Blog Archives

Defiant Author Moves, Avoids Censorship

Well, that’s a little dramatic, I suppose. But I did want to let y’all know about my new website which now also hosts my blog. Truthfully, though, I did make this move to stay one step ahead of the censors and the Cancel Cultures loons.

When I see the president of the United States muzzled because some socialist geeks at Twitter don’t like him, when I see every day people lose their jobs because they say something politically incorrect, when I see the lamestream media flat-out lie about the violent protests in cities across America–I’m done. I will own my own piece of the internet and speak my mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t live in La-La Land. Eventually, Google will attempt to bury conservative voices, and Amazon will choose to quit selling Christian works (whether blatantly or through manipulation of the algorithms). History shows, however, that the voices protesting tyranny never completely go silent. I will stand for the flag. I will kneel only to Jesus. I will write from a Christian perspective. The battle is the Lord’s.

No, I don’t think you’ll burn this flag today.

If you agree with anything above or if you just enjoy my blogs and my books, I hope you’ll come over to https://www.authorheatherblanton.com/ — my brand new website! It’s soooo pretty! You can subscribe to my newsletter there, follow the blog, chat with me, or do all of these things.

This blog will be live for another few months, but we are preparing to let it fade to dark. I sure hope you will keep in touch!

Liberty–One Generation Away from Extinction?

The other night my teenage son #2 and I were watching Last Man Standing. For some reason, he started trying to sing a tune but he couldn’t quite get it. “What’s that song that goes ‘Pretty Woman, pretty woman…?'” I realized he was trying for Roy Orbison’s tune, Pretty Woman. I started singing, “Pretty Woman, walking down the street. Pretty Woman–”

royAnd as I’m about to belt out, “The kind I’d like to meet,” he, with the supreme confidence of the Ultimate Being (AKA, a teenager), jumps in with, “Lookin’ at my feet. Pretty woman, don’t take my sheet.”

I thought I was going to die.

Literally, tears of laughter came from my eyes and I couldn’t breathe. Then he started laughing because he knew he’d somehow royally goofed up. And that made it worse. My son has a laugh that sounds like the needle got stuck on a .45 rpm of Farm Noises.

I nearly passed out from oxygen starvation.

After I dried my eyes, though, I got to thinking how fragile history is. I think Reagan said liberty was only one generation away from extinction. I was horrified and humbled by how much my children don’t know and how self-absorbed they (and this generation) are.

No wonder God’s Word regarding his law says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deut 6:7

I think we should also make the effort to teach them about the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Before it’s too late. Violence across America is, in my opinion, being carefully orchestrated. Yes, there is a good cause in the mix, but it’s being used like a chess piece to accomplish a nefarious goal.

Suddenly we can skip social distancing to protest, but some of us still can’t go to church?

mad-anne-bailey-reenactment-300x239I think our country and everything we value is under attack. Teach your children about the Lord, but don’t forget to teach them about the blessings of Liberty–how precious and fragile they are!

I learn something from everything I write…

Evergreen—One quaint western town…roiling with romance, rivalries, and proposals. Now, for the first time in a box set! Yep, ALL the Brides of Evergreen together in one collection!

I’ve truly enjoyed writing the Evergreen series! So many fun, historical characters are woven into the stories. And because I’ll be adding one more book to the collection in 2020, here’s your chance to catch up on all FIVE previous stories for only .99!

sale meme

~~~~~

One reason I think these books are appreciated by readers is my research and passion for the story shows. Anyone who reads even just
one of my books
knows I love history!

~~~~~

So, let me give you a little peek-behind-the-curtain at the Evergreen stories.

hangBook 1: Hang Your Heart on Christmas is about a tough lawman bent on revenge and he’s very good at his job–until a sweet schoolteacher gets him to thinking about things other than vengeance. The hero in Hang is Hispanic U.S. Marshal Dent Hernandez–loosely based on the very real Elfago Baca. Baca was a gunman, lawman, lawyer, and eventually even a politician and his real-life exploits–well, let’s just say you should read the foreword in Hang. Baca was one amazing man.

Heather_Frey_Blanton_AskMeToMarryYou_FINALBook 2: Ask Me to Marry You contains two stories — #1 Male-Order Bride and #2 A Proposal So Magical. The interesting thing about #1 is the idea was sparked by the stunning number of casualties the South suffered during the Civil War. Literally, women became desperate for husbands, if they didn’t have some other plan.

MOD_FINAL_EBOOKBook 3: Mail-Order Deception — this story prompted research into two interesting historical figures: Nellie Bly was the brash and fearless reporter in the late 1800’s who turned out to be the inspiration behind the inimitable Lois Lane! And Kate Warne was the first female Pinkerton Detective, hired by Allan Pinkerton himself in 1856. Both these ladies contribute mightily to my heroine in the story!

heather_frey_blanton_04_tolove&tohonor_ebook_final20190108 (1) Book 4: To Love and to Honor — I wrote this story with the very specific desire of creating an amputee hero who finds true, lasting, unconditional love. The entire story is a tribute to our American military veterans, both men and women! For this story, I did some fascinating research into the history of prosthetics, as well as horseback riding missing a limb!

Anyway, all the books are together in a box set now, so I hope you’ll give them a read. I plan on releasing a final addition to the set in 2020 so this is your chance to get caught up for less than the price of a cup of coffee!

sale meme

Happy trails, y’all, and thanks for reading!

 

Would You Change Your Sex for Your Country?

She did.

In honor of the 4th of July, let me share one of my favorite stories of a fiery, patriotic lady in Defiance–of the British!

Lord Cornwallis, the famous British general, once lamented, “We may destroy all the men in America, and we shall still have all we can do to defeat the women.”

Deborah

In the fall of 1878, Deborah Samson, at the fiery age of 18, enlisted in the Continental Army…as a man. Spending the next three years as Robert Shirtliffe, Deborah did her part to secure liberty and freedom for America. She served in various capacities under Capt. Nathan Thayer and proved herself a capable, willing, and courageous Massachusetts soldier.

Talk about fight like a girl…

Never one to run from a battle, Deborah dove right in with the best and the bravest. She was shot once in the leg, nicked in the head by a British sword, then shot again in the other leg. All three times she refused medical attention so as not to have her ruse discovered. Unfortunately, she came down with a “brain fever” in 1781 and was treated by a Dr. Binney of Philadelphia.

Imagine his surprise!

He forthwith moved Deborah to his own home for recovery and sent a note to Capt. Thayer. Upon her recovery, Deborah was called to General Washington’s office. The legends differ here on what exactly happened next. Some say she was asked to deliver papers to the General, at which point he gave her the papers of discharge. Other stories say she delivered the papers, was called back to pick up new dispatches, and then Gen. Washington handed her the discharge papers.

Ever the Gentleman…

What all the stories agree on is that Washington chose not to publicly reprimand or embarrass Deborah. He handed her the discharge papers, without comment, and also handed her the soldier’s pay due her, and a note of advice. The note was lost to history, but knowing General Washington’s respect for women and his wry sense of humor, it probably said something to the effect of, “Now that you’ve shown my men how to fight, I think it is time you return to the duties of your fair sex. Thank you for your service to your country.”

Eventually, Deborah married a farmer named Gannet and had (naturally) three daughters. Ironically, she named the youngest one Patience.

An American girl after my own heart.

Happy 4th of July!

Immigrants Who Came to Give and Not Take…Meet Sarah Thal

(Editor’s Note: this is an update of a blog I wrote in 2012)

Going back through some old research notes, I stumbled across the story of an immigrant to America. An unsung heroine who came here to make America a better place and give something back…not just take and remake the country in the image of her old country.

The early immigrants to America, the ones who thrived here, were independent, strong-willed, stubborn, adventurous risk-takers. They didn’t want handouts. They wanted the freedom to make their own way.

Just this morning I read the story of Sarah Thal, a German-Jewish immigrant who came to America with her husband in 1880. The couple settled in North Dakota. Her first child was born in a cabin so full of cracks that a make-shift tent was made around her and the baby. They literally camped in front of the fireplace to keep warm. She watched prairie fires light up the distant sky on more than one occasion. She lost a baby because 10 feet of snow prevented her from getting to a doctor. This was Sarah’s existence. It never broke her. She didn’t let it turn her into a bitter old woman. She accepted her circumstances, praised God in the storm, and plowed on.

One year the German community decided to get together and celebrate the 4th of July. It was a 22-mile trip each way for the Thal’s to attend, but they were proud and eager to do so. As she wrote in a letter, “Each foreign colony celebrated in their own fashion, loyal to the traditions of the old land and faithful to those of the new. . . .”

Faithful to those of the new.

Unfortunately, stout bloodlines like Sarah’s are getting “watered down.” It’s a shame. American women were strong and resilient as a rule, fiercely independent, the toughest in the world. And she wanted to be an American. Therein lies the crux of the matter with the flood of illegals at our border.

Today, I think women like Sarah are the exception, which is why it’s important to remember them! Do you think I’m wrong? Speak your mind, politely, please.

American Girls Have Always had a Rep

“We may destroy all the men in America, and we shall still have all we can do to defeat the women.”

Lord Cornwallis, British general, and Washington’s nemesis.

In the fall of 1878, Deborah Samson, at the fiery age of 18, enlisted in the Continental Army…as a man. Spending the next three years as Robert Shirtliffe, Deborah did her part to secure liberty and freedom for America. She served in various capacities under Capt. Nathan Thayer and proved herself a capable, willing, and courageous Massachusetts soldier.

Talk about fight like a girl…

Never one to run from a battle, Deborah dove right in with the best and the bravest. She was shot once in the leg, nicked in the head by a British sword, then shot again in the other leg. All three times she refused medical attention so as not to have her ruse discovered. Unfortunately, she came down with a “brain fever” in 1781 and was treated by a Dr. Binney of Philadelphia. Imagine his surprise!

He forthwith moved Deborah to his own home for recovery and sent a note to Capt. Thayer. Upon her recovery, Deborah was called to General Washington’s office. The legends differ here on what exactly happened next. Some say she was asked to deliver papers to the General, at which point he gave her the papers of discharge. Other stories say she delivered the papers, was called back to pick up new dispatches, and then Gen. Washington handed her the discharge papers. What all the stories agree on is that Washington chose not to publicly reprimand or embarrass Deborah. He handed her the discharge papers, without comment, and also handed her the soldier’s pay due her, and a note of advice.

The note was lost to history, but knowing General Washington’s respect for women and his wry sense of humor, it probably said something to the effect of, “Now that you’ve shown my men how to fight, I think it is time you return to the duties of your fair sex. Thank you for your service to your country.”

Eventually, Deborah married a farmer named Gannet and had (naturally) three daughters. Ironically, she named the youngest one Patience.

Oh, yes, indeed, a true Lady in Defiance.

Hey, if you enjoy these stories, please join my newsletter posse. I’ll send you a FREE gift for signing up. I won’t hound you but once a month you’ll receive info about my works-in-progress, research, and my characters, as well as a chance to participate in contests and giveaways. You can sign up here.

Never Take A Whale Bone Corset to an Indian Fight

Doing research for my new book, I came across an amazing story of a woman with a steel backbone … and ribs to match!

Juliet Constance Ewing was born in Ireland, date unknown. On September 17, 1839, she and her brother, William G. Ewing, entered Texas as immigrants. And it was women like her who gave the state its reputation.

corset Juliet had the misfortune to suffer firsthand Texas’ change in policy toward Indians. Under the earlier leadership of Sam Houston, the Republic had few problems with the tribes, as he understood and respected them. His successor, Mirabeau B. Lamar, did not. He promised the extermination of the Comanches.

On July 18, 1840, Juliet married station manager Hugh Oren Watts. This same year, talks with the Comanches broke down and 35 braves were massacred by US troops. The tribe hit the warpath with a vengeance. Shockingly brutal attacks ensued, ending with the “Great Comanche Raid” that Texans still talk about today.

Just like Sherman would march through Georgia decades later, the Comanche thundered across Texas, burning, scalping, raping, and pillaging. When they attacked the small community of Linnville, where Juliet and William resided, the town was completely unprepared. Panicked, running for their lives, the townsfolk made a bee line for the boats in the bay, thinking to float out of reach of the marauders.

