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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

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour, Purchase

Mishaps off the Mainland, #5 Merriweather Island by Tabitha Bouldin, Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Mishaps off the Mainland

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre:  Christian fiction, contemporary romance

Release Date:  November 24, 2020

BOULDIN-Mishaps Off the Mainland

All Mel wants is to run the business of her dreams.

Melody Carmichael’s mobile pet grooming business might sink before it can sail when a favorite pet escapes her care. Doggie escape-artist, Daphne, got a taste of freedom, and the Afghan hound refuses to be found.

Enter Zeke Solomon. Desperate to bring the dog home for his grandmother, Zeke steps in to save the day.

And working together with Zeke would be a snap—if he would just stop blaming Mel for Daphne making a break for it.

Zeke is desperate to prove himself worthy of the Solomon name and step out from his father’s shadow. With his father breathing down his neck and demanding he return to the company business, Zeke must decide whether confronting the man he admires most is worth the risk of alienation.

Everything’s falling apart, and Mel’s dream transforms into a nightmare. She thought this was what God wanted for her life, but can you blame her for second-guessing everything?

Was it all just a mistake?

Mishaps off the Mainland is the fifth “Merriweather book” in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

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

Click here to get your copy!


My Impressions

Cheers for an all-around great book by a new-to-me author, Tabitha Bouldin. Bouldin joins forces with several other Christian authors to tell the tales of various small businesses on a group of islands off the coast of Georgia. While the books are loosely connected, I did miss a few without feeling like I was missing any vital facts pertaining to this story, Mishaps off the Mainland. I always want to applaud for a novel whose title is especially apropos, and Bouldin’s creation is one of these. Contemporary romance is not my first love, but Bouldin makes me forget that as she introduces characters like Mel (owner of Zoomin’ Groomer) and Zeke and Miss Evelyn. These three stole my heart, as did the dogs and cats involved. The easy, every day language flowed smoothly, while Bouldin’s snarky humor made me stop to laugh. Consider the following:
“Dressed in a navy pencil skirt, white flowy top, and carrying what looked like a real Gucci bag under her arm, with her nose lifted so high she couldn’t possibly see the ground, this woman would not tolerate a single dog hair in her presence.”
“Penciled-in eyebrows struggled against the Botox holding them aloft as the woman shook her head.”


Themes of chasing one’s own interests more than chasing God, and needing an earthly father’s approval make for great conflict, along with a fledgling relationship that sometimes needs handled with kid gloves. I heartily recommend this book for those who love Christian contemporary romance, who love dogs and cats, or who have ever struggled to receive a parental blessing or figure out God’s will.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. I also purchased my own copy. I am voluntarily leaving this review. All opinions are my own.

My Rating

Magnificent

About the Author

Tabitha Bouldin is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and an avid reader. When she’s not busy homeschooling her two boys, you’ll find her buried in a book.

More from Tabitha

Why mobile pet grooming?

I get this question a lot when I bring up Mishaps off the Mainland.

I mean, I could have chosen any occupation as long as it could be mobile. Anything from a mobile doctor office to a bug specialist. The world was wide open for ideas.

After just completing a rather serious series, I wanted to write something lighter, funnier, but with that same depth and heart that I love to read. I also needed something that fit my character, and Mel had some pretty strong opinions right out of the gate.

You see, Mel is one of those characters who spoke to me right away. She loves animals. All animals but especially dogs. They’re her happy place. Mel is also a giver. She will drop everything to help someone else.

When I asked her what her dream job would be, she answered me faster than any character ever has. Pet groomer! (Yes, I talk to my characters.)

And I thought, why not a mobile pet groomer? She gets to spend all her time with animals (which is a bonus for me as the author), and Mel’s character traits can shine through her actions and reveal her giving heart.

Once the job was decided, I knew there needed to be some drama. What would be the underlying fear of a pet groomer? I didn’t want to injure an animal, so I went for what felt like second most traumatic, an escaped animal.

While Daphne’s escape is serious and causes Mel no end of sleepless nights, it also provides some comedic relief for Mel and Zeke while they work through their own personal battles. I like to think of Mishaps off the Mainland as a mixture of quirky fun and serious truth. The story was a joy to write, and I hope you fall in love with Mel and Zeke.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 18

Livin’ Lit, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

21st Century Keeper at Home, December 19

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 20

Connect in Fiction, December 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 21

deb’s Book Review, December 21

Inklings and notions, December 22

The Collaborative Press, December 22

For Him and My Family, December 23

lakesidelivingsite, December 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 23

Joanne Markey, December 24

Reviewingbooksplusmore, December 24

Batya’s Bits, December 25

Daysong Reflections, December 25

She Lives To Read, December 26

Rebekah Reads, December 26

Splashes of Joy, December 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27

Blossoms and Blessings, December 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 28

Captive Dreams Window, December 28

Artistic Nobody, December 29 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, December 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Aryn the Libraryan, December 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 30

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 31

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/104fd/mishaps-off-the-mainland-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour

Scrumptious Independence, #2 Merriweather Island by Melissa Wardwell with Giveaway

About the Book

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

And so is Beth’s cooking! It’s a good thing, too. After a lifetime of her family’s smothering embrace, a whole new world opens to her with the passing of her beloved grandmother.

Armed with an inheritance she never expected and orders on how to use it, Beth sets off for Merriweather Island and fulfillment of a lifetime of dreams.

Or so she hopes.

What she didn’t hope for was what most women would—a man who fills her thoughts at the most wonderfully unwelcome times. She doesn’t have time or space for a relationship, but how do you tell love to just go away?

Of course, starting over in a new place is never easy, especially as an outsider in a small community. Add to that a mayor who has her dander up and a woman bound to make her life miserable, is it any wonder that Beth begins to doubt God’s and Gram’s plans?

With her heart betraying her resolve and challenges to her faith, Beth finds it takes bravery she didn’t know she had to discover just how scrumptious independence can be.

This “Merriweather book” is the second in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

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

Click here to purchase your copy!


My Impressions

“Gram always told me that family was a gift from God so that we would never feel alone in this world. If that is the case, I think God hates me.” Poor Beth Stevens, left wealthy by her beloved Gram’s passing, has been deeply marred by her family’s rejection over the years. Her grandmother was her one dependable light in her dark world. Having received the house on Merriweather Island, Beth moves south with plans for an island food truck. Scott Anderson, her childhood island friend, wants to help Beth heal and is also attracted to her. Beth feels so broken and the islanders seem to want her gone. Is a successful life on the island, let alone with Scott, really something Beth wants to pursue?


Scrumptious Independence, #2 Merriweather Island by Melissa Wardwell is a fun contemporary fiction novel. I can’t imagine being as crippled as Beth is by her family’s failure to show love. However, I very much could relate to the need for independence at that age. Wardwell imbues her love of pirates and coastal scenery into the story adding nice touches. I enjoyed the relationships of the book. It was neat to see how friendships from childhood carried over into adulthood, in Scott’s case.

Of course, one is always hoping Beth and Scott will be one of those childhood friendships developing into something more, but that is why you must read the book. Mallory is a good friend with a listening ear, who kindly holds Beth accountable to her faith. Overarching the whole possible island romance theme is Gram’s solid, Biblically-based wisdom. It comes seeping through both Beth’s and Scott’s memories at God-appointed times. Sage, gentle, yet straightforward, Gram is life’s buffer for both Scott and Beth. Gram is the person I most wanted to know on the island.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher, Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great!

About the Author

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls.

Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.

Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

“Lord, I don’t know how I can keep doing this.”

That was my prayer one evening in 2019 as I made my way to praise practice. I knew that writing was something God had called me to (because He never seems to call you to do something you enjoy) but the finances were just not there to publish another book. I felt lost in the uncertainty of the path moving forward and I needed a light. I had just shared all my concerns with my parents and left with my dad’s words ringing in my head. Are you writing to gain notoriety or are you writing for God?

The next morning, CelebrateLit had a post looking for submissions for a new and innovative series. Hope burst within me and I know I needed more information. I followed instructions and spoke with Sandy Barela and Chautona Havig. The more I was told, the more excited I became because I knew I needed to be part of this collection.

Ideas were hatched, characters began to talk, and a book proposal was sent. I continued to work on the development of characters and the mobile business knowing in my heart that God had given me this opportunity. I wouldn’t do things halfway. And when the confirmation email came, I was ready to share the beautiful story and characters that developed.

Beth is a food truck proprietor, so that means she spends most of her time cooking. In an effort to grow her recipes, I have been making videos of me cooking some of our family’s favorites as well as raiding my mom’s recipe box. The result is some amazing food to share.

Every book, pre-order card, and my YouTube channel has recipes on it. And so will this tour.

With it being summertime, our family doesn’t want those heavy meals so sometimes chips and sandwiches are all we need in the evenings. One favorite is my chicken salad.

Now, this recipe is easily substituted with other things like however, you like your chicken.

Melissa’s Chicken Salad

Feeds 4 (unless you have big eaters.)

2 cans of chicken (you can use cooked but this is quick and easy

1/2 cup of red grapes – halved

1/2 cup celery – diced

Make sure you rinse all of this well as you prep the salad

Dressing

1 1/2 cup of miracle whip (you can use mayo)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

Mix everything together and serve on your favorite bread option or on a bed of lettuce. I like mine in a pita pocket or on lettuce. This time it was with a pita pocket with a side of lightly salted chips and a pickle.

Now, just a little side note, you can add what ever veggie or fruit you like. Apples and cucumbers would be a great addition as well. So, don’t feel like you have to do things exactly like I do. Make it your own.

Bon appétit

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 21

Soulfully Romantic, September 21

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 21

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 22

For Him and My Family, September 23

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Artistic Nobody, September 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

She Lives To Read, September 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 25

Quiet Workings, September 25

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , September 26

Older & Smarter?, September 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 26

Blogging With Carol, September 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 27

Batya’s Bits, September 27

Emily Yager, September 28

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 28

Stories By Gina, September 28

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 28

CarpeDiem, September 29

Christian Bookaholic, September 29

Cultivating Us, September 29

Aryn the Libraryan, September 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30

Connect in Fiction, October 1

The Collaborative Press, October 1

Livin’ Lit, October 1

Simple Harvest Reads, October 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meaderings of a Bookworm, October 2

Godly Book Reviews, October 2

Joanne Markey, October 3

Captive Dreams Window, October 3

Vicky Sluiter, October 3

Blossoms and Blessings, October 4

Splashes of Joy, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa 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/10105/scrumptious-independence-celebration-tour-giveaway