Book Quotes

“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”― Jane Austen

Sunday, November 30, 2014

{Sunday} My Hope is in Jesus


 


 
 
 
 
Thanks to Abby at Little Birdie Blessings for her beautiful vintage images 
that she so graciously shares with us all. She has a wonderful post today for the first 
Sunday of Advent.

Have a Blessed Sabbath!



I would appreciate your prayers. The flu bug has hit our family hard since Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Re-posting from HIS World...as I see it (my soon-to-be-deleted photography blog)

Microsoft Image

I’m basically illiterate when it comes to figuring out the problems I have been having on WordPress and Blogger. For some unknown reason to me, despite many hours spent searching forums and trying suggested solutions, I can’t resolve the commenting issue I am having between the two platforms. So, because I have been on Blogger since 2007, I am just going to stick with them, and once again combine my two passions which are books and photography. I know I will probably lose some followers from both platforms but so be it. I don’t have enough spare hours in a day to spend on figuring out this problem anymore, nor do I want to.

I will be deleting HIS World…as I see it. Thanks for following along even for this short time period. I do appreciate my followers and all the ‘likes’ and comments I have gotten.

If you are so inclined, you can follow me at Stuff & Nonsense on Blogger. I've already imported what few posts I had at HIS World...as I see it over to S&N.

Blessings for a Happy Thanksgiving!


WINNER!!!

    

     You won an E-copy of A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom by June McCrary Jacobs. 

I have contacted the publisher so you should be hearing from them soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review ~ HAWK by Ronie Kendig





About the Book
Raptor's communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian "Hawk" Bledsoe is struggling with his inner demons, leaving him on the verge of an "other than honorable" discharge. Plagued with corrupted intel, Raptor team continues to track down the terrorist playing chess with their lives. Afghan pilot Fekiria Haidary is devastated when a systems glitch on her aircraft forces a weapons launch on a safe target. And when the deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make an impossible choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.  
: : :
My Review
No one likes being a pawn, especially Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe.  He’s a tough as nails soldier, tenacious to the bone. Possessing an indomitable spirit, he is faced with grueling challenges. In brutal conditions, he must make painful choices forced upon him by merciless enemies that will test him in every way. Will he come out the victor?
Fekiria Haidary has reason to be protective. Her secret is a big one and could cost her her life. She maintains  a delicate balance in her undertaking, always fearing discovery. At times the fear is overwhelming, even stymieing. Will she be found out?
Hawk is the second book in the Quiet Professionals series. It has a consuming plot line filled with engrossing  and complicated technological intrigue. Between bullets and missiles and literally running for their lives, there shines through some tender moments that gave me breathing space to catch my breath.
Kendig’s writing is impeccable. Once again, I lost all track of time and what was going on around me. I was transported to wherever the characters were and I found myself exhausted mentally and emotionally when I was done.
Fans of Kendig and military thrillers will undoubtedly enjoy Hawk. I’m looking forward to the next book and finally finding out who is causing Raptor team such torment. I’d like to be a fly on the wall at Ms. Kendig’s house, just so I could get a sneak peek of what’s in store for Falcon. J
The publisher provided me a copy for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, only my honest opinion of the book. No compensation has been received.
: : :
About the Author


Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married her own hunky hero, who’s an Army veteran. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her husband have a full life with four children and two dogs. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of raw, broken characters. Since launching onto the publishing scene, Ronie’s Rapid-Fire Fiction has hit the CBA Bestseller List, won the prestigious Christy Award, finaled in numerous contests and reader awards, including ACFW Carol Awards, RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards, Christian Retailing’s Readers’ Choice Awards, INSPY Award, The Christian Manifesto Lime Awards, and Family Fiction’s Readers’ Choice Choice Awards. Ronie loves people and helping other writers through speaking, workshops, and/or mentoring. Find Ronie at www.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction) , Twitter (@roniekendig), and GoodReads.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Last...

fallen leavesLRwm

Autumn leaves have fallen to the ground.

 
I was pleased to capture these glorious reds in the setting sun.

pine needlesLRwm

Even Pine needles look good when the sun is going down :)


Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview & Giveaway ~June McCrary Jacobs, A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom, E-Novella


It's a real treat to have June McCrary Jacobs on the blog today. I know many of y'all are seamstresses, and while this particular interview/giveaway doesn't have anything to do with sewing, June has written and published many articles and patterns in various publications. Be sure and take a look at her website as she has some original designs on there that are so pretty!

So without further ado, let's say Hello.

Welcome to Stuff & Nonsense, June! I’m delighted that you invited me to participate in the blog tour for your Christmas novella, A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom.

Tell us a little bit about your novella and why you wrote it.

Hello, Anne. Thank you for inviting me to share with your readers on your blog. I have always loved and enjoyed the holiday season so I felt led to write a Christmas story. My Christmas novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom,’ began as a story about a little girl who loved anything to do with angels. Singing angels, snow angels, angel tree ornaments, songs about angels—you get the picture. I envisioned a storyline with this little girl’s family suffering a crisis where the entire community pulled together to help them out financially. This little girl developed into six-year old Mary Noel in my book. The heroine was going to be a new first grade teacher, Amber, because I knew a lot about this profession from my own twenty-year career in the classroom.

I wrote the first two chapters in heat of the summer of 2013 and then set those aside to work on other sewing and writing projects. In late November, 2013, I found the call for submissions for Cedar Fort Inc.’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest through a Google search. After I read the publisher’s mission statement on their website I decided to finish my novella about Amber and Mary Noel and submit it to the contest. This was the first writing contest I’d ever entered. I wrote the book to inspire myself and readers to remember the true meaning of Christmas—love.


Share with us about your writing journey.

A few years ago I began designing sewing projects and submitting them to magazines and books for consideration for publication. I was required to write the instructions for my projects, and I also wrote ten non-fiction columns/articles for sewing and craft magazines. I’ve wanted to write fiction since I was in sixth grade, so honing my writing skills in the non-fiction arena was good preparation to transition into writing fiction.

For a couple years before I entered the Cedar Fort contest I sent out a lot of submissions for clean romance to various large and small publishing houses. Lots of rejections followed, but I tried not to become disheartened about becoming a published author. I was determined to continue making progress, however slowly, on my road to becoming a published fiction author. When I received the news from Cedar Fort that they wanted to publish ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’ I was surprised and ecstatic and very grateful.

What do you think makes a good story?
I think different genres require their own essential elements to be successful. Romance requires good character development, some back story so readers know about the characters’ life journeys, a setting with a romantic ambience, obstacles in the characters’ life journeys, and light humor. Thrillers and mysteries require the nail-biting element, strong characters (heroes/heroines versus villains), a setting with some danger and urgency, life-threatening obstacles, and lots of red herrings. General fiction must have interesting, quirky characters with lots of unrevealed feelings and beliefs. Right now I’m enjoying reading lots of Amish fiction. I enjoy the quaint small town settings, the homemaking skills the women must possess and practice such as sewing, quilting, and cooking, and learning about how the families work together to accomplish their goals. In this genre I believe the authors have be very descriptive in their writing so readers will understand unfamiliar religious connotations and the why and wherefore for everything the Amish community does.

Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards? Pictures? 
I am and always have been a very visual person. In regard to my sewing designs, I envision a project before I set anything down on fabric or paper. The same is true with my characters. I have a physical description of the character in my mind first. Then I begin writing down the traits the character possesses including occupation, hobbies, family life/history, education, residence, clothing style, talents, skills, language patterns, etc. Once those traits are formulated, I begin working on the story in my mind—no typing on the computer yet. I need to let things ‘percolate’ for awhile before jumping into the story. I like to know where the story is going before I begin composing dialogue, etc. I jot down ideas as they come to me, but I don’t outline heavily as some authors do. As soon as I’m comfortable with all of these elements, I begin the process of writing the story. I edit as I go along on a daily basis. Then I edit over and over again until I’m happy with the product.

In your spare time, do you have any hobbies you enjoy?
I’ve been sewing since I was about eight years old, and sewing is still my favorite hobby. I also enjoy hand-embroidery, quilting, reading, walking, cooking, and photography. My husband and I enjoy visiting history and art museums and galleries, touring historic homes, walking around parks and botanical gardens, and listening to baseball games on the radio. One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to visit historic homes when they’re decorated for the holidays.

Do you have a favorite book? What about it makes it stand out from others?
This is a challenging question for me to answer, Anne. As your readers can tell from my Goodreads Author Page (see link below), I have a breadth of interests when it comes to genres. My favorite books stand out because of their extraordinary characters and exceptional writing. I enjoy reading about people living in different eras and different cultures than I. Some of my favorite books are ‘Gone With the Wind,’ ‘Little Women,’ ‘The Joy Luck Club,’ ‘Rain of Gold,’ ‘Cane River,’ and the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ series. The final five on this list are based on the author’s family history and the ‘memoir’ factor makes the books all the more appealing to me! 

Where can you be found on the internet?
My website and ‘Writing and Sewing’ blog can be found at:  http://www.junemccraryjacobs.com.  I write about books, book reviews, textile shows, museum exhibits, and sewing tips there with a new post each Wednesday. The first Wednesday of each month (and sometimes additional times throughout the month) I post free patterns and instructions for one of my original-design sewing or crafting projects for readers’ use and enjoyment.
--My Author’s Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/June-McCrary-Jacobs/153549754836128.  If you Like my Facebook page you’ll receive automatic notifications of new postings and the free projects, etc.
--My Goodreads Author Page:  http://www.goodreads.com/June-McCrary-Jacobs
--My Email Address is:  junemccraryjacobs@gmail.com

It’s been great working with you on this project, Anne. Thank you for your hospitality. Best wishes to you and your readers for a holiday season filled with many blessings, new memories made with family and friends, and love!


http://www.junemccraryjacobs.com/2014-blog-tour-posts/

Okay, Y’all! June has graciously offered to give away an e-copy of her book, *A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom, to one of my readers. Just answer the following question:  "What is your favorite Christmas carol (or hymn) and why?" Also, don’t forget to leave an email address so I can contact you in case you are the winner! Giveaway ends Nov 25th.

(The formats available are PDF or e-books (epub and Kindle/mobi formats)
 
* I haven't read this novella yet but from reading the Amazon reviews, I understand it is a clean inspirational story, reminiscent of a Hallmark Movie. And if the cover is anything to go by, it is surely a sweet read!!! 
 

WINNER!!!

 
You won an e-book of Sadie's Gift by Niki Turner!!!
 
I've sent Niki an email so you should hear from her soon.
 
~ Have a blessed weekend ~
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Barn Collective

This is one of my favorite barns from my archives.

Sharing with The Barn Collective #8 @ Rose Street Reflections

For my Barn meme friends....I am having trouble leaving a comment with my Wordpress identity on some of your blogs. I don't have any idea why this is happening all of a sudden. But I am enjoying seeing all the beautiful barns!

The Barn Collective

old barn on 274_3wm
 
This is one of my favorite barns from my archives.

Sharing with The Barn Collective #8 @ Rose Street Reflections

For my Barn meme friends....I am having trouble leaving a comment with my Wordpress identity on some of your blogs. I don't have any idea why this is happening all of a sudden. But I am enjoying seeing all the beautiful barns!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review ~ Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek by Sharlene MacLaren


About the Book
Two years ago this Christmas, Sadie Bennett's beloved husband was killed in a tragic accident at the local sawmill. What was once her favorite time of year now haunts her, with its cheerful trappings a cruel reminder of the love she lost. The young widow would like nothing more than to hibernate until the festivities are over. When she finds herself assigned to the committee tasked with picking a Christmas tree for the town square of Little Hickman Creek, she begrudgingly agrees but determines to fulfill her duties to the bare minimum. As the search for a suitable tree gets under way, Sadie is dismayed to learn that one of her fellow committee members is a man she's worked hard to avoid. Reed Harris owns the local livery, and while he's friendly enough, good-looking, too, Sadie isn't ready to invest in another relationship. In fact, she may never be ready, unless a Christmas miracle manages to thaw her frozen heart.
 
My Review
Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek by Sharlene MacLaren is a tender and endearing story. Sadie Bennett is not looking forward to Christmas. Two years previous, her beloved husband passed away tragically, and the holiday only serves to bring back that painful time. Reed Harris is relatively new to town after inheriting his uncles livery. He’s had eyes for Sadie but to no avail. Her heart is closed toward any relationship with a man.
With a strong spiritual thread woven throughout, I was happy to see Sadie’s character grow and change in her faith. Sometimes in a shorter story that is a bit hard to accomplish, but MacLaren is definitely gifted in this respect.
Even though the story moves quickly, I had ample time to become invested in the lives of the residents of Little Hickman Creek and enjoy seeing their comradarie with one another. One of my favorite aspects of the story is the children’s Christmas Pageant. Little ones have the capacity to soften our hearts, making way for the ‘real’ meaning of Christmas to shine forth.
I highly recommend Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek. The publisher sent me a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. No compensation has been received.
 

About the Author

A Christian for 45+ years, and a lover of the English language, Shar has always enjoyed dabbling in writing—poetry, fiction, various essays, and freelancing for periodicals and newspapers.  Her favored genre, however, has always been romance.  She remembers well the short stories she wrote in high school and watching them circulate from girl to girl during government and civics classes.  “Psst,” someone would whisper from two rows over, and always with the teacher’s back to the class, “Pass me the next page.” 

You can read more about Sharlene at her website -  Sharlene MacLaren.com

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Interview & Giveaway ~ Niki Turner, Sadie's Gift - A Christmas Traditions Novella


My sincerest apologies to you, Niki. The interview and giveaway was supposed to be posted on Monday. Also, I apologize to you all for the formatting weirdness going on here, but I am having some serious issues since being forced to switch to IE for my browser. I have no idea how to fix them.
 
Welcome to Stuff & Nonsense, Niki! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing
journey.

I’m an only child. My mother taught me to read before kindergarten, and books became some of my best friends. All through high school I planned on becoming a writer. And then I married my high school sweetheart and had four babies in seven years. I took a LONG time off from writing to raise and homeschool my children, and help my husband plant a church. I only started writing again in 2007 or 2008 as a way to reduce stress. Entering writing contests and finding other writers to interact with was so much easier than it was back in the ‘80s! I entered RWA’s Faith, Hope & Love contest in 2009 with my first completed manuscript and won second place. Participation in ACFW has led to my taking on the role of Colorado Area Coordinator this year. I also started working a full-time job from home this fall (the job, the area coordinator position, and the release of Sadie’s gift all took place in the same week!). I’m still trying to figure out how to fit my writing life into my new schedule.

 

Wow! You are super busy. What do you think makes a good story?

Oh, I struggle with this. Is it the characters? Is it the plot? Setting? Excellent writing? I’m a dreadful literary critic. I know I love a book when that book sucks me in and keeps me there, and when it stays with me after I’ve closed the cover, but I have a hard time identifying WHY the story was good. To a degree, I think it depends on the genre. In romance especially, it’s important to like and identify with the characters. In suspense, the plot has to keep surprising you. My ultimate writing goal (and favorite genre to read) is romantic suspense. Figuring out how to blend likeable characters with a well-paced and intriguing plot (and don’t forget the spiritual journey) is quite a challenge!

 
I love a good suspense! It absolutely MUST draw me in and keep me on the edge of my seat. Where is your favorite place to write?


When I started writing as a teenager, I used an antique manual typewriter that originally belonged to a well-known Denver Post sportswriter. Because I’m an as-I-go self-editor, writing on the computer is SO much better than correction tape and carbon paper! Does anyone else remember correction tape and carbon paper? These days I write on my laptop, either at my desk or in my pink (yes, pink) recliner. I recently had to switch from OpenOffice to Word2013 and it has been a struggle! I’ve recently discovered that for plotting and planning I need a notebook and a pencil and background noise.

 

Yes! I do remember correction tape and carbon paper, and the keys would get stuck together at times, too. Tell us a little bit about your novella and why you wrote it?

Sadie’s Gift was totally a “God thing.” I signed my first traditional publishing this spring. I was waiting for edits when my Inkwell Inspirations sister and mentor Gina Welborn asked me if I would be interested in the Christmas Traditions collection. When I saw the list of ladies who had signed on I was floored—of course I wanted to participate!

As a child I read “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry and the story stuck with me. When you are willing to sacrifice what’s most valuable to you for the sake of another, that IS the spirit of Christmas, and a Christmas tradition that should be perpetuated in every generation! I wanted to share that same kind of message in my story.

My original idea was for a contemporary highlighting The Giving Tree program. But when everyone agreed to go with historicals, I had to scramble. The Giving Tree wasn’t instituted until much later in the 1900s, but I figured Sadie could have tried something similar in 1921 Colorado Springs. I spent a weekend doing research about Colorado Springs (my great-grandfather was the county clerk pre-1910, and I was born there much, much later) and learned that the tuberculosis epidemic and subsequent establishment of sanatoriums to treat the sick was a huge economic boon to Colorado Springs. That led me to preventoriums, where children who had been exposed to the disease lived in a kind of foster care system. Voila! Children plus Christmas equals Christmas story! The story came together in less than a month, and Sadie and Nathan have become two of my favorite characters.

 

The Lord is good like that to His children! Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to get up and write down a thought? If so, do you keep a tablet on your bedside table or go to the computer?

Nope. I wish I did. I often dream entire novels and screenplays in Technicolor, but as soon as my eyes open, it’s gone. These days (hello post-hysterectomy 40s) I just want to sleep all night without having to get up to get a drink, let the dog out, or use the potty.

 
Oh yes, trying to remember something in the morning is a nightmare ;) Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards? Pictures? 

I’m an SOTP (Seat Of The Pants) writer. As I told my husband the last time I tried NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month), I find out what’s in my story and who my characters are as the words fall onto the page. It’s messy. I’m gradually learning tricks to make it less messy, but it’s a process! I frequently forget my character’s last names, eye color, etc., and have to go back and search it out. Using spreadsheets, or a notebook, or something, would help me with that, but I haven’t gotten there yet!

One thing I have come to LOVE, especially for historicals, is Pinterest. It’s so easy to create a Pinterest board devoted to a particular story, and use it for ideas of what your characters look like, or your setting. For Sadie’s Gift, my Pinterest board was invaluable for picturing Colorado Springs in 1921. It is astonishing how much information is available to us at the click of a mouse.

 

Pinterest is amazing! I already hopped over there and started following your boards  :) Can you give us a glimpse into your next book or story idea?

My official “next book” will be published by Pelican Book Group as part of their Passport to Romance collection. It’s titled “Santiago Sol.” Edits are finished, and I’m just waiting for a release date.

As far as what I’m working on? I’ve got a contemporary romantic suspense under way, the beginnings of a dystopian YA, and plans for three historical romantic novellas. Ack! Sometimes picking which one to work on is like playing Whack-A-Mole at the carnival!

 

Sounds like you have your hands full. Have you traveled to locations that your books are set in? Where is the one place you would love to set a book but know you can’t possibly go there? Would you write it anyway?

Santiago Sol is set in Chile, where I visited three times to teach in a ministry training school. It’s the only place besides Mexico I’ve been outside the U.S. I set most of my books in Colorado because that’s where I’ve lived all my life and I’m kind of stuck to that “write what you know” rule.

