My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary

by Susan Page Davis


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My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary by Susan Page Davis

Journey now to Tuscon, Arizona, and into the Superstition Mountains of 1866, where...
 A Chance for Escape Takes Two Unlikely Allies on a Romantic Adventure Along a Desert Trail 
Since orphaned at age twelve, Carmela Wade has lived a lie orchestrated by her uncle, pretending to be a survivor of an Indian kidnapping and profiting from telling her made-up story on the speaker circuit. But as she matures into adulthood, Carmela hates the lies and longs to be free. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with US Marshal Freeland McKay and his handcuffed prisoner.

The stage is attacked. Now a chance to make a new life may suddenly be within Carmela’s reach. . .if she can survive the harsh terrain and being handcuffed to an unconscious man.
Will Carmela’s wish come true, or will she forever be branded by her past?

More from My Heart Belongs in Series...
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss: Priscilla's Reveille by Erica Vetsch (January 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels (July 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683220077
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/01/2017
Series: My Heart Belongs Series
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 503,978
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than seventy Christian novels and novellas, which have sold more than 1.5 million copies. Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest. She has also been a finalist in the More than Magic Contest and Willa Literary Awards. She lives in western Kentucky with her husband. She’s the mother of six and grandmother of ten. Visit her website at:

Read an Excerpt

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains

Carmela's Quandary

By Susan Page Davis

Barbour Publishing, Inc

Copyright © 2017 Susan Page Davis
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-68322-295-8


April 28, 1861 Tucson, New Mexico Territory

You get out there, and I mean now." Uncle Silas glared at Carmela, his white eyebrows nearly meeting over his thin nose. "I don't think I can do it." Her voice broke.

"Of course you can. You had it word-perfect last night."

Her breath came in shallow gasps. She brushed back a strand of hair with a hot, moist hand. Carmela was frightened. Ma and Pa would never have made her do anything like this. But they were gone now, and Uncle Silas was in charge.

She peeked around the doorjamb. The large room was filled with noisy people, all except for the clear space at the front, where she was supposed to go and stand.

"It's all men," she choked.

"No, it's not."

She peeked again and spotted a few women with their hair piled on top of their heads or hanging down in braids. A few ranchers and merchants had brought their wives, but by far the majority of the people packed in were men.

One woman seated between two men in the front row wore a bright yellow dress with a plunging neckline. The stage driver had told her uncle that Tucson was home to about eight hundred people, and more than half of them were Mexicans. But this territory was part of the United States now, so more and more Americans were moving in. She wondered if every single American in Tucson had turned out for this performance.

"I'll go out and introduce you again," Uncle Silas said. "Then you'd better come out."

His menacing voice made Carmela shudder. She supposed she would have to do it. He had said they would earn some money tonight and that it was a way for her to repay him for coming all the way from Massachusetts to fetch her.

The army captain and his wife who had housed her for nearly two months at Fort Yuma after her parents died were complete strangers, and yet they had been kinder than Uncle Silas when he arrived to take her home.

He strode out before the crowd that had jammed into the biggest saloon in Tucson — the largest space they had available indoors.

"Ladies and gents," he said, holding up a hand. The assembly quieted. "I think you will understand my niece's reticence. It is only a few weeks since she was rescued from her ordeal among the savages, and she has not met a crowd this large or been expected to tell her story to half so many people." He always said that, although it was a lie. Carmela's parents had died nearly three years ago.

"I ask you to hold your applause and remain quiet," Uncle Silas went on, "not only so that you can hear her soft voice but so that you don't frighten her. Remember, she is not used to loud noise. After what she went through, yelling and clapping might sound to her like an approaching battle. I have assured her you mean her no harm, so please give her your attention but restrain your enthusiasm. Without further ado, Miss Carmela Wade."

She pulled in a deep breath and stepped into the doorway. A smattering of controlled applause greeted her. She walked slowly across to stand beside Uncle Silas. The room grew very quiet. She could hear their breathing. A hundred or more eager faces gazed at her, hungrily taking in every detail of her simple dress, leather leggings, and braided hair, but especially the ugly black and blue designs on her face. She could see pity in their eyes. A few women's faces convulsed as though the sight of her revolted them.

Uncle Silas put his hand on her back and pressed against the layers of her clothing.

"H–hello," she said.

A great sigh went up from the audience.

"Go on, my dear," Uncle Silas murmured.

She shot him a quick glance. My dear? She didn't think he considered her dear, unless it was for the money he hoped she would earn tonight.

He nodded and smiled encouragingly. She looked away, toward the woman in the daring yellow dress. Her black-rimmed blue eyes surveyed Carmela eagerly.

"I ..." Carmela choked in another breath, trying to remember the new, more elaborate script he had given her to memorize. "I was with my parents, going across ... to California. We had been with some others, but they went off on a different road. My father said we could make it the rest of the way ourselves. We were nearly there ... he said. I don't know how far we had to go."

The people had relaxed on the benches and chairs, as though settling in for a good tale. She hoped she could remember it all. At the same time, she wanted to scrub it from her mind and run out the back way.

Lies, all of it.

Carmela didn't think she would mind speaking to crowds so much if what she said to them were true. She hated being the center of attention, with the bright lanterns shining in her eyes and the people staring at her, then opening her mouth to lie.

The people smelled. The fumes of liquor assaulted her, and the whole place reeked of sweat. This rough border town was full of men — rugged, rude, and in some cases half-drunk. She spotted another woman, brightly dressed, with raven hair and dark eyes. Her gown was of shiny red material, with black lace at the throat and wrists. She was wedged in between two men, and both of them were staring at her.

The pressure from Uncle Silas's hand on her back increased. He was poking his fingertips into her spine.

Carmela opened her mouth and continued the story, all of it false, about her family's trek across the desert, being separated from their traveling companions, and being ambushed at night by a pack of howling savages. As long as she kept speaking, Uncle Silas left her alone.

Her chest hurt with each breath, but once she got into the next part, about life in the Indian tribe, it was easier. She pretended she was telling a story and that no one really believed it was true. She told about the plants she had helped gather for food and how the woman in whose tent she slept gave her only small portions to eat and whipped her if she did not work fast enough. She hated accusing someone of evil they didn't actually do — but the Indian woman wasn't real, so perhaps it wasn't too vile of her.

"One day a small group of soldiers came to the village." The audience was silent, waiting for her next words. She tried to remember the story she had memorized. She didn't like this part. "As always when strangers came to the camp, the savages hid me. But it was too late. One of the soldiers had seen me."

The crowd listened eagerly as she recounted the tale of her rescue. Her voice choked as she told of her joy at being returned, tempered by the sorrow of knowing her parents had been murdered by the vicious Indians. Her face felt hot, and she wanted to bathe it in cool water. And she wished she could scrub off the horrid ink markings Uncle Silas had so painstakingly drawn on her chin and jaw. At first she hadn't believed they would get away with this, or why Uncle Silas would want to. But it had been more than two years since he arranged her first speaking engagement, and she knew he wouldn't let her stop now that her speeches were a paying enterprise.

When she finished her recital and said, "Thank you," tears streamed down her cheeks. The people applauded enthusiastically. Some of the women, and a few of the brawny men, wiped their eyes. Her uncle came to stand by her and held up both hands. The room seemed to shrink and press in on her.

"Thank you, kind people," Uncle Silas said. "I've heard my niece tell the story of her ordeal many times, but it still moves me."

He allowed questions for about fifteen minutes, and Carmela had to respond to them. This part frightened her, because she had no idea what they would ask. For the most part, people wanted more details about the ambush and her time in captivity. She tried to make it sound as realistic as she could, but she had to invent some details about the work the imaginary Indians had forced her to do and the living arrangements she supposedly had with a Mojave family.

"What did you use to tan the deerskins?" one man called out.

"I — I don't know." She glanced at Uncle Silas.

"Most likely it was brains," he said. "Isn't that what the savages usually do?"

Brains? Really? Whose brains? Carmela thought she would be sick. Uncle Silas would probably make her learn all the details about that next.

"Did the redskins hurt you bad?" the woman in yellow asked.

Uncle Silas said firmly, "My niece suffered wounds as well as many indignities and humiliations. We ask that you not press her too closely for details. There are things she needs to forget."

