Tag Archives: Christian Contemporary Romance

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh

Publisher’s Summary

It seems like a dream come true . . . until it forces her to question everything.

Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops a bombshell–Brielle is really a princess in the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, the king, is failing.

Distraught by all the secrets her mother kept, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before her coronation, or the crown will pass to another. Brielle is uncertain if she even wants the throne, and with her world totally shaken, where will she find the courage to take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring?

Clipart Library

OK, before I start—can I just swoon (and maybe drool a little) over this cover and the dress, oh my, how beautiful!!

Brielle Adebayo is shocked and taken aback when her mother reveals to her that she is really a princess of the island kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, off the coast of Africa. Not only that, but her grandfather is gravely ill, and she has to immediately assume the duties of her position, despite the fact that she has neither been to nor heard of the island before.

It’s simple to empathize with her and put oneself in her place. Realistically, anyone would be nonplussed and unnerved if they were asked to do what Brielle was asked to do. Yet, Brielle leaps in with both feet, eager to take on the challenge, but only after spending time in prayer.

As Brielle’s best friend, accountability partner and prayer buddy, Iris is the ideal confidante and ally. It was deeply moving to observe their mutual kindness, love and mercy toward each other. I loved reading about their interactions, chiding and teasing.

Shiloh crafts an extraordinary novel with brilliant plot and character development, as well as a powerful topic of faith and the perfect blend of obscuration and intrigue. She has created an island that is chimerically too good to be true, and the plot fits the backdrop. Ọlọrọ Ilé is a beautifully transcendent, magical island with a lot to offer.

I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.

Invisible (A Mendocino Village Novel Book 1) by Ginny L. Yttrup

This extraordinary book is currently free on Amazon. (I don’t know for how long, so be sure to check before buying.) Be sure to put the entire title in or you will not find the book.

About the Book

When an overweight woman who’s hidden from romance discovers a handsome doctor is in love with her, will she finally risk her heart?

Ellyn–chef, café owner, and lover of butter–is hiding something behind her extra weight. While she sees the good in others, she has only condemnation for herself. So when a handsome widower claims he’s attracted to Ellyn, she’s certain there’s something wrong with him.

Sabina–tall, slender, and exotic–left her husband, young adult daughters, and a thriving counseling practice to spend a year in Northern California where she says she’s come to heal. But it seems to Ellyn that Sabina’s doing more hiding than healing. Why?

Twila has come out of hiding and is working to gain back the pounds she lost when her only goal was to disappear. When her eating disorder is triggered again, she’s tempted to go back into hiding.

As these women’s lives intertwine, will they dare to come out of hiding?

Ginny L. Yttrup is an award-winning author whose novels explore the issues everyday women face.

My Review

Invisible, by Ginny L. Yttrup,  is set in Mendocino, California and written in the four voices of the main characters.  Each person is hurting and hiding from life.

Ellyn, the chef and owner of a restaurant named Ellyn’s, is a lover of butter and slightly overweight.  She fights the battle of the bulge constantly but to no avail. Ellyn’s inner voice, whom she has named Earl, is persistently belittling her and causes her to second guess everything.  When one of the town’s doctors shows an interest in her, she is sure that something must be wrong with him.  She regularly struggles with her relationship with God and where she stands with Him.

Sabina, an exotically beautiful African-American, is on sabbatical from her job as counselor and from her family.   She came to Mendocino to heal.  Life hurts too much to face, recover and heal from, so she let depression take hold and is hiding instead.

Miles, a doctor, is recovering from the death of Sarah, his wife of twenty eight years, who lost her battle with cancer two years earlier. He’s always enjoyed Ellyn’s company when at her restaurant or treating her as a patient.  Sarah had noticed his interest and suggested that after she died, he should pursue a friendship with Ellyn.

Twila is the fourth voice.  She is a young woman recovering from anorexia and helping her Mom manage a health food store.  Twila has two tattoos, one very obvious on her face, and another not so obvious on her wrist. The tattoo on her face is a branch of thorns, chosen as a sign of solidarity with people who suffer. The one on her wrist says “Imago Dei” the image of God.  She chose both tattoos to remind her that others suffer and are also made in God’s image.

As they embark on journeys of friendship, each person’s life becomes interwoven with the other, in unexpected and helpful ways.

