Swoony Saturdays – Red Shirt

Welcome! Welcome!

Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Red ShirtThis week I thought I would share one of MY favorite heroes from one of my favorite authors. Today we are going to meet Red Shirt…

Martin Sensmeier -Tlingit and Koyukon-Athabascan:

Who? Red Shirt

Where can we find this dreamboat? Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz

Personality summary: A man of few words, quiet strength, and ferocious protectiveness embodies this hero.

What makes us swoon?

His steadfastness

Uncas, Last of the Mohicans. Eric Schweig.:

His gentleness

His compassion

Quiet strength

A man of few words, but the ones he wields are powerful and gentle

He exudes “manliness” in his strength and conduct

A gentleman in a more rustic way

The real Red Shirt, Oglala Sioux, 19th-century:
The real Red Shirt – Pinterest

Kissing level of such swooniness: Red Shirt is a #3 to #4 level kisser. His gentle yet powerful personality comes through in the way he shows his love for Morrow, even in his kiss. Their first kiss leaves me breathless at sheer beauty.

Basic hero type: Despite the heroine’s mistrust of the Shawnee, Red Shirt is consistent protection, presence, and honed passion slowly breach the walls of Morrow’s heart and relinquishes her heart to Red Shirt’s love. He is a quiet hero, a Colonel Brandon or Wentworth sort – Ah, those military men His devotion to his cause and his heart are compelling, so when Morrow becomes ‘his’, the same devotion draws her into an intense and powerful romance.

Courting Morrow LittleHow can I meet this swoony mister? Courting Morrow Little is available on…
Barnes & Noble

My review can be found HERE.

About Laura Frantz

Photo credit: Kristin N. Johnson Photography

I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.

My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

I hope my books bless you.

Laura’s website can be found HERE.

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

Fingerprints of Grace

keygoldbackgroundSo, it’s been a long week of work and family. Some of the fam have some sort of cough/congestion/sore throat, so it can make the days get a little longer – but for the most part, everyone has kept the complaining low and hugs high. 🙂

In the middle of this tiring week, something else happened besides crazy coughs and sniffly nights. Four amazing ladies read (or are reading) my debut novel and sent me encouragement. Some times it’s easy to get lost in the middle of the everyday struggles, and I’m always in wonder by God’s gracious touches of his grace. What those little words of encouragement can do to change the tone of an entire week!

Maybe even an entire life!

Years ago I was having a talk with one of my nieces as she was struggling with some personal challenges and she said, “But I don’t see God. I don’t feel Him. How can you tell me that He loves me.”

Good question. What person hasn’t asked that at some point or other.

I said – “Well, his little fingerprints are all through your life if you look. In my love for you. In your uncle’s love for you. In your parents’ love for you. In the way your teachers spend extra time trying to encourage you. In the laughter you bring to your cousins, and the laughter they send back. Maybe we both need to start looking for his fingerprints and we’ll remember that God is right here – always working in our lives.”

So Laura Frantz, Julie Lessman, Dawn Crandall, and Jean-Marie VunCannon – Thank you for being those fingerprints of grace in my life this week!

Songs of Christmas- O Holy Night

It’s one of the most notable carols of Christmas. A French poem set to music by Adolphe Adam in 1847, O Holy Night has become a standard – especially as a solo. The literal translation from French to English makes the words all the more poignant.

Here is the first verse as translated from the original French:

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,

When God-man descended to us

To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.

The entire world thrills with hope

On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

Well – we have a whole HOST of authors who picked O Holy Night as their favorite Christmas song.

My fav Christmas song (oh, do I have to pick just one!!?) would be “O Holy Night” because, when I sing it or hear it sung, I feel the glory and majesty in the music and the wording which reflects Christ’s birth. It makes me cry every time even though I’ve heard it hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. Sigh.
Laura Frantz (author of The Colonel’s Lady  and Courting Morrow Little)
This is hard to narrow down but I think my very favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. The lyrics are a powerful picture of how everything changed when Jesus was born. When I hear it or sing it I want to fall on my face before the Lord, weeping in thanksgiving, for the gift of our Lord and Savior – Jesus. LOVE it!
Jamie Carie, who also left some wonderful links to versions of O Holy Night, is author of The Guardian Duke and Pirate of My Heart.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ-8jYpa1-o– celtic women

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Jr-2eyRtV4 – the amazing Celine Dion

And my sister from another mother 🙂 the fabulous Mariah Carey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEJmP8T07JU&feature=fvsr

My favorite Christmas Carol is O Holy Night.
O Holy Night is the essence of why we celebrate Christmas. God gave the gift of eternal life in His Son Jesus Christ when the world least expected it. Because of His perfect gift, we give to those we love. We can’t ever out-give God; His blessings are eternal. But we can symbolize the ultimate, by giving to others—the poor, the needy, the unloved. O Holy Night speaks to our souls where words and emotion fail to communicate the love of Christmas.
DiAnn Mills – (author of Attracted to Fire and Under a Desert Sky)
Stop by for more Christmas songs on Wednesday with Julie Lessman & Missy Tippens’ favorites!!


Friends in ‘westerly’ places

While at ACFW I have the wonderful opportunity to meet people I’d only chatted with online. Of course, meeting the fabulous FIFITEEN of Seekerville is always a delight – and getting to hug on my fellow Alley Cats from The Writers Alley was another joy.


But I also got to meet marvelous ladies like Susan Ann Mason, a constant encourager and fabulous writer.


A Genesis finalist and magnificent lady, Karen Schravemade (who happens to have one of the coolest accents around)

Authors I want to be like when I grow up – like Ruth Axtell Morren, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Kaye Dacus.


And friends I NEVER grow tired of hugging – like Audra Harders, Laura Frantz, Mary Connealy, and Angie Dicken.


It’s pretty remarkable how God takes all these different people from different places and binds them together with a love for Him and the joy of writing.

I am SOOOOOOO glad He does! Aren’t you?

Post ACFW – part 2

I’ve been out of town the past few days for my grandfather’s funeral, so I’m sorry I haven’t posted more pics. It’s weird being on this side of the emotional roller coaster of ACFW – back to work – my grandfather’s death – and back to work. My brain is numb! 🙂

Let me start off with two beautiful ladies (and great encouragers) that I met on Friday at lunch. Debby Mayne and Trish Perry were phenomenal. Debby just showered me with encouragement and even took me to meet her agent, Tamela Hancock Murray (another pleasure). With more books than I had time to count on her website, Debby’s advice and friendship meant so much to me.  Thanks, Debby!!

I just have to say that encouragement was EVERYWHERE – almost in every smile I saw.

I LOVED this pic from Casey’s stash. It’s of me, Case, and the lovely Laura Frantz. Those gals are two absolutely beautiful people (inside & out)

YAY!!! Roomie Carol Moncado is here with me while we have one of those ‘fancy’ meals during the conference. Mealtime was a great opportunity to network and enjoy food (that I neither had to prepare or clean up after – GOOD FOOD in my book) If in doubt of who Carol is – just mentioned the “Cookie Queen’ to any ACFW attendee and they’ll probably be able to tell you. Carol brought SEVEN batches of cookies to give out at the conference. Bribery?…Well, it sure worked. 🙂 No ONE complained.

Conference Tips with Laura Frantz

If you’ve never read one of Laura Frantz outstanding historical romances, then it’s time to find your nearest bookstore and purchase one. Her lyrical quality, character development, historical details, and conflict are outstanding – not to mention the romance 🙂

You can read my review of her most recent novel, The Colonel’s Lady, right here.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet Laura last year at ACFW. She’s truly as sweet in person as she is online.

With her usual eloquence, she tells us the three things conference attendees need to bring:

Open hands (for all the people you want to  hug)
Open heart (for what God has in store for  you)
Open mind (remembering God’s best is far beyond what we  can hope for or can imagine)
Laura – what GREAT reminders. Isn’t it easy to get so caught up in the excitement and nervousness, and forget the most important reason for being there. God’s call!
Thank you for bringing things back into perspective.
So everyone, what historical time period do you like in your fiction? 🙂
You can learn more about Laura’s books on her website.
Stop by on Sunday for next week’s list of Conference Tips authors. Have a great weekend!

Conference Tips with Kaye Dacus

Having just read her newest novel, Ransome’s Quest, all I have to say is LISTEN TO WHAT THIS AUTHOR SAYS!

Kaye Dacus has not only written an intriguing historical series in The Ransom Trilogy, she’s mostly known for her wonderful contemporary novels like The Brides of Bonneterre and The Matchmakers series. A few things I personally appreciate from Kaye is her thorough critiques, attention to detail, and wealth of realistic encouragement.

With that in mind, here is what Kaye has to say about conference:

Three necessities for a writers’ conference . . .

