You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two

I'm participating in a blog hop called "A to Z." Each week our group will publish a post featuring the letter of the week. This week is the letter "D." Scroll down and make sure to visit the other blogs. It's sure to be fun. Oh, and leave comments, too. They are always appreciated.
"D" is for Jenny Diver
Picture was found on –
        One of the characters in my post-Revolutionary War novel, entitled Laurel, is modeled after Jenny Diver, a notorious pickpocket.
        Jenny was born as Mary Young around 1700 in Ireland. She was the illegitimate daughter of a lady’s maid who, after being forced to leave her job, gave birth to Jenny in a brothel. At age 10, Jenny was taken in by a gentlewoman who sent her to school where she learned needlework and to read and write. Once she had mastered needlework, she moved to London to become a seamstress. There she met the leader of a gang of pickpockets and learned the skills of a street criminal so well she soon became their leader.
        Though she was caught several times, imprisoned in Newgate, and sent to the American colonies, she managed to return to London under assumed names.  Eventually at the age of about 40, her luck ran out, and she was caught and put on trial for street robbery.
        The following description is from The Chronicles of Crime or The New Newgate Calendar. v. 1/2, by Camden Pelham:
        After conviction she appeared to have a due sense of the awful situation in which she was placed; and employing a great part of her time in devotion, she repented sincerely of the course of iniquity in which she had so long persisted. On the day preceding that of her execution, she sent for the woman who nursed her child, which was then about three years old, and saying that there was a person who would pay for its maintenance, she earnestly entreated that it might be carefully instructed in the duties of religion. On the following morning she appeared to be in a serene state of mind. The preparations in the press-yard for a moment shook her fortitude, but her spirits were soon again tolerably composed. She was conveyed to Tyburn in a mourning-coach, being attended by a clergyman, to whom she declared her firm belief in the principles of the Protestant Church. Her remains were, at her own desire, buried in St. Pancras churchyard. Her execution took place on the 18th March, 1740, when she was hanged from London's Tyburn Tree.

My novel, Laurel, will be released January 12, 2015, by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"C" Is for Christmas Novella

I'm participating in a blog hop called "A to Z." Each week our group will publish a post featuring the letter of the week.  This week is the letter "C."   Scroll down and make sure to visit the other blogs. It's sure to be fun. Oh, and leave comments, too.  They are always appreciated.


Meet Author Sandra Ardoin

Are experiences in The Yuletide Angel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Neither, really. The idea began with the creation of a mood and an event—Violet’s fear over what her brother’s impending marriage means for her and Hugh’s nighttime foray. The story and the characters built from there.

Which of your characters is most/least like you, and in what ways?
I think I’m most like Violet, shy and retiring, at least until I get to know someone. We’ve both learned to be a little more outgoing in public situations, yet neither of us will ever be the life of the party.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
I’ll admit to reading the reviews for The Yuletide Angel. Fortunately, they’ve all been positive so far. As writers, I think we can learn from more than one review or critique that has the same criticism, but we have to be careful not to let everything that’s written, good and bad, go to our heads or dampen our moods. I’ll find out if that easier said than done.

What book are you reading now?
Right now, I’m reading Amanda Cabot’s At Bluebonnet Lake. I love her historicals, but this is the first contemporary by her that I’ve read. I have a large stack of books to read and review and have gotten a bit behind with the release of the novella.

What are your current projects?
I’m writing a contracted novel for Heritage Beacon, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. A Reluctant Melody involves a secondary character in The Yuletide Angel, Hugh’s brother Kit. It’s scheduled to release in January 2016.

If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Good question. While I love Hugh and Violet, I think I’d like to have dinner with Kit and ask him more about his past mistakes. Ha! Maybe because he’s the hero in my next book!

Do you have any upcoming events?
I have two booksignings in my area coming up in November. I’ll be sharing the table with two writer friends. We did something similar in August and it was a lot of fun.

