Faking Grace [NOOK Book]

Overview

All she wants is a job. All she needs is religion. How hard can it be?

Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.

A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, ...
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Faking Grace

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Overview

All she wants is a job. All she needs is religion. How hard can it be?

Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.

A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but Steeple Side only hires committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith–a plan of action that includes changing her first name to Grace, buying Jesus-themed accessories, and learning “Christian Speak.” If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and two-day-stubbled, blue-jean-wearing British hottie wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.

When Maizy’s boss at the newspaper decides that she should investigate–and expose–any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her Steeple Side colleagues–and Jack–will show her grace.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Tamara Leigh takes her experienced romance hand and delights readers with Chick-Lit that sparkles and characters who come alive.” 
- Kristin Billerbeck, author of The Trophy Wives Club for Splitting Harriet

Faking Grace is a delight! I loved this story with its fun, quirky characters, its outside-the-bubble look at the culture of Christianity, and a storyline that kept me turning pages. I could hardly put it down. Highly recommended!”
- Marlo Schalesky, award-winning author of Beyond the Night

“Tamara’s Leigh’s commentary on cultural Christianity in Faking Grace is incisive and thoughtful. Rather than force the topic in an overblown, preachy way, Leigh effectively delivers the message of pursuing authentic faith through a compelling story that hooks the reader from the first page. And my guess is that plenty of single girls are going to be crushing on that charming Brit Jack Prentiss.”
- Christa Ann Banister, author of Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers

“A delightful, charming book! Faking Grace has romance, truth, and a dollop of insanity, making Tamara Leigh a permanent addition to my list of favorite authors. Enjoy!”
- Ginger Garrett, author of In the Shadow of Lions and Beauty Secrets of the Bible

Faking Grace is a witty, warmhearted lesson in how not to be a Christian. Maizy Grace made me think about my own faith journey and how we all sometimes fake it until we make it. What a delightful book!”
- Lenora Worth, author of Mountain Sanctuary and Secret Agent Minister

“I love this story of a real Christian struggling with real attacks of conscience and spiritual growth. As always, Tamara Leigh kept me entertained, laughing, and learning.”
- Rebeca Seitz, author of Sisters, Ink and Coming Unglued

“Tamara Leigh does a fabulous job looking at the faults, the love, the hypocrisy, and the grace of Christians in a way that’s entertaining and fun. Maizy Grace is a crazy character I couldn’t help but like. I loved this book and highly recommend it!”
- Camy Tang, author of Sushi for One? and Only Uni

“Clever. Insightful. Faking Grace is a joy to read, and Maizy Stewart is hilarious. I couldn’t help but cheer for her along her bumpy journey to stop faking grace and start finding it.”
- Melanie Dobson, author of Going for Broke and The Black Cloister
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307769442
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/3/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 426,557
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Tamara Leigh is the best-selling author of eleven novels, including Perfecting Kate, Splitting Harriet, and Stealing Adda. She began writing romance novels to “get the stories out her head.” Over the course of one providential year, she gave birth to her first child, committed her life to Christ, gave up a career in speech pathology, and released her first novel. Tamara and her husband, David, live with their two sons in Tennessee.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

Maizy Grace Stewart’s 5-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith

Name:
- Grace
Nice, upstanding Christian name—lucked out on that one. Must remember to answer to it.

Appearance:
- Monochromatic hair
I flip down my car’s visor mirror and peer at the Marilyn Monroe hair that waves off my oval face. I so miss my stripes. But under my present circumstances, it’s not as if I can afford to keep up the
multiple-shade “do.” Back to the list.

- Minimal makeup
Do I feel naked! Another peek in the mirror confirms the feeling. Since I had passed on foundation and blush, applying only a light powder to even out my tone, I look pale. The overall effect is that my hazel eyes practically jump off my face from beneath perfectly plucked eyebrows (the stragglers made me do it).

- Below-knee skirt

- Button-up collar

- One-inch heels
Almost wish I were naked.

- Cross necklace and earrings

- WWJD bracelet
I scrunch up my nose. WWJD? Where would Jesus…? Why would Jesus…? I tap the bracelet. Ah! What would Jesus do?

