10 January 2014

Noela Nancarrow reviews UNDER A BLACKBERRY MOON by Serena B. Miller

Under a Blackberry Moon
Revell (October 15, 2013)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****


A Perilous Journey of the Wilderness and the Heart 

What an intriguing story! This is one that captures your attention right from the outset. RITA Award winner Serena B. Miller, has produced yet another stunning story of heart-warming romance, gripping adventure, and evolving faith, with ‘Under A Blackberry Moon’.

Within the first few pages, the reader will be absorbed immediately into the reality of the delightful Moon Song, a young Indian Chippewa widow, and her experiences in a town of white people, which unfortunately also included many roughened and immoral loggers. It becomes clear to those close to her that it is too dangerous for her to stay. Moon Song longs to return to her tribe with her baby anyway, and so the plan is set in place for her to travel back with Skypilot, a lumberjack friend of hers that she once nursed back to health.

Isaac Ross, aka Skypilot, a large and ruggedly handsome man who has been a lumberjack and also a minister, willingly takes this long journey with his valued friend, Moon Song. He’s been restless lately concerning his future and this trip seemed like a good idea… at first. However, his attitude changed after tragedy caused Skypilot and Moon Song to fight for their lives and work together to survive the dangerous and unforgiving wilderness of the Northwoods. Seeing his beautiful Indian friend work so capably in the untamed wilderness, compelled Skypilot to see her in a whole new light. As they are drawn to each other, it opens up the dilemmas of culture problems and whether either of them can walk away from their own world to join the other.

Under the Blackberry Moon was a genuinely memorable story… one that is articulated by an accomplished and skillful story-teller. Serena Miller brings to life the real Moon Song in a fictional story that’s interspersed with heart-rending yet true events of history, along with the phenomenal courage and strength of a brave Indian woman during a time when the Indians were being displaced and looked down upon as less than human. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read of an unusual love story between two unlikely people; full of surprises and surprising twists and turns, and one that will take a hold of your heart and thoughts!


This book may be purchased through Amazon, CBD and other bookstores.
Outside of the USA check out Book Depository for free postage!

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TWO GIVEAWAYS: A paperback copy of 'Under a Blackberry Moon' +  Winner's choice of ebook or paperback of the same!

QUESTION:  How do you think you'd go trekking through the wilderness for a week? Do you think you'd survive? 
*Please leave your email address for contact purposes*
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52 comments:

  1. NOELA once again you have written an amazing review. I can't wait to finish the book I'm reading now so I can get to this one. I have to confess after reading all these reviews this week I had to take a little sneak peek at it and it's sooooo good! :-)

    Wow your question made me giggle....I have walked through the woods before but this city girl has never had the thought cross my mind "I think I want to sleep out here for a night; much less a WHOLE WEEK!!" hehehee Carlton and Joshua and occasionally Daniel will go on an overnight camping trip every two or three years but not me!! Give me the comforts of home..running water....electricity, and NO threat of wild animals eating me in my sleep. lol ;-)

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    1. Haha very sneaky TERESA! I've done that before with books and then got so into the 2nd book that I kept reading it and left the other one in its dust!! :) Least you know you've got a good one waiting in the wings for you!
      The wild animals eating you in your sleep is a bit of a problem, and might figure into whether you survive or not.. ;) Unless you know how to build a big fire and keep one eye open while you sleep maybe. That might work, lol. I'm not a camping girl either Teresa, so I'm with you there!!

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  2. NOELA, great review, my Aussie friend. :)

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    1. I would survive with someone like Moon Song by my side. I like adventure, but I've never been out in the American wilderness alone, so I probably won't survive long - esp. not in winter!!

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    2. Thanks MARIAN! :) Yes I think having Moon Song along would make a huge difference! Or a handsome lumberjack... Although he'd probably be more a distraction to the discomfort and dangers than a help, lol!

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  3. I am not a wilderness girl, a week long trip through the woods would not be for me! I love my creature comforts too much=) I do like to go hiking every once in a while, but that is for a few hours not a few days!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for your entry PATTY! Perhaps we all better leave the survival adventures for reading or most of us may not come back from our trek through the woods! ;)

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  4. Truly an awesome review of a remarkable book, NOELA! Can you see Diana trekking in the wilderness for a week? No blow dryer or flat iron, and having to spear fish and gut rabbits? {{shudder}} Nope, not me!

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    1. Thank you DIANA, it is quite the story isn't it?!!
      Nope, I can't see either of us doing it, but then if we HAD to, well I'll spear and cook the fish and you gut the rabbits, deal?? :)

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  5. Survive? Most likely, assuming we're not talking giardia or winter. Thrive? Probably not . . . though at least I've been on half a dozen backpacking trips in the Rockies, which one might call a cushy form of preparation. Can I bring my little brother? He's the trapper of the family and without him I'd probably end up a hungry vegetarian.

    rdalquis(at)css(dot)edu

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    1. Well we won't make it too hard on ourselves RACHAEL, so no giardia or winter lol!! :) Oh okay, you can bring your little brother... as long as you then loan him to me. I like my meat too! :)
      Thanks for coming by to read about Serena's book - and all the best with your entry!

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  6. I would survive but it wouldn't be something I would want to do for fun! :)

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    1. Haha no I don't think it would be too much fun... though perhaps if you had the story's handsome lumberjack, I suppose it could be at times, lol. Great to hear we have at least one survivor here!! :) Thanks for coming by BRANDEE-LO, but we will need your EMAIL BrandeeLo.

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  7. I would survive but it wouldn't be something I would want to do for fun! :)

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  8. Beautiful review, Noela! I hope the only wilderness trekking I do is through the pages of a book! :)

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. I'm with you on that one BRITNEY!! I do SO much better in my imagination than what I would actually do in reality! :) Great to see you Britney, and all the best with your entry!

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  9. Thanks for the review.....and giveaway. This book sounds so great!
    I am not a wilderness lady at all....lol
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks JACKIE, and yes this book is a great story! I would venture to say Jackie, that not many of us are 'wilderness' people... we're much too softened up by modern society and all it's comforts! :) It's fascinating however to see a Chippewa Indian putting into practice many of the things she had learnt from her Grandmother & the tribe.

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  10. Great review! Have done several overnight and weekend hikes in the forests but week- long I think I would pass on. Just too long to live on nuts and berries!!

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    1. Sounds like you have some preparation at least LORI, so you just may be one of our survivors, lol! ;) Knowing which berries to eat and not to eat would be useful too... as for meat, well we'll just DIANA to handle that haha.. Thanks for reading the review and stopping by LORI. :)

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  11. forgot email address:ldwrncpn(at)comcast(dot)net

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  12. I do a little bit of camping but notI used to go camping but usually in a campground in a trailer or pop up tent. I haven't been able to do that for a few years now. I can't imagine making a trek through the wilderness especially with a baby. I would love to see how they do it. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

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    1. JAN, it really is fascinating to read how they survive their long trek through the wilderness, and with the baby too as you mentioned!! Just amazing to read about and imagine the hardships so many went through in those times. I hope you get to read this remarkable story, I think you'd really enjoy it!

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  13. I am sure that if I were left alone in the woods or wilderness I would not survive but I would keep trying. I am not one to give up. Now if I would spend a week in the wilderness with someone who knew what to do, I would be fine. I would just make sure I had my camera to take pictures of all the things I would see like hopefully some wildflowers and perhaps a stream or waterfall.

    An example of how ignorant I would be if I were alone, I just tried to fix supper. I live in my brother's basement and he has fixed me up a kitchen in the garage. I learned the hard way that you cannot use a hot plate, toaster oven, and microwave at the same time. I knew I had blown a fuse but could not for the life of me figure out which one had blown.

    Thank you for the review. I would love to read this book and know I would enjoy it.

    wwchildren at gmail dot com

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    1. Hi WILANI, thanks for stopping by to read the review and enter the comp! I just love how you would need to have your camera with you while you were trying to survive. Lol! I know what you mean though, I hate seeing beautiful photo opportunities and not having a camera with me!! It's that survival instinct in all of us that would definitely make us give it our best shot... but as you say, having someone with you (like Moon Song in the story) that knows what to do, can make ALL the difference!
      All the best with your entry Wilani!

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  14. I don't think I would survive in the wilderness. I don't like the dark, the cold and not having a bathroom. I stayed in a camper with my husband for a week while he went hunting during the day. I would not leave the camper during the day unless he was there and at night - forget it. Even with a campfire I couldn't stay out in the dark. I kept hearing things and thinking I was seeing things. There was no toilet or shower in the camper. Hubby expected me to do my thing outside - nope, told him to fix me a toilet for inside. I am not an outdoor person. I would probably freeze to death or be scared to death when it's dark.
    Karen G.
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. Haha KAREN, I think I'd be like you and hear every noise imaginable! I think I'd like to give it a try though... as long there were no wild animals, scary people, creepy-crawlies and so on, LOL. Second thoughts, I'll join you in the camper for sleeping. ;) Nice of you to go with your hubby while he was hunting though!

