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Happy 2nd Anniversary to The Romance Reviews!


Happy 2nd Anniversary Romance Reviews!

Login and join us for a PARTY!

Come visit with your favorite authors and publishers for a chance to win hundreds of prizes!

The party is going on now through the month of March:

I’ll be there with Soul Mate Publishing, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

     Happy Valentine’s Day!  I remember my first Valentine’s Day married to my sweetheart. He bought me flowers and “The Notebook.” We picked up a delightful dinner, and then I sobbed the rest of the night after we watched the movie. Sooo much has changed since our first Valentine’s Day together!



   On this special day when billions of dollars will be spent on cards, chocolates and flowers, here’s what I’ll remember about MY Valentine’s celebration this year:


1.     My husband and I enjoyed a nice and quiet, child-free dinner with some wonderful friends on Fat Tuesday. Our server gave us beads, but we certainly didn’t have to earn them! We celebrate early every year because on the actual day, my sweetheart, who is the general manager of a restaurant, won’t see anything outside of work until they close for the night, and when he gets home, he drops. Seriously. Therefore, my day and evening will be spent with my other sweethearts, my beautiful children!


2. We also celebrated yesterday as a family since my hubby was home.  I made my family chocolate-covered strawberries, brownies, and a delightful chicken dinner. I’m glad he got to enjoy the treats because I guarantee that he would’ve missed out otherwise! 


3. Yesterday morning, I offered to make the Rice Crispy treats for our son’s Valentine’s Day party. I bought the ingredients that morning, but got caught up in our own holiday treats and next thing I know, it was time to go teach my night class. When I got home at 10, my husband, who had done homework, Boy Scouts and chocolate candy deliveries to our mothers, was knocked out. But he stirred when I got home, I told him that I needed to make the treats, but then I collapsed right beside him. Next thing I know at midnight when he happened to wake up, he realized I didn’t make the treats, and like a little magical Valentine’s elf, he got right to work! I awoke this morning to heart-shaped treats with red sprinkles, and fell in love with him all over again (as I do quite often!).


I am very blessed! I have THE BEST Valentines I could ever ask for! 

What are you Valentine memories this year?


The Baby Symphony: The Moments that Change Us

     People have moments that impact their lives every single day. Whether it’s a feeling of happiness, of feeling blessed, of paying that last car payment, getting that A on your final, getting that “YES!” from a publisher or agent. But these moments aren’t always so beautiful. We’ve witnessed the passing of those we love, maybe we’ve held someone’s hand as their diagnosis was given to them, maybe we’ve helped a friend through divorce. These moments, the good and the bad, change us, they dwell in us. They’re inescapable, and they’re real.


     I’ve had plenty of these moments myself, of course, moments that have driven me into new direction in life, some wonderful, some deeply sad. With permission, I’d like to share with you today, a glimpse of a journey of a dear friend of mine. I won’t name her, but I have her blessing. We’ll all her “Angel,” because that’s what I feel she is. I had the sad experience of being with her one day on a moment of impact.


     My friend, Angel, has struggled with becoming pregnant. And once she’s pregnant, she struggles against her body, to keep that baby inside of her. Her body dispels the very thing it wants, it needs, the very thing her heart sings out for. This has happened each and every time. And while for most of the time, I see her after and hold her hand and support her through it, there was a time when I was with her when her baby left us.


     Being there for her moment of heartache will stay with me always. Though she’s not yet a mother with children she can physically present to the world, she is a mother. I have watched her grieve over her lost children. I watched her grieve that day as well. And sadly, she is not alone. There are so many beautiful women out there who have experienced this loss, this difficulty.


     My latest book, “The Baby Symphony,” is a look into the life of Emilia Hyatt, a woman begging to become a mother, but finds a tragedy each time. But slowly, ever so slowly, with her husband by her side, she finds healing, hope, and even a renewed love for him and the many other blessings her life.


     While Emilia is not real, her character carries my heart for every woman out there who faces this. Some I know, and many I don’t know, but because of my sweet friend, my heart knows you, and I honor you all with this book. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are loved. Thank you to all the kind women who have shared their stories with me. Emilia is a piece of each of you.




“Some say that hope is a seed that can only flourish if watered with faith.”

 – Author Unknown


     The darkness of our bedroom swallows us. There is no sun today. Appropriately hidden away, withholding its brightness, its joy, we’re left to the merciless clouds that hide it away. The rain taps at our window as if asking permission to come in. Perhaps it wants to wash away our sorrow, but I don’t think so.

     Shoes left unworn litter the entrance to our closet and our blankets are disheveled from days of lingering in this bed. I’m no longer subdued by loss of blood and medication, and I’m fully aware of the tragic circumstance that brings Devin and me back to this place, to this darkness, where we shut out the world and grieve. My eyes sting from the endless tears and the inability to close. The red veins in the whites are swollen grooves, like ridges of mountains. I sigh. This is Gymnopedie. Specifically, Gymnopedie No. 1. The fluidity of the harp, the beautiful moan and whine of the strings in their upper register, the answering winds. It’s all I can think of playing in my head in harmony with the crackle of the rain on our patio pavement and putter tapping at our window. The weeping strings cry with me and for me when I can’t find a tear left. And then like the rain outside, the tears renew with no present end. I feel Devin’s foot rub against my calf. A sign of life. He reaches out to spoon me closer to him. When his hand finds my wrist, he stops abruptly. I feel him peel away from me and hear him shuffling in the nightstand drawer. In seconds, I feel a steady hand carefully inserting cool metal. With a flick, my hospital bracelet falls to the floor. He puts his blade back in his nightstand drawer and cradles me to him.

     I was carrying twins but only for a brief time. Once the first one left, the other, I’m sure, took it as a sign that my womb was no good.  Not for one baby, much less two. They must’ve been our kids. Smart like Devin. In and out of sleep, new nightmares visit me. I am cradling, nursing, dressing, bathing, loving two whole babies. The pleasure is painful. So painful, that even in sleep, I expect to wake and find a sword stuck firmly through my heart.

     After Devin and I escaped the prison of the darkened confines of grief in our bedroom, I decided to begin sleeping on the tan sectional in our den. Tonight marks the third night. I tell Devin it’s because it’s easier to get in and out of with the pain and all.  The time displayed as glowing green numbers on the cable box toy with me. I’m wide awake, and the numbers have hardly changed for the last hour that I’ve watched. I sit up for a moment, debating, fighting the pull of my sanctuary in our bedroom. Devin.

     My confounded husband, leaving me to grieve, wonders what he did wrong. He questions me with those blue eyes. They beg me for answers. Silent tears blame me, I’m sure. He did nothing wrong. He’s done nothing but right since the moment he saved my life. It feels like so long ago. I devour the memory, hoping a ray of happiness can block out the gloom that seems permanently permeating on me.

     It’s the fifth-day anniversary, down to the hour, that I lost our children. The white shutters, blue in the moonlight are open and I can see the stars. I feel like they are visiting me, my precious ones that have listened to my wishes for so long. I’d pluck them out of the sky, one at a time if I could. It would give me some happy activity here again in this witching hour that haunts me. I’d wish for a baby. Again. And not a dead one, either.  I don’t even need two, just one will do.

      I hear soft unsure footsteps. They stop at the mouth of the den. One of our dining chairs creaks. I debate playing possum, sleeping through his visit. But I can’t. Even with my eyes closed I can see his sorrowful face, just like on that poisonous night. Before I can stay myself, the rebellious word escapes.  “Devin.” I’m surprised by my own voice. It’s a stranger, disobedient. I think it’s my heart calling out to him, the one thing that is truly and rightfully his. He fought for it, after all, and he won, winning over the trust and love of a then wounded and hesitant young girl a decade ago.

     He is quickly standing over me, looming, lost. He eagerly accepts the hands I reach out to him, bringing him to sit by me. Our fingers intertwine, just like they used to. It was their dance. The silence is deafening, awkward, but there isn’t much to say.





Consequences and Returns (and a story for you!)

     So, along with a hectic schedule that includes caring for my family and teaching developmental English at our local college, I got a wild idea that perhaps I should go back to school and further my education. I’ve been putting it off for, well, several years actually. And after years of research and reflection, I went for it and started a really amazing MFA program in Creative Writing.

     Because I’m a writer, I really wanted to expand on that, and this MFA program presents an AWESOME opportunity to hone my craft! I have the most incredible critique group that includes talented students who are all writers and working professionals, as well as a professor who will tell you like it is. The best part? They are bought and paid for with my tuition! Ha!

