Sunday, December 11, 2011

CHRISTMAS AT BARNCASTLE INN - Darlene Franklin - Free Book

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m not entirely sure—my nose has been to the grindstone while I’m working on three manuscripts due by March 1st! After that, I have nothing . . . and trusting God to open the right doors at the right time.

What I hope for is the opportunity to write more trade-length historical romance.

Tell us a little about your family.
My family has changed composition in recent years. I lost my daughter and then my mother; but my daughter-in-law has presented me with two beautiful grandbabies. That makes me, my son, his wife, and their four children. Nothing restores my spirits like Grandma time.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
It’s changed it a little. If I don’t watch out, I end up reading non-stop mystery/thriller fiction! So now I add in a healthy dose of historical fiction. So many wonderful authors—I feel so inadequate in comparison! I also read a lot of resource books in preparation for writing.

Then don’t compare yourself to them. God gave you different books to write. What are you working on right now?
I just finished the rough draft for A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas, which will come out with Barbour next fall.  A straight-laced Victorian maiden inherits a steamboat—together with the resident gambler!  Now I’m working on five novellas—one Christmas novella (Merry Christmas, With Love, coming in Postmark: Christmas next year) and all four novellas in a collection called Calico Brides.

What outside interests do you have?
I’m involved with our local ACFW chapter. I play piano for our church choir. Aside from that, I keep busy writing full time.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes the setting is suggested by the publisher or my agent. I have written several books set in Texas, because “Texas sells.” (Check any booklist and see how many are in the Lone Star state!) 

Christmas at Barncastle Inn is my fourth book with a Vermont setting. The other three short historical romances have been repackaged as Maple Notch Brides. Lynette Sowell and I roomed together at ACFW conference one year. We’re both native New Englanders (now living in the southwest) and loved the idea of a Vermont setting for a Christmas story. Lots of beautiful Christmas snow in the Green Mountains!

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I greatly admire Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr.—if I could get over my awe of speaking with them. Eleanor Roosevelt lived what she believed, and made such a huge difference, in spite of personal tragedy. Jackie Kennedy raised two children who appear solidly grounded—in spite of the very public spotlight. And what can I say about King? He was God’s prophet to 20th century America.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That’s hard to answer. I have learned so much of what I know by doing . . . Perhaps I wish I had understood marketing better. The best approach, I believe, is to focus on a publisher and write with them in mind. But like most authors, I wrote what I wanted and then thought “who might like to buy this?”

In saying that, I don’t mean that I try to jump on trends. But if I have a choice of two subjects—one, say, of an alternate timeline when the South won the Civil War, and the second, a prairie romance—I work on the prairie romance, because that might sell.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Faithfulness in living with pain. Trusting His strength when I am so often weak.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Learn your craft. Learn to write well.

Fellowship with other writers, through local or online critique groups, organizations such as ACFW.

Write regularly.

Tell us about the featured book.
You can experience Christmas during the time period of your choice—if you rent the entire Barncastle Inn of Vermont for the whole week of Christmas. When they first decided to do this, Jayne Barncastle is determined to prove to her parents it will work. Will she overlook her own chance for romance in the process? Will a World War II era White Christmas recreate a scene of forgiveness for an embittered couple? Can a pirate’s lair be the place of fun-filled reunion for old lovers? When coworkers assist in recreating the first Christmas for the inn, will they discover romance?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Lena, this is the first page from my story, First Christmas, which appears last in the book:

Waverly Coe peeked past the receptionist’s desk at the people and patients in the waiting room. Doc Alec devoted Thursday afternoons to small animals. His staff had scheduled shots for Mrs. Jamison’s yellow Lab puppy and an operation to prevent young Robbie’s Velvet from increasing the surplus population of cats in Bennington County. The doorbell rang and Waverly caught sight of a familiar angular face pushing a baby stroller. Was it that time of day already?

When the stroller came to a stop, Waverly heard smacking and whimpering sounds, accompanied by the yips of Mrs. P’s dachshund. If Waverly didn’t take immediate action, her baby Cinnamon would erupt in full-fledged cries.
Waverly went out to the waiting room. “Hi, Mrs. P. How’s she been today?”

“She’s been a doll, as always.” Mrs. Paulson, Waverly’s landlady, took care of the baby during the day.

Waverly bent over the stroller and looked at the auburn-haired infant, blue eyes scrunched together, chewing on the fist in her perfect bow-like mouth. What a miracle that God had allowed this miracle to come from her sin. “Hi there, Miss Sunshine.”

At the sound of her mother’s voice, Cinnamon slowly swiveled her head until she found Waverly’s face. She kicked, all arms and legs.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a web page/blog at I’m also on Facebook.

Thank you, Darlene, for stopping by my blog.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog. Christmas at Barncastle Inn

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


wfnren said...

Love these novella's, and this one has great sounding stories in it.


Jo said...

Me, Me~ Please enter me. It sounds so interesting.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Linda Kish said...

I love Christmas-themed books.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Aizess said...

A Christmas novella! Please enter me in this giveaway!

I live in New York

Angela said...

This sounds like a good book. Thank you for the chance to win.

Angela in Florida

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Merry said...

I would love to go to a place like Barncastle Inn with a recreated theme, so fun!
Merry in TX

Darlene Franklin said...

All four authors looked forward to writing our Barncastle books . . . we wish we could do more! (Easter? Valentine's Day?)It was fun to drop in for a visit.

Darlene Franklin said...

And Angela? My novella next year is set in Florida! Postmark: Christmas (the book title) features four stories with ties to the Christmas, Florida post office.

scottsgal said...

I love any Christmas story - thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Darlene Franklin said...

I know what you mean! I love watching Christmas movies for much the same reason, they get me in the spirit!

Lourdes said...

Would love to win. Thank you

Lourdes in Huntington, NY

marybelle said...

"Christmas at Barncastle Inn" looks just wonderful. I do love a Christmas story.

Mary P


Judy said...

I too love novella's. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I would love to win. "Christmas at Barncastle Inn" sounds like it would be a great read.

Judy from Indiana

Robyn said...

This sounds like a wonderful book to curl up by the fire to read. Can't wait.
coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

apple blossom said...

please enter me I love Christmas books
I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

CarlybirdK said...

The author, the publisher, the title, the cover. Everything about this book tells me I would love it. Thank you!
Carly in NC

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds like a great story! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

RubyKat said...

This sounds interesting and I love Vermont. Please enter my name.
Karen from New York near Albany.

Ginger said...

I love, love, love Darlene's books. Please enter me in the drawing.

Ginger in AL

God's Jewel said...

Love the sounding of this book!

I'm Julie Waldvogel from West Hempstead, New York.

Deborah M said...

I love Darlene's books, especially her cozies. Would love a Christmas book! I live in the north Georgia mountains.
Deborah M.
debbiejeanm at gmail dot com

Faith's Grandma said...

Would love to win this book...sounds great....Faith's Grandma/Ohio

Kameko said...

Darlene, what a wonderful story-line: Christmas in whatever era you wish. I'd have to go for something similar to "Holiday Inn" or "White Christmas" myself. If "Christmas at Barncastle Inn" is anything like the rest of your books, it will be a treasure to read.

Many blessings to you and Lena,

Oklahoma City, OK shereads{at}cox{dot}net

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks and God Bless!
Blanch, N.C.

Abigail Richmond said...

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!"

Ingrid said...

Lena and Darlene, thank you for the great Interview, I always look forward to them.
Darlene , so sorry you lost your Daughter and Mom, my heart goes out to you.
Your book sounds awesome, please add me to your contest.
Blessings to all.

I live in S.Illinois

Sarah said...

Looks very interesting!!
Please enter me in the drawing.
I love Christmas time.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

kmannrn said...

Sounds like good stories. I look forward to reading them.


Darlene Franklin said...

A big thanks to everyone who has stopped by--to those of you who love Christmas stories, to those of you who love MY stories, to those of you trying something new!

Darlene Franklin said...

Here is my question for you: If you could choose the era when you wanted to celebrate Christmas, when would it be?

Darlene Franklin said...

Debbie, I wish I was writing more cozies. . .but in the meantime, I truly enjoy historical romance and Christmas stories.

Darlene Franklin said...

Ingrid, losing my mom and daughter has taught me the real celebration of Christmas in a new way--God with us, beyond the presents and the music and the lights. Praise the Lord!

Cindy W. said...

Oh my! I so love a good Christmas book and Christmas at Barncastle Inn sounds wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy. :)

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Anonymous said...

Please enter me...would love to read this

Angie Adair said...

I'm anxious to read this book!I'm from Illinois

Anonymous said...

love to read TX teddytukufu(at)gmail(dot)com

Mama Cat said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win! I would love to read this, just from learning that Waverly is working for a vet (I love animals), and that she sees amazing blessing - her baby - coming even as a result of past sin. Wow! What a first page! God bless you in all that you do! I believe I read your Maple Notch books and possibly others for that publisher - thank you for ministering to and demonstrating faith in very difficult situations! Mama Cat - Jeanie in Phoenix

Darlene Franklin said...

I have to love anyone who calls herself "Mama Cat." (Ask my Talia!)Thank you so much for sharing how my books have ministered to you.

holdenj said...

Barncastle Inn seems like a lovely place for a story! Thanks!
Julie in MN

rubynreba said...

Beautiful cover and it looks like a beautiful read. Love to read this book.
from Iowa

Susan H said...

I love Christmas books! What a fun idea, I'd like to stay at Barncastle Inn.

I'm from Texas.