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Destination Unknown: The Saga Continues – Book Trailer

Beth, now known as Emilie, did not return to the year 2016 with her brother, Russ. Instead, she left the life of partying and married Daniel.

Daniel and his children, Anna, Sara, and Toby strove to teach her the way of the land. But Emilie still found life in 1860 quite challenging.

When the family’s friend, Mrs. Knutson, learned of secret relatives, Daniel and Emilie accompanied her by wagon train to Saint Anthony. A trip which would’ve taken Emilie thirty minutes by car took three long days. But she trudged forward, determined to be strong even though calamity, with a side of nausea, followed her everywhere.

Now two teenage city boys, forced by their grandfather, had come back to live with them.

The size of her home wasn’t a concern. However, the items she’d brought back from the future were something to worry about. What if one found Toby’s video games? Or Anna’s hand-held sewing machine? She felt sure it would change history.

Meanwhile, Russ and Zena–the woman he had rescued–went to the future in search of a vaccine for his illness. Unable to time travel while recuperating, they found and stayed with Henry in the year 2110.

They had just completed building a larger Scorpion when Zena ran into trouble, causing her and Russ to flee back to the year 2016.

When the time came for Russ to travel again, he and Zena returned to Emilie’s era only to find things not as they should be.

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Unbelievable Stories I Uncovered

Vali Benson
Vali Benson Author Interview

Blood and Silver follows a young girl to 1880’s Tombstone Arizona where disaster strikes and she must outsmart an evil madman. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for the story of Blood and Silver was numerous trips to Tombstone, Arizona between 1980 and present day. This tourist attraction now has a population of about twelve hundred residents, but in its hey day had a population of almost twenty thousand. I couldn’t imagine nearly twenty thousand people in this tiny place and the more I researched, the more unbelievable stories I uncovered. I knew that this place in that time was a story waiting to be written. 

Carissa is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Carissa is a young girl of only twelve years who has had a modest but loving upbringing until age eight. At that point, her family joined a wagon train for California and met with tragedy when her father and brother died of cholera. Her mother was consumed by grief and left young Carissa to fend for them both. This made Carissa grow up very quickly. She realized that only she can help them. She used her brains and shrewdness well beyond her years to create a better situation for her mother and herself. 

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted to show a young girl who had the grit and the guts to take charge of her own future. I also wanted to play with the interaction she had with the Chinese citizens.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently researching several different ideas. Foremost on my docket would be another adventure for Carissa and Mai and also perhaps some background on China Mary. My readers were so receptive so receptive to my characters in Blood and Silver that I feel that maybe I owe them a little more.  

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

2xWINNER – 2021 San Francisco Book Festival What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother? If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out.

After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers that Miss Lucille has been drugging her. She and the kind doctor make a plan to try to save Lisette by dosing her down on the drug.

Doctor Henderson tells Carissa that the only source for the drug is a Chinese immigrant named China Mary, who lives in Hoptown, at the other end of Tombstone. Carissa has no choice but to go to the powerful woman for help. Many say that China Mary is the one who really controls Tombstone.

China Mary admires Carissa’s brave spirit, and uses her influence to get her a job at the new Grand Hotel, which will free Carissa from her many duties at Miss Lucille’s. She will work along with Mary’s twelve year old niece, Mai-Lin. The two girls become fast friends.

Then, disaster strikes, and the two girls must work together to stay alive.

With a host of colorful characters and meticulous attention to period detail, Blood and Silver is a story of the best and worst of human nature, the passion for survival and the beauty of true friendship.

Fate’s Sweet Passion

Fate's Sweet Passion by [Patricia Crumpler]

Fate’s Sweet Passion had my attention from page one. The year is 1838, and Queen Victoria has just been coronated. Crumpler’s unique style wove an intriguing web for the reader to meander through. The conflict between Alexina Poole and her cousin, the despicable and conniving lawyer, begins when he tries to force her to marry Peyton Woodleigh, the man she supposedly had been betrothed to since she was three years old. Peyton is the brutish yet handsome owner of Applewood Estate. Alexina must now decide if she will remain teaching at Greenfield School for Young Girls or marry a man she hasn’t seen since early childhood.

Crumpler writes in a captivating style, with interesting characters, riveting cliffhangers, and constant dramatic conflicts that left me desperate to know what happens next. The author spares us the extravagant language and instead smartly uses a more direct narrative and easy to understand language that ensures readers always know what is going on.

This is a romance novel, but it breaks the standard tropes and common romantic setups. Instead, I found myself captivated by the characters actions as well as their underlying motives. Taking place in Northern England, I was given a glimpse of England’s breathtaking countryside, and it all felt authentic and exotic due to the authors superb ability to describe scenes.

Fate’s Sweet Passion has some long chapters, however, Crumpler keeps the action moving and the flow of the story brings each chapter to a stimulating end. Consistent conflicts are presented, seeming unsolvable, yet one by one Alexina and Peyton’s bond grows stronger as they overcome each obstacle.

The blooming relationship between the well-bred Alexina and the obstinate Peyton grows in a convincing and alluring way as they learn what each other brings to the relationship. Despite the many conflicts they must overcome, theirs is a true diamond-in-the-rough marriage.

Fate’s Sweet Passion is a riveting romance novel with an unconventional setup to a romance that is absolutely captivating. With compelling characters and a spellbinding story, fans of historical romance novels will be begging for more.

Pages: 343 | ASIN: B09DJFK69H

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Blood and Silver

Blood and Silver by [Vali Benson]

Blood and Silver by Vali Benson is a story from a 12-year-old girl’s perspective based in the 1880s era. Carissa Beaumont is sent to the boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona from California. She and her mother are employed (without payment) under Miss Lucille, the owner of a brothel. Her mother, Lisette is drugged and used for her beauty and singing talents. Things looked grim until they reached this new city which changed their lives forever. Carissa meets a few amazing people like the town’s sheriff, a kind doctor,  a new friend Mai-Lin and the town’s prominent dignitary-Chinese Mary, who helps her escape her miserable fate.

Blood and Silver is an enthralling western with superb attention to detail and riveting characters. The story has some funny innuendo which will give you the giggles throughout the book, but these lighthearted moments breakup the otherwise grim nature of rough western life.

The friendship between innocent Carissa and her sarcastic brothel friend Yvonne is perfect for the young adult audience. China Mary is not a native English speaker and that is depicted spectacularly. Her dialogue will keep you waiting for her parts in the book. Carissa, despite her juvenile age has to make tough decisions for herself. She is  a spectacular protagonist. The author has created a strong female lead that has a unique appeal.

The book is short and crisp. This is more of a novella, but in any case we have just enough room to set the scene, setup characters, and set them on a perilous adventure that I enjoyed reading. There’s a lot going in the story in a short amount of time, but author Vali Benson’s writing ensures we never lose track of what’s happening and why, and that balance and relentless pace make the book suspenseful.

Blood and Silver is a captivating coming of age story following the growth of a demure little girl into a smart and courageous individual. This is an enthralling western that gets the historical details right for the history buffs and ramps up the drama for those looking for a thrilling young adult adventure that transports you to another time and place.

Pages: 142 | ASIN: B086R4RBF3

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Strife and Deadly Peril on the Open Trail

Author Interview
Henry Helbog Author Interview

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed follows a retired US Marshall who sets out to fulfill a dying man’s wish to protect his wife and daughter against a deadly gunslinger. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My intention was to depict, as much as possible, an authentic version of the Old West as opposed to an idealized, romanticised, aseptic version. The three main characters, who really don’t like each other or have much in common, have no choice but to try to make the best of it when they’re unexpectedly thrown together. Riding in a wagon together for hundreds of miles and being exposed to various dangers ultimately brings out both the worst and best in them.

Flint is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

I wanted to create a character who would frequently find himself in perilous and challenging situations. A lawman was the obvious choice, but then I thought a better idea would be to make him an ex-lawman who worked as a sort of Old West private investigator and hired gun. This way, I thought, there would be a wider range of future plot possibilities for my character than if he were just a marshal.

Although Flint is a mostly good man who abides by the law and is guided by his own personal code of ethics and fair play, there is more to him than that. Financial gain is also a strong motivating factor for him. Would he, for instance, have agreed to help the wife and daughter if there wasn’t the added incentive of receiving a share of the profit from the gems? Whether he would or wouldn’t can’t be said with any degree of certainty. However, when he does commit to helping them, he does so wholeheartedly and even at great personal risk to himself, thus showing that there is an element of self-sacrifice in his nature.

By the way, I didn’t actually think consciously about my main character’s attributes when writing this book, so being prompted to examine the finer points of his nature has been an interesting exercise for me.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Love, devotion, jealousy, rivalry, pettiness, selfishness and greed are among the themes explored.

The novel also explores the harmful consequences that can arise when a child is kept in the dark about its true origin.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The second Flint book, Blood Feud, is out now. It’s about two bitter rival families locked in an endless private war. As a result of thirty years of raids and ambushes, their numbers are depleted and both sides seem headed for eventual extinction. Flint is hired to protect the remaining members of one of the families but is inexorably drawn into the conflict. I anticipate the third book in the series, Vengeance, to be out by early August. Assuming my publisher has no objections, I think I might write perhaps six books in all before moving on to a new series.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

United States Marshal A. A. Flint, retired, comes across a dying man in a lonely mountain cabin. Shot through the stomach, he has only minutes to live. 

In that interval of time, he entrusts Flint with the task of helping his wife and daughter to find a hidden pouch of gemstones thought to be of incalculable worth. Above all, he is charged with protecting them against the death-dealing man in black: a gunfighter who’s been trailing the fast-fading cabin dweller all the way from California to Wyoming and who will stop at nothing to lay his hands on the gemstones. 
But first comes perhaps the hardest part of all: Flint must break the news of the cabin dweller’s death to his wife and daughter — and reveal to them that he himself was his killer.

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed

U.S. Marshal Flint - Trailed: A Classic Western by [Henry Helbog, Pale Horse Publications, Michael Thomas]

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed by Henry Helbog is an action-packed story that begins with a nail-biting start. The first chapter starts with a heart-stopping scene that entangles the reader in an unexpected adventure of discovery combined with curiosity and commitment. From one chapter to the next, the layers of a harsh, dystopian climate are peeled away to uncover humanity that lingers beneath, even in the direst of situations.

Initially, the story introduces two strangers on an almost objective but engaging level. The author reels you in with unforgiving, relentless development that’s fast-paced and page-turning, then pulls you into a deeper, more profound story that lies beneath. The story is intriguing because it keeps the reader guessing about the actual motive of the character and their journey throughout the story.

Flint, the main character, embarks on a journey that he commits to as a promise to an unlikely individual. He encounters many people, towns, and situations and learns many new and life-changing details along his quest. He learns more about the stranger he vowed to help and the history of his legacy while forging his own in the process. The book is full of plot twists and keeps the reader eager to read more, from start to finish.

Just as Flint’s story unravels, it becomes more dangerous and challenging than he expected. Readers will find the tale only grows more uncertain and exciting as they continue and become more invested in the outcome.

As a reader who enjoys adventure and the thrill of unexpected twists in a plot, I found the book easy to read and follow. There are no unnecessary complications or details that distract or take away from the overall storyline. It’s a fantastic book to read when you require a good quality adventure.

United States Marshal Flint: Trailed is an exciting western adventure novel that follows a retired U.S. Marshall set on a dangerous quest to fulfill a dying mans wish. This sets him, and readers, headlong down dusty trails with gunslingers hot on his trail. This story is relentlessly entertaining and is sure to appeal to anyone who enjoys westerns that put compelling characters in precarious situations.

Pages: 121 | ASIN: B092X78H4N

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The Shadow of Wildflowers

The Shadow of Wildflowers by [Alta Ione]

The Shadow of Wildflowers, by Alta Ione, is the emotionally charged story of Lainie and Jake Adamsen’s love, loss, and struggle to forge a new path in Idaho’s frontier. This impassioned story narrates Lainie’ difficult life on the run from the dangerous Niall McNally, as well as Jake’s heartbreaking and life change losses, along with their effort to live on a farm and make things work after Miss Jenny goes blind. The challenges seem insurmountable, but the journey they take is endearing and heartwarming.

Author Alta Ione writes beautifully, creating vivid images of Montana and Idaho’s frontier in 1890. The setting is engrossing and effortlessly creates an exotic backdrop for our alluring characters to inhabit. The story focuses on facial expressions and small gestures, which really captures even the small feeling and turmoil the characters have, magnifying them, ensuring even the smallest of drama is felt. These deep examinations of personal moments and emotions reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. As a reader keen on details, I appreciated the detailed descriptions associated with feelings and emotions. Those descriptions helped the reader feel part of the story and share the emotions with the main characters.

The story jumps back and forth in time, which disrupts the rhythm of the story, but ensures the reader is fully engaged as I was rarely sure where the story was going next. This does provide more information about each character and a deeper understanding of how events transpired. Revealing a troubled past that readers get to piece together. Separate from the story, the note at the end of the book shows the story’s authenticity and its inspiration, and was a nice personal addition to this book.

The Shadow of Wildflowers by Alta Ione is a heartwarming love story and a exciting account of life-long grievances that will capture the heart of every reader. This is a historical romance that is driven by the poignant melodrama and enthralling characters.

Pages: 391 | ASIN: B08ZBM3Q37

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Becoming Olive W.: The Women of Campbell County

Becoming Olive W.: The Women of Campbell County: Family Saga Book 1 by [S. Lee Fisher]

In the early years of the 20th century, Olive Westchester’s mother dies in childbirth, leaving Olive a toddler to be raised by a distant, tyrannical father and her 6 older siblings.  At an early age she displays a remarkable maturity and intellect and is running the finances of the family farm from the age of 10.  She longs to attend college when she grows up, a rare enough event for a woman in her generation.  But her domineering father is only interested in sending her to finishing school to polish off her headstrong edges and make her suitable for marriage.  When Olive’s beloved brother, Fred, is sent off to war against his wishes, it changes everything.

Becoming Olive W is the first book in a trilogy by S Lee Fisher called The Women of Campbell County: Family Saga. It covers a period of about 13 years, following Olive from the ages of 3 to 16, with the majority of the plot taking place during the first part of World War 1. Fisher handles the leaps through time with a deft hand, and the reader is rarely, if ever, left feeling as if there is something missing.

Whether it was intentional or not, the style is reminiscent of the sweeping plots of Barbara Taylor Bradford. With Olive and her family, Fisher has created a gripping tale and irresistible individuals you emotionally connect with. There are all the elements of a multi-generational family epic with memorable characters, wealth and poverty, treachery, difficult circumstances, great love rubbing up against abiding hatred and fatal flaws galore.

Olive was an intriguing character that I enjoyed following, even though I found it hard to see her as just a 10-year-old child. She seemed very mature for her age, rather like an adult than a child. A woman really, who manages the finances of a large farm and stands up to her father and and other family members with such tenacity.

The dialogue was well written and had a good pace and flow that creates some very engaging scenes between characters. I felt the tone was more suited to the early 19th century in Jane Austen’s England rather than a small-town in the U.S. in the early 20th century.

Becoming Olive W is an emotionally charged family saga set in a realistic historical setting with riveting drama that will keep readers consistently entertained. Olive is a character that I will remember for a long time.

Pages: 312 | ASIN: ‎ B08Y5LC5BJ

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