Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!


Well, where has the time gone?? It seems like just recently I was posting, wishing you a happy new 2009. :)
On new year's eve, I love to reflect, to spend time looking at goals I achieved. To think about what I want to do in the new year. To set new personal and professional goals. And I always like to dream big! I hope you will, too.
So what are you most proud to have accomplished in 2009? What do you want to do in 2010?
Happy New Year!!
Missy

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wrinkled Earlobes...and Merry Christmas!

As I was getting ready for our candlelight church service tonight, I decided to put in some Christmas earrings. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a hideous wrinkle marring each ear! My goodness. I didn't know you could get wrinkled earlobes so young! But apparently, 47 is the perfect age for it. :) Thankfully, the worship service was uplifting and celebratory, so I didn't wallow. Of course, who knows how I'll feel next time I put in difficult earrings and have to look in the mirror! I think next time, I'll just get my daughter to put them in for me. Maybe she'll be sensitive and kind and won't say a thing. :)


Wrinkles or no wrinkles, I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus.


Merry Christmas!

With love from Missy and family




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Red Bird Mission





I just found out that a new DVD I've been hearing about and looking forward to has been released. It's called Mission Appalachia: The Story of Red Bird, an inspiriational documentary by Todd Scoggins.

I was born and raised in Kentucky, so I love anything having to do with Kentucky. But more than that, this story is about Eastern Kentucky where my dad was born and spent his childhood. He actually grew up a little bit north of the Red Bird Mission area, but his family could very well have been served by this mission.

It's too late to order the DVD for Christmas, but I ordered my copies--one for my dad's birthday coming up this spring. I hope you'll give it a look. When you click the link, you'll see a short video trailer for it. To visit the home page for the Red Bird Mission, click here. You'll see a link for the video on that page.




Red Bird Mission, a non-profit agency located in the Appalachian mountains of Southeastern Kentucky, empowers individuals and advocated justice by providing educational, health, and community outreach ministries to area low-income residents.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Music of Christmas


How many of you find music one of the best parts of Christmas? I love the holiday spirit on the radio. I love the special music at church. I love playing my Christmas CD's at home. So many beautiful songs about the baby Jesus!


Our church choir is doing special music for the whole service next Sunday. I'm really excited to share the music. We always have so much fun singing it that we almost forget we're "performing." What joy to sing! And what a blessing music is.


Do you have any favorite Christmas songs or albums?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nice Review


I have a great review up today at Margaret's--Cherry Blossom's--blog! I hope you'll check it out. Also, check my side bar for other blogs, magazines and reviews listed under my blog tour! The Exemplify Magazine is also offering a giveaway.
If you're interested in finding out more about A Forever Christmas, check out the reviews or click to the right to read an excerpt.
Also! Remember that if you buy the book as a gift for someone (or yourself!), you can email me at missytippens [at] aol.com to request a personalized, signed bookplate. I'll mail it to you asap! It's an easy way to give an autographed book as a Christmas gift. :)
Missy

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Posting at Craftie Ladies Today on the Stress of Christmas


It seems we've hit one of the busiest times of the year. If you're like me and feel rather scattered right now (and maybe a little stressed, too!) I hope you'll stop by the Craftie Ladies blog today. I posted about the worries of the busy holiday season. To go to the blog post, click here.
I hope you have a great week!
Missy

Friday, December 04, 2009

Cool Bible Software Giveaway (at Mimi's blog)


Mimi, at her Woven by Words blog, is giving away two copies of a Bible software that looks really interesting! It's called Glo. She has a review posted and options for entering her contest. You'll see me among those who've entered! :)

One of the features that looked most helpful to me is one called My Glo, where you can keep track of your Bible reading and even set up a plan for reading (setting goals). You're even allowed to have the copy on 3 computers, so this would be a great way to have a Bible on hand on the laptop and mini.

You can check out the Glo Bible at their site before entering the contest.
www.globible.com

To visit Mimi's blog for the review and contest, click here. And just to be totally honest about it, I should let you know I'm posting this link as an extra entry in the contest myself! :) Of course, I truly do think the program looks interesting and would probably blog about it anyway.

Missy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We're spending the day with lots of family. I'm sure we'll eat too much, but we'll sure have fun. :)

Many blessings to you and those you love!

Missy

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Woo Hoo! Another Book Sale!! :)

I'm thrilled to share some exciting news with you. My editor called today to offer a contract on another book! I don't have a release date yet but will let you know as soon as I do. I'm thrilled!! :-D

Also, don't forget to pick up some copies of A Forever Christmas as gifts for your friends and family! :) If you'd like an autographed book plate, just email me to let me know who it's for, and I'll mail it to you. Send requests to missytippens @ aol.com (removing the spaces).

Thanks for celebrating with me!

P.S. If you're in the Norcross, GA, area on Saturday, I'll be signing A Forever Christmas at about 2:00 pm (after a meeting) at the Hilton Atlanta NE on Peachtree Industrial Blvd.

Have a great weekend!
Missy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yummy Recipe!


I wanted to share a yummy recipe with you! Rocco's Chicken and Chorizo Stew with Mustard Greens. After watching it being made on Good Morning America, I had to try it! So I made it last week and just loved it. I forgot to buy the Chorizo sausage, though, so just substituted bacon. I also tossed in some pinto beans, which I thought was a good addition.
Here's a link to the recipe:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe?id=8994639

If you give it a try, I hope you'll come back and tell me what you thought. :)

Missy

Monday, November 09, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings and Traditions

I hope you'll stop by the e-harlequin website this week and discuss special Thanksgiving blessings and traditions! I've posted one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories today. Please come by and share yours!


http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/steeple-hill/thanksgiving-blessings-and-traditions

Missy

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog Tour Stops This Week!


My new release, A Forever Christmas, is on the shelves now! Don't forget it would make a nice, inexpensive Christmas gift for your friends! :)
Also, please be sure to check the blog tour schedule over on the right side of the screen. I have several stops this week. I hope you'll come by to visit at each one. I'll be offering book giveaways on some of them. I'd love to see you there!
And for local folks, I'll be doing a book signing on November 14 at the Christmas in the Country Arts & Crafts Festival (10 am - 5 pm). More details later. Just hold the date!
Missy

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reading on Blogtalk Radio on Thursday


I'm excited to take part in something new to me, Blogtalk radio, on Thursday evening. I'll be reading a short excerpt from A Forever Christmas at around 7:00 pm Central time with other authors from Red River Writers. I'm not sure exactly what time I'll read, but it should be within the first 20 minutes or so. I hope you'll stop by! And also, they'll put the show up later so you can listen to it at anytime.
To check it out, click here.
Also, I've heard of book sightings in Walmart! I'd love to hear from you if you see my book on the shelf anywhere. Thanks!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wild Adventure in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!



My kids had fall break last week, and we headed to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to spend some fun time in the mountains. We met my parents and my sister and brother-in-law to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary. Whenever we go, we always stay in an older motel that sits nestled between the mountainside and the river. And one day while standing outside my parents' room, I glanced up and saw this site (you may have to click on the photo to see the detail). I wasn't sure I was seeing correctly, but as I watched, dumbstruck, I saw this next photo...a bear coming down the mountain toward the parking lot! I couldn't even speak. I just pointed and made funny sounds (which my family has teased me mercilessly about!). :)

When everyone realized what I was pointing at, my sister grabbed her camera and started snapping. She was saying, "Oh, how sweet," and things like that as she got WAY too close to the bear. He walked around the parking lot, sniffing.

Thankfully, my brother-in-law had thought to run close the back of the minivan as soon as I saw the bear coming down the hill. But apparently, there was something that drew him to another car. He stood on his hind feet, put his front paws on the top of the car, then seemed to look inside. Meanwhile, my sister got down and snapped this next shot under the railing outside our motel doors.


And the last photo was the best. This is not zoomed. The bear got within about 5 or 6 feet of us before we scampered into the room and closed the door. We figured we better not push our luck no matter how cute he was! :)
What excitement! But there's still something scary about looking into the bloodshot eyes of a black bear!

I'll share more photos of the mountains once my son emails them to me from his phone. It was gorgeous in the Smokies while we were there!
Have any of you made any trips to the mountains to see fall leaves?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Myra Johnson's One Imperfect Christmas


I’m so thrilled to introduce debut author (and my good friend!) Myra Johnson to you today. Myra will be giving away a copy of her new release, One Imperfect Christmas, today. I’ll randomly choose a winner from among those who either leave a comment or email me at missytippens {@} aol.com. (If you email me, please put Myra in the subject line). And now, Myra Johnson…

1. Since this is your first book, I know my readers would love to hear about The Call for that first sale!


Talk about a whirlwind adventure! After 25 years of “positive rejections” and “almosts,” I couldn’t believe how fast this all happened. One day I happened upon an announcement about Abingdon Press’s new fiction line on Brandilyn Collins’s blog. Within hours I had my query off to the new editor, Barbara Scott. She looked at several of my ms. (manuscript) proposals and within a few days had chosen the one that interested her. I e-mailed her the complete ms., we e-mailed back and forth a few times over the next couple of weeks, and within a month of my initial query, she called with the formal contract offer! Needless to say, I had to restrain myself from screaming in her ear! I’ll never forget that day because later that evening we had to go pick up our new car from the Toyota dealership. So much excitement in one day was way more than I could handle, so I got very little sleep that night!


2. Oh, how exciting! Please tell us a little about your book.


Graphic designer Natalie Pearce will soon face the most difficult Christmas of her life. While taking down last year’s Christmas decorations, her mother suffered a massive stroke, and Natalie blames herself for not being there when it happened. Worse, she allows the monstrous load of guilt to drive a wedge between her and everyone she loves--most of all her husband, Daniel. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, her prayer life is suffering, and she's one Christmas away from hitting rock bottom.
Junior-high basketball coach Daniel Pearce is at his wit's end. Nothing he's done has been able to break through the wall Natalie has erected between them. And their daughter Lissa's adolescent rebellion isn't helping matters. Daniel's hope reaches its lowest ebb, and he wonders if the next Christmas will spell the end of his marriage and the loss of everything he holds dear.

3. Where can readers buy your book?

My book is available (or can be ordered) through any major bookstore, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders. Since Cokesbury Books is the retail arm of Abingdon Press, readers can probably find the best discounts in your local store or at the Cokesbury Website.

4. Can you tell us a little about your personal life?

I’ve been married for over 37 years to a great guy who has supported and encouraged my dream of writing from the beginning. If not for him, I don’t know what I’d be doing right now. We have two lovely daughters who are married to wonderful young men, and between them they’ve given us five adorable grandchildren (4 boys and—finally!!—a gorgeous granddaughter who loves pink!). I’m an animal lover, so we’ve never been without pets in our home. Right now we have a half-Lab and a border collie something-or-other, plus a parakeet who still holds a grudge because I “rescued” him from our backyard birdfeeder several years ago.

5. LOL! What an ungrateful parakeet! :) Okay, so what’s one other thing readers might not know about you, maybe something unusual?

Hmmm. As I mentioned, I love animals, which includes horses. All my life I wished for my own horse, but as a city girl I never had the means or opportunity. Then several years ago I began volunteering with a therapeutic horseback riding program, met some “horsey” people, and got connected with a dressage instructor and a friend of a friend who offered me one of her “extra” horses for lessons and practice. Heavenly! Leaving all that behind was one of the hardest parts of leaving Texas and moving to Oklahoma three years ago. I regret I’ve never had the time to look into riding opportunities in our new locale.

6. Which character in your story is most like you?

While I’m not the workaholic Natalie is, we’re most alike in our moodiness and tendency to lash out at loved ones when we’re stressed or troubled.

7. Can you tell us about your next book (blurb and release date)?

My next book will be a Heartsong Presents contemporary romance. The title is Autumn Rains, and the book is due for release in mid-October. Here’s the blurb:

Healy Ferguson knows all about prisons, both the real and the emotional kind. Paying your dues to society doesn’t always mean you’ve paid your dues to yourself, and often the price you exact on yourself far exceeds the crime. Valerie Bishop is caught in the emotional prison of post-traumatic stress disorder, unable to venture more than a few feet out her back door. Shadowy moments from a night she can’t remember bombard her without warning, keeping her trapped between the painful past and a future seemingly without hope. But God promises to repay the years that have been lost; for those who trust in Him, He promises refreshing, life-giving rain. Will Val and Healy trust to see God’s perfect plan, or will they choose the chains that hold them back?

8. Sounds wonderful! I think maybe I read the first chapters of that story a few years ago. I’m so glad it will be published! Now, a last question. How can readers find you (website, Twitter, Facebook, ect.)?

My Website is www.MyraJohnson.com.
I also blog at http://myra.typepad.com, http://seekerville.blogspot.com, and http://romanceyourspouse.com.
My Facebook fan page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Myra-Johnson/67707395198?ref=ts.
To follow me on Twitter, look up http://twitter.com/MyraJohnson.


Thank you so much for being on my blog today, Myra!
Thanks for having me, Missy! Always a pleasure hanging out with one of my Seekerville sisters!

Bio:

Myra Johnson’s roots go deep into Texas soil, but she’s proud to be a new Oklahoman. Empty-nesters now, she and her husband share their home in Broken Arrow with two loveable dogs and a snobby parakeet. Her debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas, released in September 2009 from Abingdon Press.
She also writes for Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line. Autumn Rains, winner of the 2005 RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript, releases October 2009, soon to be followed by Romance by the Book and Where the Dogwoods Bloom.
Myra writes full-time and is active in her church as well as local and national writers groups. Myra and her husband have been married since 1972. The Johnsons have two married daughters and five grandchildren.



Friday, September 25, 2009

Free Book Fridays!



I just heard about a great deal at e-harlequin.com. It's one of the Free Fridays--where if you buy 2 books, you get one free. Today's free book is a Steeple Hill book by an author I enjoyed meeting last week at the ACFW conference in Denver, Ruth Axtell Morren. I had a great time getting to know Ruth at a Steeple Hill author dinner. And this book sounds wonderful!


If you'd like the opportunity to get this book as a gift with the purchase of two books, click here.



And if you're looking for two other books to buy, I can recommend one! His Forever Love, by...me! :) And also Dreaming of Home, the debut novel of one of my good friends (and fellow Seekerville blogger), Glynna Kaye. Or Soldier Daddy by another friend and Seekerville blogger, Cheryl Wyatt.

I hope you have a great weekend!
Missy

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book of the Year Awards and Genesis Contest Winners

I just got back from the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference last night. I had a fantastic time! I'll post some photos later. But I wanted to share a list of the contest winners. A big congrats to all the winners! :) I'm especially thrilled for friend and fellow F.A.I.T.H. blogger, Christy Lashea Smith! For fellow Craftie Ladies of Romance blogger Pamela Tracy. And for my good friend and fellow Seeker blogger, Julie Lessman! Congrats, ladies. Very well deserved.

The American Christian Fiction Writers Awards 2009

2009 Mentor of the Year- Donita K. Paul

2009 Membership Service Award- John B. Olson

2009 Editor of the Year Award- Ami McConnell, Thomas Nelson

2009 Agent of the Year Award Steve Laube, The Steve Laube Agency

2009 Book of the Year Contest


  • Debut Author- A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman


  • Lits- Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck


  • Long Contemporary- Symphony of Secrets by Sharon Hinck


  • Long Contemporary Romance- Controlling Interest by Elizabeth White


  • Long Historical (tie)- My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke


  • Mystery- For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls by Nancy Mehl


  • Novellas- Stuck on You in A Connecticut Christmas anthology by Rhonda Gibson


  • Short Contemporary- Family Treasures by Kathryn Springer


  • Short Contemporary Suspense- Broken Lullaby by Pamela Tracy


  • Short Historical- Family of the Heart by Dorothy Clark


  • Speculative- The Restorer’s Journey by Sharon Hinck


  • Suspense- Fossil Hunter by John B. Olson


  • Women’s Fiction- The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner


  • Young Adult- The Big Picture by Jenny B. Jones





ACFW 2009 Genesis Contest




  • Contemporary Fiction- Jennifer Griffith, Magpies in Trees


  • Contemporary Romance- Christy LaShea Smith, The Bridge Between


  • Historical Fiction- Christine Schmidtke, Unveiled


  • Historical Romance- Lacy Williams, Marrying Miss Marshal


  • Mystery/Suspense/Thriller- Alan Schleimer, Q.doc


  • Romantic Suspense- Jan Warren, Katherine Octavia, C.I.A.


  • Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Allegory- David Fry, Lies To See


  • Women’s Fiction- Cathleen Armstrong, The Church of Last Chance


  • Young Adult- Gretchen Hoffman, Rewind

Monday, September 14, 2009

Got my author copies of A Forever Christmas today!


I got my author copies of A Forever Christmas today! It's even more gorgeous in real life. :) Deep, rich reds and greens. For those who belong to the book club and get all 6 books each month, I bet you'll get your copy soon! I'd love to hear if anyone has received one. Just drop me an email at my website or comment here.

My first book, Her Unlikely Family, is up for an award. It's been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Contest in the short contemporary category. I'll find out the final results on Saturday night so will post the results next week. I'm up against my good friend Mary Connealy (who's a double finalist!), Kathryn Springer (who's books I love and who is so sweet), and Janice Thompson (who I've also met and is really nice) so it'll be fun no matter who wins. :)
I'll close by sharing the whole list of finalists.





2009 ACFW Book of the Year Contest Finalists

Debut Author


A Passion Most Pure (Julie Lessman)


Courting Miss Adelaide (Janet Dean)


Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)


Hero, Second Class (Mitchell Bonds)


In the Shadow of the Sun King (Golden Keyes Parsons)


Lits


Faking Grace (Tamara Leigh)


Picket Fence Promises (Kathryn Springer)


Single Sashimi (Camy Tang)


Sweet Caroline (Rachel Hauck)


Truffles by the Sea (Julie Carobini)


Long Contemporary


Lookin Back Texas (Leanna Ellis)


One Holy Night (J.M. Hochstetler)


Stuck in the Middle (Virginia Smith)


Summer of Joy (Ann H. Gabhart)


Symphony of Secrets (Sharon Hinck)


Long Contemporary Romance


Along Came a Cowboy (Christine Lynxwiler)


Controlling Interest (Elizabeth White)


The Convenient Groom (Denise Hunter)


Finding Stefanie (Susan May Warren)


Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black & White (Claudia Mair Burney)


Long Historical (6 finalists due to a tie)


The Apothecary's Daughter (Julie Klassen)


Calico Canyon (Mary Connealy)


Deep In the Heart of Trouble (Deeanne Gist)


From A Distance (Tamera Alexander)


I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Cathy Gohlke)


My Heart Remembers (Kim Vogel Sawyer)


Mystery


The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (A.K. Arenz)


Death on a Deadline (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)


Drop Dead Diva (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)


For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls (Nancy Mehl)


Of Mice . . . and Murder (Mary Connealy)


NOVELLAS


The Cookie Jar (Janet Lee Barton in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)


Dressed in Scarlet (Darlene Franklin in Snowbound Colorado Christmas anthology)


Santa's Prayer (Diane Ashley in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)


Snowbound for Christmas (Gail Sattler in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)


Stuck On You (Rhonda Gibson in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)


SHORT CONTEMPORARY


Buffalo Gal (Mary Connealy)


Clueless Cowboy (Mary Connealy)


Family Treasures (Kathryn Springer)


Her Unlikely Family (Missy Tippens)


White as Snow (Janice Thompson)


SHORT CONTEMPORARY SUSPENSE


Bayou Paradox (Robin Caroll)


Broken Lullaby (Pamela Tracy)


Countdown to Death (Debby Giusti)


Forsaken Canyon (Margaret Daley)


Killer Cargo (Dana Mentink)


SHORT HISTORICAL


Family of the Heart (Dorothy Clark)


Masked by Moonlight (Allie Pleiter)


Reckless Rogue (Mary Davis)


Return to Love (Susan Page Davis)


Sandhill Dreams (Cara Putman)


SPECULATIVE


The Book of Names (D. Barkley Briggs)


DragonLight (Donita Paul)


The Restorer’s Journey (Sharon Hinck)


Shade (John B. Olson)


Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy (Theodore Beale)


SUSPENSE


Anathema (Colleen Coble)


The Black Cloister (Melanie Dobson)


Fossil Hunter (John B. Olson)


Lonestar Sanctuary (Colleen Coble)


Perfect (Harry Kraus)


WOMEN'S FICTION (7 finalists due to a tie)


A Month of Summer (Lisa Wingate)


Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)


My Sister Dilly (Maureen Lang)


The Perfect Life (Robin Lee Hatcher)


The Shape of Mercy (Susan Meissner)


Stepping into Sunlight (Sharon Hinck)


Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon (Debbie Fuller Thomas)


YOUNG ADULT


The Big Picture (Jenny B. Jones)


The Fruit of My Lipstick (Shelley Adina)


It’s all About Us (Shelley Adina)


The Owling (Robert Elmer)


Trion Rising (Robert Elmer)


CONGRATULATIONS FINALISTS!



Monday, September 07, 2009

Seekerville Blog Treasure Hunt!

One of my group blogs, www.Seekerville.blogspot.com, is holding a treasure hunt for writers who'll be attending the American Christian Fiction Writers conference coming up soon. And even if you're not going to the conference or not a writer, there's still a way to take part. There'll be 15 chances to win, with a $50 gift card being the grand prize! So hop on over and see the cool treasure map Tina Radcliffe made up for us. :)

To check it out, Click Here.

Also, I updated my website this weekend! So be sure to stop by. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for my quarterly email newsletter. www.missytippens.com I just mailed a newsletter out today, so if you missed it and would like a copy, just email me at missytippens [at] aol.com requesting it. I'll forward you a copy.

Missy

Friday, September 04, 2009

Sharing a Pasta Recipe!


When I was trying to think of what to make for dinner tonight (with one child with the flu and one child with a newly-sprained ankle), I looked around the kitchen and had a light bulb moment. Grab anything that'll go on top of pasta. So I started gathering stuff and made a pasta sauce including everything but the kitchen sink. And it turned out yummy! It's not really a recipe. But I thought I could share the ingredients with you. In case you want to try something similar.


I had a tomato out of the garden and chopped it

Fresh basil off my plant (that's sitting on my front porch because it was happy there!)--chopped

One avocado-diced

Bacon-- fried and crumbled


I put it over angel hair pasta that had been tossed in EVOO, as Rachel Ray calls it. (For those who don't watch her, that's extra virgin olive oil). :) Oh, and then we topped it with Parmesan.
I say "we," but my kids would only eat the noodles with cheese on top. (sigh)

Yum! So how about you? Have you happened on any great recipes just by playing? If so, please share!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Our Nephew, Buster Posey, Called Up to the Majors!


We're celebrating today! We got a call this morning that our nephew, Buster Posey, got called up from triple-A ball to join the San Francisco Giants! He'll be at the game in Philly tonight. We're thrilled for him! His wife and mom and dad will be there. I hope he gets some playing time! I just hate that we can't watch it on TV. But I'm about to go try to watch it on the computer. :)


Click here for an article from the Giants' website. It says he may get some playing time in later innings. But I'll be nervous for him! :)


Go Giants!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome Janet Dean! Win a Copy of her Book...

I'm so thrilled to welcome my good friend Janet Dean today. She's going to answer a few of my questions and will be giving away a copy of her newest release, Courting the Doctor's Daughter in a drawing among those who comment and leave contact information. So be sure to comment! You don't want to miss her wonderful books.

1. Janet, I just love your writing. It's so evocative. Do you have to do a lot of research for your setting and time period?



Thanks for inviting me to your blog today, Missy. Huge thanks for the lovely compliment! I love your books! We’re both blessed to write for Steeple Hill.

As to research, all three of my sold books take place in small Midwestern towns in the late 1800s so most of the basic research I did for the first book carried over to the others. Once I knew the basics, I loved exploring the specific historical elements that anchor my stories. Courting Miss Adelaide and Courting the Doctor’s Daughter center around the orphan train phenomena. Over a seventy-year period, 250,000 orphaned and half-orphaned children living in New York City’s orphanages, or on the streets, rode trains to new homes in the Midwest and beyond. To write Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, I also investigated medical practices, medical schools and herbal medicine. With The Substitute Bride, February 2010, I explored the amazing stories of real life mail-order brides. I love history and can get caught up in research. Though the facts can be frustrating when they don’t support the story I want to write. :)



2. For those who haven’t yet read your books, could you give a little blurb of each?


Courting Miss Adelaide: The “orphan train” seemed like small-town spinster Adelaide Crum’s last chance to know the simple joys of family life. So many lost children, every one of them dreaming only of 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….

