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Robin Steinweg: 15 Ideas for Family Togetherness

Posted by Julie on October 4, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

15 Ideas for Family Togetherness

by Robin Steinweg

Time with our families. How hard can that be?

We probably don’t intend to dash in and out of their lives saying, “Gotta go! See you later!” We want to create memories with siblings, parents and grandparents. But life gets in the way.

September is Intergenerational Month. What a great time to start!

Here are 15 ideas for family togetherness. Some can take only minutes. Choose one this week. Be intentional—make it happen.

  • Q&A-with-a-Twist—Ask foolish questions like these:
    • o Do fish get thirsty?
    • o How does the snowplow driver get to work?
    • o What would chairs look like if our knees were in the back?
    • o Where does your lap go when you stand up?
    • o For more, try these sites: http://ow.ly/w5Pp302TiZ6 or http://ow.ly/ZVAs302Tj6K .
    • Games:
    • o Oodles—or other question-asking games.
    • o Board Games.
    • o Word Games—Scrabble, Bananagrams, Crosswords.
    • o Volley Balloon—for the youngest and the oldest in your family.
    • o Hangman (Wheel of Fortune)—can be played on a napkin at a restaurant while waiting. Someone chooses a word and draws the correct number of lines. Others guess letters. For each incorrect guess, draw another piece of the gallows or the unfortunate hangee.
    • o DIY games with family-made pieces: http://ow.ly/hzjJ302TkaH
    • Share Interests/Hobbies.
    • Walk: make a scavenger hunt of views to collect (sunset, catalpa tree, ant, pine needle…).
    • Music: share a recording, play a song, sing together, or find a youtube video of favorites.
    • Books: read aloud or everyone read the same book and discuss next time.
    • Movies: take turns choosing. Create a family review afterward.
    • Take a class together—learn something new!
    • Cooking/eating: choose an ingredient. Divide the family for a contest using the featured food. Choose a theme with decorations, place-cards, and divide duties according to age/ability.
    • Coded messages: a way to involve relatives at a distance. Write one coded message per week and send. Keep it going!
    • Pray together.
    • Worship together.
    • Gardening: big or small, indoor or outdoor, in-ground or in containers.
    • Teach each other a skill: teach a family member to knit (or whatever), and he/she teaches you to use an iPad (or whatever).
    • Family Giving Project: are there homeless in your community? You might collect food pantry items. Or personal care items. Join up with others—knit warm hats for shivering school children.

How about it? How will you bring the generations together this week?

~+~

robinsteinwegRobin Steinweg finds life sweet in the middle of writing, speaking, teaching, caring for aging parents and adjusting to having adult children. She, her husband and family live near Madison, Wisconsin. Her passion is to help others discover joy in every age of life. On fb—Robin June Steinweg.

 

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ACFW New Releases: October

Posted by Julie on October 3, 2016 in ACFW, Book Review, encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |
ACFW New Releases: October

ACFW New Releases: October

October 2016 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Biblical Fiction:

Providence: Hannah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton — When the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her, Hannah flees Jerusalem and is captured by an enemy with a curse all his own. (Biblical from Harbourlight [Pelican])

Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette — In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart’s calling to become an apprentice midwife. When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira’s people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she’s denied herself and embrace who she truly is? (Biblical from Bethany House [Baker])

Christmas Novella:

Christmas Lights by Chautona Havig, Vikki Kestell, Cathe Swanson, and April Hayman — From historical romance to contemporary cozy mysteries and Christmas wonder, these four “light” reads will warm your heart and ignite your Christmas spirit! (Christmas Novella, Mixed Genres, Independently Published)

Contemporary Romance:

Risking Love by Brenda S. Anderson — Can cautious bank employee Lissa Morgan risk falling in love with a former thrill-seeker, a widowed single dad, when she may have to foreclose on his house? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Mom for Christmas by Lorraine Beatty — Noah’s dream of a happy family and Beth’s dream of a continuing ballet career are both dashed, but when they come together they discover that the Lord might have a new dream for both of them. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sleigh Bells Ring by Sandra D. Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth — Santa Claus is coming to town, and so are the Tucker sisters. The girls have inherited their father’s run-down horse farm for Christmas. It needs some serious TLC in order to make it sell-ready. Joanna knows that by recruiting her sisters and one handsome ranch hand they can fix up the place and even celebrate one last Christmas while they’re at it. However, to Isabella, returning to their home in Kentucky bluegrass country for Christmas seems like an impossible hurdle. Can her Chicago boyfriend make life merry and bright again? One thing’s for sure: nothing is peace on earth for Sophia as a new beau brings up old wounds. And when the fate of the horse farm is put in jeopardy because Amy accidentally fraternizes with the enemy, tensions rise. But it’s not like the land developer stole Christmas . . . just her heart. Can the Tucker sisters have themselves a merry little Christmas? (Contemporary Romance from Gilead Publishing)

