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How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?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I also have a number of finished but unpublished stories.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.

Amazon

Grace and Truth Books

Website

Goodreads

Winter Winners

Brrr! Has it been cold outside where you live? In the South, we’re swinging from below freezing to seventy degrees and back again. So I’ll pour a nice cup of tea and talk to you about our latest winners…

Cynthia Herron will give away a Starbucks gift card to LelandandbeckyCongrats!

Alexis A. Goring would love to give an e-book of Love in Pictures to Lisa W. Smith. Yay!

Clarice G. James is gifting a copy of one of her books: Double Header, Party of Oneor Manhattan Grace to Linda Matchett. Woo hoo!

Carol McClain is offering a a Kindle or Nook copy of Yesterday’s Poison to Caryl Kane. Hooray!

Sandra Ardoin is sending an e-book version of A Love Most Worthy to Anne Clare. High Five!

Our faithful readers mean so much to us. We appreciate each and every one of you. THANK YOU!

The Basics of Fiction Writing

By Jennifer Hallmark

Hello, friends and fellow writers! February will be the month we dive into the basics. The basics are what makes writing short stories, novellas, or novels truly something unique and special. Each Monday and Friday, we’ll discuss a different aspect of this topic and you’ll either learn something new or brush up on an old favorite.

Most stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. I like what Stephen James says in his book, Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules, “…stories have an origination, an escalation of conflict, and a resolution.”

I like that way of thinking. Something sparks and begins the story, life gets worse, and then the story reaches a resolution, either positive or negative. Think of any action movie. There’s a major something that happens and the hero or heroine needs to save the day. Then things swing back and forth from better to worse ending with the day being saved or lost.

I’ve read lots of books on writing. (If you’d like to see a list of the Inspired Prompt Crew’s favorite writing books, go here) I found two different thoughts when it comes to the basics of fiction writing:

  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Plot
  • Conflict
  • Resolution

And:

  • Plot
  • Setting
  • Characters
  • POV
  • Theme
  • Symbolism
  • Conflict

I think each of these points is important to a great read. I’m going to look at one aspect and the rest of the Crew will share their thoughts on future posts.

(From literary devices.net) Symbolism-the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities, by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense…To develop symbolism in his work, a writer utilizes other figures of speech, like metaphors, similes, and allegory, as tools.

In The Lord of the Rings, the One Ring symbolizes power. In my upcoming debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, the porch swing is a symbol of freedom for Jessie. Why? You’ll have to order my book in June to find out. 😊

So, stick around and enjoy the month here at Inspired Prompt. We’ll learn a lot and have fun doing it…

Click to tweet: The basics of fiction writing. Some say there are five basics and others seven. What do you say? #amwriting #WritersLife

Writing Prompt: Pull out your favorite book and take a moment to think about the basics: Characters, setting, plot, theme, etc. Do they all work? What could be done better? Share your thoughts below (without naming book or author, please)…

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