Carmela knew her cheeks were flaming.

Finally it was over. She turned and walked quickly out the back door of the saloon. Her uncle had told her to stay with him through the final applause, but she couldn't stand to be in there another minute.

The cool night air helped some, but her lungs still felt squeezed. She flopped down on the wooden steps in the shadow of the building and sobbed. How could Uncle Silas say such things about her and make her say them, too? It wasn't true, any of it, but she couldn't deny it. If she didn't say her piece word-perfect and reply to the people's questions with the answers he had formulated, she would pay dearly for it later.

Her tears came faster, and she put her head down, burying her face in her skirt, and wept.

Hesitant footsteps jerked her upright.

"Are you all right, miss?"

He was a boy, not much older than she was, standing in the alley between the saloon and the mercantile next door. His pale hair gleamed in the moonlight, almost white, and curly.

She sniffed and wiped her face with her sleeve. "Yes, thank you."

"Are you sure?" He stepped closer. "You're her, aren't you?"


"You're that girl that the Indians stole. I saw the handbills, but my brother wouldn't give me a dime to go and listen to you."

Fresh tears bathed Carmela's face. "I'm glad he didn't."

"Why? Don't you want people to come to the show?"

She shook her head vehemently. "I wish there wasn't any show."

"Do you not like speaking to people?"

"It's awful."

"Why did you do it, then?"

"I have to," Carmela blurted, before she thought of the consequences.

The boy frowned and peered closely at her. "Here." He thrust a crumpled handkerchief into her hand.

She hauled in a ragged breath. "Thanks."

"My name's Will."

She wiped her face and looked up at him. "I'm Carmela."

"Can I help you somehow?"

She shook her head. "No one can help."

"Why not?"

Carmela looked over her shoulder at the closed door behind her. She was forbidden to speak to anyone about her circumstances, but she would explode if something didn't change. Uncle Silas had told her that he was now her legal guardian. Unless a miracle happened, she would have to answer to him until she was twenty-one — another seven years.

"My parents are dead, and my uncle — he's in charge of me. I have to do what he says."

"Even if you don't want to?"

She sobbed and clutched the handkerchief to her mouth. She gave a quick nod.

Will stood before her, shifting from one foot to another. "Look, I'm going to get my brother. Wait here. He can do something."

"No, don't do that. He couldn't possibly —"

"He's a deputy marshal."

Carmela stared at him. Could a deputy marshal get her out of this mess? She doubted it. Uncle Silas avoided lawmen whenever possible. She had a vague idea that what she and her uncle were doing was illegal. "I don't think that's a good idea."

"You wait."

Will turned and ran up the alley then dashed around the corner of the building. As he ran, the door behind Carmela opened. She knew without looking that Uncle Silas stood in the doorway. She could smell his hair pomade and feel his displeasure.

"There you are. Come on. We have to get our things. We have a stagecoach to catch. We'll do this again in the next sizable town."

Carmela's heart sank. He had made her tell the story in every town they stopped at on this never-ending journey. The white-haired boy and his brother could do nothing.

* * *

Freeland McKay ducked as the drunken man swung at him. He let the cowboy windmill around and gave him a push toward the saloon door. The man sprawled over one of the poker tables. The four men who had been sitting around it grabbed their drinks and stood hastily, moving toward a corner of the room.

As Freeland stepped over and cuffed the drunk's hands behind his back, the man moaned and began to struggle.

"Take it easy, Burle," Freeland said. "I've got a nice quiet place for you to take a nap. Let's go." He hauled the man to his feet and marched him toward the swinging doors.

"Thanks, Deputy," the bartender called.


The prisoner stumbled as he lurched onto the sidewalk outside, and Freeland grabbed his arm to steady him. "This way."

"Free! I need you."

He turned toward the voice. His kid brother, Will, charged across the street and bounded onto the boardwalk. "Come quick!"

"What is it?" Freeland held firmly to the prisoner's forearm.

"The girl at the Green Bottle — the one who spoke tonight. She's crying." Will gulped in a quick breath.

"Crying? What about?"

"I'm not sure, but she said her uncle makes her do stuff she doesn't like."

Freeland frowned at him. "What kind of stuff?"

"Make speeches, mostly. At least I think so."

"Did he strike her?"

"I don't know. Don't think so. But I told her you could help."

"You want me to go talk to a girl who's crying? And nobody's hurt or anything?"

"Well ..." The boy eyed him anxiously in the lamplight spilling from the saloon door behind Freeland. "She was awful upset."

"Was anyone else upset?"

"I didn't see anyone else."

"Hey, take these things off me," the prisoner yelled, jerking away from Freeland.

"Burle, take it easy," Freeland said.

Instead, the hefty man lurched down the sidewalk and fell flat on his face. A string of profanity issued from his mouth.

"Will, I need to get this man over to the jail," Freeland said. "Once I've got him locked up, maybe I can go with you and see what this business is all about."

"But she might be gone. He'll make her go inside. Please, you have to come now."

Freeland stopped and glared at his brother. "I can't. This is serious business. You run ahead and open the jail door."

Will opened his mouth as if to argue but then turned and raced down the boardwalk. Burle had risen and lumbered down into the street, and Freeland went after him.

"Come on, fella. This way."

Ten minutes later, the drunk was sleeping on the cot in the jail's one cell, with the handcuffs removed and the door securely locked. Will waited impatiently near Freeland's desk.

"All right," Freeland said. "Show me where you found this girl."

Will raced ahead and across the street, dodging around the people streaming from la Botella Verde. Freeland quickened his pace and followed him around to the back of the building. Will had pulled up short at the rear entrance.

"She was right here," he panted. "She was sitting on the steps, crying her eyes out."

No weeping girl sat there now. Freeland sighed and tried the back door, but it was locked. He knocked briskly, and a moment later the door opened.

"Oh hi, Marshal," said Stanley Dittmer, who had booked the performance and hoped to build a theater in town soon. He was dressed in his best clothes, as though the saloon were a fine concert hall. "Can I help you?"

"Where's the girl who spoke tonight?"

"She and her uncle left ten minutes ago. They were going on toward California tonight."

"They already left?" Will's voice cracked.

"That's right, sonny."

"Are they taking the stage?" Freeland asked.

Dittmer nodded. The Butterfield would be pulling out about now, westbound. "You might catch 'em if it's important."

Will whirled and dashed down the street toward the next corner. The adobe that served as a stagecoach stop wasn't far away.

"Thanks." Freeland followed his brother with long strides. When he turned the corner, he could see that the yard in front of the stage stop was empty. Will had pulled up short at the edge of the street. A lantern shone inside the small house where the station agent lived. Its light spilled out a window, illuminating Will's doleful face.

"They already left."

"I'll speak to Isaac." Freeland had frequent business with the station agent, and he had no qualms about knocking on the door. The news was as he'd feared, and he returned to his brother.

"The stage pulled out as soon as they were on it. We're too late."

"She needed help." Will kicked a pebble across the street.

Freeland laid a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry. If it had been something serious, Mr. Dittmer would have helped them before they went."

"It was serious. She was crying. If you had just hurried a little faster —"

Freeland sighed. "I can't be everywhere at once."

"Maybe you could —"

"I'm not riding after the stage, Will. My job is here, and there's nothing we can do for her now."


Excerpted from My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains by Susan Page Davis. Copyright © 2017 Susan Page Davis. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
I liked the western flair to this historical story. It has Indians, stage coaches, robbers, a sheriff and a pretty woman who has had a hard life. Carmela has been coerced by her uncle to tell this fabricated story to people since she was twelve years old to collect money from them. Can I just say her uncle is a mean, shady and dishonest man? As you read the story you begin to see how devious her uncle is and how hard she tries to better herself. My heart went out to Carmela as I thought about how scary her childhood must have been. Freeland is a US Marshall and finds himself on a stagecoach with a prisoner, Carmela and her uncle. The story gets very interesting as the stagecoach finds themselves in danger. I thought Freeland was very brace and I loved how he was so protective of Carmela. They find that they must depend on each other to survive and find help. The author has really written a western story that has all the makings for a movie. The intrigue and action is top notch , the characters are very strong and Carmela's faith is very refreshing. Can Carmela trust Freeland to help her get away from her uncle? Will Freeland be able to help make Carmela be happy? Will she finally live a life in freedom from her past and find love along the way? I don't want to say more because the story has many elements in there that are vital for readers to grasp. It's not just another western story, but a western story filled with hope, danger, redemption and forgiveness. I received a copy of this book from The Barbour Publishing Review Crew. The review is my own opinion.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
My heart belongs in the Superstition Mountains is a story of abundant deceit, overwhelming fear, parental figure rejection of love, steadfast faith, and reclamation of trust in CHRIST. Camela became an orphan then sent to her Uncle Silas who was a manipulative lying, cheating, abusive, selfish shell of a man (if you can call him that, and I do) he turns Camela into a money machine. He dresses her up as with Indian markings on her, has her tell people that she was captured by Indians. She had to give the spiel exact or she would get it by Silas and when people questioned her, if her answers were not his answers word for word, she was in for it, but in all this there are 2 things that helped her. The most important one is JESUS (and so should we all - Amen?) Although she doesn't understand why HE is allowing what all she is going through. The other thing is - will Freeland(the town Marshall) be able to see and get Camela help before she leaves town. does he get to her in time? does she get away from Silas or is she stuck selling her stories and being beaten if one word is left out or told wrong? I received the book from NetGalley. The opinions for this book are all my own.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
This was a different type western from any I've read before, but in a good way. I had recently read a book about the Superstition Mountains so this book caught my eye. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the main character, Carmela, and all she'd suffered in her young life. Losing her parents on a wagon train headed to California when she was twelve, being taken over by a devious uncle who only saw dollar signs in his niece and having ugly tattoos marked on her face by him to fool audiences into thinking she had been abducted by an Indian tribe and made a slave. All comes to an end when their stagecoach is robbed by outlaws and her uncle is shot and carried off in the stolen coach. She and a deputy are handcuffed together by a criminal that escaped and they are left to die in the desert. This novel includes Indian attacks, outlaw ambushes, fights for survival and abducted children. Lots of action among the pages. But a deep reliance on God through prayer and a strong moral obligation of truthfulness is standouts in the story. You'll be turning the pages into the night to find out what happens next, especially if you like early westerns. I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley and was under no obligation to write a review.
Bloomingwithbooks More than 1 year ago
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains Carmela's Quandry By Susan Page Davis Carmela Wade has been forced to live a lie perpetrated by her Uncle Silas. And she knows no one can help her escape it. Though orphaned she has never been the Indian captive her uncle has promoted her as. Carmela's entertaining and sensationalized lies have lined her uncle's pockets. But when the stagecoach she and her uncle are traveling on is attacked, she finds herself in a completely unexpected situation. She's stranded in the middle of the Arizona Territory handcuffed to Deputy US Marshall Freeland McKay. Could this provide Carmela with the opportunity she has hoped for over the years? Or will she all too soon find herself again under her uncle's control? This is a mildly entertaining book about second chances and redemption. The setting is the Arizona Territory in the 1860's following the Civil War. I was expecting more with the Superstition Mountains as it was so prominent in the title, so I was a little disappointed that they were just mentioned a few times and not even approached. This book is classified as a romance - which is very slight (a plus in my opinion) but if you are expecting more courting you may be disappointed. If you are looking for a light read that will provide a few hours of reading escape you'll enjoy this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
vics49548 More than 1 year ago
A charming tale of love, honor, lies, and forgiveness, the author reminds us through Carmela’s lifestyle changes that God always forgives when genuine repentance is offered, and we are to forgive also. With repentance comes blessing, and that was true in this story also. Perfect for lovers of historical fiction, western fiction, and light romance, Author Susan Page Davis paints a picture of the old west, the hardships the characters underwent, and the results of their decisions. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.
RobbyeReviewer More than 1 year ago
Carmela Wade has prayed for the day she could stop the lies she was forced to perpetrate by her Uncle Silas. Not only did he force her to tell lies, but he also forced her to give him all the money the two of them accrued because he said her father owed him money. Carmela’s opportunity arrives when their stagecoach is robbed, and the robbers take it with her uncle inside. US Marshal Freeland McKay never dreamed he’d be the victim of a stagecoach robbery, and to add insult to injury, he’s handcuffed to a woman. They have no water, horse or any way to survive except through tenacity and lots of walking. Susan Page Davis does a well-thought out job of showing the dilemma Carmela faces. She pulls you into the story and makes you feel the torment and agony Carmela faces after reaching adulthood. Carmela’s story is one of courage in the face of extreme adversity, forgiving yourself and others and learning to trust the Lord. Susan Page Davis has written a unique and different type of historical novel. It is a story that readers of historical romance are sure to enjoy. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and was under no obligation to post a review.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
One mistake can kill them... The art of writing westerns pretty much went out with Louis L'Amour but there are a few names out there in Christian fiction that are keeping the genre alive. Susan Page Davis is one of those authors. It's been quite awhile since I've read one of her stories but I did recently read another book in the My Heart Belongs In... series that I really enjoyed. So when I got the chance at My Heart Belongs In The Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary I quickly took the opportunity. A fun and quick read, My Heart Belongs In The Superstition Mountains, is a story that is both sweet and exciting, full of adventure. Susan Page Davis keeps readers thrilled with outlaws, Indian attacks, escaped prisoners, and a near mob. Western fans will be sure to enjoy My Heart Belongs In The Superstition Mountains, the newest adventure from the pen of Susan Page Davis. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
LynlovesGod More than 1 year ago
I was given the opportunity to review My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains by Susan Page Davis. I wish I could say this was a great read! The plot revolves around a young lady named Carmela, whose parents have died. She is now under the care of a rather immoral uncle who makes money having Carmela give speeches about being kidnapped by a savage Indian tribe, which is a lie, and has gone so far as to "tattoo" Carmela with tribal markings. I felt that the plot of this novel was a bit too far-fetched to make it readable or entertaining. It was rather silly. Furthermore, I felt that it took so very long for the author to finally bring the hero and Carmela together that is was rather anti-climatic once it happened! I did enjoy other titles in the My Heart Belongs series, and look forward to reading others. This one, however, was not really among my favorites. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, and was under no obligation to post a review.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully penned 255 page historical fiction. I really enjoy the "My Heart Belongs..." books and despite my hesitancy due to the title of this one, I really thought it was well executed. It gave some Indian background of the times in the 1800s and the restitution for wrongs done was interesting to read through. It left me with a sense of hope and the message that it's ALWAYS important to tell the truth. Maybe you should check it out for yourself. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and I was under no obligation to post a review.
lmnop990 More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful quick read about Carmela. The author does a wonderful job and draws you into Carmela's story right away. The characters are real and so loveable. I love reading this second book in the series becuase it is a fast read since it has lots of twists and turns. Charming, romantic and sweet, this book was hard to put down. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, I was under no obligation to post a review.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandry is the second book I’ve read in this series. (I read My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille earlier this year.) One thing I love about these books is they are fast reads with plenty of oomph and twists. This story took me to the Superstition Mountains in Tucson, Arizona during the mid 1800s. The author does a nice job of description (without overdoing it) where the reader can sink into the scene, travel the desert trail, smell the arid scent, and experience times past in the Old West. Carmela’s Quandry is a sweet romantic western, written in Carmela Wade’s point of view as well as her romantic interest’s, U.S. Marshall Freeland McKay. It felt more like a women’s fiction story (my favorite genre) taking place in the west, to me, because I was mainly invested in her dilemmas and internal growth. I also love the vein of faith that flows throughout this book, and theme of overcoming and conquering the past. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to post a review.
gccbookworm2 More than 1 year ago
And the Truth Shall Set You Free Meet Carmela Wade, orphaned as a child while heading West with her parents, and her uncle, Silas Holden, who do live performances recreating Carmela's capture and life living with a group of Indians. Only problem is that the story is a falsehood. Carmela is now an adult and wants to escape from telling this fradulent story and living a life of lies. But she has no other way of making a living. Her uncle Silas has told her her father owed him money and she must pay off the debt. After the stagecoach they are riding heading to their next performance is ambushed Carmela wonders if this is her chance to begin a new life. Follow Carmela and follow passenger U.S. Marshal Freeland McKay adventures as they try to reach safety and come to terms with Carmela's true past. Susan Page Davis has done a nice job recreating a western adventure in "My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela's Quandary." I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
susanmsj More than 1 year ago
This book had me hooked from the first. I loved the story and the characters. I think the sub-title Carmela’s Quandary fit the story perfectly. She was certainly in a quandary about what to do. I like that she had people that supported her, believed in her, and encouraged her. This was a very good story about putting your past behind you and moving on. I definitely would recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
knit4snow More than 1 year ago
When Carmela's parents died, her uncle became her guardian. He used her by making her tell stories about being captured by Indians. They were all lies. Carmela wants to stop but her uncle will not let her. One time while traveling to the next town, their stagecoach was robbed, leaving her uncle hurt...It is a must read to find out what happens to Carmela. Very well written story that had me wanting to read more. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
This was certainly a Wild West adventure in the Arizona territory for one Carmela Wade and US Marshal Freeland McKay. Since being orphaned at 12 years old, Carmela has lived a life of bondage and lies with her charlatan uncle never allowed to grow up in a normal home with love and affection. I was actually shocked and amazed at the lengths her uncle went to make the act Carmela had to put on as believable as possible. There was quite a bit of action in this story: outlaws, Native American attacks, and kidnappings all taking place in a country that was just beginning to recover from the American Civil War. I liked how the author showed how such fictitious stories can start and how mobs can quickly be formed with so little evidence or truth, especially when there is little to no forgiveness and she compared that to genuine forgiveness and love. There were also some great lessons that no matter what you have been through, your past can be a positive influence to help others in their current dilemmas. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a positive review.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this western historical book. I laughed and I cried in this story. I really enjoyed the character of Carmela and Freeland. I did not like Carmela's uncle. When you read the story you will know why. These two characters went through a lot of troubles during the time they knew each other. I received this book from Barbour for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Ruthi More than 1 year ago
The art on the cover is inviting...I am an avid reader and like to get a first positive impression of a book by its cover. The next test of a good book is reading the first three chapters: does the author give me enough details so that the story flows well and keep me intrigued throughout? If not, I put it away. The final assessment for me to determine how I perceive a book is the ending...of course! Susan Price Davis gives us a book entitled "Carmela's Quandary" from Barbour Publishing's 'My Heart' series by several different authors. Having read one of the other books (Fort Bliss), I was excited to begin this book since I loved the previous one. However, after I just finished a few pages, I had to make myself persevere during the beginning of this book. I wasn't drawn into the story quickly, but then found it to be intriguing and it kept my interest throughout...until the ending. What a disappointment! The final few chapters of the book seemed to rush through the story and leave out details, hurrying the reader through what has become an endearing and interesting story. The final chapter, which she creates as an epilogue finishes the story...why not give us those details in part of the actual story? I was extremely disappointed in the ending. Historical Christian romantic fiction is a genre I truly love reading because I like the clean narrative, but give me a book to keep my interest...and definitely give me a story that ties up all the loose ends in it without being rushed. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
CK119 More than 1 year ago
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains by Susan Page Davis is an interesting and intriguing read in the style you expect from Ms. Davis. Carmella’s parents passed away and her Uncle Silas now has custody of her. He has created a story of how the family was attacked by Indians and her parents murdered while Carmella was held captive for many years before being freed. As they travel around the country he sets up talks in saloons for Carmella to tell her story and charges the people who come to hear her. Carmella is a teenager as the talks begin and the talks last for several years. Carmella prays for a way out but will there ever be one? Will anyone be able to save her from her Uncle’s control? True to Susan Page Davis’ style there are many twists and unexpected turns in this story. I really was hoping for Carmella to find a way to confess what was really happening in her life and to be able live a life based on honesty and truth. She was doing what she believed was required of her so it was hard to fault her for her lies. I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a page turner and therefore give it a solid 5 of 5 rating. I believe everyone who enjoys historical, Christian novels will not want to miss this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
