Sunday, April 5, 2020

Book Review: Dovetail by Karen McQuestion

Book Review


Dovetail: A Novel

Karen McQuestion




Book Description:

Joe Arneson’s ordinary life is upended by troubling dreams of himself as a different man in another place and time. It isn’t until he visits his estranged grandmother, Pearl, in her Wisconsin hometown that a startling connection emerges.
Drawn into his family’s past, Joe discovers secrets weighing on the old woman’s soul: the tragic death of her sister Alice a half century ago and its ripple effect on all who loved her. Digging into the events of that summer in 1916, Joe is convinced that his recurrent visions relate to Alice’s untimely passing and to the beloved man she meant to marry. With the help of Kathleen, a local woman Joe’s fallen for, the puzzles of the past start falling into place.
As uncovered truths bring Joe and Kathleen closer together, they also reveal a new danger. For Joe’s dreams may be a warning—from one star-crossed couple to another.


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My 5-Star Review:

A skillfully written novel about romance, mystery, and family secrets. Author Karen McQuestion weaves together a story about the secrets a family keeps and the length they will go to keep those secrets hidden.

When Joe is rescued from a mental hospital by the grandmother he’s never met and thought was dead, he is both confused and intrigued. She takes him to her family home and asks him to pack up her house as she is too old to deal with it. Plagued by disturbing dreams he is unable to understand, Joe takes on the job as an opportunity to get to know his grandmother and to clear his mind. What he doesn’t realize is the past will rear its ugly head and place him right in the middle of a family drama.

I really enjoyed this story that takes the reader between two time periods as the family mystery unfolds. The perfect story for those who love duel-timeline historical fiction with a touch of romance and suspense.



About the Author:

Karen McQuestion is the author of more than a dozen novels and has sold over a million books worldwide. Her publishing story has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and NPR and she has appeared on ABC's World News Now and America This Morning. McQuestion’s books share common themes of connection and kindness. She lives in Hartland, Wisconsin.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Book Review: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain


Book Review

Big Lies in a Small Town


Diane Chamberlain


Book Description:

North Carolina, 2018:
Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will get her released from prison immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to be free, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.
North Carolina, 1940:
Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and in great need of work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.
What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?


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My 5-Star Review:

An amazing story written by a talented author. Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain takes the reader on a journey through time between 1940 and today. When Morgan Christopher is released from jail to restore an old mural, she is confused as to why she was chosen. And after she sees how damaged the mural is, she wonders how she will do a good job of it with her limited talent of restoration. But others are depending on her to not only finish it, but finish it on time. And as she works on it, she becomes intrigued by the original artist, Anna Dale, who’d created the mural in 1940. Her interest soon becomes an obsession to learn what had become of the artist after tragedy had befallen both her and the small town.

Just like the mural, this story is full of layers about the small town of Edenton, North Carolina and its inhabitants. Mystery, murder, and a touch of a love story all combine to create a story that you just can’t put down. Those who love a good duel-timeline historical novel will love this book.



About the Author:

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed doctor’s appointment with nothing more than a pad, a pen, and an idea. She was instantly hooked.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia. She received her master’s degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, she was a hospital social worker in both San Diego and Washington, D.C, and a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia, working primarily with adolescents.

More than two decades ago, Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which changed the way she works: She wrote two novels using voice recognition software before new medication allowed her to get back to typing. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she’s able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy travel schedule.

Diane lives in North Carolina with her significant other, photographer John Pagliuca, and their odd but lovable Shetland Sheepdog, Cole.

Please visit Diane's website at www.dianechamberlain.com for her event schedule and for more information on her newest novel, Big Lies in a Small Town, as well as a complete list of her books.



Thursday, March 19, 2020

Finding Libbie ~ Returning March 23, 2020


FINDING LIBBIE
Re-Release!


I'm so excited to share that my novel 
FINDING LIBBIE 
has been returned to me from my publisher and I will be republishing it on March 23, 2020. 
It will be the same beautiful story with a brand new cover designed by Deborah at Tugboat Design. 






Audiobook will be available soon.

Finding Libbie is also available in Kindle Unlimited.



Historical Women's Fiction
Publish Date: 3/23/2020


Book Description:

A love so strong that decades couldn’t tear it apart.


Poring over a dusty hatbox of photographs in her grandmother’s closet, Emily Prentice is shocked to discover her father was married to his high school sweetheart before meeting her mother.
In the summer of 1968, Jack and Libbie fall in love under the spell of their small town, untouched by the chaos of the late sixties. Though Libbie’s well-to-do parents disapprove of Jack’s working-class family and his chosen career as a mechanic, she marries Jack a year after they graduate high school. But soon their happiness crumbles as Libbie’s mental state unravels and she is drawn to alcohol and drugs. Despite his efforts to help her, Jack loses the woman he loves and is forced to move on with his life.

Now that Emily’s mother has passed away, Jack is alone again, and Emily grows obsessed with the beautiful woman who had given her father such joy. Determined to find Libbie, Emily pieces together the couple’s fragmented past. But is it too late for happy endings?

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Book Review: The Chocolatier by Jan Moran


Book Review

The Chocolatier


Jan Moran


Book Description:

A young widow. A husband she thought she knew. On the picturesque Italian coast of Amalfi lies a chocolatier's destiny...

San Francisco, 1953: Heartbroken over the mysterious death of her husband, Celina Savoia, a second-generation chocolatière, resolves to take their young son to Italy's shimmering Amalfi coast to introduce him to his father's family. Just as she embarks on a magical, romantic life of making chocolate by the sea surrounded by a loving family, she begins to suspect that her husband had a dark secret--forged in the final days of WWII--that could destroy the relationships she's come to cherish.

While a second chance at love is tempting, the mystery of her husband's true identity thwarts her efforts. Challenged to pursue the truth or lose the life and those she's come to love, Celina and her late husband's brother, Lauro, must trace the past to a remote, Peruvian cocoa region to face the deceit that threatens to shatter their lives.


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My 5-Star Review:

Family secrets, romance, and mystery abound in THE CHOCOLATIER, a beautifully written novel by Jan Moran.

When Celina, a young widow with a son, decides to go to Italy to meet her deceased husband’s family for the first time, she has no idea what secrets she is about to uncover. She is welcomed by her husband’s parents, but his brother is leery of her, believing she may be a fraud wanting to claim money from the family fortune. In truth, she has no idea of the lies she’s been told or the secrets that her deceased husband held.

THE CHOCOLATIER takes you on a journey from San Francisco to the beautiful coast of Italy in the years after WWII. You fall in love with Celina and her son as you learn of her past as well as her love affair with her husband. And when she finally makes the decision to meet her deceased husband’s family, you hope for only the best outcome for her. But there is so much more happening below the surface, as you learn hidden truths along the way with Celina. Beautifully written, mesmerizing. Those who love novels by Danielle Steel or Kristin Hannah will enjoy this story.  


About the Author:

Jan Moran is a Rizzoli bestselling and award-winning author who lives near the beach in southern California. She writes stylish, emotionally rich contemporary and historical women's fiction, including The Winemakers and Scent of Triumph from St. Martin's Press. The Midwest Book Review and Kirkus have recommended her books, calling her heroines strong, complex, and resourceful. Visit her at www.janmoran.com and join her reader's club.

Her books are also translated into German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Turkish, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, and other languages. She studied writing at the UCLA Writers Program, sailed on Semester at Sea, and graduated from the University of Texas and Harvard Business School.


The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews