Welcome to my little bit of cyber-space. It is my prayer that all who enter here may be richly blessed by the God of all grace. All praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Thin Places, a memoir by Mary DeMuth

Mary DeMuth has written an extraordinary look at her childhood and its influences on her life. Although my story is not the same as hers, I am an ACA (adult child of an alcoholic) who grew up in a dysfuctional home, so I strongly identified with her story.

But, Mary doesn't leave us wallowing in self-pity or dislike. The way she so beautifully and accurately describes each experience causes you to feel like you are right there with her. And her telling of her acceptance of Christ during her high school years and the hope He gave her shows how He made all the difference in her life.

Let me share part of Mary's story with you in her own words:

Thin Places – Mary’s Story
My True Story
By Mary DeMuth

When I started my writing journey toward publication, I thought I’d always be a novelist. My agent at the time suggested I write parenting books, something I balked at for quite some time. I was a storyteller after all. And because of my upbringing, I suffered from deep wells of insecurity in my parenting. And yet, I sold three parenting books. I wrote them from a position of weakness, and I prayed other parents with struggles similar to mine would be encouraged that they’re not alone. One facet strung its way through all my books: story.

I can’t help but tell stories, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. As I brainstormed with my next agent and my editor about who I wanted to be when I grew up, we all came back to story. I am a storyteller. We decided it would be best for me to place my primary focus on novel writing, but keep the storytelling alive in nonfiction.

Two years ago, I sensed the need, urge, and desire to write a memoir. I’d come a long way in my healing journey, enough that I could write it without bitterness, with a view toward God’s intervention. Thankfully, my vision for a memoir fit well within the story idea, and Zondervan took a risk and bought the book.

I wrote the book much like I’d write a novel, with an inciting incident, some flashbacks, a rising action and a late climax. Of course, as memoirs go, I had more freedom to explore and meander through the story, but I kept the book mostly in scenes, written in first person present tense to create intimacy and immediacy with the reader.

It was difficult to create me as the main character, to place the potential reader into my own head, to play it out in a way that would woo the reader to turn the page. In doing that, I learned even more about myself, how I viewed the world (sometimes in a warped way!), and what possible impact my journey might have on fellow strugglers.

Though I knew well the landscape, setting, and characters of my life, it proved difficult to give myself permission to truly delve in deeper, to re-feel my pain, angst, joy, frustration, anticipation, and worry. Once I let myself go there, the memoir progressed. And my editor helped me shape the book more chronologically, something for which I’m deeply thankful.

The end result is story: mine. It’s the story of a little girl who faced sexual abuse, neglect, drug-using parents, fear, death of a parent, and a host of other malevolence. And yet it’s a hope-filled story, where the bright light of God’s climactic redemption outshines the dark places. It’s a story of God’s nearness when I thought I’d nearly lose my mind and will to live. How grateful I am for the beautiful love of Jesus, how dearly He chose frail me to shame the wise. It’s really His story after all.

Rose here again: I hope you will order this book soon. Read it and then pass it on to someone you know who can benefit from her story. You can link to Thin Places on Amazon, as well as Mary’s website. www.marydemuth.com I did receive this book from the publisher for review purposes.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I told you I'd be back, so...here I am...

to tell you about a great book I just finished last week that you can win a copy of this month by leaving a comment. The book is The Pastor's Wife by Jennifer AlLee, published by Abingdon Press.

As a child, Jennifer AlLee lived above a mortuary and had to be very quiet when services were going on downstairs, which solidified her life-long love of books and writing. Jennifer now resides in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas with her husband and teenage son. And I also happen to know from personal experience that she is a fun person to be around and a great actress!

This is Jen's second published book, and she did a wonderful job of immediately drawing me into the situation of a wife returning to her pastor husband after a six year separation. I felt empathy for both the pastor and the wife as they struggle to adjust. And the way the reunion came about is a unique idea, but I won't share too many details so you will want to read this book for yourself.

The wife, Maura, also has to learn to adjust to the members of the congregation where her husband still preaches. And she needs to find a way to share her long-kept secret with her husband.

The husband, Nick, is determined not to make the same mistakes he made before. Is it true that love is more wonderful the second time around? You'll have to read this book to find out. Leave a comment for my ARC copy which the publisher provided for this drawing. Or, if you can't wait, you can read the first three chapters of The Pastor's Wife here: http://issuu.com/abingdonpress/docs/pastors_wife

Contact Jennifer in cyberspace:
website - http://www.jenniferallee.com/
personal blog - http://jenniferallee.blogspot.com/
group blog - http://inkwellinspirations.blogspot.com/
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.allee
Twitter - http://twitter.com/jallee

You can purchase The Pastor's Wife online at:

Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Pastors-Wife-Jennifer-Allee/dp/1426702256/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262215416&sr=8-2

Christianbook.com - http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntk=keywords&Ntt=Jennifer+AlLee&action=Search&N=0&Ne=0&event=ESRCN&nav_search=1&cms=1&Go.x=2&Go.y=13

Cokesbury.com - http://www.cokesbury.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=815073

Monday, February 01, 2010

And the winner is...Sharon Ball!

Congrats to Sharon for winning the monthly drawing for Michal by Jill Eileen Smith. It will go out to her in tomorrow's mail.

I do plan to have a drawing on March 1st for anyone with a US mailing addy who leaves a comment this month, but you will have to check back on Wednesday, February 3rd to find out what the prize is. The reason for this is two-fold--I only blogged once last month, so I want to post more blogs this month, plus I am part of a blog tour for Jennifer AlLee on that date, so come back on Wed. to find out more about her latest book. See you then!