- “Love Waits” ring
Oh no, it doesn’t. Still, it’s a nice thought, especially considering the guy I left behind. But best not to go there.

Accessories:
- Bible

- Bible cover
And, I must say, it’s a nice cover. I look to where it sits on the passenger seat with the “KJV” (whatever that means) Bible tucked inside— intensely spiritual with a tapestry print of a country church. And the
faux tortoiseshell handles! Nice touch.

- Twist pen with seven different scriptures
One for every day of the week.

- “Footprints in the Sand” bookmark
Touching poem. And a surprise ending too!

- Fish emblem
“Oops!” I open the ashtray, dig out the emblem, and drop it in my lap. “Check!”

- “Jesus is my copilot” bumper sticker

- Crown-of-thorns air freshener
I glance at the scented disk that hangs from my rearview mirror. Stinks, but nicely visible—practically screams, “This is one serious Christian.”

Christian Speak:
- “Jesus is my Savior.”

- “Jesus died for my sins.”
I close my eyes and run the lingo through my mind. “Got it!”

- “I’m praying for you.”
I wonder how many Christians really do.

- “I need to pray about that.”
Otherwise known as “No way, Jose!” Or, in these parts, as the “Nashville no.”

- “Bless his/her heart.”
Sympathetic aside tacked to a derogatory remark about someone to make it acceptable (possibly exclusive to the South, as I’d never heard it before moving to Nashville four months ago).

- “My brother/sister in Christ.”

- “God’s timing.”

- “Have a blessed day.”

- “Yours in Christ.”
Must remember to use that last one for note cards and such.

Miscellaneous:
- Church
That one on West End should do—respectable looking and big enough to allow me to slip in and out undetected should I need to place myself in that setting. Of course, I hope the need does not arise. Not that I’m not a believer. I am. Sort of. I mean, I was “saved” years ago. Even went through the dunking process—the whole-water-up-the-nose thing (should not have panicked). But the truth is, other than occasionally attending church with my grandmother before and after I was saved, my faith is relatively green. Hence the need for a checklist.

- Testimony
“Uh! Just had to leave that one for last, Maizy.” Yes, Maizy, as in Maizy Grace. Courtesy of one Grandma Maizy, one Grandma Grace, and one mother with a penchant for wordplay. Amazing grace! And Mom isn’t even a Christian. But Dad’s mom is. According to Grace Stewart, the only thing my parents did right was to name me after her. I beg to differ. I mean…Maizy Grace? Though growing up I did my best to keep it under wraps, my mom blew it during a three-girl sleepover when she trilled upstairs, “Oh, Maizy Grace! How sweet the sound. Won’t you girls come on down?” Fodder for girlhood enemies like Cynthia Sircy, who beat me out for student council representative by making an issue of my “goody two-shoes” name. And that’s why I never use Grace.

Of course, it could prove useful today. I return to my checklist. “Testimony…” I glance at the dashboard
clock, which reveals I’ve blown ten of my twenty minutes’ leeway. Guess I’ll have to think up a testimony on my way to the interview. Not that I don’t have a story of how I came to know Jesus. It’s just boring. Hmm. Maybe I could expand on my Christian summer camp experience—throw in an encounter with a bear or some other woodland creature with big teeth. Speaking of which…

I check my teeth in the mirror. Pale pink lipstick is so boring. Glaringly chaste. Borderline antisexual. Of course, that is the effect I’m after. All good.

“All right, Maizy—er, Grr-ace—get in there and get that job.” A job I badly need if I’m to survive starting over in Nashville. My parttime position as a lifestyle reporter at the paper has yet to translate into the full-time position I was led to believe it would after three months. Now, four months later, funds are getting low.

I fold my checklist and stick it in the book I picked up at Borders the day I surfed the classified ads and hit on “Christian company seeking editorial assistant.” Hmm. Editorial assistant—a far cry from reporter. In fact, beneath me, but what’s a girl to do?

