Wednesday, July 01, 2015

MY CANDY VALENTINE - Darlene Franklin - One Free Ebook

AUTHOR BIO: Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont.

Dear Readers, Darlene and I met online years ago, because we were writing for the same publisher at that time. We’ve remained friends, and I love reading her stories.

Welcome back, Darlene. Why did you become an author?
I began writing in the aftermath of my divorce. After that book, I was hooked. Stories drive me. Just a few days ago I asked my editor about four possible series ideas. I suspect I’ll be writing until God takes the pen out of my hand—or the stories out of my mind.

If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?
I would love to be an effective teacher. I am a good teacher, but a terrible disciplinarian. I would love to teach groups of woman, but God has never opened that door.`1

If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?
Maybe in the 1950s. Everything seemed possible, science exploded, and I suspect I would have done the ostrich thing with the threat of the Cold War and wondered why kids liked Elvis. That is, if I was 60 in the 1950s.

What place in the United States have you not visited that you would like to?
I have wanted to visit California all my life. I grew up in Maine; I’d like to make it coast to coast. The farthest west I’ve traveled is Utah, but I’ve traveled through all the steps east of the Mississippi.

How about a foreign country you hope to visit?
I’d like to visit either Great Britain (each of the countries) or New Zealand. Perhaps return to Mexico or Spain and see how far my Spanish takes me. J

What lesson has the Lord taught you recently?
I probably have less than 15 years to live, and I live in a nursing home where I can see just how lost some of those years may be. I’m not trying to be morbid, but focused. I want to know the Lord more clearly, so that if I lose my mind, He still shines through. There are several precious senior saints here, and some of them are shining with His light in spite of their dementia.

It also means today to strive for that balance—spending time with the Lord, spending time with people, especially my family, exercising, and writing. My temptation is to squeeze as much writing in as possible; but isn’t healthy, and that’s not all God intends to do with my life.

Tell us about the featured book.
My Candy Valentine is a celebration of Valentine’s Day, but who doesn’t love chocolate all year long? The story takes place in the real town of Loveland, Oklahoma, in 1916. My heroine, Catrina Jensen, is a talented chocolatier. The hero, Gilbert Williams, comes to Loveland specifically to meet the Jensens, and make them an offer they can’t refuse. The more he gets to know Catrina, the more he wonders if the price is too high.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Catrina Jensen stepped back from her New Year’s display at the Jensen Mercantile. Now that Christmas had ended, she greeted 1916 in bold letters. Two cherubs held up a banner that read, “May All Your Dreams Come True.” A variety of merchandise designed to aid shoppers in realizing their dreams was spread across the table: a date book, to make plans to make the dreams come true: pens, a desk blotter, a sewing basket, and the like.

“Perfect,” she whispered under her breath.

A single clap alerted her to the presence of another person. Pasting a smile on her face, she turned around to greet the customer with the attention he or she deserved.

A man handsome enough to be Gilbert Blythe waited behind her. Anne Shirley would find the tall stranger swoon-worthy—hair smoothed back with the latest product and dressed in a slate gray sack coat with matching waistcoat that brought out highlights in his blue eyes. She found herself reaching her hand to her hair, to tuck away stray curls.

His eyes swept up and down and side to side. “It’s a tempting display.”

Warmth swept into her cheeks at the compliment.

“Male customers might respond more to Old Man Time and a New Year’s baby than cherubs.”

Cocking her head, she grudgingly admitted the truth of his comment. “I will change it. Thank you for speaking for the male half of the population.” What was she thinking? She extended her hand. “How may I assist you?”

“You may start by telling me your name.”

The man’s smile weakened Catrina’s knees, but she spoke with a clear voice. “Catrina Jensen.”

“Miss Jensen?” He placed the slightest emphasis on her surname.

“Yes, sir. I am the daughter of the owner.” Catrina lifted her head. “As the daughter of the owner, I am well acquainted with all the store’s merchandise. Whatever your needs, I can assist you.”

Again he parted his mouth in that dazzling smile. “I’m certain you can. In fact, your display here has reminded me of my need for office supplies for the New Year. I will take the desk pad, calendar, journal. . .” He continued until he had listed half the items on her table.

Catrina’s sales acumen perked up at his enthusiasm. “Let me show you the options we have available.”

Sell the customer quality, which might cost more than what they intended to buy. Someone prepared to buy half of her display surely had money to spare. They spent an hour discussing the benefits of different brands of pens, blotters, date books, and the like.

When he inquired about business cards, she mentioned a local printer. “Sir, you have the advantage of me. You know my name, but I don’t know yours.”

He laughed. “I’m Gilbert Williams.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Darlene, for sharing this book with us. I know that I and my readers will really enjoy finding out what comes next.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
My Candy Valentine (Holidays of the Heart Book 2)

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Melanie Backus said...

I love Darlene's books. Can't wait to read this one!

Melanie Backus, TX

Deanna Stevens said...

Hello Darlene, enjoyed learning more about you!
Deanna in Nebr. would like to read this :)

Brenda Arrington said...

Enjoyed reading about you. Sure hope I win this book. I live in VA. My email address is:

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Trixi said...

Darlene, your book excerpt drew me in immediately!! I would love to find out what happens.
I think it's wonderful that the Lord lays stories on your heart even from a nursing home! I pray that He will continue to do so. I can see your great love for Him just through this wonderful interview! Just keep your light shining for Him :-)

Trixi in OR

Edward Arrington said...

Interesting interview. I would love to win this for my wife.
Edward Arrington, Martinsville, VA