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How does a man, missing a limb, feel whole again?

Welcome to a sneak-peek of my newest release,

To Love and to Honor— Enjoy!

Logo_Brides_Of_Evergreen_Book5From Chapter 5:

A day later, Joel was strong enough to travel.

And to send word to Ruth of his whereabouts.

He tapped the pencil on the Western Union form, trying to determine how much to write. He believed it a safe assumption his wife did not care where he was so long as he was not in her presence.

His time away with the cavalry had changed Ruth. Her letters had grown colder, her thoughts more succinct. Coming home minus a limb had only served to deepen the divide between them.

What exactly was the state of their relationship now? Dead? Dying? How did one resuscitate a marriage in this condition? Prayer. Ask God for a miracle to revive their love?

He had prayed for revival, but without any passion behind the request. He knew he should care, be desperate to save their marriage. Yet, desperation had died with every brief, emotionless letter from her, every repulsed look she had revealed, and every touch from which she had recoiled. The guilt of his growing apathy weighed on him. He suspected Ruth had reasons for some guilt as well, but Joel had no proof. Without proof, suspicions were merely that—suspicions.

Finally, tired of debating, he wrote, Delayed in Evergreen, Wy. Will notify you when I proceed to South Dak. He pondered adding love, Joel. In the end, he didn’t and slid the paper over to the clerk.

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The Bar FB sat in a long, flat valley, ringed with hills that alternated between open pastures thigh-high with brittle, fall grass, and deep, dark-green forests of Scotch and Blue spruces. White-faced Hereford cattle milled about everywhere.

Various log buildings such as the barn and bunkhouse surrounded the imposing main house at strategic distances. Surprising Joel, the home was a white-washed antebellum structure with a cupola on the top. From it, he imagined a man could sit up there and see the whole valley in any direction.

King of all he surveys, eh?

“You could still back out,” Angela said from beside him, hunching her shoulders and rubbing her arms. Joel assumed she was cold, but the action could have also just as easily expressed her fears at this homecoming.

He tapped the reins across the horses’ rear ends to maintain their speed. “Not much of an option right now.”

“You could drop me off and keep riding.”

A cowardly act he couldn’t fathom. He was here now and he was committed to the cause.

“You’re an honorable man, aren’t you, Captain Chapman?”

“I used to think so.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t like lying. Normally I wouldn’t have fallen into something like this. I believe almost any man can be reasoned with.” He cut his eyes at her. “You’ve made me believe your father may be the exception and this subterfuge is necessary. I hope I have not misjudged.”

She heaved a great sigh. “I understand your concern. Two seconds with my father, though, and you’ll understand mine.”

They rolled beneath the gate that proudly displayed the Bar FB encircled in barbed wire, and then into the main yard. A few ranch hands nodded and tipped their hats. One, a large fellow with a silvery-yellow beard, paused, allowed his smile to widen, and approached the buggy. Joel pulled it to a stop.

“Miss Angela.” The cowboy swiped his hat off. “What a surprise. Your father said you was back East in school. He didn’t say anything about you coming for a visit.”

“Howdy, Glenn, it’s nice to see you. I’ve missed your saucy jokes.”

The man blushed from his neck up, the color disappearing into his beard, then stole a quick glance at Joel. A glint of disapproval flashed across Glenn’s face but disappeared quickly.

“Oh.” Angela squared her shoulders. “Glenn, this is my husband, Joel Chapman. Joel, my father’s foreman, Glenn Leary.”

Joel reached across Angela and the two shook hands. Glenn was clearly shocked by the news, judging from his slack jaw. “Husband, huh? Yeah, your father didn’t mention that either.”

“I imagine there’s a lot he hasn’t mentioned about me since I left.”

The man pursed his lips as if acknowledging a secret. “Yeah, he hasn’t said too much since you’ve been gone.” He replaced the Stetson. “And he has been in one continual sour mood. Now that you’re back, maybe he’ll quit yellin’ so much.”

“Maybe.” She didn’t sound like she believed it. “We’ll see you soon.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Angela touched Joel’s arm and he drove the rig up to the front of the house. “Well, here goes nothing.” Her voice wiggled and Joel wished he could give her a reassuring hug.

In lieu of that, he said, “I’ve faced a hundred screaming Indians, dodged a hailstorm of fiery arrows, and a blizzard of bullets. I’m not afraid of your father.” He smiled, hoping he had reassured her some.

Instead, her smile was pitying. “That doesn’t mean he can’t hurt you.”

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Please pick up your copy TODAY of To Love and to Honor!

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Shameless Tourist Escapism in the Guise of Research–Deadwood Day 1

Recently, I attended Wild Deadwood Reads, an author/reader expo of sorts in Deadwood, South Dakota. In all my travels out West, I’ve never been to this area. Wow, I thought, what a great opportunity. I’ll invite my sister to come along. We’ll meet some people, make new friends, see a part of the country I haven’t before. I can tell you, we had a spectacular time. I haven’t been on a plane in 20 years b/c I don’t like to fly. I had a small window of time here, though, so I bit the bullet. It was well worth the effort.

Day 1

Thanks to terrorists, 2:30 comes early, but like a good citizen, I was at the airport TWO HOURS before my flight. By 4:20 I was through security and wondering about coffee. Not to mention, Why was I here so early again?

The plane left on time: 6:18. Yea. Unfortunately, we hit thunderstorms coming into St. Paul. Boo. I do not care to repeat that.

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Could have kissed the ground after that ride!

I made it to my gate with a few minutes to spare, but my sister Dawn was late. Like a movie, she came running down the concourse, red-faced, panting, on the verge of an asthma attack, catching the flight in the nick of time.

But bless her heart, she distracted me from the flight in a little tiny plain (tiny, by my standards) by showing me a catalog of gorgeous Western home decor.

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Plane #2: Me on the left, my big sister Dawn on the right.

Once we were on the ground and had our rental car, we headed for the metropolis of Rapid City. It was not what we expected. There weren’t many cowboys. Instead, we found a college town with what looked like a lot of metrosexuals and too-cool-for-school young hipsters. This is South Dakota? I thought, thus far disappointed.

We hit Walmart for a few things. Of course, who doesn’t need to swing into Walmart on every vacation? Oh, but then we went to Boot Barn! We don’t have one of these around me. I was in love. Western-style fashions everywhere! I bought a cute, red dress with a ragged hem and a beautiful leather belt with a turquoise and silver buckle. NOW we were ready to head up into the Black Hills.

No, wait, one last stop at Target for some water and off we went to Deadwood.

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See the door on the 2nd floor? That was my room.

We stayed at the historic Bullock Hotel. It’s old and doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the hotel is gorgeous on the inside. It was built in 1896 by Seth Bullock, one of the first sheriffs in Deadwood. He came to be best friends with Teddy Roosevelt, too. Seth spared few expenses on his hotel. An ornate wooden staircase takes you from floor to floor. Lovely carpets greet your eye. A casino in the bottom has a few quaint museum pieces, and the restaurant with its huge fireplace and tin ceiling really brings home the atmosphere.

Dawn stayed in the Roosevelt suite which opened up to my room. We had our privacy but could talk back-and-forth if we wanted to. We had a great view of the historic main street and the haunted hotel across the way. The Bullock is supposed to be haunted, too, and I did half-wake during the night because I thought Dawn was using my bathroom. But she didn’t. Hmmmm.

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The woodwork in the hotel was impressive.

Anyway, like giddy teenage girls at the mall, we shopped that night, from one end of town to the other. I bought a silver bracelet, a ring, and earrings. Dawn bought a beautiful leather purse and bracelet at Miss Kitty’s Mercantile. I love the name. And we picked up a few little things for the unfortunates back home.

We closed out the evening with dinner at the Deadwood Social Club, an atmospheric restaurant upstairs from the No. 10 Saloon–not THE No. 10 where HIckock was shot–that one burned. The new one sits on the foundation of the original, though.

So, there we were, over 900 miles from home and just tickled to death to be in Deadwood. No laundry. No kids. No fussy husbands. Happy as larks, we went back to our rooms and slept like babies. Well, except for that fuzzy moment when I seem to recall a visitor in my bathroom. Must have not bothered me too much. 2018-06-06 20.15.50

 

 

I Don’t Pull Punches. Why You SHOULD (and SHOULDN’T) Sign Up for My Newsletter

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Hey, have you signed up for my newsletter? Let me give it to you straight. Here’s why you SHOULD:

Newsletter subscribers get <FREE FREE FREE> 
  • Heather’s Haberdashery–ebook of loooong excerpts from SEVEN of my books
  • Monthly newsletters with:
    • Exclusive contests
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    • Hints on my current work-in-progress
    • Scene and story X-Rays
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    • And much more!

BUT, here’s why you SHOULDN’T sign up for my newsletter. You might not like:

  • Strong, sassy heroines
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  • Gunfights and fistfights
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  • An inspirational story
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28946358_10215120158704899_1748554081_o But if you are still in, hoss, all you have to do is sign up here and you’ll receive the FREE SAMPLE CHAPTERS (One file entitled Heather’s Haberdashery) and future newsletters.
Well, I’m off to see a man about a horse. Thanks for readin’. Hope you’ll sign up. God bless and happy trails!

 

 

 

She Was Really Hell-Bent on Blessings

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:

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Navajo Girl Escapes Kidnappers. A True Lady in Defiance!

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

WINDOW ROCK

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!

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.

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Bonus Content for Pre-Orders!

☆¸.•*¨*★☆★Pre-Order Special Price★☆★¸.•*¨*★☆

☆¸.•*¨*★☆★Pre-order One get one bonus★☆★¸.•*¨*★☆

☆¸.•*¨*★☆★Pre-order Two get MORE★☆★¸.•*¨*★☆

Releasing 1/25 – Locket Full of Love $0.99 http://amzn.to/2EmaAtH
Releasing 2/14 – Hell-Bent on Blessings $0.99 http://amzn.to/2yIXqnl
Forward snipit or copy of receipt to gowest36@gmail.com and you will receive in your email a Secret Link with a password to your bonus material! This is a one-time use of your email (unless you already subscribe to my newsletter)!

And as always, my dear friends, THANK YOU so much for your support. I hope you know I do truly value my readers! You mean the world to me and I only wish I had more time to spend chatting with you!

Pre-Orders

God help the man who ever gets in her way again…

YOU KNOW MY STYLE OF WRITING—strong heroines who don’t mess around. They roll up their sleeves and get the job done. I love the stories of women who persevere and overcome, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed writing Hell-Bent on Blessings. It releases on Feb. 14 but you can pre-order TODAY for only .99!
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Harriet’s worthless husband has snatched the world out from under her feet, and then gone and died on her, to boot. First, though, he left her in deep debt and facing foreclosure on the ranch that she loves almost as much as her own children. Livid, staring at bankruptcy and fighting hopelessness, she grits her teeth and comes up with a plan. Money, gold, and jobs are abundant in the boom town of Blessings, California. She’ll start over there, taking one step at a time to rebuild a life with her children, her financial independence, and her dreams of a new ranch.

God help the man who ever gets in her way again… Like Shakespeare warned, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Jason Meredith, an old friend, has a few things he’d like to say to Harriet, especially now that she’s a widow. He might have better luck surviving a bear attack, though, than thawing her frozen heart. He’s got his work cut out for him, but Jason’s a patient man. At least, he used to think he was…

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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!

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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.


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