Blog Tour and Giveaway: Her Merriweather Hero

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About the Book

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Book: Her Merriweather Hero

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 27, 2020

He just wanted a place to rest and recuperate.

She only needed a repairman to help fix up her beach house.

For marine sergeant, Tyler Banner, nothing could be further from the memories of his time in Iraq than the slow, easy pace on Merriweather Island. Taking up a job as a physical trainer serves to keep him in shape while he enjoys a little downtime. Making friends with the local vet—veterinarian, that is—on his morning jog is just a bonus.

When Kendall’s sister tricked her into recruiting Tyler’s help one day, she didn’t fortify herself against a breach to her heart. Making friends with the marine was easy, but helping him overcome the PTSD that holds him captive isn’t. As she picks her way across a minefield of memories and horrors Tyler endured, Kendall begins to hope he could be the man she’s prayed for.

Falling in love wasn’t in Tyler’s orders, but a new deployment to Iraq is. How can he convince Kendall not to go AWOL when she hears? What can he do to convince her that they’ll make it… together?

This “Merriweather book” is the fourth in a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Her Merriweather Hero is the first book that I have read by Rachel Skatvold. While I didn’t completely love this book, I did enjoy it, and in some ways I wish I could have given it more attention that I was able to. However, I will say, if you are looking for a sweet, clean, beach read, this is the book for you!

I enjoyed revisiting Merriweather Island and we get to see more of Mallory Barrows in this installment, which I loved, plus there are mentions of Beth’s food truck too. I like it when books in a series, even if the installments are written by different authors, there are threads to the previous books. I also liked that we got to see the start of another one of the mobile businesses starting up, I’ve really enjoyed reading the origin stories of these businesses, and even the impact they have on various people on the islands.

Character-wise I liked all the characters. Kendall was a great character and I loved how we also get to know some of her quirks, especially those related to her job as a vet. I also liked Tyler, however I did find him slightly annoying in that he isn’t honest with her when he starts having spells of PTSD, instead he makes her think that he is no longer interested in pursuing a relationship with her, and there are other things that he takes his time revealing to her. However, he is a great match for her and he does truly care for her. I also loved how he does his best to take care of his sister and kids after her husband died.

Overall, I really liked this book, however there were a few character flaws that I personally didn’t like, but that could also have been due to the mood I was in when I read Her Merriweather Hero. However, I am very excited to read more installments in the Independence Islands series, and I do hope we get to revisit Kendall and Tyler later down the road. I’m also hoping to check out more of Rachel Skatvold’s books in the future! 3.5/5 Stars.

About the Author

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Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing inspirational romance and encouraging blogs. Rachel completed her first series, the Riley Family Legacy Novellas in 2014 and is now working on the Hart Ranch Series, set in the Montana wilderness and the Ladies of Ardena Series, set in medieval times. She is also a contributing author in the Whispers in Wyoming, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.

More from Rachel

Her Merriweather Hero has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding stories I have written. Often when I am starting a new book, I immerse myself in the world-building process, which involves a lot of research and notetaking. This time around, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Celebrate Lit and the authors in the Independence Islands Series to map out these beautiful island stories. It has been an exciting journey so far.

This story was inspired by my parents who met through letters while my dad was in the Marine Corps. They both came from different backgrounds, with my mom being from Massachusetts and my dad from a small town in Iowa, but their differences didn’t stop them from falling in love. For Her Merriweather Hero, I used themes of opposites attracting, New England, and the Marine Corps from my parent’s love story.

Kendall is a young veterinarian who moves to the Independence Islands with her sister to start a new mobile clinic. There, she meets Sergeant Tyler Banner who is on medical leave after a tour overseas. She tries to avoid Tyler at first, determined to concentrate on making her business a success, but over time she can’t ignore the handsome military guy who keeps ‘accidently’ crossing her path. It doesn’t help he lives a few doors down from her fixer-upper beach house. Can she continue to try to ignore him or is it true that opposites attract?

This romantic island tale is also inspired by the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 which describe God as our anchor. The characters feel tossed around by waves of difficulties at certain parts of the story, but He is always the anchor who keeps them secured.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Daysong Reflections, November 16

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

lakesidelivingsite, November 17

Inklings and notions, November 18

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 18

Joanne Markey, November 18

For Him and My Family, November 19

Emily Yager, November 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

deb’s Book Review, November 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 21

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 21

Artistic Nobody, November 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Rebecca Tews, November 22

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 23

The Cafe Scholar, November 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 24

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, November 25

She Lives To Read, November 25

Simple Harvst Reads, November 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Livin’ Lit, November 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 27

Rebekah Reads, November 27

Connect in Fiction, November 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 28

Life, Love, Writing, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 29

Batya’s Bits, November 29

Godly Book Reviews, November 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/103a0/her-merriweather-hero-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: The Ghost at Dawn’s House (The Baby-sitters Club #9) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Ghost at Dawn’s House by Ann M. Martin.

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It is nearing the end of summer and Dawn has just returned from a trip to California to visit her dad. With her mom working and her brother keeping to himself, Dawn discovers a secret passageway that connects her room to the barn on her house’s property. However, she starts to hear noises from the passageway and is convinced that there is a ghost hiding out there. Her suspicions seem to be confirmed when she starts to find “artifacts” in the tunnel. Not only is she trying to figure out what to do about the ghost, but other members of the Baby-Sitters Club find themselves faced with scared kids once news gets out about the ghost.

Eventually Dawn starts to have a hunch about who or what might be making noises in the passageway and tests her theory out. The ghost turns out to be Nicky Pike, who often wanders around the neighborhood, especially to get some time away from his seven siblings. Once the mystery is solved, Dawn decides to have some fun with her friends by not telling them about her recent discovery.

I enjoyed rereading this, it was a fun and also mysterious read that had a satisfactory ending. Even though it isn’t a part of the Baby-Sitters Club Mysteries series, it made me curious to revisit them. I also like how through the solving of this mystery we get to see some of the advantages and disadvantages of growing up in a big family. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Boy-Crazy Stacey (The Baby-Sitters Club #8) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Boy-Crazy Stacey by Ann M. Martin.

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Stacey and Mary Anne are headed to Sea City as mother’s helpers for the Pike family (the Pikes have eight kids!). Even though they will be babysitting for msot of the trip, both girls are excited to go. Things start out smoothly until Stacey meets a hunky 17 year old lifeguard and does everything she can to get his attention, even though it means neglecting her babysitting duties. Mary Anne tries to be patient, but also tries to talk some sense into Stacey, however she soon becomes fed up when she constantly left to do all the work herself.

Things eventually come to  a head when Stacey is left heartbroken after discovering that Scott, the lifeguard, has a girlfriend. But there is another boy closer to Stacey’s age who might be able to help her pick up the pieces of her broken heart. Meanwhile back in Stoneybrook, Kristy has a disaster while babysitting Karen and Andrew, her step-siblings, she gets preoccupied with an emergency with her dog that she doesn’t see them wash Watson’s car with steel wool instead of a sponge (!).

This is another isntallment in the series that I had not read before, mainly because I was never able to find it at the library or used bookstore as a kid.

I enjoyed it, I felt like there some important lessons that can be learned, namely the issues with being boy-crazy that can be caused. Also to beware of crushes that cause one to start alienating their friends.

I can see how some might be annoyed by Stacey’s actions, however they were very realistic as to how a 12/13 year old girls acts when they have a crush on someone…I mean I know I acted like that when I was in a similar situation.

I also liked that we got to see how Kristy is adjusting to life with her stepfamily and some of the shenanigans that Karen and Andrew get up to under Kristy’s care.

Overall, another great installment to this. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Claudia and the Mean Janine (The Baby-Sitters Club #7) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Claudia and the Mean Janine by Ann M. Martin.

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It;s the week after Kristy’s mom’s wedding and Kristy has a new idea for the club – a day camp for their regulars for several days in the morning. Claudia can’t wait to get started. However, after another argument with her older sister, Janine, and a disagreement with Mimi (her grandmother), Mimi has a stroke.

Claudia is wracked with guilt and feels like it is her fault that Mimi had the stroke, so she volunteers tos tay at home with her during the day and help her with the various verbal and physical exericses she has to do in order to recover from the effects of the stroke.

I liked this installment, however I also felt like the title was once again misleading because Claudia and Janine do not have a lot of fights, most of the time they just ignore each other. And as far as Janine being mean, she isn’t really – a lot of the times she is goaded by Claudia.

I apprciate how this tackles the topic of a close relative having a stroke and even the guilt that can sometime afflict the other family members. I did appreciate that Claudia and Mimi get to have a conversation in which Mimi reassures Claudua that the stroke was not her fault.

Whiel Claudia is taking care of Mimi, we also get snippets of how the other Baby-sitters Club members are getting along with the day camp. Overall, this was another good installment that tackles an issue that is important. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Kristy’s Big Day (The Baby-Sitters Club #6) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Kristy’s Big Day by Ann M. Martin.

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Kristy’s Big Day follows Kristy and the beginning of the summer and her mom and Watson  have finally set a date for their wedding in the Fall. However, when something comes up with Ms. Thomas’ job and a realtor finds a buyer for the house, the wedding is moved up to two and half weeks away at the end of June.

To add more stress to the situtation, various family members and friends descend on Stoneybrook to offer a helping hand, but they all have kids. However, Kristy and her mom come up with a plan to help keep the kids occupied – the Baby-sitters Club will babysit all 14 kids for 5 days while all the parents help with the preparations for the wedding.

Once again, I really enjoyed this installment in the series, especially since it covers the excitement and stress of a wedding. However, it also deals with the difficulty of having life drastically change – in Kristy’s case it both gaining a stepfather and having to move to a new house. I think this is one of the things I have been enjoying during my reread of the Baby-Sitters Club books – they are fun reads, but yet they deal with real issues that many kids face. 5/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Dawn and the Impossible Three (The Baby-sitters’ Club #5) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Dawn and the Impossible Three by Ann M. Martin.

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Dawn is amember of the Baby-sitters Club, but she still feels like an outsider, especially since the other four members each have an official position in the club. Also, Kristy is jealous of her blossoming friendship with Mary Anne, especially when Mary Anne tels her first – and enlists her help – that she is redecorating her room. Also, they continue to grow closer when Mary Anne’s dad and Dawn’s mom – who used to be high school sweethearts – start dating again.

In an effort to prove herself to Kristy, Dawn takes on a babysitting job for the Barretts. However, the Barretts are a handful and Mrs. Barrett constantly forgets to give her important information, including emergency number, and the house is always a mess! The children are not complete terrors, but Mrs. Barrett continuously calls on Dawn to babysit, mor so than is reasonable. Everything comes to a head when one of the Barrett children disappears and Dawn doesn’t know how to get a hold of Mrs. Barret, will this be her final time baby sitting the Barretts?

I liked this instalment in the Baby-sitters Club series, however the title is way more overdramatic than what actually ends up happening in the novel.

I also liked how throughout the novel we see how divorce can affect a family, especially in the early aftermath of one. We see how it can cause chaos, especially for a peresnt who used to stay at home, but now has to become the provider of the family. I also appreciate how we see Dawn making friends with the other members of the BSC, especially Kristy, who is usually jealous of her. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

First Line Friday #27 – The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

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“Everyone beleived Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear. It preyed on me the very morning the Impyreans viewed me in the corrals.” 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Secret Beach Boyfriend

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About the Book

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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!

My Thoughts

Secret Beach Boyfriend was an interesting read and did not immediately start where I thought it would. Although I did enjoy Annie and Rafe discovering that they had met each other many years ago and how they both never forgot about that day they spent together. I also enjoyed watching their renewed friendship blossom over the course of the novel.

The novel is an interesting exploration of love and learning to love again in various capacities, especially in a situation where love seems impossible, or there is a strong fear of betrayal. I also appreciated how the topic of mental illness is discussed without demonizing it, but the author also doesn’t shy away from showing the struggles that come with it. It was also interesting to see how OCD was depicted and how it really is as opposed to the general misconception that most people have about OCD.

As far as characters go, I really liked getting to know Rafe, especially sicne he cares a lot for his parents and is willing to do what he can to help them salvage their marriage. I also liked how he tried to reach out to Annie and attempts to try and get her to realize that love is possible and that not everyone leaves. Which leads me to Annie. While I liked certain aspects of her character and I could understand why she is apprehensive when it comes to love and relationships, it does strike me as odd that none of her friends, or her mother, would have had a serious discussion with her, especially since it causes her to have a sort of existential crisis. This also makes the twist near the end, while somewhat good, also cruel because it caused Annie so much turmoil throughout her life. The twist also seemed a little too convenient, and it was cleared up a bit too quickly. I personally feel like it should have been revealed maybe in the middle of the book, I don’t know. It works, but it also felt like things were gleaned over very quickly, which also made the ending seem a little rushed, but it was still sweet!

I also liked getting to know Pn amd I hope she gets her own book later on in the series! However, I was disappointed that Mallory or Beth didn’t make an appearance. I know the books are written by different authors, but I do wish there had been some more interaction with these characters since they do live on the same island as Rafe and Annie – their absence made it seem like this book was separate from the rest of the series, but then again that’s just me and my personal preference.

Throughout the book there were also several great quotes, two of my favorite ones were:

“People just didn’t love anymore when technology opened them up to new people and new experiences…and a fake but very real feeling of connectedness to people you’d never meet otherwise” (Location 909)

“I’m beginning to think secrets don’t help half as much as we think they will” (Location 2043).

Overall, Secret Beach Boyfriend was a good read, but the conflict seemed to be conveniently resolved. 3/5 Stars.

