Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Book Review: Engraved on The Heart

14 Nov

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines — until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

Tara Johnson is a writer, singer, speaker and passionate lover of stories. She makes her home in Arkansas with her husband and three children.

Connect with Tara online at her website (TaraJohnsonStories.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/TaraLynnJohnsonAuthor
Twitter.com/TaraMinistry
Instagram.com/tarajohnsonministry

 

My Impressions:

Civil War-era Savannah came alive within the pages of Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson. Although I am a transplanted Georgian (36 years now), I did not know much about that city’s involvement during the war, but this new-to-me author had it spot on. How do I know? I was recommending this book to a friend who happened to teach Georgia History to 8th graders for years. Everything she mentioned about Savannah, I responded with “that’s in the book!”. With its heartfelt message, engaging characters, and historical accuracy, this book is a recommended read for fans of historical romance fiction.

As the book opens, the South is on the verge of seceding from the Union. Sentiments are high with hopes of a glorious future for the old South. But main character, Keziah Montgomery chafes at the old ways and old ideas. Her views on abolition, plus her gender, are disregarded. As her parents work to get her married off, the war begins and everything changes for Keziah.

I loved the history surrounding the Underground Railroad in Savannah that Johnson details. It made me want to visit this city’s historic sites again. Abolition was certainly not popular, but there were many who believed in freedom for all — that was encouraging and enlightening. Keziah and Micah Greyson are integral parts to the railroad, and the book brought new appreciation of the danger involved in such a clandestine undertaking. Keziah longs for freedom of her own — from family expectations and societal structures. Her gender and her misunderstood ailment bring huge limitations to what she could do. That was eye-opening as well. The message of value in God’s eyes is very relevant for modern readers. There’s plenty of romance, mystery, and suspense in Engraved on The Heart — it is the whole package and a recommended read!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinion expressed are mine alone.)

 

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin, Author of Sunrise at Normandy Series

4 Nov

I discovered Sarah Sundin early in my blogging career. Her first novel, A Distant Melody, was released in March 2010, and I was offered the opportunity to review it. (You can read my review HERE — don’t judge! 😉 ). I was immediately hooked! Sarah is a must-read author for me. Her books have also become favorites of my book club. We just cannot wait for the next book to be released. Sarah has a wonderful website where she shares her writing adventures. Be sure to check it out. Also make sure to check out the link to the 10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Today, Sarah is sharing about her research travels for the Sunrise at Normandy series. Thanks so much, Sarah!

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin

Touring England and Normandy . . . I call it, tongue in cheek, “suffering for my art.”

Whenever possible, I visit the settings for my novels. Each novel in my Sunrise at Normandy series has scenes in England and culminates on D-day, so I was able to lump research for all three books in one trip. My husband was a trouper and let me hijack most of his vacation for research.

Sarah Sundin at Big Ben in London, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

We started in London, which is the main setting for the first novel, The Sea Before Us, and is featured in the other two novels as well. Of course, we saw the big London attractions — because my characters visit these sites too — and because we had to see them! But we also strolled through the Kensington area to find the house where my heroine Dorothy Fairfax “lives,” found the building on Grosvenor Square where the US Western Naval Task Force had its headquarters in the lead-up to D-day, and saw Norfolk House on St. James’s Square, which served as Allied Naval Headquarters.

For The Sea Before Us, we also took a tour of Southwick House near Portsmouth, which served as Battle Headquarters for the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force, where Gen. Dwight Eisenhower made his famous final decision to carry out the invasion — and where Dorothy Fairfax serves on D-day as a Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service), monitoring the action on the far shore.

In The Sky Above Us, the hero serves on D-day as a fighter pilot, so we visited the Duxford Air Museum to see the workings of a real airfield in Britain. Plus, we saw several

US P-51 Mustang, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

P-51 Mustangs, the plane my hero Adler Paxton flies.

To travel to Normandy, we took the ferry from Portsmouth across the English Channel to Ouistreham, France. Since Wyatt Paxton, the hero of The Sea Before Us, serves as a naval officer on an American destroyer on D-day, I loved approaching Normandy from the sea and imagining what all those soldiers and sailors must have been thinking as that same shoreline came into view on June 6, 1944.

In Normandy, we toured the German gun batteries at Longues-sur-Mer, walked along Omaha and Utah Beaches on gray and blustery days, and lingered in the American cemetery, an incredibly moving experience.

Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

In The Land Beneath Us, the final book in the series (coming February 2020), the hero, Clay Paxton, serves in the US 2nd Ranger Battalion, legendary for scaling the 100-foot cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-day. We spent another gray and blustery day visiting Pointe du Hoc, pockmarked with giant craters from naval shells and littered with chunks of concrete. We also hiked through the infamous “bocage” (hedgerows) and saw where the Rangers found the German guns and destroyed them.

I had the time of my life! And my husband . . . ? As we were traipsing through a muddy gun emplacement on a gray and blustery day (did I mention it was gray and blustery?), my husband was thoroughly enjoying the adventure and history. I said to him, “Aren’t you glad I don’t write novels set in pretty little English tearooms?”

The look of horror on his face . . . Sadly, I did not get a picture of that.

 

Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of historical novels, including The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us, and The Land Beneath Us (coming February 2020). Her novel The Sea Before Us received the 2019 FHL Reader’s Choice Award, When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com

 

One fateful night of tragedy and betrayal drove the Paxton brothers apart. Now, as D-day approaches, they battle the Nazis on the sea, in the air, and on the ground. Three women capture their hearts — a British naval officer striving for acceptance, a Red Cross volunteer searching for purpose, and a librarian longing for family. Will the battles they face lead them to redemption . . . or destruction?

 

10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway!

Be sure to enter HERE.

Cover Reveal — The Forever Sky

1 Nov

The Forever Sky JustRead Cover RevealWelcome to the Cover Reveal for The Forever Sky, the fourth book of the Montana Gold series by Janalyn Voigt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

 

ABOUT THE FOREVER SKY

Series: Montana Gold, Book 4
Author: Janalyn Voigt
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Genre: Western/Historical Romance

Can a young widow with no faith in love, hope for a future with the man who broke her heart?

Maisey isn’t about to give Rob another chance to reject her love. Why should she believe that the man who left town without a backward glance three years ago cares about her? Life had taught her all about broken dreams, and she didn’t want to hope again. If only her young daughter would stop adopting Rob as a father, ignoring him—and her own emotions–would be a whole lot easier.

Thoughts of the woman he’d left behind haunted Rob for three long years. It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Maisey to wait while he mined a gold claim. After making his fortune, he’d returned to his family in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Rob was ready to settle down, and he’d rather do so with Maisey. But after their first encounter, it was clear that he’d lost her forever.

Circumstances force Maisey and Rob into one another’s company. They learn, through hardship and loss, that the only way to one another is to surrender first to God’s love.

Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, The Forever Sky explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.

 

Here’s the Cover:

The Forever Sky by Janalyn Voigt

PREORDER LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt fell in love with literature at an early age when her father read chapters from classics to her at night. After Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with bedtime stories “written” in her head. Janalyn is a storyteller who writes in multiple genres. The same elements–romance, mystery, adventure, history, and fantasy/whimsy–appear in all her novels. Janalyn Voigt is represented by Wordserve Literary. Learn more about Janalyn, read the first chapters of her books, subscribe to her e-letter, and join her reader clubs at her website.

CONNECT WITH JANALYN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | BookBub

 


 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

One winner will receive a $20 gift card!

The Forever Sky JustRead Cover Reveal Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 1, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 8, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway Here!


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tuesday — Ruin A Book Title with Just One Letter

22 Oct

First, I need to apologize to all the wonderful authors I may offend with today’s Top 10 Tuesday post. I promise it is all in fun 😉 . Bloggers were directed to give novels new titles, so I am playing the fun game of ruining a book with just one letter. Who knew changing just one little letter could impact the whole trajectory of a story. (Be sure to look at the images for the real titles!) Please play along and leave a comment with your ruined book title.

For more title changes, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Ruined Book Titles

 

Bark Ambitions by Irene Hannon

Dogs shouldn’t be involved in politics.

Between Two Snores by Jocelyn Green

Can two people get past their sleeping difficulties in old Canada?

