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review 2020-04-04 07:00
Hope in the Mountain River Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Hope in the Mountain River

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: March 31, 2020

This epic journey is not at all what she expected.

Joel Vargas can’t believe he’s lost his older brother in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains after surviving their harrowing voyage across the Atlantic. And he can’t shake the feeling that Adam—his only living relative—is in dire trouble. No matter what the cost, he and his band of friends won’t stop until Adam is found. He doesn’t have time to contend with the two Indian women who seem to be shadowing his every move.

After the devastating loss of her daughter and husband to a sickness that swept through their Nez Perce camp, Elan is desperate to find an escape from her grief. As she and her friend journey through the mountains toward the great river, a band of white men is the last thing she expects to find, especially as winter blows in full force.

When the dangers increase, accomplishing Joel’s mission becomes the only hope for all their survival. If the elements don’t consume them, Elan has a feeling life will never be the same for any of them.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and intense adventure.



Click HERE to get your copy.
 

About the Author

 


Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
 

More from Misty

 

I’ve always been a horse lover, and was blessed to grow up on a farm. My brother and I each had ponies of our own and rode hours each day. When we were old enough to graduate to full-size horses, we met neighbors who also had horses and loved to ride together. The two mares they rode had a mottled black and white spotted look, which I knew to be part of the Appaloosa breed. Through years of riding together, I developed a deep appreciation for those two Appaloosa horses, as well as respect for the entire breed! Those two mares proved they could outrun and outlast any of the other horses in our riding group.

I’ve long wanted to include Appaloosas in one of my stories, especially since the breed was said to have begun in the Nez Perce tribe who lived just west of the Rocky Mountains. I’m so excited for you to meet Elan, the heroine in Hope in the Mountain River!

Elan and her friend are traveling through the Rockies on their Appaloosa horses, animals who can ride faster and longer than all the other horses in their group—even through the treacherous terrain of the Rocky Mountains!

I pray you love this story as much as I loved writing it. Enjoy a glimpse of the famous Appaloosa horse!
 
 

My Review

 
“From the time she first heard the stories, something had resonated in her heart. A God who created His people, then didn’t leave them to fend for themselves but walked beside them, guiding and helping them. Every time she thought of it, an intense longing stirred deep inside her.”

Although I am a relative newcomer to this author’s work, she has quickly become a favorite. Misty Beller, perhaps more than any other author I’ve known, has a gift for writing variations on a theme without any of her work becoming entrenched in repetition. The nineteenth century has always been my favorite time period, so I was looking forward to this read, and it did not disappoint. Opening in the Bitterroot Mountains in December 1830, “Hope in the Mountain River” brings together a cast of characters who include Joel Vargas, a recent immigrant who is searching for his brother Adam, and Elan, a Nez Perce woman who is desperate to escape the grief of losing her husband and child. Both have heard of the God who loves and walks with His people, but neither have personally encountered Him. As the two groups band together to aid in locating Adam, they soon face trials that will challenge them physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Beller implements a shifting third-person narrative viewpoint in this novel, which serves to provide readers with insight into the thoughts and motives of several characters, especially Joel and Elan. Because they come from such different ethnic backgrounds, this technique is very helpful in understanding them both to a greater extent. Also, their mutual attraction is not straightforward and comes burdened with societal perceptions and their own backstories. Add to this the beautiful yet treacherous landscape and weather, and there is no shortage of conflict to keep readers engaged and anticipating the next step of the adventure.

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

 

Inklings and notions, March 31

Mary Hake, March 31

Through the Fire Blogs, April 1

deb’s Book Review, April 1

A Baker’s Perspective, April 2

Genesis 5020, April 2

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 2

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 3

For the Love of Literature, April 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 4

Rebecca Tews, April 5

For Him and My Family, April 5

Blessed & Bookish, April 6

Splashes of Joy, April 6

Bigreadersite, April 6

Betti Mace, April 7

She Lives To Read, April 7

Book of Ruth Ann, April 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 8

Simple Harvest Reads, April 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 10

janicebookreviews, April 10

Blossoms and Blessings, April 11

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 11

Artistic Nobody, April 12 (Guest Reviewer Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, April 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13

 
 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Misty 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 2020-02-13 07:00
Waltz in the Wilderness Review and GIVEAWAY!
 

About the Book

 


Book:  Waltz in the Wilderness

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: February 4, 2020

She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?


Click HERE for your copy! 

About the Author

 


Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.
 

 

More from Kathleen

 

As Valentine’s Day nears, stories of how couples met seem to be everywhere. Many of those stories share a common element: “The second I saw him/her, I just knew I would marry him/her.”
 
Every time I read or hear these stories, I chuckle. Not because I don’t believe them but because it reminds me of my own meet-cute.
 
“Not my type.”
 
These were the first words to enter my mind when I met the man who would later become my husband. In hindsight, they are hilarious because I know that God worked things out for our good. After more than eighteen years of marriage, I can honestly say that I am more in love with my husband than ever.
 
However, just a few months prior to meeting my husband, I’d suffered a terrible breakup with another man whom I thought had been considering proposing to me. I had no idea the breakup was coming and that left me devastated and confused. The truths we learn in hindsight don’t help much when we’re in the midst of such circumstances. When we think we know the future before us and something happens to upend those plans it can feel as though our world has turned upside down.
 
This is what happens to Eliza Brooks in the first chapter of my novel, Waltz in the Wilderness. Though not romantic in nature, a major shift occurs in her world that leaves her feeling betrayed and disoriented. She’s still struggling to right her world when Daniel Clarke enters her life in the worst way possible. Misunderstanding leads to a humiliating confrontation that sets these two at odds with one another before they have a chance to truly get to know each other. Fortunately for Eliza and Daniel, God works their foolishness for good just as He did in my own true love story.
 
This Valentine’s Day, whatever your romantic relationship status, remember that you are not alone. You are loved. And the God of all the universe loves you and has a plan for you—plans to prosper you and bring you hope. “
 
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
 

My Review

 

A promising beginning to the Chaparral Hearts series by Kathleen Denly, “Waltz in the Wilderness” combines the best of westerns, adventure and survival stories, and of course romance. This is a story that I think is best enjoyed without reading the synopsis first, which is a practice I always employ to avoid knowing how the story might play out. As I read, I was so glad that I went in blind because the characters and the plot were surprising in ways that they would not have been otherwise.

Historically a fan of solely pioneer fiction, for the past several years or so I have branched out and have been exploring other genres, historical in particular, including Westerns. As soon as I saw the cover for “Waltz in the Wilderness”, coupled with the whimsical yet mysterious title, I knew that I had to request a copy to review. Like others that I have read in recent months, this book manages to inject the story with interesting detail and subplots; there is no lull in the action, but I also did not feel overwhelmed. This is such an important distinction to make, and it can make or break the book. With “Waltz in the Wilderness”, what drew me in the most were the characters.

Far from the fainting heroine waiting for her knight in shining armor, Eliza Brooks has grown accustomed to carrying her own and her pa’s burdens. When he goes missing, however, Eliza must rustle up every bit of her courage as she embarks upon her quest to find him. Although at times I shook my head at her naiveté, for the most part she demonstrates  extraordinary strength of character, tempered occasionally by gaffes that make her human.

Daniel Clarke, whose introduction to Eliza gets off on the wrong foot, is preparing to leave California to return to his family and fiancée in Boston. However, crossing paths with Eliza steers him off his course as the two decide to navigate the treacherous Southern California mountains. “She was, without a doubt, the most exasperating woman God had ever created.” It is their tenacity and resilient spirits that urge them on, deepening their faith and their own friendship, but will it be enough?

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, February 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

Older & Smarter?, February 7

deb’s Book Review, February 7

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 9

Betti Mace, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 10

Inklings and notions, February 11

Robin’s Nest, February 11

Remembrancy, February 12

For Him and My Family, February 12

My Devotional Thoughts, February 12

Maureen’s Musings, February 13

For the Love of Literature, February 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 15

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

Bigreadersite, February 15

Emily Yager, February 16

Blogging With Carol, February 16

Mia Reads, February 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impression, February 17

Janicesbookreviews, February 17

SPLASHES of Joy, February 18

Hallie Reads, February 18

Connie’s History Classroom, February 18

 

Giveaway

 

 
To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a NEW Kindle Fire HD8, Proverbs 3:5 Paperback Lined Journal, Romans 8:28 Leather Bookmark, Proverbs 3:5 mug, and an Antique Silverplated Spoon made by 1847 Rogers Bros!!
 
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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text 2020-02-02 18:18
Sunday Soup
Überlebt: Meine 14 Achttausender - Reinhold Messner

I have done very little this weekend other than to do the usual chores, attempt to tidy the spare room, do some personal admin and read.

Mostly, I read about Reinhold Messner being stuck on a mountain. Well, 14 mountains. All of these 14 stories seemed to involve storms, snow, ice, hypothermia, frostbite, and people generally being cold. 

 

So, when I woke up this morning to an invitation to go for a walk in the countryside and my phone told me that is was currently -5C outside, I knew what I had to do:

Decline the invite and make soup. 

 

The soup is nothing special, but it tastes great and is pure comfort food.

I obviously made enough to freeze in batches for quick dinners later. 

 

What's in it? - Mostly things I found in the fridge/kitchen:

 

- onion

- celery stalks

- green beans

- veggie chunks (I love them. I know that some people don't like them. That's ok. Use whatever you want. Chicken would probably also work well ...)

- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes

- potatoes 

- vegetable stock

- salt/pepper

- paprika

- smoked chipotle peppers

- parsley

- slices of lemon ... this was a last-minute decision. Lemon works well in solyanka, so I thought it would work in this.

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text 2020-02-01 00:18
Reading progress update: I've read 65 out of 416 pages.
Überlebt: Meine 14 Achttausender - Reinhold Messner

I finished the chapter on Nanga Parbat.

I knew that Messner's brother died on their first trip there, but I didn't know the details. That must have been a difficult chapter in his life to write about  -- whether in this book or Messner's other works about this mountain -- but not as difficult as to try and go back to the mountain, to the very spot indeed, several times after the tragedy. 

Maybe it was some kind of way to deal with it? He doesn't say so, but just maybe it was?

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text 2020-01-31 17:34
Starting this in earnest...
Überlebt: Meine 14 Achttausender - Reinhold Messner

I tried to make a start last night but ended up falling asleep after just a few pages. 

It was me, not the book. 

It's been a really long week. 

 

Anyway, from what I have read so far  - which is only a little bit of the introduction - my main question is still why the first couple of sections are introduced by quotes from Jon Krakauer. 

 

Seriously, whose idea was this?

 

Every time I've come across one so far, it's just made me go "ugh...".

 

Maybe I'm allergic?

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