Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she writes inspiring fiction. Her published novels include mystery and romance, all with a twist of grace. She has penned dozens of feature newspaper stories, short stories, magazine articles and radio theater. She is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin magazine. Lisa also is an avid book reviewer, a freelance editor, a writing mentor, a hostess at Clash of the Titles.com, and enjoys blogging at theBarnDoor.net and AuthorCulture.blogspot.com. She loves to encourage new authors. Find more at LisaLickel.com.
Grace has a secret. Just like her aunt, and her grandmother before her, she could fix anyone with a touch, at a cost she never questioned — until her husband developed cancer and died. Believing no one would forgive her for not being able to save him, 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 her face her past, accept who she is and battle her way back to redemption. Just when she and Ted begin to hope for the future, he 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?
Excerpt From Healing Grace, by Lisa Lickel
With Eddy comfortable in Kindergarten at Wind Point School four long days a week, Grace crossed off the aimless march of her days on the calendar. Eddy was thoroughly in love with Miss Jones, the pretty teacher in her second year in East Bay. When Ted had not stopped smiling all the way home from the first Open House, she’d felt mildly jealous. It was something she was not proud of. She needed to stick to her resolve not to become too involved with the neighbors. Even if they spent every afternoon at her house.
The time had come to think seriously about a job. Not the gas station, not the school. The library was as staffed as they could afford. Not the café. Not the resale shop. Maybe some volunteer work. Not PTA, though. That would really fuel the fires of gossip. Her fingers tingled.
She sighed. She was fully and properly trained. Everyone wore gloves these days. Maybe it would work. But…how? Who did she talk to, without raising too many eyebrows?
The next afternoon she went to spend some time with Shelby who was more bored than she was.
“Your husband is a doctor, right?” Grace asked. “But not here in town.”
“Davy’s at Bay Bridge. He’s an endocrinologist. It’s not far from here, so Greg sends patients there who need more than he and Matty can offer.”
“Oh, you probably haven’t had any need to go to the clinic,” Shelby said. “Greg Evans is our local GP. If you can believe it, we only have one doctor in town, but at least he’s full time. East Bay’s one and only clinic.” She pulled her afghan around herself again. “Hey, come to think of it, Davy was talking about Greg’s search for help again. Everyone hates waiting in line so long, but we’ve never been able to bring in another GP.” Her voice lowered. “Everyone specializes these days. More money, you know.”
“Greg would probably be grateful for even part-time help.” Shelby hugged a pillow to her middle. “They take in a lot of Medicare patients. He can be a bit gruff, but the kids love him. He’ll do house calls once in a while, and he’s even accepted a casserole in payment. Some of those folks up the valley don’t have much.”
Grace found the casseroles hard to believe and just raised her brows.
Shelby plowed on, excited now. “His nurse, Matty, is a saint, a wonderful person. She’s getting up there in age, though. I bet if you went over there he’d hire you on the spot.”
Grace exhaled. She twitched her lips. Was this an answer? Maybe…maybe not. Was she really ready? “It’s not that easy. I promised Ted I’d take care of Eddy.”
Shelby thumped the pillow. “Yeah, it’s a tough one. But you can’t pass up a good opportunity. Your experience in that clinic where you came from…I’m sure it’s enough. Even another practical nurse would work out. What are your qualifications again? Anyway, Greg would probably work out a deal so you could be home most afternoons.”
“I left that life behind. I don’t have a current license for Michigan, and I really can’t…” Grace’s protests might have sounded mild, but inside she was quaking. Could she do it? Go back to work? What if she did something wrong? Hurt someone…again?
Now let’s find out more about Lisa. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing professionally for about ten years now. I took a course while I was still employed as a part time secretary and things spiraled from there. While I was fortunate to find an agent and sign my first contracts within about five years, I had to take some time off, backtrack, and learn the marketing end not long after.
Name one of your all-time favorite movies, the one you instantly recognize when it flashes across the screen, the one you stop and watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it, the one where you find yourself mouthing the dialogue along with the characters.
This is funny, as I didn’t realize how such favorites can affect our lives until my kids would do that with the dialog of favorite characters and show when they were growing up. One of my favorite movies that I love the dialog for is Ever After with Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Houston: “It’s never enough! Nothing I ever do is enough…”
My family does the same thing! One of us will start the quote and someone else will finish it up.
Name an author or authors who never fail to inspire you.
Talk about mourning the generation with which you entered adulthood: Ray Bradbury was such a gift to the writing community. There’s a reason his works can’t be translated to the screen: words are what makes his stories. That doesn’t mean he didn’t write in pictures, but some ways of painting with vocabulary don’t transfer to visual. When I’m down I just think of Douglas in Dandelion Wine and how it feels to be alive.
He is one of my all time favorites as well. When I read Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes as a child, it made me want to move to Greentown, Illinois, the fictitious setting!
Tell us about your current WIP.
I’m currently working on a sequel to my novel, Meander Scar, which features the main character, Ann’s, sister and her story. Rachel never told anyone who the father of her daughter Maeve was; twenty-three years later, the man shows up, and Rachel is rather stunned to learn she holds the fate of the European Union in her hands.
Oooh, sounds really interesting.
Tell us what you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I’m a fairly voracious reader; we travel. I watch movies and try to exercise though it’s one of my least favorite chores. But writers, you know, tend to sit for long periods of time. I’m also a professional editor so I’m always learning about new authors. I cook a little, hike and take photographs. Oh, and one of my clients taught me to make soap last year, so that’s always interesting.
Sounds like you are one busy lady!
What is the one thing you never seem to have enough time for?
Well, it’s more like the one thing I get into tantrums about these past couple of years, which is writing for myself. I could be selfish about it, but then my editing business and family life would fall apart. I can rearrange my time better, I know, but sometimes I just need to take a nap, do laundry, or have lunch with a friend. It’s not like there’s never enough time for a specific thing—I just have to make choices. And sometimes that’s exhausting. I’d rather read a good time travel book. Know any?
Hmmmm…I do believe I could help you there, lol.
Thanks so much for coming today, Lisa. I enjoyed our visit. Come again anytime!
Thank you, Susan.
Website – http://www.lisalickel.com
Email – lisalickel-at-hotmail.com
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