on the subject of God more than ever.

There had to be something more; this could not be the epitome of existence. If He is just, why does He allow evil? Why do the innocent suffer? God was a contradiction. God was mere fantasy: an adult version of Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, or an imaginary friend. Yet, something inside of her still felt alien with such thoughts. She could not face the possibility of this nor did she want to examine spirituality. But what she did know was the world was not just…

Turning left onto Rucker Avenue, Katrina watched the cars slowly drive by her. The roads were tar black while different houses and apartments passed as she walked onward like an unfulfilled dream. Tattoo parlors dotted the streets with check-and-cash advance stores waiting to legally racketeer men and women who were struggling financially to survive. Passing by a dollar store, Katrina wondered if any new products had arrived. In America’s weak economy, dollar stores had become the necessities for family survival; especially for Katrina.

Teenagers walked passed Katrina oblivious to the harsh realities of life while overgrown ivies inched along the dark cobblestone supports, holding up various buildings. This area was one of the main streets that intersected other neighborhoods in Everett.

The wind rose in intensity as Katrina turned the corner of 43rd street and Rucker. Most of the sunrise had consumed the residual mist of the morning like a vacuum purging the area of visual distortions created by the vapor. It still left an eerie feeling though, as Katrina could still feel the damp air saturate her body while walking down the sidewalk.

Looking to the left, Katrina noted the apartments and closed her eyes, imagining a fairy tale fantasy of what ordinary life felt like. She could see the aged wooden furniture complementing the serene ivory colored carpet and matching curtains. In her mind, Katrina imagined walking through this home she could call her own. The hallway, she walked down, glistened with silk smooth pearl colored walls. The texture of the walls was cool to touch and adorned with precisely placed pictures of family portraits of her brothers, sisters, mother, and father she had never known. Under her bare feet, the carpet felt like fleece. One could lie on the floor and remain wrapped in its warmth while remembering past days of positive family memories.

Unfortunately, Katrina’s dream of a luxurious life was shattered to pieces…

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A Woman’s Choice

Currently undergoing revision.

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Publisher: CreateSpace/Amazon
ISBN: 1508519374
LCCN: 2015902876
Formats: Paperback or eBook
Purchasing Links: https://www.createspace.com/5322792 , http://www.amazon.com/Womans-Choice-Barry-Irwin-Brophy/dp/1508519374 , or http://www.amazon.com/Womans-Choice-Barry-Brophy-ebook/dp/B00TSR8VGG/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Book Summation:
I hate my life! I’m tired of this place! I can’t continue anymore…rave Katrina’s negative mental voices. Infected by her toxic thoughts of self-loathing, Katrina is incarcerated by her inability to escape bad decisions. But Katrina is not even her real name nor does she know much about her past given her horrific abuse suffered as a human trafficked victim. Stuck working as a bikini barista where money is easy and crime is common, Katrina does not know who she is anymore. Learning she is pregnant, Katrina must make a choice on whether to carry this pregnancy to term or save her employment by terminating it. Ultimately, this choice will begin a cataclysmic series of events that propel her along a journey of self-discovery. Either choice will challenge her to revisit her horrific past. Either choice will confront her with philosophical questions about God. Discover the hardship, depravity, and hurt this woman has endured as she navigates her life out of the ashes.

Author’s Notes: Before I even conceived of attempting this writing project, one of the major convictions upon planning this novel was how I could use the profits generated from book sales to fight human trafficking. In response to this conviction, I have decided to donate half of all profits generated from book sales to go directly to fighting human trafficking locally within the Seattle area. Specifically, these funds will be directed to ministries and nonprofits specializing in victim transport/rescue services, public awareness, and rehabilitation of survivors.

Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 39: Yadah Da King Radio

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 39: Yadah Da King Radio

As our world enters into the next great revival, the Holy Spirit is making the Gospel known in some of the most unreached places with the most unlikely of people while using the most unheard of methods. This heavenly inspired phenomenon is not just happening in far off countries but is also a occurring in countries that have historical Christian roots. It is an awesome time to be alive and bear witness to the saving power of Christ’s Gospel message as it is preached through the different spheres of influence available to this generation. Our own cloud of witnesses is watching in utter expectation as we run our own Christian races as spoken about in Hebrews 12:1.

There is something that stirs my renewed spirit with electrifying passion when I can witness and even partake of an experience in which Christ’s Gospel message is understood by an individual for the first time through a medium they understand. Having been a heavy metal atheist myself in the past, when the Holy Spirit unlocks the heart of the unbeliever to respond to Christ’s message of salvation I often reflect on Luke 15:1-10 that states how the angels of heaven rejoice over the one soul saved.

Last year, famed Christian rapper Lecrae won a grammy for his album Gravity reinforcing how the Holy Spirit is using our spheres of influence to make His name known amongst a world trying with all its might to resist the Kingdom of Heaven. Even in Christian music, the media often does not speak about the men and women serving in the ministry trenches of everyday life making is possible for the artists to share their music. These hidden disciples make it possible for these artists to share their musical talents to a pluralistic society drunk with emptiness from the latest philosophical thoughts projected through secular music.

Like a beacon of light, Yadah Da King Radio is the Pacific Northwest’s number one station to tune into for music about indie Christian rappers, R&B, and soul. “Bangin’ Music, Upliftin’ Talk & Abundant Life” is the mantle by which the hosts of Yadah Da King Radio walk out their Christian calling (Yadah Da King Radio a, 2015, n.p.). Founded in 2009 by Marquis Franklin also known as Don Christi’on, their podcasts quickly ignited fires throughout the region on local Christian talent in the urban music culture. C.L. Hunter from Colorado, also known as DeeJay Kingom 7, joined the team three years ago and co-hosts the podcasts with Franklin. Past radio show hosts that have assisted in growing this urban music empire include Miss Cole, FROG, and many others. Indie Christian musicians are encouraged to submit their music for review, selection, and possible interviews.

“Geared towards lifting the name of Jesus Christ in our urban culture! Yadah is the Hebrew word for powerful praise with extended hands, standing on your feet!” (Yadah Da Kind Radio a, 2015, n.p.).
When asked about why such a radio station was started, Franklin and his team state “we felt the need of a radio show that gives advice on how to live affective Christian life” (Yadah Da Kind Radio a, 2015, n.p.). So while their podcasts blast the latest booming hits for the locals, Franklin and his team often interview many of the musicians featured on their show. Past guests include K Drama, D maud, Barnabas & Amy T, Chay Sutton, Jazz Digga, Willie Will, Eshon Burgandy, T Haddy, Humble Tip, FROG&TOAD, and Spencer Kane.

How can you support Yadah Da King Radio? Prayer is one of the most important requests by the hosts. Connect with Yadah Da King Radio on social media and follow their updates as they spread information about local Christian musician events. You can also follow Chase’s devotional on their website, partner with them on a church or ministry event, or message them to chat about ideas, topics, and features you would like them to explore for future shows. If you are an up and coming Christian rapper, reach out to the Franklin and Hunter by sending them your audio files or albums.

Yadah Da King Radio pages
Official Website: http://www.yadahdaking.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YadahDaKing
Twitter: http://twitter.com/YadahDaKing
Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yadah-da-king-radio/id315430434?mt=2
Live Stream: http://www.livestream.com/yadahdaking
Blog: http://yadahdaking.blogspot.com/?m=1
Phone: 425-243-4285

References
Yadah Da King Commercial.wmv, YouTube, 00:31, posted by YadahDaking, January 26, 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmT9mox9xHw (accessed February 18, 2015)
Yadah Da King Radio. “About.” http://www.yadahdahking.com/site/about (accessed February 18, 2015)
Yadah Da King Radio. “Contact.” http://www.yadahdahking.com/site/contact (accessed February 18, 2015)
Yadah Da King Radio. Logo Picture. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/yadahdaking/photos/pb.103217839053.-2207520000.1424324657./10151574227294054/?type=3&theater (accessed February 18, 2015)

Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 38: A Review of The Paralytics

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 38: A Review of The Paralytics

A titanic shift has taken place within this generation when it comes to outreach and evangelism. Christians are saturating the artist market, especially when it comes to mainstream music. I cannot recall a time when their arose such an intentionality amongst individuals to use their talents in sharing the Gospel message. In this eleventh hour of humanity’s history, Christ is activating the talents of the most unlikely of sources to influence the culture in the Pacific Northwest.

Out of Elmer and Olympia, Washington, The Paralytics are sweeping the Puget Sound with illuminated songs inspired from heaven to reach this generations teenagers. How would I describe their music? A fusion of Switchfoot, Skillet, and The Afters marinated with solos of eighties electrified guitar sounds and heavy metal drum beats. But what makes this band stand out the most is their intentionality to perform in secular venues with the sole purpose of sharing the Gospel message.

The Paralytics describe themselves as a “band [that] performs at venues with other bands of different genres, and believes that “Christian” is not a sound, but a lifestyle. They write songs which consist of their every day life battles, and hope to give people strength in the midst of theirs” (The Paralytics d, 2015, n.p.). What music like this serves as is the most important element of acting as a bridge between Christianity and the secular community. So much music about self-worship, depression, immorality, and empty lifestyles are prevalent in the music industry that The Paralytics serve as a refreshing sound with their uniquely talented music.

I was first exposed to the music of The Paralytics while helping a friend move his mother to another city. Cleaning and item organizing are a skill my wife and I posses so we had volunteered our time to assist. Anyway, I have digressed from my original post so back to what I was originally going to state. Spirit 105.3, the local Christian radio station for the Puget Sound, was conducting their annual local music project that consists of sharing music from around Washington state of local Christian musicians. The Paralytics happened to be one of the nominations for winning the contest and their songs broadcasted pretty regularly throughout our car trips of transporting items.

The Paralytics are comprised of five high school friends: Christian Redmond (lead vocals), Nick Burgess (guitars/keys/vocals), Riley Erickson (guitar/backup vocals), Michael Dean (drums/backup vocals), and Colby Whipple (bass). “Some of our hobbies include writing music together, Rock Band, Halo, and making fun of Nick” (The Paralytics c, 2015, n.p.). There social media pages are filled with witty comments, their likes and dislikes, and a general positive vibe that comprises a bridge between Christians and the secular community.

Even though The Paralytics do not have a mainstream CD for sale (yet anyway…), their music has circulated virally within the community through social media through a couple songs associated with an EP entitled Broken Strings and Mended Wings. You can listen to the EP below as well as watch a lyric video.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=15887803/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

Most of the songs speak about the emotions in teenagers’ lives but hint at how Christ can break through and carry them through tough circumstances. My personal favorite songs are “Just Keep Fading” and “All I Need.” Both songs are packed with pounding drum beats and awesome guitar solos near the end.

Please lift these guys up in prayer as they continue to pursue their musical goals. You can also book them at your next church or youth event as they draw quite the crowd. Also, check out some more of there music on other sites like BandCamp, Reverbnation, and Sound Cloud. I look forward to see which major record label will sign these guys soon. The Seattle are has plenty of them to go around and new talent is what many of them desperately need.

The Paralytics’ Pages
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theParalyticsBand
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theparalytics or https://twitter.com/paralyticsf
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe38B5Ai8HHbNDnUWKIzJtw
Bandcamp: http://theparalytics.bandcamp.com
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/theparalytics
SoundCloud: http://theparalytics.bandcamp.com/

References
The Paralytics – “All I Need” Lyric Video, YouTube, 5:14, posted by Aaron Busch, February 20, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQUfMeTqVmg (accessed February 2, 2015)
The Paralytics. Band Portrait. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/theParalyticsBand/photos/a.191225067600306.48818.191224184267061/824848304237976/?type=1&theater (accessed January 21, 2015)
The Paralytics. “Bio.” http://www.facebook.com/theParalyticsBand/info?tab=page_info (accessed January 21, 2015)
The Paralytics. “Broken Strings and Mended Wings EP.” http://theparalytics.bandcamp.com (accessed January 21, 2015)