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Don’t Miss This: Ransom in Rio by Theresa Lynn Hall

Posted by Julie on August 27, 2017 in ACFW, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |
Don’t Miss This: Ransom in Rio
Private Investigator, Braden McCoy wants nothing more than to finish out the week doing a little fishing from his boat. The ex-special ops vet enjoys his peaceful life and loves his new career. He’s learned to put his past behind him and enjoy his blessings. Until a mourning redhead walks into his office and changes his plans.
Lexi Ramos always knew her family was dysfunctional. Until the sudden death of her brother, she never knew exactly how much. Consumed with questions surrounding his accident, she seeks the help of a private investigator. What starts out as a murder investigation in Cozumel, quickly crosses borders and escalates into a race against time to save them both from Brazilian kidnappers, who somehow know more about her family secrets than she does. Lexi soon realizes that life comes with a price.
BIO
As a native Texan, Theresa loves to write suspenseful stories that happen in small Texas towns with old fashioned Southern values. She’s an elementary teacher and mom to two boys—the oldest being in law enforcement, which comes in handy when she’s researching. When she’s not teaching kids or writing, she loves to cook, read a good suspense, and binge-watch episodes of Dateline. She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She actively promotes fellow Christian Fiction authors on her blog. She also loves to hear from readers who enjoy Christian Fiction and can be found at www.theresalynnhall.com and @theresalynnhall.
Personal links
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A Mother for Leah by Rachel L. Miller

Posted by Julie on August 3, 2017 in Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

A Mother for Leah by Rachel L. Miller

Will Leah Fisher find love because of a buggy accident? 

Could love soften her heart so that she is able to see her answered prayers in Naomi Yoder or will she drive a wedge between her father and the only woman he has shown interest in since Elisabeth Fisher’s death?

Leah Fisher lost her mother ten years ago. She is rapidly approaching womanhood and the lack is becoming more difficult every day.

Will she be able to recognize love when it’s right in front of her?

Could love be the key to Leah opening her heart, making room for the woman her father intends to marry… or will she stubbornly cling to the memory of her own mother?

Will Leah be able to let go of her own ideas and realize that God truly does know best for her or will she allow love to slip through her fingers, destroying Samuel Fisher and Naomi Yoder’s happiness at the same time?

 

Rachel L Miller writes sweet Amish romance with a focus on faith, family and friendship.

She feels very strongly that God has led her to live a simpler lifestyle ñ thus her deep kinship with the plain people. She enjoys spending time with her family and doing fun, simple things like swimming, making sun tea, sitting outside watching the sunrise or listening to rain fall on the tin roof.

Rachel enjoys writing Amish fiction and hopes that the purity of her stories will allow God’s message to shine through more clearly.†She also writes Contemporary Inspirational Romance – and with all of her stories she focuses on presenting romance the way God intended it to be.

Readers can connect with Rachel on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and her website: rlmauthor.com

Website: http://rlmauthor.com
Amazon: amazon.com/author/rlmillerauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/RLMauthor
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bIHd7T
Instagram: http://instagram.com/rlmauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RLMAuthor
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/RLM_Author/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RachelLMillerAuthor

Purchase links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mother-Leah-Windy-Wishes-Book-ebook/dp/B072FT6PJY
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-mother-for-leah-rachel-l-miller/1126615403?ean=9780998169279
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-mother-for-leah/id1231203953
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-mother-for-leah
Universal: https://books2read.com/amfl2017/

 

***

Engaged is now available!

Purchase on Amazon

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Answered Prayers by Darlene Franklin

Posted by Julie on August 2, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Prayer. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Prayer is our means of communication with God and God’s given requirement to watch him work. We read stories of men and women of prayer who pray(ed) 2 hours a day and feel like the disciples who couldn’t spend an hour in prayer with Jesus in the garden.

All my life I’ve felt like such a stumbling fool when it comes to prayer. I struggle to fill a single page in mu prayer journal. And I use a prayer journal because it forces me to focus, unlike closing my eyes to daydream—or fall asleep.

I offer all this background so you understand why this—thing­—has me shocked, surprised, delighted.

God is answering my prayers. When asked. As asked. In very demonstrable ways.

I started to notice it a few months ago. I prayed that my granddaughter would either leave her live-in boyfriend—or get married. She moved out. (and back in—but she did move out!)

At our weekly Bible study, our leader asked us to requested that we pray for his voice and his health. We prayed that because God had given him the lesson to share, that He would give him the strength to finish the lesson. And he did.

Later, a phlebotomist showed up for a blood draw. I selfishly prayed it would go easily. At a recent hospital visit, they had needed three-plus attempts every time they drew blood or put in an IV.

I didn’t even feel the needle go in.

A week ago, my vision was so blurry, I couldn’t see the music to play hymns at Bible study. I asked for prayer—vision restored.

Of course I’ve always known God answered prayer. And I haven’t had any significant “deposits” in the prayer bank. But I have never ever experienced this kind of clear, immediate answer. This feeling of—power?—had given me wings, a freedom to pray and actively expect an answer.

When I first starting writing devotionals, I found prayers the most difficult element to

Answered Prayer: A Guest Post by Darlene Franklin

write. But recently, I completed 48 prayers to accompany the upcoming 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women (TBR 2/1/18).  Here’s the first one:

Lord God, the story of prayer might be the story of great achievements, but my personal journey reads more like a survival tale, lurching from one day’s emergency to the next. Not everyone can be like Esther, who fasted, prayed, and wrested victory for her people from the hands of her enemy. I’m more like Hannah, who asked You for a son, and the Phoenician woman who beseeched Jesus to heal her child. I may not be like Lydia who offered her house as a place of worship, but I have often wept before You, like the woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her tears. As I rehearse Your gracious response to my prayers, open my eyes to the grandeur of Your achievements in my life. Amen.

I guess I absorbed the lessons as I wrote them!  Praise God for a very welcome transformation.

 

 

Bio: Darlene has been preparing to write devotionals all her life. She enjoyed the teaching of verse-by-verse teaching of the Bible three times a week in addition to her own private study all the way through school. At Northeastern Bible College, she majored in Bible and theology, and then attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary, where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Religious Education. When she began writing after her divorce, she started with a devotional project focused in about the lessons God had taught her, and her first ever published piece was a devotional in The Secret Place. Since then, Darlene has published over 300 devotionals in various publications as well as three stand-alone titles with Winged Publications.

 

Website and blog

Facebook

Amazon author page

Twitter: @darlenefranklin

 

Book blurb about 12 Months to Better Prayer:

Learn the art of prayer from the hearts of giants of the faith.

Prayer is simply talking with God—yet even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Since then, godly men and women of the faith have given us guidance to a deeper prayer life—and their most insightful comments are included in A 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women.

Featuring the words of giants of the faith such as Andrew Murray, E. M. Bounds, Charles Spurgeon, and Hannah Whitall Smith, it’s arranged into 12 key topics.

Ideal for use on a year-long prayer journey, this book also includes prayer starters that will set you on a course of deeper, more personal times of conversations with God.

Book blurb about my fiftieth book, Mermaid’s Song:

At last, the much anticipated 50th book by Darlene Franklin!

Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail.

Thus begins this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.

Justine Battineaux, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.

Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.

How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?

 

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Part 2: God Bless the Broken Road by Jennifer Dornbush

Posted by Julie on July 19, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Earlier this month Jennifer Dornbush shared the surrender story behind her screenplay and novel, God Bless the Broken Road. Her story was so interesting I decided to take a little more time to get to know her and the behind the scenes history with God Bless the Broken Road (GBBR.)

Jennifer was gracious enough to share more below.

What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?

 

God Bless the Broken Road (GBBR) actually began as a feature film script three years ago. My friend and director, Harold Cronk, who is best known for the God’s Not Dead movies, called me one fine summer evening. He pitched me the seed of the idea and asked what I thought? I said I thought it sounded like a solid story. And then he asked if I wanted to write it with him. Of course, I said yes.

 

We finished the first draft of the script on Christmas Eve, 2014. Over the course of the next year we refined it while the producers rallied the funds. In the spring of 2016 Harold shot God Bless the Broken Road.

 

A few months earlier, as we finished the script version, I talked with the producers about penning a novel version. They thought it would be a great idea. So my agent, Julie Gwinn, put a pitch together and while we were filming I quickly wrote the first three chapters. Within two weeks Julie had procured a couple contracts. We happily chose Simon & Schuster. I spent last summer scribing the novel and here it is a year later.  The film version is also “in the can” as we say and will be releasing in 2018.

 

 

GBBR Novel Synopsis:

God Bless the Broken Road is a heartwarming story about a grieving army widow who finds her way back to her daughter, her faith, and a new love. Amber Hill never imagined she would find herself a war widow and single mom. She feels robbed and is angry at God, and she doesn’t know how to help her nine-year-old daughter Bree through her grief. Where, Amber wonders, are the Sunday dinners, the picnics, the bike rides, the time together they should be enjoying as a family? Instead, Amber is left with a folded flag and an empty heart.

 

Cody Jackson has a death wish. Or at least that is what his manager thinks, as Cody pushes his race car and his luck in every race. Is he hiding something, or just daring God and other racers to end the path of destruction he finds himself on as he rounds the last turn? When Cody encourages Bree to join in a Derby car race for local youth, she finds a way to channel her grief into something good—and she likes that her mom and Cody are starting to become friends—or maybe something more.

 

Cody invites Amber and Bree to see him race, but as they watch Cody narrowly escape a devastating crash, she realizes she can’t lose another person in her life. It’s better to be alone than feel that type of grief again. But when Amber hits rock-bottom, she cries out to God and asks for help. With her faith, her life, her family, and her heart hanging in the balance, Amber is forced to decide between the broken road she knows so well and trusting that God will provide a new path.  Based on the Rascal Flatts song, God Bless the Broken Road is a moving, heart-stirring story about the power of faith to change a life. The movie version is coming 2018.

 

PURCHASE GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD HERE

 

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Don’t Miss This: Season of Hope by Sara Jane Jacobs

Posted by Julie on July 14, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

 
ABOUT
THE AUTHOR:
I began writing as a hobby while raising my two children. In 2015, I dusted off my stories and my dreams to see if I could turn my hobby into a career. My first story, Season of Hope, was inspired by summer vacations which always included a trip to Franklin, North Carolina, to visit family and explore The Smoky Mountains. When I'm not writing, I enjoy spending time with family. I love most any activity that involves being outdoors, especially camping, hiking and spontaneous excursions to splash in the ocean. I currently live along the Emerald Coast of Florida with my cat Selah and her delightful offspring, Colby, Jack and Tuesday.
AUTHOR CONTACT LINKS:
ABOUT THE BOOK:
 
When Amanda Jarvis prays that a special friend will move into the vacant house near her isolated mountain home, she isn't upset when God sends a boy instead of a girl. But Amanda's not the only one receiving unexpected answers to her prayers. After fleeing with his mother from an abusive father, Tyler Armstrong finds much-needed love and acceptance with Amanda's family over the next ten years. As high school graduation nears, Tyler is shocked when one carefree afternoon with Amanda churns up an inner turmoil he would have never imagined; he's crushing on his best friend. And for the firs time in his life he's hiding a secret from Amanda. Convinced the timing is all wrong, Tyler pushes his feelings aside as he and Amanda prepare for the future. He will soon begin training to pursue his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, while Amanda makes plans to spend the summer in Manhattan with her aunt and then return home to the community college. When Amanda's summer job catapults her into a modeling career, she readily accepts the much-needed distraction. Tyler's impending deployment is turning her world upside down. Along with the fact that she's falling for her best friend. And, for the first time in her relationship with Tyler, she's hiding a secret, too. Phoebe Garrison, Amanda's controlling aunt, is thrilled when she is given the power to act on behalf of her underage niece. Bored with her Fortune 500 advertising agency, becoming Amanda's manager is just what she's been looking for to rekindle her aspirations. But as Tyler becomes aware of Phoebe's obsession to push Amanda into supermodel status, tensions rise. As the three of them become entangled in a mass of concealed ambition and desire, each will make decisions that will send ripples of turbulence across their futures.
BOOK LINKS:
 
GIVEAWAY:
 
                                           
Enter to win the SEASON OF HOPE giveaway! One person will win the following items…
        Enter below!       
 
 

 

There’s so much going on with characters that we
don’t always get to read about in the book.  Here’s a short excerpt from
Amanda’s journal the night before she left for her summer in New York.
June 1
Tonight, Tyler and I took his truck out into the
pasture for our “anti-prom” and watched the meteor shower. I tried not to think
how the life we have shared here on Nathan’s Mountain for the past ten years is
over. Tomorrow I leave for Knoxville with Mom and Dad so I can catch a flight
to New York.
Our friends crashed our little party. I loved seeing them but I
wanted so much to be alone with Tyler on our last night here. It made for a
bittersweet evening. Shouldn’t I be excited? I mean, isn’t everyone excited
when high school is finally over? I am looking forward to New
York. Phoebe intrigues me, and I want to see what life might be like if I
eventually get accepted at Barnard. This will give me a chance to see what it
would be like living in the city.
But the reality is that at the end of the summer I’ll be coming back here and Tyler will be gone. He’s been my best friend for ten years. I’ve never even let myself imagine what life on this mountain would be like without him here. My heart sinks at the thought of
sitting on the porch at night knowing that he isn’t at the bottom of the
mountain, somewhere behind the soft glow of his porch light. No longer will he
leave here from one of our long talks and signal me with the two flashes of
that light to let me know he’s home and wish me, “sweet dreams.” There will be
no reason to rush inside to send two flashes back to him. Our sweet little
tradition is over forever. How did I not see this coming? Why have I been so
absorbed with the busyness of life that I failed to notice I was about to
experience some of the most routine things for the last time.
I’m exhausted and I need to get some sleep. I’msure the morning light will bring with it a more optimistic perspective.

                                                                                                Amanda






BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
June 26 – Truth
to Shine
June 27
ASC Book Reviews
June 28
Meagan Davenport
June 30
Barbara
Brutt
July 7
Bookworm
Mama
July 10
Tell the World
July 11
2014
and Beyond
July 12
Tammy
Karasek
July 13
Rebecca DeMarino
July 14 –  Julie Arduini
July 17
Laura
Bennet
July 18
All Betts Are Off
July 21
Leslie L. Mckee
This blog tour was coordinated by A Latte of Literature Blog
Tour Services. Find out more:
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Coming Out of Hiding to Say Yes to God by Jennifer Slattery

Posted by Julie on July 6, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Coming Out of Hiding to Say Yes to God by Jennifer Slattery

From invincibility to hiding—for years, my life seemed to follow the opposite path God desires His children to take. He created us to live bold, brave, and intentional lives. He’s given us everything we need, in Christ, do this. I know this now, but for over a decade, fears and wounds from my past kept me in bondage.

 

You never would’ve known it to look at me. I went to church. Smiled. Served. Had friends for dinner and went to their place, all the while engaging in polite, acceptable … filtered conversation.

 

I felt like a fraud, convinced if they were to find out who I truly was, who I’d been, they’d want nothing to do with me.

 

Then came the call.

 

That sounds exciting, right? Except for when you’re spending your days hiding out, trying to play the part you believe is expected—by people. I’d kicked my people-pleasing up to such intensity, God’s still small voice faded into the background.

 

I felt certain the two were in opposition of one another. If I were to do this thing, to follow God with everything within me and surrender to Him, I might irritate a few folks. Maybe even turn others away.

 

It was the latter that scared me most, because God wasn’t just calling me to serve. I’d been doing that. He was calling me to serve Him transparently. To be completely real, with my sins, my struggles, my ugly side.

 

An ugly side that can be easy to hide when I all is going well, but when I feel squeezed or overtired? Those are the times when my ick, the part of me that God is working to chip away at, is most likely to rise up.

 

And yet, God was calling me to live authentically. To be real.

 

Not just real, but to put this transparency into writing, for all the world to see. Knowing some reading would judge me. Would see the worst in me. Would misunderstand. Maybe even choose to use my words against me.

 

So I hid. I continued to reveal only slivers of myself, and thus, only slivers of what God was doing within me—those things that made me look good, like I’d grown and conquered. And day-by-day, God’s still, gentle voice grew softer and more distant.

 

Until the chill between us became more than I cared to bear. I realized I craved intimacy with Christ more than anything else, even my pride. So I said yes, and have had to make that choice many times since, for pride never seems to stay dead for long.

 

What I found—the more I let God in, the more I say yes to Him, the more I begin to live.

 

Consider this quote by Gordon T. Smith, author of Courage and Calling: “Living our lives to the full is precisely what it means to be good stewards of our lives. … We live fully by living in a way that is deeply congruent with who we are.” (p. 18).

 

Congruent with who we are. Living authentically. No more hiding. No more pretending to be someone we’re not. No more trying to please others or avoid their rejection or judgment.  Simply leaning deeper into Christ and allowing Him to use as—our past and our present, our strengths and our weakness, our quirks and qualities—for His glory.

 

I believe that’s when we truly begin to experience the full freedom available to us in Christ and the peace that “surpasses all understand.” A peace no amount of ridicule, “failure,” or rejection can take away.

 

What about you? Are you living authentically, or are you in some state of hiding? Can you sense God saying to you, “Come out, my beloved, chosen by God. Let my Spirit flow, unhindered, through you as I use you to bring about my good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

 

Say yes, friend. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Bio and Blurb:

 

Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.

 

Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com 

 

Healing Love

Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread

Dual setting—Southern California, and El Salvador

 

Blurb: A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

 

Learn more about Healing Love by visiting Goodreads.

Pre-Order Healing Love HERE

 



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