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...

Five for Friday: HBIC World Domination Edition

I missed last 5ForFriday because we were saying goodbye to my little nanny--who was just shy of 100 and as sassy as ever right up 'til the end. And I bet you thought I was going to miss this one, too, because I'm posting so late in the day.

Nope. Not missing it. I'm living and loving* every minute of my Friday because of these five ladies: 

We are on a seekrit HBIC World Domination Tour aka a writing retreat in the middle of a picturesque spot in America. I've laughed myself hoarse, cried a little--maybe tinkled a little too--and have filled my well WAY UP. And it's just the first day. 

What happens at retreat stays at retreat...for the most part. But there are going to be some insta posts and stories. Make sure you follow me @WriterAHaughton

*and if you said, "no way Lexi. No way are you taking time out of your retreat to post this"--you're right. I scheduled it Thursday evening. But I'm still grateful for Laura, Mary Chris, Lindsay, Julia, and Lexy. HBICs4EVA

Five for Friday: Seventy Degrees Edition

Last week, I started a new-to-me blog series called Five for Friday wherein I list, lickety-split, five things I did to really seek out some beauty in the world and enjoy my #FriYAY! 

Little did I know, it would inspire some writing besties to start their own. So this is my official NUMBER ONE on the list because it makes my heart happy to see Julia Kelly and Alexis Anne living out some good times. 

The day is still young, but I've already got my Five for Friday: 

1. Obvs: seeing Julia Kelly and Alexis Anne take #54Fri and make it their own. (Plus Sexy Lexy called me her glitter-sparkle leader and I ain't mad about it.)

2. Julia Kelly's coworkers got in the celebratory spirit and procured a rainbow unicorn for Ms. Kelly. I'm so glad she posted this picture so I can share it. It absolutely made my morning.

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3. I celebrated the life of my writing mentor today. It was a bittersweet moment, to be sure, but sitting in the packed chapel was a beautiful experience. There was so much love and laughter in that room, and I know we all yearned to hear one more story. One more joke and see that lazy wink that always followed. Sitting there reminded me of that 20-something girl who sat in his office (laughing, crying, and laugh-crying) for two years and how far she's come...

And how she's still so much the same. 

Mr. T. never poo-pooed my desire to write genre fiction. He never once denigrated romance and suggested I shoot for something approaching "lit-ra-chure." And his wisdom and no-nonsense approach to fiction is something I carry in my heart. 

I'm grateful you were mine, even for a little while. <3

4. I've been designing up a storm over at Romanced by the Cover. And today, I got an order from Sticker Mule. I can't WAIT to share it with you. Just a few more weeks. (PS If you want $10 off your order, you can click this here link: https://www.stickermule.com/unlock?ref_id=3415080701)

5. It's 76 degrees. And while I was a bit miffed I couldn't wear the pretty sweater I'd planned to wear to the service today, I'm loving the fresh air and blue skies.