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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson and Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson~~A Litfuse Publicity Group Book Review

My Review:

Where the Trail Ends

Imagine, if you will, packing up your belongings, but only what is absolutely essential, packing the Prairie Schooner (wagon), and leaving your comfortable home. Now imagine walking, not riding, 2,000 miles along the Oregon Trail--from Missouri to the Willamette Valley.

This is what the Waldron family, as well as, others in their party did in order to start a new life. The trail was not without its hardships water and food at times were scarce, there were illnesses, and wild animals, accidents, deaths and disagreements among the people. There were also strong friendships that were forged despite the trials, or maybe because of them.

Melanie Dobson has crafted an realistic story set in a familiar historical backdrop.  I found that the characters come to life upon the pages and so did the scenery. The story was about the people, and how they survived their long, and at times, treacherous journey. Was there some romance? Yes, but it was subdued, and really didn't develop until near the end to the story, which, in my opinion worked well in this book, allowing the reader to focus on the strong men and women who traveled along the Oregon Trail. I found this story to be enjoyable and would recommend this story to history lovers, and  homeschoolers alike, because I think it would make a good addition to their history curriculum.

About the Book:

A young woman traveling the Oregon Trail in 1842 must rely on a stranger to bring her to safety. But whom can she trust with her heart?

For two thousand miles along the trail to Oregon Country, Samantha Waldron and her family must overcome tremendous challenges to reach the Willamette Valley before winter. Together they weather autumn storms, hunger and thirst, and the dangers of a wild and unfamiliar country. But when their canoe capsizes on the Columbia River, they must rely on handsome British exporter Alexander Clarke to rescue them from the icy water.

Alex escorts Samantha and her young brother, Micah, to Fort Vancouver. There Samantha is overwhelmed with men vying for her affections, but the only one who intrigues her-Alex-is the one she cannot have. When his betrothed arrives unexpectedly from England to escort him home, Samantha becomes determined to create a home for herself and Micah in the fertile valley far away from the fort. But how will an unmarried woman support herself and her brother in the wilderness alone? 

Then Micah disappears into the wilderness one rainy night, and Samantha must rely on the man she loves-the man she’s trying desperately to forget-to rescue her brother before it’s too late.


Meet Melanie:

Melanie Dobson has written ten contemporary and historical novels including five releases in Summerside’s Love Finds You series. In 2011, two of her releases won Carol Awards: Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (for historical romance) and The Silent Order (for romantic suspense).
Prior to her writing career, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and a publicist for The Family Channel. She later launched her own public relations company and worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for more than fifteen years.
Melanie and her family enjoy their home in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific.

When Melanie isn’t writing or playing with her family, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.

Find out more about Melanie by visiting her website.


My Review:

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. A sad story, it is true, but there are stories to be told--real or imagined. Queen of the Waves is a story that contains both fictional and real characters from history. A story that, in my opinion, shouldn’t go unread.

When I started reading the book I noticed a prince and the pauper theme beginning to emerge. Tessa Bowen, the daughter of a pig farmer who has experienced real hardships and abuse from her father. Jacquie Abingdon, the daughter of a successful business man, has been included in an arranged marriage to a man she doesn’t like as part of their businesses merging. Her mother wants to send Jacquie to visit her grandmother in New York but, Jacquie wants to marry Peter Bowen, their gardener and Tessa’s brother,

Peter Bowen, loves his sister and wants to help her to escape from the farm and their father.

A plan begins to form...a plan that where Tessa takes Jacquie’s place on the Titanic.

I enjoyed the story, the sights and smells, sounds, and people came to life under the the pen of Janice Thompson. A sad story, its true, but there are friendships formed, lives and souls saved, and lessons learned. If you choose to pick up this book I think you will be glad you did.

About the Book:

When pampered Jacqueline Abington secretly elopes with the family gardener, she asks another woman to take her place on the much anticipated maiden voyage of the Titanic. Tessa Bowen hails from a poor corner of London but has been granted the opportunity of a lifetime—a ticket to sail to America aboard a famed vessel. But there’s a catch: she must assume Jacqueline’s identity. For the first time in her life, Tessa stays in luxurious quarters, dresses in elegant gowns, and dines with prestigious people. Then a wealthy American man takes an interest in her, and Tessa struggles to keep up the ruse as she begins falling for him. When tragedy strikes, the game is up, and two women’s lives are forever changed.

Meet Janice:

Award-winning author Janice Thompson, who also writes under the name Janice Hanna, has published nearly eighty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more.

She formerly served as vice president of the Christian Authors Network and was named the 2008 Mentor of the Year by the American Christian Fiction Writers.
Thompson lives in Spring, Texas, near her four grown daughters and young grandchildren. She leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends and two mischievous dachshunds.

Readers can keep up with Janice Thompson by visiting her blog, becoming a fan on Facebook or following her Twitter.


Celebrate with Melanie and Janice by entering to win a Kindle Fire!

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson
  • Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 17th. Winner will be announced at the American Tapestries Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/18. Connect with authors Melanie Dobson and Janice Thompson for an evening of book chat, trivia and fun! There will also be gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Where the Trail Ends and  Queen of the Waves and join Melanie Dobson and Janice Thompson on the evening of the October 18th for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!


Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson and Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson were provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

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