Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Elnora Monet Release Week Fun!

 

The Elnora Monet is here! I can't fully express how excited I've been about this new book. To celebrate, all the authors in the Independence Islands Series are sharing our favorite thing to create. So, today I'll be talking about mine, and sharing a little about the new book. Also, please don't forget to enter in the giveaway below, and follow the other authors' blog posts this week for more opportunities to win!

Ever since writing Kendall's story in Her Merriweather Hero, I've been looking forward to sharing about her younger sister. As a writer, it was a challenge creating a character so different from myself. However, in the end, it was fun capturing Carly's outspoken and spontaneous personality. She is a unique character who makes plenty of mistakes, but also has big comebacks. After finding salvation in book one, she is more than ready to discover God's purpose for her future.

When a house call to treat a rich angora cat, leads to meeting a French billionaire, Carly finds him arrogant and moody. However, her curiosity is piqued after discovering an abandoned art studio in Jean-Luc Belshaw's mansion. Seeing the landscape paintings, similar to the style of Monet, reminds Carly of her passion for art.

Art is one of the main themes of The Elnora Monet, because it has always been a passion of mine. Although I haven't painted in years, I still enjoy admiring art in museums. Works by Claude Monet are some of my favorites because of his talent for capturing the changing light. However, there are many different ways to create art, besides painting.


So, what is my favorite thing to create? It's hard to choose just one because I enjoy several different hobbies. Sewing, quilting, making pottery, graphic design, and singing are some of my favorites. However, I'd have to say my top choice is writing. It has been something I've been passionate about since childhood, when I'd create little picture books about my pets. Now as an adult, my love for writing has continued to grow, and creating an inspirational message within my stories is an important aspect of my craft as well. Until recently, I didn't think of it as an art, but now I know differently. While Carly and Luc create beautiful brushstrokes on a canvas, writers create art with words and phrases that paint a vibrant picture in the minds of readers.

What is your favorite thing to create? Please tell me in the comments. 💗


A little more about the book...


Islanders call him the Elnora Monet.

Is that island speak for “pompous, arrogant jerk?”

When Carly Mulligan volunteered to make house calls on Elnora, she never imagined treating the richest cat on the islands. What other feline has his own wing in a mansion like the Belshaw Estate?

After a wrong turn in the mansion, Carly stumbles across a secret room—one filled with incredible paintings. Perhaps there’s something more to the man than she first thought.

Most people envy Jean-Luc Belshaw’s position. The heir to a lucrative business and family fortune, he should have everything he could dream of.

But Luc dreams of days past. Days when he traveled the world with his wife and painted the breathings of his soul disappeared with Angeline’s passing.  Faith and inspiration gone, he wonders if returning to France to take his place in his father’s business is the right thing to do.

Carly has a few relational demons of her own, and she’s reluctant to trust him, but Luc’s paintings draw her in even as his story touches a long-empty place in her heart.

Only God can transform two broken pasts into a work of art.

Click Here to Purchase on Amazon

The Elnora Monet continues 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.


***Giveaway Below!***


Please follow the rest of the blog posts this week for more chances to win!

Rachel Skatvold - April 27 Tabitha Bouldin - April 28 Carolyn Miller - April 29 Chautona Havig - April 30 Melissa Wardwell - May 1 Kari Trumbo - May 2 Sandy Barela - May 3

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Matchmakers Best Friend Release Fun

Matchmaker's Best Friend by Kari Trumbo releases this week! To celebrate, the authors in the Independence Islands Series are sharing our favorite part of a wedding. Continue reading this post to discover my favorite part and learn more about Kari's new release! Also, don't forget to enter in the giveaway and follow the blog stops all week for more chances to win. 



My Favorite Part About a Wedding:

Being a hopeless romantic, I have always loved weddings. It is hard for me to choose my favorite part, because I love all of it. However, I've chosen one part very high on my list.

My sister was married last summer and I had the privilege of being the maid of honor. Where I was standing provided the perfect view. Not only to see my beautiful sister walk down the aisle, but of her future husband. Seeing how he looked at her with so much love and joy in his eyes was heartwarming. I had a difficult time holding my emotions together and many happy tears were shed while watching my sister start her happily-ever-after. I'll never forget the special moment.

About the Book:


You’re just like a brother to me. I don’t like you in that way.”

When they dated ten years ago as teens, it almost destroyed their friendship. So Pen Reese did the only logical thing.  She lied about how she felt—and still feels—about him.

She’s still paying for that lie.

A brilliant plan to set Mike and a friend up and get over him has one problem.

It’s breaking her heart.

When Pen pushed him away, Mike Gaines assumed she just didn’t understand his faith. People like her persnickety aunt even claim he’s part of a cult—ridiculous, but it’s true. Still, if she wants him to play the part of a big brother, fine. At least he can stay close this way.

At first, Pen’s attempt to set him up with one of her close friends hurts. But what if it’s the perfect opportunity to show her what she’s missing if she sees him with someone else?

In this friends-to-more-meets-second-chance romance, The Matchmaker’s Best Friend continues 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.



Giveaway:



Blog Tour:

Kari Trumbo - March 29th

Rachel Skatvold - March 30th

Tabitha Bouldin - March 31st
Carolyn Miller - April 1st
Chautona Havig - April 2nd
Melissa Wardwell - April 3rd
Celebrate Lit - April 4th

Friday, February 19, 2021

Heart Pressed Release Fun!

It's time for a new book in the Independence Islands Series! Are you ready? I know I am...especially with all the cold weather we've been having in the Midwest. It will be nice to read a story set on an island with warm weather. This week, to celebrate the release of Heart Pressed by Melissa Wardwell, we'll be sharing our best cookie recipes.  Don't forget to enter in the giveaway below and follow the rest of the tour for more chances to win! 



I love classic chocolate chip cookies. It reminds me of my childhood making cookies with my mom. Here's my favorite recipe. The cookies have a nice combination of chewy and a little crispy on the outside. Sometimes it's fun to replace the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips or do half and half. Yum! Enjoy!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

2 cups chocolate chips or peanut butter chips

 

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls before combining. For a fluffier cookie, refrigerate dough for half an hour before baking.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.


A Little More About Heart Pressed...



Crushes are great for grapes, wine, and romance—not so great for hearts.

The Sweetheart Festival, an Elnora Island institution, has sparked more than a few romances over the years, but who would have thought it would light a fire in two hearts from two of the island’s oldest families. When Amara Martin and Dante Greco meet, sparks fly that may ignite more than romance.

Two wineries, old feuds, generations of traditions.

Seeing the attraction at Amara and Dante’s chance meeting, Beth Stevens and Scott Anderson join forces to do a little matchmaking, not realizing the pressure it would bring to both households and their own hearts. The new couple must decide if they will adhere to tradition or break free from expectations and choose love. Pressure on every side threatens a love that hasn’t yet had a chance to ripen—for both Amara and Dante as well as for Beth and Scott.

In this “forbidden love” novel, Heart Pressed continues 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.



Order Heart Pressed on Amazon Here!


Follow the Tour!

Before you go, Be sure you check out the other posts from the author’s and enter their giveaways:
Melissa Wardwell – Feb 23
Kari Trumbo – Feb. 24
Rachel Skatvold – Feb. 25
Tabitha Bouldin – Feb. 26
Carolyn Miller – Feb 27
Chautona Havig – Feb. 28
Sandra Barela (Celebrate Lit) - March 1


Enter in the Giveaway!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Bookers on the Rocks Release Week Fun

The release for Bookers on the Rocks by Chautona Havig is this week! To celebrate, all the authors in the Independence Islands Series thought it would be fun to share some of our best marriage advice. Read mine below and don't forget to check out the other posts in the blog tour! Please enter in the giveaways, too! 



What Canoeing Taught Me About Marriage...

Of all places to learn something new about my marriage, I never thought it would be on a Niangua River canoe trip. 

About four years ago, when my sister invited us to go on a camping and canoe trip with her family in the Ozarks, I was excited for a fun weekend getaway. My oldest, then about six was thrilled about the prospect of a canoe ride while my youngest, about three and scared of water, wasn't enthused at all. However, after a while he calmed down and fell asleep in the canoe, but that's another story.

I sat in the front, while my husband sat in the back, with the kids in the middle. Not canoeing for several years, we were in for quite a learning curve. At first we were all over the river, trying to stay in a straight line. We were actually working against each other without realizing it.

When we reached the rapids, I would see an obstacle and try paddling as much as I could to avoid it and thinking my husband saw the obstacle too, but my paddles had little impact in the front of the canoe. As a result we'd end up going sideways or end up stuck on a rock. It didn't take long for us to become frustrated with each other. It wasn't until we started communicating that we were able to keep the canoe straight. I had the best view from the front, so when an obstacle came, it was my job to tell my husband in the back so he could make the wide turn to avoid it. At the end of our trip, I couldn't help thinking canoeing was almost like marriage counseling. We had to learn to communicate effectively to make it down the river successfully.

Being an introvert, communicating has never been my strong suit, however in a marriage it's vital. I used to keep my concerns bottled up inside, afraid of causing an argument or undue stress on my spouse. However, I learned talking to my husband about things helped our marriage to bloom. The crazy thing is, there is always something new to learn about him, even though we've been married for thirteen years. Talking things out, even if I'm worried it might cause a disagreement is worth it, because we learn more about each other and as a result our relationship becomes deeper and stronger. Communication really is one of the keys to a happy marriage...and occasionally maybe a weekend canoe trip. 😀

A little more about Bookers on the Rocks...

Click Here to Purchase on Amazon!

If it ain’t broke, why’s she so intent on fixing it?

Tessa Booker hates romance.

For twenty-five years, Tessa Booker has insisted that romance is something Hollywood cooked up to sell books and movies. Yes, she knows the word existed before movies.  She doesn’t care. That’s her story, and she’s sticking to it.

So when Ross gets a gentle nudge from Mallory Barrows to look into what Tessa’s doing every day while he’s at work, he discovers a romance in the works–one that sounds a little too “ripped from the pages” of his life!

Who is this woman, and what has she done with his wife? 

Armed with advice from 101 Ways to Romance Your Wife and a copy of the manuscript he printed while she was napping, he’s determined to figure out what’s up with his wife… and if maybe a little romance wouldn’t be a good thing after all.

In a twist of the “on the rocks trope,” this book introduces the next island in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

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




Giveaway!





Follow the Tour for More Chances to Win.

Chautona Havig – Jan 26

Melissa Wardwell – Jan 27

Kari Trumbo – Jan 28

Rachel Skatvold – Jan 29

Tabitha Bouldin – Jan 30

Carolyn Miller – Jan 31

Sandy Barela – Feb 1











Friday, December 11, 2020

Restoring Fairhaven Release Week Fun

It's release week for Restoring Fairhaven, book six in the Independence Islands Series. To celebrate with author, Carolyn Miller, we thought we'd have a garden party, showing off our own gardens, sharing gardening tips and more. Today, I'll be sharing a little about low maintenance gardening with children. Look at my pictures and post below. Also, don't forget to read more about Restoring Fairhaven and sign up for the giveaway! :)    



Around my house, we have lots going on all time. When I'm not busy writing or homeschooling, there is always some project to work on. However, we still love having pretty flowers around our house and my kids love to help plant and water them. For us, the best flowers are perennials or hardy annuals that don't constant maintenance. Today, I'd like to talk about some of my favorite flowers to have in our flowerbeds and planters. 

My 3 Favorite Annuals...

1. Begonias


These are pretty flowers, coming in dark pink and white. I love how they really fill out a planter and last all spring and summer. I also enjoy their dark green leaves. They make a nice addition to my rock garden when planted in pots.

2. Petunias


These are not quite as hardy, but so beautiful with big blooms! There are many different colors, but for this particular year, my youngest picked these pretty pink ones out for me. They last until about mid summer and then start dying off a little. They do need a little shade too. 

3. Marigolds


I love how vibrant these flowers are all season long. This year, mine lasted until late October. They love sun and I've also heard they help keep away insects, because of their smell.

Perennials...

Along with the bright and easy to care for annuals, we also love perennials that some back every year. For mother's day this year, my husband and kids made me a new flowerbed and these are some of the perennials we chose. 

1. Salvia

These are by far my favorite. I love their rich purple color and they come back bigger every year. 

2. Graffiti


This was our first year trying these. Their magenta blooms are very pretty, but unfortunately, they were overtaken by some other flowers in our garden and didn't thrive as much as I thought. I hope they return next year. 

3. Lantana


These were the rock stars of our garden this year. We bought this color and some pink ones. They are a bushy plant and very hardy. I'm excited to see them return in the spring. 

4. Wildflowers


My husband wanted to try some wildflower seeds this year and I was surprised at how beautiful they turned out. However, I wouldn't recommend having them in a flowerbed with smaller plants. By summertime they overtook most of the garden. I think we'll still plant them, next year, but in a different area of our property.

Thanks so much for participating in the blog party for Carolyn Miller's new release! Please scroll down to learn more about the book and enter in the giveaway!

More About Restoring Fairhaven...

Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it?

Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud.

But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world.

Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking.

How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time?

Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future.

Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after?

Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this 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.


Please Enter in the Giveaway Below


 Follow the tour throughout the week to enter in the giveaways!

Carolyn Miller – December 8

Chautona Havig – December 9

Melissa Wardwell – December 10

Kari Trumbo – December 11

Rachel Skatvold – December 12

Tabitha Bouldin – December 13

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Mishaps off Mainland Release Fun!

It's release week for Tabitha Bouldin's new book in the Independence Islands Series, Mishaps off the Mainland! Since her book's main character is a pet groomer, we thought it would be fun to dress up our own pets for the occasion and have an animal parade. My pet is below along with a fun story behind the picture. Also, please don't forget to scroll down to learn more about Tabitha's new release, enter in the giveaway and visit the other authors' blogs this week for more choices to win!


This my version of a Chickens' Thanksgiving! In this case, they would be eating corn, corn...and more corn, because chickens love it. These two pretty girls are from my backyard chicken flock. The red hen on the left is Ruby and Popcorn is on the right. When we moved to the country four years ago, I knew I wanted chickens right away. I love the farm fresh eggs they give us and their fun personalities. In the summertime my kids and I enjoy sitting outside and watching their funny antics. If you could own any animal, what would you choose?

A little more about Mishaps off the Mainland...


All Mel wants is to run the business of her dreams.


Melody Carmichael’s mobile pet grooming business might sink before it can sail when a favorite pet escapes her care. Doggie escape-artist, Daphne, got a taste of freedom, and the Afghan hound refuses to be found.


Enter Zeke Solomon. Desperate to bring the dog home for his grandmother, Zeke steps in to save the day.


And working together with Zeke would be a snap—if they could just find the dumb dog.


Zeke is desperate to prove himself worthy of the Solomon name and step out from his father's shadow. With his father breathing down his neck and demanding he return to the company business, Zeke must decide whether confronting the man he admires most is worth the risk of alienation.


Everything’s falling apart, and Mel’s dream transforms into a nightmare. She thought this was what God wanted for her life, but can you blame her for second-guessing everything?


Was it all just a mistake?


Mishaps off the Mainland is the fifth “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.




Book 5 in this series is now available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback!


Click HERE to find out more. 



Don't Forget to Enter in the Giveaway Below!



In case this is your first time visiting the parade, be sure to check out all the blog posts so you can vote at the end when Sandy posts hers!

Tabitha Bouldin – Nov 24

Carolyn Miller – Nov 25

Chautona Havig – Nov 26

Melissa Wardwell – Nov 27

Kari Trumbo – Nov 28

Rachel Skatvold – Nov 29

Sandy Barela – Nov 30

Monday, October 26, 2020

Her Merriweather Hero Release Day!

Release day is here!

I'm so excited about the release of the next book in the Independence Islands Series – Her Merriweather Hero! (New to the Independence Islands Series? Start HERE). 

To celebrate, we are hosting a fun blog hop where you can take a quiz to find your island pet and enter to win some fun prizes! For my part in the fun, I would like to introduce you to Zoe, the Australian Shepherd.
Zoe is Kendall's best pal and goes everywhere with her. When Kendall moves to the Independence Islands to start a mobile vet clinic, she's more than happy to come along. She is pretty much the mascot for the new clinic and greets all the customers when they come in. Zoe's one downfall is her love of chasing crabs. She can't stay away from them and her new hobby often causes her to get into mischief. However, could her antics lead Kendall to meeting her new love interest? Find out in Her Merriweather Hero!

Be sure to read more about the book, take the quiz, and enter in the giveaway below!
About Her Merriweather Hero:

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.

Her Merriweather Hero is now available in Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and Paperback HERE.

Take this fun Quiz Below!
Enter in the Giveaway!
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Zoe! Be sure to take the quiz, enter in the giveaway, and check out the other author's pets this week for more chances to win!

Tabitha Bouldin - Oct 28
Kari Trumbo - Nov 1
Sandy Barela (Celebrate Lit) - Nov 2


Six authors, five islands, and a boatload of
happily-ever-afters

Beach reads aren’t just for summer
anymore.

Click HERE to find the series on Amazon!