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Margaret Brownley — Stranded at the old Star Inn until the road back to his cabin reopens, lumber mill owner Rick Talbot suddenly comes face to face with the past. The only woman he’s ever loved is standing in front of the inn’s blazing fire trying to get warm. Both Rick and Sally regret what happened between them years ago, but his family lumberyard clashes with her tree-hugging ways and neither is willing to try again. It will take the storm of the century, one stage-struck young boy, a certain meddling “angel”–and even a cranky cat–to convince them that in matters of the heart, sometimes the second time around is best. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer — Marisa Hiller abandoned her modeling career to nurse a broken heart in Montana, far from the photographer who ruined everything. Her family farm is now part of a CSA program teaching gardening and cooking to single moms, but when the coordinator begs her to represent the program in the Miss Snowflake Pageant, Marisa balks. God has forgiven Jase Mackie but hasn’t answered his prayer to bring Marisa back into his life… until Jase finds himself out West as the official photographer for a beauty pageant, face to face with the woman he’s never forgotten. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Room at the Inn for Christmas by Mary Connealy — Ambitious hotel executive Amanda Star’s has got her sights set on the CEO job at the multi-national Halston hotel chain. But then she inherits the Star Inn, a place her father had always wanted her to run alongside him. With no time to be away from her job, she rushes home to put the inn up for sale. Once there, she’s struggles against keen regret, sweet memories, and the longing to return, which grows stronger when she is reunited with an old classmate: Anthony Carter, a handyman with a guarded heart. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac — A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

A Christmas Homecoming by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Interior design assistant Bailey Calderwood suspects the mysterious admirer sending her cards and flowers is none other than the son of her unpleasable, bed-ridden boss. When Stephen Belafonte’s mom demands he fire Bailey, can he find a way to heal the rift in his family as well his own heart, or will he be forced to let Bailey go? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson — When Caden Holt’s boss asks her to show off their own beautiful Prince Edward Island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the Red Door Inn, the reclusive executive chef is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen–and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful. (Contemporary Romance from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post — Grant McAllister, a jaded big-city lawyer and small-town reporter Jami Carlisle have no hope for finding true love–except for a zany old matchmaker who won’t give up. In the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home. (Contemporary Romance from Waterfall Press)

Insight by Deborah Raney — She’s having a baby. It’s a blessing that brings comfort to newly widowed Olivia Cline. Yet with no insurance, no job and precious little money, how will Olivia care for herself and her child? The answer is a handsome and brooding artist seeking an assistant. Reed Vincent has recently regained his eyesight thanks to a donor. And through his eyes, Olivia begins to see all the possibilities before her. Before them. Until, in a flash of insight, she knows why his signature is so hauntingly familiar. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

Silver Bells by Deborah Raney — As Elvis croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, two people find the miracle of love. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed — In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog–but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

Third Strand of the Cord by Catherine Richmond — Caroline will do anything to keep her ex-husband from putting her son with Down syndrome in an institution–even enroll the boy in a class taught by a know-it-all karate instructor. Lee Marivaux is an expert at reading people. He knows his feisty new student will thrive with firm guidance – and he’s right. He pegs the boy’s mother as a clueless socialite who loafs at the country club – and he’s never been so wrong. When Caroline’s abusive ex shows up, demanding custody, Lee and Caroline must join forces to keep the boy safe. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Buying Love by Toni Shiloh — Impatient for marriage, Nina Warrenton places an ad in the newspaper for a husband–attaching a monetary reward. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef who answers her add, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money. Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant, but can he let it go to prove his love for Nina? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

