Meet author Shellie Arnold and Enter to Win Two Books!

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 | 4 comments

Meet author Shellie Arnold and Enter to Win Two Books!

The best way to meet Shellie Arnold is through her books. She admits she inhabits each of her characters in some way. Her message of hope and encouragement to the hurting will touch your heart. Shellie has generously offered to give away one Kindle copy of each of her novels to one lucky winner! Please leave a comment to enter. For even more opportunities to win, sign up on the Rafflecopter and share about this book giveaway on your social media! 


Fabulous Fridays

Meet Shellie Arnold, author of The Spindle Chair and Sticks and Stones!

Welcome, Shellie! I am excited to share your novel, Sticks and Stones with my readers. Did you always want to write?

Hi, Norma. Thanks for having me today! No, I did not always want to write, but I did want to share with others what I’ve learned the hard way about building a healthy, godly marriage. Writing seemed to be the best medium to share, so over twenty years ago I started attending writers conferences and learning craft. My journey to publication has been a long one, because writing has always been secondary to own marriage, family, and home schooling responsibilities.

Share with us a little about your background and family.

I’m a kid from a broken home. After watching my own parents’ divorce, I wanted no part of marriage. I’d experienced divorce from the kid’s side, so I didn’t want to experience divorce from the adult side. Then God brought my husband into my life, and spent three years convincing me He wanted me to marry Stephen. I was stubborn and scared, so I told God I’d only marry if He promised to teach me how to do marriage well. He’s still teaching me, and I simply want to share what God shows me about marriage.

My husband and I have been married for thirty years. We have two grown children and one teenager, and a daughter-in-love whom we adore. I have a dog, two cats, and three rabbits. I love animals, movies, reading, and the sound of my family’s laughter.

Introduce us briefly to the main characters in Sticks and Stones. How do you create your characters?

Sticks and Stones is the story of Julie and Rick Matthews. They’ve been married almost twenty years and have three children, one a special needs child. Julie is an aspiring singer and has repeatedly put her dreams on hold to care for her family. She’s a strong woman who grew up with a difficult mother. Rick runs his own horse stables, he’s a quiet-and-steady worker type. They’ve survived the crisis of Ben’s birth and health issues, and are now living in the fall-out and long-term consequences on their marriage.

I start with story, not characters. There’s a marriage issue or challenge I want to write about, so I create the scenario which allows me to go there. My goal is always to offer hope to those who are hurting. I really want to offer hope and encouragement. I’ve lived or am still living at least part of the struggles I write about, so in essence some part of all my main characters is me. Welcome to my life!

What, in your mind, distinguishes your book from other books out there in the same genre?shellie-arnold

I write about the perfect storms in marriage—what happens when my weaknesses hit yours dead-on, and we’re both left wondering what (if anything) can be salvaged. I believe that’s where God is. He uses our circumstances to reveal places He wants to work, heal, and transform.

What distinguishes my books is I’m both a fiction writer and a teacher/speaker. My fiction shows life, emotion, and challenges with story. As a teacher/speaker, I offer practical, scripture-based help for the issues presented in my fiction. It’s a two-pronged approach to share all I’ve learned the hard way, about how to work with God to change and grow and become more like Him.

Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?

My twenty-four/seven job is wife/mother/home school mom. That’s a big job. I’ve worked part-time in different seasons of our thirty year marriage, but basically I’m a stay-at-home home school mom. My biggest challenges are time and quiet, both of which are being addressed right now. Time—my youngest is in her junior year in high school, so my home school responsibilities are about to end. Quiet—we’ve just moved into a new home (on October 22—hooray!) where I have my own office. Did you catch that? My own office.

What was the greatest problem/challenge you faced in writing this book?

Laughing because, as you’ll see in the acknowledgements I didn’t want to write this book! As I said earlier, all my characters are partly me. I’ve lived or am still living their struggles. I didn’t want to write this one, because the struggles in this book are very personal. Being that transparent and vulnerable on the page was tough. There were times I wanted to gloss over the truth and make it less ugly, but God wouldn’t let me do that. This book is as honest as I know how to be.

What do you see as the impact of Christian fiction on readers?

Christian fiction—just like scripture—can be a balm or a sword. As a writer, I pray God uses my work as He sees fit to meet reader needs. And I trust Him to do that.

How would you like to inspire your readers?

I want my readers to know that the Cross is about redemption. God can redeem anything. He can heal anything. We’re all broken. We’re all damaged. We all bring trash and bad habits and stupidity and ignorance and hurt and dumb ideas to marriage. God can work with that. Any marriage can thrive if both parties listen to and obey God. He’ll teach you. He’ll change you. He’ll heal you. He’ll do everything it takes to make your life and marriage healthy. All we have to do is listen and be obedient. It’s not easy, but it is that simple.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

Trust. I have real issues with trust. Because of some childhood experiences, it’s very easy for me to feel forgotten and left out, even by God. So when big challenges come, I have to work very hard to trust God. I’m not very good at that. I’m great at seeing His hand in the lives of others, but when it comes to myself it’s like I’ve got a huge blind spot. This home-buying experience has definitely confronted my trusting weakness head-on.

Please share the opening scene of Sticks and Stones with us.


“I love being outside with you like this.” Julie Matthews stretched under the blanket.

She slid a leg over her husband’s thigh, slipped an arm across his trim waist, and rested her cheek against his shoulder. She smiled, grateful to enjoy sunshine after being practically housebound while taking antibiotics for an infection. Despite the August heat, a grown–up picnic was a fabulous way to start the next season of her life.

A balmy, south-Alabama breeze ruffled her hair, tickling her nose with the fresh pine scent of the woods behind them, and making the surrounding black-eyed Susans dance. Two dozen feet away from the old quilt she’d spread on the ground over an hour ago, two horses, his and hers, munched on tufts of clover. The creek nestled at the foot of the tiny floral hill trilled under the bright sun as if giggling with her.

She kissed Rick’s damp skin. “You asleep?”

He took one of his signature deep breaths; her arm, draped across him, rose and fell. He felt around for his black Stetson, and smiling, laid it over his face.

“No one within a twelve-mile radius can sleep with you doing happy cartwheels in your head.” He patted her bare hip. “Dozing certainly has its advantages, although I will need some sweet tea and a couple of those sandwiches in a minute. Seems I worked up an appetite.”

“Do you think Rachel’s okay?”

“Rachel’s fine. She’ll handle the first day of first grade better than Sean did.” He waved a hand in the air. “And my cell’s here…somewhere.”

“She’s bigger than most of the other girls.” Like Julie herself had been. “She’s self-conscious.”

“She probably will be for a while. Until she’s a teenager and the boys start catching up. Then I’ll handle the boys.” He lifted his hat, shading both their faces, and looked over at her. “There’s no blue like an Alabama sky, but I’d rather look into your pretty green eyes any moment of the day. They captured me when we were kids, but the way they shine when it’s just me and you…I’d give you the world if I could.”

Book Blurb:

Sticks & Stones:

Since childhood, Julie Matthews has felt closest to God when singing. Mere days away from realizing her lifelong dream of singing professionally, she awakens in a hospital room unable to speak. Suddenly her dreams and God seem distant.

Rick Matthews supports his ambitious wife, but has no solution for the constant tension between them. During Julie’s recovery, Rick becomes Julie’s caregiver and their marriage undergoes a wonderful change–they rediscover each other.

But as Julie’s voice grows stronger, unseen wounds surface and years of unhealthy habits begin again to pull them apart. Faced with losing their newly rekindled love, Julie and Rick are forced to evaluate the state of their marriage and how their dysfunction has affected their marriage and their children.

Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can crush the spirit.

The Spindle Chair:

“At once beautiful and haunting … a story you won’t soon forget”. ~ Ann Tatlock, Award-winning author of Once Beyond A Time, a Christy Award winner

Laurie Crane is happily married, yet she aches to have a child. During her husband’s moments of quiet sadness she senses a void she believes only a child can fill. Pierce wants a child, too, and has spent years praying alongside his wife. But he has no idea that a “yes” from God will unearth long-buried memories and bring their marriage to the brink of catastrophe. What happens when “happily-ever-after” becomes more than you can bear?

shellie-arnoldAbout the author:

Shellie Arnold is a writer and speaker on marriage and family. She truly believes—despite baggage, neglect, or mistakes—if a husband and wife listen to God, they can live happily even after. Her passion is sharing all she’s learned the hard way, as God helps her do exactly that. She maintains a blog at and is the founder of YOUR MARRIAGE resources. Shellie is a mother of three and has home schooled for over twenty years. She lives in Ohio with her husband of thirty years.

Connect with Shellie:





Amazon Book Links:sticks-stones

Sticks & Stones:

The Spindle Chair:  the-spindle-chair

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hey Shellie, thank you for sharing your heart with us. What a great interview! And yes, I DID get that you have your own office now! Woo Hoo! I need one too. 🙂 Keep writing for the Lord and He will lift you up. Blessings, Marcie

    • Hi Marcie. Yes, my office! So exciting to have my own space. We’re still unpacking, but I’m so grateful for our new home. Thanks for commenting here!

  2. Will be putting this on my “read this book” list! You are doing so great with your writing and sharing! God Bless!

    • Thanks, Karen. Hope you enjoy it!

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