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...

Mistletoe Key: A Christmas Romance...in June?

Most romance writers will tell you it's hard to write Christmas romance novels. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, production schedules usually mean we're scribbling sexy snowball fights and cozy kisses by the fire in the dead heat of summer. 

And let's face it, it's hard to make imaginary people want cuddle when you're sitting in front of a fan, sweating in your office because it's 100 degrees with 97% humidity. There's only so much Burl Ives on repeat that can put you in the holiday spirit when all you want to do is stand spread eagle in front of the AC vents. 

Or maybe that's just me. 

Enter Mistletoe Key. . . 

Ah, Mistletoe Key, Florida--our sunny, romantic island where it's perpetually Christmas in paradise...and kissing Santa Claus is encouraged. 

Except it's not paradise for my heroine, who is a total Ms. Grinch. But don't worry, Hunter "Blue" Bowen, bona fide hockey god, is gonna turn her frown--and her whole world--upside down. 

If you took a peek at last Friday's post, I teased Mistletoe Key and the BOOK IN A WEEK (BIAW) competition Lindsay Emory and I are starting this week. (Okay fine. It's not a competition.) 

Come this Sunday, June 25th (ahem, exactly six months until Christmas), we'll be starting our BIAW project. And it's absolutely perfect because our holiday books are set in the Keys, so maybe I'll figure out some way to make humidity sexy. (It's like method writing, right?)

It's been SO DIFFICULT to hold off writing until June 25th. But I'm a Rule Follower. So no scribbling until at least 12:00:01AM. 

Because the nature of BIAW means I'm drafting so quickly--with huge word count goals each day--I won't have time to sit and daydream. <sigh> That means no pantsing--can't go by the seat of my pants with this one. I had to <gulp> plot it. Beat by glorious beat*.

And because I had to meticulously plot the book, it means I'm dying to write Blue and Kelly's first kiss. (Okay, I'm excited to write their meet cute too. But their first kiss, man. It's gonna be a doozy.) 

So keep your eyes on my social media as Lindsay and I start this BIAW thing. I won't be crazed at all, I'm sure, with all of those huge word counts in front of me. If you need me, I'll be looking just like this inspiration pic for Kelly, totally glam and put together at the Halliday Inn** for a business lunch. (Don't mind me, gleeful author, over here in the corner rubbing my hands together plotting all the ways Blue is going to completely unravel Kelly, the grinchiest of all the Mistletoe Key residents.) 

OH! And before I forget. I think Lindsay is going to share some of her pages AS SHE WRITES. (Say whaaaaaat?) Don't expect that from me. BUT, you might want to expect some flash giveaways as I'm scribbling away on my flash draft. Ho, ho. ho. 

 

*If you're a romance writer writer and haven't bought yourself a copy of Gwen Hayes' ROMANCING THE BEAT what are you waiting for? 

**The super-fancy (yet to be named) family on Mistletoe Key got sued for naming their inn the Holiday Inn, duh. ;)

Five for Friday

 

Since I left my day job, I've kind of become a little bit like the dowager Countess of Grantham: "what is a weekend?"

No, it's not because I'm a member of the aristocracy (though if you have an heir or a spare lying around, be sure and give him my number). It's because when you freelance, every day is a workday.

But I've decided that I'm going to make Fridays FriYAYs in 2017--sure, I'll get a little work done, but I'm going to celebrate life by doing extra fun things or enjoying little moments (or objects) and report back. 

And if I miss one here or there, just know it's because I'm out having a fabulous time with a British spy who is also at a Navy SEAL and heir to a Dukedom. Who has a ranch in Wyoming and an island in the Maldives. And rides a motorcycle. 

So here goes the inaugural Five for Friday:  

1. Had a super fantastic lady lunch with my local braintrust. Cookies, laughter, and tears were shared. And plans for world domination, duh. 

2. Return of blanket scarf weather! 

3.  It was raining so I couldn't go for a walk outside, so I decided to get a manicure with an extra long arm and hand massage.  

4. I got news my childhood bff will be in town next week. < hallelujah hands

5. I got two awesome things in the mail – both of which will make productivity so much more beautiful. (And if you follow me on Instagram – especially Instagram stories – you already got a sneaky peek of them.) 

I LOVE my  ringly . &nbsp;(Yeah, that's a ginormo emerald.) Wearable tech FTW.&nbsp;

I LOVE my ringly.  (Yeah, that's a ginormo emerald.) Wearable tech FTW.