Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Giveaway Darelene Franklin's Christmas Mail-order Brides

Welcome Back Darlene. A wee bit of a mix up on my blog schedule (we'll blame that on the business of conferences.) But the good news is this gives you another chance to win Darlene's Christmas book! Be sure to leave a post so I can enter you in the drawing.





Debbie asked me what made me write this novel (beyond the contract, you may ask). J

A Woodland Christmas is an example of the patience school of writing Christian fiction. We originally prepared the proposal in 2007. In 2008 we learned the editor hadn’t ever received it, so we sent it in again. She asked if she could hold on to it for another year, and we received contracts in 2009. Now the book has seen the light of day.

I knew Barbour prefers geographically-themed stories, and I started with places I knew: Colorado (Snowbound Colorado Christmas); Oklahoma (not sold); New England (next year’s novella, Christmas at the Barncastle Inn); and Texas (my later proposal, Wild West Christmas, came out later).

I put out a feeler on the Barbour’s author loop and received an avalanche of interested parties; we ended up putting together two novella teams, one contemporary Texas, one historical.

And Ramona Cecil, on the historical team, had written an award-winning historical Christmas novella. Perfect! I believe Janelle Mowery came up with the idea of the woodcarver Gabe Noell and his “sawdust sermons.” We chose the Piney Woods as an appropriate backdrop for a woodcarver ... and we had our skeleton.

As for my story, The Face of Mary, I was fascinated by the idea of a romance between an artist seeking inspiration for Mary’s figure in his painting—and the woman who embodied Mary’s spirit. I borrowed liberally from the biblical narrative, including their names (Mary “Polly” Jessup and Joseph “Joey” Carpenter) as well as Mary’s engagement at a young age. Joey teases Polly that he’ll marry her when he returns from college, and she takes him seriously.

I also found myself writing out of my pain about my mother’s mental decline as I gave Polly’s father a nineteenth century version of Alzheimers. God was faithful to the Jessups, as He was to me and my mother.

God took a three year old idea and brought it to life. His choice for the mother of His Son inspired my character. And His faithfulness gave me courage to write about Polly’s father. I guess you could say this story is all about God!


I'm going to start posting the winners of the drawing so you know who's winning these wonderful books!

Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, October 11th

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Giveaway- Melanie Dickerson's, The Healer's Apprentice



I'd like to welcome my good friend Melanie Dickerson to my blog today. Melanie is giving away her debut book, The Healer's Apprentice. Be sure to leave a post and your email addy to be entered.



Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and she taught English in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.melaniedickerson.com


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In this historical romance loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, a woodcutter's daughter becomes the town healer's apprentice. Rose's job is to care for the sick and injured in Hagenheim Castle. But she gets sick at the sight of blood and is more suited to making up stories than sewing up wounds. She is determined to overcome her weakness and prove herself a competent healer, or she faces marrying a disgusting old merchant her mother has picked out for her.

Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of the region, is injured and Rose must overcome her squeamishness to save him. He is everything that is noble and good, but loving him is forbidden. He is already betrothed to a mysterious woman in hiding. With two noble-born brothers vying for her affections, Rose learns that the people of Hagenheim are not always who they seem.

1) Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.

I am in my study and I am wearing my “around the house” clothes, a tank top and a skort.

2) Who's your one biggest fan/supporter of your writing?

I have to say my daughters, Grace and Faith. Grace has read The Healer’s Apprentice three times (I won’t let her read my other books yet) and she says it is “yummy.” Faith is my publicist. She tells everybody—and I do mean everybody—about my book. And they prayed for a long time for me to get published!

3) This is your debut book? Can you tell us what it feels like to finally get the call that your book is being published?

Well, I was in shock for about 30 minutes! Then I was really happy and excited, but I still could hardly believe it. It’s amazing, a dream come true.

4) If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?

That’s a tough one, because in most books, the characters go through all kinds of bad stuff before they can have their happy ending! Maybe I would be Scarlet O’Hara so I could straighten up and realize what a doofus I was being and prevent most of the bad stuff from happening!

5) How many times have we heard Medievals aren’t selling? Can you tell us why you think yours was picked up?

Well, my short answer would be, because of the grace of God! He’d heard me crying for three years … Seriously, I think it didn’t really matter about the setting. My publisher was ready for something that would appeal to young people, a young adult romance that was different and yet sort of timeless. I think Twilight, which was such a huge bestseller and was also a young adult romance, opened the door to The Healer’s Apprentice getting published. I was (finally) in the right place at the right time, market-wise.

6) Did anyone inspire you to write?

Yes and no! No one in particular, but all the great authors I’ve read in my lifetime.

7) If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)

Can I offer my top two? Jane Austen and Beth Moore. With Jane, I’d want to ask her tons of questions. We’d go for walks for our health when the weather was nice and discuss about all the eligible men and women in the neighborhood and who had been gazing longingly at whom. With Beth Moore, we’d talk about God and the Bible and what God has done in our lives, and then we’d laugh and eat whatever her favorite food is and laugh some more! She would be a lot of fun.

9) What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

Hmm. I’m really not materialistic at all, I guess because nothing is coming to mind! I don’t own precious keepsakes from a relative, nor do I own anything of great worth! I guess I would have to say my picture albums. I used to scrapbook a lot, so I have a lot of time and money in my albums, not to mention the great memories with my husband and kids!

10) What is something that very few people know about you?

That I’m really uptight. People think I’m calm because I like projecting that image, but really, I’m an emotional mess! I keep it hidden most of the time. I get really anxious, though, and tend to overreact and panic. I put that characteristic on one of my heroines, in a yet-to-be-contracted book, and it was fun. I laughed at myself when I laughed at her!




Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Friday, September 27th.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Giveaway- Darlene Franklin's, A Woodland Christmas

I'd like to welcome Darlene Franklin. She's giving away a copy of her book, A Woodland Christmas. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.


Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin recently returned to cowboy country—Oklahoma—to be near family. She recently signed the contract for her twelth book. This fall she is celebrating the repacking of her Rhode Island romance in Seaside Romance and her third novella anthology, Face of Mary in A Woodland Christmas. Visit Darlene’s blogs at www.darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com and http://thebookdoctorbd.blogspot.com.


1) Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.

I am in my study wearing a long sun dress, and longing for bed.

2) What thing surprised you the most when you were researching your book?

I didn’t have any big research surprises in this book. I probably spent the most time researching china patterns from the1880s and found a lovely flowing blue-on-white collection called “Flow Blue.”

3) Many writers will say they see stories all around them. Is there someplace you found this story?

I found this story in the love story of Mary and Joseph. Joey Carpenter jokingly asks Polly Jessup to marry him when she’s 13 and he’s leaving for college. Only she takes him seriously and waits. The story starts when he comes home.

4) Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?

I enjoyed the scenes with the woodcarver, Gabe Noell. He’s the one who urges Joey to look for a woman with a character like the biblical Mary to be his model for Mary’s face.

5) Did anyone inspire you to write or was this something you always wanted to do?

Not really and no. I have always written to some extent, but didn’t pursue it seriously until after my divorce. At that point, I began writing every day. That’s been 19 years ago now. A long time to pursue a dream!

6) If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?

I’d love to be Samwise Gamgee—loyal and brave and heroic. Of course, I’d just as soon avoid the trip to Mount Doom.

7) What is something that very few people know about you?

I belonged to the math club in high school. Yes, I was that nerdy.

8) What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

I just bought my only custom-made piece of furniture: a lovely golden brown couch with gorgeous tapestry throw pillows. I look at the couch and sigh with pleasure.


Four couples carve a niche for love in the Piney Woods of East Texas. An itinerant woodcarver moves from town to town in the woodlands, delivering “sawdust sermons” that hold even more value than the furniture he crafts. Will the advice he dispenses help four couples find their way to the miracle of love at Christmas? In my novella, The Face of Mary, Mary “Polly” Jessup holds onto a promise of marriage made five years ago, but when Joseph “Joey” Carpenter returns from law school with a new outlook and new girlfriend, her future hopes are dashed.




Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Friday, September 22th.