Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Straight Browsing from the Library: Sam Time by Donna Balon

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


When her fiancĂ© is away on business, lonely Samantha Hunter despairs and absorbs herself in historical research. Her nighttime dreams being so vivid, Samantha believes she’s traveling to a past century. As she navigates the Victorian era rules of dos and even more don’ts, she charms Ulysses S Grant while struggling to maintain her present-day romance.


Samantha approached a horse stable and heard a man say,

“Lieutenant Grant.” Another said, “Ulysses.” She snapped her head around.

Oh my God, Samantha thought. Grant was promoted to captain in the middle of the decade, so if he’s a lieutenant, it’s 1850-ish. And this must be northern California.

The two men approached Grant, and Samantha watched. She no longer cared about keeping her unbonneted head down. This was her dream, and she wanted at least a glimpse of Grant. He was wearing an army uniform: an above-the-knee-length navy coat, with a stand-up collar closed by a single row of brass buttons down the center front; baggy pants; square-toed boots with a one-inch heel; and a black felt slouch hat with a wide brim.

The three men spoke for a few minutes and then the other two left, leaving Grant and the horse he was tending.

Samantha hesitated and recalled what she had learned of American history. Although the United States had separated from its mother country, the former colony still followed many of Britain’s customs. Named after Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901, this period is called the Victorian era—with social rules: many dos and even more don’ts.

But Samantha wanted to have fun. So she approached Grant while thinking about all the customs she should abide by.

At age thirty and unmarried, Samantha was an old maid. Without a hat or a bonnet she could be mistaken for a prostitute, and there were plenty of those women around any town adjacent to an army fort.


Author Donna Balon debuts Sam Time, a novel well-researched and professionally edited by quality talent from the publishing industry. Donna resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/41018186.Donna_Balon
Website: https://samtimebook.com/about/
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/donnabalon

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  1. The cover is just perfect for the book.

  2. I'm delighted my book promo posted on your lovely website. Thank you!

  3. What's your most interesting writing quirk?

    1. When writing about characters, I often act out the hand motions, head turns, and facial expressions to get a sense of what would be appropriate. I'm glad I have my own room so no one can see me.

    2. I love this insightful answer into your writing process and thanks so much for taking the time to share with me! I wish you much success!