     I still can’t say if it was the right decision to do it this minute, and the pressure of balancing family, life and work with school now toppled in, has been very overwhelming. I have cried several times already this semester and have even considered deferring til’ my twins are in school like the rest of my children. Thankfully, though, I’ve got a great husband who keeps me calm… well… after the breakdowns that is. LOL. Sometimes you just need that breakdown to get it all out!

     And after the breakdown comes, there’s one sure way to make myself happy. Is it chocolate? Shopping? Nope. It’s writing. It always has been. That love affair is pleasurable beyond any words I could put on a page. And more exciting… now writing is more than a hobby, with school, it’s a MUST. I’m getting wonderful story ideas and writing pieces that could essentially turn into bigger pieces, as well as critical information from my peers about what works, what doesn’t, and I’ve got a professor who teaches us the craft with the greatest of passion. Becoming a student again has taught me not only how much better to work with my own students, but it’s helped me FORCE myself to get on a schedule. And I’m getting there with that… I mean I do carve out that school work time, and it’s usually successful… until I accidentally open a new word document and start dabbling with a new project. I’ve actually finished writing and editing two books, both novellas, in the last month! It feels wonderful to be consumed with writing at so many different levels, professionally, personally, and now in my education. I’d like to share with you one of my assignments. Tell me what you think! Did I get it right?


Write a story where a character thinks he or she wants one thing and is determined to get it, but what they really want is something else, so their actions take them in a direction they didn’t expect.


    “I’ll see you later.” Darren presses his lips firmly into mine, grabbing me by the waist and locking me into place before him. Our kiss is long, our breathing fast. My husband’s  photo witnesses our discretion.

     Darren and I exit through the back of my office building. It’s already late out. One last peck and embrace, and it feels like we have to peel away from each other. And that’s how it started, a string of affairs that began and blossomed into something much stronger than a few simple flings

     Six months later, I’ve hardly touched my husband, Tim, and his attempts to reconcile us are futile.

     “My sweet Juliette, you are my everything.”

     “My love, I thought of you all day today.”

     These notes were usually attached to some kind of token, a new purse, a flower bouquet, a pretty lipstick.

     The breakfasts in bed are very inconvenient, usually occurring when I have an early work meeting, or in most cases, an early morning rendezvous. I even yelled at him last week when he dropped in on me at work with a surprise lunch from my favorite restaurant. His visit was a close call. He missed his best friend, Darren by a literal 15 seconds.


     The darkness of the bedroom swallows us. There is no sun today. Appropriately hidden away, withholding its brightness, its joy, I’m left to the merciless rain clouds, and I deserve them. The rain taps at the window as if asking permission to come in. Perhaps it wants to wash away our sins, but I don’t think so.

     My high heels, his Nikes are left unworn, littering the side of the bed along with the clothes we shed in our haste.

     “Look at you!” Darren smiles in appreciation and slaps my abs.

     “What?” I shy away, my eyes looking down and to the side.

     “You’re just so… amazing. So fit. I wish Julie was this fit.”

     I bite the inside of my cheek. While I hate for him to mention Julie, I feel offended for her. “Julie has had three of your kids, you know?” I snap back. But why defend her? I’m no better, sleeping with her husband.

     “Yeah, well, she didn’t have to let herself go. I’m sure you wouldn’t let yourself go. I mean, why would you let all this go just because you’ll be fat for nine months?”

     And there it goes again. The mouth that is a double-edged sword. While it can bring immense pleasure, it also ruins him, almost every time he opens it, I’ve learned.

     I’m quiet.

     “What? You’re mad now?”

     He tries to tickle me, but I push his hands away.

     In frustration he lays back down onto the pillows, the disheveled blankets settling under his bare body.

     “I’m a good husband, you know.  He folds his arms. “And a good boyfriend. Or… whatever you call this.”

     The shift in our once passionate and new relationship is beginning to show. These tiffs are becoming more frequent. It must be frustration. An affair, especially one with emotion, is difficult to weather.

     “I never said you weren’t a good husband.” I only thought it.

     “I just sent them to Disneyland. They are having a blast on my dollar. I cleared the house for two days and bought you a plane ticket to show your husband so he’d think you were out of town for work. What more do you want?”

     “I want you, I guess.”

     “Well, you have me.”

     My silence is enough of an answer as to how I feel about that.

     At about noon, the fairytale is over. I pack up my small suitcase and pull out of Darren’s three-car garage in the airport rental car. I know this whole set-up is a very rare event, but is it really worth all the trouble?

     Before I left, he kissed me passionately and reminded me that soon, he’d leave Julie and I’d leave Tim. I feel guilty as I pass the large portrait of his children framed over the fireplace. But at least he’s already got children. I’ll never have to worry about that.


     When I pull up to the house, my husband is waiting at the door with a dozen roses.

     “How was your trip?” His smile is wide.

     “It was okay.” I take the bouquet and feel so unworthy of him.

     He pulls me into his tight embrace and inhales. My roses are crushed against my chest, and I wish those thorns would stab me in the heart.

     When we enter our home, I only briefly glimpse at our fireplace. There is no portrait of children there.

     Tim guides me into the kitchen. It’s filled with the smell of spices and peppers..

     “Walah!” Tim is proud. Teriyaki chicken and rice adorns our table along with a chocolate cake.


     I feel dirty as I make love to him that night and overcompensate in trying to please him. He is so grateful.

     As we lay in the dark of our den, he pulls me into him. I reach up and kiss his chin.

     “You’re amazing,” he says.

     “No. I’m not,” again I protest.

     I’m horrible. I should be pulling away, not making him want me more.

     “I missed you so much. Those two days apart really made me think of how I don’t show you enough, just how much I love you.”

     “Yes you do. Of course you do. I know every day that you love me.”

     I have to stop my hands from slapping my mouth closed. With that admission, I feel something in me turn.

     The next morning, Tim’s high school sweetheart, Victoria, comes into the office. We ran into her once at a community event. He introduced her as a friend, only telling me later how serious they were. If you can really even be serious at 17, that is. She needs legal representation for her divorce. I pretend I still don’t know she and Tim were an item so long ago, but I have a brilliant idea. I open my heart to this woman and listen to her pour out hers, and I make her feel like I am the kindest, most giving woman in the world. Not only do I agree to handle her divorce for almost pennies, I convince her that Tim would be so happy to see her and she should come over for dinner.  She doesn’t hesitate, as she’s shared all of her pain with me and thinks we’re now bonded. I grin as she leaves, certain that if I can reconnect these two, surely a relationship will come of it, and my troubles with Tim will be over. I’ll willingly give him to her.


     I can see Tim’s face turn seven shades of red when I tell him she’s coming. I play the pity card.

     “Tim, I couldn’t help it. She was so needy, so sad. I just threw the invitation out there.”

     The doorbell rings and ushers in two hours of eating, drinks and conversation.

     I pause only for a brief second when she lays a hand on Tim’s shoulder. Their laughter dances around the dining room. She’s behaving completely out of bounds. I can see she’s tipsy, but unfortunately, so am I. Tim observes us both and offers to drive her home. When my anger surges, I remind myself that this is what I want, what I need to happen. If Tim and I are over, I know Darren will feel the pressure to leave Julie.

     Tim takes longer than I think he should have, and he explains to me that he had to walk Victoria up to her apartment. He appears nervous, shaken. He can’t meet my eyes. I wonder if she made a pass at him, if he accepted, but it’s not my place to ask. He’s acting the same way I do after my meetings with Darren, but I’m too tired to press the matter and fall asleep until it’s time to get ready for work.


     During my lunch hour I get a text from Tim that we’re meeting Darren and Julie for dinner. I feel like Darren and I are mocking Julie and Tim when we have these double dates, especially when Darren is rubbing me under the table at the restaurant.


     At six on the dot, Tim is pulling up to my building and we’re headed over to Soirée. When we walk in, Tim takes my hand and I’m startled. I hate to show affection in front of Darren. As we take our seats my eyes meet Darren’s, and I smile. I settle in beside him in our four-person table, and feel my cheeks burn when his leg presses into mine.

     I laugh at Tim in my head. He’s so pathetic. But my boisterous thoughts are stopped in their tracks, and my mouth hangs open when our waitress greets us and it’s none other than the now Miss Victoria. I feel betrayed. After our heart to heart in my office, she failed to tell me that she works here. I’d of avoided it like the plague. \

     I look at Tim who’s lit up like a Christmas tree, and Victoria is the same. She takes our drink orders, stuttering throughout, dropping menus, avoiding Tim’s gaze.

     “What’s wrong with that one?” Julie chuckles.

     I throw a glare at Tim who shrugs his shoulders.

