Chasing Grace won 1st place for Popular Fiction eLit awards.
Cathy Callahan runs away at age ten to escape her mother’s abuse and find God, whom she first met in a Chicago public park when she was six. The next thirty years are a series of funny, brutal, and uplifting adventures that pit her humor and strength against the rage and confusion that make her reckless, desperate, blind to gray areas, and at the same time inspiring.
Cathy searches for love, healing, and wholeness in all the wrong places from Chicago’s North Side to Montana, to Reno, to San Francisco. In the Catholic Church’s byzantine system of salvation and ruler-wielding nuns. In a bakery/brothel run by Mollie, the brassy older woman who “adopts” her. With a good-looking, half-naked guru hawking “I AM Oneness.” With Spirit in the High Rockies, and in marriage to a sexy, dangerous cowboy. Also in too much Scotch. She finally stops running and retraces her steps to Chicago, where she faces her demons and finds unexpected grace in the last place she thinks to look.
Chasing Grace is a raw, humorous look at spiritual coming of age, at unconventional ways to heal deep emotional wounds, and at finding greater purpose in surprising places despite desperate odds.
Praise for Chasing Grace
“Chasing Grace is quality fiction that grabs you with its humor and its gritty little narrator. Cathy will do anything to find the one thing she wants in life–a connection with the divine that makes her feel whole, healed, happy, and ‘real.’ She chases grace for 30 years and 2,000 miles until finally it catches her.” – Carolyn Ingram, Ed.D., PCC, Licensed psychologist, author and poet
“Fine writing, eclectic characters and a gutsy, funny narrator make this fast-paced spiritual coming of age novel a joy to read. This is a page-turner, and proves you don’t need years of therapy or a Himalayan cave to find grace and happiness–even when you are up against huge challenges. A special treat for Catholics–both recovering and practicing.” – Adair Lara, Naked, Drunk, and Writing, writing coach
“Carol Costello’s acclaimed writing skills emerge razor-sharp in this gripping story of a young woman’s struggle with good and evil. Cathy’s journey is peppered with vivid, oddball characters, leavened with biting humor, and driven by courage and spunk that overcome abuse, alcoholism, bad luck, and flat out evil.” – Ruth Chambers, The Chinaberry Album and other novels
WRITING CHASING GRACE
Publishing Chasing Grace changed my center of gravity in life. When people say they read it in one sitting or that they loved it so much they wrote their first Amazon review, something happens inside me that is different from anything I’ve ever experienced. I realize that I’ve done something that was mine to do, and that feels good.
Chasing Grace was my first novel. I had wanted to write a novel ever since the rainy afternoon back in grade school when I finished Black Beauty and burst into tears. A few years ago, I passed a mirror and noticed that I was no longer twenty—or even thirty or forty! I put everything else on hold, lived off savings, and wrote Chasing Grace.
I had no idea what I was doing when I started, and came at that book up, down, around, and through. I lined my living room walls with butcher paper and created a color-coded post-it for each scene. I nearly went blind. My brain started to scramble. One night my kitties discovered their colorful new toy and had their way with the post-its. I tore it all down and relied solely on instinct, simply writing the next scene I would want to read.
Gradually, I found the Zone and Chasing Grace began to flow. It felt as if I were watching a movie and just transcribing what I saw on the screen. I settled into a rhythm, let the book take over, and allowed it to be what it wanted to be.