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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


First of all, a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to everyone who made my August blogs such an outstanding success. Due to the fantastic response, I am able to offer 5 people one of my books. (If this keeps up, I may need to adjust my giveaway guidelines!) One additional person will receive MaryLu Tyndall's book Surrender the Heart as well.

I am asking the following people to contact me privately at belovedfranklin at msn dot com, with the title of the book you would like to receive. Unfortunately, I am unable to give away any further copies of Seaside Romance.
  • Robin
  • Melanie Isaac
  • Barb Shelton
  • Patsy
  • Juanita W.

Sandi Rog is the winner of MaryLu's book.

Congratulations to all! Return in September for more author interviews and book giveaways!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I go to a Spanish group on Monday nights. We're an informal group, grown by word of mouth. People who want to practice speaking Spanish gather for dinner and conversation.

I'm part of the single largest contingent within the group (thanks to my friend Nancy whom I've mentioned earlier): Nancy, me, our pastor, and a lady who grew up in Mexico. Maggie is a very patient teacher with all our mistakes and mispronunciations. Students, teachers, and tourists round out the group.

Last Monday, Maggie insisted I tell her the story of my novella, The Face of Mary "en Español": La Cara de Maria. So by the time I arrived at the restaurant, my Spanish pump was primed. We chatter, loudly, enthusiastically, full of laughter and humor, with lots of appeals to a dictionary or to Maggie. We sense the people around us listening to our conversation. We have to remember to switch back to English for the staff, none of whom speak Spanish.

By the time we depart, we are in Spanish mode and only slow slip back into English. For a few short hours, I leave Oklahoma City behind and travel in my mind and heart to Mexico.

This week my poor critique partner made the mistake of choosing a Mexican character. She knows French, but her knowledge of Spanish is about the same as my level of French: next to nothing. For instance, she gave Patrillo a nickname of "Trill." I said, "His name would be pronounced pah-TREE-yo." And so on.

Occasionally we hear rumors of heaven the same way. We visit among people where we catch a glimpse of the sounds and images and feelings of heaven. We have a "mountain top" experience.

When we return to the real world--let's hold on to those echoes of heaven in our hearts.

You have until Tuesday night to leave a comment for the August book drawings: it looks like I will be giving away five of my books as well as one copy of Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall. Leave a comment on any or all of the posts during August to increase your chances to win. A new drawing begins on September 1.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I am the featured guest this week on Margaret Daley's blog. Check it out at

Sunday, August 22, 2010


My children (both of them at some time or other) used to accuse church people of being hypocritical. They said they went to church and pasted on smiles and pretended all was fine when it wasn't.

Today I decided that's not hypocritical. That's what worship is meant to do: to shift our attention from the things of this world to the sovereign God we worship.

I'm a musician, and I love to sing at church. (This morning a gentleman asked who was going to be blessed to have me sit behind them today!)

Sometimes I sing quietly--especially when it's a new song and with today's lack of music, I don't know the melody. But sometimes it's a familiar song, the melody soars and suits my soprano voice, and the words inspire my deepest worship. That happened today with Michael W. Smith's "Great is the Lord." As we sang "now lift up your voice," I lifted my voice and sang my heart out.

Then during the offering, they turned on a recording of my all-time favorite Resurrection hymn: Charles Wesley's "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." I wasn't the only one humming along. Oh, and I can't forget the rare treat of singing a hymn by my favorite hymn writer, Fanny Crosby: "Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It"--with the original melody, no less.

Our pastor continued his series on Revelation, this time focusing on the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church (from the marriage supper of the Lamb in Revelation 20). He described worship attendance as a date night and admitted how he often struggles with being distracted from worship. Don't we all?

But then he turned the tables. Our prayer should be that God, in all His awesome glory, should distract us from the petty problems that turn our attention away from Him.

Music, more than anything else, does that for me.

This has been a banner month for my blog. The most comments ever--over 60. So far we are scheduled for six giveaways during August. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Check out for an interview and book giveaway for Seaside Romance!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Check out for my article on voice and a chance to win Seaside Romance.

Monday, August 16, 2010


One friend can make all the difference.

Nancy has become my best friend since she befriended me at my new church. I say she befriended me, because she sought me out, calls me at least once a week, and draws me into her circle of friends. Our friendship was cemented as we watched the ice skating Olympics together.

Nancy in turn introduced me to her friends ... so on the Saturday after my birthday, I enjoyed lunch with Barbara, Maggie and Pat. Nancy is determined to learn Spanish, so we go to a Spanish group together; and all these years later after my summer in Mexico, I am becoming close friends with Mexican Americans. Greetings of “Buenos días! Como estás?” ring out as often as “Hi! How are you?” (and for those Spanish purists, I can’t find symbols for upside down exclamation points or question marks.)

And then there’s choir and a ladies’ mission group and ... the list goes on.

But if I still needed proof that Nancy and I are soul mates, I received it when Nancy brought me a gift from her recent trip to Arizona.

A wooden Christmas ornament, hand painted with Navajo design.

Nancy didn’t know I treasure my Christmas ornaments. Each one tells a story.

But she knows me. And she picked a present I will treasure.

Thank you, Lord, for Nancy.

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of my books or Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I am the featured guest at Stop by, learn a little more about me and leave a comment for a chance to win Prodigal Patriot.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Wow. Last week I had 36 comments left on the various blog entries, more than I used to get in a whole month! A big thanks to MaryLu for being my guest, and to all of you who stopped by.

Winners from the month of July:
  1. Winners of The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis: Keli and Merry.
  2. Winner of Love Finds You in Calico, California: Janet
  3. Winner of whichever of my books that they choose: Rachel, Jodi, Rebecca

If you haven't heard from me regarding your winning entry, please contact me at belovedfranklin at msn dot com.

This month MaryLu Tyndall is giving away a copy of her book, Surrender the Heart, and I will be giving away 3-4 of my own books (if we reach 46 comments this month, I will give away 4 books!)

Monday, August 9, 2010


I have been debating what to say in today's post. As much as I adore my granddaughters (yesterday Jordan grabbed a pair of sunglasses and wandered around the store looking like a minature sun goddess), I know they're more interesting to me than to you.

And I already have 38 comments for the month of August. Wow! People really respond to hearing from writers.

BTW, that means I only need to receive 8 more comments all month to give away 4 of my books this month. (1-15 comments, 1 book; 16-30, 2, etc.) Of course, MaryLu Tyndall is also giving away a copy of her wonderful book, Surrender the Heart.

So do I go the route that so many successful blogs do, focusing entirely on reviews and interviews? Or do I continue my present practice, doing that once a month and talking about my favorite topic after writing (me, of course!) the rest of the month?

I started this blog in the throes of grieving over the death of my daughter. I wanted a place people could come and grieve with me, to learn how I was doing without having to repeat the story over and over again. And many wonderful people supported me through that difficult year.

Since then my life has changed in so many ways. My mother also died. I moved from Colorado to Oklahoma. I've lost my daughter and my mother, but I've also gained two beautiful grandchildren (I got to see my grandson's face via ultrasound for my birthday. Oh, my! Engraved on my heart) I ended my career with Dish Network and now write full time, the fulfillment of a twenty-year dream. This blog has traced my journey, a public journal of sorts.

So that's my question today. Any input from my readers? Anything my new readers would especially like to see?

Friday, August 6, 2010


This month it is my pleasure to interview MaryLu Tyndall, a fellow Barbour author, sea lover, and Christian writer. Please join me in welcoming her to my blog.

1. Tell me more about your latest release, Surrender the Heart.

Surrender the Heart is the first book in a trilogy set in Baltimore during the War of 1812. Each book follows the adventures of three Baltimore women who find love and destiny amidst the war, and in the process discover the three main things that keep God’s children from their true destinies in Him.

In the first book, Marianne Denton must marry to unlock her inheritance. Without the money, her mother can’t receive medical care and her sister will be destitute. Defying his father’s wishes, Noah loathes the idea of marrying a woman he finds plain and pompous. Marianne wants nothing to do with the rogue who taunted her as a child, yet she must convince him otherwise or her mother will die. But when Noah walks out on their engagement party, Marianne chases him down and ends up on his merchantman out at sea. Marianne and Noah are forced to face their darkest fears as they desperately try to find a way to escape and fulfill their destinies—destinies that could change the course of the war and history forever

2. When I went to your website, familiar ocean sounds made me feel homesick. Do you live near the ocean? Why do you use that as a theme for your web presence?

I grew up in South Florida where I fell in love with the sea and the tropics. There’s nothing more soothing to me than the sound of waves lapping against the sand. Many a summer you could find me snorkeling just off shore, exploring the reefs and gazing at all the fish. Of course the history lover in me combined my love of the sea with tales of tall ships that explored and often plundered the new world. The first trilogy I ever wrote was a series about Christian pirates in 17th century Caribbean. Most of my books have at last one scene in them that takes place out at sea.

3. The three books in your Surrender to Destiny series take place during the war of 1812. What drew you to that time period? What specifically inspired the story for Surrender the Heart?

I saw a PBS documentary on the War of 1812 and I was awestruck. I never remembered learning about the war in school and I found it fascinating. It is often labeled the 2nd Revolutionary War because Britain was dead set on reacquiring the American colonies back as their own! Much of the war took place out at sea, which of course inspired me. There are many themes running through Surrender the Heart, but the major one revolves around finding God’s destiny for your life. The heroine in the story is a rather plain and untalented woman who doesn’t think she’ll ever do anything important. Yet God uses her to save her country and
change the course of history. My goal with this book is to show that God can use anyone to do great things if we just submit to Him and believe!

4. What has been your most satisfactory experience as a writer?

Fan mail from readers who have been blessed by reading my books. The ones that have really impacted me are the readers who say my stories have brought them closer to God or helped them get through a particular problem. That is why I write. Not for the fanfare or fame, and certainly not for the money. LOL. But I write to glorify God and hopefully open people’s eyes to see Him more clearly.

5. Julia Cameron talks about the concept of “artist dates” in her book, The Artist’s Way. What are some things you do to revitalize and reenergize your writer’s soul?

A long walk in the mountains behind my house, listening to music (I love music!), watching a great movie, praying, and going to the beach. Or maybe all of the above! Creativity can get often overtaxed and you need to get away and get recharged. It’s often during these times that I receive new stories from the Lord.

6. What can readers expect to see next from you? Where can they find you on the internet?

I have two more books coming out in the Surrender to Destiny series.
Surrender the Night (March 2011)
Amid the war of 1812, Baltimore farm girl Rose McGuire is rescued by the least likely of heroes—British Naval Lieutenant Alexander Reed. How will she keep this enemy officer hidden from her family and friends? Alex didn’t plan on getting shot while rescuing a maiden in distress. Now at her mercy, he wonders if Rose will turn him over to the Americans or if his own troops will find him and charge him with desertion. As their attraction grows, a British invasion of Washington DC begins. What role will these young lovers play to change the course of history forever?

Surrender the Dawn (August 2011).
The only way Cassandra Channing can provide for her younger siblings is to hire a privateer, captained by the rogue, Luke Heaton. Although Luke’s prizes provide much wealth for her family, Cassandra suspects foul play. Luke Heaton spends his nights drinking, carousing, and selling supplies to British ships just off the coast of Baltimore. When Cassandra catches on to his treasonous acts, he begins to have second thoughts. Secrets and dangers abound as the British fleet heads toward Baltimore and begin to bombard Fort McHenry. With the fate of their fledgling nation at stake, what destiny awaits this couple as they struggle to keep their faith, their lives, and their love?

You can find me at
Or my blog at:

Leave a comment today or any post all month for a chance to win a copy of Surrender the Heart.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


MaryLu Tyndall has become well known for her exciting seafaring adventures. Her latest, Surrender the Heart, does not disappoint.

Surrender the Sea has plenty of adventure--imagine Americans pressed into service aboard a British ship during the War of 1812! Romance does not disappoint, either, when Marianne Denton accidentally goes to sea and ends up falling in love with the man she most despises.

But the most memorable part of the book for me came in its dedication: To everyone who has ever felt ordinary.

Does that resonate with you the way it does for me? I tell close friends that I often feel invisible (ever make a comment or ask a question on a writers loop that goes totally unnoticed?) Oh, yes, I know what it feels like to feel ordinary. So does Marianne, the heroine of Surrender the Heart. She's not sure she believes God cares any more, not after her father's death, and she certainly doesn't believe He has special plans for her. I thrilled along with her as God unveiled His purpose for her life.

I highly recommend Surrender the Heart to everyone out there who feels ordinary--and even if you already know that you matter!

Marylu will be giving away a copy of Surrender the Heart this month. Leave a comment on any (and all) posts throughout the month for your chance to win a copy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Today is my birthday. Whooppee!!

This week I'm also the featured author on several websites (promoting the release of Seaside Romance). Check out the following:

And reviews for Prodigal Patriot are starting to appear. Check and for some reviews that make me blush.

Happy birthday to me! I received a contract this week for a novella collection in 2011, First Christmas in Christmas at Barncastle Inn.

Remember to leave a comment on any or all posts this month for a chance to win one of my books or Surrender the Heart by MaryLu Tyndall.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


For some reason, I keep track of books read by my birthday, not by calendar years. (Come back tomorrow for some birthday news) So this month completes the latest year's reckoning.

The results? I have a read a total of 137 books (a little more than 11 a month). Of those, 122 were print books, 15 were audio. I used to listen to tons of audio books before I stopped working in an office. Of those, a scant 9 were nonfiction. The rest was a mixture of romance, historical and mystery/suspense/thriller, with a few other oddball titles.

I dabbled in chick lit: Round Robin by Jennifer Chiaivirini and the Potluck Club stories by my friend Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson. They were all good, but will never replace a good murder mystery to my way of thinking.

I also found my way to a couple of YA books: Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth Spear George and The Giver by Lois Lowry. Lowry's book blew me away.

I keep looking for a new mystery author to take his or her place beside James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, and others as "must reads," but I have yet to find one. Two Christian mystery writers that have become don't miss are Brandt Dodson and Stephen James.

I won't even attempt to choose between the many excellent historical romances I read this year. That would be like asking me to choose my favorite sister, and I refuse. There are so many good ones! I judged several ACFW Carol (formerly "Book of the Year") candidates and suggest you check out the winners when they're announced. All of the ones I read from the list of finalists are definitely worthy.

Thanks for hanging along as I reminisce about a year's worth of reading.

And if you want a chance for some free reading material ... leave a comment on any or all posts this month for a chance to win one of my books or Marylu Tyndall's Surrender the Heart (review and interview later this week).