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Book, Chapters, Vows by Chautona Havig

About the Book

Book: Book, Chapter, & Vows

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: July 26, 2022

Falling in love with Benjamin wasn’t in the plan, but Mallory finds she’s all but lost her head and her heart after two and a half years of banter, memories, and now shared books.

But when her ex-fiance (does it count if it was just for a few hours?) shows up right in the middle of a writing project with Benjamin, the guy manages to ruin her happiness… again.

Benjamin has been keeping one tiny part of him back from Mallory–just the one thing that’ll repel her for good.
So when the ex-boyfriend-slash-fiance shows up, and things look serious again, he takes a giant step back and prays he can keep his heart intact in the process.

They’re clearly meant for each other. God obviously has a plan. So what’s it going to take for Mallory and Benjamin to work things out and get those vows made?

This Breakers Head novel is Chautona Havig’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Say the hard things. Admit the faults, choose to make the sacrifices, step out in faith.”

A lady after my own heart, who loves books, coffee,( and other hot drinks) and loves to sell them together! Mallory Barrows is struggling to make her dream of a small bookmobile/ hot drink shop on the islands a reality. Now she has finally fallen for islander Benjamin Hornigold, a young friend of her beloved uncle Bud. Benjamin loves Mallory enough to do almost anything for her- except bare his soul of the secret that could separate them.

Chautona Havig invites us to slow down and return to life on Independence Islands, where Mallory Barrows is hoping for that big question from her true love, Benjamin. But deep-seated fears in both Mallory and Benjamin could overpower their love as a new threat or two lingers on the horizon. Will a joint project of love and some negative examples from the past be enough combined with faith and prayer to see these lovers united, or are they destined to a repeat their loved ones’ examples?

The quote at the top expresses one of the basic truths of the novel. So many to be gleaned from a Havig book. Another truth Havig’s characters are confronted with, one it took me years to learn, is this one:

“the Lord blesses our service however we offer it, but that doesn’t mean that every job is ours to do. He said sometimes we need to step aside because that frees up the work for the person the Lord has planned for it, and it frees us to do the work He has planned for us. I never saw it that way.” So happy Mallory and Benjamin could learn this early in life! It will save them a lot of frustration, thinking they are serving the Lord, when He may have other people better equipped for the job.

And Havig always makes me smile! “Is that what you get with a degree and success? A masters in rudeness?” This is especially potent as it applies to the characters’ situations.

Bottom line: if it’s a Havig novel you’re considering, buy it!! One read won’t do it justice. Considering the spiritual and wisdom value of this book, coupled with the entertainment value, I give it five stars!

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“I plan to live the story in my heart. That’s how I best tell a story, lovey.”

“If the primary love of your life isn’t Jesus, you’ll fail the one you vow to love until death.”

‘…the lessons you learned don’t change based on the number of years you’ve been married. Truth is truth.’”

“But if you go through life as if everything you say and do is part of some checklist to godliness and marital bliss, you’ll miss out on the bold, daring life God has given us.”

“But I don’t think we should treat people like only their mistakes define them.”

“It will hurt. Change is just hard and it stinks. But sometimes we have to do the hard things.”

“Then a new character arrived on the scene. It walked over to guilt and elbowed guilt out of the way as if to say, “I’m determination, and I outrank you.’

“…every time you give in to those impulses, they become more frequent and more intense than the last. It’s harder to break the habit than it is to fight the temptation to let it form.’”

“You can’t fix it.”

… “But you can start fresh—like Anne Shirley—a new day with no mistakes in it.”

“His mercies,” Benjamin began. “‘They are new every morning.’”

About the Author

“Say the hard things. Admit the faults, choose to make the sacrifices, step out in faith.”

A lady after my own heart, who loves books, coffee,( and other hot drinks) and loves to sell them together! Mallory Barrows is struggling to make her dream of a small bookmobile/ hot drink shop on the islands a reality. Now she has finally fallen for islander Benjamin Hornigold, a young friend of her beloved uncle Bud. Benjamin loves Mallory enough to do almost anything for her- except bare his soul of the secret that could separate them.

Chautona Havig invites us to slow down and return to life on Independence Islands, where Mallory Barrows is hoping for that big question from her true love, Benjamin. But deep-seated fears in both Mallory and Benjamin could overpower their love as a new threat or two lingers on the horizon. Will a joint project of love and some negative examples from the past be enough combined with faith and prayer to see these lovers united, or are they destined to a repeat their loved ones’ examples?

The quote at the top expresses one of the basic truths of the novel. So many to be gleaned from a Havig book. Another truth Havig’s characters are confronted with, one it took me years to learn, is this one:

“the Lord blesses our service however we offer it, but that doesn’t mean that every job is ours to do. He said sometimes we need to step aside because that frees up the work for the person the Lord has planned for it, and it frees us to do the work He has planned for us. I never saw it that way.” So happy Mallory and Benjamin could learn this early in life! It will save them a lot of frustration, thinking they are serving the Lord, when He may have other people better equipped for the job.

And Havig always makes me smile! “Is that what you get with a degree and success? A masters in rudeness?” This is especially potent as it applies to the characters’ situations.

Bottom line: if it’s a Havig novel you’re considering, buy it!! One read won’t do it justice. Considering the spiritual and wisdom value of this book, coupled with the entertainment value, I give it five stars!

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“I plan to live the story in my heart. That’s how I best tell a story, lovey.”

“If the primary love of your life isn’t Jesus, you’ll fail the one you vow to love until death.”

‘…the lessons you learned don’t change based on the number of years you’ve been married. Truth is truth.’”

“But if you go through life as if everything you say and do is part of some checklist to godliness and marital bliss, you’ll miss out on the bold, daring life God has given us.”

“But I don’t think we should treat people like only their mistakes define them.”

“It will hurt. Change is just hard and it stinks. But sometimes we have to do the hard things.”

“Then a new character arrived on the scene. It walked over to guilt and elbowed guilt out of the way as if to say, “I’m determination, and I outrank you.’

“…every time you give in to those impulses, they become more frequent and more intense than the last. It’s harder to break the habit than it is to fight the temptation to let it form.’”

“You can’t fix it.”

… “But you can start fresh—like Anne Shirley—a new day with no mistakes in it.”

“His mercies,” Benjamin began. “‘They are new every morning.’”

More from Chautona

It Happened AGAIN!

I remember the first book I had trouble finishing. Beneath the Cloak. It was the last book of the Wynnewood series, and I was dying to reveal the big secret that had been a big part of the story line. I spent hours writing very few words. Someone asked if I had writer’s block, but I didn’t. I knew every word I wanted to put on that page, but I kept procrastinating.

For weeks. We’re talking long, agonizing weeks.

Finally, I realized a significant part of why I hadn’t finished was because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want the series to end. Say goodbye to beloved characters? Agony, okay? I wanted to spend the rest of my life in Wynnewood seeing what happened with all the characters and all the things that would happen.

I just wanted to write a bunch of other books, too. What can I say? It’s a thing.

So, as I dove into writing the book I’ve been dying to write since I penned the opening scene of Christmas on Breakers Point, you’d think I’d have been prepared for the inevitable. I mean, it’s happened with several other series since that first time, so… yeah. All ready to combat the problem, right? Not hardly.

To be fair, I was also coming off being very sick, my mother being even sicker, so being crazy behind on everything. I mean, that had a lot to do with it taking so long to get going on it. But once I did, I’d type like crazy and then ignore it for a day or two before the story demanded more telling.

Then, just as I neared the big scene of Book, Chapter, & Vows… I went nuts on doing everything but finishing that book. No joke. I did. Sigh. Again, you think I’d learn.

After much soul searching and even more wailing at God about the cruelty of it all (I was in a dramatic mood, okay?), the solution came to me. Okay, God smacked me upside the head with a 2×4 of memories on how I solved every other, “don’t wanna finish this series” crisis.

See, way back with Wynnewood, the only thing that got me to the finish line was a promise I made to myself. “It doesn’t have to end here. You can write more if you want to. There’s nothing to say you can do ‘Wynnewood, the Later Years’ or something like that.”

Just that one promise to myself that I didn’t have to say goodbye was all it took for me to get back on that trusty old Toshiba laptop and pound out those last few chapters.

And here I was again, not ready to say goodbye to a series—to these islands that feel so crazy real to me. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters and their quirky ways. Would you?

Now… you’re going to laugh at me. Go ahead. I mean, I did. See here’s the deal. I didn’t have to make that promise to myself again. “What?” you say? “What do you mean?”

Yeah. I don’t have to say goodbye to the characters or the islands. Why? Because we have another island series coming, the Suamalie Islands, and Mallory is going to visit those islands.

If that isn’t enough for me, I have another series all planned for the Independence Islands, too! Yeah. That. I mean, what was I not thinking?

As soon as I thought of that, I was able to get in there, get the last few scenes written and pass it off to the fabulous Christy for her editorial magic. As for me, I think I’m going to go play around just a little bit with one of the Josie Parker Mysteries. I mean, why not?

It Happened AGAIN!

I remember the first book I had trouble finishing. Beneath the Cloak. It was the last book of the Wynnewood series, and I was dying to reveal the big secret that had been a big part of the story line. I spent hours writing very few words. Someone asked if I had writer’s block, but I didn’t. I knew every word I wanted to put on that page, but I kept procrastinating.

For weeks. We’re talking long, agonizing weeks.

Finally, I realized a significant part of why I hadn’t finished was because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want the series to end. Say goodbye to beloved characters? Agony, okay? I wanted to spend the rest of my life in Wynnewood seeing what happened with all the characters and all the things that would happen.

I just wanted to write a bunch of other books, too. What can I say? It’s a thing.

So, as I dove into writing the book I’ve been dying to write since I penned the opening scene of Christmas on Breakers Point, you’d think I’d have been prepared for the inevitable. I mean, it’s happened with several other series since that first time, so… yeah. All ready to combat the problem, right? Not hardly.

To be fair, I was also coming off being very sick, my mother being even sicker, so being crazy behind on everything. I mean, that had a lot to do with it taking so long to get going on it. But once I did, I’d type like crazy and then ignore it for a day or two before the story demanded more telling.

Then, just as I neared the big scene of Book, Chapter, & Vows… I went nuts on doing everything but finishing that book. No joke. I did. Sigh. Again, you think I’d learn.

After much soul searching and even more wailing at God about the cruelty of it all (I was in a dramatic mood, okay?), the solution came to me. Okay, God smacked me upside the head with a 2×4 of memories on how I solved every other, “don’t wanna finish this series” crisis.

See, way back with Wynnewood, the only thing that got me to the finish line was a promise I made to myself. “It doesn’t have to end here. You can write more if you want to. There’s nothing to say you can do ‘Wynnewood, the Later Years’ or something like that.”

Just that one promise to myself that I didn’t have to say goodbye was all it took for me to get back on that trusty old Toshiba laptop and pound out those last few chapters.

And here I was again, not ready to say goodbye to a series—to these islands that feel so crazy real to me. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters and their quirky ways. Would you?

Now… you’re going to laugh at me. Go ahead. I mean, I did. See here’s the deal. I didn’t have to make that promise to myself again. “What?” you say? “What do you mean?”

Yeah. I don’t have to say goodbye to the characters or the islands. Why? Because we have another island series coming, the Suamalie Islands, and Mallory is going to visit those islands.

If that isn’t enough for me, I have another series all planned for the Independence Islands, too! Yeah. That. I mean, what was I not thinking?

As soon as I thought of that, I was able to get in there, get the last few scenes written and pass it off to the fabulous Christy for her editorial magic. As for me, I think I’m going to go play around just a little bit with one of the Josie Parker Mysteries. I mean, why not?

Blog Stops

An Author’s Take, August 9

Lots of Helpers, August 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 11

The Sacred Line, August 11

She Lives To Read, August 12

Texas Book-aholic, August 13

Splashes of Joy, August 13

Inklings and notions, August 14

lakesidelivingsite, August 15

For Him and My Family, August 15

LIbrary Lady’s Kid Lit, August 16

deb’s Book Review, August 17

Blogging With Carol, August 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 18

Sodbuster Living, August 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 19

Simple Harvest Reads, August 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 21

Sylvan Musings, August 21

Blossoms and Blessings, August 22

Miriam Jacob, August 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/20712/book-chapter-vows-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Favorite, Kindle, Purchase

Madness in Wonderland by Tabitha Bouldin Review

About the Book

Title: Madness in Wonderland

Series: #1 Beyond Wonderland

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Publisher: Celebrate Lit

Released: March 2022

Wonderland is in trouble. 

Under the rule of the Red Queen, Wonderland is under constant threat. In fear for her throne, children are taken into the queen’s army and only the strongest survive.

