04 June 2010

Interview with Laura Frantz




Courting Morrow Little, Laura's new book, has just come out. It is her much-awaited second novel and is published through Revell. Please see her website, http://www.laurafrantz.net/ for more information about Laura and her writing! When Laura's book The Frontiersman's Daughter came out last year, it became my current favorite novel and remains at the top of my list.


Laura, what will readers of The Frontiersman's Daughter be surprised by in Courting Morrow Little?
Probably that Morrow is so very different than Lael, my protagonist in The Frontiersman's Daughter. While writing Morrow's story I was struck by the thought that if these two women were to meet I don't even know if they'd like each other! Also, while Lael goes east to Virginia, Morrow goes west in the story. Though both novels are set in Kentucky, the stories are very different. Lael starts the story with a strong character that must be softened and sweetened by novel's end. Morrow starts by being needy and weak and must grow strong. That said, I think they would like each other at the end of their stories rather than the beginning.


How would you contrast the two books?
The Frontiersman's Daughter is really a "coming of age" story told over a span of eight years or so while Courting Morrow Little is confined to three years and has darker themes. Both deal with issues of forgiveness and faith and finding God's best in a life partner. They have the requisite happy ending but it comes at a great cost. For Morrow, especially.


Do you have a favorite character in your new book?
I love Morrow because she is so needy and has so much growing to do in the novel. Based on her past trauma, she seems fragile and unable to cope with frontier life. But if I had to pick a favorite character it would be Red Shirt. He was something of an enigma to me, perhaps because I was writing solely from Morrow's perspective. Even though I created him, I never felt like I knew him completely – he doesn't even have a real name. While writing, he was always surprising meJ. I admire him because he is so resilient and steadfast and makes things happen.


You are finishing your third book. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
The Colonel's Lady (tentatively titled) will be released next summer. It involves a Revolutionary War hero and a spinster who are thrown together at a remote Kentucky fort in 1779. I expanded my POV for this book, writing from both Colonel McLinn's and Roxanna Rowan's perspective. It was enjoyable writing about a mature woman as Lael and Morrow are so young.


Will there be any familiar characters from TFD or CML in your next book?
I make mention of Ezekial Click but this book has all new characters.


How old is Morrow Little, where does she live, and is there a frontier fort involved?
Morrow turns 18 when the story begins. She and her father live on Kentucky's Red River – a spectacularly wild and beautiful place that is remote even today. Because the book was originally 500 pages or so, I had to trim major descriptive portions but you still get a hint of what the area is like. I know not all readers enjoy narrative so this was one of the reasons I condensed. Red River Station is the frontier fort in Morrow's story – in frontier times there was a difference between a fort and a station. Red River Station has a military presence which is quite menacing in the story and causes Morrow a great deal of angst. But I'd best not issue any spoilers hereJ.


What is your favorite thing about writing for Revell?
I have the most amazing editor. She was editor in chief of Crossings (a large Christian book club) for years and has such a passion for solid, edifying stories. Her heart is really for the reader. She also has tremendous respect for an author's voice and ideas. She is so gracious and easy to work with. The Lord really knew what he was doing when he brought us together and I'm so thankful for her.


Thanks so much, Carrie! I love your questions and hope readers will enjoy my books!


CONTEST
Leave a comment with your email address, to be entered to win a copy of Laura's wonderful debut book, The Frontiersman's Daughter. If you are already the proud owner of TFD, let us know and you will instead receive a copy of her new book, Courting Morrow Little. Winner will be notified on June 14th via email.

63 comments:

  1. Carrie, Thanks so much for hosting me here! It's been a joy to get to know you through our love of books and history. May we share many more novels together, yours and mine:) Bless you.

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  2. Thanks for the interview. I would really like to win "Courting Morrow Little". Can't wait to read it! I never liked History in school but now just love Historical Fiction.

    quiltyreader(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. My copy of CML is enroute from CBD, and I can't wait! Interviews like this, and the snippets from reviews you shared on your blog, Laura, are only whipping up the anticipation.

    But this is one reader who would not have minded reading all 500 pages of the original draft (but you knew that, didn't you?). :)

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  4. Hi, Laura! Thank you for a wonderful interview! "Much anticipated", indeed! I so look forward to reading "Courting Morrow Little". My much-cherished copy of "The Frontiersman's Daughter" is on my "keeper shelf" right beside my computer table. I can truly say that Lael Click, the heroine of TFD, is one of the most amazing female characters I've ever met. I do feel like we actually met because Laura's author's voice is so clear and true. Her story line details are both subtle and vivid at the same time. She beautifully brought to mind the raw beauty of frontier America. There is a space on my keeper shelf, next to TFD, just the right size for "Courting Morrow Little".

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

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  5. Barbara, Isn't it funny how our tastes change?! I'm a huge historical fan myself but guess that is one silly statement as I write them:) Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you want to read Morrow's story!

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  6. Lori, I was hoping to pull you away from that great WIP of yours to come over here:) I have a feeling you and I will get our CBD copies the same day - tomorrow, perhaps? Oh, so glad you like the reviews I added! I usually don't do that but some folks asked as they don't have access to catalogs, etc. The process is interesting. I am so curious to know how big Morrow is - she's listed as 368 and then 384 in different places. Hmmmm. Shorter than TFD, to be sure. I love that you wouldn't have blinked at the 500 pager CML once was:) You're my kind of reader!

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  7. Virginia, I think your words here just went on my all time favorite things to say about TFD list:) Bless you for each one! It is wonderful to think of you (and others) putting the book on their keeper shelf. I have one of those, too, and that's a very special place. Praying Morrow fits right in there:) Thanks so much for taking time to comment here!

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  8. Thanks Carrie for an inspiring interview with Laura. I loved TFD and I can hardly wait to get my copy of CML. I would like to have read the 500 word version as well. Narrative is something I enjoy.

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  9. Well, now I’m just itching to get off this computer and go read Morrow :) I haven’t had a chance to truly open her up yet Laura because I’ve been finishing my church newsletter. Praise God, He finally unblocked my mind and let the words flow :)

    And that was such a great interview! I feel like I’m all set up now for Morrow and her journey with your whole new set of characters I just KNOW I’m going to LOVE! You now have me dying to read about Red Shirt and see what unfolds between him and Morrow ;) And I’m sorry you had to cut the page count down- the more pages the better in my humble opinion! Oh, and I’m so happy that in the next book you’ll have both of the main characters POV. I love getting into the guys head even more that the girls sometimes, ya know?

    Gosh, I’m so excited!! I have one more stop to make at your blog, then I’m off to devour as many pages as I can before my eyes just won’t stay open anymore ;)

    And Carrie, thanks for hosting Laura and doing this awesome interview with her- great questions BTW. But I already have both books so please don’t enter me into the drawing :)

    Blessings,
    Amanda Stanley

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  10. Hi Terri! I was hoping you'd come back by! Glad there are some narrative-lovers out there. I sometimes feel like the lone ranger:) I'm thrilled you liked TFD and are lookiing forward to CML. I am so anxious to get a copy myself - lol, as they say. Maybe tomorrow...
    Bless you.

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  11. Hi Amanda! I used to do my church newsletter, too, so that holds a special place in my heart:) We have a teeny church - about 100 members so the newsletter was teeny as well. But I enjoyed it. I'm still amazed that you have your own copy! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It's such a nice thought to think of you reading this weekend. Can't wait to hear what you think of Red Shirt:)

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  12. Wonderful interview, Laura!

    You mentioned Red Shirt in both this interview, and the one with CBD. The more you mention him, the more intrigued I become. I might be picturing him all wrong in my head, but I keep seeing a Shawnee warrior. Quite frankly, I think I'm already swooning over him. ;) My people were Cherokee, hopefully it's not that bad to be swooning over a Shawnee.

    I haven't ordered Morrow yet. I can pretty well say she's not in any store in Lexington yet. I've been to Lifeway, Family Christian, and Barnes and Noble tonight. She's nowhere in sight. I'm debating on whether I want to go ahead and order from CBD or wait and find her in the stores. Right now, waiting is winning.

    mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

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  13. It is so wonderful to have Laura over here visiting on my blog! Thanks again Laura for doing this. I agree with Barbara, I was never one for straight history but love to read (and write) historical fiction. TFD was just loaded with great tidbits of history and big chunks, too. Laura's inclusion of facts was just seamless. Lori, do you think we could convince Laura to post some of the deleted sections on her website? Terri, I like narrative,too, and I think there are more of us out there! Amanda glad you liked the interview questions, I realize they are a little "different" than the standard fare, but that is what I wondered about since I don't have my hot little hands on CML yet either!! Hang in there Michelle, as waiting might be winning, literally!

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  14. Michelle, I've been waiting for you to get off work and join the party here:) Bless you for that and happy Friday! Carrie is right - waiting might be winning. Literally! I think it takes awhile to get into the stores. A few more days, anyway. Amazon is still telling me they won't ship till July 6 for some reason. CBD is was ahead of the pack. Am not sure about Walmart and others.
    We have yet another link. My granny's father ( my great-grandfather) was Cherokee! Perhaps that accounts for my love of natives ever since childhood. Being blonde and green-eyed I think the link got very watered down over the years. I lost my heart to Red Shirt long before Morrow did:) So swoon away!

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  15. This was a great interview - very in depth of what to expect. Is it difficult writing such different main characters? I already have TFD on my keeper shelf as well :)

    gasweetheart211[at]netscape{dot}net

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  16. Adge, That means so much to know you have it as a keeper. You are such a huge reader that that is truly a compliment.
    I like your question. I have to really pray about my characters while writing so they don't end up seeming like carbon copies of me and have unique personalities of their own. Honestly, I can't take any credit for character development - it's such a mysterious process. If it works, I am always so thankful. I've always said I would make a terrible writing teacher because I can't ever explain how it's done! Thanks so much for chiming in here.

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  17. Carrie and Laura, this was a wonderful interview! You asked such interesting questions - things I really wanted to know. I loved getting a sneak peak at Courting Morrow Little and Laura's writing.
    Blessings to you both!

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  18. Great interview! Courting Morrow Little sounds so good, and it was neat getting to hear about the differences between the main character of this story and the main character in The Frontiersman's Daugther. And how neat to get to hear a bit about Laura's next book, too!

    Thank you for sharing this, and I would love a chance to win Courting Morrow Little, as I already am the happy owner of The Frontiersman's Daughter. :)

    ~Amber

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  19. Laura, you've wet my reader's appetite. A character named Red Shirt? Intriguing. I loved the characters in TFW, and am still passing out postcards and touting your word skills to book lovers everywhere. I can't wait to meet the new cast in CML. Niki Anderson www.nikianderson.net

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  20. Wonderful interview and now I'm really anxious to get my hands on CML. I'm someone who also enjoys reading narrative passages -- as long as they're good (and yours are). It brings a whole other level of appreciation to the reading experience. At least, that's how I felt with TFL. But I can see how a larger book might be intimidating to some readers. I bet you found the perfect balance.

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  21. Great interview. I have both, but I know my mother-in-law would love a signed copy as she is really wanting to read it.

    I loved the interview and can't wait to meet Morrow!

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  22. Carla, I wondered if you'd have asked the same things. I thought Adge's question about characters and Laura's answer was interesting. It will be interesting to see how Laura's author's voice and her great ability with characterization are evidenced in CML. Amber, Kav, Nikki, and Julia and I think are all chewing our fingernails waiting for our copies to arrive!! Thank you all for your comments!

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  23. Yes, Carrie, and I'm chomping at the bit myself. I keep running out to the mailbox to see if it came. (BTW, no need to enter me in the contest.)
    Laura does such a great job with characterization and I know she found the key (prayer!). Her characters are always so true to life and she doesn't apologize for them being human. Oh, they're not human?? ...having human characteristics, flaws and all.

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  24. Carla, You are so busy - thanks for taking time here. I thought of you this morning as I walked into the library and saw a The Courteous Cad on the new fiction shelf:) Of course I snatched it right up:) The cover is so nice and I know I'll love it. Thanks for your gracious words about my characters. I can't take any credit though I wish I could:)

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  25. Amber, Great to see you here. I hope you've survived your big blog bash:) Happy birthday to you! A new book would make a wonderful present. It's trying to be sunny here today so maybe it's pretty in Oregon? I'm thinking reading out in the sun sounds quite nice. Bless you bunches.

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  26. Niki, You are such a dear:) Thanks so much for being such a support and encouragement. From one writer to another, Red Shirt is intriguing and he raised a few eyebrows at my publishing house:) You have a gift copy of CML coming from Baker for all your hard work for TFD. If by chance it doesn't come this month, I will be in touch with you and make sure you get one from my end. Still waiting for my author copies. Keeping an ear out for the roar of the UPS truck today:)

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  27. Kav, Yay! You're here:) I'm glad you like narrative. I think I drive my assistant editor nuts with it. She likes to insert little smiley faces sometimes and asks if I wouldn't like to add a little dialogue here or there to break up the narrative. I try but it doesn't always work out. Hope I found the perfect balance - love how you put that:)

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  28. Julia, I'm so glad your mother-in-law is a reader! That would be so neat if she won. I have your mailing envelope all ready to go. Just need those books! Maybe today. Thanks so much for commenting. It sure blesses me.

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  29. Laura,

    My mother-in-law is a reader and next to my husband probably my greatest supporter in my writing dream. She is so supportive and excited that sometimes I feel I have to talk her down a bit...but its great to have a mother-in-law like that. She saw your comments on my blog and told me you sound like such a sweet lady and she was so glad you had books out. :)

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  30. Oh, please thank her for me, Julia! That is so uplifting:) I think it's wonderful that you're writing. Having a supportive husband is one of God's best gifts - along with a MIL! If it wasn't for my brother, grandmother, and parents, I know I wouldn't have pursued my dream either. I'm so glad I have NY reading friends - BTW, my editor is in NYC:) So I have 3 special people there.

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  31. Hi Carrie and everyone, Thanks so much for commenting here. I've had 60 plus folks over at Family Fiction enter the drawing (they were mistakenly told to comment on that site and not here) so will have one for you all here and then another for them. If you'd like a neat Christian book site, just bring up Family Fiction on Facebook. The creator of the site, Chris Weil, is just great! You can post comments about any books you like and authors can put their own work up at any time. Anyway, no Morrow for me today. Maybe Monday:)

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  32. Please enter my name in the drawing. I have read The Frontiersman's Daughter and I am looking forward to reading Courting Morrow Little. Laura has the ability to keep my attention. I would like to thank her for writing such interesting stories.

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  33. Yes, I am so blessed by my wonderful husband!! And I will thank my mother-in-law. I'm very glad to have a Kentucky reading friend as well :)

    Blessings on your Sabbath!

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  34. I really enjoyed the interview! I have not had the opportunity to read The Frontiersman's Daughter yet, and I wouuld love to!

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    michellevasquez2001[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  35. Ooh, darker themes? Sounds like my kind of book. I do believe I'm getting a copy from Revell for the tour of your book so no need to enter me unless you plan to autograph it for me, Laura! :)

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  36. I am a former colleague and fan of Carrie's, don't read much fiction (due to lack of time), but my curiosity is piqued after reading the interview, and I hope I win the book! Thanks to both Carrie and Laura!
    Peggy Rudnick

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  37. Carrie and Laura, I enjoyed reading the interview. The books sound very interesting and would love to be added for the drawing.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  38. Hey Carrie, Just stopping by from ACFW. I don't need entered as I already have TFD and I am getting a copy of TCML. I just wanted to say I became a follower of your blog and can't wait to see the interesting info you put up:)

    Hey Laura!!Sure hope your book comes in tomorrow. I can't wait to get mine:) I love the way you write if I haven't told you before. Already have the third one on my wish list.
    Have a great evening!

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  39. Great interview. I would love to be entered into contest to win.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  40. Lisa, Jo, and Steph, So glad you liked the interview and thanks for your comments! Michelle, since you are the expert on edgy fiction, I'll be watching for your impression of CML. Hey Charity, thanks for coming over to visit and for becoming a follower. Yay! Peggy, so cool to see you over here in my "other life"! Yeah, you have to take time to smell the roses, um, I mean read The Frontiersman's Daughter!! Thank you all!

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  41. Great interview....I really enjoyed reading this...Thanks so much,
    Heidi
    heidijohnjeffATverizonDOTnet

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  42. Both of these books are already on my wish list. This is the first interview with Laura that I've seen and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading this entire series and appreciate the chance to win one of these books.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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  43. Hi Michelle, So good to see you here!! You are one busy woman:) Hoping to meet up with you in Indy this fall. I'm beyond happy to know you're signing up for the CML blog tour! I'm still trying to figure out how it was released so early. Congrats on your latest, too!

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  44. Hello, Lisa, Peggy, Michelle V, Jo, Lotus, Wendy, Carole, and Heidi! Thanks so much for stopping by. Readers rock:)

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  45. Charity, So good to see you here. Can't wait to be your blog guest:) That book will arrive shortly for you - hope I get mine today! Bless you for your support and enthusiasm. You are a JOY!

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  46. I can't wait to read CLM!! I have TFD, so please enter me for CLM.

    Thanks so much

    kristengjohnson [at] gmail [.] com

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  47. I haven't read TFD or CLM so I would love to read either one of them. They both sound very interesting. Thanks for entering me in the content.

    hspruitt juno com

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  48. Oh, baby, I need to get my hot, little mitts on Laura's latest ASAP because I love this woman's work!! I will buy it if I don't win it, but I thought I would give this a shot.

    Thanks, Carrie, for having the giveaway and a great interview with Laura. She's a definite FAV of mine.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  49. Wendy, Carole, Heidi, and HS, glad to see you here. We all love you Laura!! Kristen, great to see you over here. Love your Shoutlife blogs. Julie, I really appreciate you taking time out from your writing to stop by. God bless you all!

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  50. Please toss my name into the hat!
    Thanks!
    Ann Lee Miller
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  51. Julie, Here you are!! Bless you for blessing me with such kind words. I bet you used to be a cheerleader as you are such an encouragement and support! The FAV stuff is certainly mutual, dear friend! Blessings on you this week in all you do!

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  52. Ann - Good to meet you here! Thanks for stopping by and wanting to read! Bless you!

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  53. Oh Kristen, I didn't see you there! Thanks for stopping by! This has been fun meeting friends, old and new:) Hope your writing is going well!

    hspruitt, Welcome and good to meet you here!

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  54. Hi Ann, thanks for stopping by! Thanks, Susan, for signing on to follow!

    I JUST GOT MY COPY OF COURTING MORROW LONG!!!!

    Laura, I plan to savor it and take my time reading like I did with TFD. Will probably allow myself one or two chapters a night! Hated to get to the end of TFD!!!

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  55. I haven't had the opportunity to read any of the author's but I enjoyed the interview. Hadn't been much of a historical romance reader until recently. bnredeemed/at/gmail/dot/com

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  56. Great interview. And I would love a chance at winning this book. Thanks for both.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  57. Both books sound great! I love frontier novels. Little House on the Prairie got me started. Please enter me. Thank you for hosting the giveaway.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  58. ACK!! I changed the title of Laura's book. I hope I will be forgiven as I received some bad news this week that shook up my neurons! Courting Morrow Little NOT Long!! Ann, Wanda, Steph, and Carmen, thanks so much for your comments and will enter you in the drawing for Monday!

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  59. Great interview Laura. You are new author for me and I have added you to my new author list and your books to my wish list. I find your books fascinating and can't wait to read. Thanks for stopping by to chat.

    Carrie, thanks for hosting this great giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  60. It sounds like a wonderful read! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  61. Sounds like the type of story I enjoy. Look forward to reading both books.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

    A J Hawke
    ajhawkeauthor[at]aol[dot]com

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  62. Martha and AJ, Thanks so much for stopping by! And Carrie, don't worry about the name slip. Sometimes I insert the wrong name into my own mansucripts! Thanks again to everyone - it's a JOY to meet readers, old and new:)

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  63. I have a CML winner - Michelle C. was notified by email. I drew a second winner for TFD and am waiting to verify that she does not already have TFD. If so,I will draw again.

    Watch for another CML giveaway in a few weeks when I post my book review of Laura's new book. Thank you Laura and thank you all for participating. This was so much fun!! God bless you all!
    Carrie

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