Come sail the Winds of Change on the schooner, Shenandoah…


Deb’s Dozen: Twelve-word Summary – Summer school sail joys; the schooner, Shenandoah; Revolutionary War? Love through time.

Little did I know when I attended the New England Writers’ Conference in October, 2014, that I’d meet so many authors who had written so many excellent books. As a blogger, I’m always on the lookout for interesting books to review.

When Lisa Belcastro, who lives on Martha’s Vineyard, heard that I live in Plymouth, MA, and write reviews, she gave me all three novels in her Winds of Change series. After all, we are practically neighbors and both have a love for the ocean.

All three of the novels are set on the schooner, Shenandoah. So come aboard and let’s go sailing!

Rebecca O’Neill is enjoying the last week of her summer vacation before her job as a sixth-grade teacher resumes. The last thing she wants to do is chaperone 25 kids on a sailing trip on the Shenandoah. But her principal is persuasive, and Rebecca finds herself on onboard despite all her objections. And to top of everything, the ship is rumored to be haunted.

Five years earlier, another teacher, Melissa Smith, had complained about hearing voices and seeing visions, and then disappeared from the very cabin where Rebecca will be bunking. However, the Sunday she boards everything seems normal. The kids are all excited and so, in spite of herself, is Rebecca.

That night she drifts off to sleep, but awakens in the morning with memories of a hushed conversation about a battle with Britain. Monday night, after an exhausting day of sailing, swimming, crafts, and overseeing students, Rebecca crawls into her bunk and is instantly asleep. She’s startled awake when a man grabs her arm and yells, “Stowaway!” Nothing is familiar about the ship she’s now on—the people, the clothing, the language—as she’s dragged before Captain Benjamin Reed—and is lost!

You’ll read this adventure quickly and then dive into the next one. I was totally entranced by the story. I couldn’t wait to start reading…

Tess Roberts, daughter of the Shenandoah’s captain, wants nothing more than to be able to crew on the ship with her father. But father is cautious and not at all amenable to having a female crew member—there are too many temptation for the rest of the crew. Tess is fed up with the rules, her life, lousy dates, a dead ex who was a liar and philanderer, and the Vineyard, idyllic place though the island might be.

But Tess knows the history of the ship—and knows that the Shenandoah has mystical powers. Her best friend, Rebecca O’Neill, had stayed in Cabin 8—the same cabin that Melissa Smith had disappeared from five years before—and discovered a time portal that took her back to 1775. Tess decides to see if she, too, can go back in time—she REALLY needs to talk with Rebecca. She wants to get away from Hawk, the first mate on the Shenandoah, whom she’d fallen for years before and who studiously avoids the Captain’s daughter.

Does she make the trip? Does she find Rebecca? Is Hawk as aloof as he seems? Will life take a better turn for Tess? Read on to find out—you’ll devour this book, too, and then sail on to…

Shenandoah Dreams recounts the story of Melissa Smith—the teacher who’d disappeared from the ship mysteriously five years ago. She knows, “It’s just a dream,” as she stares into the handsome eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes just like those worth by the actors at Plimoth Plantation. But she’s not at the Plantation—or the Boston Tea Party Museum—she’s onboard the schooner Shenandoah sailing the waters around Martha’s Vineyard. But this man claims to be Isaiah Reed, the first captain of the Shenandoah in the eighteenth century!

Can a dream last for weeks on end? How will she find her way home…to the 21st century? Can she bear to leave Isaiah with whom she has an almost electric connection? Romance, history, and adventure—the sweeping excitement of the Winds of Change series.

The Winds of Change series is published by OakTara Publishers. I am grateful to them for publishing these three books and to Lisa Belcastro for giving them to me for my candid review.

Lisa actually got the idea for these books while she was chaperoning to summer sails on the Shenandoah with her daughter, Kayla. Besides these three books, Lisa writes a cuisine column for the Vineyard Style magazine. She’s written articles for numerous publications including USA Today and her books have won or been nominated for a number of awards. Shenandoah Nights won Romance Book of the Year from the Christian Small Publishers Association and the Reader’s Choice Award in Speculative Fiction from the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Shenandoah Nights and Shenandoah Crossings are up for the SELAH Award, The Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Golden Quill Award.

When she’s not writing, Lisa says she lives in Paradise, enjoys gardening and volunteering at her daughter’s school. She has recently completed her goal to run a marathon in all 50 states! You’re right – keeping pace with Lisa is tough.


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