Sandi Rog is an international and award-winning author of The Master’s Wall, Yahshua’s Bridge, and Walks Alone. Also a mother of four, she lived in Holland for thirteen years and now lives in Colorado with her husband, children, a cat, and too many spiders.
Cheryl, thank you so much for having me on your blog. It’s an honor to be here!
My latest release is my first book since battling cancer. OUT OF THE ASHES is what I call a “light historical romance.” My previous books are very “deep.” Not that this one isn’t, but it’s shorter, won’t make you cry in the middle of the story, and has a happy-ending. I needed to write something “light” because I just came out of a major battle with cancer, nearly losing my life twice, and I just needed to write something that was fun and would make me (and others) smile. Cancer was a rough ride, but there were many blessings that God showered upon us in my recovery, not just physical healing, but healing in my marriage and for our entire family in unimaginable ways.
So . . . I’m grateful to God for allowing me to write OUT OF THE ASHES. I honestly feel like I just stepped out of the ashes of cancer, into a life showered with blessings. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to write again because of “chemo-brain.” It’s a side-affect of chemo/radiation, a foggy forgetfulness that seems to take over and makes it difficult to concentrate, and it can last years after the treatments. It’s all because of God and His tender mercies that I’m still here and able to write. If any of you happened to be one of the thousands who prayed me through cancer, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Really, there are no words to express my gratitude.
What is OUT OF THE ASHES about?
A stranger. A kiss. A shotgun wedding.
NATHANIEL WARD, wealthy entrepreneur, needs a wife. But he’s not interested in the preening, high-society women who are offered to him on a silver platter. He wants one woman, and one woman alone: the girl who gave him all the money in her reticule years ago when the Great Chicago Fire left him destitute. He sets out to find this woman and discovers she’s unattached. There’s only one problem, a shotgun wedding may be able to bind them, but will he ever be able to win her heart?
AMELIA E. TAYLOR blows a kiss to a street rat. Little did she know, years later that kiss would follow her to Green Pines, Colorado. When a handsome stranger arrives in her hometown, she guards her heart from the stirrings this man ignites. Despite society’s disapproval of spinsterhood, she is determined not to marry, having witnessed first-hand the lack of love and horrors that accompany marriage. But will a shotgun wedding reveal blessings that arise out of the ashes?
The following is a teaser take from the opening chapter of OUT OF THE ASHES:
Green Pines, Colorado, 1882
Gun smoke burned Amelia’s eyes and her ears still rang. She blinked the tears from her lashes.
“Do you, Nathaniel Ward,” the preacher scowled, “take Amelia Taylor to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
Amelia’s father cocked his rifle and aimed it at the reluctant groom.
“I do,” Nathaniel said, his voice firm and unwavering. Despite her father’s threats, Nathaniel’s very presence exuded power, his raised chin, broad shoulders and wide chest unflinching against the barrel of the rifle.
Amelia didn’t dare look up at him. What must he be thinking? How many women had hoped to get him this far, and now, here she stood where most women dreamed of standing—shotgun wedding, or not. If only she could melt into the parlor’s wooden floor like the candle burning in the nearby lamp. Or disappear like the smoke. Disappear into nothingness, with no remnant left of her existence.
“Do you, Amelia Taylor, take Nathaniel Ward to be your lawfully wedded husband?” The preacher’s words rushed over Amelia like a gush of foul air.
She stood paralyzed, unable to speak. She’d vowed never to marry. How would she bear this cross? She’d seen enough loveless marriages in her life to know it wasn’t worth the heartache, despite the shame of spinsterhood. And now, to be forced on a man? What miseries awaited her? Abuse? Neglect? Slavery? Any man in his right mind would despise her for the rest of his days. It would be impossible—unthinkable—to procure his affection … his love.
The minister, still in his nightclothes, cleared his throat. His wife, holding up the lantern, glowered from behind him.
Amelia swallowed, darting a glance at her terrifying father. With a snarl, he narrowed his eyes at Nathaniel and pressed closer with his rifle. Would he put another hole in the preacher’s wall? Or Nathaniel’s chest?
“Amelia, girl.” Her father’s voice sent a shudder down her spine as it echoed through the quiet house. “You know, I always keep my word.” He’d threatened to kill Nathaniel if she refused to be his wife.
“I do,” she said, her voice small and trembling, quite the opposite of the man next to her. The horror, the shame. How did her life come to this?
“I now pronounce you man and wife.” The minister slammed his Bible shut and pointed it at her father. “Now get out!”
Shadows clouded Amelia’s vision, and her legs wobbled like those of a newborn calf. Her knees buckled, but rather than landing on the hard floor, she found herself caught in Nathaniel’s strong arms.
Now her husband.
Here’s where you can find OUT OF THE ASHES (the print version is due to release near the end of the month of June):
Here’s where you can find Sandi Rog online:
Thank you to Sandi Rog for being on my blog for sharing with us. I am so looking forward to reading your book Out of The Ashes. May you continue to write many more books yet to come in the future! Blessings