About the Author

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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

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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

First Line Friday #26 – A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

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“”What if Sir Isaac Newton;s parents had packed him off to school to reform his manners?” I smoothed my traveling skirts and risked a glance at my parents. They sat across from me, stone-faced and icy as the millpond in winter.” 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Mary Anne Saves the Day (The Baby-sitters’ Club #4) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann M. Martin.

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Mary Anne Saves the Day is told from Mary Anne Spier’s point of view (she is one of my favorite Baby-sitters Club character because I can relate to her a lot). During a meeting of the BSC a fight breaks out and the members aren’t talkign to each other. This is especially hard for Mary Anne, who has been best friends with Kristy since they were babies and she is very shy. However, she meets the new girl, Dawn Schaeer and she has a new friend. However, tensions continue to rise between the BSC members, especially when Claudia gets jealous of how close Mary Anne is close to her grandmother, Mimi. The club continues to keep going although the members don’t interact with each other.

In addition to the drama wigh the Baby-sitters Club, Mary Anne decides to talk to her father about being a little less strict on her. She finally proves herself to be mature and responsible when one of her babysitting charges has a high fever and Mary Anne has to spring into action and try to save her.

I really liked this book, I enjoyed getting to know Mary Anne more, however I didn’t like that the BSC was fighting throughout the whole novel. However, I did like that it caused Mary Anneto come into her own, and in some ways this is her coming of age story.

I also enjoyed seeing Dawn being introduced into the series because she is another one of my favorite characters in the series. I also loved watching her friendship with Mary Anne start. Overall, this was a good addition to the series and I enjoyed rereading it. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Truth About Stacey (The Baby-sitters Club #3) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone!

Today’s review is on The Truth About Stacey by Ann M. Martin.

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The Truth About Stacey is told from Stacey McGill’s point of view and follows her as she continues to adjust to life in Stoneybrook, Connecticut . One thing about Stacey that makes her different from the other members of the Baby Sitters Club is that she has diabetes.

Most of the book is centered on her and her parents’ obsession with trying to find a cure for her Diabetes. Stacey however just wants to live her life as best she can while managing her diabetes. She also enjoys getting to know the other girls in the club better, especially after she was ostracized by her former friends in New York. However, on a trip to New York to meet yet another doctor, Stacey has a chance to repair her friendship with her former best friend, Laine.

While this is going onm the Baby-sitters Club is faced with competitioon from a group of 8th graders calling themselves the Baby-sitters Agency. Once the BSC starts losing clients, they know they need to do something to step up their game.

This was a quick trip down memory lane and it was interesting to see how over 30 years ago (this book was published in 1986/1987), not much was known about diabetes, at least not as uch as we know today. I also enjoyed reading from Stacey’s perspective because she is slightly more complex than Claudia, and she is also kinder in how she thinks about Kristy and Mary Anne, even though she sees them as “immature”, unlike Claudia who was kind of down right mean about them.

I also liked hwo the Baby-sitters Club stood up to the Baby-sitters Agency and “fought” fairly to save their business, unlike their competitors. I’ve been enjoying my reread through the series! 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Summer Before (The Baby-sitters Club #0) by Ann M. Martin

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin.

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The Summer Before is set the summer befre Kristy has her idea for the Baby-sitters Club. We follow each of the characters on their journey throughout the summer.

For Kristy, she is hoping that her estranged father will come back and is disappointed when he doesn’t. She is also opposed to the fact that her mom is seeing someone else. Mary Anne finally gets her dad’s permission to start babysitting, which she is ecstatic about. Claudia feels ike she is growing apart from Kristy and Mary Anne, and she experiences love for the first time. And we also drop in on Stacey, who is getting ready to move from New York City to Stoneybrook, Connecticut. She is also adjussting to being diagnosed with diabetes and being ostracized by her former best friend.

I am going to be honest…while I do like the Baby-Sitters Club series, I personally feel like this book was a let down. It just seemed unnecessary, and there were a few incosistencies that we are given about these characters compared to what we are told in the first four books of the actual series.

Overall, it’s okay, but it isn’t necessary to read. I personally would tghink that it is best to skip this one and just jump into the series. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Scrumptious Independence

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About the Book

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“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

And so is Beth’s cooking! It’s a good thing, too. After a lifetime of her family’s smothering embrace, a whole new world opens to her with the passing of her beloved grandmother.

Armed with an inheritance she never expected and orders on how to use it, Beth sets off for Merriweather Island and fulfillment of a lifetime of dreams.

Or so she hopes.

What she didn’t hope for was what most women would—a man who fills her thoughts at the most wonderfully unwelcome times. She doesn’t have time or space for a relationship, but how do you tell love to just go away?

