Reviews for “Small-Town Bachelor”

Small-Town Bachelor

The struggling single mom is doing her best to raise her three kids. But when her eldest son is caught skipping school, she needs help. Thankfully, truant officer Garrett Sawtelle is on her side. Soon Verity is turning more and more to the caring educator, who’s awakening tender feelings she can’t afford to act on.

Garrett wants to make a difference. He knows it’s against the rules to get too close to the families he counsels. But the spunky widow and her children are fast becoming part of this bachelor’s dreams for the future. Can he convince Verity that, together, they can build something real and lasting?

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Single mom Verity Clark has her hands full! Widowed five years before, the family is still grieving both husband and father. When the oldest son Keenan begins to act out by skipping school, Verity knows she needs help. Truant officer Garrett Sawtelle steps into their lives and things will never be the same! Dedicated to turning young lives around, he begins to care for this family more than he imagined. Has God put these two together for a happily ever after?

I related to Verity in a small way. Having been a single mom once, I can understand the struggles of everyday life & just trying to make ends meet. She’s riddled with guilt when things begin to take a wrong turn with her son. When reinforcements come in the form of Garett, can she rely on both him & the Lord to work things for the better for her family? I really fell in love with Garrett! He has a real heart for wanting to help young teens stay the right course. He’s the kind of man that I can admire, he’s Godly, believes in the power of prayer, and is tender hearted. He begins to not only care about Verity, but for her children as well. I enjoyed reading their love story! Filled with faith, love, overcoming through God & a tender romance riddled with obstacles to overcome, this story touched my heart. It shows the everyday real life of two flawed people who put their trust & hope in God!

Thank you Darlene for a touching story filled with hope in the Lord!



A very good read. An insight into a widow’s problems with 3 children. Along comes our hero but she isn’t sure just how close she should get. Is it time? You need to read it for yourself.



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 — January 7

I’ve come down with a stomach virus that’s sapping all of my energy. I’m making myself keep up with the book that’s due on February 1st, but aside from that, letting myself recover.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Do you choose a “word” for each year? I’ve been doing it in recent, and I’ve found it very helpful.

My word for 2018 is “New.”

I believe God is telling me that the new year will take me in exciting new directions. And that they won’t be anything I can predict. That generates a feeling of hopeful expectancy. Each day I wonder, “will it happen today, Lord?”

That attitude changes how I look at what I’m already doing. I wonder with glee, what is God going to do with this? And my new tinted glasses turn a rosy hue.

God has drenched me with blessings this Christmas week. Take those new glasses. I saw the optometrist last month and he ordered new glasses with a special tint to help me with the problems I’m having with bright light. A few weeks later, they told me I couldn’t get the glasses because I already received a new pair in July. I pointed out I never got those glasses.

When no one said anything further, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. I was waiting until after the holidays to ask for the prescription so I could get them elsewhere.

Yesterday the coordinator brought me the glasses I had ordered in November.

It changed my attitude about something as simple as a pair of new glasses. So I look forward to a year of growth and transformation.

All the while resting more, accepting the changes the age brings, removing the clutter from my activities to focus on what is important.

Join me on the journey!

P.S. I have no new books this month. Check next month when A 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer and All Roads Lead Home will release.

Writing News — December 31

Writing News this week:

Brainstorming: God has given me so many blessings this week, including a fairly idea for a book unlike anything I’ve ever done before (totally different genre). The fact it occurred to me on Christmas day makes it feel like it was a gift from God and I should write it.

I’m slowly polishing the proposal for Holidays of the Month Club. I’m moving from writing a 22K novella to a 75K full length book. I needed to develop a detailed synopsis to make sure I had enough material for a longer book. I wrote one, went back and studied it, rewrote it. Now I almost have too much for a book! But if that happens, I can cut out some of it. I had the rough draft earlier. Now I have a middle-stage proposal. Everything is there. Now I need to make sure it’s my best writing and that everything is complete and consistent.

Writing: I’ve completed 80% of the prayer book and staring down the barrel at the end of this ambitious project. I have grown and prospered in the project. Please pray that my enthusiasm won’t flag as I finish this offering.

I carved out a few weeks to finish a book my granddaughter asked me to write: Spirit: A Horse and a Girl. I’m about two-thirds of the way through this 16 chapter mid-grade chapter book.

Editing: I received back edits for the 2019 edition of Daily Wisdom for Women. Finished them and returned them to the editor. On the books I’m currently, my attention jumps back and forth from writing, editing, back to writing.

Marketing: My monthly column will now also appear in Pastor Resources.

All January long my publisher is holding a month-long New Year’s Eve party. Tons of GREAT prizes – check it out at

See you again next year!

2017 in Review

God is now here. He’s always been here, but it’s the first and only time I’ve been 63 in December, and I feel the weight of the years. I’m like Anna in the temple, worshipping God and praising Him that now at last I see the fulfillment of His promise. He multiple the twelve years I plowed into the craft of writing and multiplied them into a crop of fifty-two books and more.

But the books are what I do. They’re not who I am. God often uses writing to show me what He wants to do in me (and through me).

50 books isn’t about me. It’s about the God who fulfilled a promise and stamped His approval on my calling.

Take the abundance of nonfiction this year. God opened new doors and equipped me to write in ways and venues I never expected. God’s so in charge of that.

If teachers and preachers learn the most, so do writers as they put words on paper. Long before anyone else reads my words, I’ve offered them as a personal communication with God and they are transforming me!

More than that, God is answering my prayers in direct, measurable, exciting ways. I’m in awe. I’m just as sinful, self-willed, as always. There’s no how-to formula. It’s not anything I’ve done—it’s all gifts from God.

If I’ve learned anything from this year, it’s that a lifetime of sincere if faulty discipleship is worth it. Because not about the disciple, but about the Master—and He is everything He promised and more.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year

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?

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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]

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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.