First Line Friday: The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am happy to be featuring The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright. I’m just starting to read this newest book from Jaime Jo Wright. I have vague memories of going to a big-top-tent circus once when I was quite young. What I remember most is the huge Elephants. When you are a small child, Elephants leave quite the impression!

Bluff River, Wisconsin
August 1928

Life was not unlike the wisp of fog that curled around the base of a grave marker, softly caressing the marble before dissolving into the violet shadows of the night.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

About the book:

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

My Thoughts:

5-stars is not enough for this phenomenal story! I sit here awash in blissful wonder and my words fail to do justice to this light-filled work of art, for a work of art this story truly is! Finely crafted with expert care, filled with the heart and soul of the author who penned it; this author who has clearly allowed God to fill her heart and guide her pen.

Crafted with light and love, this story is one that absolutely can not be missed! This story has woven itself around my heart, and I’m all the better for having experienced and lived this story! These dynamic characters feel like family now and are sure to live in my heart for a long time to come! I highly recommend this story. Grab yourself a copy today!

(While I received a complimentary digital copy from the publisher, I volunteraly purchased a print copy of this book for my personal library because I had to have a copy for my library. I am not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

About the Author:

AmandaDykes

 Amanda Dykes has written and published a few short stories including, “Bespoke: a Tiny Christmas Tale“, the critically-acclaimed bicycle story that invited readers together to fund bicycles for missionaries in Asia. A former English teacher, she has a soft spot for classic literature and happy endings. She is a drinker of tea, a dweller of Truth, and a spinner of hope-filled tales, grateful for the grace of a God who loves extravagantly.  Also, by Amanda Dykes: “Tin Can Serenade” and “A Song in the Night” featured in the Message in a Bottle Romance Collection. You can connect with Amanda at the following locations:

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest //

First Line Friday: Set the Stars Alight

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes. This story is one that you will want for your keeper shelf!

Candlewick Commons
London, England
2000

To step inside the watchmaker’s cottage was to step outside of time.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

The Tea Chest by Heidi Chiavaroli

Synopsis:

Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm’s father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma’s heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer’s assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiance, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her–as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel’s wife.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

  The Tea Chest

My Thoughts:

This story is an impressive work of art. Filled with emotion and bold characters who are unapologetic in their beliefs and relentless in their pursuit of liberty. The abundant life breathed into these characters and the authentic attention to historical details all came together to create a vibrant story that is sure to stick with you long after you’ve read the last words on the page.

I fully enjoyed my time spent with this dual-timeline story. If you had asked me early on I would have said that the historical timeline was my favorite. But after reaching the end of the book and getting to know and understand Hayley better, I’m not hard-pressed to give an answer because I find that I love both timelines equally.

A few times I had to put the book down and look up a historical detail just to assuage my curiosity. Now more than ever I want to take a trip to Boston and see the sites for myself. I highly recommend this fantastic story!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

HeidiChiavaroliHeidi Chiavaroli is a women’s fiction author who seeks to portray authentic women finding boundless grace in Jesus. Her stories are largely split-time novels, weaving the past and the present together with hope. Heidi is the winner of ACFW’s 2014 Genesis Contest, Historical Category. Her debut novel will release this August from Tyndale Publishers. Heidi lives in Massachusetts with her high school sweetheart (AKA husband), two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Heidi is represented by Natasha Kern of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

Web Page // Goodreads // Faceboook // Twitter // Pinterest

Click on the title below to snag your copy!

 The Tea Chest

Other books by Heidi Chiavaroli:

The Edge of Mercy

  The Hidden Side

  Freedom’s Ring

 

First Line Fridays: The Tea Chest

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring The Tea Chest by Heidi Chiavaroli. This captivating, dual time-line story is one that you won’t want to miss! Be sure to stop back next week to see my review!

TheTeaChest

Naval Special Warfare Center
Coronado, California

          The bell was beautiful.

 

Click on the title below to snag your copy!

  The Tea Chest

 

Before you go….Don’t miss out on entering the Giveaway for Waltz in the Wilderness (the book I shared last Friday) CLICK HERE!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

First Line Friday: With You Here (Carrington Family #4

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4) by Sarah Monzon. I was captivated right from the start and held in delight as each beguiling moment was expertly revealed with eloquent details that swept me off my feet and into the very heart of the stories. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

With You Here

Holy Roman Empire, 1527

          Early morning light shafted through the single window of Christyne von Heidelbraum’s bedchamber, spearing the lingering darkness of the clining night, yet doing little to battle the chill that refused to welcome the coming day.

 

Click on the title below to snag your copy:

  With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

With You Here (Carrington Family #4) by Sarah Monzon

Synopsis:

Holy Roman Empire, 1527
In the wake of Martin Luther’s religious reforms, Princess Christyne von Heidelbraum is compelled by her sense of duty to help ease the burden of her people. When she stumbles upon a dying man in the woods, she vows to aid him—even when she discovers the arrow shot in his back was put there by a heretic hunter. With both her physical and spiritual well-being in danger, she must choose between conscience or adhering to the laws of the Empire.

