Review: River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) – John A. Heldt


River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) – John A. Heldt

River Rising (Carson Chronicles, #1)

Title: River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1)

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: September 20, 2017

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: eBook

Page Number: 661

Source: Author

Weeks after his parents disappear on a hike, engineer Adam Carson, 27, searches for answers. Then he discovers a secret web site and learns his mom and dad are time travelers stuck in the past. Armed with the information he needs to find them, Adam convinces his younger siblings to join him on a rescue mission to the 1880s.

While Greg, the adventurous middle brother, follows leads in the Wild West, Adam, journalist Natalie, and high school seniors Cody and Caitlin do the same in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the residents of the bustling steel community, all are unaware of a flood that will destroy the city on May 31, 1889.

In RIVER RISING, the first novel in the Carson Chronicles series, five young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they experience America in the age of bustle dresses, gunslingers, and robber barons.

2 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to John A. Heldt for sending me an e-copy of this book!

River Rising follows a family of five siblings who try and find their lost parents after figuring out they were lost while traveling through time. Adam, Greg, Natalie, Cody, and Caitlin travel to 1889 by following the directions laid out by their father. Their trip is full of love, loss, and some gunslinging.

This book took me forever to read. It accounts to the fact that I have much more reading homework this semester than I did last, and that it was 661 pages. I feel like this was unnecessarily long, and found that my interest wasn’t hooked unless I had been reading for at least twenty pages at a time. Being the college student I am, I don’t have huge chunks of time to just sit and read for fun anymore, so I rarely read more than 10 pages in one sitting.

Just to put this into perspective, I was reading this book for 24 days. It usually takes me less than a week to finish a book, so this was exponentially more than normal. Again it was probably just because of my intense class-load, but damn.

I liked the idea of this book because time travel is so cool to me. I love that all of Heldt’s books follow a time travel theme because it ties everything together. I love me some historical fiction so it’s also fun to dive into the past and read about a different time period. This wasn’t my favorite time period to read about, but it was still interesting.

I always have trouble with multiple *more than 2* perspectives, and this had chapters from all the siblings and the parents. Seven points of view was a lot to concentrate on especially when you have to read in short bursts.

I feel like I didn’t really get to know all the characters too well because there were so many to think about. I did really enjoy the twins because they seemed pretty cool. I liked Caitlin because she was the only one without a love interest, and she figured out what to do at the end of the book.

I was waiting for the parents to meet up with the kids the whole time super randomly and be like “hey what are you guys doing here,” but sadly that didn’t happen. I would recommend this to people who enjoy time travel books because there is a heavy emphasis on that throughout! I think this would also be good for younger teen/middle grade readers!

Thanks again!

Review: Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5) – John A. Heldt


Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5) – John A. Heldt

Title: Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5)

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: February 8, 2017

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: Ebook

Page Number: 481

Source: Author

After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel.

Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival.

Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, HANNAH’S MOON, the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.

3 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to John A. Heldt for sending me this final installment of the American Journey series! I’ve loved getting to read these books and am so glad to have gotten to get to know John a little bit through our author/reader relationship.

This has been my favorite of the series so far *rated 3/5 stars because I’ve refined my reviewing lately!* I really enjoyed getting a perspective from this time period. I do enjoy that the Bells have gotten more lenient with letting people stay and come back from different times. People can’t help it if they fall in love with someone while traveling.

I really enjoyed this one, and the ending was really nice. They bring back all the characters from the previous books for a little sneak peek. I think it was a nice conclusion to the series as a whole. I always say this, but I love connecting with authors so much. It’s one of my favorite parts of blogging because you get to meet so many new people!

This book was about a family who has been trying to have a child for a long time, but end up adopting a child. In 2017 there is a huge wait time in order to adopt, but in 1945 there isn’t. The couple travel back in time to the time of World War II and find themselves in the South. They adopt a lovely girl named Hannah, and meet a lovely neighbor who they bond with.

Beautiful conclusion to the series! Go support John by buying and reading some of his novels!!

Series:

September Sky (American Journey #1)

Mercer Street (American Journey #2)

Indiana Belle (American Journey #3)

Class of ’59 (American Journey #4)

Review: Class of ’59 (American Journey #4) – John A. Heldt


Class of ’59 (American Journey #4) – John A. Heldt

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Title: Class of ’59 (American Journey #4)

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: September 1, 2016

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: eBook

Page Number: 293

Source: Author

When Mary Beth McIntire settles into a vacation house on June 2, 2017, she anticipates a quiet morning with coffee. Then she hears a noise, peers out a window, and spots a man in 1950s attire standing in the backyard. She panics when the trespasser sees her and enters the house though a door to the basement. She questions her sanity when she cannot find him.

In the same house on March 21, 1959, Mark Ryan finds a letter. Written by the mansion’s original owner in 1900, the letter describes a basement chamber, mysterious crystals, and a formula for time travel. Driven by curiosity, Mark tests the formula twice. On his second trip to 2017, he encounters a beautiful stranger. He meets the woman in the window.

Within hours, Mary Beth and Mark share their secret with her sister and his brother and begin a journey that takes them from the present day to the age of sock hops, drive-ins, and jukeboxes. In CLASS OF ’59, the fourth book in the American Journey series, four young adults find love, danger, and adventure as they navigate the corridors of time and experience Southern California in its storied prime.

4 out of 5 stars


Challenges Completed:

2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge

  • A book involving travel
  • A book set in two different time periods
  • A book set in a hotel

Huge thank you to John A. Heldt for sending me this book!

I have been so impressed with this series since I read the first one in July. I have fallen in love with the time travel aspect and the different characters of the novels. I love getting to connect with authors, so it’s always wonderful when I get the opportunity to collaborate with them.

Mary Beth and her sister, Piper, meet two boys through seeing a “trespasser” on their vacation property. Mary Beth sees Mark Ryan, a college senior straight from the 50’s, wandering around outside the house she’s staying in for their vacation. She goes out to talk to him and see what he’s up to, and then finds out that time travel is possible. Not only possible, but very real. And happening in the basement of the vacation home. Mary Beth learns to trust Mark quickly, and decides to travel to 1959 with Piper to go on an adventure. The sisters learn to love the time period and overcome past heartaches through falling in love with Mark Ryan and his brother Ben. The four friends experience the culture of the 1950’s and become unable to let go when the idea of returning to 2017 is proposed. Through the lives of the Ryan brothers, the sisters don’t know what to expect on their return trip to the 2010’s.

Wow. I highly recommend this series. They’re so well written and so much fun to read. This is definitely my favorite of the whole series, and I can’t wait to read more books written by John. The romance between Piper and Ben was so precious. They loved each other so much and it was so heartwarming. I loved following their journey through the six weeks they spent together in 1959. Ben cared about her so much. He wasn’t just looking for someone to kiss; he was looking for love. I honestly saw so much of my relationship with my boyfriend in their relationship. Piper didn’t know what to think of him right away, and didn’t say things she didn’t mean to him before she knew what she meant. I love how real this relationship seemed. I hate when people say that high school relationships don’t go anywhere because “you’re too young to know what love looks like.” BS. Love happens differently for everyone, so I loved seeing them fall in love.

I liked Ben and Piper more than I liked Mary Beth and Mark. I do love the name Mark *my boyfriend’s name* but their relationship seemed more forced and rushed. They took a liking to each other right away, so I didn’t get the angst that I like seeing. ;)

I, again, can’t recommend this series enough. Please go and give it a try, and support John!

Amazon/Kindle $4.99

Series:

September Sky (American Journey #1)

Mercer Street (American Journey #2)

Indiana Belle (American Journey #3)

Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5)

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Review: Indiana Belle (American Journey #3) – John A. Heldt


Indiana Belle (American Journey #3) – John A. Heldt

Indiana Belle (American Journey, #3)

Title: Indiana Belle (American Journey #3)

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: April 14, 2016

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: eBook

Page Number: 295

Source: Author

Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

4 out of 5 stars


Guys. Please read this series.

