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A Big Sky Christmas by William W. Johnstone

A Big Sky Christmas

by William W. Johnstone

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By William W Johnston and J.A. Johnstone

This is the third book in a series of Western romances culminating at Christmas. This time Jamie McAllister is corralled into leading a wagon train of pioneers from Kansas City Missouri to Montana territory, where they plan to settle. He thinks they are setting out too late to make it before the harsh winter weather, but he agrees to lead them, because “if anybody can get them there by Christmas, it’s Jamie McAllister.”

It’s a stereotypical Western tale … cardboard characters right out of central casting, a band of “varmints” set on revenge, an actress (who is NOT a prostitute) fleeing from a rich man intent on having his way with her, a cowboy who has been running with a group of outlaws but has reformed (for love, of course), a “fire and brimstone” preacher, a studious and polite Jewish immigrant, Indians, buffalo, shoot-outs, prairie fires and blizzards.

It’s also a fast read, with a plot that kept me interested enough to keep turning pages. J A Johnstone has improved his/her writing since the first book in the series (though not much). The books carry William Johnstone’s name, but he died at least 7 years before the first book was published, so I think it would be more honest to have only J A Johnstone’s name on the books.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a “Christmas” book … look elsewhere. About the only reference to Christmas is that McAllister promises to get the pilgrims to Montana by that date. It’s really just a Western romance set during early winter, with a plot that culminates on Christmas Day. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 16, 2017 |
Title: A Big Sky Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 416
Year: 2013
Publisher: Pinnacle
J. A. Johnstone has authored, The Big Sky Christmas, with as much heart as the previous tales titled, A Rocky Mountain Christmas and Lone Star Christmas. Each novel is thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable with a mix of adventure and romance. Here, in the latest Christmas book, A Big Sky Christmas, readers are introduced to characters with a true moral or spiritual compass and others with evil intent along with a host of surprises in the story line.
In the fictional tale, Johnstone uses flashback as a way to tell the story of a set of elderly twins and their experiences growing up on a wagon train bound for Montana. McAllister is a mountain man whose years were originally filled with locating those who took the life of his beloved wife Katie. When a brawl causes the original wagon master to sit this trip out, McAllister feels duty-bound to lead them safely to their new homesteads before the harsh winter snows begin.
Each page is filled with action, adventure, danger, romance and more that will keep the audience entertained for hours in the setting of the Old West. Time flew by as I kept reading and seeing the novel’s climax build then come to a place of resolution when all of a sudden the story took off again on another fight to live through more perilous moments.
It was easy to form the picture of the story in my mind. At times, I felt like I was watching the action play out through the eyes of one player or another. The risk pioneers took to start new homesteads and raise families is something that intrigues my imagination for hours on end. I thought it was a brilliant stroke of the author’s pen when an unexpected character from another of the western series appears here in the story.
The gift of family, faith and friends through life’s adventures was the main theme of the whole novel. Banding together to care for each other, to fight to stay alive and learning new skills for life on the prairie were other added pieces of the tale that kept me reading well into the wee hours of the morning. No matter when you read this novel, I guarantee it will be time well spent. I also suggest reading the other two Christmas novels mentioned above as they are unique unto themselves.
My rating is 5 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Dec 30, 2013 |
I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing and thoroughly enjoyed the read. If you like stories with a lot of challenge this book is for you. I was on the edge of my seat just wondering if the characters journey would turn out the way I hoped it would. Fast paced and I could not put the book down! ( )
  debrarbell | Nov 27, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William W. Johnstoneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Johnstone, J.A.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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When an 1873 wagon train of immigrants is battered by harsh storms, outlaws, and Indians, Smoke Jensen and an old mountain man known as the Preacher come to their aid and promise to get them to Montana Territory by Christmas.

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