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Heart Overflowing with Gratitude by Tracy Ruckman

Heart Overflowing with Gratitude

by Tracy Ruckman


My heart overflows with gratitude this year for so many reasons. Yes, it’s been another difficult year – broken relationships, financial struggles, health concerns, new work schedules, new school schedules, dealing with mental illness of loved ones, death of loved ones, car troubles, watching the world get darker by the second.

But in the midst of all those negatives, God has been ever-present and has poured out His blessings and wonders in many of those same areas: restored relationships, financial blessings, health improvements, new babies, awesome professors, incredible new opportunities, new friends. And about six months ago, we also overcame a mighty oppression that had haunted us for years, and the difference is extreme.

This year, we’ve watched countless Christians shine brightly for the Kingdom in so many different ways. Personally, I’ve watched our authors shine through the opportunities provided them – watched and listened as they’ve shared their personal walks with Jesus with a dying world. And then on a worldwide scale, we’ve all watched Christians summon every ounce of courage to proclaim the name of Jesus in the face of horrifying death at the hands of evil.

As I was writing this post, one specific word was repeated over the few days this document sat on my laptop and this word is what gets us through all the bad days, all the horror, all the darkness. The message of this single word is powerful and life-changing – the word OVERCOME. We can overcome the darkness because JESUS has overcome the WORLD. He told us that Himself in John 16:33. Jesus is the VICTOR, and those of us who follow Him are victors, too, regardless of whatever our current circumstances may be. Jesus won the war, which means if we follow Him, we win, too.Thankful_edited

I’m thankful for a Savior who loves us so much that He died so that we might spend eternity – ETERNITY – with Him. An eternity spent in worship and praise. An eternity without pain, sorrow, tears, or heartbreak of any sort.

I’m thankful He gives us all second chances (and most times, many more!) to follow Him, to tell others about Him, to serve Him. I’m thankful to know that He is indeed the Victor, and that as His follower, I am, too. That knowledge helps me get through the painful days.

We can let the darkness of the world invade our lives or we can focus instead on the Light – shining Jesus’ Light for others who may be lost or wandering. This year, I’m especially grateful for His Light, which shines for all eternity.


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Kick Off Fall with the Books for Life Book Club Featuring Entrusted

Posted by Julie on September 16, 2015 in About Me, Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
  • Leaves changing color.
  • Pumpkin flavored everything.
  • Book Clubs starting new reads.

That’s a great sounding fall, isn’t it?

I can help you connect with a great book club because one starts Thursday. The best news? You don’t need to leave home nor worry about others coming to you. Wear your sweats, visit when you can. Most of all, enjoy a fun romance that introduces you to a great set of characters who are working through surrendering fear, loss, change, and wanting to belong.

How do I know so much about this book club? It’s the Books for Life group page on Goodreads featuring authors from Write Integrity Press and Pix-N-Pens as well as other authors and readers all over cyberspace. The book club is one aspect of the group. We have discussions covering many reading related topics. Genres, favorite heroes, and more.

Entrusted FRONT Cover_editedThe Books for Life book club kicks off with Entrusted, my Adirondack romance. Each Thursday I’ll post discussion questions that you can answer any time. I’ll be checking in often to answer and hope you do, too.  Then, meet me on the page each Thursday at 8pm EST and we’ll talk about the chapters and I’ll share behind-the-scenes information. I’m really looking forward to it. Even if you haven’t read the chapters, please visit the page. I think we’ll have a good time.

Purchase links and the reading schedule are posted. Go on over, introduce yourself, and I’ll see you Thursday!

Entrusted Blurb:

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl, plows—literally—into Speculator Falls with a busted GPS, arriving in town as the new senior center director. She has only one goal—that of belonging no matter how out of place she appears and how angry she makes town councilman and grocer Ben Regan.

Her new life is so rural there are no traffic lights, and when she learns her car isn’t equipped to handle the mountain terrain, Ben’s grandmother offers her late husband’s vehicle, further alienating the local businessman.

As she endears herself to the seniors at the center and creates a vision full of ideas, programs, and equipment, she ruffles Ben’s plans to keep Speculator Falls void of change, including the store his grandfather built.

The two work through community events and shared heartbreak only to face off in a town council meeting where Ben publically rejects her proposal for the senior center, causing Jenna to react out of her fears about belonging.

She returns to Ohio where she realizes she needs to surrender her plans for the center and fears about belonging and trust her Heavenly Father when facing fear, change, loss, and love.  

Click here to visit the Books for Life group page.

Click here to visit the Books for Life book club.

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Attention Readers…

Posted by Julie on August 6, 2015 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini |

One of my favorite parts of being an author is connecting with readers. I consider myself a reader first so it’s fun to chat and relate with others.

That’s why I’m excited to announce that the authors from Write Integrity Press and Pix n Pens now have a group page on Goodreads!

Poem still life with books and pink tulips

Poem still life with books and pink tulips

We’re just getting started but go on over and join the group. We have a bunch of questions that we look forward to answering with you. From romance to suspense and everything in between, we think you’ll have fun sharing your thoughts.

You’ll also get to meet the team of authors that are like family. I love that we are FOR each other and not in competition. These are great ladies so don’t be shy. Get to know us!

To join Books for Life group page, click HERE.

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Unlikely Merger is FREE on Amazon Kindle through July 5th

Posted by Julie on July 2, 2015 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

11391536_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_n The wait is over! Readers voted, the winning hero got their happy ending and now

Book Description:

No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?

Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?

This is Book Three in the Heart Seekers series. Book One was A Dozen Apologies and Book Two was The Love Boat Bachelor. Unlikely Merger can stand alone but don’t you want to find out how all the stories tie together? It is quite the fun ride.

I wrote Landon Gates, Chapter 3, from Watkins Glen in Unlikely Merger. My heart was to honor the area I grew up in and create a character that represents the people. I named him after my nephew, and named his sister, Kaili, as the name we would have chosen had our son been a daughter. 🙂

All the heroes are swoon worthy and we heard at one point one vote separated five characters. Well, the votes are in but we can’t tell you who won Mercy’s heart.

Why not read on and find out? And once you’re done, if you enjoyed it, leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads? Thank you!

To purchase Unlikely Merger and leave a review, click here.

To review Unlikely Merger on Goodreads, click here.

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Unlikely Merger Now Available for Voting

Posted by Julie on June 20, 2015 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

11391536_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_nVote for the Hero!

It’s time to play matchmaker!

One vote per reader, please. Your votes will determine the final chapter of Unlikely Merger, which will be revealed in the Kindle edition releasing on July 1. (It will be FREE for the first five days, so stay tuned!)

Cast your vote, and then tell all your friends!

To catch up on previous chapters and to VOTE, click HERE.

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Unlikely Merger Authors: Our Business Influences Day 4

Posted by Julie on June 18, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

You’re reading, right? The chapters for Unlikely Merger have been available since June 8th and on the 20th, you get to vote on the hero you want Mercy to choose for the ending.

. It’s an exciting time to be with Write Integrity Press!11391536_858579607541022_8504991036842170166_n

To celebrate, this week we’re sharing what business people inspire and influence us.

Today, Jennifer Hallmark.

Jennifer Hallmark:

My dad. His focus in business was to work hard to help the people around him get promoted.

My answer would be Henry Ford.

He made the automobile transform from something only the wealthy could have to an affordable way for families to have transportation. He worked on ways to get mass parts made at low cost, and was responsible for thinking of ways for cars to sell through franchises and dealerships.

To me, he never stopped thinking. He was all about vision and everyday American people.

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