The year isn’t even half over and I’m ready for it to be done already. Nothing terrible is happening, yet, it’s draining all the same. I call it the crushing season, for me, a time I’ve discerned is God’s doing to grow me. Take me to the new place in Him.
But it will crush and shatter me in the process.
It feels like you’re in a vise and the handle keeps turning. Everything that can be squeezed out of me is. Although a good thing—I definitely want less of my selfishness and more of Christ, it’s hard.
You’ve been there.
The crushing for me has been a constant onslaught on my mind. Things that I know are lies, but they are before me, running through my imagination, on a loop. It is draining. I’ve had to increase every step I take in my normal faith journey and even add more. I listen to Christian music all night just to combat it. It’s hard.
Growing times for me always involve increased rejection and loneliness. I don’t have a squad like Taylor Swift, and that’s okay with me. The precious few in my life are trusted and invested not in what I can do for them, but how we can encourage each other together. When I’m hurting, it is twice the fight when I only hear from folks who only think of me as their prayer connection. It is an honor, don’t get me wrong, but there is nothing in their thinking that says I am a friend. I don’t hear about their good news, nor am I contacted just because. I’ve joked before I am their prayer Pez Dispenser. And it hurts.
The good news about these things is they are a season. I’ve been through enough of them to know I come out better on the other side. Usually there is crazy God favor that defies definition. Good stuff just happens, and I know it’s from Him. There is a new level of faith. I’m learning and applying what He’s showing me. It is worth every tear, and trust me, I shed many.
I share all this to say this month I’ve focused on the crushing process in my weekly e mail called Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate. It’s a brief encouragement to start your week right, and I always include a chocolate mention. If you’re feeling the pain of crushing that includes rejection and loneliness, I pray these issues help you.
Subscription is free and separate from my other free resources, my monthly newsletter filled with updates, surrender tips, Reader of the Month profile, contests and more, and the as needed book release/discount e mail alert.
I’d love for you to subscribe and tell others. Let’s get through the surrender journey together.
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Last year I offered monthly installments of Match Made in Heaven, a contemporary romance based in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. It was my way of thanking newsletter subscribers for joining me on the journey. It was a fun novella and well received.
When I asked what readers wanted this year, they asked for a sequel. Earlier this week I unveiled the first installment of Crumbs and Embers, the follow-up to Match Made in Heaven.
Although Crumbs and Embers can stand alone, new subscribers receive Match Made in Heaven as my thanks for signing up, and all subscribers receive the monthly installments of Crumbs and Embers.
Wendy Bass is the Hammondsport Senior Complex director and she’s good at what she does. She’s organized and looking out for the seniors and their future. When a curve ball comes, it leaves her reeling.
Derek Spencer arrives in Hammondsport with his work cut out for him. He’s ready to make changes when he sees something familiar in Wendy’s reaction to his presence. He wants to reach out, but to do so, he’s got to share his past. And that’s something he vowed to keep hidden.
Can Wendy let go of her control and allow Derek in? Will Derek push past his skeletons to show Wendy a path to freedom?
Curious? I’d love for you to read more. To receive Crumbs and Embers, subscribe for free to my newsletter by completing the form in the left sidebar of my website. Make sure you watch for activation in your inbox and all folders.
If you’ve read the first installment, what did you think?
Crumbs and Embers is on Pinterest, as is all my writing. Check everything out here.
I not only write, I read a lot. Last year I spent a lot of time researching blogs and reading up on marketing.
The names to follow—the Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins—say the same thing: growing an email list is the wisest marketing move to make.
If Jeff Zuckerberg decides to shut Facebook down tomorrow or make it so limited I’m not eligible, I’m out a lot of people. Worst case scenario, I know. But I’d rather try to reach these friends now and have them choose to also subscribe to my newsletter so no matter what happens in social media, I can still connect.
Last year I wanted to thank my faithful subscribers for following this unpublished author by sending them something no one else had. They received monthly installments of what is now the novella, Match Made in Heaven. Readers were drawn into Dean and Beth’s world as they healed from hurts and learned to trust God. Subscribers also got a glimpse of another Upstate NY feature, the Finger Lakes. I love sharing the area where I grew up.
I asked what they would like in 2015 as a thanks and they responded with another romance, a sequel of sorts. Wendy Bass gets to tell her story in Crumbs and Embers, another Finger Lakes Upstate NY romance. As director of the Hammondsport senior complex, she appears in control. But when she received unexpected news, her secret unravels and fire commissioner Derek Spencer knows. Will he spill her secret or keep quiet in hopes of protecting his own skeletons?
For new subscribers, you get the full novella of Match Made in Heaven. For all subscribers, Crumbs and Embers will start to come to your mailbox in February. Count on monthly (or so) installments along with writing updates and book news.
How do you subscribe? Easy. Complete the form in the right sidebar of http://juliearduini.com and watch for activation. Sometimes those emails go to spam, so check your folder and look for something from Julie Arduini/MailChimp.
Would you tell others? I’d love to share this gift with as many people as possible.
Happy subscribing and reading!
Oh, and if you’d like a visual on Crumbs and Embers, check out my Pinterest board.
June is a fairly busy month for me and I can’t seem to come up with any brilliance I need to confess this week that I didn’t already share on Facebook.
I thought I’d take a second and share where you can find me across social media and cyberspace. It’s easy to assume everyone knows this, but as my writing life becomes more active, I don’t want to miss anyone. I’ll also share what I think about each place.
Please feel free to find me, connect, and show others how to find me.
Facebook Personal Page—This is where I engage the most. I share everything here, writing stuff, family updates, etc…I won’t accept requests that fully explain who they are or are pictureless or written in another language.
Facebook Writing Page—Not long ago all the experts said build this page, get your followers, this is the future. There are times I think the powers-that-be sit in the FB offices and ask how could they screw up a good thing. If not, it’s a consquence of changes to business pages. I’m not working as hard to build this page because no one will see it without me paying money. It’s sad, because we have great conversations there. If you set your notifications for my writing page as a favorite, it should come through on your newsfeed, but still, a shame.
Twitter—I’m not on as much as I want to be, but I love to connect here.
Google+—-This isn’t as user friendly as I wish, but what I do understand to do, I like. I want to engage here, so if you say hello, give me time to respond, find you. Otherwise, yell and I’ll find you there to say hi back.
Pinterest—I pin my blog posts here and once in awhile while waiting I’ll look at other pins. My account is quite active, but as far as chat, etc…there isn’t much of that there.
Instagram—I love to post my amateur nature pictures here. I don’t do a lot of writing updates here, but I love looking at your pix here.
I’m not on Tumblr because I don’t quite understand it. Anyone care to explain it to me?
The number one way in 2014 I’m trying to connect is through my newsletter. I read a lot of Jeff Goins, Jon Acuff and Michael Hyatt and they all say social media changes so much, so fast, that building a database through email is the best way to stay in touch. To thank subscribers I have a story I’m sending this year through the newsletter.
Match Made in Heaven is a contemporary romance where Beth Prescott didn’t count on her new job at the Hammondsport senior complex included matchmaking. She’d rather focus on her career and forget the past. Dean Kellerman moves to the Finger Lakes area to help his grandfather and hopefully earn forgiveness for the many regrets he’s carrying around. When Walt Kellerman volunteers as part of a senior program, neither Beth or Dean realize how good Walt’s volunteering is good for them, too. Can they overcome their pasts to realize they are a match made in heaven?
I’m having so much fun writing this, and the feedback and new connections through subscribing has been great. Want in? I’d love it. Subscribe for free by filling out the form on the right sidebar of juliearduini.com and watch your inbox for activation. There’s also a Pinterest board for Match Made in Heaven, as well as the other manuscripts I have.
Heidi Glick, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery, Donna Winters and I recently handed in our infertility devotional tentatively titled A Walk in the Valley to Chalfont House Publishing. Stay tuned to their page for updates.
There you have it. I believe in faith there will be more places to connect, but for now, come find me. Tag, you’re it!
I love giving.
Valentine’s Day is a little unusual for me this year, but I don’t want that to stop me.
So, I’m releasing the first installment of my contemporary romance, Match Made in Heaven, to Julie Arduini newsletter subscribers only, tomorrow.
For those of you on email, that means Valentine’s Day/Friday.
This is a story I first penned in 1993 as a single woman just out of college. I’ve learned a lot about writing and life since then, so I picked it up and decided to re write it with no intention to publish it beyond my newsletter.
Beth Prescott didn’t know part of her new job working with senior citizens was fending off all the matchmaking attempts with the grandsons. She’s focused on her work and moving past a bad breakup.
Dean Kellerman moves to the Hammondsport area to help his grandfather and forget the mistakes he’s made. He runs into Beth and the two share a common goal of assisting Walt Kellerman.
As the two work together, can they overcome their secrets and failures to find romance?
If you enjoy contemporary romance, the Finger Lakes wine country of Upstate NY, flawed characters, and chocolate, I believe you’ll like Match Made in Heaven.
You can subscribe to my newsletter by filling out the info on the right sidebar at juliearduini.com. Watch for the confirmation email from Julie Arduini/MailChimp, because it won’t activate without it. If you already subscribe, you should be all set. If you have any problems, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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.
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.
Wife. Mom. Author. Reader. Blogger. Amateur nature photographer. Chocolate eater. Encouraging you to surrender the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate.
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