Melinda and the Wild West, by Linda Weaver Clarke (Review & Giveaway)

5 Stars!
In 1896 Melinda Gamble a very elegant, very naive young woman from Boston decides to give up her life of monotonous comfort for the turbulent uncertainty of the still untamed Wild West. Driven by her intense desire to make a difference in the world, Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, where she comes face-to-face with a frightening bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and an intense blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it is a ruggedly handsome and very mysterious stranger who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared love.

Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a "Family Legacy Workshop," encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is happily married and is the mother of six daughters and has several grandchildren. Clarke is the author of the historical "sweet" romance series, "A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho," which includes the following novels: Melinda and the Wild West - a finalist for the "Reviewers Choice Award," Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, Jenny's Dream, David and the Bear Lake Monster, and Elena, Woman of Courage. A mystery series, "The Adventures of John and Julia Evans," includes the following novels: Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, and Montezuma Intrigue.
Visit her blog - HERE, and her website - HERE

Wonderful story! I loved this book right from beginning to end. To me this didn't seem like a book written today about the 1800's, it seemed like a book written in the 1800's. That's how authentic it was.  This was a delightful love story rich with historical facts. Linda, the author certainly did her research! I really felt like I was right there living amongst them. I love when a book can do that. I love reading about the 1800's and I want to feel like I am right there.
This story reminded me of 2 others - "Anne of Green Gables" ( only because of the determined teacher part) and mostly - "Christy" by Catherine Marshall. I loved that book and TV series! So that is a complement to the Author!
There was great character development - I fell in love with Melinda by page 4. What a wonderful young lady she was! Strong, smart, sensible, and so caring. Now this is someone that young girls can look up to.
"Mama, its 1896. Women can make choices about their own lives more than ever before. I choose to go to college even though women aren't encouraged to do so, and that choice made all the difference in the world. I'm a different person now just because of that choice."
The description in this book were excellent! Everything from each outfit she was wearing, what the homes looked like, the school house, the town, and the Spring and mountains! The author really painted a nice picture for us to put in our heads.  I especially like the clothing. In so many books they just say "She was wearing a long green dress." But Linda describes every detail so I could actually sit down and draw a picture.
There is a lot of American History in here also - and I also love that! She talks about Susan B Anthony and the woman's rights movement, Henry Ford and the first car, and even the Mayflower (Melinda did teach school remember). There was also this little fact that I had not even heard before
"The color yellow  (for pencils) was  new. Usually the pencils were wooden with no color at all, but the pencil manufactures had recently decided to color the pencils for a very good reason. The best graphite for pencils came from China. American pencil manufactures wanted to let people know that their pencils contained Chinese graphite, and in China, the color yellow represented royalty and respect. So, American pencil manufactures decided to paint their pencils bright yellow, both to advertise their association with China and to represent respect."
This story flowed real nice and was a quick easy read. It was very clean (Thank you!) so good for any age. This book would actually be good for school age girls to read because of all the history in it.
And of course because of the nice love story - it had a great ending!

Linda Weaver Clarke has offered to give away a signed copy of this book!
I will contact the winner then pass the info along to her so she can contact you directly about get the book to you.
*** Please leave a comment for the Author!
* Please US & Canada only.
* And please only enter once!
* Winner will be chosen on 6/13/12
* Winner will have 48 hrs. to respond.

Linda Weaver Clarke is such a sweet person. We have really gotten to know each other over the past few weeks, emailing back and forth. Linda has sent me the rest of this wonderful series (in e-book form). So over the rest of this month I will be trying to read and review as many of these as I can slip in here!



  1. Love the snippets that you shared! The vivid details and the writer's voice really do give an authentic feel to the book :) Have an awesome week, Wendy!

  2. I love American history and appreciate all the research you do. Interesting about the yellow pencils and how they came to be. Who Knew!

  3. I was drawn in by your description of the story. Love to read the book

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. JoAnn, When are you going to write another book? You are a great writer in your own right and would love to red more of your writings.

  4. This sounds like another fun-to-read Linda Weaver Clarke story. I've read one of Linda's books and enjoyed the history in it. I loved Anne of Green Gables. What a neat comparison.

  5. Sounds like a great book to share with my mom. Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

  6. This book sounds interesting. I haven't really read much about historical novels based on the Wild West. I will need to check this out.

  7. Love Historical Fiction. You did a great review that made me want to read it.
    Linda said she travels" encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography." Is there some of her family history in this book?

  8. Yes, I add many experiences from my family and ancestors to my characters in each book in this series. That made it fun for me. About the yellow pencils...Melinda, who is a teacher in this book, needed to hand out something to write on, so I did some research and found that in 1896 pencils were painted yellow for the first time and for a very good reason. I just had to put it in. And would you believe that many readers have commented on this yellow pencil? Hahaha.

  9. Love historical fiction - the description sounds great! I am adding it to my TBR list.

  10. I love western romance. Can't wait to read it!

  11. Sounds like a great read!!

  12. I love historical fiction and all the research and work that goes into a good one. I am excited to read your book.

  13. Thank you for sharing this with me. This is something I know I would find interesting.

  14. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! Thank you. Julie H.

  15. I enjoyed the review. The book and setting sound interesting.

  16. Great review. This sounds like a really good book. I just love reading books about the old west.

  17. It would be fun to read a book like this, I haven't in quite a while. Thanks for offering this giveaway! Blessings, Laura