And I’m thrilled to tell you I’m in a new series focused on the Gold Rush era–the Brides of Blessings looks at the women of the California Gold Rush, spanning the years from 1848 to 1865. I have joined up with best-selling authors Lynn Winchester, Mimi Milan, Kari Trumbo, and Dallis Adams to share with you these richly researched, clean, inspirational historical western stories. In the vein of the inimitable Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, both the beloved town and its people grow as the women help settle the west and find their “happily ever afters.” I hope you’ll pick up your copy of The Blessed Bride for the special pre-order price of only 99 cents. http://amzn.to/2hyuAUi
We’re handing the blog over today to our good friend and excellent writer, Lynnette Bonner. She has a special surprise–the cover reveal for her release On Eagles’ Wings!
One commenter will receive a free eBook copy of On Eagles’ Wings when it becomes available.
You can preorder On Eagles’ Wings here: http://www.lynnettebonner.com/OEW
Take the next stagecoach to Wyldhaven,
where the coffee’s perked hot,
the sheriff likes his apple pie fresh from the oven,
and adventure invariably waits just around the next river bend.
Boardinghouse owner Dixie Pottinger has done her best to avoid the attractive Dr. Griffin. But now that her mother-in-law is sick and he’s going to be coming around more to care for her, Dixie knows she must inform him about her past. She works up her courage and feels great relief when she finally tells Dr. Griffin that she’s a married woman…maybe…if her husband, Steven Pottinger, survived the bullet put into him before she fled.
Dr. Flynn Griffin can’t believe he’s been having feelings for a married woman! His honor requires that he immediately put those feelings to rest. As for the man who had abused Dixie so badly that she retreated into hiding…If he was still alive, he better never show up in Wyldhaven, because Flynn had plenty of ideas on how to teach the man lessons in gentlemanly conduct.
Little does Flynn know that Steven Pottinger is about to become his patient. Gravely injured by an accidental gunshot, Steven lies on the brink of eternity. Never in all his life has Flynn been tempted to break his Hippocratic Oath.
And now for a little background…
The small logging community of Wyldhaven, the setting for On Eagles’ Wings, sits in the rugged mountains of Washington State at the cusp of the twentieth century. Wyldhaven is a logging town, and some of my research about early logging practices has been fascinating.
It is not often realized that the mid-19th century gold-rushes that took place across the West, and particularly in California, had a major impact on the logging industry. Mines had a steady need for the supply of good lumber. Lumber shored up tunnels, it fueled boilers used at the mines, and it was used to build extensive canal systems and dams to divert water. The Pacific Northwest supplied much of this lumber. Logging was the most important industry in Washington for decades. Sadly, in the early years heedless practices nearly destroyed many forests. However, over time logging companies realized the need for sustainable logging practices.
In the growing west, logging was very much a small-town enterprise. Settlements would spring up around a forested area. Quickly-constructed camps would be built nearby for the loggers to live in. And the cutting would begin. Along the coasts, boats would be used to ship the timber to California, or wherever else it was needed, but the inland towns had a harder time transporting their logs and lumber until the railroad network spread significantly.
Logging men were often hardened and profligate. No logging town of any size existed without a saloon, and with few other places to spend their money, men gathered to gamble, drink, and fight. This ensured that any town that wanted to encourage the settlement of families had need of a lawman.
Logging was also a very hazardous and bloody occupation. Men could be injured by saws, axes, hatchets, or snapping chains. They could be crushed by falling trees, rolling or tumbling logs, oxen or horses, or wagon failures. These dangerous conditions required that any operation that cared about their employees would have a doctor on hand to treat the workers.
I could go on and on about the early trials and history of the logging industry, but to keep this post short, I will stop there.
Wyldhaven has both a sheriff and a doctor. Sheriff Reagan Callahan was the main hero in book one, Not a Sparrow Falls. And Doctor Flynn Griffin is one of the main characters in On Eagles’ Wings.
I hope you will enjoy reading about him and all the other characters in this new book!
What historical profession do you admire the most?
One commenter will receive a free eBook copy of On Eagles’ Wings when it becomes available.
You can preorder On Eagles’ Wings here: http://www.lynnettebonner.com/OEW
Now meet the author, Lynnette Bonner…
What started your writing career?
I grew up overseas without electricity or TV, so I was a reader from my very early years. I loved to immerse myself in the story and sometimes wouldn’t reemerge until hours later. Eventually, my love of story turned the bend to me beginning to pen my own stories. Or I would read a book and think “it could have been so much better if they’d done it this way.” I started several books but never finished one until I was doing some research about the town I lived in at the time and found some tidbits from history that I knew had to be told. That research turned into my first published novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis.
You were born and raised in Africa?! Did that have any kind of influence on you as a writer?
For sure! I often tell my kids that I wish anyone who interacted in politics in our country would be required to first live for 2 years in an African village in the middle of nowhere. But we aren’t here to talk about politics (thank goodness!)
When you’ve seen people living in truly abject poverty and watched them live overcoming joy-filled lives despite their circumstances, you can’t help but be changed. When your best friends growing up lived in a mud and brick home and slept each night on a grass mat on a hard cement floor, yet were more than happy to share their meal of corn porridge and vegetables, it can’t help but change you.
I hope I am a more giving person because of my upbringing. I hope I am less judgmental of poverty. I hope I am a writer who shows that no matter your circumstances in life, there is One who can give you joy beyond measure.
One story I wrote, that I likely wouldn’t have written were it not for my upbringing is the Sonnets of the Spice Isle serialization. The research for that book was heartbreaking, even though some of it I knew to expect.
I’m very thankful for my rich heritage.
Are you a full-time author or do you have another job?
For many years I worked and wrote. Now I am privileged to be a full-time author.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
I have to pick one? Haha. Okay, I’d have to say the self-discipline. I’m my own boss. There’s no one leaning over my shoulder making sure I get my work done for the day. And some days the words come much easier than others. On the hard days, it can be a challenge.
How has becoming a published author changed your life?
I love being able to wake up in the morning and go to work at a job that I love (as much as anyone can love a job, I suppose. 🙂 ) I love being able to share Truth through story. I love the reader friends that I “meet” through social media or emails—those whose lives have been impacted by my stories. So…maybe not changed my life, but certainly given it a lot of fulfillment.
What genre(s) do you write and what drew you to it/them?
All the stories I write are stories that share Truths from God’s Word. For me, it is important to use the gifts He gave me to return what measure of glory I can to Him. So under the main banner of “Christian” I’m published in historical romance and contemporary romance. I also have a fantasy story that I’ve been working on for years, but no published fantasies yet.
What is it about historical fiction that appeals to you as an author?
I love writing about a simpler time, and yet showing that people of those times struggled with many of the same sins and issues that we face today. I’ve sometimes gotten negative reviews because readers say a sin I presented in the story would have never happened “back in those days.” I don’t believe that. I believe sin has tripped people up since Eve ate the fruit, since Cain killed Abel, Since David, a man after God’s own heart, stole another man’s wife and had that man murdered to try and cover it up.
What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of research?
Ha! Well…one of my stories required my heroine to be tied up, hand and foot, and gagged. I needed to accurately be able to write what that felt like and how she might escape from that, so I had my husband tie me up. 🙂 The look on my son’s face when he walked in to find me tied up on the floor with his father standing over me while we both laughed like ninnies…that was priceless.
What is a typical writing day for you like?
After getting my daughter off to school, I generally check email and Facebook. I might do some promotion or work on my website for a bit. I try to write from 10 – 2 each day, but try is the optimal word there. I also run a cover design business, so I sometimes have clients that I’m working with on certain days. Sometimes I don’t get to my writing till 11:30 at night what with sports schedules and family time etc. Some days I get no writing done at all and other days I get 3-5,000 words in. It just depends on the day. I love the flexibility of working for myself.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve dabbled in writing since I was in junior high. But it wasn’t until I was finally able to complete my first novel and it got accepted by a publisher that I realized I might actually be okay at it.
What do you find the most challenging part of being a writer?
I always want to include a message of Truth in my stories. Nailing down exactly which one truth I want to bring out in each story can be a struggle. There is often more I would like to share, but the more you try to pack in the more it gets watered down, so picking just one message is important. I think that’s often my hardest task.
How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
Ideas are everywhere. They come in a dream. They come when you are standing in line at the grocery store watching a three-year-old throw a temper tantrum. The come while you’re in traffic listening to the radio and you hear a snippet of a testimony or a line of a song. They come during sermons. Sometimes they come from secondary characters in a book already written. I love that moment when I’m hit with a new idea! So much fun.
If you weren’t a writer what would your dream job be?
Hmmmm…. Hard to answer when I’m doing two of my dream jobs at the moment. What kind of job would let me travel the world for free, stay in luxury hotels all along the way, and not require me to sell my soul to do it? I’d want that job! haha
What is your favorite book/author?
Unfair! Only one? I’ve put off answering this for at least an hour… and I still can’t pick just one. So I’ll give you my favorites in no particular order. As I glance over at my bookshelf, the first series I see is the Theyne Chronicles by Angela Elwell Hunt. Oh, what great stories! Medieval castles and knights and damsels in distress—what could be better?
