Chirp and Chatter Pages

Friday, June 23, 2017

What do you consider lovely?

During my heroine Debbie Barker’s interviews, she asks every potential husband, “What do you consider lovely?”

Oh, why is she interviewing potential husbands? It’s the brainchild of the mayor of Turtle Springs, Kansas—since the town is hurting for men, why not invite them to apply? About forty men show up to interview as potential husbands for the women of the town.

And oh, how Debbie is longing for loveliness in her life. The recently ended Civil War has decimated the country, its land and people. With both her fiancé and her brother dead, she decides to join her parents when they leave behind their life in Maine to homestead in Turtle Springs.

Only Turtle Springs is as desolate as Maine had been, without the advantage of rolling oceans, rugged coastline and towering pines. She longs for nothing more than a flower garden—but that won’t happen until after the sod is broken and the first crops harvested. A year at least. Maybe two.

So she wants to know, does her potential husband have a hankering for beauty like she does?

God Himself plants that desire within us. He even commands us, “whatever is...lovely...think about such things.” (Phil 4:7)

What are some things the Bible calls lovely that we may think about?
  •        The dwelling place of God Psalm 84:1
  •        Your family Job 5:20-26
  •        Wisdom’s house Prov 14:1
  •        Life Eccl 12:6-7
  •        Parks and gardens Isaiah 64:8-12
  •        Meadow Jeremiah 6:1-5   
  •        Hills Jer 22:6-7
  •        Songs/Voice Ez 33:32      

After all, everything is beautiful in its time! (Ecclesiastes 3:11). In the natural world, my hearts at the crash of waves on Maine’s rocky coast or the grandeur of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. There is nothing so lovely as the smile of an infant, or the innocent play of a toddler. My heart feeds on the loveliness of music.

How about you? What do you consider lovely?

Sunshine of My Heart:

About the collection: Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas’, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men...and didn’t return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved?

About Sunshine of my Heart: Debbie Barker longs to bring beauty to her new home on the prairie, where her family moved after the war, and seeks a husband to help her father run the ranch. Zack Gage returned home from the war to a life in ruins—family dead and business bankrupted. He answers the mail-order husband ad to seek a fresh start. But neither Debbie nor Zeke know what they are doing when it comes to ranching. . .or love.

About Darlene Franklin:

Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin's greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. In July she will reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in five monthly venues. Her most recent titles are Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands and Acadian Hearts. You can find her online at: Website and blog, Facebook, Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin


  1. Welcome, Darlene! That scripture in Philippians is one of my very, very favorites. How thoughtful and kind of our Father to tell us exactly where it is beneficial for our thoughts to dwell!

    Your book - and the collection as a whole - sounds wonderful!

    1. Delia, thank You so much for having me as Your guest!

  2. I LOVED this Barbour Romance collection! I loved how all the stories were connected around the central theme. Darlene's story was great. She really made Zack work for Debbie. Darlene also showed that sometimes a woman, in this case Debbie, can get what she wants.

    1. Andrea, thanks for your enthusiastic WOW! The Barbour collection have gotten stronger and better as time has passed, IMO. This was a great collection.