Monday, May 21, 2018

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Rescue by Susan Aylworth

   

Rescue by Susan Aylworth 

What will it take to stay alive? When Dulce wakes up hanging in a giant mapajo tree, she fears she may be a lone survivor, stranded in the Amazon rainforest. What comes next may be even worse. The last thing sixteen-year-old Dulce Donovan wants to do is move away from her friends and hot new crush. But her parents insist, and she has no choice but to get on the airplane taking her to Lima, Peru. When the plane crashes in the middle of the Amazon jungle, Dulce feels lucky to survive. But as she faces injury, disease, and deadly insects and reptiles, she discovers that the price of living is high. Injured and miles from any civilization, Dulce must push her way through a dangerous jungle, looking for any miracle that might come her way.  

   

Praise for the Book 

"RESCUE is exciting and fresh and inspiring. When Dulce is one of the only survivors of a plane crash deep in the Amazon jungle, she faces all kinds of dangers as she fights to survive. A fascinating insight into one of the most mysterious places in the world and a strong heroine that will make you cheer for her determination." 

"I found myself unable to put the book down. The story is well-crafted, with twists and surprises that kept me a little on edge, frankly--wondering what would suddenly leap out (or slither up to!) Dulce next. Aylworth cleverly weaves her considerable understanding of survival skills and of the native peoples of the Amazon throughout the story. I found myself mentally cheering Dulce on, impressed with her ingenuity at dealing with the harsh realities of her environment." 

"I really liked this book. It was very interesting how this young woman was able to survive this terrible tragedy." 




Excerpts 

"For a time I just sit, my head pressed backward against the seat, my eyes closed, thinking of how desperately I don’t want to be here, how I can’t face this, how frantically I want this all to go away. But the minutes pass and I’m still hanging in the tree, recognizing that if no one has come to my rescue yet, it’s possible no one is coming. I may just have to rescue myself." 

"'I am not going to die here,' I say aloud. Then I shout it to the whole forest: 'I am not going to die here!' I grasp that little lump in the tree bark with my left hand, reach up with my right, and grab my toe, yanking it free. There’s a moment of elation until I realize my left foot is slipping. I scrabble with both hands, trying to find anything to hang onto, but there’s nothing. The next thing I know I am sliding, the mapajo’s slick bark slipping by beneath me. Then there is nothing but air." 

 "I’m almost out of the clearing when I’m stopped cold. What I see looks like a thick, bright green vine curled around the limb of a tree. What I recognize is the ambush-hunting strategy of a pit viper, a seriously venomous threat. I know what it is because Chambi pointed one out on one of our jungle walks. Silently thanking him, I change direction. We’ll avoid that risk by leaving this clearing in an entirely different direction. Even as I think it, I realize it may be foolish; we could run into poisonous snakes anywhere. I’ll just have to be careful to keep a close watch on the foliage." 

"I’m home! I don’t know how I got here, but I am standing on the porch of our home in Santa Cruz and there’s my mother! She’s running to me and I’m running to her. She is saying, “Marissa! Oh Marissa!” over and over and I just keep saying, “Mom, Mom, I missed you so much!” We hold each other and cry and then …I wake up aching, wishing my mother were here. I’ve never missed her or needed her more than I do now. I have never imagined I would miss her or want her this much. The missing is so painful, it almost chokes me." 

 

Author Susan Aylworth 

 
 Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. "It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages." For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become "a rich and famous author." Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the 'author' part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. "It's one way to live many lives at once." Susan lives with Roger, her husband of 48 years, who is also a writer. Although they maintain a home in northern California, they currently serve as addiction recovery missionaries in the Navajo Nation. Susan loves hanging out with her seven children, their perfect-for-them spouses and 26 grandchildren. When she can't be with her blood family, she hangs with her fictional characters, the children of her mind. Rescue is her fifteenth published novel. 



   

Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash Ends 6/5/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.     





Saturday, May 19, 2018

Review: Timeless Regency Collection: Road to Gretna Green by Lucinda Brant, Julie Daines, Heather B. Moore


Heidi Reads... Timeless Regency Collection: Road to Gretna Green by Lucinda Brant, Julie Daines, Heather B. Moore

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Regency Romance, comes ROAD TO GRETNA GREEN. Featuring New York Times bestselling author Lucinda Brant, Julie Daines and Heather B. Moore.

SAVING GRACE by Lucinda Brant
When widow Helen, Lady Dysart, returns to the English border town of Carlisle for a family wedding, she decides to confront local physician Royston Meredith, the man who broke her heart. Royston has loved Helen since they were teenagers. He thought the feeling mutual until she up and married the local MP. While everyone around them hopes this reunion will see Helen and Royston sort out their differences, of more immediate concern is Royston’s youngest sister Grace, when she elopes with the steward’s son. Helen and Royston dash after her, determined to save her from scandal and an imprudent match. But in saving Grace the couple may very well be saving themselves.

FOOLS RUSH IN by Julie Daines
Richard Arden needs a wife in order to collect his inheritance. Eliza Barnes needs to escape an arranged marriage to the odious Mr. Barrington. When Richard overhears Eliza’s plight at the coaching inn, he does the most reckless thing he’s ever done—he proposes to a woman he’s never met before. What begins as an easy solution leads Richard and Eliza on a journey across the country with Mr. Barrington at their heels, complicated even more when their fake engagement leads to feelings that are very real.

A LADY OF SCANDAL by Heather B. Moore
Unfortunately, Bridget’s marriage is over in four hours due to her husband’s tragic death. Fortunately, Bridget is now free from her distasteful marriage of convenience. When her year of mourning passes, and she meets her former husband’s cousin, Bridget discovers that her difficulties are far from over. Lord Hugh Wilde blames Bridget for his cousin’s death. But when Bridget’s sister elopes to Gretna Green with a man of questionable reputation, Lord Wilde is the only one who can help, and they both have to set aside their pride to rescue the errant sister.


My Review

Another lovely Regency collection from Timeless Romance Anthologies! There is plenty of drama as carriages race across England to Scotland, some couples seeking elopement while others are seeking to prevent it! There's something about traveling together that brings these couples closer together and provides opportunities for deeper feelings to develop. I especially enjoyed Richard and Eliza in Fools Rush In with their fabricated stories and the joy they find in each other's company. Their journey was entertaining and they were both easy to like. A Lady of Scandal was my other favorite story because of the relationship dynamics of the Reeve and Wilde families. Bridget and Hugh are both misinformed about each other's character, so it was interesting to see how their true natures are revealed, recognized, and hearts are softened. Perfect for fans of sweet Regency romance!

Review: Together Forever by Jody Hedlund


Book Two in the Orphan Train series

 Heidi Reads... Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Marianne Neumann has one goal in life: to find her lost younger sister, Sophie. When Marianne takes a job as a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society in 1858 New York, she not only hopes to give children a better life but seeks to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train.

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children--firm but tender and funny. Underneath his handsome charm, though, seems to linger a grief that won't go away--and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden. As the two team up placing orphans amid small railroad towns in Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.


My Review

I loved that this second book in the series was directly involved with the placing out of orphans and their experiences along the journey. I've been fascinated by this part of history since reading the Orphan Train Adventures books by Joan Lowrey Nixon as a youth, and now that I've adopted two children of my own it's especially close to my heart. Marianne seems to have grown a bit since the previous book, where desperate circumstances drove her to make questionable choices, the ends justifying the means. She faces challenges while accompanying the children on the train that she handles with grace and strength, and following Andrew's example, allows her caring influence to be a blessing in the lives of the orphans. I appreciated that the author portrayed both the advantages and challenges of the orphan train movement and the perspective of the placing agents and what they felt and experienced.

Marianne and Andrew's romance was impetuous since the rules forbid placing agents from fraternization, but they naturally grew close through the obstacles and unexpected tragedies they faced. Even though there were hardships, Marianne and Andrew's bright personalities brought light and laughter to the story, bringing balance and relief from the anxiety of the circumstances. I enjoyed that they played with the children on breaks and sang songs and told stories to them, even when Marianne was out of her comfort zone. One of my favorite parts that made me laugh out loud was young Jethro's innocent question when he witnessed a kiss between Marianne and Andrew- so funny! I'd hate to spoil it so you'll just have to read the book and keep an eye out for it ;)

Reinhold, Marianne's family friend from New York, is also a part of the story and his perspective provides a lead-in to the next book, which will feature him and the youngest Neumann sister, Sophie. He has overcome so much from his past, and his hard work and determination to succeed are finally coming to fruition in a thriving community. I felt so frustrated for him as his plans to buy his own farm and care for his family are thwarted and he must come up with a solution to his growing problems. I'm thoroughly enjoying this historical series and can't wait to read the next book!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Check out the other books in the Orphan Train series . . .

FREE prequel novella
http://amzn.to/2rYCxG2

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Synopsis

Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he's grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him--plans that may include this feisty socialite?

Book One
Heidi Reads... With You Always by Jody Hedlund


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Synopsis

A Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

Book Three

Releasing December 2018, available for Pre-Order!

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Synopsis

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?



Book Tour Grand Finale for The Waldensian Series by Donna Wichelman


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Waldensian Series
By Donna Wichelman

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Interview with the Author

What was your motivation behind writing these books?

A number of years ago, I became fascinated by the real-life story of the Waldensians, a persecuted, pre-reformation Christian sect who were often martyred for holding to their doctrinal views against papal authority over the centuries of the second millennium. While church historians have written volumes on the religious group, I wanted to write a fictional, Christian suspense series that created a contemporary story around a people whose real-life story of valor and faith endured the test of time. In both Light Out of Darkness and Undaunted Valor, Jamie and Alessandro come face to face with unrelenting criminal forces that require the protagonists to find courage and hope by looking toward the preserving faith of their ancestors.

Heidi Reads... - A Series is Born

A number of years ago while my family and I were on vacation in Varenna, Italy and enthralled with the beauty of the Lake District and the Northern Italian Alps, I pictured the place as an enchanting setting for a book. On our return home, I couldn’t get the allure and Old World charm out of my head. Still, I needed a story to make the setting come alive...


"A well-written story with so much research done to make it a great historical novel with a great romance." - Review of Light Out of Darkness

"As with the first story, this is a well-written story with so much research done to make it a great historical novel with sweet romances...

I recommend this book to other readers. It is a very good read." - Review of Undaunted Valor

Stacking My Book Shelves! - Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness

Jamie froze. Panic choked her throat.

She whirled around and peered down the path behind her. No one else seemed to be on the darkened walkway. Those who had hurried past her were nowhere in sight. She heard only the calm lap of the water against the shoreline and relaxed again. Wasn’t it just like the darkness to make insane fools of us all?

Coming to a stretch of the walkway where the path widened and a bench sat under another lighted lamppost, Jamie caught sight of a shadowy figure, elongated by the extended light. A tremor chased through her body. There was nowhere to go except straight ahead. She began to run, but the footfalls matched her pace. Her feet shifted into high gear.

Colorimetry - A Future Historical is Born

In Undaunted Valor, Book 2 of The Waldensian Series, Jamie finds a letter written by her seventeenth century cousin Anne Charbonnier. Anne’s story of courage and strength bolsters Jamie’s fight against the men who want to destroy her and Alessandro. Jamie identifies with the persecution her ancient cousin faces at the hands of King Louis XIV during the Nine Years’ War. Setting out to eradicate Waldensians and Huguenots from existence, Louis sends dragoons—military soldiers—to their home valleys to confront them at gunpoint. His message—convert, accept exile in Switzerland. or die for their faith...

Uplifting Reads - Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness

They clambered about the exterior of the stone edifices for a few minutes more. The buildings seemed in need of repair after the winter snows, though Jamie imagined these structures had never been truly rain- or snow-worthy. She suspected the barba had always contended with their surroundings in the same way they persevered through persecution.

All at once, an explosive cacophony of what sounded like firecrackers ricocheted across the valley. Jamie whirled around as Alessandro snatched hold of her. “We’re being shot at. Follow me!”

She clutched his hand and sped with him toward the stone pathway back down through the chestnut forest.

Another round of shots rang out.


"If you like different-than-the-norm settings, high-tension suspense, art and antiquities intrigue and sweet romantic chemistry, then you definitely need to check out The Waldensian Series by Donna Wichelman. Layered characters and fascinating history in a modern & picturesque locale draw you in and keep you engaged with the story and its outcome. Pop some popcorn and settle in for a riveting journey through Italy and France!" - Review of the Light Out of Darkness and Undaunted Valor

Remembrancy - Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness

Jamie appealed to the woman once more, her voice more urgent. “Signorina, we’re terribly concerned for our friend. You must understand …”

The woman kept her nose down, straightening up the clutter on her desk—or pretending to. She seemed to cogitate in silence. She looked up and around and then back at Jamie. Her eyes pleaded, and she whispered. “Signorina, please. The man in the photograph. Capo di Mafioso.”

Jamie’s eyes softened, desperate to show the woman she understood. Of course Justina would fear the mob boss. “Just tell us. Our friend—did he say where he was going?”

