Waltz in the Wilderness (2020) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

About the Book


Book: Waltz in the Wilderness

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre:  Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: February 4, 2020

She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen-Denly-Headshot-3-286x300Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

More From Kathleen

As Valentine’s Day nears, stories of how couples met seem to be everywhere. Many of those stories share a common element: “The second I saw him/her, I just knew I would marry him/her.”

Every time I read or hear these stories, I chuckle. Not because I don’t believe them but because it reminds me of my own meet-cute.

“Not my type.”

These were the first words to enter my mind when I met the man who would later become my husband. In hindsight, they are hilarious because I know that God worked things out for our good. After more than eighteen years of marriage, I can honestly say that I am more in love with my husband than ever.

However, just a few months prior to meeting my husband, I’d suffered a terrible breakup with another man whom I thought had been considering proposing to me. I had no idea the breakup was coming and that left me devastated and confused. The truths we learn in hindsight don’t help much when we’re in the midst of such circumstances. When we think we know the future before us and something happens to upend those plans it can feel as though our world has turned upside down.

This is what happens to Eliza Brooks in the first chapter of my novel, Waltz in the Wilderness. Though not romantic in nature, a major shift occurs in her world that leaves her feeling betrayed and disoriented. She’s still struggling to right her world when Daniel Clarke enters her life in the worst way possible. Misunderstanding leads to a humiliating confrontation that sets these two at odds with one another before they have a chance to truly get to know each other. Fortunately for Eliza and Daniel, God works their foolishness for good just as He did in my own true love story.

This Valentine’s Day, whatever your romantic relationship status, remember that you are not alone. You are loved. And the God of all the universe loves you and has a plan for you—plans to prosper you and bring you hope.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

My Thoughts

I have been a fan of Kathleen Denly’s BLOG for almost three years now, so when I heard she was releasing a novel I knew I had to read it immediately. Boy, am I glad I jumped at the chance to read Waltz in the Wilderness. It is fantastic. I was captivated from the very beginning and the pages kept turning at lightning speed. I am a native So Cal girl; been here my entire life. I have traveled to San Diego many a time, so getting to learn some history about the early days was fascinating and fun. I very much enjoyed Eliza and Daniel’s characters. I found them to be perfectly crafted and they come off very relatable and genuine. And, I found the themes of Waltz in the Wilderness thoughtful and plentiful. In my humble opinion, this beautiful novel would make an excellent choice for any book club. All in all, I loved this adventurous, wild romance and feel it is a 2020 must-read for sure!

Eliza’s character arc is superb. At first, I didn’t like Eliza’s character at all. She is petulant, self-righteous, and volatile. It was hard for me to root for her, and I often found myself feeling frustrated by her as Daniel, the hero, does. But as the narrative progresses, her volatility calms down and I found that Eliza grew on me. Her walls come down a bit and I began to understand her actions a little better, which led me wanting to root for her. By the end of the novel, if Eliza were a real human, I would have wanted to be her friend. What I gleaned from this excellently crafted character arc is to never judge based on first appearances alone. I judged Eliza and found her wanting, but I didn’t know anything about her. How many times have I done that in real life to real people? How many potential friends have I lost because of my initial, knee-jerk judgments?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:1-2 not to judge others because by the measure we judge others we will be judged. Instead, He shows us that we need to illustrate grace, mercy, and kindness towards others. Shamefully, I often forget this, especially in our crazy day and age. I’m grateful for Ms. Denly’s reminder that I need to be less judgemental and more patient and understanding. I was ready to completely write Eliza off at the beginning of this story and wasn’t willing to give her much of a chance. What does that say about my heart?! 😫 Thank you, Ms. Denly, for holding this mirror up for me and allowing me the opportunity to see where I need to make corrections. I can definitely say God has used Waltz in the Wilderness to convict my heart.

There is just so much to love about Waltz in the Wilderness that one review just cannot do this book justice. I highly recommend reading this wonderful novel. I truly believe you will love it as much as I do!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook 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, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a NEW Kindle Fire HD8, Proverbs 3:5 Paperback Lined Journal, Romans 8:28 Leather Bookmark, Proverbs 3:5 mug, and an Antique Silverplated Spoon made by 1847 Rogers Bros!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the link below to enter.



A Baker’s Perspective, February 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 5

Pause for Tales, February 5

Texas Book-aholic, February 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 6

Older & Smarter?, February 7

deb’s Book Review, February 7

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, February 9

Betti Mace, February 10

Through the Fire Blogs, February 10

Inklings and notions, February 11

Robin’s Nest, February 11

Remembrancy, February 12

For Him and My Family, February 12

My Devotional Thoughts, February 12

Maureen’s Musings, February 13

For the Love of Literature, February 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 15

Blossoms and Blessings, February 15

Bigreadersite, February 15

Emily Yager, February 16

Blogging With Carol, February 16

Mia Reads, February 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impression, February 17

Janicesbookreviews, February 17

SPLASHES of Joy, February 18

Hallie Reads, February 18

Connie’s History Classroom, February 18

20 thoughts on “Waltz in the Wilderness (2020) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

  1. I’m currently reading this very story. I’m loving it!! I’m not wanting it to end, but I do want to know what happens next.
    Fantastic review!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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