Click HERE to purchase your copy!
About the Book
Name of book: Devil in the Dust
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 3, 2017
Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see. Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated. Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life. And then he comes. His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?
What a refreshing change Devil in the Dust turned out to be. I had ideas based on the title, but what was contained within blew those expectations out of the water. Our author tackled a devastating timeframe in history where poverty was reality for nearly everyone in this area. The author provided such a good description of the dust bowl time era that I felt as though I could feel the dirt in my face and my mouth along with the characters. All of our leading ladies deal with the realities of their lives with hopes to break free in some way. But relief doesn't seem to come. In walks a hot shot that seems to be everyone's ticket out of poverty- but at what price? Is any price too high to pay to free your family from poverty and devastation? What a complex character Jessie is! Barely 16, she grows up before our eyes. Emma, her mother becomes old before our eyes dealing with an ill husband and many hungry children. Lillian, our pastor's wife tries to make the best of what they have, but questions what comfort her husband can give to their destitute city. What Devil in the Dust tackled which many don't, is the reality that suffering is real, and sometimes suffering doesn't end for a long time, possibly until we meet Jesus in Heaven. So what is a pastor and Christian to do in such devastation? The joy of the Lord is to be our strength and that is where we find true hope in complete suffering. The person with the chronic painful disease, the one whose wayward child never does come to the Lord, the one who seems to be in a constant financial disaster due to no fault of their own. Even then, the Lord is enough and He gives us Christian friends who, facing their own deserts, come alongside us to work together and strengthen each other. In times like these, the question to God is not why?, but How? How Lord can we all work together as the body of Christ to find meaning in this time? To accomplish your will in this time? Thank you Mrs. Luecht for tackling the harsh realities we all face head on, and reminding us that the point is not to understand why, but to serve our Lord together in joy. Reminding us of the priceless value of Christian fellowship to find meaning in the desert. Reminding us to reach out to others in their deserts with the love of Christ, unafraid for them to share the reality of the grief they bear, and instead grieving with them. Don't miss this unique and eye opening read!
I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are my own.
About the Author
Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Guest Post from Cara LuechtWhy I wrote Devil in the Dust. One Sunday after church, we decided to go to lunch with another family. We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know this couple well, but the conversation was amazing, we laughed until we almost cried, and I’m pretty sure the restaurant manager was glad to see us go. On the way out, the topic grew more serious, and I mentioned something that worried me. It was maybe a sentence—I was not baring my soul—but the woman with whom we had spent the last couple of delightful hours stopped, blinked, and put up her wall-of-a-Christian-smile. In an instant, I knew I had been judged as negative. You see, for many Christians, the mantras of “the battle is already won,” “faith will get you through,” and the largely American “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” have drowned out the quieter mandate to care. I went home chased by the feeling that, somehow, I didn’t measure up. And for a time, I dredged that place of overthinking, attempting to float a reason out of that murky pond where insecurity hides. Of course, I came up with nothing, and decided to put my efforts into deciding what my next novel would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at this stage, every little life experience has potential for use. While I had been undecided on theme, I knew I wanted the setting for the novel to be in the dustbowl in the 1930s. I began researching, and I realized the scope and human impact of this disaster was much larger than I had remembered from history class. More importantly, it lasted an entire decade. For a decade, people dealt with hunger and drought and death from breathing in the ultra-fine soot. Children were lost. Families abandoned their farms. People survived on rations of canned government meat…and that’s when they were lucky. Many felt cursed. Life was hard. I imagine that smiles were rare, even in the church. I started thinking about what it would take for a community to survive devastation on this scale. I considered the kind of people who make up a town: merchants, teachers, police, farmers, and ministers. And while merchants and teachers, along with everyone else, would feel the change brought on by the slow death of a drought, for a minister it would be different. A minister’s purpose is to bring people the good news of the gospel. Technically, their job would stay exactly the same, except every phrase they spoke would shift in meaning because the context—the lives of those sitting in the pews—had changed so dramatically. Growing up as the child of a pastor, I have some knowledge about how a minister’s home works. And in all my research I was left with one question: How could a minister preach every Sunday to a congregation of people who had lost everything with no hope for improvement anytime soon? I moved my research to the Bible, and when I did, I came across the story of Lazarus. I have heard and read this story countless times, but in the light of trying to puzzle out what a pastor might do in a situation where it looks like all has been lost, I realized something about the story that I had never considered. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he cried with Lazarus’ sisters. He shared in their grief even though he knew it would end. He stayed there with them in that moment of sorrow. I came to the conclusion that during times of suffering, our responsibility to others should look nothing like that drought-of-a-Christian-smile that I met outside that restaurant. Rather, it should emulate Jesus’ example. When we make Christianity only about victory, and turn faith into a wish book, we strip it of its most powerful message: hope. Not eternal hope, but the hope of not being alone. More often than not, we lack the ability to change someone’s circumstances. What we can do is come up alongside someone and help carry their burden even if only for a few minutes. Christianity is not a way to avoid suffering, it’s about finding meaning through the suffering. I wrote Devil in the Dust as an exploration of what it means to be a Christian while standing in the midst of a desert. Told through the voices of three women who endure the quiet shame of poverty, Devil in the Dust is a story about what happens to faith when everything goes wrong.
Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 10
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 11
Connie’s History Classroom, October 11
The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 12
Genesis 5020, October 12
A Reader’s Brain, October 13
Blogging With Carol, October 14
Bukwurmzzz, October 15
A Baker’s Perspective, October 16
Books n Baubles, October 17
Inklings and notions, October 18
Mary Hake, October 19
Pause for Tales, October 20
Bigreadersite, October 20
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 21
Karen Sue Hadley, October 21
Daysong Reflections, October 22
Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23
To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Devil in the Dust!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c201