Welcome to "The Cross & the Pen," Crosswalk.com's author-to-author interview column. I have not had the pleasure of meeting Stacie Ruth Stoelting face-to-face, but as soon as I heard about her...and then saw a video of her energetic, passionate speech to a group about the dreaded disease Alzheimer's...I felt we were kindred spirits. That kinship goes deeper than writer to writer. It's more that she has a deep, deep love for Jesus and the grandparents whose lives influenced hers in such a powerful way. So, we chatted via email. Want to listen in as we talk about her book, Still Holding Hands (Publication Consultants)?

Eva: Stacie, let's start where most people start with a book: the cover. I noticed a couple of things right away. One, The photographs of your grandparents from wedding day to later in life ; two, your age at the time of writing the book, and three, that this book is recommended by celebrities. So, let me begin with this question: Who were your grandparents and how long were they married? (Stacie, tell me a little bit about how they met, when and where they married, etc.)

Stacie: I'd love to share with you about them! First of all, let me share with you who my grandparents are to me. They are role models, Christian human heroes! To others, my grandparents are Christian friends, a faith-filled, romantic couple whose romance never died, friendly and loving, outgoing, and kind. (Oh! I should mention this. People have commented about how they observed my grandparents holding hands in church and acting so "in love" even after decades of marriage. Wow! That's what I call romance!! I, too, am a romantic and hope to have a marriage as beautiful as theirs.) They lived out their faith in the Lord in practical yet beautiful ways. They really loved each other- and other people!

Eva: You were 15 when you wrote this "portrayal." What inspires a 15 year old to such an accomplishment?

Stacie: Well, a deep desire arose from within my soul ... out of indescribable pain and grief over my grandpa's battle with Alzheimer's, I wrote. In fact, I truly felt prompted to write. What inspired me, I believe, was the Lord because I believe that He wanted our story to be told so that it could comfort, touch, inspire, and witness to countless others!  I have seen all of these effects taking place and it excites me!

Eva: You had quite a few celebrities endorse the book. Again, impressive. Who are they and what have they had to say about it?

Stacie: Wow! This is a subject about which I am extremely exuberant!!! Randy Travis, Pat Robertson, Senator Chuck Grassley, Shirley Jones, Miss Iowa 2001, David Osborne, Pam Thum, Andrea Boeshaar, and Kathi Macias have endorsed or agreed to endorse the book and its mission!!! Even Lynne Cheney sent a note of encouragement to me after I presented a book to her! I praise God!! Glory to God for such blessings! 

Eva: Your book is tag-lined "Ray and Hilda Beamers's story of love and triumph over Alzheimer's Disease." At such a young age, what did their story teach you about Alzheimer's?

Stacie: It revealed to my previously blind eyes exactly what millions of families have been and are facing. This disease is a tragedy. Irreplaceable individuals are afflicted with Alzheimer's. Loved ones then despair. Families desperately search for answers.  I believe that the Lord is leading me to help these families and provide answers when no one else seems to do so...

I have the answer for Alzheimer's: faith in Jesus Christ. That is the only triumph for this terminal disease! Alzheimer's may have taken my grandpa's earthly mind but his soul was kept safe by the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ! We won! We won through Christ. Papa is in Heaven enjoying a new mind- he is physically, mentally, and spiritually whole!