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Book Review: Project Inspired by Nicole Weider

Posted by Julie on August 21, 2015 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

51uJZ3E0eYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Nicole Weider is on a mission: to help young girls avoid the traps that culture sets. The trap that baits you into thinking you must sacrifice your self-worth in order to be beautiful and popular. Nicole launched Project Inspired in 2010 (www.projectinspired.com), a website for teen girls that analyzes pop culture and explores ways girls can live in their authentic beauty.

In Project Inspired, Nicole shares tips for you to stay true to yourself—to how you were created to be—as well as how to dress modestly yet fashionably, how to make a positive difference in the world, and how to enjoy your teen years while standing firm in your faith. With photographs, real behind-the-scenes stories from inside the fashion world, and an honest look at living a life that looks great on the outside and feels great on the inside, Project Inspired is a book you’ll turn to time and time again.

This easy-to-read book from model and actress Nicole Weider is a message all tween and teen girls need to read. Nicole briefly shares her modeling story where she had trouble fitting in at school and that she never felt enough. Through it all she had a friend who was always praying for her, and that friend’s faith helped Nicole realize she needed a relationship with Christ.

Now Nicole is on a mission to help girls find their identity in Christ and walk confidently with their peers. She has tips on clothes, makeup, modesty, friendship, dating, and much more. I found the tips to be at their level and yet Biblical and what I agree with as a parent.

I also found Nicole’s pictures modeling clothes very helpful. My daughter is visual and seeing what looks Nicole was writing about really helped.

Project Inspired is a book girls can read quickly, but it also contains so many gems, girls can also reference it again and again.

I definitely recommend!

To purchase Project Inspired, click here.

I received a copy of Project Inspired in exchange for my honest review.

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Michael W. Smith: Sovereign CD Giveaway + #skyspillsover video

Posted by Julie on May 29, 2015 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

This year I’ve been blessed to not only participate in book reviews, but movie and music reviews, too. Today I’m able to share with you Michael W. Smith’s video Sky Spills Over.

Here’s what he had to say: “I’m really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER. It was fun creating it in the studio and I’ve been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night. My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project. But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video. This video was a lot of fun to make. I hope people enjoy it!”

He has a new album out, Sovereign. Want a copy? Leave a comment with your favorite Michael W. Smith song and I’ll draw a winner TOMORROW, Saturday, May 29.

Great video, right? The only shocking thing?That Michael W. Smith is a grandpa!

Remember, leave a comment with your favorite Michael W. Smith song for a chance to win a copy of Sovereign.

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Still Thankful for Breast Cancer by Laura V. Hilton

 

This is really going to sound strange, but I’m thankful for breast cancer.

 

Yes, you read that right.

 

Six years ago, I had the shock of my life. What I thought was an inflamed milk duct was diagnosed as breast cancer.

 

I’ve always been a Christian, I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ as my Savior when I was nine. I was in church, Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. My parents had Bible studies in the home. I grew up immersed in Bible.

 

So, it might come as no surprise to find out I married a pastor. 

 

Well, being married to a pastor doesn’t mean that you take the time needed for devotions, praise and worship, or the necessary things that make you grow as a Christian. I have five children. I homeschool.  I was busy in the church. My life was spent constantly going and doing for others. I told the doctor I didn’t have time for cancer!  He just looked at me.

 

Well, treatment is one of those things you have to make time for. And during those long hours sitting at the chemo room, I took my iPod shuffle, preloaded with praise and worship music.  I spent my time praying and studying God’s word. And as a result, I developed a habit of spending time with the Lord. My own personal time with the One who loves me more than anyone else.

 

pinkribbonAs for the times spent in recovery from chemo? Well, I had no time. My recovery from chemo time was spent catching up on homeschooling, church stuff, family stuff—all those things that didn’t get done when I was at the chemo room.  The doctor commented that I breezed through chemo surprisingly well. That I was on the strongest, harshest chemo available, and I had virtually no side-effects (other than losing my hair.)  I told him it was all God.

 

That was six years ago. Today I still make time for detailed study in the word.  If I get busy and can’t spend time with God, I miss it and my day is incomplete.  So, I thank God for breast cancer. For getting me back on the time I needed to spend with God.

 

What is something you’re thankful for?

BIO:

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also  has two adult children.

 

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard in April 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

visit my blogs: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/  & http://lauravhilton.blogspot.com/ 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

 

Purchase my books:

 

Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Laura-V.-Hilton/e/B004IRSM5Q 

CBD: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=laura+hilton&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton

Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX

 

 

photobucket

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Author Blog Hop: Getting to Know Me, Julie Arduini

Posted by Julie on May 29, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Laura Hilton and June Foster invited me to do a blog hop in which I answer the following questions about my writing:

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.

20130421_132718 (2)

Charlie Johns grocery store in Speculator, NY is my inspiration for JB’s in my Adirondack romance, Spectacular Falls.

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 HiltonLaura 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 FosterJune 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 MaddreyElizabeth 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 MoweryI’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.

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COTT: Ryan’s Father by June Foster Wins Clash



Ryan’s
Father
is this month’s
champion at Clash of the Titles. Author June Foster is known for tackling
complicated issues, and according to her fans,
Ryan’s Father fits the bill.

Enjoy this minipreview of a
novel that tackles one of today’s hottest issues.

 

About the Book:

The rippling influence of Ryan Reid’s immoral mother and absent father
makes a mark on his soul leaving him to battle same sex attraction. When
the young school teacher asks Jesus into his life, he thinks he’ll be free
though no amount of prayer changes him. Ryan wants to turn away from the
lifestyle, yet in his heart he knows he’s committed the sin.

Nurse Sandy Arrington still resides at home held captive by her secret
fears. Her dream to be a wife and mother looks bleak.

When Sandy falls in love with Ryan, he’s powerless to return her love. Can
Ryan dig his way out to find the freedom to love Sandy? Can Sandy find
release from her fears?

June’s motivation for writing Ryan’s Father:

When my daughter was in high school, one of her friends told me privately
he was attracted to another boy in our church. I was saddened to see this
precious young man believe he had no control over the feelings and desires
that brought him so much misery. I wrote Ryan’s Father to offer hope to
anyone in the lifestyle who wants to walk away. My prayer is that God will
touch hurting hearts with the message of this book.

About the Author:

June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in
counseling. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The
Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day – February 1, 2012, As We
Forgive
– September 1, 2012, and Deliver Us – April 1, 2013, and
Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012. June’s book, Ryan’s
Father
, is available from WhiteFire Publishing January 2014. Red and
the Wolf
will be available April 2014. For All Eternity and
Misty Hollow, God willing, will be published in the near future.
June loves to write stories about characters who overcome the issues in
their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in
counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find
freedom to live godly lives.

Here’s a taste of the comments received for this month’s
clashers:

-This was one of the hardest choices in quite some time. They all sound
wonderful and fit in with my reading tastes. Good work, June, Darlene,
Lillian and Sylvia.

-Rebekah is my daughter’s name and I love that spelling. But it makes it
more meaningful know since we

know that was the way it was then. I love knowing the inside story of what
went on in that Jesus time of history.

-Darlene, Looking forward to reading Homefront Dreams.

-I have enjoyed every book written by Lillian Duncan. They all have a great
storyline!

-I love all of your books, June Foster, keep following God’s direction in
choosing your subjects and be blessed.

-Love the books from June Foster. They draw you in and make you think of
some of your situations and makes me want to make changes in my life for
the good. Great Job June keep up the great work.

-I love the “risk” that Ryan’s Father is taking in Christian publishing.
It’s greatly needed!

-Sylvia Bambola…your book sounds Captivating! I am looking forward to
reading this…sounds like this is about the holy Grail BEFORE the Middle
Ages and knights were sent to find it. Love the historical backdrop your
tale is told to.

-Darlene’s writing is emotional and beautiful. I highly recommend her
books!

-All interesting titles. Best of luck to Lillian Duncan. Your book sounds
intriguing!

Stay tuned to Clash of the
Titles
for the latest in Christian fiction!

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A2Z Meme: This Twit Qwits

Posted by Julie on May 1, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Didn’t think I could come up with a “Q” post, did you?

Oh, but I did.

Thanks to Qwitter.

Qwitter is an app, for lack of a better word, where you can learn who on Twitter stopped following you. I find far too much pleasure in this resource. It’s sad, really.

For the most part, my Qwitters seem to be folks who must know I didn’t follow them back. I don’t follow spam, or p*rn, or all about business every single tweet of the day. I try to follow writers, whether they write in my genre, or not. One author wrote in her bio that she writes e*otic books, and I didn’t follow her. More than a writer, I’m a Christian wife and mom, and I just couldn’t follow someone whose words are a downfall to minds and marriages. It’s my conviction, and it might not be yours.

What I find interesting, though, is the Qwitters who followed me first. Most of the time, I have no idea who they are, writer or not. Some are Christian personalities that I know of, not in a personal way, but I know their ministry. I admit I’m curious when I get a Qwitter notice from those who found me first.

*Was I too Christian?

*Was I not enough Christian?

*Did I tweet about writing too much?

*Did I tweet about writing too little?

*Was the Christian and/or Writer offended that I mentioned another aspect of my life like a favorite TV show, a NASCAR race, or a mom moment?

It could get mind boggling if I let it, and I admit, at times I have. There were writers I admired that found me first, and Qwit. Ministry leaders. Musical groups. And moms that I thought were pretty awesome. I still do.

I’m keeping the Qwitter, but I’m quitting the analyzing. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay, because I’m one bold cup of coffee. I’m a Christian, but I’m not the kind that can send up KJV tweets. I’m full of encouragement and snarky humor. I love my NASCAR and have imperfect mom moments. I joined an authors network that is not all Christian work, and I signed on to tweet their messages once or twice a day. My blog and Facebook writing page auto feed to twitter. I have that daily newspaper app through Twitter that I believe can be a good marketing tool, but yes, it shows who I follow. I follow writers, moms, Christian folks, ministry leaders, and yes, the celebrities my kids like, so I know what’s going on. Sometimes teen celebrities speak their true selves, and I want to know before my kid models that behavior. Call me a stalker, call me eclectic, but it is what it is, and I am what I am. What you see from me on Twitter is how I act on Facebook, in e mail, on this site, and in person.

So if you have to Qwit me, it’s okay.

Because the one thing followers and Qwitters seem to get is that I’m all about surrender.

With a tag line and a writing life revolving around surrender, qwit me or not, I think I’m doing something right.



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