It is sad to grow old, but nice to ripen.

—Brigette Bardot

Boy, oh boy—ol’ Brigette said a mouthful, didn’t she? I don’t know about you, but this gal will take “ripe” over “old” any day of the week, keeping me forever indebted to those mainstays in my life—things like Loreal or Max Factor … or an artist husband adept at Photoshop! Because let’s face it—as women, we want to present the best image possible, both inside and out. And since I am always working real hard on the inside (or I should say, God is!), I thought it was high time I started working on the outside as well.

Which means I owe every single one of my readers out there a great, BIG apology. Why? Because when I first got published three years ago, I had one—count ‘em, one! —professional photo taken for use on my website, for the back of my book, for blog interviews, for posters, for book signings, you name it. One. Now I don’t know about you, but I got REAL sick and tired of seeing that same old picture, and you know which one I’m talking about. No, it wasn’t a bad picture, that’s true, and yes, it actually made me feel pretty at the time. But sweet tea in the morning, I gotta tell you that I was sorely tempted to burn that black, short-sleeve tank I wore, and TRUST ME … I’ve never worn it again!

So, in honor of my new series coming out in April 2013, The Cousins McClare (because I always have to have a reason to spend money!) and because my husband basically threatened me (“Come on, Julie, part with a buck and get some decent shots!”), I decided to bite the bullet and go for broke … literally.

Actually, I’m joking about the “broke” part because this photographer is not only incredibly reasonable, but downright miraculous in what she can do with a 60-year-old CDQ who has just enough vanity to keep from going  gray. Her name is Lisa Nordmann of Nordmann Photography, and for the first time in pictures, I actually feel like I don’t bay at the moon. I mean, seriously. Even my husband is looking at me through new eyes, so that alone is worth every single penny I spent. So if you live anywhere near St. Louis, you’re gonna want to look Lisa up because the woman can make a silk purse like nobody’s business … 🙂

Since my Journal Jots blog is the perfect place to share my new look, I wanted to give you the first peek at the new me. I hope you like it as much as I do because let’s face it—the clock’s a-tickin’ and I ain’t ever gonna to look like this again!  Or at least that’s what I told my publisher when they didn’t put my pic on the back of my first series. I mean, really—why not take advantage and slap that sucker on before the heavy-duty wrinkles arrive, right??

But before I unveil the pics, I want to remind you about MaryLu Tyndall’s HUGE promotion where Barbour Publishing is offering a free e-book of MaryLu’s Surrender the Heart. It will be available on Kindle until July 31st, so you do NOT want to miss this one. It’s wonderful and so is book 2, Surrender the Night, which I actually endorsed. MaryLu is hands-down one of my FAVORITE writers with an edge to her romance, which makes her one of those must-read authors for me and hopefully for you! Here’s the link to download MaryLu’s FREE BOOK, so go for it!!!

AND … as a bonus … for anybody who DOES download MaryLu’s book and lets me know by contacting me via e-mail, through this website or on Facebook, I will enter you in a contest where three winners will receive a signed copy of MaryLu’s latest, Surrender the Dawn!

THEN DON’T FORGET MY CONTEST!!! I will select three winners to receive a brand-new, top CBA book of their choosing from my very large personal library. If you are interested, all you have to do is click on the “Subscribe to My Journal Jots Blog” link at the top of this page or on the calendar page and then let me know via e-mail, through my website or via Facebook. It’s that easy!

FINALLY … BLOG GIVEAWAY THIS WEEK!! Come see me this week on AusJenny’s blog (July 28 to August 4) where I will be giving away a signed copy of ANY of my books, including my upcoming release, A Heart Revealed. You can find the link for this blog giveaway as well as others on my calendar page at

Anyway, thanks for sharing the fun and magic of new pics with me, and may your own weekend be just as magical and truly “picture perfect.”