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The Secrets of Lost Stones

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  12,860 ratings  ·  1,314 reviews
A soul-stirring novel about the bonds between mother and child and the redemption that comes with facing the past and letting it go.

Thirty-two-year-old Jess Abbot has lost everything: her job, her apartment, and—most heart-wrenching—her eight-year-old son, Chance, to a tragic accident. Haunted by memories and grief, Jess packs what’s left and heads for the small mountain t
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Melissa Payne Hi Kathryn, My first (unpublished) manuscript is set in Pine Lake. It follows the story of other characters, but includes Lucy and Ebee as well. I wou…moreHi Kathryn, My first (unpublished) manuscript is set in Pine Lake. It follows the story of other characters, but includes Lucy and Ebee as well. I would love to explore Pine Lake even more. My next book is similar in writing and tone but is set somewhere else. I'm excited about this story too! (less)
Melissa Payne Sorry to have somehow missed your comment! Thank you so much for reading and letting me know you enjoyed it. And yes I'm writing more. My next book is…moreSorry to have somehow missed your comment! Thank you so much for reading and letting me know you enjoyed it. And yes I'm writing more. My next book is called Memories in the Drift and it comes out December 1.(less)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  12,860 ratings  ·  1,314 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
The loose ends people, the loose ends!!

I loved the whole damn story and all the peeps, the supernatural element and how it all came together!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
K. Elizabeth
Actual: 4.25/5

It’s not often that a new author's first novel “wows” me. Really wows me. But this one did and multiple times. The Secrets of Lost Stones is a novel I already know I’m going to have trouble explaining and reviewing. It’s one of those novels that caught me by surprise (in a good way). But also in a way that would make me stall if someone were to ask: “What’s that book about?” That’s because I went into this book thinking it was going to be one thing, only to come out realizing it’s
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded up.

The Secrets of Lost Stones by Melissa Payne is such a jarring and emotional book, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it.

What it's about: Jess is only 32 but she has lost everything: her job, her home, and most importantly, her son. She packs up the few things she owns and heads from Denver into the mountains where her car dies in the small town of Pine Lake. She takes a job as a caregiver for a woman named Lucy, who may be old but is said to be the 'Witch of
Deacon Tom F
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely story of secrets and forgiveness! The Secret of Lost Stones is beautiful novel of people who get the chance to find a home.

The characters were believable, well written and generally balanced. Jess Abbot has lost everything: her job, her apartment, and most painfully, her eight-year-old son, Chance. She takes a job as a caregiver for Lucy. We later find that Jess isn’t the only guest in Lucy’s large home. Star, a teenage runaway and a boy with heart-shaped stones. So, Jess learns she’s n
Lynda Kelly
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This book kept me up till the early hours, which says plenty about it !! It was my Kindle First selection for August. I enjoyed it so much and it held my interest throughout, so, though it's an old cliche, it was absolutely gripping !! I adore the cover and this is the author's debut novel, which is really impressive.
It's fascinating how this rag-tag selection of very different people all end up sharing a house, each with their own miserable pasts, yet they make it work. There were a lot of surp
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Well written, powerful and quite emotional at times. I really liked the main characters - Jess and Star who come to stay with Lucy, AKA the Witch of Pine Lake! Good story telling that treats a difficult line between good and over the top. Worked for me - some might need some tissues close by :)
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tedious. Too drawn out. Too many cliche phrases used over and over and over.
Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews

The Secrets of Lost Stones was emotional and intriguing women’s fiction with mystery, drama and spirits that revolved around Jess and Star, two loose ends tied up in picturesque setting of Pine Lake. It was about getting over loss, grief and haunted memories, giving life a second chance, friendship and bonding with new people and place, hope, justice, and redemption.

“World is not just round, it’s small too.” That fits so right here.

Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Not too bad for an Amazon Prime First Book.

I do like a magic realism story, and as a teacher, I'm always interested in teen stories. The setting is a part of the US I am unfamiliar with, so that's a nice perk. No question that the author, Melissa Payne, is a storyteller.

I enjoyed the characters, especially Star and Lucy. The entire plot toggles back and forth between Jess's and Star's point of view (but in third person), sometimes overlapping a bit. As in life, everyone understands experiences
Sara Miller
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Secrets of Lost Stones is a beautifully written, moving novel about finding forgiveness and family in the least likely places. Melissa Payne has crafted a compelling story with engaging prose and well-developed characters who you’ll fall in love with just like I did.

Lucy is a mysterious woman, known as the witch of Pine Lake, who has surrounded herself with lost souls—most living, and some only partially alive—whose stories still have “loose ends” that need tying up. The problem? Lucy can’t
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish there was more!

I only wish that we could have met Lucy earlier in other episodes and stories. Meeting her so late in life, Lucy being 85, makes me know we’ve missed so many good stories about her. The storyline is reminiscent of the Hallmarks the good witch… and just like with that show , I would have enjoyed more flamboyant examples of Lucy’s power, Chances development into such a powerful ghost entity, and a hint of where Star and Jess go now. Ending up back in foster care for 8 months wa
Sep 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would not be at all surprised to find out the person who wrote this is 12.
Jeri Paull
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up. This was my August Amazon First Read. I loved that the story was unique, poignant and imaginative. The characters were intriguing and well written, and the story itself was lovely. What drove me crazy was this author's need to tell us every little thought and nuance of the story - we understood very early on that Jess and Star were damaged and skittish - we didn't need to continue to read their thought processes that reinforced this. I also thought that the 180 degree turna ...more
Mary Fabrizio
Aug 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was annoying. The first three-fourths has no real plot, just four characters continously musing over mysteries too vague to make me care. Im all for witches, but clueless ones who dont help move the story along just suck. Then the last quarter of the book switched to Scooby Doo mode, unmasking the villian. Give me a break. At least i didnt pay for this book, i have that to be thankful for.
Amy Fletcher
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book full of all the good stuff. Love, mystery, magic and crossword puzzles. I was sad to finish it because I couldn’t be in the story anymore. Highly recommend
Books on Stereo
A slightly generic narrative of a two women connected by shared grief. Somewhat magical at times, Payne creates an engaging tale of grief and its subsequent healing.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
My blog: A Magical World of Words

Source: Netgalley.

