About ten years ago, my oldest daughter’s best friend died of heart failure due to kidney disease. She was such a special person, and left behind a loving husband and daughter. While standing in the long line at the funeral home visitation that evening, I told my daughter I would like to write a fictional story based on a young woman losing her best friend to kidney disease.
I started the story (three chapters), but still had a lot to learn about writing, and then got busy on other writing projects. But, I always hoped to finish this story “someday.”
When Jeanie Smith Cash asked me to join her and two other friends on a series set in Gatlinburg about four cousins who return to Gatlinburg for their Granddaddy’s 80th birthday, I told her I would pray about it. The next day I had my answer when I saw this story in my files. I emailed Jeanie and told her the premise of this story and asked if it would fit with their stories. When she said she and the others were in agreement about it, I joined and began writing the rest of the story. My “someday” had arrived!
Christmas Grace is purely fictional, and although the hero’s first wife did die of kidney disease, none of the rest of the story is based on real facts. But, I still dedicated my story to Penny Sadler Prows who was my daughter’s best friend who died of kidney disease.
Another connection that I hadn’t planned on was that my hero’s name was Chris. My son-in-law’s name is Chris. He is married to my oldest daughter. My daughter’s name is Christy, but I named my heroine Grace for the theme of the story.
When Delia Latham who wrote the first novella in the series, Do You See What I See?, posted her book cover and said she would also do our book covers if we wanted her to. She also said we needed to come up with a picture for the hero and heroine to grace the cover. Her picture and heroine reminded me of a picture a friend took of my daughter and her husband a few years ago. So, I asked them (and the photographer, Dustin Clifford) if I could use that picture on the cover of my book. They all agreed. I even wrote a scene in the book where the cousins discuss how their granddaddy always said they were the two cousins who looked most similar.
I also used the names of several of my daughter’s friends in the book, and my husband’s aunt and uncle’s first names for Grace’s parents because they had gone through some of the diet changes and other health challenges of growing older that Grace’s parents were experiencing.
So, I am happy that this book my daughter and I spoke about over a decade ago has finally come full circle, and the cover for the book bears the lovely, loving picture of my daughter and son-in-law.
I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I pray for all of you to be blessed with the realization of God’s grace this Christmas season, as you ponder how His Grace came down and was born in a stable for each of us to point the way to Him.
Wishing everyone a grace-filled Christmas and wonderful New Year in 2015, as we all strive to grow in and live out His grace to others.
Rose Allen McCauley has been writing for over ten years and has been published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals. This is her second Christmas novella. Christmas books are her favorites. A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over four decades, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and grandmother to five lovely, lively kids! You can reach her through her website and blog and on Twitter and Facebook.
More About Christmas Grace:
Grace Buchanan and Chris Fisher were best friends for sixteen years…until he fell in love with her other best friend, Terrie. Chris and Terrie married after high school, then she died three years ago.
A renewed friendship soon awakens stronger feelings in Grace and Chris. Can they both let go of the past long enough to claim the future God has for them?
Christmas Grace will soon be available in print as well as the eBook.
Rose Allen McCauley also has another Christmas novella included in Christmas Belles of Georgia:
Four letters are mailed from Monticello, a small antebellum town in Georgia. Sisters once, now heirs to a historic plantation, each young woman must come to terms with the circumstances of her birth…Will the sisters receive a traditional Christmas gift…of love?
And Rose’s novella in the collection is entitled Nick’s Christmas Carol:
Nick Powers worked hard to earn his college degree and his dream job. He doesn’t know what to expect when he finds out new owners will be taking over Bellingham Plantation soon. When Carol Peterson comes to town, she and Nick get off to a rocky start, but soon combine forces to make Christmas a happier time for others. Can they find their own Christmas happiness?