Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

A LOVE MOST WORTHY
Saturday, February 16, 2019 by SANDRA ARDOIN

 

PLEASE WELCOME

SANDRA ARDOIN

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM A LOVE MOST WORTHY

 

Hallie did her best to check her appearance in the hand mirror while wishing it was the full-length glass from her Seattle bedroom. Her storekeeper husband could easily order one, but she doubted her need would ever occur to him, and if it did, after losing Davie, he probably considered her unworthy of anything but food and shelter.

How foolish she had been to get caught up in conversation and risk the children ’s safety. Rance had every right to his anger. So, why should his lack of consideration bother her when she’d lived with that attitude most of her life?

She stared at the reflection of the rose engraved on the locket adorning her shirtwaist. Last summer, she had found it among her father’s possessions. Her aunt had identified it as belonging to Hallie’s mother, but her father had never given it to her.

Though she might have deserved to receive her mother’s locket, she deserved no special gifts from Rance. But what hurt more than her husband’s words was his decision to spend more time at home during the past week. Undoubtedly, his trust in her was no keener than his interest.

She pinned her hat to her head, snatched her gloves from the bureau, and walked into the sitting room. Despite the strain of the past days, she looked forward to her first July Fourth celebration in Nome.

“Are you ready, Aunt Hallie?”

She smiled at Robbie. “I am. Where are Davie and your uncle?”

The boy lost his grin, and it broke Hallie’s heart. He felt a responsibility for protecting her yet was too young to realize how little he could do to change what happened.

Hallie was beginning to care a great deal for all the Prestons and didn’t want to cause continued strife between the six-year-old and Rance. She bent over and cupped his chin. “Will you do something for me?”

His eyes lit and his head bobbed. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Will you be extra nice to your Uncle Rance today?”

She waited while he tilted his head and narrowed his eyes, considering her request. “I guess so, but he better not make you cry again.”

“I won’t, Robbie.” At the sound of Rance’s voice, Hallie bolted upright and spun around. He stood in the hallway near the boys’ bedroom, a paper-wrapped package clutched in his hand and Davie at his side. “At least, I’ll try not to.”

Enraptured by his steady gaze with its hint of sheepishness, Hallie’s pulse frolicked. She could blame the cavorting on his sudden appearance but feared the credit belonged to the husky drawl and gentle voice.

Really, Hallie?

Her inner heels kicked up as she fell victim to his chiseled features, those wide shoulders, and the sturdy chest on which she could lean while his arms enfolded…

She gasped. Get hold of yourself, Hallie Rus…Preston. For heaven’s sake, this isn’t the first time you’ve seen your husband, and he has no interest in your attraction anyway.

Besides, his more-or-less apology had been to his nephew, not her.

“What’s in your hand, Uncle Rance?” Robbie pointed to the package.

Rance studied at it as if he’d forgotten about it. “I brought Aunt Hallie something.”

Her breath stuttered. He’d brought her a present?

He stepped closer and held it out for her to grasp. When she took the package, the paper crinkled and yielded to her touch. Whatever it enclosed was soft and pliable. She presented him with her most generous smile. “Thank you.”

Hallie tore the paper, impatient to see the gift. She pulled out a wide ribbon…a wide, crimson hair ribbon. Her pleasure collapsed like a deflated balloon.

“I thought it appropriate for today.”

Appropriate for the Fourth of July? Perhaps. But had he not listened when she mentioned she despised the color red. It reminded her too much of her father’s death. Why hadn’t he brought her a blue or white ribbon?

Robbie wrinkled his nose. “But it’s red, Uncle Rance. She doesn’t like red.”

She balled the ribbon in her hand and swallowed her disappointment. “It’s fine, Robbie. In fact, it’s lovely.” It would be lovely…to someone else.

Hallie couldn’t deny Rance was a good man. However, she wouldn’t fool herself. Like her father, he considered her feelings irrelevant. He hadn’t bothered to remember her name. Why should she expect him to remember a tiny detail such as her disdain of the color red? To him, she was of no more interest than the cook stove. Stuff kindling in her when she grew cold, then ignore her until the next time she was needed.

She had hoped life with him would be different, but so far, her marriage felt like the same tired refrain sung over and over.

*****

 

ABOUT SANDRA ARDOIN

Author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub.

Subscribe to the Love and Faith in Fiction newsletter and keep up with what’s new, discover what’s upcoming, and learn of specials and giveaways.

 

ABOUT A LOVE MOST WORTHY

She didn’t know which was colder,

an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart.

 

Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to repent of his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?

 

Available in e-book on Amazon

(Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MDXHH2M)

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Comments

Sandra Ardoin From At 2/16/2019 11:22:13 AM

Thanks so much for sharing this excerpt with your readers, Linda!

Reply by: Linda Wood Rondeau

My pleasure

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2/16/2019

LOVE'S ALLEGIANCE
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2/16/2019

SEE? GOOD.
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2/16/2019

LOVING THE BABY BOOMER GENERATION
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2/16/2019

WRITING THE PAST: THE DUST BOWL
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2/16/2019

EXPERIENCING GOD'S LOVE IN A BROKEN WORLD
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2/16/2019

MAKING PRETTY THINGS
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2/16/2019

THE STREET SINGER
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2/16/2019

PLUG INTO GOD'S POWER
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2/16/2019

ARE YOU TOO OLD TO BECOME AN AUTHOR
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2/16/2019

JANUS JOURNALS
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2/16/2019

ENJOY THE MEAL
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2/16/2019

DRIVING ON FLAT TIRES
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2/16/2019

WHERE I WAS PLANTED
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2/16/2019

WAITING FOR THE TEST
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2/16/2019

IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME
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2/16/2019

TO THE RESCUE A SHORT STORY
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2/16/2019

THE LEAST OF THESE
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2/16/2019

KEEPING IT FRESH
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2/16/2019

SUMMER PLANS AND OTHER DISASTERS
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2/16/2019

MY COMFORTER SAW IT COMING
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2/16/2019

OVERFLOWING WITH BLESSINGS
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2/16/2019

AND THEN BLOOMS LOVE
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2/16/2019

IN THE MONEY
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2/16/2019

HAVING THE PRIME OF MY LIFE
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2/16/2019

AMMO (An Original Shorty Story)
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2/16/2019

BLESSINGS IN AN IMPERFECT WORLD
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2/16/2019

GOLDEN GIRL
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2/16/2019

POWER UP
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2/16/2019

BOOKENDS
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2/16/2019

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

THE PINK BONNET
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2/16/2019

UNDERGROUND
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2/16/2019

Food, Families, and Fond Memories
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2/16/2019

KATELYN'S CHOICE
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2/16/2019

THE POWER OF LOVE
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2/16/2019

HOSEA'S HEART
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2/16/2019

FOR THOSE OVER FIFTY-FIVE
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2/16/2019

FAITH AND HOPE
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2/16/2019

A CONVENIENT COMPASSION
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2/16/2019

NEXT GENERATION
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2/16/2019

FALLEN LEAF
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2/16/2019

TONGUE-TAMING 101
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2/16/2019

Mimi and Bop
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2/16/2019

GRACE & LAVENDER
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2/16/2019

WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION
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2/16/2019

NEVER TO OLD TO START OVER
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2/16/2019

JULIA
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2/16/2019

R and I
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2/16/2019

AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE
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2/16/2019

KATELYN'S CHOICE
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2/16/2019

MY SINAI SAGA
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2/16/2019

THE WRITER'S CALLING
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2/16/2019

When Valleys Bloom Again
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2/16/2019

You Asked for It
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2/16/2019

PLAYING THROUGH THE FOG
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2/16/2019

One Door Between Us
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2/16/2019

Counterfeit Detectors
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2/16/2019

SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED TO TURN OFF THE GPS
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2/16/2019

BURIED MOUNTAIN SECRETS
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2/16/2019

LANDING HARD
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2/16/2019

DON’T CALL HER MA’AM
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2/16/2019

CAPTURE ME
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2/16/2019

LOVING ONE ANOTHER
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2/16/2019

When Your Past Looms Longer than Your Future
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2/16/2019

UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES
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2/16/2019

TAKIN' IT TO THE LIMIT
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2/16/2019

