How to Become a (Romance) Author

How to Become a (Romance) Author by Julie Arduini
This is part of my Fall Book Club discussion Tuesday nights, 8pm, EDT at I’m going through my first contemporary romance, ENTRUSTED, and also sharing writing tips and behind-the-scenes info on the characters, chapters, plot, and the Adirondack Mountains. I just started, so feel free to grab your copy and join me!

Entrusted, from idea to tangible book, took twenty years. Don’t let that be you!
I’m not sure my journey into contemporary romance is normal, but I thought I’d share my experience into how ENTRUSTED came to be and see if you can glean anything to encourage you.
One thing I know isn’t normal but it seems to mark the authors from the rest of the world is that I was always asking questions. There was one I was constantly putting out there as an observer in life.
“What if?”
What if that goodbye in the airport is a break-up?
What if that phone call in a parking lot is the start of a reunion?
I was, and continue to ask the “what if” question everywhere I go. From there, story ideas take a life of their own. It gets the creative juices flowing. Take it a step further and journal those thoughts.
1. Ask “what if” to people you see in everyday places and let your creativity flow. Journal where your mind takes you.
I was a recent college graduate the first time I visited the village of Speculator in the Adirondack Mountains. As my friend walked me around, I pictured Ben and Jenna and asked myself, “What if Jenna moved here from somewhere else and wanted to belong?” “What if Ben owned the grocery store and had lived here forever, and resented change—including a new girl in town?” That’s the genesis of ENTRUSTED.
Years passed thanks to marriage and kids, but the desire to write never truly went away. About ten years ago I took a course from the Christian Writer’s Guild and I wrote articles and flash fiction for FaithWriters.
2. Never stop learning. Read books on the writing craft. Read books by authors in your genre. For me, I read a lot of craft books by authors associated with Writer’s Digest. I signed up for blogs that featured writing tips and read them. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW, and joined critique groups. ENTRUSTED was more than one draft. I think it might have been five. If you truly want this, you will persevere through the red marks, suggestions, and parts you know have to go.
3. Write! It sounds easy, but this remains my biggest challenge. I let my mind get the best of me and convince myself I’m wasting my time. If you are called, you’ll be equipped. You can do it, but only if you actually write. If being at home is a problem, set office hours. Go to the library. But take yourself and your writing seriously. Your book will never be published if you don’t write it. ENTRUSTED, from idea to tangible book, took 20 years. TWENTY. YEARS. That doesn’t have to be your story.
I’d love to hear from you!

Author Julie Arduini
You can find me at where there are free resources on the left sidebar. I’d love if you followed me on Amazon and Goodreads. I enjoy connecting on social media @JulieArduini, including Snapchat. Please find me and say, “Hey!”

Annual Thankful Submissions Needed

Thankful_editedMy guess is the tradition is almost ten years old. It receives a lot of traffic and the private feedback I get is always uplifting. The posts inspire. Impact.

It’s my annual thankful series.

Each November I open this blog to guests who share why they are thankful. They can be as little as a paragraph and as much as 750 words. If someone goes way over, I suggest they take two slots.

The posts can be serious or humorous.

No one needs to be a writer. Just a thankful person.

I need submissions!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Choose your November date by signing up HERE.  Check off the sign up box on the right for your desired day, and click the box in the bottom center that says submit. If you don’t do this, you are not signed up. You WILL receive a reminder from SignUp Genius, so check your folders. You won’t receive a reminder from me.
  2. Write your thankful post and send to with a brief bio and an optional picture. If you are an author, you are invited to share a blurb, purchase link and book cover to your newest release. You can write your thankful post from your character POV, if you desire. Make sure you sign off the way you want the public to know. Ex: Julie A. or Julie Arduini or anonymous.

That’s it!

I’d love to keep this tradition going, but I can’t do it without YOU. The simplest thankful sentiments tend to mean the most. Don’t be afraid to share yours!

Thank You!!!

Linda Cobourn: Dancing in the Hall

Dancing in the Hall

by Linda Cobourn

It was one of those rare moments, a spontaneous celebration erupting out of nowhere. The adult students in my Communications II class were learning the rhetorical strategies of pathos, ethos, and logos by presenting short skits. The last skit provoked a lot of noise, with one student bursting into the classroom waving a loaded eraser while the student portraying Pathos cowered under a desk crying. So loud had been her screams that several male students and the dean showed up at our doorway.

To “get back at me” for the disruption my class had caused, the professor of Music Empowerment chose to bring her students out to the hallway to sing “I’m Every Woman.” I led my class out to join in. There we were, forty students and two professors, dancing and singing during class hours.

I watched the faces of my students: they were joyous, elated to be engaging in a few moments of revelry, casting off their cares of being adult students with jobs, families, and financial woes.

Adults need the opportunity to play. In 2016, studies report that 30% of adults are working at multiple jobs. With the responsibility of children still living at home and elder parents needing care, the adult of 21st century America is stressed, tired, and on the verge of emotional collapse. Some adults have also returned to school for greater employment opportunities following job loss.

College programs designed for adult students are different than traditional programs.  Most adults who return to school are only on campus for class and library use. It is no wonder that adult students feel isolated. This sense of isolation is a reason only one out of four adult college students finish a degree. Reasons students drop out range from financial to family concerns, but high on the list is emotional overload.

Continuing education should bring with it joy in acquiring new knowledge and self-satisfaction in reaching a goal, but the opposite is often true. The overwhelming work required of higher education squeezes out the little leisure time left over from other responsibilities. Adults who do manage to finish their degrees report that they feel elated when the process is over.

But there’s nothing wrong with a little elation along the way. We should all occasionally dance in the hallway.


Dr. Linda Cobourn is a literacy specialist who works with at-risk learners and non-traditional college students. Her research interests include building college-ready skills in middle school students and providing academic support to adult learners. Dr. Cobourn also cares for her disabled husband and autistic son and writes about the experiences at


iBloom: Finally, Real Help Without the Hype for Your Direct Sales Business

Finally, Real Help Without the Hype for Your Direct Sales Business

iBloom presents real help without the hassle for your direct sales business.

iBloom presents real help without the hassle for your direct sales business.

We’ve all seen it.

A Direct Sales dream story where the work-from-home lady makes millions and travels the world on her own schedule without ever having to miss her kid’s soccer practice. We wonder if it is really just a dream?

BUT we’ve also seen…

The woman working what seems like 24/7, not making much return on her effort, always posting desperately on Facebook and then her friends start avoiding her. We wonder if all of the direct sales opportunities would become a nightmare like that?

For many women, Direct Sales is the answer to real life challenges. Maybe they:

  • Have a job they can’t stand but need to replace the income
  • Need to contribute financially while also caring for the kids or for aging parents
  • Have a child with special needs or an illness that requires more days off than a traditional job would allow
  • Have an entrepreneurial spirit and thrive on the freedom of building something all their own
  • Have debt they are committed to paying off once and for all and want to speed up the process
  • Had an unexpected life change through a spouse’s death or a divorce
  • Needing to retire but don’t have enough money saved to do so without drastically changing their lifestyle

Direct Sales can be a great solution to each of these needs! It offers freedom, a level playing field regardless of race, gender, education level, background, or track record. When Direct Sales is done right, it can change lives, help people achieve their dreams, and make it possible for them to give generously to others.

But you also know that one day you can see the vision and the next day, after a “no-show” or just a rude “no” you’re tempted to throw in the towel. It can be TOUGH building your own Direct Sales business. Don’t make it any tougher than it has to be!

Join me for a training where we will learn from the TOP Christian women leaders in Direct Sales. Why make our own mistakes doing it the hard way when we can learn from THEIR mistakes & successes and build our business much faster?

iBloom Direct Sales Marketing Webinar

Learn from the top Christian Leaders in the Direct Sales world.

Monday, October 17th, 2-4 PM ET

If you are in Direct Sales (or hope to be someday), come learn from the BEST and save yourself LOTS of unnecessary hassle & hustle. These women have built success on their own schedule…and YOU can too!

Recap: (Check which one you want)

______  Go slow by figuring it all out on your own, possibly taking years off of your life

______  Go fast by joining me at the iBloom Direct Sales Marketing Webinar and learn from the TOP Christian Women Leaders in Direct Sales

I really hope you’ll join me! Oh, and if you know someone in Direct Sales who could benefit from this FREE training, please share this post with her. The more the merrier!

(Disclaimer: I am SOLD on iBloom after purchasing their planner. I am now an affiliate, which means I spread the word about their events and products. If there is a purchase from my link, I receive a small payment that goes back into giving back and saving to buy ink, etc…to keep my ministry going.)

Kathleen Brown: 3 Everyday Lessons for an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

3 Everyday Lessons for an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

by Kathleen Brown

I discovered Mom had Alzheimer’s during a September trip. September. Its flower is the forget-me-not; its gemstone, the sapphire. Sapphires were once associated with clear thinking. As I began caring for Mom, in the house where I grew up, I hoped the clear thinking part was for me.

If you’re an at-home caregiver, you know it presents unique challenges. My first weeks with Mom felt like one emergency after another; I was on adrenaline overload. Then I began noticing the miracles: tiny ones (finding one of Mom’s shoes in the trash can), and huge ones (Mom suddenly agreeing to a long-needed bath). Feeling the Lord’s presence and help, I calmed down and began to learn. Fear not—you’ll see miracles, too.

Three of the Biggest Everyday Lessons

 #1-You always have options.

In the beginning I thought there was only one right way to accomplish any care task. Wrong. There will always be more than one way to do what you need to do. Finding the best way, however, means we must look at all the options.

Example: Doctor to Mom: “Exercise.”

Mom to doc: “No.”

Solution: Two carts at the mega-store. While Dad shopped with one, Mom used the other like a walker, happy to stroll with me all around the store.

#2-Be ready to laugh.

Laughing in the face of Alzheimer’s is absolutely necessary for survival. The day Mom opened her mouth and I saw her dentures were in upside down, I smiled when I wanted to cry. After I fixed them, I laughed. Her poor gums were no longer being bitten by false teeth! Humor is an invaluable companion in caregiving.

#3-You will make it, even through the most difficult times.

When you need strength, you’ll have it. When you need words, they’ll come to you. When there’s nothing you can do to help your loved one, she will, against all odds, help herself. I can’t tell you how it happens—who can explain a miracle?—but I can tell you that resolution always comes. Expect it.

Expecting solutions widens your field of vision. You’ll find resources and strategies you won’t see if your eyes are closed in despair.

We hope effective treatments for Alzheimer’s will come—someday. Ways to cure and even prevent it. Until then, our peace will be in knowing we can help our loved ones through it. We can.


alzheimersKathleen Brown is a writer, speaker, and firm believer in everyday miracles. The author of A Time for Miracles: Finding Your Way through the Wilderness of Alzheimer’s, she focuses her work on needs of at-home Alzheimer’s caregivers. You can reach Kathleen through her blog,, or by email to



Book Club Launches Tuesday


When I was sent to the assistant principal’s office in middle school it wasn’t for mouthing off or fighting. Nope, I got in trouble for reading ahead.

Story of my life.

Reading remains my favorite relaxation. Although most of my time is invested in writing, I love sitting down with a good book. I long to talk to people about it.

Starting Tuesday, I’m combining writing and reading by launching my Fall Book Club. My plan is to connect with fellow readers and start reading and discussing my first contemporary romance, ENTRUSTED. We will discuss the chapters, and I’ll share behind-the-scenes features with characters, chapters, plot, and the Adirondacks. I’ll talk about the writing process. Some weeks will feature other authors and an interview with them, as well as “free surprises.” Once we finish ENTRUSTED, we’ll move onto ENTANGLED. Hopefully, ENGAGED will be after that. If not, we will read the third installment of the Surrendering Time series. I also look forward to reading books from my favorite authors.

Tuesday’s meeting is a kick-off with no reading required. I want us to get to know each other and I’ll release the reading schedule. After that, we’ll meet weekly.

Here’s more information:

The Surrendering Time series is an entertaining yet reflective adventure to the Adirondack Mountains. Each book takes an element of time (past, present, future) and explores through flawed and humorous characters what a surrender journey looks like.

In ENTRUSTED, Jenna Anderson leaves her Ohio hometown for the unknown in Speculator Falls. She’s determined to make her new job as senior center work and become one of the locals.

Ben Regan’s family is the backbone of Speculator Falls and he’s made a vow to protect the rural village. When his grandfather passes away and his former girlfriend leaves without even saying goodbye, Ben’s determined to prevent further transition in his life.

But Jenna produces a lot of change for Ben in a book about surrendering the present fears we have about change and wanting to belong.


Tuesday, October 11, 8pm, EDT
Julie Arduini’s Facebook Author Page
Format: I’ll paste a graphic a few minutes ahead of time saying that all our discussion will take place under the picture. You might need to refresh, if so, hit F5.

To purchase ENTRUSTED: click HERE.


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