Tag Archives: dual timelines

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Turn-Ons

30 May

Happy Tuesday! This week’s TTT topic is Book Turn-Offs. I really hate to hate on books and by extension the authors. So I did a little research into what other readers find to be turn-offs and twisted it up. I’ve listed books that did each category really well.

For more about book turn-offs/ons, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Turn-Ons

Some people don’t like “bad” covers. Indigo Isle by T. I. Lowe has a fantastic cover!

Some people don’t like multiple points of view. I do. Especially in dual timeline novels. The Vanishing At Castle Moreau by Jaime Jo Wright is spot on with its POVS.

Some people believe a male author can’t write a strong female character. Tom Threadgill did it twice with his Amara Alvarez series. Collision of Lies is book 1.

Some people don’t like horror. I get that, but Billy Coffey writes stories that sneak up on you. It’s horror without the gore. But there sure are spine tingles. The Devil Walks in Mattingly is excellent.

Main characters that are too perfect turn people off. I guess that would be true of me too, but sometimes an author explores a “perfect” character to show that no one lives a life of perfection. Struggles are real and universal. Becky Wade‘s Stay With Me is a good example.

Some people don’t like long book series. I sure am glad Irene Hannon doesn’t feel that way. I love my return visits to Hope Harbor, Oregon. The latest book, #9!, Windswept Way is a favorite.

Some people don’t like cliff-hangers. One of the biggest I have come across is Life Support by Robert Whitlow. Some of the members of my book club were a little miffed when we read it. But we clamored for the rest of the story in Life Everlasting. Both books are available, so make sure you buy both. 😉

Top 10 Tuesday — Reasons For Choosing A Book

23 May

This week bloggers are tasked with listing the reasons why they choose books. Pretty covers tempt, an interesting hook piques interest, and recommendations hold a lot of sway. However, I do have some standards. 😉 So the following are the reasons why I generally acquire a book and books that fit. I have to admit that the authors listed (except Sara Brunvold) are all favorites of mine. And from what I’ve heard about Sara’s book, she will be added to the list as well. 🙂

What about you? What makes you choose a book?

For more reasons to choose a book, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Reasons Why I Choose A Book

Favorite Genre (Suspense) — Fallout Carrie by Stuart Parks

Favorite Author — The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

Interesting Setting or Storyline — The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart

Buzz about A New-To-Me Author — The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold

Next Book in A Series — Blind Trust by Natalie Walters

Top 10 Tuesday — Things That Get In The Way Of Reading

16 May

This week’s TTT topic is an easy one. EVERYTHING gets in the way of reading. There, done. 😉 Seriously, if you have a reading addiction habit problem passion then you know what I’m talking about. Chores, errands, cooking, cleaning, driving, sleeping, exercising — all are the everyday things that keep me from reading. I refuse to include social obligations and family events, because that would be wrong of me. 😉

So what do I do when I can’t physically hold a book to read? I listen to audiobooks. Because TTT is basically an excuse to talk about books, I’ve listed the last 5 audi0books I have enjoyed while trying to get a little more reading time in.

For more blogger’s non-reading woes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Last 5 Audiobooks I Have Listened To

The Chase by Lisa Harris

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Turn to Me by Becky Wade

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

First Line Friday — In This Moment

12 May

Happy Friday! I am so excited to begin this week’s First Line Friday selection — In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer. I read the first book in the series, When The Day Comes, and was blown away by the unique story, the fascinating historical settings, and the characters that captured my reading heart! If you haven’t read book 1 yet, get it and this book too. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s the first line:

Most days, I could pretend that my life was normal.

Maggie inherited a gift from her time-crossing parents that allows her to live three separate lives in 1861, 1941, and 2001. Each night, she goes to sleep in one time period and wakes up in another. Until she turns twenty-one, when she will have to forfeit two of those lives–and everyone she knows in them–forever. 

In 1861, Maggie is the daughter of a senator at the outbreak of the Civil War, navigating a capital full of Southern spies and wounded soldiers. In 1941, she is a navy nurse, grappling with her knowledge of the future when she joins a hospital ship going to Pearl Harbor. And in 2001, she’s a brilliant young medical student, fulfilling her dream of becoming a surgeon.

While Maggie has sworn off romance until she makes her final choice, an intriguing man tugs at her heart in each era, only complicating the impossible decision she must make, which looms ever closer. With so much on the line, how can Maggie choose just one life to keep and the rest to lose?

Gabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the upper Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events. You can learn more about Gabrielle and her books at http://www.gabriellemeyer.com.

Find Gabrielle on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorGabrielleMeyer, Pinterest at http://www.Pinterest.com/gabriellemeyer/, Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MeyerGabrielle, Goodreads, and her Website at http://www.gabriellemeyer.com.

Top 10 Tuesday — Most Recommended Books

9 May

I have a long list of must-read authors and always have a recommendation when someone asks for (or hints at needing 😉 ) a suggestion. This week’s TTT calls for those books we most recommend. I probably have 100s depending on genre likes and dislikes. But I decided to stay within the parameters of 10 only. Whew! It was hard. I know I’mm leaving some deserving novel off my list, but the ones I chose are those I suggest to people who want a thought-provoking book, one that is special. There are a number of genres represented because a good story well-told is my only criteria. You’ve seen these books in lots of other posts — they are that good! I probably need to post a part 2 in an upcoming Freebie week.

Check out other bloggers’ favorites at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Most Recommended Books

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese (contemporary romance)

Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.

With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson (dual timelines/historical)

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert (mystery)

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her. 

But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox — a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting — Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer . . . or the next victim might be Tess herself.

Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert (general fiction)

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray — the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser — faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones–the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge’s top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she’s stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as “this” or “that”, when such complexity exists in each person?

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox (dual timelines/historical/general fiction)

Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner (general fiction)

Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at 40. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what’s next. She couldn’t have imagined what God had in mind. When her estranged sister is committed to a sanitarium, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a 5-year-old nephew she never knew she had.

In 1960s LaFontaine, Michigan, they make an odd pair. Betty with her pink button nose and bouffant hair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful than what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.

Award-winning author Susie Finkbeiner offers fans a novel that invites us to rediscover the power of story to open the doors of our hearts.

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin (general fiction)

Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age 16. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America, where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter.

Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible — and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer (historical/romance/time travel)

How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she’s the same person at her core in both times, she’s leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives–and any hope of love–are put in jeopardy.

Libby’s life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about–women’s suffrage–is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she’s not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other–but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner (general fiction)

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle’s financial company, he’s determined to exceed everyone’s expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final goal: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: What matters most when the end is near?

Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt (historical fiction)

Zosia Lewandowska knows the brutal realities of war all too well. Within weeks of Germany’s invasion of her Polish homeland, she lost the man she loves. As ghetto walls rise and the occupiers tighten their grip on the city of Krakow, Zosia joins pharmacist Tadeusz Pankiewicz and his staff in the heart of the Krakow ghetto as they risk their lives to aid the Jewish people trapped by Nazi oppression. 

Hania Silverman’s carefree girlhood is shattered as her family is forced into the ghetto. Struggling to survive in a world hemmed in by walls and rife with cruelty and despair, she encounters Zosia, her former neighbor, at the pharmacy. As deportation winnow the ghetto’s population and snatch those she holds dear, Hania’s natural resiliency is exhausted by reality. 
Zodia and Hania’s lives intertwine as they face the griefs and fears thrust upon them by war, until one day, they are forced to make a desperate choice . . . one that will inexorably bind them together, even as they are torn apart. 

Amanda Barratt’s meticulous research and lush, award-winning writing shine once again in this moving look at a group of unsung heroes who fought for hope and humanity in the most harrowing of times. 

