Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shenandoah Dreams by Lisa Belcastro - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Shenandoah Dreams
OakTara Publishers (July 1, 2014)
Lisa Belcastro


Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves chocolate, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, laughing, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer.

She was inspired to write Shenandoah Nights, the first book in the Winds of Change trilogy, while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails with her daughter, Kayla, aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage.

In addition to writing romance novels, Lisa currently pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines.

When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.


What if she met the man of her dreams...in another century? Tisbury, Massachusetts, Martha s Vineyard. It s just a dream, Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though stepping out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she d boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a weeklong educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They re sailing the waters around the island of Martha s Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. He cannot possibly be real, Melissa thinks. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she s still in 1770. What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn t in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way home...to the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay? A Vineyard Romance Romance, history, adventure. Get swept into the exciting Winds of Change series.

My Opinion:
Shenandoah Dreams….my opinion?  Well, it is an intriguing concept that needs to be more thoroughly developed.   I know if I fell asleep in one century and woke up three centuries earlier I’d be pretty freaked out.  However, spouting off historical forecasts would not be my method of choice to convince folks that I had a valid reason to be upset.  The folks in the 18th century had to warn Melissa that being  so far afield in her thinking COULD be contributed to a bump on the head OR get you burned and the stake convicted of practicing witchcraft! 

Bottom line, this plot was not believably developed in the very brief 224 pages it took to tell the tale.  The story felt rushed, and the faith elements seemed a bit…over the top. Melissa bursts into a verse of a praise song trying to calm herself and then spouts off the name of a 21st century singer and hope no one notices.  This just felt forced to me.  So much so, that I was unable to suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the story.  It has great possibility, but, it’s just too underdeveloped.   But this is just one opinion.  Try it for yourself and form your own.  Please.

If you liked to read the first chapter of Shenandoah Dreams, go HERE.

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