Sunday, April 18, 2010

Melinda and the Wild West by Linda Weaver Clarke -- Book Review and Giveaway

A sweet historical romance is what you'll find in Melinda and the Wild West, the first book in Linda Weaver Clarke's A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho series.

It is 1896, and elegant, naive Melinda Gamble decides to give up the comforts and pleasures of the east to become a schoolteacher in the untamed Wild West. Paris, Idaho is everything that Boston isn't: peaceful, simple, and dangerous.

Melinda loves teaching. When she takes Jenny Roberts under her wing, she opens up a world to the child that Jenny's former teachers never cared enough to share. Jenny begins to blossom and Melinda is happy to see she is having such a positive impact on her students. Dealing with Jenny's father, however, frustrates Melinda to no end.

Gilbert Roberts has been raising Jenny by himself since his wife died in childbirth. Running his cattle ranch and providing for Jenny have left him too busy to consider courting. And even if he had the time, the secret that has plagued him for years, quells any desire he might have to marry again. He resents Melinda's initial accusations that he is neglecting his daughter. As they get to know each other better, Melinda's self-willed nature leaves him shaking his head more than once.

Can two people who are so different truly have a future together?

Melinda and the Wild West is a great start to what I hope will be a wonderful series. Five books are now available in A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho series. The others are:

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger

Jenny's Dream

David and the Bear Lake Monster

Elena, Woman of Courage: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho.

The strength of this book lies within its well-developed characters. Melinda is self-willed (a term she despises), with an elegance one would expect of a well-bred young lady. Melinda certainly doesn't see herself giving up teaching to get married and take care of some man for the rest of her life. She is frustrated by Gilbert, which makes her attraction to him that much more difficult to bear.

Gilbert, on the other hand, has dealt with the loss of his wife alone. He keeps more than busy raising Jenny and operating his cattle ranch. He's not prepared for someone like Melinda, and he certainly can't understand his attraction to her.

Melinda's Aunt Martha and Uncle William, who she boards with in Paris, Idaho, are not complex characters, but the story wouldn't be the same without them. Martha is the matchmaking half of a couple that has been married for many years and remains as in love now as they were back then. They provide a sense of belonging to Melinda in her new home. They are sweet and funny, and are the perfect surrogate parents for Melinda.

Several true experiences from Clarke's family members and ancestors make their way into the book. She lists them in a note at the end of the book. Clarke also does an excellent job of dropping the reader right into the time period with many historical details.

Memorable characters, an engaging plot, and the heartbeat of the untamed west combine to make Melinda and the Wild West a book that historical romance readers will enjoy.

Title: Melinda and the Wild West
Author: Linda Weaver Clarke
Publisher: American Book Publishing
ISBN-10: 1589823672
ISBN-13: 978-1589823679
SRP: $22.00

Now that you've read all about Melinda and the Wild West, I'm sure you'll want to add it to your historical fiction collection. The author has generously agreed to allow The Book Connection to offer a giveaway. Find the details below on how you can enter for your chance to win a copy of this wonderful book.

How to Enter:

1) Mandatory: Follow this blog or let us know you are already a follower. Comment must include a working email address so that we can contact you if you win.

2) Get three additional entries for blogging about this contest. Leave a comment (with link) here telling us where you blogged about it.

3) Get two additional entries for tweeting about this contest. Don't forget to let us know here that you tweeted and leave us a link.

4) Get two additional entries for posting about this contest on Facebook. Leave us a link here.

5) Get two additional entries for following Book Tours and More and leaving a comment on one of our posts. Let us know here that you became a follower and which post you commented on.

This giveaway will run from today until 11:59 p.m.(Eastern) on April 30th. A winner will be announced in early May.

* This contest is open to all residents of the United States and Canada.



Tribute Books said...

Like historical fiction,would enjoy.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me. Linda asked me to post this contest at Win a Book, so I did. If we can help you publicize any other book and author doings, drop us a line! We'd love to have you on board.

Christine H said...

I'm following your blog and like to be entered.+1

I tweeted this giveaway +2

I posted on facebook too +2

Now following Book Tours +2


Kelsey said...

I am now a follower of this blog.


I follow Book Tours and More.

Thanks for the giveaway!
krae991 at yahoo dot com

scottsgal said...

I'm a follower - I'd like to read this
msboatgal at

misskallie2000 said...

I follow your blog

couldn't find twitter button

Couldn't find FB button

Now Follow Book Tours

Great interview and review.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Cheryl said...


I added a retweet button through TweetMeme to make life easier, but you can also just tweet on your own.

The Book Connection doesn't have a page on Facebook yet, but you can still post a message on FB and let us know you did, so you get credit for it.



Esther Y.M. said...

Hi...I am joining the contest and have done the following:

1) followed the blog

2) tweeted this

3) promoted it on my facebook page!/profile.php?id=597185615&ref=profile

4)Am following booktoursandmore and left a comment here.

Hope I am the winner!!!! :)))

vvb32 reads said...

i've been eye-ing this sweet read. and i'm now following your blog too.
vvb32 at

Allison said...

No need to enter me...I have all the books in the series. I just wanted to share that the whole series is really great. I have read and reviewed them all. Check out my reviews on my blog!! Great review of "Melinda"!!! Linda really is an awesome author!


Suko said...

Great review and giveaway! No need to enter me, either, I have all the books in the series.

Dawn M. said...

This sounds like a great book. I'd love to read it. :0)

I follow.

librarygrinch at gmail dot com