Sandra Ardoin – Real Life Romance & Romantic Excerpt – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: Historical romance author, Sandra Ardoin shares how she met her husband and an excerpt from her latest release, A Reluctant Melody. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: Jan 30th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Sandra:

Sandra Ardoin_HeadshotA Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin

A few months ago, my husband and I celebrated our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. No, it didn’t come about from an office romance or a dating service connection or a chance meeting in a park. We met in our Singles class at church. Normally, that would sound pretty boring, but as with all good stories, there’s a twist:

I attended church each Sunday in a dress with my hair fixed and make-up just right—not to catch a guy. It’s simply how I (still) like to look when attending Sunday service. But when does he call me for a date? After he sees me at the gas station filling the gas can with what I needed to finish mowing my lawn—hair wild, sweaty tee-shirt, and no make-up. I impressed him with the fact that I mowed my own lawn. Boy, did I have him fooled! I think I’ve cut the grass twice in all our married years, and it’s made for a running joke. Every time he sees a woman riding a lawn tractor or pushing a lawnmower, he says, “Now, that’s a fine woman!” I just roll my eyes.

Kit Barnes and Joanna Stewart met long before the beginning of A Reluctant Melody. They first saw each other at the Everspring Ball. Though her rich and dour, pastor father disapproved of her lifestyle, Joanna was a lovely social hummingbird who caught Kit’s attention. It was one of those “gazes meeting across the room” moments. However, before he could introduce himself, his brother Hugh—literally—came between them. They officially met when Hugh brought her home for supper. After that … well, that’s what makes the current story. 🙂

In the excerpt below from A Reluctant Melody, Joanna is preparing to tend cat scratches on Kit’s hands. I’ve left portions out for the sake of space:

When she returned, Kit sat at the table on the porch. He held the backs of his clean hands toward her and waited. Oh, how she despised that enticing grin.

Joanna paused near the door, suddenly afraid to get too close. One bite from the snake’s charms had proved one too many. If she’d learned nothing else in her life, it was to be cautious when around Christopher Barnes. …

For the dare in that smirk alone, Kit deserved whatever pain the cat caused him.

Joanna marched forward, closing the space between them. She dug into the jar and snatched his right hand. Warmth from his skin spread up her right arm like a flame. Several times, her fingers wanted to curl around his, and she forced them to straighten. She rubbed the oily salve into his wounds, pretending a calm that the tightening of her chest negated. …

Finished with the right hand, she let go, and the warmth connecting them fled. In its place, she erected an emotional wall of ice. “Now that I’ve shown you how it’s done, I’m sure you can manage the other hand yourself.”

After shoving the jar of ointment closer to Kit, she walked away with annoying tears welling in her eyes. She should have refused to tend his scratches. She should never have allowed him in the house last week, much less agreed to sell to him. She should have left Banesville long ago.
If so, these emotions she’d locked in a tiny compartment of her heart would never have broken free. No matter her precautions, the frozen remnants of her love for Kit Barnes melted and flowed like black venom through Joanna’s veins.

Forever and always.

About Sandra: Sandra Ardoin writes inspirational historical romance. She’s the author of The Yuletide Angel and A Reluctant Melody. A wife and mom, she’s also a reader, football fan, NASCAR watcher, garden planter, country music listener, antique store prowler. Learn more and connect: 

Sandra’s Website            Sandra’s Blog              Sandra’s Facebook              Sandra’s Twitter 

Sandra’s Google+            Sandra’s Goodreads                Sandra’s Pinterest               Sandra’s Newsletter

About the book  – A Reluctant Melody:

Kit’s alcoholism ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. But the most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past.

Friends of her late husband blame Joanna for his death. Although eager to flee from the rumors, she will let the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she allows Kit back into her life.
When a blackmailer threatens to reveal Joanna’s long-held secret, will she risk losing everything she owns to Kit … including her heart?

Question for readers: Are you a makeup and hair primper? Or not?

Come back Jan 25th for Mary Hamilton!

18 Responses to “Sandra Ardoin – Real Life Romance & Romantic Excerpt – Part 1 of 1”

  • Connie Saunders says:

    I am like you and I always try to look my best when attending church. I did the same when I worked as a librarian but now, you will find me most days barefaced (except for moisturizer) and my hair is straight.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Thank you for letting me share a little about my real-life romance as well as the fictional one, Shannon!

  • I spend a lot less on makeup these days, too, Connie! 🙂

  • Shelia Hall says:

    I only wear makeup for church or if I am going out for special party! Love being a natural woman!

  • A natural woman – I love that, Shelia! 🙂

  • Anne Payne says:

    I am when I have to go out. At home, I’m usually wearing sweats and a ponytail. 🙂

  • kim amundsen says:

    No I am not.

  • Nope, lol. I have worn make-up off an on when I was in high school and have never followed popular hairstyles. I have never colored my hair except one time in high school I used, I think it was called Summer Blonde, or something like that, for highlights. My mom was a ‘beautician’ what they called hairstylists ‘back in the day’, lol, and didn’t color my hair, although she colored her hair. I have had many perms in my time though.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  • Melanie Backus says:

    I am not a primper at all. Sunday’s are special so I do try to look my best for church but otherwise, what you see is what you get….very casual!

  • I’m an avid primper. When I was a kid, we had a neighbor I thought was gorgeous. Until I saw her without her makeup. I decided if I ever got to where my mother would let me wear makeup, I’d never leave home without it. And I don’t.

    I see women out with their hair and ponytail and no makeup and wish I could do that. But I just can’t.

  • Beth C says:

    I loved the mower story! I don’t really wear much makeup. I wear a minimal amount when I’m going somewhere but at home I’m always natural!

  • Terrill Rosado says:

    I have a degree in exercise physiology and before kids, I would go to the gym for my own workout at 5:30 AM 5 days a week. There was no way I would put make-up on to go to the gym. I had (and still do) short hair and would throw a ball cap on and head out sans make-up. Granted, I was a youthful 20 something in those days.

    Since hitting my 40’s, my once perfect eyesight has deteriorated. I recently purchased a lighted magnified mirror for makeup and eyebrow maintenance. Was I ever in shock when I saw what my 45 year old face looks like magnified. I cringed and thought, “this is what people with excellent eyesight see when they look at me sans make-up.” SCARY!

  • stvannatter says:

    I know what you mean, Terrill. Those mirrors should be outlawed.

  • Natalie Monk says:

    Hi, Shannon! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    Hi, Sandra! I loved your story about how you and your husband met and then his asking you on a date because you got your own lawn mower gas, haha! Too cute. 🙂 Made me laugh out loud.

    I am a makeup and clothes primper, but not so much hair. I like it to look a certain way, but if things go ratty, I just fluff it, put it up in a clip and walk out the door.

    Thanks for giving away a copy of your book! Sounds like a wonderful story!

    nataliedmonk AT gmail DOT com

  • Deanne Patterson says:

    With a bunch of children at home make up around the house is just not something I have time for. Now when I go out I do enjoy getting dolled up as my husband calls it. Wearing makeup does make me feel good about myself so yes when I go out it’s a go for it thing.
    I am really looking forward to reading this it sounds great and the cover is beautiful !

    Deanne P.
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

  • ELIZA ELLIOT says:

    I like to primp but I am usually on the go. So i use makeup that is fast to put on but makes the biggest difference. truckredford(at)gmail(Dot)com

  • You all are too funny!

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one running around the house without makeup or slap-dashing it on if I’m in hurry! I have to say that I generally won’t leave the house without some kind of makeup job.

    NOTE TO SINGLES: Try the no-makeup thing. You might be surprised. 🙂

  • stvannatter says:

    I have a winner! Natalie Monk won the drawing. I appreciate Sandra for being my guest and everyone else for stopping by.

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