Bianca Marshal is holding out for the perfect husband. Finding a man that meets the requirements of her “must-have” list in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains has proven impossible. Bianca’s mama insists that there’s no such thing as a perfect true love, and that Bianca’s ideal man is pure fiction. On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Bianca discovers a devastating statistic: her chance of marrying is now only eighteen percent. Unwilling to accept spinsterhood, Bianca enters an essay contest that propels her into a whirlwind search for her soulmate. Via the opulence of London and the mysteries of the Holy Land, Bianca’s true love will be revealed, but not without a heavy price.
Brandy Vallance is a graduate of Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Apprenticeship. She has attended many CBA and ABA writing conferences across the country. Brandy has had fifty articles published in various magazines and newspapers and was on staff with a magazine focusing on the Victorian time period. During this time, Brandy traveled to Victorian balls and tea events, learning the ins and outs of Victorian etiquette and customs. Brandy has had Victorian fiction and non-fiction articles published.
Brandy is a member of the Christian Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. She is the 2013 winner of the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest which included a publishing contract for The Covered Deep by Worthy Publishing. In 2012, she won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest for historical romance. In 2011, Brandy was a semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest. In 2009, Brandy won honorable mention at the Pikes Peak Writers American Icon contest.
Brandy has taught writing workshops covering The Business Side of Writing, The Novelist’s Life, Discovering the Depths of Your Creativity, and Unlocking Personification & Metaphor to Deepen Emotion. Brandy has been the main speaker at ladies retreats and was able to direct, design the set, and act in a play that she wrote. In June of 2011, Brandy took a research trip to England, Scotland, and Wales and fulfilled a lifelong dream, adding depth and reality to The Covered Deep as well as nourishing future novel ideas.
A debut novel? Really?! The Covered Deep is Brandy Vallance’s first novel, but it sure didn’t feel that way. This well-researched historical novel has it all — a wonderful sense of place and time, well-developed characters, and a twisting plot that will keep the reader on her toes. If this is what you get with a first novel, I can’t wait to read more from Brandy Vallance.
Bianca Marshall knows what she wants. She just can’t find it in her small, southern Ohio town. Romance, love, adventure — she wants to experience it all and find her soul mate in the process. Urged by her father, Bianca enters and wins a contest that will whisk her away from small town life to sophisticated London society and the exotic locales of the Holy Land. But Bianca didn’t count on heartbreak, danger and God’s challenge of forgiveness.
As I said, The Covered Deep has it all. Vallance does a great job of capturing the life and times of not one but two locations — London and Jerusalem of the 1870s. I felt like I was traveling right along with Bianca as she left America for adventure and romance. Vallance’s characterizations are strong as well. The good characters, Bianca and Paul, were credible with real life flaws and faults. But it was the bad guys who I really loved. And while forgiveness and redemption were strong themes, not all the characters would accept the gift from God. The mysterious machinations of Sir Adrian had me guessing and kept me on the edge of my seat. There were plenty of times I held my breath along with Bianca.
I highly recommend this not just good, but excellent debut from Brandy Vallance.
(Thanks to Worthy Publishing for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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