Saturday, August 29, 2009

final giveaway winnner...

I wish I could send a book to every reader out there. And I'm a little sad to see August come to an end as it's been such a memorable month. The Frontiersman's Daughter has been on a blog tour this week with Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and I'm so glad for all the readers and reviewers there. For now, this Saturday's winner of a copy of The Frontiersman's Daughter is...


Just email me at and provide your mailing address and I'll send that out:) Bless you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

relz reviews

Any idea which character in The Frontiersman's Daughter this handsome man is? Ever wonder if an author has actual people in mind when they develop a character? I've recently met a reviewer from Australia well known to Christian fiction and she's done a character spotlight of some folks you may know on her popular blog. Hop on over to and you'll find pictures of Lael, Ian, Captain Jack, and Simon.

Rel writes: Laura Frantz has made a stellar debut with her first historical romance, The Frontiersman's Daughter. Lael Click is a character that will stay with you for a long time, as will the three men whose lives are changed by this unique woman."

It's fun and interesting to learn what readers think of characters - and especially who they may have looked like. Of course everyone has their own ideas. When my husband read TFD, he kept looking at the cover and saying, "That's not Lael!" I like her, however:)

Please visit Rel and then come back and tell me what you think. I'd love to hear who you imagined the characters to be or if you didn't think this way about them at all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

going home

Isn't Kentucky beautiful in the fall? Yesterday I received an invitation to the Kentucky Book Fair November 7, so I'm on my way! This event promotes literacy and supports local libraries and schools which makes me very happy. Every book signed and sold goes for just that. I'm thrilled to be a part of what the invitation calls, "the state's premiere literary event." I get to stay at my favorite 18th-century inn while there. Can't wait!

Here are some Kentucky Derby cupcakes. Edible, all of it! I haven't been to the derby in May for many years. I love horses but haven't ridden since I was 12 years old and got bucked off one. Haven't been back on since:) I'd love to take lessons and have a jockey friend here who might help with that. Anyone remember what Lael's first horse was called? Or what color? Hmmm...anyone but the author remember those type details?

This old postcard makes me chuckle. I heard from a reader in Paducah just this week and thought of her when I saw this, thus the pic. This next trip I'll be hanging out in the Berea area where my parents live and then going to Frankfort for the book event.
Would love to see you there!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

my kentucky buddies

I laughed out loud when my Kentucky friends posted this picture. The expression on Betty's face at left is priceless. Looks like she might have met up with Ian in the book. I felt the same when I created him! Kim, the golf pro, is in the middle. Hmmm...looks like she's wondering if this book might interfere with her golf game. Cathy, on the right, is my friend from 3rd grade in Lexington, Kentucky. I'm sad that I couldn't be with them as they get together often for lunch and other things. But I'm coming, girls, as soon as I can:) Meanwhile, please keep reading!

I'm busy getting books and bookmarks sent out today and answering reader mail, always a high point. If any of you readers would like to see a wonderful blog and have an extra chance to win a copy of The Frontiersman's Daughter, please hop on over to Keli Gwyn's site:
I'm being interviewed there today and it's a privilege! Keli hosts writers and authors in both the secular and Christian realm and is a talented writer herself. I've learned a great deal from her blogs/website and she is becoming a dear friend.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

double whammy book giveaway day...

Aren't these antique bookmarks beautiful? I love bookmarks and collect them wherever I go and enjoy giving them as gifts. I still have a few left of The Frontiersman's Daughter and am gladly giving them and copies of the book this week to...

Adge and Virginia!

I'm finding that some who've entered the drawing already have the book so am doing a double drawing today. It's always such a pleasure to connect with my readers. Just this morning I woke up and found several emails in my inbox from those who'd just finished the book and wrote to tell me about it. This type thing sure puts a smile on an author's face:) So please keep it up. And I really am thankful to those who've taken time to post book reviews! I pray for my readers daily and all who leave comments here. You are dear to my heart!

So the winners just need to email me at and leave their mailing addresses and I'll get those books and bookmarks out. One more drawing next week!

The good book is always a book of travel; it is about a life's journey. -Samuel Pepys

Friday, August 21, 2009

counting blessings

Happy Friday, dear readers. I love looking forward to sleeping in and having coffee on Saturdays and doing whatever else without paying attention to the schedule. Although I must confess a perfect Saturday for me means several hours of writing as it remains my favorite thing to do.

Several things made me smile this week:

*all of your wonderful comments, which really helped me over my first publishing bump. Bless you all! This was a timely reminder of the power we have to help each other by a kind word or two. My editor called this week and said that it takes three positive comments to make up for one negative one! I'm a believer as you did that for me!

*received word that I'll see the cover for Courting Morrow Little in about a month! Revell's amazing art director asked for dress ideas for Morrow so I was able to send the designer some pictures of actual 18th-century gowns. She also asked what type of hair style Morrow has. It's a simple chignon which is an elegant bun worn at the nape of the neck. Although this French word didn't come into usage until 1783, and Morrow's story is a bit before that, I'm going to go with it:)

*felt God's faithfulness as a writing assignment I'd struggled with for several months came together and was accepted! Only He could have managed that.

*realized that the new wrinkles I'm seeing are moving me closer to eternity and not just 50:)

How have you felt God's faithfulness to you this week? Any unexpected blessings? Even a simple one?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

girl stuff

This is such a silly post but sometimes a girl just has to have fun! I usually run around barefoot and in a state of dishabille (French for not pretty/dressing carelessly, circa 1673). But next month, once in Denver, I get to dress up. When I heard the banquet is to be served by waiters in white gloves, I decided my best church dress might not do.

So I went online and ordered this outfit from Penney's which was, glory be, on sale! I'm no photographer so these pitiful pictures don't do the elegant embroidery justice or show off the shine on those 3-inch high heeled shoes. But you get the idea:) The color of the jacket is "gunmetal" which reminds me of colonial days for some reason.

Imagine this in any other color and I would hide under the table. A subtle grey suits me just fine. The black skirt is ankle-length organza. Randy advises me to practice walking in those shoes.

So in just 28 days I'm off to the American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference for the first time ever and I'm taking you with me via my laptop:) Tucked inside my Kentucky tote!

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that bloom outside our windows today. -Dale Carnegie

Monday, August 17, 2009

book 2 has a title!

This painted paper fan and dress are the things you'll find in my protagonist's wardrobe in book 2. Morrow Mary Little is unlike Lael Catherine Click in every way, right down to the way she dresses. The only similarity between Lael and Morrow is that they both live in 18th-century Kentucke. I'm not sure when Kentucke officially became Kentucky but there were many strange spellings for many years. The Indians referred to it as Can-tuck-ee and settlers even said, "Kaintuck." But I digress! You don't give a hoot about archaic spellings - you just want the book's title. Here 'tis...

Courting Morrow Little

I'd love to know what you think! Does the title tell you anything about the book? Make you want to pick it up - or not? Provide any clues as to the plot? Hmmmm.

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love. -Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

book giveaway 3!

Time for another book giveaway for The Frontiersman's Daughter. Thanks again to all who've entered. I guess I'll be doing these giveaways for the next couple of years, at least, as my next 2 books come out. I just heard from the titling committee and they've decided upon a very intriguing name for book 2 which I'll post about come Monday. Would love to hear what readers think:)

For now...winner three is...LISA!

Happy reading to you! Just leave me your mailing address at and I'll mail the book out. Bless you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

salmon, anyone?

I never thought I'd be blogging such, but this week a man approached me with 20 pounds of fresh salmon in exchange for a book! What could I say but yes? I didn't tell him if he'd had halibut I'd have given him two books:) So now I have oodles of salmon in my freezer. Randy is thrilled. I officially have more fish than books! To complicate matters, my oldest son, Wyatt, is out on the ocean fishing today. I hope and pray the salmon aren't biting, at least around his boat:)

August is rolling by and I need to get out in our garden. Past years I was knee-deep in canning jars and green beans, beets, and all the rest, but now I'm immersed in book 3, tentatively titled, The Scrivener's Daughter. And no, don't think for a minute that title will get past the titling committee. They'll think of something better. I love the story and I hope my readers do, too. It's set in Kentucky at a fort along the Ohio river and the male lead is quite appealing. At least my female protagonist thinks so. But there are forces at work to keep them apart - Tory spies, Indians, and past heartbreaks, among other things.

Thank you so much to those readers who have left such great book reviews!! It's such a treat finding them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other sites! What a gift! Hearing what people liked about the book, or didn't, helps authors craft better novels. I certainly take every word written to heart.

On the home front, we're making a big leap from homeschooling to public school with our oldest son in a couple of weeks. Washington state schools start September 2nd, at least in our area. Wyatt is very excited to be in "real school" for the first time ever so will see what happens. I'm more nervous than he is! I'll continue to keep Paul homeschooled as he has a pretty tight fiddling schedule. It will be so quiet with just the 2 of us during the day.

Get ready for a girly-girl post as my evening wear for the Denver conference just arrived and I can't wait to show you:) Am waiting on the shoes then will take a pic. 33 days till conference time. I've never attended a writer's conference and promise to take my laptop and keep you posted!

Please stop back by here Saturday for another book giveaway. It's not too late to enter the drawing for a freshly printed copy of The Frontiersman's Daughter. Just leave a comment below and I'll post the winner this Saturday and then additional winners the next two Saturdays. Bless you all!

Monday, August 10, 2009

the "can't put it down" factor

There are few things in life as satisfying as a book you just can't put down. I'm hearing from readers who say they like that about The Frontiersman's Daughter and it makes me glad. I felt the same way while writing it! Of course these folks are always tempered by the ones who can't pick the book up in the first place! People are asking about a sequel. I posted about writing that particular book some time ago. If you're curious, please go into the archives above left, and find the September 10, 2008 post, "characters and other novelties," and you'll see a girl in a bonnet and find out what happened when I wrote the sequel. You may be as surprised as I was!

As a writer, you may think you're in control of your characters and what happens to them in the course of a novel, but truly, "the book is the boss," as one author succinctly said. You are really just a conduit, the physical hand that writes it down. Often characters surprise you:) That's one of the joys of writing.

A lady recently asked me, "How do you write a book?" I felt decidedly un-eloquent when I said, "I can't tell you how it's done and I'm glad, because if I could explain it, I could take credit for it. I can only tell you it's a gift. I just do it." There are many gifted writing instructors who teach about the craft and I'm not one of them. Like my violin-playing son, I think I write "by ear" like he plays by ear. I don't think a lot about craft while I'm doing it. I just write from the heart. There's magic in that and I'll leave it at that!

What makes a book hard to put down for you? Have you read any books that have this wonderful quality? Bet they have a permanent home on your bookshelf:)

My test of a good novel is dreading to read the last chapter. Anonymous

Books may well be the only true magic. Alice Hoffman

Sunday, August 9, 2009

book cakes and such

No, the sun wasn't shining but the garden book party was wonderful nevertheless. Just combine a bunch of historical fiction lovers, some flowers, yummy cake - and a stack of freshly printed books and it can't help but be fun! Thank you, Jim and Kathy, for hosting such a memorable event! My only regret is that these pictures of just one small part of their backyard don't even begin to do it justice. I was so busy talking books I didn't take pictures!
I took a picture of the cake before it was unwrapped. The book cover at center is made of edible rice paper:) I never knew such things were done but it sure works well for book parties. And all of it was eaten, to the last crumb. Lael began to look a little wilted at party's end but some guests had two pieces, including me, so she didn't last long. Thank heavens for good friends and good books!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

2nd book giveaway!

I really do think these book drawings are fun. Congratulations to last Saturday's book winner, Kristen, of Vancouver, Washington! Drum roll...

This Saturday's winner is Vicki! So Vicki just needs to email her mailing address to and I'll send a copy of The Frontiersman's Daughter out right away. Thank you for entering the drawing!

I just looked at the calender and realized there are 5 Saturdays in August, not 4 as I had thought, so we still have 3 winners to choose:)

Meanwhile, my own book basket is overflowing. As if I didn't have enough "daughter" books, Amazon just shipped Carolly Erickson's The Tsarina's Daughter. I've always loved Russian history, ever since I turned 21 there and saw Swan Lake by the Bolshoi Ballet. No, didn't care for that Russian birthday cake (hardly any sugar) but loved all that history, particularly the Romanov family. How a little Kentucky gal ended up in Russia only the Lord knows. Maybe a Russian book is in my future? That's a pretty big leap from frontier fiction. But one thing I'm learning, life is full of surprises - and so is the Lord!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

backyard gardens and books

This Saturday is my backyard garden book signing in Port Angeles, Washington. My friends, Jim and Kathy, spent years creating a small paradise on their property, complete with a pond filled with Koi fish, a waterfall, and beautiful deck. They were gracious enough to be excited enough about my book that they wanted to host this book party, complete with a cake bearing an edible book cover:) I promise to post a picture of Lael amidst all that buttercream come Monday.

After meeting so many historical fiction enthusiasts last weekend, I pray I have enough books this Saturday. If I run out I suppose I could hand out book cards and a sincere apology. Being new at this, I just don't know what to expect at these type things. I do know I love meeting readers and so appreciate folks who want to ready my book! What a joy that is!

In the meantime I'm back to work on book 3 and answering emails from readers. Thanks to Deb at True Vine bookstore in Iowa who really enjoyed this first book! Also, bless you readers who are posting reviews on Amazon and - they are wonderful and warm my heart!! I just received an endorsement from one of my favorite authors, Jane Kirkpatrick, who has a new novel out entitled A Flickering Light. When you've been a closet writer for so many years you really don't know if your words will reach anyone or not! I'm grateful some of you are enjoying Lael's story.

I like what Jane Kirkpatrick posted on her blog - that she feels a little sad when a book she's written is released. She didn't elaborate but I think I know what she means. That particular story, for an author, is finished. It's not really theirs anymore but belongs to readers to make of it what they will.

Anyway, for those near enough to come, the backyard garden book signing is at 2314 South Lincoln Street in Port Angeles this Saturday, August 8th, from 1-4 p.m. Thus far the weather is most uncooperative - foggy and a chilly 52 degrees. Sweater weather. Praying it won't rain!

Please check back Saturday when I post the name of the second book giveaway winner. Bless you as you read!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

tattered hearts

I think the one thing that stands out to me with the release of this first book is how much God loves me. And you! You can grow up singing, "Yes, Jesus Loves Me," but then go 40 years without truly believing it, like I did. Things happen in our lives that keep us from feeling His all-consuming love first hand. Fortunately He's in the business of mending tattered hearts. And He's mended mine through my writing dream.

My mom told me yesterday she found an old photo of me in a colonial dress and bonnet my granny had made - I was about 10 or so. I'm going to try to post it on my new website. It made me think of the stories I wrote as a child, never thinking I'd see mine in print some day. But God had planted those stories in my heart, knowing it would take 40 years for me to realize how tattered I was and how distrusting of Him. Interestingly enough, He took the thing that mattered most to me, my writing, to show me how much He loves me. He doesn't need my help or my books or talents. Bookshelves are stuffed with all kinds of fiction. But He loved me enough to reach back through the years and redeem my writing dream, knowing how much it meant to me.

And now that I'm here, it's very different than I thought it would be. Wonderful in its own way and very fulfilling but still fleeting. Scripture has a lot to say about temporary treasure. I like what Beth Moore said in her Daniel study:

"God's glory quickens every nerve ending. It's not the pain-free life. It's not the safe-at-a-distance life. But, Beloved, it is life most alive. Life most abundant."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

going to the ball...

I've always had a penchant for fairy tales and now feel I'm living one of my own. Next month I'll be going to the American Christian Fiction Writer's annual conference in Denver, Colorado. Haven't been to Denver since I was about 12 and never dreamed I'd go back again. Things came about rather hurriedly after my fairy godmother - I mean an editor friend! - urged me to go a few days ago. So I'm on my way September 16th! Nope, I've never been to a writer's conference before but this looks to be educational, fun, and inspirational. A sterling combination:) If anyone reading this plans on being there, I'd love to meet you. Just look for a blonde with a Kentucky tote!

My book launch, for lack of a better word, went very well at the Wild Blackberry Festival here in Joyce, Washington. I had a book table beneath an awning and met some wonderful folks and came away amazed at how much people love historical fiction. There were a couple of editors and writers in the crowd and I really enjoyed talking to them, too. Next Saturday I'll be at a backyard garden book signing in Port Angeles and will give the address closer to the date.

For now I'm back to book 3. In this novel I'm using a male-female perspective which is new to me. Writing from a male viewpoint, instead of solely my female protagonist, is proving interesting. It lets the reader into the minds of 2 heads instead of one, and increases tension which helps propel a good novel forward.

If any of you have been to a writer's conference I'd love to hear about it here:) Happpy Monday!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

first of 4 book giveaways...

Today I walked into the nearest Barnes & Noble and was delighted to find just what I was looking for:) I'm so glad my married name begins with an "F" as it was alphabetized on the top shelf! I've always felt sorry for those bottom shelf books that end in X, Y, Z. I just had to buy one, of course, and am going to host four giveaways the month of August, starting today. I don't have an abundance of names to draw from so you readers who have chimed in have wonderful odds of winning this month!
In case you're wondering how this is done, I use the very scientific method of writing your names on paper, cutting them apart, placing them in my pink hat that says "GRITS...Girl Raised in the South," and then stirring them up a bit and drawing one. So my first official winner is...Kristen!

All you need to do is email me at and give me your mailing address and I will get the book out to you on Monday. Then I'll have another drawing the next Saturday and then the next, etc.

If you finish the book and liked it enough to post a review, I'd love to have you do that on or or any other site you wish. Reader reviews are so important and one of the first things I consider when buying a book. I sure appreciate you readers, once again. I'm sorry if I'm being redundant but you are dear to my heart in more ways than you know!