Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chill Out, Josey! by Susan May Warren

CONTEST ALERT! Scroll down for details...


Susan May WarrenSusan May Warren is the
award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep's Clothing, a thriller set in Russia, was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader's Choice award. A former missionary to Russia, Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.

You can learn more about Susan at her website: or visit her blog at


I can't help be amazed at the gifts God has delighted me with - a wonderful husband, four amazing children, and the opportunity to write for Him.

I've been writing as long as I can remember - I won my first book writing contest in first grade! Over the years, writing has become, for me, a way to praise God and see Him at work in my life.

Although I have a degree in Mass Communications from the University of MN , my real writing experience started when I penned the The Warren Report - a bi-monthly newsletter that detailed our ministry highlights.

Living in Russia meant I never lacked for great material - and those experiences naturally spilled out first into devotionals and magazine articles and finally into my first published story, "Measure of a Man," in the Tyndale/HeartQuest, Chance Encounters of the Heart anthology.

I grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis , and became an avid camper from an early age. My favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota - it's where I met my husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living. The north woods easily became the foundation for my first series, The Deep Haven series. Based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior . I have to admit - I'm terribly jealous of Mona, the heroine of my first full-length book, Happily Ever After, a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.

Our family moved home from the mission field in June 2004 -- and now we live in the beautiful town I'd always dreamed of! God has amazed me anew with His provision, and blessings -- and allowed me a season when I can write full time for Him.



Josey Anderson will be the perfect wife. She and Chase did have the perfect wedding—if you don't count the matron of honor going into labor. Now all she has to do is find a cute Cape-style house, report for the Gull Lake, Minnesota, paper, bake cookies and learn to sew—is that so difficult?

But when Chase lands a new job—in Moscow—Josey's dreams disintegrate. After all, she's been there, done that as a missionary, and a city without year-round hot water, decent takeout or…maternity clothes—that's not perfection! But what's the perfect wife to do?


Chapter 1: The Main Event

Banff Lake Hotel
Banff, Canada

Dearest H,

As your best friend, let me start by saying that my bridesmaid dress did NOT make you look like an avocado, and, in fact, I noticed Greg McPherson checking you out at least twice while he hid behind a piece of strawberry cake. And don’t tell me you don’t care. I distinctly remember having to drive by his house daily during our junior year, just so you could watch him get off the late bus after football practice. I think Atkins should make a poster child out of him or something. Imagine, losing one hundred and thirty pounds of that post-football pseudo-muscle eating steak. Oh, and I have to say your orange hair looked oddly great with the dress. I’m still, however, not letting you pick my hair color.

Anyway, I’m writing to tell you two things:

1. Banff is gorgeous. Towering blue-green mountains looming over glacial moraine lakes, the smell of fall hinting the air, and lots of time for long strolls through the flower garden or hiking in the hills.
2. Chase deserves the prize for being best groom in history.

I know you had that gig at the Hungry Wolf, and couldn’t stick around, especially after the ambulance arrived, so here’s the rundown.

I guess it’s common for the matron-of-honor to go into labor at a wedding. I’m just grateful that Jasmine waited until the reception, and specifically after we served the three-tiered strawberry and cream cake, (although it might have been nice if her water had burst before Uncle Bert could consume all the Swedish meatballs). At any rate, since mom was locked in combat with the caterers over just how to serve the cake she’d spent two days baking, and since I’d been in training for the event for the past three months, I climbed into the ambulance with the happy couple.

Leaving Chase to entertain the guests. I was hoping not with a pick-up game of football, since his tux was rented.

It’s a good thing I’m the new head editor of the Gull Lake Gazette or Aunt Myrtle would have a field day getting an inside scoop and sharing it with the right-to-know populous of Gull Lake. Jasmine would live in mortification for the next two decades.

We got to the hospital, and right after the bustle of my dress knocked over an IV stand, I changed into a pair of scrubs. My hair still looked really good, however, one of the few perks of spending your wedding reception in a labor room, holding your sister’s hand as the blood supply is being slowly siphoned off.

Just for the record, I don’t buy my brother-in-law’s, “I faint at blood” line for a millisecond. Milton just doesn’t want to confront the pain he inflicted (sorta) on his wife. A note aside: If I ever, ever give birth, Chase is not only going to be in the room, but he’s going to be huffing right along beside me. For better or worse, baby, that’s the deal.

Also, and this should ease your mind, birthing doesn’t look too bad if you don’t actually look at the one doing the birthing. The Gull Lake birthing room is fully stocked – soothing peach wallpaper, a thirty inch flat panel television, a Jacuzzi bath, a bed that comes with its own remote control, flowers, a rocking chair and finally, a plethora of magazines I only wish I had the money to subscribe to -- from Good Housekeeping to Us to Martha Stewart Living. Again, if I ever give birth, I’m doing it right here in the Gull Lake Birthing Center, surrounded by family, friends, and the latest issues of People.

Chase showed up about an hour later, poking his head into the room and asking, ”What’s up,” as if maybe we were watching preseason football on Pay Per View. He had his bow untied, his collar open, and yes, I spied a couple grass stains. And he didn’t in the least act like it was our wedding night and I was dressed to kill in a pair of unisex scrubs.

Of course, you know Chase, he instantly disarmed me with his lazy smile, his tousled golden brown hair, his swagger and laughter. I can’t believe after living next door to him my entire life, it took a trip to Moscow to see that Chase and Gull Lake are everything I ever wanted. I was reminded, when he winked and told me he’d wait in the hall, that although Chase is adventure and sweetness wrapped up in a delicious package of hard muscles and twinkling blue eyes, the best thing about Chase is that he loves me.

But I digress. Jasmine, meanwhile had a white-knuckle grip on the handles of her bed (and my hand, as well). She was making noises similar to yours that time I took off your toenail with the grocery cart. Yeah, those. Then she panted, “I think it’ll be soon!”

I hated to remind her that the last time the doctor checked…about twenty minutes prior, she’d been at four centimeters. I’m no math major, but I knew that wasn’t on the lucky side when you’re rounding to the nearest ten. But what do I know?
Over the next twenty minutes I learned three things:

1. I will not be charmed into Natural Childbirth. Epidural. It’s my new favorite word.
2. Having a baby can make for high drama when said baby emerges without a doctor present. The OBGYN nurses carved deep respect in my heart when they delivered Jasmine’s baby, blue and still, with about a three minute warning.
3. There is nothing on earth so glorious as a baby’s cry. I was bawling right beside her, all that wedding makeup running down my face in colorful pools of joy.

Jas had to remind me to get Milton. But the relief on his face made me forgive him for his coward-of-the-county act in the hallway. In fact, when he braced himself against the wall after walking into the birthing room, I decided his honesty had saved us all from a small crisis.
Jas and Milton’s family moment was so tender, even Chase had tears. He put his hand on my shoulder, and asked “You okay?”

I nodded, but really, I wasn’t sure of my answer. Because, H, suddenly, I knew that this is what I long for. Like Jas, I want to be surrounded by the sweetness and safety of home and family and the man I love.

I turned into Chase’s embrace and he kissed me with his hands cupped around my face, and then leaned his forehead to mine. He smelled like Polo, and just a hint of sweat. “Ready for our honeymoon?” he asked with a smile that just about made me forget my own name.

I looked for you at the reception when we returned, but my mother said you’d left for your gig.

Chase is down at the coffee shop getting me a mocha slushy. I am two-thousand percent sure that I’m the luckiest girl on the planet. And I know you’ll think this is so Stepford Wives, but I want to make him happy. I want to be the best wife and build us a life in Gull Lake.

I just hope, pray even, that I’m not dreaming all this and that Chase doesn’t one day turn to me, give himself a head slap and gasp, what was I thinking?

There’s a chapter in the Bible that talks about the perfect wife. Aside from listing a number of outrageous things like knowing how to sew, it ends with my hope for our marriage. It says something like, “Her children rise and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praises her. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

That’s what I want. To surpass all expectations, all hopes, all dreams, and to have Chase rise up (maybe from the sofa?) and call me blessed.

Oh, Chase is here! And he’s not only brought me a mocha…but that smile that turns me to melted truffles inside…

We’re going to have a perfect life.

See you soon!



Submit your funniest/craziest/most embarrassing PREGNANCY STORY and be entered to win a Super Fabulous, Ultra Deluxe Chill Out, Mom SPA BASKET! Here is the link to the Contest page on Susan’s website: (**note, this contest is exclusively for her blog tour, chances are there will be another contest going on for her general audience…feel free to enter both contests. By submitting your story, Susan will know which contest you are entering!)

Chill Out, Josey! by Susan May Warren
ISBN-10: 0373785852
Publisher: Steeple Hill
Release Date: December 1, 2007
Genre: Contemporary Romance
$6.99 from

Purchase Chill Out, Josey! by Susan May Warren HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 11:11 PM