Wednesday, August 10, 2011

“EDIT” … A “GOOD” Four-Letter Word! (And Book Giveaway!!)

Curses! Drat! Phooey! Or, if your name happens to be O’Connor—Blast! Saints almighty! Sweet saints above! Sweet mother of Job or Sweet chorus of angels!

Because let’s face it—when an author receives twenty pages of red-letter edits from her editor, it just ain’t pretty. But … if there’s one thing I have learned after writing six books, it’s that “Edit” is NOT a bad word!!

Oh, trust me, I thought so in the beginning. Well, not the early, early beginning because truth be told, I had almost no edits on Book 1, A Passion Most Pure (comparatively), and only a few more on Book 2, A Passion Redeemed, so naturally I thought—Hey, this edit stuff isn’t so bad! And, really, it can only get better from here, with fewer and fewer edits on each book, right?

Uh, yeah. Can you say, “blindsided”? My first two books set me up for the fall, and the pin that burst my bubble was called A Passion Denied, book 3 in The Daughters of Boston series. From that moment on, I was “denied” the comfort and cockiness of thinking I could ever write a decent book again. The edits for each book thereafter got progressively worse, convincing me that as an author, I was getting worse too, going backwards instead of forward. So much so, that I almost expected my publisher to yank their contract. Sigh … what a greenhorn!

Well, I’m happy to say that it may have taken me six books, but I have finally learned that edits—whether from your agent, your editor or your copy editor—only make the book better and better. Wow, Julie … what a concept!!

So, since my latest book A Heart Revealed releases in—drum roll, please—FIVE DAYS on or TWENTY-ONE DAYS on and everywhere else including bookstores, I thought it might be a kick to show you some of the edits from my editor on this particular book while giving you a sneak peek at Sean and Emma’s story at the same time. And then, since “edit” is NOT a "bad" four-letter word, I thought it might also be fun to give you a look at an edit sheet I created for myself (at the end of this blog) with alternative words suggestions for Christian-approved four-letter words or exclamations. Mind you, these word suggestions are just my running worksheet of ones I use a lot and certainly not all that are available. In fact, anyone who leaves a comment with new Christian-approved exclamations, I will enter you twice in the contest to receive a signed copy of my new book, A Heart Revealed. Here’s my own version of the jacket blurb:

The ring on her hand belongs to one man …

but her heart belongs to another.

As a battered woman, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston ten years ago, seeking shelter for a heart badly bruised by both her husband and guilt. But when she falls in love with Sean O’Connor, a man who wrestles with demons of his own, fear and shame almost destroy her … until she is finally set free by a heart revealed.

The heroine of A Heart Revealed, Emma Malloy, is a married woman whose abusive husband threw hot grease in her face back in Ireland, scarring her for life. Consequently, as a physically “imperfect” heroine, I really wanted to model her after Francine Rivers’ utterly incredible heroine from her Mark of the Lion trilogy, Hadassah, a Jewish slave girl who was disfigured in the lion arenas in 79 AD Rome. Like Emma, Hadassah was a scarred woman whose inner beauty was so strong (her love for God, her goodness, etc.), that by the end of the book, it made her almost physically beautiful to the hero and the reader despite her disfigurement.

Well …I’m no Francine Rivers, and apparently I went a little overboard on the “holy” aspect of Emma because I laughed out loud when my editor referred to Emma as “a Buddhist nun. Yep, I had some work to do, and to give you an idea of the challenge I faced in transforming Emma, here is the most telling comment from my editor:

“Emma is like a Buddhist nun. Sometimes Sean even compares her to his mother. She’s super-spiritual and totally non-sexual. Even the fact that we’re told she has gray eyes isn’t helping. On p. 37, for example, when she looks in the mirror: “the pity in gentle gray eyes…” This is your biggest challenge in this book – making her more dimensional and sensual and more like a true Julie Lessman character. Making her someone Sean falls in love with. Let’s face it, guys start w/a spark. Where’s hers? Sean’s playing w/bad girls while he puts Emma on a pedestal. Your fans are looking for passion. Emma seems passionless, and actually so does Sean when he’s around her until it’s kinda too late in the book. She’s completely too schoolmarm …”

YIKES! Or maybe I should say drat or oh, fudge!! But seriously, I owe my editor a HUGE thank you for her invaluable insight on Emma’s character because truly, her edits … along with those of my amazing agent, Natasha Kern, made the difference in this book!

So … let’s tackle my editors’s comment above about page 37. Here’s how I originally wrote it, and yes, Emma does sound pretty colorless here:

Emotion shifted in Emma’s throat as she stared at her image in the mirror, noting the pity in gentle gray eyes that had once held so much promise. Charity insisted she was “beautiful,” but mirrors didn’t lie …

What man would ever find me beautiful? The only beauty she possessed was her love for God, and Emma knew that the human eye was often blind to such beauty. She inhaled deeply, infusing her lungs with the peace of acceptance. Fortunately for her, it was more than enough.

And here’s the rewrite, giving Emma “green-gray” eyes that “men could get lost in” and showing men’s attraction to her before the scars.

Rory had thought her beautiful once, as did the men who often sought her attention before Rory had spoiled that beauty, and yet for all the bold stares and brazen compliments, Emma had never once believed it. Despite men fawning over her from an early age on, her father had made sure that such compliments never changed the low opinion she had of herself, insisting that “any whore can turn a man’s head.”

Emotion shifted in Emma’s throat as she stared at her image in the mirror, noting the pain in green-gray eyes that Rory had once claimed a man could get lost in. Eyes that had once held so much promise, now filled with tragedy due to a man’s admiring gaze. Charity insisted she was “beautiful,” but mirrors didn’t lie...

Next, I needed to have Sean notice Emma as a woman, so here’s an original excerpt that has no “attraction” factor at all:

She closed her eyes and inhaled, which helped chase the fatigue from her delicate features. “Oh, I love the clean smell of rain.”

“Me too,” he said, taking the opportunity to study the woman before him with whom he felt a kinship that seemed almost like blood. She was the reason his gloomy mood had lifted in the last week, the reason he’d enjoyed working at Dennehy’s so much despite the fact that her interaction with him had been painfully professional. He thought he had known her, this woman he loved, but she had surprised him more than anyone ever had, slipping out from the shadows of ambiguity to become a strong and steady force in a world where men reigned supreme. And yet through it all, she was Emma, a woman who preferred to fade into the background, and yet wielded a power that was serene, gentle, and strong.

The gray eyes opened, and he suddenly saw her as she must have been years ago—perfect features, hypnotic eyes and an innocence that produced an ache in his chest. He observed the faint scars on the right side of her face—the damaged brow, the wilted lip—and realized that for him, they had never hindered her beauty. “You’re different here,” he whispered, “secure, resolute, invincible.”

And here’s the rewrite, adding a hint more sizzle, particularly the bolded areas, with “trigger” words (i.e. more sensual) underlined:

“Oh, I love the smell of rain,” she whispered.

“Me too,” he said quietly, suddenly aware he’d been holding his breath. Easing back in his chair, his chest slowly contracted as the air left his lungs in one long, silent release. Eyes closed, she seemed content to rest, head cushioned on the padded back of a gold velour dining room chair that matched the furniture in her office. The scent and sound of the rain seemed to tranquilize her, dispelling some of the anxiety he’d sensed after Alli had left, affording him the opportunity to study this woman who aroused his curiosity like no other ever had. She was the reason his gloomy mood had lifted in the last week, the reason he’d enjoyed working at Dennehy’s so much despite the fact that her interaction with him had been painfully professional. He thought he had known her, but she had surprised him more than anyone ever had, slipping out from the shadows of ambiguity to become a strong and steady force in a world where men reigned supreme. And yet through it all, she was Emma, a woman who preferred to fade into the background, and yet wielded a power that was serene, gentle, and strong. His neck warmed. And somehow—in the intimacy of this setting—sensual.

The fawn-colored eyes opened, revealing a hint of pale green hue, and he suddenly saw her as she must have been years ago—perfect features, hypnotic eyes and a magnetic innocence so strong, it aroused both a strange longing within and an ache in his chest. He observed the faint scars on the right side of her face—and realized that for him, they had never hindered her beauty. “You’re different here,” he whispered, “secure, resolute, invincible.”

In these next four examples, changing/adding one or two simple lines (or a word) can help (I hope!) to “rev” the attraction factor up considerably.

A wash of color ebbed in her cheeks as she rose to her feet. “Well, if I can’t convince you to go home, then at least I can share my supper with you.” A sparkle lit the soft gray of her eyes. “It’s not Bert’s home-made meatloaf by a long shot, but it should be enough to tame your hunger pangs for a while.”

A wash of color ebbed in her cheeks and she quickly rose to her feet, avoiding his eyes. “Well, if I can’t convince you to go home, then the least I can give you half of my supper.” She peeked up, her manner tentative despite a shy smile that quickened his pulse. “It’s not Bert’s meatloaf by a long shot, but it should be enough to tame your hunger pangs for a while.”

He grinned and speared some beef with his fork. “This looks incredible. When do you have time to cook like this?”

He quickly reached for his fork and speared the beef, grinning like a little boy with a big crush on a little girl. “This looks incredible. When do you have time to cook like this?”

She was Mrs. Emma Malloy, the only one he’d ever allowed a glimpse of his soul, and the one he respected more than any woman alive, outside of his family. The woman he loved … and the only woman who offered no threat.

She was Mrs. Emma Malloy, the only one he’d ever allowed a glimpse of his soul, and the one he respected more than any woman alive, outside of his family. He glanced up, and suddenly those mesmerizing green-gray eyes—the hue of pale jade or onyx—tripped his pulse, an unsettling awareness that hers, for whatever reason, was the opinion that mattered the most.

His face relaxed into a smile. “Yeah, that did sour my mood. But I only have you to blame. Your brownies are even better than my mothers, and that’s saying something.”

She smiled, savoring the compliment. “Thank you, but let’s keep that a secret, shall we?”

His face relaxed into a smile. “Yeah, that did sour my mood. But I only have you to blame. Your brownies are downright sinful.”

She grinned. “Goodness, I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not.”

I had the perfect opportunity to show Sean’s attraction in a scene where she teaches him to dance, but I blew it the first time around (the first paragraph below), not taking advantage of racing his pulse over Emma Malloy. But … hopefully I succeeded in the rewrite that follows (the 2nd paragraph below):

“I promise this will be fun,” she said in a rush, hurrying to the cherry-wood buffet against the wall where an RCA Victor phonograph stood ready and waiting. His mouth went flat. Further evidence of her plot to goad him into making Rose happy. He shook his head and watched her while she turned the phonograph on, lifting the needle carefully into place with a scratchy sound before it glided into the record’s groove. The mellow sounds of Duke Ellington’s Three Little Words suddenly floated through the air and oddly enough, his muscles begin to relax. He closed his eyes to enjoy the magic of one of his favorite songs, by an artist Emma knew he loved.

“I promise this will be fun,” she said in a rush, hurrying to the cherry-wood buffet against the wall where an RCA Victor phonograph stood ready and waiting. His mouth went flat. Further evidence of her plot to goad him into making Rose happy. He shook his head and watched her while she bent over the phonograph, his gaze traveling the length of her before he realized what he was doing. Heat ringed his collar and his pulse notched up a degree when he suddenly realized Emma Malloy had a beautiful body. How had he never noticed before—those long, willowy legs that slid up to gentle hips and a small waist? Fire scorched his cheeks as he admired generous breasts all the more obvious in a new pale yellow sweater that brought out a touch of green in her eyes. He cleared his throat and looked away while she carefully lifted the needle into place with a scratchy sound before it glided into the record’s groove. The mellow sounds of Duke Ellington’s Three Little Words suddenly floated through the air and oddly enough, his muscles begin to relax. He closed his eyes to enjoy the magic of one of his favorite songs, by an artist Emma knew he loved.

Finally, I couldn’t end this blog without a love scene, and since I can’t have a love scene between Emma and Sean because Emma is married, I have what I think is wonderful substory about Katie and Luke. Here is an excerpt from their honeymoon night, and I never thought I would say this, but my editor actually asked me to make it MORE passionate because after all, the readers have been waiting for this wedding and honeymoon for a whole year now, so it should be good! So I did—I added two paragraphs that I have bolded below. To set the scene up, Katie is in the bathroom of their hotel on the first night of their honeymoon, wondering how she was going to tell Luke she intended to go back to law school and graduate before she has children.

She released a cleansing breath and opened her eyes, suddenly feeling considerably calmer. Luke loved her and would understand, she was sure of it. After all, hadn’t he agreed to let her continue working at the BCAS three days a week while Lizzie watched Kit? And going to law school five days a week wasn’t much more than that, she reasoned. All it would take was for Luke to agree to refrain from lovemaking at inopportune times. Was that so difficult?

And if he refuses? Katie blinked in the mirror as her jaw pressed tight. Well, then, she’d just have to be the strong one, the one with the will power. When the time wasn’t right, she would just tell Luke McGee no, case closed. After all, how hard could it be?

With her mind firmly made up, she opened the bathroom door.

A gasp quivered from her lips when Luke met her with a possessive grip and a dangerous gleam in his eyes. “Sweet saints, Katie, if you’re trying to build anticipation, you win, because I’m about ready to crawl out of my skin.”

He cupped her face in his hands and pressed her to the wall, taking her mouth with such gentle force that a moan escaped her lips. When he pulled away, the blood in her cheeks warmed at the sight of his bare, muscled chest tapering into low-slung pajama bottoms. The heady scent of Bay Rum from his clean-shaven jaw merged with the smell of soap from blond hair still wet from his shower. She looked up and swallowed hard, completely disarmed by the glow of love in his eyes.

“Heaven, help me, Katie, you’re beautiful,” he whispered, his gaze scanning her negligee as if he wanted to swallow her whole. The blue eyes recaptured hers once again, and her heart tripped at the desire she saw in his face. His generous mouth tipped up in a smoldering tease as he leaned in to nuzzle her neck. “Pinch me, Katie Rose, because I can hardly believe I get to make love to you for the rest of my life.”

In a sudden sweep of his arms, he cradled her to his chest and carried her to their bed with the utmost care, setting her down on the smooth, cool sheets as if she were the most fragile of gifts. He eased in beside her and drew her close, his voice husky with emotion as he stared into her eyes. “I love you, Katie,” he said, fingers sifting into her hair while his palms caressed her face. “So much that sometimes I ache inside.” He kissed her then, slow and languid as he laid her back on the bed, the chaotic rhythm of her breathing as ragged as his.

Hungry hands grazed warm against the smooth silk of her gown, and a breathless sigh shuddered from her lips. “I love you too,” she whispered, skin tingling while his mouth fondled hers slow and easy before wandering to the hollow of her throat.

Her body quivered as gentle palms slowly slipped the straps of her gown from her shoulders, his words hoarse and hot against her skin. “And you have my word, Sass—I will do everything in my power to make you the happiest woman alive.” With a catch of her breath, his lips trailed down, sending shudders of warmth rippling through her body.

The happiest woman alive. Her eyelids fluttered close. Sweet angels in heaven--there was no doubt about that.

As promised, here is my list below. Anybody who gives me an example that I can add to my list will be entered twice in a contest to win a signed copy of A Heart Revealed. Good luck!




Bloodsucking lowlife abuser







Load of human pus

Low-down skunk


Mangy, flea-infested dog

Pole cat





Slime bucket


Two-bit grease ball


Wise guy


Worthless sack of dung







Blue blazes

Blue-blistering barnacles


By thunder


Confound it







Dash it

Dash it all

Doggone it


Drawers of the Devil




For Heaven’s Sake

For mercy’s sake

For pity’s sake.

For the love of Job

For the sake of the heavenly host



Gee whiz

Gee willickers

Geez Louise

Go to thunder

Good gracious

Good gracious

Good gravy

Good grief

Good grief

Goodness knows

Great balls of fire!

Great scott

Heaven knows

Holy Blazes

Holy Cow

Holy mackerel

Holy Smoke




I’ll be jiggered


Jeepers Creepers


Land sake


Man, alive

Mercy me

My word


Oh, crumb

Oh, fiddle!

Oh, for crying out loud.

Oh, for the love of all that is good and decent

Oh, fudge!

Oh, Piddle







Saints Almighty

Sakes alive


St. Peter’s Gate

St. Peter’s nightgown

Sweet mother of Job

Sweet mother of pearl

Sweet saints

Sweet suffering saints


Thank goodness

The deuce

The dickens


Upon my word

What the blazes


Ye, gods


  1. Thanks for a glimpse into the editing process Julie. I have always been fascinated by that....and now I know more.

    And the list of expressions had me laughing out loud.

    Gee willikers those are some fun words ;)

    Cannot wait to read more about Sean and Emma and the O'Connor clan.


  2. Agreed Critty (Christy) - definitely LOL!

    Julie - you're a hoot!

    I thought about gaze locking - and maybe "grabbed" would work there also? dunno - you were very thorough already.

    Seriously - LOL...

    Thanks for this - good stuff!!!

  3. Hey Julie. when you have names for bad men we have a few aussie ones you can add some which just add to what you have like
    or sleeze bucket

  4. Excellent article! Thanks for taking away the fear of editing!

    Love all the expressions! How about Scarlett's "Oh, fiddle-dee-dee!" Oh, and someone else's "Merciful heavens!"

  5. Uh, Julie, sweetness, I think you got most all of them...

    But maybe [because it's late and my head hurts this is all I got... Maybe another one or two tomorrow...]

    Great Caesars Ghost!
    Great... er no. Shades of Elvis? Yeah. You're a bit early for that...

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

  6. Hopefully, I'm doing this right :)

    Instead of...
    (depending on his mood)

    His lips curled mischievously as he spiked his fingers through his hair, causing it to stand up on end slightly....


    In frustration, he raked his fingers through his hair.


    Words escaped him, and without even realising it he had sifted his fingers through his hair..

    Instead of:

    His jaw muscles jumped.
    His muscles twitched in his face
    He was so angry that he could feel his muscles pulsing in his face.

    Instead of
    You can use...

    Her eyes slatted as she listened to the half baked excuse she was hearing.

    Her eyes fell to half-mast, listening to the.....

    Her eye shuttered half way...

    Instead of:

    She pulled to go, but the hand on her forearm felt like an iron grip, and she couldn't escape


    His eyes narrowed into slits and without warning he seized her arm.
    (or - you could say, "In a panic, he seized her arm")

    Instead of:
    you can use:

    Her breath wheezed out in fear.

    She panted, trying to catch her breath.

    Fear gripped her and only a bit of air expelled out from her lungs.

    Hope this helps!
    Livvie - rainytuesdays at hotmail dot com :)

  7. [Oh and Pam is on the [Pentalk blog today talking about Digital First :D. Blog goes live at midnight, but I'm not sure which midnight it is...]

  8. G'MORNIN', ALL!!







  9. Oho. I did NOT do it right. :) but i had fun making sentences heheh

    picked, shovelled, pushed


    drew in her bottom lip
    sucked (I do this all the time)

    Holy, Moses.
    You haven't got the sense God gave a flea [ant, grasshopper].
    You are under the impression that I care.
    Oh, Sugar [then of course, you need bada-baba-ba ba ba, Oh Honey, honey... you were my Candy girl... :D]

  10. CHRISTY!!! Hey, girl, how the heck have you been??? And, yeah, you're partial to the editing process, as I recall!! Trust me, you wouldn't be if you were a newbie author on this end, but even newbie authors finally grow up!!

    Oooo, "Gee Willikers" is one to add, my friend -- thank you!! Two points for you, and let me know what you think of AHR after you read it, okay? Gotta feeling that you, in particular, are going to love this one.


  11. What a fun post, Julie! Definitely a "print out and keep" one.

    And an expression? It's too late to think of any good ones. But a lousy no good rat of a man? There just aren't enough words to describe someone who's lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut, except maybe that he's a man that's so lousy even the dogs won't sleep with him.

    I always think it's amazing what some great editing can do to a story - and I need the inspiration as I'm going through my WIP.

    come to think of it, maybe this post is also a "hang it up next to the computer" one!

    I'm leaving some Black Hills bagels for everyone - I won't be in tomorrow (eye surgery first thing in the morning), but I'll be back on Thursday!

    I'd love to win the book!

  12. KC ... yes, I have been called a "hoot" on more than one occasion, and I take full responsibility for that. I'm a bit of quirk, so I come by that naturally, I think.

    And you got to see my total list before I yanked the words for raking through one's hair and swallowing hard, etc. By comment #8, I yanked them all but the "clean" cuss words because my hubby said it was WAY too long!!


  13. JENNY!!! Good job, my friend, especially "shyster" as I didn't have that one on my list. Two points for you, sweetie.

    But you know what I forgot to mention?? The words also have to be etymologically correct, which means they had to be words that were used in the time period for my story, which most of the ones on my list are.


  14. MARIAN!!! Oh, GREAT job, my friend, especially "merciful heavens" -- LOVE that!! Two points, girl.

    And as my Aunt Julie would say, "Demerits" for me because I didn't have Scarlett's favorite word on my list. You caught me ...


  15. CAROL ... GREAT job on "Great Caesar's Ghost"!! Adding that to my list and giving you two entries, sweetie.


  16. LIVVIE ... boy, girl, you put some time into that -- THANK YOU!!

    I particularly like "wheezed" and "half-mast" -- I'm stealing them!!

    Since your comment, Liv, I've removed all the alternative words for guys raking their hair, etc. because this post was just TOO darn long, but you got your double entries for sure.


  17. CAROL ... thanks for the heads-up about Pammy's blog, girlfriend!!

    LIVVIE ... you are TOO cute, sweetie, you know that?? Is this Livvie from Canada??? Thank you for all the great suggestions -- I'm keeping "picked, shovelled, and drummed."


  18. Looks like coffee is not needed, so here's a huge pot of tea.

    Bad word! Bad word!

  19. LOL,JAN!!! LOVE "lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut"!!! Already cut and pasted it into my doc, so THANK YOU!!

    I fully intend to use that one in the current book I'm writing about a Texas cowgirl who goes to visit her wealthy cousins in San Francisco. That's just the type of thing she would say about the hero ... :)

    And God bless your surgery tomorrow, my friend ... saying one for you RIGHT NOW!!

    Good luck in the contest!


  20. Uh, HELEN, "bad word" is right if you're talking about tea to this gal early in the morning. I gotta have my straight up caffeine to peel back those eyelids, you know?

    But come wintertime, I do get into the flavored teas BIG TIME!!

    Thanks for always being there to keep us covered on those beverages, sweetie.


  21. Love this post! Definitely going to keep this one close at hand.

    I just love words, so here are a few ideas for your list:

    Sigh: The memories pulled a breathy sigh from her throat

    Eyes darted: shot, daggered, impaled

    flicker: skittered

    Derogatory names: Poisonous, wart-covered toad. Festering, rotting piece of filth. No 'count swindler.

    Expressions: My stars and garters! Boy howdy!, Great Jehoshaphat! Jumpin' Toadstools! Dadburnit! Good heavenly days! Heavens to Betsy! Shirts and skirts! Well, shut my mouth! Good night, woman! Sweet Onions! By Jingo! Well knock me down and steal my teeth! I swan! What in the Sam Hill? Great Day in the morning!

  22. Oh dear. Was going to copy those word lists for reference, but they're gone now. Could you maybe post those in a comment or email them to me?

    If it's too much trouble don't worry about it. I just figured there'd be no harm in asking. :)

    simmadar (at)

  23. ah I see your time period. Hey Im an aussie I plead ignorance.
    I guess another name that would have been around that time that were derogative for men maybe not bad men is
    Hobo (figuring its near the great depression).

    As I was reading the original post I was wondering Julie wants to write shorter books not sure its possible. (so I guess I am like your husband in that sense)

  24. I just want to say that I'm SO excited to finally read (some of) Stephen and Emma's story! Can't wait for it to come to the book store, although, they have to special order them for me in my area....and I'm only an hour from STL!

    The only expressions that I don't see on your list that I use on a daily basis are:
    ~Oh My Word!
    ~And...I'm done!

    I'm sure they are a bit too modern for this time period but you wanted expressions and this is what I had in mind.

    Thank you for your amazing books that feed my soul and put a little spark in there too! I have been telling my friends about your books (bragging really, since I feel like I know you [somewhat] because I went to grade school with your son.) I keep telling them that they are "christian romance, but not your momma's christian romance"! I LOVE THEM!!! Keep them coming!

  25. Oh gosh... The giveaway... I have a couple of derogatory terms I think, but mind you I don't think they are any good... you have been warned.

    noodled armed excuse of a man

    reach me at

  26. Thanks for the list! I copied it, but alas I can't write any more, I hear the baby calling! Just wanted to say thanks for sharing though.

  27. oooh, this is a great post! An author I love once said that as soon as she decided to write, she started looking at books the same way a carpenter looks at a forest. And I do, too. I read a great phrase and think- I've got to steal some of that! One of my favorite books for a fresh turn of phrase, or evocative words, is 'A Certain Slant of Light', which is a YA love story. The little hints she drops in a line remind me of how your editor got you to turn up the heat. LOVED this post!
    Looks like we're supposed to come up with phrases for sighing or other gestures? I like Jonathon Stroud's writing and I remember a line... 'the sharp intake of air against his teeth told her...' My characters are always sucking in a breath or letting one go in a whoosh, so I appreciated that line! :D
    And epithets? Was putz on there?

  28. Okay, I'll add some Australian flavour for the time period, too.

    A bad bloke is called a mongrel! Nice, eh?!

    And how about 'glory be'!

    Cheers :)

  29. Julie,
    Additions to Derogatory names list: worm, yellow-bellied.

    Your list of swearwords is impressive.

    Thanks for sharing the edits.

  30. Oh, I'm in love with the lists! Printing them now because they're too fun.

    Great post, my passionate friend, and I'm dying laughing over the Buddhist nun remark....

    Emotionless but on fire for God.

    I'm gonna hug Lonnie when I see her, LOL! ;)

    This is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing, and since we RARELY get it right the first time, I'll take a dip in that editing pool with you any time, babe!

    Leaving a new pastry for breakfast. Imagine tubes of fried dough (like a fried dough cannoli) filled with cannoli cheese filling and blanketed with cinnamon sugar.

    To Die For.

  31. Lizzie, you're awesome.

    I'm sending you my next manuscript for doctoring, 'kay????

    Dagnabbit, girl, that's some wonderful gift for substitution there.

  32. Noodle Armed Excuse for a man?????

    OH, I LOVE IT!!!!

  33. I'm thrilled to know that Emma is back! Hooray!
    love the lists, Julie.

    I adore editing. Well, I think I adore editing because it's all I know. (I guess I should call it revision and editing- two different things)

  34. "Oh snap" =)

    I seriously can't wait for this to come out. I usually wait for books to come out on the Nook before I order them but I don't know if I can do that on this one!

  35. interesting post. i've enjoyed the lists of creative insults and "swear" words.

    my brothers have called certain guys a waste of oxygen (meaning they shouldn't even be breathing)

    one of my friends always exclaims "oh sugar"

    my grandma would utter "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!"

    my brother once growled "dirty word, dirty word, dirty word..." when someone irked him

    thanks for a look-see into your edits.

  36. Name for a bad man:
    low down mealy mouthed coyote

    Shocked words:
    Jumping Jehoshaphat!

    I didn't make up either, so does that disqualify me?

    Thank you SO much for the little previews. They were WONDERFUL. And I can't wait to read when Katie tells Luke she wants to wait for kids. Fireworks?

  37. Fun post, Julie, but so true. While I can’t exactly say edits are fun, it’s amazing how much they can strengthen a story and turn it from a story people will read to a story people will love.

    Enjoyed reading through your lists, and I picked up a few new terms. Here’s a few I’ve used.

    For a bad guy or how the hero feels when he messes up: Lower than the slime a snail leaves behind

    Derogatory name for bad man: son of an unnamed goat

    Exclamations: For the love of everything green in Ireland!

    Oh, Go shoot yourself in the foot!

    I’m SO excited about Sean and Emma’s story to hit the bookstores and then my Kindle! :o)


  38. "Load of human pus??"

    Oh my goodness, Julie. I do believe thems fightin' words, LOL!

    What a wonderful post and so, so, Julie Lessman! I can't believe the original version actually flowed from your fingertips.

    But then again, the original version showed exactly what you were trying to create...the mood, the image, the fears. What wonderful insight to characters you made full rounded and deep.

    Adding the famous Lessman "edge" was just cream on top!!

    Thanks for sharing your edits, Julie. But remember, if not for the strength of the character underlayment you developed, the sensual layer would have been nothing but "glaze."

    Don't you just hate it when authors bank on nothing but sensual? There isn't a member of the O'Connor brood et al that doesn't have substance AND heat.

    Wow. Jules, you really needed to write this post in the dead of winter instead of making me up the air conditioning now!!

  39. Love the post, Julie--especially the cartoon of the editor asking the author to rearrange all the words in her manuscript! Too funny. Y'know, in an ironic, pulling-out-your-hair kind of way.

    Is it okay to copy and use that elsewhere?

  40. Thanks for the peek into the new book, Julie! I was wondering when it was coming out. I actually had a question about the last book, but it might be a spoiler if no one has read it! It’s about Luke and Betty. But I’ll refrain from asking in case people here haven’t got to read it yet!

    Great Jehosaphat!
    Jumping Jehosaphat!
    Merciful Providence!
    Merciful Heavens!
    Oh, sugar! Double sugar!

    Still working in this… lol.


  41. Loved the editing lesson Julie. Congrats on your new book coming out. How exciting!

    Jodie Wolfe

  42. Well, Julie, you have me fanning my face at 9:45 in the morning! I guess I could try to blame it on the Georgia heat, but I won't. It's your sizzling writing!! :)

    Great post! I love to see how your work forms from draft to edited form. Nice job!! Thanks for sharing and teaching.

  43. Wow, Julie, you have me chomping at the bit to read A Heart Revealed!!!! Love the excerpts!

    Thanks for a look at your edit process. My experience was similar to yours. My first book was virtually edit free, but I had to rewrite the second when my editor asked me to make the hero's nephew his son. She was right. The change added oodles of conflict, especially since he didn't reveal his fatherhood to the heroine, his son's foster mom.

    I'll add to your list of derogatory names for men.
    Pain in the neck


  44. I'm still laughing and smiling after reading your post! :o) Thank you for sharing about the "Edit" word.

    Exclamations that I use are "Sugar!" and "Fiddlesticks!"

    I hope these will count towards an extra entry into the drawing, because I would absolutely LOVE to win a copy of this book.


  45. I am on the run between contractors to estimate damage on my house due to a pipe that blew due to the HEAT, not freezing, weather. Oh, the names I have called some folks in this process.

    Did someone mention, "snake belly" for a bad guy? You know how low those snake bellies are to the ground.

    And then there is the best of all Southern phrases, "Bless her heart!" We know that one has a double meaning.

    Such fun and it gives me ammunition in case I need it.

    I had to edit my dad's memoirs and thankfully he looked at it as a boon rather than bust. Whew.

    Looking forward to the next book!

    Peace, Julie

  46. Wow! Great post! Thank you for sharing your editor's note and how you addressed it. It helps seeing the changes like that. =]

    And thanks for those lists. Way too cool. Seriously.

  47. I LOVE your books. Faith is my favorite character. I enjoy reading about characters like Faith and Hadassah (by F. Rivers) in which their beauty grows throughout the story. I'm very excited about your new book.

    Here are some words:

    baloney, rats, nuts, shucks, mercy, "Oh my stars", gosh, golly, drag, goodness gracious, nifty

    rag-a-muffin, wet blanket, Bee's knees, flat tire, sap

  48. Morning Julie,

    Wow, what a collection of expressions. Love it.

    Loved all your examples of editing. It is a process isn't it? Thank the heavens above for editors.

  49. I always liked the word putrid, it can be paired with alot of those derrogatory names!

  50. Oh my stars
    Oh my stars and garters
    Well I'll be
    Well I'll be horn-swaggled
    Jiminy cricket
    Pain in the backside
    A pain
    Dip Wad
    Dip stick
    Pickle head
    Pickle brain
    Confound it all
    Confound it
    Nose picker
    Mangy mutt
    Two-bit turkey
    Flea infested varmint
    Dingle-berry (my dad's)

    It helps growing up with brothers and having sons. :D

    My mom used to say "God bless it." My dad would tease her and say, "Right words, wrong attitude." :D

    My 5 yr old comes up with some doozies for his three big brothers, but I can't think of any right now. :D

    :D Great post, Julie!

  51. Hi Julie! This was such a fun post to read. I've never really thought much about the editing process but it's amazing how adding a few select words/sentences here and there can change the whole scene!

    Thanks for sharing that honeymoon scene with Katie and Luke. Whooo, is it hot in here to anyone else? I love your list of words! I think I'm going to start using "drat" on a regular basis. :) I'm so looking forward to A Heart Revealed. Can't wait!

  52. Hello Julie...your post definitely woke me up this morning! Especially that last bit! : ) My best friend and I used to say "Hot Momma Pajama" but I'm pretty sure Simon and Garfunkel would be out of your time constraints : ). I say "oh my!", "oh my stars!", and "oh my word!" a good bit. I don't know when "golly" became popular. Thanks for the encouragement with editing. I want to love it, but it's hard. It just seems like there are always things that can be changed. When do you get to the point where it's like...ok, it's done? Thanks, Julie! Blessings~Stacey

  53. I loved your list. Oh my goodness, makes me think of my face-to-face crit group last Thursday. When it got around to one guys turn he looked at my pages and said...ok, here's what I see. -ly, -ly, -ly...I don't remember how many there were but I just started laughing and remembered why I need to always read my MS out loud. Edits are good for the humbling process I think.

    I'm so excited about your release!!! The only "problem" with your release is I know its going to come out of my sleep time :) Good problem for an author, I would say.

  54. Great list of words.
    I particularly liked: botheration

    Can't wait for this book, Julie. I don't think it's too early for a drumroll to begin, do you???????

  55. When Rafe first kissed Julia, to calm her down, in the pitch dark, and he's never seen her before, it crosses his mind that though she FEELS very young and beautiful, what if he got her into the light and she looked like, 'the downhill side of a climbing mountain goat.'

    I enjoyed writing that.

  56. WHOA, BABY!!! This is what I get for sleeping late and having a blog-tour emergency this morning -- YIKES!!! Fifty-five comments -- you guys have been BIZZZZZZY!!!!

    NATALIE!!! WOW, what a list, girlfriend -- I am copying ALL of those down, sweetie -- THANK YOU!!

    AND, OOOPS ... I did have a much larger list of word alternatives originally posted, which my hubby talked me into taking down because he said it made the blog too long, so YES, I will send you the entire list. And anyone else who would like it, please let me know, okay?

    NATALIE ... it may be a day or two, but I will get it to you, okay? If you don't hear from me, contact me through my website, okay?


  57. AUSJENNY, you little brat!!! You doubt I can write shorter books???? Well, to be honest with you, I'm starting to doubt that too ...

    My hubby swears I will NOT be able to do it, and yesterday I wrote a subordinate-character scene that ended up being 11 pages long, which in my new "shorter" format is an entire chapter. HOLY COW!!! Somebody hit me, please!!!

    Maybe I need to reread my own post ...


  58. Julie, can't wait for your book!

    Great blog post. Love the list of exclamations. Those always give me fits. Bless you for sharing.

  59. ERYN!!! Are you the Eryn I met at Culver's one night??

    THANK YOU, sweetie, for your very kind words -- MUCH appreciated!!

    And "Oh, my word!" is a definite keeper, but you're right, the other two are a wee bit modern, which doesn't mean I won't be able to try and sneak them in ... (my poor copy editor ... I keep her on her toes, for sure! ;)).

    Good luck in the contest, sweetie, and thanks for dropping by.


  60. Jules, you rock!

    We had a similar experience with edits. My first two books, a few edits here and there, took half a day, and zip! back to the editor. Which set me up nicely to come a cropper when my third book needed SERIOUS edits that took weeks (and some crying and soul-searching and not a few kicked trash cans.)

    my contribution to the list: O my sainted Aunt Jemimah! (Which is actually something I say from time to time.)

  61. VINTAGE THOUGHTS!!!! HA ... my first good laugh of the day, girl!! I am definitely putting "lint licker" down, but not real sure how it will fly with my copy editor, but heck, I'll use it myself ... :)

    MELISSA ... You're more than welcome, sweetie, and give that baby a kiss for me, okay?

    VIRGINA!!! "Putz" is a definite keeper, so THANK YOU!! And, oh yes, I am forever trying to depict characters sucking air through their teeth because it's a gesture my husband does a lot, so I use it for guys. Good luck in the contest, sweetie.


  62. Haha, Oh I love lint-licker, ever since that Orbit commercial.

    Julie I loved this post. I'm trying to find a good way to say... ummm... seat or tail as in "you just had your tail handed to you" but somehow it's just not working. Sometimes I hate 96 A.D. Another two hundred years and I could use bumm or fanny LOL

    For your list: "piece of work"
    and among my circle of friends this phrase is reserved for the lowest grade of scoundrel
    "jerk covered jerk with jerk filling" =D

  63. Hey Julie,

    We've missed your 'wordy' posts. Seems like a long time since you've had one. I'm just sad I missed the original, longer version! But I wasn't up late last night.

    Thanks for this great list!! Who needs cuss words when these are so much better (and descriptive too!)

    My grandfather used "Confound it" a lot, or "that confounded thing.."

    I thought he made it up! LOL.

    Love the one about a 'waste of oxygen'. So good !!

    Can't wait to read AHR, Julie. Don't enter me in the draw, because I already won a copy a few months back on another contest! I was too excited, let me tell you!! (I think my husband is going to create a help group called "book-aholics" and make me join, since I spend a little too much on books.)


  64. Wonderful, wonderful post! It's amazing what a difference a few words can make. Thank you so much for this example, and I have to say, I've been WAITING to read this story because I love, love physically imperfect heroines!!! :-)

  65. REL!!! LOVE IT!! "Mongrel" and "glory be" are AWESOME!! But then, I don't expect anything less from you, sweetie-pie!!

    LAURA, LOL!!! Yes, I'm not sure one wants to be known for their "impressive list of swearwords," but I'm a needy CDQ, so I'll take whatever accolades I can get ... ;)
    Good job on "yellow-bellied" and "worm"!!

    RUTHY ... grin ... yeah, the Buddhist nun remark is classic Lonnie, and I love it AND her!! Working through six books with that woman has taught me a lot, not the least of which is what a "putz" I can be at times, to coin a phrase from Virginia above. It's live and learn, ain't it, though?? Oh, and the "cannolis" ARE to die for, my friend. How did you know cannolis (and ricotta cheese filling) are a weakness of mine? Oh, well, MAYBE because I have SO many "weaknesses," that it ain't hard to call 'em out?? :)


  66. I learn so much from you, Julie!

    Wonderful post...over the top writing!

    You are amazing!


  67. For contemporaries, how about:



  68. RUTHY ... I think you meant "Livvie," right? The only reason I know because Livvie is one of my favorite reader friends and a frequent winner in my newsletter contests!! But I agree -- she went above and beyond!!

    Thanks, DEB, and I "ADORE" editing too -- it's my favorite part of writing a book, going back over to fine-tune and tweak. The editing that isn't so fun, however, as you will SOON discover, is the bloody kind from your editor. Trust me, the cartoon in this blog??? So TOTALLY me, books 3 through 5!! :)

    MELISSA!!! "Snap" is a definite unique word, and one I have never heard used as a cuss word before, but it definitely works, so THANK YOU!! And thank you, too, for your kind words. AHR is supposed to be on Kindle/e-book for preorder now, but for some reason it's not yet, and Revell is working on that. This happened last year, too, when AHU was not on e-book until several months after release, which was very upsetting. Maybe my books are just TOO LONG, which is why Amazon has problems with digitizing them??? Who knows? But suffice it to say, that my publisher is working on correcting the situation.


  69. Okay, had to comment on some photos.

    Julie, your new photos make you look 10 years younger (and you looked young before)!

    And Jessica N. - love that new photo. How cute are you?

    I'm waiting for new photos b/c right now between mom's stroke, hot flashes in the night and teenagers that are up until just before my alarm goes off making noise in the kitchen, I am getting NO GOOD SLEEP! And the bags under my eyes show it. So we'll wait for some future refreshed time and get the photos done!

    Trying some herbal remedies for hot flashes and night sweats - hope it works!!

  70. DEB H ... PRICELESS!! Love, love, LOVE your contributions, girl, especially "waste of oxygen," which I can certainly modify to make it more historical friendly and "sugar" and "dirty word, dirty word, dirty word"!! In fact my Texas cowgirl heroine in book 1 of The Cousins McClare is a sassy gal who would definitely say all those things, so look for them in my next series, okay?? THANK YOU!!

    TaMARA ... GRIN ... "fireworks"??? Between Katie and Luke??? Oh, honey, you ain't seen nothing yet, trust me!! ;) Mary Connealy was kind enough to endorse AHR, and she remarked she couldn't decide which story she liked better -- Sean and Emma's or Katie and Luke's, so get ready for fireworks, 'cause they're a'coming!! "Low down mealy mouthed coyote" is wonderful and definitely qualified for double entry, my friend -- THANK YOU!!


