The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

January 8, 2019, the day we’ve been waiting for...and not just because it’s Elvis’s birthday. Today, author Julia Kelly, with The Light Over London, makes her hardcover debut. 

Yeah, that’s right. Hardcover historical fiction. aka a really big freaking deal.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (and you totally should be: in my stories today I’m giving away a hardcover of Julia’s book!) you’ll know that Julia is one of my dearest writing besties and this book has been a long time in the making. 

I waked in a bookstore and picked this beauty up! In my hands. It has shimmery dustwrap paper!!! And her beautiful face on the back flap. And between those gorgeous navy blue covers is an incredible story of women and friendship and finding truth. 

There are going to be thousands of reviews that will tell you all about the book. Go read those, if you like. My official review is simply this: each time I read The Light Over London, I didn’t want to put it down. It is elegant, engrossing, a fascinating picture of the lives of women in conflict (both past and present), and a dang good yarn.   

My unofficial review is this (and I know you want this because it’s the gossipy good stuff only authors know about other authors): I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see your friends succeed—and know that it’s not just a whim of the publishing machine or a lucky break. It’s because Julia is (first and foremost) a dang good writer committed to her craft and is one of the most focused, driven, incredible HBICs out there. 

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There’s nobody else I want on my team more than the women in this picture—and Mary Chris, who hadn’t made it to our summer house when this photo was snapped. (Can’t be HBIC Nation without all six of us.)  

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Julia is our trailblazer. And even though I’m a thousand years older than her and will never achieve her glorious hair curtain, it’s safe to say I want to be Julia when I grow up.

Anyway. Go buy this book before I start really weeping about how much I’ve loved and learned from Julia snce our One Week in Love days (and before!). Go read this book. Go tell your friends about this book. It’s got enough drama and historical precision to delight the women’s/fiction reader and just enough swoon to make a romance reader happy sigh. 

Hardback. eBook. Audio. Paperback this fall—but don’t wait that long to read it. All your favorites will stock this book. Go forth and click.

A forgotten diary, a forbidden love affair, a desperate fight to save her country

2017 When Cara Hargreaves discovers a diary from the 1940s, its contents will change her life forever...

1941 When Louise Keene meets dashing RAF pilot, Paul Bolton, she is swept off her feet. Then Paul is sent to war and Louise, defying her mother's wishes, ends up a gunner girl in London.

Watching the pitch-black skies for bombers, Louise finds comfort recording her dreams in her diary. And as Cara reads her words, decades later, she learns that hope can be found even in the darkest of times, she just needs to take a chance...

2019 Planning: Word of the Year

Can’t just stick to one word…

Here I am again, just a girl, standing in front of a New Year, asking it to love me—

and, er, reveal its word to me.

And once again, I can’t come up with a single word. Looks like 2019 has another phrase of the year, and it’s “Anything can happen in a year.”

It’s pretty good, right?

I like to noodle over my word/phrase of the year during December as I wind down Q4, reflect back on business gains and losses, and identify personal successes and failures. And as I was noodling, Mantra Wellness Magazine posted this graphic on their Instagram feed and I was struck. (I regrammed it in my instastory and posted it in my HBIC Co-Founders Slack Channel and couldn’t get it out of my mind.)

Fast forward. It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m still out west at Haughton House. I’m doing laundry (wearing a totally glam outfit of buffalo check longjohns and a V-Day t-shirt that says “You got a BAE or nah?”) and getting packed up to leave tomorrow to hopefully beat the storm back to Big D. And I just can’t get that post out of my head.

So it’s settled. That’s my 2019. No deep dive and poetry like last year. Just a sense of this is so right for me.

But of course I made a pretty graphic for my desktop wallpaper. When I get back to the cozy cottage tomorrow to settle in and really do some pen-to-paper planning, that is what will guide me. #AnythingCanHappenInAYear

If you’d like the wallpaper for yourself—or a square image to post on insta—feel free to grab them here: https://haught.pub/Anything2019 Feel free to share the link with a friend and post where you desire. If you want to credit me, that’s awesome, but you don’t have to. (If you sell the image, that’s not awesome.)

xxoo

Lexi H.


A Fireside Chat with Alexandra Haughton

From my home in west Texas to yours…Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s almost nine o’clock on Thanksgiving morning, and I’m still in my pajamas, drinking tea. (It’s pretty wonderful.) My sister-in-law is hosting this year, so Mom and I are only responsible for a couple super-duper easy things. (Easy, but vital: GBC aka green bean casserole!)

Considering my mom was sick as a dog last Christmas, and I singlehandedly cooked and got the tablescape ready, I’m kind of enjoying doing next-to-nothing today.

My gratitude list is something I keep track of on a daily basis—y’all, I’m not a saint, sometimes all it says is “I’m really grateful for this long-wear nail polish and sweet Tia who always gives me an extra-long hand massage.” But today, especially, I’m filled with the warm fuzzies. If I sat here for three hours, I likely could still fill the list of things I’m grateful for.

Including you, especially you, dear reader. Thank you for bringing me into your heart and home when you read one of my books.

Speaking of readers, I sent out a missive to The A-List subscribers, and if you’re not behind the velvet rope with all the other VIPs, you should be. In it, they got a shot at two hundred free copies of Love is Here to Stay. (I know, right?!) It’s my Thanksgiving story (although it’s disguised as hot, grumpy, bearded rancher meets pretty Park Avenue Princess romance), so it just seemed like the thing to do. Annnnnd they also got an exclusive reveal about a new project.

All I’m going to say here is keep your eyes peeled in December.

Oh, one last thing: if you love that little graphic at the top of this post, you can grab a download of the hand-lettered “grateful” for your own images —> https://haught.pub/GratefulHeart <—

You can easily overlay the transparent .png image in apps like Union and Canva if you don’t have Photoshop. (And who does, besides graphic design nerds like me?)

Holidays can be tough, but I hope you enjoy a little slice of sweetness today.

xxoo

Alexandra