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review 2020-05-25 01:56
Quintessential Romantic Suspense
Standoff - Patricia Bradley

What originally attracted me to this book was the cover, followed by the series title: Natchez Trace Park Rangers. As a lover of the outdoors, that was enough to reel me in, and since this is book one, I did not hesitate to sign up for a review copy. Thankfully, I did not look at the synopsis (a habit that I have adopted so as not to spoil any part of the plotline), because doing so would most likely have deterred me from wanting to read the book. Anything relating to drug cartels and the like just doesn’t appeal to me. As soon as I picked up this novel and realized what I was getting into, I began wondering if I had made a mistake.

However, my fears were quickly allayed as I settled into Patricia Bradley’s swift, engaging writing style. “Standoff” comes out of the starting gate with a shot (literally) and never lets up, forging ahead relentlessly to the last page. Short chapters also facilitate this, giving the impression of a staccato beat that fits how the plot plays out. While I enjoyed that the story never lagged, I have to admit that the abundance of characters is overwhelming. Each of the first several chapters is about a different person, all of whom are critical to the narrative, and because the story remains in the third-person, I personally had a very difficult time keeping track of who was who. Brooke Danvers is the only character who stood out to me, being the female lead. I understand that the profusion of characters is necessary for the storyline, but I think that it would be very helpful to perhaps have a character list, one that would be brief so as not to give any spoilers, but with just a few words to help readers keep the characters separate from one another.

Quintessential romantic suspense, “Standoff” lives up to its name in more ways than one. There is, of course, the drug ring, which becomes the concentric circle surrounding the characters, two of whom are vying for a serious relationship with Brooke while others want her dead. Add in family drama and personal conflict, and the stage is set for an exhilarating Natchez excursion, grounded in the truth that God is always with us and that He sees the end from the beginning.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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review 2020-05-14 06:00
The Good Shadows Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  The Good Shadows

Author: Carol Alwood

Genre:  Young adult romance with a supernatural twist

Release Date: January 10, 2020

She believed him when he told her some Shadows were good.

When sixteen-year-old Violet Blackstone seeks to belong outside of her Christian community, she opens doors to a dark world she doesn’t understand.

Her parents’ secret separation and conflict at church fuel her desire to find something more. She sneaks out to a party at Chuckanut House and meets Dakota Selby, the mysterious new guy at Bellingham High School who reads her tarot cards and tells her she doesn’t belong. When she discovers his family owns Chuckanut House, she plans to hold her parents’ twenty-fifth-wedding-anniversary party there to reunite them in the beautiful mansion surrounded by forest and ocean—and to spend more time with Dakota to prove she fits into his world.

Violet works her way into Dakota’s life and must face the secrets and Shadows buried deep within Chuckanut House and her own family’s past. Entrenched in darkness, Violet searches for light and love as she battles Shadows threatening to capture her soul.

When her life falls apart, where will she turn?

Winner of the 2016 Orange County Christian Writer’s book proposal contest.



Click HERE for your copy!
 

About the Author

 


Author Carol Alwood grew up in the green haven of Bellingham, Washington, the setting of The Good Shadows series. Now living in Southern California, she misses the raindrops on maple leaves, so when she isn’t home for a visit she writes stories that take place in her hometown. Carol adores fiction and is the author of the novelette, Ghost of a Girl. She also wrote Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, a newly released writing-craft book.
 

More from Carol

 

Magic isn’t a new topic for Christian fiction.

Many readers of this genre often enjoy spell-filled stories that take place in faraway lands because they know the narrative involves make-believe creatures and battles. But what if by becoming used to magic in stories we have allowed a gentle pathway for magical ideas to trickle into our lives? What if in one sudden moment (in the same way other things have become acceptable overnight) magic, a.k.a. magick, touched our fingertips in the real world, and we felt compelled to wield its power? Could it be that magic is already here? All one has to do is check online for tarot card readings, potion recipes, and steps for casting spells. What if while we scoffed at the thought of magic as something more than the stuff of fantasy our children stumbled upon it? From this logic, The Good Shadows was born.

Violet Blackstone is a sixteen-year-old pastor’s daughter who struggles to feel whole. Her parents hide their secret separation, she feels like she doesn’t fit in at church, and she meets a Wiccan priestess’s son who shows her another way of thinking. Nestled in the shadowy forests of the Pacific Northwest, Violet sets out on a new pathway that leads toward love and magick. Meanwhile, she uncovers disturbing information about her own family’s past. Her friend Owen tries to stop her from heading down this dark path, but she’s drawn in by a boy with forest green eyes and the desire to exercise control over her crumbling life.

What will it take for Violet to realize she has opened doors to a dark world and there are shadows are after her soul?

This award-winning book is available on Amazon in paperback and as an ebook (Kindle Unlimited). The Bible study at the end is ideal for small groups or individuals to enjoy an in-depth study on magick and sorcery. Don’t miss Ghost of a Girl, a novelette in The Good Shadows series, and The Dark Shadows (book two coming out June of 2020).

Carol Alwood is also the author of Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys and the book’s corresponding workbook. Both are available on Amazon. While Carol lives with her husband and two daughters in Southern California, she loves visiting her hometown of Bellingham, Washington, where The Good Shadows takes place. The road to Chuckanut is a real place with stunning views and inviting forests. Check out her website for a virtual hometown tour and to read chapter one of The Good Shadows.
 
 

My Review

 

This is not a book that I would normally read, and in most cases I would have stopped reading it early on for reasons that I’ll discuss later. However, I read Carol Alwood’s nonfiction book, “Focused Backstory”, a few months ago and enjoyed it so much that I decided to take a chance on this fiction story. With any author, there is no guarantee that they can write proficiently in more than one genre, or that the reader will necessarily enjoy their different works. Therefore, I went into this venture with some apprehension, but I am so glad that I took advantage of this opportunity!

First off, “The Good Shadows” is a novel about Wicca and magick and how they attract impressionable people under the guise of innocence. The main character is high school student Violet Blackstone, a pastor’s daughter who begins dabbling in the occult as a means of fitting in and seeking acceptance. Because she wears a nose ring and dyes her hair pink, she feels as though she does not truly belong in the Christian community. Her parents have their own significant issues, which contributes to her rebellion and search for love. This is one way in which this book provides valuable insight into some of the problems within the church. We can’t pick and choose those whom we deem worthy because none of us is worthy; it’s by God’s grace alone, demonstrated ultimately in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, that we can enter into a relationship with God.

Given the fact that by its very title it clues the reader in to some of what to expect, there are some very creepy scenes, and I will say that overall I found the story disturbing. Nevertheless, this is a clean read insofar as there is no profanity or sex, and as Alwood points out in her author note, the “good shadows” do not exist. For those who read and believe in the Bible, witchcraft and its related practices are forbidden. At various times throughout the narrative, Violet suddenly recalls a Scripture verse that fits her situation, although often she ignores these promptings. While it is easy to sit back and condemn her for making bad choices, it is far better to understand what led her to that point and to remember that no one is without sin. These are issues that are daily becoming more prevalent, and we need to reach out to the lost with the love of God and the truth of His Word.

Due to its controversial subject material, I would recommend this to mature young adults and adults. At the end of the book, there is a Bible study that explores some aspects of the novel in light of the Bible and offers a six-week guide with questions pertinent to teens today. I love this, especially because I believe that it is so important to have spiritual discernment and to be able to recognize when someone is heading down a dark path. As Owen tells Violet, “It’s never too late to turn things around.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

 
 

Giveaway

 

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a signed paperback copy of The Good Shadows & $10 Amazon gift card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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review 2020-04-30 07:31
The House at the End of the Moor Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  House at the End of the Moor

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre:  Christian Historical

Release Date: April 2020

An Opulent London Opera Star Escapes to the Rugged Landscape of the English Moors

Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.



Click HERE for your copy!
 
 

About the Author

 


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
 

 

More from Michelle

 

What comes to mind when you hear the word moor? For some, images of Jane Eyre spring to life. For others, The Hound of the Baskervilles starts barking. But for most, it’s a big fat goose egg. The fact is that most Americans don’t have a clue what a moor is, but never fear, my friend…after you read the next few paragraphs, you’ll never again go blank-minded when you hear the word moor.
Last summer I skipped across the pond and tromped around Dartmoor with my daughter and husband. What an awesome experience. I learned first-hand just how windy this vast stretch of land can be, for that’s really what a moor is at heart: a vast stretch of land. Webster’s defines it as an expanse of open rolling infertile land. Sounds rather desolate, eh? Yeah. Kind of. But it’s oh so much more.

In spring and summer, green does abound. Gorse bushes. Scrubby grasses. Lambs and sheep and goats. All these animals roam free so there are trails worn into the dirt that you can hike along. But I hear you…where could you possibly go if there’s nothing besides some farm animals roaming around the place?

You could hike to a tor, which is a “high, craggy hill.” Some of them can be a little treacherous to climb, but sweet mercy, what a view! The earth stretches out like a green and brown quilt. As I hiked that day last spring, whispers in the wind inspired me to wonder a lot of what-ifs, and those what-ifs came together in a story of intrigue and betrayal.

What would you do if you found a half-dead man bleeding in the middle of nowhere? Find out what heroine Maggie Lee does in The House at the End of the Moor.
 
 

My Review

 

I am convinced that Michelle Griep cannot write anything less than a 5-star story. She is one of the truly exceptional authors who can draw readers into the world of her books so completely that everything else fades into the background and the reader walks alongside the characters. Historical fiction is my favorite genre to begin with, and Griep manages to elevate it to another level. Her prose is Dickensian, which is another reason that I love it so much, and it perfectly reflects the Victorian time period of her most recent novel, “The House at the End of the Moor.”

Set in England in March 1861, the first two chapters are introductory, presenting the two primary characters. Chapter two opens with my favorite line in the book: “Nights like these, when the wind shivers the bones of the great old house, ghosts of my past waft about unmoored.” This is another favorite of mine: Griep’s ability to beautifully describe a scene in a way that seems old-fashioned but is nevertheless still entirely concise. In “The House at the End of the Moor”, Margaret “Maggie” Lee and Oliver Ward enter into each other’s world, and different though they appear, as the plot progresses, readers realize that they have more in common than they realize.

Indeed, despite their many differences, Maggie and Oliver share something in common: both are running away. Maggie from her successful but emotionally distressing former career, and Oliver from a wrongful conviction. The conditions and ill treatment of Dartmoor Prison described in this book are appalling, but they are written respectfully and with sensitivity. Furthermore, this book contains a shifting narrative viewpoint between these two characters, with Oliver’s story told in the third-person and Maggie’s in the first-person. While this can be a challenging undertaking, it works well here. It distinguishes the two characters while simultaneously highlighting their similarities, both of which play an important role in the story. A sinister plot links them together, and with the enemy at the door, they must trust not only each but, above all, God, because He promises to be with us always and to never forsake us.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

Batya’s Bits, April 18

The Avid Reader, April 18

Life of Literature, April 18

The Power of Words, April 18

For Him and My Family, April 19

Texas Book-aholic, April 19

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 19

Among the Reads, April 20

My Devotional Thoughts, April 20

As He Leads is Joy, April 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 20

Just the Write Escape, April 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 21

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 21

Where Faith and Books Meet, April 22

deb’s Book Review, April 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 22

Inklings and notions, April 22

Remembrancy, April 23

Hookmeinabook, April 23

Christian Bookaholic, April 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 24

Britt Reads Fiction, April 24

Emily Yager, April 24

Betti Mace, April 25

Stories By Gina, April 25

Adventures of a Traveling Wife, April 25

Blossoms and Blessings, April 25

Splashes of Joy, April 26

Simple Harvest Reads, April 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, April 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26

Blessed & Bookish, April 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 27

Pause for Tales, April 27

Through the Fire Blogs, April 28

Hallie Reads, April 28

Faery Tales Are Real, April 28

To Everything There Is A Season, April 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29

Bigreadersite, April 29

Older & Smarter?, April 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 29

Genesis 5020, April 30

Read Review Rejoice, April 30

By The Book, April 30

For the Love of Literature, April 30

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 1

Bookishly Beverly, May 1

Daysong Reflections, May 1

Artistic Nobody, May 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

 
 

Giveaway

 

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of the book!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 
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review 2020-04-28 05:00
Ranger to the Rescue Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book


Book:  Ranger to the Rescue

Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Amelia Cooper has sworn off lawmen for good.

Now any man who wants to claim the hand of the intrepid reporter had better have a safe job. Like attorney Evan Covington. Amelia is thrilled when the handsome lawyer comes courting. But when the town enlists him as a Texas Ranger, Amelia isn’t sure she can handle losing another man to the perils of keeping the peace.

Evan never expected his temporary appointment to sink his relationship with Amelia. Or to instantly plunge them headlong into danger. But when Amelia and his sister are both kidnapped, the newly minted lawman must rescue them—if he’s to have any chance at love.
 
 
Click HERE for your copy!

 

About the Author

 


Renae Brumbaugh Green is a city-girl-turned-country-diva. She’s married to a handsome country boy named Rick, and she’s mom to four nearly-perfect, nearly-grown children, two rowdy dogs, and some ducks. They live in rural Texas where Renae wears overalls, western boots, and bubblegum pink nail polish. She’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, an award-winning humor columnist, and an online English teacher. In her free time, she can be found leaping tall buildings and rescuing kittens from trees. Or, she’d like to do those things, if she had free time.

 

 

 

More from Renae

 

Every once in a while, when writing a character, I become vaguely aware that in many respects, I am that character. In those moments, I also become aware that God is the author, and he’s teaching me something through this particular character’s journey. After all, it’s a lot easier to learn through someone else’s mistakes than to recognize our own mistakes – especially if that someone else is a fictional character.

Amelia’s journey is one of fear and anxiety, which is something I’ve dealt with a lot. Like Amelia, I appear composed and confident on the surface. Like Amelia, I’m often a mess on the inside, scared to death of what will come, scared to death of how it will all turn out.

While writing this story, while dealing with Amelia’s anxiety, I (all-knowing author that I am) wrote that fear is the opposite of hope. Fear is the belief that something bad will happen, while hope is the belief that something good will happen. The Bible tells us that ours is a God of hope (Romans 15:13). When we truly trust Him, we can let go of fear, knowing He has good things in store for us.

At one point in the book, Amelia has this revelation:

”And suddenly, it was as if a haze lifted and she saw herself clearly for the first time. She’d let herself be ruled by fear, and in so doing had confined herself and clipped her own wings.”

Those words, disguised on the page as Amelia’s thoughts, were actually my thoughts. I hope you enjoy Amelia’s journey. And as you read, I hope you’ll remember these words from Isaiah 41:10: ”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God bless, and happy reading!

—Renae Brumbaugh Green
 
 

My Review

 

Book two in The Texas Ranger series, Renae Brumbaugh Green’s “Ranger to the Rescue” is a sweet, short read that contains a sufficient element of danger without being too daunting. Because the story opens on the heels of “Lone Star Ranger”, this series is best read in order, but it is not required. In this sequel, Evan Covington is establishing his law practice when he ends up reluctantly working with reporter Amelia Cooper on a case. Their friendship develops into affection, but all hope seems lost when Evan unexpectedly becomes sworn in as a Texas Ranger. As is still the case today, working in law enforcement is a dangerous business, and not every woman is cut out to be or wants to be a lawman’s wife.

“Ranger to the Rescue”  is an enjoyable Western tale that makes for a light romantic read. Overall, I liked the story, and I appreciated Amelia’s character the most. She is an intelligent woman making her way in a predominantly male profession, and she is not afraid to take risks in order to get the story because “[s]omehow, she’d thought being a writer was a gentle profession, and she’d fight her battles with a pencil and notepad.” This fortitude, however, does not extend to relationships with men in law enforcement, for personal reasons stemming from her past. She acknowledges early on that “God really was a God of second chances”, and this fact proves ever more true as the plot progresses. I love that Green incorporates sign language into the story, providing a unique element. There are quite a few tropes used in this story, which make it predictable but pleasant nonetheless. One thing that bothered me was the occasional use of modern phrasing by the narrator, which disrupted the flow for me. All in all, however, I recommend “Ranger to the Rescue” to historical fiction readers who enjoy drama and who may be looking to overcome fears of their own. As Amelia learns, “when God offers abundant grace, He also requires abundant faith. From those who claim to be His, He demands a dangerous, rugged devotion. But with that kind of reckless faith come God’s bountiful blessings.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

Genesis 5020, April 16

Inklings and notions, April 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 19

Texas Book-aholic, April 20

deb’s Book Review, April 20

Betti Mace, April 21

Books, Life, and Christ, April 21

For Him and My Family, April 22

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 23

Becka Jiménez’s FB, April 23

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 24

janicesbookreviews, April 24

Blossoms and Blessings, April 25

Vicky Sluiter, April 25

Bigreadersite, April 26

Hallie Reads, April 26

Pause for Tales, April 27

Splashes of Joy, April 27

For the Love of Literature, April 28

Daysong Reflections, April 29

Artistic Nobody, April 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Renae is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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review 2020-04-26 06:00
One Hundred Valleys Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  One Hundred Valleys

Author: Bonnie Leon

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: March 15, 2020

After the death of her mother, Emmalin Hammond discovers she is not the heiress she’d always assumed she’d be. The revelation exposes her fiancé true intentions when he withdraws his marriage proposal, leaving Emmalin heartbroken and humiliated. When she discovers the father she believed to be dead is still alive and living in the Oregon Territory she decides it is time to meet the man who has been hidden from her all of her life.

Accompanied by her Uncle Jonathon she sets out for the Oregon Territory in search of answers and hoping for a renewed relationship with her father. When tragedy strikes, she confronts the terrifying challenge of completing her quest alone. Faced with few options, she entrusts her life to a mountain man named Jacob Landon who agrees to transport her to a small settlement in Southern Oregon called Deer Creek, a place also known as the Land of One Hundred Valleys.

Emmalin is not prepared for the hardships of life in the Oregon wilderness. Each day presents a new challenge. Newfound friends, including the reserved Jacob Landon, come alongside to help her adapt and she gradually finds her way. Yet, she feels out of place. Should she brave the arduous journey back to Philadelphia and the life she once knew or remain and hope for something better in the Oregon wilderness?
 
 
Click HERE to get your copy!
 

About the Author

 


Bonnie Leon is the author of twenty-two novels, including the recently released Return to the Misty Shore, the popular Alaskan Skies and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons. Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, Poland, and even Africa. She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and mentoring up and coming authors.

Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
 
 

More from Bonnie

 

Why this story?

In the spring of 1980 my husband and I, our two-year-old son, and our infant daughter left city life in Washington state and moved to Southern Oregon. We gave up our community of friends and family along with my husband’s reliable and well-paying job. Our friends thought we were crazy, but we were determined that Oregon was where we belonged. We were scared but not deterred.

I think the change in my own life as a young woman had a lot to do with why I wrote this story of Emmalin Hammond. To be sure, Emmalin’s level of difficulty and danger is distinctly different than mine, but there are similarities. We both experienced adventures, joy, and, yes, even danger.

Oregon has been my home for forty years now, and I am glad my husband and I made the decision to move here. We’ve had a good life in this wild and beautiful country. Sometimes I wonder about the women who made that choice during the nineteenth century. Emmalin set out on her harrowing journey to Oregon in the spring of 1855. Many who began that journey did not make it across the plains and deserts of America.

When I put down roots in Douglas County, Oregon I was thrilled to be here, but the changes weren’t all easy. The old farmhouse we lived in had more broken windows than intact ones. It was mouse infested. The plumbing needed major repair. And yet I loved it. The countryside was lush and green, and the rolling hillsides were dotted with farm animals, wildlife, and broad-limbed oak trees. There were wild blackberries sprawling along the farm’s fences and fresh fruit in our orchard. It looked much the same as the Oregon Emmalin discovered in my story, One Hundred Valleys.

