Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

Dangit! Yesterday's post posted as a Wednesday post when it was really a Tuesday post!  Oh well.

I had critique group and you know what they said? That my villain has to be meaner.  Sigh. I guess I need to start hanging around meaner people so I can observe their behavior!  Or get in touch with my evil side.  So that's what I'll be working on this week.

My word count was pretty good at 4678.  I'm proud of that.  How did you do?

My Very Short Thoughts on Castle

I thought last night's Castle was awesome.  The mystery was good, but the real genius of the episode was the competitions going on.

The first one was the Scrabble competition between Castle and Beckett.  I had to laugh at that one because I love playing Scrabble and I generally win.  Castle's face during the scene right before Beckett put down "quixotic" was so funny since he was sure he was going to win.  And her whole reaction was pitch perfect when she finally distracts him from his Scrabble losses.  Although the line of the night was when Castle says, "I'm extreme.  Extremely handsome."  Haha!  But Beckett got her own line in with "With a high level of difficulty."  I love them.  I love their chemistry, the way they work together, the way they're different yet still compatible.  Love them.

The second competition was between Ryan and Esposito for who would be Castle's best man.  Those two crack me up and really highlight how important it is to have great secondary characters in both books and TV shows.  Love them, especially when they wanted Lainey to choose.  So. Good. (Except Castle picking Alexis for Best Man was dumb.  I really wanted Espo and Ryan to be co-best men.  Oh well.)

I've really been enjoying the writing for Castle lately so when I saw the previews for next week I was nervous.  They're revisiting the whole "Beckett's mom" thing and since I'm not really thrilled with that whole beat the dead horse again storyline, I hope they can do something with it that seems natural and not contrived.

Did you see it? What did you think?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Lost and Found

Lost and found tour

This is the fourth novella in the Ripple Effect series and this might be my favorite so far.  So heartwarming and romantic, this one really touched my heart.  

Karey White does such a great job with the characterization. I love how Lydia wanted to experience adventure, but didn't quite have the courage to do more than plan adventures for herself.  She lives a lot through books and, though she has friends, she seems quite lonely.  Then she meets Blake at the airport, a Ryan Gosling lookalike that tells her he's trying to find a mysterious box his grandfather left for him.  When their flight is delayed she makes the last second decision to help him find the box and her adventure finally begins. 

Blake is a motivated guy who wants to make partner at his firm.  At first he just seems like every other good looking guy with an eye for a high flying career and no life, but we soon see his kind heart and when we finally find out what was in the box? Oh, get the Kleenex!  I loved the romance between Blake and Lydia, it's the type that makes your heart go pitty pat as you read.  *le sigh*

The other thing I really liked about this book was the attention to detail in the location.  The author did a really great job with the setting. Made me want to go visit.  

Don't miss this one!  

Read on for the back copy and information about the giveaway!

Lost and Found by Karey White Lydia was supposed to have an adventurous and exciting summer. Instead she's done nothing more than read and eat takeout. Now it's time to go home, and what does she have to show for it? A big fat nothing. Unless, of course, her trip to the airport somehow turns into something more than just a flight home. 

Blake feels like he's been sent on a wild goose chase. While work is piling up back in Denver, he's on the other side of the country, hunting for some mysterious box that his grandfather left him. Well, no more. Nothing inside that box could possibly be more important than the opportunity to make it as the youngest partner at his firm. So he's going home, and that's that. But that's before he discovers his flight has been cancelled. When these two strangers meet at the airport, they make a split-second decision to search for the box together. Maybe with both of them on the hunt, Lydia can have her adventure and Blake can find the box. And maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll even find some romance.


Author Karey White Karey is a USA Today best-selling author. She grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, cook, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four wonderful children.  

Updated Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors. "Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love." Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver Book 6: Immersed by Jennifer Griffith

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/12/14 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Very Exciting Day!

I spent today at my daughter's university convocation and celebrating with my family afterward. I am so proud of her for graduating with a Bachelor's degree.  Definitely a parent payoff moment.

The second exciting thing that happened was that I found out Pocket Full of Posies is a RONE award finalist!  Woohoo!

Click here to see the full list of the finalists.

So you can imagine the huge smile I've been wearing on my face today.  Such a great day!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Favorite Funny Writer Shirts

Wendy Swore posted on her blog today about funny writer shirts she'd had made up.

I was reading them and laughing at my desk (my kids are used to that happening, though, so no big deal there.)  Here were some of my favorites:

 I’M PLOTTING AGAINST YOU. (I’m a writer. It’s what I do.)

If you were in my novel, I’d have killed you off by now.

Writers get the last word.

Some of my best friends are fictional.

WARNING! I’m a writer. Anything you say or do may be used in a story.

I really want to own shirts with these sayings on them because every time I read them, I smile.  So funny!

(You can go here to Wendy's blog and read the entire list of funny writer shirts and see a couple of pictures. Very creative.) 

If you could wear a writer shirt, what would it say on it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

Well, I didn't do as well this week as I did last week, but I've had family coming into town and lots of family activities going on.  That's my excuse.

I did get 2235 words overall, so that's something and I can feel good about that.  I really need to buckle down, though, because critique group is coming up and you really don't want to face my group unprepared. At least *I* don't.  They give you this look . . . *shiver*

Yeah, I better buckle down.

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Castle Does the 70s

I was so happy to see a new Castle last night.  And having them all dress up in 70s attire with Castle justifying it was hilarious.

We start off with a salvage crew finding a body entombed in concrete.  Castle remembers the case when Vincent Bianchi a crime family boss disappeared in 1978.  The powder blue polyester suit he was wearing was really well preserved which made me laugh. Polyester is not something I miss very much.

They go see the guy, Frank Russo, who took over the crime family when Vincent disappeared, but he had nothing of consequence to offer (although this is where my husband totally called who the murderer was). Frank points them in the direction of Harold Leon, who was Vincent's right hand man.  Harold still thinks it's the 70s and if anything pulls him out of the fantasy, he gets really confused.  He says he knows who killed Vincent, but wants to see the body.  Yeah, totally contrived to get everyone into 70s garb, but so dang funny.

They take him down to the morgue where Lainey is dressed up as Foxy Brown.  She's used the concrete Vincent was entombed in to make a mold of his body and shows it to Harold (after he's made some sexist comments to her that she totally slams him on, jive turkey.)  They get shot at in the morgue and Harold wants protection.  He eventually decides that he'll give a statement at the station which has everyone scrambling to make it look like the 70s with typewriters, large hair, loud clothing, the works.  The funniest part of the episode, though, was Espo and Ryan who are pretending to be a poor man's Starsky and Hutch. Oh man, I laughed so hard at them.  When Espo tries to slide across the car and lands on his butt, I admit, I rewound it just to see it again. So dang funny.

They question Harold because he knows them from their TV show and it cracked me up watching them speak 70s if you get my drift. Espo's phone rings before they get any info other than it probably had something to do with a 70s club called Glitterati.  The boys end up taking Harold there, and doing some dancing, I might add, while Beckett deals with Gates who has returned home early from her trip.  Harold finds Frank Russo, the owner of the club, who is a suspect in the murder, but he denies it.  The gang figures out that Harold and Vincent were in love, that Vincent had rented out the Glitterati club the night he was killed so he could propose to a woman and hide his relationship with Harold, and that the woman he proposed to was the key to this story.

The episode ends with the woman being arrested (Frank Russo's wife) because she was so upset over the fact that Vincent couldn't go through with the proposal in the end.  The team going back to the disco for some dancing. Last Dance comes on and Caskett watch Harold dancing to it.

A really fun episode, although I have to say both Beckett and Castle look pretty good in the 70s style.  On the other hand, I hope that style never comes back.  Haha!  Did you watch it? Did it give you any warm fuzzies for the disco era?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Double Children's Book Review

Today I want to tell you about two children's books that are perfect for a parent or grandparent to sit down and read with their children/grandchildren.

The first one is The Sacrament by John Bytheway.  This is a beautiful poem with wonderful illustrations about a little boy who is on vacation and has to go to his grandfather's church service.  He's bored and easily distracted until his grandfather gives him some good advice we can all ponder during the sacrament.  It was an easy verse, but had lots of things to ponder and talk about.  In the back there was an explanation of what each symbol of the sacrament meant (bread, water, white tablecloth, etc.) that could be used for a Family Home Evening lesson as well.  Beautifully done and a book that is thought-provoking for any age reader.

