Tag Archives: Christian Contemporary Romance

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.

 - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

Oh, Gracious (Rockland Chronicles) by Chautona Havig on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Christian fiction, contemporary Romance, woman’s fiction

Release Date: March 31, 2020

Life is too short to settle for just anyone.
Grace gave her whole heart to Jesus, but now he wants a part of it.

All she ever wanted was to be a homemaker.

Sure, she has a degree in physics.  Yes, she could have a lucrative job in Rockland, but Grace Buscher enjoys her life as a single homemaker. As they say, it’s her choice.

As a successful business owner, a handsome guy, and heir to a small fortune, it’s no wonder Nolan Burke is one of Rockland’s most eligible bachelors. The problem is, he hasn’t met anyone who isn’t looking for a “trophy husband.”

Don’t family-centered women exist anymore?

Grace isn’t exactly eye candy. Nolan is a bit blind. So when an “accidental meeting” forges an unlikely friendship, it becomes obvious to everyone that it’s likely to become more.

But is Grace ready to give up the life she loves for the man she loves?

Find out in this completely updated, revised, and improved version of Chautona Havig’s first novel, Noble Pursuits.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Oh, Gracious. . .or should I say, oh, Grace!

Chautona Havig’s latest story, Oh, Gracious, is full of delight and joy. Of course, everything’s not always a bed of roses, either. There are trials, too. However, without the trials, the blessings would not be so sweet. (I’m not going to recap the story, as it is explained in the summary.)

I was intrigued by the premise of a single Christian woman becoming a homemaker. I add, Christian, because Grace is allowing Christ, following Biblical principles, to become her husband, protector and provider.

Chautona also writes a realistic portrayal of a slightly overweight woman completely comfortable and happy with her body. I was gratified to see Grace’s joie de vivre and enjoyed her ability to throw caution to the wind and go for the gusto. For example, she rakes up a huge pile of fallen leaves and takes a running slide into it! What fun!!

I fell in love with all the characters, laughing and crying with them as the situation warranted. Anyone with friends and family like Grace’s has received a true blessing.

Oh, Gracious is a wonderful story, not to be missed. (And I have a sneaky suspicion that Grace’s personality mimics Chautona’s in many ways!)

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. I take so much pleasure in Chautona’s fun quirky sense of humor, and I  appreciate her commitment to God. I have read several of her books and follow her on social media, which has helped me to get to know her some. Her humor never ceases to amaze me.

I received Oh, Gracious from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Havig_Chautona (1)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

Wow, My Beloved First Book Was a Hot Mess

On my blog, I sometimes answer readers’ questions, and one of the earliest ones was, “Since you zip out your books so fast, do you ever later wish you had done something differently with them?”

My answer today is the same as back then—usually.  No.  Yes, I sometimes regret not being able to tell a supporting character’s story because the book has given away that person’s past and/or future.  Still, most of the time, I tell the story as I want it.

But in that post about “regrets,” I said that as I learn, I definitely wish to improve sentences here, and others there.  I did this already with Argosy Junction, the second book that I published. The first two or three books were experiments where I made many serious mistakes.  Took bad advice. Didn’t know the right things to research. All the mistake-ness.

Total transparency here. I chose Argosy Junction to revise first because I made fewer mistakes on it.  Still lots, but not as many as my first book, Noble Pursuits.

Bad editing advice, horrible cover design (twice), and just basic writing craft stuff that I didn’t know when I started this whole journey all culminated in a book I both loved (the story) and hated (the final result). Many reviewers said the same thing, too.  That poor book has the worst reviews of all of my books combined.

And for good reason.

But it’s a good story—one I love, as I said—and it has some strong fans.  Some readers were able to look past the problems and see the heart of what I tried to do with it.  And that was a beautiful thing.  Those readers, actually, are the ones I’ve rewritten this book for.

Yes, I rewrote Noble Pursuits. While every sentence isn’t completely rewritten, enough are that I considered it a new book, not just a revised one.

A few readers have panicked to see the title changed, the story rewritten. They’ve asked if I took out this or even that.  I took out and added nothing that 99.9% of readers would ever notice. And it’s a better book for it.

am updating the original Noble Pursuits file with the new text.  I’m doing this in hopes that those who already own that book can go into their digital content on Amazon and get the updated version.  I don’t know if it will work, but I pray it does.

Meanwhile, for those who’ve asked why they can’t buy the first book on my Suggested Reading Order list,  well… now you can!

