Have you read the Shape of Mercy? I loved that book. So much so that I’ve passed it along to my mom. The cool thing about it is that now we can discuss it. When I read it, I couldn’t put that book down! My mom is reading it as she can slot it in to her schedule, but it’s so masterfully written that she can read it and put it down and still remember what’s going on when she picks it back up again. In fact, we were discussing it last night and she mentioned a portion of the book that I instantly recalled. I can’t even remember what I ate a few days ago but I can remember what happened in The Shape of Mercy! Seriously!
I met Susan Meissner and was able to spend some time with her this past weekend at SheSpeaks. Now, this is not to say that we’re now best buddies or anything, but she allowed a natural, easy-going conversation to take place between the two of us. She’s not the least bit pretentious. She’s kind-hearted and a good listener. To know me is to know that I can engage in random conversation from time to time. She allowed it. She didn’t seem perturbed. I was talking about Delta Airlines and when I like to board the plane for goodness sakes! She allowed it.
So, I want you to allow yourself to experience The Shape of Mercy and the gifted writer, better known as Susan Meissner. She’s on Twitter – @susanmeissner. And her website is: www.susanmeissner.com. After you read the Shape of Mercy, there is a blog that keeps the story going if you’re so inclined.
If I could tell Susan anything, it would be, thank you! Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for penning such a masterful story.
I have told so many people about my favorite Christian fiction author Mary DeMuth this weekend that I thought I should probably list some links to some of my previous posts in the event that these gals stop by my blog looking for the reviews and thoughts I mentioned.
You may wonder why I keep talking about Mary DeMuth and encouraging you to read her books. It’s simple. She’s real. I love that about her. I’m not trying to be stalker-like but she’s a real, down-to-earth, no-need-to-fake-humiliy kind of woman. When she says that she loves Jesus and wants to make Him famous, I believe her. I don’t think she’s operating under any other motive and I don’t find her the least bit pretentious or off-putting. She’s the main reason I attended She Speaks this year. I wanted to hear what she had to say in the Story-telling sessions.
I’m just telling you about her because she is rare. She writes fiction and nonfiction. Rare. So, if you’ve not read any of her books, check out Amazon. There’s plenty to pick from. Since I prefer fiction over parenting, and free over all, I started with Daisy Chain. You’ll recall, she gave that book to me, free of charge. Free y’all. And it was brand new. She gave me a free one and a conference room stuffed full of women, a free book too. Selfless wouldn’t you say?
Here’s my review of it, along with some other good stuff.
So, Daisy Chain is the first book of the Defiance, Texas trilogy. After all these years, I’m still talking about Daisy Chain, A Slow Burn and Life in Defiance. That should tell you something. It’s a mystery that I didn’t figure out until it was time to figure it out. That’s stellar writing!
- Daisy Chain (this one is not a real review…go to Amazon and see what others are saying, here’s the link)
- A Slow Burn
- Life in Defiance
- The Muir House (the very latest fiction novel)
Just like that, a weekend of intensity ended. She Speaks was over. I took one step out in the high heat and oppressive humidity and knew with certainty that I’d just stepped into the next phase of writing. I am not stranger to the She Speaks conference. I’ve attended multiple times – one might say that I’m a graduate that keeps visiting the school. I told many newbies (first time attenders) that She Speaks is like the start of my writing fiscal year. I get pumped upon the jet fuel that can help power my writing through the year. How far I fly depends on how well I manage my resources.
So, here we go again. A new beginning. I know what to do. Now I have to do it. This is where the rubber meets the road. Am I ready? I guess we will find out.
I know that some of you want to know what happened at the conference. I’ll be posting the details in forthcoming blogs, so check back. I will also be mentioning some writers that I met for the first time – you will not want to miss that – trust me. So, hang tight. More is coming.
My godson’s mother has made it back from a year of deployment. I am so grateful and thankful to God that He has kept her, along with her battle-buddies throughout the entirety of a year. In dangers seen and unseen. In hostile territory. And when I finally got my opportunity to look at her – to behold her with my own eyes, all I could do was smile. She’s a real soldier but you’d never know it to look at her. You see, despite the hardship of a year long deployment and being away from her infant son, she doesn’t look any older, any harder or anything more or less than when she left. She looks the same and she behaves the same.
I was a little concerned about her transition back. You hear so many stories about how war changes the deployed. Yet, from what I see, she’s okay. I thank God for that too.
Thinking about her deployment and the year that she missed in her child’s life reminds me of Joel 2. I know that God will restore it back to her. I pray that He will continue to bless her and I pray that she will run mightily toward Him for the rest of her life – no distractions – no looking back.
Of course, I thank God too for the other men and women serving in harm’s way. I still know a handful of troops but now most of my friends are getting out of the military and moving on with their lives in other areas. But for those still serving, especially those with the repeated and long deployments, know that although I’m not a battle-buddy, I’m still praying – I guess you could say that I’m a prayer-buddy. And I pray that God will render them home as complete as they left, if not more.
She’s done it again. It is no secret to readers of this blog that I love the fiction work of author Mary DeMuth. I’ve recently read The Muir House, her latest fiction novel and I recommend it for your summer reading list. Seriously.
The notion of looking in your rearview to help chart your future, is a little not-like-me. Thus, at first, I really had a bit of a challenge identifying with the main character, Willa. But as I looked beyond my own thoughts and tried to synchronize with where Willa was in her path to discovery, I was ensnared in the story. Sometimes I rooted for Willa and other times, I verbally asked her what she was thinking. My dog can attest. Talking to a book. Yep. That was me.
But that’s the wonderful thing about how DeMuth crafts a story. Once you’re in, you’re in. And you want to see everything work out for the character. I was hanging on until the end to see if everything worked out the way that I thought it should. Of course, I’m not going to give any indication of that now. You’ll just have to read the book. I also noticed some parallels from the little that I know of Mary DeMuth through reading Thin Places. Willa has, at some level, some similar issues that Mary uncovers in her memoir. Maybe this latest novel is our seeing how free DeMuth, the author has become. At least in my little ole opinion.
I think this would be a good book to read with a group, really taking advantage of the discussion questions in the back of the novel. So, if you’ve got a bookclub, recommend it, or even if you read it alone, that’s good too. Just read it.
Mary, job well done!