First Line Friday – 07.19.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

Today I’m featuring, the first line of the book I am currently enjoying on Audible: This Daring Journey by Misty M. Beller.

this-daring-journey

Here is the first line:

Late August, 1866
Near Fort Hamilton, Alberta, Canada

A shot ripped through the air, and Samuel Grant ducked down in his saddle.

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The only hope to keep her newborn baby alive is to reach the safety of her Indian people… This mountain man is the last person she should trust to get her there.

As a half-Indian raised among her Peigan tribe, Moriah Clark knows better than to trust white people. The tragedy that resulted in her birth is proof enough. But when her trusted grandfather marries her to a white man, she has no choice but to obey and hope this new life isn’t her downfall. Her white husband turns out to be a decent sort, but his unexpected death left her to birth a newborn baby among hostile mountain men. She wants nothing more than to retreat to the safe haven of her tribal upbringing. When a mysterious frontiersman arrives on her doorstep seeking her deceased husband, his offer to escort her and the babe to her people seems like the opportunity she’s been praying to find. But can she trust him?

Samuel Grant has been sent to retrieve Henry Clark for his sister’s wedding, but the sight that greets him at the little cabin in the woods is not what he expected. Not only has the man died, but Henry’s wife is fighting off an aggressive gang of men at gunpoint—while trying to conceal a newborn. He can’t leave the pair unattended, so helping her travel into the mountain country to reach her family seems like the only option. If he can win her trust, that is.

Such a grueling journey with a three-week-old baby will be risky, but the challenges that arise test them far more than either expected. When a devastating surprise increases the danger ten-fold, Moriah focuses all her efforts on keeping her newborn daughter alive. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t realize how much of her heart belongs to the mountain man—until it’s too late.

Amazon

Don’t forget to enter!

If you haven’t already heard, I’m sharing some BIG BIG NEWS and hosting my best giveaway yet! Don’t wait! There are daily entries to be earned and the giveaway ends at 12:00am PST July 28, 2019!

Check it out:

HR 5 Bk Giveaway

https://kathleendenly.com/2019hcrgiveaway

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 12.21.18

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Hi Everyone! It’s First Line Friday, so grab a book near you and share your first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first lines from The Rancher Takes a Cook by Misty M. Beller which I am currently reading.

The Rancher Takes a Cook

Here is the first line:

Columbia, South Carolina
February 17, 1865

The acrid air was thick and hazy as nineteen-year-old Anna Stewart struggled to sit up in bed.

about-the-book-2

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch. Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled plans.

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

My Review – This Wilderness Journey

My Review - This Wilderness Journey

about-the-book-2

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.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Why This Book:

If you haven’t already, see my review of Book 1 in the Heart of the Mountains series, This Treacherous Journey.

Opening Line (from Chapter 1):

November, 1852
Canadian Rocky Mountains

I am the luckiest man alive.

First Impressions:

Even though I loved Joseph in the first book, I had some difficulty connecting to him at the start of this book. I think it is because it took me too long to understand what was bothering him. It had been so long since I had read the first book that I couldn’t remember for sure if the injury mentioned was connected to that first book or was the result of something that had happened in the time which elapsed between books. That lack of clarity kept me at an emotional distance for the first portion of this book.

Characters:

Joseph Malcom – Since the last book, he has lost his purpose and become a nomadic mountain man struggling to accept a tragic turn of events and find what God has planned for his life. Emma’s twin brother.

Monticello “Monti” Bergeron – A courageous young woman, orphaned and determined to serve God.

Book Quote - This Wilderness Journey - brought parts of her to life

Father Bergeron – A missionary ministering to the local tribes and cousin to Monticello “Monti” Bergeron. He genuinely cares for the tribes he ministers to and for his young cousin.

Simeon Grant –  Joseph’s brother-in-law only plays a tiny role in this story.

Emma Grant  – Joseph’s twin sister plays only a slightly larger role than Simeon in this story.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

It took me a while to warm up to this story. The interactions between Joseph and Monti are what cemented my emotional connection to the story. Joseph is a genuinely good man struggling with relatable issues. Monti is a spunky young woman working through scars from her past. The way they communicated with each other and Monti’s intuitive understanding of Joseph drew me in. I wanted to see how their relationship developed and I am happy with where it went for the most part.

I was happily reading along in this novel without feeling that it dragged at all until a particular situation arose which, in my opinion, was too similar to something which occurred in the first book. To be honest, this event soured my opinion of the book not because it was done poorly or was too farfetched, but simply because I felt I had already been there, done that. Although certain details were different, the essential event itself was the same and I found that disappointing. It was difficult for me to get back into the story afterward.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

Please see the second paragraph of the previous section for that which I did not care for.

As for the things I especially liked… I especially liked the musical interactions between the hero and the heroine which revealed compassion and connection between them in a unique way I haven’t read before. I also liked the author’s unique integration of a medical condition involving one of the secondary characters. It added an interesting depth to the story and was, again, something I’ve not seen before in this context.

Themes:

Finding purpose in one’s life.

Accepting that God is good and always with us – even in tragedy.

Viewing one’s self-worth through God’s eyes.

Ending:

The ending is sweet. It felt fresh and satisfying. It made me smile.

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Let’s chat!

Which of Misty’s books is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

TWEETABLES:

Check out this #BookReview of Misty M. Beller’s latest release, This Wilderness Journey. @KathleenDenly @MistyMBeller (Click to Tweet)

A historical romance novel with a sweet, fresh and satisfying ending. #BookReview @KathleenDenly @MistyMBeller (Click to Tweet)

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos above for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !


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View Disclosure of Materials HERE.

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About the Author

Misty

Misty M. Beller writes 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 daughters 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.

Guest Post from Misty Beller

The Frontier Cook

I love to write frontier romance, where the challenges were tough and the people had to be even tougher. And one of the things I love to imagine is how my characters cooked during those days.

Can you imagine how hard it would be to cook over an open fire? Every. Single. Meal. Of course, it’s not like they had a lot of variety to work with. Once you learned how to make a decent stew or corn mush, you didn’t have much to worry about, right?

Yet, many of the frontier women became quite adept at cooking over their cabin’s hearth, or even over an open campfire. In my new book, This Wilderness Journey, Monti (the heroine) came from a middle-class home with a paid chef and never had to learn to cook at all, much less without the use of a wood stove (which is still so much harder than heating a hot-pocket in the microwave). After she burned the corn mush their first night on the trail through the Canadian wilderness, Joseph (the hero) taught her a few basic meals.

As I was researching some creative ways frontier women cooked in an open hearth, I discovered the wide use of puddings, mostly because of how easy they were to make. By wrapping the ingredients in a cloth or pudding bag, they could be dropped in a pot of boiling water and left until the ingredients had softened and expanded. An entire meal could be made with a few ingredients, a pudding cloth, and a pot of boiling water.

One of my favorite cooking scenes in This Wilderness Journey is the making of the Oatmeal Pudding. What do you think? Sound like something you’d like to try?

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, June 7

Among the Reads, June 7

Two Points of Interest, June 8

The Power of Words, June 8

Blossoms and Blessings, June 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 9

Mary Hake, June 10

Splashes of Joy, June 10

Kathleen Denly, June 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 11

Maureen’s Musings, June 12

Kat’s Corner Books, June 12

Mommynificent, June 13

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, June 13

Bibliophile Reviews, June 14

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 14

Pause for Tales, June 15

proud to be an autism mom, June 15

Texas Book-aholic, June 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

Janices book reviews, June 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 17

Carpe Diem, June 18

Red Headed Book Lady, June 18

Connie’s History Classroom, June 19

Bigreadersite, June 20

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 20

Giveaway

 amazon gift card

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Enter Here Button

 

Cover Challenge

Cover Challenge

They say covers sell books and designing them takes a special skill. So I’m curious:  How much attention do we actually pay to those slaved-over images?

Below are pieces of book covers from Christian romance books which have been released within the last 12 months (May 2017-May 2018). Can you name each book from just a tiny peek at the cover? To make things easier, there is a list to choose from below the images.

AAn Unexpected Redemption - Puzzle Piece

BThe Captured Bride - Puzzle Piece

CThree Words and a Kiss - Puzzle Piece

DNo Other Will Do - Puzzle Piece

EThe Backcountry Brides Collection - Puzzle Piece

FThe Lady and the Lionheart - Puzzle Piece

GThis Wilderness Journey - Puzzle Piece

HLove Held Captive - Puzzle Piece

ICharming the Troublemaker - Puzzle Piece

JA Heart's Revolution - Puzzle Piece

Your possible answers in no particular order:

  1. Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper D. Basham
  2. Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak
  3. The Backcountry Brides Collection by Angela K. Couch, Debra E. Marvin, Shannon McNear, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Pegg Thomas, Denise Weimer
  4. No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
  5. An Unexpected Redemption by Davalynn Spencer
  6. The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep
  7. This Wilderness Journey by Misty M. Beller
  8. A Heart’s Revolution by Roseanna M. White
  9. The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
  10. Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

See the full covers HERE!

