Trauma & the Surrendering Hearts Series


by Julie Arduini


A few years ago, I contemplated a new small-town romance series featuring a large family. My
inspiration came from watching This Is Us and wondering how could the writing team keep track of the
characters and time frames.
From that I created Surrendering Hearts, a six-book series featuring the Hart sextuplets. The premise is
the Hart sextuplets discover their identity while trying to find a love like their parents shared. Each
sibling has their own book and a surrender theme. Anchored Hearts is about surrendering control.
Repairing Hearts is about surrendering anger and pride. I’m currently writing Building Hearts, Evan’s
Wrapped around the series is a traumatic event that changes the trajectory for all. Each book starts with
the same series prequel. I won’t give it away, but it’s a core event that happens to the family when the
kids are young. Now in their 20’s, they each struggle and that issue can be traced back to that day.
I didn’t put a lot of thought into the trauma aspect at first, but I realized as Jordyn started having panic
attacks at work when things were out of her hands and Ryan shut down when under pressure, these
characters have brokenness. It provides great conflict, but because I weave romance into my books, I
needed a happy ending. My writing needs hope because I am intentional about sharing Jesus in my
As I continue the series, every member of the Hart family will be confronted with the trauma from that
day. Each sibling will have a black moment where surrendering their wound to Christ is key, or all hope is
lost. Right now there is a sibling who chose to numb her trauma and is far from God. That’s a realistic
aspect of life I see often.
I’m so glad romance is part of the story because I do enjoy lighter moments. For Jordyn, she works with
uptight Spencer Collins as they co-anchor a morning show. It was fun to “watch” them find their place
and grow in front of an audience. With Ryan, he was on a reality show he thought was to help with his
disaster of a home. When it becomes a dating/home renovation premise, it made for a lot of
amusement. Balancing the challenges of trauma and how that manifests versus the fun in watching a
love story unfold has been hard, but rewarding.
I’ve received feedback that there’s something about this series that my writing has changed. I believe
I’ve grown in the craft because I had to confront my own trauma, I still am. And as I surrender that to
the Lord, a new writing world opened up for me. Surrendering Hearts is a series I’m proud of.
What about you? Is there an issue you need to surrender? Do you enjoy reading about large families?
Please share your thoughts in the comments and I’ll choose one US winner to win a Kindle copy of
Anchored Hearts, Book 1 in the Surrendering Hearts series. Repairing Hearts is available on Amazon, and
Building Hearts will be out later this year.

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the small town romance Surrendering Hearts series (ANCHORED HEARTS, REPAIRING HEARTS) featuring Christian surrender themes. She has another romance series, Surrendering Time (Entrusted, Entangled, and Engaged).

Her stand-alone romances include the Christian novella MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and the inspirational novella, RESTORING CHRISTMAS.

She also wrote a series with her daughter for tween and teen girls as well as women of all ages. Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin’ (YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, YOU’RE AMAZING, and YOU’RE BRILLIANT) feature a chapter from a mentor’s journey, and then a chapter from the younger female, both believing the same lie about themselves. “This belongs in every church, school, and library.”—Amazon review.

Julie blogs both on her own site and for Christians Read. Follow her on Link Tree to learn more.

She lives in Ohio with her husband and daughter.

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