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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stars in the Night by Cara Putman is up on CFBA! (Plus bonus review!)

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Stars In The Night
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

Cara Putman


A Word From Cara:

I graduated from high school at sixteen, college at 20, and completed my law degree when I was 27.

My writing journey started in 2005 when I decided to write my first novel. Now I have eleven books published with more on the way.

People say I've accomplished a lot and that I must have life by the proverbial tail. Hardly! I grew up as a home schooled kid when home schoolers were misunderstood and oddities.

I struggle with balancing my writing and law career, plus being a good mom and wife.

I often fear people won't like my books.

I've walked through the deep pain of miscarriage.

Really, I'm just like you – I don't have it all together and have gone through tough times. But in His strength, I've discovered a strength I never knew I had. A strength I want you to discover, too.

In the end I'm just an ordinary mom who has seen God do some wonderful things as I've been obedient to step into the calling He's led me into.

Stars in the Night Background

Stars in the Night was an idea that had begun to percolate in my mind. I’d written two World War II series and was actively looking for my next setting. My husband, a huge World War II history buff, and I were kicking ideas around, and I’d decided Hollywood was probably the next place for me. I’d gone to the library and gotten a stack of research books when I got the call. An editor I knew but had never worked with wanted to know if I might be interested in a new line they were starting. As we talked, I got so excited. And then she emailed me their guidelines, which listed that Hollywood was a location they were interested in setting books.

Only God could have known ahead of time. But because I followed His prompting I was ready to run with an idea. Stars in the Night is the result.


Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer's sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her.

Any day Audra might have been flattered by the friendly overtures of Robert Garfield, a real-life movie star. But on the flight from Indianapolis to Hollywood, Audra can think of little else than finding her missing sister. When Audra arrives in the city of glitz and glamour, and stars, and learns her rising starlet sister has been murdered, all thoughts of romance fly away.

Determined to bring the killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan.

Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to that of her sister.

Could the killer be the man with whom she's falling in love?

If you'd like to read an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Stars In The Night, go HERE.

My Review:

Stars in the NightStars in the Night by Cara C. Putman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

More like 3.5 stars.

When I first read about this book, I knew I needed to check it out. I love a good historical romance, and I read another book Cara had written and enjoyed it. I read this book quickly, though it didn't grab me like I had hoped it would. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that I'm not a big fan of movie stars from the 1940s, and I don't watch old movies. Never have. The plot was very forward-moving, but the characterization fell flat for me. I don't feel like I ever got to know Audra's heart.

The romantic element also seemed more like a minor subplot (or an afterthought) than an underlying theme to me, which is how I classify romance novels in my mind. The romance drives the story. In this book it didn't. I kept hoping things would perk up between them, but just when a spark started, it was over. But that is just my opinion, of course. I am sure others would disagree with me. I suppose I just didn't bond with the characters because I enjoy books focused more on the characters' inner growth than the plot itself. This book was strong on plot, but not so much in romance or character development. That said, on to other positives...

The plot for this book was interesting, and I didn't know who the bad guy was (I loved that), or when the murders would end (that upped the suspense.) I really like it when a book keeps me guessing. That proves it's a well-developed mystery, and this book had that aspect nailed. Thankfully, the murder scenes weren't gruesome, and if anything, they were overly tame. That worked for me because I'm a wimp when it comes to gore. I shiver at the sight of blood. Again, the mystery embedded in the storyline was probably the best aspect of this book. Bummer is I'm not a huge mystery fan either.

But the story kept me reading and I didn't give up on it like I have with so many other books lately. For that, I applaud the author. She obviously knows how to develop a plot. I guess the fact that I never really felt anything for the characters made the story not resonate with me on an emotional level like I had anticipated it would.

What turns my crank when I'm reading a book is deep point of view. I want to be inside the character's head, not just an observer. I recently finished a book (Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz)that blew me out of the water because it was so emotionally gripping. Since I finished that story everything else seems to fall flat for me. Maybe it's just bad timing. That said, I'd recommend this novel for people who enjoy a solid historical mystery. If you enjoyed Songbird Under a German Moon, you'll love this story because it has a very similar feel to it.

View all my reviews >>

star star star

Decent story


Cara Putman said...

Michelle, Let me know when your review goes up. I'd love to know what you think of Stars. And thanks for participating in the tour. Looking forward to seeing you at ACFW!

Cara Putman said...

Thanks, Michelle. Love an honest review :-)

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