Tag Archives: historical fiction

First Line Friday — The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

13 Jul

Happy Friday! As you read this post, I am gazing out on the Gulf of Mexico (or I’m sleeping in 😉 ). Whatever, I am definitely at the beach, and I have brought along Jaime Jo Wright‘s latest novel, The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond.  There are a lot of mysterious goings on in this book — perfect to keep me occupied while my husband enjoys his continuing education.

What’s the first line of the closest book to you? Leave me a comment, then head over to Hoarding Books for more great lines from great authors!

 

 

For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future — or their very souls.

Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher’s Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com!

 

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Top 10 Tuesday — Best of 2018, Part 2

10 Jul

A couple of months ago, I took advantage of a TTT Freebie week to post the best books I had read so far this year. (Check out that list HERE.) But that’s okay, because I have another 10 novels to add to the list. 2018 has been a great reading year! The books on my list vary in genre and include new-to-me authors as well as time-tested favorites. What about you? What are some your favs from this year?

Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to discover other bloggers’ favorite books.

 

Top 10 Favorite Books of 2018, Part 2!

 

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

A Vast And Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

What are some favorite books you have read this year?

Book Review: The Fashion Designer

9 Jul

The American Dream thrives in 1912 New York City
 
Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offers to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.
 
Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.
 
Personal and financial setbacks test old relationships and new romances while threatening to keep the business from ever selling a single dress. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of thirty-two inspirational novels and novellas that focus on discovering our unique purpose. Her genres include both contemporary and historical stories.

Nancy and her husband live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She knits voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique — humans included.

Website: http://www.nancymoser.com

 

My Impressions:

The Fashion Designer, by Nancy Moser, completes the American Dream story of Annie Wood Culver that was begun in The Pattern Artist. Seeking to escape a life of service, Annie daringly leaves the only life she has known and sets out on a course to discover God’s plan for her life. This is not a story of a rise to fame and fortune, but a personal quest to follow the purposes God has. Rich in the detail of the early 1900s — customs, manners, and fashions — The Fashion Designer is an interesting read perfect for those who love historical novels. And it is a very satisfying ending to the series! Recommended.

Previous characters from The Pattern Artist are joined by new as Annie endeavors to set up a fashion house geared to the everyday woman. Annie’s story is the main focus, but this novel has a wonderful ensemble cast of women who are seeking to make a new way in the New York of 1912. The characters come from all backgrounds, aristocratic, immigrant, rich and desperately poor, making The Fashion Designer a slice of American life of that time. The author includes familiar New York landmarks, and even an historical figure in the fashion industry to bolster the book’s authenticity.  The plot revolves around a woman’s fashion workshop, but the story expands to include the changing roles of women and their search for independence of thought and action. The novel’s male characters are varied as well, with some very supportive of their wives’ endeavors; others not so much. And speaking of male characters, although Annie and Sean are now happily married, there is some sweet romance afoot for some of Annie’s partners. The faith message is strongly woven throughout the narrative. In spite of obstacles and setbacks (and there are plenty!), the characters set their sights on God and His provision. As they struggle with maintaining faith, God shows them He is indeed in control.

While it is not necessary to read book 1 of the series to enjoy The Fashion Designer, I recommend that you do. You will want to get Annie’s whole story. A quick and easy read, this one is a great addition to your summer reading list.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

First Line Friday — Freedom’s Ring

6 Jul

Welcome to the Patriotic Edition of First Line Friday. Today I am sharing the first line from a book that is whispering to me from my TBR pile, Freedom’s Ring, the debut novel by Heidi Chiavaroli. I have got to read this book! If you’ve read it, tell me what you thought.

Meanwhile head over to Hoarding Books for more patriotic first lines!

 

 

Boston, 2015
Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated ― plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?

Boston, 1770
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.

Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.

Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.

 

Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring Boston’s Freedom Trail. She writes Women’s Fiction and won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. Both her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring and her sophomore novel, The Hidden Side are Romantic Times Top Picks. Freedom’s Ring was also a BOOKLIST Top Ten Romance Debut, 2017. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.

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

Facebook.com/HeidiChiavaroliAuthor
Twitter.com/HeidiChiavaroli

Top 10 Tuesday — Red, White, and Blue Books!

3 Jul

Happy Top 10 Tuesday — Colors of America! What a better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with a bevy of red, white, and blue books — all with a connection to America’s history. Featuring the settling of a new nation, wars, Civil Rights, etc., these novels connect readers with pivotal times in our nation. I hope you find a new-to-you book to enjoy this holiday week!

 

For more patriotic offerings, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Red, White, And Blue Books!

 

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

 

The Pelican Bride by Beth White

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

 

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

 

What are some of your favorite red, white, and blue books?

 

Happy Book Birthday! The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

3 Jul

Happy book birthday to Jaime Jo Wright! It’s release day for The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. I cannot wait to dig into this book!

 

For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future — or their very souls.

To purchase, click HERE

Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher’s Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com!

2018 Carol Award Nominees

2 Jul

Congratulations to the 2018 Carol Award shortlist authors! The Carol Awards are sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers. If you are looking for a good book to read, this list is a great start!

 

Contemporary

Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert
The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser
A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

 

Historical

Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson
A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould
Liar’s Winter by Cindy Sproles

 

Historical Romance

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander
The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett
Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Four Months in Cuba by Luana Ehrlich
Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry
Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

 

Novella

Puzzle House by Lillian Duncan
An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund
One Enchanted Noel from Enchanted: A Christmas Collection by Melissa Tagg

 

Romance

A New Shade of Summer by Nicole Deese
Then There Was You by Kara Isaac
A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

 

Romantic Suspense

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley, Revell
Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman
The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

 

Short Novel

Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander
A Sweetwater River Romance by Misty M. Beller
Claiming Her Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

 

Speculative

Awakened by Morgan L. Busse
Huntress by Julie Hall
King’s Blood by Jill Williamson

 

Young Adult

For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund
Playing by Heart by Carmela Martino
Betrayal of the Band by Sarah Tipton

 

Debut

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli
If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano