Title: This Homeward Journey
Author: Misty M. Beller
Genre: Christian historical romance
Release date: January 1, 2019
After her husband’s death, Rachel Gray is finally free from the turmoil his addictions caused. She wants nothing more than a new life with her twelve-year-old son. If she can reach her brother in the wilderness of the Canadian territories, they’ll have help to start over in peace. She knows better than to put her life in the hands of another man, but she never expected the Montana mountains to be so treacherous. When two brothers invite her to join their small group traveling to the same area, she refuses. After she and her son narrowly escape a bear attack, she’s forced to admit they need the safety of numbers in this untamed land. If the men prove dangerous, she can always leave with her son and strike out alone again.
Seth Grant has made some bad choices in his life, but God healed him from the addiction that mired him in his sins. Now, he’s determined to live the life God called him to, starting with a journey northward to see the Canadian mountain both his brother and sister have fallen in love with. When he discovers the woman and boy who plan to travel the same mountain trail, he can’t fathom why she refuses to join in the safety of their larger group. Though her decision seems unwise, he has no other choice but to pray God provides her protection.
Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to the Seth—until a secret from his past proves he’s not at all the man she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all.
Click here to purchase your copy.
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
Why Christian Historical Romance?
I don’t know about you, but my life can get crazy…busy…chaotic. Historical fiction gives me a haven, allowing me to immerse in a simpler time and place. Add in remote mountain settings—log cabins and horses and snow…what could be better? Sometimes I wish God had let me live a couple centuries ago, but then I remind myself He knew exactly what He was doing. I don’t do well without a shower every day. And He even lets me go back to that simpler time through stories!
If you’re reading this, you probably enjoy immersing yourself in a good book, too. Story can be such a powerful thing! Becoming an intimate part of the characters’ lives, feeling their struggles—the desperation, the elation, the emotions, the love.
I enjoy reading and writing Christian fiction because it provides a place where I don’t always have to be concerned about inappropriate language or too-graphic love scenes. It’s a “safe zone” where my imagination can escape, living out exciting times and experiencing God-orchestrated happily-ever-afters—without having to clean-up at the end of the day. Can you relate?
I’m excited to share my latest Christian Historical Romance story with you, and hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it!
The Power of Words, December 29
Through the Fire Blogs, December 29
Carpe Diem, December 30
Splashes of Joy, December 30
A Baker’s Perspective, December 31
Mary Hake, December 31
Pause for Tales, January 1
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 1
Simple Harvest Reads, January 2 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Connie’s History Classroom, January 2
Among the Reads, January 3
For The Love of Books, January 3
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 4
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 4
Connect in Fiction, January 5
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 5
Christian Author, J.E. Grace. January 6
Bibliophile Reviews, January 6
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 7
Inspiration Clothesline, January 7
Creating Romance, January 8
Texas Book-aholic, January 8
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9
Janices book reviews, January 9
Wishful Endings, January 10
Cafinated Reads, January 10
Bigreadersite, January 11
Blossoms and Blessings, January 11
To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
What I loved about This Homeward Journey:
I don't know why it took me so long to actually start it, and why the first couple of times I couldn't focus on the first page. It wasn't the author's fault. It was mine. I was still in a “book hangover” from the last great book I read. However, as soon as I finished the first chapter, I was hooked.
At 3% of the ebook, in the first chapter, I already saw the first mention of God. That warmed my heart. I didn’t have to wonder if it was going to be a truly Christian novel or just a clean one with a mention of “religion” thrown in to market it as a “Christian fiction.” I wasn't disappointed. There were personal prayers to God all throughout, in almost every chapter.
From the very first page when we’re introduced to the main male character, Seth, I liked him. He loved being outdoors, he had come to loath his former vices, and he already wanted to protect an innocent woman. Now there’s a good guy I can have a book crush on! I’m so tired of these romances (usually secular, but I’ve seen them even in Christian fiction) where the love interest is a bad boy, or he’s a flirt, or the woman hates the man for the majority of the book. That drives me insane!
I also enjoyed the way that the setting was unobtrusive yet played such a big part in their journey up to Canada. The climbing of the mountains, the camping details, the use of a simple act like swimming to demonstrate Andy's character growth—they all showed a mastery of setting without pounding it into the reader's brain that this was a trip from this place to that place. The physical journey was just the backdrop to the real journey, the spiritual journey of healing for Rachel and Andy. Very well done.
What I Didn't Love:
There were only a couple. The first is a minor thing. I'm not sure that the thought from either Rachel or Seth at the beginning of each chapter added anything. In fact, several times I felt that the thought was something Rachel wouldn't have admitted even to herself yet. And who were these thoughts directed to? A journal? To God? Neither option really fits, as they were too personal for a journal that might be read by posterity, neither were they in second person as speaking directly to the Lord. Several times I didn't see what the thought even had to do with that particular chapter. I personally think the book would be better without these. Just a chapter heading is fine.
The second is more important. Though it took so long to build Rachel's trust, and I loved the believable length of time for the romance to unfold (unlike so many romances where a woman who had hated the man through the entire book suddenly capitulates and falls madly in love with him because of one incident), there was one point that didn't seem very realistic to me at all. The climax. And that was what brought it down from 5-stars for me.
Without spoiling anything, I'll just say that the tension and stakes had been gradually building, and then from out of nowhere comes a truly evil villain without a single redeeming quality, shooting the stakes sky-high. And there was no real motive for the villain, no obvious rewards for the risk, no demand for his supply. I think there could have been a much less dramatic—and more realistic—conflict, and we still would have been satisfied with the character growth and the happily ever after resolution for the romance.
All in all, though, This Homeward Journey was a very enjoyable read with deep characters, masterful use of setting, and a journey that I won't soon forget.