Here's the back copy:

For years, John has used a poem during fireside talks to help LDS families understand the importance of the sacrament. With full-color illustrations by Nathan Pinnock, The Sacrament will help children of all ages understand what they should be thinking about during this sacred ordinance. John shares the story of a boy and his grandfather and the memory the grandfather shares with his grandson regarding the lesson he learned about the sacrament when he was a young boy.

Ideal for children from three to twelve and a perfect baptism gift.

About the Author: 

John Bytheway served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. A favorite speaker and teacher, John holds a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at BYU. John is the author of many bestselling books and audio products. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

The second book is called I Am Strong, I Am Smart by Fay Klingler.  This is a beautiful story about a grandma who helps her young granddaughter cope with bullying at school through a special puzzle. Then, when Grandma needs help recovering, her granddaughter has the opportunity to return the favor by helping her grandma see how much she is loved and needed by those around her.  Parallel stories with a sweet message that will touch your heart.

Here is the back copy:

Luisa May, known to her family and friends as Lu, loves to play games with her grandma. When she’s bullied at school, Grandma has a special puzzle for Lu to help her see how valuable she is—no matter what others say, or how much doubt she feels within herself. Soon after, Grandma has to go to the hospital, and Lu finds out Grandma needs help recovering. Then it’s Lu’s turn to help Grandma see how valuable she is—no matter how much doubt she feels within herself. It’s a beautiful parallel for young and old alike, as each age learns from the other.

Written and illustrated with loving hands, this delightful children’s story offers a heartfelt message that unites and bonds generations. From the award-winning pen of Fay A. Klingler, I Am Strong! I Am Smart! provides to women of all ages a reminder of the tremendous gift of “girl power.”

And click here to watch the book trailer.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a regency romance that I haven't read, but was recommended to me.  It's a twist on the Cinderella story and is said to be clean and sweet.

Here's the back copy:

Lucy Sinclair’s London Season was cut short by tragedy. Now, five years later, she is returning but only in the shadow of her lovely step-sister. Belinda is determined to catch a titled husband and Alex, Lord Devlyn fits the bill perfectly.

Lucy finds Alex devastatingly attractive yet knows he will be dazzled by Belinda’s ravishing beauty. Her one chance of love seems lost forever until an unlikely fairy godmother makes Lucy the belle of the ball...

If this sounds like a book for you, click here to get your free Kindle copy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Need An Opinion

So, I'm going through edits and I need an opinion.

If you were an adult, talking to another adult, would you say, "I'm going to puke."  Or "I'm going to throw up."  It's such a silly thing, but I really do want an opinion on it.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has signed up to be on my SWAT team. I am having such a great time getting to know you and working together.  (If you don't know what that is, or if you want to join too, just look on the sidebar.  I'd love to have you on the team!)

How's your day going?  All full of sunshine and happiness?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Word Count Wednesday--I'm Happy!

This week went so much better than last week! I'm almost back on track and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  (And I love all the sunshine we've been getting lately. It makes me feel happy).

And here's a video to help in your own feeling of happiness.  :)

I wrote 8442 new words this week and did a boatload of editing.  It feels sooooo good. I'M HAPPY!

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Marketing Tips for Authors

I recently discovered two little things that authors listed on Amazon can do to up their visibility.

First, every author should have an Amazon author page.  (Click here to see mine)  In the upper right hand corner there is a spot where people can "like" your page.  I'm told that your number of likes factors into the algorithms that Amazon uses. Simple to do and every little bit helps, right?

The second tip is getting into more subcategories on Amazon.  If you've uploaded your book to KDP, you know that they offer a spot for you to plug in seven key words for your book.  This is how people will find your book and how you can be seen in more subcategories.  But how do you know what is the best key word to use?

You need to go here for Selecting Browse Categories.  Now scroll down and click on whatever category your book is, "Romance" or "Mystery" etc.  Then a whole bunch of subcategories with keywords will show up and you can update your books and the keywords you have listed.  This is such a great thing when you know about it, because it ups the chances of your book being seen in those categories, and the more people who see you, the more potential you have for sales.

I love getting little tips like this that can help an author stand out in the ocean of books on Amazon.  I hope it helps you, too!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Double Book Review and Giveaways!

