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Video of the Week: Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer

Posted by Julie on April 29, 2014 in ACFW, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Writing |



The second tale in the Farm Fresh Romance series, WILD MINT TEA, finds chef Claire Halford hosting weddings at Green Acres Farm, but the first bride comes with a globe-trotting brother. Noel Kenzie’s reforestation company provides him the means to enjoy life. This is no time for him to settle down…or Claire to spread her wings.

To purchase Wild Mint Tea, click here.

To view videos of the week, visit the right sidebar at


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COTT: Vote for New Releases

Posted by Julie on April 28, 2014 in COTT, encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini |
While we tally the scores for the 2014 Olympia, Clash of the Titles’s annual contest for pre-published writers, have a look at these spectacular new releases, hand-picked just for you. After you’ve chosen your favorite, let us know which it is by casting your vote in the survey box below.
We wish our contestants all the best!
Mandy will risk everything to protect her guests and her ranch. Her faith, and God’s protection, lead her to find out the secret to the Red Gold before it destroys everything.

Local foods chef Claire Halford hosts weddings on Green Acres Farm, but the first bride comes with a ruggedly handsome brother. Noel Kenzie’s reforestation company provides him the means to enjoy a globe-trotting life, until he’s captivated by a certain chef who’s firmly rooted in one place.

Drew Farthering would like to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement to Madeline Parker, but instead he finds himself enmeshed in a series of murders that have disrupted the peaceful little village of Farthering St. John. Who is behind the Hatpin Murders, and why are they all in some way connected to Drew?


Shortly before suffering a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote the simple but powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper to give to her wayward and confused son. As Kate fights for her life her copy of the psalm begins an incredible journey around the world, forever changing the lives of twelve very different people.






Abandoning his life as a temple guard and becoming an indentured servant was the only way Ari could protect young Joash, the true King of Judah, from the child’s evil grandmother, Queen Athaliah. However, Ari never thought he’d fall in love with Mira, his master’s daughter, and now he must choose between his heart and his sacred duty to God and the nation he has vowed to serve.

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And There, There, and There You’ll Find Me and My Writing

Posted by Julie on April 11, 2014 in About Me, Christians Read, encouragement, Julie Arduini, surrender, Writing |

I love to chat. Food. Current Events. Sports. What Jimmy Fallon did last night on The Tonight Show. What God’s showing me.

But sometimes I have to bring up discussion that’s more business related. I struggled with that for a long time but realized if I don’t talk about my writing and where to find it, there isn’t an opportunity to share resources God has for you to live free in Christ.

So that’s a talk I need to bring to you today. A bit of writing stuff is going on, and I want to let you know about it. If you want to tell others, I’d love that.

  • Match Made in Heaven. It’s not too late to join other Julie Arduini newsletter subscribers as they follow Beth Prescott and Dean Kellerman in Match Made in Heaven. It’s my contemporary romance that offers surrender issues, chocolate, and the Finger Lakes setting of Hammondsport, NY. The April issue offers archive links to previous installments as well as the current one. Subscribe for free in the right sidebar at and watch your inbox for activation.


  • Rose Blooms. This short story is one you can vote on, and I hope you do. My plan is to expand it this November as part of NaNoWriMo and write a rough draft as part of a new Finger Lakes contemporary romance series. Read and vote here.


  • To Write a Story. Valerie Comer was kind enough to let me stop by and share my plotting resources. If you wonder what goes on with fiction creation, read my process here.


  • Jasmine’s Place. Have you discovered the beautiful thing that is Jasmine’s Place? It’s an e-zine for women filled with articles and interviews on family, beauty, fashion, faith, cooking, and more. The publishers have been so kind to allow me to participate with each issue. I’ve been interviewed, wrote articles, shared short stories, and created blurbs. This is an international project and one I’m very proud to work with.


  • Christians Read. Did you know I blog every other Wednesday with Vicki Hinze, Kathi Macias, Sarah Goebel, James Rubart, Hannah Alexander, Maureen Lang, Beth Goddard, Tara Randel, Lynette Sowell, Yvonne Lehman, Kristen Heitzmann? Now Christians Read has a website, and I hope you bookmark it. You can read my posts, too.



  • Coming Soon. A couple years or so ago, a few of my FaithWriter challenge entries placed and were eligible to be part of the FaithWriter anthologies. The anthologies are taking shape so I’ll keep you updated. I’m also working with a group of authors on a project that will encourage a segment of women who could use the support. I should have news on that  front, too. Stay tuned!

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Julie Arduini’s 2013 Favorite Fiction Read of the Year is…

Posted by Julie on December 31, 2013 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini |

I can’t believe we’re looking at the last day of 2013. It’s also the celebration of my surrender. Seven years ago I promised God I’d give Him my fears of rejection and start writing for Him. I created a blog that very night. And the rest they say is history.

One of my favorite things to do here is to choose my favorite reads of the year. To the author it gives them bragging rights if they want, but for me, I love looking back. I choose among the books I reviewed in fiction, non, and Kindle categories. My Kindle category is free reads I chose for me and might not have been published in 2013.

Let me tell you, choosing my favorite fiction wasn’t easy. 

Afterall, there were these great reads:


Letters of Love

Deliver Us

Fiery Secrets

Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Stress Test

Take a Chance on Me

and so much more.

I was torn between two.

Runner-up is A Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman.

This book has romance, a quaint town, wonderful friends. It was refreshing and sweet. If you haven’t read it, please do.

I ultimately chose this book as my favorite fiction read of 2013:

Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer!RV-cover_edited

Even months after reading it, Raspberries and Vinegar still comes to mind. Often. I loved this farm lit romance that used processed vs organic food as part of the conflict. I love strong senior citizen characters. The romance was as natural as the food, and fun to watch blossom. I enjoyed everything about this book.

I think you’ll love Jo and Zach, too.

Purchase your copy today.

Come back tomorrow to learn my favorite non fiction read of the year.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!


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COTT: MaryLu Tyndall Wins 2013 Laurel Award

Posted by Julie on October 23, 2013 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Writing |
Before we dive into this week’s feature
novel, a hearty “hurrah!” for Clash of the Titles’s
winning novel, Veil
of Pearls
Congratulations to Author MaryLu Tyndall
for a job well done!
Stay tuned for a full-length feature on
this fantastic book.
Raspberries and
by Valerie Comer
Sweet Like Raspberries ~ Tart Like


Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and,
some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about
sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her
two friends are new to farming.

Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own
land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up
residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse
invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she
can’t handle? And surely there’s something sweet beneath all that tart.



Q: Where did the idea for Raspberries and Vinegar come from?

A: There’s a huge interest these days in food issues, and many
20-somethings dream of having a small farm and growing their own food. As a
long-time farmer myself, I wondered what it would look like to have
idealistic urban young people tackle a farming environment. And the whole
Farm Fresh Romance series was born!

Q: They say to write what you know. What do you know about growing

A: My husband and I both grew up with moms who had large gardens and
cooked from scratch because of financial necessity. Having the same need in
our early years, we followed in their footsteps, but we soon came to
understand that our food was healthier and tastier than what many families
ate. Now we are beekeepers and own a small farm. We grow most of our own
meat and vegetables, and source a great deal of our fruit and grain
locally. This means a large garden and an intimate knowledge of processing
food for winter via canning, dehydrating, and freezing.

Q: Why do you call this novel Farm Lit?

A: Farm Lit has been getting a lot of attention lately as today’s
answer to Chick Lit. In the current economic atmosphere, women’s minds are
turning from shoes and handbags to gourmet food and farm-to-table
restaurants. Farm Lit
is any literature that embraces the life of modern-day “new” farmers. These
stories can be fiction or memoir, and most often include city-bred heroines
who head for an idealized rural existence and (often) find the man of their
dreams riding a tractor rather than a horse or a motorbike. As such,
Raspberries and Vinegar fits the bill perfectly!


