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Monday, December 5, 2022

My Thoughts -Under the Hibiscus Author: Chautona Havig

 

About the Book

Book: Under the Hibiscus

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Contemporary Romance

Release date: November 25, 2022

Do you have to give God two-weeks’ notice when you quit the ministry?

After a lifetime of being her father’s right-hand girl, Ezra gets a small taste of freedom during her friend’s honeymoon visit to the Suamalie islands and decides enough is enough. All she needs is to find a replacement secretary, teacher, project manager, accountant… et cetera.

In fact, what he needs is a wife.

Scott Keil intended to serve the Lord on St. Alyn Island for life. He just never intended to do it without his wife. So, when his daughter begins balking at being saddled with a ministry she never signed up for, he knows he needs to find a replacement for her. And well, she’s right. A wife who loves organization and serving the Lord would be the perfect solution.

But only one woman interests him and loves his ministry nearly as much as he does. Natalie Dershem—the event planner at St. Alyn’s newest resort. Why did she have to be nearly as young as his daughter… and so intriguing?

Under the Hibiscus is the introductory Christmas “noella” in the brand-new, Suamalie Islands Series from Celebrate Lit Publishing. Grab this May/December Christmas romance today.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

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

 

More from Chautona

“I always wanted a son. But I wanted one a little younger than myself!” When Tevya said that to Lazar Wolf back when I was a teenager, little did I know that twenty years later, I’d say the same thing to my newly-minted son-in-law at my daughter’s reception.

It was a joke on me. I’d always said that I didn’t understand why people got worked up about age differences under twenty years. God called my bluff on that by sending me a son-in-law a year and a couple of months older than me and… nearly nineteen years (just shy by weeks) older than my daughter. People ask if I still think that it’s not a big deal.  And I do. As I said back then, it all depends on the couple.

But May/December romances aren’t always popular. Some people don’t enjoy them. Maybe I do because my husband is seven years older than I am, my father is eight years older than my mother, and I have friends and family with eleven and fifteen years difference respectively. It’s just… normal in my experience. And as my dear friend said when she heard about people making snide comments about my daughter’s engagement, “Why would she want a boy her age when she can have a man?” And yeah. That is one of the lovely things about May/December romances.

Well, Under the Hibiscus definitely went that route—not because I specifically wanted an age difference for the couple but because two things jumped out at me.  First, I couldn’t see Scott Keil with a woman his age. He’s such a young-at-heart-guy, and every woman his age my mind conjured… wasn’t.  And I couldn’t see it!

But even more than that, I thought of Ezra and how it would feel to be a daughter whose father started dating someone nearly your own age.  Especially since this wouldn’t be some socialite looking for a rich husband. Any woman interested in Scott Keil would have to love him and the Lord a great deal to be willing to accept such a large age difference. How would that go over with Ezra, and… what would their relationship look like. I mean, her stepmother would be a not-very-older sister’s age!

How does it all work out? Well… unfortunately, you’ll have to read to find out because right now? I don’t even know!


My Thoughts 

Under the Hibiscus is a Christian Christmas Contemporary Romance that is written by  Chautona Havig.  is an author that can write such unique stories. She writes amazing characters, unique storylines, and so many different situations.  I have read several of her books this year and have always loved every single one of them. This is a kick off to a new series that is being released by Celebrate Lit. 

Ezra was introduced in one of the books in the Independence Island series, but if you missed out, no worries. The author does a great job in filling in any missing information. It was good to see her  in a story again. She has been her father's right hand person for so long - and when she gets a taste of freedom she wants to jump on it. Scott, who serves in a full time ministry role, knows that he needs to find a wife. His daughter, is not happy that she has had to assist with his ministry. 

The romance between Ezra and Scott is cute. Scott has instilled a lot into Ezra and they make a good team. While this is a quick read at 170 ish pages, the book moves at a comfortable pace. I loved getting a preview to the new Suamalie Island series. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own. 


Blog Stops

By the Book, November 26

She Lives To Read, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Sylvan Musings, November 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 30

Inklings and notions, December 1

deb’s Book Review, December 2

For Him and My Family, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Blogging With Carol, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/22dbc/under-the-hibiscus-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, December 4, 2022

My Thoughts - 365 Days of Gratitude Journal by Mariëlle S. Smith

 

 

365 Days of Gratitude Journal

by Mariëlle S. Smith

 

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GENRE:   Non-fiction; self-help

 

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BLURB:

 

*** Now available in black-and-white AND full colour! ***

‘The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.’ Mary Davis

Gratitude is not just about ATTITUDE.

Gratitude is about PRACTICE.

But how do you create a gratitude practice that sticks?

After the success of her first 365 Days of Gratitude Journal, writing coach Mariëlle S. Smith brings you Volume 2. Same journal but with an entirely different look!

After years of barely surviving her own emotional minefield, Mariëlle discovered the transformative power of practising gratitude. But, like no one else, she knows that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is easier said than done.

365 Days of Gratitude, Vol. 2 is an undated, guided journal. Complete with inspiring quotes, daily prompts, and recurring check-ins, it was designed to help you create a sustainable gratitude practice too.

Commit to the life-changing power of gratitude today and order your copy now!

 

 

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Excerpt 

 

I’m not here to sell you on gratitude. There are many articles and research papers I could be citing to convince you just how great practising gratitude is for you. I think you’re already aware of that, though. Perhaps you’ve read some of those articles and papers or maybe you just know it somewhere deep down—or not so deep down.

 

I’m not hooked on gratitude because it works wonders on my blood pressure and promises to help me sleep better. Although it probably does that, too.

 

I’m hooked on gratitude because it enables me to perceive everything in life as magical again. I’m hooked because I’m not the same person I was since I started practising it. And because I slip and return to being that anxious, burned out, overachieving workaholic as soon as I stray from the gratitude path—which happens far more often than I care to admit.

 

Gratitude is a commitment for life. I created this journal to help you commit and turn your gratitude practice into a sustainable one.

 


 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 


Mariëlle S. Smith is a writer, writing coach, and editor. She lives in Cyprus, where she organises private writer's retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.

 

Contact Links

 

Website: https://mswordsmith.nl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mswordsmith

Blog: https://mswordsmith.nl/blog

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18455235.Mari_lle_S_Smith

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariellessmith

Other(s): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtnYOpjmj83mvMM2L348F1w

 

Purchase Links

All purchase links can be found on https://mswordsmith.nl/365daysofgratitude

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DDZ88JF

Deluxe edition Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DDX9NNZ

Barnes & Noble: 

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Mariëlle S. Smith will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

My Thoughts - Are You A Pineapple? by Kathryn A. Zolman

 






Book Details:

Book Title:  Are You A Pineapple? by Kathryn A. Zolman
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   May, 2022
Format available for review:  print-hardback (USA), PDF
Tour dates: Nov 25 to Dec 16, 2022
Content Rating:  G. Suitable for everyone.
Book Description:

Kevin has a beautiful new puppy! But what should he name her? He wants to find a name that is unique, just like her. Kevin knows the puppy is special, but he’s about to find out just how smart she is when she helps Kevin choose her own name!
Author Kathryn A. Zolman
Meet the Author:

Kathryn A. Zolman never expected to write a children’s book, but when Pineapple came into her life and she heard the story of how this sweet, smart dog got her name, she thought it would make a fun book for parents to read to their children. Pineapple is a Bull Mastiff, German Shepherd, Chow mix, and much like a real pineapple, she knows how to stand tall and is very sweet on the inside!

Kathryn is an avid dog lover. Along with her husband and daughter, they have raised three Doberman Pinschers, each with their own unique personality and character. Kathryn is an advocate for not only raising children to respect all animals, but also to be thankful for the pure joy that they bring to our lives. In writing this book, Kathryn seeks to spread a positive message and hopes it will help children express more gratitude in their lives.

connect with the author: instagram  

Q&A Author Interview



Q: What made you write a book about Pineapple?

A: When I heard the story from Kevin, Pineapple’s owner, about how he came up with her name, I fell in love with the tale! I loved everything about it! I could visualize the story in my head and thought it would be such a fun book for parents to read to their children. That it’s based on a true story, makes it even more special!

Q: Have you always wanted to write a children’s book?

A: When my daughter was young and I used to read to her every night, I did think it would be fun to write a children's book. However, coming up with a topic that was unique or that I thought kids and parents would enjoy was difficult. As my daughter grew up, I forgot about idea. Until I met and fell in love with Pineapple!

Q: How did you decide on an illustrator for your book?

A: Mascot Books works with some very talented artists! I reviewed the work of several of them and narrowed it down to three that we sent photos of Pineapple to for a rendering. I absolutely loved the way Walter Policelli depicted Pineapple! I feel like he was able to capture her personality perfectly and the way she holds her ears out away from her head. He did a phenomenal job with all the illustrations!

Q: Your Bio mentions that you’re an advocate for raising children to respect all animals. Please explain.

A: Yes! I believe our pets are more than just an object; they are our family members. Our daughter was raised around Doberman Pinchers her entire life. We taught her when she was very young how to respect dogs, to understand and pick-up on cues from a dog when they want personal space. My main concern ended up being teaching my daughter how to approach unfamiliar dogs, because she just wanted to go up and hug every dog she saw. 

Q: Since the book was released, have you had the opportunity to read it to a group of kids?

A: I have, and it was so much fun! I was invited to read to a local second-grade class. After reading the book, the kids were encouraged to ask questions. Oh my! I received so many interesting questions, as well as comments, suggestions, and future book ideas! I loved it! 

Q: Do you have any plans for a second book?

A: I’m being urged to write a second Pineapple book. Some people say it should be a book series. Pineapple was extremely smart and very adventurous, so the content practically writes itself, but I just don’t know if I’m up for the challenge. At the moment, I don’t have any plans to write another book.

My Thoughts

Are you Pineapple is a super cute children's picture book that is written by Kathryn A. Zolman. As a fellow dog owner, I can appreciate picking out the perfect name for them. I am not sure if my animals are thrilled with their names (Amelia Earhart, Theodore Roosevelt and Stonewall), but they work for us. This book is 38 pages and is geared toward children ages 3-7. My sons are 11 and 9 and we enjoyed this book very much. 

Young Kevin is trying to come up with the perfect name for his new puppy. Some that he suggests the dog just stares back at him. We loved that the dog was so involved with the story. I also love that this is based off a real life story. The pictures match well with the story. The writing flows nicely. This would make a perfect edition to any child's library. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and IRead Book tours - for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own. 

Tour Schedule:

Nov 25 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 25 - Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Nov 25 - Liese's Blog – book spotlight
Nov 25 -Rockin' Book Reviews– book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 28 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Nov 28 - A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Nov 28 - My Reading Getaway – book review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 29  icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Nov 29 - Reading Authors Network – book review / giveaway
Nov 30  Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 30 - Sandra's Book Club book review / giveaway
Dec 1 – Library Lady's Kid Lit– book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 1 – Library Lady's Kid Lit – book review / giveaway
Dec 2 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 5  I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 6 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 7 – @sarahs.bookstack – book review
Dec 8 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Dec 9  Mel_literate – book review
Dec 12 – Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Dec 13  Paws.Read.Repeat – book review / giveaway
Dec 13 - Captive Dreams Window – book review / giveaway
Dec 14 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / guest post / giveaway
Dec 14 - Bizwings Blog – book review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 15 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Dec 16  Bigreadersite – book review / giveaway
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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

My Thoughts - Returning to Breakers Author: Rachel Skatvold

 




About the Book

Book:  Returning to Breakers

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: October 25, 2022

Sometimes God’s “why” comes too late… and just in time.

Tiffany Hill is a master at concealing her emotions. She can’t admit she has her own questions about God—like why He allowed her Marine husband to die in action. A single mom with three children to care for and the general store on Merriweather to run leaves little time for philosophizing. She has more pressing issues to deal with. Like how her dream of running the family business has become a burden.

Is keeping the business afloat even worth the effort anymore?

After high school and an unfortunate falling out with his father, Liam Hadler left Breakers Head, determined never to look back. He failed on that one, and one of many regrets was leaving his high school sweetheart behind to chase an impossible dream.

When his mother calls after his father suffers a stroke, Liam has a tough decision to make. Will he return to a place he’s avoided for sixteen years, and is making amends with his father even possible?

A chance encounter with Tiffany after so many years never occurred to him, but memories of their time together rekindles something he thought he’d lost. What’ll it take to persuade her to give him a second chance?

This Breakers Head novel is Rachel Skatvold’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

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

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing Christian romance and devotionals. Rachel has published over a dozen novels, including books in the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming and Brides of Pelican Rapids Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

 

More from Rachel

Thank you for following the Returning to Breakers Celebration Tour with Celebrate Lit. Writing in the Independence Islands Series has been an incredible journey and since this is my last book in the series, it’s bitter sweet to say goodbye to these wonderful characters. Although some of them may show up in the sister series, Suamalie Islands…hint, hint, hint!

 

It has also been a joy to work with Sandra Barela, Chautona Havig, Denise Barela, and everyone else on the Celebrate Lit team. Thank you to them and the wonderful authors I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with. You all have been amazing.

 

Returning to Breakers features two sets of characters. First, Tiffany and Liam, but also, Kendall and Tyler. Along with Tiff’s story, I do hope you also enjoy the conclusion of the love story between the two main characters from my first book in the series.

In this book, we find Tiffany overwhelmed and ready for a fresh start. As a single mom of three kids and a business owner, she has to wear about every hat imaginable. She has always been an advice giver to everyone else, but now she desperately needs advice herself. Should she sell the family store? It’s one of many questions plaguing her soul. When her friends realize Tiff is floundering, they know she needs a lifeline in the form of some R&R. They arrange for her and the kids to stay at a local resort on Mimosa. Tiffany is reluctant at first but ultimately gives in, quickly realizing how much she needed to rest and reconnect with her kids. However, when an old love from the past returns to the islands, will Tiff’s relaxing vacation be swept away in the tide?

 

This book is close to my heart because it is dedicated to my oldest sister, Becky. Growing up, she was a great person to go to for spiritual advice, similar to Tiff in this book. She always has wisdom to impart and quotes Bible verses of encouragement even to this day when I need advice.

 

This book was also inspired by a verse from Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” When we go through something difficult in life, sometimes it is easy to forget to pray. However, if we leave our worries and anxieties with God, He will take them from us and in return, give us peace. This is one of the lessons Tiff learns during this story and it is also a wonderful reminder for me during trials I have been facing recently.

 

Blessings.


My Thoughts

Returning to Breakers is book 29 in the Independence Island Series. This book is written by Rachel Skatvold. The Independence Island Series is a multi-author series that all ties around the island theme. In this story, we see a reunion of many of the characters from the author's previous books. I have been reading the whole series, but you will not feel like you are lost. 

This story is Tiffany and Liam's story. Tiffany is a widow after her husband is killed in action. She is running the family business and has lost the joy that she had when they started the business. Liam left a long time ago and never looked back. He is summoned back when his father has a stroke. He has mixed feelings when he returns home. 

I loved this story. I am really sad to see this series coming to an end. The characters are well written, the storyline is unique and I loved the interaction with the characters. The biblical lesson of forgiveness and not being stubborn are woven in flawlessly. 

Thank you to the author, publisher and Celebrate Lit for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 18

By the Book, November 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20

Sylvan Musings, November 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 22

Blossoms and Blessings, November 22

Aryn the Libraryan, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 24

Holly’s Book Corner, November 24

deb’s Book Review, November 25

She Lives To Read, November 26

Inklings and notions, November 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 28 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, November 28

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 29

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

Simple Harvest Reads, November 30 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $25 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/22acf/returning-to-breakers-celebration-tour-giveaway