BLOG, Celebrate Lit Publishers, Celebrate Lit Tour

Restoring Fairhaven, #6 Merriweather Island, by Carolyn Miller

About the Book

Book: Restoring Fairhaven

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it?

Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud.

But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world.

Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking.

How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time?

Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future.

Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after?

Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this 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

I enjoyed this island Cinderella/combination Beauty and the Beast story, Restoring Fairhaven, by Carolyn Miller. After a couple of deep historicals, this lighter, easy-to-read contemporary romance of Samantha Green of Greener Gardens landscaping business and Max Fairhaven, a famous author, was just what I needed. Miller includes a good look at a struggling landscaping business that Sam reluctantly takes over for her father.


It is a wonder what a change the love of God and a good woman can affect in a man’s soul. I also appreciated seeing how love caused Max to want to give of himself, to move beyond the little world that had bound him after the death of his wife, Meggie.
There were a couple of ongoing sinister elements that I thought were ended and dismissed too quickly given the importance they played in the drama. Come to think of it, if this is indeed a fairytale retold, it would make much sense for at least some of the bad elements to quickly disappear.


This is book six in The Merriweather Island: Independence Islands series. This book seemed to be able to stand on its own.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. These opinions are solely my own, voluntarily submitted.

My Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Magnificent!

About the Author

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc Her contemporary novels include Restoring Fairhaven and Regaining Mercy, as part of the Independence Islands series.

More from Carolyn

I’m a long time lover of gardens, plants, flowers and trees! I’m married to a horticulturalist, who once upon a time worked at Lyme Park, the site of Mr. Darcy’s magnificent Pemberley from the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, and who has also worked at Kew Gardens in England.

Some of my garden and plant highlights include visiting Blarney Castle’s Poison Garden in Ireland, New Zealand’s Hamilton Gardens, Dunrobin Castle in Scotland, Frederik Meijer Gardens in Michigan, the redwoods of Yosemite, California, Butchart Gardens in Victoria Island, Canada, and Jardin Botanique in Montreal, Canada.

I love to post pictures of flowers and trees on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/carolynmillerauthor/)  and have included pictures of some of these places at my website (www.carolynmillerauthor.com) I have incorporated some of the gardens and plants in a number of my historical novels, including the gorgeous gardens at a castle in Scotland where I set Misleading Miss Verity.

I’m so excited to be introducing readers to my new contemporary books, where I can bring some of my love of gardens (& my hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Restoring Fairhaven sees readers introduced to a range of gardening experts who together will bring the gardens of the Independence Islands back to life.

If you’re someone who has enjoyed The Secret Garden, or Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart, you’ll be sure to enjoy this story of a reclusive writer and the gardening guru sent to restore his gardens – and his heart.

Happy reading!

Carolyn

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 16

lakesidelivingsite, January 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 17

April Hayman, Author, January 17

A Novel Pursuit, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Rebekah Reads, January 18

Blogging With Carol, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20

Mary Hake, January 20

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 21

CarpeDiem, January 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 22

Cultivating Us, January 22

Kathleen Neely, January 22

Livin’ Lit, January 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 23

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

Older & Smarter?, January 24

Artistic Nobody, January 24 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, January 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 25

Inkwell Inspirations, January 25

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Blossoms and Blessings, January 26

Joanne Markey, January 26

She Lives To Read, January 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, January 28

Splashes of Joy, January 28

Godly Book Reviews, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Daysong Reflections, January 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon prize 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/105a8/restoring-fairhaven-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, New Author

The Trouble with Tulips, #1 Hometown Holiday Heartstrings by Emily Botrous

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About the Book

Title: The Trouble with Tulips

Series: #1 Hometown Holiday Heartstrings

Author: Emily Dana Botrous

Publisher: Independently Published

Released: May 2020

He prefers plants to people. She’s a black thumb. Can love bloom?
Kim is stagnating in her hometown, like a dying flower. When her mother asks her to create a flower garden to enter into a local competition, Kim decides it’ll be her last big hurrah before skipping town for a new start. But with her wilted gardening skills, she can’t pull it off alone, especially since her mom wants tulips. The only person who might be able to help is her brother’s best friend. Trouble is, she’s liked him for years despite his prickly personality, and he never noticed.

Jake has met with a lot of loss in life. The only thing he can keep alive is a plant. Besides his friend Dusty, Jake has no use for anyone, including God. So when Dusty’s sister asks him for help, he turns her down flat—until he realizes he needs her help, too. Trading tulips and time for business advice, Jake finds there’s more to Kim than he’s ever noticed before. Too bad the only way to keep her safe is to keep her out of his heart.

When things get weedy, Kim must decide whether to dig in her roots or move on. Can Jake trust that God is enough to bridge the distance between the pain in the past and the promise of the future?

My Review

I really liked this book as the issues the protagonists had to resolve are so basic to many young people. Some people never overcome this personal baggage during a lifetime. Kim Williams and Jake Dunn are a couple that just can’t seem to get it together in order to be together. Emily Botrous has penned a very wise and insightful tale of hurt, beauty, and romance in her The Trouble with Tulips.

The Trouble with Tulips 1

Kim Williams has a very marketable MBA, but due to a years-long crush
on her brother’s best friend, Jake, she has moved home where no full-time jobs are available. Jake refuses to let go of guilt over his mother’s and brother’s death. This causes him to become surly and morose to close out any who would get close to him. I often wondered just what Kim saw in him.
Many readers will be able to identify with Kim and Jake. Kim can’t believe she is worth anything to anybody unless Jake sits up and takes notice. Kim needs to learn that God alone can fill the true void in her heart. Botrous does a great job, without preaching, of placing Kim in conversations that point her to begin listening to “The Voice of Truth.”
Jake is an even tougher nut to crack, though. Closed off from people, he is convinced anyone he cares about will meet disaster. He dumped his trust in God long ago, when beloved family members died.

The Trouble with Tulips 2


My favorite secondary character was Jason. He figures so strongly into the arc of this couple’s life. As their boss, he cares for them like a father. He is gracious, helpful, and insightful. Jason is also protective of his workers. God placed Jake and Kim in a great work environment, even though Jake is leaving to branch out on his own and Kim is only part-time.
I cried along with Kim until she finally finds her true worth. “Only God can make you understand your real value. And it’s to Him and no one else.”

Other notable quotes:

“The only thing he could take proper care of was plants.”

“Love’s worth the risk. God sure thought so.”

“But wasn’t she, by insulting herself—God’s very own creation—indirectly insulting God?”

“Stop actin’ God, son.”

“You want to be all-powerful to the ones you love, but only God can be that. Us? We have to trust those we love to His hands.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This in no way influenced my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating 

5 Stars – Superior – Hits My Reading Sweet Spot 

 

About the Author

18860227Emily Dana Botrous lives in San Diego, California with her husband and their four children. She lived in 10 states before she settled on the West Coast where she plans to stay for awhile. She started writing short stories at age 10 and studied English in college. The only thing she enjoys more than writing is motherhood. While there are a lot of things that matter to Emily, nothing is more important to her than Jesus Christ. It is her goal to point anyone who reads her writing toward Him. When Emily isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, long walks, music, and playing with her kids. “A New Shade of Paint” is her first book.