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Kimberly Rose Johnson: My Recent Transformation

Posted by Julie on February 8, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

My Recent Transformation

By Kimberly Rose Johnson

 

Transformation sounds painful, and I suppose it often is. One thing is for certain—it’s a process. Change does not happen overnight. At least it didn’t for me, nor was it instant for Kayla in A Love Song for Kayla.

I’m kind of a control freak, and Kayla is as well. Two years ago, my then publisher, closed the line I wrote for. At that time I wasn’t sure what to do. I sought guidance from the Lord, but I didn’t like the answer He gave me. He was clear that I was to indie publish (publish my books on my own). I did not want to do that. I was petrified at the very idea. Yes, I know I said I’m a control freak and an indie writer is in complete control. However, part of being a control freak is knowing all the variables, and for me indie publishing was a mystery and very scary.

God was gracious and allowed me to publish eight more books with a small press, but this past year He was clear that it was time. So on February first I uploaded my first indie book that I did on my own. I couldn’t believe how easy the entire process was compared to my fear. Talk about a freeing experience! I experienced a complete transformation. I no longer fear indie publishing, and I’m super excited to publish my next book.

A Love Song for Kayla is the book that I published. I recently received my rights back from my original publisher and chose to use this story as my first indie book. I mentioned that Kayla is a control freak too. When she was a teenager some stuff happened that caused her to pick up this trait. Her way of handling it was to create a list of the qualities she desired in a husband—the perfect man. As you can imagine it was close to impossible to check every item off her list but she insisted on hanging onto it. She even framed it and hung it in her bedroom.

When the man for her came along, he wasn’t perfect, and she had to choose. Would she cling to the security of being in control, or would she allow the Lord to transform her heart? I won’t spoil the story and tell you what she did. J

Life is filled with opportunities for transformation. I’m glad I finally obeyed and allowed the Lord to transform me. I can’t begin to explain how different I feel now. I suppose that what transformation does—it changes us from the inside out.

 

Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing.

She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/index.html

 

A LOVE SONG FOR KAYLA

When two strangers cross paths their lives are forever altered.

 

Ever since she was sixteen Kayla Russell has dreamed of her perfect man. She even went so far as to make a list of desired qualities. The list has proven to be a bust since no man is that perfect, at least until she meets Derek. But will his secrets come between them and destroy what could have been something wonderful?

 

When music superstar Derek Parker comes to small town Oregon to escape the paparazzi he goes incognito as a deliveryman. He wants to leave his old life behind, but it proves to be harder than he realized when his past finds him. Now the woman he has come to care for feels deceived and no longer wants anything to do with him.

 

Formerly published under the title A Valentine for Kayla.

PURCHASE A LOVE SONG FOR KAYLA HERE

 

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How to Become a (Romance) Author

Posted by Julie on October 22, 2016 in ACFW, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |
How to Become a (Romance) Author by Julie Arduini
This is part of my Fall Book Club discussion Tuesday nights, 8pm, EDT at http://facebook.com/JulieArduini/Author. I’m going through my first contemporary romance, ENTRUSTED, and also sharing writing tips and behind-the-scenes info on the characters, chapters, plot, and the Adirondack Mountains. I just started, so feel free to grab your copy and join me!

Entrusted, from idea to tangible book, took twenty years. Don’t let that be you!
I’m not sure my journey into contemporary romance is normal, but I thought I’d share my experience into how ENTRUSTED came to be and see if you can glean anything to encourage you.
One thing I know isn’t normal but it seems to mark the authors from the rest of the world is that I was always asking questions. There was one I was constantly putting out there as an observer in life.
“What if?”
What if that goodbye in the airport is a break-up?
What if that phone call in a parking lot is the start of a reunion?
I was, and continue to ask the “what if” question everywhere I go. From there, story ideas take a life of their own. It gets the creative juices flowing. Take it a step further and journal those thoughts.
1. Ask “what if” to people you see in everyday places and let your creativity flow. Journal where your mind takes you.
I was a recent college graduate the first time I visited the village of Speculator in the Adirondack Mountains. As my friend walked me around, I pictured Ben and Jenna and asked myself, “What if Jenna moved here from somewhere else and wanted to belong?” “What if Ben owned the grocery store and had lived here forever, and resented change—including a new girl in town?” That’s the genesis of ENTRUSTED.
Years passed thanks to marriage and kids, but the desire to write never truly went away. About ten years ago I took a course from the Christian Writer’s Guild and I wrote articles and flash fiction for FaithWriters.
2. Never stop learning. Read books on the writing craft. Read books by authors in your genre. For me, I read a lot of craft books by authors associated with Writer’s Digest. I signed up for blogs that featured writing tips and read them. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW, and joined critique groups. ENTRUSTED was more than one draft. I think it might have been five. If you truly want this, you will persevere through the red marks, suggestions, and parts you know have to go.
3. Write! It sounds easy, but this remains my biggest challenge. I let my mind get the best of me and convince myself I’m wasting my time. If you are called, you’ll be equipped. You can do it, but only if you actually write. If being at home is a problem, set office hours. Go to the library. But take yourself and your writing seriously. Your book will never be published if you don’t write it. ENTRUSTED, from idea to tangible book, took 20 years. TWENTY. YEARS. That doesn’t have to be your story.
I’d love to hear from you!

Author Julie Arduini
You can find me at http://juliearduini.com where there are free resources on the left sidebar. I’d love if you followed me on Amazon and Goodreads. I enjoy connecting on social media @JulieArduini, including Snapchat. Please find me and say, “Hey!”

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Book Club Launches Tuesday

Posted by Julie on October 10, 2016 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

fall-book-club-1_edited

When I was sent to the assistant principal’s office in middle school it wasn’t for mouthing off or fighting. Nope, I got in trouble for reading ahead.

Story of my life.

Reading remains my favorite relaxation. Although most of my time is invested in writing, I love sitting down with a good book. I long to talk to people about it.

Starting Tuesday, I’m combining writing and reading by launching my Fall Book Club. My plan is to connect with fellow readers and start reading and discussing my first contemporary romance, ENTRUSTED. We will discuss the chapters, and I’ll share behind-the-scenes features with characters, chapters, plot, and the Adirondacks. I’ll talk about the writing process. Some weeks will feature other authors and an interview with them, as well as “free surprises.” Once we finish ENTRUSTED, we’ll move onto ENTANGLED. Hopefully, ENGAGED will be after that. If not, we will read the third installment of the Surrendering Time series. I also look forward to reading books from my favorite authors.

Tuesday’s meeting is a kick-off with no reading required. I want us to get to know each other and I’ll release the reading schedule. After that, we’ll meet weekly.

Here’s more information:

The Surrendering Time series is an entertaining yet reflective adventure to the Adirondack Mountains. Each book takes an element of time (past, present, future) and explores through flawed and humorous characters what a surrender journey looks like.

In ENTRUSTED, Jenna Anderson leaves her Ohio hometown for the unknown in Speculator Falls. She’s determined to make her new job as senior center work and become one of the locals.

Ben Regan’s family is the backbone of Speculator Falls and he’s made a vow to protect the rural village. When his grandfather passes away and his former girlfriend leaves without even saying goodbye, Ben’s determined to prevent further transition in his life.

But Jenna produces a lot of change for Ben in a book about surrendering the present fears we have about change and wanting to belong.

BOOK CLUB KICK-OFF:

Tuesday, October 11, 8pm, EDT
Julie Arduini’s Facebook Author Page
Format: I’ll paste a graphic a few minutes ahead of time saying that all our discussion will take place under the picture. You might need to refresh, if so, hit F5.

To purchase ENTRUSTED: click HERE.

 

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My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

Posted by Julie on September 23, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

There are writing moments I ask why.

  • Why am I writing when life is pulling me so many directions?
  • Why write if the words are hard to come by?
  • Why write when it is so lonely?
  • Why write if it feels like no one knows or seems to care?

Well, I write because I was created to write stories that show readers there is freedom through surrender. I’m so passionate about the message that I often do the opposite of what markets advise.

Like I enjoy offering eBooks for free.

And that’s just what I’m doing.

On Friday, September 23 (check price first, the sale tends to start after 3am Eastern,) and Saturday, September 24 (again, check price first,) ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED will be FREE eBooks.

I want these books to reach as many readers as possible.

Not only do I want readers to experience the freedom through surrender by reading my fiction, I also am starting a book club on my Facebook Author Page in October. I’d love readers to join me as I discuss assigned chapters. I’ll also be sharing the writing process AND secrets behind the chapters. I love doing events like this, and again, the best way to get started is to offer you these eBooks for free so you can join me.

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

My eBooks are FREE Friday and Saturday!

Spread the word, won’t you?

 

Like my Author Page and in October, we’ll have the Book Club there—http://facebook.com/JulieArduiniAuthor

Grab ENTRUSTED as a FREE eBook Friday 9/23 and Saturday 9/24 (check price first)

https://www.amazon.com/Entrusted-Surrendering-Present-Time/dp/B01FGC1Z8W/

Grab ENTANGLED as a FREE eBook Friday, 9/23 and Saturday, 9/24 (check price first)

https://www.amazon.com/Entangled-Surrendering-Past-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B01FG7JALG/

Both eBooks are also FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

I’ll be offering this same eBook sale October 7-9.

The private feedback and the Amazon reviews are confirming that these books have purpose. Readers are finding friends in the characters and they are finding the courage to surrender fear, loss, change, and regret.

Join me on the journey, won’t you?

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Lillian Duncan: Giving Up VS. Surrendering

Posted by Julie on September 15, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Giving up VS. Surrendering

Giving up VS. Surrendering. No one wants to give up in a situation. On the other hand, surrendering to God is what Christians should want to do in any situation, right? So what’s the difference?

In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and subsequently a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. To say it came as a shock is a bit of an understatement. Nevertheless, I was determined to face it in a godly manner.

But I had no idea what was to come!

It’s now 2016 and I’m still getting treated for them. At the time I was diagnosed, the doctors said it would take two years to complete the treatment. But that’s not been the case with me, and I’m still not finished. I’m about to start chemotherapy for the third time.

I don’t have the time or space to get into specifics but these past four years have been filled with more ups and downs and curves than a roller coaster ride. I’m completely deaf in one ear and have lost much of my hearing in the other. I also have balance problems that affect my mobility and my daily life.

However I am still committed to facing the situation in a godly manner, but it’s not always been easy to do that. One of the questions that I faced was if I surrender to God’s Will isn’t that the same as giving up.

After lots of Bible study and prayer, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the same at all. Surrendering the situation to God is about accepting God’s Will even when it’s not what we want. Surrendering the situation to God is about staying in His peace and joy in spite of difficult circumstances. Surrendering the situation to God is about trusting and believing God still loves us even when the situation doesn’t resolve itself the way we want.

Giving up means not having hope; in God we always have hope.

In my latest novel, GAME ON, Nikki Kent is a private investigator with her own surrender story. As a new Christian, she’s trying to learn to do the right thing. When the man who broke her heart years ago shows up needing her help, she wants to refuse.

First because she’s still hurt and angry and second because she can’t take a chance on her own secret coming to light. Even as she tells him no, God tells her that it’s the right thing to do. But it’s the last thing she wants to do. Still in the end she puts her trust in God and surrenders the situation to Him.

What’s Nikki’s secret that she is so intent on keeping hidden? You’ll have to read the book to find out! Game On is filled with enough twists and turns that it should keep any reader turning those pages late into the night. I really had fun writing it and hope readers will have fun reading it.

My publisher outdid herself with the book trailer for GAME ON so I hope you’ll check it out at: https://youtu.be/t6MK2UGB1P0.

