Welcome back, Darlene. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I describe myself as a child of the Sixties; the social issues of racism, poverty, and the obvious points of the feminism movement resonate with me to this day. (Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my heroes!) I even wrote a novel, which will probably never be published, about the
bus boycott. Montgomery
A Ranger’s Trail explores a different kind of racism, one that still exists today, between native-born and immigrants. In Mason County, Texas, in the 1870s, even second generation Americans were still called “Germans,” compared to the “Americans” who had migrated to
Texas from places like Tennessee and .
Racial mistrust fueled as much of the Kentucky
war as did the issues of cattle rustling, with two sides entering a blood feud. Mason County
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Pride’s Fall, one book of a three book series set in the
will be out soon from Heartsong Presents. Pride’s
Fall is set in 1899 Mesa Verde, .
Carla Gade wrote Shadowcatcher’s
Daughter, set in Colorado New Mexico and Colorado; and Susan Page Davis added Almost .
This fall, I will have three books come out: A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas (my “steamboat story”); Calico Brides, a novella anthology set in 1870s Kansas; and Merry Christmas, With Love in the contemporary anthology Postmark: Christmas.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I think it would be hilarious to sit down with Tyler Perry or Steve Harvey. As far as I know, they are both Christians, and all I know is whenever I see them, I can’t stop laughing.
James and I love watching both of them, too. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
My hero, Martin Luther King Jr.! I’d love to sit down with him and Rosa Parks. Two ordinary people who sparked a movement that changed a nation. One person can make a difference. And yet I so often feel like only one!
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Rejections are part of the process. Earlier in my writing career, I set a goal for who many submissions I would make. Submitting is under my control; acceptance or rejection isn’t. Over time, as I accumulated far more rejections than acceptances, I gained a sense about what worked for me, what I could sell, and what didn’t.
Also, I would encourage authors to move onto the next thing. Don’t continue polishing that first (or second or even third) manuscript if multiple editors have seen it and rejected it. Later, once your foot is in the door, that manuscript may sell. Or it may not. For now, accept it as a learning experience and try something new.
Tell us about the featured book.
TEXAS TRAILS: Doubt meets hope and fear gives way to faith in the Morgan family.
A RANGER’S TRAIL: When Leta Denning’s husband is murdered at the beginning of the Mason County War, she wants one thing: revenge. Buck Morgan, a Texas Ranger called in to investigate, has ties to a German family involved in Denning’s death.
Buck’s ability to remain impartial and bring the murderer to justice has Leta anxious. As she struggles to keep her ranch afloat, Buck offers to help—all the while searching for the truth. A tentative trail emerges, one forged by respect and bound by vengeance and forgiveness.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Found not guilty of any wrongdoing. Praise the Lord.” Derrick Denning lifted his cup of coffee in a mock salute to his wife, Leta. “As the Good Book says, ‘Thou hast maintained my right and my cause.’ Though I feel bad about the fines the other fellows have to pay.
The Denning family sat around the table enjoying a celebratory dinner in their cabin on the D-Bar-D Ranch. Young Ricky clapped his hands on the table, although he didn’t know what they were celebrating. Leta looked into her husband’s eyes over their son’s head and smiled. The baby inside her stirred, as if contently joining in on the joy.
“I’ll read up on that new law about transporting cattle over county lines before I go on any more cattle drives. Right and legal aren’t always the same thing, and we want to be sure we stick on the side of the law.”
“It’s not right, the other men getting fined.” Leta’s brother Andy stopped shoveling beans into his mouth long enough to grumble. “They didn’t do nothing wrong. The cattle belonged to Mr. Roberts and Mr. Thomas.”
When her husband was arrested for helping M.B. Thomas and Allen Roberts take their cattle to
from , the ordeal filled her with
anguish. Local German cattlemen had accused both Thomas and Roberts of stealing
cattle. In the court case, six of the cowhands were found guilty and fined $25
a head. Yet the court dismissed Derrick’s case due to insufficient evidence. Mason County
The German cattlemen had grumbled at the verdict. Tensions between Anglos and Germans already ran high, since German settlers had opposed seceding from the
Union during the War Between the States. Now
was full of cattle ranchers who were angry that justice for cattle
stealing—real and supposed—was not being fulfilled through the law. German
settlers and people native to Mason County alike were
I’ve read all the books in this series so far, and I know I’ll love this one just as much. How can readers find you on the Internet?On facebook and at http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com
It's always a pleasure to have you drop by, Darlene.
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A Ranger's Trail (The Texas Trail Series) - paperback
A Ranger's Trail (The Texas Trail Series) - Kindle
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