Good News: When Mountains Move Wins 2014 Carol Award!

AmandaBostic_JulieCantrell_2014ACFWThis weekend, I traveled to St. Louis, Mo. to join nearly a thousand folks for the 2014 Carol Awards Gala.

When Mountains Move had been shortlisted as one of three finalists in the Historical Fiction category, alongside two extraordinarily talented authors: Liz Tolsma for Snow on the Tulips (a stunning WWII tale), and Diana Wallis Taylor for Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate (a fresh look at this historical icon).

I was stunned (to say the least) when Millie’s story was selected. The Carol Award was formerly known as “ACFW’s Book-of-the-Year Contest” before being renamed in honor of editor-extraordinaire, Carol Johnson.

What an honor it was to join so many talented authors who were being recognized for the LONG hours and HARD work they have put into building works of fiction.

Because I never expected to win (and because I’m a complete ditz and usually make a total fool of myself in public), I stuttered and stumbled my way through the acceptance speech, huffing and puffing in a flawed effort NOT to cry. My hands were shaking and I was trying to talk super-fast so I wouldn’t bore everyone in the room.

Needless to say, the entire event is a blur to me, but when I viewed the video — I realized I had failed to mention so many people who deserved recognition, including my sweet friend and brilliant critique partner Lisa Wingate, my devoted and dear publicist, Jeane Wynn, and my incredible tribe of author pals, especially the ones who blog with me daily at Southern Belle View.

If my head had not been spinning, I would also have thanked my faithful friends who have saved me this year, again and again, in ways too large to measure: Chris Greissinger, Kerri Greene, Gina Beltz, Ken and Teresa Murray, Larry Wells, Christa Allan, Carol Langendoen, and others (in no particular order).

Because I’ve had a few requests from folks who wanted to see the acceptance speech, I’ll post it here — for those who are curious, or who need a good laugh, or who simply want to make fun of me to break up the workday. (I’m game. It’s all in good fun.)

But before you begin, let’s add a little lagniappe to this “good news” report. (I’m a Louisiana girl after all and we always like to add a “little something extra.”)

I’m THRILLED to introduce y’all to my new editor, Amanda Bostic (see her celebrating with me in the photo above), who will be working with me to produce a third novel with Harper Collins Christian under the direction of publisher Daisy Hutton and her BRILLIANT team.

We are hoping the book will be released November 2015, and it will be a contemporary work of women’s fiction set in my home state of Louisiana. Please stay tuned for more information to follow in the months ahead, and thank you all for your tremendous support.


Debut Novel Continues Astounding Run

I’m happy to share this latest press release by my publisher, David C Cook. Thank you all for continuing to share Millie’s story with others. I’ve been overwhelmed by the powerful reader response to this little book, and I’m grateful for each and every person who gives this story a shot.

‘Into the Free’ Hits NYT & USA Today Lists Simultaneously
Debut Novel Continues Astounding Run
COLORADO SPRINGS— Debut novel, Into the Free, by Mississippi author and literacy advocate Julie Cantrell continues to gain momentum with readers. Cantrell has passed a debut milestone by reaching two key best-seller lists with her inaugural novel, an accomplishment normally characteristic of established authors with key releases.

For the week ending Mar. 11, 2012, Into the Free is number 13, currently the highest debuting novel on the prestigious New York Times E-Book fiction list. Only four authors from ECPA publishing houses have appeared on the list, which was launched in Feb. 2011. Cantrell’s appearance puts her in the company of Karen Kingsbury, Ted Dekker, and Joel Rosenburg.

Cantrell and Into the Free also reached another marker this week, when the book entered the USA Today Top 150 at number 47, a feat rarely attained by a debut author.



Image: Idea go /

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from David C Cook: February 13-19 pick up a FREE COPY of Into the Free by Julie Cantrell for your Kindle, Nook, or other reading device! This offer is available for ONE WEEK only through most e-book distributors including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

As many of you know, David C Cook is not only a publishing house, they are also a ministry. Because this book has elicited such strong emotional feedback from its early readers, Cook is offering this as a FREE digital download, no strings attached. (Order Books)

I’m excited to share this announcement because it is my hope, as the author, that Millie’s story can help many others heal deep emotional wounds and develop a deeper level of faith.

Please announce this offer everywhere you can. Tweet about it, post it on facebook, blog about it, talk about it, pin it on Pinterest, etc. etc. etc. I know it sounds crazy…but we really do want to give as many copies away for free as we possibly can. David C Cook is THAT kind of publisher. Amazing, isn’t it?!

I encourage you and everyone you know to please give this story a chance (for free!) and then…if you like it…please spread the word. This is a grassroots effort to get this story into the hands and hearts of those who may need it, and to encourage love and kindness among us all.

Thank you David C Cook! And thank YOU, readers, for helping us share Millie’s story with the world.

Happy Valentine’s Week!


How Into the Free is Changing Lives

It’s been exactly one week since the release of Into the Free and man, oh, man are things a-hoppin’! I thought you all might like a behind-the-scenes look into one’s life after a debut novel is released.

First of all, the launch party at Off Square Books on January 31 was incredible. I am still swimming in a haze of extreme gratitude and trying to figure out how to adequately thank everyone for such tremendous support.

The launch was enough. It was more than I ever dreamed of and that joy alone could have lasted me the rest of my life. But the week has gotten better and better. First of all, I’m thrilled to announce Into the Free is already on its THIRD PRINTING by David C Cook! That means, not only has the book sold more copies than we expected – three-fold – it did so before it was even officially released! As I say to my Kindergarten students…Holy Guacamole!

Secondly, I’ve been pleasantly bombarded with requests for interviews. I’ve already conducted three radio interviews, as well as numerous blog interviews and guest posts. I’m also adding author events to the calendar daily. It’s been a bit busy, but I always say…it’s better to be too full than too empty. Bring it!

Much to my surprise, the story has been featured everywhere from Australia to Japan and is slowly trickling out through a grassroots word-of-mouth effort. It’s extremely difficult to break in as a debut novelist, but I sense a bit of a groundswell occurring as more and more readers contact me with positive feedback about the book.

In particular, I’ve been especially moved by letters about how this book has helped readers heal emotional wounds.

Specifically, Millie helped one reader reach a point of forgiveness after being sexually assaulted as a young child. “I appreciated how Millie handled the situation and her honesty about it being a long journey to heal. I cried so much I had to put the book down at times. It brought me back through every emotion I’ve buried for a long time, but in the end I closed the book feeling a sense of relief I have never felt. I am going to read it again, and I’m sharing it with my friends. I wish everyone would read this book and understand how important it is to protect children.”

Another reader wrote that her mother, whose personality was a dangerous combination of Marie’s and Jack’s, made the tragic choice to commit suicide when the reader was in her early twenties. Reading Millie’s story enabled her to face her painful past and reach a peaceful place in her current life. She wrote…“to finally have released all that anger and guilt…you can’t imagine how freeing that is. I am going to make sure my sister reads this book too, for I feel she will get a lot out of it. God bless you, Julie. You are doing wonderful things through your writing!!!”

A third reader wrote an encouraging note describing her concern about her teen daughter who is in an unhealthy relationship. She is giving her daughter the book in hopes of encouraging her to reexamine her choices and to hopefully find a better partner. “I have prayed for answers and guidance, but my hands have been tied. I believe Millie can reach (my daughter) in a way I can’t. Thank you for saying in this book what I have wanted to say for more than a year. I hope she listens.”

All the reviews and interviews and sales numbers don’t mean a thing compared to that kind of reader feedback. Thank you for spending time in Millie’s world and for listening to her story. Thank you for giving this debut novel a chance. Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with me. And thank you for sharing this tale with others. This book has already accomplished more than I could ever have dreamed….it has helped at least two readers come to peace with their past and one improve her relationship with her daughter. To have played some small part in that is amazing, and I’m grateful for that opportunity.

I’d love to hear what you think about Into the Free. Comment here or email me privately:








Meet My Publisher: David C Cook

It’s been a long time coming, but now we’re in the final stretch of seeing my first novel, Into the Free, hit shelves (02.01.2012). I’ll be blogging about my journey as a debut novelist, providing behind-the-scenes research information, interviews, photographs, and more. PLUS…we’ll be offering fabulous PRIZES for those who want to play along. So be sure to subscribe to Julie’s Journal, follow JulieCantrell on Twitter, and Like the JulieCantrellAuthor page on facebook to make sure you don’t miss any of the fun.

First, I thought you might like to know more about David C Cook. Since signing this book contract, I’ve been asked countless times, “Who is your publisher?” Well, I couldn’t be more proud or grateful to have landed with an incredibly talented and generous team – David C Cook.

Want to know more about this wonderful company? Visit their website and check out this inspirational clip.