Let’s chat!

How did you do? Did you guess them all? Did any of them stump you?

First Line Friday – 4.20.18

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Hi Everyone! It’s First Line Friday, so grab a book near you and share your first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from a book I recently finished reading and will be reviewing in June: This Wilderness Journey by Misty M. Beller.

Image result

Here is the first line:

November, 1852 
Canadian Rocky Mountains

I am the luckiest man alive.

about-the-book-2

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.

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

My Review – A Sweetwater River Romance

My Review - A Sweetwater River Romance

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Taking flight from their quiet Pennsylvania town seems like the only way for Tori Boyd to protect her dearest cousin’s virtue. And the success of their escape may now depend on the man she’s been writing letters to for over a year now in the vast wilds of the Wyoming Territory.

Ezra Reid has finally stepped out from under the shadow of his older brother and sister, now having full responsibility to man the Rocky Ridge Stage Stop through the winter. The success or failure of the stage and telegraph contracts falls squarely on his shoulders, and he’s entirely focused on the work – at least until his mysterious correspondence partner shows up on his doorstep.

As Ezra takes on the search for a proper situation for Tori and her cousin, there seem to be no good options for the ladies. Especially since Tori won’t even discuss the one option that might succeed – marriage. When the danger chasing the women takes on a form none of them anticipated, how far will Ezra have to go to keep Tori and her cousin safe? It’ll take a lot more than luck to ensure his heart is the sole casualty.

Why This Book:

After thoroughly enjoying Misty M. Beller’s “This Treacherous Journey” (which I reviewed earlier this month), when I saw another opportunity to review one of her books, I jumped at it.

Opening Line (from Chapter 1):

Dear T. B., 

In response to your advertisement seeking a partner in correspondence, I find the idea more than a little intriguing.

First Impressions:

This book opened with the text of the advertisement placed by “T. B.” of “Boiling Springs Township, Pennsylvania” seeking “a literate person in the western territories willing and eager to correspond with an easterner on a variety of topics.” After this, we read the initial response letter written by “E. Reid” of “Rocky Ridge Stage Stop, Wyoming Territory.” I’ve chosen to share the first line of this letter above.

Both of these, while important and intriguing, read like a prologue even though they are not labeled as such. The real action begins after this and starts as follows:

OCTOBER, 1866
WYOMING TERRITORY

“Looks like it might snow.”

Tori Boyd pressed the creases flat in the writing paper as she studied the concise handwriting, a challenging exercise with the sometimes-violent rocking of the stage coach.

As you can see, we immediately feel some tension in the situation with the threat of snow and the mystery of the clearly important letter. As the first scene unfolds, the stakes increase and the reader is immediately engaged in the story. I wondered what would await them at their destination and already wanted to know what would become of the two women after that. (Tori and her cousin, Opal, are both on the stage)

Characters:

Victoria “Tori” Boyd – Eighteen-year-old Tori has endured a very harsh life, which has forced her to mature beyond her years, but she hasn’t let it beat her down or diminish her determination to protect and care for her slightly older cousin, Opal. She is determined to find freedom for them both – and never to trust or depend on a man. Unfortunately, she has been left little choice but to seek assistance from her distant correspondence partner, Ezra Reid.

Book Quote Image - A Sweetwater Romance

Ezra Reid – To say Ezra is surprised by Tori and Opal’s appearance on his doorstep is an understatement. Yet, this responsible, compassionate, and honest man overcomes his shock and appoints himself as their advocate and protector. His actions throughout the story are an incredible picture of what it means to truly love – first as a brother in Christ, and later, as a man in love with a woman he desires as his wife.

Opal Boyd – Opal is quite different from her cousin. Where Tori is stubborn, quick to speak her mind, and occasionally reckless, Opal has a quiet strength and gentle wisdom that helps her to find the good in the bad. Don’t mistake her quiet or gentle for meek, however. Every bit as loyal and courageous as Tori, Opal doesn’t back down when the going gets tough.

Mara English – Her story having already been told in A Pony Express Romance, Mara is Ezra’s loving, if a bit overprotective, big sister. I can’t say a whole lot more about her role in this story without giving away some of the plot, but it was fun to see her story continue as Ezra’s developed.

