07 October 2011

Friend on Friday

The Colonel's Lady

by Laura Frantz

Published by Revell 2011

A review by Debra E. Marvin

Thank you, Carrie, for the opportunity to share my thoughts with your readers.

The Colonel’s Lady, Laura Frantz’s third novel, brings us back to the colonial frontier where we lingered with The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little.

Should I give you some hints to the story as any decent reviewer would? I’d rather tell you that by the end of the first chapter, my eyes had filled with tears. Was it the compelling new storyline unfolding before me? Laura’s descriptive prose, or just the pure joy of having a new Laura Frantz book in hand? Probably all three.

I cried then. I cried later. Finished the book with a damp pillowcase.

I can’t guarantee your readers will love Roxanne Rowan and Colonel Cass McLinn as I did.

But I think they will.

This is Laura’s first use of the hero’s Point of View in her Revell books and I was thrilled to learn she’d used the life of George Rogers Clark as part of the inspiration for Colonel McLinn. I’ve been a fan of author James Alexander Thom’s fictional stories of the frontier, most notably his multiple books on the Clark family of Virginia. If Laura’s books leave you wanting more of this era, I’d suggest you check into his work.

Laura’s settings are so real that days later, I’m missing life at Fort Endeavor, the Stone House and all their inhabitants. Seriously.
Can you believe I looked online to find their location? I’m ready for a road trip to say I stood where they stood.
Oh, that’s right. They’re fictional characters.

Roxie and Cass have a horrid truth lying between them, but two people could not be better for each other as we watch them grow in each other’s company. This of course is the ultimate goal of a romance thread in any book. And, I don’t know if any female reader can help but fall in love with Cass McLinn. He’s up there with Rhett Butler, Jamie Fraser, Fitzwilliam D’Arcy and Mr. Thornton for me.

Roxie’s faith holds firm in the face of losing every bit of security in her life, including constant threat of imminent attack at the fort. Cass has a faith he grew up with, but chose to ignore as too unreliable and instead relies on himself. Only when he’s completely disgusted by his failures can he release control and again desire to have Roxie’s kind of peace.

I love a book that makes me talk to the author while I’m reading. I had plenty of those moments. “Oh, Laura, this is brilliant” “Oh, Laura, you’ve got to be kidding me. This is too amazing.”  Example: Enter a mute child, named Abby, into the lives of two broken adults.

My anticipation for Laura’s next book is already building (hint: she took a trip to Philadelphia this summer). I have to admit, as a reader, I’m thrilled. As a writer, well . . . If the next book is better than the last three, my own writing will be irrevocably damaged. Ahh, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take. 

Thanks Debra for visiting with us!  
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. Debra likes to write, weed and wander and is blessed to have the best family and friends in the world. She has decided she needs to live closer  to her grandchildren. She’s thankful each day that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.    Her work has finaled in the TARA, Great Expectations, Heart of the Rockies, Maggie, Rattler and most recently, the Daphne DuMaurier. Not too bad considering she’s trying a mashup of gospel and . . .  gothic. Any day now, she'll be submitting her novel. Catch her pretending to be social at: 

Giveaway:  Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this amazing new book by Laura Frantz!


  1. Thank you Carrie and Diana! I'm pleased to be your guest today and review a novel by my favorite author. I was telling our mutual friend Pat Iacuzzi, my critique partner, that I don't seem to be able to write 'real' reviews but rather just talk about the book. And what a delight to have won this book and be able to gush and ramble.

    Oh my. Don't you all just love the cover?

    Unfortunately I am at my paying job today so my comments will be sporadic.

    And bless you ladies for this blog and God bless Laura Frantz for being such a "sweet sound" for fiction and Christ.

  2. I loved this book! Very well done Laura. I can't wait to go out and purchase other books by Laura. It was a nice balance of history and romance and setting.

  3. Debra, we're so delighted to have you as our "Friend on Friday" and every day! I always love reading your comments and now loved reading your review. You are very unique!

    I agree Cassius McLinn is quite the hero (yowzah)...wouldn't this book make the best movie?? Thank you, Debra, for joining us today, and for that wonderful review of TCL and such kind words for a very dear friend of ours, Laura Frantz!

  4. Thanks for this great review, Debra, and for joining us at OTT!

  5. Love the review, thank you for hosting this giveaway.


  6. Oh, what a wonder to wake up to Debra's gracious, funny, creative words! She always writes THE BEST reviews. I'm still recovering from the one she did of Courting Morrow Little in which she posted Kentucky pics along with her trademark humorous Debra prose. This one delights my heart, too. And then to have Carrie do a giveaway and Diana come over, too - I feel quite spoiled this rainy Friday morning! I'm sorry I'm a bit late to the party as this west coast time can be so maddening. That said, Debra is a very hard act to follow given I'm up next here to post a review of my favorite historical next Friday. And after this, I'm afraid it will fall a bit flat! Bless you, Debra, for being such a dear reading friend, for those tears and Kleenex, and all the times you make me laugh:) You're a keeper.

  7. Anne, So happy to see you here:) And thanks for reading and enjoying TCL, caring enough to come over and say such kind words. I like the "balance" part you speak of. Hope I can continue to do that. And I hope your own writing is going very well! We history lovers must stick together:)

    And bless Wren's Thoughts for wanting to read and commenting. I just had a wonderful thought - I believe I should name a heroine "Wren." Is that too birdy or just right? Always on the lookout for interesting names...

  8. I agree, Laura. Naming a character Wren. How wonderful that would be! And perfect for your settings.

    Thanks for your gracious words and I'm glad you've enjoyed the review, er, whatever you call this mishmash of thoughts (Diana referred to it--or me?--as unique!) You really must send me some point on the map that I can travel to someday and find Cass and Roxie strolling in the twilight!

  9. My pleasure, Deb! It would be right around Locust Grove along the Ohio River in present day Louisville:) A heavenly place, if there ever was. I long to go back myself! Oh, to see it like it was back then... That's why I write books, I guess.

    YES, Wren Ballantyne:) Done deal!

  10. One entry for Denise W. who is unable to leave a comment. Bad blogger! My own Google Chrome is completely frozen today for some reason so I'm having to be super creative to post here. Sigh. Anyway, Denise is a reader from down south who is also a reenactor and writer who hopes to publish someday (soon). Thanks!

  11. Sorry to hear that Blogger and Chrome are acting up today. Sigh... We seem to have that happen regularly. I hope it isn't anything I am doing. Laura, what would it take to get Revell to put these out on audio? Sheer bribery?

  12. No, Carrie, it's nothing you're doing. The only blogs I can sign into using google are the ones that have the box pop up (different than this box). I always have to click on to google chrome to enter comments on any blog with this type format.

    Laura, Wren would be a pretty Indian name. Now let's see if Chrome is working for me right now.
    Yep, it is...

  13. Carrie, I'd love to see my books on audio (make that "hear" them:). I've heard that some books aren't a good fit for audio and mine might be among them as the word count is so high. But then I really don't know what the criteria is. I'm thankful they're in large print but do wish for audio.

    Diana, Bless you for persisting! I think with comments acting up, Wren and Denise have a wonderful chance at winning that book:) One of the last giveaways I did had almost 200 entries so it's nice to see it small again, even with Blogger misbehaving!

  14. Well, Laura, bless you for stopping by for us "small fry" too. We are happy when we get a dozen. We should be grateful for any comments, really! I wish people would email me if they can't post a comment.

  15. I have read her first book, the Frontiersmans Daughter. I would love to win The Colonel's Lady. Please add me to the drawing. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Debbie Clark

  16. Laura I've seen some pretty large books in audio. I borrow them all the time from the library. Recorded Books even has an inspirational line. Your books would be wonderful as audios. We should start a write in campaign!

    Thanks for the location. I used to travel to Cincinnati a lot so I'd enjoy a visit that way again. We crossed the river a few times. You certainly make us want to visit Kentucky again.

    I just left Pat Iacuzzi after meeting for dinner. Don't you just love meals with writer friends? So I thought I'd check in and see who's in the running for The Colonel's Lady.

    Thanks for reading the review, Debbie. I'm sure you will enjoy all Laura's books and be waiting anxiously for the next one like I am.

  17. Debra, Happy Friday! And it's so neat you and Pat could get together! Nothing like book talk! Love your idea of a write in campaign;) Bless you for that. And bless you for checking back in after working all day. I so love your review. Thanks again for doing that and for posting on Amazon. I never ask folks for reviews so it's always a big gift when they do that.

    And thanks to Debbie for joining in here. Lael's story is very different than this one. But I think I say that about all my books:)

  18. Carrie, I never worry about comments (numbers). I've hosted giveaways where only 1 person shows and believe that is the person the Lord intends for the book or whatever is being offered. That nearly 200 figure was an all time high when the book first released. I don't like the large giveaways as I get befuddled with all the names and keeping things straight. I much prefer smaller, more cozy gatherings! And I so appreciate all who came today. It's always wonderful to see old friends as well as new ones.

  19. Thank you all for the great review and the give away! I have read TCL on my Kindle and would love to have it in hard copy. Debra you bring the book to life with your review - what a great gift you have! I would also like to add my 2 cents' worth about audio books; I think that all 3 of Laura's books would be great as audiobooks. Thanks again for this blog and opportunity!!
    Susan in Mexico
    joseandsusanparra at hotmail dot com

  20. Lael is a legend. Bigger than life. Any woman who goes barefoot on frosty ground is a better (wo)man than I!!!

    I'd be thrilled with more of those two. Sigh.

  21. LOL, Deb! Love that Lael. She would find me quite disgusting as I'm sure a woosie;)

    Susan, Welcome! And thanks for wanting a hard copy of TCL. I have a Kindle, too, but always miss that real book feel. Here's another thumbs up for audio! Praying it happens:) Bless you.

  22. Great review Debra! I'm SO in love with Cass too ... and yes, right up there even with Mr Darcy! Laura already knows how much I loved TCL :)

    Please don't enter me in the draw, I already have two copies ... as in, I bought two copies, but don't ask me why lol

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  24. Thank you Susan! It's easy to be enthusiastic about this book, isn't it? One disadvantage to Kindle is being able to lend copies. I believe there's a way to do it but it sounds like work. And there's a time limit. Or am I just adding urban legend here?

    Helen. Laura created quite the hero with Cassius McLinn, didn't she? I've been thinking a lot about these big brooding heroes lately and why we love them. Interesting! I'm trying to think up a blog post about the subject. Based a lot on my own "crush" tendency.

    Too big a subject for 2 am.

    Thank you all for a great day! Diana, Carrie and Laura-- it's been fun to chat up The Colonel's Lady today. Looking forward to hearing who the lucky winner is.

  25. I think I keep buying copies of Laura's books for giveaways because a) I love her writing b) I love her and her sweet spirit, and c) because now that I have them on Kindle I still want to look a the covers and feel them in my hands before the post office gets ahold of them!!! Oh and Deb I married a big brooding hero. Except that he rarely broods LOL (thank goodness!)

  26. While I have some of my precious friends here in one place, please send up some prayers to the Father on my behalf. Carrie, you know all about meds making you feel sick when you were taking it for the Lymes, well I feel sick as a dog today. UGG Bronchitis is better, somewhat, so have to stay on these meds until I'm done with them, and then they are supposed to stay in your system for 5 more days. Thanks in advance, ladies. Homecoming at church tomorrow, guess who won't be there?

  27. Oh Diana, So sorry to hear you're sick - prayers going up right now and will continue. Glad you told us while we're all together in one place. I hurt for you and have been there with meds making you sick(er). God bless you.

  28. Helen, I'm thrilled to see you from way over there! Bet you are sleeping right now as I write this - or at least hoping your littles let you do that at night! And bless you so much for buying 2 copies of TCL! I think I remember you saying it was the cover that first drew you in? I have another here for you since you are a Mr. Darcy fan:) You may have already heard of John Thornton from North&South? If not...You. Must. Watch! I continue to pray for you and your precious family. Hello to your sister!!

  29. Carrie, Thanks so much for your kind words. I tell people I couldn't do this without you - you are such a HUGE GIFT to me, right from the Father's hands with these giveaways and all else you do.

    Debra, I LOVE that you're burning the midnight oil! Sometimes (rarely) I get up in the wee sm' 'ours and write all night:) So still and peaceful - and by candlelight!

  30. I cannot wait to read this book. I loved Laura's first two and this is at the top of my TO READ list. :) Thanks for the tantalizing review. :)

    aaronandlori (at) gmail.com

  31. What an enticing review! I love a good tear-jerker. Pleasse enter me in the contest.
    allisonmoyer (at) yahoo (dot)com

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Ooops ... posted my comment with the wrong account ... I'll try again ...

    Morning everyone :) Yes Laura, I was sleeping, at least I think I was at that time. The little one was giving me trouble last night, I was up and down like a yo-yo for a couple of hours. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers :) It's very encouraging. And rest assured you're in my prayers too.

    Diane - am praying for you too, for strength and recovery :)

    Yes it was the cover of TCL that first drew me in! And I have not heard of North & South, but I will investigate for sure! Jess is doing a piece of heroes on our blog on Monday, and both Mr Darcy and Cass are going to get a mention ;)

  34. Good afternoon everyone. I've just arrived at my vacation spot and found wifi. Please excuse my typos from my mini mini keyboard!!

    Oh ladies you really must see Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton.

    And yes there were quite a few places in TCL that brought tears. You won't be disappointed.

    Diana I'm praying for you. Hoping you have a great day tomorrow and wale up much improved!

    Okay we're on the road agin for groceries. Who else loves the rocky coast of New England?

  35. I'm not entering as I already won a copy on here a few weeks ago :) I haven't had time to read the book yet (was in the hospital with my oldest daughter for 14 days) but after reading this spectacular review ~ I MUST GET TO THIS BOOK!

    To Helen - You will LOVE North & South (BBC) and Mr Thornton :0) He's a delicious hero! Oh, did I just say that?! Well, he is :)

    *waving to Laura & Diana

  36. and Carrie, too! I so appreciate all the authors you have introduced me to and your generous spirit! (I'm sitting in the dark while my men watch a movie and I hit the wrong key)

  37. Lori, Oh, so happy to see you here! Bless you so much for enjoying Lael and Morrow's stories:) I hope you like Roxanna just as much. Many people say it's their favorite of the 3 but I think my editor and others are still pining over book one...

    Happy reading to you, dear Lori!

  38. I had to chuckle at the Loopy Librarian;) I LOVE libraries! Was just looking at World Cat and see quite a few picking TCL up. Even in Australia and New Zealand which sure makes me smile. And Helen, too, maybe! Thanks so much for entering the drawing.

  39. Oh Helen, Here's hoping you get a nap or that little sleepless one lets you sleep tonight. I didn't sleep through the night with my oldest till he was almost 4! But my other son you had to wake up even to nurse. He was such a snoozer. You describe that time so well - yoyo is the word! Rest assured it gets much easier in time. Like I said, prayers with you.

    And you and Jess simply must schedule a sisters night and watch North&South! My friend Rel in Oz LOVES this film as much as I do and I see we have some other John Thornton fans here:)

    Can't wait to read your blog post on heroes! That always pulls readers in:) I'll be there! And if you don't see me, please send me the link!

  40. Anne, I hope your daughter is much better - what a long time to be in hospital! But thank heavens for them when we need them. You sound like you need a good book! Praying TCL provides you with a blessed respite when you have time for it. Thanks so much for taking time to comment here. And I must say, dear Anne, that your delicious comment certainly fits Johnny to a T! I wholeheartedly agree. Just this morning I was thinking it was time for another viewing as it provides endless inspiration...

  41. Debra, Oh, you are such a dear friend to be pecking at your keyboard while on vacation! Bless you from your feet to your fingers and don't think you have to check back on here! Just enjoy your time. I know it's precious to you and you certainly deserve it.

    I am limping along trying to write this review for my favorite historical author for next Friday right here. And believe me, Deb, it's quite lame beside yours!! Bring Kleenex - it's that bad!

  42. LOL Laura about the Kleenex for your Friend on Friday review. Deb, wow, hope you see some great leaves! Ann, Diana let me know about your daughter and I am so glad you were such a winning gal during that time and hope it was an encouragement to you. Glad she is better!

  43. Autumn colours ... oops, sorry, in American language, Fall colours :) Now you're probably thinking I've spelt colour wrong as well lol. Anyway, my point is, I envy your colourful season because we don't get such a dramatic change in foliage here.

    Laura, Jess tells me she has friends who rave about North & South, so when some miracle happens that we can have a peaceful evening for watching it, we will! There are 3 youngsters and a 400km distance to overcome first :) But something to look forward to, whenever it may be!

    Little bub is a windy baby, so it can take a while for her to burp it all up in order to sleep properly. Some nights she is ok, but quite often on those nights big sister is having trouble with those nasty molars cutting. But what you say is so true, it does get easier with time. It will be all over in a flash and I'll miss these days, I'm sure!

    Well I suppose I should be bidding you all a good night about now :) Sleep tight!

  44. Autumn colors is fine, too, Helen:) I actually prefer the word autumn to fall for some reason. It sounds so pretty. Like you, we get very little color here as there are so many evergreen trees. It's like having Christmas every day, just without the lights. I really miss those flaming autumn leaves.

    Oh, so glad Jess has heard of N&S! I wish the distance was shorter for you but it's worth waiting for a quiet evening for. It's about 4 hours long so you can savor every second:)

    I forgot to mention I'm very familiar with reflux like you are. My youngest baby had it badly and had to sleep sitting up for the longest time. And those molars are pesky things. My youngest, now 12, lost one big one today! You will miss those days and you're so good to realize it in the midst of it, tired as you are. Anyway, hope your Sabbath is blessed! Prayers with you all the way.

  45. I forgot to mention that I'm a Book Club member (BC). And thanks for supporting libraries.
    allisonmoyer (at) yahoo (dot) com

  46. Hi Allison, Love book clubs, too. It's always an honor when a club picks a CBA book. And you're so welcome about the libraries:)

  47. What a fun review of a book I KNOW I'll love. Can't wait to read about the fashion!

  48. And your friend Denise is the winner, Laura, but we don't have her email address. Email that to me privately. Congrats Denise!!! That is cool that you are a reenactor and a writer, too!

  49. And the Loopy Librarian is our Book Club winner for the week's secret giveaway! A book from the ACFW conference will be coming your way OR a couple of Heartsong romances, your choice. Congrats!!!

  50. Thanks for the giveaway, looks like a great book.

  51. Congrats to Denise for winning TCL and the Loopy Librarian for winning the mystery giveaway!

  52. I'm reading TCL for the second time and am amazed all over again at the depth of Laura's writing. Love this book. I thought Morrow was my favorite but I'm starting to think TCL is now.


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