Welcome, Heather Blanton

Today we’re happy to welcome Heather Banton! Today Heather will tell you about her book, A Good Man Comes Around, and she will give away three copies of her book to three winners. If you prefer, you can choose a book from her back list. Welcome, Heather!

In the Tragedy, Find the Blessings…

Greed is good.

Greed is good?

Hardly. But the 19th-century discoveries of gold and silver inarguably drew men by the thousands to the American West. Some prospectors were good. Some were bad. All played their part in settling America’s frontier.

As I researched gold rushes for a few previous books, I was struck by one man’s random, utterly stunning gold strike, and the way it impacted his life. His tale is the basis for my book, , the expanded version releasing today!

 

Oliver Martin was one of the few men in the goldfields who was there more out of directionless boredom than Gold Fever. Ostensibly, he was in the gold camps to strike it rich. The fact was, though, Oliver was a good-for-nothing slacker who didn’t even own a pan. Hard work didn’t pull his trigger. He meandered around boom towns like El Dorado and Yuba, panning, drinking, doing odd jobs, but mostly, drinking. Drifting, lost, he had no real plans for his life.

Then tragedy struck. And in nearly the same instant, Oliver was handed an incredible, amazing blessing. I mean, a jaw-dropping fork in his road.

 

After an accident, the young man had to bury his lifeless best friend in the wilds of the Sierra Mountains. Grief-stricken and with no conscious thought to location, he merely chose the first spot he saw. Along a bustling creek, he dropped to his knees and started clawing at the sand. He had not dug down two feet when he found a nugget of gold that weighed in at over eighty-five pounds.

Eighty. Five. Pounds.

In modern money, the rock had an approximate value of $650,000. Digging less than a foot in any direction and Oliver would have missed the nugget entirely.

I was fascinated by this turn of events in the man’s life. Wham! Suddenly he had a pot of gold sitting in his lap. He had gained something of great value yet lost something priceless, irreplaceable, in one fell swoop. I thought of Job—God blessing him, then Satan cursing him.

Receiving an overwhelming financial windfall is definitely a blessing or a curse. Depends on how you use it. We know most of these stories don’t end well. The goldfields were killing fields, rife with thievery, murder, and mayhem. And even when the prospectors managed to hang on to their money, they often spent it on riotous living before they could get out of the mountains.

Oliver found himself facing an unfamiliar choice: squander the unimaginable wealth or use it wisely, to become a better person, maybe make the world a better place.

What would he do? He had spent much of his life breaking promises, abusing friends, and running from God. Now it was time for him to examine his heart. He was still reeling from the painful loss of his friend. How could his future be so bright and yet so grim? Was it even in him to be a better man?

Meanwhile, God was working on someone else’s heart. Moved by Oliver’s tragedy, Abigail Holt, the mail-order bride Oliver had rejected, offered him friendship and forgiveness.

So, the question is, did Oliver go the way of so many lottery winners? Did he drink and gamble the money into oblivion? Loan it to moneygrubbing friends more lost than he? Or did he grow up and find the path God had for him? Did Abigail play any part in his choices?

I hope you’ll read releasing today and find out what drew me to this true Gold Rush story.

What about you? Have you or anyone you know been able to look past an enormous tragedy and find a blessing in it? Comment to win your paperback copy OR any paperback by me of your choosing! I’ll do THREE (3) winners!

Guest Blogger

61 Comments

  1. I will definitely be reading this book!

    1. Thank you, Abigail. I hope it blesses you!

  2. Heather Welcome. Wow, your book sound intriguing, what an amazing plot.
    The only story I can think of is my own. I am an alcoholic and in 2000 I developed melanoma. My Dr. Removed it but she told me my body was so drenched in alcohol that it was not able to fight the cancer. I enter rehab and I’ve been a recovering alcoholic for nearly 20 years, now. So I am glad that I had this unfortunate medical episode of cancer, because it saved me from dying of alcohol. I thank God everyday for opening my eyes and keeping me sober.
    Thanks Heather for visiting P & P!

    1. Your book sounds fascinating.

      I can’t think of an example at the moment.

    2. Avatar

      I love that you can look at it in this manner. I’m so happy you’ve stayed in recovery for 20 years and that you kicked the cancer! Love you dear friend!

