Category Archives: Edenbrooke

Do You Love Philip?

Edenbrooke library windows

Hello Friends!

I’ve been a little absent lately because I have FIVE kids and life is crazy. But on top of my five kids, I’ve also been working on a secret project that is close to my heart. And one that I think you will all be excited about.

For everyone who loves Edenbrooke, and for everyone who loves Philip, and wishes they could have a little more Philip in their life, I am writing a prequel to Edenbrooke from Philip’s point of view. YES! You really read that. You will get to know Philip before he meets Marianne, and you will get to meet Marianne through his eyes, and watch her sing her ridiculous milkmaid song, and find out what’s going on inside of that handsome head of his.

Unlike my other books, this will only be published digitally, and it will be a novelette (which is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel). But the great news is that it will be available to read before Christmas.

I made this announcement on a local TV show this morning. If you want to watch it and find out what else I talked about, you can watch it here.

 

 

 

Hello Again!

Hello, friends! I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. Right after the holidays I moved my family to another city and have spent the past two months trying to unpack and get my kids settled in new schools and making new friends. It’s been more of a challenge than I anticipated! But things are running a little more smoothly now, allowing me time to pop in her to give a quick update on a few things.

 

Thing #1: Great news from abroad! Edenbrooke and Blackmoore are both published in Spanish and French. They are beautiful! And Edenbrooke won the Dama Prize 2014 for the best historical romance! I was also invited by my Spanish publishers to visit their lovely country this summer. Oooh, I am so tempted! I am itching for another trip abroad.

 

Thing #2: The question of the year: am I writing something new? The answer: yes and no. I am in the dreaming stage of my next story. The writing stage will come next, and soon, but it will take me a while. By “a while” I mean close to a year, most likely. And then probably another year to get it published. So I’m sorry to all of you who are clamoring for another story soon! I hope you’ll be patient with me as I put my family first and try to figure out writing with five kids, including the cutest baby on earth who is crawling all over the place and saying “mama” and loving to be with me. I would love it if you would continue to share my books with friends and family. THANK YOU to all of you who have made them more successful than I ever dreamed they could be.

 

Thing #3: The Edenbrooke jewelry is in danger of being discontinued, so if you had it in mind to buy a piece or two, you might want to do it relatively soon. I have links to the jeweler’s store on my store page.

 

Thing #4: Are you a writer? Do you dream of being published? I highly recommend the LDStorymaker’s Writers Conference, which can be found here. It’s held in Provo, Utah on May 15th and 16th. I will be in attendance as a student and am so excited by the authors they will have this year, including a YA author I really look up to, Martine Leavitt. I bought my tickets this year JUST to attend one of her workshops. She is phenomenally talented.

 

Now before I sign out, I’m curious to know: if you could ask me to write a story about anything or anywhere, what would it be?

A Letter from Me to You

Edenbrook Poster

Dear devoted ones,

I know that all you really want to know about is my next book. But I have nothing for you on that topic. I’m sorry, really and truly. But to try to assuage your frustrations, I have a couple other things to offer you.

 

First, I have book signings in anticipation of Christmas gifting! Check my events page for places and times.

 

Second, I have a little store on this site, and on that store I have links to the Edenbrooke/Blackmoore inspired jewelry PLUS something totally new and original, which is displayed at the top of this post. I think it’s gorgeous, and I think you could order one for your best friend or sister or mother and put it in a nice frame (or a cheap frame, or a cheap frame that you decorate yourself) and it would make such a lovely Christmas gift. It was designed by my talented brother-in-law and printed on glossy, high quality paper. So please go check it out! There’s a link to the store somewhere on this home page. (If the store doesn’t work, send me a message!)

 

And in the spirit of thanksgiving, I’m doing a giveaway! Make a comment and/or share this post with your friends and I’ll enter you into a drawing for a print.  I know this isn’t much, but considering all the busy-ness of my current life, this is all I can offer you. And I offer it to you with  my heart full of gratitude for you, you precious, darling readers.

 

Much love,

Julianne

Updates to FAQs

edenbrooke

 

I love getting mail from readers, but I rarely feel like I have time to respond personally to each one. But I thought I would address some commonly asked questions.

1. Movie news. So many readers would love to see Marianne or Kate’s story on the big screen. I don’t own the movie rights for either of my books, so I have no control over whether a movie gets made or who gets to write the screenplay or which actors will play the characters. The only news I have right now is that there is no news. No one has optioned the movie rights at this point. And that’s okay! I would love to see a movie version done RIGHT, and if that means it doesn’t happen immediately, so be it.

 

2. Translations of the books. My agent and a foreign rights agency have worked really hard to sell foreign translation rights to both of my books. Right now the Spanish edition of Edenbrooke is available online at Amazon.com, Kobo.com, iBookstore, Googleplay, Barnes&Noble. It is also available printed in Spanish bookshops as well as the publisher’s website, www.librosdeseda.com. So if you live in Spain, go find it! If you live anywhere else, find it online! And then please leave a review so others will know it’s a good story. :)  Up next: French, with Japanese and Slovene and Turkish and other languages to follow.

 

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3. My next project. The question of the year has been, “Are you writing something else?” After taking a year off of writing to grow a really cute baby, I am itching to start a new story! I’m not ready to share details yet, but rest assured that I am working on something, and keep coming back here for more news. I will also be announcing some pre-Christmas book signings, so stay tuned!

 

4. My cute baby. Isn’t he a doll?

 

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A Few Updates

This is how I feel right now–all jubilant and victorious.

1. I have been sincerely overwhelmed by the response to my last post about helping Isaac. You have, with your comments and contributions and sharing, put me in awe of the generosity of strangers and the power of coming together to change the world. Since writing my last post, I have spoken extensively with Alisa Bridge at Northwest Middle School, who works in their Family Support Center. Alisa’s job is to assess the needs of the students’ families, visit their homes, and coordinate relief for them. She was able to give me a little more information about Isaac’s family. His mother has some serious health problems and was in the hospital the day I found him stranded. She is happily home now, but I don’t know for how long, and her condition makes it impossible for her to work or drive. Isaac has two older sisters who have small children that live with him and his mom. There is no father in the picture for any of the kids. He, his mother, and the other children all need basic items like underwear, socks, and groceries.

I am happy to report that in one week we have collected:
     1 awesome new red bike, 1 heavy duty bike lock, 1 container of tire sealant.
     Christmas presents for Isaac! (SnapCircuits SC-300, pull-up bar, Nerf N-Strike Elite Retaliator Blaster with 75 extra darts, Nerf football, Ranger’s Apprentice series, and various books, movies, and CDs donated by my awesome publisher, Deseret Book.)
     Christmas presents for Isaac’s little nieces and nephew (Pictures to come! Lots of cute toys! I had so much fun!)
     A complete set of clothes for Isaac (5 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of pants, 5 long-sleeve shirts, 1 button-down shirt, 1 set of pajamas (more to come), 6 pairs of underwear and socks, 1 coat.
     I have not finished shopping. Things I still need to collect or buy include: a bike helmet, gloves, hat, and shoes for Isaac, clothes for Isaac’s mom, shoes and clothes for the little kids, and gift cards to Smith’s and McDonald’s, groceries, and a few bus passes. If any of you would like to donate those items, please message me at donaldson.julianne@gmail.com.

This is all thanks to you!!!! I have made every effort to be frugal and spend this money wisely, for I consider it sacred. My aim is to collect as many items as I can so that I can donate a big chunk of the money to the Northwest Middle School Family Support Center. Sadly, Isaac’s situation is not unique. They have a lot of kids who show up daily without socks or a coat or any food at home. For those of you who would like to be more personally involved, they do have an extensive Sub for Santa program at the school. If you would like to choose your own “Isaac” and do your own shopping for him, please call Alisa Bridge at 801-578-8409.

All of the shopping is taking longer than I expected, so I will be delivering the items/money to Isaac’s school next week. Afterwards, I will have photos to share with all of you. But I wish I could share more than photos. I wish I could hug you all and let you know how much I appreciate your joining me in this effort. I know that you will all be blessed.

2. In other news, Edenbrooke did very well in the Goodreads Choice award, coming in at #7 in the Romance category. I couldn’t have done this without your help, so again I am indebted to you, my wonderful fans! Thank you!!

3. If you would like to purchase a personalized, signed copy of Edenbrooke,  you can now do so by ordering it from my local bookstore, The King’s English. I will hustle over there and sign your copy with whatever inscription you want and they will ship it to whatever address you specify and it would make a terrific Christmas present. Go here to order: http://www.kingsenglish.com/julianne-donaldson

EDIT: Thank you so much for reading this! If you would like to help Isaac’s family or any other child at his school, please contact Alisa Bridge at Northwest Middle School at 801-578-8409. I am no longer accepting monetary donations. Thank you!!

A Few Christmas Things

I’ve been working on a few Christmas surprises for you, and I have a couple things to share.

You can now order a signed copy of Edenbrooke from The King’s English bookstore. I am so excited to work with this lovely locally owned bookstore, which is a champion of local authors and a haven for book lovers everywhere. If you click on the link tonight, it might say that they don’t have any copies in stock. But I was assured that they will have them in stock on Monday (Nov. 26). And you can request an inscription!  In the next week or so I will be jaunting over to The King’s English to sign your books according to your requests, and they will ship them to you. Think of all the great personalized Christmas gifts you could send now!

But this is not my entire Christmas present to you. I will have more, hopefully in another week or so. I have four of my own kids to play Santa to, but I’m trying to squeeze some time out of my schedule to work on my secret Christmas project for you, my lovely, wonderful, loyal readers.

And there is just one more chance to vote in the Goodreads Choice award. Edenbrooke made it to the final round, thanks to you (whistling! cheers! thank you!). Voting will end Nov. 27 and the winner will be announced Dec. 4. So please take a second to vote here.

Sketches and English Major Thoughts

One of my favorite parts of the whole publishing process has not been the acceptance by the publisher, or reading official reviews of the book, or attending book signings, or even getting a check in the mail. My absolute favorite part of publishing has been meeting so many kindred spirits. (Notice I said “publishing” as opposed to “writing.” They are two different things.)

Yesterday I had the real treat of receiving an email from one Christine Walter, who is a talented artist who loved Edenbrooke so much she felt inspired to draw Marianne and Philip as she imagined them. And this is where art becomes very interesting to me. I am so interested in how the story I imagined and put on paper and passed on to you is reborn in your own unique mind. You each have a canvas for an imagination, and  the words I have put down allow you to paint your own version of Edenbrooke in your mind. Everyone imagines it differently. And that’s the way art is supposed to work–especially literature.

I was an English major in college and so I spent years practicing the art of literary criticism. And I learned that I could sit in a class full of other English majors, and whether we were discussing a poem or a play or a novel, we each had unique interpretations of the work we studied. It made for interesting discussions and varied papers and it was something I legitimately enjoyed. (You have to legitimately enjoy your college major, I believe.) I never really thought, during those years, that I would ever be on the other end of the artistic discussion. The fact that I have had that privilege humbles me every time I stop to consider it.

Anyway, the talented Christine Walter sent me her sketches of Marianne and Philip, and I loved them. I absolutely loved them. They are exactly how she imagined them, and that is the beauty of art–that she took my words and painted them onto her own mental canvas and came back with a specific image she could actually produce. What an amazing process!

