WELCOME TO MY

JOURN+AL JOTS BLOG ...

A weekly journal where you can learn what I'm up to on my books, giveaways, fun things I'm doing or even my own personal devotional for the day. It's a broad mix of what's on my mind, allowing me to feel a little bit closer to some of the most important people in my life -- YOU! So please stop by from time to time, and if you have questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you via the "Contact Julie" tab or via my Facebook page.  Hugs, Julie

 

9:02AM

Sunday, May 7, 2017

 The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

-- Psalm 23:1

This morning I sat on my veranda overlooking our cove, the still of the morning wrapping around me like the blanket cocooning my body. The lake was peaceful and still, the sky a blinding blue that promised another day of warmth and wonder. No one was up but me and the guy across the cove who was quietly fishing off his dock. Even the birds were silent, as if waiting for the whisper of God's "good morning."

Just like me.

And to top everything off like the cream in my hazelnut coffee, was my devotional this morning, which was about the 23rd Psalm, my favorite chapter in the entire Bible. To me, the 23rd Psalm is as comforting as my toasty blanket and as invigorating as my steaming cup of java, wrapping me in the incomparable cocoon of God's love and peace.

But I have to say that the real joy came when I read an amazing commentary on the 23rd Psalm. Well, actually, a commentary on just the first line, which is also our header quote today:

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

You see, this commentary expounded on the Scripture line above one word at a time, imparting a view of God that is deeper than the lake before me and as soothing as its still waters, barely kissed by the whisper of a breeze.

I was so blessed by this blogger's interpretation of the first line of the 23rd Psalm, that I knew immediately it was a lesson I wanted to include in my upcoming novel, His Steadfast Love.

And just in the nick of time, too, since I only have eight scenes left to go! I was praying about a final spiritual lesson at the end of the book, so this will be what our hero Pastor Chase Griffin will impart to the heroine, one Catherine Marie O'Bryen. Because Cat is a lost soul who is eventually "shepherded" back to still waters by a man who depicts God's steadfast love for each of us.

And so, instead of me writing a blog today, your time would be so much better spent by reading this amazing commentary if you so desire, which blessed me to no end. I pray it does the same for you!

Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd by Daira Curran 

 

Winner of the Ind'tale Contest!

A HUGE thank you to all of you who entered my April contest -- I wish I could give a prize to each and everyone! But, unfortunately, Rafflecopter only picks one winner who will have a character named after her in His Steadfast Love, a signed paperback copy, and her choice of two more of my books, which could be hard since I'm pretty sure this particular winner has most if not all of them!

So SUPER CONGRATS to the following sweet reader friend, who is my InD'tale Contest winner!!

ANDI TUBBS

But ... as a big THANK YOU to each of you for taking the time to enter and help me promote InD'tale Magazine, I have decided that my next Journal Jot blog will include a fun sneak peek at an excerpt from His Steadfast Love about Shannon and Sam's honeymoon. I promised another dear reader friend -- Kelly Reed -- that I would post it in today's Journal Jot, but since it's a bit on the ... ahem, super romantic side ... I decided it didn't belong sharing the page with the 23rd Psalm. ;)

Now, I'm not sure when my next JJ blog will be, so you might want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss it. All you have to do is enter your email address in the subscribe box at the top right of this page, and you will automatically receive an email with the contents of my next blog WHEN I write it! :)

Until then, enjoy Daira Curran's wonderful commentary, and may it bless your week as much as it has mine!

Hugs,

Julie

 

Deal Alert on A Hope Undaunted!

If you haven't yet read book 4 in the O'Connor saga, A Hope Undaunted, then PLEASE take advantage of this fabulous 99-cent sale that will run from May 5 - 11, 2017. AHU is my FAVORITE book I've ever written and truly the richest novel as far as an in-depth look at ALL of the O'Connors in one book. So if you've already read it and liked it, then please spread the word to your friends, okay?

Here are the links for the sale that runs from MAY 5-11:

AMAZON/ BARNES & NOBLE/ CBD

 

 

 

4:55AM

Friday, April 28, 2017

She’s lost her faith.

He’ll help her find it.

Along with a love that endures.


The story you've been waiting for is almost here ...

Yes, it's true, I am more than 3/4 of the way through writing book 3 in my Isle of Hope contemporary series, His Steadfast Love, which has been SO fun to write! And, I hope, SO fun for you to read when it releases this summer.

And it's even more fun for me now because I finally have a cover! I can't tell you HOW much I enjoy designing my own covers because I hope they help convey a hint of the story inside, but you be the judge.

The blurb for His Steadfast Love is: 

 

A bold and independent woman challenges the ideals—

and the morals—of a pastor who loves her

no matter the mistakes that she makes.

 

Obviously what I tried to do with this cover is show how Chase holds on to Cat via friendship, becoming her lifeline until she can finally return to her "first love"Christin order to win her second—Chase!

Please continue praying for God's anointing on this book if you will, because I hope it will have a very special message that I myself have learned over the last year.


 Update on Genevieve!

Keith and I had SO much fun visiting my son, daughter-in-law, and my three grands last week, so I wanted to share some highlights with you.

Genevieve, who we were calling Evie, has now be redubbed "Genebebe" by her three-year-old brother, so it looks like new nicknames are in play. Whether Gen, Evie, or Genbebe, she is a true sweetheart!

Gen is now over six months old and one of the most gentle babies I have ever seen. She is a totally normal little girl with a perfect heart today because of YOUR prayers, so thank you again!

LOVE my grands!! Had SO much fun playing paper dolls, Memory Game, Play-Doh, frisbee, swinging statue, tennis, and super heroes! PLUS a bonus visit with dear friends Mary Connealy, Sharee Stover, and Steph Ludwig!

 

Deal Alert on A Hope Undaunted!

If you haven't yet read book 4 in the O'Connor saga, A Hope Undaunted, then PLEASE take advantage of this fabulous 99-cent sale that will run from May 5 - 11, 2017. AHU is my FAVORITE book I've ever written and truly the richest novel as far as an in-depth look at ALL of the O'Connors in one book. So if you've already read it and liked it, then please spread the word to your friends, okay?

Here are the links for the sale that runs from MAY 5-11:

AMAZON/ BARNES & NOBLE/ CBD

 

 Contest Ends Sunday at Midnight!

This is your last chance to have a character named after you in His Steadfast Love this summer, plus a signed paperback copy and your choice of two of my other books! 

My interview in InD'tales Magazine is one of the most in-depth and most important I've ever done, so I hope you check it out! And to motivate you to do so, here's a chance to not only have a character named after you in my next book, His Steadfast Love, which releases this summer, BUT ... receive a signed copy of His Steadfast Love PLUS your choice of any two of my books, e-book or paperback.

Plus a FREE subscription to InD'tale Magazine! To subscribe, just go to the InD'tale Magazine website, scroll down to the bottom of the page, then click on the "Subscribe" link on the right side of the black bar. And if you do subscribe, be sure to indicate that in the Rafflecopter box below since it's worth 5 points in my contest, okay? 

And spread the word, okay?

Hugs and Happy Weekend!

Julie

a Rafflecopter giveaway
10:28PM

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Scroll to end of blog for InD'tale contest!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;they are new every morning;

great is His faithfulness.

 —Lamentations 3:22-24

Ah, new beginnings! The first day of a year, the first day of school, the first time you wear new clothes, the first page of a book, the first time you say “I love you,” the first time you hold your newborn in your arms—new beginnings, all, offering a future and a hope. There is nothing quite like that feeling of new, fresh, clean, the idea of starting over to get it right.

Only we never quite “get it right” as human beings, do we? Oh, sometimes we do, sure, but unfortunately, sin is inherent for everyone who draws air, which is why for me, Easter is the most important day of the year. A new beginning, a fresh start, a do-over where the precious blood of Jesus washes me clean and let’s me start over, reminding me once again that His mercies are “new” every morning and His love never ceases.

Why?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,

plans for welfare and not for evil,to give you a future and a hope.

 —Jeremiah 29:11

A future and a hope—Easter in a eggshell, if you will. And yet, there have been too many times when my focus has been on dying eggs instead of a dying Savior Who gave His all so I could have a new beginning—not just every day of my life, but in the next as well.

So, I don’t know about you, but this Easter, I plan to focus on just how very important this day is to each and every one of us. Because without Easter—the death and resurrection of our Savior—there would be no fresh starts, no do-overs, no future and no hope.

I wish you and yours a MOST blessed Easter and fresh start with the Lover of your Soul!

Hugs!!

Julie

 

InD'tale Contest!

My interview in InD'tales Magazine is one of the most in-depth and most important I've ever done, so I hope you check it out! And to motivate you to do so, here's a chance to not only have a character named after you in my next book, His Steadfast Love, which releases this summer, BUT ... receive a signed copy of His Steadfast Love PLUS your choice of any two of my books, e-book or paperback.

Plus a FREE subscription to InD'tale Magazine! To subscribe, just go to the InD'tale Magazine website, scroll down to the bottom of the page, then click on the "Subscribe" link on the right side of the black bar. And if you do subscribe, be sure to indicate that in the Rafflecopter box below since it's worth 5 points in my contest, okay? 

The contest runs through April, so GOOD LUCK!

Hugs and Happy Weekend!

Julie

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
10:51AM

Friday, April 7, 2017

Scroll to end of blog for new contest!

 

My beloved is mine, and I am his;  he grazes among the lilies
until the day breathes and the shadows flee.

-- Song of Solomon 2:16-17

Goodness, it's been a while since we've talked because I've been spending most of my time traveling and writing book 3 in the Isle of Hope Series, His Steadfast Love. But I wanted to come out of hiding to let you know about a cool interview I did for InD'tales Magazine and announce a new contest.

As many of you know, my tagline is "Passion With a Purpose," which means my whole purpose for writing novels in the first place was to provide a romantically (and spiritually) passionate alternative to secular romance, which as we all know caters to a world view that is amoral at best. So when InD'Tales Magazine -- a secular review magazine begun by a Christian reviewer -- asked me to be her featured author interview for the month of Easter to talk about my "Passion With a Purpose" style, I said yes.

Why? Because yes, there are sweet romances in the secular market without gratuitous sex, but you will go a long, LONG way before you find secular romance novels that line up with God's precepts as far as sexual morality. And likewise, in a $1.08 billion-dollar industry (in 2013) you will go a long, LONG way before you find Christian romance novels that offer the romantic passion that most secular readers are looking for.

Before I was published, I read a statistic from an evangelical Christian polling firm called The Barna Group that totally shocked me. It claimed that "nine out of ten women in the U.S. profess some form of Christianity," and yet the moral climate in our world would suggest otherwise.

The results of national survey published by USA Today in 2016 revealed that "more than three out of four (76 percent) of 18-to 31-year-old American couples living together consider cohabitation before marriage to be fine and acceptable."

"About a quarter of women move in with a romantic partner before the age of 20, and more women than ever live with a partner before they get married," according to a new report by the National Center for Health Statistics.

“The stark reality is that 65 percent of ‘altar-bound’ singles — many of whom identify as ‘Christians’ — now live together before marriage,” says Charisma News Contributor Larry Tomczak.

I don't know about you, but this bothers me A LOT because it's not God's precepts that have changed, it's our world.

According to CNN, the blockbuster book and movie, Fifty Shades of Grey labeled "mommy porn" by some "has topped best-seller lists around the world, selling over 125 million copies worldwide by June 2015. It has been translated into 52 languages, and set a record in the United Kingdom as the fastest-selling paperback of all time."

Why? Because passion is important! Not just to romance readers, but to everyone on the planet. We were created that way by a passionate God who analogizes His own depth of love for each of us in a very passionate love letter called “Song of Solomon.” And what happens? The world uses this beautiful, God-given gift to shove sin down peoples’ throats, and I, for one, am really sick of it. I want to use passion the way it was intended — to teach people God’s precepts and therein, His love. It’s the cry of my heart, and I hope and pray that for my readers, my stories of romantic passion translate into passion for God.

Giveaway!

So ...  I've decided to run a contest in honor of my interview in InD'tales AND my Seeker blog this upcoming Wednesday, April 12, which will feature the editor-in-chief of InD'tales Magazine, T.J. Mackay speaking about "Christian Fiction in a Secular World: A Light Under The Bushel?" There will be a giveaway of choice of my books, so I hope you stop by. Here's the link:

JULIE'S GIVEAWAY ON SEEKER BLOG WED., 4/12/17


New Contest Begins Sat., 4/8 at midnight!

My interview in InD'tales Magazine is one of the most in-depth and most important I've ever done, so I hope you check it out! And to motivate you to do so, here's a chance to not only have a character named after you in my next book, His Steadfast Love, which releases this summer, BUT ... receive a signed copy of His Steadfast Love PLUS your choice of any two of my books, e-book or paperback. The contest runs through April, and further details are in the Rafflecopter box below, so GOOD LUCK!

Hugs and Happy Weekend!

Julie

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
2:00PM

Friday, March 3, 2017

"You have to put off being young

until you can retire."

-- Author Unknown

Ah, retirement! Even though my husband and I live in Missouri on the largest recreational lake in the United States, we are not retired no matter how much we might swim, boat, or fish. We just figured if we both worked at home, why not do that in front of a lake? Made perfect sense to us.

And it still does.

But I will admit, there is something magical about retiring to Florida. You see, we just got back from a week in Florida, where my retired prayer partner and her hubby rented a gorgeous house with an L-shaped pool for two months, and all I can say is, WOW!

Great weather, great food, great landscaping, great beaches, great activities, and great prayer time with my two prayer partners -- sheer heaven!

But now we're back to reality, which is pretty good too, I have to say, because I am having a lot of fun writing His Steadfast Love (am on Chapter Twenty-One so far).

Although I didn't get much time to write in Florida, I am committed to Seekerville's Speedbo, which is a cool writer's incentive to write 1,000 words (or whatever goal you set) every day during the month of March. So far -- March 3rd -- I am on track, so prayers appreciated that I can get this book out in early summer. And any writers out there who would like to jump into Speedbo, it's not too late, and it's free, so I encourage you to do so.

 

We Have Winners!

Mega thanks to everyone who entered last week's Rafflecopter contest to win one of my indie e-books and a signed paper copy of SPARK Magazine, which includes my flash fiction piece for an alternate ending to Gone With the Wind.

The five winners have their choice of an e-copy of A Light in the Window, Romance-ology 101, A Glimmer of Hope Rewrite, Isle of Hope, or Love Everlasting). OR … for those winners who already have all of those indie books, I will be happy to put you on my e-book list for the first copies of book 3 in the series, His Steadfast Love, which I hope to release this summer.

So, SUPER CONGRATS and THANKS to the following winners. I will contact each of you personally.

Hilda Simmons

Sonnetta Jones

Abigail Allen

Kerri

Julie Jobe

 

Newsflash!!

Whoa, baby ... I just found out that the February issue of SPARK Magazine, which includes my alternate ending for Gone With the Wind, is available for FREE DOWNLOAD when you take advantage of the FREE SUBSCRIPTION to Splickety, so all you have to do is send a blank email with "Subscribe" in the subject line to:  info@splickety.com

 

Deal Alert on Love at Any Cost!

If you have never read book 1 in the Heart of San Francisco series, NOW is the time to do so! Love at Any Cost, which is one of my favorite and most fun books, is only 79 cents to 99 cents for a brief time, so check out the fabulous video below!

VIDEO FOR LOVE AT ANY COST

The entire Heart of San Francisco series is a lot of fun -- shorter, funnier, and less complicated than the O'Connor saga, but I promise you that with a wise-cracking parrot, a crotchety cook, and a near deaf and blind butler, there's a LOT of fun in store with the McClares. So DO check it out because LAAC contains one of the best kissing scenes I have ever written (hint: in a billiard room).

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

CBD (79 cents)

Giveaway!

Join me in Seekerville on Wednesday, March 8 for my blog entitled, "Back-Peddling on the Road to Success."

I will be giving away one of my e-books and a signed paper copy of SPARK Magazine, which includes my flash fiction piece for an alternate ending to Gone With the Wind, so do come on by to leave a comment.

That's all for now, so

HAPPY WEEKEND!

Hugs,

Julie