Let*s talk Paper & Ink with Lindsay Harrel + Giveaway!

Let's welcome back Lindsay Harrel to Just Commonly today!

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years, and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. 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.

CONNECT WITH LINDSAY: website,  facebook,  twitter,  instagram,  pinterest

Interview with Lindsay

Hi Lindsay! Welcome back to Just Commonly. What's new with you?
Thanks so much for having me back! I’m sure there’s something new with me, but it feels like life hasn’t changed a whole lot since this time last year. My kids are a bit older and I feel like I’ve finally gotten used to have two of them. I’ve written another book, so that’s exciting! Otherwise, I’m just living this author/mom life and loving it.
Quick 1-2 sentence spiel about The Secrets of Paper and Ink?
Brought together by a charming bookstore in England, three women fight to defy expectations, dream new dreams, and welcome love into their lives. At its core, The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a story about healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.
What does "paper" and "ink" mean to you? 
Ooo, good question. Paper and ink are such simple, everyday things—and yet, with them, entire worlds can be created. The power of story is so strong that every reader recognizes its pull. It’s strong enough to transport us to new places and it does more than simply entertain us—it changes us. When combined, paper and ink are some of the most powerful items in the world.
Your favorite bookstores around the world. 
I still remember visiting The Strand in New York City, where there are “18 Miles of Books.” It was such a dream to wander and discover all of the wonderful books waiting at this independent bookstore. Another bookstore that I haven’t visited but want to someday is The Open Book in Wigtown, Scotland. It has an apartment overhead that anyone can rent on AirBnB, and then you run the bookstore during your stay. This is actually the bookstore that inspired a major part of The Secrets of Paper and Ink, since Sophia rents the room over Ginny’s bookstore in Cornwall, England, and helps out in the bookstore during the week. It gave me a great way for strangers to meet and become friends.
What does the bookstore in the story look like to you?  
It’s cozy and charming, and of course, smells gloriously of old books. There are lots of wooden bookshelves, as well as nooks and crannies for customers to explore. A set of stairs lead to a loft area where patrons can snuggle up in a corner and read, play games, or work if they need to.
What's so bookish special about Cornwall, England? 
I was inspired to set a book in Cornwall after watching the PBS show Poldark, which is based on a book series … does that count? What really captivated me was the scenery, with the crashing waves, the bluffs, and the adorably quaint Cornish villages. In my mind, I could just see this little bookshop nestled into the town, and knew I had to write about it.
The story of Emily, Sophia, and Ginny. 
When I first brainstormed this book, Emily—a nineteenth-century governess who longed to be an author—wasn’t even on my radar. I got about a quarter way through the book before deciding that it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. I’d been reading some books set in 1800s England and became captivated by the time period. But of course, I write contemporary, so there was no way I could write the story that started brewing in my brain. However, Emily’s story just flowed out of me, and her strength and bravery captured me. I knew they would capture Sophia too, and decided that I would attempt to weave it all together into a split-time story. I really liked the idea of writing a story about strangers who are brought together to become friends and have an extreme impact on each other—a story about God bringing just the right people at just the right time into each other’s lives. 
The story of "the notebook."
In the book, Sophia is in Cornwall hoping to get inspired to write her own story, which is a lot more difficult than she initially thinks it will be. When she discovers this notebook written by (or about?? Is it real?) Emily, she has to know more. For a time, she follows the trail and stops trying so hard to write her own story. The notebook and the discoveries she makes along the way have an impact on her she didn’t expect.

What's next?
I’m currently writing my next book, which will release in 2020. It’s about widowed sisters-in-law who undertake a seven-day ultra-marathon in New Zealand to honor the lives of their thrill-seeking husbands—and the lessons about grief and healing they learn along the way.

THANK YOU, Lindsay for stopping in on Just Commonly for this interview. 

Be sure to scroll on down and enter the giveaway! Lindsay is gifting one reader a copy of The Secrets of Paper and Ink!


Title:  The Secrets of Paper and Ink
Author: Lindsay Harrel
Publisher: Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction
Release Date:  February 26, 2019
Genre: Contemporary/ Literary Fiction
Links*: Amazon l Goodreads l Book Depository l CBD l Itunes

Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.

A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England--a place she's learned to love through the words of her favorite author--and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she's renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.

Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.

Two hundred years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily's journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.

The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.



Lindsay is graciously offering one reader a copy of The Secrets of Paper and Ink.  Enter using the rafflecopter below.  Due to shipping, open to US mailing addresses only.

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.



  1. *sigh* This sounds so lovely. Not my normal genre, but I'll have to check it out. <3

  2. I love the concept of this story. Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. This book sounds very intriguing. It is definitely in my TBR. Congratulations on your new book.

  4. This sounds like an interesting and empowering book! Thank you for the chance to win.

  5. I'm seeing this book everywhere and it looks fabulous! Can't wait to read it.

  6. The premise of this book sounds so exciting--I love the setting too and the focus on a bookstore and a mystery. This will be one of my favorites, I can already tell.

  7. I just finished this book, and it's soooo good! I loved it! Great job, Lindsay!

    Thanks for the fun interview/spotlight, Annie and Lindsay!

  8. Great interview! I'm excited to read the book!

  9. I love this story so much! Great questions, Annie! Thank you for the giveaway, Lindsay!

  10. I think it is going to be a great book. Thank you for sharing it with us and for the chance to win

  11. I can't wait to read this book! Also, I appreciate the tip on bookstores to visit. We're going to NYC in May. I'm adding The Strand to my list of places to visit.

  12. I think it sounds awesome!


  13. Sounds interesting. I would like to read the book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  14. I love the story line and the English setting of this book.

  15. Thanks for sharing Lindsay! I look forward to reading this book.
    I am watching Poldark on Amazon Prime right now.

  16. This book sound amazing! And I absolutely love the cover...it's gorgeous!

  17. This sounds like a great read I love the cover. I have heard great things about this book. Thanks for the chance.

    Tighefan42atgmail dotcom

  18. I love the cover and look forward to reading it!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  19. There is so much about this book that excites me, and I definitely am off to google that bookstore in Scotland that inspired the idea of living above the bookstore. Also yay for Poldark!


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