17 April 2024

the vanished | excerpt + giveaway

about the book

Janae Simmons left the small town of Kedgewick, Virginia, ten years ago to pursue her legal career and never looked back–until a professional mistake leads her to her grandmother’s historic carriage house and to the town where her past threatens to find her. The quiet streets echo with her grandfather’s sterling reputation, one that conflicts with fresh questions that claw at Janae, launching her on a reluctant journey to unearth his secrets. When her new job at a local law firm doesn’t live up to expectations, she wonders if coming home was the right decision.

Carter Montgomery starts his art preservation career with the only job he can get–director at the Elliott Museum of Art. At least Kedgewick is a nice enough town to provide him and his nephew with a safe place to grieve the loss of Carter’s sister. But Carter’s calm days disappear when an elderly woman claims two paintings in the museum’s collection were stolen from her family during World War II.

Carter enlists Janae’s help to unravel the legal labyrinth of art ownership, and the peaceful facade of Kedgewick morphs into a hot bed of secrets. When an attorney turns up dead and Janae uncovers another painting, what began as a simple legal issue spirals into a race against time. As the web of intrigue tightens, the duo must confront a looming question: What dark truths lie beneath the surface, waiting to be exposed?

“Putman’s legal expertise shines in this compelling and intricately plotted romantic suspense. Highly recommended!”
Colleen Coble, USA Today best-selling author

“Cara Putman has once again created an exciting cast of characters. I was immediately drawn in by Janae and Carter’s unique chemistry. This is one story you don’t want to miss.”
Rebecca Hemlock, award-winning author of Fury in the Shadows

publisher: kregel publications
release date: april 16, 2024


Butterflies fluttered aggressively in Janae’s stomach as she steeled herself for her first day at a new law firm. Ashley and Ashby filled the role of a small-town Virginia fixture. She remembered the original Ashley and Ashby as overweight, seersucker-clad old men who’d scared her as a child. Now her best option was walking through that door and working for their sons. Mark Ashby had gone to school with Janae’s mother and had assured Janae they’d have work for someone with her skills. However, the way he said it made her think he didn’t believe she had skills. After all, what could she learn in the big city that would have value in good ole Kedgewick?

Guess she’d demonstrate exactly what she could offer. She straightened her bright red peplum suit jacket over its matching skirt, then opened the door and strode into the reception area.

A mousy woman with teased hair grimaced at her. “Can I help you? We don’t open for another fifteen minutes.”

Janae paused, a bit taken aback, because this wasn’t her mother’s friend whom she knew well from church, the one she’d talked with when setting up the position. “I expected Caroline Stone. She asked me to arrive now to get set up.”

“Caroline is out for several weeks with an emergency. I’m filling in for her.”

“Oh.” Janae puffed a quick breath as she recalibrated, and then held out her hand. “I’m Janae Simmons, the new attorney.”

about the author

Cara Putman is the award-winning, best-selling author of more than thirty-five novels, including the Cornhusker Dreams series and the Hidden Justice series.

Connect with Cara by visiting caraputman.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of the book, art-themed notebooks, and stickers that inspired the art stolen in the book!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 17, 2024 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on April 24, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

tour schedule


  1. So excited about this book!

  2. I'm looking forward to checking this book out. Thanks for the info.

  3. Nice excerpt which gives me a hint of how Janae's first day in her new position will go.

  4. Cara C. Putman has to be one of my favorite authors. I just love all her books...each and everyone.

  5. Cara Putman is one of my MUST read authors!

  6. This sounds like something I’d love to read!

  7. Anonymous20/4/24 17:37

    So looking forward to this book. Sonnetta Jones

  8. I'm looking forward to reading this book!

  9. This is a wonderful author, and I expect the book will be wonderful, too!