A Family for Faith by Missy Tippens

Today I wanted to share a book I read recently that I really enjoyed. First of all, if you are looking for a story that is short in quantity but not lacking in emotion and story, you can always find it with Harlequin’s Love Inspired line.

Missy Tippen’s book, A Family for Faith, is an emotion packed story about parents watching their kids grow up and letting go. It’s a story about taking second chances at love. I liked how Missy addressed the issues that sometimes come up with divorced couples and a child who clings more to one parent than the other. The interesting part here was instead of the child going toward the mother, Faith’s son had bonded more with his father during his teen years. I couldn’t help feel a pull for Faith, because knowing how it is to love your children so much, then have a separation form is tough. Moms and Dads still love their children even if they don’t see the child daily or if something has happened to put a wall between them. I found myself really rooting for Faith to find happiness.

Gabe’s daughter Chelsea was really cute and likable. The author portrayed this teen girl as fun and loving and trying to speed the growing up process. She tried to do things like her mom, and that made it hard since her mom had passed away several years before. Chelsea’s dad, Gabe, still held on to his wife’s memory. Gabe rang true for me in the way of character because he was an overprotective father, just trying to do right by his child. Add to the fact he was a police officer which increased his protectiveness. Gabe was a lovable hero and it really tugged at my heart strings that he still loved his deceased wife so much. You just wanted him to have a second chance!

The characters were deep, multi-faceted and were easy to bond with. That’s important for me when investing in a story. Missy did a great job in telling this story of these two families and of the romance between Gabe and Faith. I hope you’ll consider picking this book up. It’s been my favorite of all of Missy’s books!

About the Book:

When Faith Hagin sees widower cop Gabe Reynolds every day in her coffee shop, she can’t help but feel for the struggling single dad. She’s raised a teenager of her own—and sadly, knows what not to do. But thanks to his matchmaking preteen daughter, Chelsea, the whole town’s praying for Gabe to find a wife!

Even though Faith thinks she’s content being just friends, spending time with him and Chelsea starts to feel like a fresh start at having a family. And their love may be the answer to everyone’s prayers.






Visit Missy and check out more of her books on her website at http://www.missytippens.com 

Coming This Week to FAITH Blog – Maria Sutton!

Maria Sutton is the author of The Night Sky. Please join me on The FAITH Girls blog, this Friday for a great interview and book giveaway!

About the Author:

 
Maria Sutton was born in the barracks of Germany’s former Wehrmacht command center, which had been converted to house Europe’s Displaced Persons after WWII. 
In 1951, Maria, along with her Mother, Step-father, and sister immigrated to America and she has lived in the greater Denver metro area since that time.  Her book, The Night Sky:  A Journey from Dachau to Denver and Back is the culmination of her 43-year search for her biological father, who disappeared shortly after her birth in war-torn Germany.  Without knowing the spelling or his name, nor his date and place of birth, Maria was able to find him – proving that with unwavering determination, anything is possible.
Maria graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting and has also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  She has been employed by the U. S. government in several capacities throughout her Federal career, receiving many awards for her writing and investigative skills.
The above title is available from Johnson Books, an imprint of Big Earth Publishing.  Her memoir will be translated into several languages, including German, Polish, and Ukrainian.
Maria and her family reside in Golden, Colorado. 

Author Spotlight: Tessa Stockton – From the Ground Up

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Political Intrigue Author Tessa Stockton to the At Split Ends Blog today. I hope if you are floundering or struggling to be content in your current place as I feel sometimes that you’ll sit down a moment and read Tessa’s post for today. I pray it will refresh and inspire you to keep working toward your dreams………. Here’s Tessa:
If someone had told me it would take years of practice and loads of networking to become a professional dancer, would I still have pursued that dream…? I sometimes ponder the question.
Likewise, if someone had told me that it would take years of practice and loads of networking to become a professional writer, would I still have pursued that…? I sometimes ponder…
When I started out training in the discipline of dance, working my way up the levels, I often wanted to see instant success. However, it took years to get to the place of actual employment. I had to grow seasoned, coursing through the ranks. I had to get good enough, building from the ground up. During periods of hard labor it’s easy to burn out, but I stayed after it—even through the transition of working in theater and the secular environment to accepting the call to utilize dance in missionary service, in ministry. After over twenty years dancing, that chapter closed, and I experienced the stirring to begin another chapter as a writer.
I had always written on and off throughout my life, even filling the role of writer and editor for the quarterly newsletter in which the ministry I served with produced. But as a lover of fiction, I wanted to write novels—didn’t have the time, though, until my dance world started to wind down.
Embarking on the novelist’s journey, I wished to see instant success. Yeah, I know, that didn’t work the first time. Yet, because it didn’t work the first time I somehow expected it to the second time around. Wow, was I in for a sharp disappointment! It took ten years of rejections to get to that publishing contract. Now, I realize it takes a lot of building blocks to market and sell a book effectively. It’s truly a journey. Few in life are instant successes. Like dance, I had to learn how to do it from the ground up. The good thing about that proves the solid base from which we launch. If the ground we start on is solid, we have a foundation for everything else—we are surefooted.
If you want to do something bad enough, start somewhere. “Somewhere” will lead you “elsewhere.” It might take a while, but you’ll eventually reach a golden plateau, enabling you the opportunity to look back and see how far you’ve climbed and how much you’ve learned.
Really, the only pondering I do on the subject consists of how I would have enjoyed the journey a little more instead of focusing so hard on getting to Point B from Point A. I may have missed some of the joy during the process—but I’m learning. It’s a Romans 8:28 kind of thing: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
While I’ve seen abundant blessings worldwide in my life as a dancer, I’m now celebrating the pinnacle of a writer’s life, the release of my debut novel, The Unforgivable. Through the variances of life and experience—God is good, all the time. From the ground up, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

A former contemporary dancer, Tessa Stockton, who was also active in politics and human rights groups, now writes Christian political intrigue novels.

The Unforgivable is her first book in the Wounds of South America series. Set against the backdrop of Argentina’s Dirty War, a Christian woman falls in love with a man accused of war crimes in The Unforgivable. http://www.Tessa Stockton.com

Author Spotlight: Angela Breidenbach – A Sense of Organization: It’s all about the system.

A Sense of Organization: It’s all about the system.
by Angela Breidenbach

People tell me I’m organized. Sometimes I want to laugh when they see my desk. But did you know there are different types of organization? It’s not really a general all encompassing kind of thing. Does that surprise you?

I have a normal American home. A bit cluttered, family pictures all over the walls and piano, and there’s usually dishes to do in the sink. Sounds like anybody’s home, right?
So what’s organized about me? What’s different?
It’s in how I organize my thoughts. I’m a linear thinker. But I’m not naturally that way, just ask my hubby. He’d burst out in laughter. When I write, I’ve learned to follow a trail. That trail starts on my laptop because I keep everything in a file folder there unless it’s crucial to be a hard copy. Then it goes in a file folder in my filing cart.
What does linear thinking look like?
I started a file on my computer titled Book: Gems of Wisdom. Inside this file I have another research file folder, any research books I downloaded, photos I need to understand what I’m writing, a marketing folder, design folder, interview folder, contract folder, and so on.
Each time I work on anything for that book, I file it immediately. I learned that the hard way from losing things and not being able to remember the download file name.
I also started a google calendar. This has been a saving grace for me! I schedule in it any blog tour posts, guest posts, appearances, workshops I’m teaching, interviews, etc. I set it up to auto-remind to my blackberry. So each day I get a reminder of the day’s events and know what’s on my schedule.
Realize I set up this type of system because I’m not naturally organized. I created organization in order to effectively run my speaking and writing business. I think it’s crucial to manage our daily lives in ways that work to keep us focused on our goals. It’s too easy to forget or get caught up in something that steals our interest.
I also pay attention to my marketing by doing a monthly marketing report for my publisher, SuzyQ4U (my event specialist), my publicist Don Otis, my agent, Karen at Christian Speaker Services, and myself. By simply opening an email and adding what I’ve done that day to a draft email, I can keep up a running list. Then I email it after the month closes. Everyone is aware and on top of what I’m personally doing. I’ve added each one of these people to my google calendar so they know what my schedule looks like as well. 
For me, setting up a system to succeed is what helps me stay on track. Then working that system becomes a habit. I can tell you that having the reminders, the list, and a simple system has saved my bacon almost daily. There’s no way to remember everything you have to do for a book, marketing, interviews, and daily life without putting a system in place. Work the system and you will reach your goals.


About the book: In Gems of Wisdom: For A Treasure-Filled Life you’ll embark on a treasure hunt for God’s unique gems of wisdom. Be empowered, learn to influence through your own life lessons, and preserve important relationships. Gems of Wisdom invites the reader on a treasure hunt to find important life concepts represented by the beautiful stones God created. Excellent for Bible study and book clubs as well as individual study. 


Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009, a multi-award winning inspirational speaker and the author of the Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life from Journey Press, the Creative Cooking Series including the new release of Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance and the new Kindle release, Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She connects missions to her work with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries and the Jadyn Fred Foundation. Angela also teaches online classes and coaches one-on-one in courageous confidence, personal growth, and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and life coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, MT. She volunteered as the American Christian Fiction Writer’s publicity officer for two years. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. Angela is married with a combined family of six grown children and two grand children. Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life releases May 2011 from Journey Press, a Sheaf House imprint.

Confidence Coach & Purposeful Living Educator
Personal growth = Powerful living!
Interested in having Angela speak? Contact Christian Speaker Services 800.871.9012 x40250
Angela is represented by Tamela Hancock-Murray of Hartline Literary Agency. Tamela can be reached at tamela@hartlineliterary.com.
Interact with or learn more about Angela Breidenbach:
http://www.TheFaithGirls.com on Wednesdays each week

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Christy here,
Angie, thanks so much for being my guest today. As you all can see from reading Angie’s bio, she is a busy lady and I can assure you her book Gems of Wisdom is a great guide for those of us struggling to manage it all. Leave a comment for a chance to win your very own copy!  The winner will be announced on Thursday, May 5th!

V – Give Me a “V” by Missy Tippens

I’m so excited to have my friend and multi-published author Missy Tippens as a guest today. Please give Missy a warm welcome and leave a comment to be entered to win her book A Family for Faith… I don’t have a review for Missy’s book yet, but I can tell you the way A Family for Faith begins is absolutely adorable! And I can tell you, Missy’s books are always enjoyable and a heartwarming read!)

Give Me a “V”!
By Missy Tippens

When Christy first talked to me about guest blogging with the letter “V,” I told her if nothing else, I could talk about working Very hard. 🙂 But that I would try to come up with something more creative. 😉

So I visited an online dictionary and it gave me to the top V words. Among them were vagabond, vector and volts. But then I smiled when I saw velocity (the speed at which something happens—pretty appropriate for writers), Verb and Vowel. Not so hard to find writing words after all! Another of the top words? VICTORY.

In the business of writing, we have to claim victories along the way or else we’ll be tempted to give up. As I think back to my victories along the way, I see how God was working. I thought I’d share a few…

One of my first victories was when my husband’s aunt, after reading my Christmas letter mailed to the family, told me I had found my voice. “That’s wonderful,” I said. “What’s voice??” 🙂 She was in a Masters of Creative Writing program at the time, and filled me in. I was so thrilled. I had never considered writing until that moment. And it gave me the beginnings of a secret, barely-hoped-for dream. Victory!

I started taking online writing classes and joined organization like Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. In two different online classes, the teachers each told me I was good at one of my assignments. Victory!

Along the way I had several setbacks. Terrible contest scores (tied for 35th place out of 36 entries!). Rejections. But then, a critique group I had secretly longed to join asked me to join! (Smiling at Lindi, Meg and Maureen, here.) Victory!

After working through tough critiques that sometimes left me despondent, I improved my craft until I got the nerve to enter another contest. I was a finalist, then won the Laurie. Victory!

I started entering more and more contests. Began to final more often. But I sent a new manuscript and got painful feedback—made all the more painful because I knew the published author was right. I was devastated and decided it was time to throw in the towel. I’d spent way too much or our family money and time on the writing. Thirty minutes later, I got a call that the same manuscript had finaled in the Maggie (and it later won). Though I knew I needed to make changes to the mss as the author had suggested, it was enough encouragement to keep me going. Victory!

I tried different formats. Sent a short story to BelleBooks. And wonder of all wonders, they offered to buy it! My first sale! Victory!

A couple of years later, a manuscript I had given up on at my current publishing house got discovered by a new editorial assistant. After two sets of revisions, she bought it!! Victory!!

And that victory, the culmination of my dream, was almost 12 years after that first email from hubby’s aunt. Since that sale, I’ve had other victories that God has put in my life at just the right moment. Contest finals. A wonderful Agent! More sales. Positive comments and smiley faces on manuscripts just when I need them.

So many things can keep us moving ahead. Friends that encourage us. Professional recognition. Sales. Paychecks. But there are also the daily things that I also count as victories:

Making my daily word count.
Turning in blog posts.
Updating my website.
Making time for my husband and children.
Cooking a half decent meal! 🙂
Cooking a fully decent meal! Haha
Washing the underwear before someone runs out. (whoo hoo! Aren’t you glad?!)
Meeting my deadlines even if it takes staying up overnight a few times.
Coming up with a new story idea I love.
Surviving the writing of a synopsis without causing bodily harm to myself or anyone else.
Checking items off my to-do list.

I hope you’ll look for the small victories as well as the mile markers to help encourage you on the journey. What can you do each day to move closer to your dream, to your goals? I hope you’ll share some of your recent victories!

Missy





Missy Tippens, 2006 Golden Heart finalist, made her first sale to Steeple Hill Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been finalists in the Booksellers Best, ACFW Book of the Year and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her most recent from Love Inspired, A Family for Faith, was released in April. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com
 About the Book:
 When Faith Hagin sees widower cop Gabe Reynolds every day in her coffee shop, she can’t help but feel for the struggling single dad. She’s raised a teenager of her own—and sadly, knows what not to do. But thanks to his matchmaking preteen daughter, Chelsea, the whole town’s praying for Gabe to find a wife! Even though Faith thinks she’s content being just friends, spending time with him and Chelsea starts to feel like a fresh start at having a family. And their love may be the answer to everyone’s prayers.

O is for Overcoming Obstacles

Lindi here.
ob·sta·cle [ob-stuh-kuhDescription: http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngl] –noun.  something that obstructs or hinders progress.
o·ver·come [oh-ver-kuhm] -came, -come, -com·ing.    –verb (used with object)
1. to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.
So here we have the dictionary definitions of our A-Z challenge O words. As writers how do we feel about these words?
Personally they drive me crazy. 
Mixing it up with the A-Z challenge is an overall theme of accountability. Although I’m not sure I’m the best person to be speaking on that aspect. I once told my father I was going to call one of those work from home places. He told me that was something I probably shouldn’t do.

I do have a problem with discipline.

I am a procrastinator. 

Yet there is a very ‘cool’ thing that happens when you are a writer. We’ll get to that ‘cool’ thing in a minute. After we figure out how to overcome the obstacles.

Obstacles are different for everyone. Everybody has their own lives. Some people have jobs outside the homes, some have children, husbands, families. Some people have all of those things. 
Others have deadlines, revising syndrome,(you know, you can’t quit revising long enough to send the manuscript out!), the I can’t finish it blues.

First you need to identify your obstacles. Identify what stops you from getting the manuscript out the door. 
(I promise I haven’t forgotten about the ‘cool’ thing. It’s coming!)

Then you put into motion the overcoming part. Like the dictionary definition says ‘to get the better of in a struggle or conflict.’

One of my biggest obstacles is time. I have a full time job away from my home. Some days I have a long way to drive and spend up to 4 hours on the road. I find it hard to write at night. The creativity doesn’t seem to be there. Now get me up at 4 a.m. and I can crank out some pages. 
Some ways I’ve made an attempt to overcome this obstacle are:
1.Rise early.
2.Learn to write in small segments. Let’s say I get up a little later than I want. I check my email, get my coffee, then look at the clock. Sometimes I only have 15 minutes before I have to get into the shower. I do something with those 15 minutes. I’m not going to lie-it was hard to learn. At first I felt I wasn’t making any sort of progress. But I was. Think on it like this-15 minutes a day for 5 days is 1 and a half hours. That’s more than you’d have if you didn’t do anything. And it adds up.

3.If I’m having trouble with a scene I print out what I have then take it to work with me. I leave it on my desk and think about it when I can. My mind can work on the scene while I’m on hold or if I’m waiting for my computer to do this or that.

4.If I’m at work, and something comes to me regarding my story, I quickly email it to myself. It’s a great jump start the next morning.

These are just a few small things that go a long way when it comes to adding words to your manuscript.
Okay, I think this post is getting a little long, and I really don’t do long posts, so I’m turning it over to you guys.

Oh, but wait—the ‘cool’ thing. Yeah, I did promise that, didn’t I?
The End.
Yep, The End. Typing those words is the ‘very coolest’ of all writerly things. I still remember typing those words for the first time over 12 years ago. I remember the feeling and I LOVE the feeling. I can’t wait to FEEL like that again.

Those words are my main motivation for overcoming obstacles and those words hold me accountable. 

Now I’ll turn it over to you. What are your obstacles? Have you tried overcoming? If not, what are some ways you can try? Or throw it out to us and we’ll all chime in!

Thanks for having me, Christy! I love your blog!

And remember-Happy Endings Are Just The Beginning 🙂

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Thanks for being here, Lindi! What an awesome post! I need to heed every word!

Leave a comment to be entered to win Lindi’s debut novel Her Best Catch.



About the Book:
Allison Doll’s mother is rebelliously turning fifty, her two best friends have started dating and a gorgeous injured relief pitcher named Ashton Boyd has joined her Sunday school class, rocking her world into confusion, heartache and temptation, places she hasn’t visited in a long time, much less all at once.

But with the help of family, old friends she really hasn’t lost, a new friend she really can count on, and God, she begins to find out whether she’ll always be a girl waiting for life to happen or a woman who’s ready to commit to her best catch.

Lindi Peterson definitely believes happy endings are just the beginning. She lives out her real life romance with her husband in a small Georgia town. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, bowl and spend time with her family. Read more about her at http://www.lindipeterson.com