OUR MCDONALDS
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2/16/2019

A Tender Hope
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2/16/2019

DON'T HIT THE FAN
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2/16/2019

BORN TOO LATE
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2/16/2019

PARHELION
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2/16/2019

NOT OF THIS WORLD
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2/16/2019

PERSPECTIVE
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2/16/2019

CAROLINA GRACE
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2/16/2019

THE POWER OF "WITH"/OVERCOMING ANXIETY
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2/16/2019

IS IT THE BEGINNING OR THE END
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2/16/2019

A LOVE MOST WORTHY
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2/16/2019

HITTING YOUR SPIRITUAL GROOVE
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2/16/2019

MY TO-DO LIST
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2/16/2019

YOU'RE AMAZING
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2/16/2019

STIRRED, NOT SHAKEN
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2/16/2019

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
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2/16/2019

LOVE'S RESCUE
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2/16/2019

COURTING DANGER
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2/16/2019

A CHURCH PLANTER'S WIFE
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2/16/2019

MAMA, I CAN'T TAKE A BATH THERE'S A FISH IN THE TUB
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2/16/2019

JOHN ALDEN ... A SHORT STORY
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2/16/2019

FIG LEAVES RIPPING?
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2/16/2019

EAT RIGHT NOW LIVE LONGER LATER
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2/16/2019

THE OTHER NEIGHBOR
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2/16/2019

A BEFORE I
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2/16/2019

AM I STRESSED?
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2/16/2019

NO TURNING BACK
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2/16/2019

EVERYDAY CHOICES
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2/16/2019

SHOULD VS WANT
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2/16/2019

ALLEY'S PERFECT ANGEL
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2/16/2019

YOU ARE THE APPLE OF HIS EYE
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2/16/2019

I'LL BE ALONE FOR CHRISTMAS ... YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
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2/16/2019

A SILVER MEDALLION
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2/16/2019

WHY WE SING JOY TO THE WORLD!
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2/16/2019

THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE
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2/16/2019

THE AMISH MIDWIFE'S SECRET
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2/16/2019

Coming Home For Christmas
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2/16/2019

LIVING WITHOUT REGRET
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2/16/2019

CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY
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2/16/2019

WHY DO WE NEVER LEARN
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2/16/2019

GROWING UP CAN BE FUN SO IS GETTING OLDER
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2/16/2019

RETURN TO WALHALLA
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2/16/2019

SAVED BY THE LAMB
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2/16/2019

SOARING WITH BROKEN WINGS
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2/16/2019

HOMELESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
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2/16/2019

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
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2/16/2019

HAIR CALAMITIES AND HOT CASH
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2/16/2019

NEVER TOO LATE
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2/16/2019

MEET ME IN GALVESTON
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2/16/2019

The Not So Good Good Old Days
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2/16/2019

HARVEST OF BLESSINGS
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2/16/2019

MEET JENNIFER SLATTERY
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2/16/2019

HONESTLY SPEAKING
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2/16/2019

Perceptual Blindness
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2/16/2019

THE PUTTING GREEN WHISPERER
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2/16/2019

The God of the Mundane
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

WHEN I WAS THREE
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2/16/2019

He Passes By
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

Bryan's Homecoming
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2/16/2019

EMERGENCE
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2/16/2019

THE PURSUIT OF PEACE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

Live Long and Prosper
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2/16/2019

THE REAL DEAL
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2/16/2019

Antiquainted Man
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2/16/2019

SOMETHING NEW
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2/16/2019

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED TAKE A BUBBLE BATH THEN TRY AGAIN
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2/16/2019

REMEMBERING CHRISTMAS
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2/16/2019

FOOTPRINTS
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2/16/2019

FUNNY WITH A POIGNANT MESSAGE
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2/16/2019

MUTUAL SUBMISSIVENESS
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2/16/2019

CASTING STONES
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2/16/2019

HEADLINE HYSTERIA
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2/16/2019

COUNTRY ROADS
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2/16/2019

STUPIDITY IS NO EXCUSE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

Beauty Queen and Humorist Shares Her Latest Book
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2/16/2019

AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH/WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CHAPTER 2A
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2/16/2019

WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CREATED TO BE SALT PART B
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2/16/2019

WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/ CREATED TO BE SALT/PART A
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2/16/2019

CELEBRATE YOUR FEMINITY
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2/16/2019

THE FIFTY-FIFTY CONUNDRUM
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2/16/2019

THE ROCK OF OUR FUTURE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

PASS THE LOVE, PLEASE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

STRANDED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

BATTLE WITH A BUMBLEBEE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

BATTLE FATIGUES
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

LOVE IN A SUITCASE
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2/16/2019

FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM
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2/16/2019

KERI'S CHRISTMAS WISH
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2/16/2019

Raising a Child With Autism
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

SHOULD OR WANT
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

CONFESSIONS OF A GARDENS SLUGGARD
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2/16/2019

GRANDMA PRAYED WHILE IRONING
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2/16/2019

The Day Super Mom Died
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2/16/2019

FOLLOW WHICH LEADER?
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

ROYAL LEGACY
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

THE POWER OF ONE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

A LIFELONG PURSUIT
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

A TEENAGED ROBIN HOOD
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

NUGGETS OF GRACE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

THE CHOICE TO FAIL
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TROUBLE
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

JUST LIKE MY DADDY
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

PATIENT PRAYING
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2/16/2019

MEET DARLENE FRANKLIN/SCAVENGER HUNT/LAST STOP
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2/16/2019

PATIENT WISDOM
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2/16/2019

OF PETS AND PERSISTENCE
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2/16/2019

God's Server Never Shuts Down
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

Blessed to be a Blessing
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

Mama, I Can't take a Bath 'Cause There's a Fish in the Tub
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

SOUR GRAPES OR BLESSED FRUIT
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2/16/2019

IT'S WHAT THEY DO
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

MEET JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
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2/16/2019

FROM LIGHT TO BRIGHT
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

SURRENDERING TO THE CALL
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2/16/2019

MY QUEST
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

MY INTIMATE JOURNEY WITH MY HEROINE BY NIKE N. CHI
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2/16/2019

ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
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2/16/2019

When Art Imitates Life: An Author's Book Journey
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2/16/2019

Settled By Faith
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2/16/2019

JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING
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2/16/2019

From Little Golden Books to Summer's List
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

THE EDUCABLE MOMENT
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2/16/2019

There's love in them there casseroles
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2/16/2019

Searching for God With All My Heart
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2/16/2019

I RUN TO YOU
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2/16/2019

Sweetening Our Sour Grapes
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2/16/2019

THE FALL THAT LIFTS
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2/16/2019

A Walk With God
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2/16/2019

Disappointment and Discouragement
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2/16/2019

STIRRING TRUTH
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2/16/2019

PENNED BY GOD'S OWN HAND
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2/16/2019

The Masterpiece
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2/16/2019

RESTORED HEARTS and a Writer's Journey
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2/16/2019

THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: Meditations on the Road
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2/16/2019

DIALOGUING OUR FEARS
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2/16/2019

WHY A BOOK OF PRAYERS?
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

From Lettuce to Pages
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2/16/2019

AND NOT TO YIELD
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

BONNIE LEON WRITES TO ENCOURAGE THE DISABLED
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2/16/2019

FAITH WORTH THE FIGHT
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2/16/2019

CANT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

THE WINDING TRAIL
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2/16/2019

The Flavorful Church
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2/16/2019

Commitment Phobia
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2/16/2019

God knows our hearts
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2/16/2019

God Had Other Plans
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2/16/2019

BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT
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2/16/2019

God's Writer: Jan Elder
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2/16/2019

THE CURE FOR THE WEARY SOUL
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2/16/2019

Surely Goodness and Mercy Gail Kittleson
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2/16/2019

OF THEE I SING
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2/16/2019

A HUNGER FOR GOD
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2/16/2019

What Do We Ask God For?
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2/16/2019

BUCK STORM SINGER/SONGWRITER/STORYTELLER
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2/16/2019

STRESS: THAT OTHER HOMEWRECKER
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2/16/2019

A Dream Come True of Being A Writer
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

Meet Shannon Vannetter Christian Author
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2/16/2019

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

EMPTY NETS
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2/16/2019

Bucketwish
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2/16/2019

Loyalty that Springs from Spirituality
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2/16/2019

Wonderfully Made
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2/16/2019

Lighthouse of the Carolina's Author Carol Heilman
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2/16/2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019