Can you tell us about some of the milestones you’ve reached as a writer?
I’ve had several. The first, of course, was receiving that first sale in 1986, a poster quote. After my daughter was born and I became a stay-at-home mom, I began writing short stories for children and adults, so that first sale was encouraging. Then in 2009, I began writing novels fulltime. In 2010, I had my first experience with the royalty system when my short story “Get a Clue” came out in Family Ties: Thirteen Short Stories (for children). Getting my agent in 2012 and my first publishing contract last May were huge milestones.

What motivates you to write, and where do you get ideas?
Well, right now, what motivates me to write is a contract I need to fulfill. Actually, I love writing fiction, expanding those imaginary scenes and snippets of dialogue that enter my mind on a frequent basis. My ideas comes from various places. Maybe I’ll read something that sparks a question or idea. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a what I mentioned before—an image or a line or two of dialogue will pop into my head. From there, I investigate who said what, why, and what happened next.

Do you have a life Bible verse?
I have favorite verses. I’ve leaned on Jeremiah 29:11 for my writing. God has encouraged me too many times in this endeavor for me not to believe He has some plan for what I write. Another favorite is Isaiah 55:8 (and 9). Those verses always remind me of who God is. Colossians is one of my favorite books of the Bible.

Tell us about one of your personality traits.
I can be a little obsessive/compulsive at times—nothing like Monk, though. When getting ready to leave the house, I run through the rooms, checking to be sure everything is off and nothing is plugged in that shouldn’t be (like my curling iron), and that I have my keys and whatever else I need. Then I do it again (and, sometimes, again). My daughter blames me for that same habit.

Where can people get a copy of your book?
The Yuletide Angel is available in both print and e-book on Amazon and in e-book on Barnes and Noble.

Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, recently released. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.

Visit her at and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Sign up for her newsletter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"B" Is for Brick Books

I'm participating in a blog hop called "A to Z." Each week our group will publish a post featuring the letter of the week.  This week is the letter "B."

Scroll down and make sure to visit the other blogs. It's sure to be fun. Oh, and leave comments, too.  They are always appreciated.

Since my Revolutionary War and Post Revolutionary novels have the names of flowers, I'm growing an author's garden with chamomiles, laurels, and cassias. 

When looking for garden art, I came across the idea of painting bricks to look like antique books, which I'll place among the flowers. 

My granddaughter and I painted six books, 3 named after my novels, and 3 after our favorite books (Ben Hur and Jane Eyre for me; and Tuesdays with Morrie for Kenzie). 

I'm amazed at how much they look like real antique books! 

Here's the video my granddaughter and I followed -- How to Make a Brick Book

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"A" is for Author's Garden

By Susan F. Craft

I'm participating in a blog hop called "A to Z." Each week our group will publish a post featuring the letter of the week.  Scroll down and make sure to visit the other blogs. It's sure to be fun. Oh, and leave comments, too.  They are always appreciated.
I’m creating an “Author’s Garden” in my yard in honor of my Revolutionary War novel, The Chamomile, published in 2011, and two post-Revolutionary War novels, entitled Laurel and Cassia, which will be published January 12 and September 14, 2015, respectively, by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

So far, I’ve planted six chamomiles, three laurel bushes, and four cassia trees.

When they bloom, chamomile flowers look like daisies, except the yellow centers are cone-shaped instead of flat. When you walk through them, they give off an aroma of apples.

The laurels, or mountain laurels, will have pink blossoms and glossy dark green leaves.

The cassias will have brilliant yellow, cascading blooms and will reach about ten feet tall. Cassia, the “poor man’s cinnamon,” is mentioned in the Bible several times as one of the ingredients of anointing oil. According to Psalm 45:8, when the Messiah returns, his robes will smell of cassia. (All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. NIV).

I’ve ordered an aluminum bronze-colored bench, which should arrive soon. I’ve also been searching for garden sculpture. Haven’t decided on the sculpture, yet.