Tag: Julie James

#BerkleyBookmas: Let’s Bake Cookies with Julie James!

Posted December 7, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

Book Binge is so excited to participate in Berkley Bookmas and we’re hosting Julie James today! She will be sharing her favorite holiday recipes so here is the place to be to find out what Julie James likes to munch on during the holidays. You can never have too many recipes, right?

Berkley Bookmas is chock full of exclusive content from authors like exclusive excerpts, deleted scenes, author recipes and more! Check out the calendar of events below:

Julie James’ Favorite Holiday Recipe

Need Cookies for the holidays? I’ve got your back.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about the holidays was my grandmother’s cookies. She used to spend days baking, and when we visited her house every Christmas Eve, there would be platters and tins of cookies seemingly everywhere.

Over the years, my cookie recipe book has expanded, but below are two classics that have been part of my family’s holiday traditions for years. Both are kid-friendly, adult-friendly, easy to make, and loaded with chocolate (generally a requirement for all my cookies, snickerdoodles excepted.) Enjoy!

Snowball Cookies

1 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups flour
1 package Hershey’s kisses
Confectioner’s sugar

Beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and nuts. Shape dough around kisses and roll into balls. (Hint for first-timers: you don’t want too much dough; use just enough to cover the Hershey kiss.) Bake on cookies sheets lined with parchment paper at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies are a light golden brown. Let cookies cool, then roll them in confectioner’s sugar.

Variation: Mr. James is a little fussier than I am about cookies, and doesn’t like milk chocolate. (Miraculously, we’ve managed to stay married for 15 years despite this character flaw.) So for some of the cookies, I roll the dough around a bunch of semi-sweet chocolate chips (instead of a Hershey’s Kiss), and everyone’s happy. 

M&M Cookies

1 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 ¼ cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 pound bag of M&Ms

Julie’s add-on: I also throw in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips because more chocolate = yummy goodness

Beat butter and sugars, then beat in vanilla and eggs. Add remaining dry ingredients, mix well, then stir in M&Ms (and chocolate chips). Bake at 375 degrees on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for 9-11 minutes, or until light golden brown.

 

Giveaway Alert

Berkley is giving away some awesome prizes like a $100 Visa gift card, and a book/galley/bound manuscript by each of the authors participating so if you’re interested in any of that, make sure you head over here to enter.

For tomorrow’s fun, head to one of the following blogs:

Stuck in Books
Thoughts in Process
The Romance Dish

Berkley Bookmas 12 Days of Shipmas on Instagram

If you’re on Instagram, we invite you to participate in Berkley Bookmas’s “12 Days of Shipmas” challenge! In a nutshell, we’re celebrating our favorite ships on the ‘gram and you’re welcome to join the fun – the schedule is below!

The Ships:

12/1: I Will Go Down With This Ship = fave ship of all time
12/2: Paranormal Pairings = fave paranormal couple
12/3: Love Is Love = fave LGBTQ couple
12/4: Haters to Lovers = fave enemies-to-lovers couple
12/5: Game Baes = fave sports romance couples
12/ 6: Men in Uniform = fave couple with military/army/navy/etc. character
12/7: Angst on Angst on Angst = fave angstiest couple
12/ 8: 3’s Not A Crowd = fave ménage/poly pairings
12/ 9: Christian Bae Day = fave kinky couple
12/10: Heroes in History = fave historical romance couple
12/11: Biker Baes = fave MC romance couple
12/12: Hot Scots = fave Scottish heroes/heroines

About the Author

Julie James

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

New York Times bestselling author Julie James practiced law with one of the nation’s largest firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time. Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages and Julie’s ninth novel, THE THING ABOUT LOVE, is now available.

Julie James lives with her husband and two children in Chicago, where she is working on her next novel.

 

Julie’s Latest Release

The Thing about Love by Julie James

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOOGLE BOOKS

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .


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Julie James Comes to Los Angeles! (+Giveaway)

Posted May 1, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 11 Comments

The minute Holly and I found out that Julie James was coming to Los Angeles, we made plans to be there because if you know us…we love us some Julie James. Our love for Julie James was established in 2008 with the release of Just the Sexiest Man Alive. I adored that book to pieces. I adored it so much I forced Holly to read it, and have not missed a release of hers since. We’re just as much in love with her stuff now as we were then.

Friday night, Julie James was in town chatting with People Magazine’s Kara Warner at The Ripped Bodice in Culver City and our book nerd asses were over the moon. If you haven’t been, you really must make The Ripped Bodice, the only exclusively romance bookstore in America, a stop when you’re in LA. Sisters Leah and Bea have created funky, fun atmosphere where you can relax, browse new (and used!) books and be with like minded women who love romance as much as you do. Not to mention spend time with Fitzwilliam Waffles, the shop dog (https://www.instagram.com/fitzwilliamwaffles/). I live about 15 minutes away from The Ripped Bodice, but I don’t get out there nearly as much as I’d like. Which is a bummer, since they offer writing workshops, book signings and all manner of reader/writer events (check out their events page here to see what’s coming up).

It’s funny that we were much more excited about seeing Julie James than we were about People Magazine being in the house but well, I guess that’s not such a surprise considering our book nerd status. Having People Magazine there was just an added bonus.

Leah, Bea and their crew turned The Ripped Bodice into an awesome venue with a Chicago flair and we definitely appreciated their efforts (along with the refreshments, of course. :P). Julie James was welcomed with a good sized crowd. She regaled us with stories of her writing adventures, background on the books she’s written and her inspiration for The Thing About Love. She also took some questions from the audience, then signed some books. It was an all around fabulous book signing, even though my Dodger loving heart was a bit bummed that the Chicago Cubs game was playing in the background. Ha!  (H: Sometimes I don’t even know how we’re friends. CUBS 4EVER!!) If you have a chance to attend a Julie James signing, you really must. She’s a wonderful storyteller in person as well as in print. Holly and I enjoyed ourselves immensely.

To celebrate the event, we’re giving away a signed copy of Julie Jame’s The Thing about Love to one lucky winner. Please use the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!!

Giveaway Alert

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Julie James, Kara Warner of People Magazine and everyone at The Ripped Bodice for a fun night. It was one for the books and I will definitely be making more time to visit the best bookstore in the entire universe! 🙂


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Guest Review: The Thing About Love by Julie James

Posted April 18, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Thing About Love by Julie JamesReviewer: Jen
The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.
For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time.

Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team.

In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

It’s actually been a loooong while since I’d read a Julie James book, but something about this one sparked my interest, so I picked it up. Good choice, Past Jen!

Jessica Harlow (which, incidentally, is a super cool name for a heroine, no?) recently transferred to the Chicago FBI office. Her first case is to go undercover posing as an investor to catch a corrupt politician. The problem is, she’s paired with John Shepherd, her arch rival from the FBI Academy. John has been groomed to join the ultra-elite Hostage Rescue Team since he was first recruited to the FBI, but he’s been dragging his feet on applying. When his current relationship blows up at the start of the book, he decides it’s time to finally to do what he was groomed for and sign up for HRT. Jessica wants her first case in the new office to be a success to impress her new colleagues, and John wants to go out with a win. The problem is, neither one can stand the other. They have to figure out how to put aside their differences, and a pesky case of attraction, to get the job done.

I really loved the “he said, she said” premise of the conflict in this book. While Jessica and John share a history, they definitely did NOT experience that history in the same way! Hearing them each tell their own version of their time at the Academy was funny and very illuminating. Jessica obviously had a bit of a chip on her shoulder, but it felt very justified because she was a woman in a world dominated by hot shot men. She had to be tough, and it’s easy to see how that would make her seem standoffish and unapproachable. John has a very different take on the situation, and to him he was just trying to be friendly while she was the one being condescending. For example, both Jessica and John recall an incident from their very first meeting, where John makes a jokey comment and winks at Jessica. He meant it as a friendly, welcoming introduction, with no other agenda. She interpreted it as flirting and patronizing her. Yes, Jessica seems harsh in that scene, but to me it was such a clear example of how a man might not even consider that a gesture like a wink could seem off putting to a woman used to dealing with misogyny and harassment. For his part, John tries to be open and friendly with Jessica, until she starts obviously competing with him, which triggers his own insecurities about being all brawn and no brain. Both of them had perfectly understandable interpretations of the past, and both of them were very wrong about the other.

As usual, James does a wonderful job making the investigation details seem realistic. Jessica and John are both scarily good at their jobs, and both act like actual investigators would act (or at least how I imagine they would act!). While there’s a little bit of light action at the end, for the most part this book is all about the well-planned white collar investigation, not shoot-em-up high stakes battles. What James does so well, though, is blend the competent job performance and the intriguing personal relationship into an engaging story you want to keep reading.

There were a few missteps, though. First, I felt like the conflict with John’s friends and the kerfuffle over his girlfriend never really went anywhere. There was never any real resolution there, so I didn’t quite understand the point. Also, John leaving to do HRT seemed a little forced. I mean, that was sort of the point because he clearly was clearly conflicted, but I felt like his conflict went on a little too long. I also wanted Jessica to be more honest with John. Some of the end drama would have been resolved by both John and Jessica just having a solid conversation earlier, instead of dragging out the angst.

Still, this story had a unique perspective and characters I liked getting to know.

Grade: 4 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

four-stars


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Review: The Thing about Love by Julie James

Posted April 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: The Thing about Love by Julie JamesReviewer: Rowena
The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

Julie James has been a favorite of mine since she was a newbie romance novelist with the release of her very first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive. Every year she has written a book that I absolutely loved and all these years later, she’s still writing books that I enjoy. As a reader, that makes me a happy camper because who doesn’t love enjoying book after book from their favorite authors?

Anyway, The Thing about Love is another fabulous addition to James’ backlist and it follows a couple of new to us FBI special agents who work for, wait for it….Nick McCall who is not a new to us character. 🙂 So while this book doesn’t follow our normal FBI Squad, we do see a bunch of them around and my inner FBI/US Attorney’s fangirl squeed with joy.

So the story starts out with John Shepherd walking in on some bad news at home so he throws himself into work. The best way to get over betrayal is is to drown yourself in work, right? Well, that’s what John does and he also decides that maybe a change would be good for him. He accepts the offer to join a huge task force in Virginia but he’s got one last undercover job that he has to do before he leaves and that job’s got him partnered up with a woman he went to FBI school with at Quantico. The girl that he had a huge crush on but didn’t return so instead of spending some happy time with each other, they spent the entire time trying to one up each other and that relationship follows them to their new undercover gig all these years later.

Jessica Harlow isn’t a fan of being partnered up with John Shepherd on this job but she’s a professional and she can handle him. She remembers John as being the douche canoe from class that was heaps better than everyone at everything and lorded his superior skills around, especially toward her. Especially when she was shooting guns and lagging behind everyone else in all of the physical aspects of the FBI. All these years later, she’s great at every part of being an FBI special agent and he can choke on all of his “encouragement”.

The chemistry between these two from the very beginning was sizzling. I ate every scene up and even when I wanted to pull Jess’ hair (because let’s face it, she’d beat my ass so that’s the extent of what I thought about doing to Jessica Harlow), I loved reading this book. It was fun and the romance was hot so I was entertained which makes the book a winner for me. It took me no time at all to dig into this book and I was invested in both John and Jess from the very beginning. There were times when a lot of the FBI jargon went over my head but mostly, it was just entertaining. I liked it a lot.

I definitely recommend this book if you enjoyed the other books by Julie James. It’s fun, it’s fresh and there’s lots of eye candy (old and new) so what’s not to love?

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Author Interview: Julie James Dishes About the FBI and The Thing About Love!

Posted April 17, 2017 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 10 Comments

Today we’re excited to have Julie James here to answer some questions about THE THING ABOUT LOVE (Berkley Romance, April 18, 2017). If you haven’t pre-ordered it, you must! It was such a wonderful read. Full of witty banter, with an exciting plot, it’s not to be missed.

Author Interview: Julie James Dishes About the FBI and The Thing About Love!The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation.

Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

 

 

 

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO || iBOOKS

Interview

Is it true that you were once interested in a career with the FBI?
Yes! I went to law school with the thought of possibly becoming an FBI agent. My first semester of law school, I met with an FBI recruiter, and he told me I was ineligible because I didn’t meet the vision requirements. (I’d planned to have Lasix surgery, but back then, that didn’t count—a rule that has since been changed.) While I was discouraged at the time, becoming a trial lawyer turned out to be a good fit for me. And, knowing what I do now, I’m not sure I would’ve made it through the PT part of the FBI Academy. 🙂

What research did you do for THE THING ABOUT LOVE?
I had to do research into the FBI Academy, and the Hostage Rescue Team. The FBI has some information about Selection and HRT on their website, but I also had to rely on news articles about the Team, and I read a memoir written by a former HRT operator.

I also had to do research on the specifics of the undercover investigation in the book, so that I knew what my heroine and hero would actually be doing. The case in the book is loosely based on a real-life case: the mayor of Charlotte, NC was arrested and convicted for accepting bribes in a manner similar to the mayor in my case. For research, I pulled news stories about the Charlotte mayor’s trial, court hearing transcripts, and press releases from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office.

Your female characters always have the best quips and comebacks. What inspires your dialogue?
I’m a film buff, and I started my writing career with screenplays. I think my focus on dialogue stems from that. And I think all of my heroine/hero pairings have a dynamic that’s one part Elizabeth Bennet/Mr. Darcy and one-part Princess Leia/Han Solo.

Why do you enjoy about writing about talented, career-focused women who find love?
I write women who are like the women I know. The “finding love” part of those stories comes from being a longtime fan of romantic comedies.

 

Giveaway Alert

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

About the Author

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

Julie James is the New York Times bestselling author of six previous novels. James graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and clerked for the United States Court of Appeals in Jacksonville, FL. She lives in Chicago with her family. Learn more at juliejames.com, Facebook.com/JulieJamesFanPage, and Twitter.com/juljames.

 

Meet Julie


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