Sandra Ardoin Speaks Out!

Sandra Ardoin_Headshot

Everyone’s Story welcomes to its little but growing community Christian fiction author Sandra Ardoin. I’m thrilled to share–if you don’t know already–that Sandra’s novel, A Reluctant Melody has just won the Grace Award for historical romance. Huge congratulations, Sandra!! Sandra speaks up on graduation to a new life and shares with us an excerpt from her award-winning novel. Speaking of A Reluctant Melody Sandra does offer it as this week’s BookGiveaway so do check it out. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you! 

**Please check out the podcast link below Sandra’s feature where I’m the awesome Denise Walker’s guest and share about how I came to have hope in Christ.

ARM Cover



Sandra is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  1 ebook of  A Reluctant Melody.  The winner will be announced here on Friday, June 16th between 6-7 PM EST.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.



Excerpt from A Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin:

 Excerpt – A Reluctant Melody by Sandra Ardoin


He [Kit Barnes] entered the narrow building that housed Medford’s Ice Cream Parlor, a side shop of Medford’s Mercantile, and pulled out a chair from the table nearest the front window. This was the only kind of saloon he frequented nowadays. When concerns overwhelmed him, sweets helped to alleviate the desire for something stronger. Today was a two-scoop day, and he ordered one each of vanilla and chocolate.

The frozen cream cooled his tongue and coated his throat. As he sat there, the noise and street traffic outside the window vanished, replaced by scenes from his visit to the Stewart home. He’d told Joanna she hadn’t changed, but that wasn’t true. The romantic overtures of a young lady had been replaced by the sober and mature air of a sophisticated widow.

Perry said she preferred to remain at home rather than venture out. Again, it was a trait so unlike the woman he knew in Philadelphia. Back then, she flitted from house to house like an iridescent hummingbird sticking her beak into one flower after another and savoring the societal nectar.

What had Joanna seen in him in those days of hedonism? The ice cream curdled in his stomach. He had never been blind to her interest in him or her flirtations—only deaf to the crying afterward. In those days, he was his father’s son, and he’d spend the rest of his life making up for it. Had the rumors Mrs. Brockhurst mentioned been the catalyst that forced Joanna into the reclusive state Perry claimed? From what Kit gathered, Clayton Stewart died almost three years ago. Joanna no longer wore the dreary colors of mourning. If the rumor of an adulterous relationship was correct, what stopped the two Stewarts from marrying after the older man’s death?

Laughter drew Kit’s attention to a pair of children seated across the room. The girl with her caramel-colored hair reminded him of Annie. Did Joanna ever bring her daughter here? His daughter?

Kit dropped his spoon in the bowl and pushed it away with half his ice cream uneaten and melted into a lumpy, brown pool. He left the building and ambled down the street toward his hotel. If Annie was his child, how could Joanna have dared keep her from him?


Graduating to a New Life by Sandra Ardoin


It’s been graduation season, both for high schools and colleges. Cue “Pomp and Circumstance” and throw the mortar boards in the air!

For parents, graduation is a time of celebration. All the hard work we and our children put into their education is being paid off in the form of a diploma they can take with them into successful futures.

But it’s also a mixed blessing. Sure, we’re happy for the milestone, but at the same time, we’re sad to think how life will change for them and us in the days and weeks to come. After all, we’ve raised those munchkins for seventeen or more years and are used to them being around (until they learned to drive, that is).


Now, those teenagers or young adults will soon head off to college or **snicker** full-time employment like the rest of us. Moms and dads must adjust. And if the graduate is the only or last child…well, the nest is rather empty, isn’t it?

As my daughter (an only) prepared to graduate from high school, we visited a number of colleges to find the right fit. She settled on one about two and a half hours away. Of course, that meant leaving home for dorm life. It also meant an empty bedroom in the house. More on that later.

It’s a scary thing to entrust the children you’ve raised and instilled with Biblical values to an educational system and peers you hope will have a positive, rather than negative, influence when you’re not around to keep them on the straight and narrow. It’s just as scary for them. As Christian parents, we also had the assurance of knowing she had a faith to keep her strong. It was (and still is) great to know we can rely on Proverbs 22:6 – “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

I remember moving said daughter into the dorm and wanting to hang around until the powers-that-be sympathetically patted my back and ordered me to leave. I’ll never forget that last look through the rear window of the vehicle at said daughter. She looked lost until she met two other girls in the same boat. The three of them sailed off into the sunset together. (Actually, they walked into the convocation center, but the analogy works.)

Honestly, we were just getting used to her being gone when she was back for fall break, then Christmas vacation and Spring break. Before we knew it, we were moving her back home for the summer.

We repeated this process for three more years, until it was time for another mortar board toss and she was back home to hunt down that elusive dream job. It took her a while to find it, but she’s one of the fortunate ones who works in her chosen profession—two hours away. Another day of heavy lifting and she was moved into her apartment. We became true empty-nesters. Now what?

Remember that unoccupied bedroom? Within days after her vacancy, it was transformed! New paint. Different furniture. It became mom’s writing cave, and she loves it! There is a microwave for reheating those all-important cups of coffee that turn cold as I labor for the proper words, two windows with views that allow me to feel the world won’t completely pass me by while I’m tied to my desk, and a yoga mat for giving others the impression I’m keeping fit.


So, if you’re the parent of a small child, enjoy the days! They won’t be small long. But if you’re about to enter the twilight of your child-rearing, take heart. It’s not the end of the world. Make plans for that time. Find something to look forward to and the transition will be easier.

As for the child, train them right in the days you have with them and you’ll rest easier.

Sandra’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

When @SandraArdoin’s daughter finished high school, who really graduated? (Tweet This)

Meet author @SandraArdoin, #GraceAward winner for #HistoricalRomance. (Tweet This)

Win @SandraArdoin’s #BookGiveaway of A Reluctant Melody. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Sandra Ardoin writes inspirational historical romance and is the author of The Yuletide Angel and A Reluctant Melody, a 2016 Grace Award Finalist. A wife and mom, she’s also a reader, football fan, NASCAR watcher, garden planter, country music listener, and antique store prowler. Join her email community to receive occasional updates and a free short story

Places to connect with Sandra:


Seriously Write Blog






Sandra and I look forward to your comments.


I’d be honored if you’d take a few minutes

to listen to the Hope-in-Christ podcast that I’m featured in:




20 comments to Sandra Ardoin Speaks Out!

  • Thanks for letting me share, Elaine!

  • Marilyn

    Congratulations Sandra on your award for A Reluctant Melody. The excerpt sounds intriguing and historical romance is one of my favorite genres.

    Thanks for the thoughts on an empty room when a child leaves home to expand their horizons.

  • Hi Sandra,

    Great post! Graduation is certainly a bittersweet time! I’m also a writer and very thankful that the Lord has birthed this new passion in me as my children are graduating and beginning their adult lives out of our home. So many of my friends seem a bit lost. While I’m in no hurry to have them leave (although one empty bedroom is now a proper guest room and I’m eyeing another for my own writing cave) it is a huge blessing to have something fill that void! We’re not too old to pursue our own passions!

    • elaineadmin

      Hi, Kelly. I’m happy to see you 😊 As for age–something I’ve contemplated lately concerning His plan for me–I praise God for not thinking that age is an obstacle… or that the opposite of having a spare room or two, that having limited writing room isn’t a problem either. I’m so thankful He doesn’t have obstacles!!

  • Where does the time go? I’ve heard that statement three times I the last day and a half. How does it speed up so? One minute they’re stepping on your toes and turn around twice and they’re towering over you. I love the meme about training them up in the way they should go. Totally true.

  • Ann Mock

    Congratulations on your award for your new book! That is exciting. We have really enjoyed our empty nest by traveling. I am so thankful that my children have been able to grow up and leave the nest as productive adults! I know you are proud too.

  • Hi, Marilyn! Thanks for the congrats and leaving a comment! Yes, I’m a big historical romance reader too!

    It is sad when those kids leave, but they need to be on their own. They WANT to be on their own.

  • Hi, Kelly! This is such a great time for you write. I began writing before I was married, but only part time and small projects until my daughter was almost ready to graduate from high school. Yes, we are never too old to pursue those passions! Go with that writing cave and write on! 🙂

  • Oh yes, Pat! It’s so hard to think they were just toddling around and now they’re grown and gone. Mine is almost 26. Wait! Didn’t we just bring her home from the hospital? The funny thing is, she’s beginning to see how fast that time flies! 🙂 LOVE your books!

  • Snicker, snicker. Hello, Sandra and Elaine! Loved this post. I have one in full time employment ten hours away and another entering college. I miss those early days. But there is still adventures to be had! 😊

    • elaineadmin

      Thanks for visiting with us, Gail. There’s always an adventure to be had on this spinning planet–LOL.

      Hope to see you again!

    • Hey, Gail! Thanks! It is bittersweet, isn’t it? I always tell parents to enjoy those early years. They go so fast! I hope your ten-hour kid … ahem … young adult finds a way to get a little closer. 🙂

  • elaineadmin

    Thanks Sandra Ardoin, and my viewers, for making another week at Everyone’s Story a fun time of sharing and uplifting. Sandra, you’ve been a lovely guest and I hope to see you back here. Thanks too for your BookGiveaway of A Reluctant Melody. The winner of Sandra’s novel is…

    Gail. Congratulations, Gail!! Enjoy. Both Sandra and I will contact you directly via email.

    Blessings to all.

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