Today my guest is Julie Arnold, author of the Christian romantic suspense novel, Nothing Ventured. Her book is set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As a Michigander myself, it is one of my favorite vacation spots. I’m so glad to have you join me today, Julie.
Let’s start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I love indulging in romantic suspense whenever I get a chance. I’m a married mom of three, and I teach French in an all-girls private school. I’ve been a runner since I was thirteen, and Hallmark movies and milk chocolate are my guilty pleasures 🙂
What is Nothing Ventured about?
When Maizey’s fiancé dumps her one month before the wedding, she decides her life needs a reboot. But when mysterious threats put her life in danger, handsome business rival Jax Lawson runs to her rescue. Only trouble is…Sometimes your knight in shining armor is the one you can’t trust…
What was the inspiration behind the setting?
My grandparents, who are Canadian, retired in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I have great memories from my teenage years, romping around on their eighty acres and sleeping up in the loft bedroom with my sister and cousins. My character Maizey’s house is the exact replica of Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Writing this story gave me the chance to relive some great memories in the wilds of the U.P.
What was the catalyst for your interest in writing?
I love to get lost in a story, whether I’m reading it or writing it. Fiction has always been my favorite escape. Novels allow me to live inside the minds of fascinating characters, visit faraway places or charming hometowns, and rejoice in heartwarming happily-ever-afters. I’ve always known I wanted to be a part of that world, even since I wrote my first story at seven years old.
Do you have a day job? If so, how do you find time in your day to write?
I’m a full-time French teacher at an all-girls college preparatory school. I absolutely love my day job, because my students are the BEST and I love teaching them French, another passion of mine. I’m also the mother of three young children, so yes, writing time is scarce. I carve out time by avoiding other responsibilities, such as dusting my house, LOL. In all seriousness, I do sacrifice a great deal of down-time in order to write. I hardly watch TV, chat on the phone, or troll social media. My “me time” is dedicated to my writing.
Do you reward yourself when a book is finished?
My reward is hours of editing!
No, seriously, getting to spend time with my “imaginary friends” (my characters) is my reward. When I complete a manuscript, I always experience a twinge of sadness. Like I’m breaking up with a boyfriend I still really love. I feel accomplishment and loss simultaneously, because I get really attached to my characters. Thank goodness for book series!
Who was your favorite character to create?
Nothing Ventured‘s heroine, Maizey. She’s the perfect balance of strong and fragile, like so many of us women. She’s smart and talented, but doubts herself sometimes. I relate to her humanness, her insecurities, and I also admire her courage and pluck in tackling those insecurities. My favorite character is one I can both admire and relate to.
Who was the first person you allowed to read your completed book?
My husband, Daniel. He’s always my beta reader. He’s a lawyer and a bit of a gear head, so he lets me know if my work contains any legal or vehicular inaccuracies. He also helps me pick out my characters’ cars.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
I really admire Denise Hunter and Colleen Coble. Denise Hunter creates sweet, heart-melting romances that linger in your mind long after you’ve read the last page. And Colleen Coble finds that perfect balance between love and suspense that keeps your heart racing. Love all their books!
Share your favorite excerpt from your book:
“Dance with me,” Jax murmured, his lips brushing over her skin.
Dance with Jax? No, no, no! Her coordination was roughly on par with a swarm of mayflies blowing arbitrarily into people’s vinyl siding.
“C’mon, Maizey.” He chuckled at her gawkiness. “I promise I’ll return you just how I found you.”
“Thanks, but no.”
He gave her a look that could charm a grizzly bear. “Is it the dancing thing, or the ‘with me’ thing?”
She sighed. “I am the worst dancer on the planet. And with the added complication of high heels, I would be falling all over you.”
“Maizey, I’ve held on to twelve-foot trees in tree shakers with icy wind and snow pelting me in the face. I think I can handle a little slip of a girl in heels.”
Hoo, boy. She was jumpier than a crooked politician before a senate investigation committee. What if she danced with Jax and didn’t like it? What if she danced with Jax and liked it?
Where can readers find you online?