Wednesday, August 17, 2011

5 Easy Questions with Laura Frantz!

Every Wednesday, I ask a writer the same five easy questions. In an effort to support and promote fellow wordsmiths, I feature authors who write a variety of genres, from sweet inspirational to mainstream thrillers. The writers themselves may be aspiring, published, or  best-selling--all have made an impact on my life.

Thank you for joining me in welcoming… Laura Frantz!!

Major gushing alert! I first heard of Laura through my sister-in-law who recommended The Frontiersman's Daughter to me. Instead of that book, I ran across Courting Morrow Little and promptly picked it up. I was instantly smitten. Laura is so gifted in creating complex plots and deep conflicts. Imagine my surprise when I realized we are agency mates! We began e-mailing each other--my messages were, and still are, of the starstruck you're amazing, how do you do it variety, and Laura is so sweet to put up with me. Indeed, she graciously sent me an author copy of her new book, The Colonel's Lady, which made me a very happy woman.

I read it in less than 24 hours. I did not want it to end. I sat on the beach, ignoring the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, eating Pringles with one hand and turning pages with the other. I lost track of how many times I whirled to my patient (God love him) husband with an update. "Ooo, the Indian prisoners sent him a special present and he better not take it," or "Oh, no! Is he going to propose? Will she accept?" and "No wonder he's such a sweetheart to Abby..." and finally, "Tell her your secret!!"

More information and my review of The Colonel's Lady is at the end of this post. But for now... Let's get to it!

1. Beverage of choice?

Sparkling water and cranberry with a twist of lime--I'm trying to wean myself off of Dr. Pepper Cherry!

2. Any pets?

Yes, too many! Our twin black cats just had two litters of four kitties each, and all are black but one. It's a beautiful gray and we think we might keep her. We also have a dog named Digger who made a brief appearance in Courting Morrow Little.

3. Dream vacation?

I love Scotland and its history and heroes so would have to name this first. I'd stay in a Scottish castle or those wayside B&B's and make time for plenty of writing, reading, eating, and historical sites.

4. What are you listening to right now?

Since one of my sons plays violin/fiddle, I listen to a lot of David Garrett. For my next series, I'm loving the soundtrack from The Mission, specifically Gabriel's Oboe. Lots of inspiration there...

5. What's for dinner?

Spaghetti! With lots of garlic, mushrooms, Italian sausage and French bread. I'd love to have you over for dinner, Jill!

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Laura! I have an addiction to Diet Dr. Pepper, so I understand your difficulties giving it up. Your baby kitties sound so cute! You should definitely keep the little gray one. I'm such a sucker for cats, I'd probably keep the entire litter! A few years ago, I read a series by Eloisa James, and one of the books was set in Scotland. I've wanted to visit ever since, and a Scottish castle would be my preferred housing too.

As for your invitation to dinner--I'm on my way! Spaghetti is one of my favorite meals, and your description just sent my taste buds into overdrive. Yum! Yum!

The Colonel's Lady

In 1779, a search for her father brings Roxanna Rowan to the Kentucky frontier - but she discovers instead a young colonel, a dark secret, and a compelling reason to stay.

Jill's 5 Star Review:
Laura Frantz does it again! I loved The Colonel’s Lady. Ms. Frantz excels at building deep conflicts, layering plot twists, and simmering the romance to a roiling boil, all against an exciting 1780’s Kentucky backdrop. I did not want this book to end!
Mild-mannered, moral Roxanna bravely journeys from Virginia to Kentucky’s Fort Endeavor, where her father works as a scrivener for the American army. Charismatic, lapsed-faith Cass is the colonel in charge of the fort and is honor bound to protect Roxanna at the request of her father before her father’s death. Roxanna takes her late father’s place as scrivener, just until spring when it’s safer to travel, and soon can’t get the handsome Cass off her mind, but Cass has a terrible secret—one that threatens their new love.
I enjoyed the struggles both characters dealt with. My heart sighed as Cass wrestled with guilt, and I related to Roxanna’s feelings of humility. The threads of faith throughout the book left me with a deeper understanding of God’s grace.
With meticulous historical details, a lyrical writing style like a breath of fresh air, and a fascinating plot, The Colonel’s Lady is a treat to be savored and shared with friends.

Laura Frantz credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Her family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late 18th-century and settled in Madison County where they still reside. She's the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little. Her newest novel, The Colonel's Lady, releases August 1. Currently she lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons and loves to hear from readers at and on Facebook.

So tell me, are you a fast reader or a slow reader?

Have a terrific Wednesday!!


  1. Great interview again, Jill. It's so interesting learning about other authors. Thanks. Regarding my reading...if the story is really interesting, I'll read slowly and relish every detail. Others, I just zip on through.

  2. Okay - so I keep hearing AMAZING things about The Colonel's Lady! That's it....I need to purchase this one. Great interview, Jill and nice to meet you, Laura!

  3. She sounds like an amazing author! I need to pick up one of her books. Thanks for the review/interview!

  4. That pasta sounds awesome, Laura!

    Can't wait to dig into your third book--just itching too, really, but edits first. Conf. is just around the corner.

  5. Oh, and Jill, I'm the slowest reader there is. I must read each and every word and sound them out in my head as clearly as possible. It makes me mad cause there's not enough time to read all the books I want to because of my slowness!

  6. Great to meet you, Laura. I'm going to spend the rest of the day thinking about that spaghetti!

  7. Good morning!

    Em: I'm similar! But sometimes I'm slower if a book just isn't grabbing me. It really depends!

    Katie: I loved it! You won't be disappointed!

    Jessica: Oh, do! I love Laura's writing. Her voice, and this may sound strange, is reassuring. It's relaxing yet high stakes. Hard to describe, but I love it!

    Eileen: I understand needing to focus right now. After conference you'll be able to load up on all the delicious books you've put off!

    Heather: I added it to my meal plan this week. Sounds sooooo good!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Another lovely interview. I would love to play with those kittens. :)

    I'm a pretty fast reader.

  9. Great answers, (I love Cherry soft drinks!) and great review, Jill.

  10. Good morning, Jill and everyone! I'm on west coast time so am a little late to the party. It's great to wake up to such gracious comments! Thanks so much! Now I can gush a bit about Jill;) When I rec'd her first email I lost count of all the exclamation points in it as she's so warm and friendly. Being an explanation point kind of gal myself, I knew I'd found a kindred spirit! We need more Jills in the world. So I've been excited to be here as a guest and meet her writing/reading buddies.

    I'm with Em - if the story is rich and interesting I'll relish every detail. Some writers, like Stephen James, keep you on the edge of your seat and you can't turn the page fast enough. Liz Curtis Higgs is one that makes me go S-L-O-W, simply because I love her work so much and don't want it to end.

    Katie, I'm chuckling as I keep hearing amazing things about YOU! If I remember correctly, you have a debut coming out with Waterbrook/Multnomah? And you write contemp/women's fiction? Hope I'm getting that right. You must be so thrilled!

    Jessica, Your name is familiar to me, too, maybe because I've seen you around the web. I'll have to visit your blog as that's one of my favorite things to do. I wish I ahd more time for it but with kids, writing, church stuff, and helping taking care of my parents, time is somewhat stingy! Thanks so much for being here today and meeting this way.

    Eileeen - dear Eileen!! Nobody else probably knows but we've actually met in person! On a shuttle ride to ACFW Denver:) We keep in touch via our blogs and I always light up like a Christmas tree when Eileen name pops up. Thanks for getting TCL - it'll wait:)

    Heather, Your name is familiar to me, too, so glad to see you here. That spaghetti was good and leftovers were even better. I hope your writing is going well. It's fun to see where everyone is on their writing journey. God is so creative in the routes He takes us. No two are alike.

    Anyway, bless you for your time and welcome here!!

  11. My daughter is in Edinburgh right now for a ten day trip before school starts up again.

    Great interview.

    The Colonel's Lady sounds good.

    I read fast.

  12. I came across The Colonel's Lady when I ordered Jody Hedlund's The Preacher's Bride. Now I will have to go back and add it to my Amazon Wish List.

  13. Hi Erica and Jessica! Thanks so much for saying hi!

    Loree, Oh, your daughter is so blessed! I hear Edinburgh is amazing. My next hero is Scottish so I've had to do quite a bit of research there, not in person, sadly, but the page. Thankfully there's lots of good material out there to choose from. Thanks so much for stopping here!

  14. Great interview! Love how these questions are always personal. Very cool to get to know the author a little bit.

    Would love to go to Scotland. It's on my top 10 list for sure.

    I've been hearing some great things about The Colonel's Lady as well. Adding to my to-read list!

  15. Ah, Scotland - one of my dream places to visit. Did you know there's a Mount Merrick there? Really! We're not sure if that means my husband's family is Scottish, or if they received a land grant from
    England. Sounds like a good research project!

    Reading speed - I'm a FAST reader, although with Laura's books, I MAKE myself slow down so that I can savor every word!

    TCL was absolutely, positively,
    AMAZING. Can't wait for your NEXT book, Laura! Thanks for sharing Laura with us, Jill!

  16. Hi Stacy,
    I have several Staceys in my life but none without the "e" - I like that:) Jill's questions are really fun and interesting as they're personal and differ from the usual writing questions. Thanks so much for stopping and saying hi! I hope Roxanna's story blesses you if you have time to read!

  17. Regina, Oh, so good to have another Kentuckian here!! Bless you for stopping. You know, I've never thought about it but Merrick is certainly a strong Scottish name:) Novel-worthy, I'm thinking, as it has the right ring to it. I do believe you should go there and find out, all in the name of research, of course;)

    Thanks so much for being my reader and for saying such gracious things. I bet your reading speed has something to do with being a librarian - something I wanted to do before the writing kicked in. Bless you bunches!

  18. Fun interview, Jill and Laura. I'm VERY partial to The Colonel's Lady, as it was the first novel of Laura's I was privileged to be her critique partner through. Now I'm reading it between these lovely covers.

    I'm a slow reader, because I have anywhere from five to ten books in progress at any given time. Most of those are research, although I have three novels going now, Laura's TCL, Long Knife by James Alexander Thom, and Cascade by Lisa Bergren. All engrossing, and I took a peek at Siri Mitchell's A Love Most Worthy this morning, though I really must draw the line and NOT start another novel yet! I read a chapter or two of each every night, and some scattered through the day, but I have to devote most of my reading time to my research just now.

  19. Lori, Oh, critter extraordinaire:) I won't even begin to talk about your beautiful prose though I tried to do it justice in the TCL acknowledgements! I admire your reading habits. I wish I could juggle more fiction at one time. I do have a lot of non-fic/research going at any given time. Maybe I'd get more reading in if I tried it your way. My main issue is weaning myself away from writing as I prefer that even over reading... Sigh. Need. More. Time:)

  20. I'm reading The Colonel's Lady right now and really enjoying it--Laura is very talented! Thanks for the fun interview, Jill.

  21. I savored Laura's first two books and am looking forward to reading The Colonel's Lady.

    Laura, I love violin music, as you know, but I've never heard of David Garrett. I took a quick peek on Google, and it looks like he plays modern pieces as opposed to classical. Is that so? Do you have a CD you would recommend?

  22. Rosslyn,
    It means a lot that you would take time for TCL, especially since you're under contract with deadlines. I'm moving to Pittsburgh with this new series which releases next summer. I always think of that being in your neck of the woods, so to speak:) I have your book on my desk right now and am really looking forward to your next one, especially with that violin on the cover. Bless you bunches.

  23. Keli, Love that word "savored" - bless you for that. I'd love to hear your thoughts when you have time for TCL.

    Garrett is amazing and you can preview him on Youtube. He's supposedly the world's fastest violinist and is truly one of the most gifted. He studied at Julliard with Itzhak Perleman and worked as a male model on the side. He's not hard on the eyes, as you probably noticed;) He'd make a great hero.

    I love two of his CD's titled "Free" and also "Classic Romance." I'm not much of a fan of modern pieces in general but love his classical works. Thanks for asking! And thanks so much for being here!

  24. Erica: I would love to play with those kitties too! I was blessed to spend the afternoon with a dear friend today, and I was able to soak up her friendly fluffball kitty!

    Jessica P: How can anyone not love Cherry cola sodas, right? :)

    Loree: I'm sure you must miss her!! And want to be on that trip. What an adventure!

    Lisa: Jody's new book, The Doctor's Lady, arrived in my mailbox today!! I am SO excited to read it!!

    Stacy: Thanks for the thumbs up on the questions. It's always intimidating starting something new, but I LOVE doing this interview series. It's fun!!

    Regina: You should head to Scotland and casually mention to everyone you meet that the mountain was named after you. It was. I'm sure of it!

    Lori: How cool is that?? What a great partnership! And I'm with you on reading several books at a time. I keep only one fiction open, but I often have a devotional and a non-fiction going at once. It's an addiction. :)

    Rosslyn: I know--it's amazing! What can I say? Laura rocks!

    Keli: Just the right word, "savored." So true!!

    Laura: Exclamation point happy? Me? Of course!! Ha! Ha! Thank you bunches for being my guest. I am such a huge fan of yours!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  25. Fun interview, Laura and Jill. And there you are with another stellar review, Laura. It's good to be able to please your readers so richly. I'd like to take a few weeks - months - off to read, but then I'm like you, Laura. Want to write that next story too.

    I'm a fast reader sometimes, a slow reader other times, according to the book. Like Lori, I jump into several books at the same time especially when I'm researching. Got several thick history books waiting for me.

  26. Ann, Oh, love seeing you here!! You've been such a mentor to me in so many ways. And a fellow Kentuckian, to boot:) Speaking of next stories, I just submitted the titling paperwork for my series and I thought of your upcoming cover for your historical when they asked what covers I liked. I keep thinking about Words Spoken True. The title is beautiful, too. At the risk of gushing, I LOVE the woman's dress and hat and the steeple in the backgound!

    I know you're as busy as I am these days. Busier, actually, as you're managing two books a year. Bless you for taking time here. You always bless me.

  27. What a delightful interview to read. If we had as many kittens as Laura, my children would never get anytthing done! They are so drawn to animals!

    I sheepishly admit I am a, um, fast reader. I love read, Love Love, and wish I could turn those pages slower but my mind works too fast and hard when I pick up a book! Ever since I began to read. My daughter is the same way and I find myself constantly quizzing her to make sure she read the book! :-)

    When I was in the third grade, a teacher took my pencil away from me during a speed test for math because I always was done first....sometimes my mind works that way. And I was NOT happy with that teacher, who called me Speedy Gonzalez. Now that I'm a mom, though, my brain doesn't function as fast except for reading! I wish I wrote faster, or scrapbooked faster, but alas, that's not the case.

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  29. Sweet P, So good to see you here:) Like mom, like daughter, I'm thinking, in regards to being speedy! I don't think I ever really do anything slow, either, even walking. My family always complains that I walk too fast, too. And I have some of my own bad memories from 3rd grade, only it involved NOT being speedy at math and getting my hands slapped with a ruler - lol!

    You mention scrapbooking - oh, that's one thing I wish I had time for! Bless you so much for stopping here to chat:)

  30. Jill, Thanks a million for hosting me and talking books and kittens and best-loved parts of TCL (love your mention of those at top!) and all the rest. You're the best and I'm SO thrilled we're agency-mates. God bless your writing and all else!!

  31. Ann: I often fantasize about taking an entire week off from life and just reading everything that looks interesting! This fit it in here or there approach that works for my life now isn't my favorite. :(

    Sweet P: What is it about 3rd grade? I switched schools and had always been an accelerated reader, yet my new teacher looked down his nose at me on my first day and claimed I was a bad reader. He put me in a group with kids who barely knew their alphabet. It was confusing and humiliating to me. Thankfully, we moved a few months later and I was back into accelerated reading!

    Laura: Oh how I wish we lived closer so I could visit your kittens and invite you to coffee!! Thank you so much for helping me out--in so many ways. Hope we'll be able to meet someday!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  32. Jill, great interview and review. Love Laura's writing. She is so gifted! I have retweeted this post! Blessings!

  33. Nice interview!

    Kittens! That would be so sweet. And it sounds like the gray one might have to stay with you!

  34. Carrie: Thank you! And I am in complete agreement with you--Laura rocks!!

    Elizabeth: I know--don't you want to play with that little gray kitty now? I do!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  35. Carrie, So thankful you're in my corner:) You're a gem!

    Elizabeth, Happy to meet you here. Jill's blog is a great place to hang out! I'm coming back:)

  36. Hi Jill and Laura -

    I LOVED Laura's first two books and can't wait to get this one.

    How about an interview, Laura?

    Susan :)

  37. Susan, So good to see you here! And I'm overjoyed you enjoyed my first 2 books - thanks so much for the encouragement you bring:) I'd be happy to do an interview so if you see this, I'm in. Bless you on this sunny Lord's Day!


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