The Story Keeper – Book Trailer

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The Prayer Box has quickly become one of my favorite reads of this summer, and I am very much looking forward to reading Lisa Wingate’s next book The Story Keeper.

Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing — until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper’s hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she’d left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she’s willing to pay.

I love how this novel follows the same “format” as The Prayer Box (telling two parallel stories at the same time) but yet it has a completely different setting. I can’t wait to read it! What do you think? Are you excited to read The Story Keeper?

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Misery Loves Company – Book Review

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MiseryLovesCompany

Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me.
Filled with grief, Jules Belleno rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world.

But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.

And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith.

I have been trying to add more suspense into my reading diet, and it was while looking for suspense books that I first discovered Misery Loves Company. The premise instantly drew me in. (Being abducted by your favorite author? Yeah, I agree that would be both a terrifying and thrilling event!) As I expected, this was a fun read.

The most memorable element of this book for me was not the twists and turns or even the brilliant set-up – it was the characters. Each member of the cast of this book has some quirk that sets them apart, and they are described so well that it is easy to imagine them. This is one of those books in which the characters drive the plot.

Ah, yes, the plot. To be honest, there was barely a time reading this book when I was truly frightened for the main character – even when she was scared for her life. Part of that might be because the POV switches between Jules in the cabin and the perspective of Chris, the hunky cop who is trying to find her. (The book may or may not have actually said that he was hunky, but he is a character in a book, so I say that he’s hunky!) Also, the many references to books, writing, and reading were continual reminders that this was a book, which may have helped to provide emotional distance.

As you may have guessed, there are some romantic elements to the relationship between Sam and Jules, but because they spend so much of the book separated, romance fans might be disappointed to discover that for most of the book this romance exists only in Chris’s thoughts.

For a newbie suspense reader like me, this was a great read – one that I will probably enjoy again. I would recommend it to lovers of Christian suspense.

Disclaimer: Links in this post are affiliate links. I receive a small commission for each purchase made through them, which allows me to buy more books!

The Prayer Box – Book Review

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ThePrayerBoxWhen Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola’s rambling Victorian house.

Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola’s walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola’s youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper—the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.

When I hear as much praise for a book as I have heard for The Prayer Box, I get a little nervous about reading it. What if it doesn’t live up to all the hype? Thankfully, this book did.

The Prayer Box is an ambitious novel that is not afraid to address hard issues. Yet, even as it discusses troubled childhoods and abuse, the writing of this story is so lyrical that it feels like reading poetry. I found myself reading slowly, wanting to savor the beauty of the words rather than rush through and see what happened in the end.

The characters were very real, and the author did an excellent job of weaving the stories of Iola’s past with the reality of Tandi’s present. Even though the book is fiction, the letters in the prayer box addressed some truths that made me think. When I was done reading it, I found myself wanting to go to the beach and write prayers for my own prayer box.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good Christian fiction. It has quickly become a new favorite, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

-Christy

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