Present Day
Doubting her calling to become a hospital chaplain, Amber Carrington takes time off from her theology studies to volunteer with refugees in Germany. Working with children, making a difference, reconnecting with the conviction that once drove her—these were her expectations. An instant attraction to a professional soccer player wasn’t a part of the plan…and she can’t let him distract her from her purpose.
As a new Christian, Seth Marshall is determined to put his popularity as a world-renowned footballer to good use. Unfortunately, old habits and public opinions are hard to overcome. When he falls hard and fast for Amber Carrington, his former life—and her no-dating policy—may block his perfect shot for the woman he loves.

  With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4)

My Thoughts:

There is so much to love about this multi-faceted story! I’d be hard-pressed to choose a favorite timeline, as they are both engaging and endearing.  The characters are dynamic and they each have their own compelling story to tell. I was captivated right from the start and held in delight as each beguiling moment was expertly revealed with eloquent details that swept me off my feet and into the very heart of the stories.

I enjoyed traveling back to the reformation period and gaining a first-hand view at what it must have been like to live during such turbulent times. The historical details and vibrant characters pulled me in and had me holding my breath on more than one occasion. I often thought of my own ancestors who were French Huguenots and left France due to persecution. I was reminded of the fact that God’s people have been persecuted throughout history and even still today.

I really enjoyed getting to know Amber Carrington. The Carrington brothers each have their own wonderful stories, but I have long anticipated getting to know Amber. I appreciate that Amber has chosen to follow God’s calling to minister to others and share her faith as a chaplain. The tender love story between Amber and Seth both warmed my heart and kept me on the edge of my seat hoping everything would work out!

I have loved all of the stories in The Carrington Family series and strongly encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself to enjoy!

(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

Sarah  Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book,Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

  With You Here (A Carrington Family Novel #4)

Carrington Family Series:

 Finders Keepers (A Carrington Family Novel #1)

 12 Days of Snowmen (A Carrington Family Novella 1.5)

All Of You (A Carrington Family Novel #2)

Freedom’s Kiss (A Carrington Family #3)

Stand Alone books:

 The Isaac Project

 The Esther Paradigm

Bookish Novella’s:

Bookishly Ever After 

Literarily for Keeps

Novelly Upon a Time

  Book Nerds and Boyfriends (A Novella Collection)

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Synopsis:

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother–who is battling dementia–compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns–and with it, Heidi’s fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?

My Thoughts:

Suspenseful with a Gothic flair, this story is sure to draw you in and keep you glued to the pages, to find out what happens next! While the title is a little spooky and the cover may give you pause, I knew that I could trust Jaime Jo Wright to pin a story that is both spine-tingling in its suspense, and God fearing at its core.

The story is character driven, and oh, what fantastic characters await in the pages of this dual-timeline story! With threads of faith and redemption everything comes together to form a beautiful tapestry, A beautiful reminder that our identity is in our Creator God.

Things are not as they seem. Often, as in real life you have to peel back the layers to discover the truth, so it is with this story!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

  The Curse of Misty Wayfair

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

JamieJoWright

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 atjaimejowright.com!

Web page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

  The House on Foster Hill

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

  The Curse of Misty Wayfair

 

For those interested to learn a little history about asylums in America, CLICK HERE to visit the biography web page’s article on Nellie Bly’s 10 days in a madhouse.

thecurseofmistywayfair.bookquote2

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.

Synopsis:

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 Bambi that 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.

My Thoughts:

This poignant story wove around my heart and has left a lasting imprint that is sure to remain. Like a master orchestral composition, this story started in broad lyrical strokes and gradually build upon itself into a sweeping masterpiece. Past and present blend together seamlessly in this sweeping saga of love, loss and the power of restoration.

My copy of this book is awash in colorful highlights and page-flags noting parts that I especially enjoyed, quotes, and important details. The setting of the story sets the tone, but its the dynamic characters that carry the plot along, setting the tempo and the lyrical melody. I found myself simultaneously reaching for the tissue box and hugging the book when I finished.

Faith in God plays a central role in the characters lives. This gentle reminder weaved into the story, “God is infinitely more beautiful and loving and tender and kind than anything we can imagine of Him.”

Both vibrant and enduring, this dual-timeline story that is set primarily in Austria during World War II is one that you won’t want to miss! I give this story 5 enthusiastic stars. Order your copy today, or request it from your local library.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

IMG_0971

About the Author:

MelanieDobsonWriting fiction is a fun excuse for Melanie to explore ghost towns and old houses, travel to unusual places, and spend hours reading dusty books and journals. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction with threads of romance and suspense.

Melanie is the award-winning author of seventeen historical romance, time-slip, suspense, and contemporary novels including Catching the Wind, Beneath a Golden Veil, and The Silent Order. Three of her novels including Chateau of Secrets have won Carol Awards, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon’s work, the Dobsons have finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn’t writing or researching, she enjoys line dancing, biking, and making up stories with her kids.

Website // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

 

  Hidden Among the Stars

First Line Fridays: Freedom’s Kiss

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon. This page-turning, dual timeline story is sure to give you all the feels! A perfect blend of past and present that lingered in my thoughts and imagination long after I’d read the final​ chapter. Read my full review (click here)

FreedomsKiss

Georgia, 1816

          Freedom. No single word had the right to hold such power. 

 

In all honestly I really wanted to share the first two paragraphs! This book really grabs you right from the start and you won’t want to put it down!

Don’t let the fact that its #3 stop you from getting a copy! You can read this as a stand alone story. I will say that once you read this one, you’ll love Sarah Monzon’s writing and want more!

Freedom’s Kiss (A Carrington Family #3)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books