Sunday, June 23, 2019

Charity Sunday: Helping you to imagine... #NewRelease #CharitySunday #AmnestyInternational

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This is the weekend I would normally do a Charity Sunday post, where I post about some worthwhile cause, then invite you to comment. Then I donate to the charity according to the number of comments I receive.

Today, I’m doing something a bit different.

I don’t know if you saw my post “Imagine” a few days ago, on World Refugee Day. In that post (which I’d love you to go over and read), I invite you to imagine what it would be like to be one of the 70 million individuals in the world today who have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict, violence and disasters natural and man-made. Despite their suffering, refugees are in many places treated as unwanted, even inhuman. Can you imagine what it would be like, to be homeless, destitute and despised?

Today, I thought I’d help you imagine, by sharing my own attempts to make real the plight of one group of refugees. According to UNHCR, there are currently more than 95,000 refugees in Thailand, living in nine camps. Most are from minority groups along the border with Myanmar, who have been displaced by decades of ethnic conflict.

My new release Refuge brings one of these camps to life, seen through the eyes of a young private in the Thai military. Here’s the blurb:

I never wanted to be a soldier, especially a guard at the remote, dusty Mae La refugee camp, a thousand kilometers from my home. But these days there were no jobs in our village. My mother depended on the money I sent her each month. Still, she cried whenever I phoned her.

Until I met the lovely hill tribe girl Preean, though—until she asked for help I knew I shouldn’t give her—I never really understood what I was doing to my fellow human beings. How could she go on, one day after another in that desolate place, without any hope for change? Mae La was limbo—once you arrived here you were stuck. There was nowhere else you could go.

To love her was dangerous, a risk to my own life and freedom. But when she offered her body and her heart, how could I refuse? 

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Refuge is a multicultural erotic romance with a happy ending, but it portrays, as vividly as I know how, the miserable life of these refugees.

I want you to read this story. You can download it free from Smashwords by going here:

and then using this coupon:


So here’s the deal this Charity Sunday. Instead of making donations based on how many comments I get, I’ll donate two dollars to Amnesty International (one of the most important organizations working for refugee rights and welfare, around the world) for every download of the book (free or paid).

Furthermore, I plan to donate all proceeds from sales on either Smashwords or Amazon (which I hope will have the book up within the next 24 hours) to Amnesty.

I’ll donate two dollars for every review on Amazon as well.

The coupon and donation offer expires on July 4th. The altruistic allocation of proceeds will go on indefinitely.

Feel free to share the coupon, and the book, with your friends and family. The more people who imagine the life of a refugee, the more likely it is that the world will work to reduce their suffering and give them a home.

Finally, here’s a bit from the book, so you’ll have some idea what you’re getting:

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Excuse me, do you have a pencil?”

I jumped. I had been daydreaming about home, eating somtum and gai yang with Mum and my brother Daeng under the tamarind tree in the backyard. The light tap on my shoulder dragged me back to the smelly, dusty camp where I was supposed to be on guard.


A pencil? Or a pen?” The young woman gestured back towards a knot of kids gathered in the shade of the water tower. She held up a sheet of corrugated cardboard scavenged from some trash heap. “I’m teaching them their alphabet. I’ve got this but nothing to write with.”

She wore a faded teeshirt, baggy shorts and flip flops. Her hair hung down her back in a messy ponytail tied with an old shoelace. Still I could see that she was pretty, slightly built, with sharper features and paler skin then the girls back home. Her smile appeared genuine, though her eyes appraised me nervously. I guessed that it took some courage for her to approach me, a uniformed soldier with a loaded rifle—never mind that I was only a year or two older than she was, and wanting nothing more than to go back to my family in Yasathon.

I leaned my gun against my thigh. “I’ve got a pencil back at the barracks, but I can’t leave my post until my shift is over. Maybe you could postpone your lessons until after three? I’ll bring it to you then.”

Her face lit up. She grabbed and squeezed my hands. Hers were tiny, but strong. “Oh, thank you, sir! Thank you.”

I blushed at her enthusiasm. “Never mind. Now you’d better go.” I’d noticed Sergeant Chokchai headed my way. He didn’t approve of what he called “fraternization” between us and the camp’s inhabitants.

Everything secure, Private Nu?” He loomed over me. I swallowed hard. He came from Bangkok. He had made it clear in his view, I was just a stupid hick from the Northeast.

Yes, sir. Everything is normal, sir.”

What were you doing, talking to that filthy Burmese cunt?”

I winced at his foulness. “Nothing. She wanted to know the time, that’s all.”

Why should she care? She’s not going anywhere!” Chokchai gave a nasty chuckle “You should know better, though. Don’t talk to them. Don’t get involved in their affairs. Oh, they’ll act all polite and respectful, but they’re snakes. They’ll stab you as soon as your back’s turned. You remember what happened to Sakon, don’t you?”

Yes, sir.” Sakon had been another sergeant. They had found him behind the mess hall with his throat slit. Everyone assumed that he was murdered by one of the refugees, even though he’d been a brutal man who had many enemies.

Just remember, they’re animals. Ignorant, superstitious animals.” He looked over his shoulder in the direction that the girl had disappeared, shaking his head in obvious disgust, before returning his unwelcome attention to me.

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Thank you for your time, and your compassion.

Quick update: the book is now available on Amazon (but not free):


Sacchi Green said...

Got it. Sharing on FB. Can one sign up to be officially part of Charity Sunday?

Tina Donahue said...

A great cause. Shared. :)

H.B. said...

Thank you for the post and free gift! It's very cool of you to support this charity!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Sacchi, I tried once or twice to turn Charity Sunday into a blog hop type of event, but didn't get many takers. However, maybe I should make another attempt.

Tina & HB - thanks for your support!

apky said...

Great idea, Lisabet. I'm sure I've read /received your Charity Sunday blogs in my inbox in the past but never commented before. Thanks for the thoughtfulness and humanity. I'll go get my book and will write a review when I've read Refugee.

Larry Archer said...

Worthy cause Lisabet. I snatched up my copy of Refuge!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Akinyi - welcome and thank y ou!

Larry - you'll probably find the book a bit tame for your tastes! Thanks!

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