/, daylight, excerpts, Fifty first time, New Adult/Excerpt from my FIFTY FIRST TIMES story + Signed TEMPEST Giveaway!

If you’re a bit behind on this news, check out this post with all the info about the anthology

To enter the contest, all you have to do is read the excerpt below from my fictional short story that will be included in the FIFTY FIRST TIMES: NEW ADULT ANTHOLOGY releasing with Avon Impulse on December 10, 2013.


AND leave a comment either writing a creative next line in the story or…you know, whatever else you want to say in the comments.

AND leave your email address in your comment

Winner will be chosen by random number selected by one of my fellow anthology authors.

Winner will receive a personalized signed hardcover copy of TEMPEST. Open internationally. Contest ends tomorrow at 11:59pm (CDT) on Saturday, September 21, 2013

Now onto the excerpt, this is page #1 of my story….


Jack slides the key into the doorknob of his tiny apartment above my father’s church. His fingers still and he turns to me, “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be at a hotel?”

“That’s so not us.” I twist the ring around my left finger. It’s foreign to my body, but in the same way a new pet is foreign to a person’s home. It represents work and responsibility, but somehow you know that it will eventually become a part of you.

Jack’s already a part of me. It’s just the ring that’s new.

He finally opens the door, stepping into the studio apartment with its combo kitchen-living-room-bedroom. My heart is drumming as I pass through the doorway, listening to Jack bolt the lock behind me. I fight the urge to wipe my palms on my mother’s beautiful white dress. Instead, I glance around the room at the stacks of records and novels piled neatly in different corners and the soft brown plush couch I used to lie across on summer afternoons, reading a library book, while my dad worked on his sermons or held meetings with church members.

A wave of fear and dread sweep over me as Jack’s gaze meets mine. If tomorrow morning is the last time I see him, if he doesn’t come home from his mission, this room that has held nothing but comfort for me, will never look the same.


About the Author:


  1. ricky martinez September 21, 2013 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Though I'm a guy I want to try and respond to this. 🙂 This excerpt raises a lot of questions and as a result I want to know what's going to happen. I wonder if the ring on her finger means they're going to get married? I think that is because she says "Jack's already a part of me. It's just the ring that's new." Long term relationship heading toward marriage? 🙂
    I see that she fears that she'll never see him again and by hearing mission I think Jack is going back to the military? I don't really know, it's just a guess. The final sentence is what got me the most saying that it "will never look the same" implies that they had a deep connection and thing wouldn't be the same without him…
    Overall I liked it and would like to know how the story goes and if she'll ever see Jack again. Julie this is another great story 🙂 One question though what's her name?


  2. Julie Cross September 21, 2013 at 1:04 am - Reply

    so glad you liked it! Her name is Audrey and she's 19. Also, they actually just gotten married 🙂

  3. Em September 21, 2013 at 1:07 am - Reply

    That cover literally screams READ ME!!!! And the plot looks so interesting!
    I'm not much of an author, so I won't write a long post. But I would love to be able to own this and read it!


  4. Mandi Kaye @ Never Too Fond of Books September 21, 2013 at 1:12 am - Reply

    I'm so excited you have new stuff coming up! Yay!


  5. ricky martinez September 21, 2013 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Haha I knew it 🙂

  6. Alexandra September 21, 2013 at 1:14 am - Reply

    So cute & at the same time a little sad. First let's add more sadness & some happiness:

    If he doesn't come home, nothing will be the same. I will be an empty shell of a person void of feeling except for loss. The aching loss that can only come from losing someone you love so dearly, not by your choice and not by theirs.

    But if there's anything that I've learned from Jack it's that you have to cherish what you have in the moment because when the next moment comes, it could be too late. It's because of this that I push the feelings of fear out of my mind and just focus on Jack and how he loves me because right now there is only tonight.

    Your excerpt sounds like an adorable start to something that I can't wait to read Julie! 😀

    Twitter: @SleepsOnTables

    alexandra (DOT) n (DOT) ehlers (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  7. Gaby Pendragon September 21, 2013 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Love the excerpt!! I'm so excited you keep writing these new stories, because they are all so different from each other, and they all got me wanting to read them! You bet I'm adding this one to my tbr list!


  8. Dana September 21, 2013 at 1:23 am - Reply

    "A wave of fear and dread sweep over me as Jack’s gaze meets mine. If tomorrow morning is the last time I see him, if he doesn’t come home from his mission, this room that has held nothing but comfort for me, will never look the same." What once brought me contentment, would forever be tarnished by his loss.

