A Love Most Worthy by Sandra Ardoin

sandra ardoin_headshot1Good morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. I’m excited to have author Sandra Ardoin with me this morning. Sandra is talking about the writing process. Let’s begin!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Sandra:  Thanks so much for having me!

I’m a wife and an empty-nester mom who began writing in the mid-80s. It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I began writing novels. I haven’t looked back.

I’m a couch coach for the Carolina Panthers. (No, they don’t listen to or pay me.) Give me something to read or watch with some mystery/suspense and I’m happy. Or, you can take me out to eat.

What do you love most about the writing process?

SandraI love the creativity in taking an idea, scenes in my head, or dialog and fashioning (hopefully) quality stories others want to read. Most fiction writers just want to write, but there are so many responsibilities a writer has that have nothing to do with creating a fictional story.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Sandra:  I will admit, way too many half-finished books lounge around in my computer. In fact, that’s my word for this year: Finish. I’ve tasked my critique partner with keeping me accountable. She’s to scold me harshly if I start a project without finishing the previous one.

I also have a number of finished but unpublished stories. I have three published books: The Yuletide Angel, A Reluctant Melody, and A Love Most Worthy. The latter released this week.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Sandra:  Don’t be fooled by what you think a writer’s life is like. Don’t think you’ll write something “brilliant” and it will automatically be published. Writing for publication is filled with a constant learning of the craft, constant editing and more rewriting, rejection, and taking on tasks you never imagined were part of the career, like marketing and a knowledge of technology.

Do persevere! You’ll eventually be glad you did.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Sandra: 

  • Thinking it’s easy to write and publish (see the previous answer). 
  • Waiting until they’re ready to submit their work before starting on a platform.
  • Not writing on a regular basis but when they feel they can make time.
  • Submitting too soon, before the work is ready.
  • Caving in the face of rejection. We ALL get rejections.

What does literary success look like to you?

Sandra:  It looks like a couple of things.

  1. My mission statement reads: “To write fiction that is both entertaining and provides the reader with insight into God’s grace and forgiveness.” If I achieve that, I’ve achieved the most important success.
  2. On an everyday life note, it’s earning enough to afford to make more books available.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Sandra:  At the moment, I’m working on a historical romance Christmas novella. I have long-term plans for it but will tackle one thing at a time.

Great advice and thanks for stopping by today!

Click to Tweet: Author Sandra Ardoin shares her writing advice and encouragment #SandraArdoin  #ALoveMostWorthy @InspiredPrompt


A Love Most Worthy 

almw - ardoinShe didn’t know which was colder,

           an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart.

Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to repent of his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?


sandra ardoin_headshot1

As an author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she’s also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Visit her on her website. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub. Become a member of the Love and Faith in Fiction community and discover what’s upcoming, and learn of specials and giveaways.

3 Questions Wednesday with Lynne Tagawa

LynneTagawapicGood morning! It is my pleasure to welcome author Lynne Tagawa to the Inspired Prompt. Cara writes romance, historical, and Christian fiction books.

Good morning, Lynne.

Who is your favorite author?

Lynne:  That’s a difficult question. I probably have a dozen “favorites,” but if I had to pick one, it would be Charles Martin. He writes with a rip-your-guts-out poignancy.

I enjoy those types of intense reads on the occasion. I will have to add him to the list 🙂

If you could write about anyone or anything, fiction or nonfiction, who or what would you write about?

Lynne:  Right now I’m enjoying writing stories set in the 1700s. But once I’ve finished these projects, I’ve a mind to go back to a subject that has fascinated me for a while: the missionaries to Hawaii. I don’t know of anyone who has tackled this, with the exception of James Michener, and his portrayal was two-dimensional and decidedly unfriendly. That is not to say that Hiram Bingham, the leader of the first team of missionaries sent out in 1819, was an easy man to live with. I suspect he had the same kind of unyielding personality I’ve observed in some modern-day missionaries and church planters. Author Don Richardson paints an amazing picture of godly courage in the life of missionary Stan Dale in his book Lords of the Earth. That is what I see in the missionaries to Hawaii.

I love this idea!

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book who would it be? And what would you do during the day?

Lynne:  I’d spend the day with a real-life person, Mr. John Craig, a Presbyterian minister in the Shenandoah Valley in the 1700s. He’s an important minor character in The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening and the sequel (which I am currently writing). Unlike more famous people, like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson, who’ve had reams written about them, there isn’t much known about Mr. Craig. I’ve read his conversion testimony, but have no clue as to the color of his eyes or hair. So you see, there is some “scope for the imagination,” as Anne Shirley would say.

From what is known about Mr. Craig, I can see that he’s both a hard-bitten frontiersman and soft-hearted man who visits the sick and travels for days to baptize babies, armed with rifle and deerskin-covered Bible. He’s well educated and strict about theology, guarding his flock from the errors and the “enthusiasm” rampant in his day. He distrusts men like George Whitefield, who preached in the fields when his own denomination (Anglican) denied him their pulpits. This was interesting to discover, as my primary protagonist is a fan of Whitefield and his sermons. So, while I help Mr. Craig weed his garden or care for his livestock, I’ll ask him about that. Is it Whitefield’s theology that’s problematic (unlikely) or his methods? Or folks who run to extremes after seeing his methods?

These topics are touched upon in my novel, though I didn’t give any story time to see what Mr. Craig’s reaction was to Jonathan Edwards’s book on the Great Awakening (Surprising Conversions). I wonder if he read it in real life.

I love men like that. Godly and earnest, but oh so human.

LongRifleTomahawkPic

Too bad we can’t time travel!  I would like to know those answers myself.  Lynne, we’re so glad you stopped by to visit. Come back soon…

Click to Tweet: Lynne Tagawa talks about her books and writing today on Inspired Prompt @InspiredPrompt  #giveaway

Readers, Lynne is offering a paperback or Kindle copy of The Shenandoah Road to one person who leaves a comment!


The Shenandoah Road

shenandoahroad-tagawa-ebookwebJohn Russell’s heart aches from the loss of his wife, but the Shenandoah Valley frontiersman needs to marry again for his daughter’s sake. At first he believes he has found the right young woman, despite their differences in background, but his faith falters when time reveals she isn’t quite what she seemed. Can he truly love her? And what about his own failings?

Unlike her disgraced sister, Abigail Williams obeys the Commandments. At least, she thinks herself a Christian until a buckskin-clad newcomer courts her. He treats her kindly but also introduces her to a sermon by the controversial preacher, George Whitefield. Her self-righteousness is shattered, and she wonders about their relationship. If she confesses her lack of faith, will John continue to love her?


LynneTagawapic

Lynne Tagawa is married with four grown sons and three marvelous grandbabies. A biology teacher by trade, she teaches part-time, writes, and edits. She’s written a Texas history curriculum in narrative form, Sam Houston’s Republic, and two novels, A Twisted Strand and The Shenandoah Road. Lynne lives with her husband in South Texas.

Buy The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening from Amazon (kindle), Grace & Truth Books, or other major booksellers.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Sandra Ardoin

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday!

sandra ardoin_headshot1This week’s guest is an award-winning historical romance author Sandra Ardoin, Welcome to the Inspired Prompt blog, Sandra.

First question—Who is your favorite author?

Sandra: Like so many other favorites in life, my “always-read” authors change from time to time. In fact, I’ve had numerous favorites over the years. At this moment, though, I’d say it’s Elizabeth Camden. I’ve read ALL of her books. I really enjoy how she incorporates interesting professions, particularly for women, and provides so much historical information about those professions within an intriguing story.

Nice choice.  Now, second question

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

Sandra: While I write historical romance (with a bit of mystery/suspense/adventure) and love it, I’d like to try my hand at a contemporary romantic suspense. It’s a genre I enjoy reading. In fact, I enjoy any story with mystery or suspense. Actually, I have started one, but the historical romance continues to call me back. I believe in God’s timing and leading, so…clock-3179167__340

Timing is everything 😉 That brings us to question number three—

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Sandra:  I’d pal around with Hallie Russell Preston, the heroine in my new novella A Love Most Worthy. She loves adventure. I think we’d borrow Bill Zeller’s rocker to find gold nuggets on the beach at Nome, Alaska. Bill and his wife are friends of Hallie’s with a tent on the beach where they live as they search for their fortune in gold. We might drag along Amelia Peabody, the archeologist from Elizabeth Peters’ books. Um… Come to think of it, she’d probably drag us along!

Sounds like an adventurous day! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Click to Tweet: 3 Questions Wednesday’s guest is author Sandra Ardoin,  Learn more about her and her book about a mail-order bride and leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book via @InspiredPrompt. #SandraArdoin 

Please leave a comment for your chance to win an e-book version of A Love Most Worthy.


A Love Most Worthy

almw - ardoinShe didn’t know which was colder,

           an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart.

Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to repent of his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?


sandra ardoin_headshot1

Sandra Ardoin

As an author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she’s also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Visit her on her website. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub. Become a member of the Love and Faith in Fiction community and discover what’s upcoming, and learn of specials and giveaways. 

Pre-order A Love Most Worthy on Amazon

3 Questions Wednesday with Carol McClain

87489044f054Good morning! It is my pleasure to welcome back author Carol McClain to the Inspired Prompt.

Good morning, Carol.

Who is your favorite author?

Carol:  We have so many great authors to choose from. For years, I loved Annie Dillard. Her way with words and her thought process and sass always keep me thinking. I’ve reread Pilgrim at Tinker Creek too many times to count. With each reading, I uncover more wonder.

Dillard’s always my first thought when it comes to authors. Recently, though, in the realm of fiction, I’ve fallen in love with Lisa Wingate and Susan Meissner. Both authors think differently than most CBA authors. They don’t seem to lean to the obvious. Never am I afraid to pick up one of their books—so much so, that I don’t put a lot of thought into it. If I find a secondhand book or on a bookstore shelf, I nab it.

Great choices 🙂

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or
what would you write about?

Carol:  Currently, I’m obsessed with goats. I love their personalities. We live on two acres in the country, and if my husband was willing to help me, (or willing to own them), I’d have goats. I, at one time, owned a Nubian named Heidi. Such a sweet animal.

Since goats are not on my horizon, my new protagonist owns eight of them. She creates soap and yogurt from their milk. I’m learning soap making (I already know how to milk) and having a ball living through Meredith’s world. Her mother shears Meredith’s angora goats (she owns angora and Nubian), and creates fabric from it.

angora-goat-191775__340

Goats are so funny to watch! They do have the best personalities.

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book
whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? 

Carol:  Although Adam allowed the past to poison his true nature, I love Adam’s vocation. He’s a paramedic. When researching his occupation, I got to attend training sessions with the local EMTs. My critique partner, Randy Cook, was a paramedic at one time. I love the idea of saving people’s lives. I’m obsessed with medical shows (and weirdly—I love the autopsy scenes the most). Adam has a heart for the hurting, when he discovers his nemesis needs help, despite his disdain, he finds a solution to her problem. His love, his skill and his compassion make me want to be like him.

 He sounds like a wonderful character. We’re so glad you dropped by, Carol.

Click to tweet: Author Carol Mcclain talks about her favorite character and you have a chance to win a giveaway. #giveaway #CarolMcclain

Readers, Carol will give away a kindle or nook copy of Yesterday’s Poison. Let her know by commenting below your favorite author or if you could spend time with anyone, who and why? 


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Yesterday’s Poison

After her boyfriend betrays her, Torie Sullivan careens into a ditch in a drunken fury. Paramedic Adam Benedict rescues the unconscious woman, then realizes she’s one of the middle school bullies who tormented him twelve years ago. The encounter rips open scars he thought had healed.

While kayaking one morning, Adam discovers Torie bathing in the frigid waters of Hookskill Preserve. He then learns she’s living in a lean-to in the forested preserve. Despite his hatred for her, Adam’s innate compassion won’t allow him to leave Torie in the wilds of Albany County. He offers her a secure, private room in his minuscule cabin.

When tragedy strikes Adam’s family, his girlfriend Maya Vitale gives Torie a room in her apartment. Torie envies Maya’s idyllic life, unaware she, too, hides a dark and shameful past.

Each character drinks yesterday’s poison. Their friendships intertwine their lives and expose their toxic pasts. They must learn to forgive the unpardonable.


87489044f054

Author Carol McClain is an eclectic artist and author of three books. Her interests vary as much at the Tennessee weather—running, bassoons, jazz, stained glass and, of course, writing. She’s a transplant from New York who now lives in the hills of East Tennessee with her husband and overactive Springer spaniel.

She is the president of ACFW Knoxville and the secretary of the Authors’ Guild of Tennessee. Currently, she serves as course coordinator for the ACFW loop.

In her “free time” she teaches life skills in the local jail and supervises student teachers for WGU.

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3 Questions Wednesday with Clarice G. James

headshot high resolutionHappy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes author, Clarice G. James. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

  1. Who is your favorite author?

Clarice: Although selecting favorites isn’t easy, I choose Leif Enger and Cynthia Ruchti. Leif’s novel, Peace Like a River is rich and full, and kept me emotionally engaged in the story for months after I finished it. Since I write contemporary women’s fiction, I admire Cynthia’s skill in that genre, especially her ability to create believable characters who overcome in real-life situations.

Sounds like a great read. I am adding it to my book list. 🙂 

If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about?

book-1209805__340Clarice: A woman who struggles with fad diet after fad diet her whole life, then finds the help she needs in Scripture alone. Of course, that woman would be me. [smile]

Lol! I think that book would strike a familiar chord with a large audience. Now about one of your characters…

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Clarice:  I’d love to spend more time with Seymour Kaufman, one of the characters in my novel, Manhattan Grace, because of his big faith and unique way of overcoming life’s hardships and disappointments. We’d spend the day walking around Lincoln Center in New York City, while I listened to his stories and learned from his experiences.

He sounds like an interesting and wise character. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: Author Clarice G. James talks about favorite authors, fad diets and a giveaway. #Claricegjames #amwriting

Giveaway: Clarice is pleased to give away a copy of either of her books: Double Header, Party of One, or Manhattan Grace.

Manhattan Grace

manhattan grace cover 600

When a door opens for Gracie Camden to leave Cape Cod and move to Manhattan as a nanny for a Juilliard drama instructor, she fully expects God to use her acting talent and launch her to stardom. It’s been six months. What’s taking him so long?

Seymour Kaufman relocates to New York City from Iowa due to a shortage of mohels (circumcisers) in the tri-state Messianic congregations. Secretly, he hopes to explore a deeper relationship with Metropolitan Opera star and fellow Moldovan, Polina Zelenka. But he is conflicted when he meets her less complicated, widowed cousin, Simka.

Meanwhile, fresh from Palm Beach, the Chief plans to cap off his short yet lucrative career as an international jewel thief with a multi-million dollar heist during the Met’s gala in Polina’s honor. His usual modus operandi is to work alone—but this time is different.

While Seymour celebrates every closed door by believing God will open a better one, Gracie whines and wonders why God doesn’t bless her plans. Gracie finally learns it’s not about making it big in the Big Apple, it’s about living God’s perfect plan for your life.


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Clarice G. James writes smart, fun, relatable contemporary women’s fiction. When she’s not writing, Clarice is reading, encouraging fellow writers, or organizing author events. Eight years after Clarice was widowed, she was blessed to remarry (Ralph) David James. She and her husband live in Southern New Hampshire. They both enjoy the writing process and host a monthly critique group in their home. Together, they have five married children and ten grandchildren. Between children, grandchildren, and extended family, they have relatives in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Virginia. So, you know what their “vacations” are like. Here are five additional and fascinating (or not) facts about Clarice:

  1. As a little girl, she helped her mother clean by soaking all the family’s toothbrushes in Lestoil.
  2. She loves time alone with her grandchildren, so they can play make-believe without their parents spoiling it.
  3. She and her husband don’t keep score in Scrabble. They’re just happy they can spell.
  4. If she ever invites you on a road trip, say no. She once got lost in a beach parking lot.
  5. She’s a Christian who wishes all the wacky Christians of the world would stay away from those she’s praying for. She says, “You’re not helping.”

Order Manhattan Grace Amazon

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