Friday, November 15, 2013

A Red Balloon, the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest and Friday Celebrations

(For my interview with The Vanished Knight author M. Gerrick please click here.)

The blogosphere lost a special friend this past week when Nick Wilford's stepson Andrew passed away in his sleep. Like many, I met Nick through the Overcoming Adversity anthology that he published to help raise money for Andrew's college needs. It was impossible to not be touched by Andrew's joyful spirit when visiting Nick's blog and the love between them was obvious to anyone who ever viewed a photo of the two together.

Andrew's funeral is being held today and the family will be releasing red balloons (red was Andrew's favorite color) as part of the service. Carrie Butler created the above balloon graphic for those of us who wanted to share a virtual balloon in Andrew's memory.

While I can't begin to imagine what Nick and his family are going through at this time, I hope they will eventually find some comfort in the fact that so many around the world were touched by their extraordinary son and his sunny disposition and optimism in the face of the obstacles that life put in his path.

Rest in Peace, Andrew. 

In brighter news, M.J. Joachim and Tina Downey are hosting the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest next week and I think they have come up with a wonderful idea for a fest.

The goal of the fest is to help food pantries in our communities by having participants write about a local food bank or organization and then contribute to their chosen organization in some way. As we all unfortunately know, food pantries are stretched to the limit in today's economy. MJ and Tina hope that this fest can help put food back on their shelves. Visit the fest page here for more details and to sign up to participate.

Finally, it's time to once again Celebrate the Small Things with Vikki at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.

This week I'm celebrating that I received this box in the mail!

Yes, I'm just a little bit excited. :D The books look even better to me than I expected and I have to once again thank the amazing Michael Di Gesu for the cover he designed. Less than three weeks now until my release date.

And speaking of, I am totally overwhelmed by the support Lexa Cain and I have received for our Dream Destination Blog Hop and Giveaway to celebrate our December releases. Thanks again to everyone who has signed up and to those who have donated prizes for the event. Here is our current list of prizes:

Ebook copies of our books The Ghosts of Aquinnah & Soul Cutter
A 5 page critique from Lexa's agent Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency
A query critique from Michelle Johnson
An ebook bundle from my publisher Ink Smith Publishing
An ebook from M. Pax
A Kindle copy of BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. by Medeia Sharif 
An ebook from Nicki Elson - winner's choice of Three Daves, Divine Temptation or Hans & Greta
A 5 page critique from C. Lee McKenzie 
A Kindle copy of Marionette by TB Markinson
A Kindle Copy of Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman
An ebook copy of The Guardian's Wildchild by Feather Stone

If you'd still like to sign up for the hop the Linky List is at the bottom of this post. And don't forget to visit here for my interview with M. Gerrick, AKA Misha Gericke, author of The Vanished Knight!


  1. Thanks for all your support for Nick! <3

  2. It's quite humbling to see so many of those red balloons around Facebook and our blogs today.

  3. Red balloons are everywhere today. My thoughts are with Nick and his family.

    And congratulations, what a great box to get in the mail!

  4. Wonderful sentiments for Andrew.

    Congrats, also, on your book!

  5. @Kyra, thank you again for organizing the flowers.

    @Annalisa, I agree.

    @Elise, thank you!

    @Suzanne, me too.

    @Michael, thanks so much, I appreciate it.

  6. The red balloon is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing our blogfest and your book looks so cool! Nice to see so much enthusiasm for your own blogfest too. Best of the weekend to you, Julie:)

  7. I love the red balloons, it's the perfect send off.

    I bet it's an amazing feeling to open up a box full of your own books! Hopefully I'll be able to experience it for myself one day :)

  8. I didn't know Nick or Andrew, but I put a red balloon on my blog in Andrew's honor.
    Congratulations on your book and the beautiful cover, Julie. Wishing you much success with it and happy weekend.

  9. I hope Nick and his family can feel all the good thoughts and prayers coming their way from across the blogosphere….

    We tend to donate to our local food pantry pretty often. I hate the thought of people going hungry….

    Wonderful about your box of books! :)

  10. @MJ, thank you, I hope you have a great weekend too.

    @Laura, I'm sure you will!

    @Deanie, thanks so much, I appreciate it.

    @Madeline, yeah, it's hard to imagine not having food when you need it. I'm definitely grateful that's not something I've ever had to experience. The food pantries do such amazing work.

  11. What a beautiful thought for Andrew- I hope Nick and his family can feel the love and support directed at them!

    And I gotta sign up for that food driv blog hop- what a worthy cause!

  12. The writing community continues to amaze me.

  13. My thoughts and prayers are with Nick and his family, really sad :(

    Yay for receiving your hardcopies! It's always exciting to hold your book in your hands ;)

  14. Your books look wonderful. The food drive blog fest is a wonderful idea.

  15. My prayers are with Nick and his family.

    Love your book news! They look great!

  16. really am sorry to hear about Andrew. I hope Nick and his family are doing okay.

    Congrats on your book!!
    I've joined the blogfest and am looking forward to finding out what all your dream destinations are :)

  17. So sorry to hear about Andrew. I will post the red balloon on my site in memory of him. My thoughts go out to his family in this time of need.

    Blog hop sounds fun. Will check it out. Also- love the cover. Great job and congrats.

  18. @Melissa, I agree.

    @SK, it really is so fun. Thanks!

    @Nana, thank you!

    @Dana, thanks so much, I just love them too. :)

    @Nutschell, thanks for joining in!

    @Rebecca, thanks, I appreciate it!

  19. Nice box to get in the mail. :-)

    I do like the balloon and the community support for Nick's family. It's heartwarming to see.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

  20. This is such a tragic loss. I feel so, so sorry for Nick and his family... :(

    On a happier note, though, those print copies of your book look great! No wonder you're excited...

  21. The red balloon is perfect. I'll post it on my blog asap.

    Congratulations on getting that bee-yoooo-tiful box of books! How exciting!

    Looks like your blog hop is hopping right along. Cool!

    Happy weekend!

  22. It was very shocking and sad to hear the news about Andrew. Sending many prayers for Nick and family. The red balloon is a very kind gesture.

    Also, the blogfest sounds like a lot of fun! I signed up. I already know my destination too. Can't wait!

    P.S. Just announced some good news over at my blog :) Also have a release coming up soon and would be honored if you can join in the fun =)

  23. @Sia, it really is, I agree.

    @Heather, thank you! I love them. :)

    @Susan, thanks and happy weekend to you too!

    @Emilyann, oh, I'd be happy to. Congratulations! I will be over asap. Thanks!

  24. Such a tribute to a young man taken too soon. God bless his family.

  25. I can't help but think of Andrew's smile. What an amazing boy.

    Congratulations on the arrival of your books. So incredibly exciting!

    The Warrior Muse

  26. A new novel is a wonderful celebration, Julie. Your book looks great can't wait to read it.

    Helping out with food pantries is fantastic, only I wish people would remember to help out all year long, not just at the holidays.

  27. @Susan, <3

    @Shannon, I know, he always seemed like such a happy young man. Thanks so much for the congrats!

    @Cathy, thank you, I hope you will like it! And good point about the other times of the year.

  28. Julie, you are such a kind soul. No wonder I took to you right away...remember, Pasha still wants to showcare your two "babies" on his animal website!
    So glad, the printing of your book turned out great; I have always loved the Vineyard.

  29. Oh books in the mail are great ;)

  30. @Inge, oh, you're so nice! And thanks to Pasha, I'm so sorry I forgot to send the pics. I will be in touch!

    @Vikki, they are! :)

  31. My thoughts are with Nick and his family.

    Congrats on your book arrival...looks great.

  32. It sure was a big shock to learn about Andrew.

    Your books look so preeeettttty!

  33. Hi Julie - I was so sorry to learn of the Wilford family's loss ... it was so sudden and such a shock - my heart goes out to them.

    Great reminder about the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest .. so necessary to remind everyone of why people are in need ...

    What a great box to receive ... I expect you're still dancing around ... fun Julie and I'm so pleased for you ..

    Cheers Hilary

  34. @Hilary, I'm still doing a little dancing. :D Thanks!

  35. Thank you so much for joining and promoting our Holiday Food Drive Blogfest!
    Your book looks amazing! Michael did a great job!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  36. Wow, look at that list of prizes! Awesome.
    And your paperback "babies" look so cool!!
    Friday was an emotionally-packed day. Andrew's passing was so sudden...

  37. I've been seeing the red balloons. What a beautiful tribute with the graphics and video.

    Ooh, a box of books. That's an awesome thing to get in the mail, especially when you wrote the book.

  38. @Tina, didn't he? Michael's amazing. :)

    @Michelle, yeah, it was such a terrible shock and I can't imagine how Nick must feel. Thanks about my babies! :)

    @Medeia, it definitely is. :D

  39. It was beautiful that so many people helped to celebrate Andrew's life that way.

    And that box is definitely a great sight.

  40. @LD, I thought so too, it really shows how special Andrew was. Thanks!

  41. Oooo...congrats on getting your books. There's nothing like that feeling when you finally get to hold your baby in your hands.

  42. Squee!!! Books in a box. Shiny... Smooth... New...

  43. Thanks Donna and Crystal! I'm still cooing over them LOL.

  44. That is so cool that Michael designed your cover!

  45. I loved seeing red balloons everywhere. And wow, your prize pack is amazing! :)

  46. I am so profoundly sad to hear about Andrew. My thoughts have been with Nick and Heather since I heard the news.

    Julie, Polar Night is up next in my to-read list. I'm so looking forward to it!

  47. My thoughts and prayers are with Nick and his family during this difficult period. Andrew's legacy lives through those he inspired.

    Thank you for stopping by, Julie. It's a good feeling, knowing we're all pulling together as the line between the haves and the have nots gets thinner and thinner. The power of goodness works wonders.

    We return from Thanksgiving the 3rd or 4th, depending upon other stuff, just in time to jump into your hop, I hope. Really want to support your launch and properly congratulate you!

  48. It's truly wonderful to see the blogsphere pull together in memory of Andrew.

  49. It's so sad about Andrew, and the red balloons were such a lovely tribute. Congrats on your stunning new book Julie!


  50. A sad time for Andrew's family and friends. I'm sure they appreciate the massive support that is being directed to them right now.

    What a fabulous looking box you have there! :)

  51. I've totally signed up! Those prizes are awesome. I love how helpful the online writing community is.

    Congrats on the paperback. :)

  52. @ms, Michael is so talented! I couldn't love the cover more than I do. :)

    @Christine, thanks again for donating to our prizes!

    @Susan, oh, thanks so much, I hope you will like it. :)

    @Kittie, that's great you signed up to join us, thanks so much for your support!

    @Lynda, I agree, it's been amazing to see all the balloons.

    @Julie, thank you!

    @Rebecca, I hope so, maybe it will bring some comfort to them. I do love the box! :D

    @Shah, yay, thanks for signing up!

  53. I love blog-hops and am looking forward to this one immensely! Also, love the blog and am definitely joining! Congrats on the upcoming releases!

  54. @Narrator, thank you! So glad you signed up, it's great to meet you.


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