Illuminating Gracie by Lisa C. Temple
As an old woman's lifeless body lies on a cold stone floor, her soul stands before an angel who offers her a miraculous opportunity: the chance to do it all again. But that is easier said than done. In order to change the path her life has taken, she must put aside years of self-loathing and pain, so she can help the young girl she once was become the woman she should have been.
At 17 years old, Grace Bennett is a bitter young woman. Though blessed with a loving family, looks and brains to spare, she hides her light under a bushel, spending most of her time in the darkness of her mind with little more than sarcasm and self-pity to keep her company.
But things are about to change for Grace. While delivering food for her family's bed and breakfast, she turns onto a desolate dirt road and drives straight into her destiny.
It's on this isolated country lane that the damaged girl meets a strangely familiar old couple and two mysterious young men. Together the group fights the demons that surround Grace, and they teach her what it means to let her light shine.
"Illuminating Gracie" is, at once, a metaphorical tale of the fight between good and evil and a spiritual saga of one girl's journey from darkness into the light. If you liked "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games," you will love the story of Gracie.
Praise for Illuminating Gracie:
"A well-paced fantasy story of redemption and self-improvement." ~Kirkus Review (Sept. 1, 2013 Magazine)
"Just the right amount of love story to the action packed plot line left this book a perfectly balanced read." ~Maryann (Amazon “Top 1000” Reviewers)
"The story also contains little mysteries that keep you turning the pages, as gems of insight turn up along the way. It is a story of hope and redemption, and a beautiful request of each of us to let our light shine brightly." ~Kimberly Raadt Higgins (Amazon Review)
"On a personal level, I can relate to Grace in so many ways. As I read, a lot of memories and feelings from my teenage and young adult years have come flooding back, some a little painful, others fun and exciting, even hopeful. Yet it also has me contemplating where I am today as a middle-aged adult; am I who I thought I would be, who I want to be?" ~N.J. Collar (Amazon Review)
"The plot is masterfully drawn and keeps the reader guessing until the end. This book tells the story of the fight between good and evil in a young woman's life. It is brilliant in its use of humor and emotion to draw the reader into the characters." J. Pitts (Amazon and Goodreads)
Author Lisa C. Temple
On thirty-nine Senior scrolls, the Headmaster of author, Lisa C. Temple's, small, private school wrote "Good Luck and best wishes for a prosperous future!" On the fortieth and final scroll, which was Temple's, the Headmaster penned the words, "Lisa, I can't wait to see to what use you put your unusual talents!" Temple spent the next 30 years trying to assuage her former leader's curiosity - and her own.
She sold BMWs in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, and hillbillies (as a booking agent) in Nashville, Tennessee. In an effort to escape the enforced servitude of the Junior League, she even attended and was graduated from law school and passed the Alabama State Bar exam in 2002. Through it all, she battled problems and illnesses, many of her own making. But, it wasn't until her father - her hero - was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), that Temple found her true calling - the "talent" that she finds joy in putting to use.
"Illuminating Gracie," is loosely autobiographical and born from a desire to, if only, metaphorically right the wrongs of Temple's own past. It tells the story of a miserable old woman who is given the opportunity - by an angel - to go back in time and help the young girl she once was become the woman she should have been. "Illuminating Gracie," is the first book in a four-book series. The second book, "Instigating Gracie," is due for release in December 2013.
Temple laughs when saying she has a loving and complicated husband she deserves, and a wonderful son and two loving stepchildren that she does not. She also shares her life with her beloved pets: Pomeranian, Phebe; Bordernese, Flash; and Tabby cat, MInx.
Guest Post: The Writing Process
I'm not sure if what I have deserves to even be called a "process." Up until I began writing "Illuminating Gracie," I'd never even written in a diary before - much less attempted a novel. I believe, however, that writing is what I was meant to do with my life because the second I began, in earnest, to formulate the story, it was like I'd come home.
What I mean by that is that for the first time in my life I felt completely at ease with what I was doing. In my 20s I'd been a booking agent in Nashville - working with acts like Vince Gill, Lyle Lovvett and The Dirt Band. It was fun, but not my calling. In my 30s - after having a child and spending his first years as a stay home Mom - I returned to school and eventually graduated with a BA in History and English. After graduation, I went on to law school and three and a half years later, I passed my state bar and began practicing law. Law was, at times, exciting and certainly lucrative, but still I didn't get "that feeling" - the feeling that I was doing exactly what I was meant to do.
Then my father became ill (he was eventually diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease) and I took a year off to care for him. It was during this time that I felt a strong pull to start writing. I didn't really have a process. "Illuminating Gracie," started out on a yellow legal pad, where I would write in between feeding, bathing and caring for my father. I probably never wrote for more than 30 minutes at a time. Once I'd written around 30,000 words, I began entering what I had into my computer. To this day, I write things out longhand before entering the words into the computer. I think this is a good check for me because I catch most of my errors as I'm typing the story into the word processor.
I often thought what a luxury it would be to be able to work uninterrupted for hours at a time, but now that I can do that, I still find I work best in short spurts. I do have ideas pop into my head all the time, and my home, purse and car are littered with scratch paper containing everything from single words to entire paragraphs. I'm sure I'm not the most organized writer, but what I do works for me and when I'm doing my thing, I know - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that I'm fulfilling my purpose on this planet and I'm home.
Blog Tour Giveaway
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