I love how some readers get into spirited debates about which actors would play the characters if Edenbrooke ever becomes a movie. I love that some people say Henry Cavill and some people say Ben Barnes and some people say Armie Hammer would make the perfect Philip. You know what? They are all right. Philip was supposed to be the ideal man, and however you imagine that ideal man looking, you are right. Did you notice that I never said how old he was in the story? I did that on purpose. I didn’t want to dictate the ideal age for the ideal man. You may imagine him however old or young you choose. You may imagine him with blonde hair if you choose. It will not offend me in the slightest.I am just honored and humbled and very, deep-down happy that my story is finding so many kindred spirits for me to connect with.

A Letter

Confession: neglect is rampant in my life right now. I have entered full-fledged panic mode as I approach my deadline and I am devoting all of my child-free minutes to Blackmoore. And this blog has definitely suffered from neglect lately. Sorry, blog! But I’m posting today because of Florence.

Florence is a dear reader from Idaho who sent me a real letter a few weeks ago. A REAL letter! Printed on paper, arriving in my mailbox, with a stamp and everything. (This made me SO happy. I love real mail.) In the letter, she told me that she had lived in England in 1991 while serving a mission for the LDS church. She had stayed in a large house called Edenbrook, which was named after a brook called Eden that ran by the property. She said it was beautiful and peaceful and there was a walk through the back of the property to a wooded area that was carpeted in bluebells. Bluebells! It made me wish I had put bluebells in my story. Anyway, I asked her if I could share her photos here, and she was gracious enough to scan them and email them to me.

Front view of Edenbrook

Rear view of Edenbrook

Isn’t it lovely? And it sounds like this was located in Kent, which is where my fictional Edenbrooke is located. I love coincidences like this.

Thank You! A Winner! And a CLUE!

You guys are so over-the-top awesome! I can’t believe how many great comments I received to help me with my project. It was so much fun to read what scenes you liked best. In fact, it really made me feel again how much fun it was to write Edenbrooke. How fun it was to write about Mr. Whittles and the scenes in the library and the twirling and the love letter and the ball. Since I’ve been working on my next book, my mind hasn’t been actively visiting Edenbrooke for awhile. You brought me so much joy and so many smiles. Thank you!!

And according to the random number generator, the winner of the giveaway is “meems.” Congratulations! Please send me an email at donaldson(dot)julianne(at)gmail.com and let me know if you would like a signed version of the audio book or the book. You can also choose your inscription, as long as it doesn’t say something like, “I wish Marianne was dead so you could marry Philip instead.” I could never be disloyal to my characters. :) And of course include your mailing address.

 Now, I really, really wish that my secret project was a movie deal. That would be a DREAM. But movie deals, if they happen, usually take years, and Edenbrooke is only three months old. She’s still a baby, and no movie deals are currently in the works. :(

BUT I still think you will squeal over this project, and I’m going to give you a little tiny clue. (scroll down)

Anyone want to take a guess??

A Call for Help and a Great Video

Hello all!

I have a really fun project in the works, which I am SO excited to share with you…later this summer. I can only give you a few hints right now. It’s about Edenbrooke, and…um…okay, that’s the only hint I can give you. But I am telling you right now, you will squeal over this project.

But, before it can all happen, I need a little help. I need to choose a few scenes from the book that kind of tell the story without actually giving away the whole story. (And one of them should involve Mr. Whittles’s spittle.) So tell me in the comments what scenes YOU would choose, if you could only choose three or four.

And to thank you all for your participation, I have a giveaway. Yes, a giveaway! I will choose a random winner from everyone who comments and send you your choice of gifts–either a signed copy of Edenbrooke the book or a signed copy of Edenbrooke the AUDIObook. I will sign it with whatever message you want (as long as it’s not indecent) and send it anywhere in the U.S. So comment away!

Now you must watch this very funny video for Jane Austen fans. My favorite line: “If we lived in the time our favorite show is, we probably would have died of tuberculosis.” It’s clever, funny, and it even mentions Edenbrooke! My kids have been singing the song for days, and even dressed up and practiced their fine manners. It’s tremendously gratifying to see my Jane Austen love rubbing off on them. So check it out!

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