Monday, September 29, 2008

Out of Gas!

Okay, it's starting to get ridiculous. No gas in Georgia. Everywhere you go, you see trash bags and grocery bags over the gas station pump handles. And every so often, you find a place that has received some gas, but the lines go out into the street. So I've been staying home as much as possible, only taking trips that are absolutely necessary (like to pick up the children from school!) :) I've conserved and driven slower, putt-putting around town like a granny, hoping that if I avoided panicking and getting gas, that I could hold out until the supplies picked up.

Well, this past Thursday, I had finally dwindled down to a quarter of a tank--my personal panic point. And on top of that, I had to drive to the other side of Athens (about 30 miles away) for my son's cross country meet. (One of the absolutely necessary events.) :) I had heard rumors that Athens had more gas than we do around here, so after the meet, I started searching. I found a station that had premium gas for $4.59/gallon! Uh, no thanks! I decided to make one last go-around of the station and was about to drive away when I noticed one pump that didn't have an "empty" sign over the regular gas. I lucked out! I was able to fill up for 4.19/gallon. Not great, but hey, it was better than waiting in line for a half hour like my husband had had to do! (Plus, it took him another half hour to pump the gas because it was pumping so slowly.)

It's amazing how much more secure I feel with a full tank of gas. I've always been that way, but with these insecure times, it makes an even bigger difference in my attitude.

So now I'm once again putt-putting around town, avoiding acceleration, avoiding quick trips to Wal-mart (way across town) or trips to the mall (25 miles away). If we could afford to do it, I would love to get rid of my gas-guzzling SUV. But that'll have to wait. For now, I'll keep embarrassing my kids by driving like a granny. And I'll just have to hope the weather doesn't decide to turn cold before I splurge and drive to Wal-mart to buy my poor son (who's grown like a weed lately) a pair of jeans! :)

Have any of you experienced a shortage as well? What are you doing to cope?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm baaaack! And Photos from Minneapolis.

I had a wonderful trip to the American Fiction Writers Conference! I'd love to share some photos. But before I do, I hope you'll come by the F.A.I.T.H. blog on Thursday. I've posted a fun contest. You can win books and even some Mary Kay Mint Bliss Foot Cream--fitting for a Name That Mystery Shoe contest. :) Please stop by before Sunday to enter the contest.

And now for the photos...

My good friends from Seekerville, Janet Dean and Mary Connealy (sorry I cut the top of your head off, Mary!).

At the awards banquet-- me, Janet Dean, my wonderful editor, Emily Rodmell, and Debby Giusti.

The best critique partner in the world, Belinda Peterson!

Another Seeker friend, Myra Langley Johnson (who recently sold to Abingdon!)

Me with amazing Steeple Hill authors Mae Nunn and Debby Giusti.

A blog reader drove over an hour to meet authors at the Mall of America book signing. Thanks for stopping by, Mimi!

Steeple Hill Authors at the Meet & Greet with Emily Rodmell.

Me with fellow United Methodist pastor's wife, and writer, Bev Varnado.

Book signing with 120 Christian authors! So exciting! The line of tables went on forever.

The F.A.I.T.H. bloggers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Book Signing in Minneapolis!

If you're in the area, please come see me and say hello! Here's the press release:

Booksigning by 100+ novelists at Mall of America September 20

(MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.) Hundreds of authors and aspiring authors will attend the annual
American Christian Fiction Writers conference at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel September
18-21, 2008. They’ll study the craft of writing from a Christian worldview, get the word out
about their books, and meet with editors from nearly every major publishing house in their industry.

They’re also coming to get signed books. On Saturday, September 20, 1:00-3:00pm in the Best
Buy® Rotunda and Bloomingdale’s Court of the Mall of America, over 100 bestselling and
award-winning authors such as Angela Hunt, James Scott Bell, Rene Gutteridge, Deborah Raney, Tamera Alexander, Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Brandt Dodson will sign copies of
their books for conference attendees and the public.

For more information regarding the signing or conference, please contact Cara Putman at (765)
418-3427 or To learn more about ACFW, visit

Missy here again. I probably won't post again until I get back. I'll try to post some photos asap. Here's a list of all the authors participating. I'll be at table #60. It'll be so exciting!

Tamera Alexander
Jennifer AlLee
A.K. Arenz
Diane Ashley
Karen Ball
Janet Lee Barton
James Scott Bell
Joseph Bentz
Terri Blackstock
Robin Caroll
Patricia Pac
Jac Carroll
Jeanie Smith Cash
Eleanor Clark
Debra Clopton
Gloria Clover
Brandilyn Collins
Mary Connealy
Lyn Cote
Kathryn Cushman
Margaret Daley
KM Daughters
Susan Page Davis
Mary Davis
Janet Dean
Megan DiMaria
Brandt Dodson
Lena Nelson Dooley
Cecelia Dowdy
Sharon Dunn
Wanda Dyson
Lynette Eason
Meredith Efken
Leanna Ellis
Sharon Ewell Foster
Miralee Ferrell
Tina Ann Forkner
Darlene Franklin
Jonathan Friesen
Rhonda Gibson
Terri Gillespie
Debby Giusti
Beth Goddard
Cathy Gohlke
Rene Gutteridge
Cathy Marie Hake
Rachel Hauck
Roxanne Henke
Cynthia Hickey
Patti Hill
Sharon Hinck
Joan Hochstetler
Steven Hunt
Angela Hunt
Denise Hunter
Annette Irby
Jennifer Johnson
Jenny B. Jones
Golden Keyes Parsons
Deb Kinnard
Julie Klassen
Kathleen Kovach
Harry Kraus
Patti Lacy
Maureen Lang
Jeanne Marie Leach
Tosca Lee
Julie Lessman
Michelle Levigne
Sherri L. Lewis
Elizabeth Ludwig
Christine Lynxwiler
Richard L. Mabry
Sharlene MacLaren
Gail Martin
Debby Mayne
Vickie McDonough
Andrew McGuire
Susan Meissner
Becky Melby
Dana Mentink
Amber Miller
Judith Miller
Sara Mills
Siri Mitchell
Nancy Moser
Janelle Mowery
Elizabeth Musser
Mark Mynheir
Jill Nelson
Mae Nunn
John Olson
Donita K. Paul
Trish Perry
Marta Perry
Allie Pleiter
Cara Putman
Deborah Raney
Sandra Robbins
Paul Robertson
John Robinson
Martha Rogers
Cynthia Ruchti
Gail Sattler
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Shelley Shephard Gray
Virginia Smith
Lynette Sowell
Candice Speare
Kathryn Springer
Denice Stewart
Sarah Anne Sumpolec
Michelle Sutton
Camy Tang
Donn Taylor
Janice Thompson
Cindy Thomson
Missy Tippens
Carrie Turansky
ML Tyndall
Amy Wallace
Susan May Warren
Linda Wichman
Beth Wiseman
Cheryl Wyatt
Kathleen Y'Barbo

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001...September 11, 2008

Eva Marie Everson posted a link to this great article on one of my ACFW loops yesterday. I hope you'll take a minute to read it. It's about her experience of being in New York City on September 11, 2001. A very powerful testimony as we look back today, the 7th anniversary. She said it's taken her 7 years to be able to write or talk about this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Janet Dean, Author of Courting Miss Adelaide

I'm so pleased to welcome my good friend and fellow Love Inspired author, Janet Dean, to my blog today! Janet, I'm so thrilled that your book is finally out! I know it's seemed ages since you got The Call. Janet will be giving away a copy of Courting Miss Adelaide to one lucky winner among those who comment today. Please be sure to leave contact information.

I loved Courting Miss Adelaide! What a great story. I still hear Adelaide's voice in my head. For those who haven't read the book, could you tell us a bit about it? (And notice the gorgeous cover to the left.)

Janet: Small-town single Adelaide Crum saw the “Orphan Train” as her last chance to mother a child. So many lost children needed a caring home—the home she longed to offer. And yet the narrow-minded town elders refused to entrust even the most desperate child to a woman alone….

Newspaperman Charles Graves believed his heart was closed forever, but he swore to stand by this lovely, lonely woman who was fighting for the right to take some motherless child into her heart. And her gentle soul and unwavering faith made him wonder if even he could overcome the bitter lessons of the past, and somehow find the courage to love….

Missy: The question everyone wants to know... What's the secret to making that first sale? (Or what do you think made the difference for you?)

Janet: By 2005 my writing was publishable. I was more than ready. But, I kept slamming into closed doors. Either I needed an agent to submit or publishers only bought historical fiction from established authors. Then in 2006, Steeple Hill made the decision to launch the Love Inspired Historical line and opened that door. I polished the partial one last time and mailed it to New York with my heart in my throat and a prayer on my lips. Editor Melissa Endlich, head of Love Inspired Historical, read the partial, requested the entire manuscript and bought the book, all in a little over two months. When things change, they can change fast. :) I’m still thanking God for His perfect timing.

Missy: That's so exciting! I, too, am thankful for His perfect timing.

Now, another question. Do you have any particular how-to books that you would recommend?

Janet: My favorite how-to books:

Writing and Selling Your Novel and Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham
Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
On Writing by Stephen King

Missy: Thanks, Janet. For those who don't know, she has also sold another book! Can you give us a blurb on your next book?

Janet: Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, May 2009
When Luke Jacobs arrives in Noblesville, Indiana peddling his remedy, he goes toe-to-toe with the town doctor’s daughter, Mary Graves, who tries to convince the townspeople to not throw their money at another worthless tonic. Unknown to Mary, Luke is in town for another reason, one that will forever change her life.

Missy: Sounds so good! Now for fun... What's something about you that most people wouldn't

Janet: I enjoy painting hard-shelled gourds. I got interested when I saw a painted gourd from the late 1800s. I was impressed by its durability and folksy charm. Two friends joined me once a month to paint every size and shape of gourd. After crafting a good-sized collection, we joined the gourd society and entered our work in gourd shows. Though I no longer have the time to paint, the gourds are part of our family’s holiday tradition, especially at Christmas.

Missy: I love them, they're gorgeous! Wow. I had no idea of your artistic talent.

Thanks so much for hanging out and answering questions. Where can readers best contact you and find out about upcoming releases?

Janet: Thanks for having me on your blog today, Missy. I enjoyed it!

My Web site:
My e-mail:
My blog Cup of Faith:


Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. She married her college sweetheart and taught first grade before leaving to rear two daughters, but Janet never lost her interest in American history and the stories of strong men and women of faith who built this country. With her daughters’ grown, she eagerly turned to historical romance. Two of her manuscripts were Golden Heart Inspirational finalists in 2005 and 2006. Her debut novel, Courting Miss Adelaide, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, releases September 9. The sequel, Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, will release in May 2009. When Janet isn’t writing for Steeple Hill, she stamps greeting cards, plays golf, and is never without a book to read. The Deans love to travel and spend time with family.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Author Interview This Week

This Wednesday, Sept. 10, I'm thrilled to have Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical author, Janet Dean, visit. I hope you'll stop by and read her great answers to interview questions. She'll be giving away a copy of her debut release, Courting Miss Adelaide, so be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing!

I'll also have Janet as our guest on the F.A.I.T.H. blog on Thursday, so I hope you'll stop by there as well for more interesting info on how she creates her characters.

By the way, I LOVED Courting Miss Adelaide!! You don't want to miss this wonderful book.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Writing a Synopsis

Today, I'm blogging on the F.A.I.T.H. blog, a group blog of Christian writers that I'm part of. If you're interested in finding out what resources I recently used for writing a synopsis, please stop by!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lookin' Back Texas--example of a great blurb

Leanna Ellis has a new book coming out. And I just love her blurb!

A devoted wife and mother must return to her hometown of Luckenbach, Texas, to help her mother plan her father’s funeral. Trouble is – he isn’t dead! And neither are the secrets she buried there years ago.

Isn't that a great hook? I want to read it right now! :)

Lookin' Back, Texas will be out this month. I hope you'll check it out. You can find out more at