Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Umm, Malachi or Jamie? Who'll it be? A chat with Laura Frantz, and a seriously fun give-away!





Let's just get something outta the way here, shall we?

~~~~~I AM A SERIOUS LAURA FRANTZ FAN~~~~~

So much so that I named my teddy bear Red Shirt and umm...maybe I should NOT have said that...

Anyhoooo, Laura's latest literary feast is the 'can't put it down-didn't even try' wonder known as 'Love's Fortune'. The sweeping story of Rowena Ballantyne's transformation from simple, country luthier's daughter, to an heiress of the Ballantyne Empire.

Now, say that with a hoity-toity British accent..."Em-PIE-YAH".

Poor sweet Wren.



Girl, ya just gonna havta suffer for a while til Laura digs you out and dusts you off.

I had the chance to ask Laura a few questions, so join our chat, will you? And do marvel how intelligent I sounded...and yes, I'm the one asking the hard questions.

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1) Ansel was very good at keeping his physical and emotional distance from his family, yet when he came home, he did the same thing to Wren. What was the character framework for him? Did you intend for him to be so aloof, or did he decide to be that way? 

Ansel is a complex character, neither at home with those Ballantynes when he is at home, and a grieving widower and father, to boot. Can you imagine returning to the family you’d cut ties with and finding Andra and Bennett awaiting? I mean, the east coast and business is looking pretty good at that point.




2) Wren is a sweet, clueless angel. Was it hard feeding her to the lions known as Andra and Bennett?

 My hubby almost threw the book across the room, more over Andra than BennettWinking smile. It was fun having na├»ve Wren enter their den and learn to defend herself. Having James alongside didn’t hurt. And in the end, when she’d had enough, she had a blessed escape. I’m sure some of us have longed to do that given the angst of familial relations, past and present!



3) Did you ponder a different end for Silas? Or did you have a little voice in your head whispering, "Jennifer knows where you live!" ? 

I did listen to that little threatening voice in my head, yes. And I did ponder burying Silas in this book. But that would have meant curtains on Wren’s debut and all the social whirl – as well as any heroic advances, thus bringing the plot to a screeching halt!




4) It was sweet seeing that, umm, Jack and Ellie, still, umm, get along well. Do you feel guilty giving that poor woman twelve children? I mean, can't Jack and Ellie just make goo-goo eyes at each other instead of having an army? Or was that one of those "historically accurate" thingies writers do?

 As for all that fertility, yes, that comes from my equally fertile imagination and actually knowing a family of 12 who has 10 boys and 1 girl (I rounded it up with girl #2 in the novel) and from reading many census rolls of equally loving couples during that very fruitful time period...




5) Wren gets brow beaten by Andra the Awful, and decides to take one for the team and do the social season thing. How much of a hunt was it for women of her day to marry money? Do you thing the poorer folks had it better, marrying for love and a roof and maybe some food?

Downtown Abbey immediately springs to mind because I think the American mother was sent to woo and wed an English title? Just backtrack from Edwardian times to 1850 and there was indeed a big push to marry well and beget well for the gentry even in Pittsburgh, all for the sake of business and finance. Personally, I find it much more palatable and romantic to marry for love and little else. Some of these highbrow couples were quite miserable – and those drafty mansions quite cold! I will say Wren’s distaste for excess and the social whirl was my own. Though I did find all those rules and extravagances fascinating!




6) Both Malachi and Jamie are written as (totally not) hideous and repulsive, drooling, one eyed beasts. Did you toy with her final choice, or was it set in stone before you put pen to paper/font to screen? 

This may have missed many readers but James actually made an appearance in book 2, Love’s Awakening, when he announced Jack’s demise on the river to Ansel. He was just a boy, and an apprentice, but he had his eye on Wren even thenWinking smile. Malachi came out of the blue though and begged to be half-Scots. He does look quite fine in a kilt!





7) Why isn't Red Shirt in this book? Not sure, but that sorta screams 'epic fail' to me. Moving along... 

Can you hear me laughing clear over here?! Red Shirt is back in the woods where he belongs. And it may well be in your neck of the woods...




8) Saying farewell to Silas (and yeah, everyone else, whatever...) is hard enough for us readers. How has it been for you? Or is it true that they live out behind your house in a big estate? Come on, I have satellite photos, I know you're hiding them!

 I was actually horrified not long ago when I googled my own address and our place popped right up, even buried in the woods as it is! But try as I might, I could not see even a brick of New Hope in the trees anywhere. Actually, 3 books is plenty for a series. I found that while writing the Ballantynes taught me many things such as crossing centuries and generations, my heart remains in standalones. Or in Red Shirt’s case, a very latent sequel...




