2016 Award Winner | The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee

by | Mar 20, 2017 | Book Awards

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

Buy at SYP Publishing

Talya Tate Boerner
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Talya Tate Boerner

As the daughter of an Arkansas farmer, Talya grew up playing in the cotton fields of Mississippi County while perfecting the art of making mudpies. After high school, she moved to Texas for college. Talya graduated from Baylor University with an economics degree primarily because her Daddy said, “If I’m paying for college, you’ll get a business degree.” So that’s what she did.

For nearly thirty years, Talya lived in Dallas, built a successful banking career, married, raised two incredible children and enjoyed life—all the while planning to someday return to Arkansas.

In 2011, after an “aha” moment, she left banking to pursue her dream of writing. Now she lives in Fayetteville with her husband and splits time between Northwest Arkansas and her family’s farm in Mississippi County.

Talya’s debut novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, was released in January 2016 through SYP Publication. Although the story is fiction, the characters and setting will be familiar and relatable, especially to those with southern roots, less than perfect families, and questions about life in general. There’s a bit of Gracie Lee in all of us.

Talya is a regular contributor to Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Front Porch Magazine, Only in Arkansas(dot)com, and Delta Crossroads. Her work has been published in Arkansas Review, Postcard Shorts, The Write Life, and Deep South Magazine. For more juicy details, she constantly overshares on her personal blog, Grace Grits and Gardening.

FAPA Gold Award
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Gold Award 2016  | General Fiction

Submit Your Book for the 2017 FAPA President's Book Awards

Recognizing book publishing excellence and creativity in design, content, and production