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Saturday, October 31, 2020

 

Novella Review: While it was Snowing by Tari Faris




While it was Snowing by Tari Faris is the perfect Christmas novella for this season. I honestly had just one complaint— I’m ready to read the next book in the Heritage series NOW! Ms Faris has created the most amazing community with wonderful characters you want to meet again and again. Here, Danielle is a strong, independent woman. I loved her character and her struggle to figure out her identity and what it means to transition friendship to love. I adored every minute of this novella and highly recommend it to readers of romance. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

 

Friday, October 30, 2020

 

 



Book Review: Secret Beach Boyfriend by Kari Trumbo


About the Book

 

Book: Secret Beach Boyfriend

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 29 , 2020

She met Rafe on the beach when she was just five and it seemed like fate tied them together. When a chance encounter returns him to the islands twenty years later, Annie finds her beach friend has grown up and now needs her help.

Damaged and scarred from a past that still hasn’t healed, Annie needs help of her own. True to character, Rafe comes up with a perfect solution, but a temporary island romance does not fit into his agenda at all.

Will an offer to be her secret boyfriend give her heart a second chance? How can it turn into something more and prove there’s power in prayer and that love can triumph over a painful past?

He was Annie’s hero long ago, but can the man he has become save her now?

Secret Beach Boyfriend is the third “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 Thoughts

Secret Beach Boyfriend by Kari Trumbo is a fun romantic read. I loved the author's exploration of whether or not it is possible to have a lasting marriage. Ms Trumbo also portrays the severity of OCD tendencies and their destructive possibilities. I appreciated that the author does not shy away from these tough issues but deals with them with honesty and authenticity. Even so, a sweet romantic story threads throughout the book. Readers of Christian romance and inspirational fiction should enjoy this book. I adored the book's sweet ending and think this would be the perfect weekend or beach read. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.



About the Author

Kari Trumbo is a bestselling author of Christian historical and contemporary romance novels. Her books are known for characters who feel real, settings you could move to, and faith woven between the pages. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, and never enough time.

 

More from Kari

Have you ever hunted for seashells on the beach?

This sweet story actually starts twenty years before the moment you open the front cover. Years before, on a solitary beach, a little boy comforts a girl he finds crying by offering to help her find seashells. He doesn’t know why she’s crying, just that he can help. Even though he knows his mother will be angry with him.

You see, Rafe (that’s the little boy) has a mother who has minor OCD and doesn’t let him go on the beach. But when Annie (that’s the little girl) is obviously heartbroken, he can’t leave her sitting there and not do anything. At that moment, a hero is born.

It’s the little things that make a hero. That moment in time when he made a choice to put Annie above his own discomfort created a past for them both, an anchor they could both look back on. It was pivotal enough for them both that they remembered it years later. Rafe, because he hid the shells and cherished the one time he got to collect them. Annie, because she was going through something no child of five should have to. His kindness was a glimmer of hope.

Fast forward twenty years and these two meet again, but don’t realize right away they are the people they’ve been thinking about on-and-off for most of their lives. Interestingly enough, that part of my story is true. I had a friend I met at a local beach when I was too young to recall names or anything else of great significance other than the feeling that it was the best day ever. She made me her best buddy for the day, and that stuck with me.

When I think of this story beyond the printed page, where Annie and Rafe live on in my mind, I have to wonder if shells will continue to be a theme in their lives.


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 22

Texas Book-aholic, October 23

Stories By Gina, October 23

Captive Dreams Window, October 23

Inklings and notions, October 24

CarpeDiem, October 24

For Him and My Family, October 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, October 25

Older & Smarter?, October 26

21st Century Keeper at Home, October 26

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

deb’s Book Review, October 27

Connect in Fiction, October 28

lakesidelivingsite, October 28

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

Godly Book Reviews, October 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 30

Livin’ Lit, October 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 31

Life, love, writing, October 31

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 1

Batya’s Bits, November 1

Daysong Reflections, November 2

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 2

Blossoms and Blessings, November 3

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, November 3

Simple Harvest Reads, November 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Splashes of Joy, November 4


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Kari 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/102a8/secret-beach-boyfriend-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

 

Book Review: You Are Never Alone by Max Lucado 


You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle of God's Presence and Power by Max Lucado is a timely read that is so valuable today. This author has a way of making his writing instantly relevant and deeply personal to the reader. It is like he can read our inner thoughts and pierces directly to the heart. He intersperses anecdotal stories of people he knows with the stories of people in the Bible, bringing the Scriptures to life with a vibrancy that makes it even more relevant to our own lives. With a message of hope in the certainty of God, this book is a must read in today's chaotic world. I highly recommend it. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

 


Book Review: A Deep Dependence by Bill Crowder

Coming November 3rd!

A Deep Dependence: 90 Our Daily Bread Reflections on Loving and Trusting by Bill Crowder is a wonderful devotional book. I love the quick, short devotions not only for their brevity but also for their sincerity. In a simple, solemn way, the author presents the Scriptures and a short reflection that is immediately applicable to our lives and our complete dependence on God. What a true gift dependence on Him is. I highly recommend this devotional to anyone looking for a bit of focus on God and what it means to be His follower. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

Monday, October 26, 2020


Book Review: Wildflower Road by Janine Rosche


Wildflower Road by Janine Rosche is book 2 in the Madison River series. I was a huge fan of Ms Rosche's first novel in this series, featuring reality television star Kat Wonderful who finds unexpected love. This book, somehow, surpassed the first book in its emotional complexity and depth. The characters were vivid and had dealt with some horrific trauma, yet this book shines through with the hope and love that can only come from God Himself. I adored every moment of reading this book. I stayed up way too late to read it and cannot wait to read book in the series. The characters were so real that it feels like such a loss now that the book in done! I highly recommend this novel to readers of Christian fiction and romance. It definitely has elements of trauma, so keep that in mind. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own. 
 

Monday, October 19, 2020

 





About the Book

Book:  Sand & Mistletoe

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Contemporary Christian Romance (Holiday)

Release Date: November 24, 2018

What’s Christmas without family drama, an accident, and mistletoe?

If you ask Portia Spears, it’s a horror movie—especially since she’s never the one caught under that mistletoe. And who thought it was a good idea to spend the last Christmas as a family unit away from their family home?

Her bossy older sisters, that’s who.

Christmas at his parents’ house with his son—just the way Reese Whitaker likes it. But a chance encounter on the beach might just change everything. How often do you meet someone who loves kids and knows American Sign Language?

Not often. Trust him.

However, with just two weeks to get to know each other and two families that couldn’t be more different vying for their time, will they even have a chance to test out that mistletoe they found?

Find out today in Sand & Mistletoe.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 


My Thoughts 

Sand & Mistletoe by Chautona Havig is a fun holiday read, especially if you are looking for a book with a beach setting. While not your typical location, the beach offers an interesting backdrop to family dynamics and Christmas traditions. The characters face difficulties with life challenges and with each other. The family fights were quite intense and detailed at times. Somehow, in the midst of all the quarreling and challenges, family bonds and Christmas cheer conquer all. Readers looking for a unique holiday read with lots of intense family drama will enjoy this book. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. I also purchased a copy. These opinions are entirely my own.



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

What Happens When an Author Rewrites History

To be fair, almost none of us wanted to be there.

And really, that wasn’t fair. Two of our daughters planned as a “destination Christmas” bash for the whole family—just a nice getaway in San Diego for the “last” Christmas we’d probably all be in the same place on the same days.  The kids were getting older, getting married, and even moving out of state. It was a beautiful thing for them to try to do for us.

But Havigs are homebodies who like their traditions, and most of us left in Ridgecrest weren’t too thrilled being “dragged” four hours south to celebrate Christmas in a beautiful house on a cliff overlooking the San Diego countryside.  It had everything, game room, lots of space, yards, hiking trails, an infinity pool, a hot tub…

Yeah. That hot tub kicked off the weekend with a splash all right.  With no lighting around it, and no railing either, my husband stepped out of it and right off the ledge—down a hill (at least fifteen feet), bouncing off boulders and thankfully, stopped by a fence. Otherwise, he’d have rolled for a LONG way.

Get this.  He broke nothing.  Don’t even ask me how (because we all know Who took care of that, right?).

Still, I spent my Christmas Eve sitting in an ER waiting for someone to tell us the damage (superficial scrapes and deep bruising). The whole time I thought, “This has got to be a book.”

Two years later, it was.

I say this at the end of the book, but I need to say it again.

People who know our family will recognize some of my kids (I left four of them out of the story).  They will also say, “Wait, she’s not like that!”

And that’s the point.  I put just enough of real people in it to really capture the feel of the personalities, meshed some quirks (including the ones that got left out), and then set them in a stressful situation and really way over-exaggerated actual responses.  I want to say this here again.  None of us acted just like I portrayed us in Sand & Mistletoe (although, frankly, I wouldn’t have blamed a couple of them if they’d wanted to). Unlike A Bird Died, I didn’t even try to stick to facts.

Instead of San Diego hill country, I put us at my favorite beach—Ventura. I stuck our rented beach house where the Pierpont Inn is/used to be (don’t even know if it exists anymore). Reese’s parents live in the house I lived in when I was nine—right there on Pierpont just a block from the beach.  And where they went to get mistletoe… one of my favorite places in the world.

So, here’s my version of the tale—the one I wrote instead of told.  Just like Francie Nolan learned from her teacher in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  When I tell the story, I tell it exactly how it happened.  However… I wrote what should (not) have happened!  (this is much more interesting than the real story).



Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Emily Yager, October 12

The Book Chic Blog, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

Get Cozy Book Nook, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Labor Not in Vain, October 16

She Lives To Read, October 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 18

Mary Hake, October 18

Livin’ Lit, October 19

Artistic Nobody, October 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 20

Lots of Helpers, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 22

Batya’s Bits, October 22

As He Leads is joy, October 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

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

SusanLovesBooks, October 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 25


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the prize package including a signed paperback & a handmade ornament!!

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/101f6/sand-mistletoe-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, October 1, 2020

 


Book Review: Scrumptious Independence by Melissa Wardwell





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 Thoughts

Scrumptious Independence by Melissa Wardwell is a fun beach read. Beth makes a fascinating character as someone so isolated from most of her family. Ms Wardwell does a great job portraying interesting characters with real hurts and difficulties. I adore Merriweather Island and its cast of characters. Half the fun of reading this series is finding out what is happening now with characters from previous books. I think readers of Christian romance will love this book. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.





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 app├ętit




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

  Book Review: Mishaps off the Mainland by Tabitha Bouldin About the Book Book:   Mishaps off the Mainland Author:  Tabitha Bouldin Genre: ...