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Traci and Marc’s Transformation by Alexis A. Goring

Posted by Julie on March 23, 2017 in ACFW, encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Traci and Marc’s Transformation

A Guest Post written by Alexis A. Goring

 

Today, I want to write about the transformation that Traci and Marc experienced. Traci and Marc are not real people, though their story is true to real life situations and stories.

 

Traci is the heroine and Marc is the hero of my new novella, A Second Chance. When the reader first meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical about love because her fiancé left her at the altar on their Wedding Day. He ran off with her Maid of Honor who she thought was her best friend, leaving Traci with a broken heart and a pile of debt from the expenses for their wedding that didn’t happen.

 

The reader gets to see Traci at her most vulnerable moments and witness her private struggles. They get to see the highs and lows on her faith journey with God. Most of all, they get to see how she learns how to trust again as God uses Marc to strengthen her faith and win her heart.

 

When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight, but he’s also very wary because of his pattern with women. All of Marc’s ex-girlfriends said that he was too nice to keep. So they dumped him for someone more dashing and daring. They broke up with him with the line, “Let’s just be friends.” Marc is tired of being in the friend zone and due to these patterns, he has trouble trusting women in romantic relationships. But that may change when he meets Traci. However, falling in love with Traci is not a carefree stroll in a flower garden because of the obstacles that stand in the way of their happily ever after.

 

As they read Traci and Marc’s budding romance, the reader will see how God works everything together for their good. God even uses Marc’s sister Gina who is a bestselling romance novelist, to gently encourage Marc and Traci’s romance toward the altar.

 

You’ll have to read the story to find out if Traci and Marc make it to the altar and if their love lasts.

 

I hope that if you buy my book, A Second Chance, that you will be inspired and encouraged by its message. May the God of Universe who loves you, transform your life with His love.

 

God bless you!

Love,

Alexis A. Goring

Author of A Second Chance

 ~*~

Connect with Alexis:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexisAGoring/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PennedbyAlex

Website: http://www.screenwriteralexis.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/capturingidea/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7260528.Alexis_A_Goring

“God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com

Traci and Marc’s Transformation by Alexis A. Goring

 

Book blurb for A Second Chance: Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life. 
Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. 

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

Purchase link for A Second Chance (book):

Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/2kAP4HX

 

Author Bio: Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

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Broken Trust by Lillian Duncan (GIVEAWAY)

Posted by Julie on March 21, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

BROKEN TRUST

 

My latest book, BROKEN TRUST, uses a butterfly to symbolize the spiritual aspect of the story. When we see a beautiful butterfly most of us don’t think about the caterpillar and what it went through to become that butterfly.

As it was hidden in the cocoon, it might have been thinking it was the end of the world, but it wasn’t. It was actually being protected so it could become what God created it to be. We often have those same “cocoon” times in our life—a time to learn and grow so that we can become all that God created us to be.

Certainly childhood and young adulthood would be examples of that. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be other cocoon times in our life. A time when we need to step back and let God protect us as we change into yet another butterfly.

For the past five years I’ve been dealing with brain tumors and their aftermath of which some are still evolving and are permanent—such as a significant hearing loss and balance issues. It’s certainly been a cocoon time for me but I’m more than ready to transform into that butterfly.

One of the changes is that my writing is also in the process of transforming. Even though my books have always had a spiritual message, the message has deepened as my health issues have changed me.

BROKEN TRUST is an example of that change. The main character is Chrysalis better known as Chryssie. A chrysalis is another name for a cocoon and a cocoon is one of the necessary steps for a caterpillar to become a butterfly.

Chryssie wants to soar like a butterfly but because of a lifetime of bad choices she seems to be stuck in the caterpillar stage. She knows good choices can propel her forward but it’s not always easy to make the good choices.

Chryssie is only days away from graduating when she witnesses a murder. Common sense would tell her to call the police, but she’s so focused on taking her final exam for nursing school, she decides to take the easy way out—again.

Chryssie makes a bad choice—and even worse consequences follow! Her easy way out not only puts everything she’s worked so hard for in jeopardy but her very life!

Each day we make hundreds of choices—they may not be life and death choices like Chryssie, faces in BROKEN TRUST, but they will either move us toward our goals or away from our goals. It’s not easy to break patterns and bad habits but it can be done—one choice at a time and with God guiding us in our choices.

 

GIVEWAY INFORMATION:

 

To celebrate the release of BROKEN TRUST, I’m giving away Amazon Gift Cards. All you have to do is hop over to my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment under one of the Broken Trust posts and you’re entered. Easy Peasy!

 

BROKEN TRUST

Broken Trust

Life is all about choices…and consequences. Chryssie Mason longs to soar like a butterfly, but a lifetime of bad choices has kept her in the caterpillar stage. After years of struggling, her dreams are finally within her grasp. Her only goal is to graduate from nursing school so she can have a better life—so she can morph into a butterfly. With her final exam only days away, she witnesses a murder. A butterfly would call the police, but she decides to take the easy way out…once again. Life has taught her to never trust anyone, especially herself. With her freedom and her very life at risk, it’s time to trust. And that choice changes everything.

 

 

 

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

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. 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 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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Transformation Interview: Embracing Hope’s Drew McKinley

Romans 12:2 talks about being transformed by the renewing of our minds to discern God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. My guest today, Drew McKinley, has lived through that transformation, but it didn’t come easy, did it?

 

Interview with Drew McKinley from Embracing Hope.

Drew (shaking his head, eyes looking toward the ceiling): Oh, man, it was awful. God had to drag me through the muck, even blood, to get it done. But as I look back, it was the only way He could have transformed me.

 

What were you like before?

 

Drew: I had a perfect life. All the perks of a wealthy family with access to the best education. I married a wonderful woman who, to be honest, was a better person than me; she had a deep faith. My father intended me to inherit the family’s academic kingdom. He’s provost of graduate school education at UConn, and my grandfather taught economics there. Since my older brother is a psychologist, it was up to me to carry on the academic hood. I was okay with it. At first. I got my master’s in academic administration and set out to get my Ph.D. But my wife, Kendra, saw something in me that I didn’t. She encouraged me—strong-armed is more accurate—into taking a deanship at a Christian university in Omaha, Nebraska. I arrogantly assumed I would eventually be president there. But the Lord had other ideas. (Eyes mist, he clears his throat.) The transformation began when Kendra died—suddenly, needlessly. Losing her crushed my heart; crushed my ambition; crushed my faith.

 

I can’t imagine going through such a loss. How did you cope?

 

Drew (running a hand through his dark brown wavy hair): Barely. But God sent people to walk me through the grief and anger. My pastor challenged me to go after hope, not just wish for it or sit around waiting for something better. He insisted that hope was tangible and I had to pursue it. I rejected that concept many times. How can I pursue something that doesn’t exist? (sighs) I tried to focused on work, but failed. The Christmas after Kendra died was torture. My family tried to cocoon me from the hurt. I ended up insulting my dad, brushed aside my mother’s compassion, wanted to slug my brother, and kicked my Ph.D. work to the curb. I hated my job; hated the world.

 

(Slight smile) In the meantime, God placed a remarkable woman, Allison, in my life who could relate to what I was going through. Her father had died suddenly, which like me, crushed her heart and her future. But she was determined to get an education by working two, even three jobs at a time to pay her tuition and expenses. Allison had the hope I rejected; it was tangible, a decision, action. She began to challenge and inspire me.

 

Did you ever think of giving up?

 

Drew (snicker): Almost every day. I won’t lie to you; my anger was ugly. And I inflicted it on others. I actually told God that I hated Him. I’m surprised I wasn’t struck by lightning for that. I was so despondent at one point that … (voice lowers to a whisper) well, I won’t go into the details.

 

How did you turn the corner toward transformation?

 

I lived the verse in First Peter about being tested by fire to be refined like gold. God painfully opened my eyes to the harshness and unfairness of life, not just to me and the people I loved, but those outside my realm of experience. He showed me ways to alleviate the suffering of the “least, last and lost”; to give them hope, which in turn gave me a glimpse of hope. He also gave me the strength to dig deep in my heart and take steps to forgive people who hurt me, and forgive God for taking my wife. And my faith grew, my hope grew, my mind was renewed and finally, I experienced His good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

And what is His perfect will for you today?

 

Drew (a growing smile): I’m still in higher education, but not day-to-day administration. I’ve heard it called God’s Administration. I also jump-started my Ph.D. work. I don’t know all the details of what lies ahead, but I’m where God wants me to be for now—living the Big Three of First Corinthians Thirteen: Faith, Hope and Love.

 

Love? For a woman, as well?

 

Drew (eyes again misting): Yes.

“Embracing Hope” Book blurb
Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

Purchase EMBRACING HOPE HERE

Author Bio
Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including journalism, Christian higher education public relations, and local government public information. She is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Janell and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota.

 

Links
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_13?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=janell+butler+wojtowicz&sprefix=janell+butler%2Caps%2C400&crid=2RKNVF7OLH34B

Website http://janellwoj.wordpress.com

Twitter @janellwoj

Facebook www.Facebook.com/janellbwoj

 

 

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Transformation: Deadly Silence by Lillian Duncan

Posted by Julie on January 25, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Transformation

 

As I was getting ready to write this post for Julie I asked what she’d like me to talk about, she gave me several suggestions and…this is the one I picked.  It was a good pick for the book I want to talk about but an even better pick for me personally.

Transformation is the act of changing. That’s something that happens to all of us—everyday. So much so that we might not notice. Unfortunately in my case, it’s very noticeable. In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors (non-cancerous) and a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).

Since then my physical health has been in a state of transformation… and not for the better! On the other hand my spiritual health has also been in transformation… and I’d like to think for the better!

When you need to rely on God to get you through the bad times, it changes you. And in my case that means it’s changed my writing as well. I wrote Deadly Communications in the summer after I was diagnosed but before most of my difficulties began.

Deadly Silence, the third in the Deadly Communications series, was written after I lost a great deal of hearing along with my balance due to the brain tumors. In fact, I put Layla, a late-deafened adult into the story for that very reason.

As a speech therapist for deaf and hard-of hearing children for many years, I might be a bit better prepared to deal with the realities of my hearing loss but it still hasn’t been an easy transformation.

Transformation rarely is an easy thing, especially when it comes to spiritual matters.

Maven Morris, my main character in Deadly Silence has been through her own transformations. In Deadly Communications she struggled with depression after the death of her husband. In Deadly Intent, she had to make a choice to open her heart to another. And when she’s left at the altar in Deadly Silence, she has a choice—fall apart or keep trusting God.

I’m not going to ruin the story by telling you what happens but I can tell you that most of us will face that same choice at one time or many times in our lives. Each time you make the choice to trust God, the more you will discover that God is indeed trustworthy and faithful.

That doesn’t mean our problems will magically disappear. I’m still almost deaf and have mobility issues because of my balance along with a multitude of “smaller” issues. But what it means is that in spite of my circumstances, I have a supernatural peace that only God can give.

And that’s a wonderful transformation!

 

DEADLY SILENCE BLURB:

 

FACED WITH ONLY SILENCE.

Her happily-ever-after is shattered when Maven Morris is left at the altar. Without a word of explanation, her fiancé, has disappeared, leaving Maven and the church filled with their family and friends. Maven refuses to give into the darkness of depression. Instead she takes on a new speech therapy client. Layla’s life has been shattered by silence, as well. As a late-deafened adult, Layla needs skills to cope with her now silent world.

TRUST YOUR EYES.

Those are words of advice Maven gives Layla. The words stir up something on the inside of Maven as she realizes there wasn’t a hint that Paul’s feet had turned cold about their upcoming nuptials. And that’s when silence turns deadly.

Purchase DEADLY SILENCE HERE.

 

 

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

Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. 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 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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Transformation: The Split Second

Posted by Julie on January 8, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

The word for my year is transformation and as always, I’m constantly looking to see how that word applies to my life. A few days ago I received news that I can’t stop thinking about. A little girl is gone and her parents, amazing parents who were great to us when we lived in NY, are shattered and forever changed. A tragic accident that took place in a split second.

Then I saw the breaking news coming out of the Fort Lauderdale airport. One minute passengers are focusing on travel, the next, diving for cover because of gunfire. I read on one of the sites I belong to that a cousin was one of the victims. Again, everything transforming in a split second.

I realize those transformations can come with good news, too. A marriage proposal. A birth. Hearing about a job promotion, or even getting a call that you got the job. It means in a second you go from that title to a new one. A change in address, perhaps. And always so much more.

Transformation: The Split Second Change

I am one of those that is always so far ahead in my thinking that I am guilty of missing out on celebrating the present. My dear friend told me her goal for the year was to choose present over perfect. I love that. I want to embrace what I have in my life. This week showed me that can all go away in a moment. I don’t want to have regrets. But in search of perfect, I’ve missed out on the present. That’s not how I want to approach life.

Are there examples you can think of where your life changed in a split second? What are transformations you can think of?

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Jennifer Slattery: God’s Healing Love

Posted by Julie on January 6, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I’ve always been thankful for the darkness because it allowed me to see the light so clearly. I’m thankful for every moment I received faulty, incomplete, tainted love because it made the real thing, the agape, self-sacrificing love that can only come from Christ, so obvious. And contagious.

 

For the past few months, my husband and I have been walking beside someone who is living in darkness, choosing the darkness over light. And it’s hard. It’s never fun to see someone completely destroy their life, but it’s more than that. I see myself in this individual. I remember when I bounced from place to place, when I drank malt liquor until I passed out, when I gravitated toward the deceived and self-destroying.

 

But God also showed me the light. And He drew me with His love. His patient, unyielding, pursuing love.

 

It took a long time for that love to truly take hold. For me to truly believe it. Rest in it. In all my healing, I primarily credit two people—Jesus Christ, who saw me and loved me on my worst day, and my husband, who saw something in a homeless girl from Washington and decided to hold tight to her, until his love broke through.

 

Oh, what a road that was! Consumed with past hurts, fears, and distrust, I did everything I knew to push him away. I figured it was only a matter of time before he left me, anyway. Everyone else I knew had.

 

Only he stayed. He held tight, and he continued to love me, even when I was completely unlovable.

 

And bit by bit, his love broke through, until one day, I realized, I no longer feared he’d leave. In fact, I knew with every part of my tattered but healing heart, that he’d stay. Till death do we part.

 

That’s when real intimacy, real healing took place.

 

But then one day, on a particularly hard day, Jesus opened my eyes. I was in the middle of gunk, gunk related directly to my past and the pain I’d experienced, and it felt as if I was right back there, in it. I can’t describe what that feels like, but those of you who’ve been there know. It’s a pain that completely levels you and launches that ugly, snotty-nosed cry no one but your mate has any business seeing.

 

That’s where I was—sobbing. Like I often do, I headed straight for the bedroom, for my bed, where I could fall apart in silence.

 

Why is it, when we’re in pain, we tend to isolate?

 

So there I was, feeling alone in my heartache, until … my husband came in. Walked straight to me, and tackled me in a full on body hug. “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,” he said again and again. Maybe ten times. Maybe more. Making me sob all the harder.

 

Then it hit me, so clear it stalled my breath and my tears. That was Jesus. Jesus was holding and loving me through my husband.

 

Because that’s what He does. He meets us when it feels as if we’re falling apart and He envelopes us in His love. He tells us again and again, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” Until that love breaks through and begins to heal all the broken pieces.

 

So that the pain from the past, those old wounds we’ve shoved down, lose their power over us. And His love, His power, His gentle, restoring Holy Spirit makes us new.

 

Jennifer Slattery: God’s Healing Love

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team put on events at partnering churches designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. She writes devotions for Internet Café Devotions, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and edits for Firefy, a Southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

 

Restoring Love:

Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she s also working on restoring something herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common, a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?

 

Buy it on:

Christian Book Distributors

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Connect with Jennifer

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