( 3 )


Laila Mitchell has little money, her medical knowledge, a medicine kit, and the clothes on her back when she sets out to search for her last living relatives in 1890's Oregon.

Stranded in the Snake River Canyon, she

settles into a small mining community

named Venture and from there she serves

as practical nurse to scattered miners and settlers. Laila is soon entangled in the ...

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Laila Mitchell has little money, her medical knowledge, a medicine kit, and the clothes on her back when she sets out to search for her last living relatives in 1890's Oregon.

Stranded in the Snake River Canyon, she

settles into a small mining community

named Venture and from there she serves

as practical nurse to scattered miners and settlers. Laila is soon entangled in the hardships of frontier life, guardianship of a "wild child" and reluctant attraction to peach rancher and hotel owner, Ash Corbett. As she faces problems with courage and verve, a magical, never-dreamed-of future opens. Which can be hers, if only she can let go of her heart-breaking past.

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Editorial Reviews

Kathe Robin
"A colorful portrait of late 19Th -century Oregon and one woman's search for family,freedom, and love."
Jetta Culpepper
"Strong portrayals of Laila and Tansy, a wild child, and their efforts to survive on the frontier. The book is recommended for readers intrigued by women's roles in the development of the west."
Dorothy Garlock
"Give yourself a treat and read the story of an excting, terribly spunky women and her dream of independence. Authentic regarding time and place, HAVEN is a keeper to be enjoyed again and again. Dorothy Garlok, New York Times bestselling author.
Miles Swarthout
"A fine frontier romance set in an unusual and beautiful locale. Readers will be especially interested in the heroine's crusade to help stamp out addicting, worthless patent medicines plaguing America during the 1890's depression."
Miles Swarthout, Screenwriter for The Shootist, John Wayne's last movie
Candy Moulton
" believable characters and rich prose that evokes the wilderness of the Snake River Canyon."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780980155815
  • Publisher: RIVEREDGE BOOKS
  • Publication date: 7/19/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

I was born in Topeka, Kansas but from the age of nine, Oregon’s Willamette Valley has been home. As a child in one-room schools where I was often the only student in my class, I read, reread, and lived vicariously books like HEIDI, CADDIE WOODLAWN, MAMA’S BANK ACCOUNT, and LITTLE WOMEN. Jo in LITTLE WOMEN and Katrin in MAMA’S BANK ACCOUNT, writing away in their dusky attics, fueled my own dream to be a writer.
Author William Least Heat Moon is surely correct when he says “our passions at age 12 will always be with us and indicate our intended career.”

A writer who can’t not write, I pounded out my first seven books on a manual typewriter borrowed from a neighbor. Payoff for sore arms from throwing the carriage was national publication of my children’s books: in hardcover by Atheneum, E.P. Dutton, Thomas Nelson and David McKay, and in paperback book club editions by Viking Penguin, Scholastic, and Junior Literary Guild. Awards and honors include a Spur Award from Western Writers Of America and nomination for the Mark Twain Award for BEFORE THE LARK, the Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award for significant contribution to children’s literature, and inclusion on several best books’ lists.

THE PLAINSWOMAN, published originally by Ballantine, was my first novel for adults and a Western Writers Of America Spur Award finalist. Other novels include my Women Of Paragon Springs series from Five Star Publishing: LONG ROAD TURNING, BLUE HORIZONS, NO OTHER PLACE, and REAP THE SOUTH WIND. A love story set in Oregon’s Hells Canyon, HAVEN, a single title, was also published by Five Star. My historical novel, THE BARGAIN, was released by my own company, Riveredge Books, in 2007. WHERE GABLE SLEPT, a mystery, followed in 2010.

When not following my favorite pursuits, writing and reading, you’ll find me enjoying travel and exploring historic places with my husband, Bob, a retired research chemist, and spending time with our growing and busy family.

Founding Member: Women Writing the West
Western Writers of America
Authors Guild
Sisters in Crime
Mystery Writers of America
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 29, 2012

    Laila Mitchell has been on her own since she was fifteen, suppor

    Laila Mitchell has been on her own since she was fifteen, supporting herself for five years taking care of an elderly man and in the process acquiring some nursing skills. In 1893, she leaves St. Louis bound for Oregon where she hopes to find her grandparents. However she runs short of money before reaching her goal. She meets Kate, a woman who has answered an ad for a housekeeper for a man she assumed was the owner of a gold mine. He's not. Ash Corbett and his dad run a peach orchard along the Snake River in Idaho. Laila is a stubborn, independent woman, the kind so stiff-necked she will take from no one, even if it's in her best interest. But she will give and gives generously. She adopts a little girl who has been abandoned, finds herself using her nursing skills, and soon wins the respect of the community. An interesting part of this story deals with the patent medicines of that time. Laila soon becomes a respected member of the community. She falls in love with Ash Corbett who is engaged to a woman who would have the vapors if she, like Laila, had to take over a semi-abandoned cabin for shelter, shoot a mountain lion, and then skin it. Haven is an entertaining story about life in those early days and a tough, determined, but gentle woman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2004

    Warm and wonderful

    Irene Bennett Brown¿s Haven blends impeccable historical research with a romantic plot reflecting the morals and manners of the 19th Century. It¿s this kind of accuracy that has endeared Brown to her fans. For history buffs, background details on her strong-willed heroine, Laila Mitchell¿s, crusade against the destructive patent medicine industry lend an unmistakable aura of authenticity. Even a wee glimpse of the well-constructed plot would spoil the intrigue for readers. But the setting is a search for her grandparents that leads to a magical peach-laden canyon, and the handsome entrepreneur, Ash Corbett, who disapproves of her independent bent. There¿s an adorable wild cat of a little girl, and Ash¿s father, a cantankerous old man who fights change to the last ditch. Haven is a treat for readers of all ages. Another feather in the cap of this fine historical novelist!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2003

    solid historical tale

    Laila Mitchell was an orphan by the time she was fifteen. A few years later in 1893, Laila decides to join her grandparents living in la Grande, Oregon where she hopes to make a living from her medical skills learned nursing an elderly person for five years. In Boise, Laila meets widow Kate Boston who is crossing the Snake River to work as a housekeeper to a gold mine owner, Austin Corbett. When Kate is injured in an accident, she persuades Laila to cover for her on her new job until she can take over. <P>Across the river, the two women are shocked to learn that Ruby Gold is not a mine, but a peach farm. Austin welcomes the two women, but his father is nasty and abrupt. Austin warns Laila not to go down river, but she does anyway. There she is the only female besides an abandoned wild child. Austin keeps coming down to ostensibly see that¿s he is okay, but in fact has fallen in love with Laila. She reciprocates, but her need for independence threatens any future together. <P>HAVEN provides readers with picturesque view of life in a remote area (decades before Kneval¿s failed jump) during ironically that is so opposite to what is often seen in novels occurring during the ¿gay nineties¿. The cast is fabulous as fans can see their movies especially the heroine¿s need to prove herself to herself. Fans of historical fiction with romance as a secondary subplot will take immense pleasure in this powerfully vivid description of a bygone era. <P>Harriet Klausner

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