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!


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.


Missy Tippens said...

Good morning everyone! Don't forget to enter to win a copy of Myra's new book!

Sherry K said...

Great interview. The book sounds very good. Please enter me to win.

Sherry K

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks so much for having me as your guest today, Missy! It's always a pleasure hanging out with one of my Seekerville sisters!

Ruth C. said...

Sounds great! I love to read Christmas books around the holiday season. Thank you for writing one!
Ruth C.

April said...

Great interview. Please enter me. I love Christmas books. Blessings.


Hull.Margaret said...

Sounds like a grat book.
Thanks for entering my name.

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks for your interest, ladies! Does anyone have a favorite Christmas novel or movie? It just isn't Christmas at my house if we haven't watched White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.

Susan Anne Mason said...


Thanks for being an inspiration to aspiring authors in endurance and persistence. 25 Years - how amazing! It's gives us all hope.

All your stories sound so wonderful. I'm very glad they're getting published so we can all enjoy them.

I love the premise about an Imperfect Christmas. So often we try to make the perfect Christmas only to end up miserable. Yet no one likes to talk about that part!

Please enter me in the draw! And best of luck with your career!

Sue Mason
sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca
PS. Missy I love the design of blog. Lovely!

Susanne Dietze said...

Ooh, I'd love to be entered into the drawing. I've heard great things about this book.

Thanks for the opportunity!

srdietze at sbcglobal dot net

Sheila Deeth said...

What a lovely introduction. I'm so glad you persevered waiting for that call Myra. The book sounds well worth waiting for.

sdeeth at msn dot com

Project Journal said...

Hi Myra!
The book still sounds wonderful! Sorry for my delayed comment...I hope you get it!

One of my sister and my favorite Christmas movies is Elf! It's so funny and enjoyable : )

I'm going to look for your book at Borders when I get there next...wait is it out yet?

By the way, stop by my blog sometime, if you get a chance. Lots of new posts because I am making so much progress now! Lol...tonight I handed out parent letters and contracts to the parents and students at the elementary school's Open House. On the spot one family signed up even though the contract is not due back until next Tuesday!

Missy and everyone else, come check out my blog sometime! Lol... : )
Anyway, thanks and great interview!!

Carole said...

I've followed the blog tours and would love to read One Imperfect Christmas. Thank you so much for the giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Missy Tippens said...

Myra, I've always loved to watch The Grinch. :) And It's a Wonderful Life.

Susan, thanks on the blog! I love the photo. Although I have to admit it's not my real porch. :)


Missy Tippens said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! I've got you entered in the drawing.

Hannah, I LOVE Elf! :) And I'll be sure to stop by your blog.

Missy Tippens said...

I'll wait to draw a name until after the weekend to give more people a chance to enter! So please check back Sunday night or Monday. Also, if you left contact info, I'll email you if you win.

Suzie Johnson said...

Myra, congratulations on selling to Abingdon. I enjoyed reading about your first sale and I can't wait to read the book.

sdjohnson (at) praisemail (dot) com

Project Journal said...

Isn't ELF great!!!?? We absolutely love watching that movie any time of the year : )

Thanks for dropping by my blog! It is so exciting getting comments...lol! But not many people know about my blog/follow my blog, mostly the second reason, so it's so great to see some of the Seekers there.

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, everyone was busy chatting after I called it a day yesterday!

I have to honestly say I am still in shock about the interest readers have shown in my book. It has definitely been an exciting time, and thank you all!

And if my perseverance inspires one writer to hang in there in obedience to God's call, then I'm doubly blessed. God is never late. His timing is always perfect.

Myra Johnson said...

Great Christmas movie titles, everyone! I thought Elf was so cute--imagine growing up being so very different and trying to fit in. Raise your hand if you've ever felt that way even the slightest little bit! (See me waving?)

Project Journal said...

Totally raising my hand! Just for instance, being a teenager with arthritis has proven to have its...difficulties. I am literally one in a million to get arthritis at my age. It's crazy...but it's the truth.

Missy Tippens said...

Suzie, thanks for stopping by!

Hannah, I enjoyed reading your blog. Good luck on your project!

Project Journal said...

Thanks Missy : )

As of this afternoon, I have 5 kids/families signed up!!! YAY! I'm sooo excited!

Debra said...

I've heard alot about this book. I can't wait to read it.Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks!


Missy Tippens said...

The winner of Myra's book is Suzie Johnson!! Congrats, Suzie! I'll email you. :)