Monday, July 27, 2015

Blog Tour - In The Heart of Grace by Diane Greco


Love is in the air in the quiet little town of Noyac, Long Island.
In this second installment of the Grace series, In the Heart of Grace, Susan and Tom’s romance has taken off at full speed, and they can’t help but wonder if Grace is up to her old tricks again.
Thanks to a generous gift from her elderly and clairvoyant neighbor Grace and the new love of her life Tom, Susan is thrilled that her yard and the exterior of her little house are getting an extreme makeover.
After losing her well-paying position as a gem broker weeks before, Susan wonders how she could have dealt with the new adventures of the “quiet life” had she still been commuting into New York City.
When Grace struggles with muddled thoughts and incomplete sentences, everyone is worried, but her clairvoyant ability is unaffected. After all, she manages to get her doctor and Susan’s mother together in a convoluted way, and the two widowers take off on a whirlwind romance.
But that’s not the end of Susan’s troubles. When she sees Tom with another woman, she assumes the worst. When Tom confronts her about the cold shoulder she’s giving him, she tries to get rid of him and injures her ankle in the process. Grace agrees to call an ambulance, but calls Tom instead and forces Susan confront her issues with Tom while accepting his help and learning an invaluable lesson.
Add to this a bank robbery and Grace’s desire to make financial decisions while she not quite in her right mind and everyone finds there is nothing “quiet” about this life.
In the Heart of Grace delves deeper into the heart of an amazing woman who teaches Susan and those she cherishes what love is all about.

I sat at her white farmhouse table, set with delicately embroidered linens and fine Dresden china cups and dessert plates, all elegantly arranged as if shed fussed for hours just as I knew she would. For Grace, this was no big deal. She did everything with such ease and, most fitting to her name, grace.
She sat beside me and poured our coffee, and as we fixed our respective cups to our liking, she said, “So you want to know more about Tom.”
She was at it again with that spooky knowing what was on my mind.
“Well, yes. I mean, I dont want to pry but—”
“Pry away! Of course you want to know about him. Youre falling in love with him, after all. You have every right to want to know.” She smiled her warmest smile and grabbed my hand.
“Hes the most kind and caring man, Susan, and he had a wonderful marriage to Anna. They seemed very well suited for each other. Anna was a bit on the quiet side, almost shy to a point, but devoted to Tom and their son John. Shed been a teacher, grade school I think, but had stopped so she could be home with the boy. You know that Tom was an architect with a very large firm and did very well, so Im guessing that they were okay financially, which allowed her to do that.”
She took a sip of coffee and then bit into a scone, wiping the crumbs from her mouth with the beautiful linen napkin.
“Anna was in the book club with me, so I knew a little about her. She seemed to enjoy our little club, always offering an interesting take on whatever we were reading, and was very kind to me if I needed a lift. We talked about the usual things regarding her son John, you know, his sports and school and such. He was an adorable little boy with thick curly hair. Tall for his age, just like his dad—all legs and arms, you know? He loved soccer and baseball like most young boys, but seemed to have a real affinity for any sport. Anyway, she always said that in spite of Toms busy schedule and the demands of his job, he always did his best to be there for a game or a practice. He took such pride in his son.”
I listened intently, munching away and taking in every word.
“When the fire took them, Tom was devastated, as you know. He wondered if he could, or should, go on. He didnt think there was any point to it. The loss of his family just seemed too much to bear. I understood this, of course. I mean, losing your family, especially your child, has to be the worst thing that anyone should have to bear, but knowing Anna and her devotion to Tom and their son, well, somehow I just knew she would want him to carry on and start a new life. That was why I felt it was so important to make him understand that. There was so much more in store for him in this life if he would just try.”
“But how could you know? I mean, did you have a premonition or something?” I asked.
“Theres a strange sort of tingling that goes on in my head when I get these hits, sort of like a tiny electrical charge, and thats when I know to pay attention. In this case, I just knew I had to do something for Tom. So I visited with him, brought him coffee every day, and finally gave him Lucy, not really knowing for sure what the outcome would be but certain that his life was important and he had a lot more to give to this world.”
I chewed on that for a few minutes, literally, as I savored the delicious scone and wondered if there were any other people in his life like parents or siblings. As if on cue, Grace answered my unspoken questions.
“His parents were wonderful to him, so patient and kind. I got to know them when Tom came to stay with me. They live in Old Westbury, and yes, theyre both still alive. They would come out for visits and his dad pitched in to help wherever he could. Hes a master carpenter, and whatever he put his hands to came out like a piece of art. Did Tom tell you his dad made that exquisite cherry mantel for his fireplace?”
“No,” I said. “We havent really talked about any of that. His house is beautiful, and I can see theres been a lot of love poured into the renovation of it, but Im kind of scared to bring up the subject. Im afraid to stir it all up again for him. I cant imagine the pain of it all.”
Grace thought for a moment.
“It will take time, but I think youre right to let it happen as Tom sees fit. Its such a mixed bag of emotions for him, you know? Losing everything and then reclaiming his home, working for hours on end in his gardens to make them as magnificent as they are now, and then meeting you. Theres relief and reminders there. You understand that, dont you Susan?”
I did. I thought of how I would react to losing Chris. My world would be shattered and, truthfully, I wasnt so sure if I could pick myself up and start over or, as Tom had thought in the depths of his despair, if I would even want to.

Praise for In the Heart of Grace
"In the Heart of Grace was written in the same sunny style as its precursor and it left me feeling warm and for lack of a better word, happy. It is a rare treat to kick back with an uplifting book that is free from drama and negativity. I was able to spend a few hours reading about an amazingly genuine woman who mends fences and heals hearts wherever she goes."
Bonnie- Words at Home blog

"One thing is for sure, In the Heart of Grace is a soft, feel good story that made me stop to appreciate the simpler things in life."
N.V. Hensey