Fireweed

Today, I’m pleased to present an excerpt of Fireweed by Terry Montague. Enjoy!

 

When I was
about three, my mom said, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I think she was expecting me to say, “A mommy,
like you.”  Instead, I popped off with,
“I want to be a writer.” I can still remember her face.  She said, “Well, don’t you think you need to
learn to read first?” 
I didn’t
think so.
Terry Bohle
Montague is a BYU graduate and a free-lance writer, having written for
television, radio, newspaper, and magazines including The Ensign and Meridian
Magazine.  She has also been published as
the author of book length historical non-fiction and fiction.
Her
non-fiction work includes the book, Mine
Angels Round About
, the story of the LDS West German Mission evacuation of 1939
which occurred only days before the Nazi invasion of Poland. 
Her LDS
fiction, Fireweed, is loosely based
on her interviews with the evacuated West German missionaries and their
families.
Terry studied
with Dwight Swain and Jack Bickham, as well as David Farland. Her writing
awards include those from LDS Storymakers, Idaho Writers’ League, and Romance
Writers of America.

 Lisel Spann has dreamed only of wonderful things in her future.
Living with her father, sister, and brother in a cramped apartment in
Berlin, the small family shares what seems to be an unbreakable spirit
of love and security. However, with the rise of the Nazi party and
approaching dark clouds of war, any kind of future grows increasingly
uncertain. Knowing little of hate and destruction, Lisel is ill prepared
as the storms of battle erupt in full fury and loved ones are taken from her as her beautiful city is reduced to rubble.

With fear and despair rising within, it is through her quiet,
compassionate father that Lisel discovers faith and hope. Now, in a
desperate journey to find her sister, Lisel and her neighbor flee Berlin
and the advancing Russians for Frankfurt, a city under the protection
of the Allies. But their flight to safety is filled with pain, hunger,
and terror. However, with spiritual lessons and blessings from her
father, the support of departed loved ones, and her tried but undying
faith in a loving Heavenly Father, perhaps Lisel can emerge like the
fireweed—rising strong and beautiful from scorched earth —transforming
bitterness and despair into a charity that never faileth.



Pick up your copy today
www.amazon.com/Fireweed-Terry-Montague-ebook/dp/B013KWPB4O/

Excerpt
3

At the other corner, Frau Heidemann and Walter were collecting rubbish from
the street.  Lisel’s heart warmed toward the pair, up so early, working so
hard and with such haste. Walter turned toward her and raised his arm. Lisel
waved back.  Her heart still felt light enough to float all the way to the
apartment house. Nothing had changed at all.

Lisel was half down the block when she saw Papa come out the front door of
the apartment house.  He looked the same as he always did with his good
gray suit which was just a little baggy at the knees . . . his carefully
knotted tie . . . his frequently blocked hat.  Tears made of gladness
welled in Lisel’s eyes.

“Papa!” she called to him.  He always scolded Lisel for shouting in
public, but today she did not care if he scolded her. She felt like shouting
and singing and dancing in the street.  “Papa!” she cried again and
hurried toward him.

He opened his arms to her. “Lisel! We were so worried. I was on my way to
Wittenau to find you.”

“Oh Papa! I love you!” Lisel said and kissed his cheek.

Papa chuckled. “Yes, little one, you told me that yesterday.”

“But yesterday was so long ago and I was so frightened.”  Her voice
squeaked a little on the words.  “I was so frightened that something had
happened to you.

Papa patted her shoulder. “Nothing did happen to us and we should be
grateful, Lisel. The Lord has blessed us with great bounty.”

Lisel put her hand through the crook of Papa’s elbow and they turned to go
into the building.  Papa paused, frowning. “What are the Heidemann’s
 doing out here in the street?”

“The British dropped leaflets last night,” Lisel explained. “The Heidemann’s
were out here picking them up when I came.”

Papa bent and scooped up one of the pieces of paper.  He read, “The war
which Hitler has started will only go on as long as Hitler does.”

Papa’s frown deepened.  “It seems the British have an odd idea about
who has begun this war.” He looked at the Heidemann’s. “Perhaps we should
help.”

Lisel glanced up and down the littered street. She felt weary to the very
bone; but, at that moment, if her Papa has asked her to fly to the moon, she
would have found a way. “We can use my bag,” she said.

“Herr Spann! Herr Spann!” Frau Heidemann rushed toward them. An anxious
smile twitched at her lips. “What are you doing?” 

Papa straightened with a handful of leaflets. Surprise lifted his gray
brows. “We are helping to clear the street,” he replied.

Frau Heidemann stared at the paper in Papa’s hand and eyed Lisel’s bulging
bag. “We need no help,” she insisted. “No help at all.  You must be
exhausted. You should go lie down for a while. Walter and I will take care of
the paper.”

Something in Frau Heidemann’s manner puzzled Lisel. “You’re being very
helpful,” she said.  “But this is too much for you to do. Let me call the
Wrobels to come and help us.  The Schmidt family from down the street has
lots of children. If we ask them to help, this will be cleaned up in no time.”

Frau Heidemann’s pale eyes bulged.  “No! No! You cannot do that!” An
inner conflict showed itself in her face. At last, she grimaced with
resignation. “If you call them there will not be enough.”

“Enough?”  Papa questioned. “Enough what?”

“Enough paper,” Frau Heidemann hissed through her teeth and shook a fistful
of leaflets in his face. “Have you see the price of toilet paper lately? 
Why should I buy at such inflated prices when I can get this for free?”

Papa scowled with distaste at the leaflets in his hand. His lips twitched
beneath his moustache. The color of indignation stole up his neck and face.

Lisel had to suck in her lips and bite down to keep from laughing. After
seventeen years with Papa, she had learned there were times to laugh and times
to be silent. This was time for silence.

Papa made a growling sound deep down in his throat and, for an instant,
Lisel was sure he would throw down the paper in disgust. Instead, Papa stuffed
it into his pockets.  He reached down for another handful. “Well, will you
stand there with your mouth agape or will you help?”

“Papa, you do not actually mean you would . . .”

Papa jammed another handful of the leaflets into his jacket pocket. “Frau
Heidemann is right. The price of toilet paper is too high!”

 

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(Make sure to follow along to catch Excerpts 1 & 2)
 

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