Closing the book, I smile at the title: The Dumb Blonde’s Guide to Christianity. Not that I’m blond—leastwise, not naturally. Another glance in the mirror confirms that although the $7.99 over-the-counter
bottle of blond is no $75 salon experience, it lives up to its claim. Not brassy at all. Still, maybe I should have gone back to basic brown so I wouldn’t have to worry about roots. But talk about boring.

I toss the book on the passenger seat, retrieve the fish emblem and my purse, and swing my legs out the open car door. After “hipping” the door closed, I hurry to the back. Unfortunately, unlike the bumper sticker, there seems no nonpermanent way to apply the emblem. Thus I have no choice but to pull off the backing and slap the fish on the trunk lid. Not sure what it symbolizes, but I can figure that out later—if I get the job. I lower my gaze to the “Jesus is my copilot” bumper sticker. Nice statement, especially with the addition of the fish.

Honestly, who wouldn’t believe I’m a deeply committed Christian? And if someone should call me on it, I could be forgiven—it is April 1, as in April Fools’ Day.

As I start to look away, the peeling lower edge of the bumper sticker catches my eye. Should’ve used more Scotch tape. I reach down.

“It’s crooked.” The accented, matter-of-fact voice makes me freeze. I’m certain it was directed at me, but did he say, “It’s crooked” or “She’s crooked”?

Surely the latter is merely a Freudian slip of my mind. And even if it isn’t, I’m not crooked. Just desperate.

As the man behind me could be an employee of Steeple Side Christian Resources, I muster a smile and turn. His fashionably distressed jeans are the first thing I notice where he stands, six feet away. Meaning he can’t be an employee. And he certainly isn’t looking for a handout—even better (though I sympathize with the plight of the homeless, they make me very uncomfortable). So he’s probably just passing through the parking lot. Perhaps heading for Steeple Side’s retail store, which occupies a portion of the lower floor of their corporate offices.

The next item of note is his shirt—a nice cream linen button-up that allows a glimpse of tanned collarbone. I like it. What I don’t like is his face—rather, expression. If not for his narrowed eyes and flatlined mouth, he’d be halfway attractive with that sweep of dark blond hair, matching eyebrows, and well-defined cheekbones. Maybe even three-quarters, but that would be pushing it, as his two-day shadow can’t hide a lightly scarred jaw. Teenage acne?

I gesture behind me. “My bumper sticker seems to be coming off.”

He lowers his green eyes over me, and while I may simply be paranoid, I’m certain he gives my cross earrings and necklace, buttonup collar, and below-knee skirt more attention than is warranted. He glances at the bumper sticker before returning his regard to me. “Yes, it is coming off.”

British. I’m certain of it. Nowhere near the southern drawl one more often encounters in Nashville.

“Of course”—he crosses his arms over his chest—“that’s because you’re using tape.”

That obvious? “Well, doesn’t everyone?” Ugh! Can’t believe I said that. Maybe there is something to the warning that you are what you read, as I could not have sounded more like the stereotypical dumb
blonde if I tried.

He raises an eyebrow. “Everyone? Not if they want it to adhere permanently. You do, don’t you?”

Guilt flushes me and is followed by panic even though I have no reason to fear that this stranger with the gorgeously clipped accent might expose me as a fake. “Of course, I do!”

Is that a smile? “Splendid. Then I’ll let you in on a little secret.” Delicious accent or not, this doesn’t sound good. It isn’t, as evidenced by his advance. I step aside, and he drops to his haunches and
peels away the tape.

“You see…” Holding up the sticker, he looks over his shoulder and squints against the sunlight at my back. "Self-adhesive.”

He peels off the backing, positions the sticker, and presses it onto my bumper—my previously adhesive-free bumper. He straightens. That is a smile, one that makes him look a bit like that new James Bond actor. What’s his name?

“You’d be surprised at how much technology has advanced over the last few years,” he says.

I nearly miss his sarcasm, genteelly embedded as it is in that accent. “Well, who would have thought?” Be nice, Maizy—er, Grace. My smile feels tight. In fact, my whole face feels as if it’s been lathered with Lava soap. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time to affix my bumper sticker properly.”

