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Book Review: Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

Posted by Julie on January 21, 2015 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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Book Description:

Ginger Winters is a gifted hairstylist with scars no one can see. The last thing she expects from the New Year is a new chance at love.

Overcoming a childhood tragedy, Ginger emerges from the pain and trauma with a gift for bringing out the beauty in others. From the top big city salons to traveling the world as personal stylist to a country music sensation, success was almost enough to make Ginger forget she would never be one of the beautiful people.

that girl, forever on the outside looking in. But she needs her confidence this weekend. She’s the acclaimed “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.

When high-school crush Tom Wells Jr. also returns to town and shows up at her shop looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her locked away from love, Despite Tom’s best efforts, Ginger can’t forget how he disappeared on her twelve years ago and broke her heart. Can she ever trust him again?

When Tom challenges her to see her own beauty, Ginger must decide if she will remained chained to the past or move freely into a new, exciting future.

 

Brush with Love is a sweet novella with a message all readers need to receive. Ginger has literal scars and doubts her beauty. She’s had a hard childhood on top of it, and learns something about her family that makes life seem even harsher. Tom is the man that tries to convince her she’s beautiful, but he’s a part of her past emotional scars.
I enjoyed this novella. It’s a quick read with an unusual secret that adds conflict to the story. I loved the message of beauty and worth, and as a bonus, there is also a redemption message between mother and daughter.
I believe romance readers will enjoy Brush With Love, too.
To purchase Brush with Love, click here.
I received a copy of Brush with Love from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Free Gift for You: Crumbs and Embers

Posted by Julie on January 13, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

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.

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The Finger Lakes region, where both Match Made in Heaven and Crumbs and Embers are set.

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.

What else?

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.

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Book Review: Annabelle’s Angel by Therese M. Travis

Posted by Julie on December 9, 2014 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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Book Description:

Annabelle Archer has been crushing on Rick Stockton for years. And now, when he notices her, it’s only because her brothers and sisters make it impossible for him to miss her. Annabelle still hasn’t decided if God’s will means she spends her life taking care of her six siblings, or if He has more in mind for her.Rick Stockton doesn’t mind that church activities and Annabelle’s brothers and sisters keep throwing Annabelle and Rick together. He just isn’t sure what it means. But as the kids keep trying to turn Rick into a snow angel—with sugar, baby powder, and more—he’ll work on figuring it out. Spending time with Annabelle’s family gives Rick a longing for one of his own…and an idea to make it happen.This Christmas, Annabelle may just find there’s a special angel in her corner, one that will stick around for a lifetime.

 

 

I’m a sucker for Christmas romances and Annabelle’s Angel has everything you want. A festive cover drew me in and a sweet story filled with children, a sibling seeking God’s will and a man open to whatever God has for for him kept me engaged. It’s impossible not to love the kids and their mischief and root for Rick and Annabelle.

This is a quick read and just the thing to put you in the Christmas spirit.

To purchase Annabelle’s Angel, click here.

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Book Review: Four Weddings and a Kiss—A Western Bride Collection

Posted by Julie on July 4, 2014 in Book Review, Julie Arduini |

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Book Description:
Four best-­selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and
unlikely love in the Wild West. Get lost in Four Weddings & a Kiss today.

“Spitfire Sweetheart” by Mary Connealy

Maizy Place is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Rylan Carstens, she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Rylan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.

“Love Letter to the Editor” by Robin Lee Hatcher

Molly Everton is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper’s owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He’s resolved to change Molly’s mind about him–as an editor and as a man.

“A Cowboy for Katie” by Debra Clopton

Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Treb Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Treb change Katie’s mind?

“Courting Trouble” by Margaret Brownley

Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive–or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels isn’t interested in the case–until he meets Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace.

This was an easy book to say yes to reading, and an easy book to read. Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher are amazing historical authors who are masters at writing strong heroine characters and sweet romances. Four Weddings and A Kiss is no exception.

The stories are quick reads with memorable characters and fun plots. The men are as strong as the women and the sparks fly despite the different conflicts in each book. Although each story is very different, I loved having them all in one collection. I don’t know how to explain it, but these authors, these stories together—it felt right.

Reading Four Weddings and A Kiss is going to feel right, too. I believe this is a great summer read you’ll enjoy.

To purchase Four Weddings and A Kiss, click here.

I received Four Weddings and A Kiss from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: March Bride by Rachel Hauck

Posted by Julie on March 21, 2014 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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Book Description:

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

 

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.

 

Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.

 

Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

What a sweet surprise March Bride was. I didn’t know this novella was a continuation of Once Upon a Price, so readers get to revisit Susanna and Nathaniel’s love story weeks before their royal wedding. Their love is deep, but the conflicts continue. Susanna can’t shake that on her best day, she’s still a redneck Georgia girl and that an entire country is counting on her to be a princess. And she keeps seeing Nathaniel around a woman who is a better fit for him, and has made her intentions clear in the past. When Nathaniel confesses that Susanna has to make one more sacrifice before the wedding, she returns home to clear her head. Will she be able to surrender everything in order to marry her true love?

I really enjoyed March Bride because I still love a good fairy tale, and this is a realistic one, too. Susanna’s battle over identity is one all women can relate to, whether we’re marrying royalty or not. I absolutely related to her anxieties about not being good enough and whether her intended was having regrets. It’s captivating reading full of conflict and romance, and is a quick read. I do recommend reading Once Upon a Prince first. By doing so you learn about how their romance unfolds and the secondary characters who continue to get in the way in March Bride.

If you love romance, usher in spring with March Bride.

To purchase March Bride, click here.

I received a copy of March Bride from NetGalley/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Christmas Future by Rita Garcia

Posted by Julie on July 11, 2013 in Book Review, Julie Arduini |

Last month I reviewed Dr. Rita Garcia’s books Kaleidoscope Summer and Tangerine Morning. Today I review her Serenity Cove novella, Christmas Future: Sarah Anne’s story.

Description:

Join the angels, Shirley Goodness and Mercy Grace, for an enchanting look at the Christmas Season from a very interesting perspective. 

Fast forwarding to Christmas 2035, the small town of Serenity Cove has undergone many surprising and adventurous changes. Computers, microwaves and even books have become obsolete. X-Eagle hover cars are quite the rave. And using a food processor has taken on a whole new meaning. Yet some things, like young love remain the same. 

Sarah Anne Delatorre loves the handsome Ian Caldwell, but marrying him means leaving the town and the people she loves. She refused his first proposal, now it’s up to Ian to find a way to change her mind. 

Shirley Goodness suggests fastening your seatbelts, when the Delatorre family boards the new Mach IV for an off planet trip to Belletroyan.

 

This was a fun novella because we journey to the future and find out how Serenity Cove and the people in it, are doing. Travel has changed, technology continues to advance to the point of the bookstore being for sale because people in 2035 rarely read them.

I liked seeing familiar faces, Jezzica, Maggie, and Samantha. As much as things change, a lot I can relate to stays the same. The conflict of staying close to family. Wanting to be with the ones you love. Sarah Anne’s conflict with Ian rings true, no matter the year.

What sets this apart are the two angels, Shirley Goodness and Mercy Grace. We see Serenity Cove from their perspective, and I think they give an unique, whimsical spin on a future romance.

It’s a quick read that will leave you with a smile.

To purchase, click here.

I received Christmas Future as a gift from the author. There was no expectation from her for me to review this, and my words are my honest assessment.



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