Follow my blog!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wishing on Dandelions is up on the FIRST Day Blog Tour!

It is April 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature is:

Mary E. DeMuth

and her book:

Wishing on Dandelions

(NavPress Publishing, 2006)


This month's feature is very special. The author is one of the FIRST Day Blog Alliance Members!!! Click here for her Blogspot! MARY E. DeMUTH has spent the last fifteen years as a writer. Winner of the 2003 Mount Herman Christian Writers Conference's Pacesetter's Award, she now splits her time between writing and planting a new church with her husband, Patrick, and two other families. Wishing on Dandelions is the second book in the Maranatha Series. The first was the critically praised book, Watching the Tree Limbs. She has also written two parenting books. Building the Christian Family You Never Had and a new one called Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture which will release this summer with Harvest House. Mary, Patrick, and their three children make their home in Texas.

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: (I only posted a partial of the chapter to give you the gist of the story)

I n t r o d u c t i o n

I still can’t tell my story up close, like it was me in it,breathing the tangled wisteria on the fence posts of Burl, Texas. There are times I still can’t bear to say it was me. The book of mylife continues to open, painful word by painful word, page after page. I get real close to typing the whole story with the word I in it, but I hit delete every time, replacing me with she.

Zady tells me I’m ready to write my story honest, but I’m not so sure. She says she’s there to help me remember my healing,even as she puts an arm around my shoulder when a tear slips through. “It hurts,” she says. “Real bad. Lord, I wish it didn’t rip at you so.”

She tells me I survived that story — that I should be proud — yet her presence brings back its horrid validity written on the backdrop of her tender love. Reminds me in a kind, wild way that this is my story even if I can’t seem to admit it on the page.


Summer 1983
Burl, Texas

Uncle Zane appeared disheveled when Maranatha pestered
him. His silvery hair, normally combed and parted in the exact
same place, was instead bunched and unkempt, his part like a
winding Burl road.

“Camilla and me, well, we want to go to the fair. Can you drive us? Please?” Maranatha practically danced, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

“No,” he shouted, an odd outburst for such a quiet man.

Gangly and with a sinewy will of her own, she pled, “C’mon,Uncle Zane. Everyone will be there. Besides, Camilla promised we’d shoot the fair — ride every single ride from the merry-goround to the Zipper. This year I promised her I’d do it without getting sick.”

“I said no.”

Three plain words. Maranatha almost turned away in a thirteen-year-old huff, but she lingered long enough to see him sit down in a parlor chair, then bend forward, pressing palms to temple.

“We’ll ride our bikes,” she told him. The room echoed her words. “I’ll be back later.” Her words stung even as she said
them, particularly because Uncle Zane, usually a man without
reaction, looked up at her with a strange sort of look in his blue
eyes. A look that pleaded, Please stay.

She left him there. And didn’t look back.


Camilla and Maranatha raced down the road toward the embrace of the fair, miles away. “You’re going to barf on me, I know it,” Camilla teased.

“I will not. My stomach’s better.”

“Oh, right. Now that you’re a teenager, you’re not nauseous? If I were you, I’d be cautious. I don’t trust your stomach. Neither should you.”

They raced, tire to tire, until Camilla saw a wrought-iron gate and, behind it, a burnt skeleton of a house. “I smell mystery,” she said. She stopped her bike. Maranatha nearly crashed into her.

In lieu of a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl, and despite Uncle Zane’s pained blue eyes, Maranatha and Camilla climbed over the gate. They searched the scorched scene, pretending to be arson investigators.

They concluded a cat had set fire to the house, taking feline revenge on an evil master. “All scary houses have names. This one’s Black, sure as night,” Camilla said.

As the day’s shadows lengthened, after they’d explored the woods behind the house whose once-grand pillars stood charred against the Texas sky, Camilla said, “I want to come back here another day.” She put her hands on her hips and tilted her head back. “Let’s go back to Black.” She wailed and screamed the words like AC/DC. Maranatha laughed so hard, she nearly wet her pants.


My thoughts on Wishing on Dandelions!

First, let me say I thought it was a fabulous book! I actually endorsed it. If you look inside the cover the very first endorsement at the top has my name right there in black and white! I read the galley and endorsed it as a social worker. The author has the characterization nailed perfectly. I also did a review of this book on Amazon and a ton of other places. I will post it again here to make it easy for you all to find because she had 24 reviews of her book on Amazon and most were fives, a few were four stars, and nothing ranked lower than that. I told you it is a fabulous novel. The throngs agreed with me.

My review:

Wishing on Dandelions is another amazing work of art by the author, Mary DeMuth. The prose is beautiful, the story is riveting, and I loved the entire novel. The characters are so real. Some parts were so funny they had me rolling and other parts had me on the edge of my seat. I loved Watching the Tree Limbs, but I think I love Wishing on Dandelions even more. I love how the author shows true Christianity in her stories through the love that is shown to Maranatha by the people who care about her.

I also loved the honest portrayal of merely religious people and their stifling ways. They are often the people who stunt the growth of new and struggling believers. Oh, and the tension between Maranatha and the two Charlies was fantastic, and the racism issue very realistic. Plus, the reluctance Maranatha exhibited in regards to helping put the "bad guy" in jail is very typical of abuse victims. They are SO afraid. Totally believable.

Georgeanne and the uncle are so classic--as is their relationship. I loved watching them grow emotionally by occasionally popping from behind their protective walls to show affection to Maranatha the only way they knew how. And I loved Camilla's quirky poem ministry to Maranatha. Great stuff! You have to read the story to get my meaning there. The long and short of this review is...I don't want the series to end. I want to see Maranatha get married and deal once again with the issues that will arise when she makes those sacred vows and bears children. I hope the publisher agrees! Highly recommended!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share this post

Bookmark and Share