Of course, starting over in a new place is never easy, especially as an outsider in a small community. Add to that a mayor who has her dander up and a woman bound to make her life miserable, is it any wonder that Beth begins to doubt God’s and Gram’s plans?

With her heart betraying her resolve and challenges to her faith, Beth finds it takes bravery she didn’t know she had to discover just how scrumptious independence can be.

This “Merriweather book” is the second 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 purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Melissa Wardwell is a new-to-me author, and I think I can honestly say that after having read Scrumptious Independence, she has become a new favorite!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this next installment in the Independence Islands series, but I really enjoyed it, and it is definitely a great, clean beach read.

I enjoyed getting to know Beth, as she comes to terms with what her grandmother did for her, and trying to find independence from her parents, especially her mother who can very suffocating. Thankfully, Gram made her sole heir with the intention that Beth follow through on her dream and open her own food truck and cook to her heart’s content. However, as with almost every new business, we see Beth go through the up and downs of trying to get customers, as well as having to deal with gossip spread by some of the residents on the islands.

I also enjoyed getting to know Scott and how he tries to be a friend to Beth when she needs one the most. He even tries to protect her when he hears of some plans to run her off the island. What I liked most about Scott was that he had a strong faith, and he still pursued Beth even when she tried to push him away.

The villain of this story was so dastardly and I will say it was satisfying to see how that part of the story concludes, however, it was wrapped up very quickly and a lot of the action had a lot of background. I would have loved to see the scene when we see the villain confronted once and for all.

Overall, I really enjoyed Scrumptious Independence! It was a great addition to the Independence Islands series, and it was a great introduction to Melissa Wardwell’s writing, I definitely need to check out more of her work in the future! 4.5/5 Stars.

About the Author

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Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls.

Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.

Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

“Lord, I don’t know how I can keep doing this.”

That was my prayer one evening in 2019 as I made my way to praise practice. I knew that writing was something God had called me to (because He never seems to call you to do something you enjoy) but the finances were just not there to publish another book. I felt lost in the uncertainty of the path moving forward and I needed a light. I had just shared all my concerns with my parents and left with my dad’s words ringing in my head. Are you writing to gain notoriety or are you writing for God?

The next morning, CelebrateLit had a post looking for submissions for a new and innovative series. Hope burst within me and I know I needed more information. I followed instructions and spoke with Sandy Barela and Chautona Havig. The more I was told, the more excited I became because I knew I needed to be part of this collection.

Ideas were hatched, characters began to talk, and a book proposal was sent. I continued to work on the development of characters and the mobile business knowing in my heart that God had given me this opportunity. I wouldn’t do things halfway. And when the confirmation email came, I was ready to share the beautiful story and characters that developed.

Beth is a food truck proprietor, so that means she spends most of her time cooking. In an effort to grow her recipes, I have been making videos of me cooking some of our family’s favorites as well as raiding my mom’s recipe box. The result is some amazing food to share.

Every book, pre-order card, and my YouTube channel has recipes on it. And so will this tour.

With it being summertime, our family doesn’t want those heavy meals so sometimes chips and sandwiches are all we need in the evenings. One favorite is my chicken salad.

Now, this recipe is easily substituted with other things like however, you like your chicken.

Melissa’s Chicken Salad

Feeds 4 (unless you have big eaters.)

2 cans of chicken (you can use cooked but this is quick and easy

1/2 cup of red grapes – halved

1/2 cup celery – diced

Make sure you rinse all of this well as you prep the salad

Dressing

1 1/2 cup of miracle whip (you can use mayo)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

Mix everything together and serve on your favorite bread option or on a bed of lettuce. I like mine in a pita pocket or on lettuce. This time it was with a pita pocket with a side of lightly salted chips and a pickle.

Now, just a little side note, you can add what ever veggie or fruit you like. Apples and cucumbers would be a great addition as well. So, don’t feel like you have to do things exactly like I do. Make it your own.

Bon appétit

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 21

Soulfully Romantic, September 21

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 21

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22

Texas Book-aholic, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 22

For Him and My Family, September 23

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Artistic Nobody, September 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

She Lives To Read, September 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 25

Quiet Workings, September 25

21st Century Keeper at Home, September 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , September 26

Older & Smarter?, September 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 26

Blogging With Carol, September 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 27

Batya’s Bits, September 27

Emily Yager, September 28

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 28

Stories By Gina, September 28

Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 28

CarpeDiem, September 29

Christian Bookaholic, September 29

Cultivating Us, September 29

Aryn the Libraryan, September 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30

Connect in Fiction, October 1

The Collaborative Press, October 1

Livin’ Lit, October 1

Simple Harvest Reads, October 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meaderings of a Bookworm, October 2

Godly Book Reviews, October 2

Joanne Markey, October 3

Captive Dreams Window, October 3

Vicky Sluiter, October 3

Blossoms and Blessings, October 4

Splashes of Joy, October 4

Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway

Scrumptious4

To celebrate her tour, Melissa 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/10105/scrumptious-independence-celebration-tour-giveaway

First Line Friday #21 – The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith 

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“On the first day of September, the world went dark. But from where she stood in the blackness, her back pressed against the brassy wall of an elevator, Lucy Patterson had no way of knowing the scope of it yet.” 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan.

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The Girls of Atomic City has been on my radar ever since I read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore almost two years ago. Even though it took me a while to pick this one up, I’m glad I finally did!

The Girls of Atomic City is a non-fiction book that follows the lives of several women who worked and lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during World War II. Oak Ridge was a secret government reservation where research and manufacturing of uranium was done for the Manhattan Project. Those who lived and worked at Oak Ridge knew very little about what they were doing, some know more than others, but they were not allowed to talk about it for fear that there were spies among them who might get confidential information and pass it along to the enemy. While there were men that worked there, there were a lot more women due to the fact that many men had been sent to fight in the war. This book follows the lives of the people of Oak Ridge and how almost everything they did was a secret, how they were willing to do what the could to help end the war and the shocking discovery of what they had been working on after the bombing of Hiroshima.

I enjoyed The Girls of Atomic City, I found it fascinating to learn more about one facet of the Manhattan Project and just how it affected the lives of those who worked on it. It was interesting to see how secretive everything was and just the effect it had on the people of Oak Ridge, especially marriages were the husbands were not allowed to share anything with their wives, and the wives struggle to trust that they are not being unfaithful.

While the book mostly follows what happened at Oak Ridge, Denise Kiernan also provides information about the various discoveries that were made regarding uranium, fission and atomic energy, as well as the women who helped with those discoveries.

Kiernan does a good job of discussing a topic that is controversial from a neutral point of view, but it is still compelling! There are times when the book slows down, but the payoff is worth it!

The Girls of Atomic City is non-fiction, but it is part scientific, part thriller, part mystery and even slightly part horror, however it provides the story of the women who’s only goal was to help bring the war to an end even if they didn’t know what exactly they were doing, or how their jobs contributed to the overall Manhattan Project. I recommend this for those who enjoyed Kate Moore’s Radium Girls, as well as those who are interested in World War II history and those who wish to learn more about the Manhattan Project.

I loved reading the story of these real-life women and I hope to visit Oak Ridge sometime and to learn more about life there. 5/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

 

 

 

First Line Friday #20 – Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

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“Miri woke to the sleepy bleating of a goat. The world was as dark as eyes closed, but perhaps the goats could smell dawn seeping through the cracks in the house’s stone walls.” 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

First Line Friday #17 – Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell

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“Miss Sweeney disappeared on the first day of March, and icy Thursday morning of gloves and boots and veneers of diamondy frost on the windows of Sacred Heart High School. Her classroom was not bathed in the stark yellow glow of school-issued lightbulbs; the only light came from the windows, and it was morning-soft gray and gave the classroom a surprising bedroom coziness.” 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Dual Power of Convenience

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About the Book

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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!

My Thoughts

Dual Power of Convenience was an interestign read. It is slightly different from some of Chautona Havig’s other works, but you know what, I liked that this was a book that you could take to the beach and read (which is kind of the point of this series).

I enjoyed getting to read more about Mallory – who was introduced in Christmas on Breakers Point – and seeing how she is getting along with her mobile book store. I loved how she befriended Lyla and was willing to give her advice when she needed it, even if she didn’t necessarily ask for it.

I also liked getting to know Lyla over the course of the novel, however even though we get brief details about what happened in her past, I really wish we had been given more details…but that’s just me, I like knowing all the details of a character’s past especially if it affects how they treat others. But again, I did enjoy getting to know her and even watch her grow throughout the novel, even with her troubled past.

Richard was also a great character, but there were times he could have had more gumption and ask some of the hard questions he should have asked especially when it comes to whether or not she is a Christian…that’s an important question that shouldn’t really be avoided…but again, that’s probably just me. But he was great and I loved how sympathetic he was of Lyla, even when she seemed to want nothing to do with him. I also loved watching their friendship blossom.

Overall, Chautona Havig once again provides an interesting concept and makes it work. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a fun beach read with a hint of seriousness. This is a perfect feel good book that has characters that readers will root for throughout the whole book! 4/5 Stars.

Thank you to the author and CelebrateLit for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author

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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 podcast. The 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.

*insert hands rubbing together in fiendish delight*

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

Dualpower4

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

 

First Line Friday #15 – Ink, Iron and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

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“Elsa crouched beside the tide pool, the hem of her skirt gathered over her arm to keep it off the algae-slick rocks. A new species of starfish had emerged, but whether it would persist in the world or not was an open question.” 

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Tempting Tait

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About the Book

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Book: Tempting Tait

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: July 30, 2020

 

He chose to be a dad before he realized he’d need a wife, too.

When Tait took in an abandoned girl, he had no idea it would change his life.

Tait Stedtmann–accountant, fledgling do-it-yourselfer, and all-around nice guy. He’d been more than a little interested in Bentley Girard and had finally worked up the courage to ask her out. That was before that fateful day at the rest stop when he saw a girl shoved from a car and abandoned there.

She’s not like any girl he’s ever met, and now she’s given him an ultimatum. Adopt her baby, or she’ll abort it.

Eden doesn’t think he’ll do it. She can have the abortion and move on with her life–far away from these creepy Christians in Fairbury. But when Tait agrees, she finds herself keeping her word… and the pregnancy.

Nine months later, Tait is wracked by guilt as relief sets in when Eden leaves and terrified as he decides he can’t do this daddy thing alone. Bentley figured out how to make marriage happen for her.

Would she help him, find someone, too?

Tempting Tait is the second in the Marriages of Conviction series.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

I was a little bit skeptical about picking up Tempting Tait because I really loved Blessing Bentley and I wasn’t sure if there was a way that it could be topped. However, I was proved wrong. I loved Tempting Tait, in fact it’s probably knocked Blessing Bentley out of the top spot of one of my favorite Chautona Havig books, as well as favorite Christian fiction book!

I enjoyed the premise of the story which tackled a topic that is prevalent in the society, and was convicting to read for someone who is pro-life, however, in true Chautona Havig form, it tackles this serious issue in a light-hearted way…or rather it was infused with light-heartedness that while the story is convicting, it is still a fun read.

Tempting Tait is almsot like reading two books. The first half deals with Tait as he tries to save an unborn baby’s life by agreeing to adopt her. We also see how Tait tries to be an example to the baby’s birth mom, even though she wants no part of anything to do with Christianity. The second half of the book follows Tait as the father of a newborn and realizing that he can’t do it on his own and he needs a wife. And he enlists the help of Bentley to help him find a wife – who, in my hoenst opinion, even though they didn’t get together under “normal circumstances”, is perfect for Tait.  Will his search be successful? You’ll have to see for yourself.

Tempting Tait was entertaining, thought-provoking and humorous all at the same time. There were some great one-liners in it, especially towards the end of the book. It was a beautiful story that deserves to be read by many. And all I can say is that I am  looking forward to reading the last book in the series, Charming Chloe, when it comes out next year! 5/5 Stars.

About the Author

temptingtait3

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

 

 

 

More from Chautona

How One Man Turns A Mess into a Miracle

It’s been ten… maybe fifteen years since Eden Pohl waltzed into my brain and settled in. Despite my focused attention on other books, her taunts never strayed far from my hearing.

If you really believed what you say about abortion, you’d tell my story.

You just don’t want to have to write the messy stuff.

Ouch. Worst of all, she was wrong. And she wasn’t.

I don’t mind attacking the hard things when it’s the right time, but I only had half a story. I knew what would not happen but not what would.

So, she languished there in what is probably the longest pregnancy in fiction.

After my friend, Sandy, killed my dreams of combining Tait and Bentley’s stories and added Tait’s (and therefore Eden’s) into a series, things clicked. Duh. Tait would need a wife. Being a single parent is hard. It isn’t how God designed things, you know? We’re supposed to have help. A spouse, extended family, the church.

But sometimes things don’t work in this fallen world. Sometimes we find ourselves parents—even by choice—without the daily support of another parent. Not only that, sometimes our own parents aren’t in a position to be able to help. Age, illness, or distance can remove us from the God-given networks we should have and don’t.

Finally, our decisions sometimes cause us to isolate ourselves even from God’s family, and the result can mean we don’t have that help that we otherwise would.

One verse came to mind over and over when I planned out the rest of Tait’s story.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Sometimes the words tried to transform themselves into, “It is not good for a father to be alone, so God will find him a helper parent suitable…”

And I had to silence that voice.

First, because we don’t just change Scripture to suit our purpose. Or rather, we shouldn’t.

Second, because that’s even more out of order than having a baby before marriage. It happens sometimes—sometimes by choice, as in Tait’s situation. However, the healthiest marriage will usually put a strong emphasis on the marriage relationship first (after the Lord, of course) and then focus on the children. Why? Because it is best for the children if their parents are in unity. Children find security and strength in knowing their parents love and are committed to each other.

So many times, I started to put that emphasis in the wrong place struggled to get it right. Then one day I realized that this was the very thing I needed to do. Show that struggle. I needed to show that Tait’s focus was wrong—that he created problems he could have avoided simply by being a good daddy… but also by being an even better husband.

I hope you’ll enjoy Tait’s story, and I pray that his heart for the unborn will touch your life in a real and tangible way.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, July 29

Godly Book Reviews, July 29

Among the Reads, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 30

Texas Book-aholic, July 31

Book of Ruth Ann, July 31

Inklings and notions, August 1

Cultivating Us, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 2

Read Review Rejoice, August 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 3

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 4

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 4

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, August 5

deb’s Book Review, August 5

Older & Smarter?, August 6

Back Porch Reads, August 6

Through the Fire blogs, August 7

Daysong Reflections, August 8

Pause for Tales, August 8

She Lives To Read, August 9

Spoken from the Heart, August 9

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 10

Lots of Helpers, August 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of Tempting Tait and an original watercolor of “Tait’s Wedding”!!

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/fe37/tempting-tait-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

First Line Fridays #14 – Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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“The boy and the girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they’d ever seen the True Sea. They were the vessels of stories, magic ships with masts hewn from sweet cedar and sails spun by maidens from thread of pure gold. Their crews were white mice who sang songs and scrubbed the decks with their pink tails.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1) by Meg Cabot

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

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The Princess Diaries movies were a favorite of mine as a kid, and I remember when started reading the book in about 5th grade and being excited to finally read it… and if I remember correctly, there were several of us in the class who were reading it at the same time.

Before Is tart this review, I think it is important to note that there are some huge differences between the book and the movie, but both are good in their own way.

The Princess Diaries follows high school freshman, Mia Thermopolis, who feels like a freak and is failing Algebra. Then her father, who is a diplomat in the small (fictional) country of Genovia, drops a bombshell, not only is he a prince, but Mia is a princess! Her life just got turned upside down. She now has to take princess lessons with her Grandmere (who is not as sweet and kind as in the movie!) and hopefully keep a low-profile about the whole princess thing. But then the story is leaked to the press and now everyone knows about her royalty status, but on the plus side her crush, Josh Richter, is paying her some attention.

I did like this book, it was a fun read, however it is very different from the movie. I feel like Mia is more overdramatic, but again we are actually reading her diary! I do not have much say except that it was a fun read. However, I do want to note several differences between the book and the movie:

  1. In the book Mia lives in New York, whereas in the movie she lives in San Francisco.
  2. Her dad is still alive in the books.
  3. Her mother dates her Algebra teacher, whereas in the movie it is her Debate teacher.
  4. Grandmere is awful in the books, however she is very endearing in the movie (especially since she is played by the amazing Julie Andrews!).

There are probably other major differences that I have mised, but these seem to be the main ones. I’m looking forward to continuing my reread of The Princess Diaries series in the days to come. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Mini-Reviews #8

 

Snug by Catana Chetwynd 

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My husband and I are huge fans of Catana Comics, and when we were dating we would send them to each other. This collection contains some favorites and her more well-known comics, as well as some previously unseen one (I think!). I highly recommend this collection to everyone, especially for fans of Catana comics. 5/5 Stars.

The Promised Neverland Volume 1 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu 

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This was an interesting and creepy introduction to this series. I honestly had no idea what to expect. I know from how Emma and Gracefield House are introduced that something bad was going to happen, I just never would have guessed it was a farm that produced Children so that their brains could be harvested for these weird demon-like creatures. 5/5 Stars.

The Promised Neverland, Volume 2 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu 

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This volume shows Emma, Norman and Ray plotting their escape from Gracefield, however they suspect there is a spy amongst the other children since “Mom” seems to be one step ahead of them. However, the reveal of the spy was not who I was expecting and was shocking! 5/5 Stars.

The Promised Neverland, Volume 3 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu 

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Emma and her friends discover a possible secret to the outside world. Also, Sister Krone offers to help them, even if it is for self-serving purposes. They get important information from her. However, her stay at Gracefield is short-lived once “Mom” no longer needs her. “Mom” also double crosses the spy and goes after Norman and Emma, who are trying to scout out what is beyonf the wall. However, thier plan is foiled and this volume ends on a cliffhanger. 5/5 Stars.

The Prince of Tennis, Volume 1 by Takeshi Konomi 

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I was curious to check this out because the title intrigued me. It was alright. It’s all about tennis, that’s pretty much all you need to know. I might read the enxt volume in the series, I might not. It was pretty average, but I’m still curious to see what happens next. 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.