Maelle Woolley, a shy botanist, prefers plants to people. They don’t suddenly disappear. Raised on her grandparents’ commune after her mother’s mysterious death, she follows the commune’s utopian beliefs of love for all. Then she falls for attractive psychiatrist Zachary Kane. When Zachary claims her mother and his father never emerged alive from his father’s medical research lab, Maelle investigates. What she discovers will challenge everything she believes, force her to find the strength she never knew she had, and confront the commune’s secrets and lies. What happened to love? And can it survive?


  • Joyous Lies breathes humanity into the members of an aging hippie commune and the heroine, Maelle, a plant biologist determined to sweep aside the cobwebs of the past and uncover the truth of her mother’s death.
    ~ Marylee MacDonald, author of Surrender
  • Joyous Lies—a tale of family secrets straining the bonds of family love and lost ideals. Spence combines a spellbinding plot with nuanced, rich characters that will reach into your heart and not let go.
    ~ Judith Starkston, award-winning author, Of Kings and Griffins


The Wild Rose Press, February 15, 2021
Trade Paperback ISBN 978-1-5092-3472-1
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-3473-8

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