Friday, December 04, 2015

JACOB'S CHRISTMAS DREAM (Christmas Mail-Order Angels) - Darlene Franklin - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, I read as many Christmas books as I can find during October, November, and December. Right now, I’m reading this novella collection, Christmas Mail-Order Angel. I’ve always loved mail-order bride stories. I even wrote a mail-order bride novel. I’m really enjoying this collection. I think you will, too.

Welcome back, Darlene. You have a lot of books out now. What is your favorite setting to use in your books?
I write primarily about the West. I’ve experimented with Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming, but I write mostly about settings I know first-hand: Texas (8 books), Oklahoma (7 books), and Colorado (5). I moved to Colorado in 1991 and felt like I had come home. Now I live in Oklahoma, and I’ve spent time in Texas as well.
But I’ve written the most books set in Vermont. Eight books are a continuous series covering Maple Notch, Vermont, from the Revolutionary War to the present. The other two books are novellas. I grew up in New England, and Vermont was the state I was able to contract when Barbour was publishing books about all fifty states in the country.

What do you look for when you’re shopping for a book to buy for yourself?
Hmm. Good question. Practical questions eliminate a lot of good books: is it available on Kindle? Living in a nursing home, I can’t accumulate hardbacks the way I used to. How much does it cost? I’ve also become leery of buying books that are part of series, at least sci fi.
After that. The cover, the description, an author I have enjoyed before. Even the length (shorter is better for me.). The setting does influence my choice as well. A book set in Colorado is going to catch my interest before a book set in Iowa. No offense meant to Iowans. I just don’t know your state well enough to appreciate it.

Give us a little tour of the setting for this book.
These settings are fun. They’re both fictional. It’s a mail-order bride series. The ladies all come from the town of Merville, Maine. “Mer” is the French word for sea, and “ville” is the French word for town (I think). It’s a fishing village that has lost too many men to the Civil War and to the sea.

Angel Vale is located in southwestern Crook County is Wyoming. It’s named for a rock formation near the town. Gold was discovered in the region during the Black Hills Gold Rush. There’s not a Christian woman to be found in the town. It’s not even quite a town yet. That’s why the men want brides.

What other books do you have coming out soon?
Right now I have a devotional book designed for use during Advent available: An Advent Journey through Matthew. A devotional every day of Advent ties the events of Jesus’s life back to the Christmas season. It’s available for only 99 cents until Christmas at

I also tried NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time this November, and I completed the first draft of a new mystery series, Case Closed. I am looking forward to publishing a new series this year.

I have a devotional in a book that makes a good advent read—21 Days of Christmas. It’s a fiction lovers devotional book with short stories by fiction authors with a devotion after the story that ties to the story. Please give us a glimpse inside your home.
You mean the home I share with 100 other people? ☺ I share a room with one person. Into my half of the room, I’ve squeezed family pictures, collages of my daughter’s poems, my clothes, toiletries, and one copy of each of my books, a couple of Bibles and all of my books online. My desk is my bedside table.

Is this novel part of a series or a stand-alone book?
Jacob’s Christmas Dream is the first novella about eleven mail order brides going to Wyoming to marry gold rush miners. The complete collection of eleven stories has just been published as Christmas Mail-Order Angels: the Complete 11 Volume Set

Tell us about the story.
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?

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Angel Vale, Crook County, Wyoming Territory, June 1877
Get Your Personal Christmas Angel. Sign up with Matthew Thomas, Marriage Broker.
Jake Underwood looked at Matt across the packing crate he was unloading onto a shelf at his store in the small mining town. “What's this all about?”
Matt’s grin widened. “Why, I’ve figured how to make me some money, seeing as how my claim on the river didn’t make me enough money to earn a plug nickel. I thought I’d ask you to give it a look-see and tell me what you think.”

Jake frowned as he read the words again, wondering if he was misreading Matt’s sloppy handwriting. “Christmas Angels? Marriage broker? Are you setting up in the mail order bride business?” Matt had experimented with a lot of money-making schemes through the years, but this was his most outrageous idea yet.

“Yup.” Matt snapped his suspenders against his chest. “There’s plenty of men in Angel Vale ready to settle down. There’s the ranchers who were already here settling in before they found gold last year. Then there’s the miners who struck gold, the ones that didn’t spend it all away on gambling and fancy duds and such. And there’s not a bride to be had in all of Crook County, at least not one any god-fearing man would pick.” Matt winked. “There’s you, for instance. Why a fine man like yourself, with a good head for business and in good standing with the Lord, isn’t married yet is beyond me.”

Jake huffed. “You’ve got twenty years on me, and you’re not married.”

“Maybe I wasn’t ready until now.” Matt’s smile turned serious. “It’s time I stop drifting across the plains like tumbleweed. Gold or not, I want to stay put here in Angel Vale. Got to stay here, to keep you in line, don’t I?”

Jake simply smiled. “Do you really think men will pay money for this service?” He scratched his forehead. “I’ve seen some of those advertisements they put in the paper. Don’t cost that much. Why would they pay you to do it for them?”

“I’m aiming to bring a whole bevy of women, find a good match for everyone who’s interested. I’d like to see a bride for everyone who wants one, including you and me, if you want. I’ll find someone back east to help me out, choose the finest women while I weed through the men who are interested.” He picked up a lemon drop, placed a penny in the change jar by the register, and stuck the candy in his mouth. “You watch. The men’ll come out of the woodwork for the service I aim to provide.”

A wife. Matt didn’t know how often Jake’s mind had turned toward matrimony in recent days. He had always thought to marry when he reached thirty, but he had passed that milestone almost a year ago. No matrimonial prospects existed in the town of Angel Vale. It would take a host of Christmas angels to provide for the needs of the town’s single men.

“See what I have here,” Matt said. “I’ve found several circulars advertising for brides. I figure we can write letters to send to all of ‘em, and see what kind of response we get.”

“I have a better idea.” Jake pulled out his Bible. “When I was a young boy.” Before things turned sour with his father. “Pa made me promise on the Bible.” He lifted in the air. “That if I ever got ready to marry, he wanted me to find a bride from the town where he grew up, Merville, Maine. It’s right on the coast, the prettiest little place on God’s green earth to hear him tell it.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Darlene, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Christmas Mail Order Angels: The complete 11 Volume Set

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. 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.

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Martha Sturm said...

I admire Darlene for her faith, and continuing to write while in a nursing home.
I've enjoyed all of her books.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Martha, thanks for coming by and leaving a note.

sm said...

Your book sounds good. My husband was a pastor and I sure enjoyed ministering alongside him. Love to win our book. sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mary Preston said...

Mail order brides are always fun to read.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

I love mail order bride stories and books set during Christmas so this would be a wonderful group of books to read. Thank you for the chance to win.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Darlene Franklin said...

SM, too bad you weren't there to encourage Becky. :)

Darlene Franklin said...

Mary and Cindy, this was my first mail order bride story, and it was fun to write. Next year I'll be writing my first matching story, so we'll see how that goes!

Brenda Arrington said...

I enjoy mail order bride books. I'm sure to enjoy this one. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
Brenda in VA

Edward Arrington said...

I enjoy reading Christmas stories. This sounds interesting.
Edward A in VA

Connie said...

Mail-order brides and Christmas! Sounds like a great story and I appreciate the chance to win.
Connie from KY
cps1950 (at)gmail (dot)com

Darlene Franklin said...

Brenda, if you enjoy mail order bride stories, then this is the collection for you! Good luck.

Darlene Franklin said...

Edward, interesting--thanks for that description!

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Connie, I like the combination too. (It was my idea, this time, lol)

apple blossom said...

Oh, I love bride stories. and especially love Christmas settings. Thanks for the chance to win Darlene's book

live in ND

Rebecca Bell said...

This Christmas novella sounds really good especially since it is set during the gold mine era. I'm a big fan of historical Christian fiction. Thank you for a chance to win.
Rebecca from Missouri

Rebecca Bell said...

This Christmas novella sounds really good especially since it is set during the gold mine era. I'm a big fan of historical Christian fiction. Thank you for a chance to win.
Rebecca from Missouri

Darlene Franklin said...

Rebecca, This is your book because the heroine's name is Becky. :)

Darlene Franklin said...

Apple Blossom, good to hear from you again! Thanks for your stopping by.

kec200 said...

Very nice interview! Didn't realize that you were in a nursing home.

Wendell, NC

Darlene Franklin said...

Yes, I do. Who are you, KEC, if you don't mind telling me?

Bonnie Engstrom said...

This sounds like a delightful story. Darlene is a prayer partner, so I would love to win!

Bonnie in Scottsdale, AZ

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Bonnie! Glad to see you stop by. Jacob's Christmas Dream was a fun story to write.