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The Secrets of Lost Stones

by
4.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,200 ratings  ·  146 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
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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  • The Secrets of Lost Stones by Melissa Payne
    The Secrets of Lost Stones
    by
    Release date: Sep 01, 2019
    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-ol
    ...more

    Format: Kindle book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 1765 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Aug 04 - Aug 31, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Melissa Payne Hi Kathryn, My first (unpublished) manuscript is set in Pine Lake.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 I…moreHi Kathryn, My first (unpublished) manuscript is set in Pine Lake.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)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.32  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,200 ratings  ·  146 reviews


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    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
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    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
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    Nita
    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
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    ROBIN RUIZ
    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
    ...more
    Suze
    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.
    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
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    Laurie
    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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    Lady Delacour
    Goodreads friend Lynda
    and her positive review
    drew me to this book.
    Mysterious storyline
    is ever so intriguing.
    You just have to know
    the who, what, where,
    when, why and how,
    is all this Happening.
    3.6 Fascinating Stars.
    Clean.
    Foul Language.
    Alfred J. Coscia
    An Exceptional and Compelling Debut

    Melissa Payne has brought forth a treasure trove of a novel. This novel speaks quite loudly through the characters and plotting. The book is one that immediately caught my interest, and I read it through in one sitting. My sleep suffered, but for a great novel. So I view that as a pretty good payoff.

    This is very well-crafted, and it is skillful in filing out fascinating little pieces that come together in truly excellent form. There are three main characters, t
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    Hillary
    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
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    M
    Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    A grieving mother, a lonely teen, & a ghost-boy are linked by a witch in this contemporary fantasy infused with magical realism

    I am glad to have chosen “Secret of Lost Stones” as my Kindle First Read for August. I was surprised but delighted with this debut novel, and happier to discover a mystery or three. Yes, there are murders hidden in this well-written, fantastical work of women’s fiction and magical realism—which begins with Jess and Star, who are down on their luck with little to thei
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    Amy
    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
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    Cari
    The Secrets of Lost Stones by Melissa Payne was my Kindle First selection for the month of August 2019

    You have no idea how much I loved this book! While it was a little predictable (my only criticism of it), I thought it was absolutely magical and unlike anything else I've ever read. I won't be forgetting these characters any time soon-- especially Lucy, who might be the best character I've encountered since I met a little old man named Ove in A Man Called Ove. I have a particular fondness for e
    ...more
    Vicki
    My rating 3.4

    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 town of Pine Lake, where she takes a position as caregiver to an eccentric old woman.

    A rumored clairvoyant, Lucy is strange but welcoming and immediately intuits Jess as a “loose end” in need of closure. But Jess isn’t the only guest in Lucy’s l
    ...more
    Anne Gardepe
    Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    "It takes time for all the loose ends to be in one place, but once they are, things tend to move quickly."
    -Lucy, from the novel

    This was another free novel from Amazon First Reads. It was intriguing, to be sure. I had a hard time putting it down midway through. I am rating it a 4.

    Protagonist Jess Abbot, is a young woman seemingly with nothing more to lose, when she tries a change of location and winds up in the small town of Pine Lake. There she soon meets an eccentric old lady named Lucy who hi
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    Alana White
    Beautifully written and entertaining. "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 town of Pine Lake, where she takes a position as caregiver to an eccentric old woman.

    A rumored clairvoyant, Lucy is strange but welcoming and immediately intuits Jess as a “loose end” in need of closure. But Jess isn’t
    ...more
    sharon mason
    A really great title, it really defines the story.

    This novel, a debut for Melissa Payne, is well written with well developed characters and plot. Star is an amazing survivor who at the young age of 8 became an orphan and was then shuffled off to 15 foster homes, some good but most not. At 15 Star decided to take matters in her own hands and becomes one of the many anonymous teens living on the streets of Denver. Then everything changes. This book is a very good read about guilt, fear, courage an
    ...more
    Sharon Shearer
    Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Deep characters in a pain-filled plot

    There's a ton of hidden inner suffering going on all around us. That's what I took from Ms. Wayne's story. People become adept at hiding their pain and most of us are uncomfortable and so choose to turn our eyes from it. Loss shared becomes a pathway to letting others get close enough to care, which can't erase but does soften the loss.

    I thought both the stones and crossword clues were interesting ways to keep bumping all these characters together. The dead v
    ...more
    Pamela Scott
    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres...

