This post first appeared at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud.
I’m a firm believer in the power of praise. When I’m sad, anxious, or upset, nothing lifts my heart quite like singing praises to my Heavenly Father. I think there are many reasons for this, perhaps the most important of which being that it centers my heart and mind in God’s peace-giving, ever-loving presence. As some of you may know, I battle chronic illness, which means, I often battle negative emotions as well. One week, when going through a particularly difficult time, I felt as if God led me to Psalm 103, calling me to focus not on my struggle but instead on Him–who He is and all He’s done. Ever since, I’ve found praise to be my life-line, so I thought I’d share this precious gift God showed to me with each of you.
Starting March 5th, a group of bloggers and I have decided to dig deep into Psalm 103, passage by passage. I hope you’ll join us by following the links below.
April 11th I’ll tie up our series on Ginger Solomon‘s blog, calling each of us to be fully present when we praise.
Tags: Allyson Carter, authors, Bible, blog hop, bloggers, Carol McClain, Delia Latham, faith, Ginger Solomon, God, Jennifer Hallmark, Jennifer Slattery, Jesus, Julie Arduini, Maria Morgan, Marji Laine, praise blog hop, Psalm 103, Sarah Ruut, Susan Aken
What am I working on?
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Why do I write what I do?
How does your writing process work?
I haven’t really done something like this before, but I figured I’d give it a shot, because these are questions I haven’t seen before. In addition to answering the questions, I also need to choose 3 other people to answer these same questions on their blogs. I’ll list those 3 at the end. I hope you visit them.
What Am I Working On?
That’s a great question. You might want to get a snack, because we could be here awhile.
I have two active fiction projects right now. The first is editing Untangled, the contemporary romance I started as part of NaNoWriMo 2012. This is the second in my Adirondack series, and it’s Carla Rowlings turn to share her story. I’m having so much fun with this. In Spectacular Falls she was the single mom sheriff who became Jenna’s best friend. Now she’s been given the opportunity to attend cosmetology school, but she doesn’t feel worth it because of past mistakes she’s made. Carla’s also raising a teenager, and she’s scared Noah might repeat her mistakes. And it’s hard to forget her choices when Noah’s dad is back on the scene, causing trouble between her and her flannel-loving boyfriend, Will Marshall. And then there’s Daniel Garrett, tightly wound beauty school student. Yep, I’m having a lot of fun. Check out my Pinterest board for Untangled.
The second is Match Made in Heaven. This was a little story I wrote years ago that was really rough, but I loved the characters. I decided to re write it and share it with my newsletter subscribers throughout 2014. This has been a great success. Beth Prescott didn’t know when she took the job at the Hammondsport Senior Complex that the senior citizens would spend their time matchmaking her with their grandsons. She’s focused on doing a great job despite personal challenges, and she’s still burned from her last relationship. When she runs into Dean Kellerman, he’s interested in paying his grandfather back for his kindness, something Dean knows he didn’t deserve. The two keep getting thrown together in the same events, and it’s been amusing to watch the sparks fly. If you’d like to receive Match Made in Heaven, subscribe for free in the right sidebar of juliearduini.com, and watch your inbox for activation. Check out my Pinterest board for Match Made in Heaven.
The third is a devotional for Chalfont House on infertility. Heidi Glick, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery, Donna Winters and myself are sharing our infertility experiences and embedding them with prayers, hope, and Scripture. As we edit each other we keep saying this is the book we wanted when we were going through this. Stay tuned!
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I’m intentional about writing romances that deal with surrender issues and have Upstate NY settings. Spectacular Falls, Untangled, and one I need to revise, To Be Determined, are all set in the Adirondack Mountains. Match Made in Heaven showcases another gem, the Finger Lakes area. I also write in my tagline that I’m not quite ready to surrender the chocolate, so that usually gets a mention, too.
Why Do I Write What I Do?
I find it funny that I write contemporary romance because it’s usually my last choice for movies and shows. I do love a romance with great writing and chemistry, like Return to Me and The Proposal. I also think I write this because “offline” I tend to encourage women and share on a fairly deep level and it is emotionally draining. I like the escape fiction brings, and I know there are a lot of readers searching for answers that I believe my work can give. I was called by God to write for Him. I trust Him to take care of the rest.
How Does Your Writing Process Work?
I shared a little of that earlier this year with Valerie Comer. Aside from plotting, I’m constantly listening for God’s voice and believe He leads me. I feel I’m a reader first, so when I write my goal is to create something character-driven that keeps me reading. To bring constant conflict and twists readers can’t see coming, but love when they happen. It’s always at my laptop, and usually as I sit on the living room couch.
I hope this has given you some insight about me and my writing.
Now, these are the authors I’ve tagged, and the ones that tagged me. I hope you check them out!
Laura Hilton–Laura is an award winning author, a pastor’s wife, married over twenty-five years and has five children. She homeschools, writes book reviews and books. Her books include Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, Promised to Another, Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. The Snow Globe will release in September 2014 and Swept Away in November.
June Foster—June Foster is a retired teacher who travels full time with her husband in their RV. Her adventures provide a rich source of information for her novels. She grew up in El Paso, Texas but moved to the magnificent northwest after she retired from teaching. She penned her first novel on her Toshiba labtop in 2010 as she and her husband sailed along the interstate. Now June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. Her novel Ryan’s Father will be available from WhiteFire Publishing in January 2014.
Heidi Glick—The youngest (and perhaps loudest) of three children, I was born in Lancaster, PA (think Amish country). At the ripe old age of six, this sinner found a Savior, and so it’s no surprise that I write inspirational suspense stories.I’m married to my college sweetheart, John, and live in a northern suburb of Cincinnati. John and I have two dogs (a Chihuahua and a Schipperke) and a happy baby boy.Interesting facts about me include I’ve visited 46 states; I’ve lived in California, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Canada; I’ve had someone nab my bag from me at the Las Vegas airport; I’ve been hit by a car; and I’ve been extricated from a overturned vehicle using the Jaws of Life.
Elizabeth Maddrey—Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who loves a good happily ever after.
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of computers, math, and organization steered her into computer science at Wheaton College, she always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. This continued through a Master’s program in Software Engineering, several years in the computer industry, teaching programming at the college level, and a Ph.D. in Computer Technology in Education. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity.
She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.
Paula Mowery—I’m a pastor’s wife and a former homeschool Mom. I’m also a Christian writer. My articles have appeared in Woman’s World and in my ongoing column on http://christianonlinemagazine.com/. I also write Christian fiction. My debut novella, THE BLESSING SEER came out July 6, 2012 from Pelican Book Group. The sequel, BE THE BLESSING, released Sept. 13, 2013. I am an author and acquisitions editor with Prism Book Group. My story, Forgiven, is in the anthology, Brave New Century which released Nov. 13, 2013. This book appeared on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers in Religious Historical Fiction.
Every once in awhile something like this comes through and I decide to share. Angela Myers asked me to participate, and I thought it would be fun.
Although I didn’t send this out to anyone, here are the answers to my author questions.
1) What am I working on?
I have a couple things going on. The first is editing my second Adirondack based contemporary romance, Untangled. I’m taking it through two critique groups.
The second is a devotional with a group of authors. I can’t say too much now, but hope to soon. I’m very excited about this project. I believe it will bring hope and encouragement to a segment of women I identify with.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I use surrender as a theme for each manuscript, some chocolate, and Upstate NY settings. The first series is based in the Adirondacks. The next series will be set in the Finger Lakes.
3) Why do I write what I do?
God has called me to this. I promised Him I’d write for Him, and I truly am His scribe.
4) How does your writing process work?
My plotting process is over at To Write a Story with Valerie Comer. Other than that, I take the NaNoWriMo November 50k challenge each year to write as much as I can for a first draft. Then I revise, edit, and take it through two critique groups I’m in. Then keep revising. Eat chocolate. Cry. Repeat. 🙂
As I mentioned I received this from Angela D. Meyer. Here is her bio:
I live in Omaha, NE with my husband of 22 years. We homeschool our two children, but just graduated my son. My daughter is looking forward to having Mom to herself. I have taught childrens’ Bible classes for over 35 years. I am on the leadership team of my local Christian Writers Group.
Our pets round out our family. Lucy is my daughter’s orange tabby. She has green eyes and will jump up in our lap in the blink of an eye. And if we are eating cheesy popcorn we have to guard it tightly.
Angela is the author of Hope Starts.
It’s a blog hop! It’s been too long since I’ve done one, and this is all about writing. Although I’m not published as a main author, that’s my goal. Today’s post is all about the people and place that stole my heart and inspired my contemporary romance, Spectacular Falls.
What is the working title of your book?
Spectacular Falls. I’m not against changing it, but for working purposes, this is what I’m calling it for now.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I fell in love with the real Speculator, New York and the Adirondack Mountains in the early 1990’s. As I walked around the village I could picture these two characters. It took years and many drafts for the story to evolve. Although I fictionalized the hamlet, overall the setting and characters are a tip of the hat to the mountains and the senior citizens I worked with years ago.
What genre does your book fall under?
When editing, I picture Ben Affleck as the hero, Ben Regan. Perhaps Emma Stone could be Jenna Anderson.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
She’s a Rustbelt bred senior center director producing a lot of change for rural grocer Ben Regan.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Time will tell. I’ve been prayerful about every step and my sense is 2013 is when I seek an agent. I’m open to whatever God has. My writing truly is a ministry.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft probably took a couple months, but I was inexperienced and there is hardly anything left from that first draft.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is apples and oranges because these are established authors, but my writing voice is similar to Kristin Billerbeck and Janice Thompson. I’ve been blessed to have Janice read some of Spectacular Falls, and she was very supportive. When I think about the secondary characters and the village, I remember Jan Karon’s Mitford series. If people receive everyone in Speculator Falls as they have Jan’s wonderful Mitford characters, I would be one blessed writer!
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The peace and beauty I draw from every visit to the Adirondacks. It is one place in the world where I feel my heart remains even after I return home. The characters were God inspired.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My life is all about surrender and chocolate, so you will find those things in my fiction, too. Every story will have something a character needs to surrender. For Jenna, it’s the fear she will never belong. Ben needs to surrender anger and unresolved grief. I love all the characters, they are people I think readers will relate to.
Here are other places you can find me. I hope you do!
Surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate
Check Out fellow hoppers. Their posts will go live January 9. Feel free to join!
Find me across social media @JulieArduini, and follow me on my Amazon Author Page.
Where Else You Can Find Me
Surrendering Time Series & Recent Releases
Join the Fun