17 year old Gracie Bennett, the main character in "Illuminating Gracie," will be answering the questions today. The questions were answered in the way Gracie would have answered them immediately prior to the beginning of the book.
Hi Gracie. Thanks so much for this special opportunity to learn more about you. Where do you dream of traveling to and why? I don't have a particular destination in mind - probably because as a military brat, I've done my fair share of traveling. But, ever since I read Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, I've dreamed of taking a trip on that famous train. I've read a lot about it on the internet and it is a totally tricked out ride. I think it would be an awesome adventure to go from Paris to Istanbul aboard the OE.
Who is your favorite author? Wow, that is almost a "too many to list" question. But if I had to say one, it would have to be Ms. Harper Lee. She only wrote one book (that we know of) - To Kill a Mockingbird - but, what a book it is. Because my family moved around so much, I never got to have pets except for goldfish - and they died a lot; but, I can't count the number of fish I've named either Scout or Boo!
Tell us about your family. Not much to tell because they are all perfect - which is code for uninteresting. When my father retired, he bought a bed and breakfast with my brother and sis-in-law and then proceeded to take ANOTHER overseas job for a year and took my mother with him. That - unfortunately - left me in Podunkville, Alabama living at the b & b with my brother and his . . . ugh .. .wife. I'd say more but I just had breakfast.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I'm not a plan ahead kind of girl, so I didn't really think that far into the future. I think I thought more about what I DIDN'T want to be. I didn't want to do anything that involved physical labor, I definitely didn't want to be in the military. Oh, I guess I did dream of doing something - anything - that would make people look up to me and want to be my friend. (uh - that sounded pretty pitiful - can we leave that out?)
Do you play any sports? Nope - I'm not a fan of sweating!
What do you do to unwind and relax? Oh, this is an easy one. Every night - without fail - I take a very long, very hot bath (my sole exception to the sweating rule). It's almost like a sauna. I read, listen to music, and totally zone out. Without my bath things can get pretty ugly around my place. It does something for me - I don't know - its like my Xanax. It relaxes me and that's a good thing.
Morning person or night person? Absolutely, positively a night person. I love it when everyone has gone to bed and I'm the only one awake in the b&b. I can freak myself out a little sometime - thinking I see shadows or whatnot - but, its worth it.
If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me more as a chirpy bird or grumpy bear? I wouldn't impress you at all, because I wouldn't let you in. Drop in company: RUDE; Drop in company in the morning: IN DANGER
What one word best describes you? hmmmm, tough - I'm hard to boil down like that. But, if you insist . . . COMPLICATED.
Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why? Well, first, you are making the assumption that I have friends. Up until a few weeks ago you would have been wrong. I have made one friend now (headline worthy). Her name is March Ann Mayhem and I suppose, if you asked her, she would say I'm an extravert disguised as an introvert.
Do you have any special routines or rituals? Well - and this is where your readers are going to know I'm weird - I count things. Yep, count them. I'm not sure why, but I've been doing it for several years. I count tiles, steps, cereal, stars, carpet fibers, red shirts, whatever - I'm a counter. Sometimes I just do number sequences without exactly counting anything. It just calms me and makes me feel better in control. I suppose that's why I check in my closets and under my bed 10 times a night, too. Oh - and I lock my windows and doors - a bunch. Just a little something that makes me - me!
What makes you happy? That's a really hard question. I haven't felt happy in a long time; mostly I feel angry. But, I have this feeling - call it intuition - that things are about to change for me. I hope I'm right, because there is a darkness inside of me that I can feel growing and it makes me scared. i wish I could talk to someone about it, but Dad and Mom are overseas and, Lord knows, I'm not about to talk to Pete and Patty Perfect - that would be just too degrading. So, fingers crossed - let's hope I'm right and that change is on the way and that change is going to do me good!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. If you have any questions or if you would like to keep up with Gracie and her cast of characters, please "like" us on Illuminating Gracie's Facebook page and sign up for updates on www.illuminatinggracie.com.
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.
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