It is a great honor and privilege of mine to be hosting a blog tour for Saving Grace written by Staci Wilder. Staci is a fantastic Christian authoress and a great inspiration to me. She has been a special prayer partner of mine for quite a while. She is also an amazing friend who never fails to encourage me when I need it the most! I am sure you will enjoy her writing and be swept away by the beauty of Saving Grace!
In the next few paragraphs Staci shares with us the story behind the novel. If you are interested in learning more about Staci and her books you may visit Staci's website. You will also be blessed by visiting her blog Glimpses.
SAVING GRACE: The Story Behind the Novel
On the first Monday morning of January 2003, I sat down with a blank page in Word opened before me on my computer screen. Previous projects were complete and it seemed very apropos that I would be beginning a brand new story in a brand new year.
It would be Grace's story, and I'd known that much for some time. While I didn't have the roadmap yet of how Grace and I would navigate through her story, I did know the story would be one about grief, forgiveness, and the road to grace.
Over the next seven months I wrote a story that I believe will always hold a special place in my heart. It was during this book that God took me to the next level of my discovery of grace. Often I would wake up, my stomach tense and nervous, because I literally had no idea what would or should happen next in the story and no clue on how to get there.
Not knowing what else to do, I'd go to my knees seeking - no, make that begging - guidance and direction just to get through the next chapter. It was during those weeks and months that I learned to bleed onto the pages of my story. I'd go from the computer to my knees, and back again. Over and over and over...
As I worked through Grace's story, God began to open the eyes of my heart to truths I'd never seen before. I wrote this story with blind faith, and no one could be as surprised at the ending as I was! Let's just say that, when it was all said and done, I'd learned yet another lesson on grace.
One afternoon I had been working on a particularly difficult chapter about midway through the book. It was a pivotal place in the story and I knew it was essential that I get it right. But it was tough going. The subject matter was heavy, the emotion was high, and I felt very inept to convey the message I knew needed to shine through.
Somewhere along the way I moved from my desk. I sat in my office chair, with the laptop propped on my knees and my feet propped on my bed. I don't remember when or how or even why. In my mind I was at The Winds in Ocean Isle with Grace. She sat across a picnic table from Kyle, trying to summon the courage to tell him the one thing she'd tried her best to keep from him, and from their marriage. It could very well be the end of her life as she knew it. Everything depended on his reaction to it.
As I prayed my way through each and every painful sentence of this scene, God took Kyle (yes, I know he's merely a character, but God really did use him!) and showed me the next level of grace.
You see, Kyle had an established relationship with God. He'd tried Him countless times before and had found Him to be true. Through his own painful loss, he'd come to know God in deep and profound ways. Kyle had experienced the same thing I did years ago. He'd had his own personal
But Grace had not. Though she'd begun her faith walk a few years back, the baggage, hurt, and betrayal from her past were stumbling blocks in the road to forgiveness and healing where she needed to be. She loved God. She served Him. She just had no way of getting to that place of restoration under her own power.
Kyle, in spite of his own shock and pain at her words, allowed God to use him as a bridge. He stood in the gap, one hand holding tightly to Grace, the other holding even tighter to the Almighty. Grace couldn't get there on her own, but she could cling to someone who was already there and they could become her lifeline.
This is true grace.
I emerged from the scene above in tears and, again, changed. It may sound silly because it's just a story and, maybe, that's how God can best teach me right now. I'm not sure. What I do know is that another set of blinders were removed from my spiritual eyes that afternoon.
I was made aware of the rows and rows of folks that line our church pews. Holy, righteous people who've overcome pasts filled with unspeakable hurts and wrongs. Yes, they live for God now and, yes, there is healing in God. But sometimes it takes years to reach a place of true restoration. True grace.
And that's when we can be a bridge. We can stand in the gap, holding tightly to our fellow brother or sister with one hand, and holding even more tightly to Jesus with our other.
Of course, there is more to my life than just fiction. I’m also a wife, mom, and student, and am passionate about each of these roles. I write about these different facets of my life in Glimpses, my blog. Please join me there. I’d love to meet you!
What’s Next From Staci:
Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Saving Grace. It is called Finding Faith, and is the second in the Sycamore Manor Series.
Here is a brief blurb:
She awakens to face one of the greatest fears known to woman. He has waited a lifetime for love, guarding close a secret he intends to share with no one, except the woman he intends to marry. Frightened and alone, she turns to him for answers and, while he wants to protect her, he is helpless to do so. Can she find strength in his care? Can he find the care he craves in her frailty?
While showering one morning, thirty-two year old Faith Chandler discovers a lump in her left breast. Immediately, her mind and emotions begin a tug-of-war, one invoking rationalization, the other—sheer panic. An enthusiastic junior high school English teacher, Faith’s future—the one she thought she had forever to think about—seems suddenly overcast.
Thirty-six year old Marshall Morgan finds fulfillment in his work. The CEO and director of the teen pregnancy home founded by his late grandmother, he takes pride in what he’s come to view as a ministry of sorts. Still, there’s a vacancy in his heart, a place for a special woman that the Lord has yet to reveal to him. And then…there is his secret, the one he intends to share with no one, except the woman who will become his wife. When petite, dark-haired Faith Chandler walks through his door, he wonders if—at last—he is meeting the woman who will make his life complete.