Saturday, July 2

Posted by Laurel Garver on Saturday, July 02, 2016 13 comments
image credit: ranbud at
with guest author Faith Blum

If you have read any mail order bride stories, you've probably noticed that even though the bride and groom never met each other, they are both genuinely good people. It's a rare story that has a scam or a truly bad person either write or respond to the mail order bride advertisement. Faith Blum took that rare theme and wrote three novellas about five young ladies duped into becoming mail order brides only to find out the men they were supposed to marry weren't what they had appeared in the letters. The first of those novellas just released on June 26th and Faith is here today to share a little about it.

Author Interview

What do you enjoy most about writing historical fiction?

I love learning and teaching little bits of history while writing historical fiction. For instance, in this novella, I learned that back then, even if you were married to someone, you rarely (if ever) called them by their first name when you were in public. BUT, that was different out west where they didn't always follow the rules. Thus the term The Wild West.

What special challenges have you faced writing about the Old West?

Since I like to write realistic fiction, I try to write it as it likely was back then rather than what it has been romanticized to be. That is quite challenging at times.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors interested in writing historical fiction?

Make sure you write according to the time period. It's difficult, but any words or phrases that are more modern will be noticed by someone and could get you a bad review. And yes, I am speaking from experience.

What inspired this story?

My novel, The Solid Rock, had five mail order brides in it who went through a rather challenging time. But in the novel, they were minor characters and I couldn't spend a lot of time on them. So, I wrote three novellas about them instead.

What message do you hope your readers will get out of this book?

God desires to have a close walk with you, all you have to do is let Him in.

About the Book

Just a Closer Walk_FrontI am weak, but Thou art strong/Jesus, keep me from all wrong/I’ll be satisfied as long/As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Katie and Joanna meet on a train headed to Cheyenne, Wyoming. They start talking and find out they are both headed there to become mail order brides. They quickly become good friends. When they get on a stagecoach with three other young women, Katie becomes suspicious. What is going to happen to them? Or is it really possible that nothing untoward is happening?

About the Author

Author Picture 2015-2016 croppedFaith Blum started writing at an early age. She started even before she could read! She even thought she could write better than Dr. Seuss. Now that she has grown up a little more, she knows she will probably never reach the success of Dr. Seuss, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.
When she isn’t writing, Faith enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, playing piano, and playing games with her family. One of her dreams is to visit Castle City, Montana, to see the ghost town she chose for her characters to live in. She currently lives on a hobby farm with her family in Wisconsin.

Website | Writing Blog | Bookish Orchestrations Blog | Facebook  | Pinterest  | Twitter | Amazon


Faith is doing an amazing giveaway! She’s giving away a paperback of the novel that inspired Just a Closer Walk PLUS a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. There are multiple ways to enter the giveaway. Once you have completed one of them, go to Faith’s Blog and make a comment saying what you’ve done.
  1. Sign up for my New Releases Newsletter (you’ll get a free eBook, too!).
  1. Pin the giveaway picture on Pinterest.
  1. Tweet about the giveaway (there will be a tweet about the giveaway pinned to my twitter feed if you would like to retweet that. Otherwise, make your own tweet and tag me in it: @Faith_Blum)
  1. Visit and/or Like Faith Blum on Facebook.
  1. Follow Faith on Twitter.
  1. Share the giveaway in some other creative way.

Tour Schedule

June 27
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Tour intro
Rebekah Lyn Books-Book Review

June 28
Rachel Rossano's Words-Book Spotlight
Lesa Mckee-Author Interview

June 29
Kaiser Writes A Blog-Book Spotlight
The Abrahamic Adventures-Book Review

June 30
Stephany Tullis BLOG-Character Interview
Joyful Peacock-Author Interview
Bookish Orchestrations-Book Spotlight

July 1
In the Bookcase-Book Review
Ramblings-Guest Post

July 2
Perpetual Gardener, Writer, and Mormon-Book Review
Majestic Golden Rose-Book Review and Author Interview
Laurel's Leaves-Author Interview

July 3
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Giveaway announcement


 Katie took a deep breath to calm herself. There was really no reason to be quite so nervous. She had been on her own for more than ten years now and done quite well for herself. Naturally, she would be a little nervous as she left her hometown for the first time to go all the way to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne was a wild place, but if Katie knew anything about herself, it was that she could handle wild people and wild places.

She stepped inside the dark train car and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim lighting. In the back corner sat a young woman all alone. The woman fidgeted like a cat scared of its own shadow. Perhaps she could help calm her own nervousness by helping someone else.

Katie strode up the narrow aisle to the seat where the young woman sat. “May I sit next to you?”

The young woman looked up at her. Her blue eyes were full of fear. “Yes, if you’d like.”

Katie smiled. “Thank you. I’ve never traveled outside the city before and wouldn’t mind a little company.”

The young woman bit her lip. “I don’t know how good of company I’ll be, but you’re welcome to try.”

Katie chuckled. “My name is Katie. What’s yours?”


The train whistle blew and the train jolted as it started on its way. Katie watched the city fade away into the distance and decided conversation probably wasn’t the best idea at the moment.

The train clacked on and the murmur of voices surrounded them. Katie wasn’t sure what to talk about with this stranger and the motion of the train lulled her into a fitful nap.

She woke with a start sometime later and looked around. A piece of paper in Joanna’s hand caught her eye. “What is that?”

Joanna looked up at her. “A letter.”

Katie smiled. “Do you have a sweetheart waiting for you?”

“Not really.”

Katie’s smile faded. “What do you mean?”

Joanna’s eyes darted around as she tried to decide what to say.

Katie put her hand on the girl’s shoulder. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

“I’d like to tell someone.”

“But you aren’t sure you can trust me?”

Joanna met her eyes for the first time since they’d met. “Yes.”

“Your secrets are safe with me.”

Joanna smiled shyly. “Thank you. This letter isn’t actually written to me. My friend Mildred wrote to a man in Cheyenne who was looking for a wife. He wrote back and sent her the tickets to go out there. She panicked because she suddenly wasn’t sure she wanted to become a wife on the frontier.” Joanna clenched her hands together and fell silent.

If you were to create a twist on a common genre trope--like Faith's duped mail-order brides--what would you choose?


  1. Thank you for being part of the tour, Laurel! I had fun with the interview!

    1. My pleasure. Hope the tour has been going well!

  2. What an amazing concept, the whole thing of being a mail order bride. In those days, husbands basically owned their wives, even in the wild west. It gives me shivers to think of committing my future to an unknown man who would be able to dictate the rest of my life. It definitely is a theme worth exploring in an un-romanticized way. Hats off to Faith!

    1. Scary indeed! It says a lot about how little status single women had at the time, that this arrangement would appeal in the least, don't you think? Thanks for coming by, Elizabeth!

  3. The old west would be a fascinating time to read about. I like historical fiction, and like it best when the author takes the time to write in the vernacular of the time, not today's modern terms.

    Good luck Faith.

  4. This is SO down my lane. The books sound amazing and fun and the writing is wonderful.

    1. Thank you, Crystal! I hope you enjoy reading the books. :)

  5. That reminds me of the movie Picture Bride, in which a very young Japanese girl goes to Hawaii to marry a man she has never met. There's a lot of disappointment and hardship, but she struggles through it.

    1. I'll have to look at that movie! That sounds good. :)

  6. I like the approach - seeing the mail order bride from a different perspective sounds intriguing! Good luck with it! :)

  7. I love this twist on the old trope. I think it sounds like an interesting read! Congratulations, Faith!