Women can be feminine and still be downright dangerous.

Heather Blanton

Hey, y’all! It’s an honor and a thrill to be back visiting you here at Petticoats and Pistols. You know, the name of this blog says it all. At least for me. Women can be feminine and still be downright dangerous.

My new book, A Scout for Skyler, from the Mail-Order Mama series, has been described as Pride and Prejudice meets The Beverly Hillbillies.

Yes, it’s a comedy, but my heroine, Priscilla Jones, was written as a serious tribute to some of the most amazing pioneer women in American history.

Over the years, my research has introduced me to some gals who defied expectations and overcame some impossible situations. Sometimes, it was life-and-death. Other times, it was a matter of life—hers, and how she wanted to live it.

As I was writing A Scout for Skyler, I had these historical figures in my head:

Of course, when we think of rough-and-rowdy frontier women, the first one to come to mind should be Calamity Jane. She lived in a man’s world. Smoke, drank, chewed, and fought with the best of them.

Orphaned at twelve, left to care for five brothers and sisters, Calamity did not shirk her duty. Most likely she did work as a prostitute early on to provide for the family. She left the lifestyle behind, though, by learning to shoot and throw a respectable punch. Everyone who knew Calamity did respect her courage and her kindness. She rescued a runaway stage from a Cheyenne war party and nursed some Deadwood residents back to health during a smallpox epidemic. The only thing Calamity couldn’t do was win Hickock’s heart.

Susan McSween watched her husband get gunned down in the street during the Lincoln County War. Livid over his murder by a US Army colonel in cahoots with the Murphy-Dolan gang, she stayed in town and hired an attorney to fight for justice. He was soon murdered, as well. Susan still didn’t back down or leave. She changed tactics. She figured out the best way to get back at the corrupt forces in Lincoln County was to hit them in the pocketbook.

Susan McSween was a shrewd businesswoman and she put all her efforts into frustrating her nemesis, James Dolan. Eventually, she became the Cattle Queen of New Mexico, at one point running nearly 5,000 head of cattle. Best of all, she outlived all her enemies.

And I thought of Nancy Hart, a patriot on the frontier of North Georgia. The Cherokee named her War Woman because she was fearless and an accurate shot (even with crossed eyes). Her real legend came about when she killed six British soldiers with their own guns.


I could go on and on. The women who built this country were tough, stubborn, and courageous. Suffice it to say, the things my girl Priscilla Jones does in A Scout for Skyler—she’s totally capable of them. Because real heroines have gone before her.

My hero, Captain Corbett, is an arrogant Scotsman who believes women should have babies not opinions. How well do you think an attitude like that would have gone over with the rough-and-tumble Calamity Jane, or the fiery, refined Susan McSween?

In A Scout for Skyler, all these ladies have a voice, and the story was a hoot to write. Talk about fireworks and sassy dialogue.

A Scout for Skyler is part of the multi-author series, Mail-Order Mama. All the stories are stand-alones but have one thing in common: the mail-order bride is a surprise. I hope you’ll check them all out.

To buy a copy of A Scout for Skyler click here.

To visit Heather’s website click here.

GIVEAWAY!! Today, I’d like to give TWO random commenters ebooks of A Scout for Skyler. So, tell me, do you have a favorite heroine from history? Belle Starr, Amelia Earhart? Pocahontas? Or…?

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48 thoughts on “Women can be feminine and still be downright dangerous.”

  1. I would have to say that all the brave women who made their way west to unknown territory have my vote. I enjoy reading the actual diaries of pioneer women.

  2. Abigail Adams and her letter asking her husband and the other founding fathers to “remember the ladies.” If only the men had listened…

    And Molly Pitcher (Margaret Corbin). Married to an officer, she manned the cannon when he was killed. She received a soldier’s pension.


  3. My choice would be Sybil Ludington . She was a heroine of the American Revolutionary War. On April 26, 1777, at age 16, she made an all-night horseback ride to alert militia forces in the towns of Putnam County, New York, and Danbury, Connecticut, of the approach of British forces. She did this the same night Paul Revere made his ride for the same reason. She rode through the night and covered 40 miles, twice the distance Paul Revere did. It was raining, she traveled over bad roads and in an area roamed by outlaws. Her dad was the local militia commander and had to rally the local militia members. The messenger that brought the news to him was not familiar with the area, so Sybil stepped up and spread the word.

  4. Gosh, there are so many. As a proud Kansan, Amelia Earhart is near the top of my list. But also Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Turman, Florence Nightingale, and Molly Pitcher. I recently read “The Girl Explorers” which added even more brave, determined women to my list.

  5. You already know how I feel about the book, Heather!! lol!! Don’t enter me in the giveaway, just wanted to say Hey!!

  6. I’ve already bought the book, so don’t enter me in the contest. I think Harriet Tubman was a courageous woman going back to the south repeatedly to help the slaves to freedom.

  7. There was a woman who dressed as a man in the 1776 war. She was wounded and no one knew she was a woman till a dr helped her. . She received a pension from the govt when the war was over. She then left and never found. I dont recall her name. But all women in the west were brave and need respect and knowledge of what they did. Another woman of the west was known as Cattle Kate..

  8. Welcome today Heather. Among a few are: Laura Cornelius Kellog, Kate Warne, Jane Cooke Wright
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

      • Laura Cornelius Kellogg was an eloquent and fierce voice in early twentieth century Native American affairs. An organizer, author, playwright, performer, and linguist, Kellogg worked tirelessly for Wisconsin Oneida cultural self-determination when efforts to Americanize Native people reached their peak. She is best known for her extraordinary book Our Democracy and the American Indian (1920) and as a founding member of the Society of American Indians. In an era of government policies aimed at assimilating Indian peoples and erasing tribal identities, Kellogg supported a transition from federal paternalism to self-government. She strongly advocated for the restoration of tribal lands, which she considered vital for keeping Native nations together and for obtaining economic security and political autonomy. Although Kellogg was a controversial figure, alternately criticized and championed by her contemporaries, her work has endured in Oneida community memory and among scholars in Native American studies, though it has not been available to a broader audience. Ackley and Stanciu resurrect her legacy in this comprehensive volume, which includes Kellogg’s writings, speeches, photographs, congressional testimonies, and coverage in national and international newspapers of the time. In an illuminating and richly detailed introduction, the editors show how Kellogg’s prescient thinking makes her one of the most compelling Native intellectuals of her time

        II found her work and why to be interesting

  9. I’m terrible at choosing favorites, and it’s just about impossible with this subject. There are so many – even just the everyday, “ordinary” pioneer women. Where would this country be without them?

  10. As a girl my heroine was of course, Nancy Drew! I also admire Betsy Ross. She quietly sat and sewed up a flag to wave in the rebellion against the crown 🙂

  11. Katherine Johnson
    Ever considered how much math goes into space flight? Johnson, one of NASA’s brightest “computers,” intricately calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

  12. Oh wow. There are so many amazing women in history. I don’t think I have a single favorite. Corrie ten Boom, Elizabeth Elliott, Esther and even Ruth!!! So much to admire about them and many many others; faithfulness to God, joy in the midst of sorrow, steadfast when all seems dark. They are true heroes!

  13. There always seem to be woman in every stage of America’s growth that were amazing. It surprises me whenever I read about them. Enjoyed your post.

    • Because there is always someone ready to rise to the challenge. Like Esther. Born for such a time as this…whatever that time might be. God puts his people where he needs them. It’s up to us to step out.

  14. I admire Adelicia Acklen. She outsmarted the Union and Confederqcy during the Civil War and managed to maintain her property throughout the war. She was quite a lady

  15. Good morning & welcome back to P&P. I had a crazy busy day yesterday pulling together an outline for my 1st Pampered Chef party for June.

    I’d have to say Eleanor Dumont because she was a business woman way ahead of her time & not an outlaw. Well sge wasn’t until she fell in love & that man ripped her off. She killed him after making the very stupid decision to sign over her ranch & land to him. Unfortunately she later killed herself after her debts became too high.

    Two black women that stand out as strong females way before other women of color are Mary Fields, a postal carrier and Cathay Williams, that dressed as a man to be in the army.

    Great blog! I’d love the opportunity to read your book. A giveaway is an awesome way for me to find a new author to add to my go to authors list.

  16. I just love learning about these women of fortitude. I love finding parallels between history and stories I read. One of my favorite books as a kid was “Glory, Passion, and Principle”. It’s got fantastic stories of 8 women. It taught me, along with my own firy and sweet mama, that women, though unsung for much of history, have and can do so much more than we give them credit for.

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