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.


FINAL MOA vol 1Before we dive into November’s featured books, let me share an exciting development for this month: Since November has five Mondays, several authors in the Christmas Mail Order Angels series will be stopping by on November 30th to share a few words about their stories. Stop by for a treat!

This month both books honor our veterans, although the new release is a God-incidence.

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tobogganing coverThis month’s new release is Tobogganing for Two, part of the Love’s Sporting Chance series.

The history of this series is convoluted. A year ago I released my first indie book, An Apple for Christmas, part of the highly successful Christmas Traditions. The group clicked and came up with two additional proposals. Barbour Publishing has contracted with us for Blue Ribbon Brides.

Cynthia Hickey picked up the third idea, Love’s Sporting Chance, for Forget Me Not Publishing. I originally planned to set the story in Vermont, so of course I chose a winter sport. Tobogganing seemed the easiest to learn about. (I’m not much good at athletics). I mixed up tobogganing, my faith, and Edith Wharton’s classic Ethan Frome for Tobogganing for Two.

But then I realized a tobogganing story could also be a Thanksgiving story, and I could cross promote it with my Holidays of the Heart series. So I moved the story west and looked for a town with a Thanksgiving name. It had to be far enough north for snow in October or November, and have enough rolling hills for toboggans. Plymouth, Nebraska, fit the bill.

The hero of Tobogganing for Two was a doctor during the Civil War, so the book will be offered for free on November 11th, in honor of Veterans Day.

Tobogganing for Two is also the part of a collection called Love’s Sporting Chance:

home front normal

My featured older book. I chose Home Front Dreams in honor of Veterans Day. It’s the last historical romance in the Maple Notch series. Clarinda Finch takes over as mayor when her husband dies early in WWII. Her sons jump into the war, and her love interest is a WWII vet.

In studying Vermont history in the early 20th century, I read about a woman who became mayor after her husband’s death, and I knew I wanted to write that story. Since the book completed a series about three siblings, I saved the story about love the second time around for last. Susan Page Davis suggested I use plane spotters in the story—that becomes the contribution of Clarinda’s daughter. I was also looking at a lot of quilt designs and stories from that period, and wanted to include a quilt in the story. Mix those together, with a heavy dose of patriotic fervor, and you have Home Front Dreams.


People often ask, “where do you get ideas?” So I thought I would share a few idea-generating tips over the next few blogs.

My answer in short is, “everywhere around you.” Go to a mall. Sit in a public area and eavesdrop. A single scene can suggest an entire book.

For example, I noticed three young girls at a restaurant. Their completely different personalities were revealed by their clothing choices: one was athletic, short-haired, with sneakers and leggings. The long-haired girl wore a dress with flowered sandals. The third dressed in the current fashions and her hair just-so. I could picture a women’s fiction book following the lives of three very different sisters as adults.

It could be as simple as something you see out the car window. On one long car trip, I passed a castle on a hillside in Kentucky. That image stayed with me until I wrote Plainsong, where an American soldier built a castle for his English war bride.

Another sight was a single worn boot lying on the street. That could be Cinderella—or a mystery—or in sci fi. Take your pick.


An Advent Journey matthewAn Advent Journey through Matthew

Take a step away from the busy days that fill Advent. Begin with the miraculous birth and get caught up in the story which adds layers of understanding of Jesus’s extraordinary life.



October 28th: Visit me at Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog for a chance to win Tobogganing for Two at

October 29: Visit me at Jo Huddleston’s blog for a chance to win Jacob’s Christmas Dream

October 31: Final day to enter the drawing for Christmas Mail Order Angels or Lone Star Trail. Comment on each week’s blog post and mention whether you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, newsletter, for additional chances to win.

November 4th: Visit Emilie Hendryx’s blog for an interview and a chance to win Tobogganing for Two at

Question for commenters: What is your favorite Halloween candy?


This might sound like a devotional, but it’s not meant to be. It’s about a change of attitude, a way that changed a problem into an asset.

One of my faithful Facebook friends (waving hi, Chris!) sent me a copy of the book The War Room. Without giving away the story, I’ll just say that both the mentor (Clara) and the mentee (Elizabeth) transform their closets into prayer rooms. You know, like the verse that says “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6)

I share a closet with my roommate. It’s covered by a curtain, not a door. Our stuff fills it to overflowing. But even if I had a spare closet, I don’t know if I would use it as a prayer room. I once spent a half hour in a closed closet, imagining I was trapped in a train wreck. I couldn’t take it.

But then . . .

On the last couple of weekends, I’ve been left unattended in the bathroom for an hour numerous times. I have completed one word search book after another while waiting. I have complained about it. I’ve agonized over the lost time I could have spent writing or resting.

One day I looked up from the word search I had just finished and saw the dimensions of the small room. I thought about all the hours I spent there.

That’s when I realized, This is my prayer closet.

Now getting stuck on the toilet is an adventure. Will the aide come quickly? Or will I have time to my prayer journal, fashioned after The War Room?

Thinking of the bathroom as my prayer closet has changed me in other ways. Who else can I pray for? Whom do I know who isn’t saved, except for my young grandchildren? Oh, how about him . . .and her. . .I never even asked. . .and her brother is struggling with alcoholism? Add it to the list.

As an added bonus, I have rediscovered joy.

Oh, and I haven’t had to wait for an hour since that discovery. Don’t worry. I still have half hours to pray.

An Advent Journey matthewP.S. Speaking of prayer time . . .I just released my new devotional, An Advent Journey through Matthew: Check it out at




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

September’s Books

Each month I will feature of my new releases, as well as one of my older books. Two lucky winners will one of the books. You increase your chances by commenting on the weekly blog, liking my page on Facebook, following me on Twitter and signing up for my newsletter.

The winners will be announced the following month. The winners for September will be announced on October 2.


(Historical Romance)

This month’s new book, A Texas Christmas, promises romances about “six unconventional women.” My heroine, Mary “Polly” Jessup is the oldest of motherless five-six children. Their father’s income as a bank teller only stretches so far; and when his failing memory causes him to use the bank’s money, Polly is left with an impossible choice.

If her father’s health wasn’t worry enough, she’s dealing with heartbreak. The man she thought promised to marry her before he left for college came home—with a fiancé.

Will The Face of Mary solve Polly’s problems in time?

A Texas Christmas includes by stories by myself, Ramona K. Cecil, Lena Nelson Dooley, Pamela Griffin, Cathy Marie Hake, and Kathleen Y’Barbo.

Purchase on Amazon

The Face of Mary is also included in A Woodland Christmas: Four Couples Find Love in the Piney Woods in East Texas.

Purchase on Amazon



(Contemporary Romance)

Back to the book that started it all. I wrote two books before I wrote Romanian Rhapsody, but I consider those a learning experience. Tracy Peterson recommended the Heartsong Presents purchase the story. Years later, I got the contract; and Romanian Rhapsody came out in 2005—ten years ago.

Romanian Rhapsody is the most autobiographical of my books. Writers are told to “write what you know about.” Well, I knew about music, and touring groups. That’s how my hero and heroine meet. Experts also advise us to “write what you’re passionate about.” I’m passionate about missions, and love the never-ending stream of different nationalities joining our country. At the time when I planned the book, Romanian orphans were frequently in the news—so I sent Steve and Carrie to Romania. They clash when they both want to adopt the same orphan.

Romanian Rhapsody should come with a warning label: be prepared for tears. Guess which cardinal rule of writing romance that I broke?!

It’s the first book in the Colorado Melodies series, which are listed below.

Romanian Rhapsody is available at Purchase on Amazon

Book 2, Plainsong, Purchase on Amazon

Book 3, Knight Music, Purchase on Amazon

Colorado Melodies, Purchase on Amazon