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.


CatMom said...

Great interview, Missy and Janet! I hope to meet both of you at the ACFW conference next week! :) And Janet, your story of getting published is an inspiration! (Love those painted gourds, too).
Blessings from Georgia,
Patti Jo Moore

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Patti Jo. I look forward to meeting you!

Thanks for stopping by!


Jo said...

Great interview! I loved the paintings of the gourds as well. Beautiful! Please enter me in the drawing.


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I'd love a chance to win Courting Miss Adelaide. The cover is beautiful!

Missy Tippens said...

Jo, I agree. I was so amazed at the gourds!

Jenn, I've got you entered!

Thanks for stopping by.


Missy Tippens said...

I also meant to say that I agree, Jenn. I LOVE Janet's cover! And there's a scene where she describes that hat, and the cover is almost exactly the same. :)

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Gourds! I love it! Courting the Doctor’s Daughter sounds wonderful too. I cannot wait to get my hands on either book. Please enter me (again) *snickers*

cherryblossommj (at) gmail [dot] com

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, Janet, I never knew you were into gourd painting. Reminds me of some cute ones I saw once that were made into birdhouses. But I LOVE the nativity and Santa gourds--clever!

And I've already read Janet's debut novel and it is EXCELLENT!

CatMom said...

P.S. Missy, I also meant to say please enter me in the drawing (when I wrote that earlier I hadn't had my coffee yet-LOL!).
Patti Jo Moore :)

Missy Tippens said...

I've got you entered, Patti Jo! I'll enter everyone unless you say you've already read the book. :)

Cherry Blossom and Myra, thanks for stopping by! Myra, I was really amazed at her talent, too. Great writer, great painter!


Renee Ryan said...

Missy, Thanks so much for this wonderful insight into Janet as a writer. Janet, I've said this before but it needs repeating, I loooove the premise for your CMA. Your follow-up sounds lovely, too. And might I add, WOW! Your artistic abilities are amazing. I'm gasping in awe!


ladystorm said...

Nice interview. This book sounds very good and I would love to win it.

ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

Nancy said...

Hi Missy and Janet.
Janet, I saw Missy reading Courting Miss Adelaide when we were at the RWA conference in SF. It looked so good. I love those painted gourds. Thanks for sharing.

God Bless,
Nancy Farrier

Jess said...

Courting Miss Adelaide sounds great. And congrats on selling the second book. That one sounds wonderful too.

I wish I knew how to paint gourds. Where in the world do you
FIND gourds? Janet, do you raise your own? I hear some artists do.

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Renee. Thanks for dropping by!

Hi, Nancy! Nancy and I roomed together in San Francisco and she caught me reading Courting Miss Adelaide every chance I could get! LOL

Hey, Jess! My husband's grandmother used to grow them and then let them dry (I think in the barn). She used them to decorate, although she never painted them.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Patti Jo! I've had to be away from the computer this afternoon. I'm sorry I'm late saying hello.
Glad you enjoyed the post and seeing the gourds. I'm looking forward to meeting you at ACFW!!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Jo! I was uncertain about revealing my painted gourds. You all are so nice! Thanks!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Jennifer! Are you going to ACFW this year? Hope to see you!


Janet Dean said...

I've been expecting you, cherryblossommj! :-) Thanks for entering!!


Janet Dean said...

Myra, I've painted birdhouse gourds, too. :-) Not sure how many years I painted, but I've got plenty.

Glad you liked Courting Miss Adelaide, Myra!


Janet Dean said...

Missy, you're so sweet. Most of the gourds ideas came from a How-To book so they're not original to me. But it was fun, back when I had the time.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Renee! Thanks so much for your lovely comments. You've made my day.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Stormi! Thanks for stopping!
I appreciate your interest in Courting Miss Adelaide.


Janet Dean said...

Hello Nancy! Good to see you at the FHL mini conference.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Jess, I tried raising gourds but they take lots of space and have to be dried. Once they were dried, I'd have to clean off the mold, which didn't mix well with my allergies. I found them at gourd shows or at fairs, already dried and cleaned.

You can find books at craft stores that will show you how to paint. And all the paint and brushes you need. Try it. That's how I learned.


Julie Lessman said...

Oh, man, Courting Miss Adelaide is a WONDERFUL book by a WONDERFUL lady!! Don't enter me because I am already lucky enough to have a copy, but this book is a DELIGHTFUL read!!!


Janet Dean said...

Thanks, Julie, for your kind words for Courting Miss Adelaide. I've started reading A Passion Redeemed and I'm hooked! Can't wait to dig back in.

Hugs, Janet

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, Julie. I just finished A Passion Redeemed and have to say you did an amazing job once again! :)

Janet, it's good to see you! I wondered if you might be out doing a book signing. :)


DBarker said...

Thanks for the interview. Please enter me into the drawing and thanks for the chance to win.

danelli04 [at] hotmail [dot]com

Crystal Laine Miller said...

Janet, this gourd painting reminds me of some African art I have from Nigeria painted on a shell that I wasn't really sure what it is. (Maybe a type of gourd--it is more round.)

You are really good at painting! What kind of paints do you use?

Thanks, Missy, as I learned something new about Janet.

Janet, if my dad were still alive, he would supply you with all the gourds you needed. (He had them everywhere.) He would've cleaned them, too.

I have Janet's fabulous book, so no need to enter me.

Keli Gwyn said...

I've read and enjoyed Courting Miss Adelaide. Doing so was my treat over the Labor Day weekend. I couldn't wait to read CMA, so I ordered it directly from eHarlequin. I'm already looking forward to Courting the Doctor's Daughter.

If you want to read CMA and don't win the drawing here on Life with Missy, you have three chances to win over the next three days. Janet will be my guest at Romance Writers on the Journey on September 11. At the end of that day and the following two, I'll hold a drawing for all those who leave a comment for Janet.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Crystal! I'm guessing the African Art is a painted gourd. Gourds come in all sizes and shapes. I used acrylic paints for the gourds and sprayed then with a low luster or matte finish sealer.

That's neat to know your dad grew gourds. I wish I'd known him back when I painted.

Thanks for stopping and for your kind words about Courting Miss Adelaide.


Janet Dean said...

Missy, Sorry to be AWOL yesterday afternoon. I wasn't at a book signing. My first signing is Saturday! I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for having me today. I enjoyed it!


Janet Dean said...

Thanks for the reminder, Keli, to pop over to your blog Thursday for another chance to win Courting Miss Adelaide.

And come Thursday to the FAITH blog:


Pamela J said...

I finished reading Courting Miss Adelaide yesterday and I have to say it was a book full of surprises! I don't need entered in your drawing, Missy. Whoever wins this one will be blessed with the opportunity to read one FINE book. I can't wait for the next one, Janet!
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Missy Tippens said...

We have a winner!!

Renee Ryan, your number came up in the cool online number randomizer I use for drawings. :)

I'll contact you by email for your addy. Congrats!!


Cherie J said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. The Orphan Train time perios is one that I have always wondered about and so I enjoy it when an author centers it in a story. Would love to be entered in the drawing.