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate the release of GAME ON, I’m giving away a virtual basket of goodies on my blog that includes Amazon gift cards. For all the details go to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes. Simply leave a comment on the blog post GAME ON at www.lillian-duncan.com and you’ll be entered.

AMAZON LINK

PELICAN BOOKS LINK

BLURB for GAME ON

duncanPolitics is no game when a stalker nears and there’s nowhere to hide. A run for the senate is just a step on the road to the White House for Congressman Lucas McMann. But his public profile has put him in the middle of a crazed gunman’s twisted game of stalking. If he wants to win the election and reclaim his life, he’ll need the help of the one person who’d rather leave their past behind them. Private Investigator Nikki Kent knows how to dig up secrets and discover those who exist in the shadows. She should. She’s good at hiding secrets of her own. Can she risk her own discovery for someone so desperate for her help? For the first man who broke her heart? With new-found faith, she’ll help Lucas search for the answers. But with the truth comes a danger they must face together.

BIO:

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in Ohio Amish country with her husband. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense and mystery with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.

 

 

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Surrendering Personal Possessions by June Foster

Posted by Julie on September 8, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

 

Surrendering Personal Possessions

My husband and I recently decided to travel the US while we still have our health. We sold our house and moved back into our RV, giving up most of our worldly goods. All of our furniture remained in the house, about half of our other things went to family members and friends, and the other half to a storage shed. If I hadn’t surrendered my attachment to material objects, I don’t think I would’ve been able to do it.

Here’s the story.

Some years ago, we lived in Germany while Joe served in the army. I bought gold charms for each of the memorable places we visited, as well as a solid gold bracelet. A double-decker bus in London, the Parthenon from Athens, a beer stein from Germany. Other charms were from Denmark, Austria, Norway, and Italy. Then I attached other special keepsakes such as my sorority pin from college and a medallion my stepfather gave me when he retired.

I treasured my bracelet, not for the monetary value it held, but for the sentiment. Each charm had special meaning. When we returned to the states, I began my teaching job. One day when I came home from work, I made a shocking, no, devastating discovery. Our home had been robbed. Probably some druggie trying to feed his habit. Yes, you guessed it, my solid gold charm bracelet was gone forever. Along with a lot of other valuables as well.

To top it all off, my husband was back in Europe on another tour of duty and couldn’t even be there to comfort me. I grieved for my bracelet. Every perfect, unique charm was gone . I’d been violated. Someone had taken something I valued—something that belonged to me. Finally, I had to seek resolution. As usual, God provided His word.

A Christian janitor who cleaned the school where I taught came to me one day with a piece of paper in his hand. In his masculine scrawl, he’d written: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6: 19-21.

His note was the reminder I needed to move on. I’ll always remember how the light of God’s word lifted me out of my situation. Nothing on this earth is more valuable than the Lord and His word. And no one can take that away from us.

The realization that I can take nothing with me when I leave this earth helped in the process. Yes, going from a 4000 square foot home to a tiny RV took effort, but I didn’t grieve over the loss of my possessions. I have something of greater value.

About Christmas at Raccoon Creek by June Foster

Christmas at Raccoon Creek by June Foster

Christmas at Raccoon Creek by June Foster

Emily Eason wants to distance herself from her parents’ opulent lifestyle in Birmingham, Alabama, and enjoy life in the rural village of Raccoon Creek and her fifties-style home. But after gazing into the little snow globe she purchased from Hardwicke’s Drugs and Gifts, she finds herself transported to another time—her grandmother’s era.

Lance Hardwicke is the pharmacist and owner of Hardwicke’s Drugs. Four years of pharmacy school didn’t allow for much of a social life. Gorgeous Emily Eason, nurse and resident of Raccoon Creek, has captured his attention. The next time she comes in the store, he’s determined to ask her out. Maybe take her to Birmingham to see the Christmas lights in his brand new orange and white ’53 Pontiac Pathfinder.

Can love span the fifty-year gap standing between them? 

 

Purchase CHRISTMAS AT RACCOON CREEK HERE

 



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