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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Regaining Mercy Author: Carolyn Miller On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Regaining Mercy

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

A mom ready to do anything for her son. A man determined to win the woman he loves.

Going on Love at First Glance had seemed like such a good idea. She didn’t care about finding Mr. Right. No, Mindy Murray chose the reality TV show for more mercenary reasons.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do when it comes to feeding her son.

When Mindy returns to Elnora, the girl from the “wrong side of the island” just wants a chance to rebuild her reputation. Too bad the folks at church don’t practice what the preacher preaches.

Enter Dermott Reilly. The interim boss at Greener Gardens has always had a soft spot for Mindy and her son, but with his new responsibilities, an important garden competition, and a few other concerns, he finds it difficult to prove himself to her.

A tropical storm and a missing child prove that sometimes grace appears in the most unusual ways.

Regaining Mercy concludes the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series, featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily ever-afters.

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


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Carolyn Miller is an Australian author of inspirational romance, particularly that of the Regency era, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love through stories that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.


More from Carolyn

Have you ever wondered what might happen if a failed TV reality star was to return home to her narrow minded community? What if she’s been tarred and feathered with disgrace?

In our world of insta-fame, selfies and fakebook, I find it fascinating that so many people are entranced by so-called reality TV, with its editing and narratives and shiny-eyed hopefuls chasing money, love and dreams. But what if it doesn’t work out? What happens next? How do you resume ‘normal life’ when you’ve been living in a very artificial world?

I enjoy writing fiction that is grounded in reality, with realistic, flawed characters who are on a God journey to find faith and freedom. My contemporary and historical novels often see characters struggle with the choices they’ve made (don’t we all?), which is exactly what single mom Mindy is dealing with.

Combine Mindy’s challenges with those faced by gardening expert, Dermott, a man whose stone wall building skills are better than his way with women, or his inability to hide his attraction to his former co-worker’s younger sister.

Regaining Mercy encourages us to see ourselves as God does, to not let the labels of the past to shape our future. Along the way, readers will enjoy the honest portrayals of family, friendship and faith.

I’m so glad people are really enjoying my new contemporary books, where I can bring my love of gardens (& my horticulturalist hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Want to see what’s growing in my garden? Check out my website – and you might even see some of my husband’s famous stone walls!

If you enjoy stories of hope, heart and humor, then you’ll be sure to enjoy this novel about a prodigal and the patient gardener who helps her find God’s mercy – and renewed hope for her heart.

Happy reading!


My Thoughts

Regaining Mercy is written by Carolyn Miller. This book is book 12 in the Independence Island series. While the Series is written by a variety of authors they are all tied together with the Island theme. In this story. Mindy Murray  returns home to try and salvage her reputation. She appeared on a reality show for a way to feed her son. She has now returned home and has realized that not all are pleased with her 15 minutes of fame. Dermott Reilly is such a sweet and caring character. He sees past Mindy's reality show. He has a soft spot for both Mindy and her son. He really seems to care for the both of them. He has such a big heart. People in Elnora have been very cruel to Mindy, and Dermott stands up for her when people are saying hurtful things. 

Because of the way church folk have treated her, Mindy is not fond of church. This book is about a woman who is in desperate need of God but flawed humans have blocked the way. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug her. I have been hurt by Church people, so I can relate. However, the author shows that God is bigger then all of our pain, past and hurts. I love how she laid the story out. 

I have previously read this author in this series and some of her Regency works. I am a huge fan of her. Her writing style flows effortlessly, everything goes together smoothly. She always creates such wonderful characters. Her storylines are always God centered. 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 22

Labor Not in Vain, July 22

lakesidelivingsite, July 22

She Lives To Read, July 23

deb’s Book Review, July 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 24

CarpeDiem, July 24

Texas Book-aholic, July 25

Splashes of Joy, July 25

Connect in Fiction, July 25

Inklings and notions, July 26

Blogging With Carol, July 26

For Him and My Family, July 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 27

Aryn The Libraryan 📚 , July 28

Older & Smarter?, July 28

Lots of Helpers, July 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 29

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

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

Lis Loves Reading, July 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 31

Kayem Reads, July 31

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 1

Cultivating Us, August 1

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 2 (Author Interview)

Daysong Reflections, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 3

Blossoms and Blessings, August 3

Joanne Markey, August 3


To celebrate her tour, Carolyn 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.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Project Scrooge - By: A.M. Heath On Tour With Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Can Scrooge find love from a friendship gone cold?

Sanford Stone cut ties with his best friend, Natalie, in favor of the love of his life … a woman who ended up walking out on him just before Christmas. Six years later, Sanford can’t bring himself to celebrate Christ’s birth with any joy. Little does he know, his grandmother and her companions have dubbed him the Scrooge and intend to help him overcome his bitterness and find happiness again.

The only thing that has hurt Natalie Dunivan more than Sanford cutting her out of his life has been watching his long-held grudges slowly destroy the man she has always loved. Together with Ms. Carol, Natalie devises a plan to reach out to Sanford.

Sanford accepts his grandmother’s challenge to celebrate Christmas for 31 straight days, but he didn’t count on her plan involving Natalie. Can his family and friends help their Scrooge see the error of his ways, or will Natalie’s presence only make things worse?

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, ladies’ Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.


More from A.M. Heath

Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipes

It’s plenty hot outside but it’s just the right temperature for a tall glass of frozen hot chocolate!

Throughout Project Scrooge, Ms. Carol serves up a new cocoa recipe every day in December. So there was no better way introduce you to the cozy world of Garland, Tennessee and Ms. Carol’s cheery kitchen than by offering you two frozen hot chocolate variations. These are so easy and you likely have the ingredients already in your home.


Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate


¾ cup of milk

3 Tb sugar

2 ½ Tb unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tb creamy peanut butter

2 cups of ice


Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate


¾ cup of milk

2 Tb sugar

2 ½ Tb unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tb caramel sauce

pinch of salt

2 cups of ice


No matter which recipe you use, the directions are the same.


Blend until ice is broken down. Enjoy! Sharing is optional. 😉


Which flavor will you try first?

My Thoughts

Project Scrooge is written by the talented A.M. Heath. This is also book one in the Christmas in Garland Collection. It is about 1000000 degrees in SE Alabama where I live so it was fun to read a Christmas story. (Maybe not 1000000, but it's been in the high 90's). This book made me want to pull out my Christmas stuff and start decorating. Sanford and Natalie were best friends, however Sanford cuts Natalie out for another woman who he thinks he is going to spend the rest of his life with. However, this woman leaves him right before Christmas. This hurts Sanford so much that he begins to hate Christmas. 

Natalie hates seeing Sanford hurting. While she was hurt when he cut her out, she hates seeing him not wanting to celebrate the birth of Christ more. This is when Sanford's Grandmother (she is hysterical by the way) and Natalie come up with a plan to celebrate Christmas 31 days in a row. It was fun to see Sanford's reaction to this. He hates Christmas so much. The theme of this book is forgiveness and I love the way that the author presented it. This is a fun, quick, and easy read. 

Well written characters, fun story line (think Christmas Carol), and sweet romance. I enjoyed this sweet book. I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 23

Simply Susan, July 23

For Him and My Family, July 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 26

deb’s Book Review, July 27

Kayem Reads, July 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 29

Mary Hake, July 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 31

Vicky Sluiter, July 31

Blossoms and Blessings, August 1

Inklings and notions, August 1

She Lives To Read, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 3

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 3

Labor Not in Vain, August 4


To celebrate her tour, A.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of Project Scrooge, 1 mug, 3 family sized bags of hot chocolate: Peppermint, Real Deal, and Strawberry!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Over Her Head: In the Shadow Author: JL Crosswhite On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book:  Over Her Head: In the Shadow

Author: JL Crosswhite

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 21, 2021

She’s working on a new start…

…He’s trying a new work venture.

Can they build a relationship that fits their new life?

Fresh out of cosmetology school Jessica and whiz software engineer Austin have been thrown together by mutual friends. They even escaped a wildfire together.

But do they have something more than friendship?

Maybe a singles’ camping trip will make their future clear.

But when they encounter someone who needs their help, the relaxing weekend away becomes anything but. As the danger mounts and the challenges reveal who they truly are, will it pull them together or push them apart… for good?

You will get lost in Over Her Head because the biggest adventure is falling in love.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Jennifer’s favorite thing is discovering how much there is to love about America the Beautiful and the great outdoors. She’s a mom to two navigating the young adult years while battling her daughter’s juvenile arthritis, exploring the delights of her son’s autism, and keeping gluten free. A California native who’s spent significant time in the Midwest, she’s thrilled to be back in the Golden State. Follow her on social media to see all her adventures and how she gets inspired for her books!


More from Jennifer

MacGyver might have come from my family tree. I grew up hearing stories of how my grandpa turned a horse trailer into a travel trailer for camping and how he finagled something out of what he had if he didn’t have the actual thing he needed. I grew up seeing my dad do this. And I’ve been known to do it a time or two myself.


My grandpa grew up during the Great Depression, so I could see how making do with what he had came to him naturally. The rest of us saw the usefulness of it and continued the tradition. Even though there are times I’ve stopped and said, “I should just go by the thing I need instead of trying to make do.” Maybe it would have saved me some time and frustration.


But there is something satisfying about seeing a problem and creating the solution yourself. It’s like solving a puzzle. And for me, writing a book is a lot like that. I start out with various pieces and no idea how they are going to fit together.


When I began Over Her Head, it was the third book of my In the Shadow series. This series explores the idea of what it’s like to grow up in the shadow of a hero. Jessica’s brother, Scott, is a Navy pilot. Their oldest brother died before Jessica was born, so she’s always felt like she’s been in the shadow of her older brothers. How would she become her own person and find the purpose that God has for her?


That was one piece. A big one. But I still needed to find a love interest, a plot, and a supporting cast. I started sorting through what I had, looking for pieces that could fit, could be molded into something new and different. A trip to the hair salon provided a fun conversation with my hair stylist about what a newly graduated cosmetology student might be doing and the politics of working in a salon.


The pieces were coming together. Finally, I decided to set the story around one of my favorite activities: camping. Okay, maybe it’s more like glamping. I like a real bed.  But it is a great way to force a group of people to be close together for a period of time. There’s an element of stress, and even danger, since nature isn’t predictable.


Hopefully the end product looks smoothly finished and not MacGyvered together. But I don’t ever let the rough beginning or different looking pieces discourage me from pressing on with the story. And I think that’s a good lesson for life. What rough spots need a little creativity to bring them to life and smooth them out? Spend some time letting your inner MacGyver play.

My Thoughts

Over Her Head  is written by JL Crosswhite and is the third book in the In The Shadow series. This is my first exposure to this author. While I did not have any issues following along, I feel like this should be read as a series so you get the full picture of what is going on. This book does take on an issue that has been talked about the last few years. Human Trafficking. The author does a wonderful job handling it - but it is a difficult subject to read about. 

Jessica and Austin have been thrown together by mutual friends. They go on a singles' camping trip. They have a good friendship. They both have pasts, and they have each other to lean on for support.  However, on this trip they run into someone that needs their help. The book has a great mix of suspense and romance in it, and I had fun going along for the ride. The author has done a phenomenal job writing her scene descriptions, you feel like you are there watching everything unfold around you. Her characters are well written and well developed (which is why I am sad I did not read the other books in the series) 

I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program, all thoughts are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 19

For Him and My Family, July 20

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 21 (Author Interview)

The Sacred Line, July 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22

deb’s Book Review, July 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 24

Inklings and notions, July 25

CarpeDiem, July 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 29

My Journey Back the Journey Back, July 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 31

Cats in the Cradle Blog, July 31

Pause for Tales, August 1


To celebrate her tour, J.L. is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed 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.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway - Bentley and the Magic Sticks by Claire Eckard On Tour with IRead


Book Details:

Book Title:  Bentley and the Magic Sticks by Claire Eckard
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mill City Press, Inc
Release date:   April 2021
Format available for review:  print-hardback (USA), pdf
Tour dates: June 21 to July 16, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone.
Book Description:

Bentley and the Magic Sticks follows this extra-large canine as he finds out that his favorite sticks have magical powers, thanks to a wonderful Fairy Dogmother called Tia! Because other dogs are afraid of his large size Bentley has no one to play with. However, with his magic sticks he manages to make new friends and he also discovers the special secret of why he is so big.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ IndieBound
add to goodreads

add to bookbub
Author Claire Eckard
Meet the Author:

Claire Eckard is an animal lover and believes in volunteering to give back to her community, especially to the homeless animals that need to find their forever homes. Her animals often inspire her writing, weaving their way into the stories that she writes, blending reality and fiction to entertain, teach, enlighten, and share the joy that animals bring to our lives! Claire is an author, poet, songwriter, wife, mother and grandmother! She lives in Arizona, splitting her time between her home in Yuma, Arizona and her ranch in the mountains of Prescott. Claire has three dogs, eight horses, and a miniature mule!

connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~instagram ~ goodreads ~ bookbub

An Interview with award-winning author Claire Eckard.

What inspired you to write Bentley and the Magic Sticks?

I wrote Bentley and the Magic Sticks to honor a wonderful dog I had of the same name that I had adopted from our local shelter a few years ago. He’d had quite a rough life and it took me a long time to bring him back to health and discover what a wonderful character he was. He looked a little scary because he was so big, and it took a while for my other dogs to accept him, but once he was welcomed into the pack, he just became the coolest, kindest dog ever!

Do you have any other books about animals?

I do! In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to write about. I just had a new book released called Geribo, The Shelter Cat which tells the story of a cat exploring the shelter while he waits to be adopted. Through his eyes we learn of the inner workings of a community shelter, and how it takes a whole village of people to help a homeless animal find it’s forever home. I also have a Young Adult series coming out later this year called The Gallant Series, which is about the journey of two horses and two teenage characters set against a background of the sport of endurance riding. Each character grows and changes throughout the series as they experience the joys and challenges that endurance riding can bring.

What led you to becoming an author?

I have always loved to write. I write songs, poetry, books for young children, teenagers, and for adults. I’m so fortunate that my husband is supportive of my efforts as I am often sat at a computer typing away, or scribbling notes in a notepad which doesn’t make me the most interesting person to be around!  I have only recently been able to turn writing into more of a full-time effort as for many years I was working full-time and raising our children. I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to follow my dream of writing now.

Do you have a favorite character in the Bentley book, other than Bentley, of course?

Ooh. That’s a tough one. I really like Tia. In real life Tia belongs to my stepmother in England. I’ve never actually met her because COVID restricting travel and she’s only about a year and a half old. My stepmother sends me lots of pictures of her though, and she is very expressive and beautiful, so I thought she would make a wonderful Fairy Dogmother!

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your books?

I think the most surprising thing is how attached to my characters I get. They really do become real to me, and I think about how they would respond in certain situations, and how they would react to certain things. In my chapter books, such as The Gallant Series, I become extremely attached to them. I cry with them when something bad happens, and I celebrate when its something good. I think that’s the only way to become a good writer though. To immerse yourself in what you do and take the ride along with the characters you have created. 

My Thoughts:
Bentley and the Magic Sticks is written by Claire Eckard. This is a   Children's Fiction story that is geared toward ages 3 and up. I read this story with my 10 and 8 year old sons and we all enjoyed it very much.  This book is 38 pages long. We have an extra large puppy dog, Theodore Roosevelt aka Teddy. He is a German Shepherd and he is almost 8 months old. He is currently almost 90 lbs and stands over 5'5 tall when he stands on his hind legs. We compared Bentley to our Teddy since other dogs seem to scatter when they see him coming down the street and down the aisles when we take him to the pet store. Like Bentley, Teddy also has a stick collection, however his are not magical. 
The takeaway from this book that my boys discovered is that it is ok to be different - that we are all unique. That you also want to be nice to everyone, for you don't know what challenges they may be facing. My 8 year old son wishes that Teddy did have a fairy godmother so that he would stop jumping, but we are working on that. 
This book is well written, engaging, humorous and packed full of wisdom. The illustrations match the story beautifully. I highly recommend this to all children ages 3 and up. It was a great read. 
Tour Schedule:

June 21 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
June 22 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / author interview / giveaway
June 23 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
June 23 - @twilight_reader – book review
June 24 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
June 25 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
June 28 – The Bespectacled Mother – book spotlight
June 29 – Lisa Everyday Reads – book spotlight / guest post
June 30 – Laura's Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
June 30 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 1 – icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
July 2 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
July 6 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 7 – Reading is My Passion – book review
July 8 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
July 8 - Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 9 – Lisa's Reading – book spotlight / author interview
July 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
July 13 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / author interview / giveawayJuly 14 – Sandra's Book Club – book review
July 15 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 16 – Kam's Place – book review

Enter the Giveaway: