Thursday, June 19, 2014

When a Risk Pays Off

You know when you pick up a novel and there's praise on the back from another author who writes similar stories, or maybe reviews from critics with columns in famous newspapers? That's an endorsement, and we writers live off it. I guess you might say authors are the most insecure creatures on the planet, putting our hearts and souls into something and praying just one reader loves it as much as we getting an endorsement from writers we respect and want to emulate is kind of huge.

I sent Secrets of the Mine to best-selling author Cindy C. Bennett, asking for her endorsement. She doesn't write mid-grade novels, and Secrets of the Mine is the first time I've attempted to write for kids 10 and up instead of for teens and adults. I have so many questions about if I did it right. Changing genres is always a huge risk. For me, I don't have that well-established fan base so I figure I have nothing to lose and maybe a few fans to gain by writing for kids, so why not? Still, it's nerve-wracking to wait to hear back. You question yourself and drive yourself nutballs. I finally heard back from her.  And I can't stop smiling, because this is what she said:

Juli! I loved this book! It was so great. So creative with all the creatures and adventures. And your descriptions of everything was amazing. I could perfectly imagine this crazy world and all of the people and sealife. So, so good! Here's my endorsement :

Caldwell has painted a world of mythical, fantastical creatures within a story so unique and creative you'll be sucked into the magical whirlpool she's created. Her descriptions and ingenuity will entertain and delight young and old alike. So jump in and hold on for the ride of your life—many times on the back of a kelpie!

Sometimes, taking a risk pays off. Thanks, Cindy!

Monday, June 9, 2014


The Port Fare Series~Three Stand-Alone Novels

You met and fell in love with Maggie and Seth as they struggled to survive a couple of ruthless drug dealers and Maggie's incorrigible mom in UNLOVABLE

Next came Cole and Lilah as they found love despite her deception while working with Booker (Much to his dismay) to protect everyone from being murdered.

 Now discover Booker and Tess's story!
Booker Gatto is done. Done with women, his old life, all of it. Only the love of his friends in Port Fare keeps him going as he leaves the MET in exchange for the quiet 
life his new law practice will provide. 
Tess Selleck, once as ambitious and determined as she is smart and beautiful, had to leave everything and everyone she loves in San Diego to escape the man who destroyed her dreams and now wants her dead. 
Together Booker and Tess find love when they least expect it, until their pasts drive
them apart. Is there a happily ever after for these damaged lovers? Or is the thought of loving and trusting again simply Unbearable?

Unbearable is the exciting conclusion to the Port Fare Series. Join Booker as he struggles to find his happily ever after.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

For Victims of Domestic Violence and Friends

Friend and fellow author, best-seller Sherry Gammon, is releasing the third installment in the Port Fare series next Monday, June 9. If you're familiar with Port Fare, you already know Booker through Unlovable and Unbelievable. Unbearable is the story of how Booker finally finds love despite his impossibly high standards that all but guarantee he will never have to be in a relationship ever again.

Enter Tess, everything he says he would never find, a woman damaged, scarred, and nearly destroyed by domestic violence. As she wrote Unbearable, Gammon was worried people would be upset at her fairly realistic depictions of what Tess went through. She considered toning it down, but I'm glad she didn't.


Not because I love violence. Not even close.

Because I have very good friends who have survived this plague on our women, barely escaping with their lives sometimes. Because I've seen the cuts, scratches, bruises on the skin heal, knowing that  the scars they bear on their soul might take a lifetime to heal. Imagine being in love with the one who hurts you most, on purpose, to "teach you a lesson" or "keep you in your place." These people (mostly men, although women can do this to men) have a pattern: be perfect, flatter you, make you fall in love. Make you need them. Be there all the time...and then infiltrate every part of your life. Separate you from your friends and family. Control every part of you so gradually that you have no idea you're the proverbial frog in the pot until the water is boiling and he slams the lid on top so you can't jump out.

This is kind of a departure from my usual funny and fluffy post, but it's something I'm passionate about. I keep hearing about misogyny and the war on women, as if the government paying for my birth control is somehow more important than women being killed by the one who promised to love them for life. Brings a very dark and ominous new meaning to 'til death do we part, doesn't it? This is a conversation we need to have. Their stories need to be told, and I'm glad Gammon is giving the victims of the real war on women a little hope through Tess's fight to take back control of her life.

Check out Unbearable when it comes out next Monday, June 9. I'll have links and more information about the Port Fare series on the blog that day. If you know someone in a terrible situation, let them know there is hope, no matter what he says. They can start fresh. It could literally be the fight for their lives, but they can move forward to something so much better. Like Tess, they can rebuild, recover, and get the life they deserve, not the one the abuser has convinced them is all they deserve.

If you know someone who needs a way out, please check this out. It's the victim's assistance website and hotline, and you can start your path to a better life. This isn't a battle our women need to fight alone.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oh, so Posh!

My niece Suzannah Mei sells Perfectly Posh. It's this all natural lotion stuff that I love. Since I have allergies, it's nice to text her and say "hey, hook me up. Momma needs some sassyooma!"  without worrying that I'll have a reaction to what I'm putting on my skin.If you're interested in checking out her stuff, you can check out her blog here. This is great stuff. You can contact her on her blog if you're interested in using her stuff (which you can order through her online no matter where you live) or would like to know more. She's super fun and really passionate about it!