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 ( 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.


I’ve been studying and memorizing my way through the book of Isaiah—not all of the book, but verses here and there. I’m almost done, memorizing from Isaiah 58. The words jumped out at me:

I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.

Isaiah 58:11-12

I can’t think of a much emptier place than a nursing homes, and I have plenty of rubble from my past to use for building something new.

This isn’t meant to be a devotional. . .but that’s my big news for this month. This year. God is doing something magnificent in my life. I’m excited about prayer, spending more and more time in prayer—something I’ve always wanted but never experienced before except as drudgery.

The verses above blew me away – what does God want to do with my fix-me-upper life?

As I mentioned on January 4, I feel called to write devotions from Genesis to Revelation, from all sixty-six books. For five days, I made the first book, Beginnings: 30 Days in Genesis – Exodus, free, hoping people hoping to read through the Bible this year would pick it up. I prayed for a tremendous blessing.

137 people took advantage of the offer. And not a one has paid for it yet.

So, a small beginning. As I’m editing the devotionals I wrote on Leviticus, I’m thinking to myself, these are dry and hard compared to Genesis. I find them exciting, but will anyone else? Who’ll buy a devotional that begins with Leviticus, anyhow? I suspect it stands high on the list of people’s least favorite book of the Bible.

And yet—wanting to ask God for a blessing. Will it be like the talents, where the master gave the tenant five more talents in addition to the five they already had? In that case, I’d be asking for 274.

Or should I ask God for the seed sown in good soil—30 times (4110)? 60 times (8220)? 100 times (13,700)?

Or should I ask God for the hundredfold blessing for those who forsake mother and father—that 13,700?

And as I write this, I am listening to Joel Olsteen talking about a “second touch,” the best part of my life still in my future. . .

None of my planning or promoting or praying (or writing) can make any of that happen. I’ll have to trust God to bring it to the right readers.

On a happier note, I just finished listening to the audio recording of my first mystery, Gunfight at Grace Gulch, and I loved it! Two of my books—Gifts of Christmas and Jacob’s Dream—are already available in audio.


Here’s praying you all had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a blessed New Year! Today I’m introducing the first of my guests with writing tips, Jeanette Levellie. But first I’ll catch up with my writing news.

Wednesday is your last chance to leave a comment for a chance to win An Advent Journey through Matthew and 365 Fun Bible Facts. Please sign up and encourage others to do so! You can also go to past posts from December and leave messages.

Since last we spoke, I finished the rough draft of Infusion of Love, my Revolutionary War entry in the Teacup Courtship Novella series. I also sent Beginnings: 30 Days in Genesis-Exodus to the editor, and hope to have that published by mid-January. I’m working on edits to my new mystery, Case Closed, and the teacup novella.

No more blog appearances until my Great Escapes Book Tour highlighting my first mystery, Gunfight at Grace Gulch, starts on January 11.


Now let’s meet Jeanette Levellie. Her newest book is Shock the Clock:jeanette levellie Time Management Strategies for Writers and Other Creatives. She is also the author of Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, The Heart of Humor, and hundreds of articles. She is the mother of two adults, grandmother of three children and servant of four (cats). Visit her at

*Jeanette is giving away a copy of her book, Shock the Clock, with this post. Leave your email like belovedfranklin (at) msn (dot) com to be in the drawing.*

Top 10 Time Management Tips for Writers

  1. Ask the Lord to lead you on the unique writing/publishing path He wants for you, where you’ll be fulfilled and successful. Follow His leading, not others. He is the Shepherd; they are fellow-sheep.
  2. Take a book with you everywhere—you can read while you wait in line at the post office, at a restaurant, and rides at Disneyworld.
  3. Break chores down into baby steps. Satan wants us to believe we must finish tasks in one sitting, so we’ll get discouraged and never start. Every book and article began with the first sentence.
  4. Limit TV watching to a few shows. Don’t simply watch—analyze to become a better writer. What plot lines, characterization, and dialogue works, and what doesn’t? Apply those elements to your writing.
  5. Keep pen and notebook or dictation machine with you, to write down ideas as they come. This includes your bedside table—some of the richest ideas come at night, when your mind is relaxed.
  6. Jeanette Levellie Shock the Clock coverKeep your goals visible—if you see them often, they’ll get done. Use day planners, online tools, or whiteboards—whatever motivates you best.
  7. Reward yourself when you finish a less-than-enjoyable task.
  8. Set the timer for 15 minutes, half an hour, or an hour. Don’t stop writing ‘til it dings.
  9. Make your goals realistic and measurable. Put dates on them, so you can check them off or erase them when you reach them. Share them with others who will hold you accountable.
  10. Know your distracters, so you can avoid or manage them. Mute your phone and email notification; put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door; go to the library, café or park—whatever it takes to get the muse flowing.Adapted from Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives by Jeanette Levellie


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 ( is free all day, and four books of the Texas Trails series will be given away at my German American Celebration at

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:

Jacob’s Christmas Dream: 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

Other of my books celebrating German Americans:

A Ranger’s Trail

Love’s Glory