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Under A Gilded Moon is an Amazon First Reads for Nov!

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Happy November, friends!

UNDER A GILDED MOON, a historical mystery set at the Biltmore Estate in 1895, is available free on Amazon in Kindle format, beginning today and throughout the month of November for Amazon Prime members.

The historical novel releases in hardcover, paperback and audio December 1–and available for pre-order now at discounted rates, if you are an Amazon Prime Member.

I’d be honored if you’d like to download it and maybe even share the news. Wishing you – and our world – much peace.



Under a Gilded Moon is an Amazon

#1 Bestseller in Historical Mysteries

About the Book

From the bestselling author of A Tangled Mercy comes an enthralling novel of secrets, a tumultuous war of ideas, and murder as classes collide in the shadow of Biltmore House.

Biltmore House, a palatial mansion being built by the Vanderbilts, American “royalty,” is in its final stages of construction in North Carolina. The country’s grandest example of privilege, it symbolizes the aspirations of its owner and the dreams of a girl, just as driven, who lives in its shadow.

Kerry MacGregor’s future is derailed when, after two years in college in New York City, family obligations call her home to the beautiful Appalachians. She is determined to distance herself from the opulence she sees rising in the Blue Ridge Mountains, however close its reach. Her family’s land is among the last pieces required to complete the Biltmore Estate. But something more powerful than an ambitious Vanderbilt heir could change Kerry’s fate as, one by one, more outsiders descend on the changing landscape—a fugitive from Sicily, a reporter chasing a groundbreaking story, a debutante tainted by scandal, and a conservationist prepared to put anyone at risk to stoke the resentment of the locals.

As Kerry finds herself caught in a war between wealth and poverty, innocence and corruption, she must navigate not only her own pride and desperation to survive but also the temptations of fortune and the men who control it. Read More

Buy the Book


Letter from the Editor

In this historical novel I have called an American Downton Abbey, author Joy Jordan-Lake gives us a snapshot of the glamour, intrigue, and tumultuous conflict of social classes in the Gilded Age. The famed Biltmore Estate, the backdrop of the novel, is depicted as either a relaxing haven, a hiding place, or a gateway to power for a fascinating cast of characters.

Built by one of society’s unimaginably wealthy families of the late 1800s, the Biltmore was America’s most opulent estate. It’s hard to underestimate how its construction affected the Appalachian mountain culture and people of Asheville, North Carolina—hardworking folk who were mostly on the other side of the financial divide.

I recently had the chance to visit the Biltmore, and I was blown away by the sheer grandeur of the landscaped acreage, the gardens, and the home itself. I could feel the presence of both the guests and the immense number of staff who were on-site to serve them.

Under a Gilded Moon is a gorgeous novel that perfectly encapsulates that period in history and the conflicts between these communities, with a touch of intrigue to make it all the more compelling. It contains themes still relevant today, which is the hallmark of historical fiction I love. 

—Danielle Marshall, Editor


Praise For Under the Gilded Moon

Elegantly written and expertly crafted, Under a Gilded Moon soars as high as any piece of literature can reach. You’re transported to a time and place in history that begs [to be] read late into the night.” —Robert Dugoni, international bestselling author of The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell and the Tracy Crosswhite series

“I was swept away by this dazzling, masterfully written tale of the clash of classes and cultures around the Biltmore in North Carolina. Joy Jordan-Lake brings the past alive with impeccable details, raw emotion, and parallels to our present world. A triumph.”

—Emily Carpenter, bestselling author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

“This is historical fiction at its finest. With pitch-perfect dialogue and details so rich and so right, Joy Jordan-Lake sets us squarely—lock, stock, and barrel—in 1895 Asheville, NC, in not just one but two distinctive worlds. The grand Vanderbilts and their luxurious Biltmore fascinated me, and the mountain people with their human struggles pulled at my heart.”

—Bren McClain, author of One Good Mama Bone, winner of the 2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction and the 2019 Patricia Winn Award for Southern Literature

“Crawdads meets the Crawleys in Jordan-Lake’s latest, where she offers up a powerful location in the Biltmore House of Asheville, North Carolina. Pitting rugged locals against Gilded Age interlopers and threaded throughout with a meticulously researched, well-crafted mystery, this is historical fiction at its best.”

—Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

“Dr. Joy Jordan-Lake has mastered the art of navigating story-telling risks. She sets Under a Gilded Moon in an era and place where stereotypes could dominate every aspect of her exquisite novel. Not so in the hands of this gifted author! Joy respects her characters too much to allow shallowness to creep in, and she respects her readers too much to serve up anything short of originality, depth, and excellence—in the loveliest page-turner I’ve read in years.”

—Carolyn Curtis, author of Women and C.S. Lewis


About the Author

Joy Jordan-Lake is the author of the #1 Amazon bestselling novel A Tangled Mercy, a dual timeline story set in Charleston, South Carolina, and the forthcoming Under a Gilded Moon, a historical mystery set at the Biltmore Estate in the tumultuous 1890s. Her six earlier books include Blue Hole Back Home, winner of the 2009 Christy Award for Best First Novel, and the Common Book selection for Baylor University, Amarillo College, Belmont University’s Honors College, and other schools.

Joy has also published several works of nonfiction, including an academic text focusing on the narratives, letters, and novels of enslaved women of color and white women of the mid-19th century. She is also the author of two children’s picture books, A Crazy-Much Love and the forthcoming Sir Drake the Brave, which will launch in fall 2021.

Always drawn back to researching and writing historical fiction, she is hard at work revising a cozy mystery set in coastal Maine in the 1950s. Already ensconced in the small fictional town, Joy is hoping this novel will begin a series—if she can tear herself away from the current barrage of political news and remember to write.

Having earned a Ph.D. in English lit from Tufts University in Boston and two earlier masters degrees, Joy still teaches the occasional college class but now writes full time. Having twice been the Writer in Residence for the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Summer Institute in Cambridge and Oxford, U.K., she enjoys leading workshops and relishes the chance to watch other writers excel.

Joy bases her fiction on historical people and events that have often been forgotten, but that have helped change the course of history. In addition to wanting to tell a good, page-turning tale, she also feels driven to explore ongoing social issues as well as those big existential questions: the human capacity for brutality and bigotry, for example, as well as for remarkable courage and forgiveness.

She and her husband have three children and live just south of Nashville, where a 10-pound Maltipoo rules the house. Visit Joy's Website to learn more.


Connect with Joy


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