Worst Marketing Idea Ever--courtesy of my mother

We all live in the world of marketing. It's a digital age where people are glued to their phones 24/7 and you can't have a decent conversation or watch the news without something interrupting you.

SOMEONE is always trying to sell us SOMETHING. And it's generally a digital device.

I'm a writer, so I'm in the business of marketing myself. I don't do a very good job at it. I just like to hang around on the interwebs, blog, tweet every once and a while and write. I'm not some sort of a marketing genius. And god knows I don't write the kind of books that fly off the shelves. And I'm ok with that.

When my very first book came out, way back in 2012, my family was super stoked. I mean, obvs. It was a BIG deal.

My mother was especially stoked. She literally came up with every idea she could do market me.

"Let's send Oprah a copy of your book! Then she'll read it and put it in her book club."

Um...yeah, no. It doesn't work like that, ma.

"Send it to Ellen! She'll love it and tell her peeps about it."

Errr. Ellen really doesn't look like the romance type. And my book isn't funny. And again, it doesn't work like that, ma.

"Send it to Princess Kate! Your book is about a Dutchess, after all!"

Okay, I did actually let my mother do this. And I actually did get a response back FROM THE PALACE. I'm not kidding. A legit letter from the Princess's assistant or what-not thanking me (well, my mother) for sending her a copy of my book and how thoughtful it was. No word if she actually read it. Or liked it. I doubt it on both counts. Either way, it was legit. I framed it.

"We can put giant magnets with your books on the side of our cars."

Whoa. No. So I can look like an insurance salesman?

But my favorite worst idea she had:

PUTTING MY FACE ON A BILLBOARD. IN MY HOMETOWN. WHERE I STILL LIVE. It's not a big town, folks. And it wouldn't sell books. People here would be like, "WTH is JD doing with those racy pictures on the side of Sawmill Road?"

Just picture it:

Yup. No. Just no.

So, thanks, Mom. I love you. I know you were trying to help. PR Maven and all that. Makes me love you even more, trying to help your little girl succeed in this world of unknowns. But these ideas just ain't for me. Love ya' anyway, though. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Ode to NaNo: NaNo, Oh, NaNo


NaNo, Oh, NaNo, how you displease me so
I plot, try, type, and die
Words twist, spin, fly 
Weaving dangerously
Strangle me in my sleep
I make no sense, 
My eyes, they weep
My brain, it seeps
Not for the faint of heart
Strength required to hit your mark
Make it to the end
Sanity still your friend
You shall rejoice
30 days
Writers, write! 

I did not NaNo this year, my friends. As a matter of fact, I haven't NaNo in three years. I've only done it twice. The first year I won (and finished and published a book!). The second year I failed miserably. Perhaps next year when I get my life together I'll give another shot. 

Here's my cheers to all of you in the darks depths of NaNoWriMo--GO GET 'EM! 

Also, happy Friday the 13th. 

I'm a storyteller, not a writer #PROUD #TRUTH

That's right. I'll admit it.

I'm a storyteller--not a writer.

There's a difference you ask? Yes, according to many people there is (Nathan Bransford, publishing interns, the Shark, to just name a few). And according to the same people, you must be good at both in order to become successful in this business.


That's a difficult statement to handle, isn't it? While it may be true you need to be good at both be SUCCESSFUL, not all of us are chasing down this dream for fame and money. I'm sure the hell not.

A long time ago, an intern on twitter posted the following:

"If you don't have background in writing--don't write."

Grrr.....SUCK IT, is what I wanted to say. And then I took a few deep breaths, collected myself and went on my merry way. Then I heard someone just not too long ago say the exact same thing. Let me make something clear:

First, let's talk about the difference between storytelling and writing. Obviously, storytelling is when you tell a great story. To people, to friends, in a funny notebook you carry around. You make people smile, laugh, and you add all sorts of great details that makes the original story even better. You're a natural entertainer. Wikipedia defines storytelling as: is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds often by improvisation or embellishment.

YEAH, that's totally me.

"Writing" is when you know all that "other" stuff: grammar, tenses--all the jargon about the English language. Wikipedia says writing is: writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols.

Jeez, that sounds lame and boring. 

Then you have all the other "writer" stuff: plots, tension, character delineation, backstory, turning points, plot layers, subplots, personal stakes, reversing motives, character dimensions, blah, blah, blah. This stuff is NOT lame and boring, but please note: all these things can be LEARNED.

Before I knew anything (and I do mean anything) about "writing"--I wrote. I'm secure enough to admit the first few things I wrote were utter crap.  But does that mean I shouldn't have done it? Hell no! It made me happy. I was pursuing a passion. I had zero pursuit to be published, zero need to be famous, I just wanted to feel the joy of creating and weaving a beautiful story that meant something to ME. And that's what all of you should be doing. If you're in this business to get famous--find another gig. Period.

The fact remains: not every novelists has a background in English. Not every author has taken a creative writing class. Not every best seller has a "background" in writing. I even did a little research. There a MANY novelists (famous and not) who didn't even go to college. There are some are who went to college, but not for writing/english. There are even a few high school dropouts.

And you know what? I'd rather be storyteller any day of the week. I can throw. It. Down. I don't care if you wipe pigeon butts 24/7 and don't know the different between Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird. If you want to write a book, do it. Don't let anyone stop you.  Freakin' write a book! Now, if you want to get published...well that's a whole 'nother issue. But don't let anyone stand in the way of what you want to do.


Speaking of not letting anyone stand in the way of what I do, my three romance books have been re-published today! I got the right backs earlier this year, and I'm proud to see my books back on the shelf. I'm not having a party or blogfest or giveaway. If you want to share you can. Or not. You can find them them here.

Friday Funny

Since it's FRIDAY, and it's been a pretty decent (but busy) week, I thought I end on a funny note. Nothing funny has happened to me this week, so I don't have an amazing story to tell you. 

I mean, I have daily funnies, like when my daughter tells me I can't leave the house in the mumu dress I have on. Or that's she's proud of my "age appropriate" outfit. I have no idea what the hell that means, mind you. She's 17, so that could explain it. I mean, I don't dress like a stripper or teenager. Perhaps she's thinking at least I don't look like a grandmother on any particular day (hence the mumu comment). Yeah, that's totally it. 

Here's a funny from around the interwebs to brighten up this already bright Friday! 


Poor, poor, Jake. I think everyone in the world has experienced this at some point or another in their life. Except me, of course. Neve rme. 

Have a good weekend all! 


Cover Reveal (MINE!) #justinesjuicycomeback #covereveal #romance

So, if this is the first time you've stopped by the blog--WELCOME! 

Also, you might want to know that the rights to three of my published romance book were reverted back to me. Since then I've been working on getting them re-published. YAY ME!

Today I'd like to (re)introduce you to all three of my books and their BRAND NEW COVERS!!
Find all my books on Goodreads and watch for them on November 9 on Amazon. WHOOT!

First up, Until Next Time, which is the very last romance of mine to be published, WAY back in 2013. Please feel free to swoon over the cover, which pictures the hero, Macy Quinn Oliver. If you can get past him (although I don't blame you if you can't) scroll down for the description. 

Piper Downing knows a thing or two about death. She’s spent her entire life working inside her family’s funeral home. Now thirty, Piper’s been running the place on her own for what feels like an eternity. Not that she minds. Piper copes with her job—and the world—by putting every emotion in a box and burying it. She doesn’t get close to people, has no friends, and only has relation­ships with men for sexual satisfaction. She doesn’t love. Love is selfish.

Macy Quinn Oliver knows a thing or two about death, too. An injury caused him to be honorably discharged as a fighter pilot and now he works as grief counselor at the local VA hospital. He was taught that death isn’t the end, it is simply…until next time. Even after losing his young bride to brain cancer, Quinn loves. Quinn lives. But because of his vow to his late wife, Quinn will never marry.

Together they make the perfect pair: a girl who won’t love and a guy who won’t marry. But in order to get their happy ever after, Piper has to learn that love isn’t an end all, and Quinn must make a commitment he promised to never make again.

Find it on Goodreads.

Next we have All American Girl, the middle child in my published book journey. And I have to say, this cover is smokin'

At the age of thirty, with two failed marriages and a tanking writing career, Samantha Moore deals with the world with the only tool she had left: anger. And she's tired of it. When her grandmother's near-death sends her rushing back home to Vermont, she hopes for the chance to overcome the rage ruling her life. 

Once she's home, Lance Cummings becomes a constant source of indigestion. Lance is a single father who learned first-hand the devastating effects of a damaging relationship. He sees through Samantha's nasty temper-straight to her cry for help. He wants to help her, but he also wants to know why Samantha ran from him-and their future-twelve years before. 

Taking care of her Grams, dealing with an alcoholic brother, and getting Lance to remove his annoyingly attractive nose from her business is draining on Samantha. And she's only got three weeks to finish her stagnated novel or her publisher will drop her. No pressure. To top it off, pretending to hate the man she actually loves makes each day in Vermont harder than the last. Especially when Lance turns up the heat. 

Find it on Goodreads.

And last, but certainly not least, we have my first ever published romance, Recaptured Dreams. 

Ten years, the Atlantic Ocean, and several rungs in society have kept Xavier Cain from having Sophia Montel. Now twenty-seven, he’s spent his entire adult life building a fashion empire that could finally prove his worth to her family. When fate reunites him with Sophia at London’s premiere fashion show, one problem lodges in Xavier’s path: Sophia doesn’t remember him.

The only obstacle that has kept Sophia from Xavier is a horrific car crash that erased her memory at seventeen. When Sophia meets Xavier at the London show, however, all her fantasies come to life in one night of passion. Discovering he is the missing link, she is determined to find all the pieces to their love story and her memory.

Xavier wants forever. Sophia wants her memory. If they take this chance, they’ll have to start over. How far are they willing to go to get what they want? And when the past catches up to them, can they handle the truths it has hidden?

Find it on Goodreads. 

Whew, I gotta tell ya', it feels good to see my books with brand spanking new covers. I love each and every one of them, and I hope you do, too.


My Halloween Horror Story

Something about Halloween makes me want to dabble a bit in the horror genre (although I quickly get out of the mood after the season is over).

In light of that, I wanted to share a flash fiction story I wrote WAY back in 2010. Man, that seems like an eternity. It's horror, I guess, and fits right into the creepy, erie, ghostly, scary Halloween weekend. So for your reading pleasure I give you...........(drumroll, please!)........................................


Hollowness settled in my chest. This didn’t feel like I thought. His tar-like blood pooled around my feet. His limbs were sprawled out in strange directions. He looked…broken.
I almost laughed. I was the broken one. He broke me. So this served him right, I guess. I turned to the mirror. The girl with sunken eyes, raven hair and purple bruises was no more. Now the eyes were soft, the hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. I even covered the bruise across my cheek and the scar on my left eye. Shimmery pink lipstick painted my thin lips. I wanted him to see how other people used to see me. The young girl with the bright future. Even if I wasn’t that girl anymore, I pretended. Just to see the panic in his eyes when I smiled at him and drew my gun.   
My infant daughter belted a cry in the next room. A single tear slid down my cheek. It was warm. I wiped it away. I couldn’t allow myself a moment of weakness. I looked down once more at him. He was still there, lifeless. I prodded him with my worn-out sneaker. He didn’t move. Good. I needed to be sure he wouldn’t get my daughter.
I dialed a number I knew too well.
“911 what is your emergency?”
“I just killed my stepfather.”

I put the gun to my mouth and hesitated for only a second before pulling the trigger. I had peace at last. 

  Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone!


The Arc of The Writer #journey #writer #storytime #worthit

Every writer has a journey.
Every writer has a story.
No one journey will be the same as another. 

My name is Justine Dell and I'm a formerly published romance author. I had three books published on the large scale. There is no better feeling than knowing a publisher thought your book was good enough to publish. It makes you feel accomplished, legitimate and like you belong in this crazy world of publishing. 

I still have books published, but the rights have been reverted back to me for the three mentioned above. I'm going to do something with them (and soon), but I just wanted to share part of my story. 

My journey will be different than yours and yours will be different than hers and hers will be different than his. I've made a lot of writer friends over the years and it astounds me as how different our paths have become over time. 

At any rate, your journey will be special. 

It's time for you to learn about the Arc of The Writer. Most people think it's a mountain that you can climb, reach the peak (of success) and then ride on the exhilaration on the way down. 

Not even close. 
Your journey as a writer will look more like this. 

It'll be a mountain RANGE. With highs and lows, peaks too tall to reach, and valleys so deep you'll hope to never see the bottom of them. It's a rollar coaster of emotions, fears, celebrations, and tears. 

Better get that Xanax/coffee/wine/yoga/whatever you do to de-tox/de-stress cuz your gonna need it. I guarantee you that. 

While I know that doesn't sound like much fun, I also guarantee that IT WILL ALL BE 
                                                                      via GIPHY

Tell me about your story. I love a good story.