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It Began with a Lie cover art

It Began with a Lie

Written by: Michele PW - Pariza Wacek
Narrated by: January LaVoy
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Publisher's Summary

2018 PRG Reviewers' Choice Award First Place Winner for Best Book
2018 PRG Reviewers' Choice Award Second Place Winner for Best Book Series

A fresh start. That's what Becca hoped the move from New York to Redemption, Wisconsin would be for her troubled family. A way to get her crumbling marriage back on track, and to bond with her difficult 16-year-old stepdaughter. 

But instead of a new beginning, Becca is thrust into a mysterious past she barely remembers. A past that includes the complications of interacting with her old teenage crush, Daniel, as well as living in her aunt's old house. 

A house with a violent past. A house the locals swear is haunted. 

But there's no such thing as ghosts. Right? 

So, could there be something even more sinister out to destroy them? 

And can Becca discover the truth before it’s too late?

Includes a special note from the author, plus "The Secret Diary of Helen Blackstone", a bonus story in the Secrets of Redemption series.

©2018 Michele Pariza Wacek (P)2020 Podium Audio

What listeners say about It Began with a Lie

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

wishy washy main character

despite January LaVoy's amazing vocal talent, was a hard book to get through. msin character's constant whiney, 2nd guessing internal dialog was beyond annoying. ruined the potential of a good story.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Generic Horror-Thriller

The premise/plot device that Michele Pariza-Wacek uses to drive her story is both unoriginal and annoyingly lazy. 'Rebecca' inherits the local haunted house from her deceased Medicine Woman/Witch aunt and reluctantly moves in. She has no memory of what had happened the summer of her 16th year in that town - when a teenaged friend disappeared. Becca slowly recalls details as childhood friends & acquaintances prompt her - and it comes across as a storytelling cheat (couldn't the author have come up with something more clever for drip-drip-dripping revelations and introducing plot twists?🙄):
"Oh yeah.. the Seance where we saw that ghostly warning.. I forgot about that. Oh well🤷‍♂️" or "Oh yeah.. the police interview where I lied.. I forgot about that. Oh well🤷‍♂️" or "Oh yeah..my admission to a psychiatric hospital.. I forgot about that. Oh well🤷‍♂️"
On the more positive side: "PW" writes with capable vocabulary/prose, decent description skills, and an evident understanding of what constitutes "creepy" (dreams about the spirits in the house, a found diary relating the terrifying history of the place, and a stepdaughter's weird sleepwalking/possession, for example - are pretty hackneyed but handled nicely).
Altogether, this paranormal-flavored psychological suspense tale isn't horrible, but not very good, either.

As to performance: January LaVoy does her level best to elevate the book with a commendable performance.. but can't quite transcend melodramatic dialogue & imitative, amateurish plotting.
Her diction, timbre, cadence, and tone are remarkable (only a stereotypical array of teenage character voices & a shrill interpretation of 16-year-old stepdaughter 'Chrissy' diminish the reading). Even with those voice-acting deficiencies, however, the narration is the best feature of this product.

In toto, 'It Began As A Lie' is a 3/10-star effort. It wasn't a complete waste of time as a 'Plus' selection, I guess.. but keep browsing for something else should they ask for a Credit.





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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not good

The person speaking is good and all but the story itself is slow, horribly written with a whiny, boring main character. Basically just gas lighting on gas lighting without any story or mystery. I made myself finish just to see if it got better and that was a mistake.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

January Lavoy saved this book

I listened to this all in a day when I was doing a lot of chores. Out of pure irritation of the main character’s incessant self doubt and obtuse confusion, I sped through parts often. Becca is quite frankly an idiot and an alcoholic, and the twist to this story is unoriginal. The only reason I’m not mad about reading this is the amazing as always narrator and the free credit.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • AFH
  • 2023-10-17

Liked the story but did not like the main character

A good story and good narration.
I don’t believe in ghosts so some of the story I find far fetched. For those who believe you will like this book. I find the main character weak and whiny. I liked the concept of the story just wished I believed in the spirit world. However, the narration was good and I’m glad I listened to it.
Thanks for including in Plus Category.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Kept me wanting more

Love it, exciting, easy to follow, the characters were interesting and I’m vested in the characters and what happens next. Can’t wait to read next book!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

couldn't stop listening!!

Great story. Going to download book 2 now. I really liked the bonus story too

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

weak main character

loved the concept but hated the main character. she was week and wishy washy.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good but not excellent

I found the story entertaining and overall enjoyed it. However, there were a lot of cliches and the story felt rushed in some places. Performance was excellent though!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • PMB
  • 2022-06-17

Entertaining. Gripping story. Superb narration.

Got this first book of the Secrets of Redemption free, and have now purchased book 2. The story is quite good, but as an audiobook with the excellent narration it is truly gripping. I listen to audiobooks while I walk and I can tell you I've gotten more exercise in the last week or two listening to this. Really captivating to listen to. It's suspenseful and fun.

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