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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Spotlight on Darlene Franklin, Tamela Hancock Murray, and Lynette Sowell and Seaside Romance

Don't forget the rules of the spotlights here. Answer the random question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


DARLENE FRANKLIN, an award-winning author and speaker, recently returned to cowboy country—Oklahoma—to be near family. She recently signed the contract for her twelth book. This fall she is celebrating her third novella anthology, Face of Mary in A Woodland Christmas. Visit Darlene’s blogs at for monthly book giveaways (books by Darlene as well as others) and for helpful hints for writers.

LYNETTE SOWELL works as a medical transcriptionist for a large HMO. But that's her day job. In her "spare" time, she loves to spin adventures for the characters who emerge from story ideas in her head. She hopes to spread the truth of God's love and person while taking readers on an entertaining journey. Lynette is a Massachusetts transplant, who makes her home in central Texas with her husband, and five cats who have their humans well-trained. She loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family. You can learn more about Lynette at and can find her on Facebook.

TAMELA HANCOCK MURRAY seeks to provide other Christians with edifying, entertaining works. She is grateful to Christian publishers for the opportunity to share unabashedly the saving faith of Jesus Christ. This award-winning, bestselling author of contemporary and historical novels is published by Heartsong Presents and Barbour Publishing. As an agent, Tamela represents authors for the Hartline Literary Agency.

by Darlene Franklin, Tamela Hancock Murray, and Lynette Sowell
Published by Barbour


Rhode Island of Yesteryear is Charmed by Love

Coastal Communities of old experience a test of faith when three women face fear, jealousy, and scorn as they ride the tide of romance.

Judith Morrison lives at the lighthouse her father operates on Capernaum Island. When her friend Sam Hathaway returns, will his fears of the sea keep him from reaching her in a storm?

Becca Hanham’s first day on the job as a scullery maid in Providence ends with a marriage proposal from Nash Abercrombie, a business tycoon. Is this the answer to her dreams or a preposterous scheme?

Francesca Wallingford is being pressure to enter a marriage with Count Philippe de la Croix. When Alfred Finley returns to the Newport society that once scorned him, could her choices become any more unclear?

Can true love be found even when the obstacles seem as wide as the ocean? Will God answer their prayers to bridge the gap?

Readers, buy your copy of Seaside Romance today!


1. This is a 3-in-1 repack of your story with 2 other authors. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Darlene: Reading about the Great Gale of 1815. When I learned that the hurricane destroyed a lighthouse, I imagined someone keeping the light burning during the storm—and Beacon of Love was born.

Lynette: I have always been fascinated by the mansions of Newport, built by the barons of industry like Vanderbilt, Astor, and others. This was something our country had never seen before at the end of the 19th century, and the lifestyle these people lived is now rivaled by few. This brought my heroine onto stage: What if a young woman found herself in such a home? What if she had to choose between love and duty to her family?

Tamela: I love Cinderella stories, and Becca's journey from an impoverished match girl to the mistress of the manor was one of my favorite stories to write. Reader response to this story has been positive and uplifting -- a blessing to me.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Darlene: A little bit of me sneaks into all of my characters, I suspect, but none of them are autobiographical. They all have their unique careers. None of my characters is an office worker in a 9-5 job, and that’s what I did for the majority of my away-from-home career!

Lynette: I think all of us have been in seemingly impossible situations. My hero finds "dirt" on someone in the book, and as an honorable man, he knows he can't make himself look better by exposing someone else's secret. I've also felt "trapped" as my heroine does at one point in the book. At times like that, I've had to choose like her, that sometimes God's intervention via other people will be the only way out of the situation. My hero's mother really surprised me. She became quite the character and is not like me at all. But her dramatic antics were fun to write about.

Tamela: My husband is a kind and generous person, much like my hero in the story. While I've never been impoverished, my life's journey has taken me from growing up in a small farming community to living a much different life in the city. However, as an only child, I had to tap into my imagination to write about a family blessed by a new baby every year. My father is very unlike Becca's harsh father, I'm happy to say. Daddy is a Southern gentleman.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Darlene: Sam, my hero, might be pistachio—green because he’s afraid of the sea. Is there an ice cream made from burnt sugar? That would be Judith, my heroine, who can’t cook.

Lynette: My heroine would be cherry chocolate chip; creamy vanilla ice cream, with chunks of cherry and chocolate. Not an expected combination and a bit more fancy than the average ice cream.

Tamela: Nash would be smooth and creamy French vanilla -- sophisticated and honest. Becca would be fat-free vanilla in the beginning, but by the end, would be covered in rich, full-bodied butterscotch sauce, symbolizing the change in her outward appearance to reflect her new life.

4. Are there any themes in Seaside Romance that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Darlene: In Beacon of Love, Sam battles his fear of the ocean in the scariest of circumstances. He learns to trust God and displays courage beyond what he is humanly capable of. As I wrote the story, I discovered that Judith wanted to be as certain of God’s calling on her life as Sam was.

Lynette: Personal possessions and wealth can change a person, but often they magnify the sort of person we are to begin with. Another theme that emerged was the importance of doing the right thing, even when it hurts, and God will honor us in due time.

Tamela: As a teenager, Nash displayed immense kindness to a little girl with no power or even importance to him. Years later, God rewarded his kindness. I hope readers will be inspired to a great degree of kindness in their everyday lives as a result of this book.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

Darlene: I generally struggle with beginnings, although Sam’s dream about the storm that killed his father brought this story to life. I found a delightful book on colonial cooking that I used to describe Judith’s perils in the kitchen.

Lynette: The most difficult part ended up being my favorite. I'd originally cast the hero's mother as a weak sickly woman who desperately needed to be near the ocean for fresh air. When she showed up on the scene, she came in as a very bold and quite healthy woman who, um, tended to be a tad dramatic about her maladies. Of course I enjoyed writing the parts with Francesca and Alfred, realizing their love for each other and facing the very real obstacles that kept them apart.

Tamela: The most difficult part for me was writing about the kidnappers and Nash's unpleasant fiancee. I have a much greater sense of peace and wonder when I write about kindness. However, for a good story, everyone can't be too pleasant all the time or there wouldn't be much of a story!

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Darlene: Next month, A Woodland Christmas comes out. My story, Face of Mary, is one of the novellas. Joey Carpenter once told Polly Jessup that he would marry her in jest. But when he returns from law school, he’s courting the banker’s daughter instead. He has to search his heart for the woman who reflects the character of the mother of our Lord as he paints the Face of Mary.

Lynette: My next book releases in September, a novella in the anthology A Riverwalk Christmas. My heroine is a chef in her family's Mexican restaurant on San Antonio's famous Riverwalk. She has her hands full with her family and a certain guy who comes back into her life, right at Christmas time.

Tamela: I'm so busy with Hartline Literary Agency that I've had to give up most of my writing. However, I do love being a literary agent!

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Thank you, Darlene, Lynette, and Tamela for being in the spotlight with us.

NEW!! Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Seaside Romance. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Question: When you hear "Rhode Island", what comes to mind? Have you ever been to Rhode Island yourself? If you have, tell us about it.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Darlene Franklin said...

Thanks for having us this week! When I think of Rhode Island (this is rather hard on poor Rhode Island), I think "smallest state in the Union." Historically I think of Roger Williams and America's commitment to freedom of religion.

Merry said...

I think "tiny", it doesn't take long to drive though which is all I've done in Rhode Island. Please add me for Seaside Romance, thanks.

texgrammy1 said...

When I think of Rhode Island, I think of a small but picturesque state on the East coast. I have seen pictures of light houses there but have never actually been there. Please add me to the contest.

karenk said...

i think of a quaint, lovely state on the the east coast full of wonderful people and places to visit.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Lynette Sowell said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone... :) Rhode Island is a small state with a rich (no pun intended) history. :)

Unknown said...

To be honest, the first thing the name Rhode Island suggested to me was the Rhode Island Red chicken!! I come from farm country. Actually, Rhode Island also brings to mind a beautiful small piece of land, near the Eastern seacoast with light houses appearing to decorate the sea. I have been through Rhode Island several times in commute to my husband's new military assignment. Please enter me in the giveaway for the book these three creative ladies have written. I would enjoy reading this.

Grace & Joy in Christ,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

squiresj said...

When I think of Rhode Island all I think of is a State. No I've never been there.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Carolynn said...

No, I have never been to Rhode Island. I'm not even sure I know where it is. I'm from Canada and hardly ever travel outside of it :)
carolynnwald[at] hotmail [dot]com