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Blood and Silver

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  62 reviews
What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother? If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out.



After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers
...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published April 3rd 2020 by Tellwell Talent
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  83 ratings  ·  62 reviews


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Whispering Stories
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

1880 – Twelve-year-old Carissa has travelled to Tombstone Arizona with her mother, Lisette, who is a forced drugged-up prostitute for Miss Lucille who has moved her girls from San Francisco looking for a wealthier life. They are to reside with another Madam who runs prostitutes, though she is mysteriously killed just after they arrive and so Miss Lucille is now the owner of the whole place and all her girls.

Whilst attending to the murder the sheriff of t
...more
Lauren Stoolfire
I received a ecopy from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother? If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out. After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers that Miss Lucille has been drugging her. She and
...more
Laura Lynn
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
YA Historical was a new genre for me.
Very appropriate read for my road trip across the Southwest.
Marcia Clayton
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-favourites
Blood and Silver is set in the boom town of Tombstone, Arizona in the late 19th century. Twelve year old Carissa travels there from San Francisco with her drug addict, prostitute mother and their future looks bleak. However, Carissa is befriended by China Mary, who is a colourful character, and this is a turning point in the lives of Carissa and her mother. I thought the book was well written and it kept me interested all the way through. I write historical fiction myself, though my books are se ...more
InD'tale Magazine
Vali Benson has developed a truly unique take on historical Tombstone, Arizona: through the eyes of a child. Carissa is an incredibly relatable character whom the reader can’t help but root for.

Read full review in the 2021 March issue of InD'tale Magazine.
...more
Deandra
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can only imagine what a younger version of myself would have thought if this book had been written during my "formative years". I'm a sucker for westerns and love a good, strong heroine, and this book has both. Welcome to Tombstone, home to miners, prostitutes, and the beginnings of an Asian labor-force run by one hell of a business woman. "Blood and Silver" by author Vali Benson is the story of young Carissa Beaumont, a girl twelve years of age who has grown beyond her years in ways that you ...more
N.N. Light
What an incredible adventure this book is! A superb book for a teen to read from age 13 on, for sure. The story of Carissa is fraught with emotion, drama, suspense, intrigue, mystery, danger, and fun. Part a little girl, part super-girl for the work she can do and part Lara Croft - this girl is a heroine every reader can root for!

The action is fast-paced and keeps the reader excited. The historically accurate writing is impressive and really takes the reader back to the 1880's Tombstone. The acc
...more
Joy Smith
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, western
I enjoyed Blood and Silver. I like historical fiction and westerns, and the background was woven into the story well. Actually, I was surprised to learn about China Mary and Hoptown. (I always appreciate the author's note with the historical details.) I've often read about Tombstone in True West Magazine, but with all the details in Blood and Silver, I was happy to learn even more, 'cause I wondered at first if the author had taken too many liberties...

It's an enjoyable read with suspense and d
...more
Melissa B.
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Ulleseit
Apr 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Blood and Silver very much, and I can see a young reader loving it. The protagonist is 12 year old Carissa is the daughter of a prostitute who is being drugged by her madam. It's 1880. They arrive in Tombstone from San Francisco with the madam and two other prostitutes. Carissa knows her mother is ill and addicted, and she must find a way for both of them to get away from that life. The author treated the difficult subjects of prostitution and drug addiction in an entirely appropriate ...more
Marianne Sciucco
Jul 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
The themes in this YA novel are dark: prostitution, drug addiction, human trafficking, death. But the book is well researched and well written, the characters are engaging, and the plot is interesting. Twelve year old Carissa winds up in Tombstone, AZ in 1880 after her well-to-do Southern family heads west seeking a better future. When her father and brother become ill on the journey and succumb to their disease, Carissa and her genteel mother are left on their own. Destitute and desperate, they ...more
Frank Kelso
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A YA western about the fate of soiled doves in a tough Silver town

Benson crafts a well-written tale about life in Old Tombstone when the silver boom happened (before Wyatt & Doc came to town. The author includes historical details of a large Chinese population, which are mostly ignore in western films & stories. Entertaining read with little of the "blood" forecast in the title.
...more
Sara O'Brien
Jul 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Carissa Beaumont is the hero of this story and I related to her on many levels, growing up way too young and having to forage for herself as well as her mother makes for a difficult life. Her perseverance is admirable and the writer did very well in making her the center of the story. Tombstone has always been a point of interest for me so learning a few things about the historical significance in the story was another check mark when it comes to recommending books to others. Between the drama a ...more
K.C. Finn
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, loved the history, atmosphere and accessibility for young adult readers.
Lindsey
Sep 06, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Was looking for a great wild west story and this technically fit the request but was written very poorly.
N.N. Light
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible adventure this book is! A superb book for a teen to read from age 13 on, for sure. The story of Carissa is fraught with emotion, drama, suspense, intrigue, mystery, danger, and fun. Part little girl, part super-girl for the work she can do and part Lara Croft - this girl is a heroine every reader can root for!

The action is fast-paced and keeps the reader excited. The historically accurate writing is impressive and really takes the reader back to the 1880's Tombstone. The accur
...more
Mark Warren
For her first novel, Vali Benson has taken on the challenge of writing about twelve year old Carissa Beaumont and that girl’s entanglement inside the workings of a house of prostitution. The challenge lies in the fact that such a young protagonist should naturally draw readers of the same age. This is not the venue most writers would choose for such an innocent audience, but, other than a brutal assault and a murder or two, she handles it without graphic descriptions that might upset juvenile re ...more
Lisa Mandina
Honestly this feels more like a middle grade story than a YA story for me. I would recommend it more for the middle school students I used to teach than for the high school students I work with as a librarian now. It is true that the main character’s mother is a saloon girl, and it is somewhat talked about what she does. But not in any really specific or detailed way that would make it that inappropriate for middle school age.

It was a unique story, but somewhat predictable. I liked that it took
...more
Robyn Echols
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Great Story

I enjoyed this story written for a younger reading audience. It was packed full of interesting historical details and dealt with some gritty issues in a manner appropriate for youth. Good, believable characters and a great plot. A good read.
Rose Auburn
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Blood and Silver, we meet twelve-year old Carissa as she travels from San Francisco to the boom toom of Tombstone, Arizona in the late 19th Century with her drug-addled Mother, brutal brothel madam, Miss Lucille and two of Miss Lucille’s ‘girls’. Carissa can see no way out of her bleak existence until they settle in Tombstone where her resourcefulness and spirit catch the eye of China Mary, who unofficially controls everything and everyone in the town….

I thought Blood and Silver was a lovely
...more
Grace J Reviewerlady
It's been a while since I read any book set in the Wild West - but this is an excellent read!

Through no fault of her own, Carissa finds herself looking after her mother who has become a drug addict whilst they both live in a house of ill repute - having nowhere else to go. It's only a matter of time until the madam decides to put twelve-year-old Carissa to work, but the young girl is more astute than she lets on. Determined to get her mother out of the old lady's grasp, Carissa finds help from a
...more
Rosie Amber
Blood and Silver is a young adult historical fiction story set in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880.

This is the story of twelve-year-old Clarissa, the daughter of a prostitute who is shown kindness by the town doctor, the sheriff and in particular the notorious China Mary, a lady who has eyes and ears everywhere.

Clarissa is desperate to get her mother away from the brothel and its dangerous owner. With help from China Mary, Clarissa gets a job in a new hotel where she can earn
...more
Alex
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Carissa is one of the strongest female MCs that I have read about in a long time. Her mother works in a brothel and is being drugged by the Madam Miss Lucille in order to keep her under control. As long as her mother still needs her “medicine,” they cannot leave this abusive woman. And anyone that gets in Miss Lucille’s way is usually mysteriously killed. Carissa thinks that they might have a chance to get away from her in Arizona, but she has to secretly be able to nurse her mother back to heal ...more
Dorothy Schwab
Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to Tombstone, Arizona, “where silver is lying in the streets for anyone to pick up!”
Vali Benson’s novel will lure readers right into the saloons and brothels cobbled like shoes in a closet, after silver has been discovered in 1877. The “boomtown” of Tombstone was born in 1880, and quickly grew in population from 250 to 15,000 by 1885. Blood and Silver opens as Miss Lucille and her ‘best girls’ have arrived in Tombstone, along with 12 -year-old Carissa and her sickly mother, Lisette Beau
...more
Claire
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

This book is set in 1880 at Tombstone, Arizona, one of the Wild West frontier towns. The period has been very well researched by the author and weaves in fact along with fiction.

The story starts with Miss Lucille, the madam, greedy for money, relocating with her 3 best girls Lisette, Elise and Yvonne from San Francisco to Tombstone, along with Lisette’s 12 year old daughter Carissa, whom Miss Lucille trea
...more
Kelly Nichols
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blood and Silver

A clever female protagonist is the cornerstone of this enjoyable story.

This novel is set in the historic mining town of Tombstone, Arizona. The story opens with our main characters witnessing a dramatic event as they enter their new home town.

Carissa (age twelve) and her mother have become snared in an impossible situation by a ruthless madam. One is enslaved with endless chores and the other works as a lady of the night to feed her relentless addiction. By the time they complet
...more
Gina  Mitchell
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blood and Silver by Vali Benson is a remarkable historical fiction story. I could not put it down! The story takes place in the early silver mining days of Tombstone, AZ.

Carissa is young, charming, and has more strength of character than most adults. She is thrown into the harshest of circumstances yet maintains an exuberant disposition. She simply wants a family once again.

Tombstone in the 1880s was a wild place with saloons and brothels lining the streets. The author is true to the history of
...more
Pallavi Sareen
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is a well-written book. The beginning is slow but the premise of the book already had me interested. There are many instances in the book where I got confused but all pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit in place in the second half of the book. The one thing I absolutely adored about this book was that it brushes upon themes which are rarely written about in Young adult novels. 

What Miss Lucille does to Lisette and those other girls was horrifying but it was these twists and turns, the darkness
...more
Blue Reviews
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Historical YA Fiction with strong protagonist.⁣

The multilayered plot of the book is enthralling which gradually grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Full of twists and turns, dark themes, action and adventure. The author knits a sharp and challenging story, keeping the readers at edge. ⁣

Set in 1880s, the world building is hypnotic, taking readers back in time to the Old West. The writing style of the author is engrossing, depicting the scenes vividly, allowing the readers to deeply engage
...more
Laura
Full review: https://readingmyway.blog/2020/12/31/...
With author's interview and excerpt to come.
(Disclosure - I received a free e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)

Blood & Silver by Vali Benson was a nice addition to Reading My Way. It's a young adult/young reader historical fiction book set in Tombstone, Arizona in 1880 during the boomtown period. It seemed a little Pollyanna-ish to me - things turn out just a little too ideally - but it gives some very nice historical tidbits
...more
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Vali started and sold two successful businesses before she decided to pursue her real passion of writing. She published several articles in a variety of periodicals, including History Magazine before she decided to try her hand at fiction.

She grew up in the Midwest and now lives in Tucson with her husband, two sons and two grandchildren.

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