Oh, Gracious! has been a long time coming, but she’s here with a new title, rewritten content, and even a lovely new cover by the brilliantly talented Perry Elizabeth. It took what seems like forever to settle on a title, but we finally did. Why we chose Oh, Gracious! however, is a story for another day.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, April 24

Wishful Endings, April 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool, April 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 25

Inklings and notions, April 26

deb’s Book Review, April 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 27

Texas Book-aholic, April 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 28

Kat’s Corner Books, April 28

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, April 29

Cultivating us, April 29

Through the Fire Blogs, April 30

For Him and My Family, April 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 1

The Collaborative Press, May 1

Connect in Fiction, May 2

Spoken from the Heart, May 2

Read Review Rejoice, May 2

She Lives To Read, May 3

Books I’ve Read, May 3

Emily Yager, May 4

Captive Dreams Window, May 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 5

Back Porch Reads, May 5

Lots of Helpers, May 6

As He Leads is Joy, May 6

Artistic Nobody, May 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Pause for Tales, May 7

Giveway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of one paperback copy of each of the 3 fully revised novels: Oh, Gracious, Argosy Junction, and Thirty Days Hath…!!

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/f8f7/oh-gracious-celebration-tour-giveaway

#CelebrateLit

Diamond Knot Dreams Series by Mary Manners


Mary Manners books/novellas have never disappointed!

Her Diamond Knot Dreams series consists of four stories, plus a prequel. The prequel, a fun and lively story, focuses on the older generation, whereas her other four stories focus on the younger generation.

Veiled Gems, Book 1

Lila Brooks picked Clover Cove as the perfect place to start her one-stop wedding shop. Morgan Holt, a builder, agrees to assist Lila in renovating a charming, neglected, Victorian home for the business. However, things go awry from the beginning and they don’t seem to get better as time goes on.

I enjoyed this story for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the renovation aspect. The details of the renovation brought back pleasant memories of when I worked in new and renovation construction.

Mary Manners always pulls you into her stories and doesn’t let go. Her characters are relatable, her cities ever so charming and she doesn’t paint life as always being a bed of roses. In fact, she has quite a few thorns that have to be avoided or picked out after getting too close!

Veiled Gems is just the right size story for a quick escape, one I’m sure you will enjoy!

Jeweled Dreams, Book 2

Jeweled Dreams opens with such a cute, most erudite child that you immediately fall in love with her! Mackenzie “Kenzie” Ballentine not only stole her uncle’s heart when he became her guardian, but she will steal yours, too! Reading about her will leave you amazed at her language skills and ability to perceive situations, while at the same time being delighted by her five-year-old charisma.

I am also loving this series. I have a special place in my heart for renovations and new business ventures, both of which are highlighted. Plus, who can help falling in love with a small town where life is so idyllic?

Jeweled Dreams is a novella, so it is quick to read and sure to delight!

Precious Fire, Book 3

Mary Manners has written another cute romance novella centered around the Diamond Knot Dreams Bridal Boutique.

Precious Fire introduces us to Claire McLaughlin, friend of Lila and Avery from the first and second story in the series, along with Ryan Kendrick. Claire has come to Clover Cove at their request to be the baker for the boutique.

I really liked Ryan’s little brother, Caleb. He overcame some huge adversities but still maintained a positive outlook. I hope in future books we can revisit Caleb and get a glimpse at how he is doing as he grows up.

I loved being able to learn more about Clover Cove and enjoyed the way everyone worked together to make their hometown a pleasant and fun place to live.

MY THOUGHTS (And A Glimpse of the Prequel!)

Mary Manners has the unique ability to put you in the middle of the plot. This quality endears you to her characters and helps you become vested in their lives. It is so much fun to learn of each new couple, while at the same time catching up with the other Clover Clove residents. You feel as if the area is your home away from home and the people are your friends! I love the way she sets up her stories with such delightful personalities. I can easily see myself as friends with any or all of the people she so eloquently pens.

(I haven’t finished Crystal Wishes. However, I know it will be as wonderful as Mary’s other books!)

A Tender Season, Book 0

A Tender Season is Mary Manners’ prequel to the Diamond Knot Dreams series of novellas (In case you wondered about the Book 0 in the title!).  The story, by necessity, is short, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book, or have a good plot!

I enjoyed this short, tender story of love the second time around, where the two main characters of the novella weren’t sure if they would ever face love again.

One of my favorite types of stories is a series that follows characters from previous books, and Mary Manners has done this with her Diamond Knot Dreams series. Each person is inter-related in some way, either through friendship or birth. The only problem is when the series ends, and I have lost all my new friends!

Christmas Under Wraps by Fay Lamb

If the mayor, the county sheriff, and the pretty school teacher can’t keep him out of prison, his nephew might face a worse fate.

English professor, Christian Abrams has thrown his career away to protect his young nephew, Dylan, from an unjust system. When Christian sees the turn off for the Florida Everglades town of Mullet Harbor, “where you’ll always find a Friend,” he and Dylan are running low on fuel for their bodies and for his truck. The welcoming … but quirky … citizens of the town offer refuge, but Christian can’t take the chance of being caught in the remote location. When the flip-flop wearing mayor and the Cajun county sheriff give Christian an ultimatum: stay in Mullet Harbor through the holidays and allow the town to help him solve his dilemma or be arrested and handed over to the FBI on a federal kidnapping charge, Christian decides it’s best for he and Dylan to accept their misguided hospitality.

Elementary teacher Kaylee McFarland is new to Mullet Harbor, having been contacted by the town’s eccentric mayor and offered the job. Though she has no idea how the mayor knew she was seeking the opportunity to move far away from her overprotective mother, she relishes her newfound liberty. When Christian’s growing attraction to Kaylee brings her mother to Mullet Harbor and reveals a long-kept secret, Kaylee, Christian, and Dylan may all lose their freedom, but they’re about to learn how far the citizens of Mullet Harbor will go to protect those they love.

Though snow never falls in the Everglades, Christmas miracles rain down on Mullet Harbor.

Fay Lamb’s delightfully quirky sense of humor shines in her newest novel, Christmas Under Wraps, the first book in A Mullet Harbor Clean Romance series. However, the story is also a serious one.

Christian Abrams faces an untenable situation causing a need to quickly rescue his nephew, Dylan.  As they reach the end of their resources and resilience, they sputter into Mullet Harbor.

Kaylee McFarland is new to Mullet Harbor but has managed to experience firsthand how true Mullet Harbor’s motto, “Where you’ll always find a friend,” is as the town quickly and kindly takes her under their wings.

As Dylan and Kaylee’s lives intersect, Kaylee advises Christian to be cautious and patient. While Christian, on the other hand, advocates rushing as far away as he and Dylan can run. Despite both their wishes, outside influences conspire against either choice.

Mullet Harbor is a charmingly idiosyncratic town, populated by a flip-flop wearing mayor, a Cajun county sheriff, an adorable little girl and more fantastically delightful characters (to include an alligator named Abercrombie) than one could imagine. Mullet Harbor is a town you would love to live in, raise your kids in and live out your life surrounded by great friends and neighbors.

I received a copy of the book from the author, Fay Lamb. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Comfort & Joy, The Christmas Lights Collection by Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Comfort & Joy

Author: The Christmas Lights Collection: Alana Terry, Toni Shiloh, Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance, Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Christmas

Release Date: October 16, 2018

The third-annual Christmas Lights Collection is pleased to present: Comfort & Joy–four Christmas Novellas. From contemporary romance to cozy mystery and suspense, this diverse collection celebrates the comforts and joys of Christmas.

Click here to purchase your copy!

Frost Heaves by Alana Terry, set in Alaska is a thriller. The tale is very suspenseful, sometimes heart-stoppingly so and is not your normal Christmas story (and may be too intense for some readers).

Deck the Shelves by Toni Shiloh, features one of my lifelong dreams, to own a bookstore (never mind that in today’s society books are almost obsolete, a girl can still dream, can’t she?). Throw in a swoon-worthy mechanic who is “once bitten, twice shy,” and you have a tale of romance, everyone can enjoy.

The Christmas Glory Quilt by Cathe Swanson is such a sweet romance. How many men will wait for years for the woman they love to realize he’s perfect for her? Add to this, the young woman starting a wedding planning business while overcoming dyslexia and trying to honor her heritage and you have the makings of a perfect Christmas story.

The Ghosts of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig, has a very Dickenseque feel to it, though not so strong as to be a retelling of A Christmas Carol. An adorable well-mannered matchmaking “tween” adds interest to this mild mystery of “who’s the ghost.” But don’t let the title throw you off, the story resonates with Christian values.

A fun collection to curl up with, in your favorite chair, under your favorite blanket, sipping your favorite drink, and whisk away to different locations and lives. You won’t want to miss the “Joy” in Comfort and Joy!

I received the book from one author through  Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Authors

Alana Terry: Pastor’s wife Alana Terry is a homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her at alanaterry.com

Toni Shiloh: Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. You can find her at tonishiloh.wordpress.com

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Cathe Swanson: Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years, and the long Wisconsin winters are perfect for writing and reading books! Cathe enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again. You can find her at catheswanson.com 

Chautona Havig: Amazon bestselling author of the Aggie books and Past Forward, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave desert where she uses story to connect readers to the Master Storyteller.

