Waltz in the Wilderness Review, Guest Post and Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday everyone! Never have I been so excited to read a debut novel as I have this one. Waltz in the Wilderness has been on my radar for some time now, and let me assure you that it was well worth the wait. But more importantly, I love Kathleen. She is such a wonderful person, with a big heart for the Lord. I have been blessed to get to know her even more recently, and I am so very grateful for that. I am honored to be a part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour for Waltz in the Wilderness. Kathleen has even stopped by to share a few words about her own love story. You’re going to chuckle!! 😉 And don’t forget to enter the AMAZING giveaway at the end of the post!!

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Waltz in the Wilderness Cover

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 for your copy!

This book has touched me in ways I’m not even sure I can entirely express in a review. Denly has penned a beautiful novel that captures the power of family, friendship, and relying on the Lord’s timing. She touches on the importance of healing, and allowing others to help you. She brings to light some difficult topics even, and yet does so in a way that just allows the characters to shine through those moments. Denly has managed to not only grab my attention through the main characters, but through the secondary story line as well.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how I connected with the secondary character Alice. At first, I wasn’t quite sure how her story was going to fit into the big picture (it does though, so not to worry), but even so I was drawn to her character. Her father reminds me of my own father, and I had a journey of wanting to get away from him as well. And while I know (and hope!) this would not be true for every reader, I have to say that it really intensified my reading experience. I knew exactly how she would feel and react in the different situations she was placed in, and Denly nailed it. I would love to see more of Alice in the future!

Eliza and Daniel were also wonderfully crafted characters. Eliza is a woman who will do anything for those she loves – whether it’s playing the role of a boy, sneaking on a ship, or risking her life to find the father that she loves so much. She’s a strong heroine for sure, and even so Denly was able to capture some vulnerability in her, and character growth that I was not initially expecting.

Daniel is the hero that has just moved into my mind, and isn’t going anywhere for awhile. What I liked about him the most was his loyalty, even when it felt wrong. I don’t want to risk any spoilers here, but I will say that he was a noble character, and even though I wanted him to go down a certain road, he chose not to. I think that made me like him even more. And not to worry romance fans – there are plenty of swoony moments that will leave you wanting more!

In addition to relatable characters, vivid settings, and swoony moments, Denly has delivered a story that will resonate with readers and have them looking at their own spiritual journey. Her love for sharing the gospel is so evident among the pages of this book, and I can’t thank her enough for writing the powerful message of relying on the Lord. It’s something that is certainly difficult at times, but if we do so, we can find the blessings will be so much more than we ever dreamed of. That is what I hope readers will get out of this story above anything else.

Waltz in the Wilderness is a well rounded story that will leave readers breathless. It is a poetic story of God’s love, God’s healing, and God’s perfect timing. I highly recommend this debut novel, and assure you it will be in Top 2020 lists among readers. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kathleen Denly Headshot 3

Kathleen 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.

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

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

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.


Kathleen has shared one of my favorite verses today – Proverbs 3:5-6. What is one of your favorite bible verses?

21 thoughts on “Waltz in the Wilderness Review, Guest Post and Giveaway!

  1. I thought your review was wonderful. You let readers know about characters and why you liked them. Great review.

  2. I might cry, I am so moved by your review. I am beyond thrilled that you found such an unexpected connection with Alice. She is a character I hadn’t originally planned to include, but who God nudged me to add to my story as I was writing it. I am so glad He did. Thank you for so beautifully expressing your heart and thoughts about my story!

    And thank you for being part of this tour! 🙂

  3. Love getting to hear about a new Christian author! My daughter’s name is Eliza, so right away I wanted to read this. 🙂
    Following the tour!

  4. Psalm 16:11 is one of my favorite verses…

    Thanks for sharing your review and about the giveaway! I have been hearing a good bit about this book as it moved toward publication.

  5. I enjoy finding new authors to read. I read a lot and so have a hard time finding new books that interest me. Thanks for sharing.

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