Bodie Thoene has long been one of my favorite authors. I love how she brings to life the Jewish culture and opens my eyes to things in the scriptures that I never saw in quite that light before. Pick any one of her books and you are going to have an amazing read.
Jeanette Windle is another favorite. She’s a fellow missionary kid, so that endears her to me too I suppose, but wow can that lady write! My favorite book of hers is DMZ— a pretty American journalist finds herself in the South American jungles, captured by an evil drug cartel. Add in a handsome undercover CIA agent, a harrowing escape, and lots of adventure and you have a can’t-put-down story.
Linda Windsor is also a favorite author. She knows how to make clean romance pop and sizzle. And her humor catches me off guard and often has me laughing out loud.
I could go on to mention other favorites like Louis L’Amour, James Fennimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott (waving my thanks to Mr. Bannister, my high school English teacher), Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, Denise Hunter, Susan May Warren, Francine Rivers, Linda Chaikin and Tamara Leigh. I could tell stories about each one and why I love what they do.
from my post over at https://cowboykisses.blogspot.com
Sometimes when I do research, I discover fascinating individuals who led gloriously exciting lives and then retired in peace, children and grandchildren sitting at their feet. The happily ever after. The ending we’d all like. Truth is, though, sometimes a hero has her moment early on and from there it’s not a very pretty spiral downward.
This is my impression of the life of Apache warrior woman Dahteste (pronounced ta-DOT-say).
Born around 1860 she chose her path as a warrior. The Apache let you do that. A fairly open-minded society, you could be a warrior, a homemaker, a medicine man, whatever, as long as you worked at it and could deliver. Dahteste was known for her beauty, but she was also clearly respected for her fighting, riding, hunting, and shooting skills. She was fast and she was mean. No man challenged her light-heartedly. And she proved her worth repeatedly on raids with the Apache. In fact, she rode with Cochise (you might remember him. He led an uprising against the U.S. government that started in 1861 and didn’t end until ’72). Remarkably, Dahteste was barely a teenager! Her fighting didn’t end, however, with Cochise’s acceptance of a peace treaty. She continued it by riding with Geronimo. Who knows how many “white-eyes” lost their lives to her rifle?
Geronimo surrendered in 1886. Dahteste over the years had picked up quite a bit of English, had even served as a cavalry scout for a time, so she negotiated the great chief’s surrender. Her reward? She was arrested and shipped to a prison in Florida where she stayed for eight years. Then she was moved to the military prison at Fort Sill, OK where she was a guest for nineteen years. During her time as a resident of the US Army’s military prison system, she survived pneumonia and tuberculosis. I suspect she survived much more than that.
During this time she divorced her husband Ahnandia (one of Geronimo’s original warriors) and within a few years married fellow inmate and former Army scout Coonie. The couple was released in 1919 and moved to the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico.
Dahteste, reports say, never spoke English again and wore only beautiful beaded native clothing. She left her long black hair down and unbraided, but always brushed. She was a proud Apache woman who walked with her chin up.
Though she did, indeed, retire with children and grandchildren around her feet, none of them were hers by blood, and she was not generally known to smile much. I hope she spent her final years enjoying peace and happiness, but I don’t get that sense. I think Dahteste was a survivor and she did so with more grim determination than optimism.
From my original post over at Cowboy Kissess…
|Not Oliver’s nugget, but it gives you an idea of the size of what he DID find.|
And the victims of the recent hurricanes!
Has a character from a fictional story ever touched your heart? Have you ever identified with a hero who was struggling against a great obstacle or heavy burden? Have you ever found yourself weeping over a “make believe” heartbreak or triumph? Just as Christ touched the world with parables, fiction writers, too, have a chance to share Biblical lessons through inspirational tales. Our characters are real to us. Sometimes, they are real to you, too. In this NEW collection, Faith from Fiction, ten bestselling Christian authors invite you to ponder the meditations of some of their favorite characters and the everlasting principles on which their stories are built…
Contributors to Faith from Fiction are some of the biggest names in Christian fiction! Roseanna M. White, DiAne Gates, Jenn Faulk, L.N. Cronk, Lynnette Bonner, Christy Barritt, Heather Blanton, Melanie Dickerson, and Janice Hanna Thompson!
Faith from Fiction releases September 28. Get your copy here http://amzn.to/2xlftRm !
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!
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.
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!
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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.”
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:
Debbie Lynne Costello
Jean C. Gordon
Heather Day Gilbert
and me, Heather Blanton
Enter through the Rafflecopter link below and good luck:
This contest will run through July 31, 2017, and the winner will be announced on August 1.