About the Book
Book: Song of Grace
Author: The Mosaic Collection
Genre: Christian Contemporary
Release date: July 7, 2021
How amazing is grace? Eight short stories trace the path of grace through the lines of a well-known hymn that was birthed in tragedy.
These characters each desperately seek a variety of prizes: relationships, hope, fame and fortune, security, eternal youth. All of them struggle through trials and troubles to stumble upon the same amazing answer.
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About the Authors
Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides (Tyndale), is a CBA bestseller. She writes contemporaries, historicals, and cozy mysteries, serves on the executive board of Serious Writer, Inc., co-hosts an online show called Writers Chat, and interviews inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. She also teaches at writers conferences and for Serious Writer Academy. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon.
In a fit of optimism at age eleven, ELEANOR BERTIN began her first novel by numbering a stack of 100 pages. Two of them got filled with words. Lifelines, her first completed novel, was published in 2016, followed by Pall of Silence in 2017, a memoir about her late son Paul.
Eleanor grew up on a Manitoba farm, spent 20 years in cities and towns, and in the past 16 years has come full circle to embrace country life again. She lives with her husband and youngest son, Timothy, amidst the ongoing renovation of a century home in central Alberta where she reads, writes, sweeps up construction rubble and blogs about a sometimes elusive contentment at jewelofcontentment.wordpress.com.
Sara Davison is the author of three romantic suspense series, The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, and The Rose Tattoo Trilogy. She has been a finalist for ten national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, a Selah, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a Word and Cascade Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to. Get to know Sara better at http://www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.
Deb Elkink lives in a cottage beside a babbling creek in rural Alberta, Canada, home base for exotic travels with her husband. She published her first bits of writing after graduating university, then married and spent twenty years as a homeschooling mom and ranch wife—rounding up cattle, earning her private pilot’s license, and cooking for huge branding crews. An MA in Theology led to publication of a literary study on the fiction of G.K. Chesterton (Roots and Branches), prepared her as an academic editor, and jettisoned her into her long-held dream of writing literary fiction with a theological twist. Her publications so far include multiple short stories as well as two award-winning novels (The Third Grace and The Red Journal).
Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
Angela D. Meyer
ANGELA D. MEYER writes fiction that showcases God’s ability to redeem and restore the brokenness in our lives. She is the author of This Side of Yesterday, The Jukebox Cafe (a part of Hope is Born: A Mosaic Christmas Anthology) and the Applewood Hill series. Angela is a member of American Christian Fiction Authors and has served on the leadership team of her local writers’ group, Wordsowers. Angela currently lives in NE with her husband. They have two children, both of whom they homeschooled and graduated. Lucy, a green eyed, orange tabby who loves popcorn rounds out their family. Angela enjoys sunrises and sunsets, the ocean when she gets a chance to visit, and hopes to ride in a hot air balloon someday.
Stacy Monson is the award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series, including Shattered Image, Dance of Grace, and The Color of Truth, as well as Open Circle. Her stories reveal an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. Residing in the Twin Cities, she is the wife of a newly-retired juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, a proud mom, and doting grandma.
Candace West was born in the Mississippi delta but grew up in small-town Arkansas. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Ever since the age of twelve, she dreamed of writing inspirational fiction. Over the years, she has published short stories as well as poems in various magazines. By weaving entertaining, page-turning stories, she hopes to share the Gospel and encourage her readers.
More from The Mosaic Authors
It’s Never Too Late for a Heart Transformation… and Great Books
He stood at the pulpit, chains hanging from his wrists, one fist raised to the heavens, a pottery jug in the other hand. With his teeth, he uncorked the jug (still don’t know how he did that) and took a swig of the “alcohol” within, allowing it to slosh over his mouth and onto the floor. Watching as he shouted his defiance to Almighty God, my thirteen-year-old self scooted back a little further in the pew, certain. Skit or no skit… Pastor Phillips was about to get struck by lightning.
In his characteristic style, he burst out laughing, wiped his brow, and stowed the jug under the pulpit. A grin plastered to his face, he wiped that brow again. “Almost felt the sizzle of lightning or something.”
See, I thought to myself. I’m not so crazy after all.
And from there, our beloved pastor went on to tell the story of John Newton’s conversion and how he eventually, after more years in the slave trade, renounced it for the vile nastiness that it is and worked to end it before he died. But one more beautiful thing came out of all of that ugliness—perhaps the most beloved hymn of all time. “Amazing Grace.”
The Mosaic Collection authors have joined for a summer anthology celebrating the joy and beauty found in God’s “Amazing Grace.” Each story in this collection was inspired by a stanza of that grand old hymn.
As one of the authors in the collection, I found myself humming and singing “my verse,” during the weeks before and during writing my offering. My verse is,
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.”
All four lines of my stanza play into my story, albeit some ambiguously. From that ten thousand (dollars, not years) to the (desert) sun, to praising God for His goodness all our days, Spines & Leaves tells the story of God changing the goals and desires of three individuals, just like He changed those of John Newton.
As for how Sara used the stanza in her story, Sara says, “My portion of the hymn is the final two lines of the first stanza: I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see. In my story, I’d Like to Thank the Academy, Lizzy Cross travels to the City of Angels to seek fame and fortune. When she gets lost in L.A. and meets a blind man playing ‘Amazing Grace’ on his guitar, she realizes the song could be about them. Or is it possible that the words mean something else entirely?”
Angela says, “My stanza speaks of the joy and peace we gain in heaven, although we have them in full measure in this life. Jillian’s Refuge is about a young woman discovering these amazing gifts as she journeys through grief and finds healing in an unexpected place.”
Deb says, “In my story, aging expat Dolores, retiring alone in colonial Mexico and agitated over losing her youth, meets up for an afternoon cultural tour with her visiting granddaughter and new baby. Their mother-child vitality forces Dolores to face the fear that drove her from her family and the grace that calls her back to Christian faith.”
Join Stacy Monson, Sara Davison, Deb Elkink, Eleanor Bertin, Johnnie Alexander, Angela Meyer, Candace West Posey, and Chautona Havig as they introduce you to characters and stories that will fill your hearts with God’s grace.
Given the inclusion of eight authors in the anthology and the more personal nature of these questions, the Mosaic authors brainstormed ways to answer five of the questions in a group-oriented way and then opted to each answer one question more personally instead.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Stacy Monson says:
My younger brother says I was born with a pencil in hand. I always loved writing, penmanship, and anything to do with reading. As I got older (like 8-10), I wrote stories. I always knew I wanted to be a published author, but didn’t seriously pursue it until I turned 50. I wasted so many years!!
- What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Chautona Havig says:
I can’t start writing without a title. The title can change later, BUT… BUT… I have to have one that I COULD use, or I can’t write a word.
So Hope 101 was a lot of fun to write, but when it came time for publication, it sounded too non-fiction to me. It became Discovering Hope and well… that also sounds a little nonfiction, but I ran with it. Casa de los Sueños is how I always think of my book Deepest Roots of the Heart but even as I wrote it, I knew I’d never be able to use a Spanish title. Folks would assume the book was written in Spanish. And a joke title, Five Ways to Chase a Moose and Other Relationship Killers is in the works now as a real book. Because titles offer me an open door to step into the page and leave my footprints.
- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Johnnie Alexander says:
This is a fun question with a complicated answer. Sometimes I have a heart-tug, a kind of ping that lets me know: “this one.” Other times, I become fascinated with research and that leads to a character or a story element—usually both!
My first Mosaic Collection novel, The Mischief Thief, is a Les Miserables meets Leverage story—a combo of one of my favorite books and one of my favorite television shows.
The less complicated answer, though, is through prayer. I pray for ideas, for names, for that heart-tug. I once prayed for a character to make the right decision—a little odd, I know!
But God is faithful to answer, and I am grateful.