I loved hard work and spent a lot of time splitting logs for our only heat source—a wood burning stove—felling trees on our new property, and working alongside my husband in our vegetable garden.

I had run-ins with things like poison oak and skunks, but that did not dampen my enthusiasm as a new Oregonian. I loved picking wild blackberries, fishing the high mountain lakes, hiking mountain trails, and fishing the North Umpqua river. I cherished those days as a farm wife and mother. Those were the best years of my life. I have never regretted our move to the beautiful land of one hundred valleys in Southern Oregon.

I am thankful for the early explorers who challenged the wilderness in the Oregon Territory more than a century ago. It is their courage and determination that made it possible for me and my family to live and thrive in this beautiful place.
 
 

My Review

 

“Her father was her only chance at a new beginning—if she could find him.”

Growing up, I was an avid reader and fan of “Little House on the Prairie” and anything about pioneers, with a special fondness for Oregon Trail stories. Although I’ve broadened my reading horizons since then, the nineteenth century will always be my first love, and I remain on the lookout for opportunities to read and review historical fiction whenever possible. From the first time I glimpsed the cover of “One Hundred Valleys”, I knew I had to read it; I didn’t even read the synopsis, although I was thrilled when I found out it was set in Oregon in the mid-1850s. No matter how many historical fiction books I read, I never grow tired of them, and this book is a great example of diversity within the genre.

From the first page of “One Hundred Valleys”, it became apparent that this was going to be a different kind of pioneer adventure. Author Bonnie Leon creates a unique story by merging common elements in a distinctive way. Rather than an Oregon Trail account, although details of the journey are scattered throughout the narrative, Emmalin Hammonds’ story opens in Oregon City after she and her Uncle Jonathon have made the trek. Moving on from a tragic past in search of the father she had been told was dead, Emmalin ends up making the last leg of the journey alone with a hired guide named Jacob Landon. For Emmalin, the travails of the journey are becoming more and more overwhelming as she finds everything stripped away from her.

Emmalin’s character is interesting in and of itself. I have to admit that initially I found myself unimpressed with her, and at times downright annoyed. However, Leon writes her this way for a reason. Back in Philadelphia, Emmalin was a member of the upper class and led a privileged life, which made her completely unprepared to live in a rather uncivilized wilderness. She seems quick to judge and complain, but then she surprises readers with her strength and determination. As her newfound friend Margaret tells her about courage: “It’s being afraid and trusting God enough to do whatever it is He’s called you to do that shows how brave you are.” She slowly softens her heart toward people and things that seem absurd compared with her old life, including the issue regarding the Indians, whom she has previously considered to be lower class. Her journey demonstrates how we all tend to categorize people, yet to God none of those things matter; He loves us all and yearns for us to enter into a personal relationship with Him. As Emmalin’s time of spiritual deliverance unfolds, it is worth noting that no matter how far away she felt God was, He never left.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

 

Blog Stops

 

A Baker’s Perspective, April 15

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 15

Texas Book-aholic, April 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 16

For Him and My Family, April 17

Read Review Rejoice, April 17

Inklings and notions, April 18

Bigreadersite, April 18

Emily Yager, April 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 19

Lis Loves Reading, April 19

Stories By Gina, April 19

Betti Mace, April 20

Pause for Tales, April 20

My Devotional Thoughts, April 20

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21

Splashes of Joy, April 21

deb’s Book Review, April 21

Simple Harvest Reads, April 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

To Everything There Is A Season, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 23

Worthy2Read, April 23

Daysong Reflections, April 23

Older & Smarter?, April 24

Through the Fire Blogs, April 24

Blossoms and Blessings, April 25

janicesbookreviews, April 25

For the Love of Literature, April 26

Vicky Sluiter, April 26

Mary Hake, April 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 27

Genesis 5020, April 27

Artistic Nobody, April 28 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

With a Joyful Noise, April 28

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Bonnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon Gift Card and Vintage Oregon myrtle wood porringer bowl!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
 

 

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