Friday With Friends #7

I met Miss Julie Joyce at the Lori Foster Reader Author Get Together in 2012. #RAGT12
She wasn't published - yet - and came as an avid reader and fan of our mutual friend, Margaret Ethridge. In her 'posse' was her beautiful mother, who passed this year and another lady from my neck of the woods. In honor of her mom and of that momentous year, I grabbed a screen shot of Julie and her extremely fun-loving mom taken at RAGT12.

Take it away, Julie.

Hi, everyone!  

I’m so excited to be here today on my pal Sue’s blog! This has been a rocky year for me, with lots of highs and lows, but one of the highest highs was finishing the novella I’ve been working on since last year. It’s especially satisfying because it’s also the first book I’ll be publishing under my actual name, Julie Evelyn Joyce. This weekend I’ll be subbing my baby to all the pretty publishers of the world and crossing all my digits that someone will say YES. :)

In the meantime, I’m gonna share the blurb and a little snippet from my story, Steeped in Love. Ready? Okay! 

Le blurb: Addie Mitchell is a pie-on-the-fly entrepreneur who’s finally ready to settle down in the big, empty house her late great-aunt Edna left to her. Frustrated with her lack of success in romance, Addie turns to another gift her great-aunt passed on to her, the art of reading tea leaves, to aid her in her search for the ideal mate.  

Novelist Ethan Holtz is having a hard time sinking his teeth into his next project, but he finds Addie fascinating. Mainly for her ability to make her dates disappear in fifteen minutes flat. He can’t help but eavesdrop on her dates in the local coffee shop, his writing haven, and soon finds himself taking pointers on what not to do from her failed suitors.  

Though her methods seem nothing short of mad, he falls fast and hard for the pixie-haired pie-pusher. She thinks they’re all wrong for each other, but Ethan teams up with the tea leaves to prove they’re so right.  

And here’s an excerpt from Steeped in Love: 
Ethan flagged down Gwen and ordered the damn danish. She topped up his mug as she dropped off the pastry. When he lifted his head to acknowledge the gesture, an entirely different woman caught his eye. Adelaide Mitchell, owner and operator of the one and only Pie-Cycle. He couldn’t help but stare as she entered the cafe, a pixie-haired woman with wide brown eyes, pink lips, and short-shorts that made him wish for the first time in his life that he were a bike seat.
He rarely got to see Addie up close. She was always in such a hurry, selling her freshly-baked hand pies at all the hubs in this town and the neighboring ones. The fillings could be sweet or savory. He wondered if it depended on her mood. Not that he’d know if they were any good. He’d never tried one, being that he was partial to danishes, but a girl like Addie, well…she might tempt a guy to give pie a try.
Addie ordered, then took a seat a couple tables over, her back to him. She pulled a tube of lipstick from her pocket and used an old bicycle side mirror from her bag to apply it, which he found more comical than peculiar. Her short hairstyle emphasized the long, slim column of her neck. She was jumpy, anxious. Her aquamarine bike shoes slapped against the floor, like it pained her to sit still for too long. He found himself growing impatient along with her.
Gwen returned to Addie’s table with a steaming mug. “Here’s your tea,” she said. “Good luck. Hope you find what you’re looking for.”
Well, that was an odd thing to say. What was she looking for? The missing word in a crossword puzzle? The meaning of life? The perfect ratio of honey to lemon in her tea—
“How’s the writing going, Ethan?”
He jumped, startled to find Gwen hovering over him with a knowing smile on her face. When the hell did she get there? “Fine,” he muttered. 
Her soft hum proved she’d seen the blank page he failed to minimize fast enough. “Hope your hands don’t cramp up,” she teased, then scurried back behind the counter to cash someone out.  
Ethan missed those days—when his fingers could barely keep pace with the words flowing from his brain. It was hell to find inspiration when you knew what you were writing would tank before it even hit the shelves. Releasing a heavy sigh, he rubbed his temples. He could be bitter and cynical all he wanted, but the fact of the matter was that he needed to rebrand himself if he had a hope in Hades of selling anything. He’d still be a thriller author, but his stories were about to take on an entirely different spin. Every successful book nowadays had ‘girl’ in the title: Gone Girl, The Good Girl, The Girl on the Train...The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
He glanced up, suddenly curious beyond all reason if Addie had any tattoos. She didn’t. At least not from his angle. But even more intriguing, she wasn’t sitting alone anymore.
There was a man sitting at her table. That’s what Gwen meant. This was a date. A date with a man she was obviously meeting for the first time. Addie Mitchell was looking for a man.
Hope you enjoyed that little teaser! I’m still working on my new blog, but you can follow me on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest in the life of Julie! 

Have a delightful day, my dears!  

xo Julie



Welcome to my Weekend Writing Warrior post. This week I'm sharing from my newest #WIP - Gretchen's Song ~ Welcome to Ravenwood ~ Book Three

In this scene, Sheriff Rafe Crawford has staked out the Tipsy Seagull. His interest is fully engaged when Gretchen Swanson exits the pub and behaves in a manner that makes him think she's had WAY too much to drink. When she stumbles against her car and drops the keys he almost hops out of his truck to lend a hand - until he notices her taking a quick glance around. Almost as though she expects someone to be watching.
After the parking lot is empty (all other patrons have exited) she finally starts her car and begins to back out. He pulls in behind, blocking her exit and approaches the driver's side window. They engage in conversation and he realizes she hasn't had anything to drink. There is not even a hint of alcohol on her breath. So, he asks her what the act was all about.

This selection has been modified slightly to meet the 10 line requirement. Enjoy.

“I’m the D.D.”
His eyes narrowed. “In case you forgot, you didn’t drive anybody anywhere.”
“Not D.D. as in designated driver, D.D. as in designated decoy.”
"The what?" He pushed back his hat and for a brief moment she treasured his look of disbelief. Rafe Crawford was a hard man to catch unaware.
"Designated Decoy." She waited while that thought tumbled around his razor sharp mind and mentally began a countdown to when he’d figure it out.

Be sure to check out my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors.
Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter (top right column).

Friday With Friends #6

I'm so happy my friend Maddie James has come to visit today. Maddie gave me my first 'push' into the publishing world and for that I will be eternally grateful.

Welcome Maddie, and take it away.

Some stories fly from brain to fingers to computer screen. Others take their good ol’ time in coming. This book falls into the latter category.

The storyline for Wind Ridge came to me while living in central Kentucky horse country, back in the 1990s. Nearby, was a small country farm named Wind Ridge. There was another horse farm, complete with Federal style mansion, down the road in the opposite direction. Supposedly, the new owner was a foxhunter, and stories were, that he ran his horses and hounds over neighboring fields and land, much to the irritation of the locals.

The juxtaposition of those two things—the small country tobacco farm, and the more stately southern horse farm—wove their way into my head and a story took wings. Over 100,000 words later, the story was finished, but sad to say, it lay fallow in my computer for many years. Other stories had their day, blessed by the publishing world, but Wind Ridge stayed hidden from public consumption.

I always loved the story; however, it was written at a time when I was still learning how to write. I knew it needed a lot of tender, loving care. About six months ago, I realized I needed to tackle the story again, embrace it, rip it up, even let my editor have her way with it. So, I did. We did. Now, I am so very pleased that Bekah and Collin’s story is finally ready to share with my readers.

Here’s more about the story:

Rebekah McCauley is back home after ten long years of living and working in New York City. She left the Big Apple under circumstances she’d rather not share with her family—not yet, anyway—and all she really wants is time to heal and recover from the mess she’d made of her life. Luckily, her grandparents’ Kentucky bluegrass farm, Wind Ridge, provides the safe haven she craves, and the solitude she needs to heal.

Collin Kramer, the fox hunter next door, seems determined to infiltrate that peace and quiet, and invade her safe haven—not only with his noisy hounds running amok over her land, but with his Alpha male, take-charge attitude running roughshod over her wounded heart.

But as Bekah softens to Collin’s conquest, he realizes his own toughened heart needs mending. And just when he thinks he has that conquered, as well, all hell breaks loose. Poisoned horses, a gutted dog, and a barn fire are only the beginning. When Bekah’s farmhouse burns to the ground too, they know someone means business. But who? And whose past, Bekah’s or Collin’s, has come back to haunt them?

Want to read more? The Prologue is posted on my website at this link:


Maddie James writes romance – don’t try to pin her down to one genre. From edgy suspense to flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles, she just wants to silence the people in her head. Find out more at