This week’s guest is author Julie Arduini. Thank you, Julie, for stopping by today!
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past, and ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future. FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER is her 30 day devotional using the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and also is a blogger for Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
Julie’s third book in the Surrendering Time Series is Engaged. It is available on Amazon now!
Trish Maxwell’s back in Speculator Falls with egg on her face and a lot of apologies to make. She left the mountain town for her dream job in New York City, only to come back unemployed. With no prospects, she works at her mom’s department store and makes amends as she finds a new passion creating window displays for Adirondack businesses. She works hard and tries to convince the people of Speculator Falls she’s changed for the better.
As Trish pitches in with community events, she meets paramedic Wayne Peterson, the one man who doesn’t seem to judge her. She even makes friends with Jenna Regan, who helps Trish when people demand to know what’s next in Trish’s life. Living in New York City has been her goal, but the more she’s around Wayne and the Adirondack area, the more she’s drawn to revising her plans. Just when Trish thinks the plan for her life’s coming together, a second chance comes her way that could give her every career goal she’s ever wanted, but threaten to tear her and Wayne apart. Can Trish surrender fears about her future and discover God’s plan for her?
I asked Julie a few questions. If you have any for her, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Who is your favorite fictional character? And why?
From my own writing, Jenna Anderson Regan. She was my first character and I can relate to her. She’s confident, but she has insecurities as well. She’s got some sass, and I have that as well. Other than that, I love Ashley Stockingdale from Kristin Billerbeck’s Whats a Girl Wants. She’s sassy, she’s a mess, and she just wins your heart from page one. Ashley gave me the confidence that I could write a sassy character and make her shine.
Where did the idea for Engaged come from?
When I was pitching the first book, Entrusted, they asked if I had a series in mind. I thought about Jenna’s sister, Meg, but she didn’t really have a complete story to tell. Before I even had book 2 in mind, I realized the mean girl, Trish Maxwell, had a great story to tell. She’s lost her job and dream life in New York City. Most of the residents in her hometown are angry with her. Her high school boyfriend didn’t wait around for her, and now he’s engaged to the person who took over directing the senior center when Trish abandoned it. It was too soon to use Trish for the heroine in book 2, but for book 3, I couldn’t wait to write that story. And that’s Engaged.
What is your life like outside of writing?
Busy and full! I am married to Tom, and he travels a lot for work, so I try to keep things humming along at home. We have a son that is a college sophomore, and a daughter who is in the eighth grade. She has some health issues that put her in a special needs category. I am a step mom to two adult children who live out of state, and they are both married with new sons, so I am a grandma! Our family is back in Upstate NY, so we try to travel back there, too. I volunteer with the youth ministry at our church and we have a sub ministry for teen girls that has the ladies of the church meeting with the teens to encourage, love them, pray, and just be their friend. That’s so important to me. I also believe in the power of prayer, so there are times behind the scenes I am mentoring women and praying for and with them. It is an honor and amazing to watch God at work.
If you could say you learned one important life lesson from one of your novels, what would that be?
My writing is all about finding freedom in Christ through surrender. The Surrendering Time series is about letting go of fear, loss and change (Entrusted,) regret (Entangled,) and failed dreams in exchange for God’s best plan (Engaged.) During this series there was so much transition that I have had to really battle fear. That was Ben’s issue in Entrusted, and his way was to shut it down, literally. He was so hurt by loss and change that he decided the senior center should be shut down for good. When it was re-opened, he vowed never to step inside. I’ve wanted to do the same, but I’ve taken it to Jesus every time I feel the fear. I can picture myself dropping it at His feet so He can have it. And there is an exchange. There truly is His freedom in surrender, and I have His peace. There is nothing better.
I completely agree, Julie. I know God has plans for me, yet sometimes I still fear. It is amazing when I am able to surrender just how wonderful He handles everything. It always works out in big, amazing ways! It really is, as you said, an honor to watch God at work in our lives. Thank you for visiting me this week!
Next week I plan to have Christina Rich’s interview. Please stop back by and check it out!
You can connect with Julie here:
Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG