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WELCOME TO MY

JOURN+AL JOTS BLOG ...

A 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

 

11:40PM

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"Let us not love with words or speech

but with actions and in truth."

-- 1 John 3:18

 ðŸ’œ Happy Valentine's Day! 💜

As far as I'm concerned, the true meaning of Valentine's -- LOVE in all its glorious forms, be it Agape, Fraternal, Familial, or Romantic -- deserves FAR more than a single day! It deserves EVERY DAY, and that's exactly what our header Scripture above means to me.

In anotherwords, "actions speak louder than words."

Don't get me wrong, words are great -- heck, they're my livelihood -- but they don't mean a whole lot unless one can put feet to their faith and show love through their actions.

Which is a pretty tall order for my secondary hero Finn McShane in book 1 of my Silver Lining Ranch series, Love's Silver Lining. If you read the prequel novel For Love of Liberty, you have a pretty fair idea what ol' Finn and Liberty's marriage is like in Love's Silver Lining. Because in FLOL, those two were locking horns (and lips) A LOT before they got hitched, employing a LOT more words than actions due to taut Irish tempers.

But in Love's Silver Lining, Finn has learned that true love is manifested in the actions behind the words, which is no easy manner for him with a fire-breathing, red-haired lass like his wife. So I thought in honor of Valentine's Day, I'd give you a sneak peek at the patience Finn has to exercise with Liberty, who has holed herself up in a hotel room to keep the hotel manager -- and Finn -- away. You'll find the excerpt at the bottom of this blog.

But first!

A sneak peek at some of MY favorite valentines, and YES, Genevieve (also known as Genebebe) is doing GREAT, so your prayers DO make a difference, my friends!

 

❤️ We've Got Winners!

MEGA HUGS to everyone who entered my FAMILY FICTION CHRISTIAN ROMANCE READERS POLL contest -- you guys ROCK!!

Family Fiction's poll results will be announced in Family Fiction's 2018 Christian Romance Special Edition, which will be available for FREE TOMORROW at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyFiction/

But the results for my contest are being announced right now, so let's give a great big SUPER CONGRATS to the following. I will be in touch:

Grand Prize Winner:

CHANEL MONROE

—Choice of Ten Top CBA Books* or $50 Amazon Gift Card

—Character Named for You/Loved One in Upcoming Release, Love's Silver Lining

—Signed paperback copy of Love's Silver Lining

*10 new or almost new books by top CBA authors such as Rachel Hauck,

Denise Hunter, Becky Wade, Beth Vogt, and more!


Two Runners-Up:

DEBBIE CLATTERBUCK

ANDREA STEPHENS

   —Character Named for You/Loved One in Upcoming Release, Love's Silver Lining

—Signed paperback copy of Love's Silver Lining

 

❤️ Did You See My FB Live This Week?

I talk about the most romantic thing my husband has ever done for me, how we met, and how he proposed, so check it out at the video link below because ...

IF you leave a comment anytime after the FB Live up until midnight on Feb. 15, you will be eligible to win your choice of my e-books, so GOOD LUCK!

 

 

❤️ Rare Blog Giveaway!

Join me on MontanaMade Tell Tale Reviews Blog on FEBRUARY 14, 2018 when I talk about KISSES and you'll be entered to win your choice of my indie e-books INCLUDING my most recent release, For Love of Liberty, or my upcoming release, Love's Silver Lining, or even Romance-ology 101.

So mark your calendar, and hope to see you there!

 

 

❤️ Rave Reviews for Liberty!

"JULIE LESSMAN + WESTERN ROMANCE = GOLD RUSH!"

--Meez Carrie from the Reading Is My SuperPower blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

❤️ Sneak Peek at Love's Silver Lining

 As promised, here is an excerpt from my upcoming book Love's Silver Lining, due out late spring or early summer. To set it up, Liberty O'Shea McShane has locked herself in her hotel room to keep from going home with her husband, Finn McShane.

 Tap. Tap. Tap.

Liberty stifled a groan, ignoring the gentle knock on the door. Go away, Mr. Wilkinson. She held her breath, hoping he would.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Not responding, she squeezed her eyes shut as if that would make him disappear.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

“Go away, Mr. Wilkinson, I’m in bed and nearly asleep,” she called, yanking the covers over her head.

BANG! BANG! BANG! She shot up, her temper suddenly exploding along with the stupid door. “I am in my nightgown, sir, so you can bang all night, but I am not opening that door!”

“Fine by me.”

Liberty froze to the sheets at the sound of that voice, goose bumps popping like measles while the turn of a key in the lock sucked all moisture from her throat. She caught her breath when the door squealed open, bucking up against the headboard so hard, it rattled along with her teeth. “W-What are y-you d-doing?” she hissed, covers clutched to her neck.

“Taking you home, Mrs. McShane,” Finn said with a polite tip of his hat, his frame so tall and broad, he had to duck through the door.

“For the love of decency, you mule, I’m in my nightclothes!”

“Uh, I’ve seen it before, Libs.” A polite smile hovered on those full lips as he quietly clicked the lock behind him, draining all blood from her face. He leaned against the wood, hip cocked to the frame. “It’s time to go, darlin’.”

“Don’t you darlin’ me, you … you … bull-headed letch!” She wrapped the covers around her the best that she could, chin rising along with her temper. “And I’m not going anywhere with you, Finn McShame, so you can just march right back out that door.”

A slow grin slid across his lips that annoyed her even further when it fluttered her stomach. Or maybe it was nausea.

One could only hope.

He nudged his hat up. “I’ve missed the nicknames, Libs, but I imagine I’ll get a bellyful before all is said and done.” Pushing off the doorframe, he stood to his full height, the grin fading into that equally irritating half-smile that always pitted his calm-and-collected against her flustered-and-fuming. “I’m taking you home, Libby, so we can do this easy or we can do it hard—the choice is yours.”

“My home is in New York, you insufferable bully, and since when did you ever give me a choice? I didn’t even have any say in marrying you in the first place—I had to be drugged to do such a moronic thing.”

He idly scratched the back of his neck, that shameless twinkle causing more “nausea.”

“You weren’t drugged the next morning as I recall,” he said softly, laughter crinkling at the corners of hazel eyes that had always cast a spell. “When you woke up in my bed”—he paused long enough for the fire in her cheeks to crawl clear up to the roots of her hair, then winked, his voice taking on a lazy drawl—“buck naked.”

“Get out!” So much blood pulsed in her cheeks, she thought she might faint, the audacity of this scalawag snatching the breath right out of her lungs. Without a second thought, she hurled the brass and metal alarm clock at him with a grunt.

Catching it handily, he bobbled it in the air with a crooked smile. “Mite heavier than a teapot, for sure, but at least it won’t shatter into a million pieces.” He casually strolled over to set it back down, and she lunged to the far side of the bed, covers wadded to her chest. Hands on his hips, he nodded toward her arsenal of blankets. “Now, are you going to get dressed on your own, Liberty Bell,” he said, employing the maddening nickname he’d coined long ago just to get on her nerves, “or am I going to have to do it for you?”

“Over my dead body!” she screamed, scalding him with a bug-eyed glare.

He shifted, his manner patient. “Maybe. But either way, Libby, you’re coming with me. So are you going to put some clothes on or should I do it for you?”

“Neither!” she shouted, swiping a book from the nightstand. “I said, get out, you … you belligerent brute!” She fired it at him, aiming for that obnoxious smile.

Finn nabbed it easily, brows lifting as he held the book up, shaking his head with a tsk. “Flinging the Word of God around, Miss Bell?” He set the Bible back down. “I doubt that’s going to earn you any favor with the Almighty, ma’am.” He moseyed on over to the bureau and opened a drawer, gathering up a chemise, skirt and blouse before tossing them on the bed. “And I’m not the belligerent one here, Libby, so I’m going to ask you one more time, real nice and slow—you going to dress yourself or do you want me to do it?”

