The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock

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1887 – New York

Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?
 
On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.
 
With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.
 
At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

Love Protects by Julia David

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1867 – Kentucky

From a desperate yet useful childhood at the Lennhurst Asylum and School for Disabled Children, Anna is married off to a plantation baron, a man old enough to be her father. When he collapses on the frozen pond and drowns, could it be the freedom she’s never known? With barely a day of peace as a young widow, her cold-hearted step sons throw her from their father’s home.
William Gibbs thinks he knows desperation. With the death of their mother, he is left to raise his four younger siblings in their one-room cabin. One deemed a lunatic, who runs from home, he can’t find a moment to keep her safe and work their small tobacco farm. Without the crop, they’ll all be destitute.

On a dark rainy night searching for his missing sister, Will turns to the local reverend for help. Their simple solution is to marry off the woman who has been sheltering in their church. A woman who reports she’s worked with the insane. “A wife will cost you nothing.” The reverend’s wife points out.
Will agrees to take Anna as his wife. Unbeknownst to Will, she wasn’t a paid nurse, but a previous patient at Lennhurst Asylum. Has his desperation and a crowded cabin just gotten worse?

Just as the new family finds care and acceptance for one another, Anna is arrested for the murder of her first husband. Moved with his ever growing feelings for his new wife, Will vows to protect her from the ludicrous charges.

But what about the baby nursing at her breast? It’s not Anna’s first husbands or Will’s baby. And she did not give birth. What kind of hoax is it? Should her past and the innocent babe in her arms sentence her to life behind bars?
Can Will protect her in time?

 

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

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1908/Present Day – Wisconsin

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?

Love Flies by Julia David

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1867 – Pennsylvania

In his calculations, handsome Reed Chapman certainly didn’t factor an unstable young woman from Lennhurst Asylum inhabiting his beloved land.

In 1867, bitter from the civil war, lawyer Reed Chapman is easily distracted, yet determined to have his land back. How did his simple plan to restore his family’s inheritance leave him driving away from Lennhurst Asylum, elbow to elbow with a beautiful patient in his charge? An unstable, madcap young woman who believes she is the heir to his land.

Patience Stevens spins with the adventure of leaving Lennhurst to find her childhood trees, lake and land. Confident to face the dark unknowns that took place there, she dreams of gardens and woodland homes for all her winged friends. Fortifying herself to face the horrors one by one, the revelations of her past collides with a new struggle in the form of handsome Reed Chapman. He seems overly concerned with her wellbeing and suddenly her heart is taken with his attention. Can a gullible young woman from an insane asylum trust the ways of the heart? Is his declaration for her hand in marriage hasty or genuine? Her simple list of dreams seems so close she can almost touch them.

Is Reed Chapman to be her tender, passionate husband or her adversary? Can her child-like faith and hope survive this haunted wilderness without him?

Sofia’s Tune by Cindy Thomson

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Sofia’s Tunesofiastune

1903 – New York

In Sofia’s Tune, we meet Sofia Falcone, a young woman who has been living in New York only a short time when she is stunned to discover a family secret, one that soon sends her beloved mother into a mental institution. Scrambling to keep her job and care for her mother, Sofia is convinced confronting the past will heal all wounds, but her old world Italian family wants to keep the past in the past.

During this time, she encounters Antonio, a Vaudeville pianist with a street-smart dog, seeking to discover why his father was mysteriously killed. Their crossed paths uncover a frightening underworld in Little Italy. Bringing the truth to light may cost Sofia’s mother’s sanity, Antonio’s career, and the livelihoods of countless immigrants. Change is on the horizon, but it may not bring what they expect.

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

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1868 – Nashville

Pink is not what Eleanor Braddock ordered, but maybe it would soften the tempered steel of a woman who came through a war . . . and still had one to fight.
 
Eleanor Braddock – plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty – knows she will never marry. But with a dying soldier’s last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America – and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path – building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.
 
Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows’ and children’s home run contrary to Eleanor’s wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground – and a love neither of them expects. 
 
But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.

Madman by Tracy Groot

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Time of Christ – Palestine

If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says. Tallis, a philosopher’s servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, ominously, disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of its scholars. One was murdered. One committed suicide. One worships in the temple of Dionysus. And one . . . one is a madman.

From Christy Award–winning author Tracy Groot comes a tale of mystery, horror, and hope in the midst of unimaginable darkness: the story behind the Gerasene demoniac of the Gospels of Mark and Luke.

 

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