St. George, UT (PressExposure) August 01, 2007 -- Step into the early days of the Wild West and be a part of another culture, time, and place. The historical/fiction novel, Melinda and the Wild West, encourages the reader to be a part of history, and feel the tenderness of romance. This story blends fascinating characters with Idaho's Bear Lake history and is based on several true experiences, published by American Book Publishing.
Lloyd E. Reid, Library Director of Washington County Libraries, wrote, "Linda Weaver Clarke has a writing style which opens the mind in a way that lets us see what her character sees, and allows the reader to feel the thoughts and emotions of the characters. It is impossible to avoid becoming part of the story she so skillfully develops. She writes historical fiction as if she were taking the reader back in time."
Melinda and the Wild West was a Semi-finalist for the "Reviewers Choice Award 2007." It takes place in 1896. Melinda is from Boston and has come to Idaho's Bear Lake Valley. The idea of going to the Wild West appeals to her. She wants to do some good in someone's life and maybe she could do it by teaching school. Intertwining fact and fiction, Melinda is confronted by many obstacles, such as a bank robbery by the notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy, a rebellious student that is marked as a trouble maker, an irritable grizzly bear, a blinding blizzard in the tops of the Rocky Mountains, stinging nettle, and the most rugged and stubborn rancher she has ever met in her life.
Betsy Brannon Green, best-selling mystery author, wrote, "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."
Melinda and the Wild West is not only filled with adventure, but has the tenderness of romance. A rugged rancher and a determined schoolteacher from the east tend to butt heads and clash with each encounter, but at the same time there seems to be an underlying interest in one another. Why Gilbert is guarding his heart is a mystery to Melinda. In this story, she is desperately trying to help a rebellious student through acceptance and love, and at the same time, she is trying to understand her own heart.
Melynda Gascoyne of the Amherst Bee Newspaper in Buffalo, New York wrote, "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."
When Linda sent her book to Reader Views to be reviewed and to enter the contest, Debra Gaynor, wrote: "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!"