Book Giveaway: Symphony of Secrets

Renee Ann Smith —  October 7, 2010 — 38 Comments

On Monday, I uncovered a drug ring in South Minneapolis. On Tuesday, I spotted a felony theft at a country club in Edina. On Wednesday, I overheard plans for industrial espionage while staking out the back room of a workshop in St. Paul.

On Thursday, my daughter blew all my cases out of the water . . .

With these first lines from Symphony of Secrets, author Sharon Hinck ushers us into the slightly-zany mind of single mom and talented flutist, Amy Johnson. As a crime novel buff, Amy is always on the lookout for a real-life mystery to solve, yet she can’t seem to follow the clues that lead to understanding her daughter’s heart—much less, her own.

Caught reading--instead of cleaning my messy home office!

Amy is flawed and funny and filled with an overabundance of imagination. She’s a main character who works her way into your heart until you’re ready to follow her into any fictional situation. I found myself rejoicing to see her win a spot with the Minneapolis Symphony (which brings her to the attention of the handsome conductor) and empathizing with the self-doubts that swamp her as she pursues her dream.

When she attempts to discover who is sabotaging the symphony and steps out of her comfort zone to connect with the non-musical mothers of the cheerleading squad, some of her antics made me laugh out loud.

But, for me, her bravest moments come when she faces her past, acknowledges the pain she has caused, and finds a way to move forward in love.

If you’ve ever yearned for a dream, loved someone enough to sacrifice for them, stumbled a time or two on the path of life, or experienced blessings in unexpected ways, you’ll be charmed by this book.

And here’s some advice for other aspiring writers out there: read this book!

In a class Sharon Hinck recently taught for American Fiction Christian Writers, she emphasized that “one of the keys to writing was to help your reader build a relationship with the characters.”

Since Sharon demonstrates this so successfully with the creation of Amy Johnson, this story is a great study in character development. (After all, Sharon was named “Writer of the Year” at the 2007 Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference.)

Madeleine L’Engle once cautioned writers, “Your point of view as a human being is going to come over in your writing whether you know it or not. There’s no way you can hide it. And that’s a very scary thing, particularly true, oddly enough, in fiction. Story is revelatory.”

Sharon, too, takes her responsibility as an author seriously and shared her thoughts in our lessons:

“I think it’s appropriate to approach our story telling with a little healthy fear and trembling. When someone is willing to spend several hours in your created world, with your created characters, absorbing your world-view, you have an opportunity to influence for good or bad.

Therefore, be saturated with the Word. We work with words, but we never exhaust our need to be IN the Word—taught, fed, and shaped by the Bible.”

To learn more about Sharon and her other books, visit her website. The sidebar section labeled Encouragement links to some meaningful reads, sure to touch your heart.

Book Giveaway: Let me share this sweet story with one of you.

I made the mistake of starting Sharon’s book during a school week, and you can see by my

My copy of Sharon's book where it should NOT be--in my school bag!

photos that I ended up reading when I should have been working. My copy of the book shows some outer wear from having been dragged around with me and handled by my curious students, but the pages are pristine. So if you’re the type of person who doesn’t judge a book by its cover, this is the giveaway for you!

To win my somewhat used copy of this book, you must be a subscriber or GFC follower. Then simply leave a comment below to let me know you’d like to be included in the drawing. Please include your email address. (Remember to write it like this jenniebee [at] gmail [dot] com.) I’ll run the giveaway until next Friday, October 15.

Follow this link to purchase your own copy of the book.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

38 responses to Book Giveaway: Symphony of Secrets

  1. thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel…i’m a subscriber 🙂

  2. Oooooo this sounds good!! I love the picture with your students *grin* Too funny!!!

    : D

    Thanks for this chance! Sound mighty fine and of course I don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Besides, as my advisor and the librarian from my old elementary school always says, the more wear and tear, the more love the book has had in its life *grin*

    • Yes, aren’t my students funny? They know how to ham it up. And I’ve always thought that a school librarian could be a fount of wisdom. You’ve remembered her words all these years! . . . Thanks for joining the contest!

  3. I’m a subscriber and follower. Would love to read this book!


  4. The picture of you reading instead of cleaning your home office is soooo me! I often get “distracted” by a good read when there are so many other things that i need to do! I love the picture of your class! they look like great kids to work with!

  5. I live in the this area, and your scenarios are too realistic! Please enter me for your book.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. Leighann Kowalsky October 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Three months ago I re-opened my Public Library account, which has been closed for 13 years. I’ve read six books since! I can’t get my hands on enough good reads!

  7. Its actually a good thing to know that sometimes even adults/teachers are just as enraptured in a book as we are~

  8. I love the pic with you sitting among your mess and reading. I get distracted so easily it is hard to get any cleaning or throwing out accomplished. lol
    I would love to win this book as I do love my mystery books.

    I am a GFC Follower and email subscriber

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  9. Linda, I’ve been enjoying your giveaways and writing about some of my favorite books!

    Leighann and Becky, glad you guys are trying for this book! I love it that you comment and join the fun!

    Miss Kallie, I’m glad someone else can relate to my book obsession!

  10. Please enter me in the drawing. I would love to win this book!


  11. I am a new follower. This sounds like a very good book! Please enter me.

  12. I am a new subscriber and am excited about your giveaway. Please enter my name!
    By the way, Carman sent me. I LOVE the photo of your study hall students!

    charsaltz (at) yahoo (dot) com

  13. This looks like a fun book!

    We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings:

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  14. Charlotte, so glad you found the giveaway! It’s a great book!

    Jane, thanks for posting the giveaway and joining in the fun!

  15. I’d love to win this book. It looks like fun. And what cute candid photos you posted!


  16. Please enter me.
    bkhabel at gmail dot com
    I’m a GFC follower.

  17. Sounds like a great read. I would love to win your slightly used copy 🙂 Thank you for the chance!

    I am a GFC follower.

  18. It’s so fun to write about students….looks like they love their teacher and enjoy class….shows you’re a good teacher….wish there were more like you. Enter me in your contest too….thanks!

  19. Please enter me! I am a new GCF follower :). It looks and sounds liek such a great book! Thanks!

    God bless!

    ~Katie G.

    katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

  20. Hi,
    I’m a new follower, sent by Carman.
    Please enter me, sounds like a wonderful book.

  21. I have seen this book around on blogs. It looks really good and I know my daughter would love it. Thanks for the giveaway. I’d love to win it. I’m a gfc follower

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  22. Hi Renee,
    It’s fun having you visit my blog so thought I’d return the favour again, now that I have a quiet moment! 🙂
    This post was so fun to read! And I’d love to be entered in the draw if I’m eligible despite the fact that I reside outside the US. Totally will understand if not! 🙂

  23. I’m glad you came by, and you’re entered!

  24. a subscriber .This book sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thank you.

  25. This soulds like a great book! I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance. (I am a follower and an e-mail subscriber)

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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