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)
I found this book to be wonderfully well written. The author has a talent at drawing you in to the story with such clear descriptions of the surroundings that you feel that you are there. The way she has written the characters make them feel real to you as you read.
I loved Gracie from the moment she thought that she was just a pair of stiletto heels and a tube top from a bad b movie! Then she checked to see if her shoes were tied good in case she had to run from werewolves or zombies! Yep, that would have kept me reading if I hadn't already wanted to know what was going to happen. This was in the beginning of the book, and it just kept getting better from there.
I love that this character has her problems that I don't actually come across in most of the books I read. I am all too familiar with OCD. I live with a house full of people that suffer from it to some degree. I recognized and connected with her immediately. While I never have the need to check under my bed multiple times or to countdown to de-stress, I have had to live with a person that goes into high gear obsessive cleaning sprees that can last for hours if not days. I have had the child that had to compulsively rearrange his furniture as soon as he was old enough to move it himself. So I started off feeling an emotional attachment to Gracie.
Plus her worries about her weight and her lack of social standing are so real. I suffered through high school as well feeling like the fat outcast with no friends but the one pity friend. Of course I am still friends with her today, so obviously she wasn't a pity friend, but when you are in high school you see things differently.
OK I will stop talking about myself and get back to the book. Everything that I have been talking about that attracted me to this character and this book are in the very first chapter. Imagine how eagerly I read the rest of the book and how much I enjoyed it more when Angels and Demons and hunky guys cropped up!
This book is a must read for just about anybody. It might be a little slow at first, but it picks up. The characters are so well developed, you can feel emotionally connected to them. The writing is wonderfully descriptive and engaging. I think this is a great book and I look forward to reading more from this author. OH! And the ending! I wish I could tell you about it. It was really well done. Just read it and you'll find out.
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.
Blog Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/31/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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