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Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho

Overview

A Semi-finalist for "Reviewers Choice Award"
Melinda Gamble wants to make a difference in the world. Without hesitation, she accepts a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho. She has many challenges such as trying to help a rebellious student, coming face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and finding herself in a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it's a rugged rancher who ...
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Overview

A Semi-finalist for "Reviewers Choice Award"
Melinda Gamble wants to make a difference in the world. Without hesitation, she accepts a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho. She has many challenges such as trying to help a rebellious student, coming face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and finding herself in a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it's a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared-love.

A romance for teens and adults.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781481266765
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/15/2012
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching and encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the author of five historical "sweet" romances, four mystery/adventure novels and two non-fiction e-books.
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful story! I loved this book right from beginning to end.

    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!

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Wild West Adventure-Very Warmhearted!!!!

    Melinda and The Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho by Linda Weaver Clarke
    This is the first in this Bear Lake Saga that takes place amidst the breathtaking mountains Bear Lake, Idaho in the late 1800's.
    Melinda Gamble, who has been raised back east in Boston, comes west to take on the wild west and teach in a one room schoolhouse. She meets Gilbert Roberts, a rugged rancher and widower, who is afraid of committment, so is afraid to let his feelings for Melinda be known. She takes Jenny, Gilbert's rebellious 8 year old daughter, under her wing, knowing she just needs a woman's touch to earn her trust and and love.
    Linda weaves a down-home country feeling story with some great facts surrounding Bear Lake. We read about a real life bank robbery by Butch Cassidy and his gang, learn how the pencil came to be and share Melinda's harrowing experience with a grizzly. When her Uncle William is injured during a blizzard, she goes for help and winds up in a distressful situation, but Gilbert is there to keep her safe.
    I really liked the historic facts blending fact and fiction and how Linda weaves the narrative with the setting, making it feel you're right there along side the characters, feeling their emotions. And, the fact the romance is so refreshing. So, if you enjoy old-fashioned, home-spun stories, you'll love this book. There are four more books in this series, so you'll be in for a treat with excitement, adventure and romance.
    I received my review copy from Linda.
    Publisher: American Book Publishing
    Date Published: Dec 28 2006
    ISBN: 1-58982-367-2
    267pp

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    Beautiful story!

    Melinda Gamble is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. She's leaving the safety of her Boston hometown, as well as her family and her former fiancé to accept a teaching position in the wild west. Against everyone's advice, she's determined to make a new life for herself with her aunt and uncle in Bear Lake, Idaho.

    She immediately learns why the west is called "wild" after she's held at gunpoint by Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch gang, attacked by a bear and nearly dying of hypothermia during a huge blizzard. After only a few months of being out west she's had more excitement than she ever had in her lifetime back east.

    Things really get interesting when, Gilbert, the father of one of her students takes a liking to her as does the school's superintendent, Henry. Melinda never expected to be in the middle of a romantic triangle - especially since her former fiancé from the east isn't giving up either.

    Linda Weaver Clarke has created a beautiful story of love, strength and endurance in this first book of her Bear Lake series. Melinda is a character readers will admire and cheer for. Each character will touch the reader's heart and hold onto it until the very last page and beyond. The author does an amazing job of blending fiction with true historical facts. It's very obvious she did much research for this book and definitely got it right. I loved every minute of this book.

    FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Posted November 22, 2008

    A cute story

    This is a cute love story, suitable for the early teenage girl. It is not historically accurate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2006

    A Tender Love Story

    Melinda and the Wild West by Linda Weaver Clarke is a tender love story. Clarke¿s characters are well-developed and her setting is compelling. But what separates this book from others is Clarke¿s historical accuracy and meticulous attention to detail. The reader feels transported to another time and place ¿ experiencing bank robberies and skunk oil and even exposure to stinging nettles right along with Melinda. Readers of all ages will enjoy this book from the exciting beginning to the satisfying end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    Fantastic Description of Scenery

    Melinda and the Wild West¿ despite the wild, untamed nature of the Bear Lake Valley¿ Ms. Clarke has succeeded in presenting to her readers the beauty of the area. The scenery is portrayed so vividly that you can see each and every color. You can feel the crispness of the air in winter or smell the flowers in the field in spring. You can feel the peace Melinda feels while walking through the woods or feel her fear when she comes face to face with a bear. And amidst such a beautiful portrayal of life, you see a love story unfolding like no other. Melinda¿s spirit is fiery, but her tenderness touches those she meets. Ms. Clarke is a talented author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2007

    Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho

    'Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho' by Linda Weaver Clarke is a tender and rare look into the lives of fictional characters set in a period that was a more simple and less complex world of todays airline security, IPods and personal computers. The year is 1896 and Melinda Gamble, a schoolteacher, leaves Boston for the adventure of a world that is untamed and uncivilized. Recently interviewed, the author said, 'She (Melinda) is an elegant woman from Boston, but is naive to the Wild West and its rugged atmosphere...It was fun to be able to take a ¿naive¿ city-woman and help her to learn about the elements of the West, an area where I grew up. Melinda is a very stubborn and headstrong woman. She is, also, a very tender woman and wants to do some good in her life and make a difference in the lives of these children. At the same time, she finds that the people in this laid-back western community have made a difference in her life as well.' 'Melinda and the Wild West' is rich with historical settings and provides as much of a 'historical' education as entertainment. This story is set in Paris, Idaho -- Founded Sept. 26, 1863, 'I dedicated my novel to my great, great grandparents who were the first settlers of Paris, Idaho: Gilbert and Sarah Weaver,' the author says, 'I wanted to learn more about the area that my great grandparents loved so much. That's what ¿historical-fiction¿ is all about: taking bits of history and putting it into the lives of fictional characters.' Melinda Gamble takes the reader on her journey in the early days of the 'Wild West' and experience a time and culture that was 'wild' and 'primitive' but 'simple,' 'genuine' and 'true.' The plot/story blends memorable characters with Idaho's Bear Lake history and is actually based on several true experiences. 'At first, I created the most perfect 'rugged rancher' that I could think of, not realizing I was actually creating my character after the same man that I admired and loved, who was in my life for years ¿ my father,' the author says. 'It wasn't until my stepmother read my book and mentioned how much Gilbert reminded her of my dad: Marcus Gilbert Weaver. The build of Gilbert was like my father, a tall hardworking farmer with bulging muscles. My dad had the strength to lift a 130-pound sack of grain over and over again until his truck was filled. The low soft chuckle of Gilbert was my fathers but it didn't dawn on me until she mentioned each little aspect of my rugged rancher. Yes, my character took on the personality and build of my dad without me even realizing it. In a way, it touched me because my father passed away in his 90¿s in 2005.' Linda Weaver Clarke displays an easy and excellent style of writing blending adventure/romance/history/humor and courage. 'I hope that I can uplift people by inviting them into my world of make believe,' she says. 'If I can make someone laugh as they read about Jenny stomping around the house with pans tied to her feet, or sigh breathlessly as Gilbert takes Melinda in his arms and expresses his unconditional love to her, or gasp as the grizzly charges toward Melinda, then I think it was all worth it to write this novel.' 'Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho' is an instant classic and should put this author on the literary map all over the world. A MUST read! Reviewed by John Weaver for Page One Literary Book Review

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2007

    Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho

    Melinda and The Wild West is a refreshing novel that has adventure as well as intrigue as Melinda tries to adjust with a new way of life, the harsh environment, and a headstrong rancher that is part of her new surroundings in the Bear Lake Valley. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure and light romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2007

    Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho

    For anyone who likes to read classic-styled romance novels that also have a drop of history, this is the book for you. From one of her students coming to class with skunk oil that explodes, to her encounter with a black bear, there¿s always something for the imagination in the book. It is very easy to picture the scene you are reading. Clarke was able to write about love in a soft fashion, not full of the same type of sexual writing of most romance novels. I was impressed with the eloquence in which Clarke spun her story. It was dramatic in some spots and yet contained simply placed bits of humor. I would recommend this to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2007

    Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho

    ¿Melinda and the Wild West¿ is a historical romance, loosely based on true events. Linda Weaver Clarke has done a marvelous job of blending history with fiction, romance and family remembrances. Melinda found the invitation from her Aunt Martha enticing. She¿s never been out west. A teaching position opened up in Paris, Idaho. Against her mother¿s objections she leaves her long time suitor, James, to head into an adventure. When asked what she wants in life, Melinda says she wants ¿to do some good in the world, and perhaps make a difference in someone¿s life.¿ She hopes she can do that in the ¿West by teaching school.¿ Bear Lake was lovely and Melinda knew she was going to enjoy her new home despite some of the ¿adventures¿ that lay ahead. An outlaw chooses to rob the bank on the very day that Melinda decides to open an account. The outlaws are none other than Butch Cassidy and Elza Lay. When Melinda takes a stroll to enjoy the fresh mountain air she finds a cool stream that entices her to do some wading. She finds a stranger staring at her his features take her breath away. His name is Gilbert and he¿s a widower raising his 8-year-old daughter, Jenny. Jenny is one of Melinda¿s students. The other students were quick to tell their teacher all about Jenny, she¿s been known to fight with other students and she¿s been labeled a troublemaker. By reaching out to Jenny, Melinda is drawn to Gilbert. From the first page I was captivated by this book. I had to continue reading, rushing to turn the page, I had to see what next adventure would catch up with Melinda. The plot is interesting: mixing history with fiction, adventure with romance. Melinda is an endearing character and you can¿t help but see things through her eyes. Gilbert is strong and courageous. I like this book! This is good Christian fiction. It is a great honor to highly recommend this book to readers of historical fictions and romance. Ms Clarke, this is a piece to be proud of, well done! Reviewer: Debra Gaynor, Reader Views

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2006

    Melinda and the Wild West.....wild and beautiful at the same time.

    Even tho' the west was becoming more populated and becoming more 'modern', it was still raw in it's wildness and beauty. This book offers a look at some of the most beautiful of Idaho's country. Ms. Clarke is able to make you 'see' the beauty and the wonderfulness of the wilderness through the eyes of Melinda Gamble, an unmarried (and thought of as a 'spinster') school teacher looking for a way to be of service to others and make a difference in the lives of children. Ms. Clarke skillfully weaves a story of romance, hardship and wild beauty in the 'wild west' by using some historical references and making the characters so real and lifelike and people you wish you could know in real life. I really enjoyed the descriptive nature of the book that made me feel like I was 'watching' a Hallmark movie.

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