Monday, July 10, 2017

MERMAID'S SONG - Darlene Franklin - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, we’re celebrating something very special. The release of my friend Darlene Franklin’s 50th unique, stand-alone title. We’re glad you joined us today.

Welcome back, Darlene. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
As you know, Mermaid’s Song is my fiftieth unique, stand-alone title. I am so excited and thrilled that God has brought me to this milestone.

The immediate horizon is bright but a little unclear. I have three more novellas coming out this year, and I’m committed to write three more next year. I recently signed up with an agent (for the first time in several years) and we have several projects in mind. One editor has already requested a proposal, so I am very excited, but it’s not time yet to share any details. I’ll just say it would take me in a different direction. 

Tell us a little about your family.
My family is small but much-loved. My son lives only a couple of miles away from me. I’m blessed to see him every week. He loves the Lord and has followed in his mother’s steps, teaching children at church. He and his wife have two lovely adult daughters (by her first marriage), Savannah and Shannon. 8 ½ year old Jordan is a mini-me, with a talent for music and a love for telling stories, snapping brown eyes and dark, dark, hair. (The way mine used to be.) My lone grandson, Isaiah, brings up the caboose at six. He just finished kindergarten, and trains are his passion.

Recently I’ve also heard from my cousins. What a treat!

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
My reading habits have changed some. Lately I’ve read very little, which is a shame. I read more widely. I definitely read more romance than I did before, I try some of the bestsellers, and enjoy a good memoir, but mysteries continue to be my default preference.

What are you working on right now?
I just finished writing prayers to go with Barbour’s 12 Months to Better Prayer Guide for Women, due for publication next February. I’m also writing this year’s Christmas novella, The Christmas Child, which will be part of Forget-Me-Not Romances Christmas Masquerade collection.

For fun I’m working on a story about a horse for my granddaughter, and I’m listing all of God’s questions in the Bible for a possible devotional book someday.

What outside interests do you have?
I love to color pictures. I play piano for the church group that worships here on Sunday and Wednesday. I’m active with my local branch of American Christian Fiction Writers, which is OCFW. I’m not sure what the letters stand for—Oklahoma City Fiction Writers? Oklahoma Christian Fiction Writers?

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes the setting is dictated by the collection I’m in. Other times it’s a marketing decision. If a publisher is looking for certain settings, or state collections, I will consider that in preparing a proposal. I try to choose a setting I either know personally, or that is similar to one I know.

In the case of Mermaid’s Song, the story had to take place somewhere—anywhere—along America’s coastline. My mermaid would be shipwrecked. So I chose Maine, my beloved home state.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s always tough. I would love to meet one of those difference makers. What made them take that one bold step—Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, Rosa Parks’ seat on the bus?

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I’ve thought about this for a time, and I can’t think of anything. I might say, how hard it would be, how long it would take, that writing is just plain hard work. Writing isn’t for faint of heart!
Perhaps I would say, to trust my voice more. To believe in myself and not to ask for so much validation. When I was starting out, those external validations were important. Winning contests and getting positive reviews from paid critiques told me I was on my way to being a good writer. But even after I mastered the craft, I continued to seek validation.

We all need validation. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
A new-old lesson: dealing with adversity. Do I respond to the people who are serving me, whether poorly or well, with respect and gratitude, or do I react with anger? Is the appropriate response to stay and fight—or to seek other accommodations? If I choose to move, do I trust God to go before me, lining up the people and connections I need? I have relished the regular, twice-a-week ministry of a local church. “What if” I don’t find that if I move?

Times like this show me as the weakling I am, with my hornest’s nest with murmurings and unforgiveness and a lack of trust that God will lead me to a better place.

I am writing about some of this in my column “The View Through my Door” in the August issue of Book Fun Magazine.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Here I’m speaking to authors who have, to some degree, mastered the craft of writing and want to make a career of it:
Be flexible. If I refused to leave my pigeonhole, I wouldn’t have made it to 50 books. I might have run out of any publishing options a number of times over the years.

Study the market. If I am choosing between two ideas—say, a mail order bride story set in Wyoming or a regency romance—it helps to know that the mail order bride story will probably sell better.

Be prepared to promote yourself. Even the most established publishing houses expect their authors to do what they can to promote their books. If you self-publish, or work for a small independent publishing company like Forget Me Not Romances, it’s absolutely essential. People aren’t going to just stumble on your books. It’s more time consuming than difficult, but blogs, newsletters, social media, videos, so on and so on and so on.

Tell us about the featured book.
At last, the much anticipated 50th book by Darlene Franklin!

Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail.

Thus begins this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.

Justine Battineaux, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.

Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.

How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?

I’m eager to read it. Please give us the first page of the book.
Justine Battineaux huddled next to her maman and her sister in the belly of the ship. The walls tilted and water spread across the floor.

“Will this storm never end? So many are sick.” A storm had raged since the previous evening. The three of them experienced only mild discomfort but many others suffered. After a brief rest, Justine moved among the passengers.

The English didn’t intend death for the Acadians. In fact, they had left them in peace for forty years after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It was only after the renewal of hostilities between the two countries that the British had demanded they show their loyalty to the crown by taking up arms against the French. The price of their refusal? Their homes had been burned and their lands confiscated. Justine was blessed that her family and village were left together. Others had been separated. No one knew where they were headed, except to some place totally loyal to the British. Until the storm arose, their final destination had dominated the passengers’ conversation.

Justine offered water to those who would take it until she ran out. Storm or no storm, she would ask for more. The door was locked, the guard gone. She knocked until her hands hurt from the effort before she sank to her knees. God, intervene. Protect and defend us, both English and Acadian.

The door creaked open. Theo Adams, a sailor who spoke passable French, stood on the other side.

“We need water,” Justine said.

He peered inside, taking in the many sick, before he shook his head. “The captain has ordered everyone on deck. The ship’s breaking up.”

She froze, struck to silence by his words.

“Hurry or die.” He brushed past her into the cramped, moldy quarters of the hold. Justine followed him as he went from passenger to passenger, many too weak to leave their pallets.

The ship bells rang. Adams grabbed Justine’s arm. “Anyone who is able must go. Now.”

Justine strained to see behind her, to get away from his grip. “Maman, you must come.” She couldn’t see if her mother had heard or was following. She tried again to yank away, but Theo held her fast. “You must go. I will get the others if I can.” He pushed her onto the deck.

At least two dozen Acadians had made their way topside, as well as the ship’s crew.

Cold sea water reached her knees. Portions of the railing had been torn from the side of the ship. The mainmast was broken. The ship was sinking.

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

Thank you, Darlene, for allowing me and my readers to participate in your special celebration.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Mermaid's Song (Love Everlasting Book 4)

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.

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Karen Hadley said...

Darlene's books are always great. Beautiful cover!

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Karen! Thanks for stopping by!

Melanie Backus said...

I love Darlene's books. She is amazing! Melanie Backus, TX

Darlene Franklin said...

Why, thank you, Melanie!

Robin in NC said...

This book sounds very interesting! The cover is beautiful! Thanks for sharing the excerpt, interview & chance to win! Robin in NC rw620 AT aol DOT com

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Robin! Cynthia Hickey, my editor at Forget Me Not Romances, does a beautiful job with the covers. This dress was originally red and gold. I asked for sea-foam green. Look at how she changed it! It makes her legs look like a mermaid's tale, LOL.

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like an interesting book. You are a new to me author and I look forward to reading your books!

Beth in Montana

Vivian Furbay said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. The cover is beautiful.

Darlene Franklin said...

Beth, glad to meet you! I recently celebrated the release of my 50th book. I hope you dive in and enjoy.

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Vivian! Cindy Hickey did such a perfect job with the cover, and I had a lot of fun with the story.

Connie said...

Darlene, this sounds like a lovely story and I look forward to reading it. Congratulations on your 50th book!
Connie from KY

Darlene Franklin said...

Hi Connie, Thanks!

VanG said...

You are a new author to me, and I would love to win your book. Thanks!
Evangeline from North Carolina