Journal Jots – Blog

Welcome to my Journal Jots blog! This is 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! 


From news on sales, freebies, giveaways, new releases, and excerpts from works in progress … to my thoughts on my walk with God, daily devotionals, or photos of my family, this is where you’ll find the most current glimpse into my books and my life.


I invite you to subscribe in the “subscribe” box on the right side of this page to automatically receive an email whenever I post a blog. 


Till then, God bless and HAPPY READING!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

💚 💛 🧡  What You’ll Find in This Blog Today:

✅   WIN a $25 Gift Card & More at Mysti’s Book Nook FB Book Club!

✅   Interview Giveaway!

✅   St. Pat’s Giveaway!

✅   SALE on A Wing and a Prayer!


📗 Mysti’s Book Nook FB Book Club!

Hey, want to win a $25 gift card and your choice of a signed paperback copy of any one of my books — Revell or indie — or any three of my indie e-books?

Well, you can, just by joining Mysti’s Book Nook Facebook Book Club, where beginning MONDAY, MARCH 1, we will be discussing my award-winning novel, Isle of Hope. We’ll be talking about it, the book’s theme of forgiveness, romance, or whatever you want to discuss. The book club is free, easy, and most of all, FUN because I will be chatting it up with all the readers in the comments section all month long, answering your questions about Isle of Hope or just listening to your thoughts on the book and the characters.

ALREADY READ IT? If you have already read Isle of Hope, please join in to tell me what you thought or if it helped you in any way because there are prizes to be won if you do. BUT … NO SPOILERS PLEASE if you have already read it since the rest of the book club will be reading it all through March.

HAVEN’T READ IT BUT WANT TO? Then this is the perfect opportunity to read this award-winning novel that was listed on Family Fiction magazine’s list of Top 15 Novels of 2015, because not only will you be eligible to win prizes, but I will send you a free e-book of Isle of Hope so you can join in on the fun.

HOW DO YOU SIGN UP? Just join the book club at MYSTI’S BOOK NOOK, then shoot a private Facebook message to Mysti Jording asking for the free e-copy of Isle of Hope as part of your membership. See? EZ-PEAZY!! Hope to see you there!

Here’s a short VIDEO that will tell you all about it!


📗 Interview Giveaway!

Want to win your choice of any three of my indie e-books? Well, you can! How? Just listen to my brief Youtube radio interview with Lady Tracey of Unity Live Radio, then contact me through my CONTACT JULIE link to let me one of the specific things I talk about in the interview. Here’s the link, and my interview begins at the 1:33:18 mark, so hope to hear from you!

The Lady Tracey Valentine’s Special.



☘️   St. Pat’s Giveaway!

Join me on Wednesday, March 17 for a special St. Pat’s Day interview and giveaway on Author Susan Mathis’ blog, where I will be giving away lots of e-copies of winner’s choice of any one of my indie e-books. So, mark your calendars and hope to see you there!





📕    Sale on A Wing and a Prayer!

WHAT??? You haven’t read Gabe O’Connor’s 5-star WW2 novel, A Wing and a Prayer, yet???  Well, now’s your chance because it will be on sale beginning March 15, so mark your calendars! And with the above reviews — trust me — you won’t want to miss it!



That’s it for now, my friends! Hope to chat with you at Mysti’s Book Club!



Saturday, February 13, 2021

💚💛🧡 What You’ll Find in This Blog Today:
✅   Mysti’s Book Nook!✅   We Have Winners!✅   Giveaway on Valentine’s Day!✅   Lazy, Hazy Days of … Winter?


📕 Mysti’s Book Nook!

Hey, guys, I have the honor of being the very first author on Mysti’s Book Nook, a monthly book club where you can chat with the authors all month long while you’re reading their book. And the book of mine that we are reading in March is ISLE OF HOPE: UNFAILING LOVE.