chemil33 More than 1 year ago
Susan Paige Davis writes with an easy to follow style. The characters are down to earth and face common problems of everyone. this is the story of a12-year old child forced by her uncle to lie about her past of kidnapping by the Indians. He uses her "story" to defraud an unsuspecting audience. As she grows into adulthood, she determines to leave the past behind and tell the truth. As the story unfolds, her past catches up to her and she confronts the consequences with grace and bravery. God's leading and protection is evident throughout the book. His love and presence sees her safely through the ordeal. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
Soupersally More than 1 year ago
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains was full of twists and turns and lots of action! I was amazed at all the surprises that happened. Since I lived in Arizona most of my life, I am very familiar with the mountains. The Superstitions are east of Mesa and a beautiful sight to behold. I had a little trouble with the traveling by stagecoach from Tucson to Wickenburg. It seems like it would take much longer than what I read. However, I got past all that and enjoyed reading the saga of Carmela's Quandary. Poor girl, her parents and brother died and her only relative was a money-hungry uncle who did not treat her well. As they traveled around the country, she gave speeches and the uncle kept the money. She was forced to lie about her childhood, saying she was abducted and lived with a tribe. There is romance and adventure, along with very interesting characters. I had no trouble following along since it is well written. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Ndfin More than 1 year ago
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains - Carmela's Quandary is a provoking story of a young girl orphaned by her parents at twelve years old who was taken in by her uncle. To provide for them Carmela's uncle made up a story that she was taken captive by Indians when she very young, and she was forced to share it as they traveled from town to town. She felt obligated to help her uncle provide for her, but was very convicted that she was telling a lie. On their travels the stage coach they were on was robbed and taken. Her uncle was hurt and taken captive while Carmela was left handcuffed to an unconscious man. Will she be able to make it out of the mountains and make a new life for herself and not have to lie to people anymore? Will they believe her? I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
PatriotMama More than 1 year ago
I greatly enjoyed this book. I really liked the main characters, Carmela & Freeland. It was interesting to see Carmela grow from such a horrible past into a fresh new beginning. I would love to see the author carry this into a series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing & was under no obligation to post a review.
Wanda_M More than 1 year ago
Susan Page Davis came up with, not only a unique, but splendid beginning for a great story with, MY HEART BELONGS IN THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS: CARMELA'S QUANDARY, when the suspense took off with Carmela's Uncle Silas pushing her into a speech before the people. Not use to public speaking, Carmela was nervous enough without him yelling at her. Why was he creating or forming a problem for her? Was he forcing her into false reasoning? Carmela was in a deep quandary. Would she be able to stand before the people without faltering? If she couldn't, would she pay the consequences later. It was May 1866 in the Tucson, Arizona Territory, and soon things started getting a little interesting when a stagecoach Carmela and her Uncle Silas were riding on was robbed, and Carmela's Uncle Silas gets shot. Will he survive the ordeal? If not, will Carmela be able to stand on her own two feet? Would she be able to make it without him? As I read on the story took on more shape and a deeper plot developed, when the puzzlement that Carmela withstood with her Uncle Silas came into play. I had to know what would happen next. This was one of the reasons I gave this story five stars. Carmela's character had such deep feeling for others, but she also felt insecure about what others thought about her. I also loved the striking cover page with its eye-catching color scheme. Amazing read! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
delsiek51 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the twists and turns in the life of Carmela. She becomes an orphan at the age of 12 and when her uncle comes to care for her, Carmela’s life becomes something she hates. Due to a scary circumstance that leaves her separated from her controlling uncle, Carmela decides to make decisions that will change the course of her life. During this time of uncertainty, her life is threatened by the harsh elements of the Arizona desert, Indians, and angry people who want justice. As she struggles with doing the right thing, she finds a good friend who not only encourages her but also becomes her mentor in prayer and trust in the Lord. I love the ending of the book when Carmela finds her true love in the US Marshall who has protected her. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
MelissaGH More than 1 year ago
A good story involving overcoming obstacles and finding love along the way. The author uses details and descriptions that made me feel as if I was there with the dust flying and the horses running in the wind. Carmela Wade has a lot to overcome and she faces struggles each day. Will the Marshall help her? Will the truth be told? Read this story and hold on for the ride. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.