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  • Angel of Mercy
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307433114
  • Our Price: $4.99
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Angel of Mercy

Written by Lurlene McDanielAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lurlene McDaniel

eBook

List Price: $4.99

eBook

On Sale: December 18, 2007
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-0-307-43311-4
Published by : Laurel Leaf RH Childrens Books
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Heather Barlow has always been idealistic, and now that she has finished high school, she's ready to make a difference in the world. After graduation, she joins a mission group on a hospital mercy ship sailing to Africa. However, Heather is unprepared to face the disease, famine, and misery she encounters.

Ian McCollum is also among the medical staff in Uganda. Ian has left his native Scotland to help those threatened by a world of seeming indifference. When Heather meets Ian her heart races and she feels happy to be alive. But as the weeks pass, Heather finds her idealism vanishing; the refugee camps and orphanages are overcrowded, and misery is everywhere. Only Ian can see beyond the horror and help Heather understand that the world can be changed if people try to help those in need one by one.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

“I can’t believe you’re giving up your entire summer and fall instead of going to college, Heather. I mean, it’s like forever! And just look where you’ll be living. How can you stand it? There’s no room to move, no privacy either!”

“I’ll be home in time for Christmas,” Heather Barlow reminded her sixteen-year-old sis- ter, Amber. “And I don’t care about the living conditions. As for college, I’ll start in January. You’ll hardly know I’m gone.”

At eighteen, Heather was going off on a Mercy Ship to work in Africa, to try to make a difference in a place where children starved to death or died from terrible illnesses. She had grown up wanting to do something worthwhile with her life, but now that she was actually on board the ship, now that it was almost time to say goodbye to her family, Heather was beginning to feel the clutch of self-doubt. And Amber’s reluctance to see her leave wasn’t helping.

Amber glanced around the cramped quarters. “It’s just so—so primitive.”

Ignoring Amber’s complaints, Heather opened her duffel bags and began putting her clothes into the narrow drawers of the dresser bolted to the wall. She would be sharing this old-fashioned small stateroom with a Swedish girl named Ingrid, whom she’d not yet met.

Across the narrow room, Amber seated herself on a bed attached by cables to the metal wall of the ship. “Ugh! This mattress is so thin, I can feel the springs.”

“It’s a hospital ship, sis, not a luxury liner anymore,” Heather reminded her.

Years before, Anastasis had served as a cruise ship. But in the mid-1980s, it had been converted into a floating hospital, with three operating rooms, a dental clinic, a laboratory, and an X-ray unit. The aging ship, painted white from bow to stern, was more than five hundred feet long and nine stories high. Its staterooms, once luxurious quarters for wealthy travelers, now housed crew and staff—175 volunteers who paid their own expenses and agreed to serve a tour of duty as the ship sailed from port to port, bringing life-saving medical services to countries ravaged by disease, famine, war, and poverty.

Long-term crew members—missionary and medical personnel and their families who had signed up for extended tours of duty—were housed in the more spacious upper-deck staterooms, while short-term volunteers such as Heather were assigned the smaller rooms. The ship’s once-elegant lounge and dining areas served as conference rooms and training centers. Children of the crew and staff attended school on board.

Once the ship dropped anchor in a port, engineers, carpenters, teachers, and evangelists took medical and dental services and supplies into remote areas and inland villages. They built schools, hospitals, and housing, all with donated goods. The Mercy Ship was a floating hospital. And a vision of hope.

“Well, I think it’s a dumb idea to even be going on this trip, and I don’t know why you want to go in the first place,” Amber said, voicing her displeasure once again. “I’ll bet there’s no decent guys to date, and nowhere to go even if there were.”

Heather sighed. It irritated her when Amber sounded so frivolous. Why couldn’t she understand how important this trip was? Heather had spent so much time thinking about the trip, a whole year planning it, and ten days in May at a special boot camp preparing for it. She asked, “Are you trying to make me feel guilty? Because I won’t. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and you know it.”

Amber scuffed her fashionable shoes on the floor. “I’m going to miss you,” she said quietly.

“I’ll miss you, too.” Heather saw tears shimmering in her sister’s green eyes. “Hey, what’s this? I thought you’d be glad to have the house to yourself. And no big sister to be in your way when school starts, either. You always said you couldn’t wait until me and my friends were out of high school so that you and your friends could have the halls all to yourself.” Heather sat beside Amber on the bunk and put her arm around Amber’s shoulders.

“What fun is there in being home by myself? Mom and Dad won’t have anything to do but go to work. And grouse at me, of course. You’re the one they think is perfect in this family, you know.”

“They grouse at you now,” Heather teased gently. “So what will be different?”

“You won’t be there to get them off my case.”


From the Paperback edition.
Lurlene McDaniel

About Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel - Angel of Mercy

Photo © Meghan Green and Jon Lancaster

“I write the kind of books I write because I want to help kids understand that nobody gets to pick what life dishes out to them. What you do get to choose is how you respond to what life gives you. No matter what happens, life is a gift. And always worth living.”—Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel is a recipient of the RITA Award and several of her works have received the IRA–CBC Children’s Choice Award.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel.

But there’s more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: “These are books that challenge you and make you think.”

Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. “I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know ‘why.’ By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds.” McDaniel’s books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. 

McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. “I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family,” says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic.

To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. “I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality,” she says. “I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology.”

Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions.

McDaniel’s books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were
selected by children as IRA–CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

The One Last Wish books focus on the interconnected stories of the residents and counselors of Jenny House—a group home for critically and terminally ill young girls. Through the kindness of a secret benefactor, each girl receives a cashier’s check for $100,000, to be used to make her last wish come true. Every One Last Wish novel is a compassionate story of triumph and inspiration that makes McDaniel’s dedicated fans come back for more.

McDaniel’s works include To Live Again, one of the Dawn Rochelle books; Angel of Mercy, the companion to Angel of Hope; and How Do I Love Thee, three stories about young couples who are inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet. In her novel, Telling Christina Goodbye, McDaniel shows that everything can change in the blink of an eye.


PRAISE

ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME
“An interesting blend of romance, mystery, and problem novel. The characters are captivating and sensitively drawn and the plot is fast paced.”—School Library Journal

DON’T DIE, MY LOVE
“Touching scenes abound in this crisis novel. . . . Fans of tear-jerker teen romances will enjoy this offering.”—Booklist

I’LL BE SEEING YOU
“A satisfying story for those who like to take their romance with tears and gutsy characters who know what it means to live beyond the pale of ‘normal.’ ”—School Library Journal

SAVING JESSICA
“Readers of McDaniel will enjoy; it’s good to read positive stories about teens.”—VOYA

SHE DIED TOO YOUNG
“McDaniel has a way of getting you to look at the complicated emotions experienced by YAs with major medical problems. . . . Another winner in her One Last Wish series.”—KLIATT

STARRY, STARRY NIGHT
“[The stories] are absorbing, the characters are well developed, and the author does not resolve the girls’ dilemmas with pat solutions. . . . This has solid YA appeal.”—School Library Journal

TOO YOUNG TO DIE and GOODBYE DOESN’T MEAN FOREVER
“These companion novels . . . cast the events of high school into a meaningful perspective and allow for convincing character development. McDaniel’s writing is light and well suited to this refreshing and involving story.”—Publishers Weekly

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