Monday, November 23, 2009

Jenny's Dream: Review and Giveaway

According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, a very large black bear is on the loose in the Lake Tahoe community of Incline Village. Deputies say that he's the biggest bear they've ever seen, and may have caused $70,000 in damage this year. The bear has evaded traps and special night patrols sent to look for him, and has broken into an Incline Village home on several occasions.

When I read about this bear in the newspaper last week, it immediately brought to mind the giant bear in Jenny's Dream: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho, the third book in this series by Linda Weaver Clarke, published in 2009. Set in 1908, a ten-foot grizzly bear, Old Half Paw, is terrorizing the community of Paris, Idaho, killing sheep and making everyone more than a bit nervous. His story is based on the true story of Old Three Toes, a real grizzly bear. This is just some of the action in this historical novel, Jenny's Dream, which focuses primarily on Jenny Roberts, who's nearly twenty now and at a crossroads.

After two years away at college, Jenny is feeling restless and a bit confused about her future. With dreams of being a writer, she awaits news of a journalism job in Texas. An accomplished equestrian and excellent marksman, Jenny loves the great outdoors, and spends much of her free time in the meadow, getting lost in books and daydreaming about her future. She makes a new friend, Will Jones, and they become quite at ease with each other, but something is not quite right with Jenny. She's struggling with some issues from her past and the need to forgive those who have hurt her.

"It was a secret that she had kept from her family for years, something that was even too difficult to admit aloud. Jenny needed to forgive. But it was a difficult task to forgive those who had hurt her so deeply. The scars were too deep, and she continued to nurse them along. She felt certain the only solution was to run away."
~Jenny's Dream, Linda Weaver Clarke

I'll stop now, before revealing too much of the story, before I need to include a spoiler alert!

Once again, Linda Weaver Clarke's novel transported me back in time about one hundred years ago to the wild west. Her keen attention to detail brought this book to life, and I could almost feel the breezes and the rain, hear the thunderclaps and the bubbling streams. Like Jenny, I relish being outdoors and appreciate the grandeur of nature. The book focuses on the budding romance between Jenny and Will, as well as the continued romance between Melinda and Gilbert. Romances in this series are based on mutual respect and admiration, and present wonderful ideals. Jenny's Dream made me think about the role of forgiveness in my own life, and the need to forgive others for hurting me, both intentionally and unintentionally. All in all, I enjoyed this charming book and recommend it, especially to fans of historical fiction who savor more than a dash of sweet romance mixed in.

Jenny's Dream counts toward the Women Unbound Reading Challenge. Jenny is an independent, educated young woman with ambitions and skills beyond the usual for her day. Thanks to Aarti, Care, and Eva for hosting this challenge.

Linda Weaver Clarke has generously offered to give away one autographed copy of Melinda and the Wild West, the first book in this series, which was a semi-finalist for the "Reviewers Choice Award 2007". To find out more about this book, here's my review.

-To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
-For an extra chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
-For a third chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

Enter by Monday, December 7, 5 PM PST. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Tuesday, December 8. US residents only (sorry!). Good luck!

Special thanks to Linda Weaver Clarke for sending me Jenny's Dream.


  1. I used to live in the NW (Wyoming) and we had a lot of bear - both grizzly and black. I would love to read this book, as would my wife.

    Suko, I'm also a follower and I'll mention it on FB - 3 entries. Can't wait to read it!

    BTW, I have a give-away on my blog now for my book. wb

  2. Don't enter me in this one...I just won a copy! Jenny's Dream sounds really good too! I have a feeling I'm going to love this series!!!!!!

    xoxo~ Renee

  3. Warren, thanks for stopping by and for mentioning this contest on Facebook. I did enter your book giveaway.

    Renee, I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on Melinda. I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it.

  4. Oh my gosh, I can't imagine dealing with a bear. This sounds like an interesting book! NO need to enter me.

  5. This entire series sounds intriguing. I've loved reading your reviews! I always love a good historical fiction book, please sign me up for the giveaway!

    I am a follower.



  6. Bears - rather scary! I like the sound of the book though. I would definitely enjoy reading it. Don't enter me though, as I am in the UK.

  7. I hadn't yet heard about this nefarious bear, but he sounds like a handful! I am glad you enjoyed Jenny's Dream. It sounds like a very quaint yet emotional story, and I really liked your review. I would really love to be entered in your giveaway, and thanks for hosting it!


    I am also a follower of your blog!

  8. This sound like a fantastic book. I had never heard of this one.

    bibliophilebythesea AT gmail DOT com

  9. I posted this giveaway on my blog for you, it looks great.

    I am a new follower as well!

    MaryinHB at gmail com

  10. No need to enter me. Just popping by to let you know this is posted up at Win a Book.

  11. I read about the bear in Nevada in the newspaper. This book looks like a good "read" and you know I am ready for one. Please enter me in your drawing. Thank you for being the fabulous book hostess.

  12. So happy The 19th Wife arrived; hope you enjoy. (I still have to read that one as well).

  13. Wow....That news is for real?! God! I could never imagine something like that happeneing! :)

    Awesome review, this sounds like a book I will definitely enjoy! You are right, it definitely is important to learn how to forgive. But I do think it is one of the most difficult thing :)

    That's a great giveaway, but please don't enter me as I am not eligible!

  14. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the possibility.


  15. As of today, I'm following your blog, proudly.


  16. Thank you all for your wonderful comments.

    More comments welcomed.

  17. I'd love to enter this contest.


    I'm a new follower of your blog.

    I also blogged about this contest on my blog

  18. This sounds really good Suko :) Its nice that the romances are based on respect and admiration, sounds sweet.

  19. No need to enter me, but I posted this contest in my sidebar for you. I hope you have a great weekend.

  20. I love books set in the old west - and a bear involved adds to the reality. I'd love to read this

    msboatgal at

  21. Stumbled onto this blog and just became a follower - I like the style of books you review

    msboatgal at

  22. Thanks to all for your comments, and special thanks to those who posted about this giveaway!

    I want to clarify something which I realize is a bit confusing (because of the title of the post). The autographed book to be given away by author Linda Weaver Clarke is the first book in the Bear Lake series, Melinda and the Wild West, not Jenny's Dream (the third book in the series). It's best (but not necessary, each book stands on its own), to start with the first book in this historical fiction series.

  23. Sounds like a really good read. Please enter me. Thanks!


  24. Makes me lonesome for the wide open spaces! I grew up spending my summers on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, riding around, chasing cows, pretending I was living hundreds of years ago. Sounds like I'm not the only one!

  25. I'm reminded of a cute song we used to sing in school:

    The other day, I saw a bear.
    Up in the woods a-way up there.

    He looked at me, I looked at him.
    He sized up me, I sized up him.

    He said to me, "Why don't you run?
    I see you ain't got any gun."

    And so I ran, away from there
    And right behind, me was that bear.

    In front of me, there was a tree.
    A great big tree, oh, Lordy me!

    The nearest branch, was ten feet up,
    I had to jump, and trust my luck.

    And so I jumped into the air
    But I missed that branch a-way up there.

    Now, don't you fret, now, don't you frown.
    I caught that branch on the way back down.

    This is the end, there ain't no more.
    Unless I meet that bear once more.

  26. Hi, Suko! Too bad I can't join your contest. Anyway, I had fun reading your review about this book. It seems very interesting!

  27. Looks like a great book!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  28. And I'm a follower!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  29. The series sounds great! Please count me in! Thanks for the intro to Jenny's Dream.

  30. Awesome, I hit the trifecta! Linda actually told me about the awesome review - I interviewed her at my blog earlier this month. I'm a first time visitor, but I just added you to my 'follow' list, and my announcement post is:

    at the end of a somewhat humorous post on the kiddies

  31. Wow, this story sounds scary good!! Please enter me. Thank you!

  32. This book sounds awesome.

    I am also a new follower.

  33. Books make great Christmas gifts. This book sounds like a good one.

  34. I follow your blog.

  35. Love reading about the old west, and this one sounds really good. Please enter me. Thanks!


  36. No need to enter me! But great review- I can't imagine encountering wildlife so much :-) And I'm glad it also qualifies for Women Unbound. Seems like a good read, and out of my normal realm of books, so I'm glad I heard about it through you.

  37. Thank you, Susan, for such a wonderful review. I love writing historical fiction because I learn so much. I love inserting real experiences from history and developing my characters, giving them a special personality of their own. I also love your reviews. They are so informative and down to earth.

  38. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

    Linda, thank you for your kind words and generosity.

    More comments are welcomed.

  39. No need to enter me, but I did put a link to the giveaway in my sidebar. ;)

    Just wanted to say that your review is beautifully written. I also love it when books make history come alive!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  40. Please enter me in the drawing. I am now a follower.


  41. I'd love a chance! Thanks for the giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  42. I'd love a chance to win this book, thanks!


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