Moonlight Over Manahttan by Carrie Turansky — Professional organizer Sarah Montgomery is hired to organize her elderly neighbor’s cluttered apartment by Justin Latimer, her neighbor’s grandson. Sarah believes free-spirited Justin is a lazy, unemployed poet who is taking advantage of his grandmother’s generosity. Though attracted to him, she guards her heart against her growing feelings. As Sarah and Justin work together to help his grandmother and enjoy Christmas events in NYC, romantic sparks fly. When Sarah discovers who Justin really is, she must decide if she will continue to hide behind her protective wall or open her heart and embrace love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman — Charlotte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she’s forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancée’s betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlotte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

General Contemporary (includes Women’s Fiction):

Paint The Storm by Dawn V. Cahill — When Meg is challenged to love her lesbian daughter as Christ would, she struggles to live out God’s command, and when her daughter goes missing, she finds herself joined with the unlikeliest of allies in her search for Linzee, and finally learns of God’s unconditional grace for sinners. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Spring Mountain Publishing)

Restoration Road by Elise Phillips — Mallory Andrews’s short trip back to Texas for her mother’s funeral quickly becomes a move home to help her grieving father with his contracting business. When her old crush, Tres, hires them for a restoration project Mallory falls in love with the crumbling old house. And when feelings bloom between her and Tres, she finds herself on the road to a brand new, unexpected life filled with faith, sweet tea, and fresh paint. (General Contemporary from Desert Breeze Publishing)

Above All Things by Deborah Raney — Expecting their first baby, Judd and Evette McGlin are thrilled to become parents. But the couple faces the ultimate test when Judd learns he already has a child: a six-year-old mixed-race girl born amid secrets and lies. Now, Evette must decide if she can accept the child. She thought she was open-minded–until hidden prejudices threaten the future of an innocent little girl, Evette’s marriage and the very notion of who she thinks she is. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Restoring Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti — Alexis set out to restore a fieldstone farmhouse in need of repair. She didn’t expect to restore a life in the process. (General Contemporary from Worthy Inspired)

Strings of Faith by Terry Stafford — Darcy is a classically trained violinist who dreams of playing bluegrass and winning The National Oldtime Fiddle Contest in Weiser, Idaho. When tragedy strikes, Darcy lays her gift aside for her family and faces unimaginable pain and loss, leading to dissension with her husband, disappointing judgment from her church, and anger with God Himself. Can her gift of music survive when her life is turned upside down? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Historical:

The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan — On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith — When an accident forces Jonah Ashton to serve as a ship’s physician, he boards the Providence with the plan to escort a group of families to their new settlement in South America and then return to Pennsylvania to finish medical school before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he doesn’t count on is getting lost at sea… and Marian Foster. When the settlers finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart? (Historical from Crossriver Media Group)

Historical Romance:

The Rails to Love Romance Collection by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens, and Liz Tolsma — Journey the Transcontinental Railroad along with nine unlikely couples who encounter all the dangers and disappointments of traveling the rails in the late 1800s. From sight-seeing excursions to transports toward new lives, from orphan trains to circus trains, can romances develop into blazing love in a world of cold, hard steel? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Cowboy Christmas Homecoming by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Julie Lessman, and Anna Schmidt — For widow June Harper, another cold front is about to hit. Most call him Hugh. She’d call him Scrooge, except as the man ensures her needs are met, June can’t help but wonder how to meet the needs of his heart. Netty Lewis can take care of herself, has for a while now. And even if Roy, her hired help for the holidays, does take care of her, that doesn’t mean he cares for her or that he’ll stay past Christmas. Pastor Colton McCabe is not sure he’ll make it through the holidays with his new housekeeper. Grace can’t seem to do anything right but love. Perhaps being a homekeeper will earn her a permanent residence in his heart. Connie Lancaster is determined to return to St. Louis, and no cowboy can change her mind. But if Isaac can change her heart, maybe Connie will see the homecoming she’s been longing for isn’t to a place but a person. (Historical Romance from Gilead Publishing)

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep — Stranded in a strange land, Eleanor Morgan faces starvation or marriage . . . but who wants to marry a murderer? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Rightful Heir by Angel Moore — Cowboy Jared Ivy must work with stranger Mary Lou Ellison until a judge comes to town and determines which one of them is the rightful heir to his family’s Texas newspaper. Intrepid reporter Mary Lou won’t lose the Pine Haven Record–the legacy he left her–without a fight. But when she and Jared stop sparring long enough to investigate a story together, they become a force to be reckoned with. Will they let their battle over the Record get in the way of something even more newsworthy: true love? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas at Stoney Creek by Martha Rogers — When newspaper reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man named Joe, Tom decides to bring him home to Stoney Creek, Texas for Christmas. As Tom and his childhood friend Faith Delmont set out to learn the truth about the mysterious old man with the kind, sad eyes, they discover that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph, and that true love comes to those who wait. (Historical Romance from Realms [Charisma Media])

Mystery:

Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard — In order to regain her grandmother’s favor FBI Special Agent Serena Jones agrees to investigate a missing Salvador Dali painting. But when the evidence points to members of the owner’s own household, it becomes clear that Serena won’t be winning any popularity contests. Then Serena stumbles upon links to her grandfather’s unsolved murder. (Mystery from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Romantic Suspense:

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon — After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime in the woods. But when someone threatens his neighbor, publishing executive Dana Lewis, Finn and Dana must work together to discover who wants her to leave her lakeside cabin before it costs both their lives. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Identity Unknown by Terri Reed — When a John Doe washes up on the shores of Calico Bay, no one knows who he is—including him. But one thing’s instantly clear to deputy sheriff Audrey Martin: the man’s marked for murder. And she’s the only one who can protect him from the assassins who lurk at every turn. The arrival of a team of men claiming he’s Canadian Border Services officer Nathanial Longhorn only further complicates the matter. As his memories slowly start drifting back, Nathanial and Audrey work to uncover who wants him dead and why. If they don’t, this Christmas might be their last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:

A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes — What more can you sacrifice than your life? Parvin Blackwater is dead. At least that’s what the Council and the world thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world? (Speculative Young Adult from Enclave Publishing)

Unblemished by Sara Ella — Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength? (Speculative Young Adult from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Beast by Chawna Schroeder — For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire. When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners. They are so strong, and she is only a beast . . . or is she? (Speculative Allegory from Enclave Publishing)

Accelerant by Ronie Kendig — He’ll destroy the world. But he must save it first. As the only able-bodied heir to the Fire Throne, Haegan, Prince of Seultrie must return to the Nine Kingdoms and fight for his people. But there are insidious forces at work. When reality itself falls into question, Haegan struggles to know where to fight, who to trust. Caught between duty to his country and duty to the world, Haegan must see clearly enough to choose the right path to save his devastated world. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

Thriller/Suspense:

Death in the Mind’s Eye by Rick Acker — It knows what you’re thinking. It knows when you’re lying. Does it know how to kill? San Francisco attorney Mike Webster and Dr. Johanna Anderson, a brilliant and beautiful psychologist, must clear Jo’s name of a malpractice case before the controversial, technologically-assisted Mind’s Eye therapy is seized by a shadowy finance firm and used as a weapon. (Thriller/Suspense from Waterfall Press)

The Warrior’s Seal by Ronie Kendig — A Special Forces team is thrust into a war with the past to save the president after an artifact unleashes a deadly toxin. Special Forces operative Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are tasked in a search-and-rescue–the U.S. president has been kidnapped during a goodwill tour. The mission nosedives when an ancient biblical artifact and a deadly toxin wipe out villages. Tox must stop the terrorists and the toxin to save the president. This is a free e-novella prequel! (Thriller/Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Deadly Infiltration by W. Richard Lawrence — Infiltrators inside the American government are betraying undercover agents while helping sneak weapons of mass destruction across our borders. To keep their work hidden, they are willing to murder anyone who gets in their way. Sara, a brilliant computer expert working for the FBI, finds herself caught in the middle. Sara’s young faith in God is gravely tested when she is framed for the murder of an FBI agent, forcing her to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Sara’s fiancé Derry lives up to a promise he made to her, and gives up his future to save her and hopefully the country. (Thriller/Suspense from Boarding House Publishing)

Western Historical:

Refining Fire by Carol Cox — Meet the Arizona Territory Brides. Four strong, independent women–each determined to stand on her own two feet, and not one of them looking for romance. But sometimes love shows up when you least expect it… (Western, Pioneer/Prairie, Independently Published)

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Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 5

Posted by Julie on August 20, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

All this week I’ve been sharing my posts from the recent Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge. My prayer is I encourage you with a realistic look at marriage. That you can choose oneness and isolation and beat the odds. I believe in you!

LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE, Day 5

This picture is from a cruise we took to Mexico to celebrate our 15th anniversary. From infertility to nearly losing a child to death of a parent and lots of transition, we had overcome so much that should have divided us. Anything we learned came from the FamilyLife Marriage Conference, something we attended as an engaged couple. The biggest principle we still work to apply is to choose oneness. Any relationship has two choices—isolation or oneness. Marriage has to operate in oneness. This was a celebration trip for sure.

***

Don’t Miss out! Click below to learn more about my Goodreads Giveaway.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Entangled by Julie Arduini

Entangled

by Julie Arduini

Giveaway ends August 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Surrender Issues by Alice K. Arenz

Posted by Julie on July 28, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Surrender issues?  Sorry, Julie, but surrendering chocolate is easy for me—not that I have given it up completely. If only that were true! Life issues . . . now that’s a different matter.

The first time I had to go in for surgery, I tried to bargain with the doctor for a way to remain awake. I wanted drugs to keep away the pain, just didn’t want to be zonked out. Even for this insomniac, being totally out of it, not IN CONTROL—I shudder even now to think about it. Of course, I lost and they put me out, but I was told in the recovery room that I woke up faster than anyone they’d ever had in there. No surprise to me. But it has continued to surprise nurses and doctors in subsequent years and other surgeries. Probably not a good thing. I’ve seen those reports where people have awakened in the middle of procedures. Yikes!

            Now, surrendering to God with my writing is the only way I can write. Everything I do, from start to finish, is entirely dependent on what He wants me to do. I accept that. I’ve learned to stop and listen—even though it’s really hard sometimes. And, as with my latest book, not to fight Him when He has a purpose in mind. He told me it was time to stop preaching to the choir, that there would be some controversy over Portrait of Jenny, but He was here with me and I needed to trust Him. So I listened and obeyed.

In the middle of April, my husband lost his job—it wasn’t something we were prepared for. Who is? He’d been laid off nearly six years before, and that was one of the most frightening things we’d gone through.  No savings, a lot of debt, and with my health issues, no help from my quarter—but we kept our eyes on God and we got through with a little help from family and friends. The job he got paid a LOT less than what he’d been making before, but after 14 months, we were thankful for it. Now, here we were again, in our sixties—not as much debt, a little savings, but not nearly enough.

After six weeks and no bites, we had a decision to make—continue looking only in the area where we lived, or for him to branch out and apply to different areas of the country. All I could think about were my children and grandchildren, and wonder how I could move when sometimes it was hard for me to get from one place to another in our house. But hubby was sure God was calling us to not just trust Him to provide, but to surrender our will to His. These last few weeks have been some of the hardest in our life—my life. While the resumes and applications have gone out all over the country, my fears grew—so did my waistline! Phone interviews from one end of the country to another, a face-to-face two and a half hours away that lasted only twenty minutes! But in that prep time, in that quiet time, I’ve tried to surrender, tried to turn it completely over to God. To say, “Your will, not mine.” I’m still learning.

And hubby is still looking for that one job with God’s stamp on it.

Alice K Arenz_editedRomantic mystery/suspense Portrait of Jenny is the newest book of 2010 ACFW Carol Award winning author, Alice K. Arenz. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her first three novels were honored by two finals and one win in ACFW’s Carol Award: cozy mysteries The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (a 2009 finalist), The Case of the Mystified M.D., (2010 winner), and mystery/suspense Mirrored Image (a 2011 finalist), all re-released by Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications. Last August, An American Gothic, also a romantic mystery/suspense, was released by Forget Me Not Romances.

Visit her at her website www.akawriter.com

Portrait of Jenny tiny_edited

Surrender Issues by Alice K. Arenz

Not even a beautiful woman can save Richard Tanner from his past.

 Following an explosive—and public—argument with his ex-girlfriend, artist Richard Tanner races into a rainstorm, gripped by a powerful migraine. He wanders to the gazebo in University Park, where he meets the beautiful and mysterious Jenny—a brief encounter that leaves an indelible impression on his mind—and in his paintings.

When Detective Jack Hargrave accuses Richard of the brutal assault on his ex, he finds himself confronting demons of a past he doesn’t remember. A time when little Richie Tanner walked into University Park whole, was beaten and left to die…a time that may hold the key to his future.

Disclaimer: Although Portrait of Jenny contains a Christian message, there is profanity.

Purchase PORTRAIT OF JENNY here.

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COTT: More Summer Books Need Your Vote!

Posted by Julie on July 25, 2016 in Book Review, COTT, encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

Summer’s Sizzlin’
Vote for your Fave!



Scroll through these THREE new reads and vote below
for which you’d pick up first to read while sippin’ iced tea.
It’ll be a tough choice! But somebody’s gotta do it. May as well be
you!
https://www.amazon.com/Almost-Like-Being-Love-Destination-ebook/dp/B010MHA2OY
Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. VogtShe’s won an all-expenses-paid, luxurious wedding — all she needs now is
the groom! Winning a destination wedding would be a dream come true …
if Caron Hollister and her boyfriend, Alex were already engaged — and if
her ex-boyfriend, Kade, wasn’t back in her life, causing her to wonder
“what if?” when she thought she was ready to say “I do” to someone
else.

~~~~~~
https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Me-Sandy-Nadeau/dp/1611165342
Rescue Me by Sandy NadeauRisking her life to save him is easy. Risking her heart to give him a
second chance is impossible.

~~~~~~
 
https://www.amazon.com/River-Rest-Susan-Page-Davis/dp/0997230835
River Rest by Susan Page DavisUnable to depend on her father to heal the crumbling family, Judith is
afraid to trust the mysterious neighbor, Ben, who lives with his own
grief. When Ben is injured, she is the only one who can help him.

~~~~~~

 

VOTE HERE!

If you have trouble viewing the entire survey, click here to load a dedicated page to the survey.

 

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COTT: 2016 Laurel Award Winner is Delia Latham

Posted by Julie on July 18, 2016 in COTT, encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |

 

2016

LAUREL AWARD WINNER!

This year, At First Sight took home Clash of the Titles’s sixth annual
Laurel Award. Over the course of six weeks, the novel’s first chapters
were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined
At First Sight to be the worthiest to receive the 2016
Laurel Award.

Congratulations to 2016 Laurel Award Winner Delia Latham

Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Delia
Latham for her exemplary writing. We wish God’s richest blessings on her
future work.


About At First Sight :

Reagan Massey has gone through a great deal of trouble to make her
cousin irresistible to the visiting single minister but things get a
little sticky when Reagan falls in love with Cord Phillips
herself…
Cord doesn’t believe in marital bliss after seeing the mockery his
parents made of their vows. He’s promised himself he’ll live as the
Apostle Paul lived, dedicating himself solely to God. When his heart
turns traitor, Cord has to completely rethink his position on
love.
Things around Riverbend House of Worship take on some humorous,
heart-touching, soul-stirring twists and turns, with Reagan and Cord so
busy getting in God’s way that they can’t see the path He has laid out
for them to travel…together.

At First Sight is part of the Pure Amore bundle of 12 novels that
celebrate purity. Use the code Laurel2016 to receive the bundle at 50% OFF. (expires 31
July 2016)

PURCHASE YOUR BUNDLE TODAY

LISTEN TO
A RADIO INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!

Delia in her own words:

 

A born-and-bred California gal, I grew up in a little community called
Weedpatch. Nope, that’s not a typo. It’s a few miles southeast of
Bakersfield, and in the…well, I won’t say how many years since I left
there…Weedpatch has even found its way onto a map or two.Writing has been my passion since third grade, when I won an essay
writing contest and took home the coveted prize: a beautiful bed doll
with an overstuffed pink, quilted satin skirt. Remember them? Huge,
padded skirts, some (like mine) with flat cardboard bottoms to
accommodate display. The doll’s feet were hidden away somewhere in all
that finery, never again to see the light of day. These fancy ladies
were most often used as centerpieces for beds, and that’s where mine
went – smack in the middle of my unimposing bed in my unmatched,
Salvation Army-furnished bedroom. It was the most elegant item I had
ever owned, and I was one proud little lassie. (Ahem … surely
someone else remembers those dollies?)

Winning that contest made a profound impact on my young psyche – enough
so that I never stopped writing. From those first little songs and poems
and (very bad) short stories, I graduated to Staff Writer for a large
daily newspaper; freelanced for an upper-scale regional magazine; and
finally began writing fiction…which was my goal all along.

Connect with Delia online:

http://www.delialatham.net/
http://www.facebook.com/delialatham
http://www.twitter.com/delialatham



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