1. A plan. It’s important to go into a writers’ conference with a plan in place—not just for what sessions you want to attend and what editors/agents you’re going to request appointments with, but a plan for what you’re going to do if you don’t get the appointments you want—how will you make sure that you get to talk to that publishing professional? Also, make a plan for which editors’/agents’ tables you want to sit at during hosted meals. Even more importantly, plan ahead to meet up with online friends, new and old, to make sure that you find each other—because sometimes it’s hard to find one person out of seven hundred!
2. A purpose. Sure, you have a purpose in attending the conference, but what’s your purpose for why you’re writing? And if your answer is “to get published,” you may need a new purpose. There should be something more to the reason you write than the pursuit of a contract with the “right” agent or the “right” publishing house. What’s your purpose as a writer? Clarify that before you get to the conference. Write it down as a mission statement. (Google “writing a personal mission statement” if you need help.) Carry that mission statement in your pocket/bag with you throughout the conference. Pull it out every couple of hours and read it. Don’t let the craziness and chaos of conference make you lose focus on your purpose as a writer.
3. A perspective. Not only do you need to have a perspective on who you are and what makes you and your writing unique, you need to plan ahead for having a positive, pragmatic perspective on what’s going to happen when the conference ends. What will you do if you don’t hear what you want to hear? What will you do if all of the editors and agents you talk to say, “Thanks, but no thanks”? How will you handle the emotional surge of conference, followed by the inherent crash afterward once you’re back home again and not surrounded by seven hundred other writers? Most importantly, though, is determining your overarching perspective of yourself and your writing and your life and making the decision before you leave for conference that no matter what happens, you aren’t going to let it affect your belief in the calling God has put on your heart to be a writer.
Don’t you love how she just gets to the heart of the matter? What IS your purpose for writing? Some answers will stand the test of time, heartache, and rejection much better than others. It’s important to know your reason. 🙂 AMEN, Kaye! And thanks for sharing these with us.
To learn more about Kaye’s books, visit her blog at http://kayedacus.com
You will find a WHOLE LOT more than just book information and a bio.  Kaye’s Writing Series Index is a MUST READ for aspiring authors- slathered with useful information.
Friday – we have a visit from the cowboy queen, Mary Connealy.
Saturday – it’s the sweet and eloquent historical author, Laura Frantz

Conference Tips Series

Starting next Tuesday, I’ll be hosting a series about conference tips – straight from some of your favorite authors. Each have given 3 top things to remember to bring with you for your future Writers Conference -experience.

So who’s on the agenda for this coming week?

Denise Hunter

Missy Tippens

Kaye Dacus

Mary Connealy


Laura Frantz

It’s gonna be inspirational, educational, and FUN! Stop by and get prepared!

The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz has proven her talents in yet another fabulously crafted historical romance. A sweeping tale of terrible loss,
unending determination, and love born through heartbreak, The Colonel’s Lady will take you on a journey through the anguish and treachery of war.

In the heart of Kentucky during the stirrings of the Revolutionary War, Roxanna Rowen finds herself orphaned, penniless, and left in the middle of
Kentucky territory  inside the solitary Fort Endeavor. Her father’s untimely death and the hostility of the surrounding Indians, leave her out of option – save one. Take her father’s place as scrivener for the notorious Colonel Cassius McLinn.

With God’s strength and her own determination, Roxanna takes on the brutality of war and the harsh frontier, but even a fort in the wilds of Kentucky territory may be nothing compared to the untamed heart of Cassius McLinn.

A wounded hero with a broken spirit but a will of iron, he commands both Indians and soldiers with a look, but is he in endanger of losing command of his own heart? Will the secret that binds his spirit wreck his chance to make a life with Roxanna, if they can survive the bloody threat outside the fort walls?

It is a beautiful journey of forgiveness and hope with magical interludes of romantic tension that are positively spellbinding.  Laura blends poetic rhythm and masterful detail to create a setting as real as a movie and characters that reach beyond the page to grip a reader’s heart. I was riveted, moved, and captured in the hands of a gifted storyteller.

Beautiful, Laura – absolutely beautiful.

Check out Laura’s other wonderful novels at her website at www.laurafrantz.net

Available August 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Provided by Baker Publishing Group and gladly read & reviewed by me.

A Visit with Author Krista Phillips

If you don’t know this already, I am a member of a fantastic group writing blog known as The Writers Alley. It’s such a fun place to be – with nine awesome aspiring authors to help bounce ideas, share prayer requests, enjoy funny moments, and gab about writing. Interestingly enough though, many of us have never met in person. We started the Alley online last May with five: Mary Vee, Casey Herringshaw, Krista Phillips, Sherrinda Ketchersid, and me.

In the fall of 2010, God sent five other authors our way: Julia Reffner, Angie Dicken, Sarah Forgrave, Wendy Miller, and Cindy Wilson.

Since ten is one of my favorite numbers, I think our group feels pretty complete. But what would make it even better is to get to meet in person.

We’re all scattered throughout the U.S. so that makes meeting very hard, but this weekend I had the opportunity to meet Krista Phillips. Unfortunately, we met at the hospital where she’d just brought her sweet baby girl, Annabelle, back to the PICU. To learn more about Krista’s amazing journey with Annabelle this past year, you can visit her fantastic blog here.

It’s such a blessing to meet any of these ladies who’ve inspired and encouraged me so much this year. I was grateful to meet Wendy, Sarah, Angie, and Cindy at ACFW last year (and that was WAY before The Writers Alley ever came to be – cool, huh?!?)

With ACFW 2011 just around the corner, I look forward to meeting more of the Alley Cats. Particularly, Casey and Mary – but we’ll be joined by Sarah, Wendy, and Angie too.

Other writing buddies will be there – such as the EXCELLENT Seeker-gals! Oh dear, I love them!

And friends, Carol Moncado, Keli Gwyn, Laura Frantz…and so many more!

Any writing pals-meetups in your future? Whether at ACFW or otherwise?

Also, here are a few pics of the Parthenon in Nashville- a exact replica of the original Parthenon in Greece.