Welcome Laura Frantz – Author Interview and Book Giveaway

Mesu Andrews Featured Articles 76 Comments

Let me introduce my friend…

Laura Frantz and I met briefly last year at a conference (American Christian Fiction Writers), and her sweet spirit immediately drew me in. She sort of “oozes” Jesus. Do you know people like that? Anyway…

A few months later, four of us Revell authors, (Bonnie Leon, Ann Shorey, Laura Frantz, and myself) all living in the Pacific Northwest, decided to do a group book-signing. LifeWay Christian fiction buyer, Rachel McRae helped get the ball rolling, and we had a marvelous time, meeting folks at two Life-Way stores in May.

Bonnie had some family obligations, but Ann and Laura were able to stay overnight at my house. Laura had recently received the cover art for Love’s Reckoning, so she shared a sneak preview of it with Ann and me. We squealed and giggled like little girls at a slumber party. Isn’t it beautiful?

Sharing Laura’s Heart With You…

As you follow Wednesday’s blog posts, I hope to share secrets with you–inside information about what’s new in my current writing projects and in the world of Christian fiction.

For the first Wednesday blog post on my new website, I wanted you to catch a glimpse of Laura’s heart. It shines like pure gold…

Laura Frantz is the author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady, and Love’s Reckoning: The Ballantyne Legacy. A two-time Carol Award Finalist, she is a Kentuckian living in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.

Mesu: Tell us about your publishing journey.

Laura: I seem to have come in the back door of the publishing world as I had no agent, no online presence, no publishing contacts, no contest or conference experience, etc. I just quietly submitted sample chapters to the Writer’s Edge and then in a few months heard from Revell and my present editor. They asked to see The Frontiersman’s Daughter. My brother dared me to do it, actually, and so I followed through, sure nothing would ever come of it. I’d been writing 40 years just for the joy of it and never dreamed anything would ever see print. Surprise!  😀

Mesu: What personal life experience made the plot of this book especially poignant for you?

Laura: I think the most enduring books are drawn from our own struggles and heartache. Like my Eden, the heroine in Love’s Reckoning, I came to a place as a young woman where circumstances left me in a pit of despair that I couldn’t dig myself out of. My life was over, wrecked, or so I thought, and I couldn’t see how the Lord would redeem those circumstances or renew me. 

And then a complete stranger gave me a life-changing Scripture, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…and ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:25-26

The struggles Eden faces in the novel were my own. They were hard to write about but I felt the Lord leading me to do it even though I hadn’t intended to include them when I began the novel. Because they’re so painful, some readers might struggle with the material. But I have to be true to the vision the Lord gave me for the story. I’m not a risk taker in real life but I seem to be in my writing. I sense the Lord leading me to write outside the box and reach readers who might never be reached otherwise. 

Mesu: What spiritual lessons did you apply to your own life while you researched/wrote this manuscript? 

Laura: My stories and characters are always teaching me. Sometimes I don’t really understand the theme of a book until I’m done. Readers often write and tell me what the story meant to them on a spiritual level which is a huge blessing. As for Love’s Reckoning, I became very aware of the power of our choices and how they simply must be godly ones, both for our good and for the good our children. The legacy we leave truly lasts for generations, good or ill. I pray my legacy is one of blessing, in print and real life. 

Mesu: What spiritual impact do you hope this story will have on your readers?

Laura: My hope is that readers will experience for themselves the depths of the Lord’s forgiveness and restoration power. He not only heals our hurting hearts and wrong turns but restores those lost years in ways we cannot imagine. No sin or circumstance is beyond His power.

Mesu: Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

Laura: I love connecting with readers at LauraFrantz.net as well as Facebook and Pinterest. Or by email or snail mail. And I always write back 😉 .

NOW! For the Book Giveaway Details:

  • ANYONE can comment/answer questions; however, only those in US or Canada will be entered in the random drawing for the free book.
  • Deadline for the comment entries is September 5, 2012; Be sure you leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you win! 
  • Winner has 3 days to send me your mailing address; if no response, I’ll choose another random winner.

Answer ONE of the following questions to be entered in the BOOK GIVEAWAY drawing:

  1. If you have read one of Laura’s previous releases, which is your favorite and why?
  2. Was there a question or response in the interview that stirred a thought, an emotion, or a concept you’d like to share?
  3. Why would you like to win Laura’s new release, Love’s Reckoning?

Comments 76

  1. I can’t recall if I have read any of Laura’s books. The reason I want to read this one is that the COVER calls to me. It just begs for me to read it!

  2. I have not read any of Laura’s previous releases, so to answer your third question, I would like to win her new release because I have learned that I often find new authors who really speak to me by reading suggestions from authors I already know and trust. But if I don’t win, I’ll be buying Love’s Reckoning anyway!

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      Hi Emily! I’m so sorry to have been so slow to get this comment on the website! It’s another one that got lost in the bells and whistles of my new website. How fun to know that you’re a new reader of Laura’s writing. I must confess that I, too, will be enjoying Laura’s writing for the first time in Love’s Reckoning! So excited!! Thanks for entering, and again…please forgive my oversight. Blessings on ya! 😉

  3. Good morning, Mesu! I’m so thrilled to be your guest – and OH MY WORD! Your new web home is just gorgeous! The colors and font and everything are so YOU and evocative of your books:) I know readers are going to feel very welcome here. Your devotional posts are a favorite “oasis” for me and I know others will be blessed by them, too.

    I’m so touched by your words above and pray that Jesus is foremost in everything I do. Amen. I know He’s that way for you.

  4. Mesu, What a beautiful website you have! I love how it is laid out!

    Hello Miss Laura! Thought I would hop over from your website and look at Mesu’s blog. It is striking!

    I didn’t realize that Eden’s story was close to your own past pain. No wonder I could feel her struggle so much!! You put everything you have and are into your stories! It is wonderful that you are so transparent. But you know that The Lord uses many avenues to bless and heal others. The Lord is pleased with you my dear friend.

    Love,
    Stacie

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    2. Stacie! Oh, so happy you’re here. I treasure your words. Mesu has a way of drawing one’s deepest secrets out, lol. But she’s wonderfully transparent herselr:) Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. You always bring a blessing wherever you go! Praying for you, my friend.

  5. It would be such a blessing to win a copy of Laura’s newest book. She is my favorite author, and I plan to buy it at some point. I have to budget carefully when it comes to buying books, because that is my hobby. Any opportunity to not purchase one with my money would be wonderful:)

    1. Brittany, Bless you so much for wanting to read Eden’s story so much and saying so! Books are so expensive, yes, and I’m always on a book budget. When I start going awry, my hubby always reminds me;) I’d so love to send a book your way. Your kind words are such a blessing on my day!

  6. I absolutely love Laura’s writing. The Frontiersman’s Daughter was the book I’d been waiting to find for years. When Laura says she sometimes feels the Lord leading her to write outside the box, I find that compelling as both a reader and a writer. I think that comes through in her stories, and that’s why her books touch us like they do.

    1. Naomi, I think you’re also one of those writers who step out of the box. Maybe that’s why this resonates. I’ve never forgotten your kind comments about Lael’s story – they still mean a great deal to me and always will. Whenever you pop up I remember them:) I hope I can be an encouragement to you, too. Thanks so much for wanting to read Eden’s story.

  7. Laura, that’s a beautiful verse and given to you by a complete stranger!

    I’d love to read Love’s Reckoning! The cover is gorgeous first of all and the story just sounds wonderful. I’ve never complained about a series either =)

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

  8. Liz, Bless you for being here with such warm words. I’d love for you to read Love’s Reckoning:) And like you, I’m so happy with a series! We get to hold onto dear characters a wee bit longer.

    And yes, that verse given me by that stranger counts as one of my most touching, unexpected moments. I think of it often when life gets hard or I make mistakes. God is so faithful!

    1. Allysia, So thankful Morrow’s story touched your heart – love when you talk about redemption and her struggles and her faith. I pray you enjoy Eden’s story just as much!

  9. I agree, Mesu! Laura’s personality is Christianity through and through. Loved the interview.

    I’ve read all of Laura’s books and can’t wait to get my hands on Love’s Reckoning! So far, my favorite of Laura’s books is Courting Morrow Little. Loved her respectful treatment of Native American life, and oh! the man Morrow chooses! Sigh. Be still my heart. 🙂

    annshorey [at] msn [dot] com

    1. Ann, I always SMILE so BIG when you appear:) I think the same could be said of you – you reflect Christ through and through. I don’t feel I do but it’s very humbling and challenging to hear that.

      I love hearing that CML is your favorite:) It sure had a huge part of my heart. Sigh, indeed:) Don’t you wish you could just go back and write some books over again?

      Thanks for taking time here. It wouldn’t be the same without you, Mesu, and dear Bonnie:)

  10. I love the question about what spiritual lessons did you apply to your own life?? and her answer that her characters are always teaching her. You know if we stop learning from others or what God places within our life’s then we are in trouble. I have not yet read any of Laura Frantz’s books, but will be putting this one on my TBR list now. Thanks for the post.

    1. Kim, Love your breath of life button! It says so much about you and your heart. And you’re so right – a teachable spirit is a HUGE plus and if we stop having that we are in trouble. Thanks so much for wanting to add my books to your TBR list! So good to meet you here!

  11. I’ve read all of Laura’s books, but my favorite is “The Colonel’s Lady”. It is spellbinding and I couldn’t put it down. Laura’s talent to weave a story and make the reader feel as though they are ‘sewn’ into the middle of it is remarkable gift. It is one of my all time favorite books and a must read, re-read and read AGAIN! Thank you for the opportunity to win her newest book.

    1. Amy! Love that you’ve read all my books – and that Cass and Roxie win first place:) Oh, what a blessing to me as an author to hear you feel “sewn” into the story. That is certainly my prayer and intent! Beautifully said. Bless you for being here!

  12. I would love to discover an author who “oozes Jesus”… 🙂 Inspirational reading is the best relaxation I get. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    1. Tami, Bless you for saying so! Mesu has a way with words, without a doubt. I love that “oozing” and pray the Lord makes it so! Great words about inspirational reading being the best relaxation you get. That’s a wonderful thought!

  13. Hey Laura, I was baking chocolate tarts today, and happened to stop by. I enjoyed the interview. Truly, I think if the Lord means for something to happen, such as you becoming an author, He will open doors unimaginable. I just happened to start following your work because of a CBD review in their magazine. There are tons monthly throughout that book, but for some reason the snippet of TFD drew me.
    Also, I was thinking just last night about how out of one couple can come 12 grandchildren. Isn’t that amazing?
    gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

    1. Adrienne, You always bless me with your thoughts and insights. That IS amazing when one couple can produce so many grandchildren down the line! In my husband’s family there are about 30 grandchildren! Reminds me of Ballantyne book 3 I’ve just started. One main character is expecting her 12th child and will have an even dozen:) Those families were often so big back then.

      Love hearing it was CBD that brought us together. I’m so grateful for those little ads and blurbs. And you’re right – if the Lord wills something for us, we needn’t fret about it coming to pass. It will in His perfect time. He’s never too late or too early:)

  14. From the first pages of Laura’s books everything is real and genuine. They do so much more than just entertain. Readers meet characters, join their journey, and never let go. Her books are joy and sorrow, uplifting, but also stirring. They are deep, but easy to sink into, and because of their depth, they make you want to read them again and again. They are books you could read five times and never fully be able to explain, until someone reads them.
    Thank you Mesu for posting about Laura. I love to see the bond that authors share in their work and in Christ.
    I can’t wait to read L.R.
    Jennie
    hisprincess 117[at] sbcglobal [dot] net

    1. Jennie, So happy you’re here, my friend! So touched by your thoughts about my books. It’s amazing to think that before time began God had a plan for us Christian writers, matching us with readers who would be blessed and bless us in return. You’re always such a bright spot and make me want to write richer and deeper. Thanks so much for being here:)

  15. I have never read one of Laura’s books and as a Christian Store Manager, I would consider it a blessing to read a new author and to have someone new to recommend to my growing customer base. Who are all faithful Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brundstetter, Francine Rivers, etc fans. Thank you for your consideration and may God’s Holy Spirit direct you as you continue to write and reach others with His message!

    1. Tamara, So pleased to meet you here! I have been so encouraged and blessed by bookstore managers like you! You have such a vital, needed ministry – a true missionfield at your door. Having a brother who’s a missionary/pastor in Spain with a side ministry involving Christian books, it really hits home with me.

      Thanks so much for your gracious words. I love when the Lord links kindred spirits together.

  16. I agree with you, Mesu. Laura has such a sweet spirit. It was so much fun joining you two ladies and Ann Shorey for booksignings earlier this summer. We have to get together again . . . soon.

    And I love Laura’s books. This is an excellent interview and I can’t wait to read the book.

    There are two things I love especially — that she wrote for 40 years and never thought she’d be published and God wanted more from her and He made it happen. Of course, he gave her a great talent first off.

    And I love that she’s taking risks. Go Laura! I love risky writing.

    Bless you two–Mesu & Laura. Love you gals.

  17. YAY, Bonnie! I feel so blessed to have you, Mesu, and Ann here all at once, so to speak:) And thanks so much for sharing what you like best – it makes me ponder those long 40 years and God having a plan. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle I lose sight of the wonder of that. Each of us came to writing/publishing in such different ways. I never get tired of hearing about it!

    You’re always such a blessing, as are your books. Thanks so much for stopping here.

  18. Yay! I love Laura’s books! My favorite one is Courting Morrow Little. But I’ve heard so many good things about Love’s Reckoning that it just might change. 🙂 I really liked Morrow’s story because of the Red Shirt. I just loved him!!

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

    1. Marissa, YES, there was just something about Red Shirt! And I can’t take any credit! I’m still scratching my head about where he came from:) So happy you want to read Eden’s story. I’d love to send a book your way!

  19. I would love to win a copy of your book because I enjoy reading books and telling others about the books that I read and how much I like them .The Bible Scripture, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…and ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:25-26 has spoken to me alot concerning many many many things in my life that I have gone through and God has always restore back to me more than what was taken .God is AWESOME ! Thank you ! Dana Wilkerson Spille

    1. Hi Dana, Love that this verse speaks to your heart and life in a very deep way, too. The Lord is so creative in how He shows His love and blessing, especially in the hard places. God is AWESOME just like you’ve said. AMEN!

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  20. MESU, LOVE the website, girl!!! And I love, LOVE Laura Frantz, both the author and the woman!!!

    I’ve said it all over the blogosphere, but I’ll say it again — Love’s Reckoning is one of THE BEST, if not the best, book I have ever read in the CBA. When it comes to exceptional writing, heart-rending plots and pulse-stuttering heroes, Laura Frantz ROCKS!!!

    HUGS,
    Julie

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  21. Stopping in to say hello to Laura and meet Mesu! This is a lovely website! Congratulations. 🙂 Your book cover looks AMAZING, Mesu! Can’t wait to read it. By the way, how do you pronounce Mesu? I’ve never heard the name before.

    Laura, I loved reading this interview. I’m finding one of my favorite aspects of new releases is blog hopping to learn more about the book and the author. It’s always so much fun learning about the heart and soul behind a story. Please don’t enter me in the drawing, as you know I already have a copy and I wouldn’t want to deprive anyone of the great blessing of receiving Love’s Reckoning in the mail. 🙂

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      Hi Gabrielle! My name is pronounced, Mee-Sue, but I answer to just about anything. 😉 So glad to meet you! Hope you enjoy the books–and how sweet of you to decline the contest. You’re a doll. If I forget, just remind me if you happen to be chosen as the winner. (My mind goes on vacation without permission sometimes.)

  22. Hi Laura! Hi Mesu! I love this site. I really want to read this novel. The cover is gorgeous, the reviews are outstanding, and I love historicals. I have not read any of Laura’s work yet, but that will soon change! Thank you for a great post.

    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  23. I have read all of Laura’s books. My favorite of all, I think, would have to be Courting Morrow Little. It’s such a beautiful, mysterious, and exciting story; it drew me in and wouldn’t let go! 🙂 I agree that Red Shirt was a definitely a great character! Love’s Reckoning was also one of my favorites. Laura, you are an amazing author! Your stories just have a real feeling to them- the kind of book that just makes you forget everything else and feel like you’re there amongst Red Shirt and Morrow, and Silas and Eden, and Lael and all the others. Thank you for writing, God bless you! 🙂
    I haven’t read any of Mesu Andrew’s books, but I hope to soon. I have some of them on my to-read list… 🙂
    Thanks for this give-away!!

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      Hi Shantelle! I’m so sorry, but I think your comment got lost in the shuffle! The new website has a few new bells and whistles that I’m still learning about, so please be patient with me and know that I’m trying to keep up with all the new stuff! ha! So fun to hear you’ve read some of Laura’s books and enjoyed Courting Morrow Little! I’m honored to be on your TBR list! Blessings, dear one, and again–so sorry for missing your comment!

  24. I love the look of your blog and especially this brown pattern. Gorgeous. My favorite was Courting Morrow Little. I really enjoyed The Colonel’s Lady very much, too, but Courting Morrow Little hit something in my heart on a deeper level and really affected me emotionally.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. Hmmm… why would I like to win a copy of Love’s Reckoning? Well, first off, the cover is BEAUTIFUL! Second, I have never read anything by Laura, and it looks like a really good book (plus I’ve heard really good things about her books)! I’m a huge fan of historical fiction (Christian, of course!), so this is right up my alley! Thanks so much for the giveaway! =D

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. I would like to win Laura’s book for a friend of mine. She would really enjoy this story! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    Emreilly303(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. Hi Mesu! Your new website is GORGEOUS! I loved The Frontiersman’s Daughter, so I need to get busy and read the rest of Laura’s books. The cover on the new novel is simply stunning.

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  28. Hi Mesu!

    Came here at Laura’s suggestion – and like so many have already said, I’m so impressed with this gorgeous website! But I will tell you, the cover of your book, Love Amid the Ashes, just mesmerized me. Beautiful. I’m a cover junkie – I buy books just because of the covers….

    Laura – a wonderful interview. Loved hearing your heart here. Your characters often speak to the heart of things – our fears, our misconception of Christ and His grace, and of the internal need we have for Him even while we resist His wooing. I’m glad to hear that you’ve been vulnerable in Love’s Reckoning – I think that’s something that makes fiction come to life for me. And I love your covers, too. 🙂

    Don’t enter me in the contest – I’ve already won a copy of Love’s Reckoning from Laura over at Colonial Quills! I’m even more excited to read it now.

    Blessings to you both,
    Becky

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      Hi Becky!
      Thanks so much for checking out my site on Laura’s recommendation and for the encouraging words on my book cover. Doesn’t Revell do a fabulous job on covers? I’ll try to remember not to enter you in the contest, but if you should win, just remind me and we’ll re-draw for a second winner! Again, thanks for stopping by and saying “hi!”

  29. mesu,

    thank you for ‘sharing’ laura w/ your readers…a wonderful posting/interview.

    i love ALL of laura’s novels…her writing and story-telling is just beautiful.

    and i love your novels, too, mesu.

    xo

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  30. OH MY! I’ve been to town all day and have just come back to these wonderful comments!! Bless you all – and Mesu, too, for being here. I am sorry I’m late!

    It’s wonderful to see friends old and new. As iron sharpens iron:) A wonderful way to enjoy a Thursday. Thanks everyone for being here and taking part in the drawing!

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      Hey, sweet thing! Blessings on you! I was at Dad’s funeral and family meal/visits all day, so I’ve only just now checked in on the comments. You’ve been so great at keeping up with all the notes from folks. Thank you so much for all you do and all you are. Love you so much!

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      My husband was the same way, Melody. He pastored for fourteen years before becoming a college professor, and I’ve found it’s often the same with so many authors. Thanks for stopping by!

  31. Thank you so much for Laura’s interview! The Frontiersman’s Daughter is one of my favorite books. I really enjoy a book that is unpredictable! I look forward to reading one of your books, too…especially since I’ve visited your website.

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  32. Laura, thank you for sharing your personal testimony in the Reckoning. Although I have not read it, I hope to soon. We each have our own story to share of redemption and grace, but most of us lack the humility to share it with others. So, on behalf of your audience that are, like me, unable to gain the courage share our testimonies just yet, thank you and God bless you.

    1. Oh, Carolyn, I’m so blessed by your words. Thank you for sharing them here. It took a long time for me to be able to do this and I hope in the Lord’s perfect timing it blesses those who need it most. Just like yours will, I’m sure:)

  33. Would I like to win a copy of Love’s Reckoning? YES!!!!!!!!!!!
    (please 🙂 ) Thanks so much for having this giveaway!
    Best,
    Tiffany

  34. I have not read any of Laura Frantz’s previous books but I trust Mesu’s evaluation of her work, so I would love to win this book. Thank you for making it possible for someone to win it.

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