Friday, September 17, 2010

My Friend Darlene - Interview & Giveaway

Today we're welcoming prolific writer Darlene Franklin to the blog to talk about her newly-released anthology from Barbour, A Woodland Christmas. Hard as it is to believe 'tis the season again, it's definitely time to start hunting down what books you'll want to get yourself in the holiday spirit this year!

Darlene has graciously offered a copy of A Woodland Christmas to one lucky readers, so as usual, leave your comments below. And please make sure you're a follower!


About Darlene

Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin recently returned to cowboy country—Oklahoma—to be near family. She recently signed the contract for her twelfth 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 and


About A Woodland Christmas

Four couples carve a niche for love in the Piney Woods of East Texas. 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.


What's your latest book?

Barbour Publishing released Seaside Romance in August and A Woodland Christmas on September 1st. Both books are anthologies, and I am one of the authors.

I'm already intrigued by the mere mention of "seaside" . . . but I'll be good and focus on the Christmas one. ;-) I do love Christmas too, after all. What's your favorite part of the story?

Gabe Noell, an itinerant woodcarver, appears in all four stories in A Woodland Christmas. He’s quite a character, and I had fun with him. In my story, The Face of Mary, Gabe is carving life-size nativity figures. My hero is painting them, and he is searching for the woman who resembles Mary in character to be his model. Little does he realize she’s right under his nose.

Sounds fun! What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

I would say that romance picked me. As a single woman, I give all the credit to God for allowing me to write romance. He is the author of all true love and His love is the rock solid foundation of my life. Lately I’ve been writing mostly historical romance, which has become a very rewarding experience. At the same time it’s scary. There is so much I don’t know!

I read a lot of romance (mostly historical), but my default genre for mental relaxation is mystery/suspense. The busier I get, the more I drop everything else and stick to mysteries.

I know exactly what you mean about the scariness of historicals! Gotta love 'em though. What are you reading right now—and what do you want to read next?

I’m in the middle of a “push” writing project, so I am doing what I usually do when under pressure: relaxing with a good mystery or suspense book. Currently I’m reading Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark. She’s one of the few romantic suspense authors I read regularly, and she always impresses me by the way she integrates her faith into her books in a very gentle way.

And of course I always have more than one book going at a time! During my quiet time, I’m reading Breathing Grace by Dr. Henry Straus. I’m also reading Rocky Mountain Match by Pamela Nissen. I am also reading a book about a range war in Texas for my next WIP.

Next, I want to finish Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris and the next mystery on my list is The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry.

Wow, that's one rich reading life! I'm impressed. =) Now, here's a fun one: what's one of the oddest or most interesting things someone has ever said about you?

My entire family was humor-challenged; practical jokes used to leave me scratching my head. So when laughter comes easily now, I thank God. Imagine my shock—and delight—when someone said “You smile all the time!” Give all the credit for that to God.

LOL. What would your dream office look like—and what does your REAL writing environment look like?

I recently purchased a home and have the luxury of an entire room for my office! And every spare inch is crammed: desk, 3 book cases, 2 filing cabinets, printer desk, and a rolling cart where I keep office supplies. I hope to finish off the room with a poster-sized print of one of my photos of my beloved Rockies, so I can escape to Colorado in my mind while writing. (While living through Oklahoma’s hot summers).

I’ve come a long way since I wrote my first novel while riding on the bus! Praise the Lord.

Oh, I envy you that room to yourself! Though not the writing on the bus . . . ;-) What lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?

I’m not sure at which point I learned this lesson, but I hear it a lot from pre-published writers: the attitude of “if only.” If only I could win the Genesis contest. If only I could get a book published.

The “if onlys” don’t stop there, however. Then it becomes “if only I get a second book published.” If only enough people buy my book. If only I could get a bigger contract.

Whether pre-published or multi-published, we still struggle with self-doubt and want more and have to turn it over to God.

Too true. Do you remember where you were when you got your first or most important call about a book contract?

I have sold sixteen books; and I haven’t had a phone call yet. I do remember that I received the news about my first book the night before Thanksgiving. Great rejoicing!

I bet! Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

This has been an amazing year! In addition to the two books mentioned before, I have three books coming out about historical Vermont (and eventually, a repack like Seaside Romance). Each story is based on a historical event in Vermont’s history. In Prodigal Patriot, Reid hides out in a cave with her family and continues to farm her land in spite of Tory opposition—including the father of the man who loves her. In Bridge to Love, Tuttle has to make crops grow in the year when every crop failed (The Year of No Summer) to pay off his debt to the banker—and win the heart of the banker’s daughter. Love’s Raid is a Civil War story; when the bank is robbed, Daniel Tuttle has to determine if it’s a copycat robbery (the St. Albans Raid)—or something closer to home.

Those all sound awesome!


Thanks for visiting, Darlene! Don't forget to check out her sites (above), everyone. And you can order her A Woodland Christmas from Amazon.

Void where prohibited. Entry into the contest is considered verification of eligibility based on your local laws. Chance of winning depends on number of entries. Contest ends 9/23/10. Winner will have two weeks to claim prize.


  1. This sounds like such a great book!
    Please enter me!

  2. thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  3. Ooh, I'd love to be entered into the drawing. Thanks for visiting, Darlene! And thanks to you, too, Roseanna!

    srdietze at sbcglobal dot net

  4. Please enter me! Sounds like a nice read!! :-D


  5. Please enter me. You room sounds wonderful! Darlene thanks for gifting the book!


  6. Please include me.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  7. I would love to win this book, thanks for the chance, I am a follower and Carman sent me.

    ~Lauri M

  8. Thank you so much for the giveaway - I'd love to be entered!!
    winnieayala at yahoo dot com

  9. I love Christmas stories! Enter me. I'm a follower :)


  10. Carman sent me.
    Hi Darlene, Great interview. I love Christmas Stories and read several every yr and even reread some.

    Pls enter me in this giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  11. I'd love to be entered for Woodland Christmas, sounds like a great collection.
    I'm a follower.

  12. Terrific interview - unique and interesting questions make it fun to read. I would love to be entered in the drawing for A Woodland Christmas. I am a follower also.


  13. I would love to win this book! I am a follower.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  14. Please consider me!!!!!!!! :) I love reading these collections.

  15. Gracious, I would love to win this book! Please enter me (Carman sent me here!)

  16. I would love to win a copy of this book, it sounds like a good one! Please add my name to the drawing. Thanks!


  17. I would love to be entered to win a copy of this book. Sounds like a great read!


  18. Enjoyable interview with Darlene - always enjoy her down to earth take it as it comes attitude. Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year and this story appeals to me. I always dread the commercialism of the holiday and wish for more times of warmth, peace and comfort. Reading stories that center around God's love and his birth put me in the mood for this special day better than anything. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win this good book. I hope I do.

    Sharing God's Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  19. a follower.Great interview. A Woodland Christmas sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

  20. I love the cover art of A Woodland Christmas and I just plain love books set during the Christmas season. I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.