    3. Avatar

      I’d love to read this book and find out path Oliver goes down. I do my best to live life with the attitude that the glass is half full.

      The only thing I can think of is my own story. I was diagnosed with MS at the age of 35 and had to go on disabilty because I had a harsh onset. My first blessing, I didn’t have to fight for disability, I was approved immediately, which is rare. I never would have known how strong of a person I was without this life altering diagnosis. Five years into my diagnosis I had a harsh flare of my MS that triggered a neurological attack and it and the MS flare shut me down to a quadraplegic. I went from the hospital to the therapy hospital to a therapy nursing home. I was 40 years old and had my mind but not my body. When the State Board of Licensing found out they had a person in this nursing home that had her mental capacity, they visited me. I was able to verify what aides were abusive to patients/residents at the home. One of the worst experiences of my life I look back on as it was meant to happen for the reason that all those poor old people needed my help.

      I have a hard life as a single disabled mother so I have to try to find the positives in the negatives or there would be no reason to be alive. Reading is my escape, my vacations and adventures. I’d love the opportunity to read your book and a giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list.

      Happy New Year!

    4. Oh, Tonya, what an encouraging story. Keep looking up. He’s got this…and you!

  3. Oops, I didn’t mean that as a reply to the other comment.

    The book sounds fascinating.

    I can’t think of an example at the moment.

    1. Thank you, Denise. And, honestly, I hope you never have any horrific tragedies to overcome. Wouldn’t that be great?

  4. Avatar

    My comment also ended up as a comment on a comment. So I’m redoing it here.

    I’d love to read this book and find out path Oliver goes down. I do my best to live life with the attitude that the glass is half full.

    The only thing I can think of is my own story. I was diagnosed with MS at the age of 35 and had to go on disabilty because I had a harsh onset. My first blessing, I didn’t have to fight for disability, I was approved immediately, which is rare. I never would have known how strong of a person I was without this life altering diagnosis. Five years into my diagnosis I had a harsh flare of my MS that triggered a neurological attack and it and the MS flare shut me down to a quadraplegic. I went from the hospital to the therapy hospital to a therapy nursing home. I was 40 years old and had my mind but not my body. When the State Board of Licensing found out they had a person in this nursing home that had her mental capacity, they visited me. I was able to verify what aides were abusive to patients/residents at the home. One of the worst experiences of my life I look back on as it was meant to happen for the reason that all those poor old people needed my help.

    I have a hard life as a single disabled mother so I have to try to find the positives in the negatives or there would be no reason to be alive. Reading is my escape, my vacations and adventures. I’d love the opportunity to read your book and a giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Stephanie- You are a true warrior and I’m so proud of your positive attitude and for NEVER giving up. Your enthusiasm for life is infectious and I wished more people who complain and degrade their everyday struggles could understand how to live life to the fullest and look at the good in everything instead of the bad or worse.. the “poor, poor-pitiful me” attitude.
      Stay true to yourself and continue spreading your joy of life with others. Love you Dearly My Sweet Friend.

    2. Stephanie, YOU are an inspiration. And I will admit, your words really drew me up. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking everyone who reads my books is sitting on a sandy beach somewhere. Thank you for regrounding me and making me want to write better and better. 🙂 <3

  5. We are still living our tragedy but taking a day at a time and making the most of it. Five years ago my mother fell and broke her hip. With a long surgery, she did not come back to us like she was mentally. WE have watched her weaken as the time has passed but she always knows us. We are blessed.

    1. Growing old is not for the faint of heart, to say the least. Hang in there. God is bigger than your struggle.

  6. Congratulations on your new book.
    I can’t think of anyone that I know who has lived through a tragedy to find a blessing.

    1. Janine, I pray that continues, that no plague comes near your tent or anyone you know, and no evil is allowed to befall you!

    2. Congratulations on your book and sounds like an amazing read. Have a blessed day.

  7. After losing both parents to cancer in less than 2 years 2015/2017 we are still in loss mode and working our way through our lives without them. Love you family every day!!

    1. Oh, Teresa, I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost a sister 20 years ago to breast cancer. It doesn’t get easier, only bearable. Blessings.

