High-Wire Heartbreak

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Pub Date 01 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 01 Mar 2022
Barbour Publishing, Barbour Fiction

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In 1936--A party at the Ringling mansion Ca d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida, leads to a robbery--and possibly death.

A successful historical mystery writer, Chloe Whitfield comes to Ca’ d’Zan to research her next novel. Chloe’s fascination with the circus is rooted in family stories of her great-grandmother Lucinda Conroy, who reportedly was a trapeze artist of some renown. She’s heard hints of scandal—and perhaps larceny, but no details.

Chloe’s grandmother—rumored to be Lucinda’s only offspring—was raised in an orphanage and never knew her mother. Intrigued as she is, Chloe has no intent of writing about Lucinda until she sees a poster featuring Lucinda as the star performer for a 70th birthday gala for John Ringling in May of 1936. From there the trail goes cold.

Who was Lucinda and what happened to her?
In 1936--A party at the Ringling mansion Ca d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida, leads to a robbery--and possibly death.

A successful historical mystery writer, Chloe Whitfield comes to Ca’ d’Zan to research...

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ISBN 9781636091372
PRICE $12.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 117 members

Featured Reviews

This is an interesting read. Twisted together into a duel time read, the author develops her characters well and adds some mystery and suspense.
What really happened to the young gymnast who disappears after doing a triple flip high up in the air?
Sarasota, FL and Cad’Zan, home to John and Mable Ringling, is where the book takes you as the story unfolds. Chloe, a writer, hopes to get inspiration at Cad’Zan but is distracted in her research by the disappearance of her grandmother from this very place. Chloe sets out to unravel the mystery.
The storyline will keep you engaged until the very end.

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High-Wire Heartbreak is a fascinating addition to Barbour’s outstanding Doors to the Past series. This well-crafted story drew me in from the beginning and kept me engaged to the satisfying ending. The dual-timeline set in 1936 and 2022 in Sarasota, Florida, is beautifully executed. Both storylines flow smoothly as they twist and turn delivering surprises along the way! The characters are well-developed and memorable. This the first book I have read by this author, and I like her fluid, expressive style. Vivid detailed descriptions of the setting and historical details show evidence of extensive research. For me, the sweet romance takes a backseat to the captivating mystery and intrigue. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I did expect a stronger faith element. I highly recommend this read especially for dual-timeline and history lovers.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The story revolves around the Ringling Brother's Circus in 1936. The historical details as a backdrop is well done and made me feel as though I was there along with the main characters.

I loved hearing the story of Lucinda Conroy from two different time periods, hers and that of a historical mystery writer, Chloe. Lots of mystery, deception, scandal, and intrigue are included in the storyline to keep me engaged.

A very well-written tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's one of the best stories I've read this year and hated for it to end. Highly recommend.

I received an early copy from the author and voluntarily choose to review it.

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High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt is a mixture of a mystery at the Ringling Mansion in Sarasota, Florida, and a hunt for what is family. I love the dual time stories that feature a mystery in the current setting, but then the actual mystery playing out in the past setting. These type of dual-time stories have become wildly popular, and I have enjoyed reading them. It makes it a little easier to read and understand what occurred in the past instead of reading letters or diary entries to learn what occurred previously. Of course, there is romance in both time periods. There is a jilted romance in the past that sparks the whole mystery in the present. It was nicely handled. I really did not think either romance was a little fast. The present one was a little odd and out of place for the time frame of the novel, but it worked out for the characters. Overall, High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt was a delightful story in the Doors to the Past series. I have really enjoyed all of these stories, and I hope there are more of them to come.

I received a complimentary copy of High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt from Barbour Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

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My Grandpa loved going to the Ringling Brothers Circus and was a snowbird in the Bradenton/Sarasota area so this book definitely caught my interest!

This book goes between the present day of author Chloe and the past in the 1930's of her great-grandmother Lucinda who was a trapeze artist in the circus. The story was compelling and the characters were easy to relate to. I can't wait to share this book with my grandma!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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Over the past year, I've really come to realize just how much the setting means to me personally when I choose to pick up a new story. The spectacular settings are just one of the many reasons why Barbour's fantastic Doors to the Past series has been my absolute favorite of 2021, and High Wire Heartbreak is another fantastic addition to it, and I never wanted to see it end.

Right from the start, I found myself caught up in this beautiful story, and the many elements of mystery and romance that are included throughout. I especially found the setting of this one interesting, as I'd never heard of Ca' d'Zan before, and really enjoyed getting to learn all about it through our two main characters viewpoints.

