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A Look Back at My 2012 Baby Writing Career

This year was a whirlwind in many ways. My baby writing career finally started to crawl and it was exciting. Three of my sweet romance novellas published this year in the Honey Creek Books line from Turquoise Morning Press. THREE. Compared to the zero books of any kind I had published before 2012, this is huge. I also published a book that showed how little I knew about writing/the industry/ e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. It wasn’t awesome, but I made lemonade. <– Lesson: Chin up. Power on. There are ALWAYS better things ahead.

In 2012, I did my first run of public speaking events. I spoke at libraries, writers guilds, community colleges, womens writing retreats and book clubs. I loved it. LOVED it. Had no idea I would, but I did. I even helped a teacher in ROMANIA talk to her kids about writing! In ROMANIA! I love the Internet! Try new things in 2012? Check.

I attended book fairs and festivals, like the Ohioana, where I had dinner at the governor’s mansion with a ton of writers! *Heaven*

I took soooo many pictures of me with authors I completely fangirl over it was crazypants & I met online reader/writer friends for the first time.

I returned to my favorite Ohio conferences and got to squeeze some online friends I see once a year. I attended the Lori Foster Reader & Author Get Together, the COFW conference and my first Bouchercon (World Mystery Convention) where I was a speaker on a panel! *Gasp*And went to a private party at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame sponsored by Thomas & Mercer publishing. It was delightful.

2012 was a great year for writing.  2013 will be even better – as all years are.

In 2012 contract news: I signed five contracts this year :)

For all my fellow writers waiting to find a publisher, let me encourage you to keep writing. Save those manuscripts that can’t find homes right now because once you get one contract, others follow. They will ask “What else do you have.” Be prepared. Keep writing. Keep going. You’re almost there.

I have two more sweet romances coming to the Honey Creek line in 2013 & they’re publishing my debut YA mystery in April. This makes me very happy.

But wait, there’s more….

Around Thanksgiving, my agent called. Always a good thing. Guess what?

Merit Press offered a nice deal on my YA suspense! I squeed. Loudly. For like a week- until I lost my voice.

And a week later….she called again

Carina Press offered a contract on my cozy mystery with TWO sequels. I bounced silently, clutching my throat for another week – until I collapsed.

My 2013 calendar is already filling up with new experiences, and I can’t wait to see what this recap post looks like a year from now.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look at what you’ve accomplished this year. We take so much for granted. Don’t overlook those moments deserving a pat on the back. Did you finish a novel? Send your first round of queries? Get your first rejection? Celebrate it! It means you were brave. Do you know how many people sit in fear of that rejection and never try? Way too many. Guess which of you will have a contract soon? *whispers* Not the one who won’t take a chance, that’s who.

If you keep moving at this pace another year, think of the possibilities ahead! I’m here to tell you what a difference a year can make.

GINORMOUS. HUGEOUS. BIIIIIIIGGGGG!

After all, a single moment can change your life. Don’t miss it.

 

 

 

Resolutions Anyone?

I love setting personal goals. It’s my thing. I like lists and the little thrill that shoots through me as I cross off a mission accomplished. You can imagine how I love New Year’s Resolutions. With a whole year to get crap done, I go for the gold. I list everything I can think of. Some are repeats every year – things related to my faith, fitness and finances…the three Fs. I usually get a matching grade on those, but I list them because I aspire to do better. I don’t think missing the mark means I’m a failure. I think it means I’m human. If you haven’t guessed, I don’t take too much personally.

As I look at the Christmas wreckage around me, I know it will be cleaned up eventually. Whatever. It’s gift wrap not toxic waste. It’s tangible evidence my family is blessed beyond measure with an income to buy gifts and loved ones to give them to. My kids are healthy. My house is warm. (It’s a royal mess, but it’s warm and we have cookies!).

Last night, instead of cleaning, I finished a WIP and read a book. I thought about all the things that have come to pass this year and all the things ahead of me. I hope some will come in the next twelve months. So, I’m formulating my resolutions. Some I will nail. Some I will surpass. Some will be on the list again next year. No matter how 2013 goes, if my loved ones and I are together again on Christmas, I will have had another perfect year. Time on Earth is short, so I plan to make the most of my days.

A resolution post is forthcoming.

I’d love to hear what’s on your goal list for 2013. Writing Goals. Personal Goals. Big. Small. It’s good to push yourself. We always always always underestimate our capabilities. Whatever your goals – Go for them with gusto. After all, they are YOURS!

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Merry Christmas! One of my favorite things to read every year on Christmas morning is the famous letter to the Sun Times from dear little Virginia.

This year, I wanted to share it with you. So, enjoy your coffee or cocoa and take a quiet minute to be inspired before heading into the Christmas chaos. (But when you do, know you are in good company ;) Enjoy!

Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

Dear Editor,
I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says “If you see it in the Sun it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon.
115 W.95th St

Answer:

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank GOD! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! *Hugs & Christmas cheer from my snowy little home in Ohio all the way to each of you*

Julie

The Christmas Story Luke 2:1-14

In case someone out there is searching or a believer is feeling low, I’ve copied the story that changed the world and posted it to share. This story, this birth, changed my course, my heart and my destination. On this day, every year, I feel especially close to my Savior. I assume its because the entire world seems to hush, hold its breath and be at peace for a few minutes on this day. I’m only passing through, but I’m savoring my fleeting time here, trials, tribulations and all, for one day soon, I will truly be home.

Merry Christmas.

Luke 2:1-14

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

New Release! Harvest of the Heart

I’m excited to announce the release of my newest sweet romance novella, Harvest of the Heart. This is the third and final installment in my Seeds of Love series. I love this story the most. (Truth Notice: I say this about every new story, and its always true). Honey Creek is as real to me as my own town in Reality-Ohio. My series of shorts ended, but don’t worry. I have two print length releases coming to Honey Creek in 2013. I’m not done playing cupid just yet. If you enjoy a sweet romance read, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Harvest of the Heart. When you do, I hope you smile. 

Harvest of the Heart by Julie Anne Lindsey

Savannah James thought heartbreak ended her story, but she was wrong.

Savannah’s new neighbor, Isaac Mason is making her crazy.  One minute he drops by to say “Hi,” and the next minute he walks away without a goodbye. The hot and cold is killing her and so is the intrigue. Now the town’s youngest recluse is coming out of her shell, and folks are taking notice. For the first time in five years, she’s pushing her tragic past aside to focus on someone else.

What she finds may send her back into hiding.

Excerpt:

Excerpt from Harvest of the Heart

The dam stood before them, stretching into the night. Water roared at their feet, spitting white foam into the air. Together they climbed the rocky edge, onto the cement, and finally landed at the top. Savannah dropped the small white bag beside her and grabbed the safety bar with both hands. She swung her legs over the dam’s edge and rocked the edges of her skirt smooth beneath her. Isaac folded himself lithely beside her.

Stars peeked one at a time through the deep navy and gray sky. The lodge looked like a child’s toy in the distance, the crowds barely recognizable. Rows of tables and lines of vendor trucks sprinkled the area near the lake. They were little more than purple shadows in the night, but Savannah knew them all. She’d spent many nights overlooking the Friday night set up of Happy Apple.

“You’ve got to tell me. What’s in the bag? And am I an accomplice to petty theft?”

“You saw nothing. You know nothing.” Savannah opened the bag and pulled two apple fritters from inside. One fork and no napkins.

“That was Grace’s family’s truck. I’m good for the money.”

Isaac’s smile lit the night. On cue other lights began to tick on. One by one, the rows of twinkle lights spun through trees and light posts flickered on. All the purple shadows snapped to life under the soft white lights.

Savannah pressed a plastic fork into the crisp outer shell of one fritter and pushed the tines in deep. Isaac’s lips parted. She moved the fork into his mouth with care, trying not to poke him when her hands began to shake. His waiting lips distracted her thoughts and fogged up her head. The next bite went to her. She shoved it in to keep her lips busy and hoped the lighting where they sat covered her blush.

“What are you thinking?” he asked.

Savannah pressed her lips tight. “I’m thinking this is the best night I’ve had in longer than I can remember.” Her eyes drifted over to the lodge, the people she loved and respected standing outside. Pride and belonging surged up from her stomach, and she wanted more than anything else to present Isaac to them.

“You have a little apple there.” Isaac leaned toward her. One warm thumb drifted over the corner of her mouth, and she inhaled.

Her eyes shut. His warm lips touched hers, and she was home.

You can pick up a copy of Harvest of the Heart online at:

Amazon

Smashowords

Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore

 

 

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