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Bonus Book Review: Give Us This Day by June Foster

Posted by Julie on March 29, 2013 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

I first became acquainted with June Foster’s writing with her second work in the Bellewood Series, As We Forgive. I loved the characters, and she let me know Pastor Tim first appears in her first book. I’ve wanted to read Give Us This Day for a long time, and I’m so glad I did.

June “writes real.” Her characters have flaws and struggle. And I think my favorite character in the Bellewood series comes from Give Us This Day, Jess Colton. Jess is a man battling his weight. He isn’t just heavy, he is obese. June writes Jess with sensitivity, but I could feel myself tense anytime Jess’s dad or Holly’s sister entered the scene.

Jess struggles with more than food, and I love that his problems aren’t taken care of in one chapter. June illustrates forgiveness and new beginnings, but also that no one can force us to choose to live free.

Holly has a past and the consequences are a daily part of her life. Jess’s friendship helps her, but she’s afraid to reveal her whole self to him. She sees people, even those closest to Jess, be cruel. Will her full disclosure push him away? Could they be more than friends? Can she ever forgive herself?

This was a gripping read, and because I’ve read books 2 and 3, I can tell you, she doesn’t let up. Her books continue to feature realistic situations and beautiful redemption stories. Keep an eye on June Foster because I think you are going to see a lot more of her, and that is a very good thing.

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When Jess Colton asks Jesus into his life, he gives up alcohol but replaces it with a food addiction. The three-hundred pound man is baffled when the beautiful Holly Harrison declares her affection.

Holly Harrison lives with the results of an ungodly past. What Christian man would want a woman who lost her unborn baby and her lower leg due to her own carelessness? She doesn’t plan on falling in love with Jess yet she sees past his bulk to the godly man inside. When Jess drives a wedge between them, Holly loses all hope of a future with him.

Only God has the power to restore a hopeless food addict to good health and teach a young woman how to forgive herself, opening the door for an unlikely romance.

Purchase Give Us This Day here.

This is a review I’m posting because I want to. It isn’t part of a blog tour or any promotion.

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Book Review: Deliver Us by June Foster–Includes Author Interview!

Posted by Julie on March 26, 2013 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

I am so excited to share June Foster with you. She has a sweet spirit and hands-down is the person who helped me recognize telling in my own writing. She is an author I expect you to hear a LOT more of. Here is an interview, followed by my review of her latest, Deliver Us.

How long did you write before you sold your first book?

I began writing in January, 2010 and sold my first book September 2011. I kid around saying that God must have put me on the fast track to publication because He knew I don’t have as many days on earth as my younger colleagues.

Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.

In 2011, I submitted a proposal to Desert Breeze Publishing for my Bellewood Series. I never thought it would result in a contract. One Sunday morning in September, I opened my e-mail and received the news that Gail Delaney wanted to contract all three books in the series. When I screamed, my husband came running from the bedroom thinking a bug had attacked me or something. Deliver Us is the third and final book in that series.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

I believe the Lord gives them to me. Since I write romance, I like to think of a man and a woman who would  least likely fall in love. Shall I confess right now? I wrote one book about a young woman who falls in love with a Christian homosexual man. Yes, it’s true. Ryan’s Father will be out in 2014. I’d like to remind you my stories are all told from a strong Christian worldview, so you’ll have to wait to see what happens. The story reflects my stand on this delicate topic.

How do you get to know your characters?

I get a picture of a famous person I think looks like my character. Then I fill out a character chart describing every detail about this character. I interview him/her asking pertinent questions relating to the novel’s plot and see what answers they give me. I examine their goals, motivation, and conflicts. If I know anyone who’s like my character, I try to figure out how that person would react and what they’d say in various situations.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?

My “office” has changed drastically since we moved out of our RV. Before I had a desk and two filing cabinets where the couch used to be in the RV. It actually worked fine. I wrote five books in that location. Now I have a whole big room upstairs in our house. I have more room to spread out now and more reliable internet, which is a blessing. Each day, I try to get up by 6:30 and get to writing no later than 9:00. I take breaks for various reasons, but most days I don’t finish up until 9:00 or 9:30 at night.

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?

This happened not because I’m so good at taking risks, but I had to. My husband used to have a small 4-seater plane. We were flying along, and he had to crawl over into the back seat. He told me to take the controls and fly the plane. I’d had a few flying lessons but wasn’t good enough to “fly the plane” like he said. I took the wheel though the plane met with turbulence, and we were heading toward a mountain range.625509_601129303250223_874874036_n

What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?

Back after the hurricane Katrina hit the southern states, my husband and I were hired by Pilot Catastrophe, a branch of Allstate Insurance to process claims. I got fired after two weeks.

How many books do you have published and where can they be found?

I have four published. Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, Deliver Us, and A Hometown Fourth of July. They can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Desert Breeze Publishing, and where ever e-books are sold. Ryan’s Father will be published with White Fire in January 2014.

