The Blended Family Leave a comment

Happy February! Before we talk blended family, I wanted to thank everyone for their kind messages and prayers regarding the loss of my mom. We’re still in a state of shock, to be expected, and both my sister and I are overwhelmed with the business side of the transition. It’s been hard to focus on much else. I appreciate the continued prayer.


When I was a little girl, I remember playing Barbies and acting out my fantasy wedding. As I grew, I imagined my husband would be Shaun Cassidy. Of course, as an adult, my reality was much better than my little girl dreams.

It also was different.

Back then, we tended to dream about the husband, the kids, the house, the dog, the white picket fence. What I never thought about was what if the husband came with kids?

That was my reality.

Of the many titles I can be described as, I am a step-mom. Although the kids didn’t live with us, and we didn’t share the stereotypical bitter relationship of step-mom and kids, it was a scenario I didn’t picture. Now the kids are adults who are both married with kids of their own. We laugh about those first meetings and the trouble the kids and I enjoyed finding. Good times for sure.

Tom and Julie with all four children at the oldest daughter’s wedding. Image: Julie Arduini

My own experience transitioned to my fiction writing with Entangled. Carla was a single mom with a teen son, Noah. Will Marshall loved both of them, but Carla was hesitant at best. She was afraid of getting hurt again, or even worse, hurting Will. Their hits and misses played out throughout Entangled and Engaged, and I was proud to feature an unconventional pairing.

Speaking of unconventional, I’m at it again. Not only am I introducing a new family, they are the Hart sextuplets. Right from the beginning the reader learns that the six siblings lost their mother at age seven. Fast forward and their dad has married their neighbor, one of the many volunteers who helped the family over the years.

What I love about the blended family dynamic in Anchored Hearts is the new marriage brings conflict. Jordyn Hart, the oldest of the sextuplets, likes to think she’s in control. She’s kept the family together for years, so why does her dad need Shelly, anyway? What Jordyn can’t see is the wisdom their new step-mom brings to the entire Hart family, as well as fill a gap their dad was especially missing. Shelly has a delicate job holding her ground as Paul Hart’s bride, but loving the Hart Six through their pain. It’s a sub-plot to Jordyn’s surrender story I love exploring.

Have you read the Anchored Hearts preview? I’d love for you to check it out.

What do you think? Do you like second marriages in inspy romance? Instant/Blended families? I’d love to hear what you think.

Julie Arduini (46 Posts)

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 soon. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She also blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com.

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