    This book took a while to get into and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it. I was intrigued by the characters and wanted to know was going on. Who is Lucy, really? What does she know about Jess and Star? Who’s Ben and what is his deal? It took 50 or 60 pages for me to really get into. It’s worth sticking with. Trust me. I fell in love with the book, the writing, the characters, their lives and the events they find themselves caught up in. The book is
    ...more
    Jan Smith
    Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This is the story of Star a teenager living on the streets ,Jess whose son was killed by a hit and run driver and Lucy the old lady who helps the ‘loose ends’
    I really enjoyed the undercurrents of the supernatural mixed in with the resolution of the past and gradually getting to know the characters and how their lives were interwoven . It was easy to feel sympathy for both Star and Jess and all the way through book I was hoping there could be a happy ending for them . I would have liked to have
    ...more
    Marilu C. Cowan
    Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is a fascinating book! It is not a religious book, but the theme of "loose ends" shows how Lucy (the main character) serves as a conduit for the way God works in this world. There are no coincidences. Ms. Payne takes a series of "accidental" events and joins them in a way that heals all the characters concerned. She is open to the pains and needs of others. She shows us that our hurt and our foibles can be healed by kindness, acceptance, and awareness of the threads of our lives.

    The narrat
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    Mandy
    Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3.5 stars rounded up

    The author hooked me in from the beginning with the likable characters and the mystery behind these “loose ends” and how they’re connected. There was a good mix of predictability and twists and I was eager to keep turning the pages. While I enjoyed the pace (for the most part), I felt some of it was rushed through or glossed over and I wish we learned more about Lucy “the witch of Pine Lake” and her earlier days. I thought the author did a good job balancing the heavy/sad eve
    ...more
    Laurinda M. Shafer
    Loved this book from beginning to end!

    This was such a touching story...I loved the way you brought all the "loose ends" together. It gave so much insight to so many different topics...homelessness, drug abuse, foster children, unwed mothers and the struggles of our elderly. I loved the spirit and his part in the story.
    Ms Payne did an excellent job of covering a lot of concerning topics, just needed a few stray dogs & cats to cover all the bases! Lol
    I hope she continues to entertain us with m
    ...more
    Mandy K Hess
    Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Tough read

    This story was so very sad to me that at times I had to stop reading for the day. Perhaps it was so heartbreaking because I have young children myself but the narration had me imagining the horror of losing a child and it was tough at time to read through. At the same time it was a bit spooky, and I don't really enjoy being frightened but was mesmerized all the same by the supernatural of Lucy and her home. Overall the characters were nicely developed and likeable, even if Jess was a l
    ...more
    Linda A.
    Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Life Struggles, Perseverance, Letting Go, Love

    This is a beautiful story of great loss yet finding new chances at love. All the characters are bound by a dead child, but the dead child leads them to live again and letting go of the past. I am not a big fan of psychic skills because, to an extent, it allows the author to relocate the main characters in a small, peaceful town as though drawn there by a psychic/witch and a dead child. I struggle to believe the course of events because of this. Other
    ...more
    Sue
    Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This was an Amazon First Reads for me and I absolutely loved it. I quickly realized it wasn’t really contemporary fiction as it was full of of magical happenings that some may label paranormal. Luckily for me I was not disappointed at all. I was surprised that the writing, characters and plot were so strong in a debut novel. I loved the quirky characters and easily related to their personalities. It was an easy read with moments of suspense that held my attention until it was over. I can’t wait ...more
    Allyson Langston
    Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Very compelling read that I couldn’t put down. Disclaimer: I love the magic realism of Latin American fiction, so the magical/spiritual/worlds between the living and those who have passed colliding stuff is enchanting to me. Add to that a mother losing her only child, learning her strength, and needing a reboot, and I was hooked. Well developed characters and a little bit of magic kept me engrossed from start to finish. Jess, Lucy, Star, and Chance and the ways their lives were interwoven made f ...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.
    Andrea Nourse
    While I enjoyed the overall story and the way the characters connected, I could have done without the paranormal elements. They added an unnecessary creep factor.

    Jess, Star, and Ben are Lucy’s “loose ends.” Each character has experienced pain and loss. It didn’t take me long to figure out how they were connected and what role each played.

    The writing and storytelling kept me engaged despite the creepy factor and the obvious plot twists.
    Robin Tzucker
    Received this as a Kindle First Book....they often disappoint so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading this one all the way through. However, I would definitely describe this as paranormal, not contemporary fiction. I wasn't really expecting that piece, though it was fine.

    There were a few inconsistencies that better editing might have caught, but overall this was a quick, mostly enjoyable read.
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    Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 3 29 Mar 14, 2019 07:23PM  
    52 followers
    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