Writing News — December 24

All Roads Lead Home is with my professional editor for a final polish before we publish it in February. Check out another great cover from Cindy!

I’m 73% of the way through Praying Through the Bible in a Year.

I’m taking a month off from contracted fiction to finish a children’s book for my granddaughter. I hope to have a final, polished copy of Spirit: A Girl and a Horse for her by mid-January. Sorry I didn’t get it done in time for Christmas, sweetheart!

Have a wonderful Christmas, folks! If there is anyone out there who has not received one of my books, please contact me with your name, mailing address, and your choice of Captive Brides or Daily Wisdom for Women 2018 Edition.

Reviews for “Jacob’s Christmas Dream”

Jacob’s Christmas Dream

Becky Patterson escapes the stifling life at her father’s parsonage for an exciting life as a mail-order bride. . .only to learn her potential groom is a part-time preacher, Jake Underwood. Her dreams of working alongside Jake in his store stall when an itinerant preacher wants to ordain Jake as pastor of the growing church. Will Becky accept God’s calling on her life—or will she reject Jake’s love and the future God has planned for them?

Learn more at Amazon



This is such a sweet story of faith, love and inspiration. Can Becky learn to let go of her determination and learn to follow what God has planned for her life? This story hit home with me. Reminded me that I need to stop being so determined and accept what God has planned for my life. Excellent story.



“A wonderful short story. Becky Patterson and several other ladies leave their hometown, Merville, and go to Angel Vale to hopefully find husbands. Several of the ladies find husbands, but Becky isn’t sure if she wants to marry the potential groom, that had chose her as his potential bride, because he is a part-time preacher and she left her hometown to escape her father who was a preacher. Will Becky overcome her uneasiness of the possibility of marrying a preacher, or will she remain single? The story was very well written and very enjoyable, although it was a short read. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read, or anyone looking to read a historical Christian story. ”



This is a delightful, sweet story with endearing characters, faith and love and inspirational.

  • TINA


Authors are always grateful for reviews and I appreciate every review I receive for one of my books. Thank you to these ladies for sharing their thoughts. Happy Reading, everyone!

Writing News — December 17

After a couple of months  of feeling like I’m treading water, forward progress on several fronts!

I have finished the rough draft of All Roads Lead Home and I hope to finish the edits on Monday. Then it goes to a professional editor before its publication in February.

I’m about 75% of the way through Praying Through the Bible in a Year.

And I’ve got a rough draft of a multi-book, contemporary romance proposal.

Ta da! I received a new contract for a cozy mystery novella called Nuts for Coffee, in The Coffee Club Mysteries, with Barbour Books, publication date undetermined.

My monthly column/article will now also be published in Pastor Resources. Praising the Lord!

Praising the Lord!  Merry Christmas, everyone.

Celebrating Cracked Ice

Cracked Ice: What Happens When the Lights Go Out? by [Franklin, Darlene, Chism, Toni, Garrison, Bill, Lewis, Kat, Merriam, Sue, Pearson, Shannon D, Tarpley, Chris]

Buy at https://www.amazon.com/Cracked-Ice-What-Happens-Lights-ebook/dp/B077DG17T8/

Cracked Ice is the second annual collection of short stories from Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers. It’s my privilege to be the guide and mentor. One of my challenges is coming up with a theme that authors from multiple genres will be inspired by.

Coming from New England by birth and Colorado by choice, I never quite feel like it’s Christmas in Oklahoma, where an icestorm is much more likely than snow. I spent one memorable holiday alone, with hotdogs and chocolate chip cookies for my feast.

Cracked Ice: What Happens When the Lights Go out? Includes seven stand alone short stories, from first-time in print authors to the experienced. The book is available in print for $6.99. The ebook only costs 99 cents.

Readers say:

“thoughtful and unusual”

“wonderful variety”

“well written and fun to read”

About the book:

One December night, an ice storm blows through Oklahoma City, leaving thousands without power. Meet the residents of Primrose Apartments. Young, old, alone, in love, prey and predator. What happens when the lights go out?

LINDA’S YULETIDE LINKS by Darlene Franklin
Linda Turner doesn’t mind being homebound. Not as long as her aides arrive on time. Not as long as her life-sustaining machines keep running. But what happens an ice storm makes driving impossible, power unavailable–and her batteries run down?
SIBLINGS by Toni Chism
Matt and Harry have remained both brothers and friends their whole lives, strengthened by a boyhood vow to never let anything come between them. When an ice storm blows both frosty air and two beautiful women into their midst, will their vow hold to the very end?
EVER AFTER by Bill Garrison
Kim is starting life over in a new apartment with her three kids, when an intruder breaks in and threatens everything she holds dear. Survival may depend on the one thing she had given up on, her family.
VEILED IN ICE by Kat Lewis
My name is Celeste Ventris and there are two things I’m sure of. One, my wedding is tomorrow. And, two, I’m pretty certain there’s a thief in my apartment. Merry-freakin’-Christmas to me.
Nora Bitterman has just completed the perfect crime. Everything so well planned, she’ll never get caught – or will she?
BAD HAIR DAY by Shannon Pearson
Ashlee wonders if she will ever get married. An ice storm cancels their plans, is it the end of the line for her and Ryan?
BINARY by Chris Tarpley
Jacob has been free of his sadistic and wicked twin brother John for years. Now, John is coming to visit. With John and Jacob together again in the same small space, what will happen when the lights go out?
CRACKED ICE: What Happens When the Lights Go Out? is the second volume of short stories compiled by members of Oklahoma Christian Fiction Writers. Several authors appear in both Legacy Letters and Cracked Ice.

50 Book Giveaway EXTENDED

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I have GOOD NEWS!

My 50 Book Giveaway has been extended! Leave a comment below to enter to win.

*Every commenter on the blog will win a copy of a book (one per commenter), up to a limit of 50.

Writing Tips — Mary L. Hamilton

Today I’m happy to introduce Mary to you…


Suspense author M L Hamilton never let monsters under the bed bother her, but the man hiding in her closet kept her awake many a night. She never figured out who he was or how he managed to hide in her messy closet, but she has imagined all sorts of other scary situations since then that she hopes will turn into more mystery/suspense novels. Besides writing, she also enjoys knitting, spending time with family, and a little amateur photography. She and her husband live in Texas. You can connect with her here:

Website: www.maryhamiltonbooks.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maryhamiltonbooks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mlhamiltonauthor

The Power of Words

Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “Words—so innocent and powerless as they are as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”

Recently, I’ve been impressed with the power of words. It’s easy to think they’re simply an arrangement of letters intended to convey a meaning. And sometimes, truly, that’s all they are. But other times…

Put them together the right way and they’ll have us wiping uncontrollable tears from our eyes. Rearrange them or use other words, and our sides will ache from laughing so hard. Still another sequence of words might make us look over our shoulder and check the locks on our doors. Words can incite hostility or soothe hurt feelings. Words can inspire or discourage, build up or tear down.

This shouldn’t surprise us. From the very beginning, according to Genesis, God created the heavens, the earth, the celestial bodies, plants and animals by speaking words. Later, the gospel of John calls Jesus the Word, and all the gospels record how Jesus’s words healed diseases and brought people back from the dead. John also tells us describes how Roman soldiers and temple guards came to arrest Jesus. He spoke two words—only two words that caused this crowd of armed military men to draw back and fall to the ground.

As writers, our job is to harness the power of words. Some may perform like workhorses plowing a field, while others sing and dance like fairies in a fantasy forest. Are you aware of the power of the words you write? It’s hard to imagine, especially when you’re facing a blank page. But know the power of your words, and use it wisely.


A field trip gone awry. A student gone missing.

Haunted by a teacher’s worst nightmare for more than a decade, Elaine finally stumbles across a vital clue—and discovers someone will do anything to keep the truth buried. When her life is threatened, she allows the one person she trusts to whisk her away to safety in Texas. But assuming a false identity and hiding among the quirky residents of a retirement home is not what she had in mind. Now Elaine must solve the mystery from afar, as soon as she figures out if her friend is keeping her from danger…or keeping her from the truth.

Buy link: amzn.com/0692972641


Writing Tips — Davalynn Spencer

Today I’m happy to introduce Davalynn to you…


Davalynn Spencer writes heart-tugging, Western romance set along the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. She is the wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters and a recipient of the Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Inspirational Western Fiction. A former journalist and crime-beat reporter, Davalynn lives in Colorado where she caters to Blue the Cowdog and mouse detectors Annie and Oakley. Connect with her via her website at www.davalynnspencer.com.

Take Aim

Not every bit of writing advice is what you want to hear—or what you should follow.

Nine years ago, I thought I could write anything because I did so on a daily basis. As a reporter for my local newspaper, I covered courts, crime, and school board meetings, 4-H fairs, chili cook-offs, and fatal auto accidents. Whatever was out there I covered—like a shotgun.

And then I followed a dream trail that took me to my first fiction writers’ conference.

“What do you write,” asked the well-known, over-worked author who had agreed to meet with newbies one-on-one.

In other words, what kind of fiction did I write? I had no idea.

Contemporary or historical? Romance, suspense, or a combo? Christian, general market, children’s board books or middle-grade stories? Thrillers, cozy mysteries, horror, sci-fi, or fantasy?

Blinking in the glare of the author’s highly successful spotlight, I handed over a children’s story about a hen that crowed (because we actually had a hen that crowed). I didn’t mention the other two partial manuscripts I’d brought—a 30-day devotional book for women and a contemporary romantic-suspense about a gal in a beach-side bungalow who thought she was being stalked.

The weary author thumbed through the hen story, handed it back with pity-eye, and said, “It’s a little late. You should have started this years ago,” or something to that effect.

I said thank you and took my thick-skinned reporter’s attitude to the next workshop on the conference agenda.

That was nine published books ago.

Thank God I didn’t let that 15-minute interview squelch my dream. And thank God I learned how to focus my writing efforts.

I do so much better at hitting the target when I aim at it.

The Canon City Chronicles

The complete collection under one cover: A preacher, a rancher, and a Colorado Ranger find and fight for the courageous women who make life in the Old West worth the struggle.

Links to purchase:



Writing News:

Forward progress: I’m at 150 of 365 prayers written Praying Through the Bible (Barbour, TBR Nov 2018) When I add in others I’ve started down the road, I’m over half-way through the rough draft.

Cracked Ice: What Happens When the Lights Go Out?, a short story collection from Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, should be released  today. I’ll add the link as soon as I have it.

Woo hoo! I’ve also complete the rough draft of the first three chapters of a new full-length book proposal.



36 copies still available! The good news is, I received another box of copies of Daily Wisdom for Women 2018 Collection, so I’m to give away more copies of the devotional. Only 5 remained on Friday, so hurry while they’re still available

5 remaining copies of 2018 Daily Wisdom

12 remaining copies of Captive Brides

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Mai-Order-Angels-Historical-ebook/dp/B07377M26S19 copies of any ebook that’s 99 cents.

Ho-ho-ho: All Christmas titles and collections from Forget Me Not Collections are available for 99 cents through the end of November, including the ones featured below.

Christmas Mai l Order Angels: Second Edition: 10 Christmas Historical Romances by [Franklin, Darlene, Hickey, Cynthia, AlLee, Jennifer, Lilly, Teresa Ives, Stowe, Tanya, Hall, Patty Smith, Greene, Anne, Rogers, Martha, Dooley, Lena Nelson, Boddie, Brandi]https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Mai-Order-Angels-Historical-ebook/dp/B07377M26S




A Christmas Masquerade: 7 historical romances at a Christmas ball by [Hickey, Cynthia, Lilly, Teresa Ives, Turner, Niki, Franklin, Darlene, Welborn, Gina, Whitham, Becca, Rogers, Martha]                                        Merry Matchmakers: 10 Christmas Novellas (A Merry Matchmaker Novella) by [Hickey, Cynthia, Franklin, Darlene, Mayne, Debby, Whitham, Becca, Martin, Gail Gaymer, Johnson, Jennifer Collins, Turner, Niki, Hall, Patty Smith, AlLee, Jennifer, Higman, Anita]



Special Contest

This is the year of nonfiction books!

That is, 12 chronological months, not calendar year.

So here is #1, just in time for Christmas shopping or for yourself, a perfect tool who want to get serious about their quiet time with God in 2018.

Daily Wisdom for Women is part of an ongoing year-long devotional series, with devotions aimed at specific holidays that take the reader from Genesis to Revelation over the course of a year. The picture doesn’t do justice to its beauty, the luxe feeling of its leather, the easy to follow pages.

I wrote the devotions for November (and, yes, for Thanksgiving).


One free book for every comment: Up to six copies of Daily Wisdom for Women, 19 copies of Captives Brides. If more than 25 people leave comments, 26+ may choose any of my ebooks that cost 99 cents up to a total of 50 total.

*One book per reader Unless you have a compelling reason for a giveaway copy for someone who doesn’t have internet access to comment on their own.*

Writing News — November 5

Victory Dance! Last Monday a host of people joined me in waging war on heaven through prayer. I’ve been feeling quite ill and getting desperate to get my bipap repaired. Monday afternoon, helped arrived, the bipap was fixed, and I’m sleeping well again!


That’s the big news this week. Every week, but I’m more aware of it today than usual.

In other news:

Forward progress: I’m at 125 of 365 prayers written and a third of the way through a book proposal.

Cracked Ice: What Happens When the Lights Go Out?, a short story collection from Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, is fixing to be released. We are finalizing the cover now.

Every writer has a different routine, but here’s what my usual day looks like except for Sunday:

6-9 AM Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, have my quiet time (which involves writing the prayer book). In no particular order.

9-1 Take care of the morning’s business (therapy, church, guests, etc.). Meet my daily writing goal. Eat lunch.

2-4:30 Keep up with the “when I can” stuff of writing: guest blogs, group projects, web material, finances, records, articles. Go to bed.

4:30 – ?? Eat dinner. Work on whatever I want, even if it’s nothing. 😊