He inclines his head. “If you’d like, I’ll try to straighten your fish.” My…? “It’s crooked,” he had said. Not the bumper sticker—my fish. Meaning he probably saw me stick it on. Were he more than a passerby, I'd be deeply embarrassed.

“No, thank you. I like my fish slightly crooked.” I glance at the emblem, which appears to have its nose stuck in the air. “It makes him look as if he’s fighting the current. You know, like a good Christian.”

Very good, Ma—Grr-ace! Were he a Steeple Side employee, you would have won him over.

“So you’re a Christian?” So much for my self-congratulatory pat on the back. Of course, maybe his question is academic. I mean, it’s obvious I’m a Christian.

“Of course! A Christian. And proud of it.” Good practice. Unfortunately, if his frown is anything to go by, I’m in need of more. “Er, Jesus is my Savior.” Knew Christian speak would come in handy.

His frown deepens. Or maybe not. I make a show of checking my watch and gasp. Nothing at all fake about that, as most of my leeway has been gobbled up. Thankfully, I was lucky to— No, blessed. Must think as well as speak “Christian.”

Thankfully, I was blessed to snag a parking space at the front of the building—the only one, as the dozen spaces marked Visitor were taken, and the remaining spaces on either side of mine apparently are reserved for upper management.

I fix a smile. “Thank you again for your help. If you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment.”

“Certainly.”

I step forward and, as I pass within two feet of him, take a whiff. Some type of citrus-y cologne. Nice. Not sharp or cloying. Unlike Ben, whose cologne of choice made my nasal passages burn. And the Brit is nearly six feet tall to my five foot six. Not so tall I couldn’t wear three-inch heels for fear of shooting up past him. Unlike Ben, who’d limited me to one-inch heels—

Go away! Another reason to leave Seattle. With his liberal application of cologne and compact height and build, Ben was nowhere near the man for me. Not that his scent and size were the worst of him. Far from it. And am I glad to be far from him. As I step to the sidewalk, I’m tempted to glance behind at the nicely proportioned, bumper-sticker-happy Brit. Temptation wins out. Thumbs hooked in his pockets, he stands alongside my passenger door. Watching me.

Feeling as if caught doing something wrong, I jerk a hand up and scroll through my Christian speak for something to reinforce my claim of being a Christian. “Yours in Christ!” I flash a smile that instantly falters.

At the rumpling of his brow, I jerk around and head for the smoked glass doors of Steeple Side Christian Resources. Cannot believe I used a written salutation! Dumb blonde alert! Speaking of which… The Dumb Blonde’s Guide to Christianity is on the passenger seat.

Fortunately, if the man is nosy enough to scope out the interior of my car, it’s not as if I’ll see him again. That scrumptious accent and citrus cologne were a one-time thing. Unless he does work at Steeple
Side and I do get the job. Fat chance. As I pull open one of several sets of glass doors, I glance behind.

He’s on the sidewalk now, head back as he peers up the twenty-some floors of the building. Definitely not an employee. The lobby is bright and sparsely furnished, but what stops me is the backlit thirty-foot cross on the far wall. Fashioned out of what appears to be brushed aluminum, it’s glaringly simple. And yet I can’t imagine it having more presence.

Crossing to the information desk at the center of the lobby, I scope out several men and women who are entering and exiting the elevators. All nicely dressed. All conservative. I’ll fit right in—I zoom in on a woman stepping into the nearest elevator. Her skirt is above the knee by a couple inches. And that guy who just stepped out of another elevator? His hair brushes his shoulders. I shift my gaze back to the towering cross. I’m at the right place, meaning those two are probably visitors.

Same goes for the young woman who sweeps past and reaches the information desk ahead of me. Not only is she wearing ruched capris, but she has my hair. Rather, the hair I had. Ha! If she’s after my job, I’ve got her beat.

She drops a jingly purse on the desk and points behind me. “Jack is so hot!”

“Really?” The chubby-faced receptionist bounds out of her chair, only to falter at the sight of me.

