Thursday, January 19, 2012

Guest Blog Featuring Julie Miller


Giveaway alert!!

Congratulations to Valri, the winner of Julie Miller's giveaway. Julie will be contacting you directly. Thank you to all who participated!

This weekend I attended the annual Prairieland Romance Writers retreat. In fact, judging by the way my eyes aren't focusing on the computer screen this morning, I'm still recovering from it. Okay, so that could have something to do with the deadline I’m on, too.  Don't get me wrong, I was a very good girl--I just didn't get much sleep because I didn't want to miss a moment of the wonderful opportunity to hang out with such a talented, hard-working, knowledgeable and entertaining group of writers.

Our group was dubbed "The Small but Mighty" Prairieland Romance Writers by one of our members, 2-time RITA winner Kristin Gabriel (who now writes fabulous, funny cozy mysteries for Guidepost books under the name Kristin Eckhardt, btw).  Our chapter consists of only 11 members (give or take, from year to year), and the majority of us were in attendance at the hotel in the middle of Nebraska we took over this weekend.  So while we're small in number, we have a vast array of talents and expertise.  Personally, I've written over 45 books.  Sherry James rocks the sexy cowboy market.  We have an erotic romance author with numerous awards (Robin L. Rotham).  And we have the hottest thing on the Victorian historical market, Laura Landon (she’s our chapter president, btw, and I’m her ever faithful VP).  We have single title and series authors, romantic comedy and romantic suspense, inspirational writers, aspirings, newly published and multi-published amongst our ranks.  And we all know how to make the most of our annual mini-conference. The trick?  Networking.

Our retreat included a business meeting (which we quickly got out of the way to get to the good stuff!), some private writing time, dinner out, a bottle of wine, chocolate snacks, and several roundtable discussions on topics our members had suggested earlier.  We covered market trends and some changing business practices in the publishing business.  We also talked about social networking, and where and how we could get the best results for our time and energy.  (Thanks, Just Romantic Suspense blog!) But most of our discussions centered about goal-setting, achieving career goals, what makes us feel successful and increasing personal productivity.  There were also some informal discussions (okay, this is where the wine and chocolate became involved, but it was a lot of fun!) about book reviews—coping with the sucky ones, how to deal with the misinformed ones that frustrate us, and celebrating the fabulous ones.  We talked about how our personal lives impact our writing and how we can help each other cope with obstacles and responsibilities while moving toward that the success we crave.

Ultimately, I came away from this weekend inspired to come home and write (which is a good thing since I've got that deadline on my plate and a new proposal to write as soon as I’m finished.   And, of course, I spent some quality time with some really good friends.  Always a good thing.

So, what did you do this weekend?  Get in any good networking?  Learn something interesting?  Spend time with friends?  I invite you to share.  I'll give away a copy of one of my current release, ICE LAKE, a romantic suspense anthology I wrote with BJ Daniels and Delores Fossen, to one lucky poster.  Or, if the winner prefers, I’ll email a download of my latest romantic suspense with a paranormal twist ebook, ALWAYS FAITHFUL.

Giveaway ends 9pm EST Jan. 20th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, use the email under the CONTACT page to enter with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY. 

Julie Miller

***Upcoming Books from Julie Miller***
NANNY 911--Dec 2011
ICE LAKE--Jan 2012
ALWAYS FAITHFUL (ebook only)--Jan. 2012


  1. Hi Julie,

    I am happy you had a fun retreat. I had a errand filled weekend. Laundry, shopping and a trip to the library.

    I would do the Snoopy dance if I won Ice Lake.

    yenastone at aol dot com

  2. Hey, Tammy--glad you stopped by. The trip to the library sounds like fun. Laundry and shopping not so much. But it's a great feeling to get stuff done and checked off the to-do list, isn't it?

  3. Hey Julie,
    Sounds like an awesome weekend! I will have to try out Laura, I haven't read a historical in a while. :) I'm reading Ice Lake right now. I just started your story in it.
    This weekend I plotted on a story based in NOLA at Mardi Gras, read Lothaire, and started Ice Lake, which I'm enjoying. :)

  4. Hi Julie:
    Don't you just love a meeting where you come away engergized and ready to write? I purchased your book yesterday so don't put me in the drawing for that one. Very good btw. Good luck.

  5. Hi Julie-

    I actually finished reading Search and Seizure this weekend, and loved it. Also, jumped around doing Wii with the daughter, and fought with Windows 7.

  6. Wow, Virginia--sounds like you had a super busy weekend! And I'm so pleased to hear you're enjoying ICE LAKE, hope you enjoy it all the way to the end of my novella, as well. ;)

    Yes, I'd recommend Laura Landon. She's been a part of my writers group for years now, and she's a dear. To be honest, I don't read a lot of historicals, but I did read through and edit one of hers. Love the characters. She writes great heroes. In fact, there was one supporting character I totally fell in love with as I was reading--and she went and wrote a story for him, too! WHEN LOVE IS ENOUGH is the one I edited. The sequel, featuring the heroine's brother is BROKEN PROMISE.

  7. Thank you, Ruby! I'm so pleased to hear you're enjoying ICE LAKE.

    And yes! That's the main reason I still belong to a writers' group after nearly 20 years. I love that monthly fix of motivation I get from the friendships, wisdom and creative energy.

  8. Hey, Gayle--I love that you're reading all my older Precinct books. They have some of my favorite characters that I've created--I loved writing Dwight Powers's story--nothing like a tortured hero, in my book. And there was a lot of me in Maddie.

    I tried to talk my son out of selling his Wii so I could use it to exercise, but he'd paid for it himself, so it was his right. But I want one now--they sound like a lot of fun. Especially to share with your daughter.

  9. It's so fun to meet up with friends. It was freezing this past weekend, so I stayed in and watched some sports on TV.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  10. It's pretty chilly here, too, Jane. With lots of wind. So staying inside with chocolate and wine and chatting up friends was a great way to spend the weekend.

    What's your sport? Or do you like a variety?

  11. We had a very "exciting" week at our house, Julie! 36 hours without electricity, huge snow storm, crashing my car into a snow bank (it's fine), all kinds of adventures! I found I'm not a very good "pioneer"! I read two books though! Nothing else to do without electricity so I just read a lot with my gloves on and wearing lots of layers! Maybe I should have been in your "ICE LAKE" book! Valri Western

  12. I had a pretty boring weekend. We just did a lot of housework and cleaning out cabinets, closets and catching up with laundry. I did get to watch a couple of movies but other than that, pretty dull. I would love to read Ice Lake.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  13. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  14. Julie, thanks for the post. It was inspiring - especially since I am the president of a small-but-mighty group, too. :) Northern Arizona Romance Writers of America has 17 members, but we've been as low as 12 before. Our claim to fame is we have had 5 Golden Heart finalists in the last four years. Pretty amazing, I think. :)

    Your chapter sounds fabulous, and I love the idea of a writing retreat to fill the well. Will have to mention that to my chapter...

    1. Hey, Anne Marie--as a past president myself, I know there's a lot of responsibility to running a chapter--no matter what the size is. Thank you for serving.

      I think 18 was the largest we've ever been, counting long distance members who are with us online but not at meetings. We usually average about 12 members, though.

      Congrats on all those Golden Heart finalists! That IS amazing. I was one, too (over 15 years ago!). We're especially proud that we now have more members who are published than not. And our aspirings are real go-getters.

      Good luck to your group! I highly recommend a retreat if you can swing it. Maybe our two small but mighty groups should get together sometime. ;)

  15. Yikes, Valri! Sounds like you pioneered through just fine. More excitement than you wanted, though, I'm sure. Hope they were good books!

    And no, you don't want to be a part of ICE LAKE--sounds like the setting is right... but do you want to be trapped in a blizzard and power outage with 2 serial killers? Stay warm!

  16. Hey, Linda--I think cleaning up the house (especially going through drawers and cabinets) sounds great. I'm on a deadline right now, so my family and I are suffering through what I call "deadline house". It ain't pretty. ;) But I did finally clean up the kitchen yesterday. And this morning, I'm tackling laundry. It's good for me to get up and move once every hour or so, anyway, for circulation/legs/back/fingers/wrists to get a break from the computer.

    But there's a lot more housework waiting for me once this book is done!


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