Courting the Doctor’s Daughter: A widow with three boys to raise, Mary Graves has no time for peddlers of phony medicine. She’s a dedicated healer working alongside her doctor father. When a handsome stranger blows into town with his “elixir of health” and asks questions about her newly adopted son, Mary’s determined to uncover the truth behind all his claims.

Once the reckless heir to a Boston fortune, Dr. Luke Jacobs travels the country with his herbal medicine while searching for his long-lost son. After meeting the feisty doctor’s daughter and her youngest boy, Luke has found what he’s been looking for at last. But can he convince her to let him into her home, her family—and her heart?


3. I know life gets crazy, and you have events with your family/grandkids as well as involvement in your church. But what does a typical writing day look like for you?



I typically begin writing at ten o’clock, having already slugged down three cups of coffee while I checked e-mail, commented at our group blog, Seekerville and had my devotions. By the time I get to the computer, I’m raring to go. I usually break for lunch, but the crumbs in my keyboard attest I often eat while I work. I write until four or five o’clock, depending on whether I’m going to exercise. I’m not a big TV watcher so I spend most evenings catching up with e-mail and promotion. Most evenings I take a walk with my husband. When I’m nearing a deadline, I spend almost every waking moment at the computer.

4. Are your characters based on people you know? If not, how do you come up with their personalities?

I suspect most writers absorb personalities like a sponge. My characters may share traits of people I know and even parts of myself. Not that I’m admitting to specifics. :) Its fun to create wacky secondary characters with no resemblance to anyone, living or dead, but over the years I’ve picked up traits from people watching and have fun exaggerating them. So beware. :) I also create my character’s personalities from their back story. What they’ve experienced in the past shapes not only who they are, but how they behave. At this point, I haven’t used personality charts and archetypes.

5. When can we look for another wonderful book by Janet Dean?? :) And what's it about?

The Substitute Bride releases February 2010. Debutante Elizabeth Manning will do anything to give her brother a good home, but her mail-order bride switch falls as flat as her rock-hard biscuits. Farmer Ted Logan, her widower groom with two children, has a secret he’s carrying and a Call he’s refusing to answer. Both learn love requires honesty, a hearty dose of forgiveness and the courage to accept God’s purpose for their lives.

6. How can readers find out more about you and your books?

I invite readers to visit my Web site: http://www.janetdean.net/

And my blog: http://www.janetdean.blogspot.com/

And our group blog: http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/

Other Web sites where I have a presence: Love Inspired Authors: http://www.loveinspiredauthors.com/

Love Inspired Historical Authors: http://www.myspace.loveinspiredhistorical.com/

They can also check out my author page at http://www.eharlequin.com/

Thanks for having me today, Missy. I enjoyed it!

Janet, thanks so much for doing the interview! And readers, don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Courting the Doctor's Daughter.





Janet grew up in a family that cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her Social Studies/Art teacher father was a storyteller, like his father. The yarns her father and grandfather told instilled in Janet a love of the past and the desire to tell stories on paper. At twelve Janet wrote her first “novels,” even illustrating her little books, but when it came time to choose a career, she wanted to teach. Today Janet writes inspirational historical romances for Steeple Hill. Courting Miss Adelaide released in September 2008. Her second book in the Courting series, Courting the Doctor's Daughter released May 12, 2009. Her third book The Substitute Bride, February 2010, is a mail-order bride story set in Iowa.

When she isn’t writing, Janet enjoys making hand-crafted greeting cards, playing golf and bridge, and reading. The Deans enjoy travel and spending time with family.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lots of Laughs Today

Well, today's my son's last day at home before leaving to head back to college. It's much different from last year. This time, I know he's happy and has settled in up there--with friends and a support group. I know he'll be just fine, and I'll will, too. (Some of you may remember me sharing about the tears and the emotional breakdown in the grocery store at the freezer case last August!) :)

Today has been nice. As I've been trying to work, he's packing and preparing. But at one point, he called me in to trim his sideburns and shave the back of his neck. Well, something happened, and I cut a big notch in his sideburn! Oh, my. I died laughing, which scared him. He was afraid I had shaved the whole thing off. (I kindly informed him that if I had done something terrible, I would have made an horrified face, not laughed. ) So he now has nice even but fairly short sideburns!

He's had his revenge, though. A few minutes ago I was listening to a workshop on my computer using my iPod ear buds. I've had such a hard time using them. They always hurt my ears. So I was sitting here, twisting and shoving them, trying to hear better and to stop my ears from aching. All of a sudden, my son, who happened to look at me (probably because I was groaning and griping), about fell off the couch laughing. Apparently I had been putting my ear buds in wrong! I had them sticking out instead of straight up and down. So yay!! Now they don't hurt. But I sure do feel silly. Especially since he keeps laughing about it and having a little too much fun describing how ridiculous they looked. :)

Tonight we're having a special family dinner. Then we'll load the car for what's now become an annual trek back to campus. Only this year, mom and dad aren't needed for the move. We'll be waving him off from the front porch. And maybe I won't cry this time.

Maybe.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes :)

I hope you'll stop by the F.A.I.T.H. blog on Thursday to hear how my son and I happened to make fried green tomatoes today. :)

Oh, and I'm sharing a recipe!

www.writingbyfaith.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Changes All Around


Lots of changes around here right now. My two youngest are back to school, one of them now a big freshman in high school. My oldest just returned from a mission trip in Kenya and will be heading back to college in 10 days. I'm starting a new medication for acid reflux and so far, praise God!, I've had no more heartburn or esophageal spasms (no more thinking I'm having a heart attack!). :) My husband's celebrating the fact that football season has now officially started with the first preseason game the other night (although that means it's his season to control the remote control once again. Bummer.)


And we're definitely in the dog days of summer. When I picked up my daughter yesterday at 5:30 pm, it was still 95 degrees and miserable.


I've also been brainstorming new books ideas. I pulled out a file that I've been keeping for years for when an idea hits me. It often happens while I'm watching a show on TV or after going out to eat and overhearing a conversation. Newspaper articles and TV news also give me ideas. And dreams. So when I pulled out that file I've labeled "Book Ideas," it was fun to open each document and read some of the crazy things I've jotted down. :) Needless to say, some of them will never be used. But it's still fun to read them every now and then. And it spurs my creativity.
What changes are going on around your household right now?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Winners of Books this Week...

We have the two winners!



Edwina has won Camy's book, Deadly Intent.


Kristi C. has won Randy's book, The Justice Game.

Thanks to all who stopped by and participated!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Guest Blogger Camy Tang


I’m so happy to have a guest today--my friend, Camy Tang, author of the newly released Deadly Intent from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Camy has offered to give away a copy of Deadly Intent in a drawing from those who comment. So please be sure to leave your contact information! And now, Camy…



I’m so excited to be on Missy’s blog today! Missy asked me to answer the question, "Is it easier to write suspense because of the built-in conflict of a villain?"


Actually, the presence of a villain in romantic suspense makes it a bit harder to write. Suspense villains tend to have very strong motivations for the evil and mayhem they’re causing, but that also means I have to make sure that their every action and decision is logical and works toward their ultimate desire.


Suspense villains are very focused and very intense, which makes me work harder to make sure the conflict they cause is also very focused and intense. It makes the romance arc harder to include because I have to take into account the danger the hero and heroine are in, which doesn’t leave much room for hanging out or going on dates.


My biggest challenge in writing a romantic suspense is that I have to make sure that each character decision—whether it’s the villain, the hero, or the heroine—makes sense. In life or death situations, a stupid character is a dead character. I’m sure we’ve all rolled our eyes at the heroine who takes a walk alone at night without a flashlight when she knows there’s a serial killer on the loose in the neighborhood.

Because of the villain’s evil intent, I have to double check that every character action is logical and purposeful—including the villain’s actions. A stupid villain kind of ruins the whole story!


Sometimes my hero or heroine will do something not-so-smart because of false assumptions about themselves or other people or God, like Naomi’s desire to control everything because she hasn’t fully given herself to God and doesn’t trust in Him.

I hope I’ve managed to give strong motivations for all my characters’ actions in Deadly Intent. I had my critique partners AND my editors check to make sure, anyway.


It’s my hope that readers will relate to how Naomi’s faith is tested when conflict and danger surround her. I certainly wouldn’t wish a dead body on anyone in order to test their faith, but life always has trials, and I want my readers to be encouraged by the things Naomi comes to realize about herself and about God in the course of the story.


Thanks for having me here, Missy!


Camy

DEADLY INTENT back cover blurb:


SCENE OF THE CRIME

The Grant family’s exclusive Sonoma spa is a place for rest and relaxation—not murder! Then Naomi Grant finds her client Jessica Ortiz bleeding to death in her massage room, and everything falls apart. The salon’s reputation is at stake...and so is Naomi’s freedom when she discovers that she is one of the main suspects! Her only solace is found with the other suspect—Dr. Devon Knightley, the victim’s ex-husband. But Devon is hiding secrets of his own. When they come to light, where can Naomi turn...and whom can she trust?

Bio:


Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every week, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at http://camytang.com/ for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away fourteen boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, DEADLY INTENT.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Randy Singer and The Justice Game





I’m pleased to share an interview with Randy Singer, author of The Justice Game. I’ll be giving away a signed copy of The Justice Game in a drawing among those who either comment on this post or who email me at missytippens [at] aol.com. So be sure to enter!




  1. Randy, you bring a unique perspective to your writing because you are also an attorney and a pastor. How do you juggle these three things and still have a life?


It helps that I love doing all three. It also helps that, while they’re all very different, they draw on common skill sets. For example, principles of powerful story-telling are important for a pastor, lawyer and (obviously) writer. I’m a little ADHD and like being able to go from one thing to another. I tell people it’s like crop rotation—keeps things fresh. And, to be honest, writing is more like relaxation for me than a job. It gives me a break from the pressures of the other “real life” jobs and lets me go into a world where I get to control things! (Can we say “God complex” here?)



But none of that really answers your question. Three things help me juggle. One, I try to stay focused on the big stuff. It’s not that I do the little stuff second, I try not to do the little stuff at all. Second, I stay focused on what I can do well and let others worry about the stuff that is out of my control. In other words, I’m a master at delegation (think Tom Sawyer and the white picket fence). And third, I’ve learned to get comfortable with the fact that I will always have stuff in each of these areas that does not get done. As long as the ball is moving forward, I’ve got to be satisfied with that.



As for the part about having a life—I would have to object to that question on the grounds that it assumes facts not in evidence. :)



But seriously--I thank God that, in His grace, He allows me to do three separate things that I love doing so much. My prayer is that I might bring glory to Him in three different ways as I minister in each of these areas. (And yes, being a lawyer is a ministry.)




  1. In all your novels, you often address a particular topic. How did you decide to address gun control in The Justice Game?


I like to write about moral issues that have no easy answer. On the issue of gun control, there are some pretty strong emotions on both sides. And people have typically trenched in—spouting off rehearsed arguments rather than trying to understand each other. But when you frame the issue in the context of a story, you can sometimes by-pass the automatic intellectual defenses and speak straight to the heart. I tried to create compelling characters on both sides of the story to help readers sort through the types of honest arguments that people of good faith make and then decide for themselves.



But on a larger scale, the issue of gun control is not really the focus of The Justice Game. The more important issues raised are these: (1) In America, can you “game” the criminal justice system? I have proposed a hypothetical system in The Justice Game that could do just that. (2) Can the main characters in the novel escape their past sins (and secrets) or will they let themselves remain captive to them? I once heard Rick Warren say that courage comes when you have nothing left to hide. That’s a concept I explore in The Justice Game.




  1. As an attorney, you served as lead counsel in a school shooting case in Virginia. What happened and what impact did the case have?


This is from the author’s note at the beginning of the book:



On December 16, 1988, a fifteen-year-old student named Nicholas Elliot took a Cobray semiautomatic handgun to Atlantic Shores Christian School and opened fire. He shot and killed a teacher named Karen Farley and wounded an assistant principal, then burst into a trailer where a Bible class was meeting. When he attempted to open fire on the students huddled in the back corner of the trailer, the gun jammed. The Bible teacher, Hutch Matteson, tackled Elliot and prevented the kind of tragedy that hit Columbine High School in Colorado several years later.



Atlantic Shores was the school where my wife taught. It was the school my kids attended (though they were not there that day).



And when I learned that Elliot had purchased the gun illegally from a gun store in Isle of Wight County through a transaction referred to as a “straw purchase transaction,” I represented the family of Karen Farley in an unprecedented lawsuit against the gun store.



The verdict shocked everyone.



In terms of the impact this real case had on my writing—it made the writing of the book both harder and easier. Harder because we lost a friend in the Atlantic Shores shooting and it was difficult to relive the emotions of the shooting and subsequent case. Easier because authors should write what they know best. I didn’t have to imagine what the feelings of the attorneys would be as they tried this case of national importance on an issue with such raw emotions. I had walked in those shoes. From that perspective, this book might be the most realistic book I’ve written.




  1. You had your readers determine the verdict in the court case at the center of the book. Why did you decide to go this route?


Two reasons. First, I thought it would be fun to create an interactive experience for readers. We put together a fake newscast with snippets of the closing arguments—just enough to inform readers about the case and let them vote. Second, I was trying to be balanced on this issue of gun control. What better way to demonstrate balance than to let the readers decide the verdict? Oh yeah, and third (if it’s not too late to add a third), the book ends up being about much more than just the verdict in the gun case. I knew that the ending would work out fine whichever way the verdict came out.


1. Since we’ve been discussing a heavy topic, we need something lighthearted to close out this interview. What’s your best lawyer joke?


It’s not actually my best, but it’s pretty quick.

They’ve started using lawyers instead of rats in laboratory experiments for three reasons: (1) there are more of them; (2) the scientists would sometimes get attached to the rats; and (3) there were some things the lab rats just wouldn’t do.


LOL! Thanks, Randy. And for you readers, don't forget to either leave a comment with contact info or email me to enter a drawing for a signed copy of The Justice Game.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Book of the Year Finalist!!!

I'm so thrilled and honored to be named a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Contest with my first book, Her Unlikely Family!! Here's the official listing with many of my favorite writers listed:

2009 American Christian Fiction Writers

Book of the Year Contest

Finalists

Debut Author

  • A Passion Most Pure (Julie Lessman)
  • Courting Miss Adelaide (Janet Dean)
  • Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)
  • Hero, Second Class (Mitchell Bonds)
  • In the Shadow of the Sun King (Golden Keyes Parsons)

Lits

  • Faking Grace (Tamara Leigh)
  • Picket Fence Promises (Kathryn Springer)
  • Single Sashimi (Camy Tang)
  • Sweet Caroline (Rachel Hauck)
  • Truffles by the Sea (Julie Carobini)

Long Contemporary

  • Lookin Back Texas (Leanna Ellis)
  • One Holy Night (J.M. Hochstetler)
  • Stuck in the Middle (Virginia Smith)
  • Summer of Joy (Ann H. Gabhart)
  • Symphony of Secrets (Sharon Hinck)

Long Contemporary Romance

  • Along Came a Cowboy (Christine Lynxwiler)
  • Controlling Interest (Elizabeth White)
  • The Convenient Groom (Denise Hunter)
  • Finding Stefanie (Susan May Warren)
  • Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black & White (Claudia Mair Burney)

Long Historical (6 finalists due to a tie)

  • The Apothecary’s Daughter (Julie Klassen)
  • Calico Canyon (Mary Connealy)
  • Deep In the Heart of Trouble (Deeanne Gist)
  • From A Distance (Tamera Alexander)
  • I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Cathy Gohlke)
  • My Heart Remembers ( Kim Vogel Sawyer)

Mystery

  • The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (A.K. Arenz)
  • Death on a Deadline (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)
  • Drop Dead Diva (Christine Lynxwiler, Sandy Gaskin, and Jan Reynolds)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Nancy Mehl)
  • Of Mice . . . and Murder (Mary Connealy)

Novellas

  • The Cookie Jar (Janet Lee Barton in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
  • Dressed in Scarlet (Darlene Franklin in Snowbound Colorado Christmas anthology)
  • Santa’s Prayer (Diane Ashley in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
  • Snowbound for Christmas (Gail Sattler in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)
  • Stuck On You (Rhonda Gibson in A Connecticut Christmas anthology)

Short Contemporary

  • Buffalo Gal (Mary Connealy)
  • Clueless Cowboy (Mary Connealy)
  • Family Treasures (Kathryn Springer)
  • Her Unlikely Family (Missy Tippens)
  • White as Snow (Janice Thompson)

Short Contemporary Suspense

  • Bayou Paradox (Robin Caroll)
  • Broken Lullaby (Pamela Tracy)
  • Countdown to Death (Debby Giusti)
  • Forsaken Canyon (Margaret Daley)
  • Killer Cargo (Dana Mentink)

Short Historical

  • Family of the Heart (Dorothy Clark)
  • Masked by Moonlight (Allie Pleiter)
  • Reckless Rogue (Mary Davis)
  • Return to Love (Susan Page Davis)
  • Sandhill Dreams (Cara Putman)

Speculative

  • The Book of Names (D. Barkley Briggs)
  • DragonLight (Donita K. Paul)
  • The Restorer’s Journey (Sharon Hinck)
  • Shade (John B. Olson)
  • Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy (Theodore Beale)

Suspense

  • Anathema (Colleen Coble)
  • The Black Cloister (Melanie Dobson)
  • Fossil Hunter (John B. Olson)
  • Lonestar Sanctuary (Colleen Coble)
  • Perfect (Harry Kraus)

Women’s Fiction (7 finalists due to a tie)

  • A Month of Summer (Lisa Wingate)
  • Every Good and Perfect Gift (Sharon K. Souza)
  • My Sister Dilly (Maureen Lang)
  • The Perfect Life (Robin Lee Hatcher)
  • The Shape of Mercy (Susan Meissner)
  • Stepping into Sunlight (Sharon Hinck)
  • Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon (Debbie Fuller Thomas)

Young Adult

  • The Big Picture (Jenny B. Jones)
  • The Fruit of My Lipstick (Shelley Adina)
  • It’s all About Us (Shelley Adina)
  • The Owling (Robert Elmer)
  • Trion Rising (Robert Elmer)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Win a Copy of Camy Tang's Book Thursday!

Stop by the F.A.I.T.H. blog today and comment for a chance to win Camy Tang's first release for Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, Deadly Intent!

www.writingbyfaith.blogspot.com

Also, I'd appreciate prayers for my son. He and a team are heading out on Monday for a two-week mission trip to Kenya. They'll be holding medical clinics, doing construction and helping with the AIDS orphans. Please pray for safety, good health, and that they touch a lot of lives! And did I mention safety??

Yes, I'm a nervous mom! All prayers are greatly appreciated.

Missy

Monday, July 20, 2009

Home for the Romance Writers of America national conference!


I just got back from the RWA National conference in Washington, D.C. It was such a great week, especially spending time with the Steeple Hill editors and all my writing friends. And I learned so much! I even had a morning for sight-seeing. Janet Dean and her husband were kind enough to let me tag along for a tour of the Capitol. We were luck enough to have our tour guide give us tickets to sit in the Senate gallery!

The first photo is of the Supreme Court. We passed it while walking back to the subway station. TV reporters were outside because of the hearings going on for Sotomayer.

The next photo is of the fresco ceiling of the Capitol rotunda. Oh my goodness. It was amazing!


And here's the gorgeous Capitol on a perfectly sunny day. We had the best time!
We also visited the Library of Congress. And if you pop over to the Seekerville blog, you can see photos of that as well as lots of people photos. Including one of me with Janet Evanovich! :)
So head on over to Seekerville to hear a bit more about this wonderful conference. And for writers, I share some of my picks for best workshops.

Missy

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back from a Wonderful Vacation!


We just got back from Orange Beach, Alabama, from a wonderful week of family vacation. We had such a great time! The weather was wonderful (only one day was partly rainy). And we stayed at a new condo complex that was amazing. Left, is a photo of the pool with the beach in the background. And also a shot from the pool area out to the beach.

And then, a photo my daughter took of me doing my favorite vacation activity--reading on the beach! I finished 3 or 4 books while I was there. And you can see that I'm reading one of my good friend's books--Janet Dean's newest, Courting the Doctor's Daughter. I always hate to leave beach paradise and head home. But it sure is nice to be back in my bed. :)




Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Blogging All Over the Place

This Thursday is one of those days that happens to be my day to post...on 3 of my group blogs! I hope you'll come check them out.

F.A.I.T.H. I'm posting about God giving me Bible verses at just the right time.

Craftie Ladies of Romance I'm posting about celebrating family vacation.

Love Inspired Authors Blog I'm posting questions from a young reader.

Please come say hello!

Missy

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th!!!


I hope everyone has a great 4th of July holiday weekend! Be safe, and have fun with family and friends. And let's all remember those who've served, and even given their lives, so we have the freedom we're celebrating.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Our Anniversary Story

If you keep up with Facebook, you may have seen my status update this past weekend. My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary! We went out to our favorite restaurant that we go to a couple of times a year for special celebrations.

We each had a card to give to the other. He'd called ahead to get reservations. So we went out for date night, leaving the kids at home. We'd made the reservations for an early dinner because we were going to be in Athens for a reception. So when we arrived at 5:30, the place was nearly empty. Maybe two or three tables had patrons when they showed us to our table.

We looked over the wonderful menu (they buy all local produce, etc,. and put ingredients together in such amazing, yummy ways!) and placed our order ( I got the shrimp and grits. Yum.). We were just settling into our romantic dinner when a family came in. Mom, dad and three young children. It's actually the first kids I've seen in the restaurant, since it doesn't have a menu kids would typically like. But I thought, what a nice young family...until they sat them right beside us!! And this with the place still nearly empty.

And I'm not talking a regular spacing of tables. No, we were seated along a wall ( I was sitting on a bench that ran along the wall), and they put them at a table right next to us on the same bench seat, so close, I had to scoot my purse toward me. Their table was maybe two feet away.

I just had to grin at my husband as I handed him his romantic card. Isn't this romantic, I whispered as he handed me my card (and I hoped the waiter would get the hint and maybe move them). But he didn't. And hubby and I laughed about it.

It ended up being fine. The children were great. So well-behaved. And we were able to tune them out.

Of course, I was floored when they brought another two people and seated them at the table on our other side!! I mean, there were probably 20 empty tables all around. I guess they were reserved, though. And It was a nice young man with his grandmother, so again, it was fine.

Overall, we had such a great time. I had the most WONDERFUL dessert--a lemon chess tart with blueberry ice cream on top. The crust was so rich and buttery. And well worth the limited romantic setting. LOL And no matter what, we were able to celebrate 23 wonderful years together. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My New Cover!!

I don't have permission to post the cover of my November Love Inspired, A Forever Christmas, yet. But I thought I'd give you a link so you can check it out. I absolutely LOVE it!! They took my art fact sheet and the photos I sent them (that showed how I envisioned the cover) and made the most gorgeous cover!! Click here to see it on CBD. If you click on the cover, it'll enlarge. :)





Don't forget to check out my blog tour to the right! I still have a few more stops. And I'm giving away books at most sites. :)



Missy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

AWOL!


So sorry I've been AWOL! I've been working on a new proposal, trying to polish and finish up the synopsis. And my parents and sister have come to town for Father's Day, so we've been doing fun things during the day.


Today we visited a quilting shop, bead shop and yarn shop in Watkinsville. You can tell what my sister loves best! :) And I actually had a great time. Mindy brought me a cute pin she'd quilted (see photo), and I bought supplies to make some pins myself. I'm hoping to offer them as blog prizes. So maybe by the next book release in November, I'll have some made!


And speaking of new releases... Don't forget to check out my blog tour schedule on the right. Come visit and say hello!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman--Review


I'm at the FAITH blog today with a review of Julie Lessman's newest book, A Passion Denied! It loved the book. Come read what I have to say about it. And remember that a few weeks ago, I posted an excerpt. So come read the review, then check out the excerpt again!


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Book Sighting!


Finally, a book sighting! I'd heard word of people buying a copy of His Forever Love. But I finally found it at Walmart the other day!
And it's no less exciting the second time around. :) I thought I'd share a couple of photos. Woo hoo!

Also, for writers, the Break Into Fiction site is hosting several bestselling authors this week who've answered writing questions in a Writing Extravaganza. It looks interesting and will only be online this week! So check it out: http://www.breakintofiction.com/fiveforfive1.html
The new non-fiction book they're promoting at that site, Break Into Fiction, is co-written by a writer friend of mine, Dianna Love. I'm sure it will be an excellent resource!
Missy

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Gardenias Blooming and Contests Brewing :)


First off, here are the photos of my gardenia bush that I mentioned the other day. I wish I could pass along the wonderful, sweet fragrance. But you'll just have to use your imagination.

I've also inluded a photo of how I usually display them in the house. I choose a clear vase and float a single blossom. It's about all the fragrance we can handle in a closed space! :)







Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you'll check out my blog tour schedule to the right. I'm visiting a lot of blogs this month to celebrate the release of my new book, His Forever Love.

I hope you'll stop by to see my four-legged babies (aka my doggies) on Roxanne Rustand's blog! She has a new blog, All Creatures Great and Small, and will be featuring our pets. I share the story of getting my dogs when they were "babies". :)
http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com/2009/06/we-have-visitor-author-missy-tippens.html

And don't forget the contest at Harlequin/Silhouette Readers (til June 15). Win a book and some Mary Kay self-tanner. You can enjoy a beach read and tan right at home!
http://www.hsreaders.com/contests
Also, come see me this week at Margaret Daley's blog: http://margaretdaley.blogspot.com/2009/06/missy-tippens-heros-interview.html
And at the Love Inspired Authors Blog: http://loveinspiredauthors.blogspot.com/
And on Friday, at the Steeple Hill Books Facebook, Shoutlife and My Space blogs!







Monday, June 01, 2009

Contest and Blog Tour

Please be sure to see my blog tour schedule (on right, below) for a list of blogs I'll be visiting during June and July. I'll be offering a copy of my new release, His Forever Love, at most blog stops!

Also, please visit the wonderful Harlequin/Silhouette Reader site for lots of great information on H/S books (including Steeple Hill books). I'm offering a contest the first two weeks of June!
http://www.hsreaders.com/contests

My gardenias are blooming! I'll share photos in the next day or so. I wish I could share the fragrance as well! :)

Missy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brenda Novak's Auction for Diabetes Research



Don't forget to come bid! Autographed books from Camy Tang, Julie Lessman, Janet Dean, Mary Connealy and me. Also, a $10 Amazon gift card. A $75 value that's only up to $35 in bids. So it's a steal!! And the proceeds go to help fund diabetes research. The bidding ends the end of May, so don't miss out!

http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=1382650

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please join me on Lyn Cote's blog on Thursday!

I'm blogging in two places on Thursday! I hope you'll join me at both.

I'm doing my regular post on the F.A.I.T.H. blog, talking about backstory in our manuscripts.

Also, please come visit me on Lyn Cote's Strong Women, Brave Stories blog! I'm honoring my grandmother. Also, Lyn has a Mega May gift basket. You don't want to miss entering to win!

So who watched American Idol on Wednesday?? As much as I love Kris, I'm still stunned that Adam didn't win! What did you think? Or do you even watch?

Missy

Monday, May 18, 2009

Win a Copy of His Forever Love!

First off, the winner of a copy of one of Julie Lessman's books is Mez. Congratulations! I've emailed you to get your information.


I'm blogging in two places today! I hope you'll stop by. I'll be holding a drawing for a copy of His Forever Love from among those who comment, so be sure to say something (as well as leave your contact information)! :)


Also, don't forget to bid on my Brenda Novak auction item to help raise money for diabetes research! Signed books from authors at the Seekerville blog!! The current bid is $29, and you'll be getting $75 worth of books/gift card. What a deal!!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Meet Julie Lessman and read excerpt from A Passion Denied

I'm so excited to have my good friend (and fellow Seekerville blogger) Julie Lessman with me this week. Julie has a new book out, the third in her Daughters of Boston series, titled A Passion Denied. I'm reading it now and will post a review at a later date, but I can tell you I'm loving it!

Julie is generously giving away a copy of one of her books, winners choice, in a drawing from those who comment. So once you're finished reading the interview and wonderful excerpt, please leave a comment with contact information! So now, here's Julie...
1. Readers may know you used to work in the travel industry. I'm wondering what your dream vacation would be.

Mmmm … a beach bungalow on an unspoiled tropical island with my husband and lots of my favorite things—good friends, great books (including the Bible!) and old movies!

2. What's something romantic you love to do with your husband?
Dinner out at a really romantic steak restaurant followed by snuggling on the couch to watch a movie (preferably romance).

3. What does a typical day of writing look like for you?
Gosh, lately pretty sporadic because life has been “getting in the way,” but usually I rise at about 6:30 or 7:00 AM, eat peach oatmeal and drink coffee while I check a few blogs (The Seekers, for one, at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), then I listen to worship music on the treadmill for 30 minutes followed by Bible reading and prayer time. Laundry, paperwork, etc. gets my attention briefly before I dive into e-mails. When I write (I don’t write everyday like a good author should), I start about 10:30 or 11:00 AM and crank ALL day (usually without lunch) until Keith’s stomach starts to growl around 6:00 PM or so … :) Not real “disciplined,” I know, but it works for me.

4. Julie, can you give us a sneak peek at an excerpt from A Passion Denied?

Gosh, twist my arm, Missy! Here is the first love scene between Beth (who has changed her name to Lizzie) and Brady, who sees her only as a little sister. She is plotting with her sisters to try and get Brady to kiss her because Charity tells her that “A kiss is the only thing that will haunt him until he admits he’s in love.” (Note from Missy: I apologize for any formatting changes in my cut and paste.)


The porch was dark except for a soft wash of moonlight that cast distorted shadows as he leaned against the railing. He crossed his arms and waited while she settled on the swing with a soft swish of her skirt. She patted the seat beside her. “Why don’t you sit here? This could take a while, and I want you to be comfortable.”

Comfortable? With her scent as clean as lilacs in rain and her burgeoning body obscuring the little girl he once knew? He sucked in a full breath and stood up straight, shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his trousers. Exhaling, he positioned himself on the far right of the swing, determined to ignore the wood of the beveled handle as it sliced into his waist. He shifted to face her and draped an arm along the back of the swing. “So, what’s on your mind, little buddy?”

She bit her lip and scooted close enough that he could feel her body shivering. “Do you mind if we snuggle? It’s colder than I thought.”

He stared straight ahead, lips clamped tight as the heat of her body singed his. It set his nerves on edge, but she seemed nervous too—from the tug of her teeth against her lower lip to the clutch of her hands as they fidgeted in her lap. His arm—which had been resting comfortably on the back of the swing—suddenly felt like hardwood lumber. With almost painful motion, it hovered over her shoulder for eternal seconds before finally drawing her close. For pity’s sake, this is Beth and she’s cold. Settle down, Brady, and just get through this.

“What’s on your mind, Beth?”

She sighed and burrowed into his arms, causing the scent of her hair to invade his senses. It triggered an unwelcome warmth, despite the coolness of the night. But at least she was warm, he reasoned, noting her shivers had stopped. He closed his eyes and ground his jaw. While his were just beginning.

Her voice was soft and low. “I’m sorry for losing my temper the other day, but I … well I guess I’ve been struggling with my feelings for you …”

Tension stiffened his hold. “Beth, these feelings you’re having, they’ve got to stop.”

“I know, Brady,” she whispered. “I finally understand.”

He drew in a breath and leaned forward. “You do?”

She looked up with a soulful expression. “Yes, I do. It doesn’t change the attraction I have for you or the love I feel inside …” She blinked several times, as if to clear the gloss of wetness from her eyes. His gut twisted. “But I finally realize I need to move on … I don’t want to lose your friendship.”

The tightness in his chest suddenly released like an audible sigh. Thank you, God, they could still be friends! He exhaled the weight of the world from his shoulders and scooped her into an overwhelming hug of relief. “Oh, Beth, I’m so grateful you understand. I love you too, and I’ll always be there for you, the best friend you’ve ever had.”

She returned a tremulous hug. The sound of her words rumbled against his chest. “That’s good, Brady, because I could use the advice of a friend.”

“Anything, little buddy!” He leaned back against the swing and tucked her safely under his arm. She was his sweet, little Beth once again, flooding his soul with joy. “What kind of advice do you need?”

“About men. Actually, one in particular.”

His joy fizzled faster than warm foam on week-old root beer.

She glanced up with wide, innocent eyes, a stark contrast to the jealous surprise churning in his gut. “There’s this boy—his name is Tom Weston—and he’s asked me out, on and off, for over two years now. And lately, well … it seems he won’t take no for an answer.”

He blinked. Men have been asking her out? For two years? His Beth?

He sat up, desperate to convey a composure he didn’t feel. “Well, Elizabeth, you’re almost eighteen, and I suppose it’s time … time to find the man that God has for you. Do you … like him?”

She sighed. “Well, he’s certainly attractive and hard-working. He’s worked two jobs as long as I’ve known him and plans to go to law school after he graduates college next spring.”

Jealousy rose in his throat like bile. “So, you’re … attracted to him, then?”

“Well, I wasn’t initially because I had hoped you and I …” Her voice faded. She took a deep breath. “But I think now … now that I know you and I can only be friends, well, I think maybe I could be attracted to him …”

“Does he go to church?”

Her soft chuckle floated in the air. “Well, if you mean is he as spiritual as you, no, he’s not. But he’s from a good family who go to church regularly, and I think in time—”

“Is he a gentleman?”


Lizzie felt herself blush to the tips of her shingled hair. She bit her lip and turned away, slipping her hand into the pocket of her jacket. With trembling fingers, she pinched the cracker she’d hidden there and swiped crumbs into both of her eyes.

“Beth?”

She didn’t answer. She was too busy blinking.

He reached for her chin and gently tugged her gaze to his. He was suddenly the consummate big brother, concern etched in his handsome face. “Answer me. Is he a gentleman?”

The crumbs were masterful as they welled in her eyes. “I’m …n-not sure.”

“What do you mean you’re not sure? Has he given you cause to think otherwise?”

“Well, he … he kissed me once.”

Disapproval darkened Brady’s features. “Did you encourage him?”

Her lips parted in shock. “No! I promise you I didn’t. He c-cornered me …”

“So, he’s not a gentleman?”

Her eyes went wide. “I don’t know … maybe … but probably not.” She began to shake, not sure if it was her nerves or the drumming of Brady’s fingers hard on the wood.

He eyed her through narrowed lids. “Well, he doesn’t sound like the type of young man you need. I suggest you forget about him and look elsewhere.”

She blinked. “What?”

“You wanted my advice as a friend, and I’m giving it. Forget him.”

A rare rush of indignation heated her cheeks. “I wanted your advice on how to ward off his advances, Brady, not if I should date him. I’ve already decided on that.”

“You can’t date some clown with one thing on his mind.”

Crackers and fury forced hot tears from her eyes. He didn’t want her, but no one else could either? She rose to her feet. “How dare you, John Brady? I have no choice! My heart is breaking because of you, and if it takes Tom Weston to get over you, then so be it.”

He jumped up. “Beth, forgive me, please, and don’t cry. We can pray about this…”

Disbelief paralyzed her for a painful second. “No! You leave me be. I don’t want anymore of your prayers—”

His hand gripped her. “Beth, please, sit with me? Can’t we just talk and work this out?”

She relented, allowing him to tug her back to the swing, where the feel of his powerful arms only enflamed the longing in her soul. He bundled her against his shoulder, and the clean, pure scent of musk soap taunted her senses.

“Beth, you’re so special to me,” he whispered, “I never want to hurt you.” He kissed the top of her head, and she could smell a trace of the peppermint he kept for children at the shop. A sharp ache pierced her heart. He was her Brady … good and strong and kind … but he would never really belong to her. Not the way she yearned in her heart—as a husband, a man, a lover. The thought all but crushed her, and she collapsed against his chest in painful weeping.

“Beth, don’t cry, please. I love you …”

She felt his lips in her hair, and her anguish surged. She jerked away. “No, don’t lie to me, Brady! You don’t love me—”

He groaned and embraced her. “I do love you, little buddy, more than anyone in this world.” With grief in his eyes, he searched her swollen face. He caressed her wet cheeks with gentle hands. “You mean everything to me,” he whispered. He bent to press a light kiss to her forehead.

Shallow breaths rose from her throat at the warmth of his lips against her skin. Her body stilled. “A kiss is the only thing that will haunt him until he admits he’s in love.”

She lifted her gaze, taking great care to impart a slow sweep of lashes.

“Beth, are we okay?” He ducked his head to search her eyes, then brushed her hair back from her face. A smile shadowed his lips. “Still friends?”

Friends. A deadly plague only a kiss could cure. Resolve stiffened her spine. “Sure, Brady … friends.”

He smiled and tucked a finger under her chin. “That’s my girl. Now what do you say we pray about some of these things?” He leaned close with another quick kiss to her brow, and in a desperate beat of her heart, she lunged, uniting her mouth with his. She felt the shock of her action in the jolt of his body, and she gripped him close to deepen the kiss. Waves of warmth shuddered through her at the taste of him, and the essence of peppermint was sweet in her mouth.

“No!” He wrenched back from her hold with disbelief in his eyes.

Too late. She had never felt like this before. Years of seeking romance from flat parchment pages had not prepared her for this. This rush, this desire … her body suddenly alive, and every nerve pulsing with need. All shyness melted away in the heat of her longing, and she pounced again, merging her mouth with his. John Brady, I love you!

A fraction of a second became eons as she awaited his rejection. His body was stiff with shock, but no resistance came. And in a sharp catch of her breath, he drew her to him with such force, she gasped, the sound silenced by the weight of his mouth against hers. He groaned and cupped the back of her head as if to delve in her soul, a man possessed. His lips broke free to wander her throat, and shivers of heat coursed through her veins. In ragged harmony, their shallow breathing billowed into the night while his arms possessed her, molding her body to his.

“Oh, Brady, I’m so in love with you,” she whispered.

Her words severed his hold as neatly as the blade of a guillotine. He staggered to his feet, and icy cold replaced the warmth of his arms. She opened her eyes and saw pain in his. She grabbed his arm. “Brady, can’t you see? You love me too … not as a friend or a sister, but as a woman.”


“God help me, Beth, I can’t love you that way.” He stared like a zombie, chest heaving with jagged breaths that swirled into the cool night air, drifting away.

Just like her dreams.

She reached for his hand, but he pulled it away. She blinked. “You just did, John. Nothing can convince me otherwise. You love me … and you want me … just like I want you. Why can’t you admit it?”

His tone was rough with emotion. “Because it’s wrong, Elizabeth. You’re a little sister to me, nothing more.”

She rose, along with her ire. “I see. And that’s how you kiss a sister?”

Blood gorged his cheeks. His shoulders straightened as he stood stiff and tall. An uncommon show of anger glinted in his dark eyes. “I regret what happened tonight, and I apologize. Please give my thanks to your mother and my good-byes to your family.” He moved toward the stairs.

“Brady, wait!” She latched onto his arm while tears pooled in her eyes. “You can’t leave like this. Not now. I opened my heart to you … and you took it when you gave me that kiss.”

The anger in his eyes faded to pain. “I know, Beth. Forgive me. It won’t happen again.” His back was rigid as he strode down the steps.

She ran after him. “No! Don’t leave—please! Friends don’t leave when you need them the most.”

He stopped, hand poised on the gate, and the coolness of his manner was totally foreign. He turned with a look of agony she had never seen.

“No, Beth, they don’t.”

And without another word, he unlocked the gate and hurried away. Fading quickly—just like her hope—into the darkest of nights. (end excerpt)
Julie, thank you so much for sharing! Now readers need to pick up A Passion Denied to see what happens! :)
Book 3, A Passion Denied, is the story of Faith and Charity’s little sister, Lizzie, a shy bookworm who dreams of a fairy-tale romance. It unfolds a man’s dark past and a young girl’s shattered dreams … and the God who redeems it all.

Elizabeth O’Connor is the little sister John always longed for. With a fire for God in his belly, he has been her spiritual mentor since she was thirteen, sharing her love of literature and her thirst for God. But when his gangly protégé blossoms into a beautiful young woman bent on loving him, he refuses to act on the attraction he feels. His past won’t let him go there. Unfortunately, “Lizzie” won’t let him go anywhere else … until his dark and shocking secrets push her away.
Be sure to leave a comment with your contact information for a chance to win your choice of Julie's books!