Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Straight Reading from the Library: The Trail to Love by Tina Susedik

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tina Susedik will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Jack Billabard, mourning the loss of his wife and baby in childbirth, vows to never to love again. After their funeral at Fort Laramie, he rides into the Wyoming hills beyond the ranch he built for his wife. Through his grieving tears, an ancient tree appears, giving him the hope he doesn't believe is possible. For the next four years, he acts as a guide on the Oregon Trail, taking families to a new life while his looms lonely and stagnant.

The night before her abusive husband’s death, an ancient tree appears in Sarah Nickelson's yard as she agonizes over how to survive her marriage. The tree gives her hope she can’t help but reject. After all, a tree doesn't just appear out of nowhere. After her husband 's death, and with no options as a widow in Independence, Missouri, Sarah decides to travel to Oregon City as a Mail Order Bride.

During their trek west on the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah encounter one another, each afraid of being hurt again. Can they survive dogs and puppies, wind and rainstorms, Indians and unfavorable fellow passengers, while their love blossoms? Will the tree fulfill its promise?


A well written, fun and romantic romance, The Trail to Love was a good read for any old west romance fan!

I liked the strength Sarah shows from the start. She's lucky, too, as she seems to be surrounded by good friends old and new (from her home originally to the trail).  Life was tough for women then, and it was heart warming to see them pull together.

Jack was wallowing a bit in depression.  I get that he lost his wife and unborn child during childbirth, but I had a little bit of a struggle believing that such a young, vital man would decide he'd never fall in love again. Still, he didn't fight that hard against his attraction to Sarah. *grin*

Horace was the only character that didn't ring 100% real to me.  He reminded me a bit of the old time melodrama villains who ran around twirling their moustaches before tying the girl to the train track. Still, he was necessary for a good amount of the conflict in the story. 

The soul mate tree figures into this story some and I love that it was included during their first love scene.  As a dog person, I do wish we'd seen more of the dogs (and puppies)!  It was a cute tidbit that sort of got lost as the time on the trail progressed. 

I did like this story very much. I loved Sarah and Jack (and Sarah's son, Tommy) as well as the strong secondary characters.  This author's strength is clearly her ability to create a setting and characters that feel real and three dimensional. A good books! 4 stars.


Shaking his head, Jack moved to the next wagon, checked the supplies, argued with the husband to lighten the load, then moved on. As he approached the middle of the line, a woman held the hand of a small boy. She glanced over her shoulder.

Jack's heart slammed in his chest, and his vision blurred. For four years, he'd carried the memory of the woman by the strange tree. But that had been a dream. Hadn't it?

The boy tugged on her skirt, and she bent to say something to him. Wisps of blonde hair tumbled from her bun, touching the bonnet hanging down her back. A premonition hit him like a horse’s kick to the stomach. Was this the widow woman? Please don't let this be the widow woman. His legs and hands shook as he approached. Hell, he was a man, and she was just a woman. He shouldn't be nervous to talk to a woman, should he?

With a deep sigh, he slapped the side of his leg for his dog, Avery, to follow, then pulled back his shoulders and strode over to the woman and her wagon. The only thing he could do was his job. He tipped his hat.

"Ma'am. I'm Jack Billabard. I'm here to check your supplies and equipment. Can I meet with you and your husband?"

The woman reached out her hand. She wanted to shake his? That was a first. Women didn't usually shake hands. Must be one of those progressive types. Her hand and fingers were slim, almost delicate. When she slid her palm into his hand, warmth spread up his arm.


Tina Susedik is an award-winning, multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, military books and romances. Her favorite is writing romance stories where her characters live happily ever after. She lives in Northwestern Wisconsin and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Romance Writer's of America, Wisconsin Writer’s Association, and Sisters In crime. Her twentieth book will be released in November with her Chandler County book, Missing My Heart. Tina also write spicier romances as Anita Kidesu.

Buy link for The Trail to Love:

Social Media Links for Tina Susedik
Twitter: @tinasusedik



a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

  3. Congrats on the tour and I appreciate the excerpt and the great giveaway as well. Love the tours, I get to find books and share with my sisters and now my twin daughters who all love to read. We have found some amazing books for everyone. So, thank you!

  4. How long did it take you to write your book? Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  5. I've really enjoyed following the tour for The Trail to Love and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for sharing all of the great posts along the way.

  6. Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Congrats on the book tour. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com