Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Meet Lisa Lickel

SOOOO much has happened in the past week! Wow! First is my blog makeover--is it bright enough? LoL But even better than my happy colors is the Grand Opening of Adding Zest.

Today I'm also posting on Exemplify's blog about how an old barn is like a Christian...hehe, really, there IS a similarity!

And today here at Patterings I'd like to introduce you to author Lisa Lickel who has offered to giveaway not just her new release Healing Grace, but also her debut novel, The Gold Standard. So leave a comment (and your email addy to make it easier for me to track you down!!) to be entered into the book drawings. As always, the drawings will be open until Saturday evening and the winnerS will be posted on Sunday. :)

And now, here's Lisa...

Lisa Lickel is a graduate of the Christian Writer’s Guild apprentice course and belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers (Wisconsin contact), and the Moraine Writer’s Guild. She began writing full time in 2005 and is the author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles. She has written devotionals and radio theater pieces, as well as short stories and full length fiction. Her two novels to date are The Gold Standard, a cozy mystery from Barbour Books and Healing Grace, contemporary fiction, a story of love and sacrifice, from Zumaya Publishing. She is married to a high school science teacher and has two grown boys, a daughter-in-law and an almost daughter-in-law.

You can keep up with Lisa on her website and her blog, Living Our Faith Outloud.


Healing Grace: a novel
Grace Runyon could fix anyone -- until her husband developed cancer and she let him die. Believing no one would forgive her, Grace runs from the life she knew, hoping even God wouldn’t find her in a little out-of-the-way town in Michigan. It takes a very sick man and his little boy to help Grace face her past, accept who she is and battle her way back to redemption. Just when Ted and Grace begin to hope for the future, Ted relapses. Grace faces the ultimate choice once again: Trust God to work through her precious gift, or let a terminally ill man die. What if the price is more than she can pay?
**A recommended book club read
**Group question guide included


The Gold Standard
JUST HOW HIGH A PRICE DOES EARTHLY TREASURE COMMAND?
 
School teacher Judy Winters sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her only living relative’s murder back on the farm where Aunt Louise grew up. She encounters Hart Wingate, a young man renting the adjoining farm who had helped Aunt Louise with farm chores. When Judy learns that her boyfriend, Graham, has been secretly visiting Louise, Judy takes the opportunity to move away from him for the summer and think over the situation.
 
Judy loves her teaching job, but is intrigued by her heritage in the farmstead and particularly the old house. She stays on the farm and renovates the house, but whether to sell or stay, she has yet to decide.
 
Midnight visitors, a job offer, and new friends, along with one special old one—Carranza, the opinionated cat—all figure into Judy’s dilemma.
 
Meanwhile, Judy learns that a former friend of Louise’s father, Bryce, lost a treasure of gold somewhere on the farm. As Judy and Hart look for clues to the cause of Louise’s death and Bryce’s missing treasure they develop a close friendship. Judy decides to break off her relationship with Graham, who doesn’t take the news very well.
 
As Judy explores the house, she finds and follows clues in Louise’s mother’s diary to unearth the buried treasure. But was it the treasure that might have been behind Louise’s murder?

Healing Grace
Read an excerpt:


          Grace took a breath and stopped upon entering the little house. She heard the realtor drive away with a little zip and crunch on the gravel driveway and felt a moment’s panic.          “Not buyer’s remorse at this stage of the game, my good woman,” she scolded and forced herself to take deep regular breaths.                             

She set down the sacks she’d toted in from her green Subaru on the dusty braided rug. The truth of real estate agent’s comment before handing over the key became painfully obvious.                             

“The place hasn’t been opened up in a number of months. The last occupant was ill. It will need a little TLC.”                    

Grace, after her brief, cursory tour before signing the papers, had asserted she could clean it up herself. Maybe she’d been a little hasty.She could smell it in the air—sickness and neglect. Grace shivered and turned a slow one-eighty, squinting through the twirling motes. She could see cobwebs, and didn’t want to pull the dangerously lopsided curtains open for the showers of dust she knew would follow. They looked fragile, and she was pretty sure they would need to be tossed out, anyway.                      

She noticed the pile of toys and the weight bench in the corner near the open stairway.                        

Passing through the doorway on the far side of the long, narrow living room, she found the kitchen—the sad, neglected kitchen, definitely not the heart of this home.                         

“Who paints a kitchen puke green? And what’s up with the dancing hot peppers stencil?Honestly.”                         

She had painted her Tennessee kitchen a cheerful yellow and kept it spotless. Here, she wondered about bugs, and heard the rustling of mice in the cupboards. With a sigh, she began to pick up utensils from the kitchen table. Little bits of flotsam—napkin bits and nut shells of some kind—decorated the cracked and scorched ancient linoleum countertops.         

“God made trivets for a reason,” Grace said in exasperation.                          

She turned on the faucet, wiping away the attached spider webs. Warm orange gunk came out accompanied by gurgles and forceful interrupted spurts. The liquid spewed thickly around the stained sink. At least it didn’t smell bad. She cheered when it soon cleared up. Just call me easily pleased.         

The real estate woman had checked the lights to make sure the electric company had “turned her on.” Grace tried to chuckle. It came out like a zebra snort, a zebra that smelled lion and was trying to warn the herd.  
       
“You’ll be all right.” The plump, business-like agent had meant to reassure her. “It’s a ways out of town but not too far, and the neighbors are good people. In fact…” (as she looked down at the drive and stirred some gravel with her brown patent pump) “…ah, this used to belong to one of the brothers. The house is part of the original homestead. You’ll be okay.” 
        
She pressed a card into Grace’s limp hand. “Now, here’s my card. You just call…” Conveniently forgetting Grace had not yet applied to the local cooperative for telephone service, “…if something isn’t right.”   
      
Grace was tired of hearing about all the things she didn’t know so couldn’t bring herself to ask what the woman meant by “one of the brothers.” She figured she would find out in good time.  
       
It was a risk, settling down and opening a new bank account—a whole new life—in East Bay, Michigan. Grace wasn’t exactly hiding, but neither did she care to let anyone she left behind know where to find her, now that…   
      
She shook her head. No, there wasn’t anyone left who needed to know, who cared. She got out a pad of paper from her leather handbag and toured the little one-and-a half-story cottage making notes of the supplies she would need.  
      
Cleaning first, then fixing.  
       
Definitely painting. And figuring out some furniture. Something to sleep on. Do I even have a hammer? Talk about starting from scratch. 
        
By the third day and the fifth trip into town, Grace decided to treat herself. She had passed the cute little chalet-style building that housed the local library often enough without stopping in. She could take the time today. 
     
“An afterthought—you know—a whad’ya call it, mother-in-law’s cottage? Built on the edge of a big apple orchard,” Marie Richards, the town’s librarian, told Grace when she went to apply for a card. “The Marshalls, now, they did real well. Put this town on the map, you know. Keep us alive these days through the co-op.” 
       
Most of the trees had been torn out and not replanted, she continued. Gracewondered how much of the original land was left in the family and what had happened to the orchards. She nodded and smiled as if she understood. She would have to plan on doing a little research.         

Marie went on to tell her that the property edged East Bay, and was not actually within the village limits, but she would let Grace have a card, anyway.The local resale shop proved to be a blessing for filling in her wardrobe, and no one there said a thing when she went back three days in a row, modeling the former day’s purchase. Maybe she could get a sofa and some chairs there, some dishes. Service for one. 
        
Grace smiled humorlessly. They didn’t even have to match.
*  
       
Grace was so intent on cleaning she didn’t notice company coming until the pounding on the front door startled her. She let out a screech, nearly tumbling off the kitchen chair on which she had perched to brush cobwebs from the living room ceiling and walls with a broom. A peek through wavy glass at her visitors, revealed more than one—a delegation of two. 
        
One and a half, she amended as she pulled off the threadbare T-shirt covering her hair and opened the oak front door to a man and a small boy. “Good afternoon.”  
       
The man was very tall and terribly gaunt. He leaned on a crutch and stared at Grace with narrowed eyes, frowning as though he had not expected to see her. The black-haired little boy held a pillowcase with something lumpy inside in one hand and with the other held the man’s hand. She thought she recognized them from the other day at the bank when she went to sign the closing papers for the house. 
        
She had been surprised to find no one besides the real estate agent and the bank’s vice president at the meeting. The former owners had not been able to stay and meet her, but everything was in order, she had been told.



You can purchase The Gold Standard at Amazon.

And Healing Grace from HERE.

Tomorrow is a double header here at Patterings! I'll have an interview with Lisa AND my first Adding Zest post, so be sure to join us!

Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance at winning a copy of Lisa's books! They sound wonderful! :)

8 comments:

  1. Linda8:25 AM

    Both of Lisa's books sound great! Please enter me in the drawing for 'Healing Grace.' Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, your blog looks great, and I'm excited about your new site. Congratulations!

    Lisa's books look WONderful!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What an EXCITING week, Patty. PLEASE enter me in the giveaway - those sound GOOD! (and I think you may already have my email address LOL)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous6:08 PM

    Both these books sound very good! Love the new look of your blog! You know where i hang out.
    Smile. Sunny

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would love a chance to win Lisa's books. Thanks!

    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, everyone! Thank you for your sweet comments about my work. Patty is sure to make a great dent in the world with her site.
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really liked Gold Standard. Not your standard mystery at all. DH read it and liked it too, "except for the mushy stuff."

    What a bright and perky website on a gray day!

    I would sure like to be in the drawing ...APSchrock(at)aol(dot)come.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You really have a lot going on over here this week!!! Would love to have these great sounding books to enjoy!! Enter me!
    Blessings!!
    Deb

    willisclan@peoplepc.com

    ReplyDelete

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