Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Julie, here and WHOA, BABY … every now and then I happen upon a book (in addition to Seeker books, that is) that stops me dead in my tracks. Today’s guest, Laura Frantz, is not only an author who has written such a book, but now a dear friend as well. To give you an idea of just what captivated me in Laura’s debut novel, A Frontiersman’s Daughter, following is the review I wrote, and trust me, there is not a false word in the bunch!

I recently had the privilege and pleasure of reading (or I should say devouring!) one of the best books I have read in years. The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Franz is a debut novel that seems anything but. Seldom has a historical romance captured me like this one--gorgeous prose, flesh-and-blood characters who haunt you long after the last page, and a plot so unique and compelling, I spent most of my time with a sagging jaw. As a historical author myself, I appreciate novels like this where the setting is so well researched and written, that it almost becomes another character, deep and richly drawn. And the romantic tension? Sigh ... it's some of the best in Christian romance today, rivaling the likes of Liz Curtis Higgs and Francine Rivers, in my humble opinion. I suggest we all keep an eye on Laura Frantz--she's not just a rising star in the Christian market, but a shooting star who will go straight to the top.

Laura’s blog today is entitled “Heart-stopping Heroes,” and I know that all of my lavish praise is probably embarrassing her to tears, because that’s how Laura is, but I want to go on record right now as saying this girl knows how to write heart-stopping heroes and then some. And to prove it, Laura is offering a signed copy of The Frontiersman’s Daughter as a giveaway, so be sure to leave your e-mail address (spelling out the @ and . please in order to avoid spammers). Without further ado … I give you Laura Frantz.
Heart-stopping Heroes
What makes a hero heart-stopping? The kind of man that makes it hard for you to put a book down? Being a southern girl, my first hero was Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. I didn’t think he was all that handsome (he looked kind of slick to me) but I sure liked his no-nonsense approach to Scarlett. In my college years I fell hard for Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. He was kind of dark and broody with a passionate streak that made that old book sizzle. Recently I was smitten with Daniel in Love’s Pursuit and Mitch in A Passion Redeemed.
As an author, I know I’ve gotten my hero just right if I’ve fallen in love with him by novel’s end. Chances are if the author is smitten with their hero, the reader will be, too. I’m not advocating hero worship here as there is only One who is worthy of worship. But I do love an unforgettable hero and there are so many awaiting us between the pages of good books!
Hero worship n. (1774) 1: veneration of a hero 2: foolish or excessive adulation for an individual.
I was happy to find that this term comes to us from my very favorite historical period. The 18th –century is the setting for my books and the time period I research most heavily. Back then there were plenty of swoon-worthy heroes – men like George Washington and Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark to name just a few. Then and now, women love romantic heroes. But just what makes a woman lose her heart to a man? Even a fictitious one?
Recently, my blog readers had a lively discussion on what makes a hero heart-stopping. Take a peek and see if you agree:
~ He’s not perfect. He’s flawed, has faults to overcome, emotions to master, and is in need of redemption.
~ He’s confident. Not cocky. He does what is right and doesn’t care what someone else thinks.
~ He’s passionate. Not in a sensual way but in his spirit. He has fervor, drive, devotion.
~ He’s tough. A tough guy with a tender soul.
~ He’s vulnerable. He takes the risk of loving passionately.
~ He has an obstacle to overcome. This involves a believable inner struggle.
~ He’s honest. No game playing or manipulating, please!
~ He’s kind. He must have a core of kindness.
~ He has a sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously.
~ He has integrity.
~He connects with the heroine and there are *sparks*!
~ He loves children and animals.
~ He’s spiritual and open to the leading of the Lord in his life (at least eventually).
~ He’s loyal. Fiercely so.
~ He’s intelligent.
~ He’s unselfish. He places others, especially God and family, above himself without losing himself in the process.
Can you add to the list? Have you met a hero onscreen or in a book that is heart-stopping for you? Or are you writing about such a hero?
A very special thanks to Julie Lessman for inviting me to be a guest today. Julie creates some of the most heart-stopping heroes out there!
Bio: Laura Frantz credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz’s family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late 18th-century and settled in Madison County where her family still resides. A graduate of Denison University in English, she is a member of the Kentucky Historical Society, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in the misty woods of northwest Washington State with her husband and two sons. She can be reached at


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Hmmm I can't think of anything to add to those descripters of the perfect hero except that it also helps if he's tall, dark, and handsome LOL! I know looks aren't everything but gee whiz if a hero looks a bit like Richard Armitage you can't help but fall! ;-)

Please don't enter me I already have a copy of The Frontiersman's Daughter on my keeper shelf! I definitely recommend reading it if you haven't already done so! :-)

XOXO~ Renee

Renee said...

Sigh, all those things make a great hero! I think when they pick up on little things about their girl, like how she fixes her coffee or her favorite color, it adds another level of irresistableness!!

Thank you for the great interview! I will definitely have to keep an eye out for her books! And, I would love to read her book! My e-mail is potosrose at gmail dot com. Thanks again!

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

I have heard nothing but, great things about The Frontiersman's Daughter, Ms. Frantz. Can I add an "all of the above" to that list Ms. Frants?LOL
And I agree with you, Julie Lessman, for true, has some of the best heart-stopping heros I've read in a long time. But I've wanting to read your book since came it out, and for shame, I didn't just going out and buy myself a copy. I can already tell I'm going to love it when I do get around to reading it. I would love to enter the giveaway.
Love Ya,

Katy said...

Hmmm... That list is pretty comprehensive. I can't really think of anything to add to it. :) I especially like heroes with integrity and a sense of humor.

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

Virginia C said...

Hi, Laura & Julie! Stopping by to say hello to two of my favorite ladies. I am so looking forward to both of your upcoming book releases!

The "core of kindness" is my number one choice : )

No need to enter me in the drawing. I am the proud owner of a copy of "The Frontiersman's Daughter". You ladies have a great day : )

Debra E Marvin said...

Julie sold me on this one. Sign me up.

Be still my heart. Laura mentioned George Rogers Clark. Now those were some tough men back then.

Renee, have you been watching North and South too many times?

I like it when the hero says just the right thing, something so amazing you fall in love and sigh out loud. (then you check and remind yourself a woman wrote the book).
My heart-stopping hero: Jamie Fraser (Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon)

Pepper Basham said...

Oh Laura,
SOOOO good to see you here. And I agree with Julie, The Frontiersman's Daughter was wonderful.
Heroes? Oh my - love the topic. Who doesn't enjoy a good swoon? And Laura, I'm a Rochester fan too. And Darcy. But one of my FAVORITE heroes is Mr. Knightley from Jane Austen's Emma. He meets a lot of those characteristics you mentioned.
And Renee - yummy, Richard Armitage. Definitely!!

Okay, so another characteristic that I"d add is a gracious spirit. And I think this might have been covered in a different way with one of the other characteristics, but I think of a gracious spirit as someone who looks beyond the flaws of others and cares more about the intent, than the action. Quick to forgive, I guess.

You probably already have that somewhere, but the ability to push back pride and forgive someone is a beautiful character trait in anyoen.

Pepper Basham said...

Oops, I forgot to add breakfast.
From my house to yours...
Strawberry muffins,
Cheesy eggs
canadian bacon
and a bowl of grapes.

The kids were particularly happy with breakfast this morning, though the bacon did come out a bit crispy. I prefer crispy ;-)
Someone else needs to bring the coffee. I am NO expert there.

Julie Lessman said...

Good morning, all ... you beat me to the punch ... AGAIN!! Can I help it if my husband is a JAG freak for whom I bought the first season's episode for Christmas??? He keeps me up late every night now watching JAG in bed ... because yes, you guessed it, he had me turn right around and buy him the next four seasons, then after that, only five more to go ... Goodness, what will we do when we finish season ten???? :)

But, really, talk about heart-stopping heroes ... it is NO hardship watching David James Elliott night after night, TRUST ME!!

Laura said "Being a southern girl, my first hero was Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind." Okay, is it any wonder that I would love this girl's book?? I mean, really, any friend of Rhett is a friend of mine! Of course, it helps that Laura has written one of the few Christian romance sagas I have read because let's face it, I love my sagas like my steaks -- THICK and juicy!!

And since I qualify Laura's book as a saga, we'll honor that with a brunch instead of a breakfast, so dive in to everything from blueberry french toast and peach crepes with real whipped cream to eggs, waffles or pancakes your way with a side of honey-glazed ham or maple-cured bacon. Cinnamon hazelnut is on, along with a tempting selection of other brews and teas. Dig in!


Julie Lessman said...

RENEE!!! Should have known you'd be up first since you're an East Coast girl, along with Ruthy! Laura is a West Coast girl, I believe, so she will be here shortly ... um, after she rolls out of bed! :) I should talk, right????

Would you believe I don't know who Richard Armitage is???? I know, I know, I will rectify that when I am done here and Google him.


Julie Lessman said...

JENNIFER ... Oh, YEAH, a guy who is so in tune with us that he knows little things that other people miss!!! VERY sexy!!

Of course, we as women have a tendency to want our men to read our minds and KNOW us so well, that they KNOW when we are hurting or mad or they've messed up. But they are NOT female but all male (thank you, God!!!), so it's not always that way. Although after 30-something years with my sweet guy, it's pretty much dual mind-reading now, which can be dangerous ...

One of my favorite stories that depicts the difference between males and females is a Home Improvement episode where Tim the Toolman Taylor holds up a stop sign on his TV show and tells the audience a man invented the stop sign. "How do I know?" he asks. He then proceeds to flip the sign over and says, "Because if a woman invented it, it would say:"

If you really loved me, you would know what to do right now.

Nuff said ... :)


Julie Lessman said...

ASHLEY!!! Boy, you're up early, girl, but it's SOOO great to see you here! And, honey, you just HAVE to read Laura's book if you like heart-stopping heroes (and, uh, I KNOW you do!!).

And thank you, as always, for your incredible support for me and other writers in the Christian market. We are blessed to have readers like you and Renee!


Julie Lessman said...

KATY ... "integrity and sense of humor," eh? Boy, I'm with you, girl! I'm dating myself now, but one of my favorite heroes growing up was Elliot Ness of the Untouchables (played by Robert Stack). Whew ... we are talking smoldering integrity here because Ness was SO ethical and straight-arrow, I was enthralled. You youngsters out there (uh, anyone under 50) would probably relate more to Kevin Costner in the Bodyguard -- that deadly "still waters run deep" type of ethical guy for whom the job comes first, women second ... UNTIL he meets the girl who changes it all. Sigh ...

I need more coffee ... or maybe not!


Virginia C said...

Okay, Julie! Laura is a Kentucky girl, and I am a Virginia girl. Here's a breakfast for you: Buckwheat pancakes made with stone-ground buckwheat flour from VA's Old Mabry Mill and served with real maple syrup from the Monterey, VA Maple Festival. Fried country ham from Smithfield, VA with red-eye gravy. Grits, that's right, grits (also from Mabry Mill)...with plenty of real butter and red-eye gravy! Cat-head high-rise biscuits (flour from the mill) to help sop up the gravy, fluffy scrambled eggs, and stewed apples from VA's many orchards. That is a real "Southern breakfast", just right for real men and women like those in "The Frontiersman's Daughter".

As I've said before, Laura wrote three distinctive, delicious gentleman to woo her heroine, Lael Click. Each of the three men was handsome, charming and challenging in his own way. "The Frontiersman's Daughter" is an amazing story with an unforgettable heroine!

Julie Lessman said...

VIRGINIA!!! Thanks for stopping by AND for your kind words for both Laura and me. No surprise that you like our books if you like thick reads because both of us do tend to go on (and in my case, on and on and on ... :).

You have a great day, too, my friend!


Pepper Basham said...

Okay, Virginia...
I'm a Va girl too and I'd trade my breakfast for yours any Blue Ridge Morning!! Oh yea!

Virginia C said...

Wow, Pepper, another VA girl : ) I also want to say "Hi" to Debra Marvin : )

If that first breakfast was too much, we can just make the biscuits and top them off with piping hot sausage gravy. We'll wash that down with some fresh brewed coffee and enjoy the beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Laura writes so well of the 1700's and Early Colonial America. I have often wondered what my neck of the woods was like in those days : )

Julie Lessman said...

OMIGOSH, DEB!!!!!!!! We must be twins separated at birth (give or take 20 years) BECAUSE ... and don't tell Rhett (she says, her gaze darting back and forth) ... but Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon could very easily nudge ole Rhett from his throne, in my opinion. Dear Lord in heaven, I don't believe I have EVER read a more attractive hero than Jamie Fraser.

In fact, Ms. Gabaldon's Outlander series is SO good, that I literally had to "fast" her books when I was writing A Passion Denied because I would read Outlander, then want to puke on my keyboard when I read Denied. I hit the wall and could not write because I thought my stuff was SO bad by comparison. Which just goes to show you cannot COMPARE yourself to anyone or any author. I was 3/4 of the way through Denied at the time and broke down and cried and couldn't write another word. So I went on a fast of Gabaldon and food for about a week, prayed my heart out and had my sister read Denied, just KNOWING she would tell me I had to start over. Turned out she loved it and once I stopped reading Outlander, I did too! :)

The reason I almost NEVER tell people how I feel about Gabaldon's series is because all of my interviews are on Christian blogs, and Gabaldon's books are NOT in the Christian market, but in the secular market. And I wouldn't have read them either except another Christian referred me to them. So when I read book 1 (Outlander), I was totally okay with the romance in the book because it only happens when the couple is married, and even though is is more intense than Christian romance, it is not as graphic as say, Nora Roberts. However, in the sequels, there's plenty of dark stuff that I don't think is appropriate for teens.


Pepper Basham said...

What part of Virginia, um..Virginia?

Ruth said...

Laura does create wonderful heroes, I completely agree!! :) Please don't enter me in the drawing, since I have a copy of TFD on my keeper shelf. :) Completely agree with the list of heroic of my favorite heart-stopping heroes in Mr. Thornton in North & South - played so memorably on-screen by RICHARD ARMITAGE. Just had to continue the RA appreciation... :)

Pepper Basham said...

Not know Richard Armitage.
Okay - here's a link for you. The final 4 minutes of North and South.
talk about kisses ;-)

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER ... When the heck do you have time to make breakfast, woman???? Five kids, a husband, two blogs, a writing career and a full-time job at a university ... you're starting to get on my nerves ... NOT!!! :)

Thanks for bringing breakfast ... we could get fat on this one today, given everybody's willingness to add to the buffet.


Sweatheart39 said...

I've heard great things about your book and want to congratulate you on it.
Most of you have already mentioned the heros I love, Darcy from Pride and Prejudice being one of the biggest. Brooding. That's what does it here.
Just for you seekers, I did a shout out on our blog this morning at I've learned lots from you guys.
I have Texas Cinnamon rolls this morning and lots of strong hot coffee to share.
Oh, and my email: dawnford001 at msn dot com You're on my list Laura!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Heroes. That's my favorite subject. I love a hero who's willing to give up everything for the heroine.

Julie's review makes me really want to read Laura Frantz's book! Please enter me in the drawing.

melaniedickerson at knology dot net.

Julie Lessman said...

VIRGINIA ... oh, honey, you had me till the grits, I'm afraid. Never could get into grits, but then I never could handle dumplings either. Probably have lost my entire Southern readership with that statement ... all six of them ... but honesty has always been a downfall of mine, albeit dusted with a dose of sugar! :)

But it's a go on the rest of that Southern breakfast and very appropriate, I might add, with Laura here today.


Virginia C said...

Hey, Pepper! I'm in Alleghany County, not too far from the West Virginia border. I love West VA, it's truly "wild & wonderful". My dad was from TN, so I also love Tennessee! VA is very historic with both Colonial Williamsburg and many Civil War sites to visit. Alleghany County also has the "Humpback Bridge". It's the oldest covered bridge in VA, and one of the few remaining bridges of its type left in the U.S.

"VA is for lovers" : )

Heather said...

Great interview with Laura! She is such a lovely person-- and lovely writer! Her love for a good story and the rich time period in which she sets her stories is evident whenever you open up "The Frontiersman's Daughter."
I'm anxiously awaiting her next book and I'm sure that her newest hero will be completely swoonworthy. With inspiration like George Washington and Daniel Boone, how could he not be?

Carla Gade said...

Julie, thanks for having Laura here today! Laura's hero's nearly stopped my heart in The Frontiersman's Daughter which is one of the best books I have ever read. She has so many of the elements that make a good hero, but not only that, the way she weaves those elements in to the story and the life of the protagonist is what helps make both of them come alive.


Julie Lessman said...

Okay, RUTH, I'm starting to get the distinct impression that I should watch North and South ... a movie I have NEVER seen, I'm ashamed to admit. You would think with my love for Gone With the Wind, I would have, but I found that most of the Civil War movies I'd watch never measured up, so I just stayed away. I will rememdy that soon, I promise.

Thanks for stopping by to support Laura today, and have a great day.


Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER ... okay, okay, I have put North and South on my TBB (to be bought) list, so thank you all for setting my straight! :)


Julie Lessman said...

WOW, DAWN, thank you SO much ... not only for dropping by to support Laura today, BUT for your kind comment about the Seekers AND for "shouting out" about our blog -- MUCH APPRECIATED, my friend.

And Texas cinnamon rolls??? Oh, honey, I'm there ...


Tina Pinson said...

Hello Laura and Miss Julie,
I'm a Mesa county girl myself, anyhoo
I agree that loving your character says alot about him. I tend to writey heroes as men after God's own heart,
even if they have to go through Hell to reach that point.

When you get to that point though it tough, especially if you have to write a scene about one dying. I cried and cried

oh well thanks for coming by

Julie Lessman said...

MEL ... When someone gushes about another author's work like I do with Laura's, there's always the danger of too much buildup letting the person down when they finally read the book. BUT ... I don't think there is much danger here for die-hard historical readers, truly. You will love it!


Virginia C said...

Hey, Julie! While you are watching North & South, you need to be eating a big ole bowl of Garlic-Cheese Grits. They will set you free : )

Julie Lessman said...

HEATHER said: "(Laura) is such a lovely person-- and lovely writer!"

Heather, I couldn't agree more, which is why I really wanted to host her on our Seeker blog today. :)

Thanks for stopping by to support her!


Laura Frantz said...

Oh my word (no pun intended!) but here I show up late to the party and it's already in full swing:) I skipped breakfast, too, to get here! Thanks to west coast time, it's 6:30 a.m. and I'm so thrilled to see new friends mixed with my usual reading and blogger buddies. Your heartfelt comments here are better than a big bown of grits or eggs benedict anyday!
To those of you who haven't read TFD, I created two heroes by accident within those pages. Some people are still sending me mail about one of them:) So, without it being a spoiler, I hope those of you who read the book fall for the right man - lol:)
As for Julie's review, it is very humbling and touching that a book took so long to write and sat in a drawer for 5 years could garner that kind of praise. God is so good. Thanks to everyone here for saying such kind things and for my usual blog buddies for stopping by and supporting me here. If it weren't for you, I couldn't do any of this.
Bless you all and I'll be back right after that granola bar and coffee:)

Julie Lessman said...

CARLA said: "Laura's hero's nearly stopped my heart in The Frontiersman's Daughter which is one of the best books I have ever read."

DEAD-ON, Carla, both about her hero and TFD being one of the best books I've read. Hear, hear!


Laura Frantz said...'s so early my typos are killing me. I meant a big BOWL of grits and a book THAT took so long to write. Forgive me, this author makes some silly mistakes. Blame it on all the excitement of being here for the first time:)

Julie Lessman said...

TINA said: "I tend to write heroes as men after God's own heart,
even if they have to go through Hell to reach that point."

Grin ... well said, Tina, which brings to mind the hero in my third book, A Passion Denied ... a man definitely after God's own heart (I actually use that Scripture in the book) who truly goes to Hell and back ... and if my publisher had allowed me to keep the past he had in the original manuscript ... to Hell and back and forth and back ...


Julie Lessman said...


Grin ... not a chance in Dixie of grits touching my lips, cheese or no ... But nice try, sweetie! :)


Julie Lessman said...

LAURA!!!!!! The girl of the hour is here, so I'll turn the blog over to her since like me, she is VERY adept at chatting with y'all!!

Laura, you said your ms. sat in the drawer for five years ... do you mean before you even submitted it? If so, tell us about your experience in getting published and "the call."


Ruth said...

Julie, you would LOVE the BBC's North & South - Richard Armitage's performance is to die for!! :)

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Oh Hahaha yeah I have definitely watched North and South too many times! *Sigh* that has got to be one of the best BBC movies!

You DEFINITELY need to buy it Julie to see RA in all his "yuminess" will not be disappointed.

XOXO~ Renee

Kaitlin said...

That list of qualities was very concise...there is nothing more I can add!!

Please enter me in the drawing!

leapknf at yahoo dot com

Jessica said...

I like my heroes to be intense. I think whether the hero is a playboy or the artistic type, intensity for the heroine is a must. :-)
That list is pretty awesome. I'd love to be entered for the book! Thank you.

jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoo DOT com

Laura Frantz said...

Such good questions, Julie:) I began TFD when my first son was born (13 yrs ago) though the book had been germinating since my Kentucky childhood. I wrote for 5 years through the birth of another son, mostly during their naps, and then felt the Lord telling me to put the book away. So into a drawer it went for 5 years. I didn't touch it during these years - not a word! I really felt my children were my priority, not my novel. Some people can mother and write but I couldn't do both well. Plus I think it was a test of my obedience. And then at the end of those 5 years I felt compelled to take the book out again and finish it.

Long story short, I submitted TFD to the Writer's Edge and was contacted the very next day by sevearal major Christian pubs. These didn't pan out and a 6 more months went by and Revell/Baker called me, thus resulting in a 3 book contract. God's timing was so evident throughout and I'm still giving thanks! I had no writing contacts, no writing conferences under my belt, no agent, was unaware of writing contests and the writing community blogging, etc. So I'm living proof He can open the door without any assistance! Now I realize how unusual my publication story is. I think Kristen Heitzman and I are the only ones ever picked up through the Writer's Edge, or so I've been told.
I've been writing since age 7 but didn't feel anything would ever come of it. Don't laugh but I wrote the sequel to Gone With the Wind and also Dances with Wolves:) And they were terrible!

Pepper Basham said...

Oh Laura!!
Your sequels were at least romantic.
I wrote a sequel to Frankenstein and Spiderman :-) When I read through the Twilight books to be 'hip' with my college students, I hated the ending, so outlined a sequel to it too. If it doesn't have an ending I like, I HAVE to fix it - if not on paper, in my head.
LOL - I knew I really liked you!

Laura Frantz said...

Oh Pepper, Glad I'm not the only Sequel Queen:) I must confess I haven't read the Twilight books but guess what, Forks, Washington is only about an hour from my house! We have tons of tourists worldwide who come to try to get a glimpse of Edward and Bella (am I getting the protags right) in the big woods here. Help!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

LOL Laura! Yess it's Edward and Bella! Love those books!

Pepper I'm interested to read your ending for the series...I must admit I didn't care for the ending of Breaking Dawn either!

XOXO~ Renee

Pepper Basham said...

LOL, it was so far-fetched, I figured I could keep within that vein without much trouble. Mine's far-fetched too, but lots cooler (in my not-so-humble opinion) ;-)
I like weird, that's one of the reasons I love fantasy.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Good morning, Julie & Laura,

Wonderful post, as usual. I've been hearing lots of great things about your book, Laura. It's definitely on my list to buy.

And Julie, now you have piqued my curiosity about John Brady (who happens to be one of my favourite heroes). I loved the ending (won't spoil it for others!) So now I want to know what torture you had for him in the past that the publishers made you take out. I can almost bet what it was. LOL. I would've loved him anyways.

I just read a book with a delicious hero - Tamera Alexander's "Beyond this Moment". The hero is James, the local sheriff. Wonderful balance between tough and tender, and the way he deals with the heroine made me sigh several times throughout the story. I didn't want it to end.

And now I, too, must check out "North and South" and Richard Armitage. What a sheltered life I lead! I have to come here everyday for my education. LOL.

sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

Lorna said...

Wow, Laura, you and Julie both know how to write heart-stopping heroes to a "T." Can I join in the praise of your book? I could go on and on about The Frontiersman's Daughter. It is certainly one of the best books I've ever read. I can't wait to read Courting Morrow Little.

I think you are so right that the author has to fall in love with the hero by the end of the book. That pours out on the pages.

And Julie, I was laughing when you mentioned JAG. My first thougth was perfect show given this subject.

Casey said...

Looks like I am a long time in coming! Better late then never in this case!

In my mind a great Hero, encompasses Christ in human flesh. Now while I am not saying make him perfect, but the Bible does instruct the man to love his wife like Christ loves the church. So, that is what I love in a hero.

Oh, please enter me! I have yet to read this book, it's on my wish-list, but having a signed copy would be incrediable! Thanks for the great post and chance!!


Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Hi Laura!
Your book sounds wonderful! I just love a great hero.

Those strawberry muffins sound super yummy.


Laura Frantz said...

Okay, I'm back - had to take one son to school. I homeschool the other one if there are any writing-homeschooling moms out there. Take heart:) It can be done!

I have to put in a shameless plug for Lorna who just chimed in here. Lorna Seilstad is an upcoming Revell author with a debut novel whose cover is so wonderful! If you want to take a peek, "Making Waves" is up on and also my blog, etc. Lorna has a great blog also. So many good books, so little time! So many great blogs, so little time:)

Thanks to everyone for all their great comments. I am overwhelmed and see why being on this site is such a delight!

Lori Benton said...

Julie, I had to laugh about your husband's JAG obsession. We've been experiencing that for the past year and are up to S10. NOT looking forward to it being over.

Laura, so great to see you and TFD spotlighted here. You deserve that spotlight, so... get used to it. :) Love you, my friend, and can't wait to read Courting Morrow Little this summer.

Audra Harders said...

Laura, your descriptions of heart-stopping heros almost made me forget I'm home sick today : )

I love the qualities you and your bloggers have suggested, and really, sprinkling in a smattering of what you've compiled would be enough to fall in love with any not-so-perfect guy.

That's the point, right??

I would have to add Mark Harmon to the list of heart-stopping heros. While Julie gets her JAG fix (covers it by claiming Keith is enthralled with the series, LOL) I desperately need my Agent Gibbs fix from NCIS every evening. Thanks goodness cable has reruns of the series just as I'm getting home from work.

Awesome congrats on your debut novel, Laura! Many more to come!!!!

Laura Frantz said...

Audra, So sorry you're sick - feel better soon! Hope you have a good book to get you by!

Lori, Wonderful to see you here. I was so hoping you'd pop in:) You are one of the best 18th-c. writers I know - with one of the best blogs out there!

I really like the comments about heroes being INTENSE. I always try to keep that in mind when I write. I guess the opposite of intense is laid-back, which has its merits, but maybe a bit dull in a novel. Laid-back men make good secondary characters, I think. Passionate intensity keeps those pages turning:)

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Oh Lord, I'm going to have to STOP reading this blog or go BROKE buying books LOL!

This one sounds really intriguing and Julie's review (when I SO enjoy her books) makes me want to run out and buy it - or rush over to Amazon.

Calm now....easy...deep breath. A moment's pleasure can undo a month's restraint.

Your heros sound wonderful. And you're right falling in love with ours sure makes it easy to write about them - though not always easy for the heroine to love them (sometimes that takes work - at least for me!) LOL!

I'd LOVE to be in the drawing for a free book - (that's ZERO7)

Good luck and God's blessings on your writing - may He grant you mucho sales.


Karen Witemeyer said...

Great stuff, Laura. And I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear you say that an author should be able to fall a little bit in love with her heros. For I am so guilty of that. What fun is it to make up a hero if we can't create one that makes us swoon? (Just don't tell my husband. LOL)


Debra E Marvin said...

OOOh Wheee. Good subject. Get us talking about heart stopping heroes.

North and South is a BBC miniseries based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell who wrote the basis for the CRANFORD miniseries too.

Richard Armitage's performance as Mr. Thornton is amazing. It's my favorite movie now and I just watched it with friends again last weekend. Amazing stuff.

Julie. I agree about the Gabaldon-free diet when you're trying to write. I haven't picked up the latest because, well, nothing gets done in life if I start it.

Kevin Costner as the Bodyguard -the ultimate strong silent type.

And I've enjoyed the always necessary food conversations that go along with any subject.

Hi Virginia from Virginia, right back at you!

Julie Lessman said...

Wow, Laura, that is quite a story!! And I will certainly vouch that it's a rare thing for that to happen through Writer's Edge ... you (and Kristen) are the only two I've heard that about for sure. I know it sure didn't happen that way for me with Writer's Edge!! :)

The only other person that I have heard of who had pretty quick success at publication (based on the time it took to get published from the first query to the contract) is Deb Raney, whose very first book "A Vow to Cherish" not only had two or three editors fighting over it right out the gate, but it also got made into a movie. Deb herself will tell you, though, that THAT is not the norm!!

BUT ... it couldn't happen to two nicer people than you and Deb, my friend, so the jealousy is very minimal, I assure you. I need to go now, however, because I've got to go pray ... :)


Julie Lessman said...


Sorry to tease with the leading comment about Brady, but I will e-mail you privately about his dark, dark past that my editor made me take out, okay?

And, YES, YES, YES ... Tamara Alexander's "Beyond This Moment" was a TOP favorite of mine as well ... my favorite of ALL of her books, which is saying something because she is right up there at the top of my list!


Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, LORNA, for your kind comment to both Laura and me -- MUCH APPRECIATED!!

And, boy, are you right about JAG, Lorna! Last night was the very first love scene I have seen so far with Commander Rabb, and let me tell you, my pulse was going through the roof!!! Hubba, hubba! What ticks me off, however, is that it's taken THREE seasons to give me a love scene that tingles my toes, which is just plain WRONG, given the hunkiness of David James Elliott!!!! GET A CLUE, CBS!!!!


Julie Lessman said...

LORNA!!!! I just read Laura's comment that YOU are the author of Making Waves! Oh, honey, what a great looking cover -- I saw it and loved it immediately. SUPER CONGRATS on your contract with Revell! Can't WAIT to read it ... :)


Anonymous said...

a great posting/review...would love to read this fabulous book...


Julie Lessman said...

LORI!!! OMIGOSH, another JAG freak ... and your picture looks SO normal, too! Thank you VERY much because now I don't feel like such a crazeee ... (no comments, Ruthy):)

And you are up to Season Ten???? Oh my, not sure how we are going to handle that because we literally watch it EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, sometimes two episodes. In fact, we just talked a few days ago at how we dread when the series is over. We'll have to wean off slow, I guess, maybe watching Season Ten only once a week ... :)


Julie Lessman said...

AUDRA ... I am SO sorry you are sick, my friend ... saying one for you RIGHT NOW, girl, that healing comes soon.

And, girl, Mark Harmon is right up there with David James Elliott in my humble opinion, so no conflict here! :)


Julie Lessman said...

BLESS YOU, PAM, for your sweet comment, and YES, you must buy Laura's book ... or try to win it on a blog, at lease. It's that good! :)


Laura Frantz said...

Oh, I am so out of it. I've never even heard of JAG and now you've left me wanting...

Hmmm. Now that we've talked about breakfast, what about lunch? I'm opting for Panera but we have none of those in the big woods here. Guess it will have to be Arbys. Ever try their new Gyro sandwich. Now that's hero food, for sure!

Laura Frantz said...

Karen, I think, from the looks of your upcoming cover, that you have a hero of memorable proportions in the making:) And I'm glad I'm not the only one who falls hard for her heroes. In fact, I felt quite fickle in TFD as I fell in love with both of them! But alas, only one won out in the end...

You all have such great onscreen heroes listed here! I'm a bit partial to Scotsmen so Gerard Butler gets my vote. I've only seen him in a couple of movies as I think some of his are pretty racy and we won't go there. But he's quite nice-looking though he might need his mouth washed out with soap:)

Laura Frantz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Frantz said...

Pam, Oh my, I'm going to remember your comment - a moment's pleasure can undo a month's restraint. Where did you get that? It's novel-worthy:)

Thank you for all your comments once again. I am amazed and blessed! I wish I had a book for every one of you.

Tina Pinson said...

Laura said---Long story short, I submitted TFD to the Writer's Edge and was contacted the very next day by sevearal major Christian pubs.

Tina says-- Wow, I submitted to the Writer's Edge many moons ago and felt it was a waste of my time and effort. Alot of people I knew were saying the same, to actually hear someone found an editor that way is amazing to me.

More power to you. How wonderful.

Julie said -- and if my publisher had allowed me to keep the past he had in the original manuscript ... to Hell and back and forth and back ...

Tina says -- bummer, back and forth and back and forth to Hell, could be the tagline for the life of most people. It's only fair that your character should get whipcorded as well.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, my, what a day to be late to the party!!!!

Did anyone bring food???

Coffee?? Sweet tea???? Diet soda?

Oh mylanta, Laura, you know that our Julie does not praise LIGHTLY, right???? Like, EVER....

Maybe less than EVER....

So coming from Julie I'm popping into Amazon and grabbing a copy of The Frontiersman's Daughter because I need a good historic Western. I've read all of Mary's and she just plain doesn't write as fast as I read.

Whassup with that??? :)

Congrats on a great debut novel AND...

I love the qualities you listed for heroes. Wonderful. I would add tortured (the Mr. Rochester analogy) or misunderstood (Colin from A Passion Most Pure) and yes, Mitch was my favorite Lessman hero so far as well. His depth and maturity made him a stand-out character. Wonderful. Yum.

And I'm particularly fond of my own Marc DeHollander in Winter's End, a stick-in-the-mud mad-at-the-world beef farmer who really needed a cute girl, a good night's sleep and the peace of Christ...

Three good things!

I'm leaving cookies.... Fresh-baked, frosted sugar cookies with spring-colored sprinkles.


Just because.


Ashli said...


Shhh... I'm sneaking a break from a huge load of math's almost midterm.. =S

Amazing blog and you are both top notch at creating heart-pounding heroes!! I could comment all day and wish I could stick around and chat, but an exam looms after the homework....


Hugs, Ashli

Laura Frantz said...

Tina, I hear you about deadends. I think the reason TFD rec'd any notice at all was because of its unusual story premise. That and the fact that God had to open the door. I sure couldn't!

Ruth, You always enliven things! Thanks so much for chiming in:) Your hero sounds wonderful and I'm going to check him out.

I don't want to leave the party but my son has a fiddle rehearsal an hour away and there's no getting out of it. But I will be back later this afternoon to catch up and see what I've missed. Bless you all!

EC Spurlock said...

Laura, The Frontiersman's Daughter has just gone to the top of my to-get list, not only because it sounds wonderful and I am a huge fan of well-written historicals, but also because my DH's back family was also around in that exact time and place! I can't tell you the hours and days we spent researching his family history in Madison and McMinn counties (and a goodly portion of Virginia as well -- hello all you Virginia ladies!) in churches, libraries and graveyards. (My oldest son learned to read his name from seeing it on so many tombstones!) We might could be related, sorta... way WAY back... So I have a double interest in the book, not only for a great story but some historical background to go with all our lists of names and dates. easpurlock(at)comcast(dot)net

As for heroes, I agree with the comment about integrity and a sense of humor. A man who keeps his promises, no matter what, whether to the heroine, to God, or just to himself. But also one who's not stuffy and realizes that sometimes you just HAVE to laugh at life and yourself just to get by.

Julie Lessman said...

LAURA ... hey, girl, YES -- you need to get with the program on JAG. David James Elliott is some of the best eye candy I have seen on TV ... uh, not that I watch it all that much (TV, that is).

TINA ... Yeah, I thought Brady's REAL past realllly added to the story AND the motivation, but my editor did not feel it would fly in the CBA, and since she is the true professional ... uh, and my boss ... I shut up and revised. :)

RUTHY ... grin, well my light praise does tend to sound like most other people's gushes, but you and I both know that when MOI gushes, she really, REALLY loves it! And, trust me, you will not regret purchasing TFD!!

And, OH MY, "tortured" is a GREAT hero quality, Ruthy, truly!! I wish I had said it, because I SO love tortured heroes ... especially when it's the heroines doing the torturing ... :)

And hold on to your Mylanta, Ruthy, because you and I just bonded up another level here. Mitch is your favorite DOB hero, no joke??? Because he is mine too ... uh, at least he was until I wrote Cluny McGee's character in Undaunted, but that's not out yet, so Mitch is still king. THANK YOU on behalf of Mitch and myself! :)

Speaking of Winter's End (which I do a lot since I read it, in the form of raving to other people, that is), Marc DeHollander had me as starry-eyed as David James Elliott in JAG, which is REALLY saying something!! As a result, I was pretty spunky last week while reading your book, sandwiched between episodes of JAG. Talk about revved up!! Keith offers his thanks ... :)


Mary Connealy said...

I remember reading once that men see a woman and know she's the one instantly. Women are the ones who jump all around it before they decide.

I don't know if that's true. Like most 'truth' it's got all kinds of shades of gray.

Sort of like that book, "He's just not that into you."

If he was into you, you wouldn't be waiting by the phone.

So the hero needs to know fast that he wants a woman. OF course in fiction the hero needs something stopping him or there's no story. And he may in fact be shocked and even horrified by the fact that he wants her. But he still wants her. He is powerfully drawn to her.

Mary Connealy said...

I haven't read all the comments yet (only a few HUNDRED or so) but the thing I don't see on your list is his need to protect.

A hero has an instinct to protect the woman he loves. To protect anyone who is weaker, but most powerfully he is driven to protect the heroine.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oooooo Mary Connealy, I hopped back over here (more cookies coming...) to mention Silas...

I LOVED Silas. You seriously did an over-the-top to die for wonderful hero in him and while I loved Red from Montana Rose, Silas...

Oh yum....

And I can't even talk about Gibbs. :)

And yes Jules, Mitch is NUMERO UNO... The others are wonderful but maybe it was that Mitch was mature enough to be appealing and enduring with that man-like quality that sets him apart from the 20-somethings.

And I'm just throwing in that an upcoming Ruthy-hero from a new series is like... total yum.

Tortured -- check
To die for good looking -- check
Military -- check
Humble -- check
Patriotic -- check
Endearing -- check
Enduring -- check
Loves God -- check
Strives to rise above -- check
Looks great in uniform -- check
Looks great in t-shirt -- check check

His name is Trent Michaels.

And he's just gotten knocked upside the head but hey, life does that sometimes.

Oops, burning cookies!!!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Laura Said... Pam, Oh my, I'm going to remember your comment - a moment's pleasure can undo a month's restraint. Where did you get that? It's novel-worthy:)

That's the Holy Spirit talking to me after I spent a fortune two weeks ago on books (one of them being A Passion Denied) LOL!

So if any of you ladies need to add to your circle of "influencers" you have my email address :-)


denise said...

I'll be looking for this author.

mary bailey said...

Laura, so glad to see you here and so glad that others are being introduced to what a fabulous writer you are! No need to enter me in the contest. I'm a proud early owner of TFD.

PatriciaW said...

One more characteristic? He's respectful. Oh, he may have to thumb his nose at others in order to do the right thing, but he does so in a respectful manner. The difference between a heartthrob and a thug. Since we're talking historicals, the Cartwrights from Bonanza or James Garner types.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Laura! I am getting your book! Julie can't stop talking about it so I know it's great!

Rhett and Mr. Rochester starred in two of my favorite books! Love the list of hero attributes that claim a reader's heart. I've fallen for the heroes in my books. Charles, Luke and Ted, great guys all. I have to love them. I made them to my specifications. LOL

Bottom line: a hero has eyes for only one woman--the heroine.


Kav said...

Oh my goodness I think I'm heading in through the door while you all are heading out. Have I missed the party completely?

I've read TFM as well (hi Laura) and LOVED it...and, sigh, fell in love with the wrong man...only maybe he was the right man -- for me. But I did fall in love with the right man too...which makes me very fickle, doesn't it? LOL.
I have two copies of TFD -- one for my keeper shelf and one to lend out (that's the librarian in me).

As to adding to your hero list...I think it's pretty comprehensive though maybe I'd add on teasing. That kind of goes with a sense of humour, but I always smile when a hero teases a heroine...the gentle, loving kind of teasing, not the mean kind.

And that bit about loving animals and children (blissful sigh) there's nothing more heart pounding than a hero coming to the rescue of an abused animal. Ooooohhhh and if he could be a dog whisper that would be icing on the cake. :-)

Laura Frantz said...

Hi y'all. One Arby's sandwich and a very long fiddle lesson later...

EC, I'm so intrigued by your Kentucky link and all that history! My family, in case you missed it, is still in Madison County today so we may be closer than you think. Back then (18th-c.) so many settlers knew each other as there were so few of them in Ky at that time. I like to think we were all running around having a hoedown or forting-up together:) Who knows?!
I pray you enjoy Lael's journey if you read her story.

An author isn't supposed to say this but many libraries have the book. I donated copies to ours here and in Kentucky, too. But then I just noticed on Amazon they are selling the book at $5 as they have a shipment that has some small defect. I'd love to hear from you and learn what you liked (or didn't). From one history lover to another!

Kav, So good to see you here! Your hero attributes just shine on the list:) As a librarian, you have a special place in my heart! And you'd better like Courting Morrow Little just as much:) Smiling and praying...

Ashli - I will pray for you and your exams! HUGE kudos to you for taking time to stop by in the midst of it all. And such warm words from you - I'm sure Julie is smiling as brightly as I am! You are one of my favorite readers!

Janet, YES, eyes for only one woman. That's so important. No roving eyes need apply! Glad to meet someone authorish that falls for her heroes:) And bless you for welcoming me to your wonderful blog.

Mary, You always have such a good spin on romance. I hear about your heroes and see your books everywhere so you're doing something right:)

Patricia, YES, respectful is such a BIG attribute. Can you imagine a hero being otherwise. Yucky! Glad to meet another Bonanza and James Garner fan! Also, Big Valley! Am I dating myself here?

My dear Mary, It wouldn't be the same party without you! And I'm so glad you still have TFD as a keeper and not in the paperback swap, fine thing that it is! You've been such a blessing to me!!

Hey, gals, I just saw some of your books at Wal-Mart! Soooo good to match book covers and faces here:) Wow - do you always get this many comments! And do you have a secretary?!

Virginia C said...

Once y'all started talking about Bonanza, The Big Valley, and James Garner, I had to make another comment. I am very fond of the Cartwrights and the Barkleys, and all those other great western TV men and families, but I absolutely adore James Garner!!! I have been crazy about JG for as far back as I could sit in front of a TV screen or go to the movies. When I went to the theater and saw "Murphy's Romance", I knew they just didn't make men like that anymore! My mom liked him too. He made a Christmas movie with Julie Andrews (his favorite female costar) not too many years back, and it's called "One Special Night". It's a really beautiful, wonderful romantic movie featuring two older actors at the top of their game. Mom and I watched it together every time it came on, and I now have the DVD. I will always think of James Garner as a "Heart-Stopping Hero" : )

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Seekerville!!! What a great post.

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. said...

Great column and comments! TFD is my favorite book. So glad Laura is out there doing God's will and giving us more great stuff to read soon. Don't enter me. I have ordered over a dozen that I have gifted people with so far.

Laura Frantz said...

Virginia, So glad to know about the Jim-Julie movie as that sounds just like the kind of escape I love. I've always been a fan of hers, too. You and I really gravitate toward the same kind of things! Must be our age and southernness:) I could watch every episode of Maverick that ever was and never get tired of them. They sure don't make 'em like they used to!

Carrie, Ohhhhh, that blesses me so much to hear you've given TFD as gifts. There can be no higher compliment than that! May I be as generous when your turn comes! Thanks so much for chiming in here.

Tina, This is an amazing experience being a part of your blog for even a day. WOW! Blessings abound. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I am so anxious to read this book. Please enter me. Thanks!!!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Mare, YES -- the protective instinct is KEY, and, ironically, something each of your characters have in spades!

And I read The Husband Tree before I read Winter's End, and between Silas (who is my FAVORITE of all your wonderful heroes) And Marc from Ruthy's book AND JAG ... I was on a caffeine high without the caffeine, NO JOKE!!!



Julie Lessman said...

Oh, RUTHY ... Trent Michaels sounds TO DIE FOR!!! CANNOT WAIT!!


Julie Lessman said...

Ooooo, JANET -- great line!!

"Bottom line: a hero has eyes for only one woman--the heroine."

Amen to that!!


Julie Lessman said...

LAURA, it was SOOOO much fun having you here ... you make such a gracious host -- must be the Southern hospitality coming out.

Are you coming to St. Louis for ICRS by chance????


Laura Frantz said...

Oh Julie, I wish I was! The soonest I'll fly east is in September for the ACFW conference Indy:) And I sure hope you'll be there, too. I had such luck bumping into you in the hall in Denver:) I think the Lord must have chuckled as it was divine coincidence!

And thank you a million times over for all the fun today!! I LOVE your readers and feel so privileged to have met them. Like I said earlier, I wish I had a book to give each of them - not only TFD but CML. Many, many happy reading or writing hours to you all! And, as Lael would say, don't be a stranger!

Laura Frantz said...

Oh, to make it an even 100 comments, I'll just add that I have a bookmark and freshly signed book ready to mail out once the winner is announced:) Thank you!

Virginia said...

Great Post! Rhett Butler was also my first hero, I loved the man! He is the perfect hero to me and always will be!


Laura Frantz said...

Hi Virginia, YAY to Rhett Butler! I don't think there's a hero out there more recognizable! Thanks for your comments!

Cindy W. said...

The Frontiersman's Daughter is definitely a MUST read! Please enter me into your contest & thank you so much for the opportunity.

God bless you.

Cindy Woolard


Laura Frantz said...

Bless you, Cindy, for saying so! I love my readers:)

Aaron McCarver said...

Hello everyone! I am really late, but I was catching up on blog reading and just had to post about how wonderful Laura is! I met her at ACFW last year and bonded over our mutual love of early frontier historical fiction. And her obvious love of the Lord stood out, too! As for heroes, I guess being a guy I am a bit different. I tend to cheer for the different type of hero. The one who is not dashing or typically heroic. (Probably cheering for myself actually :) ) And I loved your pub story, Laura. Mine was very different. I met my favorite author, Gilbert Morris, and he encouraged me to pursue it. I started work on an idea and he proposed we do it together. We were blessed with a contract from Bethany very soon. God is so great! I know we will be hearing many more great things from you, Laura! (By the way, Julie, love your new cover!)

Laura Frantz said...

Wow! So great to hear from you here! I was just thinking about you as I finally unloaded the ACFW pics from my dysfunctional camera this past week and was so pleased I didn't lose that picture of us! I may send it on to you via email as you look quite dashing:) Thank you for your gracious words here. Knowing you are in my corner and we're fellow 18th-c. fans means so much to me. I hope you are coming to Indy this Sept. Bless you in all your reading and writing for Him!