If You Liked . . . Finding Me

1 May

My book club read Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman in April. We haven’t discussed it yet, but I am sure we will have a good conversation. The novel involves a runaway dad and how his deception affected his family. Main character, Kelly, struggles with the memories of a loving father and the very real evidence that her life has been based on a lie. Finding Me is women’s fiction, but I have a few recommendations for further reading that span several genres. All three reading recs involve a main character who discovers that what she has always known may not be the truth. I hope you find another book to love.

Deception by Patricia Bradley

After being forced to kill an FBI agent gone rogue in self-defense while working in the violent crimes unit for the Investigative Services Branch, ranger Madison Thorn is comfortable with her move to the fraud and cyber division. At least numbers don’t lie. So she’s less than thrilled when a white-collar crime investigation in Natchez, Mississippi, turns violent. She could also do without being forced to work with former-childhood-enemy-turned-infuriatingly-handsome park ranger Clayton Bradshaw.

When a woman who looks just like Madison is attacked on the same night Madison’s grandfather is shot, it becomes clear that there is something much bigger going on here and that Madison herself is in danger. Madison and Clayton will have to work together–and suppress their growing feelings for one another–if they are to discover the truth before it’s too late.

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

Let It Be Me by Becky Wade

Former foster kid Sebastian Grant has leveraged his intelligence and hard work to become a pediatric heart surgeon. But not even his career success can erase the void he’s tried so hard to fill. Then he meets high school teacher Leah Montgomery and his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop. He falls hard, only to make a devastating discovery–Leah is the woman his best friend set his heart on months before.

Leah’s a math prodigy who’s only ever had one big dream–to earn her PhD. Raising her little brother put that dream on hold. Now that her brother will soon be college bound, she’s not going to let anything stand in her way. Especially romance . . . which is far less dependable than algebra.

When Leah receives surprising results from the DNA test she submitted to a genealogy site, she solicits Sebastian’s help. Together, they comb through hospital records to uncover the secrets of her history. The more powerfully they’re drawn to each other, the more strongly Sebastian must resist, and the more Leah must admit that some things in life–like love–can’t be explained with numbers.

Top 10 Tuesday — Audiobook Narrators

25 Apr

Happy Tuesday! Today TTT is talking favorite audiobook narrators. To be honest, I really only notice the narrators of the books I listen to when they are bad. LOL! I know that pacing is important and accents can make or break a good listen, but I guess if I find myself deep in the story and not paying attention to the narrator, then they are doing a good job. So today I am going to list the last 10 audiobooks I listened to that I loved — those will be my favorite narrators 😉 .

For more from discriminating audiobook listeners, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Favorite Audiobook Narrators

Breach of Honor, written by Janice Cantore, narrated by Melie Williams

Crossfire, written by Lynette Eason, narrated by Sara Sheckells

Every Word Unsaid, written by Kimberly Duffy, narrated by Pilar Witherspoon and Sneha Mathan

Healing Skye, written by Janet W. Ferguson, narrated by Connie Shabshab

Heirlooms, written by Sandra Byrd, narrated by Melie Williams

The Kitchen Front, written by Jennifer Ryan, narrated by Jasmine Blackborow

Next Year in Havana, written by Chanel Cleeton, narrated by Kyla Garcia and Frankie Maria Corzo

The Souls of Lost Lake, written by Jaime Jo Wright, narrated by Kathryn Markey

Turn to Me, written by Becky Wade, narrated by Barbara McCulloh

When We Were Young And Brave, written by Hazel Gaynor, narrated by Rosie Jones and Imogen Church

Audiobook Mini-Review — Next Year in Havana

24 Apr

Next Year in Havana was the first book Chanel Cleeton authored. I picked it up from Audible because I really liked The Last Train to Key West, and I was eager for another book in the same vein. This novel introduces the Perez family (various members of the family are characters in other of Cleeton’s books), specifically Elisa, a privileged young woman caught up in the Cuban Revolution of 1958. The dual timeline novel also features Elisa’s granddaughter Marisol, who is tasked with returning to Cuba after Fidel Castro’s death and surreptitiously spreading her grandmother’s ashes. Cleeton does an excellent job of bringing Cuba past and present to life. She presents various sides of the revolution, sympathetic to those who fled into exile and those who chose to stay. The communist regime is not viewed favorably — all the injustices are exposed. While the politics of the times are the backdrop, the human element is what kept me turning the pages. There is love, loss, and a hope for a future. I liked both time periods equally, causing me to keep listening to find out what was going to happen to each of the main characters. There are some twists that I found very satisfying. Please note that this a general market offering — there are some adult situations. Specific to the audiobook: two narrators lend their voices allowing for Alissa and Marisol to shine through.

