Emily Preston wants only to become an artist. As the nation teeters on the brink of civil war, she must wage her own battle against the restrictive ideology of her father. Women belong at home on the plantation beneath the watchful eye of a husband or father--NOT at a university. But several schools in the North have opened their doors to women. How can she make her father see just how much it means to her to study under a master?
Independence isn't the only contentious point between them. A recent visit to her uncle's home in Detroit has called Emily's entire upbringing into question, but her father doesn't appreciate her criticisms of his management of Ella Wood, the Preston family plantation. Then there's the problem of Thaddeus Black, the handsome, charming young man who simply won't take no for an answer. It could be that the real fight lies within her heart, which stubbornly refuses to accept that a choice for independence must be a choice against love.
"Poetic" and "nuanced," Ella Wood is the story of a young woman standing at the edge of war and struggling with questions of morality, purpose, and love.
All three books in the Ella Wood trilogy are clean and wholesome and ALWAYS FREE on Kindle Unlimited, as are the accompanying series of novellas.
Titles in the Ella Wood series: Ella Wood, Blood Moon, Ebb Tide
Ella Wood novellas: Lizzie, Jack, Jovie
The Ella Wood trilogy and the trilogy of novellas are complete.
Each Ella Wood novella is approximately 85-95 pages and can be read as a stand-alone, but starting with the main trilogy is recommended. To avoid spoilers, read in the following order:
Book 1: Lizzie. To be read anytime after the first book of the Ella Wood trilogy, Ella Wood.
Book 2: Jack. To be read anytime after the second book of the Ella Wood trilogy, Blood Moon.
Book 3: Jovie. To be read after the third book of the Ella Wood trilogy, Ebb Tide.
Lizzie has made it aboard a ship without anyone guessing her deception, but many miles still lie between South Carolina and freedom in Canada. With two small children to hide, she and Ketch will no longer have their former master's daughter, Emily, nearby to protect them. They'll need to rely on their wits, their strength, and each other.
Though Lizzie loves Ketch and longs to merge their two small families, she's still haunted by that violent night at Ella Wood nearly a year before that resulted in the birth of her son. Will she be able to put that nightmare behind her? Will the north hold the peace, safety, and love she so desperately desires?
But before the steamer even leaves Charleston harbor, the water grows red with danger...
For the better part of a decade, Jack has lived a double life. To all appearances, he's the spoiled heir to one of Charleston's wealthiest plantations. But his life would be forfeit and his family in jeopardy if anyone knew what he'd really been up to. He'd be shunned from polite society if anyone guessed his plans for Ella Wood. So he maintains his lonely façade, with no realistic hopes of marriage and only slaves to confide in.
When war comes to Charleston, Jack enlists in the South Carolina infantry. But military service brings him into contact with a beautiful and unlikely confidante. Will his dreams for Ella Wood outlast the war? Will his new love?
After taking a bullet at Gettysburg, a clever maneuver lands Jovie in a Northern hospital instead of a POW camp. Staying alive means remaining unidentified. But when a devastating amputation claims his leg, Jovie loses the will to live. His best friend died at Antietam a year ago, and the woman he's loved since childhood has made it clear that she doesn't return his affection. Why not just blurt out his secret and let it claim his life?
A chance encounter with a beautiful spy offers him new purpose, and the rush of their subterfuge distracts him from despair. But adrenaline is a poor substitute for hope. Despite her refusal, Jovie just can't forget the woman he still loves. Will he find the courage to renew his pursuit despite his disfigurement? Will a last long chance be enough to bring him home?
In this game of chance, will he even live long enough for it to matter?
Charleston lies in ruins and so, it seems, does Emily's future. Now that her father has banished her from Ella Wood over her vocal disapproval of slavery, independence looks far more terrifying. And without her father's pocketbook, her ability to fund her education is in question. Then, when Emily makes it clear that she intends to pursue the university anyway, Thad's hidden sentiments come to light. She's forced to a decision. Will she choose the man she's come to love or the art she's always loved?
"Richly textured," "absorbing," and "impeccably researched," Blood Moon is the second in this sweeping Southern romance series. And it's tagged with a price you'll also love. Download your copy and find out why Blood Moon was reader-nominated for a Cybils Award.
All three books in the Ella Wood trilogy are clean and wholesome, as are the accompanying novellas.
Titles in series: Ella Wood, Blood Moon, Ebb Tide
Accompanying novellas: Lizzie, Jack, and Jovie
Order your copy of Blood Moon and start reading today!
“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith
One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the "coolest girl in the world" moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all---beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer's end they've become TullyandKate. Inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah's magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.
From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.
Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn't know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she'll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she'll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship---jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they've survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone's Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it's the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It's about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you---and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you'll never forget . . . one you'll want to pass on to your best friend.
The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother's death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community.
Winona, the oldest, needs her father's approval most of all. An overweight bookworm who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her family for three generations, she knows that she doesn't have the qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she's determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.
Aurora, the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.
Vivi Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a stranger comes to town. . . .
In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town.
With breathtaking pace and penetrating emotional insight, True Colors is an unforgettable novel about sisters, rivalry, forgiveness, redemption---and ultimately, what it means to be a family.
All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .
Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm's way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.
At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope.
“. . . charming characters and twists that keep the pages turning.” —Southern Living
A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.
It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girl’s pretty yellow dress can’t quite hide the ugly scar on her chest.
Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he's restoring at a nearby lake. The stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.
Before it's over, they'll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry . . . and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.
"If you read any book this year, this is the one." —Coffee Time Romance
"Martin's writing is gifted and blessed and insightful. His prose captures the essence of the story with beauty and sensitivity. I look forward to reading more of his work, past and future." —onceuponaromance.net
"[O]ne of the best books I've been asked to review, and certainly the best one this year!" —bestfiction.tripod.com
"How is Charles Martin able to take mere words and breathe such vibrant life into them? Each character is drawn with an artist's attention to detail, beauty and purpose. Readers won't want the story to end because that means leaving these lovable people who have become so much more than just a name in a book." —inthelibraryreviews.net
Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.
It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.
Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.
Kidnapped from Africa as a child, Aminata Diallo is enslaved in South Carolina but escapes during the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan she becomes a scribe for the British, recording the names of blacks who have served the King and earned their freedom in Nova Scotia. But the hardship and prejudice of the new colony prompt her to follow her heart back to Africa, then on to London, where she bears witness to the injustices of slavery and its toll on her life and a whole people. It is a story that no listener, and no reader, will ever forget.
Published in Canada as The Book of Negroes and the basis for the award-winning BET miniseries of the same name.
“Martin understands the power of story and he uses it to alter the souls and lives of both his characters and his readers . . .” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author
They have one summer to find what was lost long ago.
“Never settle for less than the truth,” she told him.
On a stifling summer day, an old Chevy Impala ignored the warning signals and was annihilated by the oncoming train. What no one realized until much later was that the driver had paused just before entering the tracks and kicked a small boy out of the car. A small boy with broken glasses who is clutching a notebook with all his might . . . but who never speaks.
Chase Walker was one of the lucky ones. He was in foster care as a child, but he finally ended up with a family who loved him and cared for him. Now, as a journalist for the local paper, he’s moved on and put the past behind him.
But when he’s assigned the story of this young boy, painful, haunting questions about his own childhood begin to rise to the surface.
And as Chase Walker discovers, learning the truth about who you are can be as elusive—and as magical—as chasing fireflies on a summer night.
“[C]olorful, memorable characters; Southern regional flavor that’s drop-dead accurate; and lyrical, intelligent writing make Chasing Fireflies an exceptionally good read.” —Aspiring Retail
“If I could use only one word to describe Chasing Fireflies it would have to be ‘WOW!’ From the very beginning of the book I was drawn into the story and could not put it down.” —epinions.com
Through the storytelling mastery of award-winning writer Donald McCaig, the life and times of the dashing Rhett Butler unfolds. Through Rhett's eyes we meet the people who shaped his larger than life personality as it sprang from Margaret Mitchell's unforgettable pages: Langston Butler, Rhett's unyielding father; Rosemary his steadfast sister; Tunis Bonneau, Rhett's best friend and a onetime slave; Belle Watling, the woman for whom Rhett cared long before he met Scarlett O'Hara at Twelve Oaks Plantation, on the fateful eve of the Civil War.
Of course there is Scarlett. Katie Scarlett O'Hara, the headstrong, passionate woman whose life is inextricably entwined with Rhett's: more like him than she cares to admit; more in love with him than she'll ever know...
Brought to vivid and authentic life by the hand of a master, Rhett Butler's People fulfills the dreams of those whose imaginations have been indelibly marked by Gone With The Wind.
“Martin spins an engaging story about healing and the triumph of love . . . Filled with delightful local color.” —Publishers Weekly
"Tucker, I want to tell you a secret." Miss Ella curled my hand into a fist and showed it to me.
"Life is a battle, but you can't fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart."
An internationally famous photographer, Tucker Mason has traveled the world, capturing things other people don’t see. But what Tucker himself can’t see is how to let go of the past and forgive his father.
On a sprawling Southern estate, Tucker and his younger brother, Mutt, were raised by their housekeeper, Miss Ella Rain, who loved the motherless boys like her own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and the boys was the only good thing their father ever did.
When his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, Tucker is forced to return home and face the agony of his own tragic past.
Though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice—and her prayers. But finding peace and starting anew will take a measure of grace that Tucker scarcely believes in.
“Read this book and watch the sun come out.” – John Dyson, writer, Reader’s Digest
“Charles Martin is changing the face of inspirational fiction one book at a time. Wrapped in Rain is a sentimental tale that is not to be missed.” —Michael Morris, author of A Place Called Wiregrass and Live Like You Were Dying
“This is the story of a real person’s real struggle with the uncertainties of faith, unadorned with miracles of the deus ex machina sort but full of the sort of miracles that attend every day life if you bother to notice. Charles Martin notices, and for that I commend him. He’s unafraid of tackling the crucial questions—life, death, love, sacrifice.” —Duncan Murrell, editor and writer
The smash-hit debut novel for every woman who has ever had a complicated love-hate friendship.
Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy's fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.
A man who challenges her sense of control and the very essence of her being…
A connection that could change everything…
When overachieving, career focused Amber Monroe has to move back to the hometown she couldn’t wait to escape, she swears it’s only temporary. Or, at least, that’s the story she’s telling people. The truth is, she can’t go back to her old life and there’s no way in hell she’s going to tell anyone why.
After a devastating loss, Logan Myers spiraled out of control. It was the healing power of horses and years of hard work that helped him rebuild his life. Now he’s developed an equine therapy program in the hopes of helping others, if only he can get it off the ground.
Amber couldn’t be more skeptical of Logan and his ‘healing horses’. But when he challenges her to give equine therapy a try, the last thing she expects is to open up. First to the animals, and then—more unexpectedly—to him.
After a lifetime of being independent and in control, Amber finds herself putting her trust in a man and her sudden and overwhelming connection to Logan threatens to turn her life upside down. She can’t let herself get too close, trust too much, because if she does, the secrets she’s been keeping will ruin everything.
When We Began is the latest book in the exciting new Timber Creek Series by USA Today Bestselling Author, Elena Aitken that will make you believe in second chances of all kinds!
~A heartwarming contemporary romance~
Like all of my books, When We Began can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel. But be sure to catch up with all your favorite characters with the rest of the Timber Creek Series for more small town romance!
Timber Creek Series
• When We Left—Cam's Second Chance (Available Now!)
• When We Were Us—Christy's Second Chance (Available Now!)
• When We Began—Amber's Second Chance (Available Now!)
• When We Fell—Drew's Second Chance (Coming Winter 2019!)