Julie Coulter Bellon's Blog, page 4

June 16, 2014

The world is a little sadder today. My son's close friend lost her battle with leukemia yesterday and it was incredibly difficult to break the news to him while he's serving his LDS mission. It has made me stop today and be grateful for life, for health, and for knowing exceptional people.

The community of Pleasant Grove is holding a fundraiser for her family, so if you are in Utah County this week, you can help. Here's a little bit more about her: (And you can read her blog here if you want to see her journey.)

Just a couple of days before Michalla Beardall's LDS Mission farewell, her doctors called to tell her that her Leukemia was back. Michalla was diagnosed the first time in August 2012. After a very brutal and long treatment process, including chemo and a bone marrow transplant, Michalla had beat cancer and prepared to fulfill her lifetime dream of serving an LDS mission. She was called to serve in Knoxville, TN. Michalla stood in front of a large group who had gathered to celebrate this exciting adventure she was about to experience, and instead of reporting on her opportunity to serve the people of Knoxville, she told everyone that she was diagnosed with Leukemia and would be serving in a different way.

And serve she did. Michalla was determined to comfort and spread hope to all of the other patients with cancer at Primary Children's Hospital. Although her own pain and sickness was insurmountable, she spent her days losing herself in the service of anyone she could get to in the hospital, especially the younger children with cancer. Her example of selfless service was one of the most inspirational acts to witness.

Michalla fought very hard, but just a couple of weeks ago, as her body tried to cling to the marrow she had received, Michalla's diagnoses started rolling in at a faster pace than her body could handle. After a long fight, and countless miracles, Michalla Beardall, at age 19, returned home to her Father in Heaven at 2:41am this last Sunday morning.

We sincerely hope that as a community we can unite to help this great Pleasant Grove family. Cravings Alisha's cupcakes, Cravings Bistro, and Firebirds will be donating all week 10% of their total sales for Strawberry Days to the Beardall family. The hospital bills are never-ending, and now they have funeral expenses to add to that pile. We can help them carry this burden, as they grieve the loss of their beautiful Michalla. Any little bit you can contribute will help immensely and be greatly appreciated!

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Published on June 16, 2014 22:11

June 13, 2014

Today's Nearly Freebie Friday features TEN books for only 99 cents. You can't beat that!  They are different genres from fantasy to romantic suspense, but they look good!  If you're interested in downloading, click here

Here's more information:

*Purchased individually, these books cost nearly $18 - List price $9.99 - Save 90% - Now on sale for only .99 cents!*

This multi-author boxed set features 10 titles from popular YA authors, all centered around GIRLS ON FIRE -- a powerful YA heroine kicking butt and fighting for love.

Over 1400 virtual pages, with a brand-new YA title from Elana Johnson, and extras for fans of Rachel Morgan, Lee Strauss, Laura Howard, Lani Woodland, Christy Dorrity, Tamara Hart Heiner, Amber Argyle, Angela Corbett, and Cindy Hogan.

WITCH FALL – Amber Argyle

High Fantasy

Supreme in their dominion over seasons, storms, and sea, the witches have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind. And among the weapons men seek are the magical songs of the witches. Born of witches but raised among their enemies, Lilette searches for a way to heal the rift between mankind and the witches. But it may be too late to save either. For if there is one thing Lilette has come to know for certain, it’s that all things fall.


Paranormal Romance

For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie Starling. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.

AWAKENING – Christy Dorrity


When an ancient curse threatens McKayla McCleery's family, she must decide what in her life is real and what is fantasy. Based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy that is rife with magic, romance, and mystery.

INEVITABLE – Tamara Hart Heiner


Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her sister die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne realizes that the next death she sees might be her own.

WATCHED – Cindy M. Hogan

Romantic Suspense

Change. She longed for it.

A murder. She will never be the same.



Allison O'Malley doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his fairy tale about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.


Futuristic Fantasy

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.



Kickbutt faerie Violet is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human boy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion.

PERCEPTION – Lee Strauss


Eternal Life is to Die For.

A spoiled genetically altered girl needs the help of a jaded “natural” boy to find her missing brother.

INTRINSICAL – Lani Woodland


The gene that allows the women in Yara’s family to see and communicate with spirits seems to have passed her over. Until the night she rescues a local hottie from an attacking ghost. Her act of heroism attracts the attention of the evil spirit, and she finds herself entrenched in the middle of a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening her own life as well as that of her friends.

Together, these books have over 500 5-star reviews on Amazon.
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Published on June 13, 2014 18:23 • 2 views

June 12, 2014

photo credit: aurelio.asiain via photopin cc
I was browsing in a bookstore today, when the lady next to me struck up a conversation. "I'm from out of town," she says, "and I can't get my favorite books in the small town where I live."  She was here stocking up on titles to haul home to somewhere back east.

I looked at the books already in her hand and asked if she'd ever read any of Josi Kilpack's culinary mystery series.  She said no, and I led her over to Lemon Tart.  We chatted about her love for Mary Higgins Clark and the lady down the row came over.  "I like mysteries, too!"  So, of course I had to tell them about Stephanie Black and her amazing mysteries.  We chatted about romantic suspense, historical romance, straight action books, our favorite authors, and what books we considered a must-read this summer.

It was SO. FUN.

As I stood there chatting with Iris and Jan it felt like I'd been friends with these ladies forever, even though we'd barely met.  We laughed as we went from shelf to shelf, pulling out books, deciding which ones would be leaving with us today, and which ones would have to wait to fit in the book budget for next month.  We talked about Kindles, and husbands, and living far away from family.

And when I waved goodbye to them today, I thought to myself how awesome it is that just because I'm a book-lover, I made two new friends today.

Books connect people. They just do.  And that fact makes me happy.
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Published on June 12, 2014 18:56

June 11, 2014

Writing is a terrible profession.

*deep sigh*

It has the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

I had given my story to my critique group and was making the suggested changes.  I was loving my story. Feeling the writing high.

Then some other opinions started rolling in from an editor I trust and a beta reader that knows her stuff.

Now I want to scrap the whole thing.  Burn it. Never let it see the light of day.

*opens a chocolate bar*

*eats said chocolate bar slooooowly*

My word count is terrible this week.  My story is terrible this week.

(Anybody know any jokes?  Funny ones?)

Tell me you had a good writing week this week, will you?

Let's hope this week is better.  Please.  Let's pay homage to the muses of writers, maybe sacrifice some really good chocolate to them, do what we have to do to get some writing love flowing.

*looks around for any more chocolate*

I might have to go back to the store.

Wait, maybe I should sacrifice some carrots.

*eats a carrot*

Never mind. *sigh* This is going to be a long week.

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Published on June 11, 2014 14:55

June 10, 2014

(photo credit: www.audio-luci-store.it via photopin cc)
I was interviewed on Anna Del C.'s blog today and I mentioned a few things people might not know about me---like who has made the greatest difference for me as a writer.  (You can read the interview here)

But as I was thinking about it today, I wondered, do readers have something specific they'd like to read about in interviews? Do they ever feel redundant? What's the best interview question you've ever seen asked and answered?

I was trying to think of one since I've done a lot of interviews.  All I can think of is the hard ones like which writer has influenced your career? What's one thing you love about writing (I can't pick one!) What's your favorite book (Again, can't pick one!) and other questions like that. (Yeah, I know, it doesn't seem hard at first, but it really is!)

So, what do readers really want to know?

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Published on June 10, 2014 21:57

June 9, 2014

Today I want to tell you about Sarah Eden's book, As You Are.  This is another installment of the Jonquil brothers and even gives me an update on my favorite couple, Lord and Lady Cavratt.  Sigh. Still love them.

Anyway, this book is about Corbin Jonquil who has been admiring the new widow in the neighborhood from afar.  Well, the closest he's gotten is sitting behind her in church.  He thinks of all the things that he might say to her, but when it comes right down to it, he's so incredibly shy he can't speak to her beyond a sentence or two.  This character trait is so well-written I seriously felt sorry for him.  He stutters and is so painfully shy it's painful to read!  But he has a heart of gold and loves his family, his horses, and his staff.

Clara Bentford is trying to keep a low profile, but with all the tongues wagging she's the object of curiosity. She's so grateful when Mr. Jonquil saves her from a flurry of questions she'd rather not answer, but when she invites him for tea to express her gratitude, he acts like he disapproves of her and is very aloof. But there's something about him and the more she gets to know him, the more of a puzzle he seems.

