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.

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!

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)


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)


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)


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)


Buffalo Gal (Mary Connealy)

Clueless Cowboy (Mary Connealy)

Family Treasures (Kathryn Springer)

Her Unlikely Family (Missy Tippens)

White as Snow (Janice Thompson)


Bayou Paradox (Robin Caroll)

Broken Lullaby (Pamela Tracy)

Countdown to Death (Debby Giusti)

Forsaken Canyon (Margaret Daley)

Killer Cargo (Dana Mentink)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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.


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!!