Reaching for Grace
Coming August 2024
What if grace can't fix the past?
After a vagrant upbringing, free-spirited Wren Atwood has fought to beat the odds. She has a career as a massage therapist, a solid church community, and now her lifelong dream is coming true, with a little blue house to call her own. But the first person to congratulate her is the last person she wants to see: pompous businessman Daniel Hollis.
Adored by most of Ridley Bay, Hollis has found success as an entrepreneur. Yet no amount of money can buy love from his family or health for his sister.
When a hurricane rips through the Texas coast and forces Wren and Hollis together, the walls they have built are exposed, along with the family secrets they hide. As Wren turns to her toxic family for help, and Hollis fights to save his sister’s life, they discover their efforts alone will never be enough. If grace can’t repair the past, how can it rescue the future?
Early Praise for Reaching for Grace
"Reaching for Grace is so well written it feels like coming home... this is a story about understanding that to achieve grace, we must accept the help and strength of others to accomplish things we could never accomplish alone. Read it. You won't be disappointed."
- Barbara A. Luker, author of I Carry Your Heart
"The devil wore navy shorts, a white polo, and a thousand-watt smile."
"She relied more on the brokenness of the world than the goodness of God."
"Truth was truth, regardless of whether it came from the mouth of a child, a preacher, or a drug addict."
"Not only did God have more for her, he had enough."
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The Glass Castle: A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls
Being the Other One: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister Who Has Special Needs, by Kate Strohm
What inspired the story?
So many pieces come together to form a story. Here are a few factors that led to Reaching for Grace:
The first spark of inspiration came from reading a novel in which a character held vastly different views of wealth than I do. Having experienced financial difficulties at times in my life, I had complicated feelings about money, particularly in the church, for years. I wanted to write dynamic characters who also wrestled with this topic. You could call it a faith-based, modern take on Pride and Prejudice.
And like Wren and Hollis (and most people, I suspect), I have experienced loving and setting boundaries with difficult people.
The hurricane in this story is told from a first person perspective after being in Houston during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Was it easier or harder to write the second book?
This story took much longer to write, mostly because of distractions publishing the first and then having a newborn. It stewed in my brain for two years, though that meant once I finally got to writing, I had a strong grasp on the story.
My editorial side also threatened to slow me down at times, but then the publishing side was much easier with established connections.
Are there any triggers?
This story deals with several difficult topics that many believers face in their own families. It includes issues of poverty, drug addiction, family boundaries, and disabilities. There is a death in the story.