Friday Friend–Julie Arduini



My Friday Friend this week is Julie Arduini. She loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the  re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY.

She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE. You can connect with Julie on Facebook: and Twitter:

She’s giving away a print or e-copy of ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. All you have to do is leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win. Winner will be announced next Friday, July 29.

Entangled: Surrendering the Past by  Julie Arduini


“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”

Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.

Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.

Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?


Amazon Link



YOUR TURN: Don’t forget to leave a comment and you might win ENTANGLED! Don’t know what to say? Tell us about your favorite summer activity or whatever’s on your mind! Thanks!



Jesus Loves Me!


Here’s a short story that’s sure to make you smile!




On Sunday, I learned about Jesus. We sang Jesus loves me, and then… My Sunday School teacher told us that Jesus loves good little girls and boys. I wanted Jesus to love me but…

On Monday, I found a big black bug.  I threw it on my little sister just so I could watch her scream. I thought it was funny. I don’t think Jesus liked that.

On Tuesday, Mom asked me to take out the garbage. I said okay, but I forgot.  I remembered when I saw my Mom take it out herself.  I don’t think Jesus liked that.

On Wednesday, I went to play baseball.  I had so much fun but I didn’t go home for dinner. When I got home, my Dad was so worried. I don’t think Jesus liked that.

On Thursday, my little brother wanted to play with me, but I told him to stop bothering me because I was playing with my friends.  He went away but he was sad.  I don’t think Jesus liked that.

On Friday, I failed my spelling test because I was too busy playing with my friends to study.  Mrs. Noodles told me she was so disappointed because she knew I could do better.  I don’t think Jesus liked that.

On Saturday, I couldn’t do anything right. Everyone was mad at me. Mom was mad because Mrs. Noodles called about my spelling test. Dad was mad because I didn’t finish my chores. My brother was mad because I broke his favorite truck. My sister was mad because I was breathing too loudly.

I knew Jesus couldn’t love me because I wasn’t a good little boy.

On Sunday, I wouldn’t get out of bed. My sister called for me to come down and watch cartoons.  I said no!         My brother called for me to come down and play.  I said no!                                                                                             My Dad called for me to come down to take a walk.  I said no!                                                                                         My Mom called me to come down to eat pancakes.  I said no!

Then, my Mom and Dad came up. My Mom felt my head. My Dad asked me what was wrong. I told them Jesus didn’t love me. Jesus loved good little boys and I was just too bad.

Then, Mom and Dad smiled at each other and then at me.

Daddy reached for the Bible on my nightstand. He flipped through the pages and then said, “In Romans 5:8 it says… but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners.”

Mom asked, “Do you know what that means?”

I shook my head. 

“It means God loves you even when you don’t do the right thing. God doesn’t stop loving you because you make a mistake.”


 “Really,” Dad said.

 And then I smiled. “Do you mean that Jesus loves me when I’m good and when I’m bad? Jesus loves me no matter how many mistakes I make.”

Mommy and Daddy both nodded yes so I jumped out of bed. I watched cartoons. I played baseball with my brother and my dad. I ate my pancakes. And then we went to church.

In Sunday School, we sang Jesus loves me. I sang louder than anybody else.



What about you? Ever have a week when you can’t seem to do anything right? Do you sometimes forget God loves you?




Who Knew???


I hate when interesting things come up on the rotating AOL news feed! Because it takes so long to read it and get to the point but every now and then I can’t resist clicking on an interesting topic. Today, I saw a lady holding a peeled clove of garlic between her lips. I just had to check it out.

Turns out the article was about ways to get rid of cold sores-which I get from time to time. So I waded through all the advertisements and here’s some of the treatments:

  1. Dab milk on the sore and leave it on–do several times a day.
  2. Peroxide instead of milk–same idea.
  3. Peppermint oil instead of milk or peroxide. Can also use Tea Tree Oil or vanilla.
  4. Eat licorice. (Yuck–I don’t like it.)
  5. And hold a clove of garlic on it for 5 minutes.

They also recommend holding ice on it to reduce the swelling and the pain. I wonder what would happen if I combined all the ingredients together to make one super-duper treatment! I can’t say I want to get another cold sore but the next time I do, I hope I remember these treatments!


YOUR TURN: Got any old family remedies for whatever ails you that you’d like to share?





Yeah, I know that’s not how you spell healthier but I wanted to get your attention. So mostly this blog is about books–mine and others as well. I’ve decided to add a new feature, HEALTHY-ER. I change things up here from time to time by trying new things to see what interests people and I’m doing it again.

So you may or may not know that I was diagnosed with brain tumors in 2012. Thankfully, they were benign meaning not cancerous but they weren’t benign meaning harmless. Someone asked me yesterday how I was doing. My response was that I would never be quite as healthy as I was before the tumors but I was doing the best I could under the circumstances.

Doing the best I can means working on getting healthy-er. Get it? I won’t ever be completely healthy but I can work on getting healthy-er. Thus the title of this blog post.

I know I’m not alone. Just in my own family, there are so many of us who have some type of chronic health condition that affects us on a daily basis. Not to mention getting older brings its own set of problems as well-even if you don’t have any specific health problems.

It seems to me there are two choices: do nothing or do something!

I really believe in the philosophy of the more you do the more you can do; the less you do the less you can do. So…I keep on exercising in the hopes that it will improve my ability to “do more” in my everyday life.

I have to say I’m a lot healthier than I was last year at this time when I finally finished the treatments for my brain tumors for the foreseeable future, but I’m still frustrated that I can’t do more physically, like shopping and sightseeing. You know–all the fun things!

Anyway, I want to share some of my health struggles with you and what I do about them to encourage others to keep trying. I also plan to bring you some useful tips from time to time that I come across as I keep trying to get healthy-er.

YOUR TURN: How about you? Do you agree with the philosophy of the more you do, the more you can do? If not, what’s your philosophy regarding your health issues?



And the winner….

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And the winner of Renee Blare’s book, Through The Raging Waters is…Pamela!  Congratulations!RagingWaterscopy(683x1024)

Thanks to all who entered…maybe you’ll be the winner next time!


God Bless & Good Reading!

Friday Friend–Renee Blare




Renee Blare is my Friday Friend. She’ stopped by to talk about her very new book that’s releasing today, Through The Raging Waters. She was raised in Louisiana and Wyoming and started writing poetry in junior high school. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and she’s been counting pills ever since.

While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar. Nestled in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains with her husband, crazy dogs and ornery cat, she continues to serve her community as a pharmacist while penning her Christian stories any chance she can get. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.



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Book Two of her Snowy Range Chronicles launches today, July 8, Through The Raging Waters.  Suspense takes on new meaning in this book as the small town of Timber Springs faces the storm of the century during the peak of spring runoff. Paul Fitzgerald and Melissa Hampton must fight the battle of their lives as thunder and lightning reveal more than just rain.


Back Cover Blurb:

If Mother Nature has her way, Timber Springs will never be the same…

A warm spring and early rainstorms melt the snowpack. Spring runoff compounded by the storm of the century sends Timber Springs into a tailspin.
Tossed into the role of rescuer, local pharmacist Paul Fitzgerald must face his past before the whole world falls apart. While he fights to contain the beast around him, he finds his steadfast control slipping through his fingers. And life…everyone’s life…hangs by a thread once again.
She isn’t a hero. Melissa Hampton has her own demons to battle. After she learns of her mysterious beginnings amidst her mother’s keepsakes, she faces more than just the river rushing outside her door. Now, she must discern friend from foe…but as waters rise and tension climbs within Timber Springs, she needs to rise to the challenge or lose the only man she’s ever loved.

Can two people find each other through raging waters?


Sounds like a great book, Renee. If you think so and would like an opportunity to win an e-copy of the book, leave a comment. Winners will be chosen on July 14th. Don’t know what to say? Answer this question–Do you read more in the summer or the winter and why?

Thanks to Renee for being my Friday Friend and giving away an e=copy of her new book, Through Raging Waters.


Until next time God Bless & Good Reading!


Flash Fiction Friday!

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It’s been a while since I wrote a flash fiction piece so here it is. In case you don’t know what flash fiction is…it’s a very, very short story but still has a beginning, a middle and an end. Usually the word count hovers below 1000 words but can be even shorter. A few creative people have even managed to write a complete story in a sentence or two. Not being quite that creative, it took me a few more sentences but here it is…




Lillian Duncan



Life. A precious thing.

Most of us live our lives the best we can and then we die. We merrily dance our way through childhood, suffer through adolescence, then create the life we want or simply follow the path of least resistance.

Either way, we experience love and heartbreak, laughter and tears, victories and tragedies and, of course, life and death along the way.

But a few forego normality so that others can have it.

Her fingers hovered over the keyboard, unsure what to write next. As she reread the words, she wondered if she was talking about the deceased or herself.

This obituary changed everything. This death changed everything. This man changed everything. She wiped away the tears, determined to finish what she’d started.

Her fingers moved back to the keyboard.

Life. A precious thing but an honorable death is just as precious.

She nodded. Good. Very good. He would have liked her words or at least she wanted to believe that was the case. Truth be told, he probably wouldn’t have. Never one to be the center of attention, he liked staying in the background. Staying in the background is what allowed him to be so very good at his job.

But this was his day and she would celebrate his life and mourn his death.

Taking a deep breath, she hit enter. Then slowly she stood up and walked out of the room, knowing she would never return.

Time to stop following the path of least resistance.

With a smile, she walked out of the room and into a new life.

the end!

YOUR TURN: I hope a lot more questions popped up as you read it. Who was the man? What was his connection to her? Why did he die? Why did it affect her so? What’s she going to go do now? Answer any or all the  questions or even a different one that the story brought to your mind and then share it with us.