Tag Archives: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Flashback Friday-You’re Amazing by Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini

Hannah Arduini and her mother, Julie Arduini, have created and co-authored another beautiful story, it too will resonate with a female of any age.

You’re Amazing focuses on Jazmin, a teenage ballet dancer, and Lena, a young mother of two boys and a mentor at Linked. Both are overwhelmed and questioning whether their roles are right for them.

The authors have done an amazing job of capturing Jazmin and Lena’s feelings in a way that young girls and women can understand and identify with.

I love how they take the feelings of inadequacies and hurt and not only show Biblical discernment to help them, but also use their friendship and friends to help, too.

Jazmin and Lena had different childhoods, however, their feelings of failures and shortfalls come from the same deceiver. Throughout the book, the authors point us back to the only One who tells us the truth. In fact, God’s truth permeates this book, but one really caught my attention. A conversation between two of the characters reminds us how deeply God loves us, something that is too easy to forget in our day-to-day life.

This storyline is constructive, encouraging and re-affirming, written to help us readjust and release our harmful thoughts and turn them over to God.

The Arduini’s have written a third book in the series, too. I can’t wait to read it.

(I purchased You’re Amazing.)

Publisher’s Summary

YOU’RE AMAZING: Beautiful things happen when a group of girls and their mentors discover they’re worthy.

Jazmin’s a natural at dance until a series of changes make her wonder if she should even keep up with her favorite hobby.

Lena’s a mom with young children overwhelmed with her schedule when a woman remarks that what Lena does isn’t even important.

Both Jazmin and Lena belong to Linked, a mentoring ministry where all ages encourage each other and build friendships.

Can these two surrender the lies they are believing and realize they are amazing?

The second book in the Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin’ series that can be read as a stand-alone for tweens, teens, and women of all ages by mother and daughter authors Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini.

The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant

The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she’s created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral–or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He’s definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.

Just when it seems Bri’s bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she’s kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri’s recipe just needs to be tweaked.

Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn’t always look the way we expect–and maybe that’s a good thing.

The Key to Love, by Betsy St. Amant, is a contemporary romance novel about a bakery, The Pastry Puff, and its owners and an employee in Story, Kansas. This is the first book I have read by Betsy St. Amant.

The story is populated by several characters, from the previous owner’s daughter, Abrielle “Bri” Duvall to the nefarious Charles Richmond, Bri’s ex-boyfriend, who is a lawyer intent on getting The Pastry Puff by any means available (and maybe some that aren’t!). The true stars of the book appear to be the bakery, the Parisian styled love lock fence and the “love angels,” Mabel and Agnes, who are the bakery’s new owners.

I had a hard time becoming invested in the main characters, Bri Duval and Gerard Fortier. Their ongoing disagreements felt somewhat immature and off-putting.

The book also contains some mild vulgar words (though not profanity) and innuendo, with very little of a very spiritually uplifting content.

The Key to Love was, overall, a cute book you could lose yourself in for a few hours, with several laugh out loud moments created by the love angels, Mable and Agnes.

I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Revell through Interviews & Reviews. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

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

To Love a Prince by Rachel Hauck on Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: To Love a Prince

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Royal Romance

Release Date: August 11, 2020

An enchanting new royal romance from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Daffodil Caron is not a princess, even though she once dreamed of being one. After all, she grew up as a playmate to royal princes, running through the halls of Perrigwynn Palace and dining with the queen. But the day she stumbled upon a royal secret, everything changed.

Flash forward eighteen years, and Daffy’s living a sweet, non-royal life. A skilled art curator for the Royal Trust, she has friends, a flat in the heart of the city, and a handsome, successful fiancée. The last person on her mind is Gus, a prince she once called her best mate.

HRH Prince Augustus is no longer “Prince Pudgy,” as characterized by the press, he’s charming and gorgeous, possessing a world-famous smile. But when he’s jilted at the altar by an American heiress as millions of people around the world watched, the spare heir to Lauchtenland’s ancient House of Blue escapes, finding solace on a Florida beach.

A year as a regular bloke allows him to rethink his purpose. He’s half decided his calling is to pour pints at a tiki bar, rather than serving his country and the Family.

Until an accident on the beach with a Frisbee changes his course.

Despite his long hair and beard, Daffy recognizes her prince, and their childhood friendship is renewed. She assures Gus Lauchtenland needs him, giving him the courage to return home.

When Daffy and Gus find themselves on assignment to Hadsby Castle in preparation for his brother’s wedding, their friendship blooms into affection.

But Gus cannot, will not, trust his heart again. Daffy’s engaged. And she also remains a royal family outcast because she knows the Queen’s secret.

When affection grows into love and secrets are exposed, trust is destroyed. Gus must choose which is stronger: the lies of his past or the hope of his future. And Daffy must face every fear to prove she will forever love a prince.

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!” Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

Click here to get your copy!

Rachel Hauck’s books always include characters from “beyond the veil,” and To Love A Prince is no exception.

I enjoy Hauck’s books, some more than others, and it usually depends on how much of what I consider “supernatural” is included. To Love A Prince has less than usual, and I found I enjoyed it even more.

Hauck’s newest book is based on the premise of childhood friends, now grown, one of royal persuasion and one not.

I felt the main female protagonist, Daffy, allowed her friends too much latitude and should have drawn the line at Lesley, Blinky and Thomas’ betrayals. Lesley’s second HUGE betrayal should have ended their friendship. I know we’re to turn the other cheek. However, I don’t feel we’re to be a mat for others to walk on.

Prince Gus, Daffy’s childhood friend, is “twice bitten, twice shy,” and wants to avoid anything to do with those of the female persuasion. However, the pull between him and Daffy is strong.

The novel is cute, whimsical and as always with Hauck’s books, slightly unusual, but fun.

I received To Love A Prince from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share To Love A Prince with you. So many of you who loved the Royal Wedding Series have asked for more royals so as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward princes and princesses. What’s more romantic than a royal wedding?

This royal story, the first book in a new series, True Blue Royal, is set in a new fictional country, Lauchtenland, in the North Sea. I’m really squeezing all those oil wells currently occupying that body of water.

The beauty of royal stories is they remind us of who we really are: princes and princesses. There is always a point in the story where the royal character, as well as the commoner, must come to grips with his and her true identity! Who God says we are!

Stories are a powerful reflection of life and it’s fun to insert ourselves into the tale. While fiction employs a lot of hyperbole we can find ourselves on the page somewhere, somehow.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and To Love A Prince. You are so vital to my story as an author. Thank you!

Yours,

Rachel

Blog Stops

Worthy2Read, September 10

Captive Dreams Windows, September 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 10

Genesis 5020, September 10

Novels Corner, September 10

Connect in Fiction, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

deb’s Book Review, September 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Breny and books, September 12

Texas Book-aholic, September 12

Inklings and notions, September 12

For Him and My Family, September 13

Artistic Nobody, September 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13

The Book Chic Blog, September 13

Among the Reads, September 14

Soulfully Romantic, September 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 15

lakesidelivingsite, September 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 15

Betti Mace, September 16

Where Faith and Books Meet, September 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 16

Blossoms and Blesssings, September 16

She Lives To Read, September 17

Wishful Endings, September 17

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 17

Life of Literature, September 17

Life, Love, Writing, September 17

Book Love, September 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Maureen Timerman, September 18

Batya’s Bits, September 18

Labor Not in Vain, September 18

Bigreadersite, September 19

Hallie Reads, September 19

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 19

Splashes of Joy, September 19

Christian Bookaholic, September 20

Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, September 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 20

Inside the Wong Mind, September 21

By The Book, September 21

Mary Hake, September 21

Godly Book Reviews, September 21

Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 22

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 22

Livin’ Lit, September 22

Writing from the Heart Land, September 22

Simple Harvest Reads, September 23 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mamma Loves Books, September 23

Daysong Reflections, September 23

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, September 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a royal gift box of Pampering Princess items that includes bath balms, tea, tiara and other surprises!!

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/10098/to-love-a-prince-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

You’re Amazing by Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini

Hannah Arduini and her mother, Julie Arduini, have created and co-authored another beautiful story, it too will resonate with a female of any age.

You’re Amazing focuses on Jazmin, a teenage ballet dancer, and Lena, a young mother of two boys and a mentor at Linked. Both are overwhelmed and questioning whether their roles are right for them.

The authors have done an amazing job of capturing Jazmin and Lena’s feelings in a way that young girls and women can understand and identify with.

I love how they take the feelings of inadequacies and hurt and not only show Biblical discernment to help them, but also use their friendship and friends to help, too.

Jazmin and Lena had different childhoods, however, their feelings of failures and shortfalls come from the same deceiver. Throughout the book, the authors point us back to the only One who tells us the truth. In fact, God’s truth permeates this book, but one really caught my attention. A conversation between two of the characters reminds us how deeply God loves us, something that is too easy to forget in our day-to-day life.

This storyline is constructive, encouraging and re-affirming, written to help us readjust and release our harmful thoughts and turn them over to God.

The Arduini’s have written a third book in the series, too. I can’t wait to read it.

(I purchased You’re Amazing.)

Publisher’s Summary

YOU’RE AMAZING: Beautiful things happen when a group of girls and their mentors discover they’re worthy.

Jazmin’s a natural at dance until a series of changes make her wonder if she should even keep up with her favorite hobby.

Lena’s a mom with young children overwhelmed with her schedule when a woman remarks that what Lena does isn’t even important.

Both Jazmin and Lena belong to Linked, a mentoring ministry where all ages encourage each other and build friendships.

Can these two surrender the lies they are believing and realize they are amazing?

The second book in the Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin’ series that can be read as a stand-alone for tweens, teens, and women of all ages by mother and daughter authors Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini.

Friday Flashback-You’re Beautiful (Surrendering Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Book 1) by Julie Arduini and Hannah Arduini

My Review

Hannah Arduini and her mother, Julie Arduini, created and co-authored a beautiful story that will resonate with a female of any age.

The story focuses on Hayley Atkinson and Sabrina Wayson. Hayley is in middle school struggling with fitting in and hurtful lies, while Sabrina, a college graduate, is trying to figure out where her life is going and resolve feelings of unworthiness. Both of them suffer from low self-esteem, brought on by similar, but very different reasons. They join Linked, a mentoring program started by Sabrina’s parents, Sabrina as a mentor and Hayley as a mentee. However, they feel like frauds who can not really contribute to the group.

The book has many teachable moments for adults and young adults. One example from the mentoring group, Linked, is especially powerful. As you read, it is easy to relate, absorb and readjust some of your own stinkin’ thinkin’. Of course, real change and adjustment come from sincere desire, repentance and prayer- which is perfectly illustrated in the narrative.

A positive, thought-provoking tale designed to encourage readers to re-think their thoughts and emotions, You’re Beautiful reminds all of us we are daughters of God, His princesses, a truth regardless of what anyone, including ourselves, tells us.

I can’t wait for the other books in the series to come out. I want to read them, too!

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

     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Quick Comment~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Julie and Hannah Arduini have written two more books in the series. Next week I will review book 2.

Publisher’s Summary

Hayley Atkinson withdraws from her friends and new opportunities with the new mentoring group, Linked, after she is told a lie that she believes is true about herself. Sabrina Wayson is a mentor in Linked who feels she can’t help encourage girls because she’s struggling as much as they are. Can they surrender the lies and find freedom?

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

Blessing Bentley by Chautona Havig on Tour with Celebrate Lit

Book: Blessing Bentley

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romantic Women’s Fiction

Release date: June 13, 2019

Bentley Girard’s about to propose… to a guy she doesn’t even love.

Not THAT way anyway.

After studying everything the Bible has to say about marriage, she’s decided she wants in. Now. So who’s going to take her up on that offer?

And just why did no one reminded her that those vows include that little word, “love.”

Oops!

With her Bible in her hip pocket, and a shiny new ring on her finger, Bentley navigates this new world of marriage with grace and… oh, who is she kidding? She flounders until she gets a sure footing and hangs on tight.

Get your copy here!

Chautona Havig’s latest book, Blessing Bentley, is truly a blessing in so many ways.

Havig begins with an unusual, albeit Biblical, concept of marriage and continues from there. Of course, the idea is not for everyone, as she explains. However, after reading the story, I believe anyone contemplating a Godly and God-glorifying marriage should read Blessing Bentley.

Havig has a way of combining humor and truth in such a way as to leave you laughing even as you contemplate what she says. In this way, she’s better able to get her point(s) across, too, without you feeling as if you’re being beat over the head with Bible verses and hyperbole.

I’ll not recap the story (you can see it under About the Book); I’m only going to say you really should read it if you like unconventional Christian love stories, adorably quirky characters and depth to the plot.

I enjoy Chautona’s sense of humor so much and 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 Blessing Bentley from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

PS Don’t you love the cover?!!!!!!!!!!

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.

 

Not from my friend anyway. It all started with a conversation about Bentley…

She pops up now and then—the most ubiquitous (and yet not) of my unpublished characters, you might say. Who is this unsung Bentley, and why should we care about her? For that matter, why has her story been languishing in my “to be edited” pile for over a decade?”

It’s worse than that. Bentley isn’t the only book that’s been sitting there, unedited, waiting for a chance at daylight. There’s also Tait’s story. Andi’s story. Ami’s story… all the unpublished stories. Those don’t even include the partially done ones.

It’s an illness, I tell ya.

Some people may not know this about me, but I plot out my books while I’m driving. I get in the car, turn on my voice recorder, and talk to myself. You can’t know how grateful I am for cellphones. I don’t own or use one, but man I’m glad they exist. Know why? Because people don’t give you weird looks when you talk to yourself in the car now. When I was a kid, that wasn’t true. Not that I know from personal experience or anything. whistles

So one trip down south (it’s an hour and a half to go anywhere from my house, and most of my trips are at least three hours one way), I realized that Tait and Bentley’s stories could be merged. It would be awesome. Two books. One stone. If I did that to a bunch of my languishing manuscripts, I could clear out that unfinished file in no time! (Okay, let me dream here. Eternal optimist, remember?)

And that brings us back to Blessing Bentley

I was at my friend Sandy’s house (if you know Celebrate Lit, yes, that Sandy), and I told her I needed a new title. Why? Because now it included Tait and his story.

We talked. We schemed and plotted. Sandy wanted something to happen that just can’t. I’d seriously have to rewrite the entire series. Oh, and then there would be issues with already published books. Ahem.

Then it happened. She said the words. “It needs to be two books.”

I could have put an ice cube down her shirt. Do you remember how excited I was to have two combined into one??? Now we’re back to two books. Still, they were written as two. I just don’t have a satisfactory ending for Tait’s.

That’s when things got fun. Sandy tossed out one idea. I tossed it back. She remolded it and flipped it in the air. I caught it, made a few changes, and voila! We had a BOOK. And it would be adorable.

Then she swore at me.

Okay, so she actually just said, “You really need a third book, friend.”

Anyone who has ever heard her talk, can hear her voice there. I know you can. Still, as sweet and kind as she might have meant to sound, I heard swearing.

Another book. You’ve got to be kidding me! I went from having two books morphed into one being split back in two, and now you want to add one? I’m trying to reduce the to-do pile!

But then I remembered another story that’s been percolating since I wrote 31 Kisses. Carson’s brother is newly single. And well…

Yep. Enter trilogy.

Marriage of Conviction—that was supposed to be the title of Blessing Bentley. Who knew that when I started writing that book fifteen years ago—who knew it would end up being the title of a series instead. Marriages of Conviction. Blessing Bentley, Tempting Tait, and Charming Chloe.

Welcome to a new look on marriage and a wild ride with these characters!

And remember… if you think I have too many series… Well, this one’s Sandy’s fault.

Among the Reads, July 8

Cultivating Us, July 8

Texas Book-aholic, July 9

janicesbookreviews, July 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 10

A Reader’s Brain, July 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 12

CarpeDiem, July 12

Retrospective Spines, July 13

Splashes of Joy, July 13

Back Porch Reads, July 14

Inklings and notions, July 15

Through the Fire Blogs, July 16

Godly Book Reviews, July 16

Lots of Helpers, July 17

Captive Dreams Window, July 17

Daysong Reflections, July 18

She Lives To Read, July 19

Blogging With Carol, July 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20

For Him and My Family, July 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 21

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a Blessing Bentley grand prize package that includes a paperback copy of the book, a book cozy, a Blessing Bentley Candle, and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/e550/blessing-bentley-celebration-tour-giveaway

Delilah by Fay Lamb On Tour with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: Delilah

Author: Fay Lamb

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September, 2018

They’ve sparred for years, but now they’re both headed for a knockout.

Newly elected judge, John M. Turner, tries his best to soothe the hard feelings of former Circuit Judge Delilah James, the woman he bested in the election by only a narrow margin, but his friend’s and her haughty reputation are making it difficult for him to let things slide. Worse yet, a vengeful assistant state attorney, the other candidate whose entry in the race actually handed the win to John, is seeking to have them both removed from the Florida Bar.

Delilah wants to make amends to John, but every time she attempts to apologize or to behave in court, she makes a mess of it. Since leaving the bench, life has become complicated: John’s teenager sister hates her, Libby Carter, has been arrested for battery on a police officer and embroiled her in the plight of the homeless, her past has returned to haunt her, and if that’s not enough, she’s fallen into the one experience in life she never thought would happen to her. John finally offers to make peace, but Delilah’s not ready for that.

Calling a truce with the man you love? What’s the fun in that?

Click here to purchase your copy.

This was the last line I wrote in my review of Hope, by Fay Lamb: “I heard a rumor there will be another book written highlighting Judge Delilah James! I can’t wait to read it, yet I dread it too because I don’t want to leave these wonderful friends!!”  Oh, my broken heart, I feel this way still, especially after having read Delilah!

Delilah is a feisty, strong, self-assured woman. Sometimes, though, her feistiness overcomes her common sense and lands her in trouble. Delilah learns some valuable lessons when newly elected Circuit Judge John Turner sentences her to community service after a contempt of court charge.

I envy Delilah’s strength in her storms and her vulnerability in her friendships. Her personality would cause you to think she would have a hard time loving and forgiving her friends, but you would be very wrong.

I learned a lot while reading Delilah. Portions of her childhood mirrored parts of mine, helping me to understand her more. Alas, while Delilah became stronger for it, I became more compliant and an inveterate people pleaser.  Reading about her strengths gave me hope for myself.

The concepts she constructs in each character’s life are realistic and true to nature. In addition, I love her heart for the lost and seeking. Reading her books lays a firm foundation of Biblical truths and a pathway to Christ.

All of Fay Lamb’s books reverberate with forgiveness and love, faith and hope, and growth and maturity. Her books pull you in and never let go. From the first line (featured on First Line Friday) until the very end of the book, you stay emotionally invested in the lead characters.

I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

Fay Lamb is an author, an editor, and a teacher. She also loves to teach workshops for fiction writers and has recently shared Bible truths on Preach the Word Network TV.

Fay has contracted three series with her publisher, Write Integrity Press. The Amazing Grace romantic suspense series is complete with four books beginning with STALKING WILLOW. Her Ties that Bind romance series is complete with this book, the fourth, and begins with CHARISSE. And with her current release, DELILAH, her fourth heroine, greatly loved by readers, gets her chance to shine. Her newest epic series, Serenity Key, with elements of romance, mystery, and suspense, began with STORMS IN SERENITY. Fay has an adventurous spirit, which has also taken her into the arena of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook and on Goodreads. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor.

More from Fay

When Delilah came on the scene as the ruthless antagonist for Charisse in the first book of the Why Delilah?

by Fay Lamb

When Delilah came on the scene as the ruthless antagonist for Charisse in the first book of the Ties that Bind series, a reader wrote to me before finishing the story and said, “I hope Delilah gets hers.” I replied that she definitely did, but it would not be in the way that she thought. Since the release of Charisse, I heard from many readers who fell in love with Delilah, this delightfully fiendish character who changed in some ways from story to story but never truly lost her brash personality that made her who she is.

I never meant to give Dee her own story, but like many of the characters I write, I find that those that I consider truly secondary are the ones that seem to capture the imagination of the readers. I have a character in a little-known book that I wrote in 1999 that my readers still ask me about today, and characters in a writing tutorial that I used as examples have an adoring audience. The same was true of Delilah. When I sent the synopses in for Charisse, Libby, and Hope, the stories which at that time, encompassed the series, the publisher indicated I could have the contract on one condition: if Delilah got a story of her own. Who was I to argue?

As I completed the other two novels in the series and five other novels in different series for the same publisher, I worked on Delilah in my mind. She wouldn’t let me alone, and she never ceased to amaze me with her story. When she told me her background, I laughed aloud. When she learned her connection to one of the other gals in the series, I cried and rejoiced with her. Delilah truly had me on a roller coaster ride of emotions, and I couldn’t wait to sit down and tell her unique tale set against the backdrop of Central Florida’s homelessness and our wonderful natural resources. It is truly my hope that you’ll come along for the ride.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 9

Captive Dreams Window, April 10

My Devotional Thoughts, April 11

For Him and my Family, April 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 13

Texas Book-aholic, April 14

janicesbookreviews, April 15

Godly Book Reviews, April 16

A Reader’s Brain, April 17

Inklings and notions, April 18

Through the Fire Blogs, April 19

The Becca Files, April 20

Real World Bible Study, April 21

Just the Write Escape, April 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Fire 8 HD!!

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/dfeb/delilah-celebration-tour-giveaway