  71. Another workshop, Jules. RWA has just sent out info on their 2012 workshops for Nationals. Apply!!

  72. KIRSTEN ... GREAT contributions, my friend -- I'm stealing them all!!
    Had NO idea this was going to be such a goldmine for me today -- YAY!!! Good luck in the contest, sweetie. :)

    AUDRA!!! LOL ... yep, Mitch actually called Rigan a "load of human pus" in A Passion Redeemed, so I have been carefully honing this list since way back then! :) And thank you, my very dear friend, for your kind words. I wonder if I could dump my tagline of "Passion With a Purpose" for "Substance AND Heat"????? SOOOOO good!!

    ANDREA ... BLESS YOU, GIRL!!! You are the first one to mention the cartoon, which I absolutely adore!!! It is SO my career, books 3 through 5, so thanks for thinking it is as painfully funny as I do. And, yes, steal away -- I certainly did. Somebody actually sent it to me in the mail, and I cannot for the life of me remember who -- a Seeker, maybe? But there's no way to figure out how to give a credit to it, so I just flat-out used it!


  73. WHITNEY ... THANKS for the wonderful adds to my list, sweetie -- using ALL of them, so double entries for you! And you can always e-mail me through my website to ask your question about Betty and Luke, okay? You have me curious now ...

    JODIE ... thank you, my friend!! I figured debasing myself by exposing my edits on AHR was a good way to give you a sneak peek AND work on my humility at the same time! ;)

    MISSY ... LOL!! Gosh, girl, if you ever decide to go a little edgier with your books (you know, when LI comes out with a HH line (holy heat!), your tagline can be "Georgia Heat"!! Sorry to heat up your morning, but we all know how I cannot resist a love scene that turns up the heat ... :)


  74. Hi Julie:

    I think you’re the:

    ‘Postess with the Mostess’!

    I started this post
    late last night
    I couldn’t stop reading --
    no end was in sight!
    But when I got finished --
    it was all great fun;
    I looked out my window --
    and there was the sun!

    (BTW: I read the original post, before your edit. I enjoyed it all: I hope I don’t forget it. Granted your post is now not as tall, but that was good stuff! Why did it have to fall? One might even say it was, "the most unkindest cut of all!")

    Observations with Reservations

    In spite of what you may have heard
    ‘edit’ really is a four letter word.

    And if editors were always right
    why take home so much work at night?
    They’d be better just off picking stocks
    and buying diamonds as big as rocks!

    A Man by any other Name

    Looking for names to call bad men?
    What about women?
    Are there none of them?
    Have you heard of Delilah and Jezebel?
    And if not for Eve
    would there even be a h**l?

    About Handsome and the Beastess

    When you love a woman who has been scarred you don’t see the beauty that was there before. You don’t even try to see past the scars. It’s not like you can take the scars away or deny the way she looks today. Like a primitive warrior, proud and brave, his lover would never wish his scars away. The scars themselves have become the beauty. A sign of devotion and the call to duty. It’s the scars themselves, because of the force within, that lets the lover see the beauty once again.

    Thinking like a brute.

    I have one comment on this statement: “eyes that Rory had once claimed a man could get lost in”. Unless the wife-beater was also a poet, I think he would say something like she had ‘bedroom eyes’, ‘the eyes of a temptress’ even ‘do-me eyes’. The brute is what he thinks.


    Oh Mylanta!
    Oy vey!

    Why reinvent the wheel?

    New Expressions – Not New Words

    Instead of new words for old expressions, I suggest new expressions using old words.

    Instead of 'he ran his fingers through his hair', try, ‘he reached up and rubbed the back of his neck’.

    Just an idea.


    P.S. Don’t write shorter books. Write long books using far fewer words.

    P.P.S. I'd love a chance to win an eBook version of your book: if that is possible.

    vmres (at) swbell (d0t) net

  75. I love when you leave these little excerpts, Julie! It whets the appetite for your next book. A lot of great examples on editing. I'd like to add "miscreant" to the list for men :)


  76. JANET ... Thank you SO much for the adds -- copying and pasting them all, girlfriend. And, ouch, you had the same experience as me with a clean first book and then SLAM!??? Kinda sets one up for the fall, doesn't it???

    SHERI ... yes, ma'am, they count, and I'm glad I could put a smile on your face. Hope I can do the same by sending you a winner's copy of AHR!!

    Oh, JULIE, I am SO sorry about the blown pipe, but saying one for you (and it) RIGHT NOW, girl!! And I believe you are the very first "snake belly" we have today, so THANK YOU!! Oooo, and I don't believe I have "Bless her heart" down either, so double thanks!!


  77. I've been waiting for Emma's story ever since she was first introduced. She has intrigued me, especially her friendship with Charity. Can't wait for your latest book to come out.

  78. PATTY, you are MORE than welcome, my friend. And I'm with you -- I'm such a visual person, that I understand more quickly when I can see an example of something.

    DENISE B ... oh, girl, if you like Hadassah, I hope you like Emma too, because she is, as my husband says, "the most amazing character I've ever written," so hopefully my readers will think so too ... And GREAT selection of words, my friend -- THANK YOU!!

    SANDRA, oh, AMEN to that!! I have a WHOLE new appreciation for editors now, trust me, but I was such a S-L-O-W learner in the beginning, it's a wonder they didn't toss my carcass out the door long ago! :)


  79. I didn't see GOOD GRAVY!

    That's what I say all the time. ;-) Oh good gravy. And it's not original, I'm sure. :)

    Looooove those scenes. Good gravy Julie are you trying to give me a complex before your book gets here????? I'm ready to go stir crazy!

    I've gotta go move somewhere because I seriously cannot sit still after reading a scene like those. ;)

    ♥ Casey

    (I've got a JL fan in my cousin, so please enter me. ;)

  80. B FOUNTAIN ... LOL!! Short and sweet -- I like that!! Double entry for "putrid" -- Danke!

    LINNETTE!!! You win the prize for the greatest list, girl, because this is FABULOUS!! Stealing them all, and would like to steal the "God bless it" too, along with the "Right word, wrong attitude," but I'm pretty sure you're going to want to use that yourself in a future book, right??? And, grin ... I only had three brothers (as compared to nine sisters!!), but they were all way older than me, so I don't have much fodder from them. Thanks for sharing yours with me, my friend!

    SARA!!! Thanks for your kind words, and yes, it is warm in here, but nothing like the rest of Katie and Luke's scenes, I guarantee you!! LOVE that substory, so I hope you will too. :)

    STACEY ... YES, "oh my stars!" and "oh my word!" are wonderful suggestions, so BLESS YOU, my friend! And "When do you get to the point where it's like...ok, it's done?" GRIN ... never!! I have read/edited A Passion Most Pure over 60 times, and I always find something I wish I could change. BUT ... when you're going through the writing process on a particular novel, you DO come to a point where you say, "What the heck, sometimes "done" is better than "good"!! :)


  81. Wow, that's a lot of words. For a man that's not good I'd call him a "bum" just the devil. For expressions here in the south we say "Lord have mercy" a lot. My neighbor always says "shut your mouth". She's so funny!

  82. JULIA SAID: "Edits are good for the humbling process I think." HA!! No "thinking" about it, girlfriend -- edits are bootcamp for the author's soul!! And, oh honey, I went the "ly" route for a long time before somebody hit me over the head with it, so consider me "humb-LY" humbled!! Cut in to your sleep time, eh? Gosh, Jules, wish I could I was sorry ... :)

    MARE!!! I like "botheration" as well, and "thunderation" too! In fact the first line of book 1 of The Cousins McClare is:

    Sweet thunderation—deliver me from pretty men!

    MARY SAID: "the downhill side of a climbing mountain goat." ROTFLOL!!! Soooooo Mary Connealy!!!

    CHRISTINE ... You are MORE than welcome, my friend! My hubby looked at me and said, "why on earth do you want to give your words away -- other people are gonna use them now." Uh, yes dear, that's the whole point!! Men!! :)


  83. ERICA!!! "O my sainted Aunt Jemimah!," you too??? Must be an multi-pubbed author thing, I guess, the ol' humbling process at work. And, OH, SWEETIE, do I relate to "some crying and soul-searching and not a few kicked trash cans"!!! Only my came closer to "sobbing, soul-wrenching and kicking the cat." Just teasing -- I don't even have a cat, it just sounded cute to me ... :)

    Oooooo, NANCE ... tough one!! Mmmm ... now what DID they call the posterior in 96 AD???? Here are some I use, but I'm pretty sure most would not fit AD times!!:

    backside, derriere, rump, horse's behind, horse's hindquarters, tush, tail, bottom, buns, keister. You know what is a GREAT resource??? It's called "OneLook Reverse Dictionary," and it gives synonyms for words and phrases. I use it NONSTOP!! Here's the link, sweetie:

    Good luck, Nance!


  84. hilarious! just what I needed for a gloomy, rainy day here in Florida! loved your list of words! counting the days!!

  85. I can't wait to read your new book! It can be the perfect back to (home)school gift to myself!

    But dog-gone it, I can't think of any words you haven't already used.

    Have a great day, blessings to you!



  86. SUE ... thank you, my friend, and YES, your name is on the list to receive one of my signed author copies as soon as they come in -- probably mid to late August. LOVE "Confound it," and I apologize about you missing the "wordier" post. I will put your name down on the list to receive the full list, okay?

    JESSICA ... you are welcome, sweetie, and if you love physically imperfect heroines, you would LOVE Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy if you haven't read it yet. I have to warn you on Emma's story, though. My editor had me "pretty" Emma up a bit since this is a romance novel (i.e. Calgon, take me away! vs. slice of life with women's fiction), so I put in a scene where she uses cocoa butter for her scars (which tones them down quite a bit) and since it was the era where women shaved their eyebrows and drew them on, Emma fit right in with her half-gone eyebrow. But hopefully, you will still like the book.

    Aw, DEB, you are SO sweet to say that! Unfortunately, as my husband so aptly points out, not all the things people "learn" from me" are good ... :/


  87. ANNIE!!! YES, for contemporaries -- DANG, those are "stinkin, freaking
    good, girl!! :)

    SUE ... OH, NO!!! It's not time for the dreaded "M" word, is it???? Talk about looking younger, girl!! I'm saying one for you, girlfriend, because the big, mean M took me down BIG TIME!! Hopefully it won't you, though, because only one quarter of women go through a really awful menopause. And THANK YOU for your kind words about the pix!! Yep, the woman pulled a rabbit out of her hat, what can I say??? Now I'm worried sick people are going to walk up to me at ACFW and say, "Gee, you've aged!!" :)

    TINA ... GRIN ... not sure RWA would want cleaned up four-letter words, but maybe ACFW??? After all, if they went for Ruth Axtell-Morren's and my workshop on edgy romance, they just may go for this too! ;)


  88. Whew...
    Thank you and oh my goodness and wowzas!

    I think I smelled the smoke all the way from The Writers Alley to Seekerville. Followed the Fire Dept to see what was burning and realized...
    Julie Lessman was posting!

    Thank you! THANK YOU! for the excellent, heart-racing post. Besides that, it's educational!
    I don't mind editing, but I can get so caught up in it that I become stuck - does that make sense at all?
    But these 'hot' words- 'power words' you add are a great reminder.

    Thanks so much, Jules - and I'm glad ot say that my copy of A Heart Revealed is in the mail on it's way to my waiting arms :-)

  89. Has anyone used
    Daggone it!
    Beans & Taters!

    and my Grans favorite
    Well, shucks!


  90. ROTHLOL, VINCE!!! You slay me, boy!!!!!:)

    ‘Postess with the Mostess’!

    I started this post
    late last night
    I couldn’t stop reading --
    no end was in sight!
    But when I got finished --
    it was all great fun;
    I looked out my window --
    and there was the sun!

    This one was a belly laugh, my friend, so THANK YOU for your great sense of humor and eloquent words!!

    VINCE ALSO SAID: "When you love a woman who has been scarred you don’t see the beauty that was there before. You don’t even try to see past the scars ... The scars themselves have become the beauty."

    OH, AMEN TO THAT!!! That's one of the beautiful things about aging with a spouse ... you don't see the "beauty" that was there before, you see them now, and they are BEAUTIFUL to behold!!

    VINCE!!! "Do-me eyes"??? Really??? Did we really just say that on this blog??? "Eyes of a temptress" would probably work for 1916, but not sure "bedroom eyes" would, but I'm pretty sure I would NEVER get away with "do-me eyes" in ANY time period with my publisher!! :)

    Oh no, buddy-boy, we do NOT badmouth the ladies on this blog!! I just couldn't STAND to see Charity abused, which she would be!!

    And, no, I cannot steal Ruthy-isms either ... she knows where I live!!

    Thanks for a great comment today, Vince, and not sure I can swing an e-book win since I'm using my author copies for prizes and if I do one e-book, I'll probably get hit up for even more, and before you know it, I'll be the only one buying all my e-books ... :) BUT ... we'll see ...


  91. Wonderful post, Julie. I had to stop reading your excerpts, no matter how instructive, because excerpts ruin the book for me. Give me a sense of "been there, done that" while I'm reading, which I hate.

    So I'll wait until I can devour the entire story. Looks like I should schedule another sleepless night or two. ;)

    As for male epithets, how about "shoe gum" or "waste water" or "burnt toast"? I could get better ones from my sons but they might verge on vulgar, involving things like boogers, poo, etc.

  92. KATHRYN!!! "Miscreant" is a very dignified way to slam someone, which always comes in handy, girl, so THANK YOU!! Glad I could "whet" the appetite for AHR -- that's what I was going for while trying to share things I've learned at the same time. :) LOVE your addy, by the way, sweetie -- "Noseinanovel" -- TOO CUTE!!

    CYNTHIA SAID: "(Emma) has intrigued me, especially her friendship with Charity. Oh, BLESS YOU, my friend, I feel EXACTLY the same way, and oh boy, oh boy, are you gonna LOVE this book because there is so much Emma/Charity interaction and fun, I laugh out loud every scene that Charity's in. Thanks for feeling the way I do about their friendship. To me, they're kind of the female counterpart to Collin and Brady's incredible friendship, which I ALSO loved!!

    CASE!!! "GOOD GRAVY," I'd be going stir crazy too, my friend, if I was waiting for a book to come out in which I was one of the characters!! Cannot WAIT for you to read this one, my friend, and Michelle Tuller too, since she's in it as well. Thank you for ALL you do for me, Casey, and for turning the cuz into a JL reader friend!!


  93. PATSY ... LOVE "shut your mouth," and there's this GREAT commercial where the gal's expression is "Shut the door"!! I laugh every single time I hear it. Thanks for the contributions, girl, and good luck!

    JOETTA!!!!!!!!! I'm counting the days too, my friend, and you best make sure you get that book before Charlene, you hear??? :)

    WENDI ... no worries, darlin', I'm a sucker for a great reader friend like you, so "dog-gone it," I'm gonna count "dog-gone it," okay? :) And blessings right back at ya, sweetie!


  94. btw, daggone it and dog-gone it, are two different things ;-)

    It's all about the 'twang' you use when saying them.
    Just so you know

  95. PEP SAID: "I think I smelled the smoke all the way from The Writers Alley to Seekerville. Followed the Fire Dept to see what was burning and realized... Julie Lessman was posting!"

    LOL!!! Not sure that's a good reputation for a Christian author to have, but then I sure don't fit the mainstream mold, that's for dern sure!! :)

    PEP ALSO SAID: "I don't mind editing, but I can get so caught up in it that I become stuck - does that make sense at all?"

    Oh, yes, ma'am, it does!! I do the same thing and my hubby gives me a quick verbal kick in the bum by saying, "Move on, Julie ... it's not life or death!" Drat ... I just hate it when he's right ...

    Soooo excited your book is on the way!! I know the Revell blog tour is cranking up for AHR, so it's just a matter of time now before that smoking piece of lit is in the hot, little hands of some of my favorite people!!

    Nope, nobody's done "Daggone it!
    Beans & Taters! and Well, shucks" yet, so you're good, sweetie.


  96. PATRICIA ... hey, girl, I totally understand about the excerpts -- I don't like to ruin the story with them either, but it seems a lot of people do, so I just can't resist the tease ...

    Gosh, I hope you don't have to "schedule another sleepless night or two," but if the book fits ... :)

    LOVE "burnt toast," and "shoe gum" or "waste water" are very unique as well, so THANK YOU!! Uh, yeah, I think my son could educate me on some others too, but we'll just pass on those, I guess ... :)

    PEPPER SAID: "It's all about the 'twang' you use when saying them.
    Just so you know."

    Smile ... thanks for the clarification, sweetie. Someone, I could hear you saying them ... :)


  97. What about:

    Yellow bellied
    Lily livered


    Sweet Mother of Moses

    [Don't as me where that came from. There's another Sweet Mother of something [but not Jesus] that I can't remember and Moses just sort of... came out]

    And for all you historical types - I'm going [I hope] to a Civil War reenactment this weekend :D. Less than a mile from my house. Will be loud I'm sure, even here.

    There's even a wedding :D. I'm inordinantly excited for someone who doesn't write historical [though I was a history major so...]

  98. :D Thanks, Julie! And, yes, I'll probably use the "God Bless it" at some point. :D Once I got started on my list, I couldn't seem to stop. They just kept coming. :D

  99. Did anybody list:
    What in blue blazes?

  100. Jules! I'm guest blogging today at Faith Writers. It's a brief story on when I found I was pregnant with Garrison. :D

  101. What a fun "Julie day" at your energy and passion, Julie. Am soooo anxious to read your newest so please enter me! Thanks and keep up the great writing.....long or short! lol


  102. Oh snap is something I hear a lot lately. It's like "oh, darn!" or "oh, man!".

    I wouldn't say your books are too long!!! Other books are too short! I love a long read. =)


    Trust me people! The excitment is just too much and all the stares are a bit awkward.

    That being said, it was wonderful as always, Julie.

    I think that most expressions have been used already, but I'm gonna give a few a try.

    Heel: in the 1920s it meant a scoundrel...which of course we all know to be men;)

    And bottom feeder and coward are the only ones I have left.

    Please enter me in the drawing. jthompson711(at)gmail(dot)com

    Now...on to some quick important business...I come bearing chocolate for per her request...or threats that I may have later received by people calling her the Ruthinator, consequently sending me into hiding :) Enjoy, it's your favorite.

  104. These are great!
    One derogatory term for bad men I used in my manuscript was said by a con man whose girlfriend was threatened by a womanizer.
    "Now listen here, you ham-fisted circus grifter ... "

    Thanks for the chance to win:) Can't wait to read this. I love these characters already!

    kristengjohnson (at) gmail (.) com

  105. Julie, you astound me! Call the fire department 'cause I'm burning up! It's amazing your books don't spark fires in those CBA publishing houses. LOL

    Some of these names may have been mentioned, but there's so many I can't keep track...

    Derogatory names:
    - Jerk
    - Airhead
    - Leadfoot
    - Brickhead
    - Pussywillow
    - Crybaby


    - Well, butter my butt an' call me a biscuit!
    - Shiver me timbers!
    - Heavens to Betsy!
    - Well, I'm a monkey's uncle!
    - Hum-dingies!

    Okay, back to work although I really don't want to miss all the fun over here.

    anitamaedraper (at) hotmail (dot) com


  106. CAROL ... Lily livered duly noted, my friend, although we have yellow belly, I believe. :)

    LOL!!!! "Sweet Mother of Moses"??? I love it, but uh, I think I know where that came from, sweetie ... "Sweet Mother of Job" is a mainstay expression in the O'Connor household, but I do believe I like yours better -- alliteration gets me every time!!

    A Civil War re-enactment??? How totally cool!! Have a blast, sweetie.

    LINNETTE ... :) I thought you might, sweetie. It's good stuff! And "blue blazes" is one of my favs that I use in the O'Connor saga. :)


  107. Excited for this book! Thanks Julie for the excerpt from your book!

  108. Thanks, JACKIE!! Julie Day in Seekerville is fun for me too, although I don't get a lot of writing done ... :)

    MELISSA SAID: "I wouldn't say your books are too long!!! Other books are too short!"

    Okay, sweetie, where do I send the check? Seriously, THANK YOU sooo much for this sweet comment, my friend. I actually feel the same way. :)


    LOL, girl, sorry to put you in an awkward position ... NOT!! :) THANKS for your sweet words, Jen, and "scoundrel" and "bottom feeder" are primo expressions, so thank you!! ESPECIALLY for the chocolate!! I'll call Ruthy off, I promise, and actually her bark is WAY worse than her bite. But not by much ... :)


  109. KRISTEN ... "ham-fisted circus grifter"???? That, my friend, is priceless -- THANK YOU!!

    ANITA SAID: "It's amazing your books don't spark fires in those CBA publishing houses."

    Actually, I believe Revell keeps them in a steel-walled room ... :) "Brickhead" is SUCH a keeper, and "Hum-dinghies" too!! Thanks for the great words AND the sweet comment!!

    FAYE ... Thank you SO much, girl, I'm excited too!! Only FOUR MORE DAYS till it's available on and 21 everywhere else!!!


  110. Anita Mae. I forgot about those. Good thinking! :D

  111. Popping in late in the day but oh-so-fun to get a glimpse of the newest Julie Lessman book on the horizon!

    Grrrrreat examples of editing, Jules! I am so envious of your ability to bring out the passion and heat up the page!

    And what a super list of expressions! I'll definitely have to copy and save this for future reference! Characters do need something to say when they're angry or frustrated, but editors are quick to delete certain euphemisms that suggest in any way using the Lord's name in vain. Great to have some hart-hitting alternatives!

  112. I meant "HARD-hitting."

    Or heart-hitting works, too.


  113. Fantastic post, Julie. Got so much out of reading the before and after edits and seeing how much better the story become. All these expressions are so hilarious. Here's a few more.
    Derogatory male: blackguard, cad
    Expressions: drat, crumbs
    And one I use all the time - For Crying Out Loud.

  114. What in the Sam Hill is going on in here today?!


    Nah Julie. It predates my Lessman-reading days.

    Sweet Mother of all that is good and holy maybe?

    I did a search for yellow belly but I may have missed it.

    And I still had the old post in my browser. Lists duly copied and pasted into word ;).

    AND I finished the next round of edits on Suburban Straightjacket and sent them off to my CP! One more round [to punch up the LOLs to Ruthie or Mary or Janice Thompson standards [or whoever else writes rom com-y stuff]] and I think it's DONE!!!!


  115. Gabriella Dawn SmithAugust 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    oh Julie i love you and have missed you like crazy! loved this post! it made me smile! love you!

  116. Thanks for posting this great article! I learned from it. :) And you already have my favorite "geeze Louise" so I can't add to your list.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  117. Great post Julie!

    I thought after my first book maybe the edits would get easier, you've bursted my bubble! lol Oh well, knowing that editing can be hard but worthwhile makes it worth it :)

    I finished reading Luke and Katie's story and gave it five stars on Goodreads :) Apart from other things, I liked how you put in the historical detail about the sunglasses.

    Don't know if this would be approved, but a secretary at my elementary school used to always say "Lord love a duck"! :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  118. Julie I may be a brat but at least one important person agrees with me (Your husband).
    Least the books wont be the love inspired books that would really test you.
    But I know you can do it I have faith in you.
    now is brat a man to describe a man!

  119. Great post, Julie. Here you go again with those tantalizing tidbits! I can hardly wait to read the whole book.
    My daughter often says, "Oh, snap!" so that might be something you could add to your list. There are so many comments that I didn't take time to read through them all to see if someone else mentioned that.


  120. Thanks for the reminder to show the attraction between the hero & heroine. Sometimes I think, it's a romance, of course they're falling in love. Oops - seeing that is why people read romance! Great post, Julie!

  121. MYRA!!! Girl, you're nothing to sneeze at, my friend, when it comes to bringing out the passion and heating up the page! I LOVE your books, and I cannot wait to get my mitts on A Horseman's Heart -- it looks WONDERFUL!!

    PAT ... I am SO glad you got something out of it because sometimes when I post these things, I think -- nobody's gonna see the difference!! It's subtle, but it's there, and makes a HUGE difference in the whole of book. And oooo, "blackguard" and "cad" are good ones!!

    CAROL!!! I tried to slip "Sam Hill" into A Heart Revealed, and my editor took it out, but I LOVE it!! And SUPER CONGRATS on getting the edits done, girl -- hope it comes back clean from the CP. :)


  122. GABE!!! Miss you like crazy too, buddy, and cannot wait to hear all about the discipleship summer!! Just seeing your name pop up made me smile,
    my friend.

    Love ya!

    Hugs and more hugs,

  123. PEGG ... it doesn't matter that I have "Geez Louise" on the list, I'm giving it to you anyway because you said you learned something -- that blesses me! Good luck in the contest!

    EVA MARIA ... Ooops, didn't mean to burst your bubble, but it's better to see it coming than to be blindsided like I was (and Janet Dean!). Thank you SOOO very much for 5-starring AHU -- that tickles me because it's my FAV. And, yeah, I was really jazzed that Foster Grant sunglasses came out at that time. Worked out really nice! As far as "Lord, love a duck," He's not the only one -- I love it too! ;)

    JENNY ... GOOD POINT!! I actually talked with my agent about writing a Love Inspired, but the more I think about it, not sure I could muzzle myself to keep it down to 50 or 60,000 words. Heck, that's a chapter for me!! :)


  124. PAM ... whoops, sorry, girl, for putting the tease out there with the excerpts, but the way I look at it, it's kind of like previews at the movies, right? And I LOVE previews!!! And "oh, snap," is SOOO cute. Someone else said it today, but I'm giving you double credit too, because it's so good. :)

    Oh, CATH, "attraction" is what it's all about, so I LOVE putting it in, but even a romance freak like me needs to be reminded to up it at times. That's why we have editors!!


  125. LOL! My crit partner and I just spent half the day figuring out how to fix the prologue of my WIP. I finally decided to rewrite some of it, then told my CP I should be growing in my writing and not needing to do so many rewrites.

    She said, "Go read Julie Lessman's post on Seekerville." So alas, I stand corrected. I may have to rewrite half my scenes, but I'm in good company. :-)

    As for scumbag men names, let me pick a few from my novel that releases next April.

    Insufferable Wretch
    Odious Toad

  126. NAOMI!!! I feel like I know you because you just signed with Natasha, right??? BEST move of your life, my friend -- she is AMAZING!!!

    LOL ... I am SO glad I could encourage you today, girl, because I started getting a real complex about getting worse instead of better, so much so that I just figured the first two books were a fluke!!

    LOVE your word suggestions and plan to steal every single one!! ;) Just hearing them tells me that I HAVE to read this book!

    Looking forward to meeting you at ACFW, sweetie.


  127. Oh, Julie, I'm so sorry I missed this post today! Looks like you had a great turn out, though!

    I try to come up with good medieval derogatory names for bad men. I use lout, louse, lecher, boor, and a few others that I can't think of right now.

    Julie, forgive me for saying this, but I'm stunned that you had to be told to put MORE passion in your book! JULIE! But I know I will love it. Can't wait to read it!!! Your little teases have made me really anxious to see how Sean and Emma are going to get to the "I love you's" and "I do's." Keep up the good work, and keep churning out those great books, Julie!

  128. GREAT post, Julie! I'm late getting on here tonight, so my brain is already half-asleep....but "Heavens to Betsy" is a phrase I heard my sweet Mama say years ago (someone might've already mentioned it). ~ You gave us a wealth of information--WOW! Feel like I just attended a workshop on EDITS! Thank you so much, and I cannot wait to meet you in person at ACFW! Hugs, Patti Jo p.s. LOVE your style of writing too, and look forward to many more Julie Lessman books coming out.

  129. MEL!!! I knew my day wasn't complete, sweetie-pie!! Thanks for coming by, no matter how late in the day.

    And, YES, this is the same editor who has had to rein me in on other books, particularly A Passion Redeemed (that Charity is SUCH a vamp!!), so imagine my shock when she told me to pump up the passion. YIKES, what's the world coming to??? :) Actually, she was a 100% right as she usually is.

    Yeah, Sean and Emma's story was a challenge on how to pull it off without everybody guessing, but I think I did it. Actually, God did it, because I had a mundane, obvious ending, and one day out on the porch I was praying about it and BOOM ... God dropped the perfect scenario into my brain. Absolutely AMAZING!!


  130. Aw, PATTI JO, for being "half-asleep," you sure made my day, girl!! Thank you for the kind words and just for taking the time to come by and comment. I'm glad my edits (my pain! :)) could help you learn the easy way rather than the hard like I did. :/

    Heavens to Betsy is GREAT one I don't have down, believe it or not, so thank you SO much!!

    I can't wait to meet you either, whether at my workshop OR after 9:00 PM in the lobby bar every night at ACFW, okay? Most of the Seekers will be there. Till then,


  131. Loved your take on the word "Edit." I received a big kick out of your list of words. LOL I feel like a member of the family of the O'Conner clan. Your own house must be full of fun....or frustration...I can't decide which - but I'd love to be a ladybug sitting on your window sill.'re still one of my favorite persons in the world. Know that all of this was said in love. I owe you a letter, which will forthcoming soon. Have fun at the ACFW Conference!

  132. Hi, Julie, I'm stopping in late today and haven't read any of the other comments (promise).

    A word I use that is missing "Shoot!" Doesn't anyone else say that? Also, "Yikes" is popular but it might be too modern.

    A name that is more dramatic than "idiot," in my opinion is "moron."

    Would love to win your book. :)

  133. BARB!!! OMIGOSH, woman, how are you??? How did surgery and recovery go?? Are you on the mend, I hope?? Sure wish you were going to ACFW, but I totally understand, and there's always next year, sweetie.

    You said: "Your own house must be full of fun....or frustration...I can't decide which - but I'd love to be a ladybug sitting on your window sill."

    LOL ... try a little bit of both, with accent mark on the "fun"!! And I LOVE ladybugs, girl, so come sit on the sill!!


  134. Hey, CATH, better late than never, girlfriend.

    And I LOVE "YIKES" and use it all the time, but unfortunately I can't use it in my books because it only dates back to 1953 as an expression of exclamation. Now "shoot" is something I use a lot too, and it IS more in my era for the O'Connors as it dates to 1932 and is a substitution for another four-letter word with almost the same letters. :)

    Oh, I LOVE the word "moron," which fortunately for me, dates back to 1922 as an insult. Consequently in AHU, I was able to have Katie O'Connor respond when Betty tells her you just have to learn how to "handle" Luke McGee -- “What, you have a manual on dealing with morons?” One of my favorite lines in the book! :)

    Good luck in the contest, sweetie!


  135. OK, Julie. That's scary.

    Has "son-of-a biscuit-eater" been taken or is that too out of bounds?

  136. WALT!!! Okay, bud ... what's "scary"??? Me? Because if so, what's new?? My husband has been telling me that for years. :)

    And I LOVE "son-of-a biscuit-eater"!! I've heard it before but I do NOT have it on my list ... that is,until now -- thanks, sweetie.

    By the way, Walt, has anyone told you how WONDERFUL your new picture is, because it is! You look great!!


  137. I just heard this one: flashy git. It's British, but quite interesting.

    Thanks for the preview and sharing your editing process. I'm looking forward to the story of Sean and Emma! Love your books!

  138. I always learn so much from you, Julie...can't wait to read emma's ya :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  139. Thanks for the peek into your editing process. I can't wait to read "A Heart Revealed"!


    RAPSCALLION: A disreputable person; rascal or rogue
    KNAVE: (Archaic) A dishonest man; rogue
    SCALLYWAG: Informal a scamp; rascal
    VARLET: (Historical Terms) a rascal
    RASCAL: 1. A disreputable person; villain 2. A mischievous or impish rogue
    HOUND: A contemptible person; a scoundrel.
    NE'ER-DO-WELL: An idle, irresponsible person.
    DODGER: A shifty, dishonest person; a trickster.
    BOUNDER: (Old-fashioned Brit slang) A morally reprehensible person; cad

    I hope that these are helpful. I would love to win a signed copy of your book. Thanks so much for having this giveaway.

    lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

  140. Loved your post Julie. I thought of a lot of the ones you have listed but I would add Scum-Bucket to your derogatory list and for expressions, my dad use to always use "son of a pea-picker" and dagnabbit. Maybe, "Lordy be".

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  141. I enjoyed this blog, Julie..and truly love your books!

    My favorite comments (and the granddaughter's giggle at) are simply:

    Crappers! :]
    Have Mercy!
    Well, I declare!
    Well I never! is an oldie but goodie :]

  142. SANDY ... Thank you SO much for your kind comment and "flashy git" is truly unique -- Thank you!! The Brits have a way with words all their own, don't they, though? Good luck in the contest, sweetie.


  143. You came up with a lot more words than I would have! The book sounds interesting. Can't wait to read it.


  144. Aw, KAREN, that's because I'm so old and there's so much to learn!!! :) I can't wait for you to read Sean and Emma's story too, my friend -- I hope you like it!!! :/


  145. MEGAN,

    WOW, thanks for all the great words, sweetie!! And trust me, I'm chomping at the bit for you to read AHR too! Let me know what you think when you do, okay? Uh, that is IF you like it ... :|

    By the way, LOVE your shamrock!!


  146. Ooooo, CINDY, those are good -- THANK YOU!! I appreciate you stopping by and good luck in the contest, my friend!


  147. JUDITH ... Oh, "Geeze,Jeepers and Well I never!" are GREAT -- thank you!! And thank you, too, my friend, for your kind words about my books -- ALWAYS appreciated! Good luck in the contest!


  148. TIFFANY!!! That's because I'm probably A LOT older than you and have seen A LOT more words!! ;)

    Tiff, you kind of sound like you haven't read my books before, so if you haven't and you think you might, you may want to begin with book 1 in the series, A Passion Most Pure, because this is one series that is best enjoyed in order due to a number of big surprises.

    If you have already read my other books, then YAY, have at it!!

    Good luck in the contest, sweetie, and if you win, you can have your choice of book.


  149. I love this - so helpful! Wrestling with my WIP and this really clarifies
    some things. Thank you so much, Julie! Can't wait to read the book! :)

  150. Julie, the scary part is the number of edits, reminding me that a rewrite will be coming after selling the book. It's just daunting.

    Glad you like the picture.

  151. Oh, KAREN, soooooo glad I could help!! It really helps me to have examples and I wasn't sure how I was going to get it across without a blog two million words long, but hopefully I did. Good luck in the contest, sweetie!


  152. WALT!!! Oh, honey, you just wait!! ;)

    Actually, like I said, there were almost no edits on books 1 and 2 (thanks to my super-anal personality that proofed/edited a million times, like APMP over 60 times!!), but those last three books did a number on me, but a GOOD number!! It taught me to stay humble through every book and every day because one day up in the rankings, two days down. One book with few edits, one with a million. Bottom line, it's life, and you just have to roll with the punches ... or in this case, the edits!


  153. Thank you so much for the great editing example and the lists. I'd add lowlife to the men's names, and pathetic egomaniac.

    And "for Pete's sake!" and "Well, I'll be!" to the exclamations.

    Thanks again,

    Gail Kittleson

  154. OOPS, you already had lowlife...sorry about that. Tho't I clicked edit instead of send...

    Gail Kittleson

  155. Wow--you really know how to turn up the heat, Julie! Thanks for the inside look--such a good "how to" when we receive those red lines.
    I remember Louisa May Alcott using expressions like "Great Jehosaphat!" and "Jumping Jehosaphat!" My Grandma's expression of astonishment was "Goodness gracious, Mary Agnes!" We never knew who "Mary Agnes" was, but it really didn't matter--we caught the drift. I look forward to reading your new book! Congratulations! And thanks for a great post!

  156. GAIL!!! OH, I LOVE "lowlife," and have used it before, but hadn't heard pathetic egomaniac, but I like it!! :) Extra entries coming your way, sweetie!


  157. CATHY!!! Thanks for coming by, sweetie, and I understand you are a client of Natasha's??? Oh, I am SO bummed you aren't going to ACFW because I would LOVE to meet you!

    And, uh, yeah ... I am "notorious" for turning up the heat ... all those hot flashes from menopause must of done it ... :)

    Goodness gracious ... never heard "Goodness gracious, Mary Agnes!"... but, OH, I LOVE IT!! Thanks for the suggestion, Cath, and good luck in the contest!


  158. Julie, this is wonderful. Thank you for such concrete examples and explanation of how this whole editing process works.

  159. And my grandma used to say, "Good grief o' Moses!" She was southern farm folk. :)

  160. Hey, LORI, I am SO thrilled I could give you a concrete example of an actual edit from my editor, one which posted a challenge, but certainly doable. Of course, HOW doable remains to be seen when A Heart Revealed hits the shelves!!

    And "Good grief o' Moses" is a nice variation on "good grief," so I will definitely take it! Thanks, Lori, and good luck in the contest!


  161. Oh, you sure did encourage me, Julie. You should have seen the revisions Natasha and my editor wanted on my debut novel. The conversations went something like "Naomi, I LOVED your story . . . well, the beginning and the end need to be rewritten. But those two chapters in the middle were great. ;-)

    And I nixed the scene where my heroine calls my hero an odious toad. So sad. :-( You'll have to use it in your next book!

  162. Abby suggests "jackwagon" for the bad men words...(instead of "jack***)
    very inspiring blog! re-reading APMP and counting the days until the NEW book!! woohoo!

  163. NAOMI!!! SOOOOOOO very glad I could encourage you 'cause God knows we newbies need ALL the encouragement we can get! ;)

    LOVE "odious" toad and sad they cut it (or the scene), but will add it to my list for sure.

    Gosh, that cartoon had to make you laugh since you've been through the same exercise as me ... only mine was on later books when I was SUPPOSED to be "better"!! C'est la vie!


  164. JOETTA!!! BIG SMILE HERE ... twice in one blog -- YAY!!!

    Tell Abs that "jackwagon" is OUTSTANDING -- one of my favs that have been suggested!!

    And, grin, I'm rereading APMP right now too -- isn't that a hoot? Just got to the part where Charity seduced Mitch and Faith left. That Charity is SUCH a brat, isn't she??? LOVE HER!!!!! I guess because deep down inside I'm a brat too ... :)

    Love you!


  165. LOL, AMY!!! I'll take it, sweetie! Good luck in the contest. :)


  166. I'm late in getting here, but after reading this post I just had to jump in. Wow, that last scene I think I saw steam! :-P lol Very engaging. I'm curious if Katie's well-thought-out plan of telling him "no" is going to work! LOL!

    That list at the end is awesome! I'm always trying to think of other words to use so I don't keep repeating. Good idea!

    ~ Katie

  167. Hey, KATIE, soooo glad you made it by AND left a comment -- THANK YOU!!

    Does Katie's plan work??? Oh, honey, you know me better than that!! :) In fact, I would say Katie and Luke's story in A Heart Revealed is one of my FAVS, partially because I just flat-out LOVE Luke and Katie, but partially because a real-life situation of my own between my hubby and me is included in the scene with the chicken and shaving cream. Now if THAT doesn't pique your interest, I don't know what will ... :)


  168. My 93 year old granny tells people to "Go to grass" when she gets mad, actually I have a hard time not laughing when I hear her say that ;)

    Others: flippin fetchin fiddledeedee, my stars, oh stars, grasshopper, holy cat's pajamas, for crying out loud in a bucket.

    And then some fun sayings: slicker than a minnow's ear and my alligator mouth got ahead of my hummingbird brain!

    I really love your books and hope CBD mails the new one out fast next week! Thanks for writing awesome books!

    Katie Kammler

  169. Great post! Thanks for the peek at your editing.

    'A no good' is a good name for a bad guy - and
    'my lands' is an expression I've heard a lot

    Thanks for the give a way!

  170. KATIE!!! Guess what??? I used your expression "slicker than a minnow's ear" in my Cousins McClare ms. today, so I hope you don't mind!!


  171. JANET ... A "no good" and "my lands" works for me, girl, so THANK YOU!! GOOD LUCK IN THE CONTEST!


  172. Oh for Pete's sake Julie. I get lost and lose track of time anytime I am reading something of yours. I have got to get supper cooking! You are absolutely without question my favorite author, with lots of others right up there by ya. My comments are two days late, hopefully not too late though. Cannot wait to read Sean and Emma's story. And hear more about Luke and Katie. And catch up with the rest of the family. Oh my. Blessings for your weekend! kauppatgridcomdotnet

  173. I'm in the middle of reading A Hope Undaunted right now, would love to win a copy of your next book, hope I'm not to late for the contest.
    An expression I don't see on your list would be 'glory' or 'glory be' very common here in the South.


  174. KATHY ... gosh, girl, I hope I didn't delay dinner!!

    Thank you SO much for your sweet comment! I am anxious to see what you think of Sean and Emma's story, so be sure to let me know, okay? Uh, unless you hate it, then never mind ...

    And, OH, you will LOVE Katie and Luke's story -- it's one of my favs!!


  175. PATTY ... Nope, you are not too late, sweetie, so no worries! Glory or Glory be are GREAT expressions -- thank you!!

    I hope you like AHU -- it's my fav of all the books I've written. Good luck in the contest, girl.


  176. Julie, I loved this insight into single title editing! Thank you for taking such care with your posts!

  177. How about Jiminy Crickets or Oh, Snap. Fiddle Dee.