It’s The Little Things

Today I’m feeling a bit blue. Maybe it’s because I’m not feeling great. Maybe it’s because it’s the time of year when both my Mom and Dad were diagnosed with the disease that would take their life, 6 and 15 years ago respectively.

I have finally started to write the sequel to my historical fiction novel, Through The Eyes Of Grace. It is causing a fresh wave of grief to pour over my heart that usually sabotages any attempt to write.

But not today!

Instead, I’m lifting my head up and making me a cup of hot tea, Lavender Lemonade to be exact. Tea soothes away the hurt, both in my throat and in my heart.

And I will say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for giving me such wonderful parents, and for providing me with a story worth telling.

Today I’m choosing JOY.

Christmas Truce of 1914

Image Credit: kevinblogsherenow.blogspot.com

Image Credit: kevinblogsherenow.blogspot.com

I know when I was working on Through The Eyes Of Grace, the research was my favorite part. Uncovering events in history that Grace lived through helped me bring her story to life. I may not have handwritten journals from Grace, but I have news events and the recorded histories of other’s lives that are sure to have impacted her story, and for this I’m grateful.

Writing historical fiction is a lot like working a jigsaw puzzle.

I’ve started with the framework, and the research provides the missing pieces. The Christmas Truce is one such piece for which I’m grateful.

Most of you have probably heard about the Christmas Truce of 1914 (if you haven’t take a moment and read about it), which is believed to have occurred over miles of the western front during World War I. What you may not realize is that this amazing event, which happened 100 years ago this Christmas Eve, took place during the time setting of my next book based on the life of my grandmother–Grace Stella Kirwin.

One can only imagine what happened in the hearts of the soldiers as they ascended from their trenches to embrace soldiers from the enemy line with wishes of good will. What a Christmas memory each of those men carried in their hearts for the rest of their lives.

Following is a video about the Christmas Truce. I pray it will stir your heart to pursue peace with your own enemies, and may it be a peace that will last–not just for 48 hours.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours, and may the peace of God bless you richly!

My Birthday Is Special…

…because today starts my first ever book sale!

Through The Eyes Of Grace Cover

I’m very excited to tell you that if you order my book through my publisher: CertaPublishing.com or through Amazon.com you will receive a 20% discount starting today through the end of July! All you have to do is use the coupon code – Grace20 – when checking out. It’s that simple! If you’ve already purchased a copy, now is a great time to purchase copies for Christmas presents. It’s closer than you think, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a few gifts already checked off your list–in July?

Also, you may not know that I have a Facebook page and would love it if you clicked over and “liked” it. I’m hosting a birthday giveaway for all those who follow me–but you’ll have to go there to find out how to enter.  🙂

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Thank you for helping to make my birthday special. 

Reviewing Grace

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I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I really don’t want to post just to post. I want to have something worth your while reading too. And today I think I do.

You know how they say a watched pot never boils? Well, Amazon reviews are the same way. I hadn’t received any new reviews on my book since April, so I quit checking. I was  surprised to discover three new reviews in just the last month! The only way I found out was someone tagged me in one of the reviews.

Here’s what they had to say:

5.0 out of 5 stars So affected by this book!, September 7, 2013
This review is from: Through the Eyes of Grace (Paperback)

I just finished Through the Eyes of Grace and wanted to review it right away – what an absolutely beautiful story of a young girl I could easily relate to, as Grace was my own daughter’s age when her life took such a dramatic turn. Knowing that Grace, her family, and the life that she lived were all real at one time, made this a particularly fascinating read for me. I ached as Grace did, at the rawness of her shame & her struggles, but the thread of hope weaved throughout her life was so profound and just so … beautiful. I’m anxious to hear the rest of the story (the author alludes to another volume in the epilogue), but for now I’m excited to share this exquisite tale of redemption with my own teenage daughter, and anyone else who will read it!

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written story, September 3, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This book tells a story of very difficult circumstances thrust upon the main character, 15 year-old Grace. It deals with sensitive issues in a delicate and tasteful way, and brings a healthy resolve in the end. It doesn’t unnecessarily stir up romantic passion, but gives an accurate, sweet account of a love, rebellion, redemption and grace. Well done.

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, August 11, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This book is incredibly well written. It is easy to lose yourself in the author’s flowing language and vivid descriptions of the western territories and life as a settler. You will feel Grace ‘s pain and joy as if you were her. Debi Gray Walter has a true hit here! This book is also seen inspiration to the reader to dig into one’s own family history and stories before they are lost. Well written and well enjoyed! When’s the next one?

What wonderful reviews! Thank you so much to all of you who have taken the time to review Through The Eyes Of Grace. If you haven’t had the chance, would you consider writing one? I want you to be honest in order to help others know whether or not they would like to read it.
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” 🙂
― Will Rogers

I Promise…

Promoting a book can feel a lot like campaigning for political office. You have to talk about why you did what you did, why you want others to listen to you tell about it and hopefully, get your listeners to buy your product. It is awkward at times as self-promotion should be! Politicians, if they’re honest and have integrity, don’t want you to vote for them because you like them, they want you to vote for them because they truly believe their plan will be best for the office they’re seeking.

In the same way, I want people to buy my book not so the numbers will grow and I’ll be more popular. No, I want you to read my book because I believe my grandmother’s story is worth knowing. She was an amazing woman, and her life offers lessons for us all. If you’ve already purchased a copy of Through The Eyes Of Grace and read it, I want to say a huge Thank You!  Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am. Would you do a couple of things for me? First, tell your friends and family about it and share it on your Facebook page and/or Twitter account? Second, would you consider writing a review on Amazon for me? Reviews help other readers who know nothing of me or my book decide whether or not it is something they are interested in reading.

I’m grateful we no longer have to listen to the constant campaigning of the politicians promising us things they may or may not be able to accomplish. I pray my posts never feel like an empty campaign promise. Thanks for stopping by.

Now What?

It’s funny how you can imagine something happening for so many years that when it finally does happen, it disorients you. Is this real? Or am I just dreaming?

It really is real. I pinched myself, so I know. 😉 

 

My book is available on Amazon – click here. And on Kindle – click here. All other ebook readers will carry it in the coming days, so be on the look out for the reader you use.

Tom is having fun helping with the marketing and sales. He bought us both a credit card square for our smart phones, so if you happen to see us at a store or restaurant, we can sell you a copy if you wish.

I have decided to forego a separate FaceBook author page, simply because I don’t have the time to update another page. If you would like to follow me I invite you to sign up for my blog posts. All you have to do is enter your e-mail address in the right sidebar and that’s it. Whenever I post something new, you’ll be sure to get it. I plan to post each Wednesday for now, maybe more in the future. I’ll have to wait and see.

Also, I would love to have an opportunity to share more about my book with anyone interested. If you have a civic group, ladies book club, or even a church event, I would love to talk with you about the possibilities of coming to speak. For more information please e-mail me: debiwalter @ gmail.com

Loving the journey!

♥ Blessings,

Debi

Prologue Part Two

Photo Credit: http://www.ehow.com

Today I’m sharing the last part of my book’s Prologue. I pray it will draw you to want to read more. In case you missed the first half you can read it here.

I was trapped.  As I plopped into the black leather seat, something crunched beneath me.  It was the gift I had seen on the table! I couldn’t deal with it, so I tossed it aside, not interested in the who or the why questions that had incensed me before the service.

Mama picked up the gift, “Gracelyn, this is for you.  Don’t you want to open it?”

“Um, no! Not now.”

“Why on earth not?”

“Oh, Mama! It’s just not right.”

“Gracelyn, I insist.  The giver may be at the dinner.  You’ll want to be sure to thank them.  I really think it best to open it now.”

Mama usually had the last word, and this time was no exception.  I had learned it was best to do as she said.  Picking up the gift I slowly ripped the paper away, revealing a stained wooden box smelling much like the old church we had just left.  Lifting the lid I discovered a worn out leather journal.

“What’s this?” I asked casually, hoping my excitement didn’t show.

“I’ve seen this before; why, it belonged to Mama.  See the engraving – Grace Stella Oswalt?”

As I opened the cover a note fell on the floor.  I picked it up to find Big Mama’s handwriting addressed to me.  The brief excitement drained from my fingertips as if the dead were calling my name.

“M-Mama, you read it.”  She took the slip of paper from my hand.

Dear Gracelyn,

I am an old woman now, and time is running out for me to share with you my story.  I’ve waited for you to ask, but now the waiting ends.  You are my youngest granddaughter, and one who reminds me so much of myself.  It is my prayer that as you read this journal you will grow in your understanding of who you are and to whom you belong.  Your life is not your own to live as you want.  I learned this the hard way, and I pray this journal will help you after I am long gone.  Read it well and remember although life is brief, love is forever.

Affectionately,

Big Mama

I sat there in disbelief as the limo came to a stop.  I wasn’t sure if I was happy to have this gift or angry she singled me out as needing special help.  Maybe it was a little of both, but as hard as it was to admit, I was comforted.

As we filed out of the limo and gathered around Big Mama’s grave, the familiar hymn began to play once more.  This time my voice sang through the tears to the grandmother I loved.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see.

My grandmother had offered me her hand with this gift, allowing me to see and learn about life through her eyes.  That night, alone in my room I opened the musty journal and began to read.