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God is Waiting to Bless Your Broken Road by Jennifer Dornbush

Posted by Julie on July 5, 2017 in encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

God Is Waiting To Bless Your Broken Road: Just Surrender!


My new novel (soon to be a major motion picture) God Bless the Broken Road, is a textbook on surrender. After two years, the protagonist, Amber Hill, has still not been able to completely surrender the loss of her military husband to God and it’s starting to create great havoc in her life. No spoilers, but in her efforts to try to control her life, emotions, and circumstances, she almost loses the most important thing her husband ever gave her.


When writing the script (which I actually wrote before writing the novel), I always kept in mind this concept of surrendering our will to God’s will. The question of surrender drives Amber’s every decision in every scene and chapter.


God is Waiting to Bless Your Broken Road by Jennifer Dornbush.

It’s easy to relate to Amber. I know I do! When we’re in those “bad places” of life, we don’t always see God with us. We don’t feel like He is and it can be really hard to seek Him. But He is always there and He is always providing us with amazing blessings, even if we don’t acknowledge them. One of the keys to surrender on our broken roads is to turn our gaze to Him so that we can start healing. As we begin to recognize Him along the path, we can become filled with His hope and renewed purpose. When we turn to Him and humble ourselves, He can start to guide us and shape our brokenness into blessing. Grab a copy of GBTBR to see how this pans out for Amber.


But wait! Surrendering to God is only the start. God’s healing work is complete when we surrender in the context of our community. This is great news! It means we don’t have to travel our broken roads alone. God has given us friends and family to lean for support and encouragement. This can make a huge difference when we are going through trying times.


Now, I get it. It can be difficult to let down your guard and let people into your pain (the people who love you don’t always “get it”). This takes a great deal of vulnerability and courage. Mother Theresa said the greatest poverty we have today is the feeling of loneliness because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  We see this in GBTBR with Amber, who consistently refuses the well-meaning help of her family and friends. She has forgotten that she belongs to God and God’s people here on hearth. Instead, she chooses time after time to exclude those around her in her pain. And she becomes really, really lonely.


Of course, Amber’s despair eventually leads her to hit rock bottom and she is finally ready to surrender… with the help of an unlikely character. In that moment of letting go, Amber’s life turns and she finds a renewed purpose, joy, love, and a community very eager to have her back in the fold.


Maybe you are the one being called to can help someone on their broken road? It’s so simple to be there for someone. You don’t have to be a professional counselor or therapist to help someone heal from a wounding. Most time the very best thing is to just to take a moment from your day to pause, listen, and lend a hug or word of encouragement. How exciting to think that God may be using you to bless someone’s broken road! How will show someone today that they are deeply, deeply loved?



Author Info:


Author Website:


Facebook: Jennifer Graeser Dornbush


Instagram: Jennifer Dornbush




Twitter: @JGDornbush


GBBR Book link:


GBBR Audiobook link:


GBBR Movie Trailer link:



Jennifer Dornbush Bio


Jennifer is a writer, speaker and forensic specialist creating diverse range of stories that shed light on the dark places of the human experience.


Her story creation is bred from a very unsheltered childhood as the daughter of a medical examiner whose office was in her home. She investigated her first fatality, an airplane crash, when she was 8 years-old and from there gathered a decade of on-sight experience in death investigation and 360 hours of forensic training through the Forensic Science Academy.


The stories she creates stem from the unique range of human experiences.  Because of her background, she does not shy away from telling stories about tough circumstances and how characters choose to deal with them. Jennifer’s characters encounter light in their darkness… redemption where none seems possible… and bits of levity to sweeten the journey.


Her feature film, God Bless the Broken Road is slated for release in 2017 in conjunction with the novel released on June 6th by the same title published by Simon & Schuster.


Jennifer has several crime drama series being developed for television and a bi-lingual kid’s show, Team Abuelita, in production with Baby First TV.


Wanting to share her love of forensics with other storytellers, she scribed non-fiction work, Forensic Speak: How To Write Realistic Crime Dramas, published by Michael Wiese Productions, hailed as a north star to creating authentic crime dramas.


As a forensic specialist she has consulted with TV writers on network and cable TV shows.  She regularly leads seminars and webinars on forensics and crime fiction and has taught screenwriting on the high school and university level and mentored new writers.


Sign up for her newsletter and YouTube channel at:

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COTT: Bitterroot Bride by Angela Breidenbach

Posted by Julie on June 22, 2016 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini |


beautifully spun story about the power of second chances.
~ Amazon
I loved The Bitterroot Bride! The part where she compares
to riding a trot made me laugh out loud. ~A.

About the book:
No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous
prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the
miner’s widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring
a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her
start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only
way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new
Chat with Angela:
Ques: We heard there was something special that happened to you
while writing your fourth book in the historical romance series, Montana
Beginnings. What was special about the Bitterroot Bride heroine for
Angela: Writing Miss Emmie learning to read became an amazing
experience. Though I’d learned to read at four, I didn’t understand how to
connect and read people until well into my adulthood. So while Miss Emmie
became proficient in reading, I became proficient in relationships. She’d
eat up every book she could get her hands on and studied with intensity. I
did the same thing, but about relational topics.
Ques: When did you realize the parallel character arc had so much in
common with your real life?
Angela: About halfway through the first draft an epiphany happened.
I stopped, took a day or so to really think about my personal experience,
then began an intentional focus on writing the emotional parallel.
Ques: What do you hope Bitterroot Bride does for readers?
Angela: I hope this story is both entertaining and encouraging. I’d
like readers to absorb the idea that like Miss Emmie and me, if you have
the desire to learn something then you can. Age doesn’t matter.
Ques: Can you tell us the titles and a little about the Montana
Beginnings series?
Angela: All four titles are set in Helena, MT from 1889 – 1895. It’s
right when we became a state, but mining couldn’t support us forever. The
Debutante Queen introduces us to Calista who steals an orphan off the
street to protect her from a cruel master. Eleven Pipers Piping brings
forward the newsies, newspaper boys and orphan train leftovers, into
Mirielle’s classroom. Then in Taking the Plunge, Delphina takes us back to
the iconic Broadwater Natatorium as a swim instructress. Then Emmalee
enters the scene as we find out how Montana chose her state flower. Each of
these lovely Victorian ladies finds her true love while carving out a
meaningful life in Montana’s frontier.
About Angela:
Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author and host of
Grace Under Pressure Radio on iTunes. Angela is the Christian Author
Network’s president. And yes, she’s half of the comedy duo, Muse and
Writer, on social media.
Connect Here:
Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

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COTT: Salsa and Speed Bumps by Susan M. Baganz

Posted by Julie on April 11, 2016 in Julie Arduini |
One moment of sin leads to a path of pain . . . and unexpected

Welcome to Stephanie and Roberto’s story! They have serious chemistry, but
how many hurdles can they overcome? Both fun and deeply moving, this book
will engage you from the start. Here’s what readers have to say:

Fantastic read. Riveting from cover to cover. Susan has great storytelling
skills that speak volumes. Although the book itself is fiction it did bring
to the forefront the reality and seriousness of human trafficking.
Althea Zamzow (Amazon Review)

This book skillfully handles many issues
in today’s society: date rape, addiction to pain killers, kidnapping, human
trafficking, and the mafia. The well-written story keeps the reader on the
edge of their seat and the book is hard to put down. How much more can
Robbie and Stephanie take before they’re broken apart by life’s

Victoria Pitts Caine (Amazon Review)

Listen in on a conversation from the book:

“Christmas is just around the corner.”
“Really? I hadn’t noticed.”
“Come on, dad and I didn’t do too bad getting a tree up and decorated.”
“You did a fine job. Much better than I could have managed with my bulging
belling getting in the way.”
“I happen to be fond of your bulging belly. Reminds me of Santa Claus.”
“Very funny.” She snuggled up to Robbie’s side. “If you had a wish for
Christmas, what would it be?”
“That forty years from now I would be as in love with you as I am
Stephanie smiled. “I like that.”
“Did you have Christmas wish?”
“Mine wasn’t big enough.”
“What was it?”
“Really? You will laugh at me.”
“Really, I want to know.”
“I want a puppy.”
“A puppy.”
“Yes, a puppy.”
“We may need to wait awhile for that one. Dogs are not allowed on our
“I know, but you asked. Wishes don’t have to be realistic.”
“No, they don’t. But how about I lick your face and pant in your ear. Will
that do in the meantime?”
Stephanie grinned and gave her husband a kiss, “Oh, that will do.”

So where did this story come from?

Susan, can you tell us what inspired you to write Salsa and Speedbumps?

The title was suggested by a friend after I wrote the first draft of Pesto
& Potholes. I hadn’t really thought of writing a second novel but
figured Renata’s roommate, Stephanie, who seemed to have things all
together, might need to have her world shaken up a bit. I also knew someone
who had been a victim of a date rape but those were words not really used
much years ago. She kept the baby, met a great guy, became a Christian and
married after the child was born. He adopted the little girl. And Roberto .
. . well, I had to get some salsa in there somewhere so having a Hispanic
character seemed a good way to do that along with busting some stereotypes
about that culture in the process. Roberto’s back issues . . . well, I’ve
struggled some with that but have known people with far worse pain like
what he experiences . . . so he struggles with an issue many people have
but don’t talk about, intense pain while recovering from an addiction to
narcotics. The story became far more intense than I ever anticipated too
and the heat between Roberto and Stephanie starts to build pretty early in
the story.

The bigger question other than the issues was how does a Christian woman
and man stay true to their faith and have integrity when life throws
curveball after curveball their way. How do they navigate a relationship in
the midst of those trials as well? It was fun to explore.


About the book:

Salsa and Speedbumps by Susan M. Baganz

Stephanie’s life hits a speedbump in the wake of her boyfriend’s sin.
Splitting up with him, she faces a future of difficult choices shaded in
shame. She wants to do what is right but the new man in her life leaves her
fantasizing about a future that is now beyond her grasp.

Roberto finds his heart and professional world turned upside down by the
beautiful bombshell. He struggles with his own inner demons and past so
he’s not about to cast stones. When he is accused of immoral behavior, and
temptation haunts him from every side, can he stand true to the calling God
has given him?

Joining forces to face the future though comes at a high cost for them both
as their individual pasts rise up to destroy them and their relationship.
Integrity comes with a high price tag. With a deep faith in God and the
help of friends at Orchard Hill Church, can they find happiness and love
they long for?

Find the book on Amazon

Meet the author:

Susan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin.
She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group specializing in
bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes
adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical

Susan speaks, teaches, and encourages others to follow God in being all He
has created them to be. With her seminary degree in counseling psychology,
a background in the field of mental health, and years serving in church
ministry, she understands the complexities and pain of life as well as its
craziness. She serves behind-the-scenes in various capacities at her church
as well as on the board of the local ACFW (American Christian Fiction
Writer’s) chapter. Her favorite pastimes are lazy ones—snuggling with her
dog while reading a good book, or sitting with a friend chatting over a cup
of spiced chai latte.

You can learn more by following her blog, her twitter
feed @susanbaganz or her fan page,

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Book Review/Movie Promotion: Captive by Ashley Smith

Posted by Julie on August 26, 2015 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |


CAPTIVE, based on a miraculous true story that drew the attention of the entire nation, is a thrilling drama about the spiritual collision of two broken lives.  When Brian Nichols – on the run as the subject of a city wide manhunt and desperate to make contact with his newborn son – takes recovering meth addict Ashley Smith hostage in her own apartment, she turns for guidance to Rick Warren’s best-selling inspirational book, The Purpose Driven Life.  While reading aloud, Ashley and her would-be killer each face crossroads where despair and death intersect hope.  


The movie stars David Oyelowo, who played Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the recent film, Selma.

Click HERE for a special greeting from David Oyelowo

I remember Ashley Smith’s story well. She was the single mom who was held hostage in her home and read The Purpose Driven Life to her captor. She went from victim to instant hero with an onslaught of publicity. It was obvious she wasn’t comfortable with the attention and as time went on, I heard bits and pieces of her story. She was a recovering addict. She didn’t even have custody of her daughter. And then, the story disappeared.

Captive is a haunting read because in Ashley’s words, she re tells her story and puts the reader right there in the apartment with her. I was completely absorbed into the story and read it in an evening. As the scenario unfolds it is obvious God had His handprints all over this. It’s amazing for all the places Brian Nichols went, he arrived at Ashley’s neighborhood. She was in the process of unpacking. She was new. Faith was a very new thing for her and it was her lifeline. But she had a plan B. She still had a stash of drugs.

I loved Captive because it’s an intriguing story that shows what God can do with a willing vessel. What I found surprising was she didn’t read a lot of The Purpose Driven Life to him. I had the impression she read chapter after chapter. I came away thinking God guided her conversation. She kept talking to him. He was a churched man. And that’s what made his story so sad.

I Googled the two to see “where are they now?” Ashley is married with two more children. It appears as if she is doing well and is active in her relationship with Christ. Brian Nichols? I see no mention that he transformed for the better after all the conversations he shared with Ashley.

This is going to be a major movie this month and I believe it will be not only solid entertainment, but a solid message, too. Captive, the book, was. I hope you read it.





To Purchase Captive by Ashley Smith, click here.

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Book Review: The Doctor’s Second Chance by Missy Tippens

Posted by Julie on May 26, 2015 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

51WqUE3R3oLBook Description:

The Bachelor’s Baby 

Jake West’s troubled cousin leaves him with a most unusual parting gift—her newborn baby girl! And now the small-town contractor is forced to seek help from the very woman he resents—the new big-city pediatrician who practically stole his uncle’s practice, Violet Crenshaw. Violet knows she shouldn’t be consorting with the enemy. But she can’t resist the adorable baby and her handsome new caretaker. Violet traded her chance at motherhood for her career years ago. But raising a family with Jake could be everything she’s ever wanted.

This is one of six books sent to me from the Love Inspired Line as part of their Mother’s Day promotion. The books are on sale from April 21-May 28.



The Doctor’s Second Chance wastes no time starting the story with action and conflict. Jake’s a bachelor’s bachelor with work deadlines when his troubled cousin leaves her baby with him with little hope she plans to return. Jake has no idea how to handle a baby. Not even how to feed or place one in a car seat. He’s so desperate he has to visit the doctor he let the community know hurt his uncle and aunt in a business transaction.

Violet’s hurt that Jake worked so hard to damage her reputation but she’s focused on setting up a good practice. When he comes in with a baby in tow she has to set aside her anger and help. What she doesn’t count on is finding reasons to keep visiting. Both Abigail and Jake mean a lot to her.

But a lot of mystery surrounds Jake’s cousin and they all might be in danger. And Violet has a secret that no matter how many times Jake tries to understand her background, she’s not willing to share the details. Will they overcome the obstacles?

I loved The Doctor’s Second Chance. The author did an amazing job creating a hero to root for. Jake wants to keep his promise to his cousin but he’s not equipped. Jake’s compassionate and the transition Jake and Violet go through from enemies to friends is a natural one. Violet also is compassionate despite her desire to stay business-minded. I really enjoyed their journey. This was a fast read and an entertaining one. I think you’ll agree.

To purchase The Doctor’s Second Chance, click here.

I received The Doctor’s Second Chance from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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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 |



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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