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
Sara Davison says:
The most surprising thing I learned in the writing of my story in the anthology, “I’d Like to Thank the Academy,” is that characters will occasionally insist on coming alive on the page in a form that I as the author had not planned. I’ve had this happen before in my writing, but I’m not sure a character has ever been as forceful as the hero in this story. The guitar-playing man on a park bench my main character, Lizzy Cross, encounters when she leaves her small town in Canada to seek fame and fortune in L.A. was intended to be an older African-American man, and their relationship was meant to be that of an unlikely friendship. Instead, young, good-looking, blind Brazilian Rafe Silva emerged as the story unfolded and it became very much a romance. I literally could not write the story the way I had planned—Rafe would not allow it.
As for the anthology as a whole, what surprised and blessed me was how this amazing song impacted the contributors differently as each one developed a story with a unique take on the stanza assigned to them. The result is a book that comes together in various styles and viewpoints to form a cohesive whole—a testament to a true-life story of the heart change and transformation that occurs after an encounter with God. A transformation that can truly only happen through His amazing grace.
- What’s your favorite part about being a writer? Research? First Draft? Editing?
Angela D. Meyer says:
My favorite part of being a writer is on my good writing days when the story flows, and the words come easily. On these days, the characters grow and take on a life of their own, surprising me when they do something I didn’t expect. My emotions are touched as the details unfold and when I type the end, I am satisfied with the outcome.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as often as I like and that’s when I don my editing hat and go to work. Though not my favorite activity, I do enjoy this part of the process, too. It is satisfying to find troublesome spots in the story and tweak them until the story is well-told.
- What do you think makes a good story?
Candace West says:
I crave stories beginning with brokenness, moving forward through grace, and ending with restoration/wholeness. To identify with a character’s journey is one of the most powerful experiences we have when reading. All of us are broken. All of us need grace and restoration. And don’t forget a little sprinkling of romance.
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Eleanor Bertin says:
There was the era of wanting to live in Australia, work as a nurse, and own a pet lion. But I’m squeamish about blood and guts. This was followed by aiming to become a pediatrician who lives in Hawaii (lost the giant cat ambition — can you imagine the litter box?). Then I dreamed of living in a charming old house (with Dutch door), making homemade tomato soup, and wisely counseling my three sets of twins(!). I came closest to that dream with my 7 children and renovating an old house.
In high school, my dream was to be a high-powered fashion designer and live in an apartment like Mary Tyler Moore’s.
Writing was what I was going to do once I had my adventures. Turns out it was easier to make up adventures than to live them. And here we are.
- What project are you working on now, and how do we find your books?
Deb Elkink says:
I’m currently pulling together my own collection of short stories—literary fiction with a theological twist—which will include a few of my stories first appearing in Mosaic’s anthologies (such as “Reconstituted” in Song of Grace). My upcoming collection has the working title Vagabond Come Home, which gives a hint about its major theme: the spiritual return of the wayfarer to hearth, heart, and health.
As an example, in one of my stories, a woman with unwholesome curiosity left over from a childhood experience with a ouija board visits an elderly relative in the South of France—a mapmaker of traditional training—and ends up lost in a maze of mysticism within an antique shop, finding her way back only when she consults the old man’s recommended guidelines (hint: his map, metaphorical for the Bible).
I love to retell timeless truths found in preceding literature and, ultimately, in the Word of God. In my book I’ll include, for each fictional story, a purely literary interaction for book clubs as well as a biblical study to point the inquiring reader to foundational passages of Scripture underlying the fiction.
You can find my books, along with the works of all my Mosaic sisters, on our website: http://www.mosaiccollectionbooks.com.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 26
Rebecca Tews, July 26
Inklings and notions, July 27
For Him and My Family, July 28
Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 29 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
deb’s Book Review, July 29
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 30 (Author Interview)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 30
CarpeDiem, July 31
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 31
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 2
Mary Hake, August 2
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 3
Happily Managing a Household of Boys , August 4
Batya’s Bits, August 4
Splashes of Joy, August 5
Through the Fire Blogs, August 5
Texas Book-aholic, August 6
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 6
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 7
Pause for Tales, August 7
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 8
To celebrate their tour, the Mosaic Collection Authors are giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, a paperback copy of the book, and a $10 coupon to Mosaic’s brand new Etsy shop!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.