Only, William suddenly realized he’d left behind a gold watch. And went back for it. Juliet in tow. I don’t know which one was dumber.

William was killed and scalped. Juliet was taken captive. The Comanche spent most of the day pillaging the community, setting ransacked buildings on fire, and, no kidding, trying to figure out how to get Juliet out of her steel-boned corset.

Running out of time and exasperated by the infernal garment, the Indians tied Juliet to a tree and shot an arrow into her breast. Only, the steel ribbing and thick material slowed the arrow down enough so that it didn’t kill her. Merely lodged in her breast bone.

From his eye witness report, Robert Hall recalled, “A little further on I found Mrs. Watts. They had shot an arrow at her breast, but her steel corset saved her life. It had entered her body, but Isham Good and I fastened a big pocket knife on the arrow and pulled it out. She possessed great fortitude, for she never flinched, though we could hear the breastbone crack when the arrow came out.”

Ooooouch.

Clearly, Juliet was one tough customer. This should have been a big hint to her second husband.

She married Dr. James Stanton in 1842, but divorced him five years later – the first divorce in the new state of Texas. Oddly, the woman demanded nothing short of complete fidelity from her husband. He didn’t see it her way and for the disagreement, got to hand over to her the hotel the couple had opened. One of his better decisions.

Juliet’s third, and, thankfully, final, husband was a Dr. Richard Fretwell. They were married until her death in 1878.

I’ve no doubt Juliet was buried wearing her corset. Steel ribs to match her steel spine.


 

Check out my books below to find more ladies with the fighting spirit!

If She Could Drink and Wear a Badge, She Sure as Heck Should be Able to Vote

phoebe

Phoebe Wilson Couzins was, to say the least, a trailblazer for women. She was one of the first female lawyers in the United States, the first female U.S. marshal, and, not surprising, an outspoken supporter of the suffragist movement. But temperance, not so much …

Phoebe was born on September 8, 1842 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father John E. D. Couzins was an architect, builder, and a natural leader. Traits he passed to his daughter. During the Civil War, John served as the city’s chief of police and sought to keep Missouri in the Union. Adaline, Phoebe’s mother, was a member of the Ladies’ Union Aid Society in St. Louis and volunteered as a battlefield nurse.

After the war, Phoebe, inspired by her parents, joined the St. Louis Woman Suffrage Association. The inability of a woman to vote incensed her, considering all the things a woman could do. She made a name for herself in the organization and, encouraged by a family friend, applied and was admitted to Washington University Law School in St. Louis.

In 1871, Phoebe became the first female law graduate from GWU! She practiced law for two months but the suffragette movement called her name. She began traveling across the country to give speeches in favor of women’s rights.

In 1884, Phoebe’s father was appointed U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri and he swore her in as one of his deputies. When he died three years later, she served as the interim U.S. marshal, appointed by President Grover Cleveland. She was the first woman to serve in the position.

Not interested in being a lawman, though, she eventually moved to Washington, DC. She made a modest living as a writer, but maintained her involvement with the women’s rights movement. New blood entered into the suffragette arena, though, and Phoebe’s contributions, as well her Old Iron Pants attitude, tended to alienate the more politically-savvy ladies. Not to mention, Phoebe liked her high balls, and many of the suffragettes were passionate about the evils of alcohol. Hence, these last years were stormy ones for Phoebe. She hung in there, fighting the good fight, while, ironically, working as a lobbyist for a brewery.

Phoebe died in St. Louis in 1913 and was buried wearing her US marshal’s badge. Here’s to you, Phoebe!


By Heather Blanton
https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton
copyright 2015

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Vote

By Heather Blanton
https://www.facebook.com/heatherfreyblanton
copyright 2017

Recently, many cities and towns across America held municipal elections. The turn-out is abysmally low for these. If you did not vote for your mayor or town council, Abigail Scott Duniway might just have a few choice words for you.

Abigail was the second daughter in a family of nine children. In 1852 she and her parents emigrated to Oregon from Illinois. In 1853, after teaching school for a bit, she married Benjamin Duniway. The couple would have six children.

