Thursday, December 5, 2019

To us, Julie Valerie is a book giveaway

Photo by Kim Brundage
Introduction by Melissa Amster

I met Julie Valerie in person at Book Expo, five years ago. We actually shared a hotel room for the event. She was really nice and funny. So I was thrilled to find out that she was publishing a novel and I eagerly awaited its arrival and then added it to my TBR as soon as it arrived. Holly Banks Full of Angst is just as delightful as its author. You can check out my review here. Julie has one signed copy for a lucky reader!

After Book Buzz in 2014

Julie Valerie, an avid Scrabble player who once played QWERTY on a triple word, writes humorous women’s fiction and is developing a series set in the idyllic Village of Primm, starting with her debut novel.

She is the founder of the 85K Writing Challenge, providing writers an enriching environment in which to pen 85,000 words in 90 days, supported by a full calendar of writing support. Julie also serves on the board of directors for James River Writers, a multi-faceted non-profit organization based in Richmond, Virginia, that serves as central Virginia’s literary hub. A voracious reader, Julie has reviewed 200+ books in her genre and won the BookSparks 2015 Summer Reading Challenge Grand Prize.

Deepening her love of the written word, Julie earned an editing certificate from the University of Chicago Graham School and is constantly humbled by the nuances of language and the nitty-gritty of grammar while strengthening her proficiencies in the Chicago Manual of Style. With a master’s degree in education and a certification in wilderness first aid, Julie enjoys reading, the study of wine, section hiking the Appalachian Trail, and travel.

Writing amid the mayhem and merriment of her motley crew, Julie is married to her college sweetheart, has four children (two girls, two boys) and two English Labradors (one yellow, one chocolate). (Bio adapted from Julie's website.)

Visit Julie online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest

Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’t her best look.

Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…

To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

In one sentence, tell us what the road to publishing was like for you.
On my road to publishing, I met many wonderful people, and for that, I am truly grateful.

How are you similar to or different from Holly?
I am very similar to Holly. When faced with a new situation, my "fight or flight" response is keenly felt and I almost always choose flight until I can settle in and get comfortable with my new surroundings. Not only that, I'm constantly making mistakes and wishing I could do better.

If Holly Banks Full of Angst were to become a binge-worthy TV series, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Oh, that's a great question! Kristin Bell would be perfect for Holly. And I think Anna Kendrick looks a lot like the Hollys on the cover. When I wrote Mary-Margaret St. James, I imagined her as Reese Witherspoon, but Christina Applegate would also make a great Mary-Margaret.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?
My favorite Christmas movie is Love, Actually.

Tell us about a family holiday tradition.
Every year for Thanksgiving, a family holiday tradition we enjoy is decorating gingerbread houses. Whatever hasn't been eaten by Christmas gets broken and served with ice cream and enjoyed on Christmas Day.

What is your favorite winter holiday snack?
My favorite winter holiday snack is my sister's cranberry and orange zest shortbread cookies served with a cup of hot English Breakfast tea.

Thanks to Julie for chatting with us and for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends December 10th at midnight EST.

Giveaway ends December 10th at midnight EST.


Suburban prep said...

Trying to make the holidays perfect for others. Trying to do too much in a short amount of time.

traveler said...

Feeling overwhelmed with too many responsibilities.

Kelley B said...

Feeling like there is so much to do.

Rita Wray said...

Trying too hard to please everyone.

Michelle L said...

Trying to stay healthy in the cold & flu season.

Julie Valerie said...

Thank you, Melissa, for featuring our Q&A and sharing my debut novel, HOLLY BANKS FULL OF ANGST with your readers. It was so much fun sharing a hotel room with you all those years ago. You're a great friend and such a kind soul. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of authors and readers! xxoo


Caryl Kane said...

Family drama!

Nancy said...

Hosting the holiday dinner at our home and preparing almost all the food gives me the most angst during the Christmas season. Wrapping all the holiday presents fills me with angst also.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

MaryC said...

Black ice

holdenj said...

What gives me holiday angst is the constant feeling that I am running out of time.

Peggy Russo said...

The threat of bad weather causes me the most angst. I travel from Texas to Northern New Jersey to be with family and winter storms have caused havoc more than once.

Mary Preston said...

Has to be cabin fever.

diannekc said...

Winter driving.

John Smith said...

"What gives you the most angst during the winter holidays?" Being able to find my favorite eggnog and cookies, and don't even get me started on the wrong kind of lefse!

Nina said...

Traffic at the shopping malls!

bn100 said...


Donamae Kutska said...

Getting the right gift for people.

Nancy P said...

Traffic & crowds

Josie Brown said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE "Love, Actually, too! And, having read, "Holly Banks Full of Angst," I think Kristin Bell would be PERFECT