Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Ditch Flowers by Amanda Linsmeier
Welcome to the tour stop of for Ditch Flowers by Amanda Linsmeier, a women's fiction novel. The tour runs from November 2 - 6 and will consist of reviews, guest posts, interviews and excerpts. The full schedule can be seen here.
Trouble comes in threes, Grandma CeCe always said…
A baby. Just holding one sets Julia’s heart thumping. She’s wanted a child for so long. When she finally gets pregnant, she’s bursting to tell the world….until a checkup from the doctor confirms a miscarriage.
Julia’s world feels like it’s dissolving. This second tragedy following her father-in-law’s death, shakes her and her husband Greg. To support his mother, they uproot their lives and move to Greg’s childhood home. Under the bright Midwestern sky, Julia can feel a new world and new hope beginning.But trouble comes in threes, and soon a boy shows up at Julia’s new daycare whose blue eyes and freckled face look eerily like Greg’s. Despite her love for her husband, Julia finds her thoughts haunted by the boy’s face, and she can’t shake the feeling that her husband has a secret.
I sift through bubble wrap and tissue paper. I pull out a wooden box the color of chestnuts, two silver pocket watches, and a small painting of flowers and stones.
“Your dad’s?” I say.
Greg nods. “My mom asked if she could send these things. Nothing particularly sentimental, but I thought you’d like to do something with them for the house.”
“So thoughtful,” I say. “And I would love to have your dad’s things here.” There’s also a box within, marked Fragile in curvy handwriting. I open it and pull off more layers of bubble wrap. Inside is a bottle of cranberry wine, made by Greg’s father.
I hold the smooth, clear glass bottle filled with pale, rosy liquid. I touch the edge of the clean, modern label which Dale had designed a few years ago. The logo is a circle of twisted grape vines and leaves surrounding the name of the wine beneath the words Twisted Circle.
Greg’s eyes are sad as he touches one of the watches. He returned home from the funeral with some photos, an old signed football from the Green Bay Packers, Dale’s wedding band, and a few other items. They sit atop his dresser now. He hasn’t wanted to put them anywhere else.
“Hey,” I say. “Should we cancel date night and stay in?”
“We don’t have to.”
“No, let’s. We can order pizza, watch bad TV.” I perform a suggestive little shimmy. “Have some sex.”
I finally get a smile out of him.
“Maybe try to make a baby.”
“That sounds like a good night to me.” He tugs me close again, kisses me deep.
“Right now?” I ask with a giggle.
He’s not laughing. He kisses me with a kind of built-up fervor. He reaches down to me, and I gasp. I pull him close as we recline on the couch and can’t help but feel a little thrill. I’ve been off birth control for a month, since right after our wedding. I remember how we discussed starting a family while curled up in bed by the light of the night. We spoke in eager, hushed tones as we planned our future and decided to take the leap into parenthood, in a way that felt both amazingly responsible and yet childishly exciting. The truth is I can’t wait. I wonder if tonight will be the night.
Amanda Linsmeier’s work has appeared on Brain, Child Magazine, WOW! Women on Writing, and Portage Magazine. She works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside with her husband and children, two dogs, and half-wild cat. Ditch Flowers is her first novel.
Visit Amanda at her