“Where You Lead” by Leslea Wahl: A Great Addition to Your Home-School History Curriculum

Sixteen-year-old Eve Donahue’s lonely existence changes in an instant when visions of a mysterious stranger haunt her. Certain God is calling her for a mission, she bravely says yes and begins her quest to meet this young man.

Thousands of miles away, Nick Hammond has been dealing with his own unusual experience, an unwavering certainness to convince his father to run for political office.

When these two unlikely teens finally meet, their belief that God has called them to work together sets them on a journey of faith to untangle a web of deception involving international trade agreements, lost confederate gold, and a blossoming romance. As they follow century old clues, they realize God can call us all in big and small ways. We just need to listen and say “Yes Lord, I will go where You lead.”

MY REVIEW:

Leslea Wahl’s newest release Where You Lead is a fun adventure that takes the reader on an exciting journey through American history. With colorful characters, witty dialogue, and a search for lost treasure, Wahl knows how to keep the reader on the edge of his seat. My favorite character was the grumpy elderly neighbor, and the interaction between her and the main character Eve was very entertaining.

A suspenseful mystery with tons of twists and turns and a dollop of romance, Where You Lead is a wonderful reminder that God has a plan, and if you follow His will, He will lead you to where you are needed most. What a great addition this book would be to a home-school history curriculum.

WHERE YOU LEAD for HOME-SCHOOL HISTORY

Where You Lead is a fun, adventurous YA novel filled with mystery, Christian values, and could be a great book to add to lesson plans about American history. The story is set in Washington DC and is full of ideas for students to explore. Here are a few to consider.

1 – In the book, the main characters set out on a treasure hunt for lost confederate gold. Students could investigate the different aspects of the civil war.

2 – Eve and Nick become involved with someone who lives in one of the embassies along Embassy Row. Students could explore the rich history of these grand manors in Washington DC and how they became embassies. They could even choose a country to research.

3 – One of the prominent buildings in the story is the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Students could study President Kennedy and even why this theater was dedicated to his memory.

4 – There are many locations that Nick and Eve visit that are named after famous people from our past. Students could choose one to research: The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The Francis Scott Key Bridge, Roosevelt Island, Jefferson Memorial, and the Smithsonian Museum.

Giveaway

Where You Lead treasure hunt
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About the Author

Leslea Wahl
I’m Leslea Wahl. For as long as I can remember I have been a creator of stories with ideas swirling through my head. I am thrilled now to be able to share some of them with others. For many years I have been driven by a belief that our purpose in life is to use our gifts to glorify God and lead others to Him. I am blessed to have found a way to intertwine my two passions by creating adventurous stories with positive Christian messages for today’s youth. Not only do I hope to entertain with my writing, but also to inspire others to find their gifts as well.

Twitter: LesleaWahl
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What 6th Graders Are Saying About “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch”!


After my visit to Miss Abramson’s sixth grade class to talk about their assigned book, The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch, I received some awesome letters from the students. Wow! I wish I could share them all with you. I loved every single one and really appreciate the time the children took to write to me. I feel so blessed because, as a writer, I seldom hear back from my readers. I write for the Lord, sharing His word, with the hope that I inspire my readers and really strengthen their faith. I don’t always know whether I’m doing that. But in the case of these letters, I feel so humbled and blessed that God was able to speak to many of these readers through this story. It’s really the reason why I write.

The reason why I want to share these letters with you is because I feel that as parents, we often make book choices for our children based on other parents’ suggestions. But a child’s feedback, I feel, is so much more valuable. Here are just snippets of the letters!

God is good!

Enjoy!

Dear T. M. Gaouette

“Your book is one of my favorite books and the whole class is waiting for a second book.” (Ben)

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is one of the best books I have ever read. If there is a sequel, I would read it in a heartbeat.” (Aidan)

“Thank you for letting us ask as many questions as we could in the short time we had. I learned a lot from you and your book. Your book had a very strong effect on me and m classmates. I absolutely fell in love with your writing, it was unlike any of the other books I have read.” (Hayley)

“Thank you so much for answering all my questions. I’m so glad you came in! It made me so happy.” (Adam)

Your book was very fun to read and kept us all on the edge of our seats! Without Mrs. A, I would’ve never thought to read that book because I’m mostly interested in fantasy books, but reading that book helped expand my interest.” (Jagger)

“Thank you for visiting us! I enjoyed your time here, your questions to us, and answers to our questions! The blog post…I loved it!!! You were very understanding, and very outgoing! Not a lot of people take time out of their day to talk to 6th graders. I found that very awesome!” (Audrey)

“I want to read some of your other books in the future!” (Dani)

“I learned so much about your thought process and other authors’ thought processes in general. The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch taught me so much about  love, trust, and above all, God…The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is hands down amazing.” (Susan)

“I loved your enthusiasm while you talked about the book. It really made me want to talk about it more.” (Sam)

The way you spoke about God, faith, and trust really inspires me. The novel was a page-turner, for I never wanted to put the book down! I believe that God has blessed you with an amazing talent in literature.” (Aimee)

“Thank you for coming into 6A. It was a very amazing experience, and enjoyable time as well. This book was one that no one could put down. It was very kind of you to come  and answer our questions.” (Alivia)

My visit to Miss Abramson’s 6th grade class in 2017

Click here to learn more about The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch

Catholic Writers Guild Blog Finds ‘The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch’ “A Powerful Story with an Emotional Wallop”

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is featured on the Catholic Writers Guild blog. If you’ve read the book or like my work, please leave a comment and share it with others.

At age ten, Benedict carries massive chips on both shoulders. Having passed from bad foster homes to worse, he dreads the uncertainty of new surroundings and new rules. When he arrives at The Sunshine Ranch, he doubts the sincerity of his new foster parents, David and Martha Credence and withholds his affections lest he be ripped again from friends and security. Benedict sees the other foster children as rivals and doubts that his good fortune will last. Over the next four years, he remains aloof, not daring to trust that he has found a home and family.

When foreclosure threatens The Sunshine Ranch, Benedict’s doubts seem to be confirmed. Although David and Martha ask Benedict and their other foster kids to have faith that God will provide, Benedict refuses to believe. But Micah, Benedict’s roommate, and chief rival, keeps the faith. Eventually, Benedict realizes that The Sunshine Ranch gives him the only happiness that he has ever known, and that his constant worry and fear prevent him from enjoying it.

David and Martha Credence, and their many foster children embody generosity and unquestioning faith. Theirs is an impossible task — they welcome hard-case kids like Benedict and scrape together the resources to meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Benedict, on the other hand, provides a counterpoint to everything the Credence family attempts to share. Too wounded by his early life experiences to accept the healing they offer, he’s likely to reject them and run away into the night. Micah, the optimist, has suffered as much as Benedict, but he always sees the bright side and attempts to wear down Benedict’s rough edges. Read more of this review and others at the Catholic Writers Guild blog…

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Catholic Review of Books Finds “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch” Interesting and Edifying For Young Readers!

Book Review: The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch -”I laughed, and I cried…very well written”

What are people saying about, “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch”?

The Koala Bear Writer Review: “Gaouette Has a Gift For Characters”

“The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch reminded me of The Lion Cubs (another novel about foster children) and Cheaper by the Dozen (an autobiography of a large family that I enjoyed as a kid). I enjoyed getting to know each of the children on the ranch, and Gaouette has such a gift for characters that it wasn’t hard to keep Sebastian, Tommy, Eva, Micah, Benedict, Isabella and the younger children straight.”

Read more of this review and others at The Koala Bear Writer

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Book Reviews and More on “Freeing Tanner Rose”: “One of the Best Catholic Fiction Stories for Young Adults I Have Ever Read”

Freeing Tanner Rose is featured on Book Reviews and More. If you’ve read the book or like my work, please leave a comment and share it with others.

This is the second novel I have read by T.M. Gaouette and I have enjoyed both immensely. However the pace and intensity in this story was gripping. I barely put the book down and read it in two extended settings. When I finished this novel, I was really wishing for more. It was only when I went to do some research for the review that I discovered it is the first in a series called Faith & Kung Fu.
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This story was a very intense read. From the moment Gabriel met Tanner Rose he was apprehensive and reserved. Gabriel and his mother live in the country, he studies martial arts and is a young man of faith. Tanner Rose is a very young Hollywood starlet who dresses and acts beyond her years. At every Turn Gabriel’s patience and fortitude seems to be tested by this girl his mother has brought home. Gabriel and Tanner’s mother were roommate in university and even though they have chosen very different path’s Miss Ruth took Tanner in to try and help. Both Ruth and Gabriel have strong faith and personal practice. Tanner thinks they are just country hicks, and feels like she is being abandoned, punished, and neglected by her mother for pulling her from her party scene lifestyle. Will Gabriel’s steadfast faith and strength help ground Tanner or will her wild addictive and self-centered traits rub off on him.
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The characters are wonderfully written. The solid honest ethical life of Gabriel and his mother in contrast to Tanner and her Hollywood shenanigans is a stunning look at faith in the midst of modern life and culture. Read more of this review and others at Book Reviews and More
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If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Catholic Review of Books Finds “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch” Interesting and Edifying For Young Readers!

Catholic Review of Books

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is featured on Catholicreviewof books.com. If you’ve read the book or like my work, please leave a comment and share it with others.

It’s not an easy thing for an author to share her views about the extraordinary gift that Catholic family life is, or, at least, is meant to be. The number one danger for such art is making the good seem uninteresting, to fasten on to superlatives, to turn drama in paean or very poor pastoral. Too many Catholic writers have been able to do little more than this. It seems like there is this kind of thing, or there is Flannery O’Connor. It’s too bad. I am initiating myself into O’Connor and finding myself rather enjoying her darkness, but I can well imagine that she is not for everyone, particularly not for young readers. So what about their needs?

Sunshine Ranch starts off strong. A young man, Benedict, in foster care gets in trouble at school, only to have his foster mother get into trouble soon after. He and the little girl he lives with have to be moved. He ends us at the titular ranch, and the whole thing suddenly starts to feel a bit campy, almost like a Provident Films movie. Perhaps the fault is mine, since I was city-reared and a ‘ranch’ has all the feel to me of sappy Americana. That feeling doesn’t last too long, though, and Gaouette soon finds her stride and fall into a more natural rhythm.

She is a good writer. In her desire to set a scene she sometimes says too much, nevertheless, she generally has a knack for choosing the right word. The characters all seem to have depth and authenticity and they manage to avoid devolving, on the one hand, into caricature, or, on the other, into meanness. Read more of this review and others at Catholic Review of Books

If you loved this, then you’re sure to like…

Book Review: The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch -”I laughed, and I cried…very well written”

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch: Chapter 1

What are people saying about, “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch”?

Book Review & Giveaway: “Freeing Tanner Rose” – Featured on “Our Village is a Little Different”

ourvillageisalittle different
Freeing Tanner Rose is featured on Ourvillageisalittledifferent.com. If you’ve read the book or like my work, please leave a comment and share it with others.

Tanner Rose is a fourteen year old movie and television star. She enjoys her fame and is deep into the Hollywood party scene. When her behavior gets out of control her mother sends her to stay at the country home of her college friend, Miss Ruth. The plan is for Tanner to rest and regroup so that she will be able to focus when filming for her new upcoming show.

Unfortunately for Tanner her problem is not that she is too stressed – the child is addicted to drinking and smoking and when she is out partying there are drugs and boys who have impure intentions. Her self esteem rests in her fame so she does not appreciate being dropped off in the middle of nowhere and especially not at the home of a boy that is not impressed by her status. She doesn’t know what to make of Miss Ruth’s son, Gabriel.

Gabriel is sixteen and he is a very devout Catholic. He and his friends are all clean cut and fairly innocent. Gabriel is also extremely handsome and in good physical condition. Each day he practices martial arts and is quite accomplished.

As most people who are mired in addiction or other bad behaviors do, Tanner tries to corrupt Gabriel and his friends. Every time that they go out Tanner does something infuriating or embarrassing. Gabriel tries not to let her get under his skin but because of his own issues, she does. Amazingly, he is able to tell her in plain language why her behavior is unacceptable and talk in clear language about how God’s love is better than fame or parties or any of the things Tanner holds dear and confuses for happiness.

The story takes some twists and some turns as we learn more about both of the teens and their issues. It comes to a point where either Gabriel’s faith will attract Tanner and allow her to let her true self shine through or Tanner’s life will tempt Gabriel to do things he never even considered. Read more and enter to win a copy of Freeing Tanner Rose