Talya Tate Boerner is a delta girl who grew up making mudpies on her family’s cotton farm in Mississippi County (Northeast Arkansas). After thirty years as a commercial banker in Dallas, she returned to the state she loves and now lives in Fayetteville with her husband, John, and two miniature schnauzers, Lucy and Annabelle. Talya is a regular contributor to Delta Crossroads and Front Porch Magazine. Her work has been published in Arkansas Review, Postcard Shorts, and The Write Life. Talya’s love of food, farming, and nature is evident on her personal lifestyle blog, Grace Grits and Gardening. She loves to cook and believes most any dish can be improved with a side of collard greens. The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, scheduled for release January 28, 2016 from SYP Publishing, is her debut novel.
The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee
Ten-year-old Gracie Lee knows a few things. She knows which trees are best for climbing. She knows how to walk through the hallway without making a sound on the hardwood floor. She knows if Daddy’s crop gets one more drop of rain, the whole family will pay the price. There are plenty of things Gracie doesn’t know. These things keep her awake at night. Gracie longs for something bigger and grander and truer, and feels certain there is more to life beyond school and dull church sermons. She worries about the soldiers in Vietnam and wonders what it must be like to have been born Lisa Marie Presley from Tennessee instead of Gracie Lee Abbott from Arkansas. Mostly, she wishes her Daddy wasn’t so mean.
Gracie’s unchecked imagination leads to adventure, and adventure leads to trouble. She confides in unexpected characters and seeks solace in a mysterious gray house beyond the cotton field. When Gracie faces a difficult family situation, she must make a life-altering decision, one that will test the very essence of her character.
“At best, most first novels indicate potential. It would be wrong to say that, when reading Talya Tate Boerner’s The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, I was amazed. There’s magic here, in a wonderfully-told story that will find a special place in any reader’s heart.” –Jeff Guinn, New York Times bestselling author