Tuesday, October 06, 2015

A TEXAS CHRISTMAS - Darlene Franklin - One Free Book

Dear Readers, today I’m introducing you to another of the authors of A Texas Christmas, and you’ll have another chance to win a copy.

Welcome back, Darlene. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
I dived into Indie, e-book publishing when the Heartsong book club closed down last year. I hope to continue writing with traditional publishers, especially novellas and devotionals.

Since I now have more freedom in choosing “what next,” I’m not certain what my focus will be. I’ve mainly written historical romance (which I love to read and write). I’d love to write more mysteries—but it’s a very different skill, and do I want to spend the time to develop it? I also hope to complete several devotional books.
           
Who knows? God may set me on an unexpected path. Now that I’m in a nursing home, with uncertain health, I’ve asked Him several times, “Am I still supposed to write?”  Every time I ask, I get another assignment, keeping me busy. I’ve stopped asking!

What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them?
I can’t physically attend any conferences. However, I taught a course at the At-Home Conference hosted by Karin Beery, for those members of ACFW who can’t attend. I have taught several times in the past. This year’s subject is on developing spiritual threads in our stories.
           
Even readers who complain that I use too much scripture in my stories admit that they do shed light on the story. In other words, I believe I have a gift for weaving spiritual truths into stories without getting too preachy. I loved having the opportunity.

If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?    
Oh, you’re putting me on the spot. The hot topic these days is self-publishing: do you aim for a traditional publisher or do you publish it on your own. How do you decide? What are the pitfuls of self-publishing? How can you make a success of it? I know at least two very successful Indie authors, Cindy Hickey and Lacy Williams, and would research a few others.

Yes, and some of the well-known, big name Christian authors have moved entirely to Indie publishing. It’s a whole new publishing world out there. How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
It’s very important to me. I belong to the local chapter (OCFW) and national (ACFW) of American Christian Fiction Writers. I also belong to Christian Authors Network (CAN).
           
ACFW keeps me in contact with the Christian writing community, new authors, new venues to publicize my work, opportunities to pass on what I have learned, a great research resource—not to mention the best support system in the world.  My mother couldn’t believe the love and care we received from ACFW when my daughter died several years ago.
           
CAN is more focused. All the members are professional authors. The group is dedicated primarily to marketing and has a close relationship with the Munce group, an association of independent Christian retailers.

Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?     
That’s hard in a nursing home. Last year I wrote devotions from the book of Matthew which my local church used during Lenten Sunday services. I donated a large number of books to the ladies’ group for their reading pleasure and to use as door prizes and pass along where needs arise.

At my new nursing home, one of the churches that visits has no pianist to accompany them. So I offered. My playing suffers from my arthritic fingers but God still uses me, all praise to Him.
           
I also try to get to know the people around me, patients and workers alike. I asked a housekeeper yesterday what he did outside of work. He treated me to a 15 minute lecture on his many and varied interests, pleased that someone wanted to listen. It was a reminder that I should ask more often.

There are places where you can minister to people in a nursing home, and I’m glad you’re finding them. Even in the two and half weeks I spent in rehab in August and September, God used me to touch some of the workers, nurses, and other residents. He is so awesome. Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?       
I’ll start with my family: my mother, whom I respect more and more the older I get. My children, Jaran and Jolene, both for the problems they caused me and for the joy they brought me.

My friend Karen from my 6 years in Tulsa, when my marriage was falling apart, and I had absolutely no self-confidence. She helped me see that my decisions, which felt rushed, were actually the result of a long-time consideration of the problems. I needed that confidence when I was left single, with two children traumatized by abuse.

The members (I’m cheating, using groups of people as one) of my first face-to-face writers’ group. In the days prior to ACFW, we

And if I was going to mention one more person, I would say Pastor Bill, who agreed to adopt me as a member of his church when he visited my roommate, and who continues to stay in touch and serve as an advocate for me even though he retired and I moved.

The obvious, before anything else, so obvious I didn’t say it—GOD!  Amen, forever and ever!

If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
Good question. How about, “God’s servant because He loved me first and always.”

I love it. Tell us about the featured book. 
A Texas Christmas puts together six novellas previously published elsewhere. My contribution is Face of Mary. In one of my most obvious of biblical parallels, I reimagine the story of Joseph and Mary’s courtship. “Joey” and “Polly” (Mary) has worshiped her best friend’s older brother Joey since childhood. She held on to a chance remark made by Joey to believe they were engaged. When he finishes law school, he returns home—engaged. The story goes on from there, with her father’s failing mental health and Joey’s disillusionment with his fiancé.

Please share the first page with us for my readers.         
Polly Jessup dallied longer than usual in the bedroom she shared with her two younger sisters. She wanted to look her best today. Not only was Jean Carpenter celeb rating her engagement to Abraham Mott, but Jean’s brother Joey had returned home after four years away.
           
Polly pulled her dark hair away from her face, but it continued to fall into a center part. Should she wear it up? No, at seventeen she was too young to dress her locks in the style of an old married matron, even if she did feel that way some days. Taking care of four younger brothers and sisters did that to a girl. She teased her fringe across her forehead, hoping they might curl.
           
Joey Carpenter. “I think I’ll marry you myself.” Her heart beat faster at the memory. How many times had she repeated his words when she learned a new verse from the Bible or studied something new? Even though she had retired from competition she continued to hide God’s Word in her heart. She hungered for it almost as much as she hungered for food, and prayed she would walk according to God’s law.
           
Did Joey even remember what he had said to her all those years ago? Would he mention it when he saw her today? She blushed. He had probably forgotten long ago.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Darlenefranklinwrites.com
Twitter: @darlene franklin

Thank you, Darlene, for sharing with us today. You're an inspiration to me, and I love your writing.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Texas Christmas - Christianbook.com
A Texas Christmas: Six Romances from the Historic Lone Star State Herald the Season of Love - Amazon
A Texas Christmas: Six Romances from the Historic Lone Star State Herald the Season of Love - Kindle

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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

67 comments:

Melissa Henderson said...

Wow! I am so anxious to read this book. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Darlene Franklin. Blessings to you. :-)

Caryl Kane said...

I LOVE Texas and Christmas! This books sounds wonderful. Lena, thank you for the giveaway.

Caryl K in TEXAS

collettakay said...

I love Christmas books! I'd love to win.

Colletta from PA

Darlene Franklin said...

Melissa, this is one of several projects I've had the privilege of working with Lena on. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Caryl, the biggest state (almost) and the biggest holiday--what could make a better combination! Thanks for stopping by.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Colletta, I appreciate your interest in this Christmas book. Good luck!

tammy cordery said...

The book looks great. It sounds like a great book to read. I love Christmas books. They are so festive.

Laurie Bergh said...

I love Darlene's books I learned of her a month or two ago on a Facebook party and have been hooked on her books ever since. Laurie from Green Bay Wisconsin

Elma brooks said...


Hi,really love your books got hooked reading about the Morgan family:A Rangers Trail
and Lone star Trail,couldn't get enough of them .
Thank you for writing such wonderful books.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Tammy, festive? That's a good one. Get us in the Christmas mood.

Darlene Franklin said...

Laurie, has it only been a month? I've enjoyed getting to know you.

Darlene Franklin said...

Elma, how interesting that you mention my two Morgan family books. I'm hosting a party in honor of German American Day, and I'll be talking about those 2 books as well as a recent novella.
A Texas Christmas is a fun read!

scottsgal said...

I love reading Christmas stories that have that feel good Christian theme through them. I enjoyed the interview with Darlene.

Cheryl in IL

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Cheryl! I look forward to getting to know you better as well. Good luck with the drawing.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Cheryl! I look forward to getting to know you better as well. Good luck with the drawing.

Patty said...

Sounds like a wonderful collection, would love to read Darlene's contribution and yours too Lena!

Patty in SC

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Patty, They're a good group of stories! Wishing you well.

Connie said...

Thanks for giving one of us another chance to win this book. I am anxious to read these Christmas stories. Darlene, you have proved that we all have work to do and we should never stop spreading God's Word!
Blessings,
Connie from KY
cps1950 at gmail dot com

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Connie, good luck this time! Praise the Lord, He keeps me busy!

Gene Steiner said...

I love it! Magical! Heartwarming! Captivating! Exciting! Hopeful! Inviting! Wonderful! Two thumbs up, for starters

Gene

Addison, Texas

Darlene Franklin said...

Gene, wow, what a bunch of heartwarming adjectives! Thanks.

Trixi said...

Hi Darlene! So glad to see you again. It's funny, I was just thinking about you the other day (and praying for you!). I had won your "My Candy Valentine" a while back with an author interview on some blog (can't remember which now). And I loved getting to know you, your life story & your writing. Great to see you are spreading your wings a bit and go indie with your writing. I was sad to learn the Heartsong Presents line closed down last year. I have prayed for the authors that God will open new doors for their books. I pray the same for you, my dear!
Thanks for featuring "A Texas Christmas" 6 novella collection, looks really good with some terrific authors :-) Blessings to you & may God pour out His grace & peace on you today, tomorrow and forever!

Melanie Backus said...

I love Darlene's books. So entertaining! Certainly throwing my hat in the ring for this one.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

A lovely post thank you & I look forward to catching up with all of the stories.

Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

Cindy W. said...

I love Texas and I love Christmas so this book with be wonderful for me. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Blessings,
Cindy W.

Judy said...

Darlene, Your interview with Lena touched me. Isn't it amazing where God can use us? You have a world of opportunity living in a nursing home to witness and testify to God's glory.

Your novella, Face of Mary, sounds so good. I love Christmas stories and A Texas Christmas is right up my alley.

Blessings!
Judy B from Indiana

Deanna Stevens said...

I am so ready for some Christmas stories & Darlene this sounds like one I'd like!
Dee S from Nebraska

Kim Amundsen said...

My maternal grandparents had lived in texas for many years. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom. North Platte NE

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Trixie! How lovely for us to connect again. Thanks for stopping by,

Darlene Franklin said...

Melanie, thanks for "throwing your hat" in. :) I appreciate your interest.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Mary! All the way from Australia? How fun! Thanks for commenting.

Darlene Franklin said...

Cindy, Indiana is a place I don't know much about athough I've been through there a time or two. :) I love telling Texas stories, I've lived in Texas or near Texas for most of my adult life.

Darlene Franklin said...

Judy, I'm thankful my story encouraged you. May you have a wonderful Christmas with lots of good books!

Darlene Franklin said...

Dee, my next novella (set for a November release) is set in Plymouth, Nebraska. Tobogganing for Two. In the meantime--good luck with this drawing.

Darlene Franklin said...

Kim, so have you spent time visiting them in Texas? My story is set in the Piney Woods of east Texas.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

The book looks and sounds very interesting, I would love the chance to read it!!!
Thanks for the giveaway!!!

N.C.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Sarah, I agree, Barbour does a great job with book covers!

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your amazing giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Edward Arrington said...

Sounds like a book my wife would enjoy.
Edward A in VA

Mrs Tina said...

Great interview. I love hoe God uses us just where we are. Can't wait to read your book.
Blessings, Tina
Frederick, Maryland

Mrs Tina said...

Oops, that should be how

Phyllis Kemp said...

Enjoyed reading about you and your life. Thank you for the giveaway. This book sounds like a good read!

Phyllis from Illinois

Bonnie Roof said...

Thanks for the interesting interview, Darlene and Lena!!

Love Darlene's stories - she is an inspiration!! Would love to read 'A Texas Christmas'.


Bonnie from Ky.

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks awesome!!! Please enter me.
Blanch NC

Darlene Franklin said...

Sharon, Lena does an amazing job, doesn't she?

Darlene Franklin said...

Edward, I appreciate you thinking of your wife. How sweet.

Darlene Franklin said...

Mrs. Tina, with Paul, I'll boast about my weaknesses, for then God makes me strong.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Phyllis, glad to meet you. Thanks for your interest.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Phyllis, glad to meet you. Thanks for your interest.

Darlene Franklin said...

Bonnie, thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you found it interesting.

Darlene Franklin said...

Bonnie, thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you found it interesting.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Abigail, this is a great collection. Good luck with the drawing.

Britney Adams said...

It's such a pleasure to see Darlene here! I am eager to read this wonderful collection!

Britney Adams, TX

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Britney, how ice of you to say.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to visit with darlene again. been a long time. She sure accomplishes a lot for living in a Nursing Home. Thank you lena for hosting her. I would love to win this book. Maxie (TX.) > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Maxie! It's good to see you again. Let's be friends on facebook or you can stop by my web so we can chat more often. (The same for everyone else, of course!)

Brenda Arrington said...

I love Christmas. I enjoy reading stories as well. Thanks for the chance to win this great sounding book. I enjoyed the interview.
Brenda in VA.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Brenda, I'm glad you stopped by.

apple blossom said...

love to read Darlene's book thanks for the chance to win this Christmas book

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Jackie Tessnair said...

I hope this comment finds you well Darlene.I am sorry to hear about your health.I will keepyou in my prayers.Thanks for continuing to write great books.Jackie Tessnair N.C.

Darlene Franklin said...

Apple Blossom, I know I should remember your name . . .gret to hear from you again.

Darlene Franklin said...

Jackie, thank you for the prayers.

Deanne Patterson said...

Darlene's books are great and convey an important message without being preachy. I would love to read this !

Deanne in PA

sm said...

So amazed, Darlene, at what you accomplish from your nursing home room! You are a great example of "bloom where you are planted"! Thanks for your example of contentment with whatever life deals you. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Darlene Franklin said...

Hello "sm." Learning to be content whatever my circumstances is a lesson I'm still struggling with this.

Darlene Franklin said...

Thanks for the comment, Deanne. Since Jake and Becky a preacher and a preacher's daughter, there's a little more scripture sprinkled throughout the story . . .but I think it still works.

rubynreba said...

I love Christmas stories and these novellas look great.
Beth from IA