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Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

So the conversation at home went something like this:

Me: ohmystars, ohmystars, ohmystars!!! Guys, guys, guys!

Family: What? What is it?

Me: I just got a starred review! A starred review!!!

Family: That’s great! Good job! How many stars?

Me (frowning): Well only one, but–

Family (now also frowning): Isn’t one bad? I’m pretty sure one is bad. Gee. I’m really sorry, Mom

Me (exasperated): No! This is good. There’s only one available. It’s just one star. You either get it or you don’t. I got the maximum amount of stars offered.

Family: . . .

Me: Never mind. I’m going to go tell my writer friends. (tells writer friends)

Writer friends: ohmystars, ohmystars, ohmystars!!!

Here’s the review:

Issue: September 15, 2018

   Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

By Julie Wright

Nov. 2018. 320p. Shadow Mountain, paper, $15.99 (9781629724874)

One-eyed Silvia Bradshaw loves movies, and she quotes from them frequently. Additionally, she bears a striking resemblance to Audrey Hepburn. But Silvia’s career is not in front of the camera but rather behind the scenes as a film editor. Her job as assistant to a well-known editor is consuming all her time, since she increasingly ends up doing all the editing work as well as trying to get her boss sober enough to attend important studio meetings. In the last hours for the final edit of an important movie, Silvia has to drag her boss out of a nightclub, and Ben, a great pal from her last job, steps up to help. With her boss so drunk he isn’t conscious enough to even look at the film, Ben helps Silvia finish the job. But their fledgling relationship appears ill-fated when they are driven apart by misunderstandings and lawsuits filed by a rival studio. Wright (Lies Jane Austen Told Me, 2017) presents a terrific read for romance readers who like a “proper romance,” in which the social relationship, not the physical mechanics, is the point of the story. A thoroughly satisfying read with a great happily-ever-after conclusion.

And here is the book:

Lies Jane Austen Told Me

Back when I first started writing, I daydreamed of getting a Publisher’s Weekly review (the good kind–not the ones that make authors rethink their career choices), so when my publisher wrote me to let me know the review was in on Lies Jane Austen Told Me, it took me a long time to get up the guts to read the actual review. And then I cried when I finally did read it–not because the review was bad but because it was good and because I’m like that.

Lies Jane Austen Told Me
Photo credit to Shadow Mountain

“Wright does contemporary romance right in this diverting novel with just enough heft.”

-Publishers Weekly

“Employing her own deliciously dry sense of wit, Wright deftly pays homage to the inherent romantic wisdom found in Austen’s classic novels in this delightfully fun and refreshingly sweet contemporary romance.”

-Booklist

“Modern, clever, and funny, Wright’s novel is a smart remix of tropes from Austen’s work. Lies Jane Austen Told Me is a satisfying and sweet contemporary romance that knits together romantic classics with modern manners.”

-Foreword Reviews

These reviews are humbling to me in so many ways. They don’t mention the journey it took to get me here. They don’t say anything about the stupid books I’ve written or the rejection letters of my past. They don’t give a play by play on all the writing classes I’ve taken or books on writing I’ve read. Much like a diploma that declares a student adept at their chosen field of studies without showing the frustration of late nights and hours and hours of study and practice, these reviews feel like a graduation for me. This “diploma” was hard-earned and totally worth it.

The Girl Who Heard Demons by Janette Rallison

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Shy Adelle Hansen hears demons, but she’s determined to make friends at her new high school by keeping her ability secret.

When she overhears supernatural voices celebrating the impending death of the school quarterback, Levi Anderson, she knows she has to do something to prevent it. However, the demons aren’t the ones plotting; they’re just celebrating the chaos, and Adelle must contend with earthly forces as well if she wants to preserve Levi’s life.

Handsome, popular Levi doesn’t appreciate Adelle’s self-appointed role of guardian angel. As Adelle battles to keep him safe, she’ll have to protect her heart, too. Can she do both?

____________________________

The beauty of a book written by Janette Rallison is that you know you are going to be deliciously engrossed in the world she created. When I dive into one of her books, I do not want to surface again until I am finished with every last word. I know I will always be entertained by clever, witty characters and treated to an emotional experience that is satisfying and gripping. The Girl who Heard Demons is no exception. Adelle hears demons. Levi is the boy who wants an explanation for how she knew to save his life. The storyline is kind of totally awesome, but the telling of that story is sheer beauty. There are twists and surprises that will leave you breathless. This is definitely a book to own in your personal library. Trust me on this. You will love it!

About Janette:

USA Today, bestselling author, Janette Rallison writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms. Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 23 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 copies. Her novels have been on many reading and state lists. Most of her books are romantic comedies or action because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.

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Interview with Frank L. Cole

Tell us about yourself: one thing mundane, one thing fun, one thing exciting, one thing happy, one thing weird, one thing hilarious, and one thing of your choice.
  • Weird – I take baths. At least 3 or 4 a week. That’s where I go to read and to plot out a book. In the bath.
  • Mundane – I don’t like Jell-O at all. I think it’s stupid, like an annoying table decoration, wobbling in a bowl, which I won’t eat from. Ever. Oh, and I can’t stand whipped cream. Vomit.
  • Fun – In awkward situations or group meetings, I like to do stupid human tricks. Yoga poses, double-jointery, horrible impersonations (that sound nothing like the person I’m impersonating), and such.
  • Happy – I like to write while wearing wool socks.
  • Hilarious – I’ve been on National Television for slapping a wrestler.
  • Exciting – I sold another book! The World’s Greatest Adventure Machine will come out some time in 2017 from Delacorte, Random House.
  • My Choice – I’m a sleepwalker, sleep talker, night terror professional. I’ve stuck my hands in ceiling fans more times than I can count, and there are permanent indentations in my walls from where I’ve run headfirst into them because I was being chased while sleeping. Ask my wife, who had no idea I did this sort of thing before we were married. 
There you have it, folks . . . Frank has slapped a wrestler. I’m totally taking you out to Jello to celebrate. Not that anything can top wrestler-slapping, out of everything that has happened throughout your publishing career, what is your single best moment ever?

That phone call from my agent when we sold The Afterlife Academy. I thought I would be more composed, but I was standing at work surrounded by other managers and my boss, and my boss’s boss, and I squealed and leapt and twirled like an idiot.

Your favorite worst review (I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours).

They all hurt, but this one was particularly rough and yet funny: 1-star on Goodreads. “Cute, imaginative, fun characters–but, boy, does it drag on. Too over the top for me. Should’ve been a short story.” That was my first Hashbrown book, which was not even 100 pages long. 

Mine was a one star, one word, three letter review: BOO. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t trying to scare me but was instead boo-ing me off the literary stage. I felt terrible for all of three minutes before it struck me how hilarious a boo-review really was. And on the topic of reviews: what is your favorite book to read? And why?

I’m about to start reading Harry Potter again, for the umpteenth time. I just need to be whisked away into a believable world and I can’t think of another series that does that for me quite like those amazing Harry Potter books. I think I’ll start with book four this time, and work my way around to book three to finish, because why not?

You’ve been around a lot of authors throughout your career and, doubtless, have heard all kinds of writing advice. What’s the best thing anyone has ever told you about writing?

Move on from my book and write something else. If I had never listened to that piece of advice, I would still be peddling my first novel to agents and publishers and touting it as the greatest book ever. It’s not. And it took writing something else to help me realize that.

That is GREAT advice. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

You should perpetually be working on your next project. I get excited just as I’m about to wrap up a book, knowing that I can start on something new. The discovery phase of writing is where I think someone advances the most as a writer.

Also great advice. Sooooo . . . E Book or paper?

Oh, paper. A million times over. You can chuck a book when something happens that ticks you off. You can’t do that to an iPad

Dude? You throw books? I don’t know how I feel about that. I sing to books and tuck them into shelves lovingly and pet new books who come to live in my house. (okay fine, I’ve thrown a book or two as well. Some of them just deserve it). Tell us about your process (not in book throwing, but in writing). Do you have daily word goals? Or do you squeeze the words in wherever they might fit?

I think my writing process is really unhealthy. I have to take days off work to write for huge chunks at a time. And then I won’t write for a week or two. Then, I have to reread what I wrote, which takes forever, and start all over. It truly is a miracle I was ever able to finish a book.

Any process that results in a finished work is a successful process to me. Speaking of success, if you could take any three authors to dinner, who would they be and why?

J.K. Rowling (but she’s buying), Stephen King (because I’m a nervous eater anyways, might as well give my indigestion a face), and Julie Wright because I hear she’s a hoot!

J.K. is buying? I am SO there! As long as we’re dreaming about meeting people we’re unlikely to chat with face-to-face, if your characters, Walter and Charlie, were to have a chance to say something about you as their creator, what would they say?

I think they would ultimately be happy with me, although they would have some bitterness towards me. We’d have to have one of those get togethers where they tell me how awful I was as a creator, because I just about gave up on them. Shelved them. Stuck them in a folder hiding on my desktop, because I didn’t think anyone would want to read about them. And every so often, they would scream at me, and I would read what I wrote and think, man, I really like these kids.

So there you have it. Frank is decidedly awesome and also signed a new book deal, which means we have more great stuff to read! Check his book out! He’ll also be speaking on panels at Comic Con, so if you’re going to be there (and you really should), make sure you check out his panels or have him sign your book at the Shadow Mountain booth where he will be signing copies of The Afterlife Academy.

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Author Copies!

It’s super fun when the doorbell rings and I am still in black yoga pants and a t shirt with my hair pulled into a bedraggled sort of ponytail. Feet are bare. Teeth are not brushed. Yes, it is after ten in the morning. Thank you for asking. It is that moment when I wonder, “Do I dare answer? What if it’s important? What if my dog bit the pool guy while I wasn’t paying attention? Or what if it’s a random stranger selling girl scout cookies?” At the thought of the cookies, I actually get up to answer the door. The pool guy can take care of himself. I have homeowner’s insurance. The cookie salesman, however, waits for no one.Curses! It wasn’t the cookie salesman. I swear the Girls Scouts of America do not try hard enough to search me out and sell me calories I don’t need but desperately want. Happily, it wasn’t the pool guy missing appendages either. What it was instead was a box on my doorstep. Our postwoman always rings the bell when she’s leaving a package. She is terribly considerate that way.

Inside the box were my author copies of my latest book Victoria’s Promise! HOORAY! The Newport Ladies Book Club series marches ever onward. I love this book. It’s super fun, filled with heart and all those aching love-sicky feelings that a good romance should have. I dedicated it to my ever-inspiring editor, Kirk Shaw, who ditched me to go be a lawyer. He is so lucky I love him and haven’t used the voodoo doll I bought of him when he told me he was leaving me. Actually, I am super proud of him for making good choices for his family and am so grateful that he helped me be the writer I am. Victoria’s Promise turned out really well. I am pleased with my finished written product. Feel free to go see the nice reviews on Amazon. I love people who leave nice reviews. We won’t talk about how I feel about those other people. Didn’t their grandmothers teach them not to say anything when they didn’t have anything nice to say? So sad they missed out on a valuable education. Actually, there’s a lot to be learned in the not-so-nice reviews as well. Anyway, I digress.

The point is that I have my author copies and books in the mail is always super fun. Speaking of Super and books in the mail, my dear friend Marion Jensen has a new book out as well. His title is Almost Super! Legit funny book! Buy it. Read it to your kids. Laugh yourself sick! And feel free to buy my book too. I may not be Lord Byron, but I’m infinitely more entertaining.

Author Copies!

Author Copies! And as a fun aside, my book has a doppelganger. The first person to discover the title of my book’s doppelganger will receive a prize. Hint . . . it has something to do with the red bike. Leave a comment with the title to win cool prize.

 

 

My New Book! Victoria’s Promise

A luxurious mansion. Thirty stunning bachelorettes. One very eligible bachelor. All of the ingredients are in place for a successful reality dating show, and behind the scenes, Tori Winters is set to pull the romantic strings as assistant director of Vows. Despite her distaste for public exhibitions of love—which spelled the death of her last relationship—Tori intends to give the public exactly what they want: scintillating footage of a bevy of beauties vying for the attention of Christopher Caine. But Chris, a consummate Southern gentleman and the star of Vows, seems almost too good to be true—and soon, even Tori finds herself falling under his spell. Despite legal obligations to avoid fraternizing with the talent, it’s clear her feelings are anything but unrequited. With the support of her friends in the Newport Ladies Book Club, Tori must make a life-altering decision: is she willing to jeopardize all she’s worked for in order to embrace her own fairy-tale ending?

I confess that it’s hard to not call this book Victoria’s Secret since the book that came before this one in the series is Ruby’s Secret and since that is a major national chain with serious brand recognition, but I will overcome this and call the book by the title the publisher has given. However . . . if you ever hear me slip up, feel free to giggle at me and then forgive me. I do not always behave intelligently. Regardless of all that, I can PROMISE that this is a fun read, one you will enjoy, with plenty of heart and laughs. Let the romance begin!
Victoria’s Promise releases to stores January 15th! So be on the look out for it!

Kanab Writer’s Conference

I am excited to be presenting at the Kanab Writer’s Conference :

http://kanabwritersconference.com/

I’m excited for several reasons.

  1. It’s a great conference for beginning writers due to its low price and the intimate setting. ($40 bucks is a steal.) There will be lots of amazing authors to learn from who will all be teaching amazing classes!
  2. Janette Rallison, my dear friend who lives in Arizona is going to be there! YAY!
  3. Liz Adair is in charge, and she is organized and lovely and will make sure the conference runs with all kinds of awesome.
  4. I moved to Southern Utah and feel a little disconnected from all the writer friends I love so much and this is a chance to see some of them.
  5. I need my own creative well filled.
  6. I am teaching two really awesome classes!

The first class is called Frankenstein: Using all the Parts to Create Something that Breathes. It is a primer for writing and will cover: Dialogue, Emotion, Voice, Character, Setting, and Plot.

The second class is called How to Take the Suck out of Success: Making Castles out of the Bricks Life Throws. This class is about taking away the excuses and following your dreams. It’s  about not giving up. Because let’s face it, sometimes it feels like someone planted booby traps on the ladder to success. Sometimes it sucks. This class will teach how to eliminate some of those pesky traps and ticking time bombs so that success can be a little easier.

I am SUPER excited for this. And with the whole government shut-down (because we’ve apparently sent a bunch of non communicating infants to Washington) Kanab could really use the tourist dollars. The businesses there have suffered a huge loss by the non-existent tourism from the national parks. Since I spent fifteen years running a business that only did well during the tourist season, I feel a great deal of empathy for their plight.

So sign up now! I promise we’ll have fun. And if you want to read about Kanab and their issues with the government shut down, here is a news article:

http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/23793695/article-Kanab-Writer-s-Conference-Taking-Place-Oct–25-26-Despite-Gov–Closures?instance=more_local_news1

 

Launch Party for Olivia!

I don’t know how much I’ve shared about my experience with writing the novel Olivia, but I am so excited to announce its release! Olivia,-the first book in the Newport Ladies Book Club series was shipped to stores today! This means that in the next week-ish this beautiful cover will be looking at you from book store shelves:

Olivia

How it all started was Josi and I went on a booktour in 2009.

Josi and Julie Booktour

I’m really glad we put the date in the picture because I’m a little flaky when it comes to remembering stuff like that. And don’t you love our toes. Josi treated me to my first ever pedicure. I tell you people–she is the friend to have! It was a great experience (the whole thing, not just the pedicure). Josi is the sort of person I can talk to all day and all night and never get tired of it. She is an amazing woman.  Even when she’s feeling evil . . .

Josi grinning in evil joy

Josi likes to keep a strict time schedule. This is a good thing, since I tend to be flaky about schedules too. I wanted to stop every few minutes while on the road because there were lots of cool things to see. We’d basically planned the tour right down to the minute which means had Josi given in to me, we would have been late to everything. So I had to settle for to settle for drive-by Photography:

Drive by Photo

While we were driving, we talked about everything. We talked about books. We talked about books we really liked.  We talked about authors who wrote books we really liked. Then Josi had an idea. A brilliant, magnificent, WONDERFUL idea.

I’d like to claim it as my own, but really I was just in the passenger seat listening to her tell me her brilliant, magnificent, WONDERFUL idea.  The important thing to remember here is that *I* was in the car when it happened,  and therefore my contribution of being present was vital.

The idea was to get with two other authors, ones of the awesome book-writing variety, and two who we really loved and wanted with us, and write a series with them. Not just any series, but a series where the stories interconnect and weave together.

Four Women.

Four Books.

Four lives changed through friendship.

See! I told you it was brilliant!

We met with Annette Lyon and Heather Moore for breakfast when we got home and pitched the idea to them. We were all on board. And that was the birthplace of the Newport Ladies Book Club. We each wrote from the viewpoint of a different character so in each of the books, you’ll get some of that character’s story, but only by reading all four books will you get the full picture or find out the endings to the other character’s stories. It was great fun to write the books–to get together and discuss the characters. We’d be typing away and then one of us would look up and say, “Oh, by the way, your character is going to do this in the second meeting.” or “Hey, what color is your character’s hair again?” And wow. Reading the finished products? WOW. Each story is so unique and interesting and beautiful.

And Olivia has been shipped to stores today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (insert freakish girl scream here).

We are celebrating the release of the Newport Ladies Book Club:

Saturday February 18th  1-3 PM

Deseret Book  1110 FORT UNION BLVD  MIDVALE, UT  84047

There will be food and prizes and fun and BOOKS!

Please come join me in the celebration!

Ring Out Wild Bells

I decided to start the year with a january Blog Hop giveaway. So read to the bottom if you want to participate.

I love the poem by Tennyson: Ring Out Wild Bells. Love it. It’s been put to music in the LDS hymn book, and it’s haunting and beautiful and feels full of promise all at the same time. The song gives me chills. I was disappointed we didn’t sing it on new Year’s Day in Sacrament meeting, but maybe next year.

With two books coming out within the next three months, I have been insanely busy. This means I haven’t blogged very much, which is probably a relief to everyone because then they don’t have to hear me whining over edits, over the fact that every time I think I’ve uncovered the secrets of the comma I realize I haven’t uncovered anything at all, over the fact that my kitchen counters are never clear, over the fact that Mother Nature is a real slacker with the whole winter thing.

I’m really glad I spared you all of that whining. Lucky you guys!

But since it is tradition that I start the year by looking back at the previous year, I’d decided I’d better write *something*. I had things I wanted to do last year, and things that actually were achieved.

Writing. I had tons of writing goals. Long term . . . short term. I wanted to write three books. I wrote two and three quarters. I would have made this goal except the year ended with all kinds of stuff getting piled on me at once and honestly . . . I have three kids who need to know they’re loved. I had to put something aside, and the work in progress was that something. It’s mostly done . . . which feels quite the same as mostly dead. I will pick that up again in another week or two. The two books that did find their way to completion are also the two coming out in the next few months. Olivia (which is part of the series written with Josi Kilpack, Heather Moore, and Annette Lyon) is coming out in February. And Hazzardous Universe: The Magician’s Last Words (Loving that title!) is coming out in March. The book that is mostly done is called Capes and Curls. It’s a fairytale retelling featuring Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. It’s been a fun write, and I cannot wait to go back to it.

I wanted to read 70 books and I read 78. One of these days maybe I will be as well read as Jessica Day George. But probably not. That girl is a machine! I fell in love with Jim Butcher’s writing over the year and ended the year with James Dashner’s Death Cure. It was an epic ending to the series. It was fitting and believably human. I genuinely loved it. if you haven’t read it–then a pox upon your head. Dashner did a great job and Death Cure was a great book to end my reading year. Thanks James.

I wanted to get into shape. But one ACL snap and torn meniscus later, I am just grateful to be walking. I’ve come to the point that I can walk without a limp most of the time. I still struggle on stairs. I can do them, but sometimes if my knee is really hurting, it’s slow going. A rather severe depression overcame me at the time I injured my knee. It’s strange how a physical ailment can have such an emotional impact. I’m clawing my way out of it. Some days are great and there’s no pain at all. Others are less than great. It is the way of things.

I wanted my kids to be safe and happy. They are that for certain. I’m so grateful for the joy those three kids give me. I love listening to them laugh and hearing their ideas. I love the way they see the world and the fact that they aren’t afraid to share their thoughts with Mr. Wright and me. I love their jokes and hard work, and the way they care about others. Families are important things. And not every day is perfect in any family, but every day is worth experiencing because they are there: parents, siblings, in laws, nieces, nephews, children, spouses. I’m glad for the people in my life.

It was a good year. I was able to do some cool things and spend time with cool people. I’m glad to have another year at my disposal. Maybe I’ll get three books written this year . . .

I wish all of you a great New Year. May you accomplish your goals and be happy. As a way to kick off the year, I’m joining

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer in a blog hop giveaway for a young adult novel. I have in my possession a hardback copy of James Dasher’s Scorch Trials. To qualify for the giveaway, either follow my blog *or* follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/scatteredjules and leave a comment on this post. That’s it. If you already follow both, then just leave a comment and tell me you’re awesome. And make sure to go to the blog hop link to view all the other blogs giving away YA books so you can have chances to win other way cool books by way cool authors. The giveaway runs from January 27th to 31st US only entries please.

Dave Farland’s New Series

Dave Farland has  a new fantasy called Nightengale, published by East India Press www.nightingalenovel.com
Nightingale launches a marvelous contemporary fantasy for young adults, a grand adventure overflowing with wonders.  Alternately laugh-out-loud funny and terrifying, there’s a sweetness and passion to this novel that keeps readers up long into the night. This looks like something entirely new. It’s an enhanced novel which takes a bold step into the future of pulishing. I’m a fan of Dave’s works and am excited to read his new novel. I have a reluctant early teen reader in my house that this particular book is sure to be a hit with. Go check it out!
“A thrilling ride, with plenty of twists, action, and amazing characters.  I ripped through it.  Highly recommended.”
– James Dashner
New York Times Bestseller
“A beautifully crafted experience: stunning art, haunting music and delightfully subtle animated accents all accompany a riveting and deeply human story. There is (quite literally) nothing
else like it.”
– Editionals
“Farland is simply one of the best sci-fi and fantasy writers alive.”
– Orson Scott Card
Hugo, Nebula, and World
Fantasy Award Winner