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:
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:
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!