Fortune Cafe Tour

Today I am so excited to tell you about some awesome books.  (Be sure to scroll all the way down for the second one!) The first book had a unique premise for me, three parts of a novel, by three different authors, all revolving around The Fortune Cafe.  And they are three of my favorite authors, so it was a double bonus!

The first part of the novel was about Emma, a waitress, who meets up with her best guy friend from high school and boy has he changed.  He's there with a girl, though, and while Emma is trying to keep from staring at him, his date has a meltdown and starts throwing food.  It was seriously one of the highlights of the story, so funny.  But even though Emma might be interested in possibly reconnecting, she's got a few secrets of her own that might send Harrison running in the other direction.  A great story with lots of depth and fantastic characters.

The second part of the book is about Lucy, who is meeting with her fiance's parents for some final wedding preparations---but her lucky jade necklace breaks during the lunch.  After that, everything in her life seems to go downhill.  She reaches her lowest point, crying on the stairs of her apartment building, when Carter, the guy who shares an apartment balcony with her, shows up and starts to show her how being unlucky can be a good thing. I really enjoyed the story between these two. Very down-to-earth and relatable characters.

The third part of the novel is about Stella, who meets a divorced man and his little girl.  She's taking care of her sick mother, though, and doesn't really have time for anyone in her life---or so she thinks.  Evan is a chef and would really love to get to know Stella more, but is worried about how he could manage a dating life and a child.  Lots of nuances in this story and some great dialogue.  The dishes he cooked sounded delicious, too! (Yeah, I wanted some of the cheesecake to munch on while I was eating. It seriously sounded incredible. *le sigh*)

I really enjoyed all three stories and hope the authors will do another compilation like this in the future.  Two thumbs up!

Here's the back copy:
The Fortune Café
a novel in three parts

MIS-FORTUNE: Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café will do anything to avoid opening a fortune cookie. Each fortune is rumored to somehow magically come true. Being a girl grounded in reality, she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. But when trying to prevent a food fight at the café, Emma accidently cracks open a fortune cookie: “Look around, love is trying to catch you.” If there is one thing that Harrison, her former best friend in high school is good at, it’s catching her unaware.

LOVE, NOT LUCK: Lucy has always been lucky . . . until her parents meet her fiancé’s parents at a disastrous lunch at The Fortune Café, and she breaks her lucky jade necklace. Even worse, her fortune cookie reveals that “True love is for the brave, not the lucky.” How is she supposed to read that? She’s always considered it lucky how she met her fiancé. But after breaking her necklace, Lucy’s luck takes a dive. And when her fiancé dumps her, the only person she can turn to is Carter, the unluckiest guy she knows.

TAKEOUT: Stella is content in her new life of taking over her mom’s jewelry shop. No more boyfriend to worry about, and as long as she stays busy, she doesn’t have to dwell on her non-existent love life. When Evan comes into the shop with his young daughter, Stella is charmed. But she is reluctant to complicate her straightforward life, so when she reads her fortune after ordering takeout from The Fortune Café, she completely ignores it. After all, how can a fortune as vague as “Do the thing you fear and love is certain,” apply to her?


About the Authors Julie Wright started her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over a dozen books since then, is a Whitney Award winner, and feels she’s finally getting the hang of this writing gig. She enjoys speaking to writing groups, youth groups, and schools. She loves reading, eating writing, hiking, playing on the beach with her kids, and snuggling with her husband to watch movies. Julie’s favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner. She hates mayonnaise, but has a healthy respect for ice cream.


Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a sometime blogger who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies and pines after beautiful shoes.


Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical thrillers under the pen name H.B. Moore, her latest is Finding Sheba. Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction. She’s the co-author of The Newport Ladies Book Club series. Other women’s novels include Heart of the Ocean, The Fortune Café, the Aliso Creek Series, and the Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology Series.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Righting a wrong

The second book I wanted to tell you about today is the third installment of the Ripple Effect Romance series, Righting a Wrong.  This one is about Jace, the guy from the last novella that seemed to get the short end of the stick.  I loved his character so much more in this novel than the last one, since we could delve into his feelings a bit more.  Jace has always wondered about Cambri, the "one who got away" from him after high school. They'd been best friends in high school, he wanted more and kissed her, and then she ran away to go to college and seemed like she never looked back.  But now she's returned to take care of her sick father and since the town is so small they are bumping into each other wherever they go.  

Cambri regrets how she left Jace and wants to explain, but doesn't know where to start.  She's also dealing with family issues that bleed over into her insecurity about whether she was right to leave or not.  Lots of emotion in this story and I liked that they already had a history to build on.  A nice addition to the series.

Here's the back copy:

Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson Seven years ago, Cambri Blaine fled her small hometown of Bridger, Colorado after her senior year ended in a fiasco. Only Jace Sutton knew the real reason why—that she was a spineless coward. Now, seven years later, her father's been in an accident and needs help, and Cambr has no choice but to return home. So with trepidation, she takes a leave of absence from the landscape architecture firm where she works and boards a plane, hoping against hope that Jace is no longer around and that the past can stay where it belongs—in the past. If only life worked that way. Jace never expected to see Cambri again. After she’d led him on, bruised his heart, and left town without a backward glance, he was forced to pick up the pieces and try not to hate her for it. Eventually, he put it behind him and moved on, creating a life for himself in his beloved hometown. But now that Cambri is back and looking more beautiful and sophisticated than ever, some of those old feelings resurface, and Jake instinctively knows, for the sake of his heart, that he needs to avoid her at all costs. If only it were that easy.


Author Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Updated Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors. "Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love." Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver Book 6: Immersed by Jennifer Griffith

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/28/14 a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Indie Extravaganza of Books and a Giveaway!

Indie Extravaganza: New Book Releases You Should Check Out - PLUS Gift Card Giveaway! Looking for some great NEW indie reads?

There is an Indie Extravaganza going on today and I thought I'd let you know in case you were looking for a new book to read at a great price.  (I haven't read any of them, but some of them look really good!)

Click here to see the titles

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guest Post by Debra Erfert---From First Page Friday to Publishing Contract

I’m totally honored to be writing a post on Julie’s blog this morning. I’ve followed Julie Coulter Bellon’s career since she was part of Six LDS Writers and a Frog blog seven years ago. That was my first exposure to any blog. The whole concept of reading posts written by other writers, and then having a chance to leave a comment just blew my mind. It took me a while to work up the courage to actually leave a one-sentence comment. Even then, my hands sweated and my stomach churned with nausea as I wavered with my decision about hitting the enter button. And then I worried myself into a headache that it would be met with ridicule because it sounded stupid. I worried needlessly. All the people over at the Frog Blog were especially sweet people, and made me feel intelligent and talented. It broke my heart when, two years ago, they said goodbye to their faithful followers. Fortunately, Julie created her own writers blog and has posted every flippin’ Monday through Friday (and some Saturdays) since then. Awesome dedication.

Up until a few months ago, part of Julie’s routine on Fridays had been a fun interactive post called First Page Friday. I had several submissions. One in particular, RELATIVE EVIL, got a great critique from the national editor, Ms. Shreditor (yes, we never knew her real identity). I had dreaded ever getting her as a critiquer. Her brutally honest style scared the heck out of me, although anyone who could read could tell she knew her stuff. I prepared myself for a beating that morning. What I never expected was the uplifting glow I felt after she praised my first entry. Ms. Shreditor went as far as calling me “an evil genius!” A what? Oh! My! Heck! It was at that point I knew she liked it. I actually got up out of my chair and danced around saying, “She liked it! She liked it!”

I signed a contract for RELATIVE EVIL with Hamilton Springs Press/Xchyler Publishing in March. They love that first page, and I love my new publisher and the good people who work there. Thank you, Julie, and Ms. Shreditor, for helping me get my book published.

I can tell you, my journey thus far hasn’t been easy. It’s been plagued with self-doubt and bad decisions. I wrote my first novella eleven years ago. It’s a good story, but written very poorly. What did I expect? I didn’t even know what a dialogue tag was, or what protagonist meant. It’s taken me years of writing dozens of short stories, thirteen full-length novels, as well as taking classes at writer’s conferences to develop my technique and to fully understand the structure of a story.

But that didn’t stop rejection notices from filling my inbox, until two years ago when I had two offers from two different publishers for two books within a day of each other. I was elated—and foolish. I’d never signed a contract before, and I didn’t know what to expect.

No, that isn’t exactly true. At the very least, I expected the person who made the decision of making the offer of actually reading my manuscript. I came to find out that she never did. Through the horrific editing process, one that nearly broke my spirit, as well as my sanity, her lack of essential knowledge about the characters, plot, and delicate subplots, showed through in the (nearly) finished draft, a story that, at that point, I was embarrassed to have my name attached to. The continuity in several subplots had been severely damaged, and the romance had been deeply cut back. I was in tears. When I questioned my editor about that, I was told (essentially) to keep working or they’d cancel the contract.

I accepted the cancelation(s), and had both books’ rights returned to me the next morning. (Okay it wasn’t exactly that easy! I had to fight for those cancelations.) I felt so relieved even knowing my writing career had been set back by at least two years. And it has been almost exactly two years since then that I signed with Hamilton Springs Press/Xchyler Publishing.  I also have had an offer of publication for Changes of the Heart, but the contract isn’t what I’d like, and I’m probably not going to sign with them (Again, I’m not going to divulge the name, but don’t worry, it’s not a “big 5, but a smaller, independent publisher). This time around, I may become a self-publisher, because I can. I know people who are successfully indie-publishers. Hello, Julie! 

If you are just starting out on your writing journey, go to writer’s conferences and take classes. Never stop learning! The many talented authors giving their time to teach is more than worth your time of attending. There are many conferences in which to choose. And take it from me; don’t stop writing after that first story. Write a second one, and a third, for every book you get under your belt, you learn important key parts that make a story great.

Good luck! Never stop writing!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Word Count Wednesday With Words People Hate

Family stuff is kicking my butt this week.  Seriously.  Butt kicked.

(I know some people hate the word butt.  Sorry. Please don't be offended.)

My word count was dismal.  My emotional self was hollow.  The only motivation I felt was when I was in my bed about to go to sleep and I would think, "dang, I really need to write this and this and this."  Right before my exhausted body said, "ain't happenin' sister."

So, even with all my good intentions, my word count sucked.

(I know some people hate the word sucked. Sorry. Please don't be offended.)

I am going to try to get some serious word count in this week before I meet with my critique group again. But we'll see how it goes.  Real life, mom life, wife life, they are all taking over my writing life at the moment. I have noticed in the past, though, that when my writing life is doing well, the rest of my life seems to follow suit, so I'll maybe try that and see if it can work for me one more time.

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

RONE Award Public Voting Round is Open!

The public voting round of the RONE awards is open and you can go vote!

(And yes, my novel Pocket Full of Posies is in the running.  But you aren't required to vote for it.  Although I'd really like it if you did, because the top 4-6 books in each category will go on to the judge's round.  So this is an important round.)

How do you vote you ask?  Well, there are two ways:

You can click here and you will be taken directly to the poll.  You have to subscribe to the magazine in order to vote, but it's a great magazine full of reviews and stuff for readers and writers.  They also don't give away your email addresses, so that's nice, too.

Or, if you are having trouble subscribing, you can send your vote via email to Ana Smith at   You can put RONE Awards in the subject line and then just say "In the Suspense/Thriller category, I vote for POCKET FULL OF POSIES by Julie Coulter Bellon."

One vote per email address.

Voting ends April 13th so you don't want to put this off.

(And thanks to all those who read my books, support me, and who do things like this. You are awesome!)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review (& Giveaway) for Fortune Cookie And A CD Review!

First of all, I'd like to tell you about an amazing new CD by Jenny Oaks Baker.  Most of you know, that I love some rock tunes, and since Jenny Oaks Baker is a violinist, well, I didn't think they'd ever mix.  (Jenny Oaks Baker has always been more of a "Sunday listening" CD for me, if you know what I mean.)  

Until now.

Ms. Baker has combined her incredible talents (seriously, if you've never heard her music she is fantastic!) and she's done a rock album with songs like Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin and Clocks by Coldplay all with her signature violin.  I've been listening to this CD all week and really loving her style with the classic rock songs.  No words.  None needed.  The violin says it all. 

You've definitely got to hear this one because you'll want to own it.  

Fortune Cookie Tour

I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Josi Kilpack's new book, Fortune Cookie.  This is a continuation of her culinary mystery series with Sadie Hoffmiller, and I have to say, I have loved reading this series and will be sorry to see it end. (There's one book left, sniff.)  

This book really delved into Sadie's personal life and childhood and yet kept a great pace with the mystery. I really thought I had the killer pegged about halfway through the book, and let's just say Ms. Kilpack has a few surprises up her sleeve.  I loved that Sadie has grown so much over the course of this series.  She is such a believable character and really resonates with me in her insecurities and how hard she tries to do the right thing.

In this book there are so many memorable characters and the mystery is one of the best yet.  The pacing was great, the setting of San Francisco was really well done, and of course, having my favorite characters in the thick of everything felt like I was back among friends.  I haven't tried the included recipes, but they all sound yummy.  A highly recommended mystery novel that will keep you guessing until nearly the last page!

Fortune Cookie

Sadie Hoffmiller has always liked things to be just so. A place for everything and everything in its place. Order over chaos. And of all things Sadie should be able to control, her own wedding is at the top of the list. With the big day just three weeks away, Sadie is busily adding the final touches to her wedding plans but the arrival of a mysterious letter from San Francisco changes everything. The only person Sadie knows in San Francisco is her older sister, Wendy, whom she hasn’t seen since their mother’s funeral nearly fifteen years ago. Sadie has faced off against murderers and criminals in recent years, yet the possibility of reconnecting with her sister is both overwhelming and frightening. Sadie soon discovers, however, that the letter is just the beginning when Wendy’s world turns out to be a place of unanswered questions, twisted truths, and more than one person with a motive for murder. The more Sadie digs into her sister’s past, the more she places her own future at risk.

Culinary Mysteries


Author Josi S. Kilpack Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, children and super-cute cat.

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Freakish Friday

I feel the need to apologize to my loyal readers. I know I usually do a Freebie Friday, but with my son's surgery, and the fact that he's needed me so much, I didn't find any great freebies to showcase today.

I did look, I promise I did, but nothing jumped out at me.

(For those of you who have emailed/messaged me, the surgery went well, and now it's a matter of rest and recovery. Maybe I'll try to find him a good book, and then I'll have something to share with you all this weekend!)

Thanks so much for understanding.

Oh, and if you have a freebie/near freebie you'd like to share, feel free to do so in the comment trail, okay? Maybe you guys will have the very book I need!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Things That Soothe Me

I'll be at the hospital tomorrow with my son who is having some outpatient surgery.  It's going to be a long day, however, since the surgery will take about five hours.  As a mother, this makes me anxious.

Because of this anxiety, I am packing my bag of things that will soothe me through the process.  I have a book (Josi Kilpack's, Fortune Cookie), I have my manuscript that I'm working on printed out and ready to be looked at, blank paper and pens, a bag of my favorite chocolate, and all my favorite music.  Lately, I've been listening to Piano Guys and Jenny Oaks Baker and there is something in their music that speaks to my soul.

I must say it's been a very stressful week for me and topping it off with a hospital visit puts my nerves a bit on edge.  As I pack my bag with my favorite things, however, I feel comforted.

What soothes you in stressful situations?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

Well, I ended up having to trash/delete some chapters that were  . . . well, drivel.  I couldn't figure out a way to fix them, so I just deleted and started over.  That's not something that has ever happened to me before and it was hard.  I was feeling bad about it, but last night I took all my issues and laid them all at my critique group's feet and guess what? They helped me figure out a better direction to go in!  So it all ended up being okay.

So, I'm in the middle of the book, starting over with several chapters, but excited about where I'm going. This problem obviously set back my word count, but hopefully this week it will pick back up.

How did you do this week? Have you ever had to delete in the middle of a book, but later been glad you did?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools' Day!

Happy April Fool's Day, if there is such a greeting.  (I guess there is since I just made it, LOL)

Well, I did get pranked today.  I got a call from a policeman saying my son had been arrested for disorderly conduct.  Got my heart rate going! I was so glad it was an April Fools' Day prank though. Whew!

I wish I were better at thinking up pranks, but I never can.  (Guess I should have gone on Pinterest. I heard there were some good ones there!)

What about you? Did you get pranked today? What's the best April Fool's Day prank you've heard of?