Paulette's Papers - Find Your Own Romantic Adventure in Italy’s Lake District

In Light Out of Darkness—Book 1, The Waldensian Series—Jamie Holbrooke and Alessandro Marianni’s adventure begins on the shores of romantic Lake Como in Varenna, Italy when a prestigious art exhibition turns into a horrific spectacle and a murder sends the art curator and professor on a search for a highly coveted painting...

It's all About the Romance - Excerpt from Undaunted Valor

Outwardly, Luciana could only manage deep guttural sounds through the hands that clasped her mouth. What did these two people want with her, an old lady from a long-forgotten Alpine people? She didn’t have a scrap of money. They would see that right away.

Her impostor spoke in Italian. “I feel … old in this drab outfit. I don’t understand why I need to impersonate her. It’s not like anyone will care.”

Perhaps not here. But my grandson—

“You are not being paid to ask questions. Just do your job right, and you will be handsomely rewarded.”

Mel's Shelves - Excerpt from Undaunted Valor

Not until they were halfway through the park at a curve in the path did Jamie see another living soul. She slowed her pace, her heart pumping hard. She released Alessandro’s arm and halted, staring ahead.

Alessandro took a step back. “What’s wrong?”

“The man leaning against that tree, leering at us.” She indicated the towering ash ahead of them and the lanky man whose hands dug into black leather military jacket pockets as he rested with one foot against the tree. She’d know that figure anywhere from their encounter with him the year before. She wanted to flee, but he pulled her in like gravity to a black hole.

Moments - Spotlight

Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt from Undaunted Valor

Out of nowhere, Alessandro’s Mercedes came to an immediate halt in front of them. “Get in!” Nico shouted. Jamie hopped into the back on the driver’s side.

“I’ll drive,” Alessandro said, waving his hand at Nico to go around to the other side, while he slid into the driver’s seat. He slammed his door. As soon as Nico had dumped himself into the front passenger seat, Alessandro accelerated forward toward the way they had come.

“Have we lost them?” Jamie gripped the armrest, her knuckles turning white, her body fighting the G-forces as Alessandro drove past the park and village businesses, then up an incline.

Teatime and Books - A Journey of Spiritual Proportions Awaits You

Jamie and Alessandro’s ancestors come from the Cottian Alps—the mountain range that forms the border between present day France (Hautes-Alpes and Savoy) and Italy (Piedmont). For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the terrain provides some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all of Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People all over the world come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate...


"Light Out of Darkness is the beginning to Donna Wichelman’s series. . . . It is full of hold on your seat action and adventure and nail biting suspense and mystery. Jamie and Alessandro were quite the duo and I enjoyed reading how it would end for them...

Undaunted Valor continues Jamie and Alessandro’s story . . . . I had a hard time putting it down and no problem turning the pages. I found their story to be fascinating, intriguing and exciting.

I give Undaunted Valor 5 stars and I highly recommend it. It is so so good."

underneath the covers - Italian Food: One of Life’s Most Delectable Encounters

If you’re like me, Italian food sits right up there with life’s most delectable encounters. In Italy, meals are a festive time enjoyed with family and friends and accompanied with a good glass of wine. Like art and culture and love, Italians are passionate about their food and pay particular attention to the preparation and presentation. Each region has its own cultural flair and unique flavors...


"I loved the fact that this story is set in Italy. (It’s on my bucket list of places to visit) The setting, the details, all of it, make this a lovely place to “visit”.

And then there’s the mystery...

She gets to know Alessandro. There’s a bit of romantic attraction between the two. And they are determined to solve the mystery...

The Italian Mafia also has a part in this story….and there are other elements as well that all tie together to make this an intriguing suspense novel." - Review of Light Out of Darkness


"Any story that takes place in Italy is going to grab my attention. Add to that numerous references back to Cleveland, which was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Ohio, and the setting has completely grabbed my attention." - Review of Light Out of Darkness

"...the setting is a good one. I adore the area around the French Alps. It's just majestic and a place that everyone should aspire to visit at least once in their life...

And again, I adore Luciana. Plus my antique book geek side loved the secret Jamie finds in her grandmother's trunk." - Review of Undaunted Valor

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Light Out of Darkness
(The Waldensian Series #1)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 320 pages
April 2nd 2018 by Soujourner's Press

A prestigious art exhibition turns into a horrific spectacle when a murder sends an art curator and a professor on a hunt for a highly coveted stolen painting.

Escaping a painful past in Cleveland, Ohio, Jamie Holbrooke flees to Milan, Italy as an art curator. But her past follows her during an evening stroll along Varenna’s shoreline walk when an assailant, who looks like her dead brother, presses a mysterious riddle into her hand. Still reeling from shock the next day, she discovers her long-time paragon, Dr. Alessandro Marianni, may have a link to the enigmatic riddle. Before she can discover the answers, their colleague falls prey to an assassin’s bullet. Convinced the riddle and murder are connected, Jamie and Alessandro risk their lives to uncover why an obscure painting has caught the attention of art critics and criminals alike. At stake is a two-thousand–year-old drama, unfolding in the contemporary world of the Northern Italian Alps.

Will Jamie and Alessandro stop powerful organized crime figures before the painting is lost forever and with it a secret more valuable than the prized artwork? Will Jamie find the answers to help her reclaim her life again? She will need the courage to face her fears and the persevering faith of Dr. Alessandro Marianni to heal her wounded heart.


Undaunted Valor
(The Waldensian Series #2)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 281 pages
April 4th 2018 by Sojourner's Press

For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the French Alps offer some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate their spirits.

But when Alessandro Marianni’s grandmother Luciana is kidnapped during a church conference in Chamonix, the same landscape becomes an ominous height to scale, and Jamie Holbrooke and her fiancĂ© Alessandro have difficulty distinguishing between friend and foe on the race to find her. They will have to weather a rainstorm on a mountain trail, negotiate a dangerous waterfall, outmaneuver a car chase, and defy an assassin’s gun in their search.

Will they find their beloved Luciana before it’s too late? Who will die on the way to the finish line? Who can they trust? And where will Jamie find the courage to confront her adversaries?

In this sequel to Light Out of Darkness, the answers will lie in unanticipated places and with unexpected allies and require Jamie to discover what it means to trust God with Undaunted Valor.


About the Author


Donna Wichelman was a communications professional before writing full-time. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications and lives her dream writing novels and screenplays. She and her husband work with teens at their local church in Fort Collins, Colorado. They travel, bike and kayak whenever their schedules allows.

1st Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card, Copy of the LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner) + 4 oz. Tea of your choice from the Tea Source or 1 LB of Coffee from DazBog Coffee (will Add $10 to Gift Card for international gift in lieu of tea or coffee)

2nd Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card + Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)

3rd Prize: Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)

Ends May 23rd

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review: This Wilderness Journey by Misty M. Beller


Book Two in the Heart of the Mountains series

 Heidi Reads... This Wilderness Journey by Misty M. Beller

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Joseph Malcom has spent his life protecting those in need, but now that his sister is safely settled with her new family in the Canadian Rockies, his help is no longer required. That is, until he’s asked to safely retrieve the priest’s cousin to help minister to the local Indian tribe. But his passenger is not at all who he expects.

After the death of her mother, Monti Bergeron has nothing to keep her in Montreal. While the prospect of ministering to the Indians out West is daunting, she looks forward to assisting her beloved cousin in his mission work. The life of a nun may be just what she needs to heal her grief, serving her Heavenly Father and fellow mankind, especially if no more pesky suitors are around to ask for her hand in marriage. But the man who’s been sent to guide her through the mountains might make her second-guess her plans before she even begins.

As Monti settles into her ministry, Joseph finds his wandering feet drawn back to the Indian camp. Monti’s focus on God is more unsettling than he’d like to admit. Add to that her beauty which tests his willpower at every turn, and she’s made it crystal clear she doesn’t want a husband. But when his determination to keep distance between them puts Monti in danger, protecting her might require something Joseph might not be able to give.


My Review

I loved Joseph in the first book of the series, so I was so excited to read his story! He was such a fun and light-hearted character, but that part of him is not as apparent in this book since he's weighed down by an injury that makes daily tasks difficult. Over time and with Monti's influence, his good humor does start to shine through again. Monti was sweet and compassionate, and I admired her determination and independence on her journey and with the Native American tribe her uncle ministered to. The author descriptive writing had me transported to the setting and experiencing the harshness and perils of the wilderness with the characters. The pace of the book was steady, with periods of contemplation that slowed things down a bit, but overall it was an enjoyable story in a great wilderness setting.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Don't miss the first book in the Heart of the Mountains series . . . 

Book One
Heidi Reads... This Treacherous Journey by Misty M. Beller


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Synopsis

Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?

Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.

But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?