I loved their stories---individually and together---and how genuine it seemed with these two lonely people trying to overcome their obstacles and find love.  Ms. Bentford's backstory was particularly difficult to read because of its realism, especially in the parameters of the times when women were little more than belongings to some.  I loved that she'd overcome so much, though, and it really fleshed out her character and added a layer that drew me to her.

There were some very tender moments, some really great dialogue, and an excellent backdrop of the Jonquil family.  I loved that we got an update on all the other brothers, and that there were some fun scenes with the family we've previously met. I really hope we see Jason's story at some point. And Charlie's. As you can see this is a family I would like to read about for a long time to come!

A definite two thumbs up from this Sarah Eden fan!

Here's the back copy:

A horse breeder by trade, Corbin Jonquil is more at home in the stables than in the ballroom of his sprawling estate. Corbin is the quietest of the Jonquil brothers and has always faded into the background, contentedly unnoticed. When a mysterious young widow, Mrs. Clara Bentford, moves into the neighborhood, however, Corbin quickly comes to realize that being noticed has its advantages. But how to catch the eye of the lady?

According to his brothers, Corbin need only make a few simple changes to transform himself into the object of any woman's desire - dubious advice, indeed. Following a series of misadventures, Corbin and Clara slowly lower the facades behind which they've been hiding, leaving Corbin shocked by the horrors that haunt the woman he's coming to care for so ardently. When the menace of Clara's past threatens to tear them apart and tensions mount, will the couple have the courage to fight for the promise of forever?
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Published on June 09, 2014 22:04

June 6, 2014

As many of you know, today is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.  D-Day marked the turning point of World War II when the Allied forces (from what I always understood it was mostly U.S., Canadian, and British forces that day) landed on Normandy Beach in France and began their liberation of the French people. The Allies kept going, of course, and stopped the German war machine, eventually defeating the Third Reich.
In commemoration of D-Day, today I want to tell you about a movie that is coming out on August 15th.  It's another installment of the Saints and Soldiers series and is about a U.S. tank crew that discovers a platoon of Germans lying in wait to ambush the Allied supply trucks.  It sounds like a great military suspense!
Here's the official press release about it:

Saints and Soldiers: The Void in theaters August 15th
Germany, May 1945, the twilight of WWII. On a final mission deep in the Harz mountains a U.S. tank crew discovers a platoon of Germans, including three infamous Panzer tanks, preparing to ambush allied supply trucks.

Before the war, private Jesse Owens, was a product of segregation and racial discrimination. Forced by law to ride in the back of the bus and disenfranchised from the political process. Now, Owens fights the greatest tyrant in history, knowing the tyranny of racism will be waiting for him back home if he can survive the war.

With a deadly game of cat and mouse quickly unfolding, Owens and his predominantly white tank crew find themselves out-gunned and out-manned by the German Panzer tanks. Several in Owens’ crew are reluctant to put their faith in a black tank driver despite their dire circumstances. As the German tanks bear down on his unit, Owens has to fight for freedom on two fronts. With tension and fear beginning to manifest Owens knows they must put aside their differences to stop the enemy from their deadly plan. Knowing that a victory over the Nazis means a victory for racial justice, Owens and his men find a way to work together to save hundreds of lives in a desperate battle against the greatest odds they have ever faced.

"As we approach the 70th anniversary of D-Day, we pause to honor those who demonstrated unselfishness and commitment to freedom. The tradition of unselfishness continues today. God Bless those then and now who serve our country." ~ Adam Abel, Producer
"During the original SAINTS AND SOLDIERS film festival run around the world we were honored to meet many WWII Veterans in person. It has been 10 years now. Many of those Veterans have passed. For those WWII vets remaining and all men and women of the armed forces since we salute you. The SAINTS AND SOLDIERS movies are intend to honor you."~ Ryan Little, Director
"Our reason for making SAINTS AND SOLDIERS: THE VOID was to explore the story of those African American soldiers who fought for freedoms abroad they didn't entirely enjoy at home. We learned from their stories freedom is and was worth the fight...regardless of race."~ Adam Abel, Producer
You can read more about Alex Boye and Matt Meese being cast in the movie here (and see an international trailer!)
Here's the teaser:

And a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Published on June 06, 2014 08:26 • 2 views

June 5, 2014

I was talking to an editor friend of mine today about what genre I read most.  Right now (and for probably the last year or two) it's been historical fiction.  I really enjoy the regency period and all the different rules of society that were in place then.

I was wondering to myself if my editor friend thought that since I write suspense, I should read suspense.  I mean, isn't it generally accepted that the best writers are really good readers?

But as I thought more about this, I decided that nowhere does it say you have to be well-read in the genre that you write. I can glean the same information about rhythm, dialogue, setting etc., from a historical as I can from a suspense.  Granted, suspense has different beats to it, but the basic structure is very similar from the writing aspect.

So, my conclusion is, I don't have to read a lot of suspense to be a good suspense writer myself.  And I also realized that I might want to write a historical sometime.  Even typing that scares me a little, because I have always written romantic suspense and I'm comfortable there.

But maybe I'm closer to the time where I want to shake things up.  Change genres.  Write a historical! *covers mouth*  But not today.  It's still a bit too scary.

What do you think? Can writers successfully switch genres and write something completely different?
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Published on June 05, 2014 20:44

June 4, 2014

So, in coming out of my slump, I've been doing A LOT of preparation in anticipation of my book RING AROUND THE ROSIE being released at the end of the month. Woohooo!

The problem is, when I was in my writing slump, I didn't really take all my critique group's notes and make the changes as we went along. I was struggling, down in the dumps, whatever you want to call it, so the critique group notes just piled up on my desk.  All twenty-one chapters worth.  That, my friends is a big problem.

Do you know why that is a problem?  Because when you are dealing with multiple critiques and you haven't done it as you've gone along, you have a BOATLOAD of notes and changes and even an organization issue in trying to figure out which critique partner said what for which chapter so you can figure out if what they said there has any bearing on previous chapters . . . well, you get the picture.  My living room floor is currently covered with paper piles while I sort it all out.  Bad Julie. (I know, I know, I have weird writer problems.)

The good news is, I'm plowing through all the changes and I'm SO HAPPY to be writing again. There is something really happy about writing. I'm glad I'm a writer.

Since I'm making changes and not much else, my word count has been small, just over 2000, but I love how the story has been shaped and molded and I can't wait to see what you think of it!

How did you do this week?
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Published on June 04, 2014 12:56

June 3, 2014

Summer is here! Isn't it crazy! Lazy days at the pool, roasted marshmallows, summer evenings swinging in the porch swing with my husband and a tall glass of lemonade.  Ahhhh. I love summer.

One thing our family does in the summertime is to have a Family Book Club.  When I first started this, we all read the same book and it took forever and some of my kids didn't like it because they didn't like the book and (gasp!) I had a child who didn't like reading.  So I thought and I thought and I thought. (Too much Winnie the Pooh? Haha)  How could I make this fun?

So, this is what I came up with and what has worked for our family for the last few years.  Everyone gets to choose a book---whatever book they want.  From my oldest child still at home to the youngest.  And as you can imagine we have a wide range of choices from Captain Underpants to Star Wars to short autobiographies about basketball stars.  But that's okay, everyone is reading a book! Hooray!

We each have a week to read our book. (And yes, I read a book, too.)  Then, on Saturday afternoon we gather for ice cream and go around the table and discuss the books we read.  Each person tells the title, what the book was about, and their favorite parts (and not so favorite parts.)

I've learned a lot about a wide range of books by doing this. I had one of my kids read the How To Train Your Dragon series. So awesome and even better than the movie! I've learned a lot about Michael Jordan and John Stockton and even memorized the little book about this kid who goes to the zoo because that was a particular favorite of a child learning to read. (And they read it every week for a few weeks. Usually we have a no repeat rule, but we made an exception here.)  I've also learned a lot about my kids and what they like in a book.  It's a really fun way to encourage summer reading and have a lot of laughs in the process.

Do you do summer reading? How do you do it?  What's on your to-read list?
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Published on June 03, 2014 19:40 • 1 view