Greetings from Ohio! The first 60+ days of 2019 have been hard to predict around here. Weather wise, we’ve had a foot of snow, then a polar vortex. There were days we left with a light coat. All I know is there have been a lot of days off from school for our daughter, and even two-hour delays.
As for me, I’ve had about a month with bronchitis and a sinus infection. When I finally gave up and saw the doctor, he said the weather was to blame. Seems like there are a lot of people with similar ailments. The praise is before I got sick, I was able to release the second book in the women’s fiction/middle grade series I’m co-authoring with my teen daughter. This was a series I never planned on writing, but God knew.
While sick, He threw me another plot twist. Match Made in Heaven is a novella I first wrote as a new Christian back in the early 1990’s. I think I wrote that before I even wrote Entrusted. It sat for years. Then I decided to use it as a thank you for newsletter subscribers, so I updated and revised it. It’s been a few years since that, so now the twist is I’m getting it ready for publication.
Working on it again has been an experience. I’ve seen my growth as a writer and made a ton of changes before I even submitted to my critique groups. The hero and heroine, Dean Kellerman and Beth Prescott, remind me of my time as a new Christian. At the time I was single and worked with a county program that placed senior citizens into not for profit volunteer positions. Every experience Beth has with her volunteers trying to match-make her is something I truly experienced.
Dean was an absolute figment of my imagination. I remember trying to picture the man God would have for me, and in my mind, he always looked something like Clark Kent. What I tell people is God knew better, and gave me a “super man.” My husband is my height (5’5″,) and when we met, he had light brown hair and brown eyes. That hair disappeared almost immediately (I joke that it was me, and I started finding grays at the same time, so that’s what we did to each other) but his faith and loyalty surpassed anything my imagination could come up with.
Revising it also gave me the opportunity to add an element to the story I wouldn’t have known about when I first penned it, health complications. Beth has congenital hypothyroidism and her struggles are that she forgets things easily and battles with her weight. I have loved ones with hypothyroidism and those are real challenges for them. As Dean tries to move past his forgiven sins, Beth’s hesitant to trust Christ because she can’t understand how a loving God would make her so flawed. It has been a fun story to dive into, and is definitely heavier in the Christian theme than my other romances. My prayer is that no matter where women are with their faith in Christ, that Match Made in Heaven would encourage them that God loves them deeply, is present in all things, and can be trusted. That has carried me through my seeking something more out of life back in 1992, and through the mountains and valleys since then.
Plot twists. They aren’t just in books, they are sometimes real life experiences! If you’d like to be the first to see the Match Made in Heaven cover and pre-order info, you’re invited to join my newsletter at juliearduini.com. New subscribers receive an eBook of my first published romance, Entrusted.
To celebrate Inspy Romance’s 5th Birthday Bash, I’d love to give one winner an opportunity to win my first series. Leave a comment on what the biggest plot twist in your life or favorite book was and I will choose one random comment to win Entrusted, Entangled, and Engaged. US winner can choose print or eBook, International winner automatically receives eBook.
Have a great March!