Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Donna Schlachter, Historical Romance


Leave a comment on THIS post through Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 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 right sidebar to follow), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. I may or may not have read books offered for giveaways. The mention and giveaway of books on my blog do not in any way indicate any manner of my endorsement of said books. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To help provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post. 


Donna Schlachter
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

Please enjoy the following excerpt from Detours of the Heart by Donna Schlachter:

7 Daring Damsels Don’t Let the
Norms of Their Eras Hold Them Back

Chapter 1
Terrace Addition
A bedroom community outside Albuquerque, New Mexico

“You will marry him, or you’ll not spend another night under my roof, you ungrateful child.”

Millie Watkins focused on the vein in her father’s temple, the one that emerged, pulsating in tempo with the staccato timing of his words.

He was angry for sure.

She stepped back, putting another foot or so between them. Just out of reach of his ham-sized fists. One of the cats—Mouser or Calico, she wasn’t certain—screeched when her foot made contact with its tail. She staggered to regain her balance, grabbing at a kitchen chair to stay upright.

His hobnailed boots were weapons as formidable as his hands, and she’d not fall victim to either today.

She raised her chin. “I won’t marry that pimple-faced child cleverly disguised as the postmaster’s assistant. Angus Portman is rude, lewd, and crude, as well you know.”

“That boy is as fine a catch as you’ll ever hope to hook. It’s not like you’re any great shakes, girlie.”

Despite hearing these words—and others like them—all her life, they still stung, and she blinked back tears. No, she wasn’t as beautiful as her mother—God rest her soul—but few women were. 

“You can’t force me.”

Her words rang hollow in her own ears, and rather than convincing her father to do as she wished, they fueled the sneer that started with his eyes then made its way down to his mouth, revealing teeth yellowed by tobacco, worn down through use, and missing because of bar fights. “Git your things and be gone, then. Cain’t afford to feed you no longer.”

She exhaled. He spoke the truth. A hardscrabble widower farmer, with four younger than her. The next in line, Anna, was of an age to leave school and take care of the house.

He was right. He didn’t need her. Couldn’t afford to keep her.

Didn’t want her.

She nodded. “I’ll be gone in an hour.”

“You ain’t got that much stuff. Git now.”

She turned and left the kitchen, climbing the ladder to the loft she shared with her sister and brothers. Thankfully, they were in school and wouldn’t see her humiliation. She was more of a mother to them than a sister, and her heart ached that she couldn’t say a proper good-bye. Let them know she wasn’t leaving them forever, the way their ma had. There in the morning, dead by the time they came home from school.

No, she’d leave them a note. Let them know she’d keep in touch. Send money when she became famous. Bring them to live with her in California.

Because that’s where she was headed—the silver screen in Hollywood. As she shoved her few belongings into a pillowcase—she didn’t even own a proper carpet bag or trunk—she revisited the glamor of the movies as depicted in the few dog-eared magazines the pharmacist traded for sweeping the shop and stocking the shelves.

The secret she kept from everybody.

The only thing she owned that she didn’t have to share with anybody else.

That, and her dreams.

Images of Greta Garbo greeting her on the movie set of their next feature film. Of John Barrymore holding her hand in the dark. Or a comedy routine with Charlie Chaplin.

She shivered with delight. She’d show her father, that ugly Angus Portman, and the whole neighborhood that she was better than they thought.

Welcome, Donna. Let's have some fun with the
Lightning Round:
Vacation: Beach or Mountains?  Mountains
Y’all or You Guys? All y’all
Biscuits or Dinner Roll? Dinner Roll
Spring, summer, winter, or fall? Summer
Laptop or Desktop? Laptop
Mug or teacup? Mug

Please tell us a little about your novella, Detours of the Heart
A tour guide who wants to move on, a playboy who’s never had a place to call home—can they overcome their own plans and allow God to make their path straight, or will they take yet another detour?

Where can readers find you online? 
Website  Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!
Donna's Books on Amazon
Donna's Books on Smashwords

Where can readers purchase The MissAdventure Brides Collection
Leave a question you’d like readers to answer. 
Share a few words about a misadventure that you can laugh about now, but not at the time.

Donna, thanks for visiting with my readers and me. Donna is offering a paperback copy of The MissAdventure Brides Collection to one commenter to this blog post.

Commenters, to enter the book drawing please leave your comment on this post through December 18, 2018, and remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.

The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of An Amish Heirloom by various authors is rubynreba. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling.

NEW RELEASE! Mary Ann’s Miracle, Book #3 of the California Bound series. This sweet romance novella is set in the 1950s and is out in eBook. Available at Amazon.

From the book’s back cover: When Mary Ann Williams was a teenager, her daddy fell from the lofty pedestal on which she had placed him. It will take a miracle to restore her trust in him and all men…

You can read more about the book here and you can read the first chapter here.


  1. I am a follower.

    I really 'need' this book, lol. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this collections book, they are my favorite.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  2. I am a follower.
    This sounds like a wonderful story. I love this cover.
    I was 8 and decided with 7 of us total we needed a bigger house. Didnt ask my mom. So i packed up our red wagon with some food and blankets and took off. Unbeknownst to me my mother called around and neighbors were keeping an eye on me. I walked for a while and found nothing that my little brain figured was big enough. lol. I headed home and announced that we would have to stay where we were. that there was no bigger house to live in. i was very serious at the time. now perodically it comes up at family gatherings and we all have a great laugh. truth be told, because of the slightly cramped quarters we grew closer as a family. I see that now. Merry Christmas quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  3. I was a scaredy cat as a child. I remember being outside at a neighbor's house and I decided that I wanted something from ours. I remember rushing in to get it and then running back outside. As I went by the kitchen window I heard a voice say Boo! I ran screaming down the yard and my heart was simply beating out of my chest. My father had come home unexpectedly and needless to say, was terrified when he saw how scared I was. I can laugh about it now and I am much braver but it certainly wasn't funny back then!
    Thanks for this giveaway and Merry Christmas Donna & Jo.

  4. I am a follower. My misadventure was taking a triip with our small boys to the beach for the weekend. We were so excited. We had rented a place we called Bedrock because it looked just what you see in The Flintsyobe. They were stone cabins. One big room with include Ruth windows everyone. We unpacked hot ready to go to the beach and it rained. It rained the entire weekend non stop. Our stuff inside was wert and the kids were miserable. Today we always talk our our Flintsyone vacation. jhdwayne(at)peoplrpc(dot)com

  5. My mother and I were traveling with a tour group and got off to get lunch and somehow got lost getting back with the bus and walked in crcles to find it.

    1. I am also a follower.sheliarha64(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. I am intrigued by this one. mauback55 at gmail dot com

  7. I remember going for a walk w/ my then-boyfriend as a college freshman. As we walked he became excited to recognize that we were approaching his friend’s house. We walked in its general direction and ended up getting virtually stranded in a marshy, weed-ridden, field filled with high grass and clingy vines. Finally, my friend pointed out to me, about a quarter mile away, “look, there’s my buddy’s” house. I could see we’d have to work through even more of the marshy field to get there. “Why don’t we just say hi to him at supper time?” I suggested. Turns out this friend of his attended the same college we did. We could have seen him without getting wet, dirty, and tired!

  8. I like the title word "Misadventures!" and I like reading about the early 1900s--my paternal grandparents were born in 1901, & I like to read about what was happening while they were alive!

  9. A friend and I went for what I "thought" was a simple walk turned into six miles.... We were in Colorado Springs so our surroundings were gorgeous!

    I'm a follower.

  10. I am a follower. No misadventures that I can think of. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

  11. I’m a follower and I enjoy collections of novellas!
    Thank you

  12. A new Barbour Books Collection!!! I love these, how they circle around a common theme. I have often wondered if they turn the corner and miss each other barely!
    Lori, I love your misadventure! Maybe your mom thought you were taking off for greener, quieter, pastures! She was a smart woman. I remember when little towns took care of each other.
    I can't think of a misadventure, but am sure with my imagination, I had a few. Thank you for this preview of The MissAdventure Brides Collection. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

  13. I am a follower. We were using GPS to get to a reunion. About a half mile from the destination GPS said we’d arrived. We hadn’t because it was an empty lot. Fortunately, hubby was somewhat familiar with the area and we found it a short time later.
    perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com
    Perrianne Askew

  14. During college, my boyfriend asked me to cut his hair. I used a set of hair clippers borrowed from my roommate. He said, "Don't shave off my eyebrows!" While I scoffed at him for saying that, I accidentally swiped his eyebrow and took it clean off. ONE of them. Hahahaha It was BAD. He must have forgiven me because we've been married for almost 21 years!

    (Long time follower here -- GFC)

    Dianna -- dedezoomsalot at yahoo dot com

  15. Would love to read the Misadventure Brides. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com