Monday, September 17, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER LAURA FRANTZ: The Melt Factor (and Giveaway!!)

Julie here, and okay, right off the bat—if a blog is entitled “The Melt Factor,” I am SO there!! And if that same blog is written by one of my favorite authors and friends, well then, honey, I’m pullin’ up a chair for a front-row seat! But ... if that dear friend just released one of THE BEST historical romances I have EVER read, then, darlin' I'm gonna gush like a fountain. 

Let me go on record right now to say that Laura Frantz's newest release Love's Reckoning literally—and I do mean literally, as in my chest was so tight I could barely breathe—took my breath away. I have never experienced that with a romance before, where the prose and the tension was so powerful that my chest was tight and my breathing shallow. And, yes, I suppose it could have been my atrial fibrillation acting up despite my medicine, but I don't think so. Laura Frantz is just THAT good at writing historical romance to curl your toes, your hair and your fingers around the edges of the book. And so it should come as no surprise that I had no problem writing the following endorsement:

Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Breathless. Not since Gone With the Wind have I read an epic novel that has stolen my heart, my breath, my sleep to such a jolting degree. Love’s Reckoning marks Laura Frantz not only as a shining star in Christian fiction today, but a shooting star who soars skyward to the glittering heights of Rivers and Higgs.
Without further ado, I give you my dear friend, Laura Frantz.

The Melt Factor

I'm getting ready to create my 11th hero:).  So far we have Ian, Captain Jack, Red Shirt, Colonel McLinn, and a couple you've yet to meet. If I dig deep in my antique trunk, I'll unearth those unsung heroes who'll never see the light of day ~ Matthew, Stephen, Winston Cade Cabot Luce, the 7th Duke of Devlin (isn't that atrocious? He was from my college days!), and there are one or two I can't remember which were less than memorable. Which brings me to the point of this post…

Heroes must be memorable:)

I will confess I felt a little like one of my heroines when I saw the man in this picture on 
Pinterest recently. I melted. It’s none other than Eoin Macken, Irish actor in the BBC’s Merlin series. There's something so irresistibly handsome about him - perhaps even heroic. Happily married woman that I am, I was instantly smitten! This picture might not have the same effect on you and that's okay. Everyone has a different melting point;)

I love creating heroes even more than heroines. A hero doesn't have to be handsome. But his soul and spirit should be. He can be angry but never whiny. He can be lost but there has to be the ring of redemption about him. He must be flawed. But strong. Your hero should be so compelling that you find yourself thinking about him when you're not writing. That goes for your heroine, too. I always say my characters are as real to me as my own family members - and I'm not exaggerating! Hopefully you feel the same about the hero you’re writing about – or reading about.

In my latest release, Love’s Reckoning, I have a Scottish hero named Silas Ballantyne.  Here’s a sneak peek at a favorite scene, designed to make my heroine melt. We’ll see if she does…
The rain was soaking her cloak; it lay like a second skin over her linen dress, bulky and overwarm, so at odds with the icy finger trailing down her spine. Someone was following her—riding hard and fast, as much as the mud and weather would allow. She veered off the trail, the abrupt motion nearly spilling her from the saddle. Thunder rumbled, and she sensed Sparrow’s panic before her frantic neighing began. Another boom and Sparrow bolted, straight into the path of a man. He turned his horse sideways and cut them off.
The sudden stop unseated her from her horse, and she fell to the ground in an ungracious heap. But she didn’t care. She was crying in sheer relief, thankful when he reached down and pulled her to her feet.
“Eden, are you hurt?” A wealth of emotion shook his voice. Surprise. Chagrin. Unchecked happiness. Taking hold of Sparrow’s reins, he led them beneath a sheltering elm till a flash of lightning sent them scurrying toward a rock overhang that looked to be the start of a cave. There they stood, dripping wet and speechless.
This close, she could see shadows beneath his eyes, the scruffy beginnings of a beard, the firm set of his features beneath the brim of a new felt hat.
His chest heaved beneath his sodden greatcoat. “Why in heaven’s name have you come?”
“Your supplies—” Her own chest rose and fell from her frenzied ride. “You left them.”
The light faded from his eyes. “You came all this way through the storm—for that?”
“Why else would I come?”
He ran a hand over his bristled jaw and glanced at the surly sky. “Because you miss me, mayhap. Because you have something to tell me. Because you want to go west.”
All shyness fell away and she looked hard at him in surprise. “With a man who thinks of me as a sister?”
“Och, Eden.” A flash of exasperation rode his handsome features, and he came nearer, his eyes a soul-searching green. “A sister? Nae.” His fingers skimmed her bruised chin. “You’re more than that to me . . . far more.”
In answer he began slowly untying the chin ribbons of her bonnet, knotting the ends so that it dangled down her back. She waited expectantly—breathlessly—as he removed his own wet hat, setting it atop a lichen-edged rock jutting from the cave wall. Despite her cumbersome cloak, the touch of his hands on her shoulders sent a delicious shiver clear to her bones. He pulled her nearer, and she was enveloped in the heady scent of wet leather and her own soft soap. His mouth found hers at last, feather-light then firm.
Her first kiss.
She felt a breathless bewilderment that she didn’t know what to do—where to put her hands, how to tilt her head. But he did. As he deepened each kiss, she nearly swayed. This was so . . . exquisite. So unexpected. Instinctively, her arms circled his neck as he held her tighter, nearly lifting her off the ground. She grew so weak with longing she gave a little cry when he released her.
Leaning back against the rock wall, crushing her bonnet, she felt naught like the Eden of old but some wild, untamed creature. He’d stirred to life every feeling she had and a few she never knew existed, and she had no wish to tuck such feelings away. She’d been brought to the brink of something new, something glorious, and felt suddenly and achingly unfinished.
She reached for him again. “Silas, please . . .”
He leaned into the ledge beside her, eyes dark with desire, his breathing a bit ragged. “Nae, Eden. I’ll not love you here, but somewhere safe, sound—and rightly wed. As you deserve.”
Was that what was missing, then? The Lord’s blessing? Her eyes roamed his handsome features, seeing him in a new light. The self-contained Silas of old was gone, and in his place was a man who loved her—wanted her—and was about to leave her. Though she bit her lip till it nearly bled, anguished sobs tumbled out of her and she was back in his arms, not wanting his comfort so much as his kisses.
“I have your heart, and you have mine,” he whispered. “’Tis enough, aye? For now?”
But she couldn’t answer because it wasn’t enough, not nearly enough. How could it be with a wilderness between them?
He held her, smoothing her damp hair back from her face, whispering things she’d never thought to hear. And then, in silent agony, she watched as he went back into the rain and rounded up their horses. They’d ride out into the storm because it was no longer safe for them to stay here alone and in each other’s arms.

Okay, take the hero you're either reading about or writing about. What is it about him that lends to the "melt factor"? Were you smitten right away? Or did he grow on you? Leave your answer in a comment or just leave a comment and you will be entered to win Laura's latest, Love's Reckoning. TWO giveaways, so TWO chances to win! Good luck!!

        Laura Frantz credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with history. Frantz's family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late 18th-century and settled in Madison County, where her family still resides. Frantz is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little, both Carol Award Finalists, and The Colonel's Lady, Readers Choice/Family Fiction Awards for Historical Novel of the Year and Author of the Year. She is currently working on her new historical series, The Ballantyne Legacy, and lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.


  1. Smitten!!! Right away. I need to win this book. Julie knows why, LOL ;-)

    I think it's awesome I'm the first comment on a post about heroes, LOL.

    Laura said:
    Your hero should be so compelling that you find yourself thinking about him when you're not writing.

    This is what we call "get in your soul" in my circle of hero-addicts. These are the books I want to buy. And write. =D

  2. Laura, you're definitely the expert on The Melt Factor! After Ian and Colonel McLinn, I don't think I was ever the same :) I hope I can create a compelling hero ... although it probably wouldn't be appropriate to be thinking about my hero all the time, if he's a teenage boy .. LOL

    I love this excerpt of Love's Reckoning! How am I supposed to keep from reading it now, Laura?? :D Hopefully my sheer exhaustion will keep me from starting it yet ... though I do have a 6 hr train ride on Thursday which may prove too tempting!

    Please don't enter me in the draw, I already have Love's Reckoning :)

  3. I accidentally won this book on some other blog I think. So I shouldn't need to be put in the hat, since it should be on its way, yay!

    That was an awesome kiss. Totally belonged in the kissing 101 Julie posted last time!

    My current hero is a Mr. Darcey type, the misunderstood aloof handsome rich man--that's how I like them. :) I don't think I've liked my previous heroes as much as this one.

  4. Thank you for this post, Laura! I get the importance of a memorable hero. In the book I'm currently reading, the hero is tough & confident one minute, flawed & uncertain the next. But the author gives him just enough strength to let you know, in the end, he'll come through & win the day ... & the heroine's heart.

    While writing my first manuscript -- i.e. the practice one I know will never see the light of day -- I came to realize how important it is for the reader to fall in love with the hero. I read a novel recently where I didn't like the "hero" for 3/4ths of the book.

    Though he found redemption in the end I have to admit I was disappointed when the heroine chose him. I can't dislike someone for 300 pages then root for him to get the girl in the last 50.

  5. Laura...first of all, I love your books and would love a chance to win this one! My favorite hero...I love the Darcy type, too, but I can't get over the Mr. Rochester type. Kind of dark, brooding, but a deep down passion with a dash of unpredictability. He's the type I can't stop thinking about or completely figure out. I love your excerpt!
    Blessings, Stacey
    (travelingstacey at bellsouth dot net)

  6. Smitten, he stutters and tugs at your heart.

  7. Oh, goodness I'm too discombobulated after re-reading that romantic snippet to write coherently. Laura, I LOVED Love's Reckoning -- even though, like Julie, it wrecked havoc with my emotional and physical well-being.

    I started my review with one word: Bludgeoned. :-) You seriously messed with my emotions! I actually had to stop reading at one point...for an entire evening so I could ease my ravaged heart!

    So -- please don't enter me in the draw. Already read it, adored it and have even re-read snippets a time or two. :-) I'd say you have the whole hero thing downpat.

  8. Ok, I'll admit... I just melted. lol! That was my first dip in the waters of Laura's books, and I can't wait to read more!

    Thanks for the chance to win it!


  9. Oh my what a way to start a Monday, I want to meet Silas on that rainy road and feel "more", I must read this book. I have been seeing much about Laura and her "Love's Reckoning".
    I am a Ky girl and am thinking she and I have a few things in comon. good to see you in Seekerville today Laura...I can begin my day now.
    Paula O(

    It's 4 something in the morning here on the west coast but I was so excited to be here I couldn't sleep:) So up I am! It's wonderful to see folks here already but hey, given you have the best writing blog on the web, I'm not surprised.
    HUGE (((hugs))) for Julie for inviting me today and for her very gracious words about my historicals. She's just the best and it's high praise coming from someone whose kissing scenes knock your socks off!!

  11. NANCY! I think being first this morning should entitle you to brownie points, at least:) Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. When it comes to heroes, we never seem to get enough of them or write enough about them.

    I didn't use the male POV until my 3rd book and now I almost prefer it! Getting inside a man's head and thinking like a man is very interesting to me and isn't as hard as I thought, maybe because I'm the only female in my testosterone-filled household...

    Love what you pulled out of the post - that a worthy hero should be on our minds much of the time:)

    I wish you the best in crafting killer heroes - and winning this book!

  12. HELEN! Don't laugh but I wasn't thinking of heroes this morning as I lay in bed but I did think of you - no joke! Reading friends come to mind in the night for some reason - maybe you need prayer for that coming trip:) A 6 hour train ride sounds heavenly as I so love trains - and it's a perfect excuse to bring a book - or write on en route...

    But no rush to read LR. It's a joy just knowing you have it. I think half the beauty of a book is the anticipation of reading it! Thanks so much for being here this morning!

  13. Morning Laurie, Welcome to Seekerville. It is early out here isn't it?

    Great hero material. Have a fun day.

  14. Melissa, Oh, if he resembles Mr. D you're onto something:) He still ranks as one of the biggest "melt factor" men ever. And if you're more smitten with him than your other heroes, you're really onto something. I think authors have to fall a little (did I say a little - ha!) in love with said hero or something isn't right. He really should be larger than life to you and if that happens, he'll likely be larger than life to your readers.

    I DO remember you winning LR at another blog:) And it blesses me you're here today anyway. Praying you love the book! And I also hope your writing inspires you and others and your hero continues to grow on you and hold top spot in your heart and head!

  15. Hmm... I think, in my writing, the melt factor often comes out in the tough guy showing softness.

    This an excerpt from my contemporary novel-- the heroine is telling her roommates about a coffee date with an old friend:

    “Well, I ran into Dan this afternoon,” I closed my eyes, “I ended up telling him about not having kids.”
    “Wow,” Tecana looked shocked, “When did you get so open about that?”
    “I’m not open about it,” I sighed, “I wouldn’t have ever brought it up but he asked.”
    “Is he really serious about you?” Shari questioned.
    “He seriously wants a wife,” I shrugged. “He’s lonely. When I saw him at the grocery store he had a basket full of Ramen noodles.”
    “Oh,” Tecana’s face displayed her disgust, “that poor boy.”
    “So what happened when you told him? About the cancer I mean.” Shari asked.
    I pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. “He held my hand and said he was sorry,” I whispered.


    I know I created him but he still makes my heart melt. :)

  16. Sharyn, You bring up such a good point - heroes really should be likeable from the start if at all possible. Winning a reader over so far into the text really is hard on the heart! And makes for a sort of anti-climatic experience. On the other hand, your current hero in hand sounds like the right combination of flawed yet heroic - and very believable - and likeable.

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments - they mean so much!

  17. Stacey, We are kindred spirits:) Mr. Rochester flashes to mind every time I think "melt" or anything heroic. That underlying passion of his has stayed with me even though I first read the book in college many years ago. And it's one of the few BIG books I've read more than once as he was so doggone memorable:) A great foil to pale Jane with his passion and broodiness.

    Thanks so much for being here and entering the drawing. I just LOVE your profile pic!

  18. Jan, Oh, your few terse words really tug at mine! If a hero has any sort of visible flaw like a stuttering issue, then I'm usually a goner... It makes a man so vulnerable and more...

    Thanks for waking up with me this morning:)

  19. Hi dear Kav! I was so hoping you'd be here:) Glad you're still speaking to me after that bludgeoning, lol! A little bird told me you wrote your heart felt pierced by the rapier of my pen after that novel - well, said, my friend! I think I broke all the rules in this book but I loved my characters dearly and hated to see them suffer! Thanks for reading on though it hurt to do it!

    I pray my heroes continue to make you melt. You're about to meet Jack Turlock. Gentleman Jack, they call him:) How's that for a tease? And I promise you this is a much gentler read though I can't say why! Maybe readers needed a breather:) Bless you today.

  20. Elyssa! So glad it made you melt this early in the morning:) You know, I rarely remember to do excerpts but when Julie suggested it, I was right on it! She's wonderful at doing that on her own site as well as here and it sure does show a lot about a book in a few words:)

    It's wonderful to see you here and know you'd like to read Silas and Eden's story. I hope you hold it in hand soon!

  21. Paula, So happy you're here as we start another busy week together:) I have a special place in my heart for fellow Kentuckians, let me tell you. And I'm thrilled you'd like to be on that rainy road with Silas and Eden and read more. It was hard leaving KY to write this book but I flat fell in love with Pennsylvania! And it doesn't hurt that my real-life hero, Daniel Boone, came from there!

    Hope you have a blessed day.

  22. HI Sandra, It really is fun starting off a Monday talking heroes and what makes them tick. Thanks for stopping and joining in the discussion - have a blessed day!

  23. Laura--I'm on the page with you regarding the guy whose picture you shared. Nice!

    My current hero, Stephen Day, captured me the minute I saw the Fuji film ad he was in. Rugged features, handsome face, longish wispy guy hair--and an air about him that is hard to explain. I just knew he was my guy for this book.
    And like you I love creating hero's.

  24. Laura!!! Am reading Love’s Reckoning right now and LOVING it!!! Sigh…. Silas is a wonderful hero and love the conflict between the two sisters! What a great rain scene too!! I love rain scenes. :)

    So glad to have you here on Seekerville!

  25. Oh yeah, I would love to win this book. :)

  26. OH NATASHA! You say so much about your hero in that bit of dialogue - OH MY! And I felt an instant connection with him, ramen noodles and all:) Truly, tenderness goes a long, long way. The hand-holding bit is just so right - and I love that you conveyed this through a casual conversation yet managed to infuse it with a lot of emotion. Well done! You've also hooked me and made me want to read on. And I don't read a lot of contemporaries, lol! But you make me want to...

    Thanks so much for sharing Dan here. He has a very memorable name, BTW. OH MY. I hope you get some more Dan time today:)

  27. Laura, after reading that excerpt, your book is going to the top of my TBR list - of course, the sneak peek at the picture of Eoin Macken didn't hurt at all!

    I love heroes that melt my heart - (Julie's heroes always do).

    The hero in one of my current WIP's is a bit different - not your typical romance heartthrob. But he's so likeable from the start. A warm, teddy-bear type guy. I use a baby to make him heart melting - who can resist a man who takes an orphan newborn into his arms and instantly accepts the mantle of responsibility and love for her?

    Of course, my heroine fell in love with him much earlier than this scene...

    I love what you said about heroes here: "A hero doesn't have to be handsome. But his soul and spirit should be. He can be angry but never whiny. He can be lost but there has to be the ring of redemption about him. He must be flawed. But strong."

    That wraps it up in a nutshell. Give me a guy like that and I'll fall in love in an instant!

    Enjoy your day at Seekerville!

  28. Lindi, Oh, Stephen Day is a very memorable heroic name! Love your description of him and how you say he had/has that something that makes him special, memorable, heart-arresting. You're onto something...

    Thanks for the peek at my bearded friend, Sir Gwain, from Merlin. I've never been much on beards but he wears it well and looks very dashing:)

  29. Amanda! Oh, so thrilled you're in the heart of the story and like my Silas:) And surviving the conflict between Eden and Elspeth! It makes me very happy knowing you're reading and actually have the book in hand!

    I'm wondering if you're packing for Dallas or Monterey?! I remember our meeting in that elevator in St. Lou last year. I hope your writing is going very well and all else. Hugs and hellos to your precious family! And to you, too:)

  30. LAURA!!!!! You're two hours behind me and you STILL beat me up??? Of course, I AM older than you, girl, plus just got back from a week-long, out-of-state biking trip where I road over 100 miles, so I am whooped ... especially after peddling through a week's worth of e-mails last night -- YIKES!!!

    I'll be honest ... there are not many authors who can "melt" me with a hero like you, my friend, which is why you are at the top of my must-read list!!!

    Thanks for coming by AND for getting up so early to be such a WONDERFUL hostesss!!

    I'm too tuckered out to make breakfast, but I commissioned all the hotels/resorts we stayed at (SIX!!!) to provide a continental breakfast of cereals, bagels, muffins, self-made waffles and yes, even cheese omelets and bacon!! Keith got up this morning and wanted to know where breakfast was and when I would have it ready. Yeah, right. No, worries ... both of us can stand to skip a meal or two now since we just biked (and ate) our way through a number of states ... :)


  31. First, Julie, your comment about fibrillation CRACKED me up!!!

    I love the excerpt here and need to get a hold of this book! I love making heroes too. MMMMMM. :)

  32. Jan, Love this look at your hero! You've shown his gentle side by bringing a baby into his arms and life - there's just something irresistible about babies, especially orphaned babies, being cherished by a big, teddy bear of a man. I think a hero and helpless child are a win-win situation all the way around. And I love bringing babies or children into my stories, too.

    Love how you said he "instantly accepts the mantle of responsibility and love for her." Beautifully worded.

    And thanks for the peek at Eoin:) He's quite the man! At least in pics. It's more a soul matter for us here from what's been said - looks can only go so far - it's truly a man's spirit that counts in the end. But a little handsomeness doesn't hurt!

    Bless you for your very thoughtful comments!

  33. JULIE!!! Back to bed with you, girlfriend!! I am surprised - but THRILLED - you've even made a peep here! Your bike trip sounds heavenly! And the mention of cheese omelets - OH MY! I would gladly eat my way through several states! Now we know your secret to staying tiny - 100 mile bike trips!

    I have a confession. After reading about your biking on your Journal Jots page, I went out and bought one 2 months ago. Yep, a beautiful vintage style blue and yellow bike that is sitting in our barn waiting to be ridden! Once this book buzz dies down, I'm pedaling:) Only I wish we could pedal together!

    Anyway, so happy you're back! Now just relax and don't worry about a thing. I can only imagine all the email you had waiting...

    I'm so happy to be here and can't thank you enough for inviting me! LOVE SEEKERVILLE and all this hero talk:) Love you, too, my friend!!

  34. Jessica, I'm still chuckling, too, about Julie's fib issue;) I'm so happy I do that to her with these scenes - but am a bit worried, too, lol!

    Hope your current hero has you smitten in the story you're writing:) Thanks so much for being here.

  35. Julie and Laura -

    I am most decidedly not happy with you two right now.

    If you were going to be in Dallas this week, I would glare at you the whole time.

    Instead I shall cry that:
    a. I can't because you won't be there
    b. I have no time to pick up LR and sink into it

    My TBR stack has been calling me like crazy but my MBDBLFC* list has taken priority. My Kindle is the only thing going with me that I might read [though ALS is on there Julie].

    Next week. Laura, you were already near the top of the stack but you've jumped to the next in line the minute I have time.

    *that would be the Must-Be-Done-Before-Leaving-For-Conference list

  36. JULIE and LAURA together in Seekerville--awesome! Just shared Laura's link on FB. I go for the slow melt in my heroes. My latest hero isn't supposed to be caring and kind (because of the story line) and he finds squelching that character trait to be one of the hardest things he has ever had to do. I find genuine kindness, shown to people from all walks of life, a huge melt factor!

  37. Wow, that section from Laura's book was amazing! Yes, there's definitely a melt factor there! Gave me better understanding of what my own hero is missing. :)

    One of the more recent heroes I read that I like is Luke Redmond, from Rachel Hauck's Dining With Joy. He's fun, thoughtful and knows how to fill in Joy's (ther heroine) gaps. He completes her.

    Running to get ready for ACFW. Hoping to check back later.

    Thanks for this post today, my brain is already pondering my hero.

  38. Good morning, Laura! Yep, you got the melt factor down pat on that one. Actually the whole book. Julie is right, Love's Reckoning is truly a classic in every way--just like her author. I can't say enough about the kind of wonderful, soul-touching experience your words provide.

    And that Pinterest photo? When I took a peek, I thought, "Yes, that's a Laura kind of guy."

  39. Great post, Laura. The excerpt has that linger factor I love - I have to read it a couple times before I allow myself to read the rest! Very nice.

    Recently, I've been drawn to cowboys. It's a shock to me, lol. I've read a couple of books that feature the cowboy melt factor and I'm actually contemplating writing a cowboy. Hummm...Never thought I'd say that!

  40. I thought I'd pop in right quickly and say I'm a Laura Frantz fan!!!!

  41. Great post, and always a fun subject to get into! I like heroes who know what they want and go after it. And I like watching the protective instinct kick in, because it shows he's fallen for her, even if he doesn't want to admit it. ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway, please toss my name in! I haven't read one of Laura's books yet, and this sounds like a great one.

  42. LAURA!! Wow ... what a beautiful scene!! One of my favorite scenes that you have written has to be the barn scene from Courting Morrow Little ... it has been a while since I read that book and yet that scene stays with me ... :)

  43. I love that she said you should be thinking about your hero, even when you are not writing. I think the "melt factor" is a perfect description!

    I already have this book, so no need to send me the book. I love Laura's books! She is my favorite author. (Hi Laura!!)

  44. Wow, Laura! If Julie likes your books that much, I'm sure I would! And my mother is also a BIG FAN of yours! I know I need to read this! It sounds wonderful!

    My present hero, Thomas Gilchrist, called Gil by his friends, is fun and funny in public, but he reins himself in like a true Regency gentleman (yes, this is a Regency) and plays by the rules of society, mostly, and he also has a benevolent side that he hides from the wealthy family and friends who think they know him to be just a typical self-centered member of the ton. But the heroine sees the real man behind the facade. Every girl of his acquaintance wants to marry him, for his charm and good looks and expert dancing. But the one girl who sees him for who he is can't marry him--or she won't, he isn't sure which.

    I'm having lots of fun with it. :-)

    Your book sounds fabulous! I hope I will get a chance to read it! Alas, I haven't been reading much lately. I think it's more the stress in my life than anything else! But this week I'm heading to the conference, and can't wait! Maybe I will feel relaxed enough to catch up on some reading! Will you be there, Laura??? I would love to meet you! Any friend of Julie's ... must be really awesome! :-)

  45. Carol! Laughing at your *MBDBLFC! You have our permission to put those books down and PACK!! After all, Genesis Finalists have some privileges and perks:) And I think that goes for Melissa J., too, if I'm not mistaken!

    At least you have ALS on your Kindle. I'm liking my Kindle more and more, especially those preview chaps of books:)

    Prayers with you all the way, dear Carol!! I hope to listen to the Awards Ceremony and will be cheering for you! Till we meet again:)

  46. Carrie, So good to see you here! Hmmm, a hero who is suppressing his kindness sounds very intriguing to me. And I'm so curious about the circumstances he finds himself in. If it's the 18th-century, I can only imagine:)

  47. Jeanne, Thanks so much for checking in here between packing - I know how those days leading up to a conference can be:) You must be so excited - and Dallas is the perfect venue! Hope you get some southern cuisine:)

    So glad you mention Rachel Hauck and this particular hero. I agree! Love how you said Luke fills in Joy's gaps and completes her. A good hero will do that and make the heroine better for it:)

    Praying for you and all the attendees as you pack! For open doors and wonderful fellowship and more!

  48. OH sweetie! You flatter me!!!

    Not a finalist. Not this year.

    Semi-finalist. But not finalist. :D

    From your lips to God's ears though - or better yet, ineligible next year would be great too ;).

    I love the free Kindle books - others I normally buy hard copies. NetGalley is great though - I get so many great review books that way.

    Walmart trip done. Executive decision made to not clean the basement [but will make kids work on some of it later ;)]. Now on to polishing pages...

  49. Beautiful words, Lorna. You always lift me up:) Thanks for that. The Lord is so good to give us the gift of fiction and godly heroes and heart-melting prose. I pray we keep that passion alive in our books.

    OH TO GO WITH YOU TO DALLAS! I still remember tapping you on the shoulder way back in Denver. Little did I know what the Lord had in store. So thankful for you!

  50. Lyndee, I hope your cowboy hero springs to life:) I have a penchant for those type heroes, too. And have more than a few on my Pinterest page!

    Thanks for reading the excerpt. You're right - some romantic scenes need to be read twice to savor every little nuance therein. Sigh!

    Bless you for being here!

  51. WHOOPS, Carol! My fingers are way ahead of my brain! Semi-finalist! Well, you can tell that it still counts VERY HIGHLY with me!! I forget that it's done a little differently than the Carol. You've taught me something:)

    I've heard so much about NetGalley. I don't think Revell, my pub, has jumped on the bandwagon yet. Or else I'm living in Genesis semi-finalist land and am mistaken again, lol!

    Anyway, no matter what your status, you know my prayers go with you and I can't wait to here what the Lord has in store for you there:)

    p.s. wise decision to skip that basement...

  52. GINA!! And I'm a Gina Wellborn fan, my friend:) LOVE you for saying so!!

  53. Emily, Thanks for being here - love your comments about the hero's protective instinct kicking in. That's a sure sign he's smitten:) And a great way to show a couple falling in love in a novel...

    Bless you for being in the drawing. So happy we have 2 winners!

  54. Stacey, Oh, my morning is much brighter when you come round:) Thanks so much for your gracious words - I pray I continue to live up to them with every word I write.

    I agree with you about having that "melting" instinct when meeting a godly hero, whether yours or someone else's. You really do have that melting sensation. Sigh...

    I've been thinking of you especially this week as it's so full of promise and purpose - and fun! For those of you who haven't attended a conference before, the first one is very special. I actually remember more from my first than any that followed. And I can't wait to hear more about yours. Thanks so much for taking time here today. You're a blessing!

  55. Laura when I was reading Love's Reckoning (my first book by you I've ever read), that scene made me swoon. :) The entire story was amazing.

    Since I already own the book, please don't enter me in the drawing.

  56. Sarah! Speaking of conferences, you sure made mine a couple of years ago. And then I had that epic fail on my camera and couldn't capture the moment:( But we will again, I hope/pray.

    Thanks for mentioning Morrow and the barn scene. I remember how much fun it was to write that one - and then rewrite it to get it just right. I'm glad you think it worked:) It's memorable to me, too.

    I keep thinking of your new cover and can't wait to read your book. Brandon Hill sure did a fine job capturing the essence of your story. I remember your proposal quite vividly:) And I'm sure your hero has the melt factor in spades!


    I love this, and your excerpt. Thank you.

    Current hero is Scott Foley.

    He's just so cute and kissable looking. And sweet and self deprecating in interviews.

    Scott Foley post

  58. Melanie, Oh, huge (((hugs))) to your mom - that means so much to me! I know exactly what you mean about reading time and the lack of it. Since publishing that's one thing that has been seriously hampered, mostly because I'm always editing a book, researching another, and writing yet another, etc. Plus, it's hard to find quiet time...

    I'm SO THRILLED you're writing a Regency!! And your Gil sounds so endearing and intriguing and more:)
    Love this peek into the heart of your novel. I'm sure it will be just as memorable as your others. BTW, your latest cover is just amazing! It has that incredible fairy tale quality that makes me feel I could reach out and touch her...

    I really wish I was going to Dallas. After 3 years of conferences I won't be there, sadly. But I am going to Scotland. So that's a happy substitute:)

    Bless you for being here today!!

  59. Dawn, It means so much that you'd be here and say such lovely things when you've already read the book! I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story. It sure was a JOY to write:) And I'm even more thrilled to meet you here. Being at Seekerville introduces me to people I might have missed otherwise and I'm very thankful. I'll remember you for your very kind words about my Silas and Eden!

    Bless you today...

  60. Tina, Oh, love your pithy description of your Scott. A very manly name, too, BTW:) And one that hasn't been overused. Makes me want to read more...

    And I love your profile pic!

    Thanks so much for being here.

  61. Welcome to Seekerville, Laura. Whoa, that excerpt melted my bones!!! Love your books and must read Love's Reckoning. Thanks for sharing with us.

    I love Matt Walker, the hero in my next release The Bride Wore Spurs. But then, I always do. And why not? We create the men we'd be attracted to.


  62. Janet, So well said ~ "we create the men we'd be attracted to." Amen! And I sometimes wonder why I'm surprised when I always fall for my heroes. You've nailed it:)

    Matt Walker is such a memorable, strong name. And I love your title! Makes you do a double-take. I have fun envisioning the cover:)

    Thanks for welcoming me - it's an honor to be here on what I always think of as the best writing blog on the web. Yet it's so much more!

  63. So thrilled to see Laura here today (& Julie too) and get a peek at her book! Recently I finished 'The Colonel's Lady' which was awesome! I couldn't stop thinking about Roxie and Cass when I wasn't reading. I'm sure 'Love's Reckoning' will be the same.

    What melts me about a hero is when he rescues the heroine in some way. I know our heroines are supposed to be strong and not need rescuing these days, but I do love when the 'knight in shining armor' comes in for the save. When a hero protects, nurtures and takes care of the heroine, I melt in a puddle!

    Thanks Laura & Julie! Love you both! You are my shining examples I aspire to be like!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  64. So the hero answer [before diving into a whole book of edits - already made on the paper copy - moving to the computer].

    Out of the 4 MSs I have pitchable or nearly pitchable right now, my favorite hero is from Grace to Save. It's a story that opens on 9/11 [in Manhattan - but not the way you'd expect a book to open on that day in that place] and by the end of the prologue three months later, he's just found out his best friend has died and he's a single father.

    Fifteen years later, he's still a single dad, with a happy, well-adjusted [as much as a 15yo girl can be ;)], Jesus loving teenager. That's when Mom shows back up.

    One thing I love about him... no matter how upset he is/was with Mom for just leaving him with a baby, he's never bad mouthed her. He figures [rightly] that she had reasons for doing what she did and though he's not happy about it, and daughter isn't happy about it when Mom reappears, but he's never made it easy to hate her.

    If that makes sense.

    Plus then, later, we get this when he finds out she didn't go to her prom because she was pregnant and he asks her to dance after they chaperone their daughter's prom:

    "I never forgot you, Travis," she whispered, looking up at me. Her eyes were bright with unshed tears. "Never. Not you, not..."

    I stopped her with a finger to her lips. "Not now, Abs." With my fingertip I traced her lower lip, awed and scared by the war going on inside me. "I never forgot you either and not just because..." I didn't say it. Wouldn't ruin the moment by bringing up the past.

    Who moved first, I could never say, but a second later, she was kissing me.

    Or I was kissing her.

    Or we were kissing each other.

    And something stirred inside me, deep inside, in a place no other woman had ever come close to reaching.

    I framed her face with my hands, my fingers tangling in the soft wonderfulness of her hair as her arms slipped around my back, under my suit coat, setting my skin on fire even through my shirt.

    Once the initial furor died down, we continued, for long minutes, exploring each others' lips with all the delicate tenderness I could imagine. Never had kissing a woman felt so right.

    Except once.


    [There's more to the scene and then their daughter walks in interrupting them ;)].

    Plus this hero is the one named after one of my favorite managers at my favorite Panera. He insisted I name a character after him the day before I started this one. Six weeks later, he was killed in a car accident :(. I love it/the hero for that reason too...

  65. Oh, I was smitten right away! Where is the book? I want to read the rest of the story!!!

  66. Julie...HELLO...I totally agree w/ what you said about our friend, Laura Frantz & her writings :)

    Laura...I, too, melt w/ your leading men...Loved this posting...
    YOU and JULIE are the best :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  67. Ooooh wow. If I don't win, I'm buying it. (and, in all honesty, I don't say this often!)I'm all tingly and melty now!

    My hero didn't start out as hero (my WIP only has romantic elements I didn't know about when I started LOL), but I started falling for him pretty quick.

    Do I even need to SAY please enter me???

  68. Laura, so glad to have you visit with us today. If Julie is gushing about your latest novel, then it has to be good!

    For me, one of the most fun parts of writing is developing that story hero. Getting the right image in my head by finding photos online or elsewhere that bring him to life for me. Discerning his personality. Creating quirks, backstory, dreams and goals.

    And that Eoin? OH MAN!!!! I cannot wait for the next season of Merlin to begin!!!

  69. Joanne, Oh, love your attitude, girl:) Buy that book, YES:) Thanks for that. Here's hoping you don't have to! You deserve an extra entry with that comment, lol...

    You know, I feel the same about my current WIP. He didn't start out my hero but I started falling for him pretty quick:) Well said. Sounds like he's a keeper.

    And yes, you're entered - and it's so good to meet you here!

  70. Oh Myra, So you're a fellow Eion fan! Can't wait for that next season, too! If only we Americans got it as quickly as those Brits:)

    Such savvy comments about getting that hero right from the get-go, especially the quirks and backstory, dreams and goals. I used to never use pics but let me tell you, I've changed my mind thanks to friends like Kaye Dacus and Ruth Anderson on Pinterest, etc. Sometimes an image really is worth a thousand words:)

    Thanks for the warm welcome. Love that Julie for inviting me. And you for being so gracious!

  71. Karen, So happy you're here and in the drawing! And love that those leading men make you melt. You're so thoughtful for taking time here on a busy Monday.

    I hope you win the book!

  72. Love that, anon:) SO happy you want to read the book after the little excerpt. Kind of like candy, I guess - or so I hope!

  73. Carol!! I think I have to echo Janet ~ that excerpt melted my bones! Plus the backstory is fascinating. And I LOVE the title - it says so much. Somebody hand me a fan, lol!

    I have a feeling GRACE TO SAVE might be top pitch?!

    You've brought out a very interesting character point - not badmouthing someone. It says so much when a hero refuses to do that or go there. Otherwise he often comes across as mean-spirited and whiny and gossipy. Ugh... No wonder you love Travis - and how touching that you named him after someone who meant something to you and then he passed away. Heart-wrenching - but in a good way.

    Praying His best blessings for you and your WIPs, this one in particular:)

  74. Susan! So happy you're here. I went back and read your comment several times and love the way you phrased the vulnerability and rescue elements - when the hero nurtures, protects, and takes care of a heroine, I melt in a puddle. SO TRUE! And you're not alone:)

    I think our need or desire for that to happen stems from fairy tales when we were little. Seems like the hero was always rescuing the princess or damsel in distress. Plus it's in a hero's nature, or should be, to want to protect and defend. Quite a meltable quality:)

    Very touched by your warm words for Julie and myself. You're such a blessing and I'm very thankful you stopped here today!

  75. Susan, Also, HUGE thanks for enjoying Cass and Roxie's story! Love that they stayed at home in your thoughts afterward. I hope the same is true of Eden and Silas:)

  76. Sigh. Already have this WONDERFUL book - already read it - and believe me, it has all the right ingredients for melting.... AND Laura knows how to put it all together to make it sizzle!

    Wonderful book. Don't enter me.

    Blessings to you Seekers, and to you, Laura,


  77. Becky, You sure bless me:) Love your sizzle! I pray I can keep that happening. Godly heroes are such fun to create:)

    Bless you today, too, as you write and do all else for Him, my friend.

  78. Whoohee. I'm going to have to update my post about sex in Christian fiction. Laura, you're making me think about giving up women's fiction to write romance!

  79. Wow, Laura, Silas is melting me into a puddle of goo here at work, and I still lots to get done! I'd love to win your book!

    The hero in my novel is a bit too clean-cut, so I had to give him a bit of an edge, something to frustrate the heroine into finding him irresistable. Nice guys are great, but not fascinating.

    See many of you at ACFW later this week!

  80. Sarah, I won't stop hoping you switch to historical romance;) You could always write both! And if I remember correctly, that particular post of yours was THE most viewed, lol. You did it so well...

    I have a feeling your women's fiction has strong romantic elements? If so, I'm a fan!

    So good to see you here, dear Sarah!

  81. Laura!!! Loved your post. Memorable heroes... that definitely fits each of yours. And the scene that you shared is one of my favorites. I love the strength that Silas shows, despite the fact that he wants to be with Eden. *sigh* What woman in her right mind wouldn't want a man who says ever so gently, "I love you, but I want to wait until I can marry you". Wow! That just blows my mind. Those are the kind of guys that you WANT to remember. Men with godly intentions. Thank you for that, Laura.

    Please don't enter me as I've had the joy of reading this book!

    *Waving to Julie* Thanks for inviting Laura today. (((HUGS)))

  82. Oh Stephanie, Love the "goo here at work" which just shows that our heroes can make a mess of us anywhere, anytime, lol;) Thanks for saying so!

    Your hero sounds very intriguing and I like that you've discovered you need to give him a bit of edge. Nice guys don't make great books, tht's for sure! Though they're good for secondary characters.

    Sounds like your hero might have a secret (love characters with secrets) or a befuddling quirk. Something that draws your heroine in. Hmmm...pretty interesting!

    So happy you get to go to ACFW this week. It's always a wonderful, blessed time!

  83. Hi Laura. Welcome to Seekerville. I seem to have more trouble getting to the bottom of heroes than heroines for some reason. Great list of heroic attributes.
    Thanks for being on.

  84. Laura, so good to see you here today. Love the excerpt. I'm heading out to do some errands tonight. May have to, ahem, swing by a bookstore. :)

    Dillan Foster is the hero in my current WIP. He's tall, dark, and klutzy. Poor guy. He's a single guy trying to live the way God wants him to when all around him so many are doing the exact opposite. That gets me right there. Love a hero who longs to do right--even when he fails.

    And he will fail because my heroine isn't helping him any. Yet he still tries to do right by her, struggling the way I think so many singles do in our society today.

    He's the quiet type with that dry humor that pops up out of nowhere, and it's been fun watching him and my heroine try not to flirt with each other. So fun that I may have to squeeze in some more time tonight to see what happens. :)

  85. Thanks for your comments, Laura! Just looking at my profile pic reminds me how fast my sweet baby is growing : ). I think Jane Eyre is one of the few books I want to reread. I love looking at your Pinterest stuff, too!

  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. Hi Sally, Glad you have a bookstore in your area at least:) Here in the woods the nearest B&N is 2 hours away!

    Your Dillan sounds scrumptious:) Klutzy and all. I think that's a very endearing quirk, BTW. Very memorable, too, and can make for some funny scenes! Poor guy, sounds like he NEEDS for your heroine to help him along. I hear in your comments your heart for singles. That's a gift.

    Isn't it great when we can't wait to be with our characters - and a great scene is calling?

  88. Stacey, I love babies so much I try to insert them in every book! And this new story has baskets of them, literally;) But no spoilers...

    Your little man is so photogenic. They do grow way too fast. My 13 and 15 yr olds are proof!

    And thanks for taking time to look at those Pinterest boards. They're a feast for the soul:)

  89. got me smitten with this one also! Laura, your book really needs to be in my TBR rightaway stack! Please..please...Julie, pick me!
    Thanks for this creative giveaway and the chance to win a grreeeeaat read!!

    Blessed by Grace,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  90. Aw, thanks, Laura, for your compliment about Dillan. I'll tell him. He'll be embarrassed. :)

    I read what you said to Stacey, I think, about babies. I so get that now! My first two were 18 months apart. Talk about hard. My goal was just to get through that.

    But now I have an almost 13-year-old, 11-year-old, and 4-year-old. And while my preteens are great, the stuff my 4-year-old says and does is just stinkin' adorable.

    If I do say so myself. ;)

  91. Laura, thanks for coming over to Seekerville today!

    I love heroes. Just love 'em. I tend to be like Melissa though, and like the slightly rugged stand-offish types. Who knows why?

    Enjoy this week, ladies!!! You will have a ball!

  92. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for being here especially when you have better things to do - like head for conference!

    As for getting to the bottom of things, you seem to do both quite nicely. I'm still thinking about THT:)

  93. Ruth,
    I'm with you on the stand-offish, hard to get ones. Thud...

    I guess you're not going to conference either this time. Julie and I will have a pity party with you then!

    Have a wonderful Monday!

  94. WHOA ... stopping to say "hey," and the place is ROCKIN'!!!

    NANCY KIMBALL ... YES, you need to read Laura's book and YES, I do know why!! ;)

    MELISSA ... I agree that kiss should be in an instruction manual as to how to write a perfect kiss!!

    KAV ... oh man, Laura is one of the few authors that the term "pulse-pounding" really fits, isn't she???

    Aw, JAN -- THANK YOU, sweetie!! ;)


  95. Barbara, I'd be thrilled for my book to land in your stack:) Thanks so much for taking part in the drawing and for being so gracious. Love the way you sign off ~ Blessed by Grace. Amen to that!

  96. Sally, Though I've never met him I think Dillan is a great hero simply because when you talk about him he seems larger than life:)

    And you are a wise woman to allow space between that 11 and 4 yr old if only to enjoy that 4 yr old without any distractions:)

    Stinkin' adorable is just the perfect description!

  97. LOL, Julie, you're going to help send us over the top with these comments:) Seekerville never hurts for people showing up to a party no matter the post!

    I hope you've been able to put your feet up a little bit today and recup from your working vacation. Surely pedaling all that way qualifies as a working vacation.

    Gotta get geared up for your 2 NEW BOOKS:) Now that's something to smile about!!

  98. LAURA!!! You bought a bike??? I am SO proud of you, girl, and oh my, wouldn't it be a blast to ride together!! Who knows ... maybe sooner than you think because my kids are both talking about moving to Seattle in a year or two and where grandbaby goes, JuJu goes ... so that's close to your neck of the woods, girlfriend ... ;)

    JESSICA ... HA!! Glad I could make you smile ...

    CARRIE ... "slow melt," is it??? No wonder you liked A Heart Revealed the best of my books -- that was as slow as I can go ... ;)

    CAROL!!! Step AWAY from that Kindle ... ;)

    MELANIE!!! Oh, honey, you GOTTA read Laura, truly -- you will LOVE her!! And your regency hero sounds to die for, girl!!

    SUE ... LOVE YOU TOO, my friend!!

    KAREN ... right back at you, my friend -- you are one of THE BEST reader friends out there!!


  99. Oh JULIE! Seattle has the BEST bike trails and parks and biking weather - woohoo! And it's nearly in my backyard:) I'll hold you to that and pray it happens. I think you'd love being a visiting JUJU:)

  100. MYRA ... you got that right, girl!!

    ANGI ... waving back, my sweet friend!!

    BARB ... keeping my fingers crossed for you, darlin', as you are gonna LOVE this one ...


  101. Laura, I love your books from this preview it sounds like one to add to my library.
    Please enter me in the contest.

    Blessings, Tina Rice

  102. Wow, Laura. And it’s raining here so make that smoldering. I really want to win this book. So definitely enter me.

    Absolutely love the melt factor. Silas reminds me of a character in one of in my books, Cole. He's an attorney and a 28 year old virgin who's waiting for the perfect girl to marry. Of course when he finds her, her past isn't so perfect.

  103. I like reading or writing where the "melt factor" comes out w/ any guy who is a tall, dark, & handsome cowboy!
    Enter me in the giveaway, please!

    ~Camille M.

  104. Tina, Oh, you're so kind - so happy you like my books! I do hope this new one goes on your keeper shelf. You're the kind of reader who makes me want to write richer and deeper:) Bless you.

  105. Camille, You have a lovely name:) I'm always on the look out for names to use in novels. And I so agree with you about the tall, dark, and handsome part - especially the cowboy!

  106. Bridgett, Oh, love the "smoldering" word:) Your Cole sounds wonderful! And I love the tease at the very end when you say he finds her and her past isn't so perfect!

    Thanks for being here today!

  107. Laura, you are doing an over-the-top wonderful job of handling everyone! I usually stop in more often but we had a sick toddler today... poor baby.

    But you are adept at writing and crowd control!

    I'm leaving apple walnut Danish for a post-supper treat... Warm it just a smidge.

    Oh, and whipped cream!!! :)

    Almost forgot!

    Great job, Laura!

  108. Oh my goodness. I just died reading that scene!!!! Silas sounds like a pretty good hero to me!! :)


  109. Ruth! No apologies needed - I'm so sorry about your sick toddler. Things like that always derail me completely! Somehow nursing takes priority - though you're very thoughtful to bring us some apple walnut danish, dear friend! How did you know that was my favorite?!?!
    And whipped cream - YES:)

    Thanks so much for being here despite everything and for saying such warm words! Praying for your little person...

  110. Marissa, So glad it made you melty:) Hope you like Silas as a hero! He was a joy to create and get to know!

  111. Oh, my! I LOVE BBC's Merlin! And Sir Gwaine is definitely one of my favorites.

    I just recently discovered Laura's books! The very first I read was The Courting of Morrow Little, and it's now one of my top ten favorite books. I think one of my favorite heroes ever is Red Shirt. Every time he appeared on the scene I think I held my breath until he left! I loved his mixture of gentleness and masculinity. So sigh worthy. ;-)

  112. SOOOOOO sorry to be late to visit LAURA FRANTZ!!!!
    One of my all-time fav historical authors (and a pretty amazing lady altogether)

    LOVED, LOVED this book, Laura. IT truly was exquisite.
    And I like writing heroes more than heroines most times too. So much FUN!!!
    And we're BIG Merlin fans at our house. Gawain..aka the guy in the picture, is as endearing onscreen in motion as he is in that picture. Think "Flynn Rider" in 3-dimensions. Woohoo! :-)

  113. Jessica, My heart is singing that you've met Morrow and her man:) JOY! Love that you held your breath when he came round. Me, too! I don't know where he came from but am glad he appeared...

    So thankful you've made time for my books.

    We seem to have some fans of Merlin here, Sir G specifically:) I can't wait for the next season. There's something so funny and sweet about Merlin and even arrogant Arthur grows on you over time. OH MY...

  114. Dear Pepper, You're never late, my friend. You were right on time sharing that beautiful heirloom shawl with me for the awards banquet last year in St. Lou:) I'll never forget it! I just wish we were meeting up this week.

    It means so much you loved LR. Oh, that "exquisite" word gets me every time:) You're the best, best, best!

    Chuckling at Flynn Rider in 3 dimensions;) Bless you for being such a blessing!!

    Now, that's what I call awesomeness! 2 fantastic authors and ladies that are SO incredibly sweet!!
    Laura!!- Thank You for this post! Heroes are SO important in romantic stories! Without a good one, in my opinion, the story seems to lack flavor. And sweet friend, the passage from your book is sure to 'melt' the hearts of hopeless romantics like me! Excellent!

    Julie Lessman- GIRL, I am just SOO happy to see you! Glad that your biking trip went well. :-)

    Okay, I hope somebody can help- and understand me when I say this: I'm a bit nervous to read Love's Reckoning. I've heard SO many good things about it and undoubtedly Laura has her way with words... but uh, I'm afraid of going through those heart-wrenching emotions ( I can get quite emotionnal when I read those kind of stories you see..) Unless I'm mistaking about Love's Reckoning?

    BUT I love Laura Frantz.. and Julie Lessman! So I couldn't resist just dropping by and saying hello!



  116. Ganise, So love your enthusiasm and transparency:) Thanks for being here and saying such heartfelt things. You know, to be honest, this book might not be your of tea and that's okay. My work is kind of gritty and realistic as I try to stay true to history in my stories and tackle topics that are heart-tugging and raise questions. So no worries if this isn't your book:) By now readers know my brand, for lack of a better word, and it's not light and sweet.

    Life is hard and oftentimes readers don't want books that mirror that but want more of an escape. And I don't blame them. I think my safest story would probably be The Colonel's Lady. Susan Mason said it best recently when she said there wasn't too much drama or heartache. Very true!

    Love's Reckoning is a bumpy ride but I always promise a happy ending:)

    Hugs to you...

  117. Oh, and I so like your comment about lacking flavor if the hero isn't right. Deliciously said:)

  118. Laura, thank you. Yes, I want a hero that gets in your soul. When six months later you see a man in line at the grocery store, and he says or does something, or looks off in the distance, and you think... he would be =)

    Julie! I started ALS TODAY!!! (It hadn't come in the mail yet, so I bought it on my nook. =) I've put Laura's novel on the nomination list but your endorsement moves him way up the TBR list. I was ready to give him two orange swoon heads just from that excerpt, LOL. :-p

  119. Thank you for understanding, Laura! I appreciate it so very much. Please keep writing, you are SUCH a talented author and I will definitely be checking out your works! In fact I'm even planning to read your debut, vey soon. The Colonel's Lady was very good, indeed.

    I hope I haven't party pooped this for anyone (especially not Laura) I'm SO glad to see everyone else interested!


  120. Laura, I just read your 8:50 p.m. post. I write this too. Actually, the tag line for the MS I'm pitching in Dallas is "Russel Crowe's Gladiator meets Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion series with a story of Joseph twist. It's intense and the middle portion through the worst of my hero's exploitation as a gladiator is brutally tragic. The history and the story demanded it. I'm very excited to get to know your work as it sounds like you and I have that in common.
    One such writer I hugely enjoy is Cliff Graham and his Lion of War series. Gritty and intense portrayal of King David and the mighty men. I'm anxiously awaiting the film of the first novel Day of War which is being shot in Hawaii right now.

  121. I'm a late arrival to the party today, but I didn't want to miss it! Busy getting last minute thing ready for ACFW and spending some time with the kiddos before I'm gone for five days.

    Oh, Laura! That scene - it still sends shivers down my spine. :) I LOVE how Silas speaks - that alone makes me melt.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing (I have a copy of this amazing novel already!).

  122. Nancy, I think by the time you finish "Love's Reckoning", you'll be thinking about five orange heads for Silas instead of two. Just sayin'... :)

  123. GANISE!!! Yes, Love's Reckoning is heart-wrenching, but heart-wrenchingly beautiful and pulse-pounding and breathtaking that I honestly think you would love it!! Of course, I'm on emotional overload most of the time, so the more emotions Laura can pull out of me, the better, and NOBODY pulls 'em out better than Laura Frantz!!

    Thanks for your support, you sweet thing!!


  124. NANCY!!! Uh-oh ... not good timing for you to read about Steven O'Connor after getting a glimpse of Silas Ballantyne ... :|

    But THANK YOU for buying it on Nook, you sweetheart, you -- MUCH appreciated!!

    But, oh well, hopefully the O'Connor men can hold their own ... ;)


  125. Ganise, I'm so glad you came back to comment again:) As I sat stuffing my face with spaghetti a few minutes ago, I thought how glad I am that you brought this up as it might tip readers off who may mistake Love's Reckoning for a lighter romance! I hate disappointing readers and would rather they not pick up the book rather than be disppointed. Nuff said!

    And thanks for wanting to read Lael's story. Just remember - sniff - forgive me! - it's not really a romance like the cover suggests but a coming of age story. My poor hero comes in at page 200 or something like that, lol. But if you do read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Have a blessed evening!

  126. Nancy, WOW - what a punch of a premise and storyline! It's so descriptive and evocative. And I can see that it's very true to those very challenging times. You said it so well the history and story demanded it. Amen to that! I feel the same way about my stories.

    My favorite Francine series is Mark of the Lion which is not for the faint of heart. But oh, what an impression it leaves...

    I'm thrilled that you're pitching this in Dallas. I promise to pray for you.

    And I am certainly going to look up the Lion of War series. You said the magic words for me - gritty and intense. SIGH. The more the merrier...

    Bless you in Dallas, my new friend:) I will pray for open doors and receptive hearts and more. I so love ACFW!

  127. ANGI, LOL! I don't quite understand all this orange head business but guess the more the merrier like I just said above:) You Seekers seem to have your own little party secrets we foreigners know nothing about! Thanks for giving me a big belly laugh;)

  128. Angi! I love to see my FHF friends here in Seekerville helping me get to the right heroes. It's very difficult to get a full swoon score out of me, but it can be done, LOL.

    Julie, don't you worry! If Steven is that save the day cop that just kept the heroine from the ugliness that almost happened to her, he's off to a really good start! ;-) You're welcome! Happy to do it, especially since I was running out of time, hehe.

    Laura, I apoligize for all this private conversation going on between me and Angi and Julie (and Ganise is an FHF girl too, hehe). If you just google "Fiction Hero Features" this whole conversation and the orange heads will make a lot more sense. I was trying to be low-key and not hijack the conversation but heroes tend to bring that out in me, hehe. And Silas has all the markers for second round consideration, recommendation from trusted hero girls have given him the edge. ;-)

  129. Julie, You're so funny - I think Silas needs to take cover when the O'Conner men come out!! I am SO excited for your next 2 books!! And am so thrilled your new series starts in spring so we don't have to wait so doggone long:)

  130. Nancy, No apologies necessary - I think it's wonderful and fun:) I am a true blonde and a little slow on the uptake at times, lol.

    Oh, the kudos of trusted girlfriends means so much - especially on the hero level:) Love the full swoon score...OH MY!

  131. Oh Laura, did I make you cry?? Lord help me, I hope not! Sorry if I did!

    Have a blessed evening too, sweet lady! I'm looking foward to seeing where the Lord will take your writing next. Wishing you all the best- and MANY more fans to come! You have a gift and as I recall being a writer was your dream right? Praying that the dream stays alive for a LONG time to come.


    JULIE! So excited for you because of A.L.S! And I love how you continue to support favorite authors (like I like to do too.:-)

    Grateful for y'all!

  132. Strangely enough I just heard this book was out a few days ago and really wanted to curl up and read it while nursing a cold. But I had homework.
    My hero Ralph is a little bit too much like me sometimes. He like philosophy and history and is otherwise slightly too serious. But he will resuce my heroine from bad guys so he is not a sissy.
    It is hard to write because I am writing him from Mary's prospective so it is really all what she sees. The scene I wrote today made me melt because it was so sweet. He is her biggest fan which I think is the nicest thing.

  133. Oh Gabrielle, SO happy you're here - I feel honored because you are in the midst of a whirlwind right now! I remember how exciting but trying it is to get away - you'll be in Dallas in a hearbeat and you'll feel like you've stepped into a fairy tale. Sorry about the melodrama but that's how I felt the first time I attended. BLISS:) And I won't even begin to talk about the food (and no dirty dishes!) Don't laugh but that first year I took pictures of everything I ate. It was something of a miracle to sit down and not have little hands in my plate...

    And then there's the praise and worship which Julie and I shared together that last Sunday morning. And the workshops and Janna Ryan and clan in the bookstore!

    Anyway, back to heroes - I read your heart-melting comment and had to go back and reread Silas's speech:) Love these little glimpses about what you like. I tried to get it just right...

    Can't wait to see you next week online and hear about all the blessings of the next few days:) So excited for you!!

  134. Ganise, No tears, my friend:)! Only high spirits on this blog, thankfully!

    You're so right when you say Julie is supportive of other authors. She does SO MUCH for me and for others. I owe her a huge debt of gratitude which I wish I could repay but won't ever, I'm sure.

    I share your excitement of ALS!! It's fun to be in the midst of all these book releases together:)

  135. Oh praise the Lord, Laura! :-)

  136. llmarmalade, I hope your cold is better. I so hate being sick:(

    Actually, Ralph sounds bookish and smart which I like very much. And I completely understand you writing him from your heroine's POV as that's what I did in my first several novels. But once I climbed inside my hero's head, lol, I didn't want to climb back out.

    Thanks so much for being in the giveaway!

  137. You had me at...Scottish Hero. STOP. I still haven't gotten over Dr. Ian. They've all been heartbreakers!

    I'm sorry to be so late to the party but I was out with the War of 1812 Navy today, keeping the peace on Lake Erie...

    I already know that I am going to love Silas, Laura.

    Thanks Julie! so great to see Laura here today. I've got to try and catch up on all the comments. Have a lovely week, everyone!

  138. :::waving hello to two of my favorite ladies, Laura and Julie!!:::

    I've read Love's Reckoning, but oh WHAT A TREAT to read that excerpt again! It's a favorite of mine!

    WOW! Melt factor, indeed!

    **not an entry**

  139. okay, caught up on comments and Janet's thoughts on the kind of heroes we create--really has me thinking.

    Loved the excerpts ladies!

  140. Michelle, You're here - YAY! It's such a treat to read your comments here and remember some favorite scenes together:)

    Couldn't do this book biz without you! I know you must be super busy teaching and more. So it means a lot that you'd check in here. Hugs to you, my friend:)

  141. Oh, the War of 1812 sounds heavenly if there's a naval hero involved, Debra;) I'm so, so intrigued!

    And thanks for the thumbs up on Dr. Ian and the rest of 'em. They're sure fun to create and spend time with. And I agree with Janet wholeheartedly:)

    Bless you for being here.

  142. Waving goodnight at Julie and everyone:) Thanks so much for making my time here so memorable and for your insights into melt-able heroes:)

    My early rising is catching up with me. Will check back in the morning to see if there are any night owl commenters.

    Bless you all!

  143. Late to the party but loved the excerpt.

    Tina Pinson

  144. Wow, what a teaser! That does it, I'm going to see if our state library system has any of your books right now! =)

    Merlin fans! =) I have to admit, I have a soft sport for "adorkable" heroes like Merlin ... a hero that is humble or doesn't fully realize his appeal. The Luke Skywalker, "good boy" types. *blush* Though I guess "adorkable" is a bit too young for the historical fiction audience ... because I haven't seen a whole lot of them. Not that I mind those other heroes (hence my reaction to that swoon-worthy excerpt) ;)

    Thanks for the chance to win!


  145. I love your books! Looks like this one will become another favorite. Your hero is definitely a keeper. Wow, such passion & tenderness but in a respectable way! Can't wait to read this book!

  146. I don't need to be immediately smitten, I do like getting to know the hero along the way.


  147. Well, then! I'm hooked. Such possibilities.

    I'm a grow-on-you kind of hero writer. And that scene grew on me mighty fast. :)

    Ginger dot solomon at gmail dot com

  148. Well, then! I'm hooked. Such possibilities.

    I'm a grow-on-you kind of hero writer. And that scene grew on me mighty fast. :)

    Ginger dot solomon at gmail dot com

  149. WOW! What an excerpt! It should have come with a warning label to have a fan ready and waiting to help cool us down after reading. Sounds like a great book and can't wait to dive into it. Thank you for offering it.

  150. My hero is handsome and knows how a lady should be treated with love and gentleness!Love to win your book

  151. Sheila, Sounds like you have a first class hero:) I love a gentleman and it sounds like he is one. Thanks so much for entering the drawing!

  152. Amy, Love the fan and cool down comments:) I hope you enjoy Silas and Eden's story if you read it. I sure enjoyed writing it!

  153. Ginger, Love that you saw possibilities in this little scene:) This really is the turning point for the entire story. You're very astute! Thanks so much for being here and entering the drawing.

  154. Marybelle, Well said. It is more satisfying to get to know the hero along the way. Thanks for being here and wanting to read Love's Reckoning!

  155. Reader77, You sum it up so well - passion and tenderness in a respectable way. Bless you for that:) SO happy you already know about my books and enjoy them. You're a keeper:) And I'd love for you to read this new story...

  156. Tina, Never late - just glad to see you:) Thanks so much for stopping! Have a wonderful Tuesday.

  157. Oh, Laura, I'm late to the party, but I LOVED this. Silas truly has the "melt factor". I'm as smitten as Eden. :-)

    Trey had me from hello, fourteen years ago. He was the first hero I ever created, and it was his wit, Australian heritage, his broken heart, and his passion for the Lord that left me a puddle with every sentence I wrote about him. I hope that others will get to enjoy him too someday. His personality is so rich and real that his actions, reactions and words just flow. But then, I've had fourteen years to work on him. ;-)

  158. Lady D, Love your summation of what you like in a hero. "Adorable" is certainly a good word for Merlin! In a very endearing, humble way - a good foil to Arthur.

    So happy you mentioned libraries. Many of them do have my books and most are willing to order them if readers simply ask. I LOVE when readers request that because it means the book can be shared.

    Thanks so much for your comments. Have a blessed Tuesday!

  159. Gwen!! So thrilled you're here. I don't think I'd ever get tired of Trey either - love that he left you in a puddle every time you wrote about him:) That's how it should be. A 14 year love affair doesn't hurt;) Sounds like you've polished him to a shine.

    Glad you like the excerpt. It was wonderful to write and rewrite and get just right:)

    Praying your KY day is blessed and you have some reading/writing time!

  160. I NEED TO WIN THIS BOOK, Nancy. Guess that's a fight to the finish, or the win. With all the comments i've heard of this book that's a given. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  161. Carla, Oh, YES! I smiled when I read your comment:) We think alike, my friend. Thanks so much for being here!!

  162. Marianne, So glad you're here - and thanks very much for wanting to read this story:) I'll chuckle if both you and Nancy are the winners!

  163. I would love to win,Enter me!!
    Sarah Richmond

  164. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!!! God Bless!

  165. Sarah,
    Thanks for entering! I'd love for you to win, too:)

    Abigail, Same to you - and God bless:)

  166. Wow! Is it too late to enter the drawing? Whew! Somebody hand me a fan. This book does come with a fan, right?

    Great stuff, Laura!

  167. Linnette, Love your fun spirit;) YES, this book SHOULD come with a fan, an 18th-century one! Bless you for being here and nope, you're just in time for the drawing. I don't think it's till the weekend. Have a blessed Tuesday!

  168. heros that melt me? imnot sure if i can explain them very well, but here are a few names. John Thorton of north andsouth, Rhett Butler of GWTW, Collin McGuire of a passion most pure, Red Shirt of courting morrow little. these are the men that melt my heart. and im still a single 19 year old, so i have still have a chance of meeting my the one to melt mine:) pleae, enter me i the contest..i cant wait to read your book!

  169. Hi Bonnie, Oh, you explaned them beautifully:) Love your list and am so very happy Morrow's man is on it. That makes my day to see RS along with John T and Colin Mc and even Rhett!

    Just hold onto your heart and wait for a godly man that melts it:) God is so good at making great matches. I just celebrated my 18th anniversary yesterday and am living proof.

    Thanks so much for your great comments and for entering the drawing!

  170. My hero melts my heart the way he loves my heroine, even though she has made a lot of mistakes and sees nothing good in herself and no way that anybody could love her. He just quietly shows her little by little, that it is possible to love her, and someone loved her long before he did.

  171. I've absolutely melted. oh, and that picture... :)

    My husband and I crawled into bed last night and I had LR and a flashlight (there's a sleeping baby beside me) and as I'm laying with my head under the sheets, felt 10 years old again <3 The book is THAT good.

  172. Cioccolatocafe,
    I sense your hero's tenderness in your words and his deep love for your heroine - that's such a healing sort of love! No wonder your heart melts:) Mine, too!

  173. Okay, that does it, dear Joaanne! You loved the Pinterest pic and then you confess to reading under the covers!! We're definitely kindred spirits:) I read in bed with a flashlight when I was little and still do on occcasion, too. YOU make me melt mentioning that sleeping baby!

    Bless you so much for making time for my story! I think we write the about the same intense, heart-tugging things:) I can't wait to hold your book in hand. Amazon is making me very impatient!!

    Thanks for being here at such a busy time, Joanne. You always bless me:)

  174. This comment has been removed by the author.

  175. This is the kind of hero the world needs! *sigh* that scene just made my heart melt. Lol, the more snippets I read of the book the more I want I to pick up the book and hide away for awhile just to read it!!


    P.S. As a fellow Kentuckian, your books mean so much more to me than just the words. Kentucky author/Kentucky roots :)

  176. Samantha, My heart is singing now that you're here!! And I love your comments about our Kentucky roots. My Kentucky books are written from a love of our state and anytime a KY reader likes them I am over the moon:)

    So glad you like Silas and Eden's first kiss. The first of many:)

    Thanks so much for your warm words and for entering the drawing! I'm also having a very special giveaway on my website next week if you or others want to come by for that. It's a grand finale finish and it's pretty sweet:)

  177. Wow, Laura, I love your hero and the fact he's Scottish is a REAL plus. He IS the "melt factor"! Can't wait to read the rest!

    My hero's gray eyes seem to look right into the soul of my heroine. A look from them throws her off kilter and keeps her confused. His tenderness and compassion are his melt factor. And his kisses are pretty awesome, too. I was smitten with him from the beginning and still am.

    Please enter me for your drawing! This is one to snuggle under a fleece throw and savor!


    Carol N.

  178. Oh, you're a keeper, Carol:) I smiled when I read you think this is one to snuggle under a fleece throw and savor. I so hope so:)

    Your hero's eyes sound melt-worthy indeed. My current hero has gray eyes, too:) If you were smitten from the start that's a very indicator of his meltiness!

    Like you, I have a certain fondness for Scotsmen:) Bless you for being here and talking about heroes!

  179. I totally missed the party here, but I loved the excerpt, and I've heard Julie rave about this book.

    I would love to be entered in the giveaway.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  180. Andrea, So happy you're here - and in the drawing:) I love that Julie and her raves! Hope your September is going well!

  181. I have to say that the hero that has stayed with me for years after I read about him was Marcus from Francine Rivers books "A Voice in the Wind" and "An Echo in the Darkness". He is definitely grade A man meat and like you Laura said. 'he has the air of redemption about him'.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway!


  182. I have all of Laura Frantz's books. Courting Morrow Little is my favorite. I would love to win her new book!

    Kelly from CA