Tag Archives: Darlene Franklin

Cinderella’s Boot with Darlene Franklin

dhfWhen my editor invited me to write a novella about the orphan trains, I sensed I had found the perfect background for a story about a rich city gal who lost everything, only to find it again on a farm. And in terms of history, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 was the most obvious time period to write about.

About the orphan trains themselves, I knew very little. When did they start? 1854. With my idea of a story set in 1930, when did they end? The orphan trains which began operation 1854 drew to a close in 1929. Agreements which had allowed continued placement of orphan children in several western states expired and weren’t renewed. Instead, local communities increased their support to allow poverty-stricken families to remain together.

I couldn’t identify the actual date of the last orphan train, but I did locate a suggestion that it traveled as far as Kansas in 1930.

Much of what I assumed was true. Then as now, infants had an easier time being adopted. Some adoptees entered lives that resembled slavery more than beloved children in a new home, although the agency did screen prospective parents.

I quickly discovered several things I hadn’t known.

  • The trains weren’t called “orphan trains” until after they had ceased operation.
  • Only some of the children were literal orphans. In many cases, the aide societies functioned as a rough foster-home system. Children from families unable to care for them sent them to families who could.
  • Both New York’s Children’s Aid Society and the New York Foundling Hospital founded by Sisters of Charity sent children by train.
  • Children traveled mostly to the Midwest, not to the far west.

I don’t say much about the stock market crash in To Riches Again, but I imply my heroine’s parents took their own lives. Suicides in 1929 jumped from 12.3 in 100K insureds to 18. The numbers grew by another 18% in 1930. My spinster heroine chaperones the children on their trip west, but she is herself a literal orphan, seeking a new home in the break basket of America.

Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. This year she expects to reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in four monthly magazines. Her most recent titles are Capturing the Rancher’s Heart, Romancing the Ranger, and Cinderella’s Boot.

Website and blog

Facebook

Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin

cinderella tryA year ago, life was full of promise.
Elyssa Philbin partied with the rest of New York’s elite, not worrying about anything beyond her newest dress.
Ian and Bridget McDonnell, although part of a poverty-stricken family, lived secure in their parents’ love. Bill Ward looked forward to a prosperous crop, a new baby, and his loving wife.

Everything changed before the calendar turned to 1930.

To Riches Again chronicles Elyssa and Bill’s return to wholeness after they have both lost everything, and gained much more—thanks in part to two orphan children.

Cinderella’s Boot

 

 

 

The Pony Express with Darlene Franklin

Nine historical romances revive the brief era of the Pony Express.

pony expressJoin the race from Missouri, across the plains and mountains to California and back again as brave Pony Express riders and their supporters along the route work to get mail across country in just ten days. It is an outstanding task in the years 1860 to 1861, and only a few are up to the job. Faced with challenges of terrain, weather, hostile natives, sickness, and more, can these adventurous pioneers hold fast, and can they also find lasting love in the midst of daily trials?

About Darlene’s story, The Gambler’s Daughter:

The Gambler’s Daughter by Darlene Franklin
Gambling debts drive Caroline Adams’s estranged father away from the Chelan Swing Station before her arrival. Can his replacement conquer the temptations goading them both to prove himself worthy of Caroline’s love?

df jpegBest-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. This year she expects to reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears monthly in Bookfun Magazine. Her most recent titles are The Pony Express Romance Collection, Love’s Compass, and To Riches Again.

Website and blog

Facebook

Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin

Pony Express purchase link

The Rich Man and the Orphan by Darlene Franklin

colorado-columbineTHE RICH MAN AND THE ORPHAN

Garnet Harvey graduates from an orphanage and lands a job as a nanny for three motherless girls. Chester Paul, a wealthy businessman, lost his wife in childbirth. After a long period of mourning, he hires a nanny to take care of his children while he works in the city. He remains involved in the girls’ daily lives, and comes to care for their new caregiver. When Garnet’s guardian discovers the situation, she insists on a trial separation. If their feelings remain strong, how can Garnet be introduced to Chester’s social circle? How will secrets from Garnet’s past affect their growing love for each other? Is it strong enough to grow as beautiful as the Colorado Columbine?

Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. This year she expects to reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears monthly in Bookfun Magazine. Her most recent titles are Colorado Columbine and Love’s Turning Point.

garnet-from-colorado-columbineEXCERPT

Jefferson County, Colorado 1911

The back of Garnet Harvey’s neck prickled as if someone were watching her as she walked down the long circular drive to the three-story mansion. Chester Paul’s house was fancy indeed. She hoped she would make a good impression on whomever was watching.

Stray hairs from the bun on top of her head tickled her face and neck. The magazine had promised the easy-to-care style would keep her hair in place. Garnet hoped it would make her look serious enough to be a nanny to three young girls.

The door came into view. “Lord, help me a do a good job for You and for Sister Carmela.”

A broad-chested lady with white hair and matching apron greeted her. “Oh, good. You must be Miss Harvey. I’m Mrs. Griffin, the cook. Come on in. Mr. Paul is eager to meet you.”

Mr. Paul. Garnet’s heart dropped. Her opportunity to move out of the girls’ home and find meaningful employment lay in his lap. Would he remember any of the times they had met before? “I hope to meet the girls as well.”

The cook chuckled, as if she’d discerned Garnet’s nervousness. “Mr. Paul is a kind man, although he’s a lion where those girls are concerned.” She looked Garnet up and down. “You’ll do fine. Sister Carmela wouldn’t send anyone but the very best.”

Links:

Purchase Colorado Columbine.

Website and blog

Facebook

Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin

 

Homefront Dreams

homefront dreams  Welcome, Darlene! Please tell us about Homefront Dreams.

CLARINDA FINCH HATES CHANGEAs the newly elected mayor of Maple Notch, the war widow must lead her town through the dark days of World War II. But where she finds comfort in tradition, the town council insists on trying new ways of handling the homefront challenges. Her most untraditional opponent? Councilman Ralph Quincy.High school principal Ralph never expected to become a friend to Clarinda and her family. But as she spars with him over the war effort, the smart, spirited mayor is the most compelling woman he’s ever known. Can they put aside their differences and fight for both their town and a future together?

Is this the final book in the series or is there more to come?
Homefront Dreams is the last book in my Maple Notch Dreams series, and it’s also book #6 of nine books in all about the fictional town of Maple Notch, Vermont.
Maple Notch Brides took the Tuttles from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. Maple Notch Dreams picks up with their descendants, three siblings. Wallace finds love with a flapper, Winnie seeks gold at the 1932 Olympics, and widowed Clarinda finds love with her opponent in the mayoral race.
Maple Notch Days has three contemporary stories about three sisters, granddaughters of Clarinda.
Saving Felicity will come out in August, and Runaway Love and Homecoming next year.
How wonderful that you were able to follow this family for so long and for more than one series! What is next for you?
I am working on the Maple Notch Days series. I’m also working on marketing a completed mss and brainstorming other ideas.
How long have you been writing professionally?
I began writing 22 years ago. My first book came out in 2005, and I’ve been writing full time for the past four years.
Besides writing what do you enjoy doing?
Reading, of course. Have you ever met a writer who didn’t love to read? My latest passion is genealogy. I’ve been researching my ancestors. On my mother’s side, I’ve hit a roadblock with her greatgrandparents (they came from Europe in the late 19th century).  But on my father’s side, I can trace my ancestry all the way back to the Mayflower. If I’m reading it correctly.  Right now I’m pushing back as far as I can in time. Later I will branch out, and see if I can connect with my grandmother’s side of the family.
LOL I don’t think I have met a writer who doesn’t enjoy reading, but many say they are too busy writing to read. I’m glad you find the time to read. 🙂 I hope you are successful in your genealogy search.
Darlene has offered to give a book away to one lucky commenter. To be entered you must answer the following question.
What do you most admire about the “Greatest Generation,” the men and woman who sacrificed during World War II?
Rules: Drawing is open to U.S.A. addresses only. There must be at least ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. Void where prohibited by law. Drawing ends Midnight Eastern time January 26th 2014. The winner will be notified by email 1-27-14 and will have until 2-9-14 to respond or forfeit the book.
df jpeg To find out more about Darlene and her books check out her sites at

Thanks for joining us this week, Darlene!

Calico Brides

calico brides

This week features Darlene Franklin’s book Calico Brides.

 Determined to sow good deeds into the lives of needy people, the four youngest members of the 1876 Calico, Kansas, sewing circle reap romance. Gladys Polson, designing to aid a crotchety widower, falls for a stranger. Annie Bliss, knitting for soldiers, has a fort chaplain on pins and needles. Birdy Landry, sewing dresses for saloon girls looking for a new life, has her feathers ruffled by a beneficent shopkeeper. Schoolteacher Ruth Fairfield is about to teach a new guardian a few lessons in life and love. Will God stitch forever-after romances into the lives of these four women?

If you would like to be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Calico Brides please answer the following question. Where is your favorite place to read?

Rules: Drawing is only open to US addresses. There must be a minimum of ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. The drawing ends Sunday June 9th, 2013. The winner will be notified by email Monday June 10th, 2013. Remember you must answer the question to be entered into the drawing. Void where prohibited by law

Darlene loves music, needlework, reading, and reality TV. She has published several titles with Barbour Publishing, including her two latest releases, A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas, and Merry Christmas, With Love, in Postmark: Christmas. She has also written two books in the Texas Trails series with RiverNorth Fiction, Lone Star Trail and A Ranger’s Trail. She’s a member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers.

You can find Darlene online at http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com/, http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/darlene.franklin.3 You may also be interested in my Facebook page, Darlene’s 5 Questions a Day (https://www.facebook.com/groups/542991419047696/?bookmark_t=group) where I will answer the first five questions related to the writing life posed on any given day. Group members are also welcome to contribute.

Hidden Dreams

hidden dreams I’m excited to have, Darlene Franklin,  a fellow Heartsong Presents writer with us today to share with us about her upcoming release Hidden Dreams. Welcome, Darlene! Please tell us what Hidden Dreams is about.

MARY ANNE IS ON THE RUN.

Her father’s been murdered, and now the mob’s after her, too. Leaving New York City behind is the only way to stay alive. Yet Mary Anne Lamont finds herself stuck in Maple Notch, Vermont, when her car crashes straight into Wallace Tuttle’s truck. Wallace and his family offer her warmth and welcome, no questions asked. But she doesn’t dare give them her real name-not without risking their safety too.

At first, Wallace chides himself for being distracted by the glamorous flapper. Mary Anne certainly doesn’t fit his image of a future wife. But underneath the bleached bob and big-city ways is a courageous, caring woman. When the danger she’s been running from draws close, Wallace must risk everything to prove his faith in Mary Anne, in God’s plan, and the dreams they’ve come to share.

Oh, this sounds good! What inspired the story?

Reader response to my first Vermont historical series, Maple Notch Brides, was strong, and Heartsong offered me a chance to write three more books about my beloved New England. This series from Heartsong, Maple Notch Dreams, follows the Tuttle family into the 20th century.

A historical timeline revealed that the worst natural disaster in Vermont history occurred in November 1927, when the Winooskia River flooded, causing 85 deaths and destroying 1,200 bridges.

Since a covered bridge played an important role in Maple Notch Dreams, I wanted to write about its destruction during the flood. History also notes the various purposes covered bridges served; since this story was set during the Prohibition Era, its capacity for hiding moonshine, or “bathtub gin,” came into play.

Vermont is a very “green” state, with a strong Audobon Society, so I made my hero a naturalist observing endangered birds. The general idea of a flapper on the run for winning money she wasn’t supposed to have come from, of all places, a movie about the 1920s.

Wow! What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?

There are two more books in the Maple Notch Dreams series: Golden Dreams (September) and Madame Mayor (January 2014) I also wrote the novella anthology Calico Brides (June) and have a story in Texas Brides (May)

Excellent!  Now for a fun questions.:) Please tell us about your dream vacation. Where would you go and what would you do?

I might go to the Arizona desert and see if it helps my arthritis! I have a long list of places I would love to visit – Alaska, Hawaii, the British Isles, Australia, Norway – but San Diego, California tops the list. Or maybe San Francisco. California for sure. I have wanted to make it to the west coast for my entire life (born in New England).

LOL I’m a west coast girl and have never been to the east coast. San Diego is great. I’ve been to all the US locations you named, but I have to say, I’ve enjoyed Alaska the most.

Darlene has offered to give away one copy of Hidden Dreams to a lucky commenter. To be entered into the drawing you must answer this question.

What famous bridges have you visited and do you have any special stories involving bridges? If you’ve never visited a famous bridge go ahead and mention that and I’ll count it. 🙂

Rules: There must be ten qualifying comments for the drawing to take place. You must answer the question–please enter me will not get you entered. You must have a USA address. Void where prohibited by law.

Darlene loves music, needlework, reading, and reality TV. She has published several titles with Barbour Publishing, including her two latest releases, A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas, and Merry Christmas, With Love, in Postmark: Christmas. She has also written two books in the Texas Trails series with RiverNorth Fiction, Lone Star Trail and A Ranger’s Trail. She’s a member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers.

You can find Darlene online at http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com/, http://mydailynibble.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/darlene.franklin.3 You may also be interested in my Facebook page, Darlene’s 5 Questions a Day (https://www.facebook.com/groups/542991419047696/?bookmark_t=group) where I will answer the first five questions related to the writing life posed on any given day. Group members are also welcome to contribute.

I have a novella coming out in Texas Brides, Angel in Disguise. Here is a bit about that anthology:

Back cover blurb:

Enjoy the rich history of Texas penned by an exclusive selection of Christian fiction authors—including DiAnn Mills and Kathleen Y’Barbo. This collection of nine romances brings together the lawful, the lawless, and the lonely in the Lone Star State. Watch as three Texas Rangers turn from chasing outlaws to courting women who are determined to remain independent. Experience the trials six outlaws have as they turn into respectable citizens and seek to settle down with a spouse to love.