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The Mine (Northwest Passage Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

John A. Heldt
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (609 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE is a love story that follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

Editorial Reviews


"With an irresistible, ironic humor and an obvious appreciation of history -- and a few I-didn't-see-that-coming surprises -- Heldt has written a tender, refreshing and thought-provoking romance guaranteed to entertain." -- Happy Ever After blog, USA TODAY

"The Mine is one of those stories that sneaks up on you and sweeps you off your feet." -- Librarian's Best Books of 2012, Library Journal

"Heldt has written a love story to rival The Notebook." -- Pen Possessed

"The best self-published novel I have ever read." -- 300 Word Book Reviews

"Exceptional, romantic, and timeless." -- For the Passion of Romance

"Move over, Nicholas Sparks." -- Author Erica Hutchings

"Amazing." -- NC Reader Girl

"This one will take your breath away." -- Wallflower Review

"Positively captivating!" -- Jenn's Review Blog

"A walk in the past that will leave your heart aching, smiling and longing for more." -- Scandalicious Book Reviews

"Magnificent." -- Bookish

"One of the most beautiful love stories I've ever read." -- Have You Heard My Book Review

"Heldt can write. His way with words is absolutely wondrous." -- Just a Girl Geek

"The love story is profound." -- Romance Writer's Reads

"This book had me on the edge of my seat." -- Elegant Bookworm

"I couldn't put it down." -- Rockin' & Reviewing

"The Mine is one of those stories that will stick with you. It was just about perfect." -- Book Lovers Inc.

"A sweet, nostalgic trip back in time." -- Silver's Reviews

"Incredible." -- The Reading Cafe

"Watching Joel fall in love both with Grace and the 1940s is, quite simply, magical." -- Pages Unbound

"An exceptional debut." -- My Fiction Nook

"One of the best endings of a book I've ever read." -- Indie Bookshelf

"Keep your tissues handy." -- Rita Reviews

Product Details

  • File Size: 480 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: John A. Heldt (February 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078S9B6G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,505 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well Told Story February 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Finding a new favorite book is one of life's greatest pleasures. I just finished THE MINE by John Heldt and have that bittersweet feeling you have when you reach the last page of a great story.

The year is 2000 and Joel Smith is a couple weeks away from graduating college in Seattle. On a road trip to Montana with a friend, Smith enters a mine for a little spelunking. But when he reappears, it's the year 1941, six months before Pearl Harbor. Unable to find his friend, he makes his way back to Seattle looking for a life that won't be there for another 60 years. He ends up meeting a close group of friends, including the woman he knows will one day be his grandmother. As he continues to live in a time that's not his own, he learns what's really important in life. He also struggles with the ethical dilemmas of knowing what will happen in the future, ranging from the mundane occurences, like betting on a fight he knows the outcome of, to world events that will have a devastating impact on his friends. The question of whether or not he can go back to his time weighs heavily upon him, as does the effect he'll have on so many interconnected lives.

Heldt is an excellent storyteller, with an unerring sense of pacing. The characters he's created are real, three-dimensional people and you have a vested interest in the impact Joel could have on them, should he choose to speak up. Heldt also does an excellent job of painting a vivid picture of the times. From a small town in Montana in the present day to pre-war Seattle, the history comes alive in this book.

I also did something I only do in books that really grab hold of me....I snuck ahead to read the end of the book, while I was still only 40% done. It's a sign of how much I care for the characters that I needed to know how they ended up.

I really look forward to his next book and highly recommend this.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read! Nice nostaglic trip into the 1940s. July 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Note: I received a free copy of this ebook for review purposes (see I am not acquainted with the author in any way.

The pitch for this novel intrigued me: In the year 2000, a college senior enters a mine and comes out in the year 1941. "Stuck in the age of Whirlaway, swing dancing, and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war."

