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Thankful: Carole Brown’s List of November Thankfulness

Rejoice and Be Glad!


This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. –Psalm 118:24


It’s so easy in our present day of busyness and deadlines and activities, to forget to take time to relax, be quiet, have fun, and enjoy the blessings we have. Sometimes they are big ones that catch our attention and make us sit up and take notice with the “wow” in our hearts and in our eyes. Others–most of them–are the small, everyday ones that are just as important, but ones that we tend, and usually take for granted. Today, this week, this thanksgiving day, let us remember and lift our hearts in praise for the many blessings we have.


My list of November Gratefulness:


  1. A day I can take to relax and be with others.

  2. A day I can appreciate the bountiful food we have to share and partake of.

  3. A day I can enjoy the presence of family and/or friends who truly love me and show it

  4. A day I can participate and enjoy the antics of three active grandsons.

  5. A day I can ponder upon all the good things God has done for me, all the hardships and sad times He’s brought me through, and the wonderful protection and strength He’s given.

  6. So VERY grateful this November 2015. What a marvelous year!

About Carole Brown:
CaroleAug14 (14) cropped_edited
Brown not only has her award winning (2015 Winner of the USA Best Books Award, 2015 Small Publishers Book Award, RWA International Digital Award finalist, Clash of the Titles Laurel Awards finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now.

A companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel is also available.

The first book in her Denton & Alex Davies mystery series, Hog Insane and Bat Crazy, the second book are fun, lighthearted novels that not only deal with the mysteries the Davies land in, but relationships too.

The first book in a new WWII Spies Romantic Suspense series, With Music In Their Hearts are nostalgic, warm-hearted books that place readers firmly in that era. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.

This month, Brown is releasing the first book in a new series, The Appleton, WV Romantic Mysteries: Sabotaged Christmas.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Personal blog:
Stitches in Time:
Barn Door Book Loft:

We're thankful for Carole Brown's latest book.

We’re thankful for Carole Brown’s latest book.

Back Cover Blurb
Toni DeLuca, the Italian owner of DeLuca Construction, finds herself confronted with doubts about her father and his possible deceptions–all because of the mysterious pink notes she’s receiving.

Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubled history—but the first man in years who’s interested her–is building to a peak. Yet Perrin‘s own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.

Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni’s employees. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen?

Will this culprit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams?
Buy the book here

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Thankful: Bold Friends

In the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about friendship.  Some I gave my complete trust to only to find a knife in my back. Some I thought would be in my life until death, but for whatever reason, it was just a season and they are gone.

And then there are the bold friends.

This is a group that rose from the ashes of grief we all shared. We shook ourselves off and started praying together.  When I was up against some spiritual mountains that were threatening my peace and family, they didn’t ask if they could come and pray.

These friends told me when they were coming.Thankful_edited

Their mission to pray so focused they didn’t want coffee or snacks. They prayed that kind of prayer where you feel the gates of hell shake. It was a top moment not just from this year, but my life.

I don’t see these ladies every day. We haven’t met in awhile to pray. But when we send up a request, the responses are immediate and real. Intentional. Bold.

And I am forever thankful for each one of them.

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When You Say Nothing at All: Infertility Memories

Posted by Julie on April 3, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

91LVPrvc+FL April is a month set aside to make people a little more informed when it comes to infertility. On April 28th our book, A Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for your Journey Through Infertility releases. Our heart is make sure everyone who is walking or has walked in these shoes will have a copy so they can read our transparent stories and find hope and healing.

I thought I’d take some time to share aspects that are fresh in my mind as if they were yesterday. The book contains my full story but here is a topic that hurts to this day:

When people tried to say something about my infertility or miscarriage.

Our wedding song is Allison Krauss’ When You Say Nothing at All. As a title, it’s what I wish 99% of the people would have done. I know they meant well but the pain was excruciating. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Oh, how true.

Again, you need to read the book to learn specifics but the Bible verses, pat answers and the replies I call the “Job’s friends comments” cut through me like a knife. People with no loss of their own suddenly had a ministry degree to measure my sins and level of faith against my menstrual cycle. Some gave advice for the next time. Others tried to make me understand in my pain it was the same as their one bad hair day or something that was definitely apples and oranges.

Then there was timing. When the first round of people did a great job spreading the happy news, but failed to mention the subsequent loss. So when an acquaintance  asked about the baby, I had to give the update. It was awful. Or the glowing new mom sharing details regarding life post delivery. I wanted to sink in a hole.

And die.

The grief is that deep and that’s why most answers hurt so much. Years have passed but infertility hasn’t changed. It is a deep ache and sense of loss. If that’s not your story not even my own favorite Bible verse is going to help at that moment. Trust that in time, it will. But spouting it out as a “this covers all” statement makes things worse.

Trust me.

So what do you say to someone who is hurting from infertility and/or miscarriage?


If you haven’t walked that out, say nothing. Okay, nearly nothing. Admit you have no idea what to say but that you care, deeply. Open your arms and allow her the freedom to enter that hug and literally snot all over you. Give the opportunity for her to speak with transparency, which will include raw hurt. Don’t judge her. It is healthy to get those toxic thoughts out. When she is done, ask if you could pray.  If she doesn’t want to at that time, promise you will, and do it. If you pray at that moment, be simple. Don’t wax eloquent, this isn’t about you. Be that gap that takes her hurt to the Lord.

If you have walked this out, I believe you can, with discernment, be bolder. I fell in a deep pit and my dear friend had the experience to call me out because she’d been there. She showed up when I said I wasn’t ready for company. She gave a deadline (after prayer) where I was able to share everything for one hour, no matter how vile. After that hour, she led me in a healing prayer. That. Changed. Everything.

I hope this helps and I hope you can read my heart here. I’m not about pushing a product. I am about women finding freedom through surrender in Christ. The toughest surrender for me was giving the Lord my infertility and then again the anger I had when I miscarried. I searched for a book that would help me feel less alone and I couldn’t find any. I believe A Walk in the Valley is a source of hope and a feeling of “they get it. They get ME.”

God bless you all.

To pre order A Walk in the Valley, click here.



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Thankful: It’s Hard to Pick Just One by Jill Barlow

Posted by Julie on November 18, 2014 in Guest blogger, Life Lessons, Thankful November guest blogger, Writing |

In the beginning of 2013, I felt led to start my own blog. I wrote about God, but nothing in particular. I also ended up going through a divorce that year, which completely changed my life. I was married for 19 years. I was a stay at home mom for a great deal of that time. The last 3 years had been dedicated to my three children, because we pulled them out of public school to home school.


As I sit and type this up, I am thankful for so many things. It is hard to pick just one.


I am thankful for my Heavenly Father who has gotten me through the rough spots. This  journey we call life is not an easy one. Being a Christian is not a “get out of trouble” free card. We are still going to have hard times. Jesus even said, in John 16: 33, “33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”john16_33


It’s not an IF, it’s a WHEN type thing. God is always here for us, no matter what.


I am also thankful for my children, friends and family. Without them, I don’t know where I would be. They have made me laugh, hugged me as I cried and told me the truth when I did not want to hear it.


God has really moved in my life and heart over the past several months. He has started talking to me in every day ways. I have started writing those things for others to see that He is there, daily. He cares about our daily lives and He just wants to help us make it to tomorrow.


Take a moment and think about what you are thankful for. Maybe it’s totally different from me. And, guess what? That’s ok. 




Jill Barlow is a mom of three, an administrative assistant to two, and a writer. Divorced after a lengthy marriage, she started finding God in her every-day life. Jill says, “God really cares and is interested in talking to us through the little things. Showing people His love and character in a way they might not have ever experienced is my passion.” You can find Jill at and on Facebook .

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Saturday Confession: It Makes Sense to Me

Posted by Julie on September 20, 2014 in Uncategorized |

It wasn’t that people didn’t offer.

“How can I help?”

“Do you want me to come over and unpack with you?”

And it wasn’t that I was too stubborn to say yes.

I turned down a lot of help because of this—

I wanted to do it my way.

unpacking photo: Unpacking at Compas DSCF0020.jpg

I’m not Martha Stewart but I like to have organization.

My organization.

I haven’t moved a lot, but when I did, there was an anxiety that was hard to shake.

The loving people who came to help who asked, “Where do you want this?” “Where does this go?”

I felt like I’d turn and someone was waiting on me. I absolutely come apart with that kind of pressure.

So, I’d ask what they thought. There was so much wisdom there.


I didn’t feel like I owned the process.

Nor did I feel like it was my kitchen.

Make sense?

Probably not.

But this time around, I unpacked each box and decided where things went on my terms. No pressure. No explaining why I went with this cupboard instead of that one. I might have made some foolish choices.

Yet, they were mine to make.

I’m tired and sore, but I’m pretty excited. I know where things are. I like their location.

And the best thing of all—it makes sense to me.

Do you like to be organized? Do you want help getting to that organized place, or like a toddler or me, do it yourself?

photobucket image 

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Today, I’m Thankful by Carole Brown

Today, I’m Thankful


Nearly two years ago, I made a decision. Every Monday on my blog ( I would post a few things I’m thankful for. In spite of the fact it’s a favorite post by readers, some might ask: do you ever run out of items to list? The answer is no. Not yet.


Trials and difficult times are a part of our world. Few, if any can escape. We can’t afford to ignore the opportunities to learn from hard experiences. If for no other reason, I know I gain valuable insight into why I should be thankful.


That’s foolish, you say? Not really. Certainly, I’m not thankful when I’m sick. Or when someone snubs me. I hate it when people stiff us on a bill they owe my husband. Hate it when used-to-be-friends speak harsh words or talk behind our backs. Yet there is much for which to be thankful.


I’m thankful for:

  • Ÿ  A caring, helpful and loving spouse who stands beside me strong and sure.
  • Ÿ  Two sons who love us and consider us part of their lives even though grown with interests of their own
  • Ÿ  Three adorable grandsons God has allowed us to enjoy. Three years ago, I couldn’t have imagined such blessing
  • Ÿ  Health, life, shelter, food–all necessary items without which life would be considerably harder
  • Ÿ  Certain good friends who encourage and give help when needed.

Ÿ  The opportunity to hold, not one–but three published books in my hands this year. Two are novels and one is nonfiction. What joy!



I could go on and on. The old hymn that encourages us to “count our blessings, name them one by one” is still appropriate in our world. The author surely knew what he was talking about.


So today, I choose to be thankful. If my heart doesn’t quite seem as joyful as it should, that’s okay. I know God sees my intentions and understands. He knows I intend to carry through his admonition from the Psalm, “In everything give thanks.”




Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?



Connect with her here:

Personal blog:







I also am part of several other blogs:

Geezers Guys and Gals:

Stitches in Time:

Barn Door Book Loft:


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