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Remembering John Denver through HER ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHNESS

Posted by Julie on October 14, 2017 in ACFW, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

Julie’s Note:
Darlene Franklin is a writing friend with a release that needed some promotion help, and I wanted to help out. I didn’t know on Thursday it was the anniversary of John Denver’s death, and her book pays tribute through her fiction. Check it out!

Krystal Black had helped foreign dignitaries before but never was tempted to join their ranks.
Prince Johann “John” van Koppelberg came to the Colorado Rockies expecting a vacation. He hadn’t planned to fall in love with his tourism director.

But like John Denver, the prince found a home and fell in love. Now if only he could get Krystal and his parents to agree.

Purchase Her Rocky Mountain Highness HERE

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Character Interview: Embracing Hope by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Posted by Julie on September 28, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

Character Interview – Drew McKinley

 

I’m visiting with Drew McKinley about how God transforms people to serve and glorify Him. Drew has a heart-wrenching yet inspirational story that people who are hurting need to hear. Drew, please share how God transformed you into the man He could use for His purposes?

 

Drew: I’m going to start with a verse that sums up what I and two others have experienced. Roman 12:2, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.’” I know some have heard that verse so often that it has become passé, but believe me, eventually they’ll find personal application and comfort in it.

 

How has your life exemplified this verse?

 

Drew: At one time I focused on what the world wanted me to be, not on what God wanted me to be. He had to knock me upside the head to renew my mind. And how He did that was painful—excruciating actually.

 

Yes, I understand you lost your wife.

 

Drew (sad smile): Tragically, suddenly, seemingly without reason. The anger I felt toward God … I’m surprised He didn’t strike be down with lightning based on my thoughts, words, and behavior. I had never faced tragedy in my 30 years. Life was almost perfect. (Chuckle) Except for a slightly over-bearing father. I attended a prestigious college; married a beautiful, talented, Christian woman; and had a lucrative career at a renown Christian university. But in one moment all that meant nothing.

 

How did God transform your mind? It sounds like before her death there was some, well, based on what I’ve heard about you, I’ll be blunt: conceit.

 

Drew: Your bluntness is accurate. And after her death came hopelessness, and even hatred.

 

Wow, I understand hopelessness, but hatred?

 

Drew (pulling his hand through his hair): Raw hatred. I hated God. I hated people who had hurt me and those I loved. I hated myself.

 

How did you overcome that hatred and hopelessness?

Drew: Through three people. First and most importantly, God. Despite my feelings, thoughts and actions, He never abandoned me, and He had every reason to wash His hands of me. But in His grace and mercy, He opened my eyes to others who were hurting; who needed guidance; who needed forgiveness. Second, God placed a wonderful woman in my life who had been through her own loss and hopelessness. She was strong, compassionate and insightful, and she showed me how to go after hope, not just sit around waiting for life to get better. Then God plopped an arrogant young man in my path who tried my patience, disappointed me, and even broke my heart. God was adamant that I forgive him. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do, even harder than grieving my wife. But in the end, God used them to renew my mind—my heart. I acknowledge that everything the three of us went through—everything—is what transformed us for God’s purposes and His glory.

 

What you’ve learned is something all of us can apply to the times when we lose hope or fall into the trap of what the world wants us to be. What do you say to encourage them?

 

Drew: Even though it may seem impossible at the time and against everything you feel, God will take you safely through the storms. Yes, it’ll hurt and you’ll have questions and doubts, but the healing will come from the Lord if you seek Him. The answers can be found in the Bible and through the power of the Holy Spirit. And don’t be afraid to seek out help, whether it’s a pastor, close friend, mentor, or a counselor, which is what I did. I’ll close with one of my favorite verses, also found in Romans, 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

About Embracing Hope

Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

 

Author Bio

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including newspaper journalism, Christian higher education and nonprofit public relations, and local government public information. Much of her writing has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel, “Embracing Hope.” Janell is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law and three step-granddaughters.

 

Links

 

Twitter – @janellwoj

Blog – http://janellwoj.wordpress.com

Author Facebook – www.Facebook.com/janellbwoj

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16046310.Janell_Butler_Wojtowicz

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Hope-Janell-Butler-Wojtowicz/dp/1988422043/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479298376&sr=1-1&keywords=janell+butlerSmashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/682248

Barnes Noble Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embracing-hope-janell-butler-wojtowicz/1125151446?ean=2940153857114

kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/embracing-hope-1

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/682248

 

 

 

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ENGAGED Special Features

Posted by Julie on July 2, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

There’s something a little different in the back of ENGAGED that I thought readers might enjoy. As a reader, I like knowing what’s coming next from authors and what their thoughts and passions are.

 

  • Included in ENGAGED is Regan’s Acts of Kindness. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Regan Shetsky as our family and hers moved different places. However, her parents spent a lot of time with us when we lived in Upstate NY and they were fantastic with our kids. Regan was taken from them in January, she would have turned 4 in March. It is the desire of everyone who loves Regan to make sure she is remembered. So, I included information about Regan’s Acts of Kindness and how anyone interested can also donate to Regan’s Memorial Fund. There are so many amazing acts going on in her name. You could be participating in one of them!

