Similar theme threads through books by twin authors
Twins MacKenzie and Isabella Morganthal may have quite a bit in common, but they took different routes for their first self-published books. The 18-year-old homeschool graduates have loved writing most of their lives, with many other manuscripts at their Shade Gap home, and now are promoting books with serious messages.
MacKenzie penned a novel. “Not Abandoned” is about the contemporary issue of human trafficking.
“I have a passion to end it,” she said. “It is a terrible injustice to humanity.”
Isabella wrote the non-fiction “I Dare You: Finding Your Passion and Lighting Your World”. It covers her personal journey with God’s leading. She addresses topics such as bullying, suicide, abortion, and also human trafficking.
“It is how to shine your life for Jesus Christ. It’s a call to this generation not to waste your life, but to discover your passion on what to end.”
The sisters did extensive research for the background material in their books.
Because of the delicate nature of the sex trafficking business, MacKenzie chose to have the story unveil through the characters’ feelings, rather than through descriptions of their activities. With girls ages 12 to 14 most targeted for the industry, she wants parents to review the book first, but said it is appropriate for teenagers to read.
The plot involves a college student training for law enforcement thrust into the middle of a trafficking ring as she searches for three abducted young victims.
MacKenzie has been interested in the social problem since she heard an interview with a victim.
“She was someone just like me,” she recalled. “They never get to grow up, have a normal life, go to Prom and things like that. No human life should be for sale.”
Isabella read a book that triggered her interest in the mistreatment of youngsters.
“My heart has always been that slavery is wrong, but wait, it is still going on.”
She cited other types of enslavement around the world, including forced labor and child soldiers.
The two know they are young but do not see that as a hindrance to getting their messages out.
“I am part of this generation,” declared Isabella.
She cited 1 Timothy 4:12 and Jeremiah 1: 4-10, which encouraged youth to be strong.
“I am being an example,” she continued.
She has placed high in National Bible Bee events, which she considered a huge tool to bring her closer to God.
MacKenzie’s expressions through writing were recognized last year when she was runner-up in the Nora Roberts Writing Institute fiction contest at Hagerstown Community College. Her short story “The Key to Faith” was published in the school’s literary magazine.
The Morganthals also have a creative arts ministry, using sign language and choreography with song. They are in the praise band at Otterbein United Brethren Church, where MacKenzie plays guitar and Isabella plays drums.
MacKenzie would like to pursue music, and Isabella wants to become a missionary in Uganda, as a lawyer to fight human trafficking.
The authors are promoting their books through social media, their websites and at booksignings. They will be at Besore Memorial Library, 305 E. Baltimore St., Greencastle, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23.
The books are also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.