The Covered Deep    -     By: Brandy Vallance
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The Covered Deep

Worthy Publishing / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

Bianca Marshal is holding out for the perfect husband. But finding a man in Appalachia who meets the requirements of her "must-have" list has proven impossible. Unwilling to accept spinsterhood, she enters---and wins---an essay contest that sends her to England and the Holy Land in search of her soulmate. Will she find her true love? 400 pages, softcover from Worthy.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Worthy Publishing
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 161795375X
ISBN-13: 9781617953750

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Publisher's Description

An incurably romantic bookworm from Appalachia wins a contest and travels to England and the Holy Land in search of the perfect romantic hero. Set in 1877.

Author Bio

Brandy Vallance fell in love with the Victorian time period at a young age, adoring the customs, manners, and especially the intricate rules of love. Since time travel is theoretically impossible, she lives in the nineteenth century vicariously through her novels. Brandy’s fondness for tea can only be paralleled by her love of BBC period dramas, deep conversations, and a good book.

Product Reviews

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Displaying items 1-5 of 20
Page 1 of 4 1234 Next
  1. Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    good one
    May 10, 2015
    lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    She must win the contest. Bianca Marshal has entered a writing contest with the winner receiving an all-expense paid trip to the Holy Land. Bianca now lives in rural Ohio and the year is 1877. She is 25 years old and her mother is hounding her to marry anyone, but make it soon! Bianca is holding out for a love match, but in her small town her choices are limited. She just knows that if she can win this contest, God is going to lead her to meet her future husband somewhere along the way. She does win the contest along with three others. She travels to England to meet her host. She also meets the three winners. She meets one man in particular who immediately garners her attention and affection. As the trip progresses, she falls more and more in love with Paul. He appears to be the perfect man for her and Paul feels the same for Bianca. However, Paul has a devastating secret that he is keeping from Bianca. It is something that happened over two years ago before he became a Christian. He hopes Bianca will never find out, but their host for the trip is constantly saying or doing something that aggravates Paul so he contemplates leaving the tour. What would Bianca think of him if she were to ever learn his secret?

    This story plumbs the depths of forgiveness and presses the limits of faith. Can Biancas proclaimed faith stand up against deception and cruelty? Can she truly forgive as she has said she would? It has a very interesting premise that partially remains hidden for most of the story. The host of the trip is a very desperate, lonely and manipulative man. He has done many criminal acts, but this time he has put himself in the position of observing how the four contest winners interact with each other. They each share a connection, but how? Youll have to pick up a copy of the book to find out, but Ill tell you it is very intriguing how the author has assembled the cast of characters and how the plot plays out.
  2. Colorado
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Delightful, Thought Provoking Read
    December 7, 2014
    Jeanne T
    Colorado
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What is the cost of genuine love? This is the question Bianca Marshal discovers the answer to in The Covered Deep. And the cost is far greater than the naive young lady anticipates. Brandy Vallance weaves a beautiful story, filled with unexpected twists and turns in her debut novel.

    Bianca Marshal, a twenty-five year old single woman in post Civil-War America is still waiting for true love to come her way. She thinks much more broadly than most in the Ohio town in which she lives. A book worm, and an romantic at heart, Bianca wins a contest and sets off on an adventure of her dreams. As she spends time with Paul Emerson on her journey, she wonders if this could be the man she has waited for.

    Paul Emerson lives with a past he keeps secret. As a well-respected English man, he seeks to live a good life . . . now. As a fellow contest winner, he meets Bianca and sees in her an innocence rare among those in his circle. The more time he spends with Bianca, the more he wants to get to know her. But he fears his past will affect the possibility of their future together. He is drawn to Bianca and their shared love of history.

    Things I loved about this story: Vallance has a way of describing settings that made me visualize them and feel what the characters were feeling. She kept me turning pages from start to finish. Though Bianca seemed a little too naive at times, her strength shone through in the tough situations she faced. Seeing Paul's character growth through the story as he transformed from a man who wanted to keep his past hidden to a man determined to live with integrity strengthened this story. Vallance has a wonderful way with dialogue, which had me laughing, and at times, wiping a tear away. The unexpected twists in the plot and in the secondary characters kept me guessing until the end.

    I loved the way Vallance explored the themes of real-life love and forgiveness. She didn't stop with pat and easy answers. Instead, she explored aspects of these themes with depth that is both refreshing and thought -provoking.

    I look forward to reading more by this talented author.
  3. New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Too many problems
    November 5, 2014
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I liked the concept of The Covered Deep: its 1877, and a young woman from a small town in Ohio wins a competition to travel to London, and on to the Holy Land. Bianca Marshal is twenty-five, well-read, and holding out for True Love (encouraged by her father). Its soon apparent to the reader, if not to Bianca, that Sir Adrian Hartwith has selected his travel companions based on their unknown relationships, and this is what provides most of the conflict in the story. He has an ulterior motive, but I thought this didnt come out until too late in the story.

    I had two main problems with The Covered Deep. The first is common to many American authors who use historical English settings and characters: they get the details wrong, to the point where it detracted from the story. Bianca cant have read Sherlock Holmes, because the first Homes novel wasnt published until 1887, ten years after the setting of The Covered Deep. English girls wear plaits, not braids, there has been no national flag of Great Britain since 1801 (when it became the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland), and the British were subjects, not citizens, in 1877. And Biancas assumption that Paul Emerson is single because he doesnt wear a wedding ring is anachronistic: British men only started wearing wedding rings in the 1960s. Pedantic? Maybe. But these are the details which pull me out of the story.

    Thats not to say the writing isnt good: some lines are brilliant. But parts of the story felt as though the author was trying too hard, often because she used a word in the wrong context (e.g. bees knees, which dates from 1922), or used the almost-correct word (e.g. her acute eyes or howbeit where albeit would have been a better choice).

    My second problem was with the character of innocent naive Bianca. She is twenty-five, unmarried, and this is the first time shes ever left her home town. But shes spent those twenty-five years living with parents who barely like each other, a mother who has continually encouraged her to marry, a father who has encouraged her to hold out for true love, and with books. How could she have read authors like Shakespeare, Austen and the Bronte sisters, and not realised that some people will lie, cheat and scheme in order to get what they want? (Not to mention reading The Bible, which is full of object lessons in what not to do.) It didnt ring true.

    The result is I found it hard to care for Bianca, and harder still to care for any of her travel companions. Finishing the book was a chore, not a pleasure. I liked the concept, but the writing didnt resonate with me.

    Thanks to Worthy Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
  4. Indiana
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Move over Indiana Jones
    November 4, 2014
    Cara Putman
    Indiana
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    This book is an adventure novel in the lines of Indiana Jones or Romancing the Stone. Bianca, the heroine, is selected by a British lord to participate in an adventure to Israel. The four people he's selected are on the trip as an experiment. As they race around the globe, Bianca is attracted to a man who captures her heart, but there are so many roadblocks in the way it appears impossible for them to come together.

    I loved this book. It is perfect for readers who love late 18th century novels that are filled with travel, adventure and romance. There's also a rich spiritual thread as Bianca confronts her fears and her biases. This book has it all.
  5. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Complex historical romance
    October 29, 2014
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This novel is a very complex one. There are many layers of stories going on at once and at times I was little confused.

    The setting is after the Civil War in a small town in Ohio. Our main character is Bianca. She is twenty-five and waiting for her true love, encouraged by her father. He's a bit of a romantic and because of him, Bianca is well read and intelligent. He sees an advertisement for a contest. The winner would travel to London and then journey to the Holy Land. She enters and is one of four winners.

    The other characters are the man who originated the contest and the other travelers. Shortly after Bianca arrives in London, we find out that there is much more to the fellow travelers and the host than originally meets the eye. Throughout the journey on the boat and the time in the Holy Land, we gather information about the travelers and their relationships (hidden or overt) to the other travelers. Danger is woven into the narrative, as is romance.

    I had a little trouble with Bianca. She is supposed to be so well read yet she is entirely nave in some areas. She seemed poised one moment yet entirely falling apart the next. She just did not seem to have a consistent personality to me.

    I did not like any of the other characters. Each was someone very different from whom he or she appeared to be on the surface. For me, that was a bit much. Trying to understand all the previous entanglements of the characters made reading the book more difficult.

    One strong aspect of the book is the presentation of the gospel. It is presented strongly and several times. I felt at times it was a bit much and forced. Completing the novel, one would certainly have a clear understanding of the gospel.

    I look forward to the next novel from this author. She says this story was fourteen years in the making. Perhaps that is why there are so many layers and complex characters in the book. I'd like to see one written in a year or two, with a more focused plot and consistent character structure.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 20
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Author/Artist Review

Author: Brandy Vallance
Located in: Colorado Springs, CO
Submitted: May 14, 2014

    Tell us a little about yourself.  Ever since I was a child, I have loved history. I feel most comfortable in historical places and my favorite thing to do is go to museums or wander around antique shops. I also love to travel, play the cello, and think all teacups should be bottomless.

I'm a shameless Anglophile, which means that I love everything British. In 2011, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and went to England, Scotland, and Wales. I hope to be able to take my children to the UK soon so they can fall in love with the culture as I have and maybe get a glimpse of Nessie, aka the Loch Ness Monster. Of course we'd have to visit every castle and historical place of import between London and Inverness while drinking copious amounts of tea.

When I'm not writing or reading I like to garden, watch BBC movies, and play with our Great Dane. Sometimes you might find my trying historical recipes just for fun.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  I have always loved the Victorian time period. Everything about it fascinates me--the manners, the customs, the clothes, especially the intricate rules of love. I have always found myself drawn to stories of that era. While wandering around an antique store in Pensacola, Florida, I found a photograph that urged me to write a story of my own. The woman in the photograph captivated me. I couldn't stop staring. She was beautiful, but not in a conventional way. There was something about her eyes that got my imagination spinning. I saw strength there, but also pain. She looked determined, but she also looked like a dreamer. That photograph became who Bianca, the heroine of The Covered Deep, is to me. And of course, she'd have her go to England, since I love the UK so much. And the hero . . . why not make him a historian with a devastating secret? She's a little Anne of Green Gables and he's a little Indiana Jones. Once I had that figured out, I threw in a trip to the Holy Land since I've always wanted to go. The inspiration for the other characters came from many places, but once I had them all, I knew it was the makings of a grand adventure and a grand romance. Each day as I was writing it, I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen! To see the picture of Bianca, readers can visit my Pinterest Board for The Covered Deep.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope that readers enjoy the whirlwind adventure of The Covered Deep. I hope they feel as if they are in Victorian London, walking the corridors of the British Museum with Bianca and Paul. I hope the mysteries of the Holy Land come alive. Most of all, I hope readers fall in love with Bianca and Paul's story, allowing themselves to be swept away into the answers and the questions of The Covered Deep. On this complicated road called life, I hope reading this story will make someone's journey a little easier.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  I feel privileged to be able to explore questions as I write. Sometimes those questions are my own, sometimes not. I push myself with the writing of each book and try to find the deepest truth of the characters, the story, and myself. Many prayers went into the writing of The Covered Deep. God taught me many things through the years of birthing this book--how to trust Him more, how to believe deeper, and how to stand firm in His love. And now that The Covered Deep is finally a reality, He's still teaching me, challenging me, and loving me through the days.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  Francine Rivers, Jamie Langston-Turner, Siri Mitchell, Lynn Austin, and many others.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Thank you for taking the time to read The Covered Deep. I'd love to know what you thought, and if you can take a picture of yourself holding the book, that would be so much fun! You can connect with my via Facebook, Twitter, or my website. May the pages transport you to another time and leave your heart aflutter!

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