So if you’ve read it or not, come on over to join the FB site for Mysti’s Book Nook, and chat with me on what you liked or didn’t like about Isle of Hope. And if you haven’t read it, just shoot me an email at CONTACT JULIE to tell me so, and I will send a free e-copy of Isle of Hope to you so you can join in the fun.

Then at the end of the month, I will be holding a special giveaway for all those who joined in on my book club, so be sure to come on by to join the page and the fun, okay? I will chatting it up on that FB page all month. Here’s the link, and hope to see you there!  MYSTI’S BOOK NOOK.


🙌🏻  We Have Winners!


A HUGE hug to everyone who voted in the Christian Romance Readers Poll for 2021! AND because of many of you, I was honored to make the list of the “Top 40 Essential Christian Romance Authors, so DOUBLE HUGS all around!

Since I’ve just finished writing a suspense romance, I was pretty excited to see the breakdown of readers’ favorite type of romance story because it seems suspense ran away with the top percentage, so good timing, Julie! Here’s the breakdown of your favorite types of romance:


Suspense 36%
Historical 27%
Amish 19%
Contemporary 18%

I encourage you to check out the cool romance issue of Family Fiction magazine at the following link to see if your top faves made the list:

Family Fiction Magazine 2021 Romance Edition

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for … here are the winners of my Romance Readers Poll, who have won their choice of any one of my indie e-books and a character named after them in my next book. So, SUPER CONGRATS to each of the following winners—I will be contacting you directly via e-mail:


Barb Kraska

Sandra Young


♥️ Valentines Day Giveaway!
Want to win your choice of any three of my indie e-books AND have a character named after you in my next book along with a signed paperback copy? Well, you can! How? Just listen to my radio interview with Lady Tracey at 8:30 a.m. EST on FEBRUARY 14, 2021 and FEBRUARY 15, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. EST on Unity Live Radio. Then contact me through my CONTACT JULIE link to tell me one of the specific things I talk about in the interview (other than mentioning Isle of Hope), and you’re in the draw. See? E-Z, PEAZY!
Oh, and a special giveaway of any three of my novellas if you refer the interview to someone else who mentions your name when they contact me, so spread the word and GOOD LUCK!
Here’s the link and hope to see you there:


☃️  Lazy, Hazy Days of … Winter? 😎

Let me start off by saying that I love snow. I mean really, realllllllly LOVE snow. I LOVE bundling up inside with my hubby in front of wood fire and writing all day and watching Hallmark movies all night. But, alas … in the six years I have lived at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, there’s been almost NO SNOW to speak of (maybe a dusting that disappear as quickly as it came), which has made me very sad. 😥

Welllllll, this year, Keith and I decided to plan a trip to Florida, and although the sunny weather is very nice, I’m one of the few people in the world who are jealous of the those who are snowed in … including Lake of the Ozarks!! Sigh. So, instead of drinking hot chocolate in front of a cozy fire, I am “enduring” the heat, thrilled to be able to share it with friends and family. Yes, it’s VERY nice, but I do miss my snow. ❄️

Anyway, I thought I would share a few sunny pix to bring a little sunshine to the cold places in our country right now, and may spring be sprung upon us all soon!

Hugs and More Hugs!


My cutie-pie grandson came to visit, and boy, is he a hoot! LOVED spending time with him!!

SO fun to spend time with my daughter and son-in-law!

“Wy-O” loves the beach!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

💚 💛 🧡  What You’ll Find in This Blog Today:

✅   Update on my New Mystery/Suspense!

✅   What’s Next for Me?

✅   Romance Readers’ Poll!

✅   Giveaway on Valentine’s Day!

✅   Sales Continue Through January!

✅   NEW Excerpt From my New Mystery/Suspense!


A New Year, A New Book!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!! I’m a half scene away from finishing my very first mystery/suspense, and I gotta tell you that I really, REALLY like it, which is something I don’t often say after I finish a book. Usually I end up somewhat disappointed, thinking the story or characters are not all that great, but then it grows on me as I edit.

Yep, not this one. For some reason, the more I wrote, the better I liked it, so I hope you do too! And miracles of miracles, it’s over 100 pages shorter than my other books, clocking in at about 400 pages (most of mine are in the 500+ range), so that is quite an accomplishment for this author, as you well know.

Unfortunately, it will be a while before I’m able to get The Secret of Emerald Cottage out to you because I am going to submit it to publishers first, just to see if anyone will bite. If not, I will most likely publish it myself for release this summer, so your prayers are appreciated that this will go the way God wants it to go.


What’s Next for Me?

So, what’s next for me? Well, I’ll spend a week or two editing The Secret of Emerald Cottage, then I’ll jump right into writing book 2 of The Cousins O’Connor series, A Hope and a Prayer.  This will be Gabe’s cousin, Hope Dennehy’s, story, so prayers appreciated as I once again navigate the waters of WW2 and post WW2 in the continuation of the O’Connor family saga. If all goes well, I’ll have this one out for you this fall.


Romance Readers Poll!


And now I have a favor to ask! It’s that time of year for Family Fiction magazine’s annual Christian Romance Readers Poll, where you can vote for up to five of your favorite Christian authors, and I hope I’m one.

But even if I’m not, PLEASE vote to show your support for both Family Fiction magazine and Christian Fiction in general. It’s a VERY simple process, which I’ve listed below. Also, if you know anyone else who loves Christian romance, please feel free to forward this link to them as well.

And if you do vote in the Christian Romance Reader’s Poll, shoot me an email at CONTACT JULIE, and I will automatically enter you in a giveaway for your choice of any of my indie e-books and a character named after you in my next book. NOTE: You do not have to vote for me to be entered in the giveaway.

Here are the steps and the link, so thank you VERY much!

2.) Just scroll down to the pink box.
3.) Enter your email and it will bring up the voting section where you can list five of your favorite Christian romance writers.
4.) You can vote for me and whoever else you like if you have any other choices.
5.) The voting ends on January 24 (only four days to vote!!) so voting before that is greatly appreciated.



♥️ Valentines Day Giveaway!


Want to win your choice of any three of my indie e-books AND a character named after you in my next book along with a signed paperback copy? Well, now’s your chance!
Mark your calendars to listen to my radio interview with Lady Tracey at 8:30 a.m. EST on FEBRUARY 14, 2021 and FEBRUARY 15, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. EST on Unity Live Radio. All you have to do is listen and then send me an email naming one of the things I talked about in this interview, and you’re in the draw! Here’s the link:



Sales Continue Through January!

I am ALSO continuing my 50% sale on two of my most recent e-books, A Wing and a Prayer AND Love’s Silver Bullet through January, so I hope you take advantage and check out the trailer/videos for each below along with the buy links on Amazon. 






💚 💛 🧡 





NEW Excerpt From my New Mystery/Suspense!


I thought it would be fun to highlight another scene from The Secret of Emerald Cottage, so here’s a sneak peek halfway through the book.
Hugs and Happy reading!



Chapter Thirty-Four

Arms draped over the steering wheel and chin on top, Brec glared straight ahead, watching Bree walk toward his car out of the corner of his eyes, teeth milled so tight he thought they might snap. He hadn’t been this mad since he’d been forced to take an anger-management class when he’d bashed in an opponent’s head after a game. He had to admit the class had worked wonders. He hadn’t lost his temper since. He ground his jaw.

Till now.

Tip #1 in Controlling One’s Temper: Think before you speak. Oh, yeah, and Brec was thinking plenty. Like why in the deuce would a woman as smart as Bree traipse around a mostly secluded lake by herself after having a premonition of being murdered? It was just plain stupid, and Brec planned to tell her straight to her teeth.

Bree opened the car door and got in. “Hey, I’m sorry I took so long, but I wanted to offer my condolences to Pastor Dave about Greg and maybe a dig a little, but he sure didn’t want to talk.”

Yeah? Neither do I. More like scream …

Tip #2: Once you’re calm, express your anger. Yeah, that was a tough one because “calm” was nowhere in sight as Brec ground his thumb against the ignition button and slammed into gear, still so hot under the collar, he was surprised his shirt wasn’t on fire.

Placing her purse on the floor of the of his car, Bree buckled up. “Mmm … going to ice cream at Coldstone sure sounded good, so maybe we can go after shooting, what do you think?”

He grunted his assent. How ‘bout before because I sure in the deuce need something to cool me down.

Tip #3: Get some exercise. In the past, when he lost his temper, the only exercise he’d resort to was his fist, but that wasn’t an option, so he gunned the engine with pedal to the metal instead, all but peeling out of the parking lot.

“Uh, Brec, are you … okay?” Bree asked, concern tingeing her tone as she laid a tentative hand on his arm.

It took everything in him not to fling it away. “Fine.” He stared straight ahead, the burn of her gaze on his profile singeing along with the stupid collar.

“Are you sure?”

Tip #4: Take a Timeout. Good idea! Slapping his blinker on, Brec squealed to a stop on the side of the road and slammed the vehicle into PARK. He spun to face her. “No, I’m not all right, Princess. You promised you would take care of yourself,” he shouted, stunned at the depth of his fear but too angry to be stunned at how much he cared. “Yet off you went, jogging by yourself through woods around a lake where break-ins, arson, and murders have taken place. And all after a premonition about being murdered!”

“Brec,” she began in a conciliatory whisper, “Cat and Chase weren’t around that day, and you’d taken Miss Lilly into the city, so I didn’t have any choice.”

He wagged his head up and down in an exaggerated fashion, his sarcasm gaining both volume and vigor with every word ground out. “Oh, I see—no one was around to even help if you did get in trouble and scream …”

“Listen to me, Brec”—her voice rose to counter his.

No, you listen to me, Breanna Stewart,” he shouted, jabbing a blunt thumb to his chest, “I care about you, Miss Lilly cares about you, and a whole a host of other people care about you, woman, so if don’t have the sense to think about yourself, then at least have the common courtesy to think about us!”

She blinked and then again when a glaze of moisture filled her eyes. “Brec, I … I’m so very sorry … I didn’t realize. Will you forgive me?”

Chest heaving, he stared as a single tear trailed her cheek, thinking he’d be lost if anything ever happened to her, devastated if anyone touched a single precious hair on her head. In one ragged breath, love welled in his chest and with a deep groan, he jerked her close and held on with all of his might, face buried in the soft folds of her hair. “Of course I forgive you,” he said, pressing a shaky kiss to her hair before his lips trailed to the shell of her ear, his breath warm against her skin and his. “But you have to promise to not go jogging alone again, Bree, do you hear?”

She nodded, and the heat of his anger slowly seeped out, only to be replaced by a heat of a whole other kind when his lips wandered to the lobe of her ear, touching, tasting forbidden fruit denied far too long. “I care too much about you, Bree,” he whispered, his senses roused by the scent of her perfume, the taste of her skin, “and I’d be shattered if anything happened to you …” He could hear her ragged breathing, and with a rush of longing too urgent to defy, his mouth took hers with a reverence he’d never felt for a woman before, gently fondling until her soft mew issued an invitation he couldn’t refuse.

And yet he did.

Because this friendship was too important.

And so was she.

Gently pushing her back, he cupped her face in his hands, trying hard to focus on blue eyes spanned wide instead of those wet, lush lips parted in shallow breaths. “I’m sorry, Bree—I shouldn’t have done that because we’re friends without benefits and nothing more, so I guess we both need forgiveness today.” Clearing his throat, he pulled away to buckle his belt, his smile tight as he pressed the ignition. “Am I forgiven?”

She blinked and then nodded while she inched back into her own seat, still staring as she buckled hers as well.

“Good. So, this never happened then, aye?” Yeah, right. Tell that to my heart. He forced a stern look that was painfully at odds with the love in his eyes. “So, if you don’t want this to happen again, woman”—he aimed a warning finger barely punctuated by a smile—“don’t do it again.”

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