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Valentine’s Day: Surrender, Chocolate and Interview on Blog Talk Radio

Posted by Julie on February 13, 2017 in About Me, ACFW, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Have you ever connected with someone through e mail and it was just a click? You felt like you knew the person and wanted to have coffee with them? That has been my feeling towards author and blog talk radio host Patti Shene. Through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers,) we somehow crossed paths online and touched base because of the Adirondack Mountains.


You probably know my Surrendering Time series, ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED are all based in the Upstate NY region that features 1 million acres. Patti has history there as well, so I always enjoy when I hear from her.


Tomorrow Patti and I are going to have a chat, and YOU are invited! Patti hosts STEP INTO THE LIGHT, a program on Blog Talk Radio. My interview will be live at 10am Eastern. We plan to talk about surrender issues, chocolate, and Valentine’s Day. I’m sure we’ll talk about writing, too.


If you would like to learn more about any of these things, or, if you’re just curious to hear what an Upstate NY accent sounds like, come check it out!

Listeners can access show via telephone or over the internet

Internet URL

Guest call in: 646-564-9712


I’m thankful for people like Patti that have a passion to share her time to encourage others. She has a great roster of speakers who have given their personal stories to share in hopes of helping listeners. I hope you check it out!

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Book Review: The Amish Firefighter by Laura V. Hilton

Posted by Julie on April 21, 2016 in ACFW, Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |
The Amish Firefighter by Laura Hilton.

The Amish Firefighter by Laura Hilton.

This is the second part of my Don’t Miss This feature. Yesterday I shared that Laura and I are in the same critique group, so I’m able to see her work firsthand. She’s such a master at Amish romance that what you read as a finished product is pretty much what I see in the critique group.

The Amish Firefighter is available for pre-order, and my review is based on my critique experience.




The Amish Firefighter

Can they overcome their past?

Abigail Stutzman’s life is about to change – whether she wants it to or not. Her mamm is getting remarried to a widower with a large family. Abigail is sent to live with her aenti and onkle in Jamesport because she and her new step-brother had dated and their parents anticipate problems. (Her step-brother is needed on the farm.) Abigail launches a full-scale plan to return home to her family—and Mark—when she finds herself in over her head…and heart. When Abigail and her new “wrong crowd” get into significant trouble, her punishment includes helping a collection of crazy old maids with housekeeping. In the midst of her atonement, Abigail uncovers family secrets that run deep, and realizes she’s not the only one with a pain-filled past. Abigail must decide if she’ll continue her messed-up legacy or embrace a new beginning with the man who’s stolen her heart.

Sam Miller has trouble of his own. When Sam and his close friend Ezra Weiss are in a drug/alcohol-related car accident in Pennsylvania, Ezra is killed. Though Sam survives, he is deeply affected by the tragedy and vows to help other victims. Now a new Christian, Sam is a volunteer firefighter and a college student working to earn his EMT and paramedic license. But Sam has a past. When it comes time to confess his crimes, he finds that the truth may set him free—but it might also land him in some uncomfortably hot water. Will Sam and Abigail be able to find a future together? 


As always, Laura delivers a page turner of an Amish romance for readers. The Amish Firefighter is a standout to me thanks to Sam and Abigail’s chemistry. Their conflict starts immediately and between circumstances and attraction, they can’t stay away from each other. Yet, both have their issues that keep the two at arm’s length. I love how Sam calls Abigail “firebug,” and Abigail is a strong character in her own right. There is also the fire aspect, and that only adds to the page turning. All the dynamics are here for a satisfying read. I think this is a must read for summer.


10628159_10208001517851690_2507809979360088405_nAward winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.


Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe, The Postcard,  and The Birdhouse. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. Laura is contracted for another three

book Amish series set in the Jamesport area, with the first book, The Amish Firefighter releasing in May 2016, followed by two more Amish books and a Christmas story releasing in Fall 2016, Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 respectively.


She has self-published a Christmas novella, Christmas Mittens.


Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer and blogs for Putting on the New and Seriously Write.

To Purchase:



Barnes and Noble

Deeper Shopping

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When You’re One in a Million

Posted by Julie on August 29, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

You know the toothpaste commercials—4 out 0f dentists.

Or the fine print on contests stating the chances of winning–1 out of 1,000,000.

How about the odds they give for side effects during medical procedures? 1 out of 10,000 will experience…

I realized years ago I’m always going to be that “One in…” and it will always be for the bizarre, not so fun stuff.

In 1995 I went on a cruise to Mexico. I drank bottled water until I could have floated. I returned home and was sick for the next 6 weeks, getting sicker with each day. The doctor was baffled until he asked if I left the country. I knew where he was going with it, but I told him I didn’t drink the water. He explained that 1 in 10,000 (or a ridiculous high number) gets sick on the bottled water, and I was the one.

In 2003 I had a spinal for my c section. As he explained it, 1 in 1000 have a reaction. You guessed it. Days later I was back in the hospital to get relief.

Last week my doctor couldn’t get over it. My x rays defied his track record. I remember weeks ago he stated that only once after a cast came off did he have a patient experience a bone moving the wrong way. I should have known. I’m the second patient he’s ever had to experience the same thing. Instead of being home free, I’m facing surgery and starting all over again.

Yay, me.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just me. I realized the same is true for our daughter and the medical process. Although not so much a 1 in 1,000 kid, God uses her to shake up the medical system.

When she was 8 weeks old the office made a mistake and gave us a false report, delaying critical medicine to her body. She has learning delays because of it. The doctor’s office had to fire the person and change how they did things.

When she was 3 months old she received the wrong prescription and dose from her doctor, and it nearly cost her life. It changed his life, his work, and of course us.

When she was a toddler, we spent 13 hours in an ER where she threw up and no one helped. When respiratory came to finally administer a treatment, she walked out saying she doesn’t do smells. I watched nurses and staff gather in their area and flirt with each other while no one helped our child. A resident wanted her admitted after all that time and our doctor signed off on us denying them because their care was so awful. I wrote the president a letter and until the hospital closed down, the nursing unit used my letter to teach nursing students on what not to do because I had so much proof of their antics.

It isn’t easy, I’m not going to lie. As a parent, you can imagine the anguish. But for the most part I understand God is using her to make a difference, and she is an overcomer as promised.

The way my wrist is healing–moving the wrong way after 12 weeks–that is a twice in my doctor’s time in practice.

For me, I joke that I’m 1 in 10,000 and that means I’m special. But in reality I know that means I get the parasites in drinking water, trips back to hospitals, and surgery most of the world won’t ever face. You’re welcome.

You know what else, though? It draws me closer to the Lord where He shares things with me. I lean hard on Him because I need Him, I would without the stats, but realizing when someone say, “Well only 1 in…” I know right then I’ll probably be that 1.

And I’m getting okay with that.

My daughter receives favor. She is the 1 a Radio Disney party chose to answer a trivia question when the school was packed and she was in the back.  People hand her gifts–just because.

How about you? Are you the 1 in a million that wins trips and contests? Were you the 1 in 1000 that had a reaction to a spinal? How do you feel when you realize you are that 1?

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Encouragement for When You Can’t Stop Circling the Pool

Posted by Julie on May 4, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I’m trying to incorporate an intentional time of quiet reading that isn’t for entertainment, review, or writing help, but for my own growth. One of the books mentioned if you try to be spontaneous about it, there isn’t a great success to accomplishing reading time, and I’m finding that to be true.

But I digress.

Honestly, I don’t even know what I was reading about, but as I read, a memory from childhood came to mind.

I was ten, give or take. Back then fear ruled everything I did, or wanted to do. We were at my parent’s friends house, and they had an inground pool.  Although I had a few years of swimming lessons under my belt, I never had the courage to jump in the deep end. When it came to entering the deep end, it was always the same. I took the ladder and took things step by step. Diving? Uh-uh. Jumping? Nope.

Oh, but I wanted to.

And everyone that night knew it.

I circled the pool the way a cat stalks an unaware bird. But every time I thought about jumping in, I allowed fear to take over, and I stepped back.

My dad’s friend came over to chat. I can’t remember the conversation, but my focus was talking. And before I knew it, the guy gave me a gentle but intentional shove.

And I was in the pool.

At first I was mad, okay, furious. But once I got out of the pool I realized something.

The fear was gone.

It wasn’t a smooth jump, but it was a plunge into something new.

Thirty seconds later, I was back in the pool, via a jump.

I was in the pool the rest of the night.

Years later I had the opportunity to attend an event on Indiana University property. Part of the experience was swimming, and I looked up at the highest diving board I’d ever seen. I felt terror and excitement because I knew, like that pool years before, I wanted to go off that board.

But I was scared.

I didn’t have my parents or their friends with me, so I took those steps, measuring the fears. It’s so high. People will look at me. I’m so ugly, especially in this suit. I can’t dive.  What if something goes wrong?

I could hear the screams of pleasure as peers went ahead of me. If they were scared, I didn’t hear it. They were having a blast.

When it was my time to walk the board, I envisioned that friend of my dad’s chatting with me, and giving me a nudge that would put me in the water. Within seconds I was in the pool, thrilled I literally took a plunge from a height I had never known.

I have a feeling I’m blogging this not because I want to share a trip down memory lane, but you need a visual to encourage you today. Is there something new you want to try that is both exciting and terrifying at the same time? Stop circling the pool and trust God to give you that nudge. He knows the what if’s more than you do. He knows what’s best. If He’s shown you to, He’ll see you through.

Will life be easy? No. But from this chubby girl who was looking at fun from the outer skirts, I’m so glad someone gave me a loving push.

I look forward to hearing your “I took the plunge” stories!


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