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. 

IMAGE.JPG

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.)  

FullSizeRender.jpg

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...

National Readers' Choice Award Finalist

Lots of exciting news this week. A royal wedding. A royal runaway (more on this in a sec!). And a royally awesome honor for Blue Christmas...

I'm delighted that Blue Christmas has been selected as a National Readers' Choice Award finalist in the novella category. The winner will be announced this July when we're all in Denver for RWA, so it'll be a party no matter the outcome. 

And speaking of parties, do you have your Royal Wedding party plans set?

Man, I sure do. I'll be celebrating in style with Laura von Holt, Lindsay Emory, and a few other writerly peeps. Follow along on my Instagram--I'm sure my InstaStories will be entertaining and oh-so aspirational. There will be fascinators, caftans, sparkles, bubbles, and all the indulgence the Big D is capable of delivering.

Which is a lot.

Oh, and in case you missed it, today is the day Lindsay Emory is celebrating the cover reveal of THE ROYAL RUNAWAY.

It's entirely possible I've been having way too much fun making fan art. Ahem. But after you read this book (PS reserve your copy now; it's out in paperback and eBook October 9, 2018, from Gallery Books), you'll be making your own, too.

This book cover is oh-so bookstagrammable, isn't it? I want all the Princess Thea royal wedding merch!

Here's the blurb:

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

https://lindsayemory.com/theroyalrunaway

Five for Friday: Q4 Full Speed Ahead Edition

If you've been thinking 2017 is a pretty spectacularly crappy year, take heart: it's almost over. Say what? Yep, you read that right. Quarter Four Approacheth. 

I did my Q4 re-prioritizing yesterday, and it was just what the doctor ordered. (I shared a little bit about it as part of my #ReadWritePlan post on Instagram.) Especially since I was just coming off some away time in the mountains, it was the perfect time to reflect and reassess. 

Last week saw me at the WFWA (Women's Fiction Writers Association) Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico, meeting new friends and spending time with old ones. I took a class with Lisa Cron. . . and taught one of my own--though "taught" might not be all that accurate. Mary Chris Escobar and I co-presented a hands-on workshop session on building blogs (hi!) and websites. 

The whole week was craft- and life-affirming (I met my mom down in the mountains for a little girls' getaway after WFWA...it was fabulous) and I cannot wait until my ten-year plan is complete and I can have a home in the mountains! (But first, I've got to sell a lot of books--or maybe marry a billionaire.)

So to stay on track with that life-affirming high, here are my #5ForFri. I hope they bring joy to you, too (how could they not since they're all about books?!): 

  1. Julia Kelly's newest historical will be out October 9th and if you haven't preordered it yet, I don't know what you're waiting for. It's stylish and sexy. The Look of Love (The Matchmaker of Edinburgh Series). 
  2. And speaking of sexy, Madame de Boudoir (aka Laura von Holt) is launching the fiction part of her mer-pire (mermaid empire) in October, too. My alter-ego is building out her website and artwork for her covers, so you won't want to miss out on when she unveils them. 
  3. I'm all caught up with Lindsay Emory's WOMEN WITH BOOKS podcast episodes, thanks to a week of road trippin. Super eager for more conversations with my favorite authors and new-to-me authors. Make sure you check it out while you're doing the dishes or strolling 'round the neighborhood to get in your steps. 
  4. Last week while I was in New Mexico for WFWA, I got a bunch of great women's fiction book recs. I'm starting with two STAR AWARD nominees: Barbara Claypole White's ECHOES OF FAMILY and Julie Christine Johnson's IN ANOTHER LIFE. (When I publish my women's fiction novel, I suppose I'll have to add in my middle name, won't I?) 
  5. There's still time to enter to win BOOKS, and a Kindle Fire, and a May Designs gift card in our #ReadWritePlan extravaganza. You didn't even have to post anything to the September Planning Challenge--there are lots of ways to enter. But hurry because it ends soon.