  8. This book will be on my TRL. For me it was my daughter who was seven and a half at the time diagnosed with Osteo Sarcoma, none cancer in right shoulder. We spent eleven and a half months in the hospital & she had 5 chemist a day 5 days a week. Eventually had surgery to remove right shoulder and titanium implant out in. It was during this time that I knew nothing that happened again could be as bad as this. She’s a beautiful & healthy 32 year old woman today. I realized what I thought were problems before that were nothing.

    1. What an awesome story. Praise God! And you know, I think about things like this when the grocery line moves too slowly or I can find my keys. Puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?

  9. I have never had a tragedy in my life.

    1. I pray the blessings of protection continue!

  10. The only example I can think of is I had a bad case of pneumonia the first week of 2019 that put me in the hospital for a week. I was a smoker at the time and had smoked for many years. I never pick up another cigarette after that. So the pneumonia made me quit smoking.

    1. Quilt lady, I am so glad to hear you have quit smoking. Lord willing, you are going to be around a lot longer. Thanks for reading!

  11. Congratulations on your release today. This is an interesting post. My parents got married at 18 and 19 yrs old. They were married for 54 years when mom died. Dad was lost. My sister and I stepped in and helped him to see everything that mom had blessed him with over the years. Dad started to see what a blessing mom was in his life and started living again with a purpose again.

    1. Beautiful story, Lori. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a spouse of that length of time. My parents were married 60 years. Momma for years would find herself talking to Daddy. It would be a very hard “habit” to get over and see life with new eyes. Good for y’all for helping him do just that.

      1. I have lost a little brother. I’m not sure exactly why. I know it has helped me to comfort others.

        1. Having lost a sibling as well, I know what you mean. You really do know what it feels like.

  12. Welcome to P&P

    Yes in 2018 I was in a head on car accident which most often ends in death. Even though I had injuries I was most definitely blessed for it could have been so much worse

    1. Wow, Praise God he brought you through that! Goodness!

  13. Another new author to become acquainted with. So glad you came to visit today and talk about your new book. In 2008, I fell and broke my neck and injured several vertebrae in my back. When the neurosurgeon read my scans, he looked at me and shook his head. I thought to myself here comes the bad news. Instead, he said that not many people walk away from injuries such as mine. Even he was amazed. No doubt in my mind that God answered prayer. God’s hand in my life completely changed my outlook on living. For our age, my husband and I are very adventuresome. Life is such a blessing. I thank God everyday for his blessings.

  14. That’s great to hear, Kathy. And you keep right on being adventurous. God put us here to enjoy life and to behold his wonders!

  15. Well, I was sick every single day of the 9 months of my pregnancy and I had a very verbally abusive husband through it all. He even put me on a psych. ward for 3 weeks because I could not stop throwing up. He even threatened to give the baby to his mother (after birth) if I didn’t stop throwing up. Now, that that baby is 32 and whole (despite my sickness), I can look back and feel sorry for him that he felt so under pressure because he could not stop me. I can also thank God this happened because I got to know Him (God) better and I met lots of people.

    1. Jeannette, that’s a tough story but God brought you through it. And what a strong woman of faith your are now, giving Him the glory. I knew I liked you! <3

  16. Sounds like a wonderful story. We have had some tragedies in life and events that happened before them that we did not understand, until we realized God was preparing us to handle what was coming.

    1. Amen. He won’t let any experience go to waste.

  17. Your book sounds intriguing and like a very good page turner! I love the cover , it is Beautiful! All I can say is we should Never take Anything for granted. Have a Great weekend. Thank you for the chance. God Bless you.

    1. Oh, amen to that. Be thankful for every breath! Thanks for reading!

  18. My dad died suddenly while I was in high school. Back at school a few days after, I was talking to a classmate who didn’t get along with his dad. I remember him saying, “If my dad today, I wouldn’t care.” At first I was angry that I lost my loving dad and he still had his. Then, I realized my friend still had time to mend fences with his dad while I had been blessed with a wonderful father for 15 years. I decided right then to be thankful for the years I had with Dad instead of feeling sorry for what I had lost. That decision has made all the difference in my life and how I see things.

    1. Carrie, that’s a beautiful story. People just don’t know what they’ve got till it’s gone. I’m joyous that you came to such a wonderful attitude of gratitude!

