Shelley Shepard GrayShelley Shepard Gray started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to her. She wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish. She grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver,  she now resides in southern Ohio where she's lived for ten years .  Shelley has been married for twenty years and has raised two kids.

Favorite Verse: Romans 12:12: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


 

 The Story Behind Grace: Shelley Shepard Gray


 


Dear Grace Reader:

A year or two before I got married, I spent the majority of  Christmas Day in a hotel room. Oh, it was a very nice hotel room. The bed was comfortable. There was room service, a big bathtub with lots of bubble bath and lotion…a television with lots of channels. But, well, it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

I tried my hardest to make the best of things. I ordered room service. I pretended I was glad I wasn’t in a noisy house with lots of people and too many dishes. But I wasn’t.

Actually, as the hours wore on, I became pretty depressed. I had a view of the front parking lot, and it looked to me that everyone else in the world was traveling in groups, each person holding more packages than the last. Everyone looked happy. Exuberant.  I was not.

  Every Christmas since, things have been different. Never again have I spent the day alone. Instead, I’ve been surrounded by family and friends. Sometimes the day was so busy, with cooking and cleaning and visiting and wrapping that I’ve even yearned for a moment or two of peace! Maybe some of you have felt the same way.
 
 Now, I have to think that God had plans for me way back then- when I spent the day looking out the window. Perhaps He was giving me the tools to write a novel about two lonely visitors who seek refuge in an inn for Christmas.
 
Being able to write this story has truly been a gift for me. I loved writing a story about two people finding hope and joy and God’s grace on Christmas Day. And, of course, I was happy to return to the characters in the Sisters of the Heart series.
 
 So this Christmas, I hope you have joy. And peace. And the knowledge that even if you happen to be sitting by yourself in a hotel room, you are never truly alone.

God Bless, and Merry Christmas!

Shelley Shepard Gray