HELENA SMRCEK

Stories with a Soul 

  • White Amazon Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon

Welcome to Helena's Blog 

10 Greatest Novels That Will Tug on Your Heartstrings Long After You Finish Them - Part 6

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Partly set in Afghanistan, this bestseller by Khaled Hosseini chronicles the friendship of two young boys who fly kites together as children despite vast differences in their social status. The story follows the devastating betrayal of one boy by the other and how they age and grow apart over time. The Kite Runner shows that while you cannot change your past, you may be able to atone for it. But that atonement is rarely easy or complete. This beautiful novel follows themes of family and friendship within a tragic international context that shows the pain of those swept up by larger political forces and those who escape.

What Do You Want to Write? (Part 5 of 5)

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 04:00 AM PDT Let your genre choose you. That probably sounds strange, but I believe that each serious writer has potential to do well in at least one area. And there are any number of ways you let the genre choose you. I’ve previously mentioned your passion and asking writer friends. I’m a serious Christian and I pray daily for my writing. I began to write when I was a pastor and wrote and sold about 100 articles before I wrote my first book. For the first six or seven years, I rewrote my sermons. From there I branched out into other areas. In an earlier blog, I mentioned choosing your rut. But that’s after you’ve begun to establish yourself. I became a ghostwriter be

10 Greatest Novels That Will Tug on Your Heartstrings Long After You Finish Them

John Steinbeck's classic novella follows two migrant workers, George and Lennie, as they struggle to subsist during the Great Depression. They're driven by the American Dream to own their land, but as the title foretells, best laid plans often go awry. And that becomes part of the devastating journey readers take with characters who you can't help but care for. The novel exposes the social justice issues of its time period, which remain relevant for contemporary readers. The shattering, but inevitable, turn of events speak to the universal desire for dreams and justice and the ways they are so easily thwarted for those who are oppressed. These are the books that will completely change your l

Reader's Digest

This best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger tells the love story of Clare and Henry—which would be so perfect if only Henry didn't have a pesky genetic illness that causes him to travel through time without warning. This causes his wife Clare all kinds of hassles and heartache. The out-of-order love story captures the loss inherent to love as it constantly moves in and out of moments. This sweeping story covers the lives and tragic turns for both characters. It pulls on your heartstrings even as it inspires through romantic notions about feeling like you know someone when you've only just met. (If you love time travel stories, here are the best movies featuring time travel and twists.)

Reader's Digest

Katherine Paterson's cherished classic Bridge to Terabithia, published in 1977, will stir your soul as well as inspire sobbing. Paterson's lovable characters Jesse and Leslie are two youngsters who connect as friends despite their contrasting home lives. After they face a bully at school, they cope by creating a magical haven, Terabithia, in the woods near their homes. The elaborate fantasy locale provides a safe space beyond the challenges and conflicts of regular life. This beautiful novel treats tragedy with unflinching honesty as you follow the kids through a journey that includes unbearable grief. These are the books you really should have read by now.