For more information about my novel Edenbrooke please check out my new site:

www.juliannedonaldson.com

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Here’s Some News!

In case you’re wondering why I’ve been so absent over here on this adorable blog of mine, here is the news that will explain it all:

I have written a novel that’s being published by Shadow Mountain!

It’s been a dream of mine for years to be a fiction writer, and I’m thrilled that it’s finally happening. Here’s the cover (I had to squeeze it to make it fit the blog–it’s actually a little wider than this):

And here’s a little introduction to the story:

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

You will be able to get your hands on Edenbrooke in April 2012. If you are a blogger and would like a copy of the Advanced Reading Copy to review and share on your blog, please contact me.

I can’t wait!!!

Can you?

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Mr. Know-It-All

Wow, it has been much too long since I’ve posted here! I’ll just put this up as my defense: four kids, summertime, revising a novel. Enough said?

Anyway, I’m back and ready to deliver more girl power to you. I love this song by Kelly Clarkson. In fact, I love it so much, I made my husband Fred listen to it. He looked at me with concern and a little panic and asked, “Is that how you feel about me? Am I a Know-It-All?”

Just the fact that he asked that question demonstrates how far he is from being a know-it-all. I think one of the first things I fell in love with when I was getting to know Fred was his humility. It’s still something that I appreciate about him every single day. I can’t stand arrogant people–especially arrogant guys. My husband is the opposite of arrogant. He is humble and quick to admit his mistakes and lovable. Have I mentioned that he has freckles? I love his freckles. (He is many other things as well, but I’ll save more for future posts.)

“So why do you like this song?” he asked.

Because I love strong girls. I love girls who can stand up for themselves. I love girls who are not afraid to walk away from a guy who is clueless or hurtful or not good for them. So enjoy the song! And be strong.

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Summer Time

It’s summer time, and that means things are busy around here. Kids fill up my house and my time, bedtimes stretch into adult hours, and my sanity is stretched thin. In addition, I’m under a deadline with my publisher and so I’m spending my little free time on that writing. So I may not post here as often as I would like. But I hope you’ll stick with me until things calm down a little.

Today, for your viewing pleasure, I’m sharing a music video that I’ve watched several times and can’t get enough of. I LOVE the message of this song, and the video just makes me happy. It’s a great break-up song, as well as a great stand-up-for-yourself-to-anyone song. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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A Writing Tip

I’m trying to adjust to writing professionally after writing “for fun” for so many years. I put that in quotes because sometimes writing really wasn’t fun. Some days I had to force my butt to stay in the chair and force my brain to come up with that elusive connecting scene or try to reason out why the plot wasn’t working in some part. But even though it was hard, and it was work, I was doing it just for myself, and so it was fun. It was my hobby, my therapy, my release, my escape, my enjoyment. It was fun.

Now I’m facing writing as a published author with other people expecting things from me. I find myself freezing whenever I sit in front of the computer. It’s no longer fun, and it’s not an escape. It’s a career, and it’s also like a dreaded homework assignment that I want to run away from some days. I’ve struggled to know how to get my muse back, and tonight I discovered something that helped.

I wrote in a notebook. With a pen. And I just wrote the first sentence that came to mind. It happened to be “I dreamed of failure last night,” because I did. I did dream of failure. But as soon as I wrote that, I landed inside of a story that was unknown and interesting to me. Who was this character, and why was she so afraid of failure? Within a few sentences I had an idea, and exploring that idea sentence upon sentence gave me the rush of creativity and imagination that I’ve been missing.

It wasn’t the book I’m supposed to be writing right now, but that’s okay. I needed to remember that I enjoyed writing again, and this exercise helped me to find the joy that had been eluding me. The lack of joy was presenting itself as writer’s block. Now that I know the joy can still be there, I have hope that I can push through this rough spot of writer’s block/stage fright.

But now I’m wondering: What do you do to get past writer’s block?

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A Little Advice

Tonight I was singing my kids to sleep, and I was singing them love songs. Like “Mother I Love You,” but I substituted a child’s name for “mother.” They love personalized lullabies.

Then I thought of these words, “As I have loved you, love one another.” I think this message is usually translated as “love your neighbor the way God loves you.” And that is a wonderful and important message. But I also love the thought of loving yourself the way God loves you.

God loves you without limits, without conditions, and without reservation. He loves you even while knowing all about your weaknesses, sins, and imperfections. His love does not depend on your notice or action or good works. His love is constant.

Sometimes it’s easy to not love myself when I’m aware of my own faults. Sometimes it seems like there is little I’ve done in a day to make me worthy of my own love, let alone Heavenly Father’s love. Yet He still loves!

Here’s my advice for today: love yourself the way God loves you. Know that you are wonderful even when you are full of faults and weaknesses. Even on your worst days, you are adored and cherished by a divine being. Remember His love. Pray for forgiveness when you do something wrong. And then know that tomorrow can always be a better day.

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