20 February 2013

Blog Tour: Grace Grows by Shelle Sumners

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting author Shelle Sumners on her blog tour for her brand new book Grace Grows. I can't wait to get around to reading this book, I have heard such good things about, but in the meantime, here's a great piece written by Shelle for my blog tour stop, all about working with her husband Lee on the songs in the book.

Enjoy the piece, and thank you to Shelle for taking the time to write this piece!

You can pre-order Grace Grows as a paperback or buy it as an eBook now.

"Hello Chloe, it’s a pleasure to be here!

Grace Grows is a musical novel, about two people who are, in many ways, opposites. Grace Barnum is a very practical, very cautious, very articulate woman who falls in love--against her stubborn, (supposedly) better judgment--with Tyler Wilkie, an elemental, spontaneous, openhearted musician; a man who speaks his love best, and most eloquently, through song.

I started writing the story after having a dream about Grace and Ty, and it occurred to me that it might be interesting to have real song lyrics in the story. The problem with this idea was that I am not a songwriter.

The solution was that my husband Lee Morgan is, and he writes some of the most compelling songs I’ve ever heard. I asked him if he’d consider working with me on this project, and he easily and instantly said yes (I knew he would; he’s generally very agreeable).

Then I became a bit worried. If Lee was going to trust me with his songs, I was going to have to write a story that deserved them. The stakes went sky-high.

I wrote this love story from Grace’s perspective, using all my heart and all my imagination. Lee wrote songs for Ty that devastated and sparked me. Imagine you are the tenderhearted but careful woman who is trying not to love the man who writes these words for you:

I dream of love
and pray for time
Close my eyes and get me
a little peace of mind
In another time and place
in a sun so warm
I see it in her face and
She’s just the world to me
just a girl who knows
I could be good I could be bad
I could be what she’s never had
And I can be wrong but you can be sure
I could be anything for

Even better than reading the words, listen to the song “Her” here:

See what I mean? Devastating. What could Grace do?

We ended up with eight gorgeous lyric-poem songs in the book and a fully produced soundtrack album.

Lee and I are eager for readers to meet Grace Barnum and Tyler Wilkie, our in-love dream people, who come to vivid life in the pages and songs of Grace Grows."

Shelle Sumners has held many jobs, among them waitress, actress, administrative assistant, copy editor, educational writer, bookseller, and wedding chapel receptionist. Her debut novel Grace Grows has a companion soundtrack of phenomenal original songs that appear in the story, written and performed by her husband, singer-songwriter and Broadway actor Lee Morgan. Shelle lives and writes in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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