Harriet Pullen was a real pioneer woman. Hell-Bent on Blessings is basically her story, though I changed a few things to fit my story requirements. Give a listen, if you would, to a brief snippet about this feisty lady’s do-or-die determination:
I read this story the other day and just had to share it with y’all. I so often focus on writing stories about historical women who did amazing things, overcame staggering odds, accomplished outstanding feats. But this gal? Wow. Here’s a hat-tip to Deanndra Yazzie, a nineteen-year-old Navajo girl who escaped kidnappers! Deanndra, you go, girl! This is reprinted from the Navajo Times, article by Cindy Yurth. I saw no need to re-write it.
Diné comes forward, speaks out, puts sex trafficking suspect behind bars
Details gathered by a Diné kidnap victim who managed to keep alert despite being drugged, sexually assaulted, burned and beaten led Phoenix police to arrest Jonathan Rouzan, 33, a suspected serial rapist and possible sex trafficker earlier this month.
Deanndra Yazzie, 19, says she was trapped in Rouzan’s home from Dec. 18 to 20, during which she paid careful attention to his phone conversations and memorized his name from papers he had lying around. After escaping she was able to point out Rouzan’s home on Google maps and provide his correctly spelled name, a detailed description and other information to police, which led to his arrest on Jan. 4. Rouzan was indicted by a Maricopa County grand jury Jan. 12 on 33 counts of kidnapping, sexual assault and aggravated assault. He is being held without bail.
When one considers she had no food or water and was drugged with heroin, methamphetamines and vodka for most of the time she was locked in the closet, Yazzie’s presence of mind is nothing short of remarkable.
“The police were surprised,” Yazzie recalled in a phone interview from her home in the Phoenix area. “They said most girls kind of go blank and can’t remember anything after going through something like that.”
Yazzie attributes her attention to detail to her father, who warned her from an early age that as a woman, she would be vulnerable. “He said, ‘Men are going to want to do things to you,’” she recalled. “‘The best thing you can do is pay attention to your surroundings at all times.’”
Yazzie’s nightmarish ordeal started on Dec. 18. She was babysitting for some friends when they came home around 9 p.m. Yazzie reported there was no food in the house and the kids were hungry. “We decided to go to the store, but they needed a ride,” she said. “They called a friend of theirs to drive us.” Yazzie thought it was strange that, when Rouzan picked them up, her friends got in the back seat, leaving her to sit in front with Rouzan, whom she had never met.
To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!
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.
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:
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.
Who loves a good Facebook party???
(Jumping and bouncing)
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!
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!
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:
This contest will run through July 31, 2017, and the winner will be announced shortly after.
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.
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.
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 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 winner will be selected on July 26, 2017.