Story Inspiration

August 7, 2017 | Comment on This

Once upon a time a southern girl met her real-life hero in the Pacific Northwest. 23 years later they found themselves between two beautiful states, Kentucky and Washington. Inspiration comes from both and I’m so thankful. When I’m in one place, I look forward to traveling to the other. Since I spent part of my childhood growing up in a national park, creation never ceases to be an ongoing wonder and delight for me. Here are a few recent pictures from our summer out west…

You can see I am outnumbered by the men in the family. My husband, Randy, and our two sons, Wyatt and Paul. You might have trouble figuring out who is who as they look so much alike. I’m the blonde!

If you’ve read my books, you know how much the setting of a story means to me. I try to create rich, evocative images that plant you right in the heart of the novel so you feel you are there, too. Setting then becomes a character of its own, a real, living, breathing entity. I’m so thankful the Lord gave us so many colors and textures and natural wonders to savor and enjoy.

Now I’m packing to return south to our little log cabin that sits in the heart of Kentucky along the trace Daniel Boone blazed back in 1775. But I’ll take some of the Pacific Northwest with me when I go – crisp, clean air, tall timber, ridiculously deep lakes, epic mountains, and lots of inspiration.

Happy reading!

My Kentucky Kitchen ~ Italian Sausage Bake

July 26, 2017 | Comment on This

  • 2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes (I use reds & yellows)
  • 1 Red Pepper, Cored And Diced Into 1 Inch Pieces
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled, And Diced Into 1 Inch Pieces
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Minced
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Herbs (Parsley, Basil, or Oregano, or even a bay leaf)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 Italian Sausage Links

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and toss them together with the onions, peppers, garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  3. Place the vegetables in the bottom of a baking pan or casserole dish, then place the sausage links on top of the vegetables and bake for about 20 minutes.
  4. Turn the sausages and prick them with a fork and return to the oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the sausages are cooked through and are golden brown.
  5. Enjoy!

*We also enjoy adding a can of white beans, rinsed, the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Just mix the beans in with the sausages and vegies. Sometimes I slice the sausages and sometimes I leave them whole before serving. Enjoy!

 

 

A Tale of Two Lacemakers

July 18, 2017 | Comment on This

What do you do when you discover one of your favorite authors has created a lacemaking heroine like yours? Panic? Pout? Cry? Revise? Nope. REJOICE!

Jocelyn says it best in her recent blog post:

A Tale of Two Lacemakers

“But here’s something I bet you didn’t know: our heroines are related! 

Laura’s story is set in colonial Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution. Mine starts in Paris during the French Revolution and quickly moves to Philadelphia in 1794. The connection between the lacemakers was easy to imagine, because lacemaking is typically a tradition passed down from one generation of women to the next. Laura and I had a great time creating a family tree with roots in France, and determining where the branches reached to England before spanning the ocean to America. Our heroines don’t interact with each other in either book, but eagle-eyed readers will catch the mention of great-grandmothers they shared in each one.”

By now you are probably as smitten with Jocelyn’s cover for A Refuge Assured as I am. The color of that gorgeous gown, the lace insets at the cover’s corners, that fan! And a double blessing is that these novels release back to back. We hope you find both stories to be rich in history and romance with enduring spiritual truths.

Here’s to two lacemaking heroines you’ll meet early in 2018!

Happy reading!

Christian Fiction Readers Retreat!

July 10, 2017 | Comment on This

One of my favorite annual events is coming up in a month – CFRR or the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. I attended its debut event last year in Nashville and it was both memorable and inspiring and just downright FUN! When it moved to Cincinnati this year I was delighted as it’s even closer to the Kentucky cabin. It’s truly a JOY being with both authors and readers at the same time. The creators and organizers – Bonnie, Carrie, and Annie (or A, B, C as I call them) are some of the most savvy, Christ-honoring beings I’ve ever met.

I hope you consider joining us in future. You won’t regret it. And I’d so love to meet you!

Here’s the website for detailed info:

Christian Fiction Readers Retreat

 

THE LACEMAKER Cover Reveal!

July 4, 2017 | Comment on This

So pleased with this new cover that captures the setting of Colonial Williamsburg & our heroine’s handwork in 1775 Virginia. Even more meaningful, this is an actual gown from the time period in a museum collection! The novel releases January 2, 2018. Here’s the back cover copy…

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiance and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

Historical romance favorite Laura Frantz is back with a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. With her meticulous eye for detail and her knack for creating living, breathing characters, Frantz continues to enchant historical fiction readers who long to feel they are a part of the story.

Pre~order Links:

Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Christianbook, LifeWay

Hope you think it’s as lovely as I do. Heartfelt thanks to my publisher, Revell!

Happy reading!

My Kentucky Kitchen

May 20, 2017 | Comment on This

Here are 2 simple recipes passed down from my great-grandmother, Louise, a Kentuckian who farmed just down the road from where we live now. I think of her often as I’m in my kitchen. I sometimes wonder what she’d think of me in this tiny cabin a hundred years later making her cornbread and fried apples?

CORNBREAD

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup self-rising cornmeal (I use White Lily)

2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil

~

Beat egg with wire whisk and add buttermilk till well blended. Stir in cornmeal. Add grease or oil and stir till mixed well. Pour into small, greased cast iron skillet (a loaf pan will do). Bake 425 for 20 minutes or till golden brown. Slather with butter.

FRIED APPLES

4 good cooking apples (Granny Smith works well)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch salt

~

Peel, core, and slice apples like you would for pie. Melt butter in large skillet. When butter is melted, add apples. Mix in pan to coat all apple slices. After a couple of minutes, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and pinch salt. Continue stirring at intervals till apples are desired softness and somewhat carmelized.

Yum!

New Newsletter!

April 24, 2017 | Comment on This

If you’re new to my website, I’d be honored to have you sign up for my monthly newsletter! I’ll always have fresh book news, reader photos, what I’m reading, a glimpse of life at the cabin, and giveaways. Here’s the link ~

Laura’s Newsletter

Thank you ~ and happy reading!

My Kentucky Kitchen ~ Good Morning Muffins!

April 24, 2017 | Comment on This

 

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated parsnips
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350º F. If not using muffin cups then grease the wells of the muffin pan with the butter and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the carrots, parsnips, raisins, pecans, coconut, and apple.
  • In another bowl, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the batter is just blended.
  • Spoon equal amounts of the batter into the wells.
  • Bake until the muffins spring back to the touch and are golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  • Using oven mitts or pot holders, carefully remove the muffins from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
  • ENJOY!
  • Emeril’s There’s a Chef in my Soup!

My Kentucky Kitchen ~ Southern Salad for Two

March 22, 2017 | Comment on This

I’m such a fan of this salad. It’s so pretty in a glass bowl and can be made ahead for company if you double or triple the recipe. We’ve enjoyed it for Easter and it’s become a summer staple when vegetables are at their peak. Feel free to be creative and add or subtract ingredients like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, sweet or red onion, radishes, jalapenos, cucumbers, etc. Be extra creative!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon half and half or milk or buttermilk (yep, buttermilk for me;)
2 cups shredded lettuce (your fave is fine, I prefer butter lettuce and iceburg, even a little spinach)
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
4 boiled eggs
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 cup sliced celery
3-4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar or cheese of choice, shredded
Sliced green onion or your favorite chopped fresh herbs (mine are dill and parsley) to garnish
Salt and pepper

Mix the mayo, ranch dressing mix, sugar, and half and half or milk or buttermilk; set aside.

In a small, clear glass bowl, add half of the shredded lettuce then tomatoes, starting around the outside edges and working toward the middle. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slice enough of the boiled eggs to line completely around the outside of the dish first, then chop the remaining eggs and sprinkle them around the inside on top of the tomatoes. Add the peas then celery. Next add another layer of lettuce, then the chopped bacon and shredded cheese. Dollop the dressing over the top and spread evenly till the salad’s edges, sealing the salad.

Cover tightly with saran wrap or lid. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Before serving, add sliced green onions and herbs to garnish. Toss if you like or just dole out with salad tongs.

Enjoy!

 

My Kentucky Kitchen ~ Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

February 15, 2017 | Comment on This

If you’re new to my site, I’m cooking up something brand new in 2017 ~ my  newsletter! Since I’m always searching for fresh ways to connect with readers, this seems like a fun way to do it…

To sign up, please go to the little letter icon on the home page and simply enter your email address or follow this link here. Newsletter subscribers receive book news in advance, a monthly giveaway, and more! I’ll also be including a favorite family recipe from My Kentucky Kitchen each month.

For the February launch, here’s a soup recipe our family enjoys wintry nights with a green salad & crusty bread:

2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 (15 ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans tomato soup
2 (10 ounce) cans milk (use soup can)
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
3 tablespoons Italian-style tomato paste
1⁄2 cup light cream or 1⁄2 cup half-and-half
1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 (9 ounce) package cheese tortellini

In soup pot, heat olive oil then add onion and garlic. Saute till soft over medium heat.

Add canned diced tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, basil, tomato soup, and the milk. Stir well till blended.

Simmer for 25 minutes.

Add light cream and parmesan cheese.

Lastly, add tortellini and cook about 15 minutes or until tender.

Enjoy!