Tuesday 17 May 2022

More Precious Than Gold - Leslea Wahl - All For 1 Episode 2

More Precious Than Gold
All For 1 Episode 2  
Leslea Wahl
Ministry Thru Mystery
ISBN 9781732903739

I believe I have read everything that Leslea Wahl has published. That includes 5 novels, short stories and contributions to anthologies and a piece in a progressive story also. Many of the characters in this story overlap with other works of hers. So, in some ways it was like returning to visit old friends. This story was previously published in the Catholic Teen Books anthology, Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories. Even though I had read this story in the Anthology I tend to pick them up as Singles because you experience it differently reading it as a stand along. And I enjoyed this the first time, but appreciated it even more this time through. Wahl informs us in a preface to this story that:

“Years ago, when I was waiting for my first novel, The Perfect Blindside, to be published, I started working on my second novel which became Into the Spotlight (formerly An Unexpected Role). My husband suggested that I should somehow link the two stories. That idea intrigued me, and I decided Sophie from The Perfect Blindside and Ryan from Into the Spotlight could be cousins. Not sure what I would ever do with this connection, I included two tiny hints in the new book. 

A few years later, authors from the joint website I belong to, CatholicTeenBooks.com, decided to create an anthology. I thought this might be a great time to finally bring these characters together for a new adventure. I had so much fun writing that short story and over the years, new ideas for these characters have popped into my mind. I have finally combined all these stories together in my all for One series. The title is a reminder that God should be at the center of our lives—as everything we do is for Him.”

She also provides a chronological order to the stories:

One Blessing at a Time
Into the Spotlight (formerly An Unexpected Role)
More Precious Than Gold 
Ultimate Blindside
The Master Plan 

The last two of which must be forthcoming, at the time of writing this review. The description of this volume is:

“While helping at a summer camp, four friends discover an old tale of murder and forbidden love which leads to a modern-day treasure hunt.

Ryan’s invitation to his girlfriend Josie, his cousin Sophie, and Sophie’s boyfriend Jake to help at a summer camp for disadvantaged youth, seems like a wonderful opportunity for the two couples to get to know each other while sharing Christ’s love with others. But when they uncover a mystery at the camp, their summer adventure becomes a week of intrigue.”

I freely admit I absolutely loved this story. It is well written. The characters are wonderful. The competition between the boys over everything reminds me of my brothers and I. And having a short story with Jake, Sophia, Ryan, and Josie is like a visit home with old friends. 

If you are a fan of other stories that include these characters this is a must read. If you haven’t given them a try yet, it is a good place to start. You will enjoy the characters; the story is wonderful, and it will leave you wanting the books so you can keep reading. A great offering, in a fun series by a skilled writer. I am really looking forward to where the stories go in the All for 1 collection of short stories or episodes.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Leslea Wahl:
The Perfect Blindside
An Unexpected Role
Where You Lead
Unlikely Witness

eXtreme Blindside
Christmas Angel 

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