I really enjoyed reading Invisible. It was well-written, both accurate and true to life in its portrayal of the characters. The inspirational aspect is handled beautifully with prayer and Godly council throughout. I could easily empathize with the main characters, and in fact, have faced some of the challenges and problems they faced. Invisible is a book to savor and will linger in your mind long after you finish reading it. I know it has in mine.

Footprints on Her Heart by Tabitha Bouldin on Tour with Celebrate Lit

Footprints on Her Heart

About the Book

Book: Footprints on Her Heart

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: November 23, 2021

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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!

The novel Footprints on Her Heart, by Tabitha Bouldin, intrigued me for various reasons, not the least because it is about an animal rescue center. One of our daughters volunteers at a local animal rescue where she lives, and I could anticipate her strong reactions throughout the story.

Trent Raines and Kara Parker appear to have nothing in common other than Trent is Kara’s supervisor at the animal rescue. However, as events conspire against their goal to save the animals, they begin to suspect that there is more to each other than meets the eye.

Part of the Independence Islands series, Footprints on Her Heart is an absorbing novelette about life on the islands. I really enjoy reading the tales in the series. In the course of the story, I appreciated seeing old and new friends. Bouldin does an effective job blending Footprints seamlessly into the other stories of the island.

Footprints on Her Heart is a fascinating account that combines suspense, mystery and romance.

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

About the Author

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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

Hooper Safe Haven by Rachel Skatvold on Tour with Celebrate Lit

Hooper Safe Haven

About the Book

Book: Hooper Safe Haven

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: October 26, 2021

Hooper Safe HavenCover

Harbors should be safe havens, but what if you’re harboring secrets?

When Alicia Roberts accepts a job with mobile veterinarian, Kendall Mulligan, she hopes the Independence Islands will give her a safe place to start over. And as much as she appreciates the Mulligan girls’ offer to stay with them while she gets settled, Alicia knows she needs her own place. ASAP.

Hooper Ear Cove Apartments on Hooper Island offers a beautiful ocean view as well as one of the landlord’s hunky son—all at an affordable price. Just what she needs to start a new life. Isn’t it?

When life knocked Jace Young in the head with a literal curveball that ruined his major league chances, he was forced to return to Hooper Island and a job as the maintenance guy at his father’s apartment complex. On the side, he leads the contemporary song service at church as his heart heals.

When Alicia moves to Hooper Island, Jace is drawn in by her sweet personality. However, something hides deep beneath the surface, and Alicia resists any discussion of God. What will it take to convince her to anchor her heart to God and to confide the secrets she harbors?

Hooper Safe Haven continues the Hooper Island stories 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!

Hooper Safe Haven, by Rachel Skatvold, is the sixteenth novel in the Hooper Island/Independence Island novels series. It may be read on its own, but it is more enjoyable if you read the other books in the series first.

Alicia Roberts arrives on Hooper (Hopper to the locals) Island in search of a safe haven. She conceals a lot of things, including herself.

Jace Young lives and works on Hopper Island. Due to an injury that causes him to have seizures, he has numerous problems and obstacles to overcome. Cooper, his dog, assists him in identifying the onset of a seizure.

Cooper was a fascinating character to read about. One of my daughters works as an animal behaviorist who specializes in dogs. She’s trained a variety of canines for service, search and rescue, narcotics detection, behavioral difficulties and a variety of other purposes. It was fascinating to read about a dog who was trained to detect seizures.

I enjoyed reading Hooper Safe Haven. The author deftly incorporates teachings on faith and trusting in God no matter what your circumstances are.

I also appreciated how seamlessly the tale flows with the rest of the series.

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

About the Author

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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, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island 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: www.rachelskatvold.com.

Read an Excerpt

Alicia Roberts leaned against the railing, watching the seagulls hovering above the ferry as it prepared to dock at the Merriweather slip. They were always waiting for something—tiny fish in the surf or tiny scraps the passengers left behind. In a way, she knew how they felt. Until now, she’d been waiting, too—although it was for something entirely different. She closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of the wind whipping through her long brown hair. In deciding to work on the Independence Islands, had she finally found what she was waiting for? A new purpose? There was no turning back now. After graduating and moving out of her college dorm she had nowhere else to go.

