Accepting Grace, Giving Grace, Grace Series, Healing Grace, Renewed by Grace, Restoring Grace, Trusting Grace

Random Ideas & Stray Thoughts

Random ideas, a stray thought, or passing conversation can lead to some of the most unexpected blessings.

My entire Grace Series started by a stray thought about my new journaling Bible. Seeing the script-like font for ESV (English Standard Version), I thought, those look like initials for a pretty name… Elizabeth Viviane Stanton was born.Ideas

From there, the character of Viviane grew to become the first novel, Restoring Grace, published last August 2018. I pulled from my experiences of living in Atlanta, my love of Cartersville and an original desire to be a photographer.

Many of the incidents which happen to characters in the book, happened to me:

Passing out in Michael’s craft store and my mom being used to it, finished checking out before feeding me

Visiting the Booth Museum with my grandmother (read more here)

It was my art teacher who told the story of breaking her leg on a field trip to a Paris museum

Fainting in a church play and being the angel dragged out through hell – that was me, too!

A special night out at the Sun Dial restaurant

When I started writing my first novel, I had no idea it would be this on-going series about different characters introduced in the different stories. Most of the time, when a secondary character is first mentioned, I don’t know a future book will be about them until much later!

I wrote about Hillary Blake in the context of her overbearing mother trying to sabotage Viviane’s relationship with Cole, not knowing she would be featured in her own novel. Accepting Grace’s story came from the recent teacher testing scandals happening and I really just wanted to know what was going to happen to Hillary and her mother.

ideasLuke Toledo’s name came from M*A*S*H episodes where Klinger talks about trying to get back home to Toledo, Ohio. Luke was a firefighter because I knew many firefighter’s and could get a lot of detailed information. One of my assignments in design school was to design a firehouse and I visited several for research.

Accepting Grace has been one of my favorites to write because I worked with a new co-worker who was from Miami and she gave me great insight into the Cuban/Mexican culture. A random idea of a Hispanic background led me to learn more about a young woman at work who became a dear friend.

Bailey Evan’s was introduced to give Grace Cartwright a reason to leave early and force Viviane to interact with Cole in Restoring Grace. I didn’t know when I wrote those paragraphs about her, she would become one of the main characters in my third novel, Trusting Grace.

She was a chef, because of ALL the cooking shows I’d been watching. I placed in her Colorado Springs after I visited a friend from college one summer. (WOW the mountains!) ideas

Andrea’s character was fun to write with all of the mistaken identity issues she had with her age and her son’s ages. I created two brothers and didn’t realize one was going to be the perfect guy for Laura’s character introduced for the first time in Trusting Grace. At the time I just need to show Joshua’s sweet side of helping others.

It wasn’t until the end of book three that I knew Andrea’s story would be featured in novel four, Renewed by Grace. Thankfully, God had me already write in some tidbits which I could use for Andrea’s story. The orthopedic doctor turned out to be Mark Lawson’s son Kip. The physical therapy sessions lead to where she met Noah, Mark Lawson’s grandson who’s in PT for a soccer injury.

Each story wove itself to lead into the next one with very little effort on my part! One of God’s little miracles from a mix of random ideas.

ideasI was so sure when I wrote about Preston Dyson, III, he would be this stuck-up, uncaring, and selfish guy and he was… for a time! Seeing his transformation from Trusting Grace to Renewed by Grace is a testament of God’s abundant grace! It was a surprise to me when I wrote it!

Right now, I’m in the process of writing book six, Giving Grace which will feature Preston Dyson and Sharon Pruitt. Sharon was shy, recently having moved to Cartersville, a filler character in book one, Restoring Grace, and now she will have her own novel!

Laura’s story, Healing Grace Book Five is AVAILABLE NOW and it’s one I’d been itching to write for a while. Her story of abuse and Jacob’s PTSD trauma are similar to my own growing up with my father. God has worked a lot of healing in my own life, physically and mentally for instance.

I’m finding it’s a never-ending process, but writing Laura’s story gave me a glimpse of just how far I’ve come. I struggled to start. I only had bits and pieces, nothing solid until one day I was at Starbucks, early on Saturday morning and one of the baristas jokingly said I should use his name in a novel.

Tyler… Immediately I started typing out the prologue to Healing Grace. The words flowed almost faster than I could type. Tyler… Tyler Clark, fellow Marine.

Before I knew it, I had the first two pages of my fifth novel. After that, the rest of the story just flowed.

Random ideas… Yes

Stray thoughts… Yes

A glimmer of a possibility… Yes

And it is truly a miracle to see where they lead me to.

It is a unique gift from God how all of these random ideas turn into stories and characters which weave themselves together. I do not take it lightly how everything works out.

