The Love Boat Bachelor: Behind the Scenes in Cozumel

Posted by Julie on February 19, 2015 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Have you finished The Love Boat Bachelor yet? I’m not a fan of iguanas, but I am a huge fan of Betty Thomason Owens, author of the heroine readers chose for Brent Teague, Eliana Grayson. If you haven’t picked up your Kindle copy, you can still find it at a very reasonable price.

Purchase The Love Boat Bachelor here.

All week long Write Integrity is sharing tidbits about The Love Boat Bachelor and I thought today I’d share some behind the scenes nuggets from the chapter I wrote, Cozumel with Nora Laing.

I chose Cozumel because it is a port I’ve been to. The first time was in the mid 90’s and the stop was short, and at night. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, I’m not sure cruise lines even disembark at night anymore. I mean it was nine to midnight and at the time I was a 20-something that had never left the country. The night life was something. Shudder.

The second time was with my husband to celebrate our fifteen anniversary. Like Brent, I was the seasick one and it was worse than what Brent went through. I became very ill during a presentation and ran, I mean RAN to the bathroom. People wouldn’t move out of the way and wouldn’t even allow me a stall, so I got sick in a sink. Then the people had the nerve to look at me. So once I cleaned up I said, “You know, if you hadn’t been so selfish with your line, I would’ve been able to get sick in a toilet!”

My husband and I also enjoyed shopping. The scene where Nora negotiates for the “Papi” hat was my husband’s experience. He really wanted that hat but as a Navy vet who had traveled the world, he wasn’t going to pay anything near what she was asking for. The two went back and forth until she cried, “Papi, you’re killing me!” To this day when he wears the hat I call him “Papi.”

We also enjoyed a glass bottom boat tour. It was absolutely breathtaking to be that far down to see the coral and fish.IMG_20120202_123310

It was fun to re visit those memories and pictures as I wrote Nora’s chapter.

Have you been to Cozumel? What are your memories?

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Write Integrity Press Christmas: Presents

Posted by Julie on December 1, 2014 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

All this week Write Integrity Press is celebrating Christmas. Many of the authors are participating with their own blogs and everything culminates with a Facebook party December 5th from 7-9 pm, EST. I’ll be chatting at approximately 8:30. Join me!

I love a party so I wanted to celebrate as well. Given November was another blessed month with the thankful series, I thought why not keep the fun memories going? So each day this week I’m sharing a Christmas memory with reflections from my Write Integrity Press colleagues.

Today is about the shiny presents. It isn’t the reason to celebrate but like it or not, they are a tradition for most families. We were all kids once so I asked  my friends if there was a special gift they longed for, and did they receive it?PresentGirlRedSparkle

 Our fearless leader, Tracy Ruckman shared:

Although we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, we were pretty spoiled. Even if we didn’t get everything on our list, our parents – and Santa – always had lots of surprises for us. My dad always gave us brain-teaser puzzles. And he usually had some kind of fun surprise waiting for us. One year, we had a note that told us our big gift was waiting outside, where we found another note, saying it was somewhere else. He led us on a scavenger hunt for about 30 minutes before sending us to the basement where we discovered a ping pong table. That was great fun and totally unexpected. 

 Betty Thomason Owens, author of Amelia’s Legacy, said:

A “Chatty Cathy” doll (from ancient times, I know) & no, I didn’t get it.


Elizabeth Noyes, author of Imperfect Wings:

Growing up, the one thing I remember wanting more than anything else was a Tiny Tears baby doll.  That year for Christmas, Santa brought me a stack of booklets instead, all filled with S&H Green Stamps. Two days after Christmas, my mom took me to the redemption center … and I got my doll. When I was older, I learned she’d tried so hard to get the doll for me for Christmas, but the stores had run out. She used the stamps she’d been saving for a vacuum cleaner to get my doll instead.

Phee Paradise, A Ruby Christmas:

I can’t think of anything I ever really wanted. When I was 58 I asked for a bicycle and my husband laughed and my children asked if I could ride one. I got it and rode it almost every day.


As for me, I remember being about seven when I wanted a Barbie Dream House. Money was tight and even at that age the stress of that and other things was palpable. I got it. But it didn’t stop me from asking.

Santa didn’t deliver.

I’m sure I got other things that were just as nice but back then, I focused on the negative. For all I had, my thoughts were always on what I didn’t have. When I thought about knowing God in any way my logic always went back to the fact that if God cared, I’d have a normal, happy family. Money wouldn’t be a problem. And I’d have a Barbie Dream House.

As I left childhood and entered my teens, times grew tougher and so did my attitude. My foundation was anger and self entitlement. As I pursued academics, common sense went out the window. Faith? I had none.

Even after I asked Jesus into my life, my defenses remained. Thankfully He was patient and gave me tools and resources to not just heal, but transform.

It was in this season God showed me the Barbie Dream House.

It was a want, not a need.

I confused Santa with God.

I lived the illusion that God was angry with arms closed, never available.

When I want to whine about what I don’t have, my mind goes back to that Barbie Dream House. I have so much more than that plastic thing. I’m in a relationship with a Heavenly Father who I know through personal experience loves me every day of the year with arms wide open. He knows what I want and He knows what I need.

No matter my zip code, no matter where I hang my coat, I don’t have a Barbie Dream House.

But I have the promise of an eternal home.

What a present.



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Video of the Week: Amelia’s Legacy by Betty Thomason Owens

Posted by Julie on November 3, 2014 in Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

This week’s video of the week in the right sidebar is Amelia’s Legacy by Better Thomason Owens.

91b3D0qKGYL._SL1500_It’s the Roaring Twenties and anything goes …

Orphaned and living with her grandmother since the age of six, Nancy Sanderson desires only her freedom from her strict grandmother, Amelia Woods Sanderson, who divides her time between Nancy and a successful career. Her grandmother’s plans include a wealthy, smart, and well-connected young lawyer named Robert Emerson, who bores Nancy.

Instead, Nancy seeks the company of the wild-hearted Nate Conners. When her rebellion turns deadly and her dalliance with Nate leaves her in trouble, Nancy turns to Robert, who promises to protect her. But Robert has underestimated Nate’s thirst for revenge.

As hidden truths become known, can Nancy find the strength to forgive herself and gain true and lasting freedom?


To Purchase, click here.

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