Connect with Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie


JulieValeriePressPhotoLet’s Connect!

Twitter: @Julie_Valerie
Facebook Author Page: JulieValerieAuthor
Facebook Personal Page: Julie.Valerie.165
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!

The Way He Loved Her by Courtney Giardina

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:

www.rainforest.inThe Way He Loved Her by Courtney Giardina

We drove up a never-ending mountain for over an hour before he finally put the car in park. I got out and looked around, completely stumped. It was our weekend getaway and only a herd of trees surrounded us.

“Look up,” he said to me. The stairs wound through the leaves for as far as I could see.

“Is that a house up there?” I asked.

“Do you know what the traditional gift is for your fifth wedding anniversary?” he asked. I shook my head. “It’s wood,” he smiled.

Well done darling. Well done. I think I’ll keep him.


cgiardinaCourtney lives by the motto why put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Even though she’s been spending countless hours preparing for the launch of her second novel, Holding on to Georgia, she still finds time to do other things she’s passionate about. She is also a regular blog contributor over at I AM THAT GIRL and a cheerleading coach. She’s sincerely appreciative of all of those who support her writing and is getting ready to hit the keyboard again to begin novel #3!

(photo source:


Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Trullo by Donna Valenti

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:

Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Trullo by Donna Valenti

My grandfather should have inherited the property in Benevento, Italy. He was the only son with children. He gave it to his brother Johnny because he was the only brother who stayed in Italy. Grandpa felt guilty.

Johnny’s nieces took everything, leaving us with a laughable amount of land. So we built a one-room trullo for our family of four. In America, we camped in a tent. In Italy, we would camp in a trullo. The pinnacle for the trullo came from the worships of beltic cults, or the daughters of the sun and stars. Who had the last laugh?


Donna Valenti Press PhotoDonna Valenti conceived of the idea of her Truth & Trysts trilogy while she was still in high school. She published the first of the three books, The Innocence of the Iris, in the spring of 2014.  She once vacationed in a trullo in Cisternino, Italy while studying abroad. Donna works as an English teacher and lives in Manhasset, New York with her husband and three children.

photo source: (top image) and (bottom image)

Judging a Book By Its Cover: Resources to Get You Started


“On Hump Day About Books”


In last week’s Hump Day Post I announced two things:

  1. my pre-planned two-month writing sabbatical
  2. a call for writing submissions for the “Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home” Project

In case you missed it, here’s a link to that post. Click HERE.

Today’s Topic: Book Covers 

Do you judge a book by its cover? I do.

I often buy books because I like the cover. I may not ever read them. I have a whole collection of books with mason jars on the cover – just because. Some I’ve read, some I haven’t. They bring me happiness. So shoot me.thesecretlife of beesthedryglass of august

(I’ve read both of these books and loved them!)

In this August 2012 Judging a Book By Its Cover article by Buddhist physician Alex Lickerman in his “Happiness in this World” column for Psychology Today, he explains how and why judging the external gives us indications for what to expect on the inside. He wisely quotes Proust and then points to the value of browsing inside the book (or person) to see past our visual biases to find truth.

So let’s refocus our discussion toward what elements should be included in good book design.

Let’s start with this article: How Much Attention Should You Pay to Book Design? A Q&A With Joel Friedlander by Jane Friedman

Then, let’s do some cover design research and feast our eyes on some great covers by hopping over to the listopian world of Goodreads and their listopia for “Cover Book Lists.”

“The 50 Coolest Book Covers” on is an interesting look at great cover design – but I viewed the books thinking none of them were especially great at targeting readers of women’s fiction. What do you think of their list?

Of course, “certain” folks in the industry can’t seem to discuss women’s fiction without pointing to something derogatory about women’s fiction. (Ugh. Why is that?) Here’s the latest scuttlebutt about women’s fiction – this time the scuttlebutt’s about book covers – courtesy of the Boston Globe (June 28, 2014) Cover girls: How lipstick, bathing suits, and naked backs discredit women’s fiction

But enough about all that.

Checkout designspiration – a website that collects and catalogs great images in design.

And you might enjoy The Book Cover Archive: an archive of book cover designs and designers for the purpose of appreciation and categorization.


Enjoyed this post?
I sure would love it if you shared it with others. Social media buttons below.

Leave a comment.
Do you have links to individual book cover designers you’d like to share? I have one I’d like to share:

Mark your calendars.
September 24: Hump Day Blog Hop – Always the last Wednesday of the month. Not sure why you should care? Read THIS.

Hope you enjoyed today’s Hump Day Books Post. Always on Wednesdays, always about books. We’re halfway through the workweek so the weekend’s just around the corner. Woo-Hoo!

Unbuilt by Diana Shafter Gliedman

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:

Unbuilt by Diana Shafter Gliedman

They rebuilt.

Men shoveled ashes; tore down blackened parts and charred pieces.  Saved what they could.