Where can fans find you or your books on the internet?

Facebook, personal page.

Facebook, author page.

Blog

Infinite Characters

Twitter

June Foster Amazon page

I can think of one extra way you can get to know June Foster better.

Read her books.

Today I’m reviewing Deliver Us, Book 3 in her Bellewood Series from Desert Breeze Publishing. Although this can be a standalone, do yourself a favor and read Give Us This Day and As We Forgive first. If you analyze the titles, you’ll realize they are part of The Lord’s Prayer.

DeliverDeliver Us Bellewood Series Book 3 from Desert Breeze Publishing April 2013
The young fraternity man who coaxed Jillian Coleman upstairs that night is only a blur in her memory. Now she lives with the unrelenting guilt that she aborted her baby. God might forgive her, but she can’t forgive herself. As Bellewood’s premier gynecologist, she hopes to open the Jeremiah House to offer teen girls an abortion alternative. Though the handsome and successful Dr. Jett Camp wants to marry Jillian, he believes her plan is a waste of her skills.

Riley Mathis spent ten years in jail for dealing drugs. Now as a Christian, he’s trying to put his life back together. Working as a janitor at night, he attends college by day. When he meets Dr. Coleman, he recognizes her from the sapphire necklace she wore the night he stole something precious from her. When she confesses the choice she made to abort her baby, Riley can’t tell her he’s the father of her child.

I’m familiar with June’s work as she was once in a critique group I facilitated (and we’d take her back in a heartbeat.) I only saw a little of Deliver Us before June left the group, and I knew once again she was writing something special.

June “writes real,”  something what I shared in an Amazon review, and it’s true. She isn’t afraid to tackle real issues everyone deals with–including Christians.  She crafts beautiful romance, but I assure you, it isn’t predictable. After all, when is the last time you read about a woman falling for a man who turns to be the frat boy from long ago?

Jillian’s story is about forgiveness and trust. Riley is a beautiful portrait of redemption and again, realistic. He continues to struggle. I love that June doesn’t write characters that accept Jesus and everything is easy. But she is clear on what all readers need to embrace once they’ve asked Jesus into their lives–their freedom in Christ. He’s forgotten our sins, and June paints a beautiful picture of this concept all through Deliver Us.

Deliver Us is definitely in the running for my favorite fiction read this year.

To purchase Deliver Us, click here.

I received a .pdf of Deliver Us from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

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Thankful: June Foster’s Thankful for God’s Intervention

Posted by Julie on November 28, 2011 in God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Well, this is new! I’m so excited to present Desert Breeze author June Foster with you. She is a gifted writer and I’m blessed to have her in my Scribes critique group. June’s blog today features an interview with—me! It’s a swap, and I love it. Please leave her a comment today! Want to read my interview on her blog? Go here.

***

The things I’m thankful for each year change as circumstances change. But one thing which remains consistent is my gratitude to the Lord. I am thankful for salvation through Jesus Christ, for Christian fellowship, and at my age I’m especially thankful for good health. If you ask me next year, I’ll say the same thing.

 

But I do have a story to share for which I am indebted to the Lord, something I never thought would happen to me. Only the Almighty God could’ve orchestrated it.

 

For seven or eight years I had a story incubating in my mind. I even visualized the scenes and the characters. You may not think that so unusual, but I’ve never had an interest in writing—much less a romance. End time prophesies intrigued me. I read every single one of The Left Behind Series.

 

All this retired school teacher wanted to do was travel in an RV with her husband doing all the touristy things. But God had a different plan. In November of 2009, I told my daughter about the story. She made a remark which was the spark the Lord used. “Why don’t you write it, Mom?”

 

I went home that day and knew my life had changed forever. I got a new Toshiba laptop, a Sprint air card, and a printer. My husband and I set out on our latest RV adventure on January 1, 2010. My dear spouse took the couch out of the RV and replaced it with a writing table and file cabinets. I purchased every “how to” book I could get my hands on, and joined ACFW and Scribes.

 

I think at first, my husband scratched his head and figured I was going through a “phase,” a post-midlife crisis. But when I continued to pound the keys of my computer, he became convinced. And supportive. He helps me considerably with facts, details and even plot ideas.

 

Now less than two years later, the Lord has blessed me with publication of four of my six novels. The first one, the story that lurked for so long, is not published yet. But I’m praying for God’s open doors.

 

I think the reason I’m so thankful for this is the assurance that God does intervene in our lives. And when He wants to take us in the opposite direction from the way we were going, He gives us the grace to do it. He is sovereign. 

 

June Foster’s debut novel is available Feb. 1 from Desert Breeze Publishing Company.

Give Us This Day – Feb. 1, 2012

As We Forgive – Sept. 1, 2012

Deliver Us – April 1, 2013

A Hometown Fourth of July – July 1, 2012



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