The Strong Heart Series

Order Strong Heart (#1):

Order Adrift (#2) :

Order Totem (#3):

TOTEM (launched October 29, 2021)

Angry guardian spirits. Furious beasts loose on the land. A group racing to preserve ancient tradition…

Sarah Cooley longs to revisit the world revealed in her mystical dream-journey. Still struggling to fit in with her newfound family, she desperately wants to return to Bear Valley one last time. With a divisive corporation about to begin mining operations in the same valley, she and her chosen companions know their chances to enjoy the untouched wilderness are fast disappearing.

Dodging corporate foot soldiers, inexplicable elk kills, and campers with their own mission, Sarah’s trekking party steals deep into the untamed Olympic back country. When the many mysterious events dogging their steps finally come to a head, Sarah and her friends are faced with a terrible choice.

Can a lost teen find her power in time to reveal primeval truth?

Totem is the breathtaking third book in the Strong Heart literary fiction series. If you like ornery young heroines, intricately detailed stories, and magical settings based on rich history, then you’ll love Charlie Sheldon’s stunning conclusion.

Buy Totem to honor the legends of the past today!

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“The mark of a great story is when you don’t want it to end. Totem is such a story. Weaving Ice Age challenges with contemporary climate demands, we care about the people and the planet, dire wolves and short-face bears, bullies and memories wrapped in wonder. Most of all, I kept saying as I read: this is the way it must have been…and perhaps still is. Thanks for the journey into the Olympic Peninsula’s past and the way it shapes the present. Well done, master yarn spinner Sheldon.” Jane Kirkpatrick, Award-winning author of Something Worth Doing.

“If Charlie Sheldon has done nothing else by writing Totem, the third entry in his Strong Heart trilogy set in the Pacific Northwest, at the very least he will have introduced the reader to Olympic National Park, a vast and magical land of towering trees, twisting valleys and dark woods that hide mysteries almost beyond comprehension. But Sheldon hasn’t stopped there. He has written an epic saga with an intriguing cast of characters, whose intersecting lives touch that of Sarah Cooley, the enigmatic fourteen-year-old haunted by dreams of an ancient past. All are drawn to Bear Valley, a storm-battered natural crucible where Sheldon mixes in his imaginative story ingredients – Strange prehistoric animals that are slaughtering the elk; a powerful corporation named Buckhorn that will let nothing stop plans to mine a substance that can detoxify coal; vignettes of a prehistoric era when the ancestors of Native Americans roamed the forests. It is a place that is strangely beguiling despite the death and danger seeming to lurk behind every tree. Or, as the teen-aged son of the Buckhorn project manager says, ‘I like it here….I  want to stay.’ After spending some time trekking the forest, you will, too.”
Paul Kemprecos – New York Times best-selling author

Podcast discussion about the series and background from “Mysterious Goings On Oct 28, 2021”


A trek through a mysterious wilderness. A teen vanishing into thin air. A story transcending the boundaries of reality.

Washington State. Tom Olsen wasn’t expecting a granddaughter. Blindsided when Sarah Cooley, an ornery thirteen-year-old, arrives on his doorstep, he reluctantly agrees to bring her on his long-planned hiking trip through the magnificent wild forests of the Olympic Peninsula. But when the stubborn girl claims to have seen a strange but realistic bear and shows him a sketch as proof, he and his Native American friends refuse to believe her. A day later she disappears.

After a desperate eight-day search, Tom is astonished when Sarah emerges from the forest, gaunt and missing part of a finger. When she begins spinning an impossible tale, their real adventure begins….

Will Tom and his companions be forever transformed by this land of legend, mystery, and ancient truth?

Strong Heart is the enthralling first book in the Strong Heart literary fiction series. If you like character-driven drama, vivid prose, and magical realism, then you’ll love Charlie Sheldon’s coming-of-age adventure.

Buy Strong Heart to embark on a breathtaking voyage today!

Through Indie Bookstores:

“How does a heart grow strong? Read this wonderful book and find out. The characters charmed and surprised me, and I found myself a willing companion on their journey, caring deeply for them.” Kim Heacox, author of Rhythm of the Wild and Jimmy Bluefeather, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award.

“I’m in love with your book, savoring my life in it, days and nights, taking in to my dreams. The Place People Were, I know it. Been there. Makes me hungry, that old, old thing we carry, all of us, that knowing we were simpler, some ways better, maybe, its sweetness…the shadows shift and I am more than I was…” Laurel Anne White, actress and audiobook narrator.


A burning ship, abandoned. Missing lifeboats and crew. An ancient tug racing for a salvage prize. How many lives will this disaster cost?

Gulf of Alaska, December. William knows that life can change in a heartbeat, but he never expected to find himself and other crew members fleeing a ship fire during a raging winter storm. When his lifeboat engine stalls, they are helpless, blown toward a wild and dangerous shore William knows will kill them all.

Louise Hunt, a second generation salvager, is desperate. Dead broke and convinced her husband is having an affair, when she smells money on the wind she knows she must head out on an insane 300-mile chase after a still-burning wreck . She must somehow stay ahead of fierce rivals, find and seize the ship, and get back home, all in the teeth of a monster gale.

Barely surviving a brutal landing on a remote rocky coast, William is determined to keep his companions safe despite all odds. When Louise reaches the derelict vessel, she struggles to get a team aboard to hook up a tow, unaware her no-holds-barred attitude might turn victory into tragedy.

Can William and Louise stare down disaster before the savage elements claim their souls?

Adrift is the dramatic second book in the Strong Heart literary fiction series. If you like compelling characters, emotional relationships, and nail-biting tension, then you’ll love Charlie Sheldon’s sea-swept saga.

Buy Adrift and set a course for courage today!

Through Indie Bookstores:

“Grabs hold of you on the first page and won’t let go. Sheldon writes about the temperament and power of the sea as well as anyone I’ve ever read. Adrift was a pleasure to read. Melville and Conrad set a pretty high bar for seafaring adventures, but neither master writes about being on the water quite as evocatively as Sheldon, who must have saltwater running through his veins.” John Evison, best-selling author of West of Here and Legends of the North Cascades

“From the first page, Adrift swept me away to an adventure. Anchored in the hands of a great storyteller, the characters come alive on the pages making me care about them, the sea, the future and the past. I read every word. Get on board this truly fine novel!” Jane Kirkpatrick, best-selling author of All She Left Behind.

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