Saturday, June 25, 2022

THE SONGS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN by Amanda Wen, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #Tour #Giveaway

Welcome to the I READ WITH AUDRA Blog tour with #Giveaway of 

Paula's Review:
Having loved the debut, Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen, I could not wait to see what she tackled in her second book, and tackled was right. Some hard subjects were handled well: views on race in the 50s, alcoholism, eating disorders and letting Christ control your life. The characters jump off the page and into your heart as they deal with life situations.

This dual time story was heartbreaking at times: “They had made the right choice. The mature choice. The loving choice. But that didn’t mean it wouldn’t shatter her heart.” But also uplifting and filled with hope: “God had a plan, even man’s stupidity could not thwart that plan... it is never too late for God. Nothing is too far gone for Him to redeem it.”

Ms. Wen handled the race conflict of the 50s in a sensitive way, showing the conflicting emotions of two teens, Rosie and Ephriam. I liked the way she voiced Rosie’s thoughts as she struggled with alzheimers in later life.

The book was not at all depressing. It was rounded out nicely throughout. Because Lauren is a food blogger, I liked that she named her cats Alton and Nigella! I also caught the weather related references since Carter was a weatherman.

This book was every bit as good as the first and gave me more of a glimpse into the lives of the characters I connected with in the first book.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel as part if the I Read with Audra book tour. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread.

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About the book:

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.


After a devastating tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, threatens to throw her well-balanced world out of control.


Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But his old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. Is he courageous enough to make a different choice this time around?


When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before—a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives—and Rosie’s—forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.


Click here to read an excerpt.


What Others Are Saying

“A reading experience both heartfelt and heart-tugging, a timeless exploration of young and enduring love and the grace found in second chances. Amanda Wen is a rare and remarkable storyteller, and this is a novel I will not soon forget.” –Amanda Barratt, Christy Award-winning author of The White Rose Resists


“A stunning journey of loss, love, and yearning. . . . Past and present are deftly woven together in this dual-timeline narrative that will leave readers flying through the pages.” – Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Award Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging


About the author:


Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Her debut novel was a 2021 Christy Award First Novel finalist.
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for
her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been.
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).


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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.