  19. My worst tragedy was losing my Daddy, even though I was 33. We never want to lose our parents! I’m thankful I still have my Mom, going pretty strong at 95. My 2nd was when I broke my right wrist. I’ve had 5 surgeries on it, the 4th was to fuse it, and the 6th we took the hardware out. Being a forced lefty with some things is still not 2nd nature, but I get by. There are some things I will never do again, and I’m learning to live with that. Loved this book, Heather! Of course, you already know that! lol!!

    1. Thank you, Trudy, and thank you for sharing. I’ve certainly been humbled and blessed by yours and all the others. Happy Friday!

  20. Wow, I don’t know what I’d do if that wealth dropped into my lap. We have had our share of bad times but I do believe every time there was amazing blessings out of it!

    1. And that is exactly the right attitude. Always look for the blessings. They are there for His children.

  21. Hard work didn’t pull his trigger. I’ve never heard that one before but I think I will be borrowing it in the future. This book sounds very interesting especially knowing that it is based on a true story.
    Our family has faced some tragedies but nothing like some of our friends. Today I was looking back to January 21, 1989 when co-workers and close friends lost all four of their children in a tragic fire. We’ve never faced anything so tragic. That day changed our lives forever. How could we be any kind of comfort to them? I felt so useless and unable to express myself. Later my friend told to me that many people shunned them because they didn’t know how to process all of this. “But you, she said, you were there. I will never forget that you were there.” I still grieve over their loss.

    1. Sometimes, just being silent in the grief, but there nonetheless, is all someone needs for comfort. And I cannot imagine such a tragedy, either. My poor momma buried three of her children. I always wondered at her grit and faith.

  22. being healthy and strong is vital and a blessing. I have been fortunate until I turned 64 and then it all changed for me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had chemo and radiation. The outcome was excellent but I was left with weakness and suddenly my joints were inflamed. I was diagnosed with RA and had to have 6 surgeries. I still suffer but continue to help others who need companionship and give them empathy and kindness.

    1. God bless you, Ellie. I’ll be throwing crowns at your feet in heaven, girl. You keep on making a difference in this world for the Lord!

  23. When my mother died suddenly I was left with a void that no one could fill. It made my life empty. Soon though I did not realize I would have little ones to fill my life with joy and happiness. Grandsons and granddaughters who are precious.

    1. Ah, the precious circle of life. God knows what he’s doing. Thank you, Ann!

  24. My parents divorce was the catalyst that led to Daddy being saved.

    1. Oh, that’s an awesome outcome, Caryl. Praise the Lord!

  25. We have always tried to spend wisely, not always successfully, but we try. Obviously a large windfall would allow us to do things we never thought possible and help in ways we would like. My husband and I have played the “What if I win the lottery game,” and we usually tend to come up with the same plans. Helping our children and grandchildren have lives where they can work and not worry about making ends meet if something happens to their job or health would be first. There are several charities and organizations we support and volunteer with that we would make large donations to. We would indulge in some extensive travel. Sadly, we know that money will not prevent tragedy from happening or necessarily help you recover. Both my husband and I lost a parent when they and we were young. Nothing can prepare you for their death or the impact it will have on your life. We both grew stronger from the losses and they served to bring us together.

    1. Growing stronger from loss is certainly the best way and the most ideal outcome. And it makes me happy to hear you have such a generous heart!

  26. Dear Heather,

    This book sounded so good that I set aside the book I was reading and purchased an ebook copy to read today. Your cover is stunning and deserves to be plastered all over Instagram. Are there plans to redo the other covers in the series?

    All the best on your re-launch!
    Amanda

    1. Amanda, thank you for the compliment. I believed in this story so much, I paid for a better cover and expanded the story as well. I wish the others would follow suit.

      1. I noticed the new edition is not listed in Goodreads. Please let me know when you get it added.

  27. In September 2004, Hurricane Francis closely followed by Hurricane Jeanne destroyed the roof on our condo building (Stuart, FL). Our possessions were all water damaged including my books. A few months later I won a $400 gift card from Vicki Lewis Thompson. I was able to purchase many books from B&N to replace the ones I had lost. It really lifted my spirits and I still think of her generosity with fondness!

    1. Oh, my, what a wonderful gift! That is a blessing. Books are better than coffee…almost. LOL!

  28. Sounds like a really good story. Looking forward to reading it!

Comments are closed.