Blog Archives

I Challenge You to Put Out into the Deep

There is a fine line between giving God the glory for something and bragging. For a few days, I’ve mostly been sitting on a little news, sharing it with just a few people, trying to check my motivations. I’ve come to the conclusion when GOD moves–whether it be in a spectacular, awesome way or not–GIVE HIM the GLORY. 🔥
 
I had a conversation Tuesday with film producer Brad Wilson about my script for A Lady in Defiance. I was looking for a critique and input. And maybe what to do next. Brad ran Robert Duvall’s production company for 11 years and now is an indy producer who has done a lot of films.
 
 Right before I submitted the script to him, I felt led by the Holy Spirit to do more than polish it. I took a knife to it and rewrote some scenes. The script went from 127 pages (which is ENTIRELY too long) down to 101. Issues I’d struggled with before cleared up and smoothed out almost easily.
 
Brad is absolutely the nicest man in the world. And he could not have been any more complimentary about the script. He LOVED it! I mean, he raved about it. I was shocked. He told me not to change a thing about it if I wanted to go out and pitch it to some production companies!
 
He told me things are just now barely starting to move again in the film industry and he has financial people who are specifically interested in westerns. He just can’t commit to any timing yet for a meeting but he asked for permission to share the script with them. He would really like to tell them about it!
 
He also said if I wanted to pitch the script to some production companies in the meantime, to use his name, that he wanted to be involved with the project.
 
So, wow. I can’t believe he didn’t suggest ANY changes. He loved the characters, especially Naomi. He loved the dialogue. He mentioned a couple of scenes that just hit right between the eyes. He was so complimentary, I told him I thought he was setting me up to tell me what was WRONG with the script. He said, “Nothing.”
 
I nearly fell over.
 
i'm coming (1) The film industry is in a weird place right now, but he really loved the story and said he thinks one day it’ll be on TV.
 
I still can’t believe he didn’t suggest any changes. He said he would never have known I was a novelist–or that it was my first script. He kept saying he was really impressed.
 
Y’all, that is ALL God. Pure and simple.
He’s told me repeatedly not to quit writing and “to put out into the deep.” Over and over, he’s given me that scripture from Luke. I can’t tell you the doubt and persecution I’ve suffered trying to follow this profession. I’ve been called worthless and lazy, even selfish, by members of my own family. And, yes, pursuing this not-so-lucrative career hasn’t made sense most of the time. I’ve doubted. Applied for jobs. But I couldn’t even go through with the interview it felt so wrong. 
I’m sharing this story to brag on God. He has a plan for my life and watching it unfold has been faith-affirming. He has a plan for you, too! I hope my story encourages you to keep pursuing your dreams if they’re from Him–but seek FIRST the kingdom! Draw close to Him. Fight the enemy when he comes to steal your dreams because he will. Be courageous and put out into the deep.
Most importantly, KEEP MOVING FORWARD with God.

 

Feminism vs. Just Gittin’ It Done…

Let’s be clear: I am no feminist. I do, however, write stories about strong-willed women who overcome some pretty stout obstacles. Often, my heroines are based on real people.

So, why am I not a feminist? Isn’t modern feminism basically the belief women should be treated the same as men? One dictionary defines it as advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

Hmmm. Let’s not give that platform a blank check. The FACT is women are different from men and when two things ARE inarguably different, they don’t always need to be treated the same. For example, only women can get pregnant. A woman shouldn’t be allowed to kill a baby growing in her uterus under the guise of women’s rights, or pro-choice or whatever pretty euphemism you’d like to use.

Furthermore, God’s Word draws a distinction between men and women, calling us the weaker vessel. Weaker. Not defective. Physically weaker.

Generally speaking, women didn’t sail the seas to find a new country. Women didn’t hack trails out of the wilderness to see what was over the next hill. Women didn’t trek deep into the heart of the mountains to trap beavers. When gold was discovered in California, women didn’t saddle their horses and ride hell-bent-for-leather to stake a claim.

Feminists would say slow female participation in these events was due to a society that held women back. Everything from unfair property laws to corsets, to educational barriers kept us from tackling great, ground-breaking, destiny-defining adventures. I say phooey. That is a bogus construct.

Women—namely, American women—have always done what they needed to do when they needed to do it. Especially if they really wanted to do it. Our female ancestors lived on the frontier, fought in the Revolutionary War, drove their own wagons west, panned for their own gold, opened their own freight lines, ranched on the edge of Indian Territory, won the right to vote. These endeavors were harder for them. Yet, rather than whine about their circumstances, like their physical limitations and ignorant men, they forged ahead.

And did all this without playing the victim, amplifying their own sense of self-importance (read “selfish” here), or casting off their moral compass, along with their femininity.

I believe the content of a person’s character is the true determining factor in their success. You can’t keep a good woman down and smart men eventually figure that out.

~~~~~

Speaking of strong-willed women, you should check out my book Grace be a Lady. Yep, it’s the tale of a feisty heroine who did what she had to do without selling her soul in the process.

Grace AD

 

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!

 

A Destiny in Defiance Through the Eyes of a … Cougar

Something strange about my new release…

My editor was very complimentary about the twist and turns I worked into A Destiny in Defiance as well as the extreme suspense and tension in the last chapters. She found herself so engrossed in the story, there were several places where she forgot to edit because she was too busy reading! (We’ve worked diligently to find and edit those places!)

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 11.55.36 AM One of the fun things I did was actually tell a little bit of the story through the eyes of a cougar. Very Rudyard Kipling, I suppose, what, with Two Spears being–I just realized–a type of Mowgli character.

Anyway, the story was tremendous fun to write, took me almost a year (it’s 96,000 words!), and it covers a lot of ground. It’s like a whole TV season in one book. I hope it moves you to tears, anger, heartbreak, and peace.

Oh, and I’m planning on following it up with either a couple of short stories or novellas in 2020!

Questions this book might answer:

Will the rivalry between Charles and Matthew destroy them both? Do Naomi and Two Spears get caught in the middle? Can Naomi keep her beloved from turning back to his dark past? What secret is the new nurse in town hiding? Will Billy and Hannah ever tie the knot or is she thinking about pursuing other goals? Does Emilio love Mollie or is his heart still stuck on Hannah? Why is ranch foreman Lane Chandler such an awesome character? So, so many good storylines! Can’t wait for y’all to read A Destiny in Defiance!

A Destiny in Defiance releases on November 1.

Right now it’s only $2.99 for a VERY limited time. This is a mammoth book (over 96,000 words) so the price will be going up.

Get your copy today while it’s still at this special price.

OR, you can always read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited. I hope you’ll tell a friend about it and, please,
leave me a review when you have a moment.

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Not a KU subscriber? You can get it here!

By the way, my newsletter subscribers get FREE stuff, exclusive excerpts, contests, pithy commentary. Why don’t you join me in case WordPress goes as anti-conservative as the other big tech companies?! I’d love to have you along with us!

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Does a New Romance Have a Destiny in Defiance?

Can two people from very different worlds make a romance happen? I just adored writing the sub-plot of Hope and Lane and their potential romance in my new book A Destiny in Defiance. He’s such a pure Texas cowboy and she’s such a feminist–or so she thinks. Here’s a snippet of one of my favorite scenes:

Hope drifted her fingers softly along the edge of the deep cut gouging its way across the man’s palm and frowned. “I’d say this is more than slight, Mr. Chandler. You’re going to need several stitches. Otherwise, this will never heal properly.”

lq

Famous Western star, L.Q. Jones, the inspiration for Lane Chandler

 “Dang,” he whispered. “It’s my ropin’ hand.”

“Precisely why we need to stitch it. Without closing it up, a wound this long and deep will scar terribly, reducing your mobility. You want your hand back in working order don’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He grinned sheepishly. “I reckon I do.”

“I’ll numb it. The stitches won’t hurt.”

“Ah, pshaw,” he waved away her concern. “I dug a Comanche arrow outta my own shoulder once. After that kind of pain, I can tolerate an itty bitty sewing needle.”

Hope tilted her head, admittedly a little too intrigued by the man. She found the way he told the story of a Comanche arrow in his shoulder and then used the word itty bitty in the next breath…charming. And, my, but wasn’t he handsome?

 She frowned at the repetitive thought and forced herself to focus on the tools of her trade. “This will hurt. I’m sorry.” She clutched his hand and poured alcohol in the wound. Mr. Chandler winced but that was the extent of his reaction. “All right, let’s get the stitches in. You’re ready?”

“As I ever will be.”

Amused by his bravado, she smirked slightly and laced a needle with the catgut. “Did your shoulder heal all right?” she asked conversationally.

“Yes, ma’am. Just an occasional soreness. Mostly on cold mornings.”

“You’re very fortunate to have survived such an ordeal.” She guided his hand to the table, resting it palm up, and cautiously put in the first suture; he seemed to barely notice.

“Yes, ma’am. Texas was a wild and wooly place ten-fifteen years ago. It’s only a little better now. We whooped the Indians but the rougher elements have been flocking there since the war ended.”

“Why is that, do you suppose?”

“I reckon ‘cause the law ain’t too intrusive there. A man can pretty much do what he wants, long as he doesn’t cause too much of a ruckus.”

“Will you be going back any time soon?”

He took a moment to answer and Hope for some reason felt certain he was studying her. “I had planned to give McIntyre a year. Help him build his herd and his ranch. I might give it a little longer. Especially now.”

 

A Destiny in Defiance releases on November 1.

Right now the pre-order price is $2.99. This is a mammoth book (over 90,000 words) so the price will be going up.

Get your copy today while it’s still at the pre-order price.

OR, you can always read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Not a KU subscriber? You can get it here!

By the way, my newsletter subscribers get FREE stuff, exclusive excerpts, contests, pithy commentary. Why don’t you join me in case WordPress goes as anti-conservative as the other big tech companies?! I’d love to have you along with us!

Or you can follow me here:

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I’m Your Density — My New Release

My density has brought me to you.

Okay, sorry, if you are not a Back to the Future fan. Density translates to Destiny. But I have a destiny for you. A Destiny in Defiance.

Releasing November 1, it is book 4 in the Romance in the Rockies saga. A Promise in Defiance, Book 3, was supposed to be the last book but you guys just can’t get enough of Charles McIntyre!

destiny_promo1 I have a lot to say about book 4–its great characters, its politically incorrect views, its robust length–but I thought today I’d share some random insights and a little background on the story.

So, as it often happens, I started A Destiny in Defiance with one idea but some of the other characters simply wouldn’t be quiet. Hence, the story definitely heats up the rivalry between Charles and Matthew, but Naomi has her own set of problems revolving around the men in her life–namely, Charles and Two Spears. There is Hannah, trying to figure out if a woman truly can have it all–love, career, family–or does something gotta give? And Mollie and Emilio move forward. A little.

The biggest surprise, though, came from two new/semi-new characters: Lane Chandler, the foreman at the King M ranch, and Dr. Hope Clark. Lane started leaping off the page, waving at me to give him a bigger part. He turns out to be quite the cowboy. And Hope is a complex character who is tired of being the rope in a tug of war between her fiance and her father. At some point, she needs to figure out what–and who–she wants out of life. Will she find real romance in Defiance?

I’ve posted BELOW a short excerpt from A Destiny in Defiance. Read it and comment on it. I’d love to hear your thoughts. We’re still doing final edits and wordsmithing, but I think this snippet is passably entertaining.

A Destiny in Defiance releases on November 1.

Right now the pre-order price is $2.99. This is a mammoth book (over 90,000 words) so the price will be going up.

Get your copy today while it’s still at the pre-order price.

OR, you can always read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Not a KU subscriber? You can get it here!

By the way, my newsletter subscribers get FREE stuff, exclusive excerpts, contests, pithy commentary. Why don’t you join me in case WordPress goes as anti-conservative as the other big tech companies?! I’d love to have you along with us!

Or you can follow me here:

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Amazon Author Page 

Now, READ ON:

**Rebecca and Hannah are discussing the mysterious new nurse in town:

A cup of coffee pressed to her lips, Rebecca watched Hannah drizzle melted butter over a steaming biscuit, tear off tiny pieces and feed them to Little Billy. Her glassy stare, however, said her mind was elsewhere. Around them, the Trinity Inn’s restaurant reverberated with chatting customers, tinkling silverware and the clank of dishes.

“Billy thinks I should just ask her outright.”

Rebecca set the cup down. “Why don’t you?”

“Oh, I suppose eventually I will. I just thought by now she would have revealed a little more of her story to me.”

“You said she’s a private person. Those kind don’t open up easily.”

“I guess. It’s just that sometimes when she talks, it’s like she’s saying one thing but thinking another. I don’t know.” She picked up a napkin and dabbed at her son’s face. “I can’t explain it.”

“Awkward pauses? Sentences that seem to redirect abruptly?”

Hannah looked up. “Yes.”

Rebecca nodded. “When I interviewed her, I had that same sense. As if she almost says one thing, but then quickly corrects and says something else.”

“So, what do you think? Do you agree with me that’s something amiss? But not necessarily something terrible,” Hannah was quick to add.

“Possibly.”

“I think it has something to do with Edward.”

“This is all conjecture.” Rebecca took another sip then grasped the cup in both hands. “Pointless speculation until…”

“Until what?”

“Until I actually do a little digging.”

 

Nellie Bly vs. Ellie Blair–the Gals Behind Mail-Order Deception

nellie-bly-portrait

Nellie in Mexico

Nellie Bly (AKA Elizabeth Jane Cochran) is the young gal who put the word “intrepid” in the phrase “intrepid reporter.” At the age of 18, when most women were still working as domestic technicians, this firebrand had a job working for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, reporting on the horrible working conditions of women in factories. When that got her in trouble with factory owners, the paper moved her over to nice feminine topics like fashion, society, gardening…

MOD Uh, yeah. Disgusted with such boring stories, she went to Mexico for a bit and reported on life there. Her dispatches about the government got her in trouble with the country’s dictator and she had to flee the country. Not long after this, she made the big time in New York City after feigning insanity and spending ten days in a madhouse. Now, that’s intrepid. But Nellie wasn’t done. She then made her legendary jaunt around the world in 72 days in 1889-90.

Now here’s the rub and how it ties in with my story, Mail-Order Deception. Nellie was on fire; she was unstoppable. Her curiosity was insatiable. One would think she would have been the intrepid reporter on into her golden years.

But, nay, this was not the case. In 1895, at the age of 31, Nellie married Robert Seaman, a wealthy industrialist some 40 years her senior. She left journalism for over two decades to tend to him and help run his business. It was only after bankruptcy that she fell back on journalism and covered much of WWI. But it seemed her passion had wained.

Passion, like a fuse, burns out. Especially when you have the chance to experience something real and lasting like true love. Everything else will pale in comparison. Colors dull. Thrills fade. Nellie and my character of Ellie learned a very important lesson about life–you can’t go it alone. No matter how intrepid you are. Love is the only thing that gives life meaning.

Don’t you agree?

Mail-Order Deception is on sale this week for only .99. Get your copy today!

on_sale_MOD

All my books are in Kindle Unlimited right now which means you can read them for FREE. Not a KU subscriber? You can get it here!

By the way, my newsletter subscribers get FREE stuff, exclusive excerpts, contests, pithy commentary. Why don’t you join me in case WordPress goes as anti-conservative as the other big tech companies?! I’d love to have you along with us!

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https://amzn.to/2NZfxAU

In Defiance of Failure. Trust God and Fish or Cut Bait…

Last time, if you will recall, I related that in back in 2000 I had started writing A Lady in Defiance and my computer crashed.

Several thousand words into the story I lost ALL of it.

Well, I had my hands full with a baby. I shrugged and thought I would probably come back to the story one day. If it wasn’t dead and buried for good. Maybe God would resurrect it…Who knew?

Fast forward to 2007.

I took a job working for a vanity press doing author promotions. One day at a book signing, I was watching the author talk about his story and the thought came to me, “I can do this.” Meaning, write a book. I didn’t know anything about plot structure, character arcs, POVs, but I had to write. It felt almost like a compulsion.