“Yes, hot!” The “ruched” young woman jabs the air again, looks around, and startles. “Er, not hot hot. Hot, as in under the collar… ticked off.”

That’s my cue to appear relieved that she didn’t mean hot as in carnal, as she’s obviously connected to this company—at least to the receptionist. I nod. “That’s a relief.”

She smiles, then puts her forearms on the desk and leans in to whisper in a not too whisper-y voice, “This time they stole his assigned parking sign.”

If someone stole mine, it would make me “hot” too. Doubtless, some visitor would snap up my space, and I’d have to park— Oh no. The front parking space I snagged… The only unmarked space in the middle of dozens of marked spaces… I peer out the bank of windows. The Brit whose parking space I took and who does work here is striding toward the doors. And he does look hot, though I can’t be sure whether it’s more in the carnal way or the angry way. Regardless, I am not getting this job.

“May I help you, miss?”

I focus on the receptionist, who has no idea how beyond help I am. Still, as the only alternative is to face the Brit on my way out, I step alongside the ruched young woman. “I have an interview with Mrs. Lucas.”

The receptionist lowers her chin, and I hear a series of keystrokes. Hurry up! I can handle being late to an interview for a job I’m not likely to get, but sharing an elevator with a man who in no way believes I was unaware that bumper stickers are adhesive backed?

No.

“You’re her one o’clock.” The receptionist points to the elevators. “Fifth floor, take a left, a right, then another left. Human Resources is at the end of the hall.”

“Thank you.” Fast feet! Must get to an elevator ahead of the Brit.

“Hey, hold up!”

I falter as the ruched young woman draws alongside me. “I’m heading to Human Resources. I’ll show you the way.”

“Oh. Thanks.”

“I’m Jem.” She slips ahead of me into a vacant elevator. “Short for Jemima.”

As she pushes the button for the fifth floor, I look at the very thin woman who can’t be more than twenty-two to my twenty-six. She seems more like a Tiffany or Brittany. Of course Jem without the ima fits all right. As I turn alongside her, I’m snatched from my musings by the Brit heading across the lobby toward the elevators.

I jump forward, jab the Close Doors button, and hold my breath until the doors shut him out at ten feet and closing.

“Ah!” Jem bemoans. “Jack could have ridden up with us.”

I look around. “Hot-under-the-collar Jack?”

Her pout flips right side up. “He doesn’t stay that way for long. He’s just miffed at the guys for pulling one over on him.”

“The guys?”

“Yeah, Jack’s the managing editor of Men’s Publications.”

Great. Might as well head back down and see if I can remove the fish and bumper sticker before the adhesive sets.

“Oh!” she exclaims. “Don’t you think he looks like Daniel Craig?” That’s the name of the new James Bond actor that escaped me.

“Um…some.”

She exaggerates a scowl. “Obviously you need to take a closer look.”

No thanks.

“Anyway, the guys are the editors and writers who work under Jack. They’re always playing pranks on one another.”

A melodic ping announces our arrival at the fifth floor. Jem leads the way out and turns left. “Last week Todd was the target when the seat of his pants got super glued to his chair.” She turns right, swerving to avoid a middle-aged man heading opposite. “Don’t ask me how.”

“So what happened?”

“The guys had a good laugh and started plotting their next prank—which, of course, likely manifested itself in the case of the missing parking sign.”

“Are you telling me no one was written up? Or fired?”

She turns to me. “Fired? Are you kidding?”

No, merely confused. “Sorry, but I can’t imagine someone getting away with that, especially at a Christian company.”

She makes a face. “Because we’re supposed to be uptight, keep our noses to the grindstone, and never crack a smile?”

I smile apologetically. “That is what I imagined.”

“We’re not like that.”

Maybe working here won’t be so bad after all. Maybe these people are normal. Just like me.

“Well…” Her smile falters. “We’re not all like that.”

Should have known there was a disclaimer. “It sounds like a nice place to work.”

“Definitely.” With a toss of her multiply shaded hair—how I miss mine!—Jem takes the lead down a long corridor. “Of course, Steeple Side does have its rules like every other place, but unlike every other place, there’s a code of conduct you have to follow when you go home at night.”

Whoa! They’re going to tell me how to behave outside the workplace? Police my personal life?

“That’s probably why they cut us some slack around here. You know, let us have a little fun. Of course, sometimes we go too far, like with the Super Glue—” Realizing I’m no longer next to her, she turns back. “Something wrong?”

I blink her into focus and, in a slightly cracked voice, say, “Could you elaborate on this code of conduct we’re supposed to follow after hours?”

She stares at me, as if trying to reconcile the assembly instructions with the assembled product. “You have no idea what you’re getting into, do you?”

Hate to admit it, but my tactless reaction—a far cry from how a serious reporter ought to conduct herself—makes my ignorance glaring. “I’ve never worked for a Christian company.”

With a sigh, she waves me forward. “The code of conduct. You know, living the Christian life. You are a Christian, aren’t you?”

I almost choke. “Absolutely!” Was that convincing? It should be, because I am a Christian. No reason to feel as if I’m here under false pretenses. She pushes a hand through silky chunks of auburn, chocolate,
gold, and bronze tresses.

“Good, ’cause it’s required to work here. So back to the code of conduct. As an employee, you’re a reflection of the company and its Christian values, so you have to behave accordingly. I mean, can you imagine the harm it would do Steeple Side’s reputation if its employees who are putting out materials on how to live the Christian life aren’t living it? Doing drugs…stealing…cheating on spouses…” True, but while I don’t do any of the above, it still feels like a violation of my privacy. “…lying.”

Now that I do fall back on, though usually only little white lies, like when I told the Brit I did want the bumper sticker to adhere permanently, then said I appreciated him taking the time to affix it. But they’re little lies, and very white, so they don’t qualify as lying. Do they? And even if they do, it’s not as if I don’t pay a price, as I usually feel bad afterward. Though maybe only a little…

Jem lays a hand on my shoulder. “Don’t sweat it. It’s a great place to work.” She draws me forward and halts alongside a door marked Human Resources. “Now go get that job.”

I do need it. Even if “Big Brother” will be looking over my shoulder.

“Thanks, Jem.”

“You’re welcome. It was nice meeting you…uh…” She wrinkles her button nose. “I don’t think you told me your name.”

“It’s M…” I clear my throat. “Grace.”

She frowns. “You don’t look like a Grace.”

“I don’t?” Talk about shrill!

“Of course, I don’t look like a Jemima, but that’s why I go by Jem.”

I stick out a hand. “Nice to meet you. God willing”—Ha! That one rolled right off my tongue—“we’ll see each other around.”

She clasps my hand. “You bet.” Then she walks away. I’m tempted to follow her and keep going until I’m miles clear of this place.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ¿Desperate times call for Desperate measures¿ might be the mantr

    “Desperate times call for Desperate measures” might be the mantra for Maizy Grace Stewart the main character in Tamara Leigh’s novel Faking Grace as she is most definitely desperate. Maizy is an investigative journalist whose lost her prominent job in Seattle and now has fallen to the depths of her journalistic career as she has a part time job with a Nashville newspaper writing lifestyle fluff pieces . A girl can’t pay the rent on a part time salary so here’s where the fun comes in- she finds another part time job that she is applying for where she would be working for Steeple Side Christian Resources- a Christian publication. Here’s the deal- they only hire committed Christians and well Maizy isn’t exactly what you would call committed. And so, to solve her problem, she “brushes up” on Christianity by buying  a copy of “A Dumb Blonde’s guide to Christianity” to make sure she can fake it effectively in order to land the job.  After purchasing a“Jesus is my co-pilot” bumper sticker, and toning down her regular look from edgy to modest, she feels ready to play the part of a “committed Christian”. There’s only one little glitch in her plan- Jack Prentiss- the managing editor who happens to see through Maizy’s little charade (although now she has dropped the Maizy and is going by Grace- a more Christiany  name). Perhaps one of the tip offs  for Jack was Grace “taping” her bumper sticker onto her car for easy removal later. Anyway, Jack, with his cool British accent and suave demeanor is on to her and she knows it. It doesn’t help that he keeps popping up wherever she is and of course the relationship begins.




