A thriller author is with us today!!!

Author Ronald Chapman as written another thriller, The Dark Side of Grace, a sequel to his best seller, A Killer’s Grace. Please welcome Ron to Choices today and don’t miss his guest post titled: Agnostic But Faithful.

Now here’s Ronald’s guest post:

Agnostic But Faithful

by Ronald Chapman


Many years ago, very early in my recovery from alcoholism, one of my mentors was an enigma to me. While I had been raised and immersed in faith communities for much of my life, Patrick was an avowed agnostic, having no knowledge of a Higher Power. Yet he prayed, meditated and rigorously practiced contemplation.

I asked Patrick one day how he reconciled that for himself.

“Ron, I don’t have to believe in something in order to experience it.”

That kind of clarity mystified me. Yet as I watched him and others being transformed in their recoveries through common practices, it became obvious that what we believe is far less important than the actions we take, which are based on what we find valuable and effective.

Many years later, in my professional practices using strengths-based personality assessments, this notion again arose albeit in a different fashion. Those tools when applied to us as individuals sometimes characterize a strength of “belief.” This attribute reflects core values that are enduring, and provides direction and a consistent means of prioritizing. That inner guidance system exists separate and apart from what we may espouse. It is a way of being, not a way of thinking.

These ideas form a foundation for the characters in the fictional series The Chronicles of Grace, i.e. The Dark Side of Grace and its precursor novel, A Killer’s Grace. Both protagonists, the investigative journalist Kevin Pitcairn and the love of his life, Maria Elena Maldonado, have deeply grounded personalities. Amid their failings and foibles, there is an inner certitude that allows them to be true to themselves. Pitcairn is overtly agnostic, while Maria Elena is a secular Catholic, yet both live with a kind of inner coherence that is nothing less than faith-filled.

Admittedly, this is heady stuff, and perhaps too philosophical for many. Why then is it such an important principle? Why even write this blog, much less the novels?

Over and over again in my work with individuals as leaders, and more broadly with general human development, as well as with those in recovery from substance use disorders, we find an uncertainty deep within many of us. Often it undermines us, sometimes driving poor decisions, sometimes creating paralysis. Amid this, we have a deep need to find a means to trust that we can find our way through a reality that is always in flux. It’s as if we desperately need a way to balance on a high wire.

Often our culture directs us to something outside ourselves. Invariably those external persons and institutions disappoint us. Apparently, they cannot suffice.

What if each of us has an inner guidance system that can be trusted? What if the solution to the disquiet that impairs so many of us is deep down inside us? What if it is irrelevant what we might believe, or for that matter, what others want us to believe?

Perhaps the journey and experience of a life is nothing more than the path we create with each step we take. We can then trust the course of our life because it comes into being through each of those steps. Each step is an act of trust, no matter how we feel. Each step becomes its own reassurance. Each step enables another step with greater and greater trust.

Despite fears and uncertainties, those steps and the experience of them become the way. Our way becomes the life we live, a life we can trust.

Knowingness comes to us one step at a time.


About The Dark Side of Grace:

A devastating terrorist bomb blast at a spiritual retreat outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, sends journalist Kevin Pitcairn and his beloved Emmy on a quixotic quest to understand the roots of violence. Traveling across the country deep into the bowels of Southern Appalachia, their search takes them through a long-standing rift in the American consciousness to confrontations with remarkable and anomalous characters, some of them deeply spiritual, others well-grounded in research and psychology.

In this sequel to the much-acclaimed A Killer’s Grace, Pitcairn and Emmy return to the exploration of innocence while adding to it a deepening understanding of injury and ordeal―and its amazing corollary of Post-Traumatic Growth. As the quest and its dangers rip their lives apart, doors open that lure them back and forth across the country in search of tendrils tying together the events and anguish, as well as bringing the protagonists more deeply together.

  • ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1948749874
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Terra Nova Books (May 1, 2023)
  • Genre ‏ : ‎ Mystery Action & Adventure, Thriller & Suspense Action Fiction, Psychological Thriller
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 200 pages

The Dark Side of Grace  is available in print and as an ebook at Amazon. You can add it to your GoodReads reading list as well.

About the Author,  Ronald Chapman:

Ronald Chapman is an author, speaker, and facilitator of approaches that increase well-being-ness and produce breakthroughs when practiced deeply and in a sustained fashion. He is the creator of Seeing True™ and Progressive Recovery, resources dedicated to exploring concepts of engaging, releasing, and transcending blockages in our lives. At the heart of Seeing True and all of his work is the Greek notion of “metanoia,” which could translate as a profound change of heart. Ronald maintains two core businesses as well. Leading Public Health provides facilitation, strategy and consultation to public health clientele, while Magnetic North delivers similar services to a broader array of clients.

Ron spent many years as a national award winning radio commentator on KUNM radio in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is an elite Accredited Speaker through Toastmasters International, and an accomplished leadership facilitator working with clients from all over the world, including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Ron currently resides in Atlanta, and spends much of his time immersed in art and beauty wherever his travels take him.

Find Chapman Online:

Author website:    https://www.ronaldchapman.com/author

Blog site(s):  https://www.seeingtrue.com/blog 


Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/ron.chapman.5/

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/stores/Ronald-Chapman/author/B002AGK4J4

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seeing_true/

And his WOW! Women on Writing book tour dates:


  1. Madeline Sharples says

    You are very welcome, Ron. I’m glad you liked the Choices post.
    Wishing you huge luck with your book.

    Best, Madeline

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