♦ Hope and Redemption are ‘What Blooms from Dust’ in James Markert’s New Novel [REVIEW]

A huge dust storm moves across the land during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

A prodigal son. A child for sale. Both get a second chance in the midst of the 1930s Oklahoma Dust Bowl in James Markert’s What Blooms from Dust. (Photo courtesy US Department of Agriculture, Flickr)

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I have always loved survivor stories: those tales where people beat the odds, transform their lives, and wind up with something better. So it brings me great pleasure to bring you our latest Diamond Review title, James Markert’s What Blooms from Dust. In this redemptive story set against the 1930s Dust Bowl, we are introduced to what may likely become two of modern literature’s most unforgettable characters.
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‘The Lost Vintage’ Takes Readers On A Sensory Journey to the Past [REVIEW]

French vineyard

A trip to France teaches a young sommelier about much more than wine in Ann Mah’s The Lost Vintage. (Photo by Mark Fusco, Flickr)

Young love, delicious wine, family history, and the French countryside. It’s all here in Ann Mah’s sumptuous new novel, The Lost Vintage. Behind this book’s gorgeous cover you’ll meet a woman who journeys from San Francisco to France with the goal of building upon her knowledge of fine wine. What she learns instead are lessons even more powerful and life changing, ones which will enhance much more than her educated palate.
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Delores Fossen’s ‘The Last Rodeo’ Captures What It Means To Be A Texan [REVIEW]

Cowboy praying at dawn

Ranching is tough business, and sometimes it takes more than a little faith to make it all work. (Photo by Don Christner, Flickr)

Being the oldest son isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be, especially when you’re from a small Texas town and your father is a serial philanderer with a lecherous eye who seems intent on running the family business into the ground. With all that against him, will the “devil” of Wrangler’s Creek be able to salvage his family empire, win the girl, and beat his father at his own game? Find out in Delores Fossen’s latest novel, The Last Rodeo.
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The Brambles on the Branches of a Family Tree [GUEST POST]

Looking up at the branches of a leafless tree against the sky

Every family tree has its secrets. But some just won’t stay hidden, especially when there’s a writer among its branches. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

For as long as we can remember, we’ve loved reading romantic suspense fiction, especially novels filled with deeply buried family secrets. Recently, award-winning author Linda Hughes appeared on our radar, and she’s fearless when it comes to throwing open tightly sealed closet doors and digging up old family skeletons, which makes stories like Secrets of the Island, the second volume in her Secrets trilogy, so delicious. In today’s guest post, find out how her own family tree inspired her to write her latest novel. Enjoy! —J&H


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Cultures Clash With Comic Results in Linda Nielsen’s ‘Because I’m Worth It’ [REVIEW]

Post Ranch Inn

Can marriage survive when Big Sur life meets country club values? Find out in Linda Nielsen’s Because I’m Worth It. (Photo by Steve Jurvetson, Flickr)

It isn’t very often that we encounter a book that is as insightful as it is satirical, but that is what Linda Nielsen has done with her sophomore novel, Because I’m Worth It, a story that makes us take a look at what we are willing to do for power and prominence by juxtaposing two very different lifestyles: Bohemian Big Sur and the genteel South.  Read more of this post