Fiction Faith & Foodies

Fiction Faith & Foodies: October 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On My Kindle ~ The Yuletide Angel by Sandra Ardoin

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Sharing my review
What a fun premise! A Good Samaritan makes weekly deliveries during the weeks leading up to Christmas, delivering precious supplies to the needy in the community, and the next door neighbor who secretly loves her catches her in the act. 

Violet Madison considers herself plain and socially inept, but this small act of kindness emboldens her. Hugh Barnes sees beauty and a kind heart in Violet, and he determines to protect her during her clandestine missions. It was neat to see how Violet and Hugh grew over the course of the story, Violet morphing from shy and quiet to bold and empowered and Hugh dealing with past hurts inflicted by his brother.
"...what is it you want?"
Kit settled into the nearest chair, crossed his legs, and propped his hat on his knee. After a moment of silence, he said, "Forgiveness.""
We discussed this situation five years ago. You're forgiven." Even as he spoke, Hugh recognized the statement as a lie. Forgiving his brother meant a renewal of their relationship.
Haven't we all experienced a toxic family member, someone who hurts us repeatedly with their vicious zingers whether with words or deeds? This hit home for me, so I was glad to see that Kit had truly changed. Even so, I appreciated that their relationship wasn't restored immediately and that it took Hugh a little while to come to grips with his brother's new behavior.

The Yuletide Angel was a quick read with a clever plot and spiritual depth that kept me turning pages. For my taste, I would have liked more romantic interludes (read kissing) between Hugh and Violet, but I understand that society in the late 1800's didn't permit much of that. :) Overall, The Yuletide Angel was a pleasant way to spend a couple hours, and a great read for all seasons.

Disclaimer: Sending a big thank you to Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author for allowing me the privilege of reviewing The Yuletide Angel and for the free copy I received in exchange for my fair and unbiased review. This opinion is my own, and I received no compensation.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Teaser Saturday

“I should have known.”
“Should have known what?” Her voice came out soft, silky, refreshing as a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day.
“That you would be the one bringing them home. You’re a softie inside, you know that?”
He stepped close. Close enough for him to know that she had a cinnamon mint in her mouth, close enough to see the sheen glazing from those luscious jade eyes.
Winter narrowed her brows and glanced frantically in both directions. “Sheesh! Don’t let anybody hear you say that. You’ll ruin my reputation.”
Her face lifted up to his, her cheeks puffy with amusement, her eyes shining with joy.
“Your reputation? You mean spending all your off-duty hours helping a family be able to bring their children back home? Or the hard core cop image you show to the world? Which one, Winter?”
Her face softened, bringing that vulnerability she only showed occasionally, exposing her true beauty. Beauty that shone from the inside, from that huge heart of hers.
The banging, the laughter and tears, the hugging and slapping all faded into background noise, leaving just him and Winter, standing under the shade of a massive oak tree.
Tree branches swayed in the soft breeze, the leaves shimmering with beauty and strength, but fragile in the heavy winds and storms.
Just like Winter.
Sturdy and strong on the outside, but the inside?
Inside she harbored a fragile, gentle soul. One that suffered when the storms of life hit her at such a young age.
He leaned closer and flicked a wisp of hair that floated loose from her ponytail behind an ear. He held his breath, wanting to capture this moment, this picture of her, forever in his head.
Not just the midnight blue shorts and ruffled white top she wore. No, he wanted the essence of Winter. Her spirit of kindness and reconciliation. Her desire to heal fractured families. Her generous heart.
        If he were an artist, that’s what he would paint.
Did you enjoy that little gem? It's from When Love Triumphs, my first novella in the Pure Amore series, due to release in November via subscription with Pelican Book Group. It's one click shopping. You don't have to drive to the bookstore or check back for new releases. After subscribing, each month your "Pure Amore" romance will be emailed to your inbox, mailed as a print copy, or you can select a combination of both for as low as $48. Check out the gorgeous covers and intriguing blurbs for all twelve books here. Convenient, right? How cool is that? :)

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Teaser Saturday

So, what's been going on with you guys? You're too quiet. Or maybe it's just me? lol. 

You can probably tell from my sporadic blog posts that I haven't been reading too much lately. I hope to remedy that soon, starting with Sandra Ardoin's debut novella, The Yuletide Angel. But I have been crazy busy writing. Six books are contracted and ready to roll off the presses with Pelican Book Group.

Pretty, huh? I agree. When Love Triumphs, my first novella in the PURe Amore series, is due to release in November. It's available, along with eleven others, through subscription with Pelican Book Group. You can see the gorgeous covers and intriguing blurbs for all the books here. Subscriptions start as low as $48 (that includes one book a month for an entire year), and you have your choice of digital or print formats.

Maybe you'd like a peek into When Love Triumphs? Yes? Well, why didn't you just say so? lol

Her lips tasted sweet and tangy, cinnamony. He meant for it to be a quick kiss, an encouraging gesture, a promise of more to come, but her sudden gasp and the way her arms curled around his neck made him linger and long for more, a lifetime of summer evenings with this woman by his side. His hands dropped to the curve of her back and tugged her close. She fit so right, so perfectly into his arms, that all the binds around his heart cut loose.
What will it take, God, for her to see that we can do this?
With a reluctant but satisfied sigh, he pulled back from her lips, dipped his forehead to hers, and willed his heart rate to slow to normal.
He didn’t see Winter’s chest expand, so he knew she was holding her breath. Finally, those luscious green eyes fluttered open, and then she inhaled, deep and shaky, her arms still wrapped tight around his neck. Her words whispered against his lips. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure.” Could the evening get any sweeter?
“Mine, too. But don’t let it happen again.” Her arms dropped.
Whoa! Back it up there. Hadn’t she just admitted that she enjoyed the kiss? What was he missing here? He narrowed his eyes. “Why not?”
 “Because I can’t—”

Did that delicious little goodie convince you to subscribe? I hope so. If not, I'll be back later to share another one. Stay tuned!

Shortly after When Love Triumphs releases, Christmas in the Rink, my first ever Christmas-themed romance, will be offered as part of PBG's Christmas Extravaganza. Yay! But more on that later. 

Right now, I'm working on Kester Ranch, a sweet contemporary romance series with cowboys, adorable kids and two Australian Koolies on a Texas ranch. The first book, Roping the Cowboy is complete, and I'm in the process of finding a home for the series. 

So that's it for me. What's going on with you?

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Anybody fancy a trip to Vegas?

OK, so maybe it's only vicariously, but still! Have you read any of Pelican Book Group's Passport to Romances? I haven't yet, but that will change soon. Some great looking covers and intriguing blurbs coming out here. Check this one out by the UK romantic suspense author who never sleeps, Clare Revell

Purchase Link

Former protective services officer, Sgt. Martin Ames, is five weeks short of medical retirement from the Vegas PD when he lands one last case: spoiled English heiress, Lady Tamlyn Bradshaw, whose bodyguard is hospitalized with suspected food poisoning.

Tamlyn is on holiday, her first without her father and his ever present bodyguards. She wants to have fun, not spend the time stuck in a hotel room with a disabled cop, even if he is tall, dark and disturbingly handsome.

When food poisoning becomes murder, passions and tempers flare as Martin attempts to keep Tamlyn safe from the assailant who gains everything on her death.

Scoop it up today while it's only $2!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Not participating in NaNoWriMo next month? Perhaps you'd consider taking an online course? Seekerville offers night classes in the Village...last one for 2014!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Mysterious Benefactor … A Secret Guardian by Sandra Ardoin

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Dora here. Over the last few years, I have been blessed with many writing friends, but few so dear as Sandra Ardoin. Sandy and I connected initially through ACFW, and when we realized we lived just a few miles from each other, decided to get together. Since then, we've scaled the writing mountains and wandered through the valleys of publishing while we share our writing and personal journeys over lattes. Today, I'm beyond thrilled to share that Sandy's debut novella, The Yuletide Angel, releases on October 15 with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Congratulations, Sandy!! 

About The Yuletide Angel
It's Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor. 

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others. 

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town ... and in Violet's company. 

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.

Please join me in welcoming my dear friend, Sandy:
I’d like to introduce you to a charming couple—the hero and heroine in my Christmas novella The Yuletide Angel. As I interview them, Hugh Barnes and Violet Madison are sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on the sofa in the formal parlor belonging to Violet’s recently-married brother. The air is filled with the sweet scents of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mmmm…. Please don’t be surprised if this interview is a short one.

Hugh, what was your first thought when you discovered the identity of The Yuletide Angel? Violet turns to him. Her head is tilted at a slight angle, as if she’s eager to hear the answer, too.

Frankly, I was stunned to see my shy neighbor, a woman I’ve spent months trying to get to know, trotting across town in the dark while toting small flour sacks. Of course, it piqued my curiosity to learn just what she was up to. When I saw her leave the first sack at the home of someone I knew to be in need, I realized the truth. At first I thought her a beautiful woman. Then reality chilled my pleasure. She was quite the reckless woman, and I feared for her safety.

Violet pulls a handkerchief from the pocket of her dress and balls it in a fist. Hugh reaches for the hand with the handkerchief. His thumb caresses the back of it. Encouragement? A silent apology for calling her reckless?

So you decided to follow her. Why?

Hugh: To protect her, of course.

Violet: She shivers and ducks her chin. I’d rather not discuss the frightening part of the story, Hugh.

Violet, how do you feel about having had a secret guardian?

Amazed. The men in my family have protected me in one way or another my whole life—first my father, then my brother. I suppose it was a good and honorable thing, but a bit smothering. Hugh’s protection was different. He allowed me more freedom.

When did you first realize you were meant to be together? They turn adoring eyes on one another. Really, friends, the look is as sweet as the icing topping one of Violet’s desserts.

Violet: I fell in love with him soon after I met him, but never believed he would look at a plain woman like me a second time.

Hugh: She was wrong. I looked and kept looking. And she’s not plain. She’s my beautiful Violet. He kisses her cheek. Once I realized the goodness of her heart, I knew she was to be mine.

So what’s next for the two of you?

Violet: A spring wedding, then—

Hugh: We’ll sail off on the adventure of our lives.

They look at each other and laugh. Must be an inside joke. I drop my pen and notepad on the nearest table.

Well, no one is leaving before I sample a large slice of Violet’s apple cake!

Sandra Ardoin
Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction. A fan of old westerns growing up, it’s only natural that she sets stories in the days of the horse and buggy. Her Christmas novella The Yuletide Angel is available on

She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina. Learn more about her at and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Click the link and sign up for Sandy’s newsletter to receive Violet’s Apple Cake recipe, along with news and other tidbits. Enter The Yuletide Angel Facebook Launch giveaway.

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