ENGAGED is my third and final book in the Surrendering Time series. Each book takes an element of time and adds a surrender theme to it, as well as a mention or two about chocolate. ENTRUSTED was about surrendering the present as Jenna and Ben work on letting go of fear, loss, and change. ENTANGLED was about surrendering the past as Carla had to break through re living her regrets. ENGAGED is about surrendering the future. Trish Maxwell has to replace her dreams with God’s plan, something that’s difficult when she has no plan but the dreams she focused on.
What I loved about ENGAGED was I was able to create a heroine that was the “bad girl” from ENTRUSTED. In Book 1, Trish was in New York City living the dream. When she returns, she’s still got a chip on her shoulder regarding her hometown. It’s a place she never wanted to be, and she left quickly without saying goodbye. Jenna’s new in town and has the job Trish used to have, and is much better at it. Trish also sees her ex boyfriend, Ben Regan, has his eye on Jenna. It wasn’t hard to make Trish the mean girl.
By the time ENGAGED starts, everything has changed for Trish. The job ended as abruptly as it started and she has nothing else to fall back on. She’s forced to move back to Speculator Falls to live with her parents and work at the department store. Even worse, she has to face the many people she angered when she left. She’s been humbled, her confidence is shaken, and she realizes she burned a lot of bridges. What was a neat surprise was of all the new friends for Trish to have in this book, it’s Jenna who advocates and believes in her.
Trish wasn’t the only character I changed up a bit. Throughout the series, Kyle Swarthmore was the city mogul with his eyes on Speculator Falls. Although he grew up summers there just as Ben had, Kyle’s perspective is different. His dad wants him to buy up the land and commercialize it. Speculator Falls residents are protective, they’ve seen the results when that’s been done in other places like Lake George, and they want to keep their village the pioneer land it’s been known for. Kyle’s torn, because the longer he stays, the more he feels a connection to the people. His dad’s influence has a far reach, and although we never meet Kyle’s father, his presence follows Kyle. I was proud of how between Trish and Kyle, there was improvement in them as the series progressed.
ENGAGED is out now for Kindle, and coming soon for print. If you follow my page on Amazon, you’ll be notified when I have a new release.
Is there a character that you recall that experienced a change as a series moved forward? It can be in a book, movie, or TV show. I’d love to hear from you!
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, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming in June. 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.
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