Get Carol's Newsletter
Sign up for exclusive content, updates and more.

Available Now

Tangled Lives

Tangled Lives

Available: July 11, 2023

• Page Count: 328

ISBN: 978-1649499677

Both women love him, but only one is meant for him.
Crystal Snow struggles with the paralysis caused by her biological parents’ drug use. She convinced herself no one will ever love her. Roxie, devastated by chronic childhood rejections, knows anyone who loves her must be intrinsically flawed. Both want only what is right for their sister who is also their best friend.
Dreams upend career. Destroy friendships. End love.
When searched out by their biological grandmother, the past tangles with the present. Issues the girls wished to forget resurrect and threaten their dreams.
Who gets the man and career of her dreams?

Available from these Retailers

Tangled Lives Excerpt

Childhood behaves like the morning mist. Children dance and delight, then grow and vanish into the light of their days. So many nights, I wished my girls would mature, would give me grandchildren, would give me a moment to myself. First, of course, go to college.
When the time arrived, and they left me, they took their magic. Without magic, the scent of childhood wafted away in the morning fog. How could I have understood, all those years ago, the bedraggled waifs I fostered would steal my heart? In my reluctance to mother the abandoned children, I never fathomed the temporary fostering would turn into everlasting love when I adopted them.
Once more, I bit back tears as Crystal Joy, my youngest girl, climbed into her car. Last week, we outfitted the Honda with hand controls, so she could drive despite her spina bifida. Parker and I watched as she drove away to the University of Tennessee to join her sister.
I imagined I heard her singing. Never was Crystal without a song even as a child. Back then she hammered on pots and Tupperware to make music. Her alto, always on pitch. Her fingers twitched on guitar strings or dulcimers. In the end, my youngest daughter settled on the violin. Never did the spina bifida slow Crystal down or make her feel inferior. Could a mother call one child perfect?
The dust from the road settled, and I stood next to Parker like the day Lisa Simpson tried to adopt Crystal’s sister.
Always the most sensitive. Perhaps the proverbial middle child. Sweet, insecure Roxie. Too independent and too needy. Her biological parents died of drug overdoses. Roxie had been old enough to understand abandonment, too young to realize her parents’ issues had nothing to do with her worth. Her oldest sister’s grandfather adopted her when she was eight. The hole bored through my heart. It compounded sweet Roxie’s belief in her lack of worth. Roxie believed I loved everyone more than her.
Parker looped his arm around me.
His closeness soothed. Always.
“Meredith, the girls will be home before you realize they moved out. Now’s the time for them to heal, live their passions, and find themselves.” He kissed the top of my head. “They’ll be okay.”
In Parker’s eyes, I hoped to see the truth of his words. This time, I didn’t run away and hide. I let God take my fears and prayed the sins of my daughters’ parents would no longer descend on their innocent offspring. I prayed the love of adoptive parents and a heavenly Father would redeem.

  • "This book delivers in true Carol McClain fashion .... poignant message wrapped in entertainment, truth, knowledge, and sprinkled with humor. Readers will either identify with the heroine or know someone who has struggled with alcohol abuse. We understand Torie's pain. We also understand how quick others are to judge those who suffer from addiction ... they can only see the pain the addicted one causes, rather than the pain that keeps them addicted. Great writing by a great writer." Author of Hosea's HeartLinda Rondeau
  • "What a moving story of grief, guilt, and finding forgiveness." Author of Camp HopeSara Foust
  • "This is Carol's best so far. Her ability to make characters come to life and her subtle insertion of humor make this a delightful read and one you won't want to put down till the end." An artist and reader.Kaye Mero
  • "Love how the characters were shaped and developed. Caught my interest from beginning to end. I didn't want it to end. I would and did recommend this book for everyone." readerAmy Smith
  • "The best contemporary novel I read this year."authorLena Nelson Dooley
  • I love a character-driven plot. The city girl vs the country girl. The sinner vs the saint. The author did a great job showing how at the core of things, we aren't so different. We all need grace and truth. And above all these, of A Heart SurrenderedJoy Massenburge
  • This story made me laugh out loud, made me cry, made me think about my own actions and reactions to others. The characters are a beautiful mix of humor, problems, and insight. It was wonderful to see the interactions unfold as all sides learned about each other and what makes "the other side" tick. Coming to the end of the book was a mix of emotions. While I was excited to see things come together, I didn't want the story to end. Here's hoping there's a sequel!a readerSarah Vozzo
  • "A New York Yankee in Stinking Creek" is a divergent contrast between two women, two distinctive ways of life, and two completely opposing worldviews. The story kept me close to the written page as I grew to love both women. Their dissimilar lifestyles opened my way of thinking and my heart as the author drew me into their lives, allowing me to see the common ground between them. AuthorJune Foster
  • I loved this book. Now my Carol McClain fav. The book runs the gamut of emotion. Carol has a gift for cryptic humor. I love the conflict between the two women and how they are drawn into a friendship that neither of them would have imagined. The book reminds us that when all is said and done, a Christian is merely a sinner saved by grace. We are not exempt from the same struggles common to the human experience. This is a great read ... funny yet of Hosea's HeartLinda Rondeau
  • Carol McClain is a treasure. Her work is a light in a dark world. As a male, I don’t exactly fit the target demographic for this book, but I’m going to make the argument that everyone should be this book’s target audience. The world needs Carol McClain. You need Carol McClain. You will care about the people in this book. I say “people” rather than “characters” because they are all deeply human. It seems almost wrong to refer to them as anything less. There is so much heart and so much tender humanity in this story. You will find yourself cheering for Meredith, Bean, Roxie, and Crystal as they experience joy. You will find yourself hoping for them as they yearn for the love they all so desperately want and need. You will find yourself crying for them when they struggle and seem to be without hope. Love, joy, triumph, despair, and everything else that paints the tapestry of human life are here in rich detail. It is a story of hope, forgiveness, searching, losing, gaining, finding, and all the while, leaning (sometimes unknowingly) on the bosom of God. What a wonderful book this is. I read a lot. It is rare that a book touches me in the way Borrowed Lives did. Read it. It will touch you as of Bit Dance and MoteTilmer Wright
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and heartfelt Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2021 The book Borrowed Lives from author Carol McClain reads as though written by someone who actually lived the lives of those whose stories unfold in the pages. The book begins with a main character who has suffered tragedy, but the actual tragedy is not immediately revealed. Then the true journey begins. Finding a way to replace tragedy with triumph. Borrowed Lives takes the reader on a voyage of loss, hope, love, and faith from beginning to end. So well-written and heart-felt I came to know and understand what the characters would probably do, sometimes before the author revealed their actions. It was easy to become involved in the character’s lives. To feel their hopes, losses, and joys. This is a great book to curl up under a quilt and read in a single sitting on a sunny afternoon. My advice, don’t miss this book. It weaves an interesting story, as do all of McClain’s books, with a charming ending that satisfies the soul. Highly recommend. A copy of this book was provided for my honest review. Helpful Report abuse Permalink Product Details Borrowed Lives byCarol McClainMulti-Published authorCyn Taylor
  • Oh my goodness! The humor and emotion in this book is off the charts! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves diverse characters and experiencing the full range of human emotion!authorAmy Dohman
  • Carol McClain pens a devastatingly beautiful and heart-wrenching story in Prodigal Lives, her sequel to the stirring novel Borrowed Lives. She picks up from first book that left us cheering for its characters, and takes us further into a multi-layered drama of child welfare, drug abuse, and love of family that is at times haunting and shocking, yet filled with warmth and hope. This is a story that will stay with me. If you haven’t read any of Carol’s fiction yet, you’ll discover a treasure. AuthorNaomi Musch
  • n Prodigal Lives, Carol McClain takes us back to Hen Waddle Hollow in Jacksboro, Tennessee, and the Janes family. This second volume of Ms. McClain’s “Treasured Lives” series, brings us up to date on Meredith Janes and her foster children. Pearl is now happily situated with her biological grandfather who divides their time between Florida and Missouri, and Roxie is with her maternal biological aunt in Kentucky, soon to be Korea, but Meredith still has ever funny, ever lovable Crystal. And let’s not forget the goats! Life happens and, too often, happiness is sporadic to the point of disappearing as Pearl learns through addiction, Roxie learns through feelings of desertion, and Meredith learns through infertility issues. Again, as in the inspiring Borrowed Lives, I cried and laughed my way through real-life crises and joyful occasions, leading to an unforgettable ending. I highly recommend both Borrowed Lives and Prodigal Lives, so read both during the interlude while we wait for Ms. McClain to give us her next insight into the Jaynes family lives.EditorPeggy Lovelace Ellis
  • I loved that we get to see part of this book through the eyes of a young person. That rarely happens in novels written for adults. McClain pulls it off so well. The author is also such an expert on human relationships, both between adults, children, and adults to children. She does a fantastic job with dialogue and narrative, keeping the reader’s interest throughout the book. The reader’s journey will take them on a roller coaster of discovery among the characters. It is easy to see how much time, research, and knowledge went into writing this book. Loved every minute. Highly recommend.AuthorCyn Taylor
  • In Prodigal Lives, Carol McClain continues the heartfelt story of Meredith Jaynes, as she moves forward with her complex and challenging life. The characters you grew to know and love in the first book of this series continue to mature and develop, which rivets the reader to the pages. McClain is a master with character development, crafting people you find yourself actually caring about as you turn the page/scroll the Kindle file to find out what happens next. Realism abounds. Life isn't always easy. As a matter of fact, most times it's hard. McClain's main protagonist, as well as others in her life, learn that lesson through repeated experiences that make them dig deep, sometimes after taking a hard fall, to overcome their challenges and move forward, all the while clinging to the love and hope found in family. This is a terrific story. If you have not read Borrowed Lives, grab a copy of that excellent book along with this one. You can thank me later.AuthorTilmer Wright
  • I don’t know if this will be the last book in the “Treasured Lives” series, but it is certainly one of the best. I appreciate how love is woven into every page of the book. McClain does a fantastic job of bringing her characters to life and I loved every one of them. Highly recommend this book and the series.authorCyn Taylor
  • In Tangled Lives, Carol McClain paints an exquisitely satisfying portrait of how the Snow girls have grown into young women. Some of the pain from their difficult childhood remains, but mama Meredith has built a foundation of love, faith, and family that guides and sustains them as they face the challenges of adulthood. McClain does an incredible job projecting each girl’s personality, so beautifully crafted in the earlier installments of this series, onto the adult versions of each of them in Tangled Lives. Fans of the series will not want to miss this engaging and compelling story. Those new to McClain’s work are given an additional reason to pick up McClain’s Prodigal Lives and read this wonderful series from the start. authorTilmer Wright

Full Booklist