Monday, January 30, 2012

A RANGER'S TRAIL - Darlene Franklin - Free Book

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 Montgomery bus boycott.

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 Kentucky. Racial mistrust fueled as much of the Mason County war as did the issues of cattle rustling, with two sides entering a blood feud.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Pride’s Fall, one book of a three book series set in the Four Corners, will be out soon from Heartsong Presents. Pride’s Fall is set in 1899 Mesa Verde, Colorado. Carla Gade wrote Shadowcatcher’s Daughter, set in New Mexico and Colorado; and Susan Page Davis added Almost Arizona.

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 Llano County from Mason County, 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.

            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 Mason County 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 troubled.

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

It's always a pleasure to have you drop by, Darlene.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Ranger's Trail (The Texas Trail Series) - paperback
A Ranger's Trail (The Texas Trail Series) - 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 Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Rebecca said...

This looks like a wonderful book. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance to win.

I am from Oklahoma.

Coolestmommy said...

The book sounds terrific. I recently read "The Help" and with that, I have a lot of questions that I would like to ask Dr. King and Rosa Parks. Bless them for exposing the injustices in the world!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Lorna Faith said...

Sounds like a great story Darlene:) Would love to be entered for a chance to win:-)

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Patty said...

It seems like Darlene is a very prolific author. I would love to win a copy of this book!

Patty in SC

Anonymous said...

Oh please sign me up! I have read 2 of the books in this series so far and LOVED them!!! :)


Alicia said...

Looks like a great book. I would love to try this author.

Wendy Newcomb said...

This book sounds great! Thank you for hosting the giveaway.

I live in FL.


Unknown said...

It seems that i have been reading quite a few novels set in the Civil War time and i know that there is still a lot of racism going on. i have been fairly sheltered in this. i would love to read A Ranger's Trail. Thanks for the great interview, Lena and Darlene and the opportunity to win.

Marianne from Arizona


Anonymous said...


rubynreba said...

I'd enjoy this book and would like to be entered. Thanks!
Beth from Iowa

Patricia said...

I am ready to read this book. I have read the previous books in the series. I thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book. I want the whole series!

I am a Texas country girl.


Unknown said...

I'm sure this is another GREAT novel by Ms. Franklin-one I would love to win.

Ginger in AL

scottsgal said...

Great premise - racially charged in the 1870's! I'd love to read this
msboatgal at

Darlene Franklin said...

You know, I discovered a website about books dealing with German American history--and said my book contained prejudicial content. That was never my intent, and I certainly didn't blame only Germans--I hoped to shed light on a difficult time and in the process, take a look at ourselves in a new light!

Darlene Franklin said...

I am so glad to hear several of you have followed this series! If you haven't, never fear. Each book is a stand-alone. And if you wish, you can always go back and read the others. Still to come: Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis (about a cowboy strike in the 1880s) and End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough by Vickie McDonough (gambling, silent films, and the oil boom of the 1890s)

Darlene Franklin said...

I am so glad to hear several of you have followed this series! If you haven't, never fear. Each book is a stand-alone. And if you wish, you can always go back and read the others. Still to come: Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis (about a cowboy strike in the 1880s) and End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough by Vickie McDonough (gambling, silent films, and the oil boom of the 1890s)

Darlene Franklin said...

I'm in OK as well, Rebecca. Maybe we can get together some time . . . email me privately at belovedfranklin (at) msn (dot) com

Darlene Franklin said...

Robyn, glad to hear from another admirer of Rosa Parks and MLK Jr. He is high on my list of heroes.

Judy Cooper said...

I enjoy anything written about the 1800's. I also enjoyed the interview, Darlene Franklin is a new author to me. Thaqnk you, Judy C. in Louisiana

Mary Preston said...

I do hope you get your story about the Montgomery bus boycott published sometimes. I would be most interested in reading this.

A RANGER'S TRAIL looks like an exciting read.

Mary P


Jo said...

Sounds like a great story line. I enjoy books from that time period.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Unknown said...

Thanks Darlene and Lena for a great interview and opportunity to win. It sounds super good.

Marianne from Arizona


apple blossom said...

love to be included in this book giveaway thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Joanna Richmond said...

this book sounds wonderful. I would Love to read it. thanks for the chance to win Thanks
and God Bless
Joanna Richmond
Blanch, NC

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me!
Blanch, N.C.

Darlene Franklin said...

Oh, goodie, are Abigail and Joanna from Blanch, NC friends? Thanks for stopping by!

Darlene Franklin said...

Marybelle, Books set in the 1950s are a tough sell, as is my lack of a southern background . . . we'll see if God ever opens that door!

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless,

Unknown said...

Oooh. This sounds like a really good book. Please enter me!

Krista from Oregon

Darlene Franklin said...

Now 3 people from Blanch - I'm finishing up a book where the heroine is named "Blanche."

Mama Cat said...

Darlene, I look forward to reading this! I have the first two books in this series in my "read soon" pile, and the rest on future wish lists. Your Heartsong books have been great; I can't wait to see the Four Corners series later this year! One of my smaller regrets is that I became a teen in 1970, and wished that it had been a few years sooner so that I would know more about the events that took place during those years of change. Blessings to you; thank you for the chance to win! I live in Phoenix AZ

Abigail Mitchell said...

Joanna and Sarah are my sisters.
I have 8 siblings. (9 including myself)
Sorry I didn't write much I just had time for a quick stop.
The book looks and Sounds very interesting!
Thanks for the chance to win.
God Bless You!
Abigail from Blanch, N.C.
P.S. I already entered.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the drawing for
this book. God Bless You!

Dennie Richmond
Blanch, NC

Rebecca said...

This sounds like a great story. Thanks for the giveaway!
Rebecca from NC

Abigail Mitchell said...

Dennie is my dad.

Darlene Franklin said...

"Mamacat," I actually graduated from high school in 1972, but I'm more a child of the march on Washington than of Watergate . . .

Katie said...

Please enter me! I'm from NC.

Katie G. - I have a free book giveaway on my blog as well if anyone would like to enter. :) Thanks!

Angie Adair said...

My kind of book! Looks great..Angie in Illinois

Darlene Franklin said...

Angie, Katie, thanks for stopping by!

Faith said...

Sounds like a great book, and good point about the prejudices between the native born and the immigrants. Life is like that I guess.
Sounds like an amazing story!

Faye from SD

Darlene Franklin said...

I recently read about regulations at Ellis Island--the arguments sounded so much current concerns about people who enter the U.S. illegally . . . the more things change, the more they stay the same. :)

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds like a great story! thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Aizess said...

Please enter me! Thank you for the chance to win! I've been wanting to try one of Darlene's books.

I live in New York

Darlene Franklin said...

Hey Aizess (and everyone else): check out my blog ( for weekly drawings for my older books. Up this week: Beacon of Love, my Rhode Island/light house/historical romance.

Bakersdozen said...

I loved the interview. Authors such as yourselves really do make a difference. I live in S. CA.