Friday, September 02, 2016

MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS BRIDES (DRESSED IN SCARLET) - Darlene Franklin - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m thrilled to feature this book today. Mountain Christmas Brides just released yesterday. It’s a Barbour novella collection with stories from 9 of their most popular authors. I’m blessed to be included in it along with my friends. I’m interviewing one of my long-time author friends from Oklahoma.

Welcome back, Darlene. Let’s do some fun questions first. What song most closely resembles your life?
Let’s see. Special music at church yesterday was a classic hymn I haven’t heard for years, but it describes the truth of my life so well. “Day by Day (and with each passing moment.)” “He whose heart is kind beyond all measure/gives unto each day what He deems best/lovingly its part of pain and pleasure/mingling toil with peace and rest.”

I love so many of the classic hymns. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?
One of my latest discovery is from Lamentatians 3:28-30 MSG:

“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The ‘worst’ is never the worst.”

I’ve been reading, memorizing, meditating, and writing devotions from Proverbs, Jeremiah – Ezekiel, Hebrews – 1 Peter for an upcoming devotional project. This verse comes from a longer passage that includes the familiar “great is your faithfulness” phrase,
           
I love the phrase “wait for hope to appear.” The word “hope” (which also happens to be my middle name, lol) has been popping up over and over again. Don’t try to force it. Face trouble. Hope will appear. And in a place (nursing home) where troubles show up on a regular basis, I need all the advice I can get.

That certainly is a verse of encouragement. Thank you for sharing it with us. What is the one thing you wish you could go back and change in your life?
Oh, that’s a tough one. A part of me wishes I had agreed to change to a major in music theory and completed my master’s degree in music when they said I couldn’t continue in piano. If I think about all the things I’ve done wrong in my life, I’ll end up with a long list of regrets—but they have made me the person I am today.

And I love the person you are today. Your inner beauty shines like the noonday sun. You are an inspiration to me in many ways. What is the most important characteristic for a good friend to have?
Listening! When needed and without judgment.

What extracurricular activities did you participate in when you were in school?
I was in band and choir and also participated in the math club and the Spanish club. A real nerd.

What is your favorite movie of all times?
Field of Dreams and It’s a Wonderful Life never disappoint.

I love It’s a Wonderful Life, but I’ve never seen Field of Dreams. I’ll have to change that. Tell us about why you wrote this book.
Oh, I remember the thrill of when I first wrote Dressed in Scarlet. Within the Barbour community, many authors started by writing a novella and then moved on Heartsong novels. I wasn’t even aware of the novellas until after they published my first book.
           
Then I was invited to take part in a four-person historical novella with Susan Page Davis, a fellow Mainer and good friend, Tamela Hancock Murray, who became my agent, and you, Lena. Even better, I got to write about my beloved Colorado! And now it's included in this new collection.

I discovered the joy of writing historical romance, which has become my niche; writing novellas; and writing Christmas stories. At first, I couldn’t imagine writing a Christmas story every year; now the season feels incomplete without a new story for the season. So far I’ve written ten of them.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Denver, December 1913
Fabrizio Ricci glanced around the garage at the Brown Palace, making sure everything was in order. Roadsters jostled next to Cadillac Phaetons and a single Ford Model T, a bit of an oddity for the Brown’s well-heeled clientele. Big or small, fancy or plain, he loved all his charges, even the smell of motor oil that permeated the air. His job was to keep the cars running and available to hotel guests. He loved driving cars he could never otherwise afford. Whatever money he didn’t give to help his family, he saved toward having his own shop.
           
No one would drive anywhere tonight in the storm that hit Denver yesterday. More than twenty-four hours later, the snow had not even slowed down. Anyone would be a fool to drive in weather like this. Even the trolleys that he sometimes took had stopped running. It was a good thing he kept a pair of Nordic skis in the garage. If he didn’t leave soon, he would have to spend the night at the hotel, or longer, if the snow kept up. As the only son remaining at home, he knew his parents depended on his help.
           
Fabrizio changed his work shoes for boots and strapped on the skis. He hadn’t planned for the cold, but he didn’t think that would be a problem, not with the long woolen scarf knitted in green and yellow by Mama. He would dress like that character in the Christmas story. What was his name? Bob Cratchit, that was it. A Christmas Carol had to be one of the best stories in the English language. Not as beautiful as Italian, of course, or that’s what Papa would say.
           
Fabrizio looked out the window at the swirling snow, wishing he had taken the time to go to the kitchen for a last cup of hot coffee before he left. Too late now. The snow danced in the air before landing gracefully on the ground. Bella neve. Beautiful snow.
           
Wrapping his scarf around his nose and throat before winding its length around his body, Fabrizio pulled his cap as far down on his head as it would reach and turned the collar of his coat up over the scarf. He hadn’t brought any mittens, but his work gloves should do the job. He pulled them on and hoped the oil stains wouldn’t get on his clothes. Mama complained about his soiled work clothes; four sisters created enough laundry without him adding any more.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @darlenefranklin
Purchase Matchmaker Mixup

Thank you, Darlene, for helping share this new collection to my readers.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Mountain Christmas Brides - Christianbook.com
Mountain Christmas Brides: Nine Historical Novellas Celebrate Faith and Love in the Rocky Mountains - Amazon
Mountain Christmas Brides: Nine Historical Novellas Celebrate Faith and Love in the Rocky Mountains - Kindle

Comments Starter Questions: Do you look for Christmas novels each Christmas? Do you like reading the Christmas novella collection? What are some of your favorites?

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 or country if outside North America. (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

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

ANGELA IN KY WOULD LOVE TO WIN. THANK YOU FOR THE CHANCE.

Cathy said...

Such an interesting interview as well as the novella topic - Christmas. I second the choice of movies as among my favorites, too. Yes, I always look for Christmas novella collections or short stories. To name just a couple of fairly recent collections which I enjoyed - Basket Brigade and Where Treetops Glisten. I also look for and have enjoyed the short stories by Melody Carlson and others. Thanks! Cathy - TX

Caryl Kane said...

CONGRATULATIONS Lena and Darlene on your release of Mountain Christmas Brides! I LOVE these collections.

Caryl K in TEXAS

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you fir a great interview, Lena! Would love to read this one for sure!

Melanie Backus, TX

Wendy Newcomb said...

I don'e specifically look for Christmas books, but they grab my eye quickly. Yep, I'm a 'cover' looker, lol. I LOVE the novella collections, I have read many and have many in my TBR pile! They are the BEST.

Wendy in FL

wfnren at aol dot com

Darlene Franklin said...

Cathy, I haven't run across those novella collections. I'll have to check them out.

Darlene Franklin said...

Caryl, love your enthusiasm! I am very glad to be partners with Lena on another collection.

Darlene Franklin said...

Melanie, Lena does a great job with her interviews, doesn't she?

Darlene Franklin said...

Wendy, I'm a sucker for a good cover myself. And the back cover blurb has to capture my attention. Nothing is worse than to read a book that doesn't deliver on the promise of the blurb.

Darlene Franklin said...

Lena, you are TOO sweet. Thanks for your kind words.

Elma brooks said...

Thank you for the giveaway, would love to win this book.
Beautiful cover and love Christmas Books.
Elma from North Carolina.

Susan P said...

Yay for this book! I do like finding and reading Christmas stories each year. Thank you for sharing today. (the cover is beautiful - makes me want Christmas now)
Michigan

Lori Parrish said...

I'm a cover looker as well!! I loved your earliest series the lone star trails! I'll definitely ave to check this out!!

Lori Parrish said...

I'm a cover looker as well!! I loved your earliest series the lone star trails! I'll definitely ave to check this out!!

Darlene Franklin said...

Lori, So glad you enjoyed Lone Star Trails. My story in this book actually was published years before Lone Star Trail, but it started me writing historical fiction.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Elma, thanks for your interest.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Susan, in Michigan you have more of a chance of snow earlier than here in Oklahoma. I assume!

Abby Breuklander said...

Oh this looks like such a great collection!!

Abby B in Michigan! alander87(at)allcom(dot)net

Patricia said...

So very eager to read this book! Thanks!

Mamaw - Texas

scottsgal said...

Love feel good holiday stories - can't believe it's coming on that time of year soon! Thanks for the nice interview.

Trixi said...

I certainly agree that we need to listen more to others! It's an art that must be learned & practiced so we can have deeper friendships/ relationships :-)

Darlene, thanks so much for the fun author interview! I've read many of your stories and loved each one. God has truly blessed you with the talent of writing and you are blossoming where you are :-)

Trixi in OR

Amada Chavez said...

I just LOVE novella collections and CHRISTmas ones are even better!!!!!!!

Amada (a.m.a.th.a), NM

Lane Hill House said...


I have two Christmas novella collections: A Log Cabin Christmas and A Pioneer Christmas Collection. I appreciate these stories being together because you have these authors' writings possibly for the first time. I have a Christmas shelf collection I have added to for years and enjoy reading them. Kathleen MO

Connie said...

I always look forward to reading at least one new Christmas story each year and I usually try to re-read The Christmas Jars by Jason Wright sometime during the season.
Thanks for sharing!
Connie from KY
cps1950(at)gmail (dot)com

Darlene Franklin said...

Abby, it's always great to be involved with a different group of authors.

Darlene Franklin said...

Patricia, "eager to read"? You're a reader after my heart.

Darlene Franklin said...

Scottsgal, I know, but now I'm used to it to holiday reading season. Gives you time to read more Christmas story!

Darlene Franklin said...

Trixi, too bad I can't have reader interviews to get to know you better as well.

Darlene Franklin said...

Amada, I love your name.

Darlene Franklin said...

Kathleen, I agree, how much fun to meet several new authors.

Darlene Franklin said...

Connie, I reread an obvious one; I have to read Dickens' Christmas Carol.

ablst nlki I said...

The last few years, I have read Christmas fiction before Christmas Day. I like Amish, or Westerns or Historical best even the Christmas fiction.

Dianna said...

I'm Dianna -- living in northeast TN!
The cover of this book is really lovely.

Mary Preston said...

What a marvellous collection & first page thank you.

Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

Cindy W. said...

I love to read Darlene's books and with it set during Christmas that is a double thumbs up. I would love to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

from Indiana

Vera Godley said...

I've been reading Darlene's books for a while and her part in this collection sounds lovely.

Vera G. from North Carolina

Melody said...

I was the church pianist for 20 yrs, loving to boogie woogie with the hymns! I save my Christmas stories for Christmas. Them and Christmas Hallmark movies, does it get any better?

Melody from Donna, TX!

Susan Fletcher said...

Christmas novels are my favorite! They put me in the mood for the real meaning of Christmas.
susanlulu@yahoo.com

Patty said...

I would love to read both of your stories Lena and Darlene!

Patty in SC

Darlene Franklin said...

Niki, I love writing historical, primarily western, fiction, especially Christmas, so we're a good match!

Darlene Franklin said...

Dianna, I agree, another one of Barbour's marvelous covers.

Darlene Franklin said...

Mary, I'm glad you enjoyed my first page. Now I would have made sure Fabrizio met Natalie a little earlier--it's going to happen soon! He meets her on the way home.

Darlene Franklin said...

Cindy and Vera, you make me feel so special to say you look forward to my books especially. Thanks for your support.

Darlene Franklin said...

Melody, I'm church pianist even here--there's a fun scene in the book where they sing Silent Night in several different languages.

Darlene Franklin said...

Susan, yes, these collections are full of reminders as to why we celebrate Christmas.

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

I love that Bible verse never read it like that before !! Lamentatians 3:28-30 MSG:
“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The ‘worst’ is never the worst.”
This book sounds like it will be a awesome read . Love to win a copy .Have a Bless Day .Blessings ,DanaGirl

Emma said...

I like Christmas Books. I am looking forward to reading "Mountain Christmas Brides". Have a wonderful weekend.PA. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Darlene Franklin said...

Dana, that is a great verse. I've grabbed ahold of it.

Darlene Franklin said...

Emma, thanks for coming by.

Abigail Richmond said...

Looks fabulous!!! Please enter me.
Clarksville VA

Mrs Tina said...

Hi from Maryland! Enjoyed the interview. Congratulations on your book Darlene & Lena.

I love reading Christmas novellas/books anytime of the year, especially at Christmas.

Blessings, Tina

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Ginger Solomon said...

I have long loved Darlene's books. I do love Christmas novels. They are always full of hope, joy, and love.

Ginger in Alabama

deana dick said...

I love your books. The cover on this one is breathtaking. Thank you for the chance to own a copy of this book.

Darlene Franklin said...

Oops, I've missed several comments! Thanks for coming by, Abigail.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Tina, glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the congrats.

Darlene Franklin said...

Sharon, good luck with the giveaway.

Darlene Franklin said...

Ginger, how fun to see you again.

Darlene Franklin said...

Why, thanks, Deana. This is a beautiful cover.