About the Book
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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This is a fun collection of short stories and quite a variety too. The first one is not a complete story and is a cliff hanger, as author Monson acknowledges. It is actually a prequel to another novel so there is no resolution. Some stories contain a life altering encounter, showing character change because it. One, Reconstituted, got off to a confusing start for me as to who was visiting in Mexico and why. I was amazed by the references to the Guanajuanto mummies in that short story, however, and had to look them up. (Gruesome.) One is a story told entirely with receipts, news reports and other visual items. It's a way of telling a story without telling the story, Alexander says. We can let our imagination fill in the missing parts. Another story shows how life can come out of tragedy. Another reveals lessons we can learn from a 91 year old, even when there is a sudden twist to her reality. The last story about a bookstore was touching, especially to this retired bookstore owner. Where was Milton when I needed him?
A collection of stories by various authors often delivers a difference in quality. That is the case here. Nonetheless, the variety of authors and writing styles made for an interesting read.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
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 www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.
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 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.
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