Friday, October 3, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Friend and Critique Partner, Susan Anne Mason

I'm so proud and excited to host my critique partner and friend, Susan Anne Mason, on my blog today. Susan and I have been critique partners for four years. It has been wonderful to be part of her writing journey. 

We're celebrating because she has a new release titled, Betrayed Hearts!

Susan has shared a blurb and a fun interview with one of her characters with us. Enjoy!

Betrayed Hearts by Susan Anne Mason CoverLily Draper comes to Rainbow Falls in search of her biological sister, the only blood relative she has left. Emotionally scarred by her preacher father, Lily avoids religion at all cost. Her new landlord, an aspiring minister, soon has her questioning her views. Can she learn to trust Nick's heart or will her sordid past destroy their love?
Nick Logan hopes to take over for the retiring minister who has groomed Nick for the job. But Reverend Ted seems to feel the position requires Nick to marry an upstanding woman, namely Ted’s niece. When Nick finds himself falling in love with Lily Draper, the woman least likely to become a minister's wife, his problems escalate. And when Reverend Ted gives him an ultimatum, Nick faces an impossible choice.
Can he accept God’s will and still find a place for Lily in his life?

Character Interview:
1. Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
My name is Lily Draper. My adoptive mother died when I was 10, leaving me with my bitter father who never really wanted me. I left home at 18 and have been scraping my way through life ever since. But recently I found out that I have a biological sister and I’m heading to Rainbow Falls, North Dakota to find her.

2. Tell us about where you live and why you choose to live there?
I grew up in a small town called Fielding, North Dakota. When I left my father’s house at age 18, I moved to Bismarck—to the anonymous city where no one knew me, and I’ve been there for several years. But now, for some reason, Rainbow Falls feels like home.

3. What is a quirk of your personality that most people wouldn't know?
I wear a locket that my mother gave me with a picture of my biological mother inside. Whenever I’m stressed or afraid, I touch it to give me courage.

4. Name two things would you hate people to know about you?
My shady past with men. And that I’d do anything for someone to really love me for me, not just for my looks.

5. Tell us about your special guy. What makes him special?
Nick Logan is my landlord and a handyman, and is studying to be a pastor. He is kind, honest and trustworthy, traits I have never found in any of the men in my life. I have to wonder if he’s too good to be true. Certainly too good for the likes of me.

6. The first time you saw him, what did you think? Did you like him immediately, or did he have to grow on you?
Of course, I was attracted to him right away — he’s very handsome. But when I learned he wanted to be a pastor, I knew I had to forget about him. After life with my hypocritical preacher father, the last person I want to be involved with is a religious fanatic. The kind that says one thing and does another. Besides, I’d never make a good partner for a pastor.

7. What would he hate people to know about him?
Nick would hate for people to know that he’s too nice for his own good. And he’s a bit of a pushover for his young cousin, Chloe, who is like a little sister to him.

Susan has recently been blessed with contracts from White Rose Publishing, Love Inspired and Bethany House. Betrayed Hearts is Susan’s debut contemporary romance, which releases on August 8, 2014. Book 2 - Wayward Hearts releases in December 2014.
Susan lives in a suburb near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she works part-time as a church secretary. She is a wife and the mother of two amazing kids, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In addition to writing, she likes to scrapbook and to research her family history on-line. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her website

Links to buy my book:  - For Softcover

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Life as an Introvert

Hey guys,

I'm over at Heart-Shaped Glasses posting about the joys of being an introvert. Jump over there and join the conversation.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Free books!

Hi friends,

I've got good news. We were cleaning out the garage a few days ago (that's not the good news), and I discovered I still have a box of review copies of Canyon Walls, Canyon Crossing, and Canyon Cafe.  I'd love to mail you a free copy. All I ask is that you read the book in the next month, and if you enjoy it, you leave a review on and/or Easy Peasy!

For your copy, email me at juliejarnagin (at) gmail (dot) com with your name and address. If you have a preference for which book I send you, let me know. I have a limited number of each book, so first come first served.


* I can only ship to the continental U.S.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dreaming vs. Doing

Live Out Your Dreams

I love talking about writing. I love reading books about the craft of writing. I love spending time with my writing friends and dreaming about writing. Do you know what the hardest part of being a writer is?

It's the actual writing.

We all have dreams--whether it's writing a novel, running a marathon, or snagging our dream job. Our dreams are our passions and hopes for the future. So why is so hard to actually live them out?

One word: Fear.

Fear of failure and fear to move out of our comfort zone. Steven Pressfield calls it the resistance. Seth Godin calls it the lizard brain. It's that part of ourselves that wants to stay safe and comfortable.

The people who reach their dreams are the people who have learned to face this discomfort head on. We have to learn to be vulnerable and uncomfortable and to stretch ourselves in ways that don't always feel natural to us.

Reaching our dreams isn't about circumstances or even talent; it's about making a choice to step out in faith with the belief that you'll fly.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Big News!

The three books in my Canyon series are being combined for a three-in-one titled Canyon Weddings. It will be released in November, but the paperback is available for pre-order right now!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 Ways to be a More Creative Mom

Let's face it. When we become mothers, our time is no longer our own. Whether you're a mom with young kids (like me, with a 5-year-old and a 4-month-old) or you're a mom with older kids, our worlds tend to revolve around their schedules. Sometimes it's hard to make time for ourselves, but one thing I think we need to fight for is the time and space for creativity. Using our creativity fosters more creativity, and that's good for ourselves and for our families. Here are a few ways you can be more creative.

1. Find some time for yourself to create - For me that means getting up at 5am to write (I know. It's not for everyone.) For you it might mean asking a family member to watch the kids every other Saturday to craft or paint. Whatever it is, find the time and block it out on the calendar. Find a community of other creatives - I don't know what I would do without my local writing group and my writing friends. Even if I can't be at the monthly meeting, I make sure I stay connected to my writing friends through text, social media, or a lunch. Maybe it's the people at your local yarn store or a friend you can bounce ideas off of. Our creativity is usually connected to our passion, and no one will understand your passion like others who share it.

3. Get your kids involved - Pay attention to their creative interests and foster them. Try to be a part of it by going to a music or cake decorating class with them. Sit down with them and draw or make a collage. Make creativity a regular part of your family.

4. Journal - Even if your passion isn't writing, journaling is a great way to brainstorm ideas and clear your brain. Sometimes getting your thoughts out of your head and on to paper can make room for fresh new ideas. Find more tips on journaling here.

5. Try something new - If you love crafting, give writing a try. If you're a writer, go to a painting party. Getting out of your comfort zone will only broaden your creativity, and you might even have some fun while you're at it.

How do you stay creative?