“You wouldn’t dare!” she said in a near gasp, remembering all the times he’d given her an ultimatum—and won.

He folded his arms, mouth clamping into a tight smile. “Try me.”

“Oooooo …!” Frustration surging, she crumpled the chemise up in a ball and pelted it straight in his face.

“Suit yourself,” he said in an unruffled tone, moving around to her side of the bed with the chemise in hand.

“You are nothing but vile, Finn McShane,” she rasped, scurrying to the other side of the bed as quickly as she could wrapped in blankets like a rolled dumpling. But apparently not quick enough given the fist that Finn latched on to her foot. Bucking like a thorn-saddled mule, she tried to kick him, but he had her pinned to the bed in a blink of those deadly hazel eyes that now studied her with affection. “Holy saints above, I’ve missed you, Libby,” he whispered as he hovered, the husky sound of her name on his lips disarming the blaze of her temper with a fire of a whole ’nother kind. Her tongue parched dry while her so-called nausea barnstormed her belly like a herd of hummingbirds.

No! She was so stunned, she couldn’t speak, and when he leaned in to nuzzle her mouth, his groan stole her protest altogether as she gasped, those deadly lips taking advantage with a kiss so deep, it collided with a weak moan of her own. “Libby, I love you,” he rasped, “and God help me, I’ve never stopped.”

Never stopped? His words instantly paralyzed her to the bed, dousing the heat of his kiss when she suddenly remembered the day of their awful fight. The day Griffin Alexander McShane bullied instead of loved, giving her no recourse but to storm right out of his life. The truth cramped in her chest.

And he let her.

 â¤ï¸Hugs and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Julie

3:16AM

Sunday, January 14, 2018

❤️ New Contest! ❤️

Scroll Down to Enter for 10 Books or $50 Gift Card,

Character Named After You or Loved One

in my Next Book and Signed Copy!


Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,

all things are possible to him who believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out

and said with tears,“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

— Mark 23-24


One thing I have learned about God in my almost 45 years as a Christian is He does everything on purpose, both in our lives and in His Word. For instance, nothing in the Bible is by accident — not repetition, not the order in which certain Scriptures appear, not imagery — nothing! It's all there for a purpose, be it for emphasis, symbolism, prophecy, whatever.

So the fact that God included the Scripture story above in the Bible means He wants us to know that yes, faith is critical to the Christian walk. But it's not always easy nor always a given, especially when it involves something close to our heart. 

A troubled marriage.

A wayward child.

A critically ill loved one.

Because we are mere flesh and blood whose faith falters as much as we do, but God already knows that. So He gave us a fail-proof way to shore up that frail and fractured faith:

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Yep, you guessed it — prayer! Now, I've always been a HUGE proponent of prayer, someone who believes in stopping and praying on the spot for whatever and whomever. I can't tell you how many times I've prayed in hallways, stairwells, parking lots with people who, admittedly, many times looked like deer in headlights when I asked, "do you mind if we pray about it?"

Of course, I never waited for their answer (thus the deer look). Nope, I just forged right ahead, staring them in the eye and praying out loud like we were doing no more than chatting about our weekends or what project we were working on.

But I can tell you right now that with all the thousands of people I've prayed with (and yes, I've been doing this a long time with people on the spot, at prayer luncheons with my sisters, and over six prayer partners through a course of 44 years), never once did I have someone say no. Okay, one person — one — did ask me to pray about it on my own (a dear friend and you know who you are! 😘). But other than that, all I ever saw and heard were gratitude and tears. Oh yeah, and answers to prayer — lots and LOTS of answers to prayer.

But never have I believed prayer is more critical than in today's world — a virtual lifeline from God! And never have I believed in the power of prayer more than I do now because I have seen God's intervention too many times.

But prayer's not easy for everybody. Sometimes anger or forgiveness won't allow someone to pray for the person God wants them to. Or their faith is just not up to believing that God will answer their prayers. Well, if that's you — you're in luck! Because no matter where we are in our hearts regarding prayer, there is a FIRST STEP we can ALWAYS take to get where we need to be. A critical step that Mitch Dennehy, my hero from A Passion Redeemed, learned the hard way:

His eyes blurred as he stared in the mirror. He blinked once, and everything shifted into focus. He released a draining breath. “All right, God, I’m done. Done keeping you at arm’s length. Done doing it on my own. I’m ready to give you everything—my life, my hopes, my desires. Help me. Guide me. Show me what to do.”

Forgive.

His jaw tightened and then released. Slowly, he expelled a weighted breath, like fingers being pried away and letting go. “Okay, I’ll try. But not on my own. Help me.”

Pray for him.

The concept was clear, but the application was as foreign as the Greek in which the apostle Matthew had penned it: love your enemies … bless those who curse you … pray for those who persecute you.

Mitch closed his eyes, unable to imagine ever uttering a prayer for Rigan. “I can’t.”

Pray.

His fists balled on the edge of the sink. Faith had once told him when you can’t pray, pray that you can. He opened his eyes to glare upward. “All right … help me to want to pray.”

His fists relaxed. The tension eased from his face. Hope overtook him like a flash flood. Mitch exhaled, aware that his hands were trembling. He looked up at the ceiling. “Dear God in Heaven, where have you been all my life?”

Where? He's been right there with us all along, hoping we will utilize the greatest tool He has ever given us — prayer.

So if your faith is a wee bit shaky on a given prayer request that's a little too close to your heart (and whose isn't at times??), then simply pray for God to help you to pray OR at least to want to pray. Then pray for Him to bolster your faith as well just like the guy in our Scripture quote above, growing that tiny mustard seed into an imposing oak that can withstand any storm the enemy sends your way.

Because as we all know, our God is not only in the business of calming storms ... He also causes the sun (Son) to bring its (His) warmth and light when He calms our raging seas.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat,

so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”

Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

— Mark 37-39

Hugs and Happy sailing!

Julie

❤️ Fun New Contest!

CHRISTIAN ROMANCE NEEDS YOU! Are you grateful for Christian romance? I sure am! Well, this is our chance to let our voices be heard.

Family Fiction magazine is taking a poll in which you can vote for five of your favorite authors plus your favorite type of romance story in their CHRISTIAN ROMANCE READERS POLL, which ends January 29, 2018. Results will be announced in Family Fiction's 2018 Christian Romance Special Edition, which will be available for FREE in February.

PLEASE VOTE because it's easy, it's fun, AND it's how to enter my contest below, so here's the link:

Christian Romance Readers Poll!

Once you have voted, just come back here to enter my CHRISTIAN ROMANCE ROCKS Contest in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this page, and you will have three chances to win. I will announce the winners in a Journal Jot blog after January 29th, so GOOD LUCK! PLEASE NOTE: You do NOT have to vote for me in Family Fiction's contest to enter my contest!


Grand Prize:

  —Choice of Ten Top CBA Books* or $50 Amazon Gift Card

—Character Named for You/Loved One in Upcoming Release, Love's Silver Lining

—Signed paperback copy of Love's Silver Lining

*10 new or almost new books by top CBA authors such as Rachel Hauck,

Denise Hunter, Becky Wade, Beth Vogt, and more!


Two Runners-Up:

   —Character Named for You/Loved One in Upcoming Release, Love's Silver Lining

—Signed paperback copy of Love's Silver Lining

 

❤️ My Next FB Live Save the Date!

What's the most romantic thing my husband has ever done for me? How did he propose? How did we meet? Well, I plan to give you the whole scoop in my February Valentine's Issue Facebook Live on my FB Author Page, so come on by!

It will be a celebration of Christian romance because I also want to know your most romantic stories as well, be they about your spouse, your parents, another relative, or just a good friend. Or just tell me your favorite romantic movie!

I will pick five winners out of the comments POSTED DURING my FB LIVE on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15 at NOON CST, who will win their choice of my indie e-books INCLUDING my most recent release, For Love of Liberty, or my upcoming release, Love's Silver Lining, or even Romance-ology 101 PLUS an e-copy of my Alternate Ending to Gone With the Wind, When The Fog Clears, so come on by!

CAN'T MAKE IT DURING THE ACTUAL FB LIVE? No worries! Just leave a comment whenever you can, and I will pick one winner to receive the prize listed above!

So mark your calendars and here's the link:

JULIE'S FB LIVE ON THURSDAY, FEB. 15, NOON CST

 

❤️ Rare Blog Giveaway!

Join me on MontanaMade Tell Tale Reviews Blog on FEBRUARY 14, 2018 when I talk about KISSES and you'll be entered to win your choice of my indie e-books INCLUDING my most recent release, For Love of Liberty, or my upcoming release, Love's Silver Lining, or even Romance-ology 101.

So mark your calendar, and hope to see you there!

 

 

❤️ Rave Reviews for Liberty!

"JULIE LESSMAN + WESTERN ROMANCE = GOLD RUSH!"

--Meez Carrie from the Reading Is My SuperPower blog

MEGA HUGS to Carrie Booth Schmidt for a fabulous review on For Love of Liberty! Carrie said: "I think Julie Lessman was created to write westerns. I have loved her historicals, and I have loved her contemporaries, but I’m telling you … Passion, romance, and faith are skillfully woven together in a story that keeps readers engaged from beginning to end." Check out the full review HERE!

If you have posted a review for For Love of Liberty, THANK YOU SOOO MUCH! And if you haven't read my latest novel, For Love of Liberty yet, why not? Liberty is a 5-star novel on Amazon for only $3.99, so do check it out HERE!

 

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
7:26AM

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared ...

praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”

Luke 2:13-14

"On whom His favor rests."

Whoo-hoo, guys — that's you and that's me — people who profess Jesus as Lord and try to live according to His precepts.

And the night Jesus was born? It was definitely the shepherds — the very first human beings to hear the good news proclaimed by a host of angels in the sky.

Ever wonder why the shepherds were the first to hear? I mean, shepherds were on the bottom rung of the social ladder in Israel at that time and according to most, the last people upon whom God's favor would rest.

And yet it did. For a very good reason my pastor explained last week, so I hope it blesses you as much as it did me. Here we go ...

And you, Oh tower of the flock,

the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come,

even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come

to the daughter of Jerusalem.

— Micah 4:8

"Tower of the flock." You know what that is? Well, I sure didn't until our pastor explained it. These were the shepherds’ fields outside Bethlehem called Migdal Eder, which translated means "tower of the flock."

The shepherds in these fields had a very special duty. It was their responsibility to care for the flocks of the temple priests. The same flocks from which spotless and unblemished lambs would come for sacrificial offerings. So as a result, these shepherds were trained to spot the signs for the perfect sacrificial lambs!

And what did these shepherds do with the lambs when they selected them? According to the Mishnah (the oral Torah), these lambs were immediately wrapped in "swaddling cloths" to protect them from injury. You see, apparently baby lambs tend to thrash about and harm themselves during the birthing process, so the swaddling cloths protected them, making sure the lambs were born without blemish.

Would you like to guess where these lambs were birthed? In caves outside of Bethelem called "birthing caves." Sound familiar?


But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.

I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;

He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you:

You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes

and lying in a manger.”

—Luke 2:12


A sign. One they recognized immediately because remember, they were trained to spot the signs for the perfect sacrificial lamb! And they found it. A baby lying in a manger, the perfect sacrificial lamb, without spot or wrinkle.


"Behold the Lamb of God

who takes away the sins of the world.”  — John 1:29


My prayer for us this holy season is that each of us will truly "behold" — see, contemplate, embrace, and rejoice in — the Lamb of God, God's eternal sign of His love for your and me: Jesus Christ.


 

For God so loved

the world, He gave his only

begotten Son, that whosoever

believeth in him should not perish,

but have everlasting life. — John 3:16


My love and thanks to each of you who have been such a blessing in my life. I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and truly holy holiday season!

Hugs,

Julie

 

🎄 My Last Facebook Live:

A Christmas Story!

 

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22, I did my last Facebook Live of the year, so here's the video if you would like to check it out:

MEGA HUGS TO EVERYONE WHO POSTED A REVIEW FOR "FOR LOVE OF LIBERTY"!

If you have posted a review for For Love of Liberty, contact me immediately because I have a thank-you prize for you, okay?

And if you haven't read my latest novel, For Love of Liberty yet, why not? Liberty is a 5-star novel on Amazon for only $3.99, so buy a Christmas gift for yourself I promise you won't regret it. :)

 

Love you guys and MERRY CHRISTMAS!! ❤️

Julie


 

 

.

 

 

 

 

4:37AM

Thursday, December 7, 2017

🌟

Marcy smiled.

“A Light in the Window

is a play about Christ giving His peace

and joy to those who give their hearts to Him

and to others, shining bright in a dark world like a

light ablaze in the window. A story in which we, too, can shine

our own light of Christ’s love through the windows of our eyes …

our hearts … our actions … At a time and place in history when our own

community not only desperately needs it, but the very God we serve ordains it.”

—Marceline Murphy,

A Light in the Window

 by Julie Lessman


Okay, I gotta admit, I truly love the meaning and message of my Christmas book, A Light in the Window, because when you strip away all the tinsel, ribbons, and bows, Christmas is about the Light of the World—Jesus—within our hearts, shining His light and love to everyone we meet.

Christ in us, the hope of glory. —Colossians 1:27

And don't you just love the extra smiles and courtesy this time of year brings? Wouldn't it be nice to have that every day of the year? Well, you know what? We can, but only through Him.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. —2nd Corinthians 5:17

New creatures, yes, but not perfect. Never perfect. Which always boggles my mind that although that is the case, Almighty God still chose those of us who claim Christ as the dwelling place for His Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Christ Child.

A "stable," if you will, like the one where Baby Jesus first lay. A place warm and welcoming and holy. Sure, sometimes it may stink and sometimes it may be noisy with animals, and sometimes it may even be cold and drafty from the winds of the world battering hard. But ultimately it is a shelter for the Light of the World and we owe it to Him—and to ourselves—to share His Light with others.

Through a smile.

Through a kindness.

Through a prayer.

A "light in the window," if you will, that not only brings warmth and wonder, but light to a dark world so desperately in need.

May His light shine through us, not only at Christmas, but everyday of the year!

Hugs,

Julie

🎄 Christmas Facebook Party & Contest!

TOMORROW —  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8, 6-10 EST — Join me and seven other Christian authors for a Christmas Facebook Party you will NOT want to miss!

In addition to lots of free books and individual author giveaways, there will also be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, with a runner-up prize of a signed copy of every participating authors' featured book.

SPECIAL CONTEST FOR JOURNAL JOT READERS ONLY! Leave a comment during my segment at 9-9:30 PM EST and mention Journal Jots, and you will be entered in my own private contest for your choice of any one of my paperbacks, indie or Revell, any of my e-books, PLUS I will name a character after you or a loved one in book 1 of my Silver Lining Ranch series, Love's Silver Lining and send you a signed paperback copy when it releases next summer. So hope to see you there! Here's the link:

Christmas Christian Fiction Lovers FB Party!

 

Liberty's Here!

HOLY FROG SPIT! Liberty's here and racking up 5-stars, so have you had a chance to meet her yet? If not, she's waitin' for you to take her home for Christmas, so be sure to check her and her reviews out at Amazon!

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN?
OR SOMEPLACE A WHOLE LOT WARMER?

She’s stubborn, educated, and looking to give women the vote. He’s bullheaded, successful, and looking to give her a piece of his mind. But when things heat up, they just may give each other a piece of their hearts.

ORDER LIBERTY HERE!

 

📚 1 Novel & 4 Novellas 99 cents each!

Gear up for the holidays with some fun reads for only 99 cents each, so do check them out!

LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

WHISPER OF HOPE

BEST GIFT OF ALL

GRACE LIKE RAIN

GIFT OF GRACE

 

📚 Three 5-Star Novels & Free Prequel!

A GLIMMER OF HOPE

ISLE OF HOPE: UNFAILING LOVE

LOVE EVERLASTING

HIS STEADFAST LOVE


 

 

9:09AM

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"We grew up believing in Cinderella,

yet some of us feel our palace turned out to be a duplex, 

our prince turned out to be a frog, and the wicked stepmother

turned out to be our mother-in-law."

 —Beth Moore, Breaking Free

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK!!

Right off the proverbial bat, I want to make it perfectly clear that I had one of the BEST mothers-in-law on the planet, so today’s quote is no reflection on her, trust me. I actually just liked the quote when I read it in Beth Moore’s amazing workbook, Breaking Free, and thought it would make a good jot. Why? Well, because it reminds me how our own expectations in life can booby-trap our happiness … and our gratitude!

Thanksgiving. Such a simple word and yet within lies a wealth of joy to be had for those who heed its message:

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;

give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good

and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

— Psalm 100:3-6

What does that mean? Well, for me, it says that “thanksgiving” invites us into the throne room of God and “praise” ushers us into the courts of the King of Kings—keys, if you will, that unlock the doors to God’s bountiful blessings.

I'm pretty much a black-and-white bottom liner, so when I was a new Christian, I simply applied that Scripture diligently to everything that happened in my life, good or bad.

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!

I learned very quickly that when we thank and praise God in the face of negative situations, not only do we stomp on the devil’s toes by giving glory to God rather than getting angry at Him like the devil WANTS ... BUT we activate that insurance policy that each one of has if we belong to God:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him

and have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28.

For instance, when I was 27-year-old single woman supporting myself as a secretary for a meeting producer, I had managed to work my way up from secretary to bottom rung of the corporate ladder as a “Associate Writer Producer,” something very difficult to do without a degree. Never mind that I didn’t have the title, salary or business cards to go along with it and still had to do secretarial duties as well—it was a career breakthrough, and I was elated!

Until, that is, the economy hit a snag, and the company scheduled a massive lay-off. As a fairly new Christian trusting in God, I was STUNNED when the V.P. of our division called me in his office to tell me that although I had done an incredible job working my way out of secretarial work into the “Associate Writer Producer” realm, the hard facts were that since I was low man on the totem pole, I had to go.

I remember sitting there in his office, tears welling and shock reverberating throughout my body. Dear God, what was I going to do? I was my sole support and lived in my own apartment with nowhere to go if I couldn’t make the payments. Both of my parents were deceased, so it wasn’t like I could go back home. “I’ll give you a few moments alone,” the V.P. said, vacating his office so I could “pull myself together.” The moment the door clicked behind him, the tears began to fall, fear crawling through my belly like the serpent had crawled through Eden. “You trusted God,” the serpent said, “and yet what good has it done? God allowed you to be fired.”

I will never forget that still, small voice that drifted in my brain that day. “Praise me, thank me,” the thought came and so I did, right then and there in that office, loud and clear with tears trailing my cheeks, praising and thanking God in the midst of losing my job. Because deep down I knew that somehow, someway, God would work this out for my good.

A calm came over me that defied the circumstances, and lifting my head high, I walked out of that office not having a clue what I was going to do, but knowing one thing for dead sure: I wasn’t alone.

Want to take a guess what happened next? Within two hours a manager from another department heard that I had been let go and offered me a job that very day. A job, I might add, that within two weeks led to a bona fide “Associate Writer Producer” job in yet another department where I not only received the title, business cards and salary, but had a secretary working for me as well. Go ahead, tell me that isn’t a God thing, and I will tell you a hundred more stories just like it because when we praise and thank God in the midst of our trials, He is “good, His love endures forever and His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

This week I  had the pleasure of doing a podcast with a very good writer friend of mine, Cara Grandle, and she asked me to bottom-line just why I took a sabbatical a few years back. Now, let me say right off the bat that this is not your typical author interview. This is a raw, serious discussion on truths I don't admit to just everybody. But she — and I — wanted to help writers understand what happens AFTER you get published. If you are interested in listening to this podcast, then I invite you to check it out at JULIE'S PODCAST, especially if you are a writer. :)

So in this month of Thanksgiving, I encourage all of us to not only give thanks for all the good God has done for us, but give thanks for all He has yet to do — both in the trials and tribulations of your life right this moment, and in the years ahead. Because we serve a God Who is just aching to show us that His love not only endures forever, but it will carry us through every storm of our life with peace, hope and joy.

 

Liberty's Here in 2 Days (Nov. 24)!

HOLY FROG SPIT! Have you taken advantage of the pre-order discount on my new Western novel??? Price goes up November 24, so don't wait till the cows come home!

For all of you who have already pre-ordered, THANK YOU, and if you like it, I would SO appreciate a brief (as brief as 1 or 2 lines) review on Amazon if you can. For some reason, this particular book came out a weeeee bit more passionate romantically than I thought it would, so I'm thinkin' I'm going to need LOTS of good reviews to counter any bad ones I may get. ;)

And for those of you who haven't yet pre-ordered, save yourself a dollar by doing so here: 

PRE-ORDER!

I wish you and yours the most BLESSED of holiday seasons, and may we enter it with thanksgiving and praise for a God who is truly worth it.

Hugs,

Julie

 

❤️ Did You Miss My FB Live?

NO WORRIES, because you catch the replay right here!

 

Also, I picked a winner from those who showed up, and that person not only gets a character named after them in For Love of Liberty, BUT a free e-copy as well. So, SUPER CONRATS to that winner, who is:

Debbie Garrison Rhoades 

And I have two additional winners of For Love of Liberty who submitted questions I answered during that video, so SUPER CONGRATS to:

Amanda Dunseith

Jeanne Alfveby Crea

So if YOU would like to win an e-book the next time I go LIVE on Facebook, just shoot me a question at CONTACT JULIE, and if I answer it during my next FB Live next month, you will win an e-copy of any of my indie books, including For Love of Liberty, Romance-ology 101, His Steadfast Love, or any of my newly released novellas.

 

 ðŸŽ„ Christmas Christian Fiction Lovers' Facebook Party!

Be sure to mark your calendars for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8th when I and a host of other Christian authors will be throwing a HUGE Christmas Facebook Party you will NOT want to miss! In addition to lots of free books and individual author giveaways, there will also be a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, with a runner-up prize of a signed copy of every participating authors' featured book. Details to come on time and the link in my next Journal Jot, so stay tuned ... :)

 

📚 1 Novel & 4 Novellas 99 cents each!

Gear up for the holidays with some fun reads for only 99 cents each, so do check them out!

LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

WHISPER OF HOPE

BEST GIFT OF ALL

GRACE LIKE RAIN

GIFT OF GRACE

 

📚 Three 5-Star Novels & Free Prequel!

A GLIMMER OF HOPE

ISLE OF HOPE: UNFAILING LOVE

LOVE EVERLASTING

HIS STEADFAST LOVE