Blood Creek by Kimberly Collins [Book Review & Giveaway]

October 4, 2019
Have you ever gotten into a book slump? I was in one for about a month and then I came across a surprising book that brought me right out of it. The book that did it is called Blood Creek by Kimberly Collins. It is the formerly untold story of the women of Appalachia. The author dives into lesser-known mine wars of the 20th century and takes the reader on the journey of an uprising.

What makes this historical fiction book is unique is she draws from her own family history.

Blood Creek is set in 1912 West Virginia, where the coal miners are arming themselves up and getting ready to strike. Wealthy coal owners have hired the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency to do whatever is necessary to crush the miners and protect their fortune. In the midst of all of this chaos is Ellie Cline. She arrives in Charleston on the arm of John Felts, a top aid to Tom Felts himself.  And despite all the gossip of being a kept woman to John Felts, she enjoys his attention, his lavish gifts, and the parties.

But Ellie is a spy. She is positioned between the lavish high society of Charleston and her family roots that go all the way down into the dusty coal mines. Will she escape the call of duty that pushes her to share what she knows? Or will she hide in high society, running from her past?

What I Thought

Ellie was a woman far ahead of her time. She is not settled with the status quo. She wants more to life than what society will give her. In West Virginia, she fears all she'll ever have is that cabin she lives in with her husband. Then something changes - her husband commits a crime, she gets pregnant, and her lover is dead. What will she do?

When she gets the chance to leave for Charleston, it's the chance to leave it all behind. Then the old saying comes around, "No matter where you go, there you are." Well, Ellie's past is not far behind and her call of duty draws her back to her roots. I was more than taken by surprise by the character of Ellie - who was likable, understandable, and occasionally detestable at the same time - while enjoying the world of the coal miners and the flashy life of Charleston.

This book drew me in and I couldn't put it down. The setting is so vivid. The book cover depicts a moment in the river when Ellie contemplates her situation, which is such a turning point for the character. I felt the strong family ties emit off the page.

Since it is based in historical fact, there is definite tragedy in this book. Yet, the author has a way of sweeping you along and drawing you back in, even in the midst of sadness and confusion.

I can't wait to see what comes up next for the Mingo Chronicles. If you haven't read historical fiction before, I suggest you start with this book. When I read "coal mines" I didn't realize how much I would enjoy the characters, the world, and the fight for what is right.

If you love historical fiction, you will not be disappointed by this book. I am sure you will enjoy it and will want to read more.

A small thing I really appreciated was how the author introduces which characters are inspired by real people and which characters are pure fiction. She does that in the beginning so that really sets the stage of helping me get to know who I'm about to read.

Memorable Quotes

"She turned to get her things, but an old, familiar tug in her gut told her not to go with Mary. It made her a little dizzy it was so unexpected." (pg 17).

"She sat for a long time watching the river gently flow away from her, listening to its gentle caresses against the rocks and shore. Where was it going? Could she go with it? Was there something better at its end?" (pg 64).

"She was skilled at feeding the male ego to get what she wanted. By the time they arrived in Charleston, John Havers didn't realize he had been hit with a meteor." (pg 118)

About the Author, Kimberly Collins

Kimberly Collins is the author of two novels, most recently Blood Creek, which is the first in the Mingo series. Collins grew up in Matewan, West Virginia, the home of the Hatfield & McCoy feud and the legendary Matewan Massacre. She loves the mountains, the river, the people, and the history. Collins is busy working on several projects including the Mingo series, short stories, photography, and dabbling in other creative endeavors. In 2017, she co-wrote her first screenplay for a short film, which premiered at the Knoxville Film Festival. For more information about Collins and her work, visit


Best of all I get to giveaway a copy of Blood Creek to one lucky winner! This is US Only. Enter via Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends on 10/22/2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to pick up a copy of this book on or add to GoodReads.

I received the above-mentioned book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I'm going to have to look into this one. I am from WV.

  2. Entered the giveaway - hope I win one, this sounds divine

  3. Loved your review. It is great that this book pulled you out of your slump.

  4. Great review! Welcome back from your slump!

  5. I’m glad you’re out of your reading slump!

  6. Amazing review, that is great that you are finally out of your dreaded book slump, this book looks and sounds absolutely great and very intriguing. I'm really glad you fully enjoyed reading this book. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

  7. I do like the sound of the book, great review and giveaway.

  8. Historical fiction is my favorite first off. I've never come across a book about the days of coal mining, so this book definitely intrigues me!

  9. enjoyed the review; entered the giveaway! thank you

  10. Thank you for the review.

  11. A great review as well as a lasting impression by Blood Creek to get those creative juices flowing again.

  12. Would love the history of this

  13. I cant wait to read this book,my family came from that area so i have heard tales about the wars the miners endured since i was a child.

  14. Likt historical stories of all kinds.

  15. Conflict 100 years ago.

  16. I am interested because the plot sounds intriguing. This is a part of history that I don't know about.

  17. What catches my eye about this book is that its a historical fiction book. I love these kind of books.

  18. The cover is awesome! And I love historical fiction. The more based in fact & history, the better!

  19. It looks like an interesting read.

  20. It is different from what I usually read.


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