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How to Become a (Romance) Author

Posted by Julie on October 22, 2016 in ACFW, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |
How to Become a (Romance) Author by Julie Arduini
This is part of my Fall Book Club discussion Tuesday nights, 8pm, EDT at http://facebook.com/JulieArduini/Author. I’m going through my first contemporary romance, ENTRUSTED, and also sharing writing tips and behind-the-scenes info on the characters, chapters, plot, and the Adirondack Mountains. I just started, so feel free to grab your copy and join me!

Entrusted, from idea to tangible book, took twenty years. Don’t let that be you!
I’m not sure my journey into contemporary romance is normal, but I thought I’d share my experience into how ENTRUSTED came to be and see if you can glean anything to encourage you.
One thing I know isn’t normal but it seems to mark the authors from the rest of the world is that I was always asking questions. There was one I was constantly putting out there as an observer in life.
“What if?”
What if that goodbye in the airport is a break-up?
What if that phone call in a parking lot is the start of a reunion?
I was, and continue to ask the “what if” question everywhere I go. From there, story ideas take a life of their own. It gets the creative juices flowing. Take it a step further and journal those thoughts.
1. Ask “what if” to people you see in everyday places and let your creativity flow. Journal where your mind takes you.
I was a recent college graduate the first time I visited the village of Speculator in the Adirondack Mountains. As my friend walked me around, I pictured Ben and Jenna and asked myself, “What if Jenna moved here from somewhere else and wanted to belong?” “What if Ben owned the grocery store and had lived here forever, and resented change—including a new girl in town?” That’s the genesis of ENTRUSTED.
Years passed thanks to marriage and kids, but the desire to write never truly went away. About ten years ago I took a course from the Christian Writer’s Guild and I wrote articles and flash fiction for FaithWriters.
2. Never stop learning. Read books on the writing craft. Read books by authors in your genre. For me, I read a lot of craft books by authors associated with Writer’s Digest. I signed up for blogs that featured writing tips and read them. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW, and joined critique groups. ENTRUSTED was more than one draft. I think it might have been five. If you truly want this, you will persevere through the red marks, suggestions, and parts you know have to go.
3. Write! It sounds easy, but this remains my biggest challenge. I let my mind get the best of me and convince myself I’m wasting my time. If you are called, you’ll be equipped. You can do it, but only if you actually write. If being at home is a problem, set office hours. Go to the library. But take yourself and your writing seriously. Your book will never be published if you don’t write it. ENTRUSTED, from idea to tangible book, took 20 years. TWENTY. YEARS. That doesn’t have to be your story.
I’d love to hear from you!

Author Julie Arduini
You can find me at http://juliearduini.com where there are free resources on the left sidebar. I’d love if you followed me on Amazon and Goodreads. I enjoy connecting on social media @JulieArduini, including Snapchat. Please find me and say, “Hey!”

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Saturday Confession: If Only I Could Whistle

Last week I was talking with my mom and she made a comment that it’s obvious watching my husband that he loves what he does. His work requires long and unpredictable hours, consistent deadlines, and this year, international travel. Yet, the man whistles when he gets up.

No lie.

He whistles getting ready.

He whistles coming home.

And that’s a rare thing.

I wish I could whistle like him, but my tune sounds like I’m choking on a bug.

But if I could, I’d create a little song, too.

This year I’ve had the pleasure and honor to sign three writing contracts.

  • The first was for FaithWriter anthologies. I had a few stories from their weekly challenges that met the criteria for the anthologies. Things are moving along, so I signed off on those. Yay!
  • The second was through Chalfont House, the infertility devotional tentatively titled, A Walk in the Valley. This is a collaborative effort with Heidi Glick, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery and Donna Winters and my first time with my name on the cover. As exciting as that is, I’m most excited to give hope to women who feel dumped in the forest and forgotten by God. I call hard experiences like infertility the Hosea 2:14 experiences, and I would have given anything to have had a book like this back then. It’s transparent. Our stories are real and we don’t hold back. Our experiences are all different. But through it all, hope shines through. Encouragement is embedded. I’m so proud to be part of this.
  • The third was for my Adirondack based contemporary romances. Write Integrity Press offered a contract for Spectacular Falls, Untangled, and To Be Determined.

 

Here’s information on each of these:

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Spectacular Falls: A  city-girl plows into an Adirondack village and produces change for the grocer.

 

Untangled: A single mom and former Adirondack sheriff enters beauty school but creates split ends for the men in her life when she doesn’t feel worthy.

 

To Be Determined: Trish Maxwell returns to Speculator Falls with crushed dreams, egg on her face, and the chance to make a new start with the very people and places she used to make fun of.

 

It doesn’t mean the work ends, in fact, it’s just beginning. There’s a lot of marketing work. Untangled is nearly done, and To Be Determined is in first draft form. It’s daunting, scary, exciting, but whistle-worthy.