High Wire Heartbreak tells the unique story of a best selling mystery author who chooses to set her next novel at the Ringling mansion, and hopes by doing so, she can finally learn something about her elusive biological great grandmother who nobody in the family seems to know anything about. As she falls more in love with the mansion, its history, and the museum professor who's helping her piece everything together, Chloe comes to learn family secrets from the past that no one could have seen coming.

Often in dual timeline settings, one or the other stories will stick out to me more, but one of my favorite parts about the Doors to the Past series is that each story always draws the reader in, and I love finding out at the end how everything is actually connected.

I've said it many times before, and I'll keep saying it, Doors to the Past is truly one of the best Christian fiction series I've ever read, and High Wire Heartbreak is another wonderful story that I can't possibly recommend enough.

Final Rating: 5/5.

I look forward to reading both more of this series, and more books from Anna Schmidt in the future.

Thanks so much to Barbour for allowing me to advance read and review this!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary advance reader copy of this novel from the publisher (Barbour) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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As Chloe starts hunting for clues to her grandmother, you will find the history unfold in this dual time period book. The book flowed so well together and it engaged me right from the beginning. Wow, it was so good. I absolutely loved this book. It was an absolute page turner and had me reading when I should have been sleeping. This book was thrilling and I never wanted it to end. The story of heartbreak is truly that and the characters are realistic as they approach their situations. The mystery keeps you on the edge of your seat. Yes, I really, really can't say enough good things about this book. It was just great.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher and was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

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Anna Schmidt delivers a fun dual-timeline novel with “High-Wire Heartbreak,” a tale of family, devotion, heartbreak and loyalty.

When historical mystery author Chloe Whitfield visits Ca d’Zan, the Sarasota home of John Ringling, she has a hidden agenda — to not only come up with her next plot, but to also research the enigmatic history of her great-grandmother, a trapeze artist for the famous circus entrepreneur.

With the help of Dr. Ian Flanner, the Ringling museum’s director and historian, she quickly becomes intrigued by the mysterious story of the lovely Lucinda Conroy and why she seemed to disappear off the face of the Earth.

In 1936, the lovely Lucinda finds herself in an unfathomable situation, forcing her to make decisions that will change the course of her life. But with the support of her trapeze partner Bernardo Russo, she ultimately works toward a happy ending.

Schmidt does an incredible job of weaving together the lives of two women separated by generations. Readers will fall in love with the plucky Lucinda and the devoted Nardo, and will find both Chloe and Ian relatable and interesting. She fills out the cast of characters will several other delightful and intriguing people, like assistant Tilda, archivist Toby, and museum workers Darcy and Pete.

“High-Wire Heartbreak” offers a fun plot with some twists that will keep the reader guessing. It also includes several good themes, like the importance of family and loyalty; sometimes family is what you make it; the impact of mislaid trust; and God will provide help when asked.

Fans of historical fiction, time-slip novels, circuses and historical characters like the Ringlings will love this story, which is due out Jan. 1.

Five stars out of five.

Barbour Fiction provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.

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I did love this story, we flash from the 1930's back to present day, and follow the life of high wire aerialist Lucinda Conroy, but through the eyes of her great-granddaughter.
The author gifts us with a great read that is set in Sarasota Florida, and we are on the property of John Ringling, and his beautiful estate Ca' d' Zan, sounds so beautiful!
As we read how the stories mesh, I was still surprised and loved how this story came together. There are many life changes here, and a lot I never saw coming, but this is such a heart warming read!
I received this book through the Publisher Barbour and was not required to give a positive review.

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High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt is a wonderful addition to the Doors to the Past series. It begins with Chloe finding herself in Sarasota, Florida in July 2022 to do research for her next novel, but also to discover what she can find out about her great grandmother, who was a famous Ringling Circus trapeze artist. When she uncovers a mystery that happened in 1936 at the Ringling mansion that includes her mysterious great grandmother, she finds herself on a research path altogether. This dual timeline really kept my interest from beginning to end. This book was very well researched and written. The twists and turns in the plot really kept my attention. If I could give this one 10 stars, I would. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt is a great story which brings the past and present together in unexpected ways. Chloe is writing her latest mystery novel and has decided to use Ca D’Zan, the former home of John and Mabel Ringling, as the setting. The museum is currently closed and undergoing a major renovation so she access to the whole house and archives with staff assisting her. She is aware that her great grandmother was a star trapeze artist in the circus in the 1930's and much mystery surrounds what happened to her so Chloe plans to investigate her also. Dr. Ian Flanner is in charge of the renovations and also tasked with seeing to Chloe's needs while she lives in the cottage on the estate. He assigns her an assistant, Tilda, but still must have almost daily contact with her. Will a deeper relationship form between Chloe and Ian or is it all work for both of them?
I loved this story and was pulled into it from page one. The story goes back and forth between the past and present without the feeling of an abrupt interruption. I give this book a 5 of 5 stars for the excellent writing, characters and a mystery that leads the reader on a fantastic journey.
I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

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I am a big fan of time-slip novels (think Jaime Jo Wright, Allison Pittman, and so on)! This book is a great addition to the genre, "Doors to the Past" series, and to me as a new-to-me book/author. I'll also admit that I'm a huge fan of "The Greatest Showman" musical; while this book is, of course, about Ringling rather than P.T. Barnum, I loved channeling the circus life in a new way.

The character development was spot on, and the setting really came to life quickly and easily. Though I've been to Florida a few times, I've not been to this area, and my appetite is sufficiently whetted!

Faith plays a subtler role in this read compared to others in the series, but is definitely still alive and well.

As with other books in the "Doors to the Past" series, this is a standalone read. (The others are entirely worth reading, if you've not yet done so! But don't let not reading them first stop you from reading this one as desired!)

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt is a great contribution to Door to the Past series. I thought it was a great read. It was intriguing getting into the mystery that the main character, Chloe, gets herself involved in. I never knew what was going to happen next. I had to keep reading to see what was going to become of Lucinda and how Chloe would react. I could not put the book down until I read the very last page.

High-Wire Heartbreak will be getting a very well deserved five plus stars from me. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading clean historical romantic suspense. I look forward to reading the next installment from the Doors to the Past series, Jennifer Uhlarik’s Love's Fortress.

I received a digital copy of High Wire Heartbreak from the publisher, but was not required to write a positive review. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

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High-wire Heartbreak is the third book I've read in the Doors to the Past series and I've loved each one. The beautiful cover drew me in and absolutely insisted I read it.

Dual timeline stories are quickly becoming my favorites and Anna Schmidt delivers in-depth complex relationships in both time periods. I knew from the title there would be a sadness and heartbreak, but that's only one facet of this well-developed story. There's mystery, romance and a unique setting that had me on the edge of my seat!

I was fascinated by the description of the Ringling property known as Ca d'Zan and had to stop reading to look it up; it's real place, an art and circus museum. The pictures of it added a lot to the visual understanding of the setting and gave a real feel for the wealth and splendor of the 1936 Sarasota property. Normally I'm all about how the relationships grow and evolve in a book, and the two in this story were fantastic, but the historical setting was a character come to life in and of itself.

My favorite romance of the two timelines was the historical one. It's a love story to its very core, not the flashy passionate one readers often encounter, but a love story of the truest most enduring nature, where one person loves another and does everything for their wellbeing and expects nothing in return. Be still my heart!

The modern day timeline was more about trying to solve the mystery of what happened all those years ago to a vanished hire-wire performer and the connection to the Whitfield family. I love how the author tied the two time periods together and brought the story to a satisfying sigh worthy conclusion. I highly recommend High-Wire Heartbreak. I could not have enjoyed it more. I appreciate Barbour Publishing making a copy available for review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

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In a dual-time story, mystery novelist Chloe Whitfield researches the Ringling Brothers estate in Sarasota, Florida, for a new book. She has her own mystery to solve. Her great-grandmother was a trapeze artist who was arrested, left her daughter in an orphanage, and disappeared.
Lucinda Conroy thought happily-ever-after was within her reach in 1936, but Martin Sutherland turned out to be a first-rate scoundrel. She nearly died after giving birth. When John Ringling died, the circus folded. She’s penniless. Fortunately, her trapeze partner, Nardo Russo, doesn’t give up on her.
There’s not much romance. Chloe is interested in Ian Flanner, the estate renovator, and a relationship develops, but we don’t see it happen. Lucinda’s story is much more appealing. Well satisfying conclusion.

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Anna Schmidt's "High-Wire Heartbreak" is her fabulous contribution to the Doors to the Past series. A compelling blend of fact and fiction, this dual timeline novel's actions take place primarily on John Ringling's Sarasota estate.

Lucinda Conroy and Bernardo Russo are charming trapeze artists from the 1930s who face many hardships yet persevere. In the midst of the Great Depression, their struggles are palpable. The present-day protagonists Chloe Whitfield and Dr. Ian Flanner are well-matched. Characters, both lead and secondary, are wonderfully drawn. The present-day Tilda is especially interesting.

Schmidt's research into John Ringling's Circus, his financial struggles and his beautiful Florida estate, Ca' d'Zan, brings this novel to life. Her prose is evocative, and her period details are both accurate and riveting.

This cleverly plotted book has unexpected twists and turns.The past and present storylines converge at the end for a highly satisfying conclusion. This gently inspirational novel is an outstanding read. Anna Schmidt is a new author for me, and I plan to read more of her works.

Thanks to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for an ARC of this engrossing novel.

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What a great read! This book offers the reader just enough intrigue to keep going, I was never bored. One storyline written from two perspectives, past and present is the format for the plot. The main characters have generous heats and just enough challenge to make it interesting. I enjoyed this book because it was clean, no Unnecessary violence, or sexual explicitness. I would recommend this book for young teen readers.

I was given a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for my review.

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What a fun read! This is a dual timeline novel that grabs you in both generations! In the late 1920s, we meet Lucy who is working as a trapeze artist. She gets pregnant on her wedding night, and her life tumbles out of control from there. In present day, Chloe is visiting the Ringling estate in Sarasota to write her newest novel. She knows her great-grandmother, Lucy, worked there as a trapeze artist before she gave her infant up for adoption and then disappeared forever. Chloe didn't intend to write her novel about her great-grandmother, but she can't shake the feeling that there's so much more to the story than she knows.

While some elements of this book were pretty predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt that some more time could have been spent on the development of Ian and Chloe's relationship, but adored the relationship between Lucy and Nardo. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who loves a good dual timeline story. The two generations connect well, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

I received a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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The best thing about the story was the history it was based on. This was based on the house of the John and Mabel Ringling (Ca d'Zan) and a fictional mystery set there. The book had several mysteries along the way and I liked our main characters approach to dealing with one of the mysteries - Didn't get dramatic but dealt with it in a straight forward manner.

I liked the concurrent time periods of the stories - one set in the present day, the other set in the time of the heroine's great grandmother. This was like reading two stories in one and I liked the way they intertwined.

This is the first time I have read this author and I would be interested in reading more of her books. This one was one I got free in exchange for an honest review. It's made me want to see what else she has written.

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HIGH-WIRE HEARTBREAK by ANNA SCHMIDT is a dual timeline novel taking place in Sarasota Florida at circus magnate, John Ringling’s, winter estate, in both time periods. I found this novel to be a most delightful read, with a well formed plot, unforgettable characters and a subtle Christian message. It is a story of hard times and new beginnings.
When famous author, Chloe Whitfield, comes to the beautiful old Ringling estate, which is now a museum, she meets Dr Ian Flanner who is in charge of the place and its renovation. He, together with others who work at the museum, is very knowledgable about its history and architecture. Chloe is there to get inspiration for her next historical thriller for which the intriguing Ca D’Zan (House of John) will provide the setting. As she looks into the history, she is fascinated by the story of Lucinda Conroy, the famous aerialist who she believes is her great grandmother.
Running parallel to Chloe’s story, and eventually tying into it, is Lucinda Conroy and Bernardo Russi’s story which starts in 1936 with Lucinda performing a triple back somersault with her partner Bernardo at John Ringling’s seventieth birthday party. Lucy and Nardo’s story is both heart wrenching and heartwarming.
This is a refreshingly different and most enjoyable read and one I cannot recommend highly enough.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Barbour Publishing The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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This was fun read. I really enjoyed the characters and the dual timeline stories and how they intersected. While there is some heartbreak, at one point I had tears of joy.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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High-Wire Heartbreak is written by Anna Schmidt. It is part of the Doors to the Past series that is written by multi-authors but are tied together by the dual timeline theme. This book features a main back drop of John Ringling and CA' D'ZAN. I was pleased to know that the location is in Sarasota, FL which is about 6 1/2 hours from me. This book focuses on two characters - Chloe and Lucinda.
The dual-timeline set in 1936 and 2022. Chloe is our present day character. She is a best selling mystery author is is setting her new book at the Ringling mansion. 1936 main character is actually Chloe's great-grandmother Lucinda Conroy. Lucinda was a great Trapeze artist who performed a huge defying act at John Ringling's birthday party. Lucinda however has gotten herself caught up in a predicament that will damage her reputation. She has been deceived and left with child and is accused of stealing a precious item from John Ringling's mansion. Lucinda vanishes off all historical records. The child she gives birth to, is Chloe's grandma, who is left in an orphanage. Chloe is drawn to her great grandma and gets off track writing her next book. She is drawn to her great grandma's story. With the help of the museum's director, Dr. Flanner, Tilda, Darcy and other museum staff they will piece together lost and forgotten pieces of history to see what happened to Lucinda.
The characters are well written, fun to read and realistic. I have been fortunate enough to have read this whole series and this may be my favorite one yet. The book is well researched and will draw you in within the first few pages.
I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program, all thoughts are my own.

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