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Monday, November 7, 2011

Valley of Dreams

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Valley of Dreams
Bethany House (November 1, 2011)
Lauraine Snelling


Award-winning and best selling author Lauraine Snelling began living her dream to be a writer with her first published book for young adult readers, Tragedy on the Toutle, in 1982. She has since continued writing more horse books for young girls, adding historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers to her repertoire. All told, she has up to sixty books published.

Shown in her contemporary romances and women’s fiction, a hallmark of Lauraine’s style is writing about real issues of forgiveness, loss, domestic violence, and cancer within a compelling story. Her work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish, and German, and she has won the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Land and a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.

As a most sought after speaker, Lauraine encourages others to find their gifts and live their lives with humor and joy. Her readers clamor for more books more often, and Lauraine would like to comply ... if only her paintbrushes and easel didn’t call quite so loudly.

Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a cockatiel named Bidley, and a watchdog Basset named Winston. They love to travel, most especially in their forty-foot motor coach, which they affectionately deem “a work in progress”.


Cassie Lockwood's mother died when she was little, so Cassie traveled with her father's Wild West Show and became an amazingly skillful trick rider, likened by some to the famous Annie Oakley. When her father died, she continued to work with the show, having nowhere else to go.

Now Cassie has discovered that "Uncle" Jason, the show's manager, has driven the show into debt, and he's absconded with what little money was left. Devastated, Cassie decides to try to find the hidden valley where here father had dreamed of putting down roots. She has only one clue. She needs to find three huge stones that look like fingers raised in a giant hand. With Chief, a Sioux Indian who's been with the show for twenty years, and Micah, the head wrangler, she leaves both the show and a bundle of heartache behind and begins a wild and daring adventure.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Valley of Dreams, go HERE.

My Review:

I loved the simplicity of this storyline and how things appear to go from great to worse in a minute. When Cassie Lockwood learns after her performance at Lockwood and Talbot Wild West Show, that her Uncle Jason has squandered all the money the show has been making on some poor business decisions, he has left the show broke and now being handed over to the bank to pay the debts still owed. Now with only whatever supplies she can gather together in a gypsy-style wagon along with a few cattle, horses, her faithful dog, Othello, and a hand-raised buffalo named George, and heads out to find a place that her father promised to take her to, known as the Valley of Dreams. Yet he died before he was able to fulfill that promise.

Now banded together with her friends Micah and Chief, they head out to the Black Hills to search for the land her father told her about. Along the way she is challenged beyond belief, with challenges of striking out on her own and not knowing what her future holds. Left with meager supplies and a roll of money, she doesn't have any idea where she's headed, relying on the memories her father told her of what the valley looked like, unfortunately Mother Nature has other plans when an unexpected blizzard rolls in and buries them in snow and cold temperatures. Will they find the valley before they lose any of the animals or her traveling companions?

I received this book compliments Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review, and loved the independence and strength that emanates from the character of Cassie. Still dealing with the deaths of her parents, she is now forced to make a change from the life she has known since birth! I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and is the first book in an exciting new series, Wild West Wind.

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