J is an extremely dynamic man, larger than life. We met him when we started helping in a ministry for new believers at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. We were blessed to be able to consider him a friend and a mentor. He taught us how to lead a class of new believers and we spent time with his family just to have fun.
J did, however, have a past that included time spent in prison. It was there he came to know the Lord and became a new creation. God used that past to glorify himself. I really appreciated the way J shared his past to show the changes Jesus can make and didn’t glory in the things he had done in his “old” life.
Unbound by Grace: a novella
by Michelle Massaro
Publication Date July 21, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: California Contemporary
Written for: Adults
When the past holds the future captive, there is only ONE chain breaker.
Tori Bishop has carved out a safe circle of friends who know nothing of her privileged status. But when she’s roped into attending a glitzy fundraiser, she brings along strong and steadfast Derek for support. As long as her secret stays safe, she never has to question his motives.
Derek Miller wants his life to count for something, to make a difference—especially in the life of Tori Bishop, the spunky smart-mouth who loves razzing him. But if his prison record comes to light, she’s sure to take off running.
When Tori and Derek get involved in building a local women’s shelter, the extra time together stirs more than an ember of attraction. Haunted by the fear of exposure, each must wrestle with the chains of their pasts to experience freedom, love, and the full depths of God’s grace.
About Unbound by Grace
This inspirational Christian novella explores the ways in which our pasts-- mistakes, betrayals, wounds-- can keep us from experiencing the full depth of God's grace. But releasing our pasts to Him can free us to receive new life and love. A follow-up to Grace in the Flames, this shorter read delivers a meaningful faith journey as well as a fun, flirty, and heart-pounding love story.
Scroll up and grab your copy of UNBOUND BY GRACE today!
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Derek was a new creation. He had been saved out of a life of sin. He was white as snow. And yet, because of his past, he struggled. A lot. He felt that if people knew, they would treat him like an outcast. It was hard enough for him to find people to trust him with a job!
Tori had almost the opposite problem. She kept her “privileged” background hidden – fearful of being used for her wealth or prestige. Because of a man who had used Tori in the past, she had a difficult time trusting anyone. Assuming everyone would do the same thing given the chance.
Though their situations appeared to be very different, they both needed to learn how to trust others and more importantly, to trust God. Unbound by Grace explores the way we sometimes project our past hurts onto others, judging them for things they never did.
The author didn’t pull her punches and did a great job in showing what it looks like to live out your faith in hard times. And while I cringed at Derek’s street lingo, it was necessary and realistic. It was just a part of who he was.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author. Though it was obvious many of the characters were from a previous story, I wasn’t lost from not having read Grace in the Flames. I am interested in that one and will likely be picking up a copy soon.
Guest Post from Michelle Massaro
When I sit down to write a new story, I tend to gravitate toward some pretty deep emotions. The raw kind we all have known at one point or another. It’s what connects us all as human beings, no matter how different we are on the outside. If we can learn to see ourselves in others I believe that’s where compassion is born, as well as some self-revelation. Like King David hearing the story of the rich man stealing the poor man’s lamb and realizing he was that man!
In Unbound by Grace, I was approaching the story of two super fun characters I had introduced in my first novel, Grace in the Flames. In that book, they were side characters. But I always adored writing their scenes. They were both so entertaining! And the chance to put these two together and give them their own book was just too delicious an idea to pass up.
I got to put them into some interesting surroundings (anyone been to watch a horse race lately?) and take them to some very exposed, vulnerable places as well. Through them I was challenged to get inside someone else’s skin, and understand. Plus, they kept me smiling as well! This story was a blast to write, and I hope you enjoy these fictional friends of mine as much as I do.
It’s such a pleasure to meet new readers. I hope to hear from you soon!
Real World Bible Study, September 20
Godly Book Reviews, September 20
Among the Reads, September 21
The Power of Words, September 21
Bibliophile Reviews, September 22
A Baker’s Perspective, September 23
Fiction Aficionado, September 24
Faithfully Bookish, September 25
Reading Is My SuperPower, September 26
Carpe Diem, September 27
Lis Loves Reading, September 28
proud to be an autism mom, September 28
Simple Harvest Reads, September 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Janices book reviews, September 30
The Mimosa Blossom, October 1
Books, Books, and More Books., October 1
Texas Book-aholic, October 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 3
Bigreadersite, October 3
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize package that includes:
- A notebook
- A mug
- A bookmark
- A pen
- A signed copy of Grace in the Flames
- A $40 Amazon Gift Card
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d3a6/unbound-by-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway