Friday, November 23, 2018

Peter Duncan, Hero Cleverly Disguised as a Bus Driver -- with Giveaway!

By Donna Schlachter

A Month of Heroes continues with Jim Williams, from "Detours of the Heart" by Donna Schlachter in the MISSAdventure Bride Romance Collection.

If you were to watch Peter Duncan at work, you’d know there was something different about him. Sure, his freckles stand out, as do his impeccable manners and good looks. And the ladies are drawn to him to flies to honey. 

Perhaps your first impression would be of a boy whose mama raised him right. Good manners. Well-read. Even tempered. You’d likely think he’d attended a good school, eaten three square meals a day, known no troubles.

But you’d be far from right.

As the oldest son of itinerant field hands, Peter has never known a real home. His family has followed the crops, south to north, east to west, his entire life. What he knows he taught himself after spending every daylight hour bent over a cotton crop in Mississippi or stretching for a peach in a grove in California. His mother tried to teach him proper manners, but truth is, he didn’t have much call to practice amongst other hardscrabble families like his own.

Peter longs to have a steady job where he comes home to the same house--and the same woman and children--every night. No more eating the bruised fruit just to live. No more making friends in one town then moving on when the work runs out. No more hanging his head in shame when other kids call him names.

He wants to be a preacher, eventually, but for now, he’s satisfied to drive a bus for the Harvey House Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He appreciates the opportunity he’s been given, knowing that The Alvarado is the Queen of the Southwest, and he takes his job seriously.

So when the tour guide comes down with mumps, and customers start complaining because he doesn’t have her entire speech memorized, he’s not happy. He wants things back to the way they were when he just had to drive, collect his wages and his tips, and dream of preaching in his own church someday.

Enter our heroine, Millie Watkins. Beautiful. Spunky. Obviously accustomed to hard work and not
much else. She’d make the perfect pastor’s wife.

Or would she? Does she know God? Because if not, he’d best remind his heart that his wife must love the Lord even more than she adores him. Which doesn’t seem to be the case, since she’s intent on heading west to Hollywood and stardom.

Over the coming days, however, Peter finds himself drawn to this slip of a girl as she works alongside him on the tour bus. They have several opportunities to talk about the love of his life--God--and he answers her questions, recognizing her deep-set hurt over her mother’s death.
When she starts wearing a beautiful Acoma bracelet, he wonders where she got it--perhaps a secret admirer? Jealousy keeps him from asking, and he decides she’s not the woman for him after all. Besides, there are plenty of fish in his little pond--other girls who find him irresistible, including the lovely Carlita. But despite his determination to keep Millie at arm’s length, he finds himself comparing the others to her, and they fall woefully short.

When Millie enlists his help to look into the possible counterfeit jewelry operation taking place under their very noses, he jumps at the chance to spend more time with her. And when she finds herself in danger, he’s glad to rescue her. Except she thinks he engineered this prank to endear her to him.
But after spending the night in the desert in a broken-down bus and awakening to find their vehicle surrounded by local Acoma warriors, he’s happy that she knows her job so well. And he’s thankful they were able to talk about healing and God’s good plans for His children. After resolving the counterfeiting issue, Peter is willing to follow Millie wherever she goes--if she’ll have him.
Finally, Peter has found a woman who will offer him the stability he longs for, as well as a deeper relationship with God who is directing his steps. No more detours for him--his path ahead is straight and sure.

About Detours of the Heart: (Albuquerque, NM, 1925)
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?

I will give away five print copies (US only, please) of the book by dropping the names of all who leave a comment on my missAdventure blog posts on my own blog or on this blog post between today and December 16th into a basket and pulling out five winners. One entry per blog post, please, and one prize per person. If you leave a comment every day on the 15 different blog posts, you could have 15 entries to win. Drawing closes midnight December 16th MDT.

In addition, if you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter, and you choose to subscribe at , I’ll pop in another entry for you. So you could have up to 16 chances to win!

About Donna:
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. Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!
Books: Amazon: and Smashwords:


Paula Shreckhise said...

I love these Barbour books. This story sounds so good. I’ve read about Harvey girls before. So interesting!

Natalya Lakhno said...

The story sounds interesting! Thank you for the chance!
I'm already a subscriber to HTTA!

L Palmer said...

I know I would enjoy this book. I have read stories dealing with the Harvey Houses before and love that history.