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Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Not So Peaceful Journey

About the Book

Book: A Not So Peaceful Journey

Author: Sandra Merville Hart

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 13, 2023

Dreams of adventure send him across the country. She prefers to keep her feet firmly planted in Ohio.

Rennie Hill has no illusions about the hardships in life, which is why it’s so important her beau, John Welch, keeps his secure job with the newspaper. Though he hopes to write fiction, the unsteady pay would mean an end to their plans, wouldn’t it?

John Welch dreams of adventure worthy of storybooks, like Mark Twain, and when two of his short stories are published, he sees it as a sign of future success. But while he’s dreaming big with his head in the clouds, his girl has her feet firmly planted, and he can’t help wondering if she really believes in him.

When Rennie must escort a little girl to her parents’ home in San Francisco, John is forced to alter his plans to travel across the country with them. But the journey proves far more adventurous than either of them expect.

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My Review

5 Stars

Rennie and John have been sweethearts for a few years. As Rennie gets impatient for a proposal, she wounds John’s confidence by not supporting his dream to become an author. When circumstances propel them on a westward journey together, they must learn to mature in their relationship.

The relationship between Rennie and John was a great glimpse into real-life relationship issues when two very different personalities pushed their own agenda over the others. Whether in marriage or in a long-term relationship, readers will relate to the communication struggles the characters faced.

I love the way Sandra Merville Hart weaves a beautiful romance that is reminiscent of a family story passed down from generation to generation. I could picture Rennie sitting down with her children and telling them the story of how she and John learned to love each other well in the months leading up to his proposal. Then her children passing the story to theirs and so on. So heartwarming and sweet.

I also enjoyed the way the author gave us a glimpse of the cross-country railroad journey from Ohio to California with lots of great historical detail.

Fans of Christian historical romance and sweet, clean romance will find this a very enjoyable read.

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Inspirational Romance, Railroad Romance, Sweet Romance, Clean Romance

Location: Hamilton, Ohio and railroad journey to California

Time Period: July 1884

Romance: Very clean. Light kissing.

Faith: Seamlessly woven throughout the story

Disclaimer: I requested and received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of Wild Heart Books and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Sandra Merville Hart, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author of inspirational historical romances, loves to discover little-known yet fascinating facts from American history to include in her stories. Her desire is to transport her readers back in time. She is also a blogger, speaker, and conference teacher. Connect with Sandra on her blog,

More from Sandra

It was fun to invite readers on this book’s journey!

To those who lived in the 1880s, venturing into this newly-settled and largely-unsettled West had become much safer—though not without danger—with the system of railroads already in place. I enjoyed taking readers to Chicago, Omaha, Oakland, Ogden, and Sacramento, as well as frontier towns along the journey such as Cheyenne.

Our heroine is a telegraph operator. She temporarily leaves her job to escort a little girl to her ailing mother in San Francisco.

My research about telegraph jobs taught me quite a bit of terminology.

For example, a clatter arises when another operator “calls.” The call begins with something like “B m—X n”, which means the B m is the station receiving the call and X n is the caller.

B m must signal a reply that she’s ready to receive the call.

The Sounder receives sounds of the alphabet in dots and dashes. Some operators sent messages too rapidly to understand. When this occurs, the receiving operating asks for it again with a Break (she opens her “key” to break the circuit) and interrupts with “Please repeat.”

“G.A. the—” means “Go ahead” and “the” was the last word she understood.

Operators end every message with his/her own private “call” as well as the office’s call and “O.K.” at the end of each message.

Wired Love, which was written by telegraph operator Ella Cheever Thayer in 1879, provided many insights about the job’s daily tasks.

One of them was the lack of privacy on the lines. She can hear the messages sent to other wires but only offices on the same wire. In Wired Love, operators heard messages sent to and from twenty offices.

By the way, the public grew so fascinated with the role of women in telegraphy that it became the topic of romance novels and short stories, creating a new genre called “telegraphic romance” in the latter 1800s. That’s a little-known fun fact for you!

I enjoyed writing this series. I invite you to read the whole “Second Chances” series beginning with A Not So Convenient Marriage, Book 1, A Not So Persistent Suitor, Book 2, and A Not So Peaceful Journey, Book 3.

Blog Stops

Alena Mentink, June 14

Betti Mace, June 15

Mary Hake, June 22

Simple Harvest Reads, June 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



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