The sound of the apron dropping to allow the cars and people off the ferry drew Alicia out of her ponderings. She approached her blue compact car, packed to the gills with all the belongings she owned and slipped into the driver’s seat as quickly as possible to avoid holding up the other passengers parked behind her. Within a few minutes, she drove up Captains Walk, spying a large RV parked in one of the lots. Kendall Mulligan greeted her the moment she parked and stepped out.

“Welcome back!” her auburn-haired friend exclaimed, pulling her into a tight embrace. “I’m so glad you decided to take the job.”

Alicia pulled back and offered a shy smile. “Me too. How could I turn down such a great opportunity right out of vet school?”

Kendall took her hand, pulling her along. “Here, come inside. There are breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and coffee from Granny’s inside. If we hurry, we’ll have a few minutes to enjoy them before patients start arriving.”

Her stomach rumbled as she followed Kendall up the steps to the mobile clinic. “That sounds wonderful. I forgot to eat this morning.”

“Now you sound like Carly. I always have to remind her to eat breakfast. She calls me a nag, but she’s hypoglycemic, so if I don’t keep on her, she can’t function very well in the morning.”

Alicia chuckled. “No one usually has to remind me. I can’t function without a bowl of oatmeal or some kind of protein first thing in the morning. I think my routine is just off with this new job and all, but I’ll adjust soon enough.” She paused, remembering something. “Speaking of Carly, I heard about her engagement to that billionaire. When’s the big day?”

Kendall shook her head with a slight roll of her blue eyes. “Next month, believe it or not.”

“Well, that was quick!”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” Her redheaded friend shrugged with a sigh. “I suppose when money is no object, a wedding can be whipped up pretty quickly, though. I never thought my little sister would get married before me. She’s always been so opposed to that kind of thing, but I guess when you meet the right one, why wait? I’m happy for them.”

“Me too. So, is that why she’s gone today? Wedding planning stuff?”

“Yeah, it’s going to be pretty crazy around here for the next month. She’ll be in and out of here a lot, but after the wedding she’s going to launch her new mobile art business with Luc. That’s why I’m so glad you could come and work with us.”

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 12

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Inklings and notions, November 13

lakesidelivingsite, November 14

She Lives To Read, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

Connect in Fiction, November 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings, November 16

Aryn the Libraryan, November 17

Daysong Reflections, November 17

For Him and My Family, November 18

Blogging With Carol, November 18

deb’s Book Review, November 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 19 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

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

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 23

Kayem Reads, November 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 24

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Simple Harvest Reads, November 25 (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/133ba/hooper-safe-haven-celebration-tour-giveaway

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

Stealing the First Mate by Tabitha Bouldin on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Stealing the First Mate

Author: Tabitha Bouldin

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

Sometimes, happily ever after is as elusive as a pirate’s treasure.

Darcy Riggins dove headfirst into the online dating pool and sank. Every time.

Her lifelong dream of becoming a wife and mother becomes more elusive every year. So, taking the lack of a Mr. Right in her life as a decided “No!” from God, Darcy gives up altogether.

Single and happy is not an oxymoron. Right?

Nigel Jones has loved Darcy for ages, but her father (his boss, of course) ordered him to keep his feelings to himself, thanks to a stupid mistake that Darcy (thankfully) doesn’t know about.  Too bad her dad does.

Being single and content turns out to be tougher than Darcy imagined, and when she begins doubting everything she’s ever known, Nigel decides it’s time to admit his mistakes, tell the truth, and trust God for the outcome.

In this “forbidden-love-meets-friends-to-more” novel, Stealing the First Mate 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!

Stealing the First Mate begs the question, can friends become more-especially after Dad has said, “NO!!!”?

I enjoyed the story as Tabitha Bouldin writes about characters in a true-to-life fashion with all their quirks and foibles laid out for everyone to see. The main characters, Darcy Riggins and Nigel Jones, have rough seas to navigate to reach their romance. Nonetheless, they prevail through personal, turbulent waters drawing on their faith to keep them afloat.

Tabitha Bouldin is a new author to me, but this won’t be the last book of hers I read!

Stealing the First Mate, by Tabitha Bouldin, is the 11th story in the Independence Island Series. However, like the others in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone.