Josiah English – Mara’s husband spends most of his time working their horse ranch, but he still manages to be the doting husband and helpful brother-in-law we want him to be.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

With solid tension all along the way, this one is a page-turner, for sure. While there are a couple points that let you catch your breath, it’s only just enough to do so before things start cracking again and you have to resist the urge to skim ahead. And you don’t want to skim ahead, trust me. There are no wasted words here, just good, compelling storytelling that gets you aching or rooting for the characters (depending on the scene) and eager to see what happens next.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

The only nitpicky thing I wasn’t sure about was one particular paragraph of the thought process Ezra goes through in the aftermath of the crisis scene. It just seemed a tad over-the-top ideal, to me, but I can’t argue that it didn’t fit Ezra’s character or that it isn’t possible someone would think like that. So this is just my opinion, but it pushed the edges of believable for me.

On the other hand, I absolutely loved, loved, loved how Ezra reacted to Tori’s past and how he thoughtfully chose his actions and words in light of it. The man is seriously swoon-worthy! (and it’s not about his looks) Talk about sacrificial, selfless (not spineless!) love! He knows it’s an action not a word, ladies.

Book Quote Image - A Sweetwater Romance - Did God Hear

Themes:

Why God allows “bad things” to happen to “good people.” – Yep. The author went there. And without getting preachy.

Learning to trust.

Ending:

I have to say that I could not have loved this ending more. The author resisted the pressure to give readers the ending they expect and might even (mistakenly) think they wanted. Instead, she gives us an ending that epitomizes true love in action and left me sighing with joyful contentment.

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Available at:  Amazon

(none of the links in this review are affiliate links)

About the Author

Misty

Misty M. Beller writes 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 daughters 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.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Learn more at www.MistyMBeller.com.

Let’s chat!

Have you read any of the books in the Wyoming Mountain Tales series?

TWEETABLES:

Looking for a hero who is swoon-worthy for far more than his looks? Check out this romance! #BookReview @KathleenDenly @MistyMBeller (CLICK TO TWEET!)

She’s desperate to escape an awful past…A man is the last person she expects to protect her. A SWEETWATER RIVER ROMANCE by @MistyMBeller (CLICK TO TWEET!)

Riveting mountain romance by @MistyMBeller, A SWEETWATER RIVER ROMANCE #BookReview (CLICK TO TWEET!)

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the book quote images in this post for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !

The image below means I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Click here for more details.

 

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View Disclosure of Materials HERE.

 

 

First Line Friday – 2.9.18

first-line-friday-3

Welcome to First Line Friday! Each Friday I pick a book and share the first line with you. In return, I hope you’ll share with me a first line from whatever book you have at hand!

Today I’m sharing the first line from A Sweetwater River Romance by Misty M. Beller. I’ll be sharing my full review of this book on February 19th, so be sure to check back then!

A Sweetwater River Romance

Choosing the first line for this novel was a bit tricky as it truly began with a copy of the advertisement written by Tori Boyd “Seeking a literate person in the western territories willing and eager to correspond with an easterner on a variety of topics.”, then Ezra’s initial letter in response, and then jumped to present day. In the end, I decided to share the first line from Ezra’s initial response to the advertisement:

Dear T.B.,

In response to your advertisement seeking a partner in correspondence, I find the idea more than a little intriguing.

about-the-book-2

Taking flight from their quiet Pennsylvania town seems like the only way for Tori Boyd to protect her dearest cousin’s virtue. And the success of their escape may now depend on the man she’s been writing letters to for over a year now in the vast wilds of the Wyoming Territory.

Ezra Reid has finally stepped out from under the shadow of his older brother and sister, now having full responsibility to man the Rocky Ridge Stage Stop through the winter. The success or failure of the stage and telegraph contracts falls squarely on his shoulders, and he’s entirely focused on the work – at least until his mysterious correspondence partner shows up on his doorstep.

As Ezra takes on the search for a proper situation for Tori and her cousin, there seem to be no good options for the ladies. Especially since Tori won’t even discuss the one option that might succeed – marriage. When the danger chasing the women takes on a form none of them anticipated, how far will Ezra have to go to keep the Tori and her cousin safe? It’ll take a lot more than luck to ensure his heart is the sole casualty.

Be sure to sign up to follow my blog so you don’t miss out on my full review of this novel!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating: