Monday, February 28, 2011

meet Lisa Lickel

Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives with her husband in a hundred and fifty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. Surrounded by books and dragons, she has written dozens of feature newspaper stories, magazine articles, radio theater, and several inspirational novels to date. She loves to encourage new authors.

You can find Lisa online at; Reflections in Hindsight; Wisconsin Author Review Blog; The Barn Door; Favorite Pasttimes; Facebook; Shoutlife; Goodreads;

Healing Grace

A haunting story of love and sacrifice...
Grace Runyon could fix anything--until her husband got cancer. She couldn't help him. She couldn't save him. No one understands. No one would ever forgive her. She has to run. It takes another sick man and his little boy to help her fight her way out of self-pity into the light of redemption. But will her new friends stick with her when they discover her secret?

Ted Marshall wanted to be more than Grace’s landlord. But a dying man has no business asking a woman like to her love him back. Can he settle for a taste of her faith in whatever it is that makes her so special?

Just when Ted and Grace begin to hope for the future, Ted relapses. Grace faces the ultimate choice once again: Trusting God to work through her precious gift, or letting a terminally ill man die. What if the price is more than she can pay?

A recommended book club read
Group question guide included

Here's an excerpt of Healing Grace:

By Lisa J Lickel
“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness
will rise with healing in its wings.
And you will go out and leap
like calves released from the stall.” Malachi 4:2



The taste of fear nearly made Grace gag. She flared her nostrils in an effort to keep her mouth closed and get a breath. She closed her eyes—just for a second.


Grace gave in to the impulse and, pressing against the open rim of the casket, stumbled upright. She looked at him for the last time, seeing the deep grooves of pain forever etched alongside his mouth. Grace pushed away and turned, pressing her hand to her lips.

Her skirts hampered her off-kilter stride. The silly heels her mother-in-law pushed onto her feet that morning sunk deep, making divots in the perfectly manicured grass between the monuments. Her earrings jangled like a cowbell. Grace felt as though she was on display as the gathered friends and relatives stared at her. She would not cry or scream or faint or throw up, not now.

Grace tore off the earrings, staring without comprehension at the three drops of bright blood that appeared on her left arm. She ran, dodging the tombstones like some grim slalom course.

“Grace! Gra-ace! Where are you going? Grace, there’s more yet! We’re not through! You have to….”

Grace ignored them all. Their concern, their curiosity, their suspicion. Of course it was her fault and they should blame her. She slammed the car door on her skirt and put the pedal down with her cold bare foot.

They wouldn’t try to follow her, would they? She had tried so hard, so very hard, but nothing helped him. They all should know that. There wasn’t any more she could do.

She had to run.

Chapter One
Morning? or evening?

Grace scrunched her eyes at the bright shaft of light that pierced her lids.

She sat up, head reeling at the sight of the swirling, geometric tones of the ugliest aqua and mud-colored drapes and bedspread she could ever remember seeing. Her temples throbbed and the curtains came in and out of focus. She blinked. Hard.

Grace got out of the bed in the tiny room and looked out the window, reasonably sure now it was morning. She searched her handbag for a remedy to her headache.

“More clues, that’s what we need,” she said out loud just to test her hearing. “Where am I?” The receipt for the motel room lay on the bedside table. Grace noticed with mild shock that the motel was in a generously-sized community in northwestern Michigan--two states away from where she started. There was no clock in the room and her watch had not been wound recently. She flipped the television switch with a shaky hand to find a local station which would indicate the time. And temperature. She shivered and rubbed her arms. Had she changed seasons, as well? Spring had never been this cold where she came from.

She peeked out the window to the parking lot then cautiously slipped out through the door and back in again, retrieving an emergency bag she always kept in her car. Sometimes her patients lived far up in the hills in unsavory conditions and an extra outfit was necessary when she had to stay overnight. Her work as a physician’s assistant demanded she be prepared for anything. Her former work.

Once in the shower she adjusted the nozzle so the spray wouldn’t hit her full in the face. Four days. She’d lost four days to her fear and escape. Grace read the check-in slip signed in her own handwriting. She came here two days ago; two days of which she had absolutely no memory. She must have slept the entire time. Woodside was far away and she knew she wouldn’t ever go back to Tennessee.

Little sparks of flashback slowly came to her as she paced the four steps, forward and back, that was all the space allowed by the dimension of the room. She waved a hand through her hair while it dried in soft waves above her shoulders. She stepped close to the mirror on the dresser. Red rimmed her gray eyes. But not too much. She pinched her cheeks for some color. The little tear in her earlobe had healed already. She fingered it ruefully. If she wanted to continue to wear pierced earrings, she’d have to poke a new hole. She sat back on the bed, thinking, remembering.

The ceremony had been as dreadful as she imagined. Too soon after Sean. Anyone in her position would have lost her nerve and run, too, she reasoned. Stop it. No more funerals or thinking about death for a while. There wasn’t anything she could do for anyone any more. They didn’t need her. Why would anyone come after her? She had to stop this paranoid thought.

The nightmare drive on the Interstate—that trucker in Indiana trying to pick her up the last time she last stopped for gas and food she wasn’t hungry for. She ended up leaving without eating anything that time.

Grace poked through the bag of clothes on the bed. She was pretty sure she had obeyed the driving rules, had gotten gas at the right moments, stopped at the right signs, taken the exit…. How had she ended up here, though? Why here in Michigan, near the lake?

After dressing, Grace went outside in search of something to put in her stomach. It felt like a good four days since she had eaten—what? Some cold toast she forced down that last horrible morning at…home?

“No, no longer home.” Grace fixed the thought firmly in her head. “I’ll find a new place. Start over. Be a normal person.” She looked around curiously, tallying what little she knew about the state: Great Lakes, fruit and automobiles. Not a lot to go on. No one she knew lived here. That was probably the best part. She didn’t have to be afraid if no one knew her, knew what she’d done. And not done.

The parking lot was nearly empty and she walked across the two-lane highway in the thin, sharp sunshine of early May to a little mom-and-pop diner overlooking Grand Traverse Bay.

Michigan, for whatever reason, was the place God sent her.

You can purchase Healing Grace from Amazon.

Lisa is giving away a copy of Healing Grace. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Joanne Sher said...

Ohh - definitely wanna win this.

Linda said...

Difficult issue. Haven't been on her side of an illness before.

Please enter me. Thanks.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I'd like to win this book!

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Marianne said...

Thanks for the chance to win the grea sounding book. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

cjajsmommy said...

Unlike a previous poster, I have been on her side of an illness to an extent. I very much want to read this book.

Lisa Lickel said...

Hi, thanks for stopping and the kind comments. This was a very different story, based on a really mysterious illness my brother had. It takes place in Michigan (Joanne) around Grand Traverse. This was the year before spec was getting noticed as acceptible in CBC world, and no one would touch it. I let it linger, but it's getting a few more looks now, and the contract just renewed. It's also on Kindle and other electronic forms. Readers' guide and I love to visit book clubs. Also recipes on my Web site.

karenk said...

would love to read lisa's book...thanks for the chance :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Maureen said...

Oh wow! I would love to read the rest of this book!


Charity said...

Please enter me. Sounds like a neat book. Thanks!


Lisa Lickel said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts. Karen - don't you have all my books yet? :) The publisher is offering a special promotion - the first book club host with a least a dozen members buying the book in any format and schedules a virtual (or personal if close enough) visit with me will net the prize of a Petoskey stone.

lgm52 said...

Would love to read this book..thanks!

Jo said...

This is one book that I definitely want to read.


Nia for Jesus said...

Here I am thinking what would I do if was me,taking this decision!!

Enter me!


Kait said...

Please enter me! This looks good!


debijackson said...

This looks great and I would love to read it
djackson1958 (at)

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book...and thanks for offering one as a give away!
Blessings....Joy Hannabass

Nia for Jesus said...

Is wonderful how many giveawys in your blog!


Amanda Stephan said...

Hello Lisa! It's nice to see you on here, and I found your guest post for Clash of the Titles very helpful, indeed! Thank you for sharing your experiences in the publishing world.

I look forward to reading your books, and I have one question about the cover of Healing Grace. Are the hands holding a Petosky stone? I'm from MI and when we moved South, I wish I would have taken the time to get one before we left. They've always been one of my favorite stones.

Thank you as well for a chance to win your book!

Cheers :)

kjv1611as at gmail dot com

Nia for Jesus said...

Thnaks for the chance to win this..


Anne Payne said...

I'd love the opportunity to read another of Lisa's books :)


misskallie2000 said...

Would love to win Lisa's book. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

Oh, thanks for the opportunity to win this book!
Many Blessings and Smiles:)
Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

Would love to read this!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

canscrap4u2 said...

Well I'm hooked already! If I don't win it, I guess I'll just have to buy it!

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