The story of three sisters stranded in a lawless mining town roared back to life in my brain. I dove in and had the first draft finished in March of ‘08, mere weeks before the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

conf

Only, my first attendance was in 2008

I honestly don’t even know who suggested I attend a writers conference. I’d never given it any thought and I’d never heard of this one. It was (and still is) held in Black Mountain, NC though, and I was up for any excuse to visit my mountains.

When I looked into it, I discovered that I could have a critique done on my first 30 pages by a seasoned professional writer, and even pitch the story to editors and agents! The possibilities were exciting and terrifying. I told my boys–five, eight, and forty-seven at the time–that I had no idea what to expect or even pray for. I just knew there was an adventure waiting.

I remember my eight-year-old said the most interesting thing then. He said, “It’s like that scene from Indiana Jones when he steps out into thin air. But there’s really a bridge there to catch him.”

bridge

Wow. That’s called a Leap of Faith. And what a picture of how God holds us up and leads us. Instantly I knew I was supposed to go to this conference.

It turned out to be a life-changing event.

More next time…

Oh, and I’d love to have you sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a FREE story and so much more. I promise you’ll find encouragement for chasing your own dreams! Sign up today!

Don’t miss out on this chance to get some FREE books!

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Time is running out!

Pick an author from this fabulous group, sign up for her insanely interesting newsletter, and you will receive a FREE book. Sign up for as many as you like. I’ve included one of my favorite stories as a giveaway. Grace be a Lady is just too incredible to be based on a real person! And the other authors in the group are:

Lynnette Bonner <> Kari Trumbo <> Mary Lu Tyndall <> Dorothy Adamek <> Lisa Prysock <> Sondra Kraak <> Stephenia H. McGee <> Angela Breidenbach

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Go get your FREE books here!

Of Popcorn and Prostitutes

I didn’t expect the research for A Lady in Defiance to break my heart.

If you have read my Defiance books, you know I’ve gone to great pains to bring the old west mining town of Defiance to life. Those “great pains” were hours of research. Admittedly, since I’m a history freak, I enjoyed most of it.

Some of it, not so much. Here’s what I didn’t enjoy: learning just how awful the lives of prostitutes in these lawless towns were.

prost

While disease was the number one cause of death, the number two cause was customer violence. But get this: one report I read said that partner suicide was statistically valid. Meaning, the number of girls who made suicide pacts was not nominal. When life got so awful, so unbearable, many soiled doves agreed to end their lives together.

prost2

In Telluride at the height of the silver boom, there was one street in the red light district where the doors swung open and shut so fast it was nicknamed Popcorn Alley.

Think about that for a second.

In A Lady in Defiance, there is a scene in which a soiled dove opens the Bible and learns how Jesus dealt with a woman accused of adultery. I literally cried writing that part. I cried over my character finding hope…and over all the real prostitutes who never did.

Today, I pray for all the innocents abducted and forced into this lifestyle. Seems we’ve come full circle. Or, more accurately, outdone ourselves. Today, human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms. It will surpass the illegal sale of drugs in the next few years. Up to 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade every year.

A hundred years ago, the citizenry rose up and ran brothels out of business either by force or by electing politicians who fined such houses out of existence. Today, all we seem to want to do is tear down Confederate statutes and blame each other for slavery that happened a hundred-plus years ago.

Here’s a thought: let’s turn our energy to something more positive. Let’s deal with today’s modern problem of sex trafficking and slavery and save some of the men, women, and children who have been forced into this horrid lifestyle.A Lady in Defiance by Heather Blanton

Just my politically incorrect two cents.

(Check out https://arkofhopeforchildren.org/child-trafficking/child-trafficking-statistics)

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By the way, A Lady in Defiance is on sale right now for only .99 if you’d like to pick up a copy!

 

 

 

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