About the Book
Title: This 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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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?
This Wilderness Journey is my first read of a Misty M. Beller book, but it will not be my last. This book has it all — a beautiful and sad heroine, a dashing but damaged hero, rugged and beautiful landscapes, adventures, dangers, kidnapping, and a friendship that quickly blossoms into a very sweet romance. I found myself tearing through the pages of this book. When I had to put the book down, I was so frustrated because I just wanted to know what was coming next…and next…and next!
It is a common practice to think that bad things happening to us means that God is mad or disappointed in us. This could not be further from the truth, but it certainly does feel this way. When life gets tough, God expects us to go to Him. He isn’t allowing circumstances into our lives so that we will give up, stay stagnant, and play the blame game. But, that is what a lot of people do. I admit I’ve done it in my lifetime. Joseph Malcom, the hero of This Wilderness Journey, plays the blame game. He believes that if God had loved him, God wouldn’t have allowed him to get hurt. Joseph closes off his relationship with Jesus, and with anyone who could be a lifelong partner. It takes a very strong woman, Monti Bergeron, to step up to Joseph and force him to see that having a flaw doesn’t mean that God thinks he is useless. Joseph realizes that he needs to man up, put things right between himself and God, and live the life God meant for him to live. For me, the lesson Joseph learns in this book is a great reminder that when God allows bad to happen in my life, I need to go to God first so He can show me how to navigate my path and still be the woman He wants me to be — flaws and all.
Why did the ancient Israelites end up wandering in a desert for 40 years after the Exodus? Bottom line — the generation that left Egypt didn’t trust God. As punishment for their sin of distrust, the ancient Israelites wandered for 40 years. What I love about that story is that God NEVER abandons these clearly damaged people. He understood their limitations as a community with an enslavement mentality. Sure it frustrated Him (and Moses) often, but God knew His people. If you can take a step back from the details — the Israelites didn’t trust, they were pretty cowardly, they were quite selfish at times, etc. — you can actually see the wilderness wanderings as a sort of love story. In essence, God spent 40 years caring for His damaged kids. He gave them food, water, forgiveness (so much forgiveness), and love. God could have easily killed all the distrusting Israelites and started over with this damaged generation’s children, but He didn’t do that. We always see the desert wandering as a negative thing, but I’m not so sure that desert wanderings are totally bad.
Joseph is reminiscent of a wandering Israelite. Instead of a desert, Joseph wanders the Canadian Rockies attempting to distance himself from God and from new, lasting attachments. He lives in a cave, wanders amongst the Native American tribes helping a local missionary bring supplies to the Natives, and he sometimes visits his twin sister, Emma. But mostly, Joseph just wanders around the mountains. He is angry. He is distrustful. He is damaged. Just like the ancient Israelites, and just like me when I’ve gone through some serious valleys. I am reminded of Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” When we are in a wandering place in our lives, we are so convinced it is of our choosing. We are choosing to escape others and God. We just want to be alone, but I am not sure that is actually the case. I think God puts us in these wandering moments so He can get us alone in order to take care of us, heal us, and love us. We just need to see, as Joseph eventually sees, that God is ordering our steps the entire time.
This Wilderness Journey is a really good read. It’s engaging and fast paced. It has a sweet romance that builds well over the course of the story. And, it has some pretty timely lessons that I found I needed to hear again. If you are looking for a good read, check out This Wilderness Journey today!
I received a review copy of this novel in paperback form from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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! https://promosimple.com/ps/cd16/this-wilderness-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway
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