Wednesday, May 04, 2016

SMALL-TOWN BRIDES - Darlene Franklin , and others - One Free Book

Welcome back, Darlene. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I’m a born New Englander and transplanted Westerner by choice. Both are featured in my books. I have one son, a lovely daughter-in-law, and four wonderful grandchildren just around the block from me. My degrees are in Bible and theology, church music, and Christian education, and they’ve all played a part in my life and in my writing. The fact most people find interesting is that I write from a nursing home.                                                                                                                        
How did you become interested in writing?                       
On the one hand, I’ve been interested in writing all my life. It was one of my desired occupations when I was a child, and I wrote TV stories and plays.

On the practical side, I began writing seriously in the wake of my divorce. My writing served as part of the healing process. By the time I finished that book, I was hooked for life.                       
What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
My story in Small-Town Brides, A Blessing for Beau, originally appeared in my novella collection, Calico Brides. The four youngest members of the Ladies Missionary Society decide to take on local mission project—and they all find love in the process. By the fall of the year, she still hasn’t settled on a project and begins to think God doesn’t have any special plans for her, that her charity work as the pastor’s daughter is all she’s meant to do.

I considered the plot of A Blessing for Beau the most predictable of the four: the spinster teacher fell in love with her student’s custodian, I know what it’s like to feel like my life is so ordinary, that exciting things pass right over my head on their way to someone else.
What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
The primary theme is discovering, and accepting, what God has planned for you. In addition to Ruth’s struggles, which I mentioned above, the hero has no idea what his niece and nephews want. He thinks his oldest nephew should work to prove up the 160 acres his father wanted. The problem is, the older nephew is a student. Ruth recognizes and encourages his desire for further education. His younger brother is looking forward to farm life. And as for his niece, Beau doesn’t have a clue.  
Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
I hope it will encourage readers to “don’t give up” on waiting for God to work (as the Message interprets Hosea 12:6). Also, not to force our idea of God’s will on someone else.

I have my own testimony about how God brought about something I wanted long ago and had long since given up on happening. When I was finding my way as a writer, I wrote a mixture of nonfiction and fiction. I applied for a couple of columns, but didn’t get the opportunity. Now, after ten years of writing fiction almost exclusively, I have been asked to write a monthly column for Bookfun Magazine ( My first column appeared this month. God’s timing is impeccable!
What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?    
That’s a tough question, especially when my story is in a volume with novellas by eight other talented authors. I’m told my writing is sweet, that my characters are complex, that my stories bring in faith in a strong but natural way. (In others, they don’t feel like I’m preaching at them.) I also like to think I often come up with a unique twist on a familiar theme or setting.        
How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
I’ve mentioned some of that above. Living in a nursing home, I definitely feel out of the mainstream. I seldom get to see any writers face to face. As I grow older, I begin to think “what do I want to do before I die?” And is writing taking too much of that time? Recently God has given me several neon-light signs to continue writing. Two books on the same bestseller’s list last month! A free book at #1 in its category! The magazine column!
So like Ruth, I feel limited as to what I can do. But God’s plans for me are bigger than I can imagine.                                                                                                                                                                                 
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
I’ll share the verse I mentioned above. Once I finished memorizing great verses from Isaiah, I moved on to Hosea.

What are you waiting for? Return to your God! Commit yourself in love, in justice! Wait for your God, and don’t give up on him—ever! (Hosea 12:6, Message)

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
I read, a lot. The Kindle makes it so easy, so lightweight. I’m blessed to have physical therapy started again. Yup, those three sessions a week working with weights, bicycles, throwing balls and walking mean a lot. I also do a lot of word puzzles. I’m also spending serious time memorizing scripture—I decided I want to cram my mind with as much as His word as possible in case some day I lose my mind.                                                                                                                                                                       
As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
Just that God is faithful wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Tell us about the book.
Small-Town Brides Romance Collection: 9 Romances Develop Under the Watchful Eyes of Neighbors: Join the fun and feel the romance in various historical communities from Massachusetts to Florida, Missouri to Texas. Meet ladies who take firm stands for their work in mills, orphanages, churches, schools, hospitals, and the like as they dance through courtship with their beaus. Can the nine couples develop lasting loves under the watchful eyes of their neighbors?

My story, A Blessing for Beau: Schoolteacher Ruth Fairfield is about to teach a new guardian a few lessons in life and love.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @darlenefranklin

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

Readers, 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.

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:



kim hansen said...

Love when authors get together to write a novella. north platte nebraska.

Elly said...

I love compilations like this! They're great for if you're in the mood for a short, sweet read.
J.C. -Indiana-

Melanie Backus said...

Oh, I know this is a dandy! I always love Darlene's stories.

Melanie Backus, TX

Darlene Franklin said...

Kim, These novellas are a lot of fun, to read and write.

Darlene Franklin said...

J.C., agreed. You can read one a night, makes it read to the end.

Darlene Franklin said...

Melanie, thanks a bunch.

Britney Adams said...

I always enjoy Darlene's stories and would love to read the Small-Town Brides Collection! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely interview and giveaway.

Britney Adams, TX

Darlene Franklin said...

Brittney, hello! Small-Town Brides is a fun collection. Good luck.

Wendy Newcomb said...

OH YES! This book was written JUST for me I think, thank you sooooo much!

Wendy in FL

wfnren at aol dot com

rubynreba said...

I'm a small town bride so I think I need read this!
Beth from IA

Heidi Reads... said...

I love these novella collections! Thanks for sharing this sweet interview.

Heidi, La Mesa, CA

justcommonly said...

I'm a huge fan of Barbour novella collections! Would love to read this one! Thanks!

Annie from MD

Deanna Stevens said...

Dee from Ne.. loves those bride stories! !

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

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

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm sure I will enjoy these stories.
Connie from KY

Beth Erin said...

I'm a small-town girl myself, I'd love to read this collection!
Beth in Illinois

Brenda Arrington said...

I love Darlene's books. I'm sure I will enjoy this one. Thanks for the interview.
Brenda in VA

Darlene Franklin said...

Wendy, so glad to hear your enthusiasm! Darlene

Darlene Franklin said...

Ruby and Beth, you'll have to tell us if you "recognize" these small towns.

Darlene Franklin said...

Heidie and Annie, these novella collections are treasures, I agree.

Darlene Franklin said...

Dee, Sharon, Connie--thanks for your interest.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Would love to win this book! Looks fantastic! Especially since I'm from a small town, and love them! :D Please enter me.
Blanch NC

Trixi said...

I love Barbour novella collections and since I live in a small town, I'd especially enjoy this one! Thank you for the author interview and giveaway chance.

Trixi in OR

diannekc said...

Small Town Brides sounds like an amazing read. Can't wait to read. I'm from Chicago IL.

diannekc said...

Small Town Brides sounds like an amazing read. Can't wait to read. I'm from Chicago IL.

Unknown said...

I have been looking forward to reading this. I love these story collections.

Deanne P. in PA

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Abigail, it sounds like we have a lot of people from small towns.

Wenonalib said...

I love these types of books! I look forward to reading it! :D
Thanks for the chance to win a copy! Have a Blessed Day!

Darlene Franklin said...

Trixi, I love being part of these Barbour collections too.

Darlene Franklin said...

Dianne from Chicago - someone not from a small town. I live in larger cities and enjoy it, but writing about small-town life has been a learned skill.

Darlene Franklin said...

Deanne, "looking forward" to this one. A nice compliment.

Darlene Franklin said...

Wenona, thanks for your enthusiasm and good luck.

Beth Gillihan said...

I love these kind of collections! Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana