I love southern stuff:
and Missy Tippens 🙂
Yep, that’s right. Love Inspired author, Missy Tippens, is visiting today. This Kentuckian-turned-Georgian likes to add some southern-sweet romance to her novels and a whole lot of second chance-stories too :-). We ALL need second chances, right?
She couldn’t get approval for a scene from her April 2011 release, A Family for Faith, in time for this post- so I’ll pull from my archives and give you a glimpse into her writing from a previous post 🙂
But Missy did answer our Seasons Change question. Let’s get to it 🙂
I love when a hero or heroine is surprised to realize he or she is in love. But you have to lay the groundwork so the reader won’t be left doubting it. You can’t have them fighting and in constant conflict, then suddenly saying, “I love you.” There needs to be a gradual falling in like, a building of respect, a wishing to spend time together. Then a time where they start to see each other for who they really are–faults and all. They need to grow to care for each other through the book. They can deny it all they want–which can be fun! But we, as a reader, know they share true love. Then, finally, once the characters have grown enough in their arc to accept the love of the other person, you can show the declaration of love.
In my upcoming book, A Family for Faith (Love Inspired April 2011), My heroine starts to realize she cares for her neighbor when she recognizes her desire for a man like him–who’s kind and honest and faithful. Of course, at that point, she fears she’s not good enough for his love, so she can’t allow herself to care.
The hero’s realization is later in the book because he’s been grieving the death of his wife 5 years before and is scared to love again. All through the book, I have him thinking of his wife, what she would say or do if she were there. Then near the end, he realizes he’s been thinking of the heroine instead. He has finally moved on.
Here’s an excerpt from Missy’s 2009 release, A Forever Christmas. (And a festive reminder of the upcoming holiday too 🙂
Before he could stop himself, he took hold of her hand. At least he hadn’t hugged her like he wanted to do. “I’m sorry.”
She held tight. “I just can’t bear to see any child missing his mom or dad. And Peter’s parents… The regret. Just too painful for anyone to have to bear.”
Well, no wonder she’d been hounding him. At least he understood better now.
He wanted to hold her in his arms. To comfort her like he had so many times before. But he couldn’t. It wasn’t his place now.
Gregory turned off the truck. “Come on. I’ll walk you to the door.”
She seemed disappointed. “Okay.”
When they reached the front door, he couldn’t help glancing in the direction of her upstairs bedroom window. Where years ago, he tossed rocks to get her to sneak out to meet him. Which, of course, reminded him that her parents never approved of him.
Never would, either.
Then why do I want to get closer to her? To breathe in her fragrance? To remember holding her close? To remember kissing her?
To remember all the big dreams I had when I was with her?
Before he knew it, he had moved closer. He took hold of her hand again. “You know, I should thank you for spending time with Hunter and Chase. They seemed to have a good time. Seemed happy.”
“I had fun, too.”
Frustration. Gratitude. Attraction. They all warred, yanking his thoughts all over the place.
But one thought dominated.
He wanted more. More than the touch of her hand. He wanted to look into her eyes and see that she cared. He wanted to know if she felt anything for him now.
His gaze slid from her eyes to her lips…
He took a step back to fight the temptation. He couldn’t look at her right now—too many emotions swirling around. So instead, he let go of her hand and looked up the length of the big white columns, took in the expensive furniture on the porch, to remind himself whose house he stood in front of. Then he nodded. “Good night.”
She started to unlock the door, then turned quickly, nearly running into him. “Oh, wait. The craft stuff.”
He had to get out of there before he did something stupid. “I’ll get it later.”
He hurried to the truck. As he started the engine, he noticed a shadowy figure standing at the side of the house. Just outside Winston’s home office.
Even with the sun setting, and the shadows on that side of the house, he could tell it was him.
How long had he been there? How much had he seen or heard?
His stance—legs spread wide, arms crossed in front of him, his head following Gregory’s truck as he backed out—said everything. Stay away from my daughter.
Apparently, Winston expected that the agreement was still in effect.
No threat was needed. If Gregory wanted to keep his shameful past a secret, he needed to stay away.
Copyright © 2009 by Melissa L. Tippens
Thanks so much for the visit, Missy. And I’m so excited about your next release. What a blessing it was to meet you in Indy! You hang with a great crew over at Seekerville.
1-2 O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
All the things our broken lives crave are found in Jesus. Look at the list. Forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, mercy, goodness, and the vibrance & beauty of youth. He takes the embittered, broken, evil, hateful, merciless, heartless, and dead souls within us and breaths His life into us. We are reborn. Renewed.
What was old has passed away – and we are now covered in the glory of Christ. We start over, because He’s made the way.