2.5 stars.

This sounded like a beautiful tale, and I was intrigued to read it. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me.

The writing isn't bad. Payne is very detailed, her language is very tangible, and the grammar is good. However, it just isn't my type of writing. I didn't like it. Blame it completely on personal preference, but I never fell in love with the words (this could also be because of some cheesy and cliche sections).

The characters never
Rachel Iseman
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was really drawn to this book because of the synopsis, however I ended up figuring out the big twist(s) in the first 100 pages, because they were laid out pretty obviously, but had to wait a whole 200 some more pages for everyone else to get up to speed. The main character, Jess, was so frustrating when it came to her realizing—rather, not realizing—what Lucy (the clairvoyant in the synopsis) could do. I wish the book was more about Lucy instead, and that the story was from her perspective. I ...more
Rhonda Ruff
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sweet story of women coming together. This is a great story of women magically ending up in the same place. They all had had terrible tragedies in the lives and didn’t really know how much they needed each other. I loved the support they came to each other and helped to heal their pasts lives. It was a nice change for me!
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With similar elements to the novel “Where the Forest Meets the Stars” I really thought this was going to make it into my favourites list.
But I found the story to be quite slow-paced. I did enjoy it throughout but normally I find a good 320 page book I speed through without checking how far I am along but this seemed to go slowly.

It was well written and I enjoyed the character development. There were a few twists but I’m not really sure I understood why they happened and I found the ending a bi
Louetta Waters
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing a ARC for a honest review.

I loved this book! Very heart touching with a touch of mystery thrown in. I cried, I smile, I gasped...covers such a range of emotions!
The story grabbed me from the beginning and kept me engaged throughout the whole story at times had me on the edge of my seat!
The writing flows well and the characters are likeable and so interesting and mysterious!!
I give this 41/2 stars so will round it up to 5.
Sep 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sophomoric at best

I almost quit reading this about 25% of the way in. I should have. I found it to be too predictable, too repetitive. One daft old lady that thinks she's able to "tie up loose ends" (if you ask the right question) + one grieving, down on her luck, broke mother + one runaway from foster homes teen girl, + one "ghost boy" = Yaaaawwwwwnnnn. I would have thought this was a YA book were it not for all of the swearing. I cannot believe all of the 4 and 5 stars.
Patricia Markus
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secrets of the Lost Stones

Wow! What a great book with lots of twists and turns. The suspense keeps you reading until you know it all. I enjoyed this story immensely.
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded to 4 stars!!

A fascinating read!! I don't know if you call it serendipity, destiny, or fate that brought all of the characters together, or if you call it Lucy and her witch powers. Each character is tied together in such a way, that you don't realize some of the loose ends until the very end. There is a mystery to this book, along with some twist, that really keeps you interested. I enjoyed each character and found the book to be a light read.


Loose ends...that's what Lucy helps
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Welcome to Pine Lake!
This book was nothing like I expected and different from my usual read... but I was captured from the first page !

Lucy is the witch of Pine Lake and she knows things past and present before they even happen !
Jess and Star are two people with such hurt in their hearts from losing people in their lives !

Somehow Lucy puts them together so they can help each other !

I laughed and cried and fell in love with the writing and the story !
Thank you to lake union publishing for an ARC
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Beautifully written, heartbreaking and beyond touching The Secrets of Lost Stones was one of the most curious books I have ever read. A serious page turner from the very start, you will feel for the characters as well as their "loose ends". Lucy, The Witch of Pine Lake made this book so good for me because you are constantly asking yourself why? how? or WHAT?? For a first novel Melissa Payne absolutely killed it!!
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lost stones

My First Read choice for August, it's listed as Contemporary Fiction - I would list it as paranormal. It's an interesting story, a lot of people with a lot of secrets and a facilitator who brings everything together. I enjoyed the book and the characters and would read more by this author.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very engaging read and told from the prospectives of Jess and Starr. They were two lost souls trying to survive after heartbreaking losses. This debut author perfectly executed how their past and present lives a very emotional and dramatic fashion.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Rebecca Hill
Get ready for an emotional roller coaster that is not going to let you off until the very last page.

Jess is still reeling from the loss of her son several years ago. Star is just trying to survive a life on the streets. Lucy is the one that is going to bring them together, into a mismatched family.
As the secrets and memories begin to surface for both, they have to learn to deal with the pain in different ways, but each path that they are on are leading them towards each other, as much as they a
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"It takes time for all the loose ends to be in one place, but once they are, things tend to move very quickly."
Lucy is known as the "witch of Pine Lake". Her mission is to tie up "loose ends".
In reality, she is an elderly woman who deeply cares about people and has a sixth sense. Right?
I absolutely loved this wonderful, eccentric person! I thought her clues were spot on and made me think while reading each page.
Lucy knows both the past and present pain of Jess and Star and why they need closure,
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As a middle child, Melissa Payne was born to tell stories. What started with blaming her brother for breaking the car window evolved to a graduate thesis that she desperately wishes she could rewrite to blogging on motherhood and marriage. Now she likes to imagine stories set in wild and beautiful places with characters in flawed and imperfect relationships, whether that’s between a mother and a d ...more

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