Book Review: This Courageous Journey by Misty M. Beller

Happy Fri-nally, friends! Are you as ready for the weekend as I am?!?

Well if you’re looking for a great diverse read for your weekend plans, I’ve got another recommendation for you!

About the Book

this courageous journeyAs the fifth daughter in a family of nine children, Noelle Grant has spent her life working to be unique. Her love of stories helps define her goal—to be known around the country as one of the top news correspondents of her time. And what better way to uncover sensational stories than to travel through the mountain wilderness to visit the brother she hasn’t seen in years? The trip comes together perfectly as she plans to journey with family friends who will be settling in the same area. Her first inkling that things may not be as perfect as planned comes in the form of the mountain man they hire as their guide for the final leg of the journey.

When Daniel Abrams agrees to guide the small group of easterners along his usual journey northward to the Canadian mountains, his gut tells him he’s making the wrong decision. But if he doesn’t take them, who will? The man in charge refuses to consider turning back. As they start out, Daniel can’t help but notice the woman traveling under the care of her friends. Though she appears too genteel to last long in these mountains, she soon reveals a strength that draws him more than he should allow.

As the dangers of this wilderness become more than the group bargained for, Noelle is faced with the choice to delay her journey northward or proceed alone with the man she’s come to trust against all reason. She never imagines her decision will place her—and the man she loves—in a situation more hazardous than any story her imagination could conjure.

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My Thoughts

Misty Beller has quickly become one of my favorite historical romance authors. While I didn’t start reading her books until this Heart of the Mountains series, I can’t kick myself too much because that just means I have her backlist waiting for me to discover and enjoy next!

In This Courageous Journey, book #4 in the Heart of the Mountains series, we meet Simeon’s little sister Noelle Grant (don’t worry though – you can definitely read this as a stand alone too) and her group’s wilderness guide Daniel Abrams. As in each of these Heart of the Mountains books, the journey through the Canadian Rockies is treacherous and gives me a new appreciation for those who braved the often-fatal terrain to forge a new life. These characters and their courage – knowing that, while Noelle and Daniel are fictional, there were real people who endured these journeys – is so inspiring.

Daniel in particular is a complex character with many dimensions to his backstory. Namely, in his heritage and how he wrestles with the nuances of that history. Beller has framed this character well – with all the various layers that make Daniel uniquely himself. The way he relates to the various people they meet along their journey – and how he guards himself even among people he trusts – is further testament to the cultures and complexities that make up his history.

Tucked away in the adventure and romance is a gentle thread of faith that has a two-fold message. One is that God is with us, even when things seem to be getting worse instead of better. He’s there. He’s good. And He loves us dearly. The other part of the thread is a tender reminder that the way we see ourselves, even the way others see us, is a pale – and often inaccurate – reflection of the strength and worth God sees when He looks at us. And since we are never outside of His watch, our truest self is held there in His heart for us to find as we know Him (and ourselves) better along the journey.

Bottom Line: If you have not yet discovered this edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-throat series you are really missing out. I experienced the whole gamut of emotions while reading This Courageous Journey – moments that had me gasping out loud in shock, sighing in (sometimes very short-lived) relief, swooning at the passionate kisses and love, and even nearly praying for their safety. That’s how invested I was in this story and the characters that Beller has so skillfully crafted. Adventure, humor, romance, and faith are all a part of this riveting novel which is not to be missed!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Review first seen, in part, on ReadingIsMySuperPower.org

About the Author

misty beller.JPGMisty 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.

CONNECT WITH MISTY:  website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

This Courageous Journey is on tour right now with CelebrateLit – follow along HERE for a chance to win a gift card!

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Book Review: Straight Flies the Arrow by Sydney Tooman Betts

Hi friends! I have so enjoyed this People of the Book series from Sydney Tooman Betts, especially the merging of cultures that it depicts. Recently, I had the opportunity to review the third book, Straight Flies the Arrow, in which everything comes full circle.

About the Book

straight flies the arrowDuring the winter of 1841, Pacing Wolf, the esteemed leader of the Many Lodges, follows the trail of a brutal murderer, leaving behind his beloved woman, Small Doe.

When his tracking party returns without him, the Sparrow Hawks’ Real Chief pronounces him dead, insisting Small Doe grieve, but she cannot bring herself to give up hope her husband will return. The coming spring offers her few choices. She can accept the courageous new warrior chosen for her or risk falling prey to his war-society rivals.

Vengeance and loyalty, hatred and faithfulness, all vie within two enemy villages, one belonging to the Sparrow Hawks and the other the Allies, threatening to crush every hope of happiness for Small Doe and everyone she loves.

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My Thoughts

“…instead of driving me away, His own Son, I-Am-Savior, took my punishment.”

Sydney Tooman Betts’ People of the Book series will make God’s Word come alive for you in fresh ways. Not only does seeing His Story from the Native American’s perspective allow it to be seen with new eyes, but the story itself reflects THE Story, God’s story, in its plot and its characters. Perhaps none more in the series than the third and final novel – Straight Flies the Arrow.

While this can easily be read as a standalone, you really will to want to read the first two in order to understand book 3 in its full context. Because the story told on these pages brings full circle the story begun in A River Too Deep, showing how one woman surrendered to Jesus can influence generations. As you become caught up in this epic saga (which is easy enough reading for teens and up), you will also become inspired to reflect on the ripple effects in your own life. Whose life has influenced yours? Who influenced that person? And then that person? And so on? And… who are you influencing? A spiritual heritage is sometimes even more precious than a genealogical bloodline, and it’s always good to pause from time to time and reflect back on the people who have shaped you.

Along with the spiritual impact, there is also a cultural impact that comes from reading this series. The interactions between tribes as well as with the white community highlight themes that are still relevant today. This shows up even more clearly as we follow Eyes-Like-Water through each book.

Pacing Wolf’s and Small Doe’s story is emotional and compelling, and it will tear at your heart in every way. The setting wraps around you vividly, and you will experience it as though watching it unfold first hand. These characters are not easily forgotten, and their story will linger long after you’ve closed the book.

I requested the opportunity to read this book through Celebrate Lit.
The opinions expressed are my own.
This review was originally posted on ReadingIsMySuperPower.org

About the Author

sydney tooman bettsSydney Tooman Betts and her protagonist-husband currently reside near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several early chapters of this book.

While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) was involved in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level and serving as the Sunday School Superintendent, Children’s Church Director, or Women’s Ministries facilitator in several evangelical denominations.

Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.

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Have you ever heard the Gospel story told by a culture different from your own?
Eyes-Like-Water’s adaption of Jesus’ story in a way that assimilated best with the Native American culture is the part of this story that impacted me the most.