    I'm really excited to read this!

    djbartelt (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. Heidijk September 21, 2013 at 1:25 am - Reply

    "This room will never look the same. It will no longer give me comfort as it once did. If tomorrow is the last time I see him, my life will never be the same again."

    That was a lame attempt at creating a follow-up to what you've already written, but I had to try when you issued a challenge 🙂

    This passage sounds brilliant and now I'm interested to find out about these two characters and who they are and what's going on. Sounds intriguing.

    Email: heidi keil@gmail.com

  10. Julie Cross September 21, 2013 at 1:26 am - Reply

    dang…this is so New Adult. You've really got angst tied to love aspect down pat 🙂

  11. Fly to the Sky September 21, 2013 at 1:26 am - Reply

    This sounds sooo good!! It really raises tons of questions and I'm kind of dying to find out what happens next!
    To me it kind of sounds as though she was already married because of the whole ring thing and wearing the mothers dress.
    And then the whole thing about him not coming back…. Does that mean he works on the military maybe???
    Anyhow this book sounds phenomanal!! Definitely adding it to my TBR pile!! 🙂

  12. Julie Cross September 21, 2013 at 1:34 am - Reply

    thanks!! and you've also got some awesome angst in your line 🙂

  13. Julie Cross September 21, 2013 at 1:34 am - Reply

    you're so on to something….

  14. Alexandra September 21, 2013 at 1:36 am - Reply

    Haha thanks! I was working on a YA/NAishey book but then engineering classes decided it'd be cool to take over my life. But now I feel like writing again so thank you for this excerpt that has inspired me to write again!!!:D

  15. sandra September 21, 2013 at 1:47 am - Reply

    I LOVE it so far ! So many possibilities! I absolutely adore that
    he turns to her before he opens the door & offers to take
    her elsewhere because she deserves so much more! This won't
    be like the usual when she sneaks in undetected !Today
    they will be together as man & wife! Tomorrow he will
    leavee & might not return so let our possible last time be
    the place where we had our first time…
    Love love love your intro & can't wait to read it 😀

  16. Julie Cross September 21, 2013 at 1:53 am - Reply

    "Today they will be together as man & wife! Tomorrow he will leave & might not return"

    This is so awesome because it's just like the little taglines on the UK Tempest hardcover 🙂

  17. sandra September 21, 2013 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Of course mine came out twice :-/ Embarrased.Where can I find your books?

  18. sandra September 21, 2013 at 2:30 am - Reply

    Its part of a trilogy! Yeah ! Looks like this will be my new series to Devour : )

  19. Julie Cross September 21, 2013 at 2:31 am - Reply

    no worries 🙂

    and my books…the Tempest series is everywhere and whatever form you like to read it. My contemporary mature YA, Letters to Nowhere is e-book only but it's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

  20. ilovemmh September 21, 2013 at 3:11 am - Reply

    Another book to add to my pile. Love your books.
    Looking forward to Timestorm and a sequel to Letters to Nowhere (which I loved by the way)!

    "The look in his eyes as he gazes at me is nothing but pure Love and Happiness. It's impossible not to return the look knowing I love this man more than anything. He feels my life with such happiness and joy that there is no more room left for what ifs. I need to enjoy the time that we now have as husband and wife. He starts moving toward me. When he reaches me, he takes me in his arms and kisses me softly on the lips as I wrap my arms around his neck. My legs feel like they would buckle under me if he was not holding me like his life depended on it. He leans down and whispers in my ear " I love you Mrs. ?" and as he pulls back I put both hands on either side of his face and whisper back " I love you too Mr. ?"


  21. Ashley G. September 21, 2013 at 3:18 am - Reply

    I force those thoughts out of my mind. Tonight, Jack is here with me. Jack, my best friend, my soul mate, my husband…that title still doesn't seem real but the thought sends a wave of giddiness over me. A smile spreads across my face.

    "What?" Jack says.

    I shake my head. "Nothing," I whisper. I walk slowly to him and wrap my arms around his neck. Still smiling I say, "Nothing, husband."

    His lips form that perfect smile that first attracted me to him all those years ago. "Mmmm…I like the way that sounds. Say it again."

    "Husband, my husband," I whisper against his lips.

    He kisses me then and I know I'm in heaven. Even if tonight is all I ever get, it's worth it.

    abgafford at gmail dot com

  22. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth September 21, 2013 at 3:28 am - Reply

    "Why the long face, sweetheart?" Jack paints a smile on his face as he strokes a finger down my cheek. He's trying to make light of the situation, trying to give us one last perfect evening, but I can see the worry in his eyes.

    asherz86 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

  23. sandra September 21, 2013 at 3:39 am - Reply

    I mean you have a trilogy! Thanks4 ur responses!

  24. Hazel @ Stay Bookish September 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    "..But most of all, I fear that I may never be the same again either. No matter how much I push these thoughts away, they're always nagging me, at the back of my mind. Even when Jack is looking at me with his soulful eyes. I don't ever want to have to look away from them. And I can't even bear the thought of never seeing them again."

    Ahhh, clearly I am only embarrassing myself because I have zero potential in writing. But eeeeep, you're giving away a signed copy of Tempest! <3


  25. Amy September 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    This sounds really great! I am not creative at all, so I'm not even going to try to write a next line lol! I can't wait to read this in its entirety!

    booklovingme AT gmail DOT com

  26. i*Heart*BigBooks September 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I have nothing creative to write, but I'm so so excited for this anthology!! There's a fantastic group of authors, yourself included, that's taking part!

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
    iheartbigbooks (at) gmail (dot) com

  27. Camelle Rogando September 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Seriously want my opinion?

    It's lovely and i'm so excited to read this book i can feel that i will enjoy reading this! Right now i have so many questions in mind and it's left unanswered..


  28. Christina Fiorelli September 21, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!! The whole concept behind the stories is perfect, so wonderful and such a wonderful way of embracing both love and physical expressions of love.

    Here's my continuation:

    "I will never be the same.

    But no matter what, no matter how, it's this that matters – the right now of it all. Jack and me and this moment. Us coming home together at night with memories stacked high like all those books of ours on the coffee table, all different and beautiful and so totally us,and please please please Lord let there be a whole heap of memories lined up for us in the future, too.

    But that'll be then. And this is now. So I turn to Jack and smile. "Hey," I say, taking his hand and pushing my fingers through his until they can't go any deeper.

    "Hey darlin'," he tells me with the same kind of smile that got me looking at him to begin with. "Tell me. Tell me everything."

    "There's no everything. Just you." And I know that tonight, he'll be doing all the saving – of my heart, of our lives, of our bodies. Giving me the perfect night. But come tomorrow? It'll be me sitting here, on the same bed he's leading me to now, where I'll be saving him. With prayer. With love. With any kind of laser-strong good vibe that I can beam his way. Miles way from him, yes, but if there's one thing I know, it's that our love is something special. Something that does a whole lot of saving. I should know. It saved me. It'll save him too.

    It has to."

    Thank you so very much!!

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  29. Ciara Quilter September 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Ciara Quilter September 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    I sounds really good! Can't wait until it's released to know more!
    * *
    "…will never look the same."
    It won't feel the same either as it will be missing a big aspect. Him. If he doesn't return, time will eventually wipe away any evidence that he ever stayed here. His scent won't be on the couch and his shape embossed into the armchair will eventually mold to the shape of another. I swallow the oncoming tears at just the thought of losing him. What will I be like if he doesn't return? I look down and wait for my tears to retreat before looking at him again.

    His eyes seem to hold the same sadness as if he was thinking the same thing I was. He probably was. He always had a way of knowing what I was thinking or sharing a same thought as me. He just got me, like no one else. "I would stay but you know I can't." He whispered before his adam's apple bounced showing that he had swallowed. "I know." I reply softly. "Can we not talk about it and just be us,husband and wife…for tonight at least?" I asked well kind of pleaded. He nodded and took me in his arms. Just Tonight. Being… well just us.


  31. Karin S September 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Sounds very interesting,I really want to read this book 😀


  32. Brooke DelVecchio September 21, 2013 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Oh wow, now I am totally intrigued. It's not enough. I want more! Can I have more? I know I can. Can't wait for this anthology!

  33. Madeline Moore September 22, 2013 at 3:35 am - Reply

    I find the new NA designation interesting.

    Next line: The dress, the ceremony, even the ring will bring me cold comfort if he never comes back. It was at his insistence that we marry before he ships out again. He wants to believe I'll be taken care of if something happens to him. A bride one day and a widow the next?

  34. Julie Cross September 23, 2013 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Okay! My numberologist has chosen Amy as the winner!! Amy, I will be emailing you. In case there's 2 Amys (I didn't check) it's this Amy: booklovingme AT gmail DOT com

Leave A Comment