Seasons Change – Fall Into Love with Myra Johnson

It’s always a pleasure to welcome a Seeker to my blog. Today is author, Myra Johnson. Myra is such a gentle, thoughtful person. I have a great memory of sitting in a corner of the lobby at ACFW with Myra and Mary Conneally, learning more about each of them…and them putting up with me very well.

Myra is a popular Heartsong Presents author, with her newest novel, Where the Dogwoods Bloom, released in July. AND she’s giving away a copy to one lucky commenter!!

I can’t say this for certain, but Myra seemed to conveniently disappear when the cameras started flashing at ACFW, but I did manage to get this shot of her (on right) with Janet Dean 🙂

And here’s one of her with Patti Lacy too.

Doesn’t she look so sweet? And she IS!! To learn more about Myra’s books, visit her website at www.myrajohnson.com

Now, Myra, so glad to have you visit today.

What are some elements that are present when a hero and heroine first realize they are falling in love with each other? What are some beautiful, interesting, unique ways of showing that realization?

 

With Cam and Jilly in my latest release, Where the Dogwoods Bloom, characters who practically grew up together meet again as adults. Their first obstacle is coming to terms with their preconceived images of each other. Cam always thought Jilly was a self-centered tennis brat. Jilly had a secret crush on Cam as the “knight in shining armor” who rescued her from his bullying brother.

 Years later, when a broken ankle interrupts her tennis career, Jilly agrees to help at the inn owned by her former foster parents while her foster mother recovers from bypass surgery. The first time she and Cam see each other again is when Cam picks her up at the airport. Once again, he “rescues” her–or rather her luggage–and she experiences the first glimmers of attraction to Cam as a grown man. Cam finds Jilly even prettier than she was as a kid, but it isn’t just her looks that intrigue him. She’s grown quiet, reflective, more mature somehow, and he’d like to believe she’s changed. But before initial attraction grows into love, they must each confront their truest selves and deal with their painful pasts.

 And…you brought an excerpt from Where the Dogwoods Bloom, I see 🙂

Here are excerpts from connected scenes in which Cam and Jilly are fighting their attraction to each other. Cam has scheduled a series of weekend prayer retreats at the inn, which means he and Jilly must work closely together all summer. As this scene begins, a couple is just arriving for the first retreat.

“You’re not. . .” Ivan Hartford squinted. “My word, Ruth, it is! It’s little Jillian, the tennis player.”

Mrs. Hartford gasped, her mouth spreading into a happy grin. “Jillian, of course! Harvey and Alice were always so proud of you, the daughter they never had. Haven’t you grown into a lovely young lady!”

Heat crept up Jilly’s neck. She flicked her gaze toward the kitchen and hoped for a quick escape.

“What, and no ring on that finger? Oh, my, and our handsome Cameron being single and all.” Mrs. Hartford tugged on her husband’s sleeve. “We must get these two together, Ivan.”

Please, Lord, get me out of this. “I believe Cam is seeing someone.”

He would pick that moment to jog down the stairs—and looking svelte in slim-fitting black jeans and a V-neck cotton pullover with the sleeves pushed up. He sidled between the elderly couple. “Ivan, Ruth. Just the folks I was looking for. Get settled in okay?”

“Room’s excellent.” Mr. Hartford clapped Cam on the shoulder. “And what a view of the lake.”

Mrs. Hartford linked her arm with Cam’s. “We were just telling Jillian—”

“She prefers Jilly.” Cam winked.

Jilly felt her blush deepen. “I need to get to the kitchen and check on dinner preparations. Will you excuse me?” She did her best imitation of a graceful pivot on crutches and hurried from the lobby. Good thing Cam’s girlfriend wasn’t around to see him flirting like that.

Oh, get over yourself, Gardner. Of course Cam wasn’t flirting, just being cute for his friends on the retreat.

Which, frankly, caused her even greater chagrin. She’d never be more to him than the gangly youngster with tennis on the brain and a brick where her heart should be.

***

On the way through the lobby, Cam stopped at the front desk, where he found Jilly seated on a barstool behind the counter. He leaned across the counter to see Ralph, the groundskeeper, arranging a footrest for Jilly’s cast.

Ralph straightened and dusted his hands. “There, that ought to be more comfortable for you.”

Jilly tested the footrest. “Much better. Thanks.”

Ralph swiveled toward Cam. “Got everything all ready for your evening campfire by the lake. Should be a beautiful night for it.”

“Sounds good. Thanks.”

Jilly flicked her hair behind her ear, a gesture Cam grew more and more fascinated with. He stared at her earlobe and wondered how it would feel to comb his fingers through the thick hair at her nape.

“Cam? Earth to Cameron.” Jilly waved a hand in front of his eyes.

He jerked backward, his face burning. “What?” 

“I just asked if everything’s going okay with your group.” 

“Oh. Yeah. Fine.” 

She nodded toward the dining room. “Better join them for lunch. Heather’s serving manicotti and homemade sourdough bread. The marinara is to die for.”

“You’ve eaten already?” Why the thought should fill him with such disappointment he had no idea. What is wrong with you, Lane? Jillian Gardner is trouble on two—make that one leg.

Jilly dropped some envelopes into the out-box on the end of the counter. “I ate with Ralph in the kitchen. We needed to talk over some inn business.”

Ralph propped an elbow on the counter and tipped his head toward Jilly. “This gal’s on top of things. Harvey did good having her come fill in for him.”

The hesitant smile curling Jilly’s lips drew Cam’s gaze. He coaxed his eyes upward to meet the brown ones looking back at him. “I’m glad it’s working out.”

Ralph shook his head. “You realize this gal hasn’t even seen the Nelsons since she got to town? I offered to cover the desk so she could visit them at the hospital, but she won’t hear of it.”

“Really, it’s okay.” Jilly waved a hand. “There’s too much going on here. I’ll have plenty of time to see them next week.”

And what excuse would she come up with then? Anger bristled where moments before Cam had once again been fighting the attraction he should rightly be feeling for Liz. What was it about Jilly Gardner that so thoroughly messed with his head?

Ooo, Myra, you left us with the ‘what if’ and a wonderful hook. Time to order this one, people – or be the lucky person who wins a copy. Thanks for being a part of this, Myra.

 Inspirational Moment:

What does Christian love look like? What should people ‘see’? Romans 12 gives a clear picture.

 9) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection.( Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To the contrary,”if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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9 thoughts on “Seasons Change – Fall Into Love with Myra Johnson

  1. I loved Myra’s day-in-the-life writing post at Seekerville! Myra, you Seeker ladies have perfected an approach to the writing life that truly focuses on the readers. Seeing you form relationships with your readers and how much they appreciate your concern is truly inspiring. Your lives give authenticity to the relationships you depict in your stories! No wonder your readers love you all so much!

    Since I joined ACFW and dipped a toe into the blogging world, the Seeker’s blog and this one are in my list of favorites! Pepper, I love coming here and reading a tantalizing excerpt from a charming story and ending the post with Scripture. It just works, somehow!

    This week I tried to win a basket of Seeker books because I know I missed so many great reads. This post continues to confirm that thought in my mind! (That’s what has us all going after the Kindle–the books loaded into it!)

    Thanks, Pepper and Myra! Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks so much, Renee! Both you and Pepper are VERY special “honorary Seekers”! As much as Seekerville has become a blessing to our many friends who visit with us there–for which we are truly grateful!–I have to say that the Seekers have been blessed a thousand times more. I can’t recommend strongly enough to connect with an honest, caring, supportive group of writers to keep you accountable and nurture you along the path.

      And believe me, even the Seekers can’t keep up with each other’s books! You should see the TBR stack by my nightstand!

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    2. Oh Renee, what a sweet comment. I feel the same way about the Seekers. They seem so authentic, fun, and creative. Plus, they are so approachable and desire to help us newbies and wanderers out on our writing paths.
      Praise God for Seekerville.
      and I”m SOOOO glad Myra is a part of them 🙂

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    1. Thanks, V.V.! Actually, why I’ve written so many books is because . . . I NEED THE PRACTICE!!! You should see my filing cabinet drawers stuffed with manuscripts that will never again see the light of day. Every single one was a learning experience. I count my blessings every day that God finally led me to editors willing to give me a chance and to work with me to make my stories the best they could be.

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  2. I too have been keeping up with Seekerville and have received a lot of information about writing. It’s interesting to see the different writing habits of authors. Where The Dogwood Blooms sounds like a great book. Would love to read it. Thanks for giving away a copy.

    Like

    1. Patsy, I’m also amazed at how every writer I talk to has his or her own methods for getting that story down on paper (or the computer screen, as the case may be). The bottom line is to find what works best for YOU. And usually for me, that changes with every book! A “system” that seemed effective for one story may turn out to be a detriment for the next one. I’ve learned to just go with it, trust my instincts, and keep writing.

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