Grace Series, Restoring Grace

Grand’s BIG PLAN

If you’ve been exploring my website, you probably have seen I’ve included the first chapter of Restoring Grace, my first novel. This chapter introduces Viviane and her fears that her Grandmother is very sick. What you haven’t read is the prologue chapter with Grand’s BIG PLAN!

Please ENJOY the Prologue from my new novel, Restoring Grace, available August 14th here.

Grand's Big Plan

Prologue- Grand’s Big PLAN

“It’s about time you got here. I called over an hour ago.” Delia Anne placed a large serving dish on the elegantly set table. “I’ve not only finished making lunch but also potted and repotted several plants waiting for you.”

“It’s not my fault I’m late, Delia Anne! I couldn’t find my stupid car keys anywhere.” Out of breath Jill Adams came barreling through the kitchen door, walking straight to the sink to wash her hands. “I swear that dog’s hiding them from me. She sits on them, and it’s only when I go to walk her before I leave I find them.”

Wiping her hands on a pretty hand towel, she continued, “I should’ve gotten a cat, they never care when you come or go as long as the food dish is full.”

Pushing her steel gray hair back, Delia Anne eyed the table to make sure everything was laid out. Seeing her long-time friend standing in her kitchen, reminded her of the many meals their families shared over the fifty years she had lived in this house. “Grab a seat, Jill. I’ve got an idea I want to run past you while we’re eating.”

“Oh no, Delia Anne, no more ideas,” Jill exclaimed, waving her hands. “I told you after your last harebrained scheme to raise money for the church emergency fund I wasn’t getting on board with any more of your ideas. I swear, I thought the church council was going to kick us out. Who in their right mind would want to purchase the widow calendar of Great Hills Christian Church is beyond me.”

Paling a little she said, “I thought Lauren Blake was going to die right there when you suggested a tasteful pin-up for sale.”

Huffing in her seat, Jill ran her hands through her dark hair, unknowingly pulling a few strands from her bun, streaked liberally with gray. She was unable to hide her nervousness when she imagined herself in a bathing suit with her body that had seen the birth of four kids, and everything else life had thrown at her. That last plan of Delia Anne’s terrified her more than anything else she had come up with in a long time.

“Jill Adams, you know I was just kidding when I said that! I was tired of listening to Lauren talk about how Hillary had the best idea for raising money, yet again. The whole meeting was Lauren talking about this or that. It was giving me a headache.” Delia Anne continued with force, “I know everyone else was thinking it, too!”

She had to hide a grin. I wouldn’t have been ashamed if they had jumped at my idea for the swimsuit calendar. I would like to think I look pretty good for my age. I’m active, walk constantly, and look trendy with my hair in a long, stylish bob. I’d be perfect for the month of May in a tasteful one piece of course.

Jill began to fill her plate but paused long enough to say, “You may have been kidding, but I was scandalized. I didn’t want to show my face at the next function with you.” Looking at Delia Anne pointedly she said, “You know I don’t like to be the center of attention, especially if it involves a bathing suit.”

“Dear, I would’ve let you wear a cover-up in the calendar.” Delia Anne told her between bites of potato salad. She paused and put her fork down beside the hand-painted plate and said, “But seriously, this new plan of mine isn’t for the public. It’s actually a hush-hush plan to get my granddaughter married and start having my great-grandchildren.” Moving to refill Jill’s sweet tea, she continued, “It’s time she fixed things with young Cole West. He’d make a great husband for her and they just need to work out their differences, and that won’t happen with her living in Atlanta.

“Delia Anne, you’re acting like they’re kids and argued only a few days ago. Viviane’s thirty-two, and they broke up over ten years ago.”

Exasperation filled her voice as she tried to speak some sense into her friend. “I don’t think they’ve even set eyes on each other in all this time. Viviane hasn’t been home longer than two days since she graduated college. She’s worked long and hard to avoid him, you should respect her wishes.”

Jill paused a moment, and then asked, “Why pray tell is this coming up all of the sudden… are you okay? Are you sick… is that why you want to see grandkids?” Panic at the thought of losing her best friend, so soon after the death of her husband had her reaching for Delia Anne’s hand.

“Jill, I’m fine.” Patting her hand, she continued, “Tip top shape actually, but I’d like to see my grandchildren before I do get old and can’t enjoy them. It all started with Pastor’s sermon last Sunday. I’m following his advice, because it got me thinking, and I feel this is what God wants me to do. I’ve got to help fix Viviane and Cole’s relationship to get them married.”

Delia Anne rose from her chair and asked, “Do you want some pickles? I do.”

Jill laid down the bread she had been buttering and snapped, “No! No, I don’t want pickles. You know I hate pickles… forget the stupid pickles.” Jill waved her hands in animated frustration. “What do you mean Pastor Winston’s sermon inspired you to help Viviane? Last Sunday’s sermon was about being good Christian neighbors.”

Delia Anne put the pickles on the table and sat back down. “You remember when Pastor talked about how Christians are supposed to do their part and let God take care of the rest…” The excitement caused her eyes to light up, “Well, I’m going to do my part by bringing Viviane back to town for an extended visit to see Cole. They will straighten out the fight the two of them had years ago.”

Jill eyed her apprehensively, “How exactly? I don’t see Viviane coming back for just any reason, because you’ve been trying that for years.”

“I’m going to let her think I’m sick. I’ll drop some hints, let a few clues slip and BOOM,” she clapped her hands together. “She’s here before I know it.” Her face glowed over the simple brilliance of her plan.

“Are you out of your ever-loving mind?” Jill yelled, not pausing to let Delia Anne speak. “Let her think you’re sick. You’re nuts. I thought you were getting the wrong idea from the sermon, but now I know you’re just crazy.”

Please Lord let her see how wrong this plan is, she prayed. Her eyes filled with concern she said, “Delia Anne Mays you can’t lie to the girl. That’s definitely NOT God’s plan.”

Delia Anne remained calm as she answered, “I know lying is a sin, but Viviane must come back here to fix things with Cole and this is the best way to do it. I’d never intentionally hurt her, not with everything she’s been through, but it’s for the best. Once she’s fixed things with Cole… well, problem solved. I’ll tell her how I brought them together. She’ll understand and it will make a lovely story for the wedding toasts.”

So secure in her plan and sure of God’s divine inspiration, she radiated confidence as she spoke of Viviane’s quick and eventual understanding of her little white lies. “Pastor Winston said we weren’t to sit like bumps-on-a-log waiting for God to move, but to be active in helping others.”

She placed a few pickles on her plate. “Besides, I have to act now because I saw Cole and Hillary sitting together last Sunday.”

Jill thought for a moment and finally sighed when she looked into Delia Anne’s excited face. “You’re my best friend and I know you mean well, but I don’t think this is what Pastor Winston meant. I’ll help, but under protest, in the hope of keeping this mess from getting out of hand.” Pausing, she sighed, “What do you want me to do?”

Delia Anne smiled at her friend. She knew Jill would come around, she always did. They spent the next few hours deciding exactly how Delia Anne needed to act to let hints filter to Viviane. Hints that would bring her granddaughter home for good.


Want more?  Chapter One


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

Grand's Big Plan

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