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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Seasoned Grace Release Fun

I'm so excited to announce it's release week for Seasoned Grace by Melissa Wardwell! This story is about a daughter in search of her estranged father. There are many storms along the journey--both spiritual and from nature that must be overcome? Have you ever been through a storm that tested your faith? This week all the Independence Islands authors are