Fifty Shades of Tempted by Julie Arduini

I was in a sterile, bland doctor’s office, enduring an uncomfortable procedure where the doctor kept me chatting. We talked medical stuff and the conversation turned a corner when I mentioned symptoms appeared the month I released two books.

“You’re an author? What do you write?”

I let him know that I write contemporary romance. Before I could finish, he looked up. “Like the Fifty Shades book?”

Not the first time I’ve been asked that, and probably not the last. I explained no, my romances are clean and contain a hopeful message around the theme of surrender, and I have characters who enjoy chocolate as much as I do.

He wanted to talk Fifty Shades. “I heard that made a ton of money.”

I nod, because I heard that as well. I also heard that the book birthed out of a fan fiction forum. Every rule I learned through college, internship, work, the Christian Writers Guild and years of practice were ignored or obliterated in her work.

And the picture I have in my head is that the author is laughing all the way to the bank.

The doctor asked what no one else has. “Have you ever thought about writing something like that?”


Yes. Thought about it because when I’m staring at a keyboard and the words aren’t coming, or when I peek at my ranking and don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how high it is, there’s a voice that taunts me. If only I’d stop writing those silly stories. Readers want more. Show them the bedroom. Christians are reading them. Why don’t you start writing them and get a share of the wealth?

Sometimes I'm Fifty Shades of Tempted.

Sometimes I’m Fifty Shades of Tempted.

That voice isn’t one I entertain for long because I know it isn’t God’s. I’m not pointing at anyone but myself. I made a vow, a commitment to Him that I would only write for Him, when He says, what He says. I can’t serve the Lord and that industry at the same time. I can’t.

One day I have to account for all my choices and a fat bank account isn’t the legacy I want to leave.  ENTANGLED might not be on everyone’s radar, but for those who have read it and reached out, they’ve told me it was a game changer for all the right reasons. That they had areas from the past they were holding on to and that “silly story” gave them the courage to let it go and find freedom through Christ.

That’s worth millions to me.

Is writing hard? Absolutely. Especially when you’re trying to improve and learn and you watch someone come along and write something that breaks all the rules (and my heart) to find international success. It’s tempting to join those ranks. But that vow I made is sacred to me and my Creator.

So, back to the keyboard I go.

What tempts you? Food? Relationships? Things? I’d love to hear from you.


Would you like to win a copy of ENTANGLED? I visited Lillian Duncan’s blog and I have a giveaway. Check it out and find out how you can try to win.


About juliearduini

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 new contemporary romance series SURRENDERING HEARTS (Anchored Hearts, Repairing Hearts, +four more.) Her other romance series is SURRENDERING TIME (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged.) She also co-wrote a YA series with her daughter, SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ (You’re Beautiful, You’re Amazing, You’re Brilliant.) Her stand-alone romances include MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. Julie maintains a blog at and participates in the team blog Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at
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