 

  • Featured after ENGAGED is a series prologue for my next series about Surrendering Opinions. I’m SO excited about this. Sextuplets are thrust in the national spotlight simply because of their unique birth. However, a tragedy keeps them in the limelight and as young adults, they are trying to find their own identities despite the community being so invested in them. They are also each trying to find a love as strong as what their parents had. This is a six book series and the first title is tentatively ANCHORED.

 

Of course, there is also a contemporary romance that IS ENGAGED. 

ENGAGED Special Features

Trish Maxwell’s back in Speculator Falls with egg on her face and a lot of apologies to make. She left the mountain town for her dream job in New York City, only to come back unemployed. With no prospects, she works at her family’s department store and makes amends as she finds a new passion creating window displays for Adirondack businesses. She works hard and tries to convince the people of Speculator Falls she’s changed for the better.
As Trish pitches in with community events, she meets paramedic Wayne Peterson, the one man who doesn’t seem to judge her. She even makes friends with Jenna Regan, who helps Trish when people demand to know what’s next in Trish’s life. Living in New York City has been her goal, but the more she’s around Wayne and the Adirondack area, the more she’s drawn to revising her plans. Just when Trish thinks the plan for her life’s coming together, a second chance comes her way that could give her every career goal she’s ever wanted, but threaten to tear her and Wayne apart. Can Trish surrender fears about her future and discover God’s plan for her?

PURCHASE ENGAGED HERE

 

Did you know I have a FREE eRead for you at my website? Actually, there is a chance to receive TWO FREE eREADS. Check it out at juliearduini.com.

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Wholly Loved

Posted by Julie on June 27, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

It’s been busy yet again, but I have great news!

 

ENGAGED is available! Right now it’s ready for electronic devices, and the print version will be early July. If you don’t have a Kindle, no worries. Download the free Amazon Kindle app and start reading on your device!

I’ll talk more about ENGAGED this week, but right now I wanted to let you know I share some very transparent and vulnerable thoughts with the Wholly Loved team today. It started with a bird feeder I wanted on Amazon and how I thought about our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Read An Open Invitation (With an Add-On Clause) HERE

I love how Jennifer challenged me to dig deeper with this post, because I had to confront feelings that aren’t quite resolved. From that is coming a beautiful dialogue with readers on the Wholly Loved Facebook page. I hope you will join me there!

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Reading News You Can Use

Posted by Julie on June 13, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

There’s a lot going on with ENGAGED releasing this month. I thought I’d share an update with reading news you can use!

  • Patti Shene hosted me last week and time is running out on the giveaway opportunity to receive a copy of ENGAGED. Learn more HERE.

 

  • Sarah Ruut interviewed me yesterday and there’s a giveaway opportunity for ENGAGED as well. Check it out HERE!

 

  • ENGAGED is available for eReader pre-order on Amazon. Don’t have a Kindle? No worries. Amazon has a free Kindle reading app for your electronic device.

 

  • The print version will be out later this month.

 

Reading News You Can Use

About ENGAGED:

Trish Maxwell’s back in Speculator Falls with egg on her face and a lot of apologies to make. She left the mountain town for her dream job in New York City, only to come back unemployed. With no prospects, she works at her mom’s department store and makes amends as she finds a new passion creating window displays for Adirondack businesses. She works hard and tries to convince the people of Speculator Falls she’s changed for the better.

As Trish pitches in with community events, she meets paramedic Wayne Peterson, the one man who doesn’t seem to judge her. She even makes friends with Jenna Regan, who helps Trish when people demand to know what’s next in Trish’s life. Living in New York City has been her goal, but the more she’s around Wayne and the Adirondack area, the more she’s drawn to revising her plans. Just when Trish thinks the plan for her life’s coming together, a second chance comes her way that could give her every career goal she’s ever wanted, but threaten to tear her and Wayne apart. Can Trish surrender fears about her future and discover God’s plan for her?

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Sneak Peek: Excerpt from An Encore for Estelle

Posted by Julie on June 11, 2017 in Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

Engaged is now available for Kindle Pre-Order on Amazon!

A couple days ago I introduced you to Kimberly Rose Johnson and her latest release, AN ENCORE FOR ESTELLE. Kimberly was gracious enough to share an excerpt with everyone here today. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One
Estelle Rogers willed her galloping heart to slow. Why had she come back to Oak Knoll, Oregon? It wasn’t like the people here had welcomed her with open arms six years ago.

But that was then. Things were different now. Helen Wood had invited her for a visit
over the summer, and she could never say no to the one woman who’d accepted her in spite of her flaws. Besides, she needed time away to think about her future. Estelle
squared her shoulders, raised a hand, and pressed the doorbell beside the farmhouse door.

The door flung open. “You’re here!” Helen’s smile lit her eyes.

Estelle blinked. Helen looked like a young Mary Tyler Moore—she looked fantastic.

Could this be the same woman she’d grown close to all those years ago? Granted when she’d last seen Helen, she’d been recovering from a stroke, but a different woman stood before her now. The rosy-cheeked brunette looked fifteen years younger than her fifty five years. “You look amazing.”

Helen blushed and waved a hand in front of her face. “Derek sent me on a spa
vacation. You should try one. You’d love it.”

The mention of her one-time boyfriend didn’t affect her like it used to. Helen’s son
was now happily married, and she adored his wife, Kayla. “If I didn’t know better, I’d
say you’re hinting that I need a makeover.”

The older woman shrugged. “Not at all. You look lovely as usual.” She stepped
back, opening the door wider. “Come in. I can’t believe you’re actually here. I was afraid you might change your mind.”

“How silly would I be to do something like that?” If Helen only knew how many
times she had almost cancelled the trip. But she would never reveal that to her dear
friend.

Helen looped her arm through Estelle’s. “I prepared lunch for us in the garden.”

“I love your garden. It’s so serene. I’m glad the weather is cooperating today. I
noticed you’ve had a lot of rain lately.”

“We have, but summer doesn’t usually start here until July. Welcome back to
Oregon.” She chuckled. “I remember how much you enjoyed my garden the last time you were here, so I’ve been praying the weather would cooperate.”

Of course she had. Helen was like that—she had no qualms about asking the Lord
for a sunny day.

“You’ll be staying in the guest cottage while you’re here.”

Estelle stilled. “I thought your . . .” What does one call a man who works around the
farm doing odd jobs? “handyman—”

“His name is Blake, and he moved into the barn so you could have the cottage.”

“That was nice of him, but the barn?”

Helen patted her arm. “Now don’t you worry about Blake. He’s a grown man and
can take care of himself. Besides, he and Derek built a nice room out there. He has all the comforts of home.”

Estelle raised a brow. “If you say so.”

“I do.” She guided them through the house and out the French doors that led to the
courtyard garden.

Estelle caught her breath. Water bubbled from a fountain near the cottage. A light
breeze rustled the leaves on the birch trees overhead. A large vase of multi-colored
flowers sat in the center of a round table covered with a white cloth. “It’s more beautiful than I remember. You’ve added some new features.”

“I’m glad you like it. This space has been a labor of love. I spend as much time as I
am able to out here.” She motioned toward a wooden chair padded with pillows. “Have a seat. I’m so pleased you finally took me up on my offer to take an extended vacation.”

“Me too. Although whether I stay the entire three months you had in mind is up in
the air. If I’m needed in LA, I’ll have to return.” There was no way she could put Jeff off for three months—it wouldn’t be fair to either of them.

“Of course. After all, you’re a woman in constant demand. What with your
restaurant and acting career.”

“I don’t know how in demand I am these days. I gave up acting years ago, and my
restaurant runs smoothly thanks to my executive chef and my fantastic manager. Between those two, the only thing I’m needed for is paying the bills.” She sat up taller. “What’s for lunch?” She wasn’t hungry, but anything was better than talking about her professional life.

Helen’s face lit up as she pulled the cloth off a serving tray. “I prepared a chicken
salad, fresh fruit, and for dessert I made homemade peach ice cream.”

“That sounds delicious.” She allowed Helen to serve her then bowed her head as her
hostess offered a blessing for the food.

“Amen.” Helen placed a cloth napkin in her lap. “I wasn’t sure what you like, but I
remembered you enjoyed this dish when you were last here.”

“You have a good memory, especially considering you’d had a stroke shortly before
I arrived. I’m surprised you remember much about those weeks.”

“I recall pretty much everything. It wasn’t like I had a lot to do to fill my mind.
Having you here helped with my therapy.”

How had she not managed to find the time to visit this sweet woman sooner, and
more important why had she been so nervous? Helen was as kind and genuine in person as she’d been in their weekly correspondence these past six years.

Helen’s face brightened as she looked past Estelle. “Good afternoon, Blake. I’d like
you to meet a friend. She’s the one staying in the cottage.”

Estelle turned to face the man. She sucked in a breath. He had to be over six feet tall. His dark hair had a messy look that she liked. Get it together. He wasn’t the first
ruggedly handsome man she’d ever met. Plus there was Jeff.

He looked down at her with chocolate brown eyes. “It’s nice to meet you. Helen has
told me all about you.”
Estelle shot a look toward Helen. “Don’t believe everything you hear.”

***

Oooh, I LOVE where this story is going, and I think you will, too.

Amazon Follow: https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-Rose-Johnson/e/B00K10CR6E/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1435862403&sr=1-2-ent

 Amazon buy link:https://www.amazon.com/Encore-Estelle-Melodies-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B071Z3C5SG

 



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