Hi, reader friends! Today, we welcome back our author friend Lindsay Harrel to celebrate her new release and the power of story with a special guest post and giveaway! The Secrets of Paper and Ink earned a gold star review in Hope By The Book magazine’s online bonus content (no longer available).
the power of story
“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” – Henry Ward Beecher
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis
While you may or may not agree with C.S. Lewis about the tea, I’m guessing most of you can relate to the sentiment regarding books in all three quotes. There is just something enchanting about books, especially fictional ones.
Every time we open a book, we step into the wardrobe and emerge into a whole new world. We fall through the rabbit hole. We travel through the tesseract and arrive at a destination we didn’t even know existed.
What adventure awaits when we read!
Like all of you, I love reading. It’s been my primary hobby for as long as I can remember. So when I got the chance to write a book about books—well, I was pretty giddy about that.
But The Secrets of Paper and Ink isn’t just about books. It’s about the power of story. And that power reaches beyond words printed on a page.
In my book, Sophia is struggling through a very difficult period in her life, and she decides to get away for the summer to Cornwall, the setting of her favorite novels. Her best friend encourages her to write her story. And Sophia wants to. But she has a problem.
Deep down, she doesn’t believe her story matters.
So she chases someone else’s, never believing that it will really and truly impact her own.
But it does. And that’s when she discovers the real power of story—the place where someone else’s words bleed through the page and into her soul.
I think we’ve all experienced times like that when a book seemed written just for us. When a story spoke to our weary hearts, reaching us right where we were. When God used words to heal us.
I know I have. And honestly, that’s why I write. I want my words to do more than entertain. It’s my deepest desire that God uses them to encourage, inspire, and offer hope to others.
I’ll leave you with one of my own quotes about books, found in The Secrets of Paper and Ink: “I have always believed that everyone has a story to tell. Story is sprouting up all around us, if only we have eyes to see it. Story forms the fiber of our being, and story is what will remain when we are gone.”
about the book
As a counselor, Sophia Barrett is trained to help people cope with their burdens. But when she meets a new patient whose troubles mirror her own, she realizes she hasn’t dealt with the pain of her recent past. After making a snap decision to get away for the summer, Sophia moves overseas to an apartment above a charming bookstore in Cornwall, England. She is hopeful she will find peace there surrounded by her favorite thing: great literature.
Bookstore owner Ginny Rose is desperate to save her business without asking for help from a husband who’s decided to take a break from their marriage. Ginny never imagined she’d be solely responsible for keeping afloat her husband’s dream, but the unexpected friendship with her new renter has her feeling more optimistic. Between the two of them—and Ginny’s brother-in-law, William—the bookstore might stand a chance.
Then Sophia finds a notebook in the bookstore that contains journal entries from Emily Fairfax, a governess who lived in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. Sophia learns that Emily harbored a secret passion for becoming an authoress—as well as a deep love for her childhood friend, Edward, whose station she dared not dream to touch.
Eager to know more of Emily’s story, Sophia goes on a quest—dragging Ginny and William with her—to discover the heart of the woman behind the beautiful entries. Soon Ginny’s need to save the bookstore becomes more than a way to save her marriage, and Sophia finds new purpose of her own. Together they find that sometimes both heartache and hope can reach across the centuries.
about the author
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training.
Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels.
When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way. Visit her website!
Lindsay Harrel has generously provided a paperback of The Secrets of Paper and Ink for one Faithfully Bookish reader friend!
US only | ends 3/4
Lindsay asks: “What book has inspired you lately?”
Congratulations, Lindsay on your gold star review of The Secrets of Paper and Ink from Hope By The Book magazine!