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.
Thank you, Mrs. Temple
“[A]ngel who offers her a miraculous opportunity: the chance to do it all again” – if it would be real, what you would choose and why?
If I had the opportunity to do it all again (assuming what I chose would not interfere with marrying my husband and having my son), I would do many things differently. I could name a thousand small things - starting with writing. I truly believe I was meant to be a writer and were I given the opportunity to do things over, I would get as much education and experience as possible and write every single day. But, instead of listing all the things I would do differently, I will say one thing: I would spend my life looking outward - toward those around me - searching for what I could do to make another person's life better. I would not concentrate on my own needs and desires, I believe that one general principal would change everything.
Illuminating Gracie was born as a personal journey, a way to ask for forgiveness. Where the personal experiences stop and the fiction begins?
My personal experience was the catalyst to get Illuminating Gracie started. The idea of going back in time an changing my behavior toward my parents became the old woman going back in time to help Gracie. After then, Gracie took on a life of her own and I never knew what she was going to do until I wrote it.
It’s clear that Illuminating Gracie puts on the table serious issues and brings powerful messages. As a writer, how important do you think it is the “delivery package” of these messages?
I think the delivery system - the supernatural romance - is very important. I originally planned to write a self-help book for young women, but I quickly nixed the idea realizing that young people just would not read it. As a seventeen year old young woman with issues, I would have NEVER considered reading a self-help book. I would however, loved to have read a novel with angels and demons fighting over a girl's soul. That I would have read!
What do you feel when you see that readers understand you and that they find help (in any form) in your books?
It's the absolute best feeling in the world! I've received many, many letters from young women (and old) telling me how closely they identify with Gracie - and how much they love her. Even better, I've had women talk to me about their problems - their depression - their self-esteem issues - and together we've formulated plans to change things for them. I've been invited to speak at women's clubs and teen Bible studies and pass the message of Gracie along: Let your light shine. Its not preachy or judgmental. It simply means to find the light inside yourself - learn to love yourself and pass that love and light on to others.
What it is, in your opinion, the element that, regardless its genre, any book must have to deserve to be read?
Wow! I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer that one, lol. I guess the only thing a book needs to be - in my mind - is sincere. I mean it would be great if all books passed on a positive message, but that isn't realistic (and might not even be healthy). I think as long as the author of a book has a sincere desire to enlighten, educate or entertain then they have a right to put their words to print.
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.
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. a Rafflecopter giveaway