But there’s more.

We’ve been praying for what we believe will be our last home. We’ve been in the area for a decade and now we know people and places. We no longer have small children. We need room for a new driver. We miss entertaining, opening our home for laughter and encouragement. Last week our offer on a home was accepted and if the process continues, this will be a gift straight from God. Years ago we joked about wanting to take the house we used to have and plunking it down in the place we live now.

This house is as close to that answer as we could get without it being the original home we had in NY.

Even better, it’s newer with extras we didn’t even ask for.

I’ll have peace to write.

The puppy has room to run.

The drivers have places to park.

Friends have space to feel comfortable inside and out.

Like The Chipmunks and their Christmas song about their missing front teeth, I can’t whistle.

But I sure want to.

 

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And There, There, and There You’ll Find Me and My Writing

Posted by Julie on April 11, 2014 in About Me, Christians Read, encouragement, Julie Arduini, surrender, Writing |

I love to chat. Food. Current Events. Sports. What Jimmy Fallon did last night on The Tonight Show. What God’s showing me.

But sometimes I have to bring up discussion that’s more business related. I struggled with that for a long time but realized if I don’t talk about my writing and where to find it, there isn’t an opportunity to share resources God has for you to live free in Christ.

So that’s a talk I need to bring to you today. A bit of writing stuff is going on, and I want to let you know about it. If you want to tell others, I’d love that.

  • Match Made in Heaven. It’s not too late to join other Julie Arduini newsletter subscribers as they follow Beth Prescott and Dean Kellerman in Match Made in Heaven. It’s my contemporary romance that offers surrender issues, chocolate, and the Finger Lakes setting of Hammondsport, NY. The April issue offers archive links to previous installments as well as the current one. Subscribe for free in the right sidebar at juliearduini.com and watch your inbox for activation.

 

  • Rose Blooms. This short story is one you can vote on, and I hope you do. My plan is to expand it this November as part of NaNoWriMo and write a rough draft as part of a new Finger Lakes contemporary romance series. Read and vote here.

 

  • To Write a Story. Valerie Comer was kind enough to let me stop by and share my plotting resources. If you wonder what goes on with fiction creation, read my process here.

 

  • Jasmine’s Place. Have you discovered the beautiful thing that is Jasmine’s Place? It’s an e-zine for women filled with articles and interviews on family, beauty, fashion, faith, cooking, and more. The publishers have been so kind to allow me to participate with each issue. I’ve been interviewed, wrote articles, shared short stories, and created blurbs. This is an international project and one I’m very proud to work with.

 

  • Christians Read. Did you know I blog every other Wednesday with Vicki Hinze, Kathi Macias, Sarah Goebel, James Rubart, Hannah Alexander, Maureen Lang, Beth Goddard, Tara Randel, Lynette Sowell, Yvonne Lehman, Kristen Heitzmann? Now Christians Read has a website, and I hope you bookmark it. You can read my posts, too.

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  • Coming Soon. A couple years or so ago, a few of my FaithWriter challenge entries placed and were eligible to be part of the FaithWriter anthologies. The anthologies are taking shape so I’ll keep you updated. I’m also working with a group of authors on a project that will encourage a segment of women who could use the support. I should have news on that  front, too. Stay tuned!

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Now Available: Forager, Dystopian Novel, by Peter R. Stone

Posted by Julie on December 12, 2013 in encouragement, Julie Arduini |

forager cover final

I have a confession.

For the longest time, I didn’t know what dystopian meant. But freedictionary.com defines dystopia as this:

An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.

So when Peter R. Stone contacted me to let me know his novel, Forager, is now available, I knew what kind of novel he’d written.

And Dystopian is a hot genre to be reading right now. Thank you, Hunger Games.

I know Peter from FaithWriters and I let him know that I’d let you know Forager is available. Young adults especially love novels like this, and they are typically hard to buy for. So let this be an idea for Christmas.

Here’s what Forager is about.

Eighteen-year-old Ethan Jones lives in Newhome, a town built upon the decaying ruins of post-apocalyptic Melbourne, ruins haunted by the ferocious Skel, a nomadic tribe of degenerate savages.

The Skel are ramping up their attacks on Newhome’s foraging teams and infesting Melbourne’s ruins in ever greater numbers. Is this part of a larger plan that could spell the town’s doom?

Meanwhile, the last thing Ethan expects when he and his companions rescue a two-car convoy from the Skel is a Japanese teenage girl with an outlandish dress-sense, who after they take her back to Newhome, goes to great lengths to ingratiate herself into his life. But is it in gratitude for saving her life or is she seeking something more?

And what a quandry she places him in, for he knows the rules, that no man is permitted to be alone with an unmarried woman. But how can he drive such a gentle soul away when she touchs his heart so deeply, even though she clearly carries the pain of a broken heart.

At the same time, Newhome’s police force, the Custodians, are suspicious of Ethan’s foraging team’s successes and are pulling out the stops to find out which member of his team has the illegal mutant ability that gives them an edge over the other teams. Should these peacekeepers discover Ethanis the mutant they seek, they will haul him away and dissect him like a frog.

To purchase on Kindle or a Kindle app, click here.

To purchase Forager as a paperback, click here.

To preview the first four chapters, click here.

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Cold Turkey by Pam Ford Davis

Cold Turkey

Thankful_edited

We use the expression to describe a sudden cessation of a bad habit. We resolve to quit smoking, drinking of alcoholic beverages or other addictive behavior. Bravely, we decide to go it on our own, declining outside assistance of support systems or medications to take the edge off the withdrawal. “I think I can, I think I can!”

Turkey and Thanksgiving are partners in time. The traditional family Thanksgiving dinner features the fowl and stuffing with all the trimmings. The aroma of basted baked birds tantalizes our appetites, and we can hardly wait to gather around the table to view carving of the golden browned center of attraction.

What do we do with leftovers? Is cold turkey something merely endured until a skeleton remains on a spacious platter? Maybe cold foreshadows our feeling of sadness at the realization that another family gathering has passed and mundane routines will return.

Our attitude of gratitude must never grow cold. We do not receive bountiful blessings by picking leftovers from a dead carcass. The resurrected Lord sustains life and through His gift of grace dishes out trimmings of unexpected joy and fulfillment. I come to Him daily with a hearty appetite, knowing He desires to fill me with His Holy Spirit. Thanksgiving is not a tip on a plate; it is praise on my lips!

“Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done (Colossians 2:7b The Living Bible).”

With God all things are possible!

 

cropped-november-2012-profile-pictureWing His Words Pam Ford Davis

Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL:  http://ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520

http://www.teapottestimony.vpweb.com

http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=40416

http://pamforddavis.wordpress.com/about

 

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

pamteapottestimony13@live.com
Freelance writer, wife, mother and grandmother.
Background as radio and television personality.
Collector of teapots and church hymnals.
Published articles in Christian magazines and devotional books.

 

 

featured image photobucket

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Book Review: Kaleidoscope Summer: Samantha’s Story by Rita Garcia

Posted by Julie on June 20, 2013 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

I confess, I love a series where a city or town is the backdrop. When I learned my dear cyber friend Rita Garcia had a series out revolving around a quaint community called Serenity Cove, I was curious. Then I realized Rita uses her own skills as a Christian clinical counselor to weave the stories, I was hooked. And in full disclosure, “Dr. Rita” is so kind that when she realized I was looking forward to her books, she sent them to me. She never asked for a review or any kind of promotion, but I enjoyed Kaleidoscope Summer and wanted to tell you about it.

Book Description:Rita-Garcia_Kaleidoscope-Summer_200

Samantha Forrester has it all together. Deafness at age fifteen has not hampered her success. Life, although predictable, has hit a comfortable stride. Her world crumbles when secrets of the past are brought to light. She travels to Serenity Cove to settle her birth mother’s estate and search for her true identity. Samantha soon becomes enamored with the town. And then there’s police chief Logan Delatorre who startles her pulse, and grandparents who refuse to acknowledge her. More mystery unfolds when an attack is levied against her—someone wants her out of Serenity Cove. Samantha’s faith is called into question when she stumbles over the need to forgive. Can Dr. Ellie Clarimonde help her connect the pieces of her past and learn the power of forgiveness?

I really enjoyed Kaleidoscope Summer. Rita has a great community, strong characters, sweet romance, curious mystery, and a storyline about loss, adoption, fear, and acceptance that kept me turning the pages.

Samantha has a lot on her shoulders when she arrives in Serenity Cove. She has to read lips due to losing most of her hearing as a teen. She’s in town to settle her birth mother’s estate, and when she arrives, she learns more than she bargains for.

As the story progresses she’s on a search for her birth father, and she’s trying to stay safe as there is an attack aimed at driving her out of town. In the middle of it all is Dr. Ellie, who challenges Samantha to work through the layers of feelings she has about all these events and the consequences.

I really loved Logan, and I thought the storyline between Samantha and her grandfather was exceptionally well done. There are unique journal entries that I thought added beauty and feeling. As you might read in other reviews on Amazon, there is a little POV (point of view) confusion, especially as you start out, but stick with it. Once you realize who it is speaking, it’s a minor factor and you can enjoy the story. I know I did.

I look forward to reading Rita’s other books, Tangerine Morning and Christmas Future.

To purchase Kaleidoscope Summer, click here.

I received Kaleidoscope Summer as a gift from the author with no pressure to review. I chose to review, and these words are my opinion, and mine only.



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