A Christmas Raven by Erin and Cindy Woodsmall

Quoth the raven “December 25th nevermore”.

 

Far Side of The Pea by Kate Breslin

It’s WWI and peas are on the menu.

Glory Toad by Lauren K. Denton

Amphibians in the garden.

If I’m Round by Terri Blackstock

Too much fast food on the run.

Never Faithful by Karen Barnett

Fickle lovers and geysers at Yellowstone National Park.

 

The Purse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Searching for a mysterious pocketbook.

A Sale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

Transplants gone awry in Dickensian England.

Sweat on You by Becky Wade

Can two friends find love despite their personal hygiene?

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — What’s Your Name?

15 Oct

This week That Artsy Reader Girl is challenging bloggers to compile lists of extraordinary book titles. There are some brilliant Top Ten Tuesday lists out there, so make sure to visit her site to find them.

I decided to go with titles that contain a person’s name. The descriptor attached made me want to know more — what was her love, or promise, or curse? The titles of the books on my list are great indicators of the goodness found inside.

What about you? What book title do you find extraordinary?

 

Top Titles with Names

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

Book Review + Giveaway! — Darcy by Any Other Name

10 Oct

About The Book

Book: Darcy by Any Other Name

Author: Laura Hile

Genre: Historical Christian Romance, Regency

Release Date: May 13, 2016

Discover the Pride and Prejudice body-swap romance that has readers laughing in surprise and delight.

For most, this is a glorious evening of music and dancing. But out in the garden two men are arguing, while a ferocious rainstorm swirls round. And then the unthinkable happens: a lightning bolt from heaven strikes. In that instant everything changes.

Jane Austen’s heartthrob hero becomes the bumbling Reverend Collins. Shorn of his fortune, his social standing, and his good looks, Mr. Darcy is trapped in Mr. Collins’ body. And Mr. Collins wakes up to discover that he is master of Pemberley.

Could there be anything worse?

But the inner man is still Darcy. He is in love with Elizabeth Bennet. And now he is living in her house.

If you enjoy a smart, sparkling Regency romp in the classic “Heyeresque” style, then you will love Laura Hile’s Darcy By Any Other Name.

Click here to get your copy.

My Impressions:

What a fabulously fun book! Darcy by Any Other Name by Laura Hile is a unique reimagining of Pride And Prejudice. This twist on the classic combines all of the Austen-goodness with a Freaky Friday vibe. The premise is that through a freak act of nature, or more likely the workings of God, the handsome, aloof and arrogant Mr. Darcy trades bodies with odious Mr. Collins. For fans of P&P, the action begins at the end of the Netherfield ball. There is quite an adjustment for both men as they navigate the other’s world. More focus is placed on Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett’s relationship. Will a happily-ever-after occur for them? You will just have to read it. The book is faithful to the original in its setting and characterization. Everyone shows up — Caroline and Charles Bingley, Mrs. Bennett, Mr. Wickham, Lady Catherine, Georgiana, and Colonel Fitzwilliam. Yet there are plenty of twists and turns to make this novel a fresh read. I found the book charming and at times laugh-out-loud funny. Hile injects a faith message that is spot on. Darcy is forced to view his former attitudes in the light of his current circumstances. Humility and care for others takes precedence over social status and Regency manners. At one point Darcy realizes that “when God did a thing  . . . He was frighteningly thorough”.

I am a big Austen fan and enjoy the variations that have been written featuring all of her novels. Darcy by Any Other Name is now at the top of my favorite re-tellings.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the author and Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

My journey as a writer began with the Internet. And with Jane Austen.

How is that for an unlikely combination?

I have always loved classic Regency romances. You know the kind – with a dashing, honorable hero and a lovely, intelligent heroine. Delicious banter, unexpected plot twists, humor, and a happy ending. If faith is woven into the story, so much the better.

When I discovered an online forum for Jane Austen-related fiction, I was hooked. With Jane’s characters for inspiration, I began writing and posting serialized Regency stories. To keep readers coming back for more, I developed my signature style: intertwined plots, cliffhangers, and laugh-out-loud humor.

The comedy I come by in my job as a middle school teacher—there’s never a dull moment with teens!

I live in Beaverton, Oregon with my husband.

More from Laura

I see that double-take you just did. Darcy By Any Other Name is a what? A Pride and Prejudice body-swap romance? Seriously?

Indeed yes. And it’s a really fun read. I blame my sense of humor. And the fact that I think too much.

Here’s the thing: we women are captivated by Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy—we are! Handsome, aloof, and wealthy, he embodies the perfect male. By comparison, the ordinary guy has no chance. (And heaven help the fellow who is plain!)

Yet we know that attraction involves more than good looks and a fat wallet.

I began to play with this thought. Because Mr. Darcy is also honorable, intelligent, kind, and funny—qualities that transform an ugly man and capture a woman’s interest. The shared smile, the twinkle in the eyes, the finishing of her sentences. These are endearing! These are why we women fall in love!

Once the body swap idea showed up, I knew I had struck story gold. Will Darcy-as-Collins capture Elizabeth Bennet’s heart?

No, wait! She cannot fall for him because he’s the wrong man—no, the right man! But he’s in that podgy body! She cannot love Mr. Darcy when he’s—ugly! Can she?

Ah, but of course she can. Now what?

Think of Darcy By Any Other Name as a happy roller coaster ride. And you know what they say about those: “Get in, sit down, and hold on.”

Do leave a comment and enter the giveaway. I think you will enjoy this fun, romantic book.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30

A Baker’s Perspective, October 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 1

Reflections From My Bookshelves, October 2

For Him and My Family, October 2

Back Porch Reads, October 3

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 4

Mary Hake, October 4

Remembrancy, October 5

Emily Yager, October 5

Bigreadersite, October 6

Rebecca Tews, October 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7

Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray, October 8

Creating Romance, October 8

Blossoms and Blessings, October 9

janicesbookreviews, October 9

By The Book, October 10

Moments, October 11

Pause for Tales, October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

A Reader’s Brain, October 12

Inklings and notions , October 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the HERE to enter.

 

Reading Road Trip — Historic New York

9 Oct

This week I am not only traveling geographically, but back in time. 😉 Checking my handy-dandy book list I noticed that there were many historical fiction books set in New York, so I decided to share them in a Reading Road Trip post. From colonial days up to the early years of the 20th century, this list has something for everyone. While some books are only partially set in New York, they vividly portray place and time, especially the immigrant experience.  I hope you enjoy the trip!

 

 

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?
 
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
 
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
 
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both — Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady

Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage–the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She’s had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children’s Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn’t want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother’s shadow and is determined to win his father’s challenge. He doesn’t plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

It’s April 1861, and the Union Army’s Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she’s fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O’Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte’s future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured.

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage in the late 1890s, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city’s most eligible bachelor. Debuting means plenty of workthere are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity’s spotlight turns Clara into a societypage darling. Yet Clara wonders if this is the life she really wants, especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries. When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is, and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it’s not just her heart at staket he future of her family depends on how she plays the game.

No Safe Harbor by Elizabeth Ludwig

New York City, 1897

She came to America searching for her brother. Instead all she’s found is a web of danger.

Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend–Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother’s warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.

She’s then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother–but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps.

With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke… a man she’s grown to love?

The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser 

Born into a life of hard work, English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with her wealthy mistress. Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if there’s more for her than a life of service. Annie chooses to risk everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s. While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern artist of the highest degree. As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.

The Death Beat by Fiona Vietch Smith 

Poppy looked up, her face pale, her hands shaking. What is it, Poppy? Oh my, Rollo, oh my. I think we’ve just struck gold. Poppy Denby is furious with Rollo, who has gambled away his position at the Daily Globe and is being banished to New York. That is, until she discovers he plans to take her with him to work at the New York Times! Poppy can’t wait to report on the Manhattan arts scene, but her hopes are crushed when she is allocated The Death Beat – writing obituaries. But Poppy has a nose for a story, and when a body is found in a luxury penthouse apartment she starts to investigate. She unravels a sordid trail of illegal immigrants, forced labour, sex scandals, and an unexpected ghost from her past. Poppy is determined to help the victims, but can she find the evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice without putting her own life in danger . . . .