Thursday, June 4, 2015

Love is in the Air: Author interview with Julie Arduini

Welcome Julie Arduini to my blog today! 

Julie is here to talk about her own book Entrusted and The Love Boat Bachelor which is a book containing stories from several authors, not just Julie.

Best of all, Julie agreed to giveaway one copy of Entrusted, one copy of The Love Boat Bachelor and one copy of "A Walk in the Valley" an infertility devotional which was co-written with other authors.

So that means three individuals each have the opportunity to WIN a book from Julie through the book giveaway contest she's hosting on my blog today! See the Rafflecopter widget for details and remember to enter the contest with your name and e-mail address. We need your name and e-mail so we can contact you if you're one of the three winners.

Are you excited to know more? If so, continue on to read my author interview with Julie!

*Words from Alexis in bold, words from Julie not in bold. 
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Alexis: Tell me about your book Entrusted.

Julie: Entrusted is the first of three books in my Adirondack Surrender romance series. It’s about a young woman who promises a beloved friend on her deathbed that she in return will never take life for granted. Jenna knows her job has no room for promotion so when she finds a job opening in a magazine, she makes a call and is offered the job on the spot.


Entrusted starts when Jenna, from Youngstown, Ohio, lands in the rural mountain village of Speculator Falls in the Upstate N.Y. Adirondack mountains. She’s ready for change but not everyone is as excited about her and her plans. For instance, grocer and town Councilman Ben Regan.

What exactly is the Adirondack Surrender Series? Quite a name too! Please explain the meaning behind that series title.

All my writing and speaking centers around surrender. My fiction plan is to write about surrender issues using Upstate, New York settings. The Adirondack Surrender romance series is my first contract with Write Integrity Press, and it is the name we thought fit.

Is Entrusted the first book in your Adirondack Surrender Series?

Yes. Entrusted is first, Entangled is second, and Engaged is the third.

Your leading lady in Entrusted is Jenna Anderson who in your book summary, you describe as a “sassy city girl.” What makes Jenna so sassy? Explain her character, motivation and role in the story.

Jenna tends to think big and speak without thinking it through. She doesn’t mean to come across as too much, but she finds herself in a bit of trouble whenever she tries to communicate with Ben. Her motivation is to make good on that promise she made to her neighbor in Ohio. She doesn’t want a mediocre life.

Councilman and grocer Ben Regan is your leading man for Entrusted. What makes him tick? What makes him smile? What is his weakness? How does he affect Jenna? Explain his role in the story.

Ben is the polar opposite of Jenna even though they both experienced loss and change in their lives before meeting. Ben’s reaction is to try to control everything so there won’t be loss again. He’s acting out of fear and grief. Ben and Jenna clash quite a bit because their reactions to the same things are different. They need to trust God as they navigate through the changes in their lives.

Describe the story setting for Entrusted and explain why you chose that place.

Entrusted is in Speculator Falls, a fictional village I based on the real Speculator, New York. I first visited Speculator in the early 1990’s and immediately fell in love with the place. I could envision the characters and started asking questions to form the story. It’s so rural in the real Speculator that the entire county doesn’t have one traffic light. My hope was readers from all over would read Entrusted and fall in love not just with the characters, but the place.

What was the easiest part of writing Entrusted? What was the most difficult?

Any scene that pitted Jenna against Ben. The sparks flew naturally and it was fun to write. The difficult part was editing and revising. I had to battle my own fear about if the story would ever matter to a publisher or a reader. I broke my writing wrist during revisions and it did not heal properly. I lost a lot of time.

What do you want your readers to take away from Entrusted?

God’s arms are open and He can be trusted. He longs to help us find freedom when we surrender our fears to His Son.



*Segue*: Now let’s talk about The Love Boat Bachelor.

Alexis: You are one of several writers who wrote stories that compose the book The Love Boat Bachelor. Share the story of how you were selected for this opportunity.

Julie: All the authors are part of Write Integrity Press (WIP). I was one of the new authors on the block and Tracy Ruckman asked if I would like to participate. Before I ever signed with WIP I was a reader in love with their work. It was easy to say yes.

Who is your leading lady in this book? What makes her happy? What makes her sad? What brings her hope?

I wrote Nora Laing. Helping her family makes her happy. She’s sad to know her role as a caregiver is ending. For years she helped her sister care for her son. Now her sister is married and the blended family needs to move forward, without Nora being as directly involved in her nephew’s life. She has hope in seeing how well her nephew adjusts and how Pastor Brent Teague interacts with him.

Who is your leading man? What makes him angry? What makes him happy? What makes him fall in love?

We all wrote the same leading man, Pastor Brent Teague. He grew up in an abusive home so anytime he sees a woman disrespected, he is angry. I believe seeing God at work in all things makes him happy. Brent is compassionate so anyone with a tender heart, especially for children, is going to catch his attention and affection.

In what ways do your leading lady and leading man affect each other? You can start with sharing how they meet.

Brent shows Nora it’s okay to let go. She’s been so embedded in her sister’s life she forgot to have a life of her own. Once Nora starts to embrace this, she displays a fun side that loosens Brent up. They are good for each other as they face new beginnings. They meet on the cruise ship during the first full day at sea. The waters are a bit rough and Brent feels a little green. It’s Nora’s nephew that meets Brent first, and Nora then is able to give him advice on how to overcome.

What lesson do you want to teach your readers as they read your story?

Surrender your fears to God. It’s okay to start over or do something new.

What do you like the most about being part of a book that contains stories by several other authors?

We are a family. There was no competition in the ending, we were rooting for each other. Although Nora wasn’t chosen, I absolutely loved who was and how the book ended. We cross market so it isn’t a lonely venture. It’s a fantastic experience all the way around.



*Closing*: Let’s talk about you as an author as we wrap up this interview.

Why do you, as an author, love writing about love?

I think it’s a fun way to give readers hope for their circumstances, relationships and hopefully draw them closer to a relationship with Christ---the greatest love anyone could know.

If you could spend a weekend with one of your characters from either of your two books mentioned here today, who would it be and what would you do?

That’s a great and hard question! I would have to say Sara from Entrusted. She’s the matriarch of Speculator Falls and although she looks like Mrs. Claus, her hugs are fierce. I’d love to spend the day with her at the cabin and listen to her stories about how God came through for her and her husband. I’d love to learn from her wisdom that I know came through her faith.

What do you love the most about springtime?

Lilacs. My absolutely favorite.

Thank you for the interview, Julie! If you’d like to do a book giveaway, please leave a question for my readers to answer. 

Julie's question for readers: 
What has been the hardest thing for you to surrender? It can be silly or serious. Afterall, you’re talking to the girl surrendering the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Author bio: 
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ through surrender. She’s the author of the Amazon bestseller, Entrusted and co-author of the international bestseller The Love Boat Bachelor. She also shared her story in the Amazon bestseller infertility devotional, "A Walk in the Valley." 

She’s the fiction contributing editor for the digital magazine, Imaginate, and blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. 

She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com.
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Blurb for Julie's book Entrusted:

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl from Youngstown, Ohio, plows–literally–into Adirondack village, Speculator Falls, with a busted GPS. She gets a warning from the sheriff but has ideas for the senior center to prove she belongs in town as their director. Town councilman Ben Regan is as broken as the flower box Jenna demolished. He’s grieving and wants to shut down the center before there’s too much change and heartbreak. They work on community projects and build a slow relationship, but the council needs to vote on the senior center’s future. Can Jenna show Ben both her and the center are worth trusting?


- See more at: http://juliearduini.com/books

11 comments:

  1. Thanks, Alexis, for a great interview!

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    1. You're welcome, Julie! And thank YOU for providing great answers to my questions! :)

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  2. This year I'm working on surrendering the first part of my day to God, Spending time in His word, and in prayer. I tend to start my morning out making the bed, straightening up the house, and planning my day. I'm learning that when I give God those precious first minutes, He incredibly blesses my day. All too many mornings I fall back into my usual routine. Definitely, a work in progress.

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    1. Rita, I'm right there with you. I have the best of intentions and then I think, one more thing, and there goes my day. Thank you for stopping by and sharing!

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  3. The books sounds very interesting! Is Jenna's sassiness based on a real person you know?

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    1. There might be a little of me in Jenna. :) I think you would enjoy Entrusted. I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment!

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  4. The hardest thing I ever had to surrender was, after having one child, never being able to have another.

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    1. Pamela, I too have had to surrender my fertility. I was able to have two children but I ended up with a hysterectomy at age 38. It is a surrender few understand. I encourage you to check out the book A Walk in the Valley. It is a devotional workbook that shares six authors experiences. I tell people it is the book I wish I'd had. My complete story, transparent with hope, is included.

      Thank you for sharing this. Blessings to you.

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  5. Lovely blog, by the way and interesting books. My hubby is from Upstate NY.

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    1. B.J.,
      Thanks for stopping by. I'm a Corning girl myself, went to school at Geneseo, and visit the Adirondacks all the time. My husband lived in Rochester when we met. We're definitely Upstate NY'ers even though we call Ohio home now.

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