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Julie Arduini’s 2013 Favorite Fiction Read of the Year is…

Posted by Julie on December 31, 2013 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini |

I can’t believe we’re looking at the last day of 2013. It’s also the celebration of my surrender. Seven years ago I promised God I’d give Him my fears of rejection and start writing for Him. I created a blog that very night. And the rest they say is history.

One of my favorite things to do here is to choose my favorite reads of the year. To the author it gives them bragging rights if they want, but for me, I love looking back. I choose among the books I reviewed in fiction, non, and Kindle categories. My Kindle category is free reads I chose for me and might not have been published in 2013.

Let me tell you, choosing my favorite fiction wasn’t easy. 

Afterall, there were these great reads:


Letters of Love

Deliver Us

Fiery Secrets

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Stress Test

Take a Chance on Me

and so much more.

I was torn between two.

Runner-up is A Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman.

This book has romance, a quaint town, wonderful friends. It was refreshing and sweet. If you haven’t read it, please do.

I ultimately chose this book as my favorite fiction read of 2013:

Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer!RV-cover_edited

Even months after reading it, Raspberries and Vinegar still comes to mind. Often. I loved this farm lit romance that used processed vs organic food as part of the conflict. I love strong senior citizen characters. The romance was as natural as the food, and fun to watch blossom. I enjoyed everything about this book.

I think you’ll love Jo and Zach, too.

Purchase your copy today.

Come back tomorrow to learn my favorite non fiction read of the year.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!


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Author Joi Copeland’s Life Verse

Posted by Julie on April 24, 2013 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

When someone asks me to sign “Hope for Tomorrow”, I typically sign something personal to them and then I have a special signature. A part of the signature is using Philippians 4:6-7. It is my life verse for several reasons.

By nature, I am an anxious person. Looking back on my childhood, I can see many occasions where I had a lot of anxiety. Looking back to my adult life, as early as last year, I had major anxiety, so much so that the anxiety led to attacks. That took me out of a normal mind set and put everything on hyper drive. It’s scary not to have control, sometimes by choice and other times by choice. That is why Phil. 4:6-7 is so meaningful. When I first became a believer, I had taped the verse into the front cover of my Bible. I recently found that Bible. It made me smile.

Today, I find myself going back to that verse more times than I like to admit. One would think repeating in my mind once would be enough to settle my thoughts and heart. Not this crazy girl! I am not having an anxiety attack. No. More like waiting anxiously attack!
We have an offer in on another house. This one is smaller than what I would like, but as my friend Justin Moody reminds me, it would be less to clean! 🙂 It has a nice backyard with a fort and swing set already set up. Okay, hold on a minute. Just by writing about it, I am overly thinking about it.
Wait while I go back to my verse. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God (I want this house, Lord), with thanksgiving (I thank you for Your answer in advance and I thank You for the house we live in now), and the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (guard my hear, precious Lord).”
I’m back. Not going to go into detail about the house. That gets me thinking. Anyway, I have prayed about this verse most of the day. I’m still waiting for the peace that passes all understanding to guard my heart. That may be my own fault, though. I need to not be anxious. As I wait on the Lord, I know His ways are not my ways, His thoughts certainly are not my thoughts. His ways and thoughts are higher. And so, I shall trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. No matter what the outcome of this house situation is, I know God’s got it. He knows best. I don’t see the big picture. I only see a small snapshot. How I love that God is in control! If He would have given me what I asked for previously, I know I would be very disappointed! God always answers. Sometimes with a yes, or a maybe, or a no. While I pray this is a yes, I will trust God even if it is a no!


Joi Copeland is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys, Garrison, Gage, and Gavin. She is living the dream in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Joi loves being a wife and mom! She enjoys spending time with her sister Steffanne, and loves to sit and have a cup of coffee or tea with friends! She’s been a Christian for over twenty years. Following Jesus has been the best decision she has ever made. Joi’s other books are Hope for Tomorrow, Hope for the Journey, Christmas Rayne, and Sheriff Bride Rob’s Story.

Purchase Hope for Tomorrow here.

Visit Joi Copeland’s Amazon page.




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Book Review: Letters of Love by Joi Copeland

Posted by Julie on March 9, 2013 in Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

Julie’s note: Letters of Love isn’t part of a traditional blog tour, but I wanted to share my review because this is FREE on Kindle through Monday (please check to make sure before purchasing.) Joi Copeland is one of my critique partners and her work is uplifting and full of love and hope. Check out Letters of Love today!

Purchase here

51kO-+TbdgL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-62,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Sophia is struggling over loss and unmet expectations. When she needed her husband the most, the war came between them. Her grandmother, Lucia, is the one person who understands Sophia’s grief. Lucia shares her love letters written during WWII to provide a glimpse of hope for Sophia. Is it enough?

I loved how the story spans two love stories, two wars, two situations where love and hope abide. The author does a great job using Lucia’s experiences from days gone by to help Sophia. The letters are based on actual love letters from the author’s grandparents. The cover picture is also the author’s grandparents. Knowing that adds to the beautiful tapestry woven throughout the book.

This is a beautiful read filled with love and hope.

Two men fighting for their country. Two women dealing with tragedy alone. Two different stories, two different eras, one common thread. Sophia Philips, a wife and mom, finds herself missing the two most important people in her life. One ripped from her because of war, the other by death. Sophia’s grandmother, Lucia Snell, gives her an early inheritance; letters written to her by her husband while stationed in China during World War II. Lucia believes these letters will help her granddaughter heal from the heart-wrenching tragedy she faces. Will Sophia carry the anger, bitterness, and guilt within her or go to the only One who can heal her from the pain? Will she find the strength to carry on and the will to survive through her grandparents’ Letters of Love?

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