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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Penelope’s Pursuit Author: Chautona Havig On tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Penelope’s Pursuit

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 29, 2021

Are mail-order-brides changing their minds or is something sinister going on in Kansas?

Ten years ago, Penelope’s sister ran away as a mail-order bride, and it was the last their family ever heard from her.  Now, with their parents dead and Penelope all alone, the young woman has one goal. Find her sister.

It took enough grit for Henry to write to Miss Mildred Crenshaw about finding him a wife in the first place, but when the stage arrives and no bride steps off, the whole thing feels like a confidence scheme. Investigation, however, sends chills down his spine as he realizes women are leaving the east for the west but many never arrive at their destinations.

Is it any wonder that Penelope doesn’t trust the man who abducts her from the clutches of her new friends and rides off into the sunset? Is his explanation reasonable?  Can she convince him to help her find her sister?

And is she about to fall in love with a homesteader on the untamed prairies of Kansas?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona

Mail Order Brides: Do We Romanticize the Past?

Although I recall reading about mail-order brides in school… somewhere… Patricia MacLachlan’s Sarah, Plain and Tall was my first introduction to the idea of advertising for or requesting the services of a matchmaker to find a wife. The book and the subsequent movie showed the difficulties of such a marriage and left us all with a satisfactory ending.

Some years later, while doing a bit of research, I discovered another side of the coin—a horrifying picture of what happened to some gullible young women and the unscrupulous people who used such matchmaking schemes as a means for human trafficking. It sickened me, as it should anyone.

All my ideas for mail order bride novels ended up as wadded up balls of mental paper and in the wastepaper basket of my mind. A few years passed, and I came up with a twist on mail order brides, one that will see the light of day if I ever have time to write it. A few more years passed, and a series of books featuring a matchmaking service for mail-order brides and the Homestead Act resurrected those ideas. I smoothed a couple out, reconsidered, and decided against writing them.

I’d have to miss the opportunity to join the series.

My mind never does follow orders well. Within minutes of that decision, I had a story. What would happen if there was some funny business going on with girls going west? How could I combine a satisfactory ending where two people came to a meeting of the minds and hearts in the midst of fighting something that ugly?

Penelope’s Pursuit was born.

Is my story idealized? Probably. I’ll be frank with you. I’m okay with that, too. See, sometimes all we need is a reminder that mankind is sinful and in need of a Savior before the story turns into how things should have been. After all, fiction mirrors reality, but it is also an escape.

I hope Penelope’s escape to the west and her pursuit of her sister encourages you to turn to the Lord for every decision, in every trouble, and with every praise possible in between.

My Thoughts

 Penelope’s Pursuit is a Historical Romantic Suspense that is written by the talented Chautona Havig. I have read several of Chautona's books and have always loved them. This one was different. She took tough subjects and created a beautiful story with it. I was unaware that human trafficking was going on during the wild west times. This story covers some harsh realities - but the author handles it seamlessly. 

Penelope is all alone in the world. Her parent have died. Her sister had previously gone west to be a mail order bride - only to never be heard from again. She heads to the same town her sister went to under the same premise. When she steps off the train station she is nervous and excited. 

Reuben had to shove his pride deep down - and write for assistance for a mail order bride. When he shows up to collect his bride - she is not there and he is convinced that he has been scammed. However, he notices something amiss when he sees Penelope. He convinces her that something is not write and moves her away from where she was supposed to be going. Which could have saved her life. 

Penelope has found her self in quite a quandary. She is in a foreign place trying to track down her sister. She has been "saved" by a man she does not know. Can she trust him? Can he help get her answers. 

I loved the mystery and suspense that the author built into this story. Chautona can write across so many different genres and she never ceases to amaze me. This book will cover the tough subject such as human trafficking, opium abuse/dependence and suicide. However, this is a Christian Historical Suspense book - and it is not overly glorified. The author did an excellent job weaving it into her story and showing how it affected those in the 1800's. 

The characters are well written, the storyline is intriguing and believable. I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit Blogging program - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Blogging With Carol, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 11

Inklings and notions, October 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 12

Lots of Helpers, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

Joanne Markey, October 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 17

Mary Hake, October 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, October 18 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 19

Vicky Sluiter, October 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20

Connie’s History Classroom, October 21

Blossoms and Blessings, October 21

Splashes of Joy, October 22


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. I like the twist on this story since it isn’t the typical mail-order bride tale.

  2. Connie, Thank you for sharing your excellent review!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I'm adding to my tbr!

  4. This sounds like a really good read.