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FREE 14 Day Devotional: Finding Freedom Through Surrender

Posted by Julie on February 16, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

I’ve been working on a side project to help readers with the wait for ENGAGED and try something unique. I created a devotional, a set of readings meant to encourage readers as they surrender the very areas I write about in my Surrendering Time series.

Finding Freedom Through Surrender is a journey through surrendering fear, loss, change, regret, and the future. What I love is they are written through the point of view of ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED characters. For readers familiar with the stories, the devotionals will be a fun look at their experiences and how you can find freedom for yourself. If you are new to the series, the characters give a little information to help you know them without giving away story spoilers.

I plan to have this available on Amazon, but I want YOU to have a sneak peek. Click the link below to receive a 14 day look.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR COPY of 14 Day Devotional: Finding Freedom Through Surrender.

This will take you to my site, where you will then click on the right sidebar widget that offers the 14 Day Devotional. If you have trouble, let me know at juliearduini@juliearduini.com, or on social media @JulieArduini.

 

(By clicking on the widget, you are agreeing to receive my monthly newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.)

 

Thank you for being a faithful reader!

 

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Thankful for Perspective

I'm thankful for perspective.

I’m thankful for perspective.

I don’t know how to explain it, but I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach 2016 was going to be a long haul.

Some things I knew were happening—a wedding in the same time frame as a graduation. A child’s genetic testing. Another child transitioning from high school to college.

But, as the year unfolded, there were plenty of surprises.

  • I felt a stirring I attribute to God that I was to my own ministry/business as an author and speaker. By February, I was moving forward with Surrendered Scribe Media. By March, ENTRUSTED was re released and ENTANGLED was released.

 

  • My husband changed his job. I had a feeling this was coming, but what I didn’t anticipate was his working from home much of the time.

 

  • My father-in-law passed away in July. The kindest man, talk about a huge void.

 

  • Grief from loved one’s choices I couldn’t control (and still can’t!)

 

  • A complete flip in health that was hormone/menopause related. It hit me HARD.

 

It was rough, and I honestly wanted to define the year that way. However, the word for my year is perspective, and I’ve really tried to apply that. I see why it is the word for me, because I learned a lot.

 

The absolute fear and anger I had over my husband being home on “my” schedule also offered a lunch partner at times, and help when I wasn’t able to get our child from school.

 

Watching God grow our loved ones closer through as they listened to us share with transparency regarding choices. Had I stayed grief-stricken, I don’t think God could have used us. Seeing it in time as an opportunity instead of devastation changed everything.

 

I’m sure there is more I’m not seeing yet, but perspective definitely helps me move forward and not dwell on the negative. As we wind the year down, we also had a very thankful Thanksgiving. Not only are we surviving all these things, but we learned Tom’s oldest daughter is expecting. It’s the first grandchild for us, and we are thrilled for her and her husband.

What are you thankful for this year? Do you think of perspective at all? How?

 

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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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Book Club Launches Tuesday

Posted by Julie on October 10, 2016 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

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When I was sent to the assistant principal’s office in middle school it wasn’t for mouthing off or fighting. Nope, I got in trouble for reading ahead.

Story of my life.

Reading remains my favorite relaxation. Although most of my time is invested in writing, I love sitting down with a good book. I long to talk to people about it.

Starting Tuesday, I’m combining writing and reading by launching my Fall Book Club. My plan is to connect with fellow readers and start reading and discussing my first contemporary romance, ENTRUSTED. We will discuss the chapters, and I’ll share behind-the-scenes features with characters, chapters, plot, and the Adirondacks. I’ll talk about the writing process. Some weeks will feature other authors and an interview with them, as well as “free surprises.” Once we finish ENTRUSTED, we’ll move onto ENTANGLED. Hopefully, ENGAGED will be after that. If not, we will read the third installment of the Surrendering Time series. I also look forward to reading books from my favorite authors.

Tuesday’s meeting is a kick-off with no reading required. I want us to get to know each other and I’ll release the reading schedule. After that, we’ll meet weekly.

Here’s more information:

The Surrendering Time series is an entertaining yet reflective adventure to the Adirondack Mountains. Each book takes an element of time (past, present, future) and explores through flawed and humorous characters what a surrender journey looks like.

In ENTRUSTED, Jenna Anderson leaves her Ohio hometown for the unknown in Speculator Falls. She’s determined to make her new job as senior center work and become one of the locals.

Ben Regan’s family is the backbone of Speculator Falls and he’s made a vow to protect the rural village. When his grandfather passes away and his former girlfriend leaves without even saying goodbye, Ben’s determined to prevent further transition in his life.

But Jenna produces a lot of change for Ben in a book about surrendering the present fears we have about change and wanting to belong.

BOOK CLUB KICK-OFF:

Tuesday, October 11, 8pm, EDT
Julie Arduini’s Facebook Author Page
Format: I’ll paste a graphic a few minutes ahead of time saying that all our discussion will take place under the picture. You might need to refresh, if so, hit F5.

To purchase ENTRUSTED: click HERE.

 

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Goodreads Giveaway Winner!

Posted by Julie on August 30, 2016 in encouragement, Julie Arduini |

You guys!

I received an email letting me know that my Goodreads giveaway was over and the winner is from the US.

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There is a Goodreads Giveaway Winner!

The message also let me know 790 of you entered to win.

This is my first time ever doing this. I researched and decided to try one winner, but open it up to someone in either the US, Canada, UK or Australia.  For 790 of you to enter, that blesses me.

If you entered and didn’t win, no worries. I am offering ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED as FREE ebooks September 23/24 and October 7-9. Check the price as the promotion usually starts after 12am PACIFIC time. 

You guys are amazing. If you’ve read ENTRUSTED and/or ENTANGLED and enjoyed it, would you be kind enough to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads?

Thank you. I truly appreciate all your support.

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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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