Bottom line, I liked this book and would not hesitate to pick up another by Cleeton.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook through Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity—and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest—until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. 

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

Chanel Cleeton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana, When We Left Cuba, The Last Train to Key West, and The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba. Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Learn more about her on her website at http://www.chanelcleeton.com.

Book Review: The Vanishing At Castle Moreau

5 Apr

The Vanishing at Castle Moreau is another shiver-y good read from Jaime Jo Wright. Her latest novel is now my very favorite. (I know I say that every time I read one of her books 😉 .) The characters are wonderfully complex and the storylines kept me turning the pages. And the very gothic castle placed in Wisconsin was a wonderful atmospheric element. Very highly recommended!

Title: The Vanishing at Castle Moreau 

Author: Jaime Jo Wright

Genre: Historical Suspense, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 4, 2023)

Length: (384) pages

Format: Hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

ISBN: 978-0764238345

Tour Dates: March 27 – April 10, 2023

**************************************

A haunting legend. An ominous curse. A search for a secret buried deep within the castle walls.

In 1870, orphaned Daisy François takes a position as housemaid at a Wisconsin castle to escape the horrors of her past life. There she finds a reclusive and eccentric Gothic authoress who hides tales more harrowing than the ones in her novels. As women disappear from the area and the eerie circumstances seem to parallel a local legend, Daisy is thrust into a web that could ultimately steal her sanity, if not her life.

In the present day, Cleo Clemmons is hired by the grandson of an American aristocratic family to help his grandmother face her hoarding in the dilapidated Castle Moreau. But when Cleo uncovers more than just the woman’s stash of collectibles, a century-old mystery and the dust of the old castle’s curse threaten to rise again . . . this time to leave no one alive to tell the sordid tale.

Award-winning author Jaime Jo Wright seamlessly weaves a dual-time tale of two women who must do all they can to seek the light amid the darkness shrouding Castle Moreau.

PRAISE FOR THE VANISHING AT CASTLE MOREAU

  • “Wright (The Souls of Lost Lake) captivates with a thrilling tale of two women who get caught up in the secrets of a Wisconsin castle…The twisting, fast-moving plot is loaded with secrets, and the characters remain morally ambiguous until the end. Readers won’t want to put this down.”— Publisher’s Weekly
  • “Wright (The Premonition at Withers Farm) pens another delightfully creepy tale where nothing is quite as it seems and characters seek freedom from nightmares both real and imagined.”— Library Journal
  • “Jaime Jo Wright never disappoints, and The Vanishing at Castle Moreau is no exception. With real, flawed characters who grapple with real-life struggles, this gripping suspense novel will draw readers in from the very first page. Good luck putting it down. I couldn’t.”— Lynette Eason, bestselling author of the Extreme Measures series

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS

Jaime Jo Wright is the author of eight novels, including Christy Award and Daphne du Maurier Award-winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She’s also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo; her husband, Cap’n Hook; and their two mini-adults, Peter Pan and CoCo.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

My Impressions:

Jaime Jo Wright is known for her gothically-good split time novels in which nothing is really as it seems. She has exceeded my expectations with The Vanishing at Castle Moreau. A crumbling castle in rural Wisconsin is the setting for two storylines featuring the famous or infamous Moreau-Tremblay family. Women have gone missing for over a century and the inhabitants of the castle as well as the castle itself is blamed. The unfolding of the mystery takes place in both the historical and modern-day narratives. The two main characters, Daisy and Cleo, have shadowy pasts of their own, and I loved how Wright mixed their own personal horrors with those of the castle. It really is a twisty tale that kept me guessing and turning the pages as fast as I could. I usually favor one storyline over another in a split time novel, but in The Vanishing at Castle Moreau, I was equally engaged. I was cheering both heroines on in their quest to discover the truth and to find healing from the injustices done to them. While somewhat of a ghastly ghost story, this novel is filled with beauty and hope. The only negative I have with the book is its lack of epilogue. I really, really, really wanted to know the rest of the story for Cleo and Deacon. The novel is not a romance, but I wanted it to be. 😉 It’s probably best for me to imagine my rest of the story. There are some deep themes and issues addressed in the novel making it a perfect choice for a book club selection. So grab some friends and start the discussion.

Very Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Indie/Self-Published Authors

4 Apr

Happy Tuesday! I am so excited about today’s TTT topic — Indie/Self-Published Authors. The trend is growing! Even authors who have been very successful with large publishing houses have stepped out into this new arena. My list includes some incredible authors. I hope you find one to love.

For more indie/self-published gems, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Indie/Self-Published Authors

Heidi Chiavaroli

Heidi Chiavaroli is a hope-inspired storyteller writing from the deep curiosity of her own heart. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut. Her second Carol Award-winning novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott’s life and led her to write The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast series, a contemporary twist on Little Women. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

Connect with Heidi online at her website (heidichiavaroli.com) or on either of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/HeidiChiavaroliAuthor

Janet W. Ferguson

Janet W. Ferguson is a Christy Award finalist, Maggie Award and the FHL Readers Choice Award winning author of realistic inspirational fiction. An avid reader, she loved books so much she found a job as a librarian. Then she turned that love of story into writing faith-filled novels with characters who feel like best friends. You’ll laugh and cry as the quirky heroes and heroines chase their happily ever after.

Janet and her husband live in Mississippi where they say y’all a lot, and she forces him to visit the beach as often as possible. They have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

Heather Day Gilbert

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters–no matter what century–feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginian can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Find all her books and her newsletter signup at heatherdaygilbert.com.

Carla Laureano

Carla Laureano could never decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, so she decided to become a novelist–and she must be kinda okay at it because she’s won two RWA RITA® Awards. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking and trying to read through her TBR shelf, which she estimates will be finished in 2054. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, two teen sons, and an opinionated cat named Willow.

Connect with Carla online at her website (http://www.carlalaureano.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/CarlaLaureanoAuthor

Instagram.com/carlalaureanoauthor

Pinterest.com/laureano_carla

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Sarah Monzon

Winner of the Holt Medallion and Selah Award, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain’s wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her.

Toni Shiloh

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and an award-winning Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring God glory and to learn more about His goodness. Her novel, In Search of a Prince, won the first ever, Christy Amplify award. Her novels, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist, Risking Love a 2020 Selah Award finalist, The Truth About Fame a 2021 Holt Medallion finalist, and The Price of Dreams a 2021 Maggie Award finalist.

A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. You can learn more about her writing at http://tonishiloh.com.

Becky Wade

Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing sweet contemporary romances laced with sizzling chemistry, mystery, faith, banter, and humor. Her eleven novels and five novellas have been recognized with a Carol Award, INSPY awards, and a spot in the Christy Award Hall of Fame.

C. C. Warrens

Jesus and laughter have brought C.C. Warrens through some very difficult times in life, and she weaves both into every story she writes, creating a world of breath-stealing intensity, laugh-out-loud humor, and a sparkle of hope. Writing has been a slowly blossoming dream inside her for most of her life until one day it spilled out onto the pages that would become her first published book.

If she’s not writing, she’s attempting to bake something—however catastrophic that might be—or she’s enjoying the beauty of the outdoors with her husband. One of the many things she’s learned since she started this journey is that the best way to write a book is to go on a long stroll with her husband. That is when the characters—from their backgrounds to the moments that make them laugh or bubble over with anger—come to life.