Jo Huddleston writes

Sweet Southern Romances

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Romance in the Rockies, Book #2

Blog posts of book giveaways and interviews with and articles by Christian authors.


By Heather Blanton

Leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, August 23, 2014 to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left sidebar “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers . Please leave your email address. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post.

Heather Blanton started writing when she was five; her first tale was a ghost story that her mom typed up for her on a Brother typewriter. Over the years, she has worked as a journalist for newspapers, magazines, and blogs. She has also spent decades in the corporate communications field, marketing everything from software to motorcycles. (Did she really just say "decades"?)

Heather has two sisters whom she loves dearly. One is still with us, the other crossed over to be with Lord in 1999 and it is she who inspired the character of Hannah in the Romance in the Rockies trilogy.

Heather grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne Westerns. Her most fond memories are of sitting next to her dad, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester! She loves exploring out West and would happily spend all her time researching and exploring ghost towns till the cows come home. She lives with her husband and two adventurous boys on a farm outside Raleigh, NC. They enjoy riding practically anything with four legs or two wheels.

Welcome, Heather. If you could have dinner with one person from today or history (except Jesus) who would it be?

I know I should give a profound and Biblical answer here, but the truth is I have a “pen pal” and I would like to meet him someday. Mark Richard is one of the executive producers of AMC’s Western show, Hell on Wheels. We “met” when I emailed him, fussing him out about how a Christian character on the show turned homicidal and why was Hollywood always painting Christians as nut jobs? Turned out that not only was he also unhappy with the way the show had ended that season, he is a Believer as well. We’ve been writing ever since and discussing the cultural contributions of Westerns. He has also enthusiastically encouraged me to turn A Lady in Defiance into a screenplay. Maybe one day you’ll see my story on the Hallmark Channel!

Please tell us a little about your novel, Hearts in Defiance, Romance in the Rockies Book 2.

Hearts in Defiance is the sequel to my indie best seller A Lady in Defiance. In my first book, I tell the story of three sisters who come to the bawdy mining town of Defiance and struggle to understand why God would send them to such a mean, debauched place. Now, I turn the tables a bit and focus on the men on whom the sisters, and God, have had an impact. Charles McIntyre built the lawless, mining town of Defiance practically with his bare hands … and without any remorse for the lives he destroyed along the way. Then a glimpse of true love, both earthly and heavenly, changed him. The question is, how much? Naomi Miller is a beautiful, decent woman. She says she loves McIntyre, that God does, too, and the past is behind them. McIntyre struggles, though, to believe he’s worth redeeming. The temptations in Defiance only reinforce his doubts.

Billy Page abandoned Hannah Frink when he discovered she was going to have his baby … and now he can’t live with himself. Or without her. Determined to prove his love, he leaves his family and fortune behind and makes his way to Defiance. Will Hannah take him back? Or is he one man too late?

One man needs to accept God’s forgiveness, the other needs to find it. But in Defiance, the past doesn’t go down without a fight. 

What takeaway value do you want your readers to have?

I wanted to write a story that would show, no matter who you are or what you’ve done, God is waiting to forgive you, but you need to accept His forgiveness. Even after we take it to God, most of us hang onto our sin, letting it slither around us like an evil, constricting vine from the Black Forest. That’s an illusion. Once we’re forgiven, sin is only a thin, brittle piece of wood covered in dead leaves. Accept His forgiveness, raise your arms to heaven, and explode that vine! Rejoice as the dust settles at your feet. You are worthy of His love, you are redeemed, and you are free!

Where can readers find you online?

I love turning readers into friends because I don’t want to talk at people, I want to talk to them! Please feel free to join me on Facebook ( and/or twitter ( And if you like stories of real-life heroines, check out my blog at

Where can readers purchase Hearts in Defiance?

Any parting comment?

Because I have lost loved ones and friends to cancer, and know so many people fighting it now, I am doing a fundraiser with my book from September 27-30. I will be donating 100% of my profits to the American Cancer Society. My hope is one day we’ll read/write cancer out of existence! 

Thanks again, Jo! 

Heather, thank you for this interesting visit with my readers and me. One of the commenters on your post will win a copy of Hearts in Defiance, which you so graciously offered.

The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Chapel Springs Revival by Ane Mulligan is Deanna S. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

I have a new blog titled Lifelines. Miriam-Webster dictionary defines lifelines as something which offers help or support. I hope my posts on Lifelines will offer you help and encouragement when I write about everyday happenings we all meet in one way or another. I’ll welcome all comments whether you agree or disagree with me. We can agree to disagree and have sensible chats about a post’s topic. I plan to post on Lifelines every Monday and I hope you’ll visit me there. In the right sidebar on that blog you can sign up to follow the blog and never miss when a new post goes up. While there you can also sign up to Join my Mailing List then receive my email newsletter and be eligible for a book giveaway in every issue. Inspirational thoughts formerly on the website page "My Thoughts" will now appear on the new blog, Lifelines.

Till next time … keep on smiling.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ane Mulligan Book

Reminder: I have a new blog titled Lifelines. Love to have you visit me there.

When you leave a comment and your email address on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, September 16, 2014 you'll be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left column “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. You must have a U.S. mailing address to receive a paper book. You can read details about my book giveaways at Disclaimers 


While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane Mulligan has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, Ane resides in Suwanee, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion. 

Welcome Ane. If you could have dinner with one person from today or history (except Jesus) who would it be?
This was really hard. I vacillated a lot before settling on Carol Burnett. She has always been someone I admired. I loved her humor and she showed me how to laugh at myself.  

Please tell us a little about your novel, Chapel Springs Revival.
Basically, it’s a romp through miscommunication in marriage, but with a friend like Claire, you need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.

Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia, knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing restoration is their marriages. 

With their personal lives in as much disarray as the town, Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their lives. That is if they can convince their husbands and the town council, led by two curmudgeons who would prefer to see Chapel Springs left in the fifties and closed to traffic.

What takeaway value do you want your readers to have?
Marriage takes work—work in communication certainly, but instead of a “Lord, change him” attitude, a “Lord, change me” attitude works best. That and if you continue to look at your spouse’s bad habits, soon those are all you’ll see. Scripture tells us we can’t get sweet and bitter water from the same well. 

Where can readers find you online?

Where can readers purchase Chapel Springs Revival?
On Amazon and the Nook version can be found here

Any parting comment?
Thanks for having me, Jo. I hope your readers will find reading Chapel Springs Revival like coming home. Gina Holmes, award-winning author of Crossing Oceans and Wings of Glass, said, “With the charm of the Mitford Series, the humor of I Love Lucy, and the heart of Andy Griffith's Mayberry, Ane Mulligan's Chapel Springs Revival is sure to be a hit with fans of Debbie Macomber and Jan Karon. Reading Chapel Springs Revival is like coming home to the place you wish you were from, to the friends you know and love."

The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Malevolent Tide: a Christian Thriller by R.H. Rauschenberger is Melanie B. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling.