About the Book
Title: The Secrets of Paper and Ink
Author: Lindsay Harrel
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release date: February 26, 2019
Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.
A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England—a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author—and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.
Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.
More than 150 years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.
The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at LindsayHarrel.com.
Guest Post from Lindsay
With every book I write, it seems God has something new to teach me. That certainly was true of The Secrets of Paper and Ink.
Lately, I am learning more and more about the power of our words. I’ve become more conscious of the words I speak over myself as well as what I say to other people. It’s more than “positive thinking”—the words we say ultimately contribute to the stories we weave, and I want my story to be as positive and hope-filled as possible, regardless of my circumstances.
I’ve also become much more aware of the lies that I tell myself—“you are not worthy, you are not enough, you will never achieve what you want to achieve”—and the need to replace those lies with the truths that God says about me. I have listened to Lauren Daigle’s song You Say on repeat lately, and it has become a theme not just of The Secrets of Paper and Ink, but one in the story of my very life.
So while I may not have experienced everything my characters have—I’ve never suffered emotional abuse, or been ostracized by my family, or been orphaned and alone in a world that seems against me at every turn—I have learned alongside them. I set out to write a book that would draw readers closer to the true healer and hope giver, and I ended up being drawn closer myself.
And that, to me, is the true power of story.
This story was absolutely incredible! I was sucked in right from the beginning and held captive until the very end. Both the story and its characters felt entirely real. As a reader I felt as if I was truly a part of their journeys toward healing. I honestly don’t feel as if I have the right words to do this book justice for how amazing it was. It’s one I am sure will stay with me for a very long time.
One thing that I got out of this book, is that while your experiences may differ from another person’s, you can still share similar emotional scars and needs for healing. I believe this is why Sophia and Ginny’s friendship flourished as it did. As a reader I couldn’t relate to Sophia’s story specifically, but I’ll admit I really connected and resonated with her emotionally. As a therapist, she has the right words to share with others, but she struggles to receive those same words for herself and feels like a hypocrite for feeling so. We are not meant to live life alone, but we are also not meant to find our identity and value in life through other people. Our identity and value can only be truly understood through Jesus Christ. This is a powerful life lesson that’s best learned early in life.
Another thing I really appreciated in this story was the author’s ability to share and recognize that there are things we will walk through in life that we simply have no control over. When events don’t turn out as we hope, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have enough faith or didn’t pray hard enough. Never listen to anyone who would try to tell you otherwise! You are not and cannot be held responsible for the choices of others around you. You have a choice how to react to the their actions, and you can certainly pray for them and your situations, but you are not responsible for their poor choices and cannot control them. This concept is important to grasp when trying to overcome past hurts and it was painted incredibly well in the story. It’s something that is really needed more in Christian Fiction. Life doesn’t turn out the way we want or hope, but having Jesus in our lives is more important than anything we can experience here on earth.
As I said above, this story had me captivated from start to finish and I feel the words I share are insufficient for just how amazing it was. It was beautifully written is worth every one of 5 stars and then some. I am so glad that I picked up a copy of this book and look forward to reading more from this author in the future. Go get a copy yourself–you won’t regret it!
*I received a copy of this book through CelebrateLit. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
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Inspirationally Ever After, February 27
Kristin’s Book Reviews, February 27
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A Baker’s Perspective, March 1
Andy Carmichael, March 1
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 1
Bibliophile Reviews, March 2
The Becca Files, March 2
Just Your Average reviews, March 2
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 3
Emily Yager, March 3
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 3
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Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 4
Stories By Gina, March 4
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 5
Simple Harvest Reads, March 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
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Remembrancy, March 6
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To celebrate her tour, Lindsay is giving away a copy of Lindsay’s first book The Heart Between Us!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Love reading Debut novels.
Sounds like a great read. I just bought this book. Excited to find time to read it. Great review, Becca!
Thanks and hope you get to read it soon! I think you’ll like it!
Wonderful review Becca. I love the lessons you highlighted. I loved this one as well.
[…] The Secrets of Paper & Ink […]
[…] read and absolutely adored Lindsay Harrel’s last novel The Secrets of Paper and Ink so I was really excited to dig into this one. Initially I was sucked in and was easily able to get […]