9) What's on the horizon for you now? I heard you're writing something 18th Century? Care to leave us with a teaser? 

No, I cannot, thank you. I’ll just say I’m set for more books through 2019 as of this summer, thankfully. THE END, my friendSmile.


Thank you , Laura!!

And look! A peak at one of Laura's adventures at the cover shoot for Love's Fortune.




OKAY kids!!

Leave your name, and a comment and someone will win a copy of Love's Fortune AND a 10$ Amazon gift card. 

37 comments:

  1. Jennifer, Even though I KNOW the questions and format here, you still have the ability to make me laugh! And I had no idea your bear's name is RS:) I don't even have a bear named RS. Which makes me wonder if your bear really does have a red shirt or, well, you know...just plain fur?!

    My big regret is that we're not sitting at ACFW together this morning sharing a bear - um, I mean a cup of coffee or tea or something! Or at least participating in genre night which would probably have us both dressed in buckskin?

    Anyway, a true pleasure to be here today. You make Fridays extra fun:)

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    1. Bear? What bear?
      LALALALALA.
      I have no idea what you are talking about, madam...
      He's black and white, it throws people off the hunt when they go looking for him.

      Hmm, buckskins? Okay. I just hope the A/C is cranked.

      And thank YOU for being here!!

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  2. Wonderful interview! Laura Frantz is a new author for me. I've read lots of glowing reviews of her writings. I am looking forward to getting to know the Ballantyne's. Also, Laura's covers are stunning! Must have something to do with how she holds the wind machine. Happy Friday!

    psalm103and138"AT'gmail"DOT"com

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    1. Caryl, I'm so glad to see you - and am thrilled you want to meet Wren! Chuckling about that wind machine:) Messing that lovely model up was such fun! I'm glad you like these covers. I used to think LR was my top pick for a cover in this series but am leaning toward Wren's now. Thanks to Brandon Hill, choosing is next to impossible. Thanks for being here today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. Wow, has this peaked my interest! loved reading about Love's Fortunes & definitely going on my TBR list :)
    dkstevensne (at) outlook .com

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    1. Deanna, So happy to see yo here:) Thrilled you want to meet Wren and enter the wild world of those Ballantynes. Jennifer has a way of pulling readers right in here with her unique questions and humor. Happy Friday to you!

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  4. Loved the photo, looked like lots of fun.
    lsnljohnson (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Marilyn, Thanks so much for stopping. That photo shoot was really fun and meeting the model was a real treat. She was just as I had envisioned my lead character in the novel. And oh, I so loved that dress and all that lace! Bless you for being here and wanting to read!

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  5. Thanks for the funny interview! I have to go back to Love's Awakening now to see if I can spot James :)
    garfsgirl AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Lis, Thrilled to smile along with you this rainy Friday (at least on my side of the country)! When Jennifer asked me this question, I was going to go back to LA and make sure I had it right! But am sure that was my intro to James. Bless you for wanting to meet Wren!

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  6. Must. Win. This. Book. I keep entering these, and I hope that it will pay off and I do win a copy. If not then I will buy it. One way or another I must have this book! Thanks for offering this giveaway!

    emmamalissa(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Emma! So glad you're here:) An Amazon card AND a book seem to go hand in hand! So wish we could all just sit down together rather than chat at each other like this but it's all good. You're so patiently - or is that impatiently? - awaiting Wren. That sure makes me smile. Have a blessed weekend!

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  7. I love your books! This was so fun to read. Thank you for taking the time to do this!

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    1. Dear Shay, I love your name - it belongs in a book:) I'm always on the hunt for character names and I just might borrow yours, with your permission as I begin another novel. Thanks for taking time here. Jennifer is the best of the best and it's fun to meet new readers. Have a joyful weekend!

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    2. I wish I had gotten to my email sooner. I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw 1) that one of my favorite authors responded to my little comment and 2) that she likes my name and might even use it!
      Thank you! :) absolutely, I would love to read my name in a book! Now that I think about it, I'm glad that I didn't see this sooner. This kind of excitement during midterm (in one class) and finals (in another class) week is just what I needed. Even if my name isn't used just that it was considered is awesome! Thanks again! Sisters in Christ, Shay

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  8. Loved your interview with Laura, Jennifer - my thanks to both of you!! I really enjoyed getting down to the "nitty gritty" with Laura re: her characters (LOL), and you always make me laugh - love your sense of humor, a blessed diversion from life's trials for many people!!

    There probably aren't any Laura Frantz fans more "serious" than me - she probably gets tired of seeing my name linked with hers in my avalanche of online comments, but is too sweet to say so (LOL)!! I never tire of encouraging and spreading the word of some of the most magnificent books I've ever read!! Laura is a master at her craft and I yearn for everyone to be as blessed and inspired as I always am with the reading of her books.

    I've always been a "hopeless romantic" and so agree with Laura in that it's much more "palatable and romantic to marry for love and little else" than for business and finance, however - I'm probably not qualified to recommend it as I wasn't following the Lord's plan for me "way back then", therefore, it didn't work for me. As with Lis K. - I will also be taking a trip back to "Love's Awakening" in search for James.

    Like you, Jennifer, I will certainly miss the Ballantynes - but I've fallen in love with each of Laura's books and know there will be many more of her characters taking up residence in my heart via her future books.

    I already have "Love's Fortune" and am sharing your blog post!!

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    1. Bonnie, You always bring a blessing wherever you go :) Thank you for being such a faithful encourager. Wish I had a million more YOU. I'm a hopeless romantic, too. One would think writing novel after novel the romance would wear thin, but NO. I pray it never does! Since it's from above, I know the well will never run dry, so to speak and I'm very thankful.

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  9. I would love to win this book as it sounds so good! Thanks for the giveaway! rita.navarre@yahoo.com

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    1. Whoops, Rita, I completely missed that reply button (I'm so good at that) so please see below...:)

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  10. Hi Rita, Glad you like the look of LF:) I'd love to send a copy your way! Have a great weekend!

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  11. SO glad to hear the inside scoop on Andra and Bennett. I had to keep telling myself: Laura Frantz is a great storyteller--not a sadist. There HAS to be a reason. And I did consider throwing the book--or at least a warning glare--when I read the epigram for chapter 22!

    THANK YOU, Jennifer, for a fun and super interview. And for doing a giveaway. Both are precious.
    Many blessings, Laura and Jennifer.
    Mary Kay

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  12. LOL about that sadistic thought, dear Mary Kay! And now YOU have me running to read that epigram for chapter 22! No book throwing aloud:) Though I must confess I DID throw Liz's book across the room when Somerled flew off the mountain. I still haven't recovered. I thought he would have been wonderfully redeemable.

    Bless you for being here on this very rainy Friday! You always make things sweet!

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    1. Agree with you totally, Laura, abut Sumerled. Hubby thought just desserts, but I told him that Davina was also sad because he was repenting. SO did you discover why the epigram got me -- stirred up, shall we say? Maary Kay

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  13. Laura, I haven't read your works yet. But if Jennifer loves them, I know I will. Your covers are gorgeous. And all these questions and answers have me so curious to read and find out! I don't like being in the dark. :) Thank you, Laura and Jennifer.

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    1. Shelli, I don't like you being in the dark either:) It means a lot that you're here and kind enough to comment. Thanks so much. Jennifer certainly knows how to pique curiosity! I had a lot of fun with her questions but so wish I had a book for everyone! Thanks, too, for the cover kudos. Revell and Brandon Hill are inspired fellow creatives. I so love cover art. Would love for you to meet Wren! Have a joyful weekend!

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  14. I loved the interview! It was great to get the inside scoop on "Love's Fortune". I can't wait to read it. This series has been one of my favorite so it will be bittersweet when I get to the end. But then I get to look forward to your next book! =)

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    1. Jennifer, Oh, you said the magic words - a favorite series of yours:). Bless you so much for that! I hope you find Wren and the ending a satisfying finish. Love your saying it is bittersweet. I feel the same. Am so glad you'll be there for my next book. You're a true gem of a reading friend:)! Hope your weekend is extra blessed.

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  15. This sounds like a very interesting book!

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    1. Hi Donna, I sure hope you find those Ballantynes interesting if you meet them! After spending several years with them I still see storylines I could develop. But Wren is the grand finale:) Thanks so much for being here!

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  16. What a fun interview! I can't wait to see what Laura has coming next. Please drop my name in the hat, I'd love to win Love's Fortune. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. Jennifer, would you fix this reply button, lol?! Mercy! I am hopeless! My reply is below, dear Merry...:)

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  17. Merry, Always a joy to see you:) Thrilled you're ready to meet Wren and those Ballantynes in book 3. I'd love to send her your way!

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  18. Laura, you may be momentarily hopeless at the replying thing, but NO ONE will worry about it!! Trust me!!

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  19. :) I am truly blonde - and happy you are NOT;)

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  20. I enjoyed your post. The cover is beautiful. Best of luck on your new book.

    I would of commented sooner but I was out of town for a funeral.

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  21. BW, Your name is in the hat - thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate your gracious words about the cover and Wren's story. Hope you have a blessed day where you are!

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