Lots of potential there--will Joel ever find his way back to the present? Will he ever see his family and friends again? What about the looming war? Will Joel be caught up in it? If he is stuck in the past for a long time, will he want to go back to the future should he ever get the opportunity? And, most important, will his interactions in the past affect the future?

While this book turned out to be not what I expected, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The actual mine plays a very small (yet pivotal) role in the novel. It is less about science fiction or fantasy and more about romance. Fans of Nicholas Sparks, or other romance writers, will love this book. It is a cross between The Notebook and The Time-Traveler's Wife.

The entire time I was reading I assumed the author lived through the 1940s, but when I looked at his author profile, I see he's a much younger man! Heldt did an excellent job researching the time period. It added a real sense of authenticity. Heldt captured the tone of the times through both character development and references to what was popular during that age--the music, dances, social mores, and historical events.

I enjoyed this novel; it was a pleasant and interesting read. The author knows his craft--there were very few, if any, grammatical or typographical errors, and the story was well structured.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, heartfelt, amazing. June 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Let's be honest here. When you pick up a self-published book--even if it has a kick-ass blurb--it's hit or miss. So when Mr. Heldt, the author of The Mine, contacted me and asked me to review it...Well, I was skeptical. I almost declined. But I love a good time travel story, so I went into it with low expectations.
Boy, was I wrong.

The Mine reminded me very much of both Stephen King's 11/22/63, and the movie, Back to the Future, but it takes a bit to get moving.

The beginning is slow. Joel, the main character, is difficult to like at first. He's cocky and arrogant.
But when he meets Tom, things change. I'll even go as far as to say....It gets magical.

Mr. Heldt can write. His way with words is absolutely wondrous.
His characters are vivid and beautiful and alive. I loved them all, but Katie especially found her way into my heart.

Through the whole book, the author had me asking myself, 'What would I do? How would I react? Could I survive being teleported 60 years into the past?"
It's actually fun...and a little bit sit and think about that while reading a story like this one.

The Mine asks some big questions. Joel lands in a time heading for war. His struggles with the decisions he has to make is heartbreaking to watch.

You WILL cry while reading this book. A few times. So have tissues close.
And the end is a thing of absolute magic. I LOVED it.

I truly wish that one of the 'big name' publishers had picked up The Mine. This book needs much more publicity and exposure than it's getting.
So I'll do my part to get the word out to as many people as I can, starting here.

PLEASE read The Mine. It's amazing and wonderful and fun and touching.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Book
A nice easy read that explores how one might react by traveling back in time. Joel does sound a little too good to be true
Published 1 day ago by MFP
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved everything about it
I loved everything about this book. It kept my interest from the first page. Many Books cannot do that, and can take awhile to get into the book. Read more
Published 3 days ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars good love story
I love time travel stories and this author did a good job with making the reader feel like it was possible. Overall I enjoyed this book and characters. Read more
Published 16 days ago by silicat
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally entertaining
I liked that it held my interest, I found it a great read that never bored me! A couple a surprises at the end made it even better!
Published 16 days ago by Lillygirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and addicting takes of
Why did I load this on my kindle and not immediately read it? Finished and hustled back to load the entire series! Fun and addicting takes of love
Published 16 days ago by Mountain Mermaid
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid Interpersonal Relationships
Wrapped into a unexpected time-traveling adventure is a wonderful love story and a testament to friendship. Read more
Published 18 days ago by WriterbeesBookReviews
5.0 out of 5 stars cannot put down
Hardest book to put down I have read. Woke up at 4 am on a Saturday morning and could not quit reading until 7:10 am when I finished this superb novel. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Crappie Man
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 21 days ago by Fancylady
5.0 out of 5 stars Go into The Mine!
If you enjoy time-travel and historical love stories, head into The Mine. You'll be glad you did!
I feel that I have more insight into the days leading up to America's entry... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paulie
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
A riveting book that keeps you entertained,plus the historical facts that enlighten and give a glimpse of life in another time.
Published 1 month ago by Linda R
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More About the Author

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at

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