I’m delighted to welcome Melissa Wiesner to my blog today. Melissa is telling us a bit about her new emotional women’s fiction novel, Her Family Secret and interviewing her character, June Westwood,
HER FAMILY SECRET
June Westwood is devastated by the news the father she never met has died. Now the truth about why Jasper abandoned her as a child will be buried forever. Escaping to the secluded beach house she’s inherited, June hopes to spend time bonding with her two little daughters, away from her hectic job and failing marriage.
On the wild shores of the Pacific Northwest, her father’s hideaway leaves June breathless. But it’s his oil paintings decorating every wall that surprise her most. How could someone paint other people so beautifully, but reject those closest to him? And why is every drawer in her father’s workshop locked? June hopes her new neighbor—her father’s apprentice Caleb—will provide the answers. But Caleb won’t talk about the past.
Then, hidden in her father’s workshop, June discovers a box of newspaper clippings that reveal the shocking reason why her father left years ago—and uncovers Caleb’s own devastating secret…
When her old life comes calling, June has an impossible decision to make. Unsure what’s best for her girls, and if she can trust Caleb, will digging deeper into her father’s dark past heal or destroy her precious family?
An absolutely heartbreaking and emotional page-turner about the incredible strength of family bonds, how we can hurt those closest to us, and the healing power of love. Fans of Diane Chamberlain, Kerry Lonsdale and Kerry Fisher will devour this powerful read from award-winning author Melissa Wiesner.
It’s seldom that a debut novel is this stunning. Wow…This was one I struggled to put down until it was finished! Excellent read!
I just loved this book! The writing was just fantastic. Now I’m on the hunt for more by her! This book has every emotion jerker possible!
This is one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year. I would give it fifty gold stars if I could.
A beautiful, emotional story. Her Family Secret is about sisterly bonding, romance and second chances set against the beautiful backdrop of America’s Pacific coast. Great characters…Highly recommended.
—NetGalley and Goodreads Reviewer
This is a story that will stick with me for quite some time. Highly recommend!
Melissa Wiesner’s debut novel reads like a bestseller, not a freshman effort. The author wields her prose masterfully, weaving us into an intricate tale of sibling relationships, a tangled marriage, an unfolding romance, and the emotional upheaval mental illness can spread over everything.
This debut novel is a stunning read…I struggled to put down this story until it was finished! Excellent read!
Now let’s move onto Melissa’s interview with June. Over to you Melissa.
First of all, I want to say I’m very sorry for your loss. I understand your father passed away recently.
Thank you. Yes…he did. To be honest, it’s been a lot to take in because the last time I saw my father was thirty years ago. I have a few memories of him from childhood, but I really didn’t know him. His life was quite a mystery to me until I received the call from his attorney.
Your father, Jasper Luc, is regarded as one of the greatest painters of the twenty-first century. Are you saying that you had no idea who he was when you were growing up?
My mother was quite secretive about our father when my sisters and I were young. We often asked for details, but from her perspective, he was a deadbeat dad who wanted nothing to do with us. So, it all came as a shock when he left us his estate in Wishing Cove, Washington.
And his paintings! Jasper’s paintings hang in some of the most acclaimed museums and galleries in the world. And now they belong to you and your sisters. What will you do with them?
I studied Jasper’s work when I was in art school at Yale, so I’m aware of their importance to the art world. My sisters and I want to take our time deciding what to do with them, and not simply sell them to the highest bidder. I’m working with my father’s apprentice, Caleb Valencia, to have them appraised before we take any further steps.
Oh, yes. Caleb Valencia lives on the property that was left to you in Wishing Cove. Your father’s apprentice is following in Jasper Luc’s footsteps and making quite a name for himself in the art world. How did he take to you and your sisters showing up at the estate to claim your inheritance?
Caleb moved to Wishing Cove almost two decades ago, and he thought of Jasper like a father. So, let’s just say that Caleb is quite protective of Jasper’s legacy and has strong opinions about preserving Jasper’s art work.
Well, it must be nice to have someone around who knew your father so well. I’m sure Caleb can fill in the details of Jasper’s life that your mother held back from you for so long.
Caleb resembles Jasper in more than just his talent for painting. He can be as distant and closed off as my father was for most of my life. But I think he’s warming to us. My daughters, seven-year-old Emma and six-year-old Izzy have Caleb completely charmed, and he’s been teaching them painting techniques.
So, you’re a family of artists! Your father, of course. And now your daughters are learning to paint. And you mentioned art school in college. Are you a career artist as well?
Oh, no. I’m not really an artist at all. Years ago, I gave up art and switched to accounting. I work for my husband’s consulting firm…Or at least I used to. We’re not together anymore, and I’ve left him and my job in Connecticut, and brought the girls with me to Wishing Cove. So, I guess you could say I’m in a bit of a transition in my life.
Well, maybe living out here in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by these gorgeous pine forests, fields of wildflowers, and sunsets over the bay (not to mention your father’s gorgeous apprentice!) will inspire you to start painting again.
You know…maybe it will!
Melissa Wiesner is a night-owl who began writing novels about five years ago when her early-to-bed family retired for the evening. She is the author of HER FAMILY SECRET from Bookouture, and her second novel will be published in August 2021. Her awards include the 2019 RWA Golden Heart® Award in the Mainstream Fiction Category. Melissa holds two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Community Agency Counseling. Her day job is in Social Work where she often encounters people knocked down by hard times but who pick themselves up and keep going, just like the characters of her novels. Melissa lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her charming husband and two adorable children.
Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Melissa. Wishing you many sales!
Everyone loves Maria, she’s the perfect wife to Lily’s dad & the perfect stepmother to her little sister Emma.
But Lily doesn’t trust her.
And when Emma goes missing Lily starts to think that Maria is responsible.
Out on 17th June. You can preorder now: