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Celebrate Summer with a FREE and .99 Read!

Posted by Julie on June 19, 2016 in About Me, Julie Arduini |

Oneday_editedNOTE: If you receive this blog via email, the sale might already have started.

Although Ohio has seen 90+ temps already (and snow in May,) it is now summer. One of my favorite things to do is watch our daughter swim and have a book on the deck.

And now, I want to put a couple books in YOUR hands.

If you enjoy the feel of a “real” book, I priced ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED so you could buy both and spend less than $20. Typically, you would see a full length novel sell for $15 each. I believe that much in these stories getting to people and changing lives.

If you have a Kindle, or a tablet, laptop, desktop or phone that you use for reading, I am having a sale on the ebook versions of ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED Monday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 21. Remember, if you don’t have a Kindle, download the FREE Kindle app to your device and start reading!

ENTRUSTED will be FREE. Yep, no cost at all.

ENTANGLED will be .99. You can purchase both books in the Surrendering Time Series (book 3, ENGAGED, due later this year) for .99 ebooks. That’s how to say hello to summer!

About ENTRUSTED:

ENTRUSTED will be FREE (ebook/Kindle version) Monday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 21.

ENTRUSTED will be FREE (ebook/Kindle version) Monday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 21.

Purchase Link: http://ow.ly/RGOs301mVag (Please check to make sure you’ve selected preferred format, and that the ebook sale started. It is slated to begin Monday, June 20, approximately 12am Pacific.)

“You need to go home, city-girl. You don’t belong.”

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl from Youngstown, Ohio, plows–literally–into Adirondack village, Speculator Falls, with a busted GPS and a determination to fit in as the newest resident. She wants to live a life without regret and make a difference. Moving to become the senior center director is the biggest risk she’s ever taken, and she believes her ideas are worth investing in. The senior citizens have been hurt by the last director, so Jenna has to work hard to earn their trust. When they embrace her, she thinks it’s time to show the seniors she intends to stay and make the center beautiful for them.

Town councilman and grocer Ben Regan is as broken as the flower box Jenna demolished. He’s grieving from the double loss of his grandfather’s passing and his former girlfriend leaving town without saying goodbye. His grief is so strong he wants to shut down the senior center before there’s too much change and heartbreak. Re opening the senior center and hiring a new director was never his plan. Jenna isn’t a Speculator Falls local and she has too many plans that will cost money the village doesn’t have. She’s too excited about his dream to expand the store his grandfather built. The harder he tries to keep Jenna at a distance, the more they are thrown together to work on community projects. They build a slow relationship, but the council needs to vote on the senior center’s future. Can Jenna show Ben both her and the center are worth trusting?

About ENTANGLED:

ENTANGLED will be .99 ebook Monday and Tuesday.

ENTANGLED will be .99 ebook Monday and Tuesday.

Purchase Link: http://ow.ly/1ryi301mVyX (Please check to make sure you’ve selected preferred format, and that the ebook sale started. It is slated to begin Monday, June 20, approximately 12am Pacific.)
“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”

Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?

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Julie Arduini Interviews Ben Regan from Entrusted

Posted by Julie on December 17, 2014 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Entrusted FRONT Cover_editedJulie Arduini Interviews Ben Regan from Entrusted

One thing authors need to do to craft a quality story is know their characters. One technique is through interview. I thought I’d introduce you to the hero from Entrusted, grocer and town councilman Ben Regan.

Ben, tell the readers a little bit about yourself.

I co own and manage the only grocery store within thirty miles, JB’s. It’s a store my late grandfather, John Bivins, built and ran with my grandmother, Sara. I also am a member of the council. I live on top of Panther Mountain in a log cabin home I built with my grandfather before he got sick.

 

You don’t seem to be a fan of the senior center. Why is that?

I think it’s easier for Speculator Falls if it is closed. It’s a venue to put sick and dying people on display. It’s too hard.

 

That seems more like an emotional opinion than a business decision.

The building is old and in need of updating. It should be closed.

 

Your own grandmother went behind your back and posted the senior center director job, which brought Jenna Anderson to town. How do you feel about her moving here to bring new life to the center?

I’m not happy with Grandmother but there isn’t much I can do. I’m sure Jenna has great ideas but no one could save that place. Did I mention the senior center should close?

 

Didn’t your former girlfriend, Trish Maxwell, run the center before she left for New York City?

She did. Your point?

 

Let’s switch gears. Tell us about the people of Speculator Falls.

Sure. There’s my grandmother. She’s a spitfire, and the martriarch of the village. Carla is the sheriff but she loves to play with people’s hair. Noah is her son. He helps me out in the store. Will Marshall is the delivery truck driver and I think he has a crush on Carla. Then there’s Pastor Craig and Brooke…

 

What about Kyle Swarthmore?

What about him? He’s not a real Speculator Falls resident. He only comes weekends. He doesn’t belong.

 

Apart from your thoughts about the senior center, tell us about Jenna.

Well, she’s fun. Energetic. It’s probably from all the mocha she makes. Her attitude is contagious. I can see why the seniors love her.

 

Could there be a romance here?

With Jenna? As hard as I try not to think about her, it’s hard to shake her. We make a good team in a lot of ways. But, we’re too different. And, I’ve been shattered before with loss and change. I can’t go through that again.

 

You’re a tough customer Ben Regan.

It’s the best way. Speaking of customer, JB’s is having a special on ground beef this week. Check it out!

                                

Okay, well on that note, I’ll let you go.

Sounds good. Take care.

 

To learn more about the people of Speculator Falls and purchase Entrusted, click here.

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Entrusted: My Interview with Heroine Jenna Anderson

Posted by Julie on December 15, 2014 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

This week I’m featuring interviews with the characters from my debut romance, Entrusted. If you need a stocking stuffer for the reader in your life, I hope meeting these fun characters will encourage you to purchase this Adirondack surrender read.

Entrusted starts out with you getting in a bit of trouble. Is that what you’re about, Jenna?

Entrusted FRONT Cover_editedNot really. I think a more accurate statement is I find myself in unusual predicaments. Often. I still say that my little incident was all my GPS. Not me.

You spent most of your life in Youngstown, Ohio. What made you leave the area for the mountains?

I spent most of my childhood with an elderly neighbor who was a dear friend. Florence Owens made me promise before she passed away that I would live life to the fullest. After her death I looked around and realized my job didn’t leave room for advancement. I needed change. I found an ad in a rural magazine about a job opening and I called. When the call ended, I had a new job in Speculator Falls, NY.

One of the first people you meet is Carla Rowling. Tell us about her.

I was scared of her at first because she was meeting me on official business as the sheriff, but I quickly realized she was going to be a great friend. She’s warm, funny, sensitive and a great mom to Noah.

You seem to worry about not belonging, yet Pastor Reynolds comes to you for advice. How did that make you feel?

Honored. He’s a respected man in the community and I don’t think what I did by moving to Speculator Falls was that inspirational. And given how Ben reminds me at every chance that I’m not from the area, I’m sure there were better people to talk to than me. But I’m happy he chose me.

Speaking of Ben Regan, tell me about him.

Well, the first meeting didn’t go well. Nor did the second or probably the third. But once I realized it wasn’t so much personal against me but protecting himself from further hurt, he was easier to take. And those muscles from stocking shelves, that’s a perk to visiting JB’s. Ben also has the richest brown eyes. Like chocolate.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Interacting with the senior citizens. They are wonderful people and I’ve learned a lot from them. At my old job in Ohio I didn’t have a lot of direct and consistent contact with them. I’m building deep relationships with everyone at the senior center and I love it.

What do you love about Speculator Falls?

That it’s like family here. The smells. I can’t begin to describe how wonderful it smells outside. The pine and air is so pure and fresh. Sara Bivins took me to the hunting cabin and showed me the journal everyone signs when they visit. That’s a precious memory for me.

What’s your biggest challenge?

I have a few. The senior center needs updating and that costs money. Ben is on the council and he’s definitely not rooting for the center to make it. Quite the opposite, actually. Howard Wheaton is a senior who is a bit grumpy with me, but I think he’s a teddy bear. Kyle Swarthmore is a mogul from New Jersey who has a summer home in the area. He’s nice to me, but I think he has an agenda. I’m on a campaign to have the food service to realize that a dessert is not a fruit cup. It’s chocolate. And, I’m homesick. I miss my parents and sister.

Jenna, thanks for sharing today. I think readers got a great glimpse of you and Speculator Falls.

Great! I hope readers take a chance on us and purchase Entrusted today.

This interview first published at Inspy Romance.

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A2Z Meme: Spectacular Falls

Posted by Julie on May 15, 2012 in About Me, Julie Arduini, surrender, Writing |

Wow! This blogging through the alphabet is winding down. I’ve had fun with this, and today the letter is “S.”

I thought today I’d share a little about my WIP, my fiction work in progress, SPECTACULAR Falls. It’s a contemporary romance based on the real SPECULATOR, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains.

I’m still working on many facets of the STORY–from editing the manuscript to polishing what is called the elevator pitch.

Here’s a SNIPPET:

SPECTACULAR Falls, an Adirondack based contemporary romance. SHE’S a rustbelt bred SENIOR center director producing a lot of change for the rustic loving grocer.

How the STORY STARTED:

I first visited Speculator after college, my first memorable trip to the Adirondacks. (When I was little, our parents took us to Lake Placid but it wasn’t a trip I really remember.) Love at first SIGHT? Absolutely. It is the one place in the world I feel peace. It’s hard to explain, but SPECULATOR has a chunk of my heart and always will.

As I looked past the Lake Pleasant waters, I imagined a couple. It didn’t take long before they had names–Jenna Anderson and Ben Regan. Their backgrounds and personalities evolved over the years as I learned more about the writing craft. SECONDARY characters not only came to life, but they too have their own STORY.

About Jenna: Jenna is loyal, responsible and a tad bit SPONTANEOUS. She leaves everything and everyone she knows back in Youngstown, Ohio after receiving a job offer to become the new SENIOR center director in Speculator Falls. The job comes after one phone interview with village matriarch, SARA Bivins.

What Jenna doesn’t know is that the center has been SHUT down for months, on order from the village council. The former director left for New York City and greener pastures, and Ben Regan, village grocer and councilman, thinks the center is a waste and needs to be closed. Forever.

Oh, right. Ben used to date the former director who left for the big city.

He’s also SARA’S grandson. In my mind, he looks a little like Ben Affleck.

This is me taking a picture of a framed picture, but is also where Jenna and Ben first came to mind.

Jenna has SASS and heart, and immediately falls in love with the SENIORS. SHIRLEY is her volunteer administrative assistant and a woman with glasses so thick and lenses so magnified that SHIRLEY’S eyes SPOOK Jenna every time SHIRLEY looks her way.

Howard is the curmudgeon, and as much as he bellows, Jenna and he SHARE a friendship. He STARTS each morning at the center by unSTACKING chairs and allowing Jenna to watch The Today Show.

Roxy is the SPRY senior who persuades Jenna to have a variety show. After all, as Roxy keeps reminding everyone, she used to be a Rockette.

Dora Parks is a regular who lets Jenna know STRAIGHT up SENIORS don’t like change. Dora is so attached to the past she wears tattered shawls and faded prairie skirts. Even the Historical SOCIETY asked Dora to step down as an officer so the club could  move forward.

Fred and Janice Beebe are regulars and often a SOURCE of help for both Jenna and Ben. Fred is a retired bank president and offers to look over Ben’s business plans when he finally has the courage to admit he wants to expand the grocery store his grandfather STARTED, JB’s.

Jenna wants the best for the center, and that means a lot of tangles with Ben. When he SEES the center, it represents a place of great grief and loss, and he’s made a vow never to go through those doors unless there is an emergency. No matter how much the SASSY director with chocolate and red lowlights intrigues him, he can’t SUPPORT the center.

Every STORY needs a villain, right? Kyle SWARTHMORE fits the bill. Like Ben, he grew up summers in SPECULATOR FALLS, but that is where their SIMILARITIES end. Oh, except Kyle dated Ben’s ex-girlfriend before she SKIPPED town. Kyle is a real estate mogul who SEEMS eager to help Jenna meet financial needs for the center. He’s under pressure from his father to add to the SWARTHMORE portfolio and start buying up the hottest property in New York State–Adirondack businesses.

There is also the best friend. Carla Rowlings isn’t just the SHERIFF, she’s a SINGLE mom who wants to style hair on the SIDE. When Jenna meets Carla, it’s on the SIDE of the  highway where Jenna accidentally hits a village flowerbox. Jenna isn’t so sure about Carla’s hair dreams, she’s used to high-end STYLES back in Ohio, not the ponytail Jenna constantly sees Carla wear.

Will Marshall delivers food to the center each day and is the affable handyman. He has eyes for Carla, but she’s not so sure she wants to put her son at risk having a man around who might not stay. After all, she’s a SINGLE parent for a reason.

I think the biggest character of all is the SETTING. Jenna falls in love with the hunting cabin deep in the woods where each visitor SIGNS the guest book. The Lake Pleasant waters where Jenna shows her city girl face after a boat ride. JB’s grocery, in the middle of the Four Corners, is a tip of the hat to Chas. John’s the real grocery STORE in the real SPECULATOR.

I’m not giving way too many plot points or a lot about Jenna and Ben because it is a contemporary romance that one day, I’d love to see in print and available to you. For non writers, you have no idea what a process it is. I know I didn’t. I’ve learned so much taking courses, joining writing memberships, and this year focusing on taking it through critique groups. It’s a SHELL of a STORY from those days after college when I day dreamed about Jenna and Ben.  I’d like to think it is a lot better. SPECTACULAR FALLS has some early favor, and my prayer is the publication process is only beginning.

What’s your “S” word?

By the way, the title is Spectacular Falls because within the story, people keep saying Speculator Falls wrong. The real Speculator deals with the “spectacular” slip all the time. However, I know when this story advances, the title might have to change.

 

 

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12

MC Blogfest: An Interview With Ben Regan, My Fiction Character

Posted by Julie on June 24, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

 

 

 

I have a guest today, kind of. Author Elizabeth Mueller is hosting a MC blogfest, inspired by Character Therapist Jeannie Campbell. I blogged about Jeannie recently, if you write fiction following her blog is a MUST.

Jeannie recommends that writers get into the heads of their main character and have the MC answer three questions. Doing so is going to give greater depth to your character and perhaps reveal more for your story you didn’t even know about. I love doing things like this because it really helps. Today Elizabeth is taking that exercise and having fun with it through a MC Blogfest. Prizes are available so join me and link up today.

With that, let’s meet my main character from my work in progress (WIP) Spectcular Falls. Ben Regan is the village grocer and councilman in fictional Speculator Falls, NY. This is a setting in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate NY based on my favorite place in the world, Speculator.

Ben’s family has a long history with Speculator Falls so he doesn’t take kindly to new folks barging in trying to change everything. Right now he keeps butting heads with newcomer Jenna Anderson, an Ohio young woman who moved to Speculator Falls to be the new senior center director after one phone interview.  A little problem…Ben is working hard to shut the center down for good.

So Ben, what is your greatest fear?

Ben: Loss and change.

Care to expand on that?  I know you’re fidgeting in your chair but there is no time frame here.  Share away.

Those that live in Speculator Falls know my story. Anyone else is a tourist in my book but tourists keep my business alive.  About eighteen months ago my grandfather, John Bivins, passed away. He was the heart and soul of Speculator Falls. His death was cruel. Before he got sick I watched him after he visited the senior center. So many of his friends were in poor health and then next thing you knew, the center was closed mornings for funerals. I hate loss. I hate that the former director of the senior center thought she was too good for Speculator Falls and left. That was like another death to me.

Let’s talk about something happy. What is your biggest accomplishment, Ben?

There are two. I take my job as co owner and manager of J.B.’s grocery story seriously. Grandpa built and ran that place for decades. I pretty much grew up there. I’m happy that business is great, I feel like I’m honoring grandpa by taking good care of the store. I’m thinking about an expansion but I’m nervous about it. A lot of risk, not sure about it so I can’t count that as an accomplishment yet.

The other accomplishment is my house. It’s log cabin style with a wrap around porch on top of Panther Mountain overlooking Pieseco. I built it with grandpa. It’s my sanctuary.

One more question. What’s your biggest regret?

Hmmm. Letting my grandmother near a computer and a phone. That’s all I’m saying on that subject.

Ooookay Ben, that’s cryptic. I guess we’ll have to read more when the time comes. No clues?

I’ll give you two words and then I have to go.  Ready? Jenna. Anderson.

Ben, thanks for your time. I learned a lot through this.



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