Benjamin was a decent farmer but not much of a businessman. They sold their first farm in Clackamas County, OR and moved to a new one in Lafayette. During this time, Benjamin co-signed on a note for a friend, putting his farm up for collateral. Abigail, to say the least, was not on board with this plan. The friend defaulted and the Duniways lost their farm. In the throes of eviction, financial chaos, and finding a new place to live, Benjamin was severely disabled in a wagon accident, and upkeep of the family fell to Abigail.

She ran a boarding school and taught for a spell, and eventually opened her own business. In her attempts to keep a roof over her family’s head, Abigail was frustrated on occasion by the necessity to involve Benjamin in even simple legal decisions. Being the man in the house, his signature was often required on documents.

For five years Abigail ran a millinery. She heard countless stories there of other women disenfranchised by the legal system, powerless to fight for their rights, especially in regards to personal property. Just based on her own experiences, it’s easy to see why she thought the system was stupid. Hence, she became loudly and eloquently vocal about the injustices. Recognizing her passion, Benjamin encouraged Abigail to open a newspaper focused on women’s rights and suffrage. The Duniways knew that without the right to vote, nothing would ever change for the women of Oregon.

Interestingly, Abigail’s brother Harvey was the editor for The Oregonian and the siblings butted heads, or columns, vehemently over voting rights for women. Harvey was against them and his opposition was instrumental in seeing the motions defeated time and again.

But the women of Oregon persisted. In 1912 the state finally passed a women’s suffrage amendment. The governor himself asked Abigail to write the Equal Suffrage Proclamation sharing the news.

She was 78 years young.

Abigail voting in 1914

Abigail voting in 1914

http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/Oregon-Biographies-Abigail-Scott-Duniway.cfm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oregon_Encyclopedia
http://www.ohs.org/education/oregonhistory/narratives/subtopic.cfm?subtopic_ID=206

Lilian Heath, the First Female Doctor in Wyoming, Was Happy to Overstep Her Bounds

Lilian Heath. Such a demure name.

She was anything but.

In the 1880’s, Lilian’s pa got her a job assisting Dr. Thomas Maghee, the physician

Lilian Heath

Lilian Heath

in the wide-open rail road town of Rawlins, WY. A petite little thing still in high school, Lilian was pretty fearless, but not stupid. She dressed like a man and carried a .32 when she went on calls late at night. She and the doc did everything from deliver babies to reconstruct a man’s face after his failed suicide attempt.

The nursing position set Lilian’s destiny. She graduated high school, and, with her father’s blessing and Dr. Maghee’s recommendation, headed off to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Keokuk, Iowa. She was one of only of three women in the class. After completing her training, she returned to Rawlins to practice medicine and was well-received … by the men folk. The women in town were another story. Catty, and jealous, they whispered behind her back, accused her of being a know-it-all, a few even refused to pay Lilian for services rendered. Lilian’s mother Calista wasn’t thrilled with the vocation either, believing her daughter had over-stepped her bounds as a woman.

Maybe, but if a man lay dying of a gunshot wound 30 or 40 miles way, Lilian put on her big girl breeches and made the ride.

Clearly, being a trained female physician was a bad thing, because you could, you know, save lives.

Lilian met her husband, Louis Nelson, in Rawlins and they were married in 1898. He was a painter and a decorator. Go figure. Lilian practiced medicine for fifteen years and then quietly retired, though she kept her medical license current much, much longer than that.

Unfortunately, you can’t read any article about Lilian that doesn’t mention her “connection” to an outlaw. In 1881, while Lilian was still in high school and a candy-striper, for all intents, Big Nose George Parrot was lynched for murdering a deputy. When no one claimed the body, Doctor Maghee stepped up. Curious to see if the bandit’s brain was somehow deformed, he dissected the man’s head, in the name of science. Lilian assisted with the autopsy and was given Big Nose George’s skull cap as a souvenir. She kept it for years, using it for everything from a door stop to a pipe holder.

Reporters loved to mention that story, as if it was her greatest achievement.

My guess is, there were a few other heads she would have liked to use as doorstops.

But she didn’t let the claws or the snipes get to her. Lilian never gave in, never backed down, never lost faith. I say thanks for paving the way!

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