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Corner Booth by Chautona Havig Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Corner Booth

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release date: March 17, 2015

Corner Booth Cover

A daring move forges the love of a lifetime

A rushed lunch and a bold move introduce Carlie to a stranger—one who hardly acknowledges her existence as he sits across from her, sharing his booth to save her a wait in a long line.
What began as a random encounter becomes a weekly date in which Carlie chatters about her life to a silent lunchmate. Much about him interests her–his slightly Euro fashion sense, his commitment to the work he does as he eats his lunch week after week, and his evident attention to the running monologue she shares between bites of meals that he inevitably pays for.
Dean gets to know the woman across from him–looks forward to their lunches each week, learns valuable lessons about himself—but when the cafe is threatened, and then when she doesn’t show up one day, he suspects their unusual friendship means more to him than he imagined.

Settle into the booth with Carlie and Dean and learn just how eloquent silence really is.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“Every time you slip, just once, your mouth becomes a cesspool of linguistic garbage.”

Chautona Havig likes to set up unique premises for novels she then tackles as a challenge to turn into an interesting, faith-filled, and believable storyline. Yet, Corner Booth may be one of the most unusual ideas yet. Based on the Bible verse found in James 1:19, “…You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry,” Havig builds her romance around a young, verbose, theology professor and a beautiful retail clerk who has no true self-concept. Weekly lunch dates consists of the talkative prof being refusing to talk to his pretty lunch date, only listen, as she pours out details of her heart. I love the growth we see in both characters, Dean and Carlie, by the end of the book, but oy, the pain of getting there!!

My fave character is often a supporting character who contributes to the necessary changes in one of the main characters, and without whom the story would be incomplete. Larry is the winner of that category in this book. He is a keen observer, actually of both Dean and Carlie, he has great insight, patience, tact, and loves others despite knowing their flaws. Plus he speaks the truth in love.

I would encourage you to see how Ms. Havig can turn a book with such an unusual premise into a real-life, believable, truth-filled novel you’ll long remember! Oh, yes, if you like to laugh out loud and read witticisms, those are bonus givens in Havig’s works!!

—————————————————————————

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

—————————————————————————

Notable Quotables:

“They can’t seem to comprehend why it’s important to base their beliefs on Scripture over conventional wisdom.”

“…the only thing separating jock from jerk is a vowel.”

“While feelings are real, they do not always reflect truth.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author of 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

You know, originally, I had Dean as a guy who was too wrapped up in his own little world to care about anyone else—the stereotypical academic. I pictured him buried deep in original Biblical manuscripts, annoyed that anyone would dare to invade his study time.

But you know what? That’s the easycharacter.

When I went back to edit the book, I had this thought. What if Dean weren’t reclusive at all? What if he were kind of a know-it-all who couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself. Maybe a child prodigy who was used to people thinking him rather brilliant and looking for his insights.

Yeah… I could get into that.

There was just one small problem. I’d written the entire book without him talking much at all on those Wednesdays. Now what?

After much deliberation, even more prayer, and a bit of fudging, I came up with the solution. What if he just challenged himself for “one lunch?” Just one hour or so of not talking to prove to himself (and his peers) that he could do it.

How could he possibly know he’d set things up for months of wordless lunches—on his part? And what would a person learn in a situation like that?

I’ve never admitted this before, but I tested it a bit. At situations where I could, I forced myself to listen to people’s stories, their questions, their opinions. The hard part was not spending my listening time formulating my response (how rude anyway!). I really had to focus on exactly what they said, how their voice altered based on their emotions, and what others around us had to say to encourage (or not—too often not, I’ll admit).

I learned a lot with the experiment, and I’ll be honest. I still catch myself listening with an ear to how I’ll respond instead of really listening. No, I don’t expect to find some café romance for myself. My guy is amazing, and he’s probably the only person on the planet who could put up with me, so… I think I’ll keep him. But I do expect to keep learning how to really hear people. You know… kind of like Jesus did. Imagine that.

Blog Stops

Pause for Tales, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 10

Lots of Helpers, May 11

Miriam Jacob, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

By the Book, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Spoken from the Heart, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 16

deb’s Book Review, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 19

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

Blogging With Carol, May 21

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

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/1d735/corner-booth-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle

Spines and Leaves by Chautona Havig Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Spines & Leaves

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: FICTION / CHRISTIAN / WOMENS FICTION / ROMANCE

Release date: July 8, 2021

Spines-Leaves

 Books are the strings that tie hearts together. 

With a month to get from Orange County, California to Delaware for his next corporate challenge, Milton Coleridge decides to spend a week at Joshua Tree National Park.

He never expected to find a floundering bookstore in need of his particular business skills. Will his methods of saving companies from bankruptcy or takeover work on such a small scale? And can he convince two people to risk their hearts?

Step into the Spines & Leaves, Tamarisk, California’s oldest (and only ever) bookstore. Come in out of the harsh, desert sun and wind and peruse all the store has to offer. It might just be more than you think.

One man, one store, thousands of books.  What’ll it take to keep this bookstore from becoming a book ghost town… and what’ll it take for Milton to tie two heartstrings together?

Spine & Leaves is the introductory novella to the Bookstrings series.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Whew!! Spines and Leaves by Chautona Havig is a not-to-be missed, fun ride involving a barely surviving, desert bookstore. The town of Tamarisk has almost nothing going for it, with several defunct stores and a few residences in the middle of Joshua Tree National Forest. But, wait! There’s a bookstore! Only a reader would understand how strong that pull is to Milton Coleridge as he enters with his parrotlet. We meet Mercedes, the daughter of the owner, who is managing the store until her ill father can get back on his feet. We see Marcus Mendez, a police officer who hides his feelings for Mercedes as he strives to protect his heart. We begin to see the makings of a love triangle between Marcus, Mercedes, and Milton.

Chautona Havig plays this triangle up well. I wanted to choose one man over the other, but couldn’t. Just as I would choose “Team Marcus” or “Team Milton,” the other would pull ahead by some act or word.

If you’ve never read Havig’s work before, this book is a good place to start. Havig brings her signature style with literature allusions, a touch of romance, plenty of snark and wit, faith lessons, and surprising twists that will keep you reading till the last word.

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

Notable Quotables:

“‘Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?’”

“Just reminding myself that God’s goodness doesn’t disappear when things seem like they’re going all wrong.”

Mercedes’ heart sighed. I could have fallen for a guy like that… if stupid Marcus hadn’t been here first. Her head said she could choose to love whoever she wanted. Her heart stuck out its tongue and went, “Ptttthtt.” Heart won. Again.

Book people understand each other. There are special connections between bookworms that might exist between football fans or movie buffs, but I doubt it is the same.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magnificent!! Book Lover’s Paradise- both the Story and the Store!!

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author of Aggie and Past Forwardseries, 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

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the Bookstrings series is a process rather than an idea. Each time I saw an indie bookstore close, each time I went in one with no one else in there for the hour or two I browsed, and each time I heard book lovers lament the lack of a store in their town… Yeah. Those experiences slowly grew into a wish—one where I knew how to rescue those stores from extinction. So maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but that’s how it felt.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, Milton appeared—a business genius who, along with his faithful parrotlet, Atticus (not Finch), travels the country saving corporations from takeover or bankruptcy.

Milton went through several iterations. Older, balding, mustache, and always wearing a golfer’s cap. Then I had him as a young hipster dude who got sick of the rat race on Wall Street and took off on his own, using what he’d learned. That just felt too cliché.

Instead, I have a forty-ish guy who wears chinos and oxford shirts with topsiders, shorter than most men, and with a nonchalant air about him. And charm. The quiet guy with serious business skills just oozes quiet charm.

After deciding on Milton, I had to choose where to put the stores. I’ve been watching out for towns for years—using trips different places as research times. Would I create places that felt like real towns or use actual small towns? Though drawn to real towns, I had an idea for where to end the series, and, doing that meant a fictional town. Would it be weird to have four or five books set in small towns across America followed by a final fictional one?

The solution came to me as I learned that the Mosaic authors were doing a summer collection in 2021. If I started with a novella and ended the series with both in a fictional town, at least that fictional bit wouldn’t be out of the blue!

So, the Bookstrings series has two novellas and five full-length novels. (I couldn’t resist a Christmas “noella” in the charming town of Noel, Missouri—the “Christmas City.”) We’ll be off to other small towns around the country—one in Red Wing, Minnesota, another in Berne, Indiana, and one somewhere between Kingsport, Tennessee and Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina. If I can find a place in New England, that’d be great, too. Or maybe down in Mississippi… I’d love to visit my sister down there.

The Bookstrings series books all have one very important thing in common (aside from Milton and Atticus, of course). They all illustrate that books truly are the strings that tie hearts together.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 26

Texas Book-aholic, April 26

Lots of Helpers, April 27

Mary Hake, April 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 28

By the Book, April 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 29

The Avid Reader, April 30

Vicky Sluiter, May 1

For Him and My Family, May 2

Miriam Jacob, May 2

Inklings and notions, May 3

Blogging With Carol, May 4

deb’s Book Review, May 4

She Lives To Read, May 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 6

Simple Harvest Reads, May 6 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 7

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 8

Pause for Tales, May 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

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/1d0b3/spines-leaves-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, BLOG, Kindle, NetGalley, Revell

Looking for Leroy by Melody Carlson

About the Book

Title: Looking for Leroy

Author: Melody Carlson

Publisher: Revell

Released: March 2022

It’s official: Brynna Phillips is done with men. They only break your heart. But just when she makes this declaration, her friend Jan convinces Brynna to join her on a camping vacation in Sonoma Wine Country. As they wind their way toward their destination, spanking-new mini camper in tow, Brynna recalls her teenage camp romance with a boy named Leroy. How can it have been nearly 30 years ago? All she remembers is that Leroy was a genuinely good guy and that his family owned a vineyard–in Sonoma. She doesn’t even remember his last name. Jan insists they look for him, and the search begins.

Beyond the slim chance they’d ever be able to find him are questions that have haunted Brynna for decades, including What is the point of digging up the past? and Can Leroy ever forgive me for losing touch?

Bestselling author Melody Carlson invites you on a trip to rediscover the carefree days of youth and, just maybe, to get a second chance at love.

My Impressions

If you’re looking for an easy-flowing, contemporary romance novel with a middle-age pair, Looking for Leroy by Melody Carlson deserves a read. The tone of this story made me smile and laugh.

Brynna is a divorced, elementary school teacher whose vice-principal invites her along on a summer camping trip out west. It is a trip that has the potential to change her life.

Leroy Sorrentino is the widowed vintner of a small California vineyard. Preparing to celebrate the historical longevity of the vineyard, two of his three grown daughters attempt to market and make Sorrentino’s profitable.

I liked the premise of the storyline and the predictable but realistic conflicts Carlson presents for her characters to overcome.

“Had he settled? Both in life and in marriage? He sometimes wondered.” This is a very sad, possibly tragic, thought for a person to have to ponder after it seems to late to make changes.

I also wondered if LeRoy were my friend, what advice I would give him about his love life. Each of his daughters certainly has an opinion! Some characters didn’t grow as much or as fast as I wanted them to. Honestly, people in real life are like that, though. We people don’t always grow as quickly and steadily forward as we should.

Sophie is my favorite character. She seems warm, accepting, able to see the best in others, and willing to forgive. Plus, she’s a hard worker!

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

Notable Quotables:

“Training dogs was much easier than training daughters.”

“Wisdom, understanding, knowledge. More than ever, she longed for those elusive qualities—because she felt foolish, confused, and just plain stupid.”

My Rating

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Great! Sweet Romance with Middle-Age Couple

About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

http://www.melodycarlson.com/

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, Kindle

Arms of Freedom by Kathleen Neely Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Arms of Freedom

Author: Kathleen Neely

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: October 6, 2021

Arms of Freedom--front cover--Final-04.30.21

With each page of the age-old journals, Annie discovers all that unites her with a woman who once lived in her farmhouse. One lived with wealth and one with poverty, but both knew captivity. Both longed to be free.

Miriam yearns to escape her life as a super model. She drops the pseudonym and uses the name she gave up years ago—Annie Gentry. Then she alters her appearance and moves to rural South Carolina to care for her grandmother. Can she live a simple life without recognition? Can she hide a net worth valued in the millions? Love is nowhere in her plans until she meets a man who wants nothing more than Annie Gentry and the simple life he lives.

Charlotte lived in the same farmhouse in the tumultuous 1860’s. The Civil War was over, but for a bi-racial girl, freedom remained elusive. She coveted a life where she wouldn’t bring shame to her family. A life where she could make a difference. As she experiences hope, will it be wrested from her?

The journals stop abruptly with a climactic event, leaving Annie to search for information. What happened to Charlotte? Did her life make a difference?  Did she ever find freedom?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

“But no one found me precious. One mother gave me away. The other used me for her purposes.” So laments Annie Gentry as she considers her past. Arms of Freedom by Kathleen Neely ties together Annie’s story and that of Charlotte, who lived in the same house 150 years before.

I really appreciated the forward. It warned of hard-to-read material and explained why author thought it important to highlight such a difficult time in our country’s past.

Even though Annie is a famous person hiding out incognito in small-town South Carolina, I found the story plausible and mesmerizing. The historical part presented by Charlotte’s diary helped me see how awful life could be for a non-white in the Reconstructionist South. How I cheered for both ladies, but especially for Charlotte, who learns how to stand strong. I love how the author finally connects the two separate stories with beautifully intertwining threads.

We get to meet some very pivotal secondary characters. Reverend Platt, Mrs. Pearson, Aunt Imani; plus Lillian, Darlene, and Seth. They all greatly influence either Charlotte or Annie regarding love, forgiveness, family, and belonging.

Part of the fun of reading a book like this was its setting. The author uses Greenville, South Carolina, as one nearby town, and I was thrilled to see references to the Liberty Bridge, the statue of Joel Poinsett, and “the Mice on Main.” I was also thrilled to find out what small town Hickory Falls is based on. Fun!

I discovered this last fact because of sections at the end of the book. There is a “where fact meets fiction” section and a reader’s guide with discussion questions.

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

My Rating

Heartbreaking portrayal of two women, centuries apart, searching for love and belonging.

About the Author

Kathleen Neely is a retired elementary principal, and enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading.

She is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, The Least of These, Arms of Freedom, and In Search of True North. Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions.

Kathleen continues to speak to students about writing and publication processes. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

More from Kathleen

I’d like to introduce myself and then share a little bit about my book, Arms of Freedom. I am a retired educator having taught preschool, fourth grade, and then moving into administration as an elementary principal. When I retired, I pursued my desire to write. My first novel, The Least of These, won first place in a contest titled Fresh Voices. That honor renewed my confidence, and since then, I’ve written five novels. Arms of Freedom is my first timeslip (dual timeline) novel.

Arms of Freedom was birthed during a time of racial tension in our nation; a time when social injustice and protests were forefront in the news. Many publishers safely avoided manuscripts with any mention of racial issues—perhaps a wise decision from a business perspective.

However, failure to look at our past denies us the opportunity to learn from history. Our fear of offending can push major historical offenses into a dark closet. I chose to illuminate those offenses by launching this book. Following the Civil War, the period of twelve years known as Reconstruction was perhaps the most brutal period of racial terrorism. The contents may be hard to read. I confess that I often wrote through tears.

In the end, I hope your takeaway is this: Regardless of race and ethnicity, all people are created in the image of God, a one-of-a-kind miracle, loved by Him, and created for a purpose. We are called to unity, to be perfectly one (John 17:23). May we join together in raising our arms of freedom to the Savior who released us from the captivity of sin.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. — John 8:36 NIV

I hope you enjoy Annie’s story as the life of this contemporary character intersects with Charlotte’s story from 150 years earlier. Both experience a coming-of-age change as they seek to escape from what holds them captive.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 4

The Avid Reader, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

Inklings and notions, March 6

For Him and My Family, March 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 8

Miriam Jacob, March 8

deb’s Book Review, March 9

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 12

Bizwings Blog, March 13

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 14 (Spotlight)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 14

Simple Harvest Reads, March 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/1b4bd/arms-of-freedom-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

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

51UmGgJ9F0L

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, Favorite, Hardback, Revell

A Christmas in the Alps Review

About the Book

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday. 

About the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

My Impressions

Oh, my goodness! After reading A Christmas in the Alps, I have the strong urge to go out and purchase all of Melody Carlson’s other Christmas novels and novellas! Carlson recounts an amazing story of finding family and restoring relationships long ago damaged and severed. All set against a backdrop of a young woman seeing Paris for the first time, then staying in a lovely chateau-hotel in a quaint village in the Alps. I felt like I was traveling along with Simone, suffering through the trans-Atlantic flight, seeing the beautiful sights, stumbling through awkward attempts at communicating in French.

If you love Hallmark movies, you will love this novel that begs to be its own movie. Several love triangles make for romantic tension and swoon-worthy reading. Team Kyle or Team Noel? Team Sylvie or Team Simone? How will the love triangles affect the loyalties and action and other relationships in this beautiful story?

*Sigh.* I don’t reread books. But I just may have to make an exception!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. All opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent! I rarely re-read books, but I am ready to spend another afternoon in the Alps with Simone this season!

ARC, BLOG, Favorite

Dark Threat, #4 Protection Inc., by Kimberly Rose Johnson

About the Book

Book:  Dark Threat

Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 1, 2021

Reporter Trinity Lockhart pursues a story but then unwittingly becomes the story.

Acting on a tip from an anonymous source, Trinity investigates an art trafficking ring at a high-end Seattle gallery. She turns to handsome FBI agent Kyle Richards for help after being spotted by the crooks.

Kyle is drawn to the feisty reporter, but he can’t afford a beautiful distraction when lives are at stake. He must trust his friends at Protection Inc. to watch over Trinity while he investigates the gallery.

Will this couple overcome the impossible odds threatening to keep them apart?

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions

Trouble with a capital T. Nobody on the right side of the law much cares for TV news reporter Trinity Lockhart of KXB News in Seattle. So when this thief’s daughter gets an anonymous tip about stolen art at a prestigious art gallery in Seattle and turns to
FBI Special Agent Kyle Richards for help, he balks. As does Protection, Inc, the ex-police group he recruits to protect her and the police (did I mention Trinity greatly distrusts the police?!).
At first, I had a hard time caring about Trinity and Kyle. But by 40% the way through, the action begins to build and I was thoroughly invested, skillfully drawn in by Kimberly Rose Johnson’s slow build romance and carefully unpeeling of Trinity’s real personality. Just like Kyle, I found myself unable to resist the gradual appeal of this deepening, dangerous mystery.


It was fun to see characters from previous books and feel the great family camaraderie established between members of the Protection, Inc. group. Read these books, Protection, Inc, in order to get the full effect. You will really enjoy this novel, Dark Threat, book four, by the time you reach it. Recommended.
I gratefully thank the author and publisher for a copy of this book via Celebrate Lit. No positive thoughts were required, and all opinions are voluntarily left and solely my own. 

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent! I love the Protection, Inc, team and their camaraderie!!

About the Author

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes romantic suspense and mystery with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly’s newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

More from Kimberly

Dark Threat features FBI agent Kyle Richards. We first met Kyle in book one of the Protection Inc. series where he joined the team while working undercover for the FBI. He has since become an honorary member of the team and has been in every book since.

When I set out to write this series I planned to only feature the team members, but Kyle is practically part of the team, so he needed his own story too. I thoroughly enjoyed getting into Kyle’s head for this book.

As with most books, this one took research. Through the years I’ve done all kinds of research to understand the occupations of my characters. For the characters occupations in Dark Threat I did some different kind of research than I’ve done in the past.

I really wanted to understand how FBI agents think and operate so I listened to an audio book written by a former agent. The man was rough around the edges but it really helped me understand the atmosphere in which agents work. Then I read a book written by a female, former CIA as well as FBI agent. It was fascinating to see the differences between the agencies from a former agent’s point of view.

Trinity, the female lead in Dark Threat is a crime beat reporter. I pretty much knew nothing about the life of a television reporter, so I watched You Tube videos filmed by actual reporters about a day in their lives as reporters. One young woman did a series of videos, which I found extremely helpful. Another had the camera following her on the job. From her I learned about what it’s like to go out on location and how meal times during her day on the job were never guaranteed. She’d grab a bite when she could and sometimes she wouldn’t even be able to finish it because she had to rush to a breaking story.

Finally, I needed to better understand the art world. I have a college friend who is an amazing artist. She has a gallery in Boise, Idaho. I contacted her and picked her brain about art and art galleries.

As for anything related to law enforcement I asked my uncle who is a retired police officer.

The thing I loved most about talking to people about their professions is that one question often snowballed into a deeper conversation about the topic. My friend and my uncle would tell me things I didn’t even know I needed to know.

I think Dark Threat required the most research of all the books I’ve written. I’m not a huge fan of doing research, but I truly enjoyed every minutes of it for this book.

I hope you will enjoy reading Dark Threat even more than I enjoyed writing it!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 12

Texas Book-aholic, June 13

Blogging With Carol, June 13

Inklings and notions, June 14

Blossoms and Blessings, June 14

For Him and My Family, June 15

Bizwings Blog, June 15

deb’s Book Review, June 16

The Sacred Line, June 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 17

CarpeDiem, June 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 18

Betti Mace, June 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 19

Bigreadersite, June 19

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 21

Daysong Reflections, June 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 22

HookMeInABook, June 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 23

Kayem Reads , June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 24

Worthy2Read, June 24

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

Mary Hake, June 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kimberly is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/10d55/dark-threat-celebration-tour-giveaway

ARC, BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Favorite, LibraryThing Early Readers, NetGalley, PB, Revell

At Lighthouse Point, #3 Three Sisters Island, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Book

Book:  At Lighthouse Point

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: May 4, 2021

at lighthouse

Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan–to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor’s kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn’t know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined.

Click here to get your copy!


My Impressions


Welcome back to Three Sisters Island, ME, and another visit with Paul Grayson and his three grown daughters. (I was thankful for the character list at beginning of this book. With the books in the series a year apart, it can be hard to remember who’s who.) At Lighthouse Point, #3 Three Sisters Island, by Suzanne Woods Fisher is very enjoyable as it focuses especially on Blaine’s return to the island, yet we see Cam and Maddie maturing in their marriages and the dynamics of the family as a whole. There are so many character developments or relationships examined, that the flow of the storyline is wonderfully robust and busy from every angle. With healthy doses of faith that are spoken in Woods’ trademark profound but easy-to-understand style, this book is the perfect conclusion to The Three Sisters’ Island series. Woods even surprised me a few times with her twists and turns.


I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit via Net Galley and LibraryThing Early Reviewers. No positive review was required and all thoughts are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!! A fave for its truths and tightly woven storyline.

About the Author

Award winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected. With more than one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of more than 30 works, ranging from novels to non-fiction books to children’s books. Currently, she lives with her very big family in the East Bay.

More from Suzanne

10 Curious Facts about Lighthouses

People love lighthouses. There’s just something special about those sturdy sentinels with their beacons of light, patiently sweeping the water, their mournful and haunting wail of a foghorn. Longfollow’s poem, The Lighthouse, written in 1850, captured the allure so well:

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,
Through the deep purple of the twilight air,
Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,
With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!

“Unearthly splendor.” Wow, doesn’t that hit the nail on the head? A lighthouse, to me, represents a spiritual truth: Someone’s watching out for us, looking out for the dangers ahead, and always glad to welcome us home.

Here are 10 facts about lighthouses that you might not know:

  • THE FIRST KNOWN LIGHTHOUSE was Egypt’s Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt, built in the third century B.C. The lighthouse was made from a fire on a platform to warn sailors of the port’s entrance. This lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • THE OLDEST EXISTING LIGHTHOUSE IN THE WORLD is considered to be La Coruna in Spain that dates from ca. 20 B.C. A Roman lighthouse is located on the Cliffs of Dover in the UK that was constructed in 40 A.D.
  • THE UNITED STATES IS HOME to more lighthouses than any other country.
  • THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE IN AMERICA was at Boston on Little Brewster Island (1716). The first keeper was George Worthylake who, sadly, was drowned, along with his wife and daughter, when returning to the island in 1718.
  • THE TALLEST LIGHTHOUSE is on Cape Hatteras, NC. Built in 1872, it reached 196 feet tall.
  • THE FIRST WEST COAST LIGHTHOUSE was built on Alcatraz Island in 1854.
  • DAYMARKS are the painted colors and patterns (diamonds, spirals and stripes) on lighthouse towers to distinguish them from each other.
  • LIGHTHOUSE KEEPING was one of the first U.S. government jobs available to women, as far back as the 19th century. Most obtained their position when their husband died or became incapacitated.
  • THE RANGE OF THE LIGHTHOUSE LIGHT produces a light seen 25 miles at sea.
  • ABOUT 700 LIGHTHOUSES are still in active use in the United States.

As I wrote the third book in the ‘Three Sisters island’ series, I just had to give that little charred lighthouse its day in the sun. It had patiently played a role in the first two books, waiting for its turn on center stage. Not only did its setting provide a very unexpected “WHAT? How did that happen?” conclusion to the series, it even stole the headline! The undisputed title: At Lighthouse Point.

Do you have a favorite lighthouse? If so, please add your picture in the comments below. Don’t forget to include its location.

Thanks for reading! Stay well, stay home, and read.

Suzanne

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, May 11

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 11

Wishful Endings, May 11

The Avid Reader, May 12

Just Writing, May 12

The Write Escape, May 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 12

By The Book, May 13

HappyWhenReading, May 13

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 14

Cultivating Us, May 14

Blogging With Carol, May 14

Batya’s Bits , May 14

Betti Mace, May 15

Bizwings Blog, May 15

Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 15

deb’s Book Review, May 16

Jeanette’s Thoughts , May 16

HookMeInABook, May 16

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 16

Connie’s History Classroom, May 17

Lighthouse-Academy, May 17

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, May 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 18

Godly Book Reviews, May 18

Daysong Reflections, May 18

Mary Hake, May 18

Artistic Nobody, May 19 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 19

EmpowerMoms, May 19

SusanLovesBooks, May 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 20

Older & Smarter?, May 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 21

Simple Harvest Reads, May 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Splashes of Joy, May 21

Blossoms and Blessings, May 21

Through the Fire Blogs, May 22

Vicky Sluiter, May 22

Pause for Tales, May 22

Moments, May 22

She Lives To Read, May 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 23

Labor Not in Vain, May 23

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 24

Life, Love, Writing, May 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 24

Remembrancy, May 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
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/10bb6/at-lighthouse-point-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Purchase

The Elnora Monet, by Rachel Skatvold

About the Book

Book:  The Elnora Monet

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 27, 2021

The Elnora Monet

Islanders call him the Elnora Monet.

Is that island speak for “pompous, arrogant jerk?”

When Carly Mulligan volunteered to make house calls on Elnora, she never imagined treating the richest cat on the islands. What other feline has his own wing in a mansion like the Belshaw Estate?

After a wrong turn in the mansion, Carly stumbles across a secret room—one filled with incredible paintings. Perhaps there’s something more to the man than she first thought.

Most people envy Jean-Luc Belshaw’s position. The heir to a lucrative business and family fortune, he should have everything he could dream of.

But Luc dreams of days past. Days when he traveled the world with his wife and painted the breathings of his soul disappeared with Angeline’s passing.  Faith and inspiration gone, he wonders if returning to France to take his place in his father’s business is the right thing to do.

Carly has a few relational demons of her own, and she’s reluctant to trust him, but Luc’s paintings draw her in even as his story touches a long-empty place in her heart.

Only God can transform two broken pasts into a work of art.

The Elnora Monet continues the Elnora Island romances of 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

“‘…this isn’t normal, sir.’” Outspoken, spontaneous, and fun-loving vet assistant Carly Mulligan discovers that billionaire Jean-Luc Belshaw, Jr., needs some help returning to “normal.” She meets Luc on a house call for a very spoiled cat named Descartes. Appalled at his lack of interest in his pet, Carly wonders what story lies behind Luc’s tortured eyes.
The Elnora Monet, by Rachel Skatvold, quickly intrigued me as a fun-to-read, well-written contemporary romance with a poor girl meets rich guy trope. The major part animals play in the story shows Skatvold has a good understanding of feline and canine behavior. With the emphasis of the art style being French Impressionism and Monet specifically, readers attracted to that style will sit up and take note. And a chance to revisit Elnora Island, plus a trip to Paris? Be still my beating heart! A great faith thread is incorporated, and I should have loved the book.


But a mental block appeared. The book was good, even great, but for me, stopped short of magnificent. Deniable plausibility, that wonderful phrase, struck early on and I couldn’t let go. One of Carly’s important actions early in the book felt inconsistent with what she already knew. This may not be a problem for anyone else but me, and I would definitely encourage readers who like Christian contemporary romance with a poor girl-rich guy trope to give this novel a try.
My thanks to the author and publisher, Celebrate Lit, for providing a copy of this book. No positive review was required, and all thoughts are solely my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Life has no meaning for an artist who’s not creating…no matter what form of art it might be.”

“I’d rather spend my life trying and risk failing, than doing nothing to change the situation.”

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming and Brides of Pelican Rapids Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: http://www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Thank you for helping celebrate the release of The Elnora Monet by following this Celebration Tour hosted by Celebrate Lit. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about the characters and what inspired the story. Please follow the other stops on this tour and don’t forget to enter in the giveaway. Thank you!

It has been a wonderful experience working with the talented authors and editors in the Independence Islands Series. Each of these stories has a heartwarming message of faith and the characters always teach me something new. Ever since writing Kendall Mulligan’s story in Her Merriweather Hero, I’ve been excited to share her free-spirited younger sister’s story.

Carly had many struggles in the first book, questioning what purpose God had for her life. This time around, her feet are more grounded, but she still has some growing to do when it comes to faith. Carly has been a fun character to write about because of her witty extroverted personality and some of the humorous predicaments she ends up in…one of them including getting caught snooping around a billionaire’s mansion.

While not outspoken as Carly, I can relate to the character’s search for direction. Sometimes it is difficult learning to trust, especially during troubling times, but we can rely on God’s promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.” This verse means so much to me because I know even when I can’t understand something, He is behind the scenes guiding me in the right direction. For Carly, it leads in a direction she never expects, but it is worth it in the end.

Certain parts of the story were inspired by my mom. If you have read Her Merriweather Hero, you know the Mulligan sisters are originally from New England, close to where my mom grew up. I love hearing about her memories of spending time at Nantasket Beach, drinking orange pop, and putting chips in her sandwich so they wouldn’t blow away. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I still put chips in my own sandwich because of watching her do the same thing and her fridge is always stocked with orange pop to this day. Little bits of my mom’s childhood are weaved into this story, making it close to my heart.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about characters and story behind The Elnora Monet. Now continue reading for a summary of the book and giveaway. Blessings!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 10

Lakesidelivingsite, May 10

Rebekah Reads Lit, May 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, May 11

She Lives to Read, May 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14

Inklings and notions, May 15

CarpeDiem, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 16

Cultivating Us, May 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17

Books and Everyday Live, May 17

Blossoms and Blessings, May 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 18

Lots of Helpers, May 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 20

Blogging With Carol , May 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 21

Godly Book Reviews, May 21

Kayem Reads, May 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 22

Connect in Fiction, May 22

Splashes of Joy, May 23

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

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize 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/10bb3/the-elnora-monet-celebration-tour-giveaway