To me, writing historicals (or dystopian YA, which is future), requires writing about somewhere we can’t possibly go. It’s challenging, but fun!

 

I always enjoy reading stories set in exotic places. In your spare time, do you have any hobbies you enjoy?


credit
I have a Pinterest board titled “Projects I CouldBe Doing.” There are so many hobbies I would love to spend time pursuing, but even when I have spare time, I never get around to them. If I defined my REAL hobbies by what I actually do with my spare time I’d have to list reading, shopping in thrift/consignment stores, and gardening.


I do believe we have something in common. I enjoy Pinterest, thrifting, and reading, too. Do you have a favorite book? What about it makes it stand out from others?

I feel guilty for saying this… I don’t have a favorite book. I have a few authors I particularly enjoy, and some I don’t, but I really don’t have one particular favorite.

 

You're right. There are so many good books out there. Why pick just one? :) What’s the one food item you can’t live without?

Authentic Italian food. Note: I’m not even a tiny bit Italian, but I LOVE Italian food. In a pinch, pizza will suffice, but if you really want to win me over, take me out for an authentic Italian meal. YUM!

 

The aroma of Italian food is amazing! What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Why?

We try new things every year. One of my favorites was the year we decided all our gifts would be thrifted or homemade. It took so much stress out of the season, for me, anyway.  Now that I have grandchildren I bow to the Christmas whims of their parents, as I believe grandparents should!

 

We did that one year when the children were young. They enjoyed 'sneaking' around and making surprises for others. Where can you be found on the internet?

Facebook is my social go-to. Twitter confuses me. I blog once a month at Inkwell Inspirations, and whenever I can at In Truer Ink. And Pinterest!!! You can check out my Sadie’s Gift board and my Santiago Sol board!
Facebook: 
facebook.com/niki.turner
Twitter:
@NikiTurner716
Pinterest: 
pinterest.com/niki_turner/
LinkedIn: 
linkedin.com/in/niki716/

 


Is there a question you would like my readers to answer in order to be entered to win an e- copy of your novella?

Can’t think of anything! Just commenting is worth an entry to me, but if you have some other idea, go for it!
 
Doesn't Niki sound like a great person to get to know? I can sense she is fun and enthusiastic about life just by her answers.
In order to be entered in the drawing please leave a comment encouraging Niki in her new job because we ALL need encouragement! Leave an email address so you can be contacted, too.
Drawing ends Nov 19th and I will announce a winner on Nov 20th. I am assuming since it is an e-book it is open internationally. I'll make sure and put an update at the top of the post, if not.
 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

WINNER!!!

Congratulations!
 
 
 
 
 
You won the E-book, A November Bride by Beth Vogt!
 
~Have a blessed day in the Lord~
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Tree, a Smart Phone, and an App

I was playing around with a new editing App called Aviary that I downloaded for my smart phone. Using the same photo, I tried several effects.

tree originalLRwm

^^^This ^^^is the original, which I seriously don't think came out bad at all. I just have a hard time not experimenting. :)

tree5LRwm
 
There is a subtle difference using the Lucky effect; sort of like cross processing.

tree4LRwm

The sepia tone effect, Boardwalk, makes it look sort of old and western-y.

tree3LRwm

Using the Sentosa effect and decreasing the saturation, gives this one a bit of a chilly feel to it.

tree2LRwm

To give it a more dramatic look, I used Metropolis, which is their version of a B&W effect.

The App has lots of features to choose from. And you can share on multiple social networks once you're finished editing.

Once I was done, I emailed them to myself, opened them in Picmonkey and watermarked them. I could have done this in Aviary because it has Text ability, but I needed a bit of extra to make my text visible. So, in Picmonkey I used a Tape Overlay sent to the back to make my name more visible. Otherwise, it was lost in the grass. :)

Do you edit photos on your smart phone? If so, which program do you prefer?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Interview ~ Darlene Franklin, and FREE book days


I’m pleased to have with us today award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin. Darlene has written An Apple for Christmas (the fourth e-novella in the Christmas Traditions Series) which will be free on Amazon Nov 7-9!

Welcome to Stuff & Nonsense, Darlene! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey?

I began writing in the wake of my divorce, more than twenty years ago. I’ve written almost every day ever since, but my first book, Romanian Rhapsody, wasn’t published until 2005. Now I have over 35 books in print. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to continue writing. I also write a lot of devotions and have just taken up poetry as well.

Share with us a little about your novella and why you wrote it.

About the book: Ruby Nelson trades her job in the laboratory for teaching in a small girls’ school in Vermont. Twin sisters challenge her position—and their father captivates her imagination. Will the orchard grower graft Ruby onto his heart?

When I learned that Vermont’s apple industry was burgeoning in the 1890s, I loved the idea of a teacher (an apple for the teacher’s desk, after all) and a widower father. To make matters more interesting, I gave the hero’s family apple names: Mac(intosh), Margil, and Pippin Cortland. I had a lot of fun weaving apples throughout the story and making it a vital part of a Christmas romance. 

What do you think makes a good story?

Interesting characters, interesting setting, and problems to overcome.

Where is your favorite place to write?

Boring. Sitting in my chair, computer on a bed table, in front of the TV.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to get up and write down a thought? If so, do you keep a tablet on your bedside table or go to the computer?

Sometimes I scratch it down on the word search book I’m working on, but not often. If I’m awake, I’ll tuck a few words away in my idea folder on m y computer.

Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards? Pictures? 

No, to all of that.

Can you give us a glimpse into your next book or story idea?

            Hmm. I had a friend once who described the four stages of writing:

·        Developing an idea: I’m working on a Valentine’s Day story centered around candy hearts and Anne of Green Gables, in 1915.

·        Writing a book: I’m writing the next (and final) book in my Maple Notch series: Homecoming, where the curator of the Maple Notch Historical Museum entertains the archeologist who comes to town to dig the family’s Revolutionary War-era cabin.

·        Editing a book: I am working on edits from my Harlequin editor on Small-Town Bachelor, scheduled for a May release; and galley proofs for Priceless Pearl, which will appear in Homestead Brides in February 2015.

·        The final step is promoting a book. This interview is part of the promotion. J

Have you traveled to locations that your books are set in? Where is the one place you would love to set a book but know you can’t possibly go there? Would you write it anyway?

I dream of a series set on Florida’s gulf coast. I may write it, even if I can’t go. I have never been in Romanian (the setting of Romanian Rhapsody) but people who have say I got it right. Research can help a lot.

What’s the one food item you can’t live without?  


image
Oh, my, that’s under review. I think I would miss chocolate the most. (I insisted on a chocolate bar for Halloween.)
In your spare time, do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

I do a lot of word searches. I keep in touch with my family, but that’s not a hobby. I also read a lot. Now that I’ve discovered free Kindle books, I have far more books than I have time to read. And too much TV. I’m also walking and exercising, which is helping my overall health (I live in a nursing home)

Do you have a favorite book? What about it makes it stand out from others?

Three books stand out above others (besides the Bible, of course): The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I almost regret the movies that deter people from reading the original stories in all their glory). Dick Francis’s book, Whip Hand, which is one of the most suspenseful books I’ve ever read, not to mention an unforgettable character. And The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger, in which the book is far better than the movie, and the best romance I have ever read.        



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What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Why?

Christmas carols, all of them. Music has been the language of my heart since childhood, and I love singing all the carols.

Where can you be found on the internet?

I am wanting to update my blog, so I’m not recommending you check there. For daily updates, check for me at https://www.facebook.com/darlene.franklin.3 and like my author page at https://www.facebook.com/Poet.Darlene.Franklin


Author Bio: Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over thirty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Colorado to Vermont.

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An Apple for Christmas will be FREE Nov 7-9!!!