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Emma's Secret: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Steena Holmes
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (948 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
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Book Description

For two years, Megan, Peter, and their two older daughters, Alexis and Hannah, dream of nothing but being reunited with the family’s youngest child, Emma, who was kidnapped just before her third birthday. When Emma is miraculously found living with an elderly couple just miles from the family’s home, they are hopeful that her return will heal the wounds her disappearance created.

But Emma is vastly different from the sunny toddler they remember. She barely remembers her parents or her older sisters. She is quiet and withdrawn, and, worst of all, longs for the very people who kidnapped her.

Megan is consumed with bitterness, while Peter works later and later nights in the company of his gorgeous business partner. And in the middle of everything, Megan’s best friend has become suddenly distant and secretive.

Then a chance encounter in town leads to a secret that changes everything again for Emma. And Peter must decide between the happiness of his youngest daughter and the trust of his family.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a bachelor’s degree in Theology. She is the author of two previous novels, Chocolate Reality and Finding Emma. In 2012, she received the Indie Excellence Award. Holmes enjoys writing stories other mothers of young children can relate to. She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.

Product Details

  • File Size: 509 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477800662
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!! June 25, 2013
By H Tymo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Emma's Secret and once again, Steena Holmes did it! By the last few pages I had tears in my eyes. This book is a wonderful end to an amazing set of books. I came across Finding Emma by chance and couldn't put it down, then I was lucky enough to find that the story had continued with Dear Jack. Having to wait so many months for Emma's Secret to come out was pure torture! This is a story that you can't help but fall in love with every single character in the book. I think what has grabbed me most, not just from Emma's Secret, but since the beginning, is how real and human these characters all are. The struggles, emotions and moments that happen to Megan, her family,Jack and of course Emma; they're all how you can only imagine a real family would deal with this tragedy and trying to put their lives back together. Emma's Secret is a wonderful story to read alone, as the back story from Finding Emma isn't left out. It really holds it own, but if you haven't read the previous two books, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning!
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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
***Warning Contains Spoilers***

I had mixed feelings about this book, at times I liked, yet at other times I was not so sure. Emma's Secret centers around a family (with no last name) and with a major emphasis on the one daughter Emma. Just before she turned three Emma was kidnapped by an elderly woman with dementia and had been living in the same town with said woman named Dottie and her husband Jack.

Emma's disappearance happened in a pre-sequel called Finding Emma which I did not read. The time is now 3 years later and Emma has now been returned to the family, as the mother Megan struggles with the need to center her daughter in the family since her return. This is a major issue for Megan because Emma had bonded with the couple who had kept her for those years. However Emma's emotional attachments to this couple do not seem to be as much of an issue for Emma's father Peter.

My problems with this story had nothing to do with Holmes's writing style, I found the book was fluid and easy to read. Although I read this book from cover to cover I was still left confused by a few things. I didn't understand why the book was Called Emma's Secret, when the actual secret was being held by Dottie, the demented kidnapper.

Although Holmes does reference a few times in the book how long Emma has now been home, for me the time line felt blurred as I was unsure of how much time had passed between both books. I didn't understand why Emma and her mother were not receiving regular therapy sessions anymore. Although Megan does have a few minutes of a refresher during a moment of stress with the apparent previous therapist. You would think this would continue considering Emma had only been home for a few months, and being a kidnapping is a very tramatic experience.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Clean Family Story July 9, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The basic theme of Emma's Secret is quite uplifting. A family, which had lost its 3-year-old daughter, has been reunited with her two years later. The book tells how the family and their previously lost child make the adjustment to being together again.

On a positive note, the book is an uplifting account of a family trying to deal with the emotions of being reunited two years after an apparent kidnapping of their youngest member. The family has its ups and downs, but in the end they are stronger than ever, with several potentially serious conflicts resolved.

My wife and I read the story together. Since we had not read the prequel to the book (Finding Emma), we may have been somewhat at a disadvantage. We both agreed that the writing is not first-class. Other reviewers have recounted many of the same criticisms that we have, so we will be brief. In addition to some relatively minor grammatical errors, the author makes too much use of phrases like "Peter bit his lip." While these literary devices can be helpful for providing a "feel" for the emotions of the characters, one can open the book to almost any page and find a relatively trivial use one or more of them.

There is only a minimal use of profanity and overt sex. If you are looking for a clean story with a happy ending, then this book should be on your suggested reading list. We do have two main criticisms. The story (1) contains too many totally unnecessary and irrelevant scenes that appear not to add anything to the plot, and (2) is predictable almost to the point of boredom. Had it been a bit shorter, with less use of certain literary effects, it would have elicited a more laudatory review.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not satisfying July 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This book ended too abruptly. It left too many questions unanswered. Not being a serial reader, I felt a little cheated at the ending and I just don't care enough to invest time in another installment ...especially another cliff hanger.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible August 26, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Keely says:
I was very excited when I read the short description of Emma's Secret. I thought it would be about finding and helping this Emma character get back her life. However, it was hardly about Emma at all. Throughout the entire book we still only know very little about Emma, except for the fact that everyone was affected by Emma's kidnapping and new look at life. We didn't get to really see her progress or anything.

The point of view in the story changed almost every other page. Starting out with Dottie's journal entries, it almost immediately changes into the main character Megan, Emma's mom. Then it continues to change to Jack, Emma's 'kidnapper', and then Megan's husband Peter. The point of view could change up to three times in one chapter, just jumping all over the place. Dottie's journal could have been easily left out, as it seemed to never fit in. Author Steena Holmes seemed to give everyone and their mother a journal to write in, as if the entire town was into it.

Jack's story line was the one I enjoyed the most because it was the only one that seemed to have a point. He showed you his life and what he was doing and thinking. You felt so bad for him because he had lost everything he cared for and was left alone. He helped fill in little details about Emma's life away from the home, but never seemed to provide any unneeded information or wasted words, which everyone else did. Megan's story line was the most boring and frustrating of them all. Her entire character worried over stupid things and had trust issues. Her best friend Laurie, was keeping this 'big huge' secret from her, that made her upset. Her husband, Peter, also was keeping some big secret involving his hot and sexy secretary that I found to be very clichéd.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book. A wonderful and emotional story. Powerful.
Published 4 days ago by Valerie
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read.
I read this a couple years ago and am 86 so don't remember , goody for me I get to read it again. I keep an address book and write down everything I read and if I enjoyed it. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Hazel D. Tarr
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done!
I fell in love with this family and their story in Finding Emma and was extremely excited to read Emma's Secret. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Mary
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Very little of substance
Published 14 days ago by Pam Gibson
1.0 out of 5 stars Silly book
Waste of time. I couldn't find a character worth liking. I read it because it was a prime free book you get what you pay for.
Published 15 days ago by Carol R
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book! Great series!
Published 22 days ago by gift buyer
3.0 out of 5 stars it just didn't seem like that big of a secret
**Contains Spoilers**

I won this book in a first reads giveaway. Had I known it was a sequel I would have read the first book,Finding Emma, before reading this one. Read more
Published 22 days ago by K. Grier
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Much better than the first book, but glad it's over.
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book.
Published 1 month ago by Carol McGarty
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
An Excellent Follow-Up! I loved this book!
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author!

Growing up as a small town Canadian girl, there wasn't much to do but ride your bike, hang out with friends on the beach and daydream. I always wanted to write but never dreamed it was something I could do as a career. I love to travel and fell in love with the sheep covered hillside, old castles and romantic history of Scotland and England. I dream about waking up in Tuscany and touring small town shops in the south of France with my husband, of placing my toes in the ocean and experiencing history first hand. As a mother with three daughters, I'm learning that teaching them to pursue their dreams is a lasting legacy. I love to wake up to the Rocky Mountains, will forever enjoy the taste of coffee and chocolate and can't imagine the day when a story doesn't unfold in my heart. Living a life with passion and pursuing dreams is a life well lived.

The Finding Emma Series: Finding Emma, Dear Jack, Emma's Secret & Dottie's Memories.
The Memory Child
Stillwater Rising

Reviews for Steena Holmes:

"Finding Emma is a heartbreaking story of a mother's journey of hope...captured by the emotion and depth of the characters from the beginning."

"The FINDING EMMA Series may be the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming book I have ever read...Tense, emotional and realistic it will ring your emotions dry."

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