* Raspberries and Vinegar–Wonderful title and I look
forward to reading it. Bless you.

* Valerie, always a great job.
* I look for feel-good
reads with wholesome challenges and real, yet admirable characters.
Raspberries and Vinegar seems to have it all!

* I chose Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie
Comer because it’s her debut book as well as the debut book for ChooseNow
Publishing. I’m very interested to see what all the hoopla is

* I like
Valerie Comer’s originality with her genre. There’s a freshness about


Don’t pick up Raspberries and Vinegar and expect the same old blah-blah
love story, because you won’t get that. What you will get is a
well-written, enjoyable, emotional tale that will pull you into the
beginning of a series I predict you’ll look forward to following as much as
I do. Romance, locally sourced foods and interesting, complicated
characters all make this a page turner.

~B. Nault

Valerie Comer’s Raspberries & Vinegar is a sweet and sassy story that
made me laugh out loud, get teary-eyed, and sigh with pleasure at the
ending. There’s Josephine, a spunky heroine with a heart for her friends,
the earth, and the handsome vet next door. And there’s Zachary, a
veterinarian who cares about animals, his sweet and confused grandmother,
and the spunky new neighbor, Josephine.

~Stacy M.

Until I read this book, I’d never heard of “farmlit,” and didn’t know what
to expect. Romantic, fun, with refreshing values, and small town
atmosphere, readers will enjoy this romp on the farm!


Each December I pick my favorite reads of the year and right now
Raspberries and Vinegar is a top contender. If you love strong characters,
a great message, a clean romance and the country, this book is for you.

~J. Arduini


Valerie Comer’s life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed
for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her
characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are
active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric
church. She only hopes her characters enjoy their happily ever afters as
much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable

Valerie writes Farm Lit with the voice of experience laced with humor.
Raspberries and Vinegar, first in her series A Farm Fresh Romance,
released August 1, 2013. Visit her at


The ultimate literary challenge, where authors battle and readers

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COTT: Vote for What Would Make Your First Fall Read with COTT

Posted by Julie on September 30, 2013 in COTT, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |
Happy autumn from your
friends at
Clash of the
So, which is your favorite genre? Contemporary or historical?
YA or Women’s Fiction?
Please scroll, have a quick read, and vote on which you’d read first. We
encourage you to share the contest on your social media sites. Spreading
the word about an author’s latest novel is the best way to encourage
(Voting closes Wednesday, October 02, at midnight.)


by Diana L. Sharples

Still reeling from the loss of his brother in Afghanistan, Calvin Greenlee
pours himself into fixing his motorcycle and spending the rest of his time
with his girlfriend, Stacey, who always has the right words to say. But
when Stacey starts losing weight—a lot of weight—it’s clear she has
problems of her own. Calvin is determined to cure her—but could that only
push Stacey further into danger?


by Valerie Comer

Outspoken advocate for local food Josephine Shaw moves onto a rundown farm
with two friends to prove to the world that she can live sustainably, but a
mouse invasion and the cute reluctant farmer next door test her resolve.
Zach Nemesek is itching to get back to his easy life in the city, but a
Border collie puppy and the woman next door make him wonder if he’s better
off embracing God’s plan for his life…or running from it!


by Liz Tolsma

After the German occupiers kill her husband, the last thing Cornelia de
Vries wants is to be involved with the Dutch Resistance. Wounded
underground worker Gerrit Laninga brings nothing but danger to her doorstep
– and the chance at love she thought had gone forever.



by Karla Akins

Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she
hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the
conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of
Eels Falls. Certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses
Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers,
those secrets could be exposed, and some will stop at nothing to hide the


by Jerusha Agen

No love, no pain—no God, no games.

A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye’s rise to the top of the dancing
world as an upcoming tango star, making her shut out God and all emotional
attachments that could lead to pain, but when a handsome lawyer and elderly
landowner enter her new life to make her face the God she can’t forgive,
will Nye learn to dance again?

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