      And then the conflict- Maizy (Grace) is asked to write an expose on her time at Steepleside by her other employer to show the hypocrisy that takes place there. Maizy is excited, her big shot to return to investigative reporting. But as she gets to know the people at Steepleside and sees both their strengths and their weaknesses she’s not so sure about this whole investigation thing. Will she really be able to stay “Faking Grace” or will she need to extend some and receive some as well?




    In reading Faking Grace there are many hysterical moments as Maizy is trying to fake her way through the Christian world- trying to learn the lingo, talk the talk, and even attend church. As she goes along and sees authentic people with authentic faith she is definitely drawn in to real faith in God and of course, it is life changing. A very poignant scene was when she was volunteering in a soup kitchen and helping to feed the people coming in and she was so touched by a woman who had nothing and yet could still thank God for his provision for her. That really affected Grace and will affect the reader as well.  This was a great contemporary fiction novel with humor, poignancy, and imperfect people meeting their perfect God. Very enjoyable read!




    4 stars








    I was given a free copy of Faking Grace by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    This is the second book I read by Tamara Leigh. The first book I

    This is the second book I read by Tamara Leigh. The first book I read was Perfecting Kate and I loved it. So I was a bit concerned that Faking Grace might not be able to live up to my expectations.

    I had nothing to worry about.

    I think I have found a new favorite author. I love Tamara Leigh's style. Her writing is funny, and witty. Her characters full of flaws and real.

    Through Maizy Grace's eyes we see what many unbelievers see when they look at Christians. They see that we aren't perfect, we don't have it all together, we make mistakes. But we also see that if we show grace to others we can draw them to the foot of the cross, into the loving embrace of the Father.

    This book is so full of conflict I had to keep turning the pages. There is a ticking time bomb that you know will explode in Maizy's face and we are just waiting until it happens and then wondering how she will ever get out it. How will she salvage the friendships she has begun to forge? Can she? Will her friends forgive her?

    There are a few LOL moments, when Maizy uses her new "Christian speak" incorrectly.

    There is just so much truth in this book that it forces us to take a look at our own faith and examine how genuine it really is.

    A copy of this book was given to me by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted July 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Tamara Leigh is the author of Perfect Kate (Loved it!!) and Spli

    Tamara Leigh is the author of Perfect Kate (Loved it!!) and Splitting Harriet (Haven’t read, but plan to as soon as possible!). So I was excited to read Faking Grace, which is also part of the Chick lit genre.




    Maizy Grace blew a big story in Seattle, but plans to get back into investigative journalism in Nashville. However, for right now she needs a part time job to pay the bills. It so happens that Steeple Side Christian Resources is hiring, but they only hire committed Christians. Even though Maizy was saved and when she was younger and attended church with her grandma, she is very immature in her faith. So, she decides to go by “Grace”, picks up a copy of The Dumb Blonde’s Guide to Christianity, and tapes (yes, tapes!!) a “Jesus is copilot” bumper sticker on her car as she plans to fake her way through this job till her big break comes. However, what happens when her big break collides with her new friendships and her growing faith?




    I ended up with mixed feeling about Faking Grace. To me the story was slower and harder to get into. I was not expecting that, because it was definitely not my experience with Perfecting Kate. However, in the end, I did enjoy this book – Maizy Grace’s dilemma, all the interesting and humorous experiences that occur, and the relationships that develop. I grew to like the characters, especially the grandmas!! So, even though this isn’t my favorite book, I would still recommend as a fun clean read.








    Disclosure: I received this ebook free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group’s book review bloggers program, BookSneeze. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    A must read

    Very funny, well written, didn't want it to end and stepped on my toes a few times.