They started over.

They made it smaller this time, because they were smaller.  There were fewer of them now.

“We need to keep living,” said my mother, gazing at my sleeping sisters.

They didn’t have a room for me, but that was okay because I didn’t take up space.  I fit inside tiny cracks and under specks of dust.  I swam in their silky strands of hair.

They couldn’t rebuild me, so I learned to live without parts or pieces.

I started over.


Diana Shafter Gliedman Press PhotoDiana Shafter Gliedman lives, writes, works, parents and occasionally cleans her apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  She is the author of the play Callings (Abingdon Theater) and the screenplay The Mistake (finalist, Screenplay Festival screenplay contest.)  Her short stories include “Love in the Time of Cannibals,” published in the recent anthology “A Kind of Mad Courage.” In a prior life, she reviewed bars and clubs for Paper Magazine. These days, she can name all the tribes from Chima (all three seasons!) and frequently falls asleep in her contact lenses.

(photo source:

Remember by Heather Wardell

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:

Remember by Heather Wardell

Remember by Heather Wardell

“It’s abandoned!”

“Maybe, but–”

“No maybe. Hurry.”

Anxious and excited, she followed him in and fell into his arms.

“We’ll always remember today,” he whispered between kisses, undoing her bikini top for the first time then drawing her onto the blanket he’d brought.


She shrieked and covered herself at the harsh voice.

“Boy, how many times I gotta say stay outta my shed? Get lost, and take your latest girlie with you.”

Scuttling out, head down, she didn’t see the old man’s sympathy.

But though she dumped him the boy was right: she did always remember that day.

Heather Wardell Press PhotoHeather is a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of fifteen self-published novels including the free ebook “Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo” which has had over 380,000 downloads.

(photo source:

“Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home” Project

HUMPDAYLOWRESQ: What day is it?

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

A few weeks back I told you I had an announcement to make. Here it is: I’m taking a break from book blogging so I can focus on finishing my novel.

Yup! You heard me right.

I’m going underground for 60 days (September & October) to do nothing but write, write, write.

I spent a portion of my summer planning for this writing sabbatical – so you’ll find a fully scheduled line-up of guest posts for September and October. (You might not even notice I’m gone!)

And I will definitely be running my ‘last Wednesday of the month’ Hump Day Blog Hops on Wednesday, September 24th and October 29th. Wouldn’t miss that – no way, no how. Lovers of women’s fiction – come hop with me! Read this if you’re still undecided . . .

Wait a minute. What the heck?

Allow me to interrupt this blog post for an important question:

What’s a house doing on a rock?


And what the heck is that? Do people actually live in there?

sphere houseThe “Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home” Project
Beginning tomorrow, enjoy a teeny tiny “flash fiction” project I designed around the tiny house movement. Teeny tiny stories of less than 100-words – all set in a teeny tiny house. I’m calling it the “Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home” Project and have dedicated Monday and Friday blog posts in September to giving you a taste of some great 100-word stories from the project.

Say what? What’s the Tiny House Movement?
Here’s a taste of the tiny life.
Click HERE for images of tiny houses.
Click on the links below for more information.

Want to see a tiny house being built for Massachusetts horror author John Grover? Okay. Here you go!

YouTube Video: A Writers Retreat/Greenhouse by Tiny Yellow House

My Teeny Tiny Call for Teeny Tiny Submissions
Do you have a teeny tiny story you want to write about a teeny tiny house for inclusion in a teeny tiny ebook? Submit your 100-word story to with the words: “Home Sweet Teeny Tiny Home Project” in the subject line. Stories will be reviewed by an editorial panel in November and you will be notified by November 30th if your story was selected for publication. This is a non-paid submission.


  • strict 100-word limit for the complete story
  • story setting is a tiny home*
  • story must have a protagonist and something must happen
  • story should have a beginning, middle, and end
  • include a short 2-3 sentence author bio with one link to one online site (i.e. the author’s website) and a Twitter handle

* You don’t have to directly mention the tiny home – just write knowing there shouldn’t be grand ballrooms or expansive kitchens or parties with a hundred people in the living room.

** Due to my September/October writing sabbatical – it is unlikely you’ll receive a response of any kind from me until after I return on November 1st. (No offense. But when a girl’s gotta write, a girl’s gotta write!)


Okay, so. I’m off to start my 60-day writing sabbatical but
I’ll be back in a flash. In the meantime, enjoy the coming teeny tiny flash fiction pieces and enjoy this flashy July 9th blog post: Flash Fiction – Sources to Get You Started.

One last thing before I go . . . I’m pretending I’m taking my writing sabbatical in this tiny house. Pretty cool, eh? It looks like a place that allows you to take a detour from the path you were on to step into a place of complete focus.

Wish me luck!

Photo credits for the tiny houses shown in this blog post: Serbia Rock House (rock house); (sphere house); (tiny house off the docks).