Friday, June 8, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY): The Wilderness Journey by Misty M. Beller



About the Book

Title: The Wilderness Journey  
Author: Misty M. Beller  
Release Date: April 24, 2018  
Genre: Christian Historical Romance  

He’s been sent to retrieve the new missionary… But she’s not at all who he expects to find. 

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.


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My Thoughts

     He was a cripple.
     She was the most beautiful creature God created.

     He was a roving wanderer. No real plans, if he were honest.
     She’d traveled for weeks in uncivilized conditions to befriend and share her faith with people she’d never met. People considered by many to be savages.

     Which brought him to the biggest difference. She believed God cared.
     He didn’t. At least, God didn’t care for him.

The opportunity to discover a gem like The Wilderness Journey is why I read Christian fiction. The story especially resonated with me, and anyone with physical or emotional scars will easily be touched by it. With the ruggedly beautiful Canadian Rockies as a backdrop, Joseph and Monti’s story is atmospheric, heartwarming, and inspirational. Misty M. Beller is a new author to me and has quickly become a favorite.

Beller engages the senses with her vivid descriptions of the Canadian Rockies of 1851, and I was immersed in this setting that was such an integral part of Joseph and Monti’s story. There are times of tenderness and humor, as well as great adventure. Monti and Joseph are well-drawn and compelling characters, and I loved coming to know them well as the narrative unfolds.

Joseph, twin brother of Emma from This Treacherous Journey, is a wanderer, unable to find contentment and put down roots. He carries great insecurity due to a physical injury that left him handicapped. Monti was “delicate and cultured on moment, striding right through the bounds of decorum the next if she saw a need she could fill.” As these two embark upon a journey that is both physical and spiritual, stages of their relationship are clearly shown and realistically developed – from their first meeting as strangers, to a respectful friendship, to something deeper and special. I loved how Beller’s creative use of journal entries at the beginning of each chapter provide a glimpse into their hearts.

“You are the man God made you to be, Joseph Malcom. The things that happened to you don’t have the power to make you more or less than that.”
- Monti

Monti is many things – a woman of strength and determination, a heart for ministering to Indian tribes – and with a godly wisdom that sees into Joseph’s heart, wanting to prove that his injury doesn’t define him. The Wilderness Journey is a story of faith lived out daily, a faith that allows room for doubts and questions.

Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author

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

Mary Hake, June 10
Splashes of Joy, June 10
Kathleen Denly, June 11
Mommynificent, June 13
Pause for Tales, June 15
Carpe Diem, June 18
Bigreadersite, June 20


Giveaway




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

Click the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!



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