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  15. I love the outdoors and often camp and trail ride with my horse. With that said, I believe that I'd be fine trekking for a week in the wilderness as long as I was able to pack some essentials. It would even be fun if I could bring my horse along.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. CINDI, thank you for stopping by to read about Serena's book. I think you'd go better than most of us Cindi!! Well the hero and heroine of the story didn't have a horse for traveling but sure, why not... bring your horse along Cindi, since we're making the rules up anyway, lol. I'd sure love to have a ride of your horse... that's something that's on my bucket list of things to do! :)

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  16. Thank you for your wonderful review.

    I think I would be okay traipsing about in the wild. I'm tougher than I look.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thanks MARY! :) You'd need to be really tough to survive what the characters of Skypilot and Moon Song went through... You'll have to read the story and let me know if you reckon you could do what they did! :) It's good you/re tough though, I think we need to be even in our society, don't you reckon? Always good to see you, thanks for coming by!

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  17. Hi, Noela!

    Always love your beautifully descriptive reviews!

    Love the storyline of "Under a Blackberry Moon", and think the title is intriguing, also! I have always had sympathy for the early Indian's plight - I have never felt they were treated fairly re: the capture of their land. I am a descendant of a white man (Marmaduke VanSwearingen), who was, reportedly, captured by the Shawnee - and was made a war chief, because of his bravery. His name was changed to Blue Jacket, because of the blue jacket he was wearing when captured. There was an outdoor drama, of the re-enactment of his life, that played for over 25 years, in Lima, Ohio. The reports are, now, that DNA from Marmaduke's descendants, and that of others claiming to be descendants of Blue Jacket - do not match. I will, probably, never know the truth.

    As for me - I inherited none of my ancestors wilderness ability, nor do I care to have it. I used to love camping with friends when I was younger, and more physically able to sleep on the ground (and get down and back up, LOL), etc. - but, even then, preferred the comfort of at least a pop-up trailer, if not a motor home. Hot weather is a problem for me, physically (I have been known to take a fan with me, when camping, along with other modern conveniences), and I don't enjoy getting really dirty, or eating wild animals. But then - I guess it is all about habits, and survival. If I had lived in the era of Moon Song, and had been in her position - I probably would have been more willing to trek the wilderness.

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com
    OWG

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    1. Hi BONNIE! Thanks, it's always great to see you and read your comments! And your comment today was very interesting! It makes for a good story even if you may not ever know the truth. :)
      Very true what you said Bonnie - it would be much, much more difficult for us to adapt to a situation as the characters of the book found themselves in, than it would be for someone of that era. We are entirely too spoilt in the creature comforts of our lives aren't we?! :) Love the comment about the fan - LOL, if I ever went camping, I'd want to do the same haha!

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  18. Hello Noela. you, Teresa, Diane, and Marian keep me laughing. LOL Would love to be with all of you sometime. I know I would love it. I have been in the wooded forest of Wyoming. Used to hunt every season for Elk, Deer, Antelope, rabbits, and Grouse. And, yes Diana, I had to gut them all as well as prepare them for the freezer. Also fish and squirrels.But hunted for food not trophys! Had my freezer full all year. Karen, I grew up with outdoor toilets and sure don't miss them. But I lived in a tiny trailer for 6 months or longer with no commode or shower. So when we weren't in a town had to go outdoors. Also not fun. Oh yes, I also went bear hunting once, then was glad later we never found the one we saw earlier. LOL Noela, I think you would have a hard time finding a wilderness with no wild animals or creepy crawlies. I too keep my eyes on the ground and up in the trees for things I didn't wish to come in contact with. Hunted once in 40 below 0. But, that was back then. I couldn't even walk very far now even on pavement. And, i would also probably die from getting lost if a man wasn't there to. They seem to have a built-in radar guiding them back to where you came from or where you are going. Would sure love to win this book. I've always loved books about Indians. Had Indian grandmothers way back on both sides of my family. Take care and reach clear to the bottom of that hat, for I think that is where my name loves to go. LOL MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hello back MAXIE, I just LOVE having you stop by to chat!! If there was a prize for the best comment I think you'd win with that one Maxie, that was so fun to read!! We would definitely have the best time if we could all get together - and it sure sounds like you've got some fascinating history and stories to share!! Come knocking on our door in Heaven, Maxie, cos I'm sure we'll be all be hanging out together. TERESA says she's pretty loud, so just listen out for a loud Southerner and lots of laughter and you'll be sure to find us LOL.
      You have certainly lived an interesting life Maxie. I could just sit and listen to your stories and what things were like for you for hours on end! And you hunted in 40 below O - Wow, I can't even imagine that degree of coldness! Maxie, you made me laugh about men having a built-in-radar.... that is SO true!! I think when God created man, He placed that radar into them all!! Turn me around in a circle and I'm lost! ;) You take care too Maxie, and I'll tell random.org to reach down deep for you! :) Blessings!

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    2. MAXIE, I'm with NOELA! Love your stories!! If I were to get lost in the wilderness I'd want you by my side! I'll gladly let you gut the critters since you have more experience than I. UGH I had to dissect a frog in biology one time and thought I was gonna die! lol We love you, MAXIE!

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    3. <MAXIE, you will love this book!!! Were your grandmothers Cherokee or what tribe? This gal is Chippewa and I have family members from that tribe. CONGRATS!!! You won the paperback copy and it will go out in the mail to you this next week! HUGS!!!

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  19. Great Review! I'm really looking forward to reading this one.
    To answer the question, I think I'd do okay for a little while in the wilderness. I'm from the country and love the outdoors.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133{at}yahoo{dot}com

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    1. Thanks KATIE! It really is such a great story, I know you'll absolutely love it!! You can join my wildnerness 'team' then, I'm sure you'd do great! ;)

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  20. Wow! SO much fun reading all these comments!! I want to go camping with you girls! In some nice, tame, park. lol

    About Moon Song, I spent a lot of time researching everything I had her doing, to the point that I thought I might be able to survive if I had to, also. Then, while on the research trip to the UP my husband and I wanted to experience a virgin forest, and we stopped to hike in the Porcupine Mountains. Thousands and thousands of acres. It was so gorgeous. I was taking pictures of these huge trees, and grieving over the loss of so many acres of wilderness in the past, and just feeling all one with nature and the forest, etc......until we got lost. And no one knew where we were. And our cell phones didn't work. And we knew there were bears and other predators out there and it started to get dark and lightning crackled in the distance so we knew there was a thunderstorm coming and it got darker and we had no water left to drink and.....for the first time in my life I understood why sometimes people lose their wits and walk in circles until they drop. My husband's sense of direction finally got us out of there, but it was so scary. It was then that I realized that I would much rather WRITE about surviving in the wilderness than actually have to DO it!!

    Thanks so much for your wonderful review, Noela. Good luck on the contest everyone! BTW--my son found Under A Blackberry Moon at Walmart this week. Always good news to know that Walmart has picked my book up.

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    1. Hi SERENA, so glad you were able to come by to read the review and comments! I had a whole lot of fun reading everyone's comments too, we have some really awesome people who come by the blog regularly! :)

      As you can see from my replies, if I wanted to survive I'd have to camp in a nice safe park as well lol! Hopefully with hot running water and amenities!! ;) Thanks for sharing your story, that was GREAT to read!! And it just goes to show you that reality is a WHOLE lot different to just reading about it in a book! But thanks to great writers like yourself, we can stay safely in our homes cozied up in a warm bed sipping tea... while reading about someone else living out our imaginations! Thank God for your husband though Serena, and PTL for men and their sense of direction I say!!

      That's fabulous too about Walmart picking it up! I sooo wish our general bookstores & department stores in Australia would carry Christian fiction.... it would be such a great opportunity for Christian authors to reach a whole lot of unsaved people who love to read but would never step inside a Christian bookstore!

      Blessings!!

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  21. Wow,I think and hope I would survive...as long as it isn't very hot.With my health issues I don't do good in heat.I love walking through the woods.There is just something about taking a stroll through nature.Great review.jackie_tessnair(at)yahoo(dot)com.

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    1. Thanks JACKIE, and I hope you would survive too! :) Let's just hope if any of us get lost in the woods it will be at the best time of the year weather-wise, lol. I don't do heat real well either Jackie, but then I probably wouldn't do real good in the American cold either... Sometimes our winters are like mild summers so I wouldn't even know what real cold is like! ;)

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  22. I would not be a very good traveler. I don't mind being outside all day, just want to be home at night. However, I am pretty determined, so determination might win out.

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    1. Hi REBECCA, there' nothing quite like home is there?! I love coming home too. :) Determination will take you a long way too Rebecca!!

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  23. Moon Song has a strong head and knows what she is doing. I actually live in the country and I love it. I hate camping though just sleeping on the ground is super tuff. So I don't think that I would last too long out in the wilderness very much. But I think if Moon was with me then I think that we would make a great team.
    oh.hello.hiya@gmail.com

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    1. DANIE, I'm with you... I have trouble sleeping if I have a different pillow under my head LOL, so can you imagine me sleeping on the hard ground? Ohmygosh, how sore I would be in the morning!! As soft as we all are by civilization, I still think we'd all give it a real good go. And like you said, it'd go a long way to have Moon Song teaming up with us!! ;) All the best with your entry Danie!

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  24. Thank you Noela for entering me. 😊

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  25. I did trekking as a teenager and a 20's person but I think Im too old now
    God bless you have a terrific day
    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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