Blessed Easter

April 14, 2014 | Comment on This

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Wishing you a blessed week leading to Easter!

Pinterest

Can you tell me why?

April 10, 2014 | Comment on This

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Do you have a favorite book of mine? Can you tell me why? As I begin another novel, I’d love to incorporate your ideas into my writing to make the story stronger. Your thoughts mean so much.

Heartfelt thanks!

I just posted this on my Facebook author page if you’d like to join in the discussion there…Laura FrantzAuthor

Remembering Lael

April 8, 2014 | Comment on This

The Frontiersman’s Daughter  is on sale for e-readers!

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AMAZON, BARNES&NOBLE, CBD

Happy reading!

The discipline of thanksgiving

April 6, 2014 | Comment on This

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 BRING ME THE SACRIFICE of thanksgiving. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun. Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan’s temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her. The Garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn’t have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.

When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is “fixed.”

When you approach Me with thanksgiving, the Light of My Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through. Walk in the Light with Me by practicing the discipline of thanksgiving.

PSALM 116:17; GENESIS 3:2-6; 1 JOHN 1:7

~Jesus Calling, Sarah Young

New Revolutionary War Drama Coming Sunday…

March 31, 2014 | Comment on This

Coming up for air here after the galleys and am awaiting the pages next before Love’s Fortune goes to print. This week is spring break for my boys so I’ll be enjoying that with them. But I had to sneak in a post to tell you about TURN, the new Revolutionary War drama about George Washington’s spy ring that airs this Sunday, April 6th.

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Love this still from the series and the period appropriate dress. Here’s the trailer and blurb if you want to take a further look…

TURN

 I’ve just finished reading a related book so my head is spinning with the spy theme…

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This was a very moving account of the ring that gave their all and risked life and limb in our fight for freedom. It’s nonfiction but well worth your time if you are into the American Revolution as I am.

Might make a fine pairing with that chocolate cake recipe I posted:)

Enjoy!

Morrow’s Queen’s Cake and Laura’s Chocolate Cake!

March 26, 2014 | Comment on This

I’ve had some delightful Morrow mail since Courting Morrow Little was on sale. One dear reader asked me for Morrow’s mother’s recipe for Queen’s Cake, something I had researched years ago. It’s worth sharing here, if only for a gasp or a chuckle! I had forgotten Morrow was something of a kitchen diva (and Roxanna, but that’s another story)…

Mount vernon kitchen

*Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Hannah Glasse, in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, gave a recipe for the cake that included four pounds of flour, thirty-two eggs, six pounds of dried fruit, and half a pint of brandy. After the cake was baked, it was covered with a pure white, smooth icing made with “double refined sugar,” egg whites, musk, ambergrease [sic], and orange-flower water. The mixture was beaten for two hours, then spread over the cake and dried in the oven until hard. This drying process required constant vigilance to ensure that the iced cake did not color or scorch.

Well, fast forward to the 21st-century…

I was at Bible study recently when a friend brought in the most beautiful chocolate cake I’d ever seen. And it tasted as good as it looked! She’s kindly shared the recipe which is too good to keep to myself! If you suffer from a lack of chocolate love, my heart goes out to you!

chocolate cake

The Best Chocolate Cake

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time:

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee (I used Green Mountain Coffee’s Vermont Country Blend)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa(s), baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
4. Frost as desired. I used a simple and delicious Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from Savory Sweet Life. One batch was perfect for this layered chocolate cake. I also toasted walnuts and put them on top the cake. Amazing addition!
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Okay, back to work…!

Galleys and such

March 26, 2014 | Comment on This

I’m working on galleys for Love’s Fortune so am in the writing closet, so to speak.

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Over time, (after the trauma of the first round!), I’ve come to enjoy galleys. One of the best things about them is spending time reading the book aloud. You catch all sorts of little things you wouldn’t otherwise and the rhythm of the words really comes through.

I’d so appreciate your prayers as I make final changes to this last Ballantyne book. As Beth Moore said so well in a recent blog post: “A writing project going to press brings a very vulnerable feeling. Some of you know what I’m talking about. You’ve been so close to it for so long that you often have no idea if it’s decent writing or makes a whit of sense. All you can know is that you gave it everything you had.”

After being away from Love’s Fortune since November it’s a joy to spend time with these characters again.  Hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I’m now writing Eden’s granddaughter’s story. I’m still torn between my 2 heroes ~ good thing there are 2 heroines in this one! I always promise you a HEA as they say. Unhappily ever afters make me grumpy!

Back soon to celebrate Easter and spring with you…

Remembering Morrow

March 18, 2014 | Comment on This

Today, Tuesday, March 18th, Courting Morrow Little is available for free international download via e-readers!

morrow collage

When I was writing Morrow’s story I was inspired by this painting by Mitchell Tolle, a Kentucky artist. His gallery is just down the road from my granny in Berea, Kentucky. He  captured the look of Morrow’s cabin so perfectly with the exception of the dogtrot down the middle. So I just imagined it there:) It’s hanging in our home now and always reminds me of the years spent writing Morrow’s story.

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 Readers often ask where the inspiration for a character comes from. Here is the real Red Shirt below. Born along Nebraska’s Platte River in the 1830′s to an Indian mother and white, trapper father, he is something of an enigma. I discovered him 20 years ago while researching the Oglala/Lakota (Sioux) Indians for a Dances With Wolves type novel. He identified with the Lakota and lived free till his people were placed on reservations. He and his wife, Pretty Woman, had several children. This cropped photo shows him accompanying the famous chief, Red Cloud, in a delegation to Washington DC. Later, he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

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I carried him around in my head and heart for a long time before he found his own story. Of course, I had to alter him a bit for Morrow’s world. He had to leave the Sioux and become Shawnee. And Pretty Woman was a thing of the past! I also had to tweak his name to fit into the historical context of the 18th-century. Most importantly, my Red Shirt found freedom in Christ as well as freedom to exist where he pleased. Literary license is a fine thing. Every reader will have a different picture of him in their head and heart, too.

What is life? If is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. ~Crowfoot 

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Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Christianbook.com

Hope you enjoy Morrow’s story! And thanks for the reviews if you care to leave one!

Spring Giveaway Winner!

March 17, 2014 | Comment on This

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HUGE thanks to all 200 or so of you who made the spring giveaway a roaring success!

I only wish I had a box of books and bookmarks to send each one of you!

This giveaway’s winner is…

Melanie M.!

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Tomorrow I’ll post about a free download of one of my books so please stay tuned, thanks!

Gallant

March 15, 2014 | Comment on This

gallant

Edmund Blair Leighton (British, 1853-1922) The Gallant Suitor.

*gallant – (of a man or his behavior) giving special attention and respect to women; chivalrous.

Love this word!