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Book Review: Brave is the new Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

Posted by Julie on May 5, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Brave is the New Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

In a culture that bombards women with “thinspiration” messages and pressure to “do it all” while wearing the mask of perfection, women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?

Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives—and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.

There’s nothing that inspires me more than reading other people’s stories. I love when there are anecdotes and testimonies full of encouragement that leave me with an attitude that I can do this. BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL is a wonderful encouragement because it offers hope among the pages.

The author shares different stories about overcoming, and they inspire. They are transparent, but not depressing. Each story is just right in length, yet you get the details needed.

Lee Wolfe Blum is a new-to-me author, but now she’s on my radar. I look forward to more, and I definitely recommend this book.

To purchase BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL, click HERE.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts are my own.

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Total Surrender by Cynthia Roemer

Posted by Julie on May 5, 2017 in God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

TOTAL SURRENDER

By

Cynthia Roemer

I’ve always been inspired by those who are willing to give their all for the cause of Christ.—missionaries who give up home and family to live in foreign lands in less than comfortable places, men, women, even children who stand by their convictions regardless of the consequences. These people have counted the cost and surrendered their lives to God anyway.

Surrendering our lives to God never comes easily. If you’re like me, you can give a situation to the Lord only to take it back again and again in a tug-of-war for control. I suppose that’s why I wrote about the theme of total surrender in my debut novel, Under This Same Sky.

My heroine, Becky Hollister, doesn’t willingly choose to surrender her will to God; instead, adverse circumstances compel her to choose between entrusting her life to Him or turning her back on her faith. It’s touch and go for a while. After enduring great suffering and loss, Becky questions how a loving God can allow such hurtful events to happen.

Under This Same Sky takes readers on a journey alongside Becky as she works through her resentment toward God and seeks to determine what His will for her might be. But just as in real life, it takes the wisdom of God’s word and the love of friends (and in Becky’s case, a godly man) to pull her through.

Becky’s story is a tale of friendship and love, but even more so, it’s a quest for wholeness and deeper understanding of a God who longs to hold the deepest desires of her heart. Fully surrendering to the Lord is something I believe we all struggle to achieve. I hope you’ll be encouraged by Becky’s story and the message of surrender it conveys.

 

Under This Same Sky Book Blurb:

             ~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most. ~

Illinois ~ 1854

Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents’ farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she’s ever known and the man she’s begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis.

Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky finds solace in corresponding with Matthew Brody, the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future.

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Under This Same Sky is her debut novel.

 

Contact Links:

 Website:  http://cynthiaroemer.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCynthiaRoemer/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com@cynthiaroemer 

 Purchase Link

 

 

 

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More About the Patriot and the Loyalist by Angela Couch

Posted by Julie on May 4, 2017 in encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |
Back Cover:
Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home-not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain-so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope-if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes. . .
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded. . .and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.
Bio:
To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after three munchkins.
Buy links:

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Don’t Miss This: The Patriot and the Loyalist by Angela Couch

Posted by Julie on May 3, 2017 in ACFW, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home—not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain—so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.

Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope—if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes…

Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded…and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.

Available at: Barnes & Noble Indigo/Chapters Amazon

Reviews:
A poignant blend of adversity and love set against the gritty backdrop of war, Angela Couch skillfully weaves a redemptive story that will keep fans of historical romance turning pages and rooting for a happily ever after.
~Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled and Covering Home

From the descriptive pen of award-winning historical author Angela K Couch comes an intriguing tale of lies and deceit that will keep you turning the pages way into the night… I always enjoy Angela’s stories where history meets fiction. The Patriot and The Loyalist was no exception.
~ Marion Ueckermann, USA Today Bestselling Author

The Patriot and the Loyalist brings readers a Revolutionary War historical that will keep them reading both for the romance and the intrigue.
~Janet Ferguson, author of Leaving Oxford

Angela K Couch delivers once again. The only problem with The Patriot and the Loyalist−it is impossible to put aside. Filled with realistic characters, its wonderful storyline stays with you long after you finish reading.
~Lucy Nel, author of The Widow’s Captive

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Cinderella’s Boot by Darlene Franklin

Posted by Julie on May 1, 2017 in ACFW, encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

Cinderella’s Boot by Darlene Franklin

At its heart, Cinderella Boot is a story about second chances, and change is the engine creating that chance.

“Cinderella,” Cynthia Ellen Cooper, left her fiancé at the altar four years ago—to work on a sheep station in Australia. She wanted to spread her wings before marriage tied her down forever.

Keith never recovered from the deep wound Cynthia dealt him. After graduation from vet school, he returns home to work in his father’s practice—where Cynthia now works as a pet groomer and vet assistant.

The former couple forms an uneasy working truce. Cynthia soon realizes she loves Keith more than ever and wonders if she can win back his truck. Her pastor suggests she study the life of John Mark. the gospel writer and companion to the apostles Peter and Paul.

Mark ran away from his responsibilities, too—he left Paul and Barnabas in a lurch during their first missionary journey. Paul refused to have anything further to do with the young man. Years later, however, Paul described Mark as his companion in the ministry, and at the end of his life, asked for Mark specifically because he was helpful to him.

Cynthia starts at that point: she makes herself helpful to Keith. Not only in the office, but even in his social life. She takes him to new, local restaurants for him to decide on the location for his date with of their patients.

Since Cinderella’s Boot is a romance, the answer to “will they?” is a given. I’ll let you read the book to discover the answer to “how will they?”

My point is—Keith and Cindy’s second chance at love came as they changed. When his attitude changed. When she became a servant.

My second chance at better physical health started with my attitude. I decided to work, whether or not it hurt, whether or not I thought I could. If the therapist challenged me to try, I did. Now I can walk, at least until my lungs give out. I can lift my arms higher than in five years. I can sit up from a laying down position and get into a car.

Believe it or not, those aren’t as simple as they seem for someone in a wheelchair.

One of the many things I praise God for—every day is a new beginning. Today I don’t have to repeat yesterday’s failures!

Bio:

Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. This year she expects to reach fifty unique titles in print and she’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in four monthly magazines. Her most recent titles are Capturing the Rancher’s Heart, Romancing the Ranger, and Cinderella’s Boot.

 Links:

Website and blog

Facebook

Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin

Cinderella’s Boot:

Cynthia Ellen Cooper—known affectionately as “Cinderella”—left her wedding boot in the dust when she ran away from her wedding to work on a sheep station in Australia. Four years later, she’s back home—and so is her ex-fiancé, now a DVM from Oklahoma State University. They reach a truce and work side by side in his father’s animal clinic. Cyn soon discovers she wants more—but she has to battle bad history and a demanding pet owner for Keith’s attention. How can Cinderella find a second chance at love?

PURCHASE CINDERELLA’S BOOT HERE

 

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A Highland Pearl Character Interview by Brenda B. Taylor

Posted by Julie on April 28, 2017 in ACFW, encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

A Highland Pearl Character Interview

Greetings from 16th century Scotland. My name is Andrew Dubh Munro. I’m know as the Black Falcon of Fàrdach, and I am the Thirteenth Baron and Chief of Clan Munro. My home is located in the Scottish Highlands on the north shore of Cromarty Firth. The seat of my clan, the place I reside, is Fàrdach Castle. Fàrdach is a Gaelic word meaning, home. Gaelic is my first language, although in order to trade with merchants in Inverness and other places, I also speak Inglish and French.

My father, Sir William Munro was killed in a battle with the MacKenzie Clan. The MacKenzies and Munros have been feuding since that time. I wanted to bring peace between the two peoples, but Hugh MacKenzie and his warriors continued to reive Munro cattle and destroy Munro property. While confronting the reivers one day, I was seriously wounded, and thought I would die.

My brother, Gavin, sent for a bonnie lass and healer from the nearby village of Drumainn. Maidie saved my life, and I fell in love with her. She was a strong believer in the Lord of All Creation. I wanted to take Maidie as my wife, but she was hesitant since I, at that time, did not believe.

One night, the MacKenzies burned one of the Munro villages, and I accompanied my brother and our warriors in the chase for the culprits. My injury had not healed completely, and I could not keep up. I insisted Gavin and the band of warriors go on without me. My gille, Colin, stayed with me. We made ourselves comfortable and settled down to wait for Gavin’s return.

I soon learned the burned village was a trap to get me out of the castle. The MacKenzies captured Colin and me, and took us to the dungeon of their castle. We stayed in the dungeon five days, eating rancid meat and drinking foul water. Our physical condition weakened until I thought the two of us would die.

Being thrown into the dungeon was the best thing that could have happened to me. Colin was a believer and taught me the way to the Lord through his son, Jesus the Christ. I prayed and was accepted into the Lord’s kingdom. I wasn’t afraid to die then, for I knew Heaven awaited.

Hugh MacKenzie released us on the urging of my former father-in-law, Bryson Fraser. The story takes many turns and twists before Maidie and I were reunited and I declared my love for her. The miracle was, she loved me in return and promised to become my wife. The Lord truly blessed me with the desire of my heart—Maidie Cameron Munro.

My story is told in the novel by Brenda B. Taylor, A Highland Pearl. Secure your copy today while the e-book is on sale at most vendors. You will enjoy the adventure through the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

A Highland Pearl

A Highland Pearl

A sweet romance blossoms amidst feuding and war. With her reputation at stake after being accused of practicing witchcraft and hated as a member of a rival clan, Maidie considers leaving Clan Munro and returning to the home of her birth in Clan Cameron. Fierce battles, a tragic encounter, and a handsome clan chief compel her to make crucial decisions in this haunting romance set in the16th century Highlands of Scotland.

 

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Historical Heartbeats

Amazon

Apple iTunes

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

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Author Bio:

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

 

Author Contact Information:

Historical Heartbeats

Book Bub Author Page

Amazon Author’s Page

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