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The Measure of a Man–His Heart & Soul Plus an Exclusive Excerpt!

by Heather Frey

To Love and to Honor—Why a story about an amputee?

Last year I stumbled across a newspaper article about photographer Michael Stokes. He was snapping sexy pics of veterans who had lost limbs in combat. I was stunned both by the soldiers’ mind-blowing good looks, and the extent of their injuries.

The thought haunted me how these devastatingly handsome, rugged men were dealing with the scars, the prosthetics, the missing limbs. I thought also of evangelist Dave Roever. Horribly disfigured in Vietnam, he’d watched as a fellow soldier’s wife had taken one look at her gravely burned husband and walked out of the room. Fortunately, Dave’s wife had the opposite reaction and the two are still married to this day.

But based on the junk you see coming out of Hollywood, one would believe our culture values physical perfection far above inner beauty. It seems the shallow masses give a pass to monstrous inner ugliness if the package comes wrapped in a big bust or washboard abs.

I feel for the wounded vets in a society like this and wanted to write something for them—a story that clearly focuses on the real measure of a man—his heart and soul, not his number of fingers or toes.

I hope you enjoy it and all the other stories in the special collection It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas! ON SALE NOW or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited! I’ve included an excerpt at the bottom!

If you are so inclined, you can read an article on Michael Stokes photography here— http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3165402/Photographer-captures-amputee-war-veterans-posing-naked-proudly-revealing-injuries-powerful-picture-series.html, but WARNING: adult content. Privates are covered… BARELY! Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 1.55.55 PM.png

An excerpt from To Love and to Honor–

Someone knocked at the door. “Señor, Señora” a voice called. “We have the water for a bath.”

Joel’s bath. “Yes, come in.”

Four ranch hands, one right after the other, trailed into the room, each with a steaming bucket of water. In short order, the portable copper tub was full and they excused themselves.

Joel stared at the bath with a tight expression, as if he was afraid of it.

Slowly, Angela rose and crossed the room to stand in front of him. He looked up with an expression of surprise that quickly transformed to desire. Hope flickered in his deep, blue eyes. She knelt in front of him and gently laid a hand on his knee. “You need a bath.” She swallowed, and fought to control her breathing. “I’ll help you.”

His eyes widened. “You—you can’t.”

She reached for his boot heel and started tugging. “I’m the only one who can.” The boot came free and she reached for the other.

Joel clutched her hand. “No.”

She didn’t meet his gaze, but she could feel it, like a gentle touch on her cheek.

“I mean, I don’t want you to see…”

Was he afraid his wound, his missing limb, would be too grotesque for her? She couldn’t imagine anything about this man being repulsive. She gave him a slow, reassuring smile. “I don’t mind.”

She pushed his pant leg up above his knee and realized his boot had been sewn on to the prosthetic. She didn’t know what to do.

“It’s cinched around my thigh.” Joel’s voice sounded strained.

 

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#WIN the #BOOKyourSummerVacation 35 Book #Giveaway #LadiesinDefiance

Our biggest giveaway yet!

THIRTY-FIVE INCREDIBLY talented authors have gotten together to offer the HUUUUUGE-est book prize of summer. So many books, to finish out your summer vacation with a BANG. Good luck!

Enter through the Rafflecopter link below and good luck:

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This contest will run through August 15, 2017, and the winner will be announced on August 16.


A Good Man Comes Around by Heather Blanton #SweetheartsOfJubileeSprings #MailOrderBride #SweetAmericana #NewReleases #LadiesinDefiance

Book Excerpt from A Good Man Comes Around

Oliver Martin was old enough to know better. He lit the firecracker anyhow, enjoying the drunken glee sloshing through him. He glanced quickly over the batwings, tossed the sizzling noisemaker inside the busy Corner Saloon, then hunkered down waiting for the excitement.

His old friend John Fowler walked up, flicked his glance over the doors and shook his head. His face, lined with fifty good years of hard-living, darkened. “What have you done, Oliver?”

Tense with excitement, Oliver motioned with his eyes toward the saloon. “Just a little pop to wake ’em up.”

John grabbed the top of the batwing and peered over it. His jaw tightened. Worried, Oliver stood up and tracked his friend’s gaze. Because of the haze of cigar smoke Oliver couldn’t be sure, but he’d guess the firecracker went right underneath Jim Landers’ feet. The gambler, known for his harsh methods of collecting debts, was holding a hand of cards, scrutinizing them with an icy stare.

A touch less whiskey and Oliver might have had to cause to doubt the wisdom of this prank, but the liquor was chatting away, drowning out his good sense.

“Dang it, boy,” John whispered. “You’re not six, you’re twenty-six. Act like a man.”

The scolding was interrupted by a loud bang from right beneath Landers. The man yelped, his cards launched into the air, and he flipped over in his chair, his boots pointing straight at the ceiling.

The men playing poker leaped to their feet in confusion, and the whole saloon moved in one accord away from the sound. Bewildered rumblings quickly switched to anger as the other card players peeled Landers up off the floor. Cursing a shameful streak and shoving his comrades away, the gambler snatched for his cards scattered all around him—then his eyes met Oliver’s over the batwings.

And even in Oliver’s drunken state, he saw the rage boiling on the older man’s chiseled face. “Uh oh.” Why had he thought this was a good idea?

John sighed and pursed his lips. “Yep. Uh oh.” His anger flared suddenly, surprising Oliver. “Run.”

A Good Man Comes Around is book 8 in the Sweethearts Of Jubilee Springs series. You can buy it NOW for ONLY #99cents.


You can #WIN The #BoysofSummer TWENTY #Books #Giveaway #LadiesinDefiance

 

Look at all those handsome fellas! Yee-haw!

I’ve joined up with another incredible group of authors to offer ONE WINNER all TWENTY BOOKS! WOWZA!!!

I can not believe the talented group of authors that are giving books away:

Kelly Lowe
Nadine Keels
Jessica Wright
Judy Pennell
Sophie Dawson
Hebby Roman
T.I. Lowe
Debbie Lynne Costello
Shanna Hatfield
Faith Blum
Zina Abbott
Samantha Bayarr
Sylvia McDaniel
Jill Kemerer
K.M. Weiland
Jennifer Faulk
Jean C. Gordon
Heather Day Gilbert
Kenneth Pratt
and me, Heather Blanton

Enter through the Rafflecopter link below and good luck:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will run through July 31, 2017, and the winner will be announced on August 1.


A Christmas in July Facebook Launch Party, #99cent #SALE and #GIVEAWAYS #LadiesinDefiance #WIN

Who loves a good Facebook party???

(Jumping and bouncing)

I do!

I do!

Tonight, July 24, 2017, starting at 3PM through 10PM EST, twenty…

Yes, I said TWENTY!!!

… Incredible authors will each hold a 30 minute Q&A with lots of fun prizes. Join in at any time and meet this incredible group. Every book is Christmas and every book is Christian. ❤ ❤

I hope to see you there, and in case you’re wondering… my time is from 3:30-4:00PM, so drop over and let’s PARRRRRRRRR-TY!


Pioneer Hearts on Facebook is the place to be! #GIVEAWAY #LadiesinDefiance

Tomorrow, I’m being featured at an awesome group on Facebook called Pioneer Hearts. They are truly the best!

Welcome to Pioneer Hearts, for readers who enjoy western historical romances. This is the place to find out about your favorite authors’ latest releases, discuss your favorite books and join exclusive contests.

Speaking of contests… I am holding one myself there, TOMORROW, July 24th. Lots of fun and lots of prizes! Come on over, join in the fun, and check them out!


Dunkirk Week #WWII Epic #99cent Book Sale & #GIVEAWAY #WIN #WW2 #LadiesinDefiance

With the opening of Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk this Friday, I’m pleased to share with you the news of the Dunkirk Week WWII Epic Book Sale. From 7/21-27, more than 50 authors of the FB Second World War Club have joined together to offer you their WWII novels, most at 99c.

Our novels range from military war tales, home front drama and sagas, harrowing accounts of the Holocaust, gripping spy thrillers, moving wartime romances, and much, much more. To see our great selection of WWII books, go to: http://www.alexakang.com/dunkirk-book-sale/

We’ve also got some great giveaway prizes, including the Grand Prize of a paperback copy of Joshua Levine’s Dunkirk: The History Behind the Motion Picture. No purchases are necessary to enter the drawing. Come visit our book sale page to find out more details about our prizes and how to win.

We’re also bringing to you:

  1. A two-part blog series about the Dunkirk. You can read the excellent blog posts to learn more about this historical event by two of our authors, Suzy Henderson (The Beauty Shop) and Jeremy Strozer (Threads of War), here: https://lowfellwritersplace.blogspot.co.uk/ 
  2. Readings by The Book Speaks podcast of excerpts from All My Love, Detrick by Roberta Kagan plus another novel, both of which are part of the Dunkirk Week Book Sale: https://thebookspeakspodcast.wordpress.com/ 
  3. Our authors’ pick of the Top 40 WWII Movies: http://alexakang.com/40-recommended-wwii-films-english/

The Second World War changed our world forever. In our stories, we strived to bring you a glimpse of what happened and how everything happened through the eyes of our characters and to let you share their feelings, emotions, fears, and hopes. We are thankful that director Christopher Nolan is bringing this important part of history to the attention of the wider public, and we will try to continue what he had done through the stories we tell.

You can check out my WW2 RomCom, Love, Lies,& Typewriters here:

A cowboy with a Purple Heart. A reporter with a broken heart. Which one is her Mr. Right?

When Lucy Daniels is rescued from a stampeding herd of cattle by war hero veteran Dale Sumner, sparks fly and headlines are born. Smelling an opportunity, the local newspaper decides to send the couple on a tour selling war bonds–not to mention, subscriptions. Enamored with her handsome savior, Lucy is happy to play her part … until she realizes she may be falling in love with the wrong man.

Ace reporter and aspiring mystery writer Bryce Richard is tasked with building up Lucy and Dale’s budding affair. He can’t think of anything worse for a journalist than switching from hard news to pounding out romantic drivel. Complicating matters, Bryce wishes Lucy would look to him for her happily-ever-after. Only, that would wreck the whole tour and Bryce’s coveted book deal.

When love and lies collide on the front page, will Lucy and Bryce have a chance to write their own fairy tale ending? Or are they already yesterday’s news?


ANOTHER #Christmas in July #BookGiveaway: TWENTY #books you can #WIN #LadiesinDefiance

Don’t you just love it!??! Another delightful Christmas in July e-book giveaway to share with you! I am joining 19 other Christian authors to give you lots of “cool” books to get you through this HOT summer! These books, these authors are amazing! Enjoy and good luck!!!

That’s right … TWENTY BOOKS … ONE WINNER!!!

There is also an additional Christmas in July Facebook party including #99cent book sales and lots of GIVEAWAYS and FUN! Sign up now so you’ll be ready when it begins on July 24th … Click here.

Enter through the Rafflecopter link below and good luck:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will run through July 31, 2017, and the winner will be announced shortly after.


THREE Book #ChristmasinJuly #GIVEAWAY by Julie Lence #LadiesinDefiance #WIN

Let’s celebrate Christmas in July with another awesome giveaway, from a lovely western writer… JULIE LENCE!

One winner will receive these three stories:

With a winter storm threatening to blanket the land in snow, James Landry boards a train to Denver two days before his Christmas Eve wedding to Tess Weston, despite her misgivings that the storm will hinder his return trip home. But James has to go to the big city to replace the worthless ring he mistakenly bought for her with a band of real gold, and assures her nothing, not even snow, will keep him from arriving at the altar on time. But James doesn’t count on finding himself stuck in knee-deep drifts, with a Colt .45 staring him in the face.

Tess has had an eerie feeling that something bad is going to happen to James since the moment he told her of his trip. With fat, flakes of snow falling steadily from the sky, images flicker in her mind of him stranded in a hotel room, or on a cold train car. But for some reason, the snow piling up outside her window doesn’t lend weight to her fear that James is in grave danger. Determined to help him, Tess sets out on a course to find him, only to have one obstacle after another deter her from reaching him.

Christmas Hearts (Weston Family Series--Short Story Book 2) by [Lence, Julie]

After spending two years in Wyoming, Cade Weston is eager to return to his family’s ranch to celebrate the Christmas holiday. But fate intervenes in the form of a tortured soul—Nicole. Her guardian has abused her, leaving Cade with little choice but to pay for her freedom and take her with him. Holed up with her in a Denver hotel, a feeling hints he wants more from her than a thank you for having helped her. Problem is she doesn’t return the feeling.

Nicole Lamar has spent the past six months dreaming of freedom. Savannah, with its warmth and sunshine, beckons. Now that Cade has rescued her from an evil proprietor, that freedom is within reach. But when the handsome cowboy proves he’s the owner of a Christmas Heart, a life without him suddenly isn’t so desirable. Before she can approach him about the matter, he purchases a ticket for her on an eastbound train. And one for himself on a southbound train.

Christmas Wishes (Weston Family Series--Short Story Book 3) by [Lence, Julie]

U.S. Marshall Chance McBride has spent weeks tracking Steve ‘Smarty’ Jones. Ambushed and wounded by the outlaw, Chance is forced to seek help at a nearby school. But the teacher isn’t what he imagined. Instead of a male wearing trousers, a female takes charge of his care. Bright blue eyes and soft curves; Tabitha’s sassy nature awakens a deep-seated loneliness only she and a Christmas wish can soothe.

Tabitha Weston has never favored anything girlie. She’d rather saddle-break wild horses than bat her eyelashes and flirt with a man. But one glimpse into Chance’s molasses-colored eyes and Tabitha’s abhorrence to relationships is suddenly corralled by her need to win the lawman’s favor. Can a wish upon Christmas snow for him to trade the freedom of the trail for a home with her actually come true? She’s about to find out.

The Giveaway

The winner will receive Christmas Miracles, Christmas Hearts, & Christmas Wishes courtesy of author, Julie Lence. This giveaway is open internationally to anyone that can receive an e-book. Enter through the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be selected on July 26, 2017.


A #CHRISTMASinJuly TWENTY #BookGiveaway #LadiesinDefiance #WIN

An amazing group of authors have gathered together to give you a HUGE Christmas in July GIVEAWAY! I am honored to be a part of this incredible line-up!

Just look at all those cheery, festive, Christmas book covers! Check out this amazing group of TWENTY authors and the fabulous books they are offering to one lucky reader.

That’s right … TWENTY BOOKS … ONE WINNER!!!

Enter through the Rafflecopter link below and good luck:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will run through July 21, 2017, and the winner will be announced on July 22.


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