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Common Stones, Inspirational Book

nonfiction-award-04-2-3-gold-300x300Have you ever awakened from a restless night of sleep and just couldn’t do it—you couldn’t wear that mask another day, acting as though everything were “okay?” Could anyone possibly understand what you were going through? Or are you on the other side of that coin? Times are tough, though you know people have survived worse. But how do others overcome staggering mountains and valleys? What we wouldn’t give to absorb their wisdom.

Author Alicia M. Smith sought answers to the questions shared above, questions occupying real estate within the shadows of our minds. Her quest was to speak with said people—those who understood the struggle and the loneliness, but who could also share their stepping stones toward higher ground.

The moments shared by these individuals are humbling, to say the least:

  • ~ A life-altering car accident
  • ~ A woman’s quest to escape addiction and life under a bridge
  • ~ A nurtured passion, years of hard work and memories, stolen by Hurricane Katrina
  • ~ A late-night phone call, notifying a woman that the police may have found her husband’s body
  • ~ A vision bestowed on a man, moving him and others to walk away from safety and toward
    the unknown

How do these anecdotes apply to you? Are there common denominators? Or are we all separated by our own circumstances and experiences? The lessons gleaned from these testimonies are invaluable—sparks of hope demanding to extinguish the shadows.

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~ 3 GOLD MEDAL BOOK AWARDS from Nonfiction Authors Association:  Received in Self-Help, Personal Triumph, and Religion Categories

~ ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD WINNER, 1ST RUNNER-UP, 2017 (Nonfiction E-Book Category):  The Eric Hoffer Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing.

~ ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD GRAND PRIZE SHORT LIST, 2017:  The Eric Hoffer Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing.

~ 11TH ANNUAL NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD FINALIST, 2017, in TWO Individual Categories:  Regional Non-Fiction (Southeast) & Religion Non-Fiction

MONTAIGNE MEDAL FINALIST, 2017:  The Montaigne Medal is given in honor of the great French philosopher and awarded to the most thought-provoking titles each year.

FIRST HORIZON AWARD FINALIST, 2017:  The First Horizon Award is given each year to the highest scoring books by debut authors.


Editorial Reviews


kirkus“The essays themselves are tightly paced and engaging….Inspirational without being patronizing; a well-organized collection.”


—Kirkus Reviews

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San-Francisco-Book-Review-Logo-250w“Common Stones is an inspiring collection that will forever have a lure on readers worldwide. …The organization of this valuable reading material is amazing. Common Stones is set up into three main sections that introduces readers to what’s at hand, then sets them on to testimonials, as well as an area of reflection. Each section sends readers into deep, thought-provoking sessions. Anyone can read this collection anytime and anywhere. It’s easy to read and follow along. Each story gives readers a tiny gift that they can take with them and carry with them for a lifetime. Not many nonfiction books can offer that to readers everywhere. I loved how each story was unique and had a different scenario. The variety gives readers a bigger grasp on what happens to others and how we can overcome such feats. Struggles are hard, however, Alicia M. Smith not only tells but shows readers how to overcome these harsh barriers in life that pop up. Many of these stories have lessons that we can learn, no matter how young or old we are. I loved reading this powerful book and it’s a handy tool to keep around for when life does pull the rug from under our feet we can come back to Common Stones and remember that we are not alone and that we can survive. Overall, I highly recommend this brilliant read to readers worldwide.”

—San Francisco Book Review (5 Stars!)

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Manhattan-Book-Review-Logo-74h“…Common Stones is a very well-written inspirational book that offers not only experiences but time for self-reflection as well. Full of theme appropriate and poignant quotes, as well as Bible verses from scripture, Smith allows readers to not simply read another person’s story but rather to see that through another’s struggles they may be able to find something that can help them through their own difficult time. Some may shy away from this book due to the heavy presence of Christianity through Bible verses and each person’s strong belief and reliance upon their faith through their struggles. However, that would be unfortunate because while these particular people turned to their God and Lord Jesus to find their way, author Alicia M. Smith has written a book that is about more than just religion. She has written a book about finding a way to heal what is broken, find hope when it seems all is lost and to have faith whether it be in something greater or simply in yourself. In a world that seems to focus on how different people are this inspirational book full of life-changing quotes and stories shows us that in the end surviving it all comes down to one common stone.”

—Manhattan Book Review (5 Stars!)

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“…Common Stones may hold a name that sounds ordinary, but its message is anything but common. …The stories are selected for their ability to impart inspiration, hope, and healing, and blend first-person autobiographies with insights on how the power of prayer and connections changed lives or influenced directions. …The result is recommended for any Christian and spiritual reader who would look at adversity and life challenges with a new eye to identifying and working with their growth potential: an inspirational read that includes captivating testimonies affirming the superpowers of faith.”

–Midwest Book Review (D. Donovan; Senior Reviewer)

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Common Stones is anything but common and is so much more than just another story. As I read this book I almost felt like I was there, within the individual stories. Stories of overcoming steep odds and the power of God to move mountains in our lives if we simply let Him. As you read and absorb the different events brought about by life as it happened to each person, you cannot help but come away with an important realization. It is not the pain, nor the negative circumstance that matters in the end–it is what you choose to do with these things that really matters. I recommend this book to anyone of any age–you are never too old or too young to be inspired and touched by grace.”

–Greg Holt, Christian Blogger/Publisher, Inspirational Christian Blogs & The Olive Branch Report

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Common Stones blew me away. So many details were relevant in the plot(s) and around the edges. So many real people and places. Mostly, it was powerful. I couldn’t put it down. One minute I was in tears recalling so many people who need to read these words, but also because I was wishing I had read this ten years ago. Alicia Smith’s conclusions drove right to the core–not “preachy” and overly theological, but very profound. She spoke candidly about pain, trials and overcoming from a Godly perspective. Common Stones simply made my day. I loved it! In fact, it’s the best book I have read in some time.”

–Dale Robble, Senior Pastor, Highland Park Church, Nashville, TN


“Alicia is faithful in her writing and in her work. She has been a great friend to Thistle Farms and her reflections on Penny bring her back to life for me! It is good to be heard and it is a gift to be able to share what you hear with grace. Alicia has done both.”

–Becca Stevens, Founder of the Magdalene program and Thistle Farms; Acclaimed Speaker and Author; Named a “Champion of Change” by the White House, 2011