Author bio:Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin recently returned to cowboy country—Oklahoma—to be near family. She recently signed the contract for her tweleth 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
What led me to a story set in 1816 Vermont?
Heartsong Presents had invested several years in publishing three historical romances and three contemporary series about all fifty states. As you may imagine, competition among writers was fairly fierce. A handful of states remained in 2009; as a native New Englander, the possibility of telling stories set in historical Vermont appealed to me. So I researched Vermont history and came up with stories set during the Revolutionary War (Prodigal Patriot, released last July); the Year of No Summer, when snow or freeze occurred during every month of the year, 1816 (Bridge to Love, releasing this month, which also features the construction of one of Vermont’s famed covered bridges); and the northernmost battle of the Civil War, St. Albans’ Raid (Love’s Raid, releasing next March).
In Bridge to Love, my hero, Calvin Tuttle, has returned home from the War of 1812 and is trying to grow a crop and make enough money to pay off his debt to the bank. But the monthly freezing temperatures are killing the plants almost faster than he can plant them. Can he save his farm—and win the heart of the banker’s daughter?
As I wrote the story, I thought about God’s promise to Noah that “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) Did Calvin wonder if he was living in the last days? Did he question God’s promise, which appeared to be failing? I could easily imagine myself in that situation, wrestling with theological questions as much as the weather.
Calvin tries an ingenious method to grow his crop (proven by history to work in the town of Egypt, Vermont) which leads him to an ethical dilemma that puts him even further at odds with the banker.
And on an even more personal note, the name I gave my heroine just happens to be my mother’s middle name—Beatrice. And Mom went home to be with the Lord in February. So this book is a special tribute to her.
Come with me and enjoy a visit to Maple Notch.
Here are the last four winners!!
Winner of Celtic Knot: Sheree
Winner of Surrender the Heart: Jennifer
Winner of Mail Order Brides: Katie
Winner of A Woodland Christmas: Debbie