Stacy Monson – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: Contemporary Romance author, Stacy Monson shares the inspiration for her Chain of Lakes series. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to win books 1 and 2 of the Chain of Lakes series. Deadline: May 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Stacy:

Stacy MonsonShattered ImageDance of Grace

Pieces of Life

Just over a year ago, I released my debut novel – “Shattered Image.” It wasn’t the first book I wrote, but it ended up being first out of the gate. While former spokesmodel Kiera has walked away from a life of fame and celebrity, rising pop star Peter is just getting started. Achieving their dreams will require sacrifice, but how much is too much?

Book 2 of the Chain of Lakes series, “Dance of Grace,” released in October 2015. This one was the first book I wrote but being a bit edgier than “Shattered Image,” I decided it would be better coming out second. Former dancer Vanessa is bitter and broken after a series of events takes everything that matters to her. Ex-con Kurt has a new lease on life as he builds River House, a drop-in place for local youth. But his past threatens everything, including the young woman he loves.

The third and final book of the series, “Life in Pieces,” will release early in the fall of 2016.

Martha “Marti” Gustafson’s life resembles a patchwork quilt—living conditions, relationships, and jobs loosely pieced together to form a tattered-at-the-edges kind of life. Her focus is on building a future for herself and her younger sister, but one thread after another comes loose until she’s left clutching the very last piece.

Luke Evans had what he thought was the perfect life, until the day his eight-months pregnant wife left him for another man. After quitting his job as Youth Pastor for a small church, he’s trying to piece together a new life while protecting his battered heart.

So what do these three books have in common? All of these characters have been worn down by the demands of life, the choices they’ve made, and the fear of losing control. In turn, each must decide how they will go forward from the mess they’re in—trust in God’s work in their lives, and the people He has placed in their path, or do what they’ve always done?

While that decision seems to be an easy one, in the throes of desperation it may feel out of reach. It’s so much easier to rely on ourselves and how we’ve managed in the past, isn’t it? Stick with what’s familiar, even if it’s not working. Falling in love and being vulnerable can actually be one of the scariest and most difficult things to do. And trusting God through the upheaval may seem impossible.

All of the characters in the Chain of Lakes series are faced with that decision—can they let their guard down and accept help from someone else (even someone who has hurt them), or do they cling to what they know? Could love really work or will they be disappointed yet again? Where does God fit into their life and troubles? And will trusting cost them everything?

It’s been a fascinating journey for me as I’ve gotten to know these characters. I’ve fallen in love with them, been frustrated by their choices (no matter how many times I tried to make the story go another direction!), and cried along with them at their darkest moments.

I can’t wait for you to meet my newest friends, Marti and Luke, as they find love amidst the pieces of their lives. Watch for “Life in Pieces” to come out this fall!

Question for Readers: What are some of the pieces that make up your unique journey?

Some of mine include my roles as wife, mom and mom-in-law, grandma, and sister, as well as writing full-time, losing my mom and mom-in-law to Alzheimer’s, being a caregiver, and best of all – living as a daughter of the King.

And thanks, Shannon, for inviting me to stop by Inkslinger again. It’s always a joy to be here.

About Stacy: An award-winning author, Stacy writes stories that show an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. A member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), she is the current secretary and past president of MN-NICE, as well as the area coordinator for Minnesota. Residing in the Twin Cities, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, mom to two amazing kids and two wonderful in-law kids, and a very proud grandma. You can learn more about Stacy and her books at www.stacymonson.com.

Come back May 9th for Erica Vetsch!

10 Responses to “Stacy Monson – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 1”

  • Shelia Hall says:

    i am divorced ,raising a daughter by myself and have lost both parents in less than a year apart

  • stvannatter says:

    Preacher’s wife – people just don’t know what preachers and their families go through. Preacher’s kid’s mom – trying to raise a Christian boy when everyone expects such high standards from us. And trying to keep him from hating church since we’re there all the time. Daughter, full-time writer (so everybody thinks I have nothing to do. That books just write themselves. Introvert – which goes against everything I’m called to do. Animal lover, flea market lover, Jesus lover. Not necessarily in that order.

  • Oh good question! Let’s see, pieces of my life include being wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, writer, reader, musician, cat lover, reader, nature lover, Christ follower, encourager, Marvel fan, roller coaster rider, baseball (#GoTwins) fan, and more.

    (Don’t enter me, Shannon. I’ve already got Stacy’s fabulous books!)

  • Stacy says:

    Wow, Sheila – you’ve been under tremendous strain. Just being a single mom is hard enough (my 3 siblings and I were raised by a single mom), but then to lose both parents so close together. 🙁 I’ll be praying this year ahead will be filled with unexpected joy and blessings for you.

  • Stacy says:

    Shannon, I think being a preacher’s kid and raising a preacher’s kid are both difficult roles. And I’m very sure those of us who aren’t a PK, let alone raising one, don’t have a clue just how difficult. Your books don’t write themselves?? (If you ever figure out how to make that work, let me know!)

    Thanks for letting me visit here again. I’m always excited to share my stories with you and your crowd.

    Brenda, you forgot caregiver – a MAJOR piece of your life in the past year (and going forward).

  • Dawn Ford says:

    Daughter of alcoholics, stay at home mom of three sons, foster parent to two nieces, writer, former caretaker, parent of an ornery beagle. Lots of threads to pull from.

  • Beth C says:

    Wife, mother, grandma, step mom, church missions treasurer, 2 cats (Ruby and Reba), nasty divorce 20 years ago, babysitter for grandkids, baker, reader, country music lover, and lover of life and great friends!

  • Stacy says:

    Dawn, it’s amazing how varied our threads are, isn’t it? Love the ornery beagle part! And now you can add contest finalist to your list!

  • Stacy says:

    Beth, I think one of my favorites pieces is the grandma part! But I’m realizing it’s a good thing I’m not raising them now – it’s a job for young people!! I love being the fun grandma, however, and getting a chance to be silly. I’m glad the divorce didn’t sour you on life (which it did for my mom). It’s wonderful to see how much you love life!

  • stvannatter says:

    I have a winner! Beth C. won the drawing. I appreciate Stacy for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

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