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Author Spotlight: Liz Tolsma

Posted by Julie on February 21, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Author Spotlight: Liz Tolsma
1.       How did you get your start as an author?
I always loved writing and wanted to be an author since my 5thgrade teacher encouraged me that way. But practicality won out, and I became an elementary school teacher instead. After 9/11, I realized that my life could end any moment. I didn’t want to get to the end of it and have regrets about not trying to write. It took nine years after that, but my dream came true!

2.       What is the title of your book and what is it about?

My story is title A Match Made in Heaven in the novella collection Matchmaker Brides. Len Montgomery is a young Iowa pastor who receives a letter from a widowed farmer asking if there are any young women in the congregation who would be interested in marrying him. The town’s newspaperman gets a hold of the letter, publishes it, and it gets picked up by several big city papers. Letters requesting matches pour in. But the match he most wants to make, the one with the town’s sweet, charming, and Shakespeare-quoting postmistress, may be out of his reach.

3.       What was your favorite part about writing this book? Hardest part?
I loved the break from my usual WWII stories to write something lighter. It was fun to give my characters permission to laugh. I loved looking up Shakespeare quotes for my heroine and baffling the hero as to what she was saying. The hardest part was keeping tension in the story. WWII is naturally filled with suspense. I learned a lot about using tension even in a light-hearted story.

4.       What are you hoping readers will take away from your story?
I hope they have fun with the story while remembering that God is a God who forgives and heals.

5. Is there another vocation you have besides writing?
Yes, I’m also a freelance fiction editor and I run a writer’s retreat and an online writer’s academy. It keeps my fingers in writing and publishing, but supplements my income. I love helping new writers learn how to write better and get published.

 6. What is something readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I talk to myself. All. The. Time. It helps to keep me focused, so especially if I have a hard or busy day, I find myself talking out loud with no one but the dog and cat to hear me.

 7. If you were having a chocolate craving, what would you want to satisfy it?
Um, chocolate LOL! Seriously, good European-style chocolate. Lindt, Ghirardelli, something along those lines. Sometimes dark, sometimes milk, depending on my mood.

8. Tell us about your family.

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 28 years. We have three children. Brian is about to turn 22. We adopted him from Vietnam when he was 5 months old. He’s currently serving as a U.S. Marine in North Carolina. Alyssa is 17 and came home from Korea at 3 months old. She’s a junior in high school, as well as a lifeguard and class president. We never see her! She hopes to major in International Studies with an emphasis in Arabic and counterterrorism. Our youngest, Jonalyn, is 14. We adopted her from the Philippines when she was 5. She has a host of cognitive and physical disabilities, as well as a sunny disposition and a fondness for Olaf from Frozen.

9. What has been your biggest achievement as an author?
My first full-length novel, Snow on the Tulips, was a Carol Award finalist and a Selah Award finalist in 2013.

10.How can readers find this book? How can they connect with you?
Buy links:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Christianbook.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.tolsma.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizTolsma
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/liz-tolsma-64992ab7?trk=hp-identity-name
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/liztolsma/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorliztolsma/

Blurb: Pastor Len Montgomery receives an unusual letter from an Omaha farmer that turns him into the matchmaker he never wanted to be. But the match he most wants to make, the one with the town’s sweet, charming, and Shakespeare-quoting postmistress, may be out of his reach.

 

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels and prairie romance novellas. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their two daughters. She enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her blog, The Story behind the Story, at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter(@LizTolsma), and LinkedIn. She is also a regular contributor to the Pencildancer blog and the Midwest Almanac blog.

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And There, There, and There You’ll Find Me and My Writing

Posted by Julie on April 11, 2014 in About Me, Christians Read, encouragement, Julie Arduini, surrender, Writing |

I love to chat. Food. Current Events. Sports. What Jimmy Fallon did last night on The Tonight Show. What God’s showing me.

But sometimes I have to bring up discussion that’s more business related. I struggled with that for a long time but realized if I don’t talk about my writing and where to find it, there isn’t an opportunity to share resources God has for you to live free in Christ.

So that’s a talk I need to bring to you today. A bit of writing stuff is going on, and I want to let you know about it. If you want to tell others, I’d love that.

  • Match Made in Heaven. It’s not too late to join other Julie Arduini newsletter subscribers as they follow Beth Prescott and Dean Kellerman in Match Made in Heaven. It’s my contemporary romance that offers surrender issues, chocolate, and the Finger Lakes setting of Hammondsport, NY. The April issue offers archive links to previous installments as well as the current one. Subscribe for free in the right sidebar at juliearduini.com and watch your inbox for activation.

 

  • Rose Blooms. This short story is one you can vote on, and I hope you do. My plan is to expand it this November as part of NaNoWriMo and write a rough draft as part of a new Finger Lakes contemporary romance series. Read and vote here.

 

  • To Write a Story. Valerie Comer was kind enough to let me stop by and share my plotting resources. If you wonder what goes on with fiction creation, read my process here.

 

  • Jasmine’s Place. Have you discovered the beautiful thing that is Jasmine’s Place? It’s an e-zine for women filled with articles and interviews on family, beauty, fashion, faith, cooking, and more. The publishers have been so kind to allow me to participate with each issue. I’ve been interviewed, wrote articles, shared short stories, and created blurbs. This is an international project and one I’m very proud to work with.

 

  • Christians Read. Did you know I blog every other Wednesday with Vicki Hinze, Kathi Macias, Sarah Goebel, James Rubart, Hannah Alexander, Maureen Lang, Beth Goddard, Tara Randel, Lynette Sowell, Yvonne Lehman, Kristen Heitzmann? Now Christians Read has a website, and I hope you bookmark it. You can read my posts, too.

2014crlogo

 

  • Coming Soon. A couple years or so ago, a few of my FaithWriter challenge entries placed and were eligible to be part of the FaithWriter anthologies. The anthologies are taking shape so I’ll keep you updated. I’m also working with a group of authors on a project that will encourage a segment of women who could use the support. I should have news on that  front, too. Stay tuned!

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Saturday Confession: The Great Pretender

Posted by Julie on January 25, 2014 in encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession, surrender |

Confession time.

When I was in high school I remember having an English teacher that was a tough cookie. She wasn’t about being your friend, she was all about making sure you used the language the way it was intended. I don’t even remember how it happened, but one day she let her rough exterior go for a moment and explained her method.

She said it started as a new teacher out of college. She was a substitute and had no clear what she was doing. She was afraid and the students knew it. She decided the only way to get a handle on the fear was to pretend she had been on the job a long time and knew exactly what she was doing. She said by acting as if she had been a teacher a long time and knew what was coming, it gave her confidence, and the students respected her (even if they didn’t like her.)

When I entered a new situation I was nervous about, I would tackle it as a work assignment, even though nine out of ten times the situations had nothing to do with my job. Somehow pretending it was job related gave me confidence and I was able to move forward and enjoy myself.

This month I feel like I’m pretending again. I have contributing author credits but I’m not yet qualified to say I’m a true author. My hope is through my contemporary romances I can change that.

But I’m not there.

So, I’m pretending.

I spent the bulk of January updating this site.

  • The colors are different for easier reading.
  • There’s added slideshow content in the right sidebar to showcase book reviews and the publishers and agencies I review for.
  • A newsletter widget is available in the right sidebar to invite you to subscribe for free.

I also decided to research a way to thank newsletter subscribers. As Facebook and other social media continue to change, having readers invest in newsletters and venues where emails are given is a way to stay in contact no matter how much else changes. I’d like to build that newsletter list as my writing life grows, and I’m believing it will.

 webinarbrand_edited

Throughout 2014 I will be sharing a story exclusively with newsletter subscribers. It’s not one I plan on publishing, but a way to introduce readers to my Upstate NY settings and writing style.

The story is Match Made in Heaven.

Here’s a blurb:

Beth Prescott, a go-getter volunteer recruiter for the Hammondsport Senior Complex, didn’t realize part of the job involves meeting grandsons for potential dates. She’s having a hard enough time keeping up with work and moving past a bad breakup. Dean Kellerman returns to Hammondsport to help his grandfather and make a new life for himself after a lot of regrets. The two run into each other at the complex, neither planning to meet again, much less work together. But Walt Kellerman is the one thing the two have in common. Can Beth and Dean surrender their secrets and fears and create a fresh start?

What else does my pretending involve? I’m reading books on marketing. I’m writing. And I’m thanking God in advance.

Whatever plan He has for me, it’s good. How do I know?

Because He is good.

And there’s no pretending there.

Have you ever pretended in the ways described before? Is it a good thing, or not?

Want to make sure you receive Match Made in Heaven through subscribing to my newsletter? Click here, or visit the right sidebar at juliearduini.com. Please share with others who might be interested in this contemporary romance.



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