“This Treacherous Journey” by Misty M. Beller was an interesting book to read. This novel takes place in 1851 and after, in the Rocky Mountains, Montana Territory. The beginning finds Simeon Grant and his wife Nora travelling through rain trying to find a dry place or help. Nora is in labor and needs a midwife or doctor. They come upon a cabin and find that the couple living there are kind and accommodating. The wife helps Nora through the birth of twins, but cannot save her life. Simeon, knowing that he cannot care for two tiny infants, having no home or shelter, decides to leave his children with the Scotts to raise as their own.
Five years later finds Simeon a virtual recluse on his land. He hears someone coming and finds that Joseph and Emma Malcolm are on their way to Alberta, Canada. Emma’s husband has been hanged for fraud and there is a price on her head also. As she is innocent, the siblings are on their way to their aunt’s home in Canada trying to evade the authorities. Emma is pregnant and wants to hurry on their way. There is an accident and Joseph needs help. They come upon Simeon’s cabin, a welcome refuge. After a few weeks they decide to move on and beg Simeon to guide them through the Rockies. He is adamant that a pregnant woman should not be travelling, especially with the cold weather and snow looming. There are also, wild animals, Indians, the weather, the terrain, hazards that would plague them. Seeing they are bound and determined to go, he decides to take up the task. All of those things that could plague them do and the way is very difficult. Emma is strong though and able to continue on. What transpires among the three people is the rest of the story.
Although I enjoyed reading this book, I could not help but wonder at the advisability of a very pregnant woman travelling on horseback, with few provisions or comforts on narrow rocky trails on this long journey. I also wasn’t comfortable with the brother’s knowledge of the mountains, nor his prowess. The journey did not make sense at all. However, Ms. Beller’s imagination in writing the story kept me reading.
In “Love on the Prairie” by Ciara Knight, we see the destruction that the war left on the citizens, the communities, and those who bravely fought in this war. Abigail McKinnie and her sisters are left with nothing after Sherman’s march to the sea during the Civil War. Because they will starve if they don’t think of something to help, the sisters decide to offer themselves as mail-order brides. Although with seven young women looking not for love, but for security, the pickings in their community are slim to none. Abigail, as the oldest, decides that she will accept the offer of marriage from their cousin and travel to their cousin’s ranch. Her intention is to convince him to bring all her sisters to the ranch establish their home there. Upon her arrival she finds that her cousin has died and his friend now lives in the dugout home the cousin inhabited. She is determined to take over the property since she and her sisters are the only living relatives of the deceased.
Owen Baker has just finished burying his friend and finds letters to cousin, Willy, from Abigail regarding her travels to marry him. Owen is too late to stop her journey and prepares to send her right back to Georgia when she arrives. And THAT is the gist of this story. Abigail is determined to stay and Owen is just as determined that she go. What happens in between the beginning of the story and its ending will keep you up late reading. I enjoyed this book and would not hesitate to read other works from this author.
I received a complimentary Kindle copy from NetGalley.com and was under no obligation to post a review.
We usually think of Indians in novel as being the western variety conflicting with settlers and cowboys. Rarely do we think that when our nation was very young and during the westward settlement push in the east, the Native Americans were being pushed from their home territory and hunting grounds to accommodate the influx of farmers and entrepreneurs.
“The Return” by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a book about the German settlers in the state known as Pennsylvania and settled by William Penn. Most of these settlers fled Europe to avoid religious prosecution and were content to forge their own simple lives in the New World. Their relationship with the natives was mostly peaceful; but the conflict known as the French and Indian Wars caused havoc and terror among the settlers.
In “The Return”, Ms. Fisher addresses the problem of Indiana attacks and the terror of being taken captive. Taking scalps and gruesome murders by the “savages” was a normal result of an Indian attack. Betsy Zook’s mother and father were killed in a raid on their farm. Betsy and one of her brothers were taken captive while the younger brother hid until the attack was over and he was able to go for help. Her kidnapping caused a domino effect throughout the territory and caused some of the settlers to exact revenge on innocent natives.
I very much enjoyed this look into the history of the early years of our nation. Ms. Fisher writes with much enthusiasm and historical knowledge. It is evident in her portrayal of the settlers and Indians in this novel.
I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Revell Publishers and a Kindle copy from NetGalley.com and was under no obligation to post a review.
Traci Peterson has another winning novel in “Treasured Grace”. Traci has written twenty series of books, some in collaboration with another author. I have read quite a few of them. “Treasured Grace” begins along the Oregon Trail in 1847 with the death of Grace’s husband, a narrow-minded preacher. Grace was forced to marry him in able to join a wagon train going to Oregon because a woman alone could not make the trip. She and her two sisters were orphans and were trying to get to her uncle in Oregon. After the untimely death of her husband (in name only), Grace was forced to winter over at the Whitman Mission. Dr. Whitman built the mission to bring the gospel to the Indians, the Cayuse and Nez Perce. He is an arrogant man and refuses to allow Grace, with her knowledge of healing medicine and herbs, to tend the sick. After an outbreak of measles which was a deadly sickness to the Indians, Dr. Whitman and the mission were attacked and many were killed, including Dr. Whitman and his wife. Grace, along with a trapper who she comes to love, do all they can to save those who are ill and rescue those whom the Indians are holding hostage.
Ms. Peterson does a great job of incorporating real historical events with the tales she writes. Obviously she has an inexhaustible aptitude for giving her readers abundant stories in historical fiction. I will continue to appreciate her talents as long as she writes.
I received a print copy of this book from Baker Publishing in return for my honest review.
Lucky for Thorpe Turlow that Lily Starr was a crack shot and was in the right place at the right time. Indian braves wounded Thorpe as he was travelling across Missouri in 1868. Not only was she a good shot, but was determined to make sure that Thorpe’s injuries didn’t kill him. She had been part of a wagon train that parted company with her and a group of outcasts heading from Texas to Wyoming. They needed to be at Fort Laramie by Christmas. After Lily saved Thorpe, he continued to travel with them as a sort of protection. Beset by Indians, outlaws, bad weather and other dangers, the group made their way to Thorpe’s ranch to winter until spring.
Having read two other books that Scarlett Dunn has written, I was pretty sure I would really enjoy “Christmas at Dove Creek”. I was not mistaken because Ms. Dunn’s characters are very well developed as is her story. Even though this book is sort of “Christmasy”, it definitely not just a Christmas read. I was totally engrossed in this book and I recommend it to others who enjoy reading about the wild west and those heading westward.
I received a free print copy of this book from NightOwlReviews.com. No review positive or otherwise was required – all opinions are my own.
“The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn” by Lori Benton was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. The story takes place in Morganton, North Carolina, on the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains.
Tamsen Littlejohn is basically on the auction block if her stepfather, Hezekiah Parrish, has his way and forces her to marry a man of his choosing, Mr. Ambrose Kincaid. Tamsen’s mother just tries to make sure that her husband keeps calm and persuades Tamsen to do what he has ordered. She agrees to meet this man and flirt her way into a marriage proposal, but that is before she witnesses his treatment of one of his slaves. Tamsen is an abolitionist and abhors that kind of treatment of any human being. She decides then and there to flee her stepfather’s reach.
Jesse Bird and his partner, Cade, who is a half Deleware have just arrived in Morganton to deliver cattle from homesteaders west of the Appalachians. They are planning to escort some more settlers to the western lands. They plan to leave as soon as they can get the families together.
Jesse comes across Tamsen trying to flee in the middle of the night, but is caught by her stepfather. Tamsen again flees after her mother is killed by the brutish Mr. Parrish. Jesse and Cade agree to help Tamsen get away but are pursued by Mr. Parrish and Mr. Kincaid. Thus begins the tale.
I was so anxious reading for this novel because I didn‘t want to stop reading. Characters living in the 1780’s and the land that they live in is very interesting. I wasn’t sure what to expect next. Sometimes you can just guess what is coming, but in this novel that is not the case. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes historical fiction or romance. What a great read!
I received free print copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.