A satisfyingly pleasant friend-to-romance story, reading Stealing the First Mate is a grand way to kick back and lounge around the beach or at home while enjoying a novel.

I received Stealing the First Mate from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

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 the friends-to-something-more trope. There’s something invigorating about the challenges of stepping into a different kind of relationship with someone you already know and trust. The risk of losing the friendship if things go badly comes to the forefront and each character has to decide if they’ll take the risk or keep things as they are.

For Nigel and Darcy, there’s the added difficulty of Nigel’s unrequited love. They’ve been best friends forever, and he’s loved Darcy all that time. And she’s clueless! How does that happen?

I wish I could say this story came from my own experience, but that isn’t the case. While my husband and I knew each other for several years before we started dating, we were hardly friends. High school social circles are brutal things. Plus, he had a crush on my cousin, and I was dating someone else.

But it all worked out.

And we’re best friends now.

When it came time to write Stealing the First Mate, I knew Nigel and Darcy were friends. It wasn’t until I worked my way through the first chapter that the depth of their relationship started to emerge, and I realized they were best friends. Darcy runs to Nigel for advise (even dating advise, which became really awkward for Nigel).

Darcy has been looking for Mr. Right so long she can’t see the truth staring back at her in Nigel’s eyes.

Writing their story is one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in writing.

Blog Stops

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 14

Life, Love, Writing, June 14

lakesidelivingsite, June 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 15

The Sacred Line, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

Blossoms and Blessings, June 16

Texas Book-aholic, June 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 17 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, June 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 18

Cultivating Us, June 18

deb’s Book Review, June 19

Connect in Fiction, June 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 20

Blogging With Carol, June 20

Sodbuster Living, June 20

Remembrancy, June 21

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

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 22

For Him and My Family, June 22

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, June 23

Lots of Helpers, June 23

Labor Not in Vain , June 23

She Lives To Read, June 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 25

Joanne Markey, June 25

Splashes of Joy, June 26

Kayem Reads, June 26

Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 27

Simple Harvest Reads, June 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

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/10d56/stealing-the-first-mate-celebration-tour-giveaway

Secret Beach Boyfriend by Kari Trumbo, on Tour with Celebrate Lit AND…A GIVEAWAY

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!

I appreciated Secret Beach Boyfriend for so many reasons, such as being written by Kari Trumbo, one of my favorite authors. Also, I loved the way Trumbo dealt with some weighty issues, such as severe OCD and dysfunctional families.

I adored the story of Annie Roman’s and Rafe Tedfield’s sweet memories of the day when they were only about 5 years old, not realizing their memories were of each other.

Rafe’s solutions for his parents and Annie’s situations were somewhat unconventional, but that just added to the endearing quality of the book. As they both work through past and present hurts and trials, I felt as if I were right there with them.

I really appreciate it when an author includes characters from preceding books in a series. It’s so much fun to see where they are and what they are doing, and Trumbo does a wonderful job of incorporating former people.

I also appreciate it when there is a strong Biblical presence, and like all Trumbo’s books, Secret Beach Boyfriend reflects Biblical truths.

Secret Beach Boyfriend: Merriweather Island is Book 3 of Independence Islands.  Nevertheless, as in the earlier books, it works as a standalone.

I received  Secret Beach Boyfriend from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

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

Dual Power of Convenience by Chautona Havig on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book:  Dual Power of Convenience

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 28, 2020

When Richard Danforth inherits the family estate on Merriweather Island, he doesn’t have time to deal with it—especially not from halfway across the globe. He’s too busy working to become the world’s newest billionaire and avoiding the women who would detract him from his goals.

Enter Lyla Santana. Fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in antiques and a relationship that nearly killed her to leave, she’s eager for the isolation and treasure trove that is Danforth Hall. Lyla also is determined to avoid men at all costs. Forever.

It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again.

So, what’s Richard doing on Merriweather just weeks after the wedding? And how will his arrival test Lyla’s faith, not to mention stretch their so-called relationship?

In a twist on billionaire romance and marriage of convenience, this “Merriweather book” kicks off 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!

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I love Chautona Havig’s books, fiction and non-fiction alike. However, her non-fiction books are much more-just by definition-serious than her fiction books Havig’s newest novel, Duel Power of Convenience, is no exception. I enjoyed it, too.

Mallory Barrows, longtime resident of Merriweather Island, befriends newcomer Lyla Santana. Lyla is presented with an unusual and unique “proposal.” After a lengthy pros and cons discussion with Mallory, Lyla decides to “go for it.”

Richard Danforth, world’s newest billionaire, lives in a small country halfway around the world, when he receives news he’s inherited the family estate on Merriweather Island. Much to his consternation, he must return to Merriweather Island, thus he sets plans in motion.

The characters feel so real they could be your neighbors and friends, and the setting, I think, is more swoon-worthy than Richard Danforth himself (and probably worth more, too!!). Would that it were a real location. The idea of a mobile bookstore/coffee shop like Mallory owns really appeals to me, too.

I appreciate Havig’s Biblical applications throughout the book. Their inclusion adds a nice dimension and a far deeper meaning to the story.

I received Duel Power of Convenience from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

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 on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Did I Really Agree to Write a Romance Series?

When my fledgling little idea for a single book transformed into a series that then transformed into a SERIES, I kind of missed the part where I agreed (and likely suggested, if truth be told), that the books should be contemporary romance.

I mean, beach reads.  Romance.  Duh.

There’s just one problem?  I rarely write a straight-up romance.  And if I do, it’s usually a short novella in a collection—often at Christmas.

Why?

Isn’t it obvious?

Despite nine kids and being married for almost thirty-two years, I am THE most unromantic woman on the planet. No habla amor.  Or something like that.

So there I was, toodling down the 395 (a treacherous bit of road between my house and the publisher’s) when all of what I’d agreed to exploded in my brain.  I’m still scraping brain matter off the windshield and trying to stuff it back in. I need every last one of those “little gray cells,” thank-you-very-much!

Romance.  My heart sank.  Boy meets girl.  They like each other.  They fight.  They get back together.  They live happily ever after.

It’s a thing, folks.  A formula.  And if you deviate, true romance readers get annoyed.  What was I going to do?  I didn’t want to write romance.  Not really. I had ideas.  The prequel book had been all about trying to bring a young woman back to the Lord.  That’s more my speed, okay?

The wheels began churning.

The ones in my head, I mean.  The tires still rolled along the ground. Fortunately, my cranial explosion hadn’t caused an accident or anything.  Just in case you were curious.

I considered making each one loosely related to a fairy tale retelling.  I’d have a Cinderella story, a Beauty and the Beast, a… nope. That made it that far and I just couldn’t.  The minute we got to Sleeping Beauty, I’d have my readers in comas.  No. Thanks.

Next came Rom-com.  We’d make it funny.  All the stuff that happens in beach romances gone wrong.  Why not?  We live once!

I was yawning before the thought finished forming.

Right about then, I think, is when I wondered what kind of tropes I needed to consider.

See, romance tropes are a thing.  I even talk about them on my podcastThe tingling sensation that comes when a good idea is brewing happened.  A grin formed.

Tropes. I’d play with tropes.  I’d take all those familiar things and twist them somehow.  Why not?  It would be fun.

And it was.

Right about then is probably when I began recording my ideas.  Creosote and sage whizzed past at breakneck speeds (let me dream.  I’m not a speed demon, but c’mon… for the sake of poetic license and all?). And the ideas whizzed faster (no license needed.  They really did).

Book 1.  Marriage of convenience.  I mean, those are always fun, right?  So why on earth would someone need to get married?

Every idea I came up with has been done… and done again.

That’s when I upped the stakes. Authors do that, you know. We come up with a way to torment our characters, and then we say, “Okay, now how can I make this worse?  Nope, I need it even worse.  Oh, and…” Bam!  The story goes from interesting to can’t-put-it-down.  All because we’re not afraid to be cruel to non-existent people. Score!

How’d I do it with this one? I added in another trope. One I personally just can’t “get.”  People love the things, and I’ve got no idea why.  But it answered my first question of why someone might need a marriage of convenience or… as my gal puts it… “a paper marriage.”

My guy became the world’s newest billionaire.

Yep, you read that right. I wrote a “billionaire romance.”  Sort of.  Now, if I could figure out how on earth I’d take two people on opposite sides of the world and get them together.

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Oh, yeah.  I did it.  And even more than that, I love it.  I made my characters do some stupid things. I really did (you know, like how two Christians didn’t even pray about their marriage decision?  Like how they didn’t even ask if the other person was saved?  Why should they?  They’ll never see each other again… they said.  Ha!  The Lord had other ideas.  Sorta.  This is fiction, right?  Oops! I suddenly feel like that crazy Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality).

From Adelanto to Kramer Jct., I planned out that first book—Dual Power of Convenience.

(the title gives away that reason for marrying, no?  Also, links may be affiliate links that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

It was almost too easy.

Then I started playing with the next ones, and the series became a reality to me.

Dual Power of Conveniencewhen a woman too afraid of men goes to work for a man who is too busy making money to want anything to do with that whole marriage and family thing.

Bookers on the Rocks— This couple’s marriage is on the rocks (that’s the trope, of course), and neither of them has a clue. They’ve been married for twenty-five years, neither is having an affair, no one wants a divorce, life is good, so why is it on the rocks?  You’ll see…

Directing Hearts— The Crawforths got tricked into allowing a reality matchmaking show film on their islands. Brooks Crawforth tangles with the director until their verbal battles turn into a different kind—a battle for their hearts (enemies to “lovers”)

Just a Memory— In this one, Mallory Barrows (who makes appearances in all of the books) comes across an old journal that tells a story she’d never heard. It’s the old Patti Paige song “Go On with the Wedding” but over forty years later!  Mallory knows something that might just create a (here comes the trope) second chance at romance.

Printed on Her Heart— After being instrumental in so many couples’ relationships, it’s Mallory’s turn in this dual-trope story.  In this one, we get a mashup of friends to more and love at first sight.  Can’t wait to share it.  Squee!

Okay, that’s the deal.  Yes, I really did agree to write a romance series.

And yes, it probably was my idea.

I might deny it to my dying day, but it is also a whole lot of fun… so far.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, August 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

lakesidelivingsite, August 6

deb’s Book Review, August 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 7

Rebekah Jones, Author, August 7

For Him and My Family, August 7

Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 9

21st Century Keeper at Home, August 9

She Lives To Read, August 10

Simple Harvest Reads, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 11

Adventures of a Traverlers wife, August 11

Emily Yager, August 12

Stories By Gina, August 12

CarpeDiem, August 12

cultivating us, August 13

Connect in Fiction, August 13

Livin’ Lit, August 13

Read Review Rejoice, August 14

Quiet Workings, August 14

Blossoms and Blessings, August 14

Just Your Average reviews, August 15

Rebekah Reads, August 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 15

Lis Loves Reading, August 16

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 16

Splashes of Joy, August 16

Pause for Tales, August 17

Captive Dreams Window, August 17

Spoken from the Heart, August 17

Lots of Helpers, August 18

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book (winner’s choice of eBook or paperback format)!!

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/ff14/dual-power-of-convenience-celebration-tour-giveaway

Within Golden Bands (A Home for My Heart Book 2) by Norma Gail

Within Golden Bands, Norma Gail’s newest book, transports you to the beautiful area of Loch Garry in Scotland where the main characters, Bonny and Kieran MacDonell, live. The descriptions portray a peaceful, calm and tranquil area. However, it is anything but for Bonny and Kieran.

I was unaware that Within Golden Bands was the sequel to Land of My Dreams. I found though, that except for one or two small exceptions, I was able to follow the story quite easily.

The book is full of action, suspense, mystery and intrigue, along with following the honeymoon and getting to know one another phase of the MacDonell’s lives.

There were several things I appreciated about the story. For instance, the way Gail describes a devastating but very real loss and its effects on both the characters and their family and friends. The faith storyline was skillfully written without self-righteousness or holier than thou. Nonetheless, there were several aspects of the book I struggled with. I could not comprehend how any one person, much less two, could bear up under the constant, non-stop onslaught of pain, tragedy, fear and horror in this story. Some of the more descriptive pages of the aforementioned horror are truly horrific.

I would caution anyone with PTSD or other such difficulties that there are several heartbreaking and heart-stopping scenes.

I received this book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.

But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn?

#WithinGoldenBands

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.