August Book Giveaways

Book drawings–books by Darlene Franklin

With the release of my fiftieth book (Mermaid’s Song) last month, I had occasion to celebrate—and to consider the future.

Do I expect to continue writing? You bet. So far, my career has fallen into two twelve-year periods, twelve years pre-book contract, then twelve years from that first book publication to book number fifty. I’m wondering if God has another twelve years of writing ahead for me! And what they might hold.

God seems to be redirecting me slightly. These last few years of intensive historical novella writing have been a time of growth and blessing. Now I believe I may write a little more contemporary. Seek to write longer books.

God is also answer my heart’s desire to write devotionals and more nonfiction. I am currently working on two projects for Barbour: Prayers for the upcoming 12 Months Guide to Better Prayer for Women (February 2018) and the 2019 edition of Daily Wisdom.

My View Through My Door columns will now also appear in the weekly Wednesday Warblers blog from CAN marketing (http://christianauthorsnetwork.com/express-line-prayers/) in collaboration with other CAN authors.

August has seen the release of several collections. I’ll highlight a couple of them today.

Kind of Love

Kind of Love

One of my goals at fifty books is to pull more of my books into single author collections. A Small Town Kind of Love is another such collection.

I’m not that fond of small towns myself, but I have adapted and thrived in small-town living. So have the heroines in these three stories, whether they fought the choice (Michelle in Plainsong), fell into it (Mary Anne in Hidden Dreams)—or actively chose farm life (Elyssa in To Riches Again.)

Civil War Brides

Civil War Brides

The very latest collection from Forget Me Not Romances, Civil War Brides, includes my story Love’s Raid. Love’s Raid is a Maple Notch story, inspired by St Albans Raid, the northernmost battle of the Civil War.

Leave comments throughout this month for a chance to win one of these two great collections.

WRITING NEWS & TIPS: FINDING IDEAS: HISTORICAL EVENTS

I know this will primarily apply to writers of historical fiction, but I bet your creative minds can find a way to apply it to contemporary as well.

I love finding historical tidbits that suggest a story. Oh, the big events—wars, the Great Depression, the Oregon Trails, etc.—provide the backdrop for many a story. Others—such as the Battle of the Alamo—are too sacred to be the actual setting. I found that out when I tried to have my hero’s father died at the Alamo in Lone Star Trail. I took the wise course and have him die sometime during Texas’s war for independence from Mexico. Even some smaller events, such as the Mason County, Hoo Doo War, are probably too big for a story except from a real expert–my subject in A Ranger’s Trail.

My favorite place to look is historical timelines. In developing the Texas Trails series with Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonnell, we used facts as diverse a cowboy strike in the 1880s, a train blown up for a movie in the 1890s, and children raised as Indian captives in the 1850s. I would have written about the start of kindergartens in Dallas if the story had continued. Maybe I still should.

This is especially good is you know the place and/or the time your story must take place. In looking for Vermont’s involvement with the Civil War (for the third book of the Maple Notch Days series), I learned that the northernmost battle in the Civil War took place in Vermont! Confederates came south from Canada, robbed three banks, and declared the town of St. Albans a victory for the Conferacy. Voila, the nearby town of Maple Notch had imitation bank robberies.

Other times, a fact finds you. In looking at steamships (a nice romantic setting, don’t you think?), I learned there were female steamboat captains. Oh, I had to write that story: A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas, where Blanche becomes captain.

Just looking through books about the history of quilts gave me dozens of ideas.

So if you like history—look around you and find those treasures in the most unexpected places.

NEWS

(report about Nano progress)

Christmas Mail Order Angels, Volume 2 (Books 7-11) was released on November 6th.

Christmas Mail Order Angels: The Complete Anthology will be published on December 1st.

Pray for me as I attempt to finish Beginnings: 12 Weeks in Genesis – Deuteronomy for publication in January.

CALENDAR

7 DAYS LEFT to leave a comment to win a copy of Tobogganing for Two or Home Front Dreams.

November 23rd: Book excerpt from Tobogganing for Two with a recipe for a chance to win a copy of the book. http://www.shannonvannatter.com/blog

November 27th: My romantic interview with a recipe for turkey leftovers for a chance to win An Advent Journey through Matthew. http://www.shannonvannatter.com/blog

I know this will primarily apply to writers of historical fiction, but I bet your creative minds can find a way to apply it to contemporary as well.

I love finding historical tidbits that suggest a story. Oh, the big events—wars, the Great Depression, the Oregon Trails, etc.—provide the backdrop for many a story. Others—such as the Battle of the Alamo—are too sacred to be the actual setting. I found that out when I tried to have my hero’s father died at the Alamo in Lone Star Trail. I took the wise course and have him die sometime during Texas’s war for independence from Mexico. Even some smaller events, such as the Mason County, Hoo Doo War, are probably too big for a story except from a real expert–my subject in A Ranger’s Trail.

My favorite place to look is historical timelines. In developing the Texas Trails series with Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonnell, we used facts as diverse a cowboy strike in the 1880s, a train blown up for a movie in the 1890s, and children raised as Indian captives in the 1850s. I would have written about the start of kindergartens in Dallas if the story had continued. Maybe I still should.

This is especially good is you know the place and/or the time your story must take place. In looking for Vermont’s involvement with the Civil War (for the third book of the Maple Notch Days series), I learned that the northernmost battle in the Civil War took place in Vermont! Confederates came south from Canada, robbed three banks, and declared the town of St. Albans a victory for the Conferacy. Voila, the nearby town of Maple Notch had imitation bank robberies.

Other times, a fact finds you. In looking at steamships (a nice romantic setting, don’t you think?), I learned there were female steamboat captains. Oh, I had to write that story: A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas, where Blanche becomes captain.

Just looking through books about the history of quilts gave me dozens of ideas.

So if you like history—look around you and find those treasures in the most unexpected places.

NEWS

(report about Nano progress)

Christmas Mail Order Angels, Volume 2 (Books 7-11) was released on November 6th.

Christmas Mail Order Angels: The Complete Anthology will be published on December 1st.

Pray for me as I attempt to finish Beginnings: 12 Weeks in Genesis – Deuteronomy for publication in January.

CALENDAR

7 DAYS LEFT to leave a comment to win a copy of Tobogganing for Two or Home Front Dreams.

November 23rd: Book excerpt from Tobogganing for Two with a recipe for a chance to win a copy of the book. http://www.shannonvannatter.com/blog

November 27th: My romantic interview with a recipe for turkey leftovers for a chance to win An Advent Journey through Matthew. http://www.shannonvannatter.com/blog

November 29th: Advent Sunday: An Advent Journey through Matthew available for 99 cents from now through Christmas. http://www.amazon.com/ADVENT-JOURNEY-THROUGH-MATTHEW-2015-ebook/dp/B016NIEJLI/

 

OCTOBER’S BOOKS

Thanks to all of you who took part in my very first blog giveaway! Liz Dent won A Texas Christmas and Cynthia won Romanian Rhapsody.

PSST: Tuesday in NATIONAL GERMAN AMERICAN DAY. Love’s Glory (http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Christian-Historical-Romance-Holidays-ebook/dp/B00YSY018K/) is free all day, and four books of the Texas Trails series will be given away at my German American Celebration at https://www.facebook.com/events/448793798655051

Now let’s discover the books being offered this month. Two lucky winners will one of the books. You increase your chances by commenting on the weekly blogs, liking my page on Facebook, following me on Twitter and signing up for my newsletter. Mention the Facebook, Twitter, and the newsletter in your comments.

FINAL MOA vol 1This month’s new book was released on September 25th: Christmas Mail Order Angels: A Collection of 6 Historical Romantic Novellas of Mail Order Brides.

A few years ago I developed an idea for a long book about twelve mail order couples. A miner who hadn’t made much money panning for gold talks his best friend, the well-to-do store owner, into advertising for mail order brides.

After research, I decided the Black Hills Gold Rush of the 1870s was the perfect setting. Think Deadwood, but the discovery involved Wyoming as well. I chose Crook County, Wyoming, since I’ve actually spent some time in the state.

As for the bride, my store owner wanted to seek a bride from his father’s home town—Merville, Maine—like Abraham’s instructions to Eliezer.

I never finished the long book, so when I jumped into indie publishing, I realized 12 couples=12 novellas! I wrote the first book, Jacob’s Christmas Dream, which pairs the store-owner with the Merville pastor’s daughter. This month’s offering contains the first six stories from the eleven that ended up in the collection. In addition to my novella, Christmas Mail Order Angels includes The Reliable Cowboy by Susan Page Davis, Christmas Gold by Cynthia Hickey, A Christmas Rose by Brandi Boddie, Christmas Fire by Jennifer AlLee, and Cooking Up Christmas by Teresa Ives Lily.

Christmas Mail Order Angels: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Mail-Order-Angels-collection-ebook/dp/B015RN2J8U/

Jacob’s Christmas Dream: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Christian-Historical-Romantic-Novella-ebook/dp/B013J2AR76/haveDarlene Franklin lone star trail

For the featured release, I turned to Oktoberfest and German American Day on October 6th for inspiration. Three of my books focus on German American immigrants,

The featured book, Lone Star Trail, is the first book at the Texas Trails series. It’s set in 1847, a critical time in Texas’s history: Texas became part of the United States and was the battleground of the War with Mexico. More importantly, the German Verein was in full swing. Thousands of Germans emigrated to Texas in the 1830s and 1840s, settling dozens of communities, such as New Braunfels to Fredericksburg. My hero, Jud Morgan, lost his father at the Alamo; he resents the Germans flooding Victoria, but he can’t help being drawn to Wande Fleischer. Relive the experience of the German immigrants and the excitement of the era in Lone Star Trail at http://www.amazon.com/Lone-Star-Trail-Texas-Book-ebook/dp/B005NFG4VG/

Other of my books celebrating German Americans:

A Ranger’s Trail http://www.amazon.com/Rangers-Trail-Texas-Book-ebook/dp/B006YYGUFK/

Love’s Glory http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Christian-Historical-Romance-Holidays-ebook/dp/B00YSY018K/