Tuesday, May 29, 2012

surprise coming...

I just wanted to say I have a surprise coming that I hope delights your heart like it does mine:) For now, till it appears, I'll be quietly working on that next novel and sipping out of my Mason jar. Summer is nearly here!

Back soon...

Thursday, May 24, 2012


In honor of Memorial Day, I thought I'd share something from my research concerning the Civil War and Gettysburg that I find very moving. 

Elizabeth Thorn was the wife of the caretaker of Evergreen Cemetery in Gettysburg. He was also a soldier in the U.S. Army. The mother of three, Elizabeth was six months pregnant with her fourth child, when the battle of Gettysburg ended. In the three weeks following, she buried a hundred or more fallen soldiers in the July heat, sometimes assisted by her aged parents. Three months later her baby, Rose, was born. Her husband, Peter, eventually came home.

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.

~William Penn

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a true kentucky tale

Happy almost end of May!

I can't believe June is right around the corner. Lately with travel and a bunch of school and fiddle activities, I've been AWOL;)

But I'd be remiss as a Kentuckian and history lover if I didn't tell you about the History Channel's upcoming showing of the Hatfields and McCoys. The video trailer is absolutely mesmerizing but since it's quite dark given the subject matter, I'll just highlight a few pictures.

Since I grew up in Hatfield-McCoy territory, I've long been a student of their history and this is a must-see for me. The large cast includes Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as clan leaders, Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy.

I've always been fascinated by the tragic Johnse-Roseanna love affair at the heart of the feud and the depths to which these families descended when driven by hatred and revenge. Sadly, the feud-mentality still exists in some parts of Appalachia. I'll be interested in seeing how true to life this miniseries is and what liberties are taken. I've already detected a difference in Roseanna. She was dark-headed, not a blonde!

On a lighter note, Devil Anse became a Christian in his later years and was baptized by a preacher who proudly boasted he'd "dunked the devil himself." He lived the remainder of his life at peace though no doubt haunted by his past.

Take a peek at the archaic but novel-worthy clan names - Ellison, Tolbert, Perry, Phamer, Selkirk, Wall, Parris, and poor Cotton Top. The women include Alifair and Levicy to name a few...
Over the long weekend, the Frantz clan is planning a BBQ on our deck, rain or shine (probably rain:) We often grill beneath an umbrella!

I'd love to know what you're doing for the long weekend:) Or if you've heard about this tragic part of Kentucky's past...?

Have a blessed end of May!

Monday, May 21, 2012

all things

A precious secret of Christian life is to have Jesus dwelling within the heart and conquering things we could never overcome. It is the only secret of power in our lives. Men cannot understand it nor will the world believe it is true that God will come to dwell within us and be the power, the purity, the victory and the joy of our lives.

Our attitude will no longer be, "What is the best that I can do?" but we will ask, "What is the best that Christ can do?"

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 
~Philippians 4:13

Days of Heaven on Earth
A.B. Simpson

Monday, May 14, 2012

see you in Seattle...or Portland!

I'll be signing books in the Seattle and Portland area this week and would love to see you!

Please join fellow Revell authors Mesu Andrews, Ann Shorey, Bonnie Leon and myself. We'll have a giveaway basket, chocolate, bookmarks and more:

Friday, May 18, 2012 ~ 5~7:00 p.m.
Beaverton (Portland) LifeWay Christian Store
2785 SW Cedar Hills Boulevard
Beaverton, Oregon 97005

Saturday, May 19, 2112 ~ 1~3:00 p.m.
Tukwila LifeWay
Parkway Super Center
17326 South Center Parkway
Tukwila, Washington 98188
And the winner of a signed copy of The Ride of Her Life is...KIM!

If you can email me at lauran@tfon.com, we'll mail the book to you:)
Congrats and happy reading, my friend!

Heartfelt thanks to Lorna for being such a wonderful guest!

See you next week...

Friday, May 11, 2012

the ride of YOUR life;)

Our final Friday giveaway features last but not least, Lorna Seilstad. She's a fellow author and friend at Revell who is giving away a signed, hot off the press copy of her new release, The Ride of Her Life here...which may just prove the ride of yours!  

The first time I saw this cover I smiled:) The colors are wonderful and if you look closely, the roller coaster actually appears to be in motion as there's a delightful bit of blur...

Here's a bit about the book...

The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-law's home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa.

However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger - who designs roller coasters, of all things - intercedes on her behalf. Still, Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky (though charismatic) gentleman.  Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life...                                                                                                                     

It's been such a blessing to know Lorna as we're both new Revell authors. Somehow she manages to juggle many hats besides author - wedding planner, mom and wife, and church ministry to name a few. With her new book releasing this month, she's been busy with radio interviews, book signings, and more - and she's here to answer any questions about the writing life or her books!