     “Excuse me,” Tim gets up and heads for the restroom.

     I peer my head trying to see if that’s where he really goes, and if Victoria is anywhere near him. Coincidentally, Julie excuses herself too, and as soon as her back is turned, Darren is groping me under the table.

     “I’ve missed you.”

    I’m completely unfocused, watching for Tim and Victoria that I barely hear Darren.

    “Hellooo?” He’s annoyed.

     I settle into my seat as Tim returns, my eyes glued on him, gaging his behavior.

     Darren gives my leg one last squeeze before Julie returns and takes her place at the table again.

     Suddenly, Victoria returns with our drinks, still flustered, and Tim is again bright red.

     When she takes our orders and walks away, I can’t take it any longer.

     “Is there something you need to say?”

     My eyes cannot be lifted from the tablecloth.

     “Perhaps something you want to admit to your wife?”

     I can feel the gaze of everyone burning into my head, but it’s Darren’s voice that jolts me to attention.

     “Juliette, what are you doing?”

     Then comes Julie’s frantic voice. “What’s she talking about, Darren?”

     “Julie, it’s not what you think. I swear.”

     I force myself to look up and see Julie’s face contorted to that of a demon’s.

     I can’t find my voice. I’m trying to clarify that it was a question intended for Tim, but I can’t make myself speak.

     Julie’s chair scrapes and she darts away and Darren follows close behind her pleading with her. He wants her. But I realize that I don’t care.

     “What was that about?” Tim has suddenly forgotten his own hot seat.

     “That question was intended for you.

     “Me?” He sounds confused.

     “Yeah, you. The man who can’t even look at me when Victoria comes to the table.” I’m trying my very best to adjust to these emotions that are making me believe that I care about Tim, that I’m happy Darren’s wife knows he’s scum, and if she stays with him he’ll be on a tight leash, one too tight for meet ups with me.

     “Victoria came onto me that night. I put her in her place, and came straight home. She wasn’t herself, I understand that, but either way, it’s embarrassing to see her, and yes, I feel very guilty. I’ve wrestled all this time with how to tell you. I know you’re fond of her.”

     Once again, Tim is proving to me how unworthy of him I am.

     “Well, why avoid her? You can be with her, you know. She can probably give you babies, too.” I am spitting fire.

     “I don’t want babies if I can’t have them with you.”

     “You can’t have them with me because I can’t have them.”

     “Then I’m content enough with only you.” He reaches for my hand but I pull it away as though I’ve touched a hot pan.

     “I’m not good enough for you.” I can feel tears blooming. It’s finally been said. I’ve carried it within me for far too long, and I finally feel free.

     Tim moves his chair closer to mine and holds me to him.

     “You are perfect,” he whispers and kisses the top of my head.

     I’m not perfect, but Tim is. I finally allow myself to accept how much I love this man. I’m tired of fighting that. I feel the world leave my shoulders as I accept this. I love him. I really and truly love him.

    He throws a wad of cash onto the table and we head for the exit. We walk past Victoria who stops and stares while I smirk a little. I guess I can’t represent her anymore. We exit into the night and see Julie and Darren hugging at their BMW. It doesn’t look like he named me by the way she waves goodbye. But Darren’s eyes are quick to see my and Tim’s hands locked. I’m sure I’ll hear from him tomorrow. But for now, for right now, I’m in love, and it’s with my husband. Our fingers intertwine in a special dance and we head for the car.



     When you have a passion for something, it never feels like work. In fact, you wish you could invent hours in the day that you could dedicate just to that passion.

     That’s what it’s like for writers. We pain ourselves over every sentence, pick our brains for the best descriptive words we can finally feel satisfied in using, we edit with a magnifying glass, revise, reject, re-do, submit, cross fingers, cry, try again…

      We have conversations in our head between our characters, envision what our next chapter will look like, and pine for our laptops. If we get a light-bulb of an idea, we write on the first kind of paper we can find whether it’s an envelope or a gas receipt…

      We live in an alternate world, we research, ask questions, name characters after the people we hold dear, we read books by other authors to learn from them, if we can afford it, we treat ourselves to conferences (!!)…

     When we’re on a writing role, we order out or feed our kids peanut butter and jelly… we forget to use the restroom, or drink some water… We think of plots and twists and turns and happily ever-afters…

     We cheer on our writer friends and network with them from afar, creating friendships and bonds, and support systems… And let’s not even get into marketing strategies when our little babies are ready for publication.

     It’s a circus, and we’re the star. Writing is beautiful. It’s an addiction, but a good one. My family took a vacation this past week. Three hours out of San Antonio, and only 45 minutes into my turn driving, I got pulled over for speeding.

     “Do you have an emergency, maam?”

     “No, sir. I just wasn’t monitoring my speed.”

     The truth was that I was in an all-out daydream of my latest work-in-progress. It all came together on the drive to San Antonio, and it sat on my mind the entire trip. It gave me butterflies everytime I thought of myself typing away at the laptop.

     When you have a passion for something, it never feels like work… in fact, not even the excitement of vacation could stand up to my need to write.

 The real work comes in avoiding the indulgence when you just can’t get to it. My name is Julia Bade, and I’m a writing addict. How about you?

Stepmom Magazine Blog Giveaway: Welcome Stepmoms!

Hello Sweet Stepmom Sisterhood!

I wanted to take this time to introduce myself to you and tell you a little bit about my new e-book, The Feria.

My name is Julia Bade, and I am a stepmom in Texas who adores my blended family! I’m a lover of God, family, reading, writing and Dr. Pepper! I have contributed a few articles to Stepmom Magazine over the last year, and I LOVE the magazine, as I’m sure you do! It has been a resource of support, I have found a second family in my stepmother friends, or as I like to call them, my stepmom sisters, and I have found an outlet for stress in being able to write articles for the magazine. It has saved me in so many ways!

   (First Dance)

 I know the ups and downs of stepmotherhood, and have seen moments of great beauty, as well as the moments of great sadness that can come along with the trials and tribulations of getting a family together and getting it encircled with love and acceptance. But I’ve learned that family is family NO MATTER WHAT, and the hardest of times are only the knots that tie our family even closer together.

 Speaking of my family, why don’t I introduce them to you: My husband Eddie and I have five children running around our house!! Benny is 20 and he is a good-looking kiddo and a yell leader at his university. He’s about to enter his JUNIOR YEAR! Alexa is 17, will be a HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR THIS YEAR (!), is getting ready for driver’s ed next week, just got yearbook editor at her school, and is like a momma hen to our younger terrors! Speaking of them… Eddie THE THIRD is almost 6! He prefers that I say this. He’s lost his first tooth. I still remember his little one-tooth grin when he was a baby! That very tooth was the first one gone! *Sniff* He will be a first-grader this year and is smart as a whip! The twins, Andrew and Daniel are 3! They keep me busy ALL DAY with their double trouble. Double Trouble is not a myth. It exists. They accomplish things that sometimes leave my mouth wide open, including rearranging furniture.



 Through all the craziness and fun that caring for a family can bring, somehow last summer I wrote a book! My stepmother sisterhood is very special to me, so I wanted to take this time to connect especially with you about it! I’m also doing a special giveaway to two lucky commenters!


 If you’re looking for an easy read with all the elements that come together for a whirlwind love story, then you’ll enjoy the tension, victory, uncertainty, vindication and of course, some very tender loving moments in The Feria!


     Opening in 1941, THE FERIA is a stunning tale of two countries, where we find Soledad, a smart, educated Mexican-American girl readying for Stanford. But when her father’s cherry empire suffers as a result of WWII, he forces her into marriage with Emmanuel, a wealthy banker meant to save the family’s agricultural empire.

     Her father’s betrayal takes her far from school and from hopes and dreams of a happily ever after with her true love, a feria worker named Xavier.

      One last goodbye with Xavier would have to be enough, but ends up gifting Soledad with a beautiful daughter, a secret lovechild she would raise with her husband Emmanuel for the next two decades… Until fate would use her very own daughter to intervene.

     The Feria is a daring love story dancing on both sides of the border, intricately written around Mexican and American cultures and the great uncertainty and great rewards that come with love.


How does that sound? 

Here is some back story behind my book. First and foremost, my character, Soledad is named for my sweet and precious grandmother, who I miss every day. I’m not sure how she’d feel knowing I put her in a romance novel *snicker* but either way, I hope she’s proud…

 …When I was a little girl, every summer I’d wait on pins and needles to hear the words: The feria is in town. The feria is the Mexican word for a fair, or carnival-type event. While I had no idea how to measure exactly when it would arrive, I only knew that once school was out for summer, the feria came shortly thereafter. Next to no school, it was the next best part of summer.

Our feria took place in our sister city, Juarez, Mexico. While we lived in Texas, neighboring Mexico was literally only minutes away. Rides, vendors, foods, dancing, music, treats, and of course, the tapestry of people there made the event unforgettable.

 The last year I attended was 2000, with the man who would become my husband. I was a fresh-faced 20-something with the energy that came in bounds, a brand-spankin’ new college degree, and a gorgeous man by my side. Needless to say, just like my character, Soledad, the feria holds very special meaning to me.

 About this time last year, I found a photo of two much younger, much more energetic looking people, my then boyfriend and myself (now parents of 5!), one we took that very night in 2000 at the feria, and my romance story began to spark and plug itself together. Within a month, it was written, accepted by a publishing house in New York, edited meticulously by yours truly, and now here it is!

   (Our first Feria together)


I really hope you enjoyed visiting with me today! If you’d like to learn more about my book or read my favorite excerpts, visit me at My blog!

Now it’s your turn! Please say hello in the comments section! I’d love to meet you and I’d love to hear your stepmom story and why you love Stepmom Magazine!

 Leave your e-mail address or twitter or facebook contact info in the comments box for a chance to win a free copy of my e-book!

 A lucky stepmom also has a chance to win a sweet little care package with a Mexico-Texas flare! Winners will be drawn by and I’ll announce them on this blog comment section on Monday, July 9! See? We have plenty of time to get to know everybody!

Hugs! Julia

 How to find me:

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The Feria is available at:

Soul Mate Publishing


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What do you know? A love triangle! Come meet my characters!

     First love is beautiful… until it’s stolen. How would you react if you suddenly came face to face 20 years later with the love you thought you’d lost? Come meet my characters from The Feria for the scoop!

      Before we get into this love triangle, let me introduce you to my characters in The Feria, so their story will make more sense.


  • Soledad is our gal. She is sweet, young, innocent, and passionately in love with a boy named Xavier. But her father will never let that be. He’s got bigger plans for her on the U.S. side of the border, and that’s to marry her off to a banker so that the family’s agricultural fortune can be saved by this rich banker.


  • Xavier is your guy if you like blue-collar chiseled men. He’s our attractive and hardworking feria boy. Well, in his early 20s, he’s actually a young man more than a boy. He cleans up after animals and runs some of the attractions at the feria. He fell in love with Soledad the minute he saw her at his pony corral. He also works for the grocer in Mexico when the feria is not up and running.


  • Emmanuel is someone we don’t like very much. He is the loaded banker who basically bribed Soledad’s father into giving him Soledad’s hand in marriage with the promise of rescuing the father’s failing cherry farm.


  • Abril is Soledad’s daughter… So that means that she’s got two possible fathers… I’ll give you a hint… she’s a love-child… and Emmanuel thinks she’s his child. You sneaky Soledad…


  • Alex is a young man who Emmanuel met on a train along with the young man’s father… guess who… Xavier!! Crummy Emmanuel had no idea who this Xavier fellow really was, and Xavier, of course, had no idea that this was the wretched Emmanuel who is precious Soledad was married off to. That’s the beauty of two decades at work, people! The men strike up a conversation. Xavier is now far from the feria worker we last knew. Now he’s an oil tycoon, and Emmanuel, of course, sees dollar signs… so what does the guy do… well, he sets up his pretty little daughter on a blind date with Alex. Tun tun tunnnnn…

      Stay tuned for my next blog! It’s an excerpt from the awkward moment when the families of the kids come together to officially meet… well obviously… since Alex will be there, so will his dad, Xavier… and since Abril will be there, so will her mom, Soledad. Two long-lost lovers suddenly in the SAME room. Is that fate at work, or what?!

     Oh my… but now we’ve got siblings who don’t really know they are related… calm down everyone. I’ll give you another hint… they’re not siblings!! Phewsh!

      See you soon!


Hello everyone! The Feria is up for sale tomorrow! Please pop in on my blog tomorrow, June 6, anytime during the day and leave a comment for a chance to win prizes including a free e-copy of my book, and giftcards to Amazon, Soul Mate Publishing and Starbucks! But you can’t win if you don’t visit and comment! So I’ll see you tomorrow! Look for the blogs titled: THE FERIA RELEASE DAY CELEBRATION!