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Transformation: Deadly Silence by Lillian Duncan

Posted by Julie on January 25, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |



As I was getting ready to write this post for Julie I asked what she’d like me to talk about, she gave me several suggestions and…this is the one I picked.  It was a good pick for the book I want to talk about but an even better pick for me personally.

Transformation is the act of changing. That’s something that happens to all of us—everyday. So much so that we might not notice. Unfortunately in my case, it’s very noticeable. In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors (non-cancerous) and a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).

Since then my physical health has been in a state of transformation… and not for the better! On the other hand my spiritual health has also been in transformation… and I’d like to think for the better!

When you need to rely on God to get you through the bad times, it changes you. And in my case that means it’s changed my writing as well. I wrote Deadly Communications in the summer after I was diagnosed but before most of my difficulties began.

Deadly Silence, the third in the Deadly Communications series, was written after I lost a great deal of hearing along with my balance due to the brain tumors. In fact, I put Layla, a late-deafened adult into the story for that very reason.

As a speech therapist for deaf and hard-of hearing children for many years, I might be a bit better prepared to deal with the realities of my hearing loss but it still hasn’t been an easy transformation.

Transformation rarely is an easy thing, especially when it comes to spiritual matters.

Maven Morris, my main character in Deadly Silence has been through her own transformations. In Deadly Communications she struggled with depression after the death of her husband. In Deadly Intent, she had to make a choice to open her heart to another. And when she’s left at the altar in Deadly Silence, she has a choice—fall apart or keep trusting God.

I’m not going to ruin the story by telling you what happens but I can tell you that most of us will face that same choice at one time or many times in our lives. Each time you make the choice to trust God, the more you will discover that God is indeed trustworthy and faithful.

That doesn’t mean our problems will magically disappear. I’m still almost deaf and have mobility issues because of my balance along with a multitude of “smaller” issues. But what it means is that in spite of my circumstances, I have a supernatural peace that only God can give.

And that’s a wonderful transformation!





Her happily-ever-after is shattered when Maven Morris is left at the altar. Without a word of explanation, her fiancé, has disappeared, leaving Maven and the church filled with their family and friends. Maven refuses to give into the darkness of depression. Instead she takes on a new speech therapy client. Layla’s life has been shattered by silence, as well. As a late-deafened adult, Layla needs skills to cope with her now silent world.


Those are words of advice Maven gives Layla. The words stir up something on the inside of Maven as she realizes there wasn’t a hint that Paul’s feet had turned cold about their upcoming nuptials. And that’s when silence turns deadly.




Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at or She also has a devotional blog at

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You’re Invited: Share Your Surrender Story in 2016.

Posted by Julie on December 21, 2015 in encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I mentioned Saturday that I’m being very intentional in 2016 about how to best get my Surrender Issues and Chocolate messages to the masses. One way is subscribing to the sweet, weekly encouragement delivered straight to your inbox that will start your week right. It’s the Julie Arduini’s Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate, a short message that will always include a chocolate mention. Want to subscribe for free? Click here.

Share your surrender story here in 2016.

Share your surrender story here in 2016.

Another method I’m using is asking for more guest bloggers to share their story right here. We ALL have a surrender story.

  • Maybe you learned something about time management.
  • Perhaps someone is reading right now that has victory over a life controlling issue like an addiction.
  • Other surrender stories could be financial, relationships, health, parenting, work related, ministry related, about food, pets, gadgets, the list could go on.

I’m not looking for professionals, I’m looking for real people with a story they want to share. These are folks that don’t need to worry about grammar or saying the perfect thing. They simply want to share their surrender story and hope at least one person can relate and be encouraged.

Does that sound like you? I hope so. Because I truly believe everyone qualifies.

To learn more about guest blogging right here, I invite you to read my invitation and sign up. It’s so easy, truly.

Let’s get started.


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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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I Just Couldn’t Do It by Deborah Engle

Posted by Julie on November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized |

I Just Couldn’t Do It


Crippling, painful, and terminal conditions swoop down on people unawares. My own immediate family has fallen victim repeatedly, but I have remained healthy.


Self-absorbed parents abandon their responsibilities, and families disintegrate into bitterness. Instead of embracing that example, my children go out of their way to stay in touch, and offer support of every kind.


A driver breaks down on the side of the road and is stranded. It might have been me, but it isn’t.


Loss of income creates financial distress and puts honest, hard-working people out on the streets. Extended unemployment knocked my feet out from under me, but loving arms ushered me into a safe place.


All of these, and so many more instances I could name, are the reason I survive. All of these are evidence that God is in control. My understanding will fall short, my abilities may fail, and my spirit might flag, but God’s faithfulness, grace and mercy are eternal.


I don’t have to think long to be reminded of things I am grateful for. Over the years, I have faced dozens of difficult situations that could have had terrible results. Instead, God’s provision, enablement, and blessing have seen me through it all. I have never missed a meal, or been homeless or alone. I have never been in jail, or been attacked, or injured in a car accident. But I’ve been through enough to realize that any of those things might have happened to me.


And what of the things I’ve never known about? How many times have I not been in that intersection when the other guy ran a red light? Or have I not gotten the job that would have kept me miserable, or not been able to take the trip that would have ended in disaster?


Aside from the difficulties of life, I see God’s blessings all around me, giving me so many more reasons to be grateful. The love of my children and their spouses keeps me going. My sweet grandchildren make me smile. The glories of nature that emphasizes God’s loving kindness to His children, feed my soul. Friends, and the bonds shared with fellow-believers, encourage me. The privilege of owning something beautiful and well-made, the thrill of using a talent to glorify God and bless others, the joy of being content and resting in God’s love, the assurance of God’s salvation…this list could go on forever.


A friend wrote a blog post about gratitude, and encouraged her followers to name 1,000 things they are grateful for. Within just a week or so, they have almost reached their goal. I didn’t take part, though.


The gratitude I feel when I think about the events of my life, difficult and pleasant, overwhelms me. Emotions well up in my heart and spill over from my eyes in the form of sparkling drops of humility and thankfulness. It’s just too much to put in a few words. Even a thousand words couldn’t do it justice, though, because mere words can’t express the depth of my gratitude.


It was a great thought Vonnie, but I just couldn’t do it.




Jim's Wedding 2006_edited

Deborah Engle has been surprised by life many times. She is currently navigating one more turn in the road, but knows that her ultimate destination is in her Father’s hands. Along the way, she enjoys writing, playing Scrabble, listening to Christian music, and spending time with friends.

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