Huge thank you to John for sending me this book for review! I really enjoyed it, and this has been my favorite thus far!!

Alright, wow. So, Cameron Coelho learns of a girl from a mysterious murder in 1925 from a beautiful photo of her. He finds more information out about the woman depicted in the photo, and finds out her name is Candice Bell. Candice is related to the infamous Geoffrey Bell from the American Journey series. Cameron goes and finds Professor Bell and talks him into letting him go back to the 20s to save Candice. Of course he doesn’t tell him he’s saving her, but makes a deal with him to find some more of the magical crystals.

Cameron and Candice meet at the newspaper office, and he’s immediately taken with her; he had fallen in love with her photo, so he knew they would click. They form a beautiful relationship that was kind of rushed at the beginning of the story, but ended up being perfect and great.

This book was so great, you guys. I highly recommend reading this series. I loved that it was in the 20s because I’ve always been taken by the Gatsby era. I love 20s fashion and how women are getting more freedom; it’s great. I loved seeing the daily life of Candice through her writing stories for the paper up until the end of the book.

There were some things that happened near the end of the book that were so surprising. I literally had no idea about who the criminal was in the story. Very great addition to the story.

My favorite part about this book was Cameron and Candice’s relationship. Oh my gosh, they were literally goals. I can’t even express how adorable they were and how precious they were. The one scene where she brings him tea. Not expecting it and made my heart flutter. So good. Also, the ending was so precious. Please read this book just so then you can experience a super cute romance.

One of the coolest parts to me was when they went to the year 2041. I liked the way the explained the new form of government. It was an anti Democratic and anti Republican thing happening. Now, it didn’t end well, but it’s just cool because I’m learning about the constitutional convention and other similar things in my Government class. Very relevant to my life at the moment. There were also a lot of mentions to Iowa in this book. It’s always strange to me when people reference Iowa in books because it seems like a very random place, but whatever.

Check out this book on Amazon!

Series:

September Sky (American Journey #1)

Mercer Street (American Journey #2)

Class of ’59 (American Journey #4)

Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5)

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Review: Mercer Street (American Journey #2) – John A. Heldt


Mercer Street (American Journey #2) – John A. Heldt

27258807

Title: Mercer Street (American Journey #2)

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: October 21, 2015

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: eBook

Page Number: 431

Source: Author

Weeks after her husband dies in the midst of an affair in 2016, Chicago writer Susan Peterson, 48, seeks solace on a California vacation with her mother Elizabeth and daughter Amanda. The novelist, however, finds more than she bargained for when she meets a professor who possesses the secret of time travel. Within days, the women travel to 1938 and Princeton, New Jersey. Elizabeth begins a friendship with her refugee parents and infant self, while Susan and Amanda fall for a widowed admiral and a German researcher with troubling ties. Filled with poignancy, heartbreak, and intrigue, MERCER STREET gives new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and commitment as it follows three strong-willed souls on the adventure of a lifetime.

3 out of 5


Huge thank you to John A. Heldt for sending me this book to read and review! I’m sorry it’s taken so long to review it, but I’ve been in a crazy part of my life lately.

So, this is the second book in the American Journey series. They are time travel novels surrounding the same professor and his ability to travel back in time. This second installment to the series was just as good as the first. September Sky was the first book, and Mercer Street had a whole different cast of characters making it a fun read.

Elizabeth, Susan, and Amanda are the main characters of this book, and they meet the Time Traveling Professor whilst on vacation in California. They find out some information about him, and then decide to travel back in time to 1938, the year Elizabeth was born. The trio travel back using a limestone cave and some magical crystals, and decide to take a roadtrip across the United States.

This is a map that I created on Google about their road trip. As you can see, they do a lot of back and forth around the country. Most of the story takes place in Princeton, New Jersey, where Elizabeth was born. Amanda and Susan go willingly back to this time period and make friends. Specifically male friends. Whom they fall in love with…. Hmm. Professor Bell had only a few rules, and one of them was to not bring back a living souvenir to 2016. Will they be able to follow this rule? Hmmmmmmm.

This book contains romance, time travel, road tripping, supposed German spies, friendly neighbors, and a charming author. Please help to support John and his writing endeavors by purchasing his books from the Kindle store on your Amazon device! You guys. This book is only $4.99.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to pick up the rest of the series. Again, huge thanks to John for sending me a copy!

Series:

September Sky (American Journey #1)

Indiana Belle (American Journey #3)

Class of ’59 (American Journey #4)

Hannah’s Moon (American Journey #5)

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Review: The Mine (Northwest Passage #1) – John A. Heldt


The Mine (Northwest Passage #1) – John A. Heldt

19353394

Title: The Mine

Author: John A. Heldt

Release Date: December 6, 2013

Publisher: John A. Heldt

Format: eBook

Page Number: 291

Source: Publisher

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.


5 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Joel Smith, the college senior, is about to graduate but decides to explore a little bit on a small trip with his best friend. Joel winds up in an abandoned mine in Montana with a flashlight and curiosity. He followed the mine shaft until he sees glowing blue stones in the wall. His immediate reaction shows his love of geology, but he’s startled by a rattle snake close behind him. He drops his flashlight and runs as quickly as he can out of the mine. On his way out, something odd happens. The college boy runs and hits his head on a low ceiling, and when he wakes up, he’s in 1941. Joel walks out of the mine completely clueless, and sees that his best friend isn’t there, so he starts walking towards town. On his trek toward the nearest inhabited land, Joel gets picked up by a man in a nice, new, old car. When Joel gets into the car he asks what year it is, and gets the answer he fears. He went back in time 59 years, and doesn’t know how to get back to his time. He doesn’t have any cash with him, and has no idea what to do. He ends up going to his hometown, and sleeping on a bench outside a bar. One night he sees his future best friend getting beaten up by guys their age asking for money. Tom, the boy getting beat up, gets help from Joel, and soon takes the future-naut into his home. Tom and Joel become the best of friends, and Tom introduces Joel to his group of friends. Tom talks about his girlfriend and mentions some of her friends; Joel ends up falling for a girl named Grace. Does Tom ever get back his time period? Does falling in love with a girl from 45 years before his birth ruin anything?

OH MY GOSH I LOVED THIS BOOK. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The concept was great, and I loved the setting and the characters. I can’t believe that it took me this long to actually read this book. Huge huge thank you to John for sending me this book. I loved it so much. The romance was adorable. The friendship was perfect. I really don’t have any complaints about this book at all. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series, because it ended on an amazing cliffhanger; I will definitely be picking up the rest of these books in 2016. This was the perfect time travel book, because he wasn’t looking to specifically time travel, and made the best decision in the end. He wasn’t selfish, and he acted very maturely. He fell in love and lived his few months in the 1940s with his best friends. I loved this book. I highly HIGHLY recommend this to everyone.

Characters:

Joel was witty, sarcastic, and loving. He was perfectly flawed. He knew where he needed to learn more about the people around him, and about himself. Joel knew the right thing to say, and when to say it. Tom was a wonderful best friend to Joel, and went through rough times, but understood why he had to. Grace (even if I am a little biased to the name… one of my favorites of all time) was beautiful, and tender. She was delicate, but still understood how the world worked.

These were some of my favorite characters. I loved the feeling I got while reading this book; the writing was beautiful. Again, I thank the Lord that he created people who know how to create stories.

Who Would I Be?:

I would choose to be Grace; she was gorgeous, smart, and sensitive. Grace loved books, I love books. It’s meant to be. She also got to spend the last few months she had with Joel creating memories to last a lifetime. I love Joel, and she loves Joel. Again… we’re basically the same ;)

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