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

Why Do So Many Christians Love to Celebrate Christmas?

“We don’t celebrate Christmas because we were ordered to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We were never commanded to celebrate His birth.”

Something about that statement didn’t sit well with me, but I was honest enough with myself to admit that it might be because I happened to love Christmas, and the idea of not celebrating it didn’t sit well with my twelve-year-old mind.

No, I didn’t go in for the Santa thing. I never had. As later my children were taught to say, Santa wasn’t “invited to our family celebration.” But still, the family, the joy, the music, the spirit of the thing moved me.

So, I did what I always did when I didn’t understand something. I asked Dad. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”

If I recall correctly, Dad took a sip of coffee and watched me for several long seconds before he said, “What is Christmas?”

Ever the teacher, Dad had to put on his Socratic robe and make me work for it. I answered. “What we call the day Jesus was supposedly born. His birthday.”

“Okay. So, we celebrate Christ’s birthday on Christmas—on Christmas.”

“Yes.”

He gave me that slight smirk that always meant something good was coming. “And what did God do when His Son was born?”

Dad stumped me there. I blinked. “I don’t know.”

“He sent out the biggest birth announcement ever known to man—a star, angels, music.” Then Dad continued his leading questions. “He…”

I got it. “Celebrated the birth.”

“Yes.” Sometimes Dad was a man of few words.

But I couldn’t be satisfied—not yet.

“So, why do we give presents to each other if it’s Jesusbirthday? Isn’t that backward?”

“Isn’t all of Christianity backward to the fallen mind?” When I didn’t answer, he smiled again. “What does Christ say about doing things for others?”

It wasn’t word-for-word Scripture—not even close. Just as he would have prompted again, I remembered Jesus’ story of the man who was fed, clothed, and given a drink. “When you do things for others, it’s like you’re doing them for Jesus.”

Dad shrugged then. “Maybe it’s just justification for continuing a beloved tradition, but it brings me joy to give you gifts. And Christ had something to say about how fathers love to give good gifts to their children.”

That brought me back to the original question.

“What about the fact that we’re told to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus? We aren’t told to celebrate the birth. Does that make it wrong?”

This time, Dad’s jaw hardened. I saw it twitch, and prepared for a blasting. After all, I had kind of argued with him. I hadn’t meant to, but I could see how it might be taken that way.

“Chautona,” he said, “don’t ever put rules on yourself that God hasn’t. We may not be commanded to celebrate Christ’s birth, but we aren’t forbidden, either. We have God’s example to emulate, and we have this truth.” His voice gentled when he saw he’d startled me. “We would never have been able to celebrate Christ’s death if He had not been born. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.”

What does all that have to do with Christmas novellas (or “noellas” like I prefer to call them)?

Well, people ask me all the time. “Why do you write so many Christmas books? Why do these Christmas collections? Why focus so much on the birth of Jesus and the trappings of cultural Christmas when it’s inferior to the “big thing”—the Resurrection?”

Dad’s answer is mine. Because it points to it. It draws attention to it. And because Christmas is one time of year—the only time of year in which you can walk into almost any building in America and still hear praises sung to God at some point. They slip in between love songs about giving away your heart at Christmas and rocking around Christmas trees to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

And even the more “secular” versions that aren’t an outright praise to God like “Silent Night” or “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” sometimes throw in Jesus anyway because they can’t quite leave out, “Merry Christmas” in some place or another.

So maybe our Christmas books are inferior to what “Easter” books could be. Maybe they are. But if Christmas trees, caroling, and “ghost stories” keep Jesus at the forefront of someone’s mind in October, November, or December, then I think that’s a pretty cool thing.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thanks for coming.

Blog Stops

A Diva’s Heart, November 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 29

A Baker’s Perspective, November 29

Multifarious, November 30

Blossoms and Blessings, November 30

Bibliophile Reviews, December 1

Britt Reads Fiction, December 1

Vicky Sluiter, December 2

Remembrancy, December 2

Among the Reads, December 3

A Reader’s BrainDecember 3

KarenSueHadleyDecember 4

Inklings and notionsDecember 4

Quiet Quilter, December 5

Lots of Helpers, December 5

God’s Little BookwormDecember 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Mindy Houng)

Captive Dreams Window, December 7

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, December 8

Mary Hake, December 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Janices book reviewsDecember 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

BigreadersiteDecember 10

Kat’s Corner Books, December 11

Texas Book-aholic, December 11

Aryn The LibraryanDecember 12

Josephine’s Bookshelf, December 12

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, the Christmas Light Collection is giving away a grand prize of a 6-month Kindle Unlimited subscription!!

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/d62a/comfort