Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book feature with Mary Marie Allen, women's fiction author

Let's welcome Mary Marie Allen to the blog today! 

She's an author who writes under the women's fiction category of books.

Mary is here to share an excerpt and review of her book, God's Love Most Gentle.

First, here are a few words from Mary:

God wrote, and is writing, the greatest love story day by day with each of us. It’s a love I (Mary Marie Allen) hope others be
come acquainted with through my writing. 

My primary goal is to encourage women believers who have experienced love and joy in life along with sadness, loss, failure, and guilt. Hurting women often need help remembering God forgives and His love is most gentle. Then they can find love and joy in life once again. 

This is what happens when a pregnant woman with a harmful secret returns from the missionary field.

Excerpt from God's Love Most Gentle:

Kim sat cross-legged on the bedroom floor with a basin of tepid water nestled in her lap. She dipped a wash cloth and without wringing it plastered it to her neck. Water drenched her blue cotton dress and pooled about her waist and hips. She prayed for rain. Secretly, of course, for Kurt counted each dry dawn as a gift from God and devoted most of each day to construction of the new church.

Nsia entered the room with the laundry basket on her hip.

Kim plunged the cloth again and raised it over her head. She lifted her face. Clumps of wet hair clung to her cheeks and neck. “They said September was the start of the cool rainy season, but this humidity is more oppressive than any Midwest-summer day I remember. I hate the heat.”

Beneath a red headscarf, round dark eyes studied Kim. “I do not think it is the weather that causes your problem, Mrs. Kim. I will ask Mrs. Thema about a drink to help with baby sickness.”

“Are you saying I’m pregnant? I’m not pregnant.” Kim gave a dismissive wave of her hand letting droplets from the soggy washcloth fling about the room. Nsia knelt and set about sponging Kim with the water. Kim sighed. “That feels so good. You’re a blessing, Nsia, and a good friend.”

Nsia said, “You cry. Yesterday you cry over a watermelon.”

“I was thinking of my father. We won a prize for our watermelons one year. He died five years ago. I miss him terribly.”

“You get sick every morning. Eat or not, you get sick.”

Kim bolted upright. Her mouth gaped.

Nsia laughed and covered her smile with her fingers, but her luminous eyes were big with mirth. “You should see your face. You will give Pastor Kurt a fine, fat baby.”

“But, I don’t know what to do. There weren’t any babies around when I was growing up.”

Nsia patted her hand. “Do not worry. I care for you and the baby. I am the oldest of six.”

She smiled at Nsia. “You are like a little mother.”

“Thank you.”

“I miss my mother.” Tears burned in Kim’s eyes. She pushed homesickness away and pressed her stomach through the thin cotton material of her dress. “I don’t feel pregnant.”

Nsia rolled her eyes. “That comes later.”

Kim stood and hugged herself. She giggled. “I’m going to be a mommy. Kurt’ll be thrilled.” She twirled around then nausea overwhelmed her. She grabbed a bucket near the bed and groaned.

Nsia laughed. “Maybe you should rest a bit. Will you tell Pastor Kurt tonight?”

“No. I can’t wait that long.”

“Mrs. Macomb! Mrs. Macomb! ” Uzachi’s urgent voice blasted through the open window. His face appeared and he saw her. “Kim!”

Nsia scurried to fling open the front door. Men carried Kurt into the room and Kim ran to him. “Kurt! Take him to the bed. What happened?”

Uzachi’s face twisted. “Heat stroke. He never complained. None of us noticed anything until he collapsed and fell off the roof.”

A short man with a scarred face snatched up a braided palm frond beside the bed and fanned Kurt. “He fell on his head.”

Kim whimpered at Kurt’s still form. Nsia pressed the dripping cloth into her hand. “Wet him.” She moistened Kurt’s head and worked down his flushed frame.

His body was hot and dry. His breathing rasped in and expelled with a ragged sigh as his chest rose and fell unevenly. Her own lungs seemed frozen and she gulped for air. Kim re-moistened the cloth and gripped Kurt’s wrist. His pulse surged against her fingers. She swallowed back the bile that rose in her throat as the stench of hard-working bodies thickened the air in the small room.

More men, speaking in low, worried tones gathered outside the open window. Soon their voices rose in a clamor of supplication to God.

“Bring the pills from the desk drawer, Nsia,” Uzachi ordered. Nsia hurried off and trotted back, her hand extended as if to get help to Pastor Kurt more quickly. He placed two salt tablets under Kurt’s tongue. “Keep doing what you’re doing, Kim. I’ll call for help on the ham radio.”

A short time later he returned. His face was grim. “The helicopter can’t come. It’s on a call up in the mountains. That's the other direction entirely. We’ll have to do the best we can and let God do the rest.”

Fear stole words from her mind; a coherent sentence wouldn’t come together. Kim sank onto the edge of the bed and stared at Kurt’s still, pale form. 

Blurb for God's Love Most Gentle:

When a pregnant widow returns from the mission field family and friends rally to help, but she harbors a secret that may lead to her spiritual downfall. Kim Macomb returns from Zaire, Africa where the 1995 coup has claimed her missionary husband’s life. 

Grief-stricken and pregnant, Kim is only a shadow of herself. Hoping to promote her daughter’s healing, Carol sends Kim, to the calm, godly man who once rescued her. 

Jack’s Montana ranch seems to have the desired effect, but as his son, Mitch, and bad boy Hank vie for Kim’s affections, an agonizing secret drives her further from God. 

Swept up in Kim’s search for peace and forgiveness, those around her face their own frailties and the sometimes unexpected, yet overwhelming truth – God’s love is most gentle.

Book Review of God's Love Most Gentle:

“I thoroughly enjoyed God’s Love Most Gentle and highly recommend this read! It captivates from the start and takes the reader through the gamut of emotions. I laughed, I cried, I held my breath anxiously waiting for resolution, and my heart warmed at the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. Seeing the hand of God move in the lives of the characters as He holds them, protects them and carries them through the joys and trials of life. I felt as if the characters became friends of mine and I often wonder how they are doing now! Lol! I’d love to meet up with all of them in a sequel!!” – Myra's 5-star review on Amazon.com

Author Bio:
Women’s Fiction author Mary Marie Allen lives in northwest Indiana with her high school sweetheart husband, a feisty 97-year-old mother, and a rambunctious German Wirehair Pointer. 

She’s authored four books of poetry, including one children’s Bible story. 

After five surgeries in two years, she’s happy to continue the story of the characters first seen in “God’s Love Most Gentle”. 

She expects book two to release fall on 2018 as “God’s Love Most Faithful”.

Connect with Mary:
E-mail - marymarieallen2015@gmail.com
Website - https://www.marymarieallen.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PoetAndWriterMaryAllen/
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/marymakingmerry/

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