Alice is nothing but a pirate, but with the help of Hatter, they hatch a plan to sneak into the Red Queen’s palace to free Hatter’s sister. After all, Alice has always wanted to fly an airship.

Dr. Frank N. Stein has created an army of automatons to serve their queen. Of particular note: a prototype soldier. Part man. Part machine. The best of both worlds.

Doc’s monster is a threat to everything they know, but Alice sees something in the man that begs she look beyond what he’s done and search out the heart of the beast for the better of the realm.

He’s their only hope of survival, but how can a monster learn to love when all he’s known is hate?

My Impressions

“I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,”- Alice in Alice in Wonderland

Wow, was I in awe of Tabitha Bouldin’s steampunk retelling of Alice in Wonderland by the time I finished! I started the novel with trepidation. I didn’t remember the original making a lot of sense, and I wondered what I was in for with Bouldin’s Madness in Wonderland. Madness is a gem!!

Why do I love this book? For the first time in my life, the pieces of Alice in Wonderland fit together like a puzzle. Bouldin clearly delineates narrator/subject by rotating chapters. Alpha, Alice, and Hatter are all featured. Bouldin allows characters to retain much of the personality that Carroll gave them, but adds depth and emotion to each. It was easy to follow the great action, which is plentiful and compelling. Apropos quotes from the original Alice in Wonderland are worked in so beautifully to the new story. There are a few nods to Star Wars, the sci-fi scenery is easy to imagine, and faith plays a major, natural role. God is referred to as the Master. Each character must decide what he will do once confronted with knowledge of the Master.

Themes include the existence of a Master who created their world and loves individuals. Judgment, hope, and forgiveness follow close behind.

Those who love the original Alice in Wonderland, fairytale retellings, sci-fi, or Kara Swanson’s author voice will love this novel. I am excited that it is the first in its series!

I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Family means different things to different people.

“Everyone needs a name. Names have power. They tell us who we are, where we’ve come from. -Alice

“If the Maker can forgive one like me, He can forgive anyone.” -Cook

“Soldiers don’t have the lux’ry of a clean soul. Took a long time for me to accept my past and let Someone help with the pain.”Cook (Chess)

“You believe you don’t deserve forgiveness, so you condemn others to the same fate.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Reminds me of Kara Swanson’s Dust and Shadow!!

About the Author

Tabitha Bouldin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been writing since 2015. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, you’ll find her curled up with a book. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart.

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, Purchase

Slashed Canvas by Liz Tolsma Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Slashed Canvas

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: February 1, 2022

7-Slashed-Canvas-663x1024

Held prisoner by all she’s lost, Katarina’s about to lose all she has.

Grand Duchess Katarina Volstova barely escaped the Russian revolution, arriving in Paris just before the birth of her twin daughters. With her heart still captive in her homeland, she haunts the Louvre each day, spending hours gazing at one painting, lost in her pain.

Not the man he once was, Timothy Smythe never returned home to England after the Great War. Instead, he hides himself away doing maintenance in the Louvre and watching the beautiful woman whose pain seems riveted on one painting.

When Katarina returns home to find her daughters and their nanny missing, the loss opens her eyes to all she has to lose now.

Frantic to find her girls, her distress causes Timothy to offer his assistance. Together they put together clues to a puzzle they must complete before the kidnapper ensures Katarina and her daughters are never reunited.

Slashed Canvas offers a retelling of The Lost Princess that mingles self-centered grief, spoiled little girls, and proof that nothing will stop a mother from saving her children.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Slashed Canvas by Liz Tolsma is a fairytale retelling of a tale that I am frankly, unfamiliar with. But very timely, since it involves Russian refugees, fleeing the Bolshevik revolution, who are in exile, and desiring to go return to the homeland.

The character development of Princess Katerina Volstova is a joy to see, as she evolves from a totally self-absorbed, vain, woe-is-me-persona. Only the presence of God, whose name is often called upon for help, and that of a good friend, perhaps “God with skin on” can help. We meet two very dissimilar people, who discover that they can help each other if they can put aside society’s expectations and view each other through the Father’s eyes.

However, Tolsma has twists up her sleeve. Several, that she tosses out like red steaks to a chasing dog, making it difficult to ferret out the evil from the good. I wasn’t sure of the true culprit until almost the last page.

A romance, a happily-ever-after, a tragedy, a fairytale, an inspiration. Like swirls of a paintbrush on a canvas, the elements are so well plotted that they combine to create a picture that I will be musing in my mind for some time to come.

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

Magnificent!! A Fairytale, HEA, Tragedy All in One

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at http://www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

How Slashed Canvas Came to Be

It was the last evening of the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference three years ago. A group of us decided that frozen yogurt sounded good, so we walked the few blocks from the university where the conference was being held to the local fro-yo shop.

On the way back, I was walking alongside fellow author Chautona Havig. We were chatting about various projects we had underway, and she mentioned that she and Sandy Barela from Celebrate Lit had come up with an idea for a boxed set. This involved taking a fairy-tale and turning it into a 1920s mystery. Would I be interested?

You don’t have to ask me twice if I’d like to be in a set with Chautona that’s put out by Sandy. Before I knew what was happening, I was agreeing to it. Then we got talking about what fairy tales I might use. As soon as she said The Lost Princess, an idea sparked in my brain. It really was that instant. 1920s. Princess. Russia. Exile.

This might come as a surprise to both Chautona and Sandy, but I really didn’t know the story of The Lost Princess. Not at all. When I was working up the idea, I had to read the story and figure out how to make my idea mesh with the fairy tale. Thankfully, the story did work well with what I intended to do with Slashed Canvas.

And that title? Well, that was quite difficult. At the time, my niece was staying with us and interning for me. One night, we sat and ran through idea after idea until we came up with “Something” Canvas. I wanted a strong adjective and we offered and rejected many until we came up with Slashed Canvas. I hadn’t written a word of the book, but I managed to work a slashed canvas into the story.

And what about the painting in Slashed Canvas? I knew I wanted it to be by a Russian artist and hang in the Louvre, but there weren’t (and aren’t) many paintings like that in the Louvre. Russia has been loath to allow any of its art to leave the country. So what was I going to do? I really was going crazy.

Then I spoke on the phone to Kristy Cambron. Not only is she a fabulous author, but she also has a degree in art history. It was her idea to make up my own painting. That way, I could make it work however I needed it to for the story. What a relief. I did just that, and the story flowed from there.

And the clues to the mystery? Those were my dad’s ideas. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything!

So that’s how Slashed Canvas came to be. It was the work of so many different people. Authors, much as we hide behind our computers, never work in a vacuum. Very often, there are many fingers in the pie to make the finished product.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 7

Texas Book-aholic, March 8

For the Love of Literature, March 8

Inklings and notions, March 9

Christian Bookaholic, March 9

For Him and My Family, March 10

Elly Gilbert, March 10

deb’s Book Review, March 11

By the Book, March 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 12

Blossoms and Blessings, March 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 13

Paula’s Persuasion, March 13

Connie’s History Classroom, March 14

Genesis 5020, March 14

Babbling Becky L’ s Book Impressions, March 15

Older & Smarter?, March 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 16 (Spotlight)

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Simple Harvest Reads, March 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 17

Maureen’s Musings, March 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 18

Connect in Fiction, March 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 19 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, March 19

Mary Hake, March 19

Through the Fire Blogs, March 20

The Book Club Network, March 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1b4c3/slashed-canvas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, Purchase

Finding a Memory by Chautona Havig Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Finding a Memory

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: January 25, 2022

Sparrow-HAVIG-Finding-a-Memory-663x1024

He loved her then. Will she love him now?

When Mallory Barrows finds an old diary in a box of books, the story she finds within sends her on the hunt for the owner–and maybe more.

Theirs is a story ripped from a country song. A wedding, a former love presumed dead, her new love stepping aside. And over forty years later, their story is one few remember.

With Mallory determined to find the people in the pages of that diary, one couple is offered the second chance of a lifetime.

This “second-chance / seasoned romance” novel introduces the next island in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

I was a weird child. While my friends were listening to… whatever 80s kids listened to, the enormous console in my bedroom played The Brothers Four, The Kingston Trio, Roger Miller, Billy Vaughn, Patsy Cline, and Patti Paige.  One minute I was a “Rovin’ Gambler” and the next I was “Chug-a-lugging.”  Hmmm… In hindsight, one could say I listened to some dubious music. Drinking, gambling… Oh, that reminds me of another one. The Sons of the Pioneers.  “Cigarettes, Whiskey, and Wild, Wild Women. (Hint: they’ll drive you crazy. They’ll drive you insane.  The song says so).

But there were other songs—beautiful ones.  “Greenfields.” “Little Green Apples.” “You Belong to Me.”  And of course… “Go on with the Wedding.”

If you’ve never heard it, you should listen. HERE.

That one used to tear me apart.  I never could decide which man she should have chosen.  I’m a sucker for the underdog—for a hero.  So, I always said Fred.  And I meant it. Right up to the moment I thought about Jim being away, fighting, finally making it home to his girl only to see her marry someone else.  How horrible is that?

Well, one of the tropes I chose for my books in the Independence Islands was going to be a “second chance romance.” I also wanted a “seasoned romance,” so this song came to mind. And then I had my story.  It’s not the one my twelve-year-old self would have wanted.  Truthfully, it’s not the story I wanted to write today, but it’s the right one. It’s probably my favorite of all of the ones I’ve done in this series.  I hope you’ll love Frank and Patti as much as I do.

All that’s left now is for me to write one more story—the one that has been forming through each book. It’s time for Mallory and Benjamin to both learn and write their story’s end (which of course, is only a beginning).

My Impressions

Chautona Havig has gotten me loving contemporary romance (not my fave genre), loving a song too old for me to like, and one I don’t even know! Oh, wait! I do remember looking it up and listening to it. The things a great author can do to you against your will!!

Finding a Memory by Chautona Havig first appealed to me because it was clear it featured older characters in a second-chance relationship. Part of the Independence Islands series, I enjoyed the book more because I was familiar with the other main couple who have been mentioned in past books.

Much of the book is presented as a mystery, as Mallory Barrows, owner of The Book Barrow, reads an old diary she finds. If you like The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, you will enjoy this novel. As the diary progresses, Mallory gets very emotionally involved in the lives of the people described. I couldn’t help myself. I was just as emotionally involved, but also in the lives of Mallory and her slow-moving boyfriend, Benjamin.

Ms. Havig always finds a way and the perfect time to insert truth. One time when the diarist was at her lowest, she writes, “This is what I learned. * God knows everything. * I don’t know everything. * I can trust God. * I have to seek Him first. * People will fail me. * God never will. * My job is to love God and others. * I must teach my child about God. * Jesus is my rock. Not …”
Another favorite quote, so appropriate for what the character was going through: “The Lord had other plans that I don’t understand, but I do trust Him.”

One last (but these are not all) reason why I love this novel and all of Ms. Havig’s books- her sense of humor and ability to turn a phrase that never fails to make me smile. Which she does often! My fave example here? “That machine makes enough noise to make mummies in sarcophaguses plead for earplugs.”

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I also bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent! I Liked This Against My Will!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 26

Blossoms and Blessings, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 27

She Lives to Read, February 28

An Author’s Take, February 28

Inklings and notions, March 1

CarpeDiem, March 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 2

Lots of Helpers, March 2

For Him and My Family, March 3

Blogging With Carol, March 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 4

deb’s Book Review, March 5

Simple Harvest Reads, March 5 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 7

Splashes of Joy, March 7

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 9 (Spotlight)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 9

lakesidelivingsite, March 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1b05c/finding-a-memory-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, New Author, Purchase

Silencing the Siren by Denise L. Barela Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Silencing the Siren

Author: Denise L. Barela

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale

Release date: January 4, 2022

Silencing-the-Siren-663x1024

Andrew Grayson thought he had everything… until he met her.

The indulged son of wealthy parents, Andrew has always gotten whatever he wanted almost before he knew he wanted it—clothes, gadgets… even a car! What more could a young man desire?

Enter Annabel Thompson. Freakshow mermaid extraordinaire… in a wheelchair!

Of course, her beauty attracts him. How could it not? Add to that a kind heart, and Andrew can’t help but fall for her.

Annabel’s connection with the freakshow repels his parents and their society friends. They want him to sever all ties with her and his new friends. Oh, and marry the “right” girl with the “right connections.” But he won’t do it. He’ll defy them and marry his little mermaid.

When Annabel turns up missing, declared dead, things don’t add up, Andrew begins asking some difficult questions, the most important being, “What happened to the little mermaid of the Coney Island freak show?”

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. Silencing the Siren offers a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” that will keep you gripped to the edge of your seat as you watch the story unfold.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

The seventh in the retold fairytales series, The Ever After Mysteries, Silencing the Siren by Denise L Barela takes place in 1920s New York City and Coney Island. Andrew Grayson is a sheltered, young, rich man who lives in a Central Park mansion, but falls in love with Anabelle, a circus performer on Coney Island.

This is an imaginative retelling of the Little Mermaid. I loved seeing the closeness of the circus performers, who though mostly unrelated, form their own tight family. “This family was put together purely by the love and friendship they had for each other. The love they had ran far deeper than the blood Andrew shared with his parents.” I loved the way they care for and protect each other. Acceptance and love are freely given within the circus confines, things that are sadly lacking from the more affluent and “righteous” community without.

I love to zero in on secondary characters that I would enjoy meeting, often because of the way they treat others. William and Amalia are those people in this tale. Discerning, caring, quick to forgive, and to aid others, they almost need their own story!

Great twists to complete this fairytale! Don’t miss your chance to find out whether the Siren is silenced for good!!

Notable Quotables:

“Anger clashed and rolled with the grief inside him. A war of fire and ice with no clear winner.”

“This city cared about no one but themselves. They had no compassion, no love, and no heart. Why couldn’t these people just open their eyes to the struggles of their fellow men? Why couldn’t they see that while they obsessed over societal expectations and positions, others had to exploit their differences just to survive?”

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. I also bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great! Imaginative Retelling of The Little Mermaid

About the Author

Denise Barela’s passion for fiction, her faith, and general creativity define her life. In all things, she strives to glorify God, though especially in and through her writing. She has spent the past six years working for a publicity company and five years working as the head editor for a publishing company. With an MFA in Creative Writing and a Professional Writing certificate, Denise enjoys using her education and work experiences to help authors achieve their own writing dreams. When she’s not working away at her desk, you might find her reading a good book or following Alice down the rabbit hole…

More from Denise

Hello Readers!

I’m so excited to share Silencing the Siren with you! This book was so much fun to write and research. I learned so many fun facts about old cars, old New York, and even doorbells!

Yes, you read that correctly. Doorbells.

These noisy items were such a novelty in the 1920s that they were often given as Christmas gifts!

Crazy, right?

I wanted both Andrew and Annabel to represent that feeling we have all experienced at least once in our lives. That feeling of not belonging. It looks different for each person, but it’s a uniting feeling.

Annabel will never be accepted by those outside her family, but they more than make up for that. Andrew is popular and well-off in society, but as he comes to know the Lord, he starts to feel that rift with his superficial friends and family. It’s with other believers, Annabel’s family, that he finds that deep relationship he desires. They are more than willing to provide.

This is the beauty of the body of Christ. When we are sick or in need, the body of Christ comes together to support you in that time of need and extend Christ’s love to all corners of the globe.

I hope you enjoy reading Silencing the Siren as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 7

A Baker’s Perspective, February 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 9

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 9 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, February 10

Genesis 5020, February 10

Inklings and notions, February 11

Connect in Fiction, February 11

For Him and My Family, February 12

Blossoms and Blessings, February 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 13

deb’s Book Review, February 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 14

For the Love of Literature, February 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 15

Blogging With Carol, February 15

Connie’s History Classroom, February 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 17 (Spotlight)

Sodbuster Living, February 17

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 18

Austen’s Angle, February 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 19

Simple Harvest Reads, February 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Back Porch Reads, February 20

Through the Fire blogs, February 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/19bc6/silencing-the-siren-celebration-tour-giveaway

Audible, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle

Flipping Hearts by Chautona Havig, Narrated by Christa DelSorbo Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Flipping Hearts

Author: Chautona Havig

Narrator: Christa DelSorbo

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction

Flipping Hearts Audio

When a hurricane rips through Hooper Island, a tidal wave of TV crews follows and upsets the locals.

Brooks Crawforth agreed to volunteer crews helping to clean up and repair things on the island, not a whole home and garden series on the total renovation of several houses and a bit of cleanup on the side. He’s furious, and the show host is spitting nails at the person who blew it in the first place.

His and his father’s jobs are in jeopardy, the islanders are about to kill him, and that crazy show host blames him for her assistant’s last-minute, “you’ve-got-to-sign-this-now-or-we-can’t-come” contract.

One more thing. Did she have to be so cute?

He’s got even more trouble, though. Islanders are starting to blame Mallory Barrows for the invasion. Not only that, there are rumors of dismantling the association and allowing tourism on the islands. How’s he supposed to fix this mess?

They can’t stand each other, but if they can manage to flip off the enemy switch and flip on some cooperation, maybe their hearts’ll get flipped, too.

This “enemies to romance” novel introduces the next island in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

First off, I have to say, I am really beginning to appreciate all the awesomeness that Chautona Havig packs into almost any of her novels. Flipping Hearts is no exception. This novel is chock-full of Havig’s witticisms, humor, and quick and “modernized” Biblical references (ex: “God might as well have boomed out an audible “No!” from the heavens and physically opened the mouth of a random palm tree in a Balaam moment.”) Also, Havig has a knack for explaining Biblical concepts without being preachy, boring, or unnatural to the conversation. So I loved Flipping Hearts!

I started out listening to the audio version, provided by Celebrate Lit. The narrator, Christa DelSorbo, has a pleasing voice that varies according to character, accent, or action. All was good until my personal mental blocks came into play. After four chapters, I had to switch to the written version of the novel which I purchased myself. This is not a knock against DelSorbo. I just couldn’t concentrate on the book as I listened, but was distracted easily and missed many important facts of the story in those chapters. Also, I prefer to draw my own mental pictures of characters, and I had trouble with the “voice” of Brooks. To me, it sounded like an older man, not a young, eligible bachelor. I decided I could read visually and retain much more than I could by continuing to listen. Please, if you are not a strict visual learner as I obviously am, give this audiobook a try. I am certain many will adore the work DelSorbo has done.

I must say, I am not a big contemporary romance fan. But written by Havig, this story about two different island couples was irresistible to me! I certainly followed the red herrings provided and had the wrong perpetrator fingered most of the book. I felt the conflicts were very believable, not the kind where you say, “They just need to talk!”

Such a great contemporary romance. Don’t miss it, whether on audible or in writing!

Lots of Notable Quotables.

“real allure comes from deep within. It can’t be faked like eyelash thickness or color. It comes out because of who you are.”

“…when you say people are basically good and understanding at their core, you are saying that they don’t need Jesus, then. God says people’s hearts are wicked and sick.”

“So maybe it’s like how God made humans in His image? So, we’re like Him in that way. We can do good stuff because a good God made us, but that doesn’t excuse the bad stuff we think and do?”

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

About the Author

Using story to connect readers with the Master Storyteller.

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Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

About the Narrator

Speaking Life into Story

Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *

More from Christa

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 26

Texas Book-aholic, January 27

For Him and My Family, January 28

Inklings and notions, January 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 30

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 2 (Spotlight)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 3

The Sacred Line, February 3

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 4

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 6

deb’s Book Review, February 7 (Spotlight)

The Author Reads, February 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 8

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Chautona and Christa are giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book in winner’s choice of format!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/193c2/flipping-hearts-audiobook-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle, New-to-Me Author, Purchase

The Lost Dutchman’s Secret by Rebekah Jones Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Lost Dutchman’s Secret

Author: Rebekah Jones

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 2, 2021

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There’s a deadly secret in them thar hills—and gold, or so they say.

Deeply in debt to a wealthy local, Charles Sinclair, Dorothy Hodges’ father finally promises she’ll pay and in gold, no less. If only Dorothy could take to take the promises he spins out of thin air and turn them into that gold, all would be well.

With the help of a strange, rumpled man, Dorothy does manage to bring payment to one of Sinclair’s sons only to discover it won’t pay off the debt. Will the next payment be enough?  The next?

When Charles Sinclair ends up dead, Dorothy is the obvious prime suspect, but Sinclair’s son isn’t so certain. Together they work to clear her name and find the real murderer of the Superstitions, but will they find the answers buried in those hills?

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. The Lost Dutchman’s Secret offers a retelling of “Rumplestilskin” that requires more digging than a miner searching for The Lost Dutchman Mine.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Dorothy took a deep breath. ‘Why should I trust you? I don’t know you.’ The man grinned one more time. ‘Because you know that you can’t trust Charles Sinclair. I’m your only other choice.’“

As others mention, the book starts a little slowly and it took me a while to be enticed deeply into its caverns and canyons. Once intrigued, I was eager to discover who was behind all the evil goings-on in the desert.

It was hard to imagine someone successfully pulling off the life that Charles Sinclair, a wealthy loan shark, does. His children have no idea of what he really does for a living.

I felt so badly for Dorothy. Her father is so selfish and uncaring. He even sets her up for trouble, with no desire or effort on his part to help her. Dorothy herself trusts God, often praying for help. She does have to be reminded, though, that a Christian confesses a wrong and asks forgiveness. Once that is done, we have to accept the forgiveness and move on. “To continue to dwell over and over on what you should or should not have done will change nothing. To continue to wallow in guilt seems to suggest that Christ’s blood is not enough.”

Little Hazel is adorable! I just wanted to squeeze her, and wish her brother Theo would love her as she desired.

The conclusion of the Lost Dutchman’s Secret by Rebekah Jones left me well-satisfied. Many threads come together to make it a complex mystery. The mystery is thoroughly enjoyable by this point, and I was sorry to leave our new friends behind.

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great! Slow Start, but Intriguing Mystery!

About the Author

Rebekah Jones is first and foremost a follower of the Living God. She started writing as a little girl, seeking to glorify her King with her books and stories.
Rebekah is an old soul in a young body (she’s not 12 —honest!) While her exact age is classified, her interests are not. Among them are reading a variety of books, singing, playing, and composing music, studying all manner of subjects, nannying an adventurous group of youngsters, and, of course, writing her books, poems, articles, and short stories. She writes a wide range of books from gentle children’s adventures to family sagas to murder mysteries.

More from Rebekah

“They say that no one had ever seen gold ore like it before, neither have they ever since. Except in the possession of Jacob Waltz. His mine had ore of higher value and higher potency than any other mine found in Arizona…”

What if the Miller’s daughter from the tale of Rumpelstiltskin didn’t have to spin gold, but pay it? And because of an enormous debt – that she had no way of knowing the value? And her father wasn’t a miller, but an old miner with a penchant for carving animals while living in the Arizona desert? And what if, for her pains, she found herself mixed up in a murder?

And what if, somehow intermixed with this poor young woman and her troubles, came the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine?

If you don’t know about the legend of that lost mine, you should. Or I think that you should. It’s a real legend as old as the 1860’s. Except, it wasn’t lost when Jacob Waltz went bragging about it. That came later.

The mountains that house the legend are magnificent. When a friend of mine came to visit me, she and I went to explore the area around the Superstition Mountains, as well as a part of the mountains themselves. Standing in a forest of cacti and brush, the jagged rocks and sharp peaks towered above my head, while a critter skittered unseen. Beautiful isn’t quite a strong enough word to describe it. As we hiked up the mountain, making our way through a myriad of desert plant life, rocks of so many shapes and sizes, and tiny critters, I could picture Dorothy, the miner’s daughter.

The modern structures and buildings in sight, faded in my mind’s eye, and I could imagine the young woman partway up the mountain in 1929, wearing her old, faded dress, and staring out across the valley. We plotted out where her father’s shack would have stood, and I made note of a perfect crevice of rock where she might have sat to think or read. I rather found myself wishing I could live out there myself, even if living in a shack in the heat of the Arizona summer doesn’t wholly appeal to me.

When I finally got in front of my manuscript again, I could see Dorothy’s world so clearly, I can only hope I managed to capture it in the book itself. I doubt if I could have captured the beauty of those mountains in words, the sight of them as they changed colors in the sunset, or the glowing starry sky above them after dark.

As for the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine, I would be lying if I said I didn’t entertain fantasies about exploring the mountains to discover it, but we certainly did not go that far into the mountains. Besides, it was June in the Arizona desert. One does not blindly venture into the mountains on such an errand in such a time of year unless one has a death wish. It’s rather fun to imagine though. Perhaps one day, I can go on a search – though I confess, I doubt it.

As for the book, I won’t say whether that lost goldmine is discovered or not. I’ll leave that for a reader to discover for themselves.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 17

An Author’s Take, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 20

Genesis 5020, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 21

For Him and My Family, December 22

For the Love of Literature, December 22

deb’s Book Review, December 23

Simple Harvest Reads, December 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Blogging With Carol, December 24

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 25 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 26

Vicarious Living, December 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 27

Connect in Fiction, December 27

Connie’s History Classroom, December 28

Mary Hake, December 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 29

Back Porch Reads, December 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 30

Through the Fire blogs, December 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rebekah is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/14f1b/the-lost-dutchman-s-secret-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Kindle

Footprints on Her Heart by Tabitha Bouldin

About the Book

Book: Footprints on Her Heart

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: November 23, 2021

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He’s saving the world, one animal at a time.

Trent Raines’ opinion, happily ever after has four paws and doggy breath. He spends his days isolated at the shelter, taking care of animals. Especially now that romance seems to be spreading across the islands faster than fleas in summer.

She lives a safe life behind the camera lens.

Kara Parker’s job at the animal shelter keeps her too busy to worry about romance. Sure, the boss is cute and all, but her introverted nature is perfectly happy as a photographer and website designer, thank you very much.

Even a quick trip to the mainland to retrieve a truckful of animals won’t change their minds.

Or so they think.

As Trent comes to understand Kara, he discovers there’s more than meets the eye in his quiet employee. Together, they plan a Christmas adoption festival that’s certain to empty the animal shelter in record time. Until a blast from Trent’s past puts all the animals in danger.

Sure, Trent and Kara are fine on their own, but they’re even better together.

What will it take for these soulmates conquer their fears and rescue the animals before it’s too late?

Footprints on Her Heart continues the Hooper Island stories of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Once again we return to the Independence Islands for another standalone contemporary romance. This time, we are on Hopper Island, where the inhabitants are recovering from a hurricane. Trent Raines, a gentle man with a murky past, runs an overflowing animal shelter. When will Trent stop trying to do penance for the past and believe God gives freedom and a new life?
Kara Parker is a talented photographer who works at the shelter. She is quiet and shy and doesn’t believe in her own abilities. Can she trust God to stretch her beyond herself? What will happen as these two scarred adults dance around each other’s feelings and actions?
It is always fun to meet up with previous friends from the islands, and Bouldin gives us several other past characters that help with the continuity of the series.
I especially resonated with Kara, who felt like no one listened to her ideas. Suddenly, she finds herself committed to a project that is out of her league. Will she learn the lessons God has for her?


I found myself wishing I knew Trent’s father. He sounds like a wonderful man to have in your corner and such a great picture of God as our loving Heavenly Father.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own.
Notable Quotables:
“God’s got this…Let Him carry you. He’s the master of the waves, and only He can turn back the tide.”

“…he’d decided to learn something new, pushing the boundaries of knowledge and accepting that the future held more than a past mistake.”

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great! God Can Conquer Pasts & Love Issues

About the Author

Tabitha Bouldin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been writing since 2015. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, you’ll find her curled up with a book. Tabitha’s genre of choice is Contemporary Christian Romance which she describes as: Adventure with heart.

More from Tabitha

I love animals. Always have. I was the kid who always brought home the injured animals and tried to make them better. I am the adult who feels guilty for walking by a hungry cat without feeding it.

When I write, those animal-loving tendencies come out. My characters will rescue animals, care for them, and love them unconditionally. My contributions to the Independence Islands are no different. When it began, I knew I needed a pet groomer, and the animal shelter developed from Mel’s love of animals. That’s when Trent showed up.

Trent walked onto the page as Mel’s partner in founding the animal shelter, Forever Pals, but I didn’t know he wanted his story told until several months after I started writing the series. I tried putting him off, but Trent was having none of that. He’s a bit overzealous and ready to share his love story with you, even if he’d rather I didn’t tell you about his troubled past.

The more I dove into Trent’s story, the more I realized he’s the kind of guy you’d call in the middle of the night when a stray dog shows up in your backyard. He doesn’t care. He’d upend his entire life to care for the animals, and he loves each one instantly, no questions asked. People…not so much.

I had the best time writing this story. Footprints on Her Heart is one of those books that I fell in love with from the very beginning. The story put itself on the page, all I had to do was be the engine and let it come to life. Those are my favorite. I wish every book came as easily as Footprints. Even though that isn’t the case, I’ll always hold this one as a dear friend. Kara and Trent make such a cute couple that I think they need to make an appearance in every island book I write from here on out.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 7

Blossoms and Blessings, December 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , December 8

Texas Book-aholic, December 8

Inklings and notions, December 9

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

By the Book, December 10

For Him and My Family, December 10

lakesidelivingsite, December 11

deb’s Book Review, December 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 12

Mary Hake, December 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 13

Connect in Fiction, December 13

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 14

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 14

Aryn the Libraryan, December 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 17

Life, Love, Writing, December 17

She Lives To Read, December 18

Blogging With Carol, December 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 19

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Splashes of Joy, December 20

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, December 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tabitha is giving away the grand prize package a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1419d/footprints-on-her-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle, Purchase

The Nutcracker’s Suite by Chautona Havig Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: November 26, 2021

Nutcracker

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
secrets.

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
too.

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Totally Terrific!! Chautona Havig can write any genre she undertakes. In The Nutcracker’s Suite, though, she outdoes herself in presenting a suspenseful mystery mashing together a retelling of the Nutcracker, a 1920s Prohibition mob mix-up, and a romance with faith interspersed. I was glued to my seat until I finished, at turns laughing out loud and terrified. I get the distinct impression the author is having a blast with the creation of this story! As a result, the reader has a rollicking good time.
I’ve read several Havig novels, and The Nutcracker’s Suite just vaulted to the top and into my list of Top Ten CF Novels of 2021!! The mystery kept me guessing and I never did quite figure it out!! Well-done!! I must admit, I loved Havig’s use of sarcasm, especially as it relates to Clarice’s thoughts. I hope there will be a book for Lily in the future.

I received a copy of the book from the author through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“His ability to think dashed out and into the street where he was certain, it would be run over by a police car.”

“The lies are piling up faster than finished nutcrackers.”

“Did she just lie with the truth?”

“Not married, but I’ll remember that if I ever find a nice girl.” He didn’t say, “like you,” but Milo heard it and wanted to tie the man’s throat in a knot for it.”

“Keep her safe. If you aren’t a man of faith, become one and then pray until you can’t think anymore, but keep her safe.” It was a fool’s promise, but Milo made it. “I will.”

“…feelings always demanded an audience, even at the expense of truth.”

“Topo. It means mouse. I’m the attic mouse.”

“Every word the man spoke sat on a paragraph of threats.”

“People dying have a way of interfering with one’s shopping.”

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! A Rollicking Good Time IF You Survive Suspense

About the Author

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite

You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”

But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)

However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.

Let’s talk about the cast of characters.

Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.

Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?

All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉

But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!

Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?

I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.

Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Blogging With Carol, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

For the Love of Literature, November 28

By the Book, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30

deb’s Book Review, December 1

Bizwings Blog, December 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3

Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Connie’s History Classroom, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5

Connect in Fiction, December 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)

Back Porch Reads, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/13cfb/the-nutcracker-s-suite-celebration-tour-giveaway

Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, New-to-Me Author

A Giant Murder, #2 Ever After Mysteries by Marji Laine Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  A Giant Murder

Author: Marji Laine

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: August 3, 2021

Would you like a shot of… death with that, sir?

Josephine Jacobs was just doing her job, serving at an exclusive party, so why is she now being accused of shooting TG Taggert?

At a party full of suspects in the murder of Taggert, Josie served the food giant everything but an eternally “parting shot.” Who really killed TG Taggert?  His wife?  His son, Jack?  What about Harper Davis?  Rumor has it, she was having an affair with him—motive for her or Taggert’s wife! The list of those who seemed to hate him keeps growing, including a chemist and a chef!

With her long-time friend, Office Porter O’Brien, Josie sets out to find out who really killed “the giant,” and clear her name.

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. A Giant Murder offers a retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” with enough clues and suspects to keep you looking over your shoulder. We’d recommend Kevlar… but it hasn’t been invented yet!

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Like a father who is loving and teaching his toddler to walk, that’s how God sees you when you ask to become His.” My fave line of the book, one I want to remember! I love this word picture! Our Father is indeed loving, but I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it explained in such a heart-warming way.

It’s 1926 in Dallas,Texas. A power couple hosts a gala party at their fancy hotel. By the end of the night, the millionaire host has been murdered, and poor waitress Josephine “Josie” Jacobs has been fingered for the crime.

Imaginative fairy-tale retellings with mysteries woven in. This is the premise of the Ever After series. Marji Laine turns Jack & the Beanstalk into quite the high society-gone-amuck-tale in #2, A Giant Murder. I enjoyed the trope of friendship to lovers between Porter and Josie. I could actually see a young, naive woman acting as Josie did. I found Porter very endearing and would hope a similar young officer would be in my neighborhood, if needed. I was pulled into the story more than I expected, since I am not typically a fan of 1920ish books. Surprisingly enough, this mystery is one I pegged- but only very partially! Good twist there!

A positive is that there is a strong, clear salvation message early in the book. This also could be a negative, as it seemed a little clunky and like the author wanted to insert the whole message early on. I would have liked for the message to be given out in small, more natural conversation.

There was enough mayhem to keep me reading quickly to find out who dunnit. The ending fell flat for me when one character suddenly changes his stripes. This is only my opinion, and I would urge you to read A Giant Murder for yourself.
I received a copy of the book from the author through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Where goes suspicion seldom goes grace,”

“The only people who didn’t hate TG were those who didn’t know him.”

“Arriving as a police car pulled into her lot, she was beginning to get used to seeing them there. A habit to which she didn’t want to become accustomed.”

“I keep thinking the next thing will set everything perfect, but it doesn’t. And accomplishments, finished products start to crumble. People. Only out for themselves.”

“We do the best we can with what we have, our very best, and then we let God be God to make it work the way He wants it.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great! Overall a fun mystery, one that makes me want to read the whole series! Thank you, Ms. Laine, for my great first taste!

About the Author

Marji Laine is a graduated home-schooling mom of four with two college students staying in the nest for a little longer. She and her hubby of 34 years also share their North Texas home with a rescue pup named Rosie. When Marji isn’t editing or publishing the books for her authors at Write Integrity Press, she indulges in penning her own mystery, suspense, and romance novels. She loves acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a high school Bible study and sings in her church choir. She prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, NASCAR to football, Magnolia pie, white roses, green, and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. You can find her at her website: MarjiLaine.com

More from Marji

I so enjoyed researching the history of downtown Dallas as I crafted my story, A GIANT MURDER. The house that I chose for Josie and her mom is actually still there on Haskell Avenue. The photo with the wrought iron is about twenty years old, but the house was built circa 1914. The photo with the wooden fence is from last year, after a big remodel. This house was also the setting of another of my books. It and the field that used to be next to it was an after-school child care center in AIN’T MISBEHAVING.

Thinking about what life might have been like in this house in the twenties, I can’t help but think about my grandparents. They were teenagers at the time of my story – 1926 – and while my grandfather grew up in, what was then, a little farming town called Paris, Texas, my grandmother grew up in Oak Cliff, just across the bridge over the Trinity River from this house in downtown Dallas.

Makes the research that I did on this era even that much more special. Having come through COVID, I realize that my great-grandparents had to nurture their preteens and teenagers through the Spanish Flu that devastated whole communities. The more things change, the more they stay the same?

All of this reminiscing sent me to an old recipe book that had been a wedding present for me from my mom almost thirty-five years ago. In the dessert section near the back, I found a precious recipe for Date Candy that had come by way of my great-grandmother, Carrie Ethel Leatherwood Morin. I never met her, but I do remember hearing from my mom that she was a woman of faith, and I have a poem she wrote late in life, about growing up in the country.

I would say this is a 1920s recipe, but who could tell? She was a middle-aged mom at that point, so it’s a good bet.

Date Candy

1 box – light brown sugar

4 T – corn syrup

½ pt – whipping cream

1 cup – dates

1 cup – pecans

1 t – vanilla

Mix sugar, syrup, and cream. Cook until almost a hard ball. Just before removing from pan, put in dates and stir until they melt. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat until almost hard – then add pecans. Wet a cup towel. Pour mixture onto cup towel and roll into a roll. Let it cool – firm – then slice.

Let me know if you decide to make my great-grandmother’s candy. I’d love to find out how it turned out!

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 17

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

For the Love of Literature, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 19 (Author Interview)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 20

For Him and My Family, September 20

deb’s Book Review, September 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 22

A Reader’s Brain, September 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 23

Connie’s History Classroom, September 24

Simple Harvest Reads, September 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 25

Mary Hake, September 25

Rebecca Tews, September 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 27

Connect in Fiction, September 28

Bigreadersite, September 28

Through the fire blogs, September 29

Blogging With Carol, September 30

Back Porch Reads, September 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marji is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
https://promosimple.com/ps/119f5/a-giant-murder-celebration-tour-giveaway