Julie Jarnagin – Real Life & Fictional Romance – Part 3 of 3

Shannon here: Debut novelist shares how she met her husband and insight into her book, Canyon Walls. Comment on any post dated April 4 – 9 for a chance to win a copy. Deadline: Midnight, central time April 9th. Here’s Julie:

The summer camp setting of my debut novel, Canyon Walls, has a special place in my heart. Not only did I attend a church camp I absolutely loved through my junior high and high school years, I also met my husband at church camp.

The summer after my freshman year of college, I got a job in the camp I had attended all those years. I moved into a tiny cabin with three other girls. During the week, I cooked in the cafeteria. My husband likes to say I was the lunch lady. When the campers left each week, we would clean all the cabins. Serving cafeteria food and cleaning bathrooms wasn’t a glamorous job, but it taught me a lot about hard work. It was also a lot of fun to spend the summer among the campers.

One day a cute guy showed up at the camp to spend the week as a counselor.  We became friends, and before the summer ended, he had asked me on our first date. For the rest of the summer, he would drive down to visit me. I’d sneak to the cafeteria kitchen after everyone was in bed to talk to him on the phone.

If you’ve ever attended a summer camp, you would probably agree that the time spent in the camp separated from the demands of everyday life can make it feel like another world. My time at camp also included the awesome experience of falling in love, making a church camp the perfect setting for my first novel. The main character in Canyon Walls is a camp director fighting to save the struggling camp where she gave her life to Christ as a teenager.

About Canyon Walls: Sunset Camp changed Cassie Langley’s life as a teen. A decade later she is the new director attempting to prevent the struggling Christian camp from closing. She is determined to show her overbearing mom, perfect sister, and nosey small-town residents she can do it on her own.

Charming Will Overman volunteers as a camp counselor, attracting Cassie’s attention–and her suspicions. Is he there to help the kids or scout out the camp as a possible development site for his family’s real estate business? With the camp in serious financial trouble, Cassie must fight her feelings for Will to protect the camp.

Julie’s Q 4 U: Have you ever attended a church camp? Did you have any special experiences there?

About Julie: I grew up in a rural community where my family farmed and raised cattle, inspiring me to set much of my fiction in small towns. I earned a B.A. in Journalism/Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma, and I’m a member of America Christian Fiction Writers. My articles have appeared in local and national publications. Through my writing, I hope to share stories that inspire readers through reflecting God’s love. I live in Oklahoma with my husband, Kevin, and our energetic young son. My debut novel, Canyon Walls, is scheduled to be released by Barbour / Heartsong Presents in April 2011. Learn more: http://juliejarnagin.com/

Come back April 9th for the readers’ top ten picks for favorite romantic posts from last quarter.

Come back April 11th for a glimpse into my real life romance as I celebrate the release of White Doves to stores.

14 Responses to “Julie Jarnagin – Real Life & Fictional Romance – Part 3 of 3”

  • Melissa C says:

    Really looking forward to reading Julie’s book!!!

  • Julie, your debut novel sounds so good! I can hardly wait to read it. I loved reading your story–it sounds so romantic. 🙂

  • Amanda A. G. says:

    I love hearing Julie & Kevin’s story! I cannot wait to read Canyon Walls. I am so proud of Julie for pursing and achieving her dream to become a novelist. 🙂

  • Chris says:

    I was there when these two met;) haven’t been a great friend by not keeping in touch over the past decade, but seeing the title & description of this novel took me back to that sweltering hot summer in Canyon Camp;) Such an awesome thing to have lived through their relationship’s beginning and now to be able to read about! I can’t wait to buy a copy of it, and I usually don’t read anything other than the sports page or injury reports;)

  • Thank you, Melissa.
    Chris – I expect you to break it out with all your male friends. Lol. Thanks so much for all the support.
    Thanks, Amanda. It’s very sweet of you to stop by. 🙂
    Julie – It was very romantic. He’s a great guy.

  • Hey Julie,
    I enjoyed having you back this week. I loved the new installment. No, I never went to church camp. Me and the word camp just don’t gel. I’m too much of a primper for camp and I can only sleep well in my own bed. The more people in the room, the less I sleep and I’m not very nice when I don’t get enough sleep.

  • Mary Worthing says:

    This is so exciting and I can’t wait to read your novel and share it with our Book Club. Congratulations on an obtaining such an exceptional goal of writing and publishing a novel. I am blessed to know you.
    I didn’t go to church camp, but my girls did and looked forward to it each year. They made such great friends and still can sing many of the songs. 🙂

  • Marti T says:

    I can’t wait to read Julie’s story about the church camp. I have know her all of her life and am so proud of the woman she has become. I never got the opportunity to go to church camp and couldn’t get my sons to go either. I think that we all missed out on a fantastic opportunity. Really excited for Julie!!

  • It’s amazing to see so many friends here. Thank you Marti and Mary for stopping by and taking time to comment.

  • Julie,

    Loved reading all the stories and finding out more about you.

    I have great memories of time at summer camp as a teen and actually one of my first (unfinished) manuscripts was set in a camp.

    I can’t wait to buy your book!

  • Thanks, Lacy. I look forward to reading your upcoming release as well!

  • Sylvia M. says:

    I never was able to go to summer church/youth camp, but know many people who have. They seem to love it.

    Julie, in the previous post you mentioned that you and your husband dated in college and had a favorite coffee spot. Did you two attend the same college when you were a freshman, but just didn’t know one another? I see here that you two met at camp.

    Is this book available in stores this month or to Heartsong club readers only?

    Shannon, I was finally able to pick up my own copy of “White Doves” today. I am greatly looking forward to this story. Do you have any new projects in the works after “White Pearls” of which you can tell us?

  • Hi, Sylvia! Thanks for the stopping by and for the comment.

    We attended different schools. After we met, he would drive up to visit me. When we got engaged, we both transferred to the same college.

    The book should be available on the Heartsong website soon. http://www.heartsongpresents.com


  • Sylvia, thanks so much for buying the book. I hope you enjoy it. II’m working on a Texas rodeo series now. The first will release in Oct.

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