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  • Posted March 5, 2011

    great read

    i enjoy all Christian books by this author

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  • Posted July 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    God Fraud

    This book made me both laugh and ponder at what the average person thinks it takes to become a Christian. I really liked how this book outed all the typical stereotypes of Christianity. All the material symbols that supposedly show how Christian one can be were portrayed in this book. From the fish symbol, to the cross jewelry, to the taped on bumper stickers, Maizy went all out to show others how Christian she was by the way she looked. I chuckled at her attempts to try to fake being a Christian, especially by the things she would say. At the same time though, it made me think about all the people out there who do act in this way. Are their feelings sincere or is it just a show? I would love to get a job working at Steeple Side. It sounds like a really great company to work for and I really enjoyed how it showed that Christians can have fun and be normal too. I really appreciated the scene when Maizy confronts her grandmother and her attitude towards Maizy's mother. Not that I enjoy it when elderly folks get told off, but it was one of those situations where the person is wrong is set right and in a forceful manner. I think that there are a bunch of people who actually do need to read parts of The Dumb Blonde Guide's to Christianity for refresher tips!

    While I enjoyed the book, this was probably the least chick lit-ish out of Tamara's recent books. There just seemed to be more romance in this book. I also felt the storyline to be a bit predictable as I knew what was going to happen about halfway through the story. It didn't bother me because I was having fun reading Maizy's story but nevertheless I figured about the plot rather quickly. So while this book was a great read, Splitting Harriet is still probably my favorite of her books. However this was a great book to read and I highly recommend it. It's a really good book to quell all the rumors of Christian stereotypes and hopefully put them to rest one day.

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

    Fun and inspirational

    I can't remember when I've had so much fun being spiritually edified. Faking Grace is my new favorite Tamara Leigh novel (although Stealing Adda still comes in a close second).

    Maizy Grace Stewart is a heartwarming "character," who works as hard at being someone she's not, as she does being the person she can be. Sound confusing? It's not. In fact, Maizy is just like the rest of us. Not perfect, but trying to keep her head about spiritual water.

    Maizy may fake it for a while, but her nemesis/boyfriend Jack Prentiss is the real thing, a strong and attractive hero, like Leigh always creates so well. Jack appreciates Maizy for all she can be--a valuable reminder of God's confidence in each of us.

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  • Posted December 11, 2008

    ¿Christian Chicklit¿¿

    Faking Grace<BR/>Tamara Leigh<BR/>Multnomah, 2008<BR/>ISBN: 9781590529294<BR/>Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com, 12/08<BR/>5 stars ¿Christian Chicklit¿¿<BR/>Maisy Grace is pretending to be a deeply grounded Christian. By using the ¿Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith¿, she is sure she can convince her fellow employees at Steeple Side Christian Resources. <BR/>Faking Grace has a hilarious plot with spiritual lessons on forgiveness. The characters are delightful. I did not want to lay down this book down. Faking Grace is a fast, easy read. Fix yourself a cup of tea, curl up in a comfy chair, and prepare to laugh out loud.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    In Nashville, part time Seattle Sound reporter Maizy Grace Stewart is financially struggling. When Steeple Side Christian Resources offers her a job, Maizy applies and is hired. However, there is one prerequisite to the job one must be a practicing Christian. Maizy barely can spell the word Christian, but figures she can fake piety as good as anyone in the flock, starting with dropping her first name and heeding the guidance of the ¿Dumb Blonde¿s Guide to Christianity¿ reference book even if she is not a blonde or much of a Christian. --- She actually pats herself on the back with her Oscar winning performance until her newspaper editor Linda Stillwater asks her to research drug use among church going Christian teens starting with her church. Then there is Jack Prentiss who works at the paper and goes to the same church. He knows she is a sham and has doubts about her investigation into Steeple Side for an article that exposes their sins. Although uncomfortable with the assignment, Maizy knows this is her opportunity, but she is attracted to Jack who seems to know her too well. ---- The author uses humor as a device to lighten the tale and strengthen the message of everyone needs to forgive and receive forgiveness from their transgressions. Maizy¿s guide book brings amusement to the mix as she applies it as her Gospel although at times it leaves her in odd situations. Jack is a wonderful counterpart as he is not sure whether to strangle or kiss his amazing Grace. Fans will appreciate Maizy¿s FAKING GRACE inspirational romance. --- Harriet Klausner

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