Monday, June 1, 2020

A Lovely Christian Romance by Julie Spencer

Book Giveaway: June 1 – 13. Make a comment about this Guest Post and you get a free complimentary digital copy of The Farmer’s Daughter. You might get a free paperback if you figure out the secret in her book.

About the Author: Julie L. Spencer writes gritty clean fiction with snarky, flawed characters, and romantic twists and turns. She has over 30 publications, and the books just keep writing themselves. A scientist by day and moonlighting as an author, Julie is an indoor girl with very little desire to step away from her computer and loves her characters almost as much as she loves her kitten.

When I read Julie’s Guest Post, my heart was so touched with what she said. Thank you, Julie, for sharing a very special experience with us. Read her Guest Post and make a comment for a free E-book.

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I’m not a farmer’s daughter. My husband calls me an indoor girl and he’s not wrong. So why did I write The Farmer’s Daughter? And why did it take me so long to publish this special story? For that you need to know the story behind the story: The Farmer’s Daughter was the 2nd novel I ever finished (approximately nine years ago). I wrote this immediately after writing my first published novel, The Cove and they are very similar. I have since written and published over thirty books, audiobooks, and science journals, along with newsletters, blog posts, newspaper articles, and one very technical 405-page watershed management plan. (Oh, and years ago I wrote Master’s Thesis, but I digress)

So, why didn’t I publish The Farmer’s Daughter? Partly because I hadn’t finished the sequel, partly because I got my dream job shortly after finishing the first draft (I’m the Gratiot County Conservation District Administrator), and partially because I haven’t felt compelled to publish the book prior to now. I put a lot of stock in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Throughout my adult life, I have found good things happen when I listen for and follow promptings from the Spirit. Up until January of this year I have felt prompted not to publish this book. I’m not sure why.

In January I had the distinct impression that it was time to publish The Farmer's Daughter in May of 2020. So here it is! Now for a more difficult conversation...

The first person to read The Farmer’s Daughter was my dearest friend, Jennifer Holiday. She was such a special person in my life that she was honestly second only to my husband as a best friend. We spent every birthday, New Years, even sometimes Thanksgiving, together with our husbands and children and often extended family. In 2017 Jennifer died, right after our sons (best friends) graduated high school. I’m getting emotional just writing this. I miss her every day. Sometimes I see people in the grocery store and do a double take because they look like Jenny. She was a schoolteacher, a mother, an honored friend in our community. Jennifer died from complications of prescription drug overdose. She is the reason I’m such an advocate about avoiding prescription narcotics for pain relief. She had shoulder surgery, started taking Vicodin, and was never able to recover.

She was the first person to take a printed manuscript of The Cove and mark it up with a red pen. She was the first person to take a printed manuscript of The Farmer’s Daughter and mark it up with a red pen. By the time I wrote Buxton Peak... she was too far gone to finish reading the draft. She never lived to see me as a published author. I’m sure she’s smiling down from heaven watching my every success and feeling proud that she had taken part in that.

Now something funny. Jennifer was offended by a part of The Farmer’s Daughter and wanted me to remove that part. I didn't. It’s still there. If you are successfully able to guess what part offended her, I’ll send you a signed copy of the paperback! If you comment on this blog post, I’ll send you a complimentary digital copy of The Farmer’s Daughter.

Now, a little bit about the book: Sometimes our dreams are right before our eyes. Ashley’s been taught all her life to find a nice Mormon boy and get married in a temple. That’s easier said than done living in rural Michigan, where members of her church are few and far between. 

Ashley drives each morning to the University of Michigan to study pre-med, while her non-member boyfriend Paul, the boy next door, heads the other direction to attend Michigan State University. Each evening they see each other in the barn to feed the animals and talk of the future. But when Ashley meets Caleb, a nice, med-school student who served as a missionary and is ready to settle down, what starts as casual flirting quickly turns to something more and Ashley fights the undeniable attraction they have. Because she’s still in love with Paul.

As she tries to convince herself she’s not ready to get serious with either man, Caleb becomes more involved in the farm life she loves, Paul becomes interested in the gospel she can’t live without, and Ashley realizes she’s going to have a tough choice to make.

If you’ve read this far in my little monologue, thank you. Please hug your family members. If you have someone in your life who is struggling with a substance abuse, please take the time to learn all you can about how to help them. God bless you, my friends. I pray you’re safe and healthy. Love, Julie

P.S. I hope you love The Farmer’s Daughter.

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Julie loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at


Gail Pallotta said...

It sounds as though the heroine does have an interesting choice to make. One can't help but wonder what criteria she'll use to do that.

Sonja said...

It sounds like a big decision with two good candidates. Sounds like it's a matter of prayer!

hugbandit7 said...

Oh, a love triangle and a hard decision to make between two men. One she didn't think would fill her religious needs and one that does. I'm sure she made the right choice. And of course, now I'm curious what offended your friend.

Cheryl said...

Hmm...I can't imagine what offended your dear friend. Is it because Caleb seems pretty perfect? I am sorry for your loss, but happy she is in the arms of her Lord and Savior who provides comfort and peace.

I appreciate what you have to say about listening to the Holy Spirit. It's why I ended up writing my first book. It is what led me to change that book into something I never would have thought of on my own.

Thank you for sharing your story.



Unknown said...

I loved what you said about listening and following the Holy Spirit. I am also an author and had a book at the back of my head for over 20 years before finally putting it down on paper. The time was right.

I have never read any of your books and would love to try this one.



Anonymous said...

I guess you need my contact:

Caroline said...

I enjoyed the post very much, and love the part about guessing the part that offended your friend! Congratulations!

Debbie Curto said...

I don't think I have any of your books and would love a copy

Gina said...

Thank you for sharing twice with us, Julie. For sharing your book and for sharing your story. Your courage is moving. Best always :-)

Larry Hammersley said...

You losing your friend brought tears to my eyes. Your storyline is very interesting because one of my stories has the man torn between two women. I identified with you not publishing an old story. I can imagine what time that consumed as I am doing the same thing. I hope you were not burdened with lots of editing. My hat is off to you for going ahead and resurrecting an old story. I don't have any of your books so put my name in the hat for
Thank you Linda for having this interesting author on your blog.

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a wonderful story. I can't imagine what bothered your friend about it. Maybe if I read more....

lkish77123 at gmail dot com