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Sep 16, 2022

Sometimes you see a name everywhere and wonder why you haven't read a book by that author. Then you schedule an interview with said author and go, "WAIT! Why haven't I read this author???"  Yeah, that's what happened with Amanda Wen, author of the recent release, The Songs that Could Have Been and the upcoming collection, O Little Town. Seriously, guys. I keep thinking I need to open a secondhand book shop to help defer the costs of all these books!  Because I need these books!!! Listen in and see why I think Amanda Wen may be a new favorite author.

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Who Knew Family History Could Inspire Wonderful, Heart-Wrenching Stories?

Amanda Wen, author of the Sedgwick County Chronicles including Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs that Could Have Been and "Book 3" (I agree... she needs a better title, but she assures us that Kregel is fabulous at naming her babies), takes family history and spins beautiful, heartwrenching tales of love and family from the holes in that history. I don't know if we're looking at a trilogy, a tetralogy, a pentalogy... (I vote for the latter), but I think (having only read the opening line of Songs) that I could read them indefinitely.

Despite the love and romance in these novels, Amanda Wen's stories aren't light and fluffy. They deal with hard things--racial issues, church abuse, adoption, dementia... And all in a way that I'm chomping at the bit to read. Not to mention, audiobooks. There's audio. With what sounds like a good narrator AND the same narrator for both of the published works. EEEP!

But that's not all Amanda writes...

She does have a couple of romances. The first you can get if you sign up for her newsletter--a nice little Valentine's short story that I don't know about you but I don't want to miss (more about that later). The next in the upcoming novella collection, O Little Town with authors Janyre Tromp and Deborah Raney. Taking place in three different times, O Little Town features a fictional Michigan town with a rich Dutch heritage and its little schoolhouse.

The Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen

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

After a tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson's life is finally back on track. Her battle with bulimia is under control, her career is taking off, and she's surrounded by a loving family. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, leads to old feelings returning with new strength. And suddenly her well-balanced world is thrown off kilter.

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But the reasons they broke up aren't lost--and those old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. He isn’t sure he's 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.

The Songs That Could Have Been is full of the same deftly handled, resonant writing that readers and critics alike enjoyed in Amanda Wen's first book in the series. Fans of Lisa Wingate and Rachel Hauck will add Amanda Wen to their must-read shelves.

You can learn more about Amanda (and get her free Valentine's story) on her WEBSITE.

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