Please leave a comment or question for Lorna if you'd like to be included in the drawing.
Winner announced this Monday, May 14.

Join Lorna at her website ~ http://www.lornaseilstad.com and also her group blog at http://www.inkspirationalmessages.com where a great group of book-loving writers post a wonderful array of topics!

Bless you!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

counting kisses

I'm counting kisses in book 2 of The Ballantyne Legacy;) I'll never forget the reader who said she never gives a book a high rating if there are less than 3 kisses in it! While I chuckled at the time, I've given it serious thought since. Sometimes kisses count...

I've always considered myself a historical fiction author, not a historical romance author. There is a difference. Romances almost always have the hero arrive early and then he and the heroine dance around till the end of the book. In plain ol' historical fiction, the "rules" are a bit more lax. Heroes can pretty much come in whenever they please and the book doesn't follow the traditional romance pattern. The emphasis is usually more on history. There are always exceptions of course. But woe to the romance writer who violates the rules - or the reader who picks up a book thinking it's a romance and gets more history instead!

This is the sweetest scene. Love the hesitancy between them - so true to life. Love that he's tender with her - and that she is somewhat sad when the kiss ends. Catch her longing look? His sudden confusion? Their silhouettes...the light behind them. Hear that violin? This is no peck on the cheek! Yet it's genuine and respectful and more. Hmmm... There's something about film that captures what few books can. This scene works on so many levels. At least for me...

I love writing such stuff:)

Are you more a historical romance reader or a historical fiction reader? Ever count kisses? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

keep sweet

Keep sweet...

How these words help us! Think of them when people rasp you, when the devil pricks you with his fiery darts, when your sensitive, self-willed spirit chafes or frets. Let a gentle voice be heard above the strife, whispering, "Keep sweet! Keep sweet!" And, if you will but heed it quickly, you will be saved from a thousand falls and kept in perfect peace.

True, we cannot keep ourselves sweet, but God will keep us if He sees that it is our fixed, determined purpose to be kept sweet, and to refuse to fret or bear a grudge, and sympathize with our hurt feelings and nurse our little grievance.

God will give us all the love we really want and honestly choose. We can have our grievance or we can have the peace that passeth all understanding, but we cannot have both. 

There is a balm for a thousand heartaches, and a heaven of peace and power in these two little words - keep sweet. 

A.B. Simpson
Days of Heaven on Earth

Monday, May 7, 2012

giveaway winner...

Thanks to everyone for making Carla feel so welcome. Wish I could send a book to everyone! This time round the winner of The Shadow Catcher's Daughter is...


Congratulations ~ when I have your snail mail address I'll mail the book to you!

I have yet another friend releasing a book this month. Lorna Seilstad will join us soon to talk about The Ride of Her Life, her third historical romance with Revell. Even the cover is fun and intriguing:)

Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

happy anniversary!

It's the one year anniversary of this great historical blog and we're drinking tea and giving away books!
Please join us if you can this coming Monday, May 7th:)
Colonial Quills
Bless you!

Friday, May 4, 2012

friday giveaway!

 It's always exciting when a friend releases their very first novel. Carla Olson Gade is someone you may know as she has an active web presence and is a friend to many. I've been so intrigued with her book, The Shadow Catcher's Daughter, as it has a Red Shirt type hero, something not often seen in the CBA. Here's the back cover copy...


Daring Eliana Van Horn aims to make her mark by joining her father as his photography assistant - disguised as a young man - on a survey expedition to the remote Four Corners.

Living in the shadows of his native heritage, trail guide Yiska Wilcox is thrown off course when the shadow catcher's daughter opens up the uncharted territory of his heart.
As they travel through dangerous terrain in the mountains and deserts of Colorado and New Mexico, Eliana and Yiska must learn to overcome the barriers of culture, faith, and ideals to discover common ground. Though they are worlds apart, will they stake a chance on love?

Some fun "history" about Carla:

She's a bonafide New Englander, born in Massachusetts and now living in Maine

Her ancestors were among the first settlers in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1636 ~ and included a few Plymouth pilgrims in 1620

She's a web designer and literacy advocate as well as author

She's married to her real-life hero, Brad, and has two grown sons

Her favorite historical period is  the 18th-century though she loves history, period!

Learn more about her and upcoming books by visiting her beautiful blog/website, CarlaGade.com

If you'd like to be in the drawing for The Shadow Catcher's Daughter, please leave a comment for Carla below. Winner announced this coming Monday, May 7!