About the Book
Book: Desert Willow
Author: Patricia Beal
Release Date: February 12, 2020
After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?
College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.
Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?
Click here to get your copy!
I really liked the setting of El Paso for this book. My brother was stationed there years ago and I remember flying down there to visit him. The author describes it perfectly with the majestic mountains and the base where my brother lived. The story was a great look at army life and the dedication it involves.
Clara is an accomplished ballerina and I loved reading about the movements and hard work it took her to be a great dancer. She has come to El Paso to deliver a letter to a special person her grandmother knew. I became interested in what that letter contained. Clara isn’t very keen on service men as she has seen family members hurt by them with painful relationships. It was easy for her to guard her heart and stay detached from service men since other women in her family found their heart broken by them.
Andrew is of course in the Army and right away Clara has her heart clamped shut. He seems to be honest and wanting to get to know her, but he will have to work hard to convince her he won’t hurt her. I realized that some members of Clara’s family doesn’t forgive easily. I did like the part where Clara turns to someone to help her through something that happened in her past. I felt the emotions and the honesty as she confessed her sin. I think all of us think when we sin that God won’t forgive us. It’s a road we must travel as we find our way back to God.
There was quite a bit of talk about sex before marriage in the book which I felt the author handled well. It is important to the story because several characters deal with the issue and it shows how easy the enemy can convince you that it is okay to do. The ending is beautifully orchestrated with emotions and a deep sense of faith.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
About the Author
Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Her second novel comes out in February of 2020. Patricia graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and has worked for the U.S. Army as a writer and editor for many years. Patricia writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children. You can find more info about Patricia on her website here.
More from Patricia
Desert Willow: A Love Song to the City of El Paso, to Family, and to Prince Harry
I enjoy this story so much! It’s great to finally get to share it with you.
Desert Willow started as a NaNoWriMo project in 2015 and has a lot of my grandma’s history in it—life in the German colonies of the south of Brazil, the beginning of the shoe industry there, and the story of the most influential man her town has ever known, my great-grandfather.
And what does that have to do with El Paso and Prince Harry?
Well, my Prince Harry lookalike, a young Army captain named Andrew Lee James who lives in El Paso, is helping the protagonist deliver her grandmother’s last love letter, a letter she was urged to write all those years ago after what happened in Brazil.
The contemporary story of Clara (protagonist) and Andrew was fun to write too because I’ve been around the Army since the nineties. We moved to Fort Bliss/El Paso in 2012 and lived there for six years. I thought I was going to hate it, but I loved it, so I just had to write an El Paso story.
Now I think that what I enjoyed the most about writing this novel was making all the connections and showing how the actions of a distant past affect and inform the modern story so deeply.
Some of you have journeyed with me for a while and know that my debut, A Season to Dance, was my salvation process. What comes after salvation can be hard. What’s that? Well, looking at past mistakes through God’s eyes and realizing just how wrong we were, for starters.
We know how quickly God forgives us, but can we forgive ourselves and each other as quickly?
Desert Willow deals with all that. And with Prince Harry… 😊
Among the Reads, April 13
The Power of Words, April 13
For the Love of Literature, April 14
Robin’s Nest, April 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 15
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 15
Batya’s Bits, April 15
She Lives to Read, April 16
Older & Smarter?, April 16
Texas Book-aholic, April 17
deb’s Book Review, April 17
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 18
Writer Without a Space, April 18
The Christian Fiction Girl, April 19
Rebecca Tews, April 19
Emily Yager, April 20
Simple Harvest Reads, April 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Hallie Reads, April 20
Inklings and notions, April 21
All-of-a-kind Mom, April 21
Reflections From My Bookshelves, April 22
Godly Book Reviews, April 22
For Him and My Family, April 23
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, April 23
As He Leads is Joy, April 24
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, April 24
A Reader’s Brain, April 25
janicesbookreviews, April 25
Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26
Pause for Tales, April 26
April Hayman, Author, April 26
To celebrate her tour, Patricia is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7 (https://amzn.to/37TEN21)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.