Not always easy, but always worth the effort I put in to see what God does with it in the end.

Healing Grace Book Five is available now. Learn more here.

Check out my other novels here. Available at many online retailers.

Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,


Accepting Grace, Grace Series

Getting To Know You… Questions

QuestionsQuestions & Answers with Hillary Blake

Anna Christine Boulier: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me, Hillary. I know you’re busy with school after winter break.

Hillary Blake: A little, but it’s been too long since we got together to talk. When you suggested this, I knew I had to come running.

ACB: Laughing. Meeting at your favorite coffee shop didn’t hurt.

HB: You know me so well.

ACB: How are the kids?

HB: Which ones? My third graders or my kids?

ACB: Both?

Continue reading “Getting To Know You… Questions”

Accepting Grace, Grace Series, Locations in Grace Series

Tellus Museum: Hidden Gem

TellusI remember the pre-Tellus museum called the Weinman Mineral Museum. It featured rocks, gems, and of course minerals. I’d been for a few school trips and one summer, my mother, the librarian, set up their library, so I spent a lot of time roaming those halls.

In 2007, Weinman Mineral Museum closed its doors and on January 12, 2009, the Tellus Museum opened featuring dinosaur bones, spaceships, and much more than minerals. The first time I went to the Tellus after its new opening was a work event where my team and I explored its halls of exhibits. It was a DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE from the one of my childhood… bigger, better, and fun!

Cartersville has grown so much since I was a little girl, who was desperately trying to get out and move on to bigger and better than my little town. I hope, if I had known how Cartersville would grow to what it is now, I wouldn’t have been in such a rush to leave, but hindsight is 20/20! Sometimes, you have to leave to know what you really need in life.


The Tellus Museum is over 120,000 square feet and just off I-75’s exit 293. More than just the Weinman Mineral Gallery, there is also a Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion gallery, The Collins Family My Big Backyard, and it features a large planetarium along with a large telescope.

Cartersville’s “Rock” Museum has grown to feature large dinosaurs and other skeletons that makes even adults feel like kids again with a love of dinosaurs and other GIGANTIC fossils to admire. Exhibits also include the evolution of the car, from the buggy to the more sophisticated Fords. Spaceships and models are all around the Science in Motion exhibit to entertain your inner speed racer.

One of the new features of this museum is the kid-friendly exhibits that let kids and adults learn hands-on about science. You can pan for gems, dig for fossils, and learn about magnets, light, and sound.


My little hometown has grown and changed dramatically from my childhood.  The Tellus Museum is a fun example I featured in my second novel, Accepting Grace where Hillary Blake, a third-grade teacher, spends the afternoon as the nanny of three little kids during the summer.

Part of the reason Hillary is a third-grade teacher is my love of dinosaurs that I felt so strongly my third-grade year. Mrs. Ely, my third-grade teacher, fostered a love of reading, dinosaurs, and more which I wanted to honor in my second novel.

I wanted to feature some of the unique aspects of this museum in the novel and felt I needed to experience it again for my novel. One Saturday, my mom and I made the trip and spent the day fostering my continued love of dinosaurs, rocks, and science.

The parking lot had BIG trucks…

Daniel Toledo loved the big trucks on their family visit with Hillary Blake.

We learned about dinosaurs…

Daniel’s mouth fell open when Hillary, his nanny could name all the dinosaurs!

Panned for gems…

My mom had just as much fun as the kids did with Hillary Blake and Luke Toledo.

Saw monsters and/or fossils…

Magda was a little scare with the BIG FOSSILS, but she held on tight to her Uncle Luke. She knew he’d protect her.

Tellus is a kid-friendly museum that will delight not only kids but adults as well. My first visit after the new reno, there no one in my tour group under twenty-one, and we all had a blast!



Hours: Open daily 10 am – 5 pm; Closed Major Holidays

Members: Free
Adults: $15.95 + tax
Children (3-17):  $11.95 + tax
Student with ID: $11.95 + tax
Seniors (65+): $13.95 + tax
Active Military Discounts

*Tellus Museum is a part of the Bank of America Museums on Us Program

100 Tellus Drive
Cartersville, GA 30120

Phone Number:


I will always fondly remember the Weinman Mineral Museum, my childhood was enhanced by my time there. The wonderful thing about living in Cartersville is now the Tellus Museum has a special place in my heart as well. My first work event was at the Tellus, my Mom and I had a memorable day there together, and it’s featured in my second novel. Tellus/Weinman, they all have a special place in my heart.

You won’t be disappointed with this hidden GEM in Cartersville and should plan a visit, even if you don’t have kids!

Also, check out my blog post about the Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. This cowboy museum was featured in my first novel. If you’re looking for other fun things to do in Cartersville, especially eating, check out this post.

Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,