Connect with Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie


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Twitter: @Julie_Valerie
Facebook Author Page: JulieValerieAuthor
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Goodreads: Julie Valerie

Book Review Status: I’m currently overbooked so commitments for book reviews have to be suspended until further notice. Please refer to “Seeking Coverage on this Book Blog?” for other opportunities for promotional coverage on this book blog. Thanks!

Writing My Way Out of a Cardboard Box


Wait a minute. What the heck?

I designated September and October as months to reduce my online activity so I could unplug and really focus on that final push to complete my novel.

In August, I announced a reduced blogging schedule, told online friends I’d being “saying no” to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for a while – and I have to say, the unplugging has been therapeutic.

There’s only one problem.

I’m six weeks into my eight week “break” – the time I declared I was setting everything aside to really hunker down and somehow . . . seven days into my sabbatical, I managed to buy a new home. Now I’m about to embark on packing my current home (and the six people + one dog in it) in preparation for a move at the beginning of November.

Whatever happened to telling the world I’m too busy writing to do anything else?


That “Gone Fishing” sign I planned to hang on my writing studio never really got hung. I’ve gotten A LOT accomplished with the manuscript . . . but I do scratch my head at night wondering how in the world I managed to completely alter my life during a time when I was SUPPOSED to be slowing down and taking things OFF my plate.


Have you ever done that?





Q: What day is it?

A: It’s Wednesday. Hump Day. Halfway to the weekend. Woo-Hoo!

(Looking forward to the Hump Day Blog Hop scheduled on the last day of every month. Join me!)

Elephantine Publishing Wants Women’s Fiction



Elephantine Publishing Wants Women’s Fiction
by Amanda Aksel

Speaking as a reader, a writer, and a publisher, I love women’s fiction! Like many of you, I’ve been reading women’s fiction since I was a teen. I was particularly a fan of chick lit. Remember those Red Dress Ink titles? They were so great; young girl in the big city trying to make it, and find love all at the same time. Those were the days. And while those titles still exist, there’s a wide array of women’s fiction available. For you women’s fiction authors out there, you know New York doesn’t always know a good story when they see one. We at Elephantine Publishing recognize the void in the traditional market and want you to know that we’re looking for unforgettable stories.

To give you an idea, I’d like to share my top five women’s fiction novels since 2013.

1. A Moral Dilemma by Zara Kinsley – This British chick lit is a fun read. I love the cover because it’s such a throw back to the good ‘ole chick lit days. What I appreciate most in this story is the gray areas. If you know me as an author (and publisher), then you know I love gray areas, because it allows the reader to compassionately see both sides of the story.

2. Becoming Mrs. Walsh by Jessica Gordon – For me, this one comes down to the writing. The author wastes no time pulling the reader in. The dialogue is strong and well paced. I find poor dialogue and over telling in some indie novels, but this indie novel was well done! This story also has (drum roll please)  . . . gray areas!

3. A Risk Worth Taking by Heather Hildenbrand – I wasn’t sure if I should put this on the list as Heather is also an Elephantine Publisher, but this title existed before the publishing co. and it made me cry, which is rare. This story is told both from the heroine’s perspective and the hero’s. So it was interesting to get the guy’s POV. It’s got some great steamy scenes, but what I love most is genuine emotion of the story that will inspire tears.

4. Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick – I’m a fan of Beth Kendrick and her latest book Cure for The Common Breakup doesn’t disappoint. Beth has a knack for voice. But my favorite thing about this read, and many of her other works, are her fun, quirky, and witty characters. A good beach read.

5. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella – Okay this is Kinsella, need I say more? As usual, Kinsella’s story feels fresh with excitement and intrigue and she makes me laugh, which can also be rare for me. She does a fantastic job of creating these “what’s the worst thing that can happen” moments, which makes for great drama.

So there you have it!

Are any of these books on your list of favorites from the past year? If not, leave a comment below and let me know what women’s fiction books you enjoy.

If you want to learn more about Elephantine Publishing, visit us at

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And for all you tree huggers out there, and I know there’s a lot of you, Elephantine Publishing is now accepting EcoLit, which is an emerging genre with environmental themes.

Rocky View by Nicky Wells

Love flash fiction? Micro fiction? How about teeny tiny fiction?
The following teeny tiny story (100-words or less) about a teeny tiny house is part of the “Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home” Project.

Learn more at:


Rocky View by Nicky Wells

“Where are we going?”

Fear grated in my voice. When Joel asked me back for coffee after the gig, I had envisaged a Chelsea mansion. He was rich and famous, after all. Three hours of driving later, I was scared.

“Home. That’s where my coffee maker is.” Joel flashed me a wicked grin as he steered the car down a mud track that seemed to be dipping into the sea. “And here we are. Rocky view.”

He drew up in front of a shack. I stared, and he laughed.

“It’s tiny, but it’s mine, and I love it.”


Hi! I’m Nicky Wells, your ultimate rock chick author. My books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill!

(photo source:

Join the Hump Day Blog Hop! #FictionWriters

Q: What day is it?

A: It’s Wednesday. Hump Day. We’re halfway to the weekend.


But it’s not just ANY Hump Day. It’s the last Hump Day of the month and you know what that means – time for the monthly Hump Day Blog Hop!

Let’s hop. Be social. Network. Link-up.

Why hop? Read this comprehensive list of benefits.


“On Hump Day About Books”

WEDNESDAY (Sept 24, 2014) to WEDNESDAY (Oct 1, 2014)

Easy to join.

1. Link-up. Click on the blue “Add your link” button on bottom left side of this post to add your name and link. There isn’t a “theme” assigned to this hop, so feel free to use an existing post of your choice, but choose a post blog hoppers will enjoy. NOTE: No spamming or advertising. Please do not link to your book on Amazon.

2. Link back to the blog hop list. Add this sentence to your blog post so hoppers can find their way back to the blog hop list of links and keep hopping:

Like to party? Hop along the Hump Day Blog Hop on Julie Valerie’s Book Blog. Click here to return to the Hump Day Blog Hop.

NOTE: If the embedded link in the above sentence does not transfer when you copy and paste it, the URL to use with this sentence is:

3. Be social. If you add a link, make time to visit others and comment on their posts. (It’s good etiquette.) Tweet and retweet others using the Wednesday hashtag: #HumpDayBooks

So. Enough of all that. Let’s network. LET’S HOP! 

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The Dream Shed by Francine LaSala

Love flash fiction? Micro fiction? How about teeny tiny fiction?
The following teeny tiny story (100-words or less) about a teeny tiny house is part of the “Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home” Project.

Learn more at:


The Dream Shed by Francine LaSala

Mina peered out into the yard at the small shed. Their old apartment hadn’t been much larger than that, had it? Surely she and Jack and Emma could make do in a tiny house like that. Less to keep clean, that was for sure. Less stuff. In a space like that, it would just be cuddles. Togetherness. Jack wouldn’t need to travel for work anymore. And with space at such a premium, there wouldn’t be room for a phone.

Then, as if on cue, the endless ringing began again, jangling her back to the stark reality of their unaffordable existence.

FrancineLaSalaPressFrancine LaSala is author of the novels The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything and Rita Hayworth’s Shoes, as well as an accomplished copywriter, editor, and ghostwriter. She lives with her husband and two daughters in a teeny-tiny condo with a teeny-tiny lawn and teeny-tiny patio, where she drinks wine and writes.

photo source:

Published Author’s First Year @GlynisAstie

Ever wonder what the first year as a published author feels like? In this guest blog post, author Glynis Astie tells us.

Welcome, Glynis!

Glynis Astie Author Photo

My First Year as a Published Author
by Glynis Astie

On August 27 2013, I self-published my first novel, French Twist. Cue the applause! Thrilled with my accomplishment, I gave myself a pat on the back and did what I thought an author was supposed to do – started writing the sequel. Thankfully, I at least had the sense to set up a webpage and a Facebook Author page, but both were extremely bare bones. I gave very little thought to promotion of my book since I had the naïve idea that word of mouth was enough to get my book sold. (My cluelessness makes me CRINGE now.) Sure, people who knew and liked ME purchased it – and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart– but no one else was hearing about my literary genius.

FRENCH TOAST COVEROnce I finished French Toast, and actually paid attention to my nonexistent sales, I finally got with the program in terms of publicity and social media. I spent the time to research book marketing techniques, beefed up my web page with much more content – including the requisite blog posts – gave my Facebook Author page a makeover and finally joined Twitter. I was absolutely terrified of Twitter! I knew nothing about it. There was a lingo to master and you had to summarize your thoughts in 140 characters or less. I’m far too long winded for that! But, after seven months of using it, I’ve come to see what an invaluable tool it is.

It was through Twitter that I found a number of Facebook writing communities where I met a vast network of authors, who are full of brilliant advice and endless support. They make me laugh when I desperately need to, read and comment on my writing, give me ideas to make my life easier and perhaps most importantly, they remind me not to give up. “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” #Truth – as my favorite marketing maven would say. Did I mention that I also found someone to tutor me in the optimization of Twitter and Facebook usage? The knowledge both available and willingly shared in cyber communities is truly astounding.

FRENCH TWIST COVERThe biggest lesson I’ve learned in the past year is this: Beware of the power of social media! You will easily lose HOURS keeping up with all of the various channels, doggedly chasing the holy grail of writing/marketing/promoting wisdom. But if you are able to temper yourself, you will find a great deal of useful information without having your family disown you! Because if you alienate your family, who’s going to make you those amazing grilled cheese sandwiches or put the kids to bed when you are on a crazy writing binge? It takes a village, y’all.

So, here I am, just a year after the publication of my first book. What a thrilling, informative and daunting journey I‘ve had! I wouldn’t trade a moment of it – not even the scary ones. Every day has brought a new lesson and has gotten me a bit closer to figuring out how to handle all the roles involved with being a self-published author. I still have a lot of work ahead of me – finish my third book, blog more, build followers on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/LinkedIn (the list goes on), get a good handle on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SELL books. Thinking about it all at once makes me incredibly nervous, but I will take it all on, one day at a time. Any other children of the 70s present with the sudden urge to sing? Da da da da

About Glynis Astie

Glynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien, in six short months. The end result became her first novel, French Twist.

As this novel is only the beginning the story, Glynis has just released the sequel, French Toast and has begun writing the final chapter in the trilogy, French Fry. When she is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.

FRENCH TOAST COVERConnect with Glynis Astie

Glynis Astie’s Website
Glynis Astie’s Facebook Author Page
Twitter @GlynisAstie
Glynis Astie on Goodreads





Where to Find Books by Glynis Astie

Amazon Link for French Toast
Google Play Link for French Toast
iBooks Link for French Toast

French Twist
Amazon Link for French Twist
Google Play Link for French Twist
iBooks Link for French Twist 

Ivó, Románia by Karen E. Martin

Love flash fiction? Micro fiction? How about teeny tiny fiction?
The following teeny tiny story (100-words or less) about a teeny tiny house is part of the “Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home” Project.

Learn more at:


Ivó, Románia; June 8
by Karen E. Martin

Ivó, Románia. The quiet laughter of young lovers drifted from inside, where Cristina scrubbed the remains of our late-morning rakottkrumpli from the cast iron skillet. Ovidiu clanged open the screen door, tossing scraps into the bucket for the pig that would be their Christmas dinner half a year from now.

And I lay on the grass, listening to the burbling stream, watching the clouds pass overhead. I pulled a Ciuc from the water, shaking icy drops from my hand, then popped the top and drank deeply.

Tomorrow, the morning train to Bucharest. Knowing I would never see these friends again.

KarenMartinPhotoIMG_2261_voteKaren E. Martin, M.Ed. is a freelance writer, editor, and intermittent globetrotter. Ms. Martin once lived in Romania, where she was fortunate enough to spend a few glorious weekends in a tiny cabin in Ivó, in the company of beautiful friends.

Typical tiny cabins in Romania: HERE.

Photo source: Northern Romania. Photo by Laurent Comps, submitted by Mahila Gauthier-Dupont. At the following link: