Tag Archives: A Contemporary Romance w/Suspense Elements

Flipping Hearts: Hooper Island (Independence Islands Book 13) by Chautona Havig on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to get your copy!

Chautona Havig, the author of Flipping Hearts, turns Hooper Island on its heels when a national renovation show invades the island for makeovers.

I can not think of anyone better to write this edition of the Independence Islands book series. Havig has an unmatched knack for writing faith-themed, romantic, whodunnit comedic stories.

Brooks Crawforth and Bailey Barrett have a lot to work through because they clash from the moment they meet. Brooks feels misled, and Bailey is doing all she can to remedy the situation. What more could go wrong?

I enjoyed the curve thrown into the story with the underhanded villain who sabotages the work on the island. I also enjoyed catching up with old friends. Don’t despair if you haven’t read the other books in the series because Flipping Hearts works well as a standalone.

Take a trip to the Independence Islands, specifically Hooper Island, for your Labor Day-or any day-beach read.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.

About the Author

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

More from Chautona

How I Almost Missed This Important Life Lesson

He annoyed her. The guy was bossy, demanding, rude, and unwilling to admit fault—mostly. Truth be told, she was pretty much the same. Two people with similar faults. The relationship would never happen.

Now what was I supposed to do?

Without any idea how I’d take two near enemies and turn them into a couple, I kept writing the primary story—the one that was supposed to bring them together. The one that would have driven me far, far away from a guy like Brooks.

Right about the time I thought about that is when Bailey had her revelation. “He likes me.”

I nearly did a spit take. I mean, where did that come from? Why would he like someone who hadn’t bothered to be likeable?

And still the story unfolded. “Life or death” moment? Check. Unintentional sharing of attraction and heart. Check. Still confused author as these characters draw closer and closer… check, check!

It took until after the story’s climax for me to realize that Brooks really did like Bailey for who she was—and vice versa. Only after all that tension diffused and their distrust had been smashed to smithereens were Bailey and Brooks able to examine everything. Only after that was I able to realize a truth I hadn’t expected to learn.

People fall in love with people they argue with.

People in love argue. See, my husband and I don’t do that. We don’t argue. Ever. Do we agree on every little thing? No. We just don’t argue about it.

Look, it’s not like I’ve never written people who argue. I do. But Never have I looked at a fictional relationship, seen that it would produce the kind fireworks that Bailey and Brooks will, and thought, “Oh, they’re perfect for each other.”

Because see… if I were Bailey, I’d run. Fast. Conflict is a natural part of life and relationships, and I’m not so naïve as to think it’ll never occur. But entering a relationship knowing it’ll be a regular occurrence? Unthinkable!

So as I pondered all this during those last pages of the book, something hit me.

Jesus enters a rocky relationship with us. Willingly.

Don’t believe me? Think about it. Jesus knew, before He ever spoke light into existence, that His bride would blame Him for… pretty much everything. He knew she’d get him brutally murdered. He knew she’d rail at Him, spit at Him, abandon Him, cheat on Him, and even after forgiveness… she’d do it all over again the next day.

Even knowing all that… He still whispers to our hearts, “Be Mine. I love you.”

If that’s not the most beautiful, unbelievable, amazing thing, I don’t know what is.

It’s probably one of the most important life lessons I’ll ever learn. People choose to be in relationships with people they know they’ll argue with—people who will hurt them, annoy them, demand things of them. And the greatest example of One who does it so beautifully is Jesus. Because see… Jesus entered that relationship with me, knowing I’d be that person. Humbling, yeah. Important life lesson? Most definitely.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, August 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 23

Texas Book-aholic, August 24

CarpeDiem, August 24

Lots of Helpers, August 25

Inklings and notions, August 25

For Him and My Family, August 26

Connect in Fiction, August 26

deb’s Book Review, August 27

Livin’ Lit, August 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 28

Blogging With Carol, August 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 29

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

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 30

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 30

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 31

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 31

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 1

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 2

Splashes of Joy, September 2

Blossoms and Blessings, September 3

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 4 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 4

She Lives To Read, September 5

Kayem Reads, September 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $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/11422/flipping-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

Unveiling the Past by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer’s newest book, Unveiling the Past, is a multi-layered, multifaceted book. However, even though there is more than one story woven throughout the pages, it is not overly complex or complicated.

I’ve never read a mystery/suspense storyline by Sawyer and did not realize this was a sequel. I still enjoyed it very much.

The protagonists are determined to get to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding their own lives and the lives of those who need their help. Their persistence is admirable.

Sawyer also introduces a spiritual element that is hard to resist. She doesn’t browbeat you or use hellfire and brimstone to get her message across. She just gently introduces it as a vital element in the lives of the main characters, then lets their lives speak for their faith. The degree to which she weaves it seamlessly and effortlessly into the story is creditable.

Unveiling the Past has a few unsettling scenes for anyone who has difficulty reading such occurrences or events. (I have PTSD and a few scenes were slightly disturbing to me, but I was able to read the entire book.)

I am now looking forward to purchasing and reading the first book in the series, Bringing Maggie Home.

I received the book from Waterbrook. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

(Releases today!!)

#Waterbrook

Publisher’s Summary

Mysteries, family secrets, and the love of a true Father are found at the heart of this gripping novel from the bestselling author of Bringing Maggie Home

Newlyweds Sean Eagle and Meghan DeFord are no strangers to pain and loss. As cold-case detectives, they know intimately the anguish family members endure after the murder or disappearance of a loved one. But when a new case hits too close to home, it threatens to pull loose the fragile cords of their young marriage.

Sheila Menke was just a girl when her father left for work and never returned. An investigation revealed he had embezzled enough to start a new life elsewhere, but Sheila could never accept the court’s criminalization of her father. Meghan reluctantly takes the case, secretly fearing it will stir up buried feelings about her own biological father. And while Sean investigates the mysterious death of two young brothers, he longs to start a family. But Meghan worries that with a negligent mother and an absentee father as her parenting examples, she might never be fit for motherhood.

As they delve deeper into the past, both Meghan and Sheila must choose to either stumble along the road of bitterness and resentment or walk the difficult path toward forgiveness and healing. When the cases begin to break wide open, these young women are poised to discover that while earthly fathers may fail, there is one in heaven who is a father to the fatherless.

Love, Lies and Fireflies by Jan Elder

My Review

Loves, Lies, and Fireflies is the first book I have read by Jan Elder. The story covers a myriad of subjects, from stalking and abuse to redemption and love. I enjoyed the story and its inspirational message even though it is a little edgier than most books I read.

Didi O’Brien’s fiancé, Kevin, informs her, during dinner at a fancy restaurant, he has been escorting another woman to different events. He then tries to make it sound as if Didi is being too “female” when she’s upset. At this point, we realize something is a little off where Kevin is concerned, and what follows confirms our suspicions.

Ms. Elder does a fantastic job of showing how easily a person could fall for the charming persona of someone like Kevin, the ex-fiancé, and psychopathic abuser, only to be drawn into their web of deceit and abuse.

I didn’t relate to the characters, having never been in their situations, but as the novel progresses, I cheer for Didi when she meets Jake. Jake, a teacher, whose fiancée was killed in a car crash, questions the Lord about all that happened in his life. His questions are slowly beginning to be answered when he meets and is attracted to Didi.

Loves, Lies, and Fireflies deals with mature subject matter. Nevertheless, it is dealt with within an inspirational context. There are numerous references to the Lord along with how God’s leading has impacted the characters’ lives.

I received Loves, Lies, and Fireflies from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

****Disclaimer*****

There is one word, an abbreviation for a curse word, near the beginning of the book. I was surprised to see it. Although a case could be made that it fits the storyline, I feel it could have been left out without changing the story.

Publisher’s Summary

Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancé, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not the least bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.

Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancée had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’s been running hard in the wrong direction.

Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart?

Avalanche (Peril in the Park Book 1) by Gayla K Hiss

avalanche

About the Book

When Park Ranger Jenny Snowfeather runs into Deputy Marshal Chase Matthews at her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue, she suspects there is more going on in Eagle Valley, WA than fireworks. After Chase confides that he believes the fugitive who killed his partner may be hiding out in the area, Jenny is skeptical at first. But when her peaceful town is besieged with a sudden crime spree, she realizes Chase’s theory may be true.

As the manhunt advances to the rugged backcountry of North Cascades National Park, Jenny is confronted with her past mistakes. But she soon discovers the greatest threat of all is losing her heart to Chase, who is obsessed with capturing the fugitive at all costs.

Risking everything to help Chase find the man who could kill them both, Jenny’s faith is put to the test. Like an avalanche waiting to happen, their path is fraught with danger. Will the enemy get away with murder? Will Jenny and Chase reach freedom and safety, or be buried alive? They must tread carefully. One step in the wrong direction could mean the difference between life and death.

My Review

Jennifer Snowfeather meets Chase Matthews at a Fourth of July picnic, and immediately her antenna goes up. Something doesn’t feel right to her. How does he know her name, and what about the gun he carries? Will she be able to discover why something seems off with Matthew?

Beautiful scenery exquisitely described, suspense that causes you to hold your breath as it plays out and danger around every corner are just of a sampling of the richness illustrated in this story.

I figure out the “whodunit” early on in most mysteries I read. However, with Avalanche I was so caught up in the story, I didn’t even try to guess! I was completely surprised by the villain.

The characters in this thriller will endear themselves to you. You will come to care for them, catching yourself wanting to warn them of imminent danger and feeling their pain.

Gayla K. Hiss is a new author; however, you would never guess it. She has done an excellent job of interweaving Biblical applications into her story without being preachy or belaboring a point.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Avalanche. There were a few scenes that were a little difficult to read due to my past history, but overall it was an exceptional book. I can’t wait to read the sequel!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.