Dear Readers, Darlene is a long-time, dear writing friend of mine. We’ve been on a writing retreat together as well as connecting at ACFW national conferences and when I have spoken at the
ACFW local chapter. She has a vivid imagination and the ability to write
stories that leap off the page. I’m thrilled to once again host her here on
this blog. Tulsa
Welcome back, Darlene. How did this book come about?
Last year, before the ACFW Conference in September, I was part of a group of authors who wrote Christmas Traditions. The group clicked quickly, and we proposed two additional series to Barbour Publishing.
Barbour contracted with us for Blue Ribbon Brides, and Cindy Hickey decided to publish the Love’s Sporting Chance series with Forget Me Not Publishing.
I originally expected my novella to be set in
Vermont, and that
brought to mind winter sports. I settled on tobogganing: Tobogganing for Two. At
one point, my hero thinks that tobogganing is the most romantic of the winter
sports. And anyone who knows Edith Wharton’s classic Ethan Frome will recognize some similarities. I couldn’t mention it
in the book, unfortunately. The book wasn’t published until nearly forty years
Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
Cindy Hickey designs all the covers for Forget Me Not, and she’s amazing at it.
My cover features two toboggans, standing upright in the snow and facing each other, with two intertwining hearts on the snow. I used that scene in the book, when the toboggans reminds my heroine of a traumatic experience.
I agree that her cover designs are wonderful. I love having a really good cover for each of my books. Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
Of course my hero, Dr. Jay Andrews, is fictional, as are the ramps and boardwalks he put up around town.
I made sure that there would be places to toboggan in that part of
by asking my ACFW friends and checking the weather patterns. An October snowstorm
would be rare, but it could happen.
How much research did you have to do for this book?
Finding the right town took the most work. I am going to add Tobogganing for Two to my Holidays of the Heart collection as a Thanksgiving story. For that, I needed a very special town:
A town with a name that reminds me of Thanksgiving
A town in the west
A town far enough north to have snow in October/November
A town with enough rolling hills or prairie to allow for tobogganing.
I ended up finding two towns,
Kansas, and .
I settled on Plymouth, Nebraska Nebraska,
but I kept confusing the history of one town with the other.
What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
I would have loved to include to include the social gatherings that took place at the Carter’s home. One of the issues that my heroine faces, however, is that her sister is paralyzed and can’t go up and down stairs. So they remain homebodies.
What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
Hmm. Perhaps it was imagining how a Civil War veteran dealt with a 19th-century version of PTSD. I’ve read about the horrible operating conditions and almost casual amputations. What was that like for the doctors? How would it affect them when they returned home? That’s what my hero is dealing with.
I see so many ads asking us to help returning vets. I confess I am as clueless to the extent of their suffering as the people of
What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
That God can heal painful memories and free us from fear.
What is the next project you’re working on?
I plan to spend November doing Nano. I’ve spent the last year writing novella after novella. Writing a 50-60 K book with everything else I’m doing has become difficult. So I have planned out a new mystery series, and I hope to complete a rough draft by the end of the month. My heroine is a home health aide—the murder victim is a healthy elderly woman with a broken hip who dies the night after her 80th birthday party. I’m going to have a blast writing it!
I think I’ll try Nano, too. I need to write book two of my Love’s Road Home series, because two editors have requested the full manuscript of the first novel in the series. What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
I have a long list writing-related “to dos”: interviews, Facebook, planning, writing devotionals ... and I also do a lot of reading, word search puzzles, scripture memorization, and more time in prayer. As I get older, the more I want to know the Lord who has given me eternal life!
And Lena, let me just say, this is interview #10 between us—when we first worked on Snowbound Colorado Christmas together, I never expected to come so far, or to be so lucky as to count you as a friend. Thank you very much!
Yes, our friendship is precious to me, too. And I loved writing that Christmas collection with you, as well as the other two authors. Please give us the first page of this new novella.
“Hurry up, ladies. I’ve got a schedule to keep.” The stagecoach driver was eager to get back on schedule. He’d lost time when a dead bull blocked the road on the way from
In spite of his complaint, he fell into conversation with the storekeeper where
he had parked the carriage.
Laura Evans gritted her teeth but dismounted without saying a word. By now he should know her sister, Eliza, needed extra time getting up and down. He had panicked the first time he’d seen her bath chair. The shotgun rider lifted down their trunks while Laura faced Eliza. She forced a brave smile on her face. “We’re here at last, sister.”
When the shotgun rider grabbed Eliza’s chair, he stumbled a step, and Laura feared it would fall. “Be careful with that!”
He recovered in time and maneuvered it to the ground. “What in the dickens is this thing?” he grumbled.
Laura checked the chair over. Sixteen hundred miles by train and stagecoach had only caused a few scratches. “It’s my sister’s bath chair.” She rolled the wheels, which enabled the chair to move to the carriage. After she scooped her sister’s light form in her arms, she placed her in the adjacent chair.
Eliza spoke when she regained her breath from the transition into the chair. A
light wind lifted her brown hair, drawing attention to her sparkling hazel eyes.
“And Aunt Minnie is waiting for us. Her home shouldn’t be very far from here.”
It felt so good to be free of the stagecoach. Laura’d hated being squished between Eliza and a large man. Every time they hit a bump, Eliza quivered. Not surprisingly, none of the men offered to help. She peered up and down the street, but the doctor Aunt Minnie had promised would meet them was nowhere to be seen.
Eliza breathed deeply and sighed as Laura tucked a blanket over her lap. “It even smells wonderful.”
Laura wasn’t so sure. So far the dust and other odors of a western town appealed to her less than the salty, fishy air of her home in
Maine. The stagecoach
driver had finished his discussion with the storekeeper and headed out of town
on his route.
The storekeeper saw Laura and Eliza in the middle of the street and smiled. “Welcome to
ladies. I’m John Carter, the owner of this fine establishment. How may I assist
you?” He tugged at his chin. “Let get you and your things onto the boardwalk
and then we’ll figure out what to do next.”
He reached for the bath chair handles but Laura grabbed them first. “I’d appreciate your help with our trunks.”
She’d known that two trunks and a bath chair were a lot to manage during their journey, but they couldn’t do with less, not with the equipment Eliza needed. By the time Laura had tugged Eliza onto the boardwalk, the storekeeper had moved the two trunks. “Thank you, Mr. Carter.”
“My pleasure.” He climbed the steps into the store before he looked back. “You must be Miss Bell’s nieces. I’ll have one of my clerks help you.”
Laura looked up and down the street. Aunt Minnie had promised that Dr. Andrews would pick them at the stage stop. Where was he? In such a small town, Aunt Minnie’s house couldn’t be far away. But Laura couldn’t manage the trunks as well as the chair, and she had no idea where to find the house. She probably should accept Mr. Carter’s offer.
Before she spoke, a long shadow fell across the boardwalk. “Miss Evans? Miss Laura Evans?”
As she was turning around, the man said, “And Miss Eliza Evans?” The shadow bent over the bath chair.
“Dr. . .” Laura completed her turn. The tallest, handsomest man she had ever seen towered over her, even though she was standing a step higher than he. “—Dr. Andrews?”
Her voice wobbled. She moved her foot to regain her balance, but instead stumbled forward. Into his arms.
I love it so far, Darlene. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website/blog: http://darlenefranklinwrites.com/ (2 books will be given away every month, so stop by for further information!)
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Franklin/e/B001K8993A/
Thank you, Darlene, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers as eager as I am to read it.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.http://www.amazon.com/Toboganning-Two-Christian-Historical-Romantic-ebook/dp/B0173X2RFC/
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