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Secrets (Melody Carlson) Books In Order

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Publication Order of Secrets Books

Forgotten: Seventeen and Homeless (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shattered: A Daughter's Regret (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Damaged: A Violated Trust (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trapped: Caught in a Lie (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deceived: Lured from the Truth (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Enticed: A Dangerous Connection (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

“Secrets” is a series of novels by Melody Carlson, the multi-genre author best known for writing young adult fiction. Carlson has sold more than 6.5 million copies of her novels spread over more than 200 titles in the children, women, and young adult genres. While she has written hundreds of novels she loves to think of herself as a storyteller. Carlson likes to write on serious themes such as schizophrenia and rape to lighter themes such as house flipping. For many of her novels, she asserts that most of her inspiration comes from her real-life experiences. While she has written novels in many genres, it is in the young adult/teen genre that she has really come into her own, gaining fans all across the world. For her writings, she has won many prestigious awards over the years including the Gold Medallion, the Rita, and a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Some of her novels including “Shattered” the second novel of the “Secrets” series have been made into film and TV series.

Melody Carlson was born in San Francisco but grew up in Oregon. Her parents got divorced when Carlson was only three due to her father deep issues with alcoholism. Her mother was left to care for her Melody and her barely two year old sister alone. With no father in the house, Melody became an independent girl very early in her life, which perhaps explains why she loves to write about teenage and women issues. Some of her experiences growing up as a child and teen without a father inform many of the novels in the Secrets series of novels. From a very young age, Carlson loved to write fiction and banged out a lot of poetry, songs, and articles in her teenage years. However, it was not until she was thirty that she embarked on a writing career. She turned her old bunk house into a studio and published “The Ark that Noah Built” in 1997. Writing from anywhere from the family motor home to the beach, she has become one of the most prolific young adult authors averaging about ten bestselling titles a year since 1997. She found her inspiration to write from some of her favorite childhood authors that included the likes of Elizabeth Berg, Anne Tyler, Rosemond Pilcher, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sister. Not surprisingly most of the authors she draws her inspiration from write novels about women and young girl issues just like she does in the “Secrets” series. However, Carlson gives her novels a religious bent as she is a devout Christian who uses her novels to spread her faith. The novels of the “Secrets” series often have the lead protagonist depend on their faith to get them through tough situations and challenges. Melody is a mother of two grown sons and lives in Oregon, where she loves to camp, garden, ski, hike, bike, and take nature walks.

“Secrets” series of novels by Melody Carlson are often about the edgier issues that young adults, particularly girls have to deal with. The novels talk about a range of issues from disobeying parents, drugs, teenage pregnancies, and rape that many young adult novel find hard to deal with. Her protagonists are typically tough kids who undergo some of the most difficult challenges in their lives but refuse to bow out. In the midst of all their problems, they often turn to God to find a solution that enables them to muddle through and grow to become stronger. The leads often find that when they believe that they are down-and-out, God will always send them someone to guide or encourage them through whatever they may be going through. A significant theme that Melody addresses in her “Secrets” series is the fact that teens may blame themselves for things that may be beyond their control. She asserts that in some instances it is impossible to control people and circumstances and that people are better off controlling themselves. Carlson eloquently addresses sensitive issues by being entertaining and spiritual without sounding preachy. While the novels are not linked in plot or character overlap, they are all about secrets that weigh down teens, and how they work to reestablish relationships with their family, friends, and God.

“Forgotten” the first novel of the Secrets series by Melody Carlson is a gripping narrative of Adele, a young teen dealing with a bipolar mom. Being a teenager and all, Adele wishes that her mother could have been the normal mom as she is tired of all the disruptions the illness brings in her life. Her mother has a college degree in one of the most sought after fields in the State, and would earn good money if she could hold down a job. But her hopes of one day living a normal life are shattered when she comes home one evening to find her mother had abandoned her and disappeared with her latest boyfriend. Adele had worked hard to paint herself as one of the cool kids in school and all of that is now in danger of crumbling. She cannot afford the rent, but even worse she cannot imagine losing all the cool friends she has made, particularly the Jude Law look alike Jayden. She keeps up the pretense after getting a low paying job but she knows it will not be enough. Her fears come true when she comes home to find an eviction notice pinned on her door and the locks changed. Homeless at seventeen, all she has to turn to is God. But will he listen to her and does he even care for one that has never believed in him before?

“Shattered: A Daughter’s Secret” is the enthralling second novel in the Secrets series. Lola who is best friends with Cleo Neilson just won two tickets to Christian concert. Cleo desperately wants to go with Lola to the concert so that they can enjoy one more night together before Lola moves away the following day. However, her mother does not want her to attend the concert and so the two girls sneak out without permission. They lie to Cleo’s mother that they will be watching a movie and ordering a pizza but instead take a bus to the Colosseum. After the end of the concert they sneak back into the house and finding the house quiet thinks the mother is asleep. Cleo goes to bed and wakes up to an empty house – her mother is not home. Her life is shattered when someone knocks on the door. She opens it to find policeman that announces that her mother is dead. She had died trying to go after the girls that had snuck out of the house the night before. Her secret is killing her, and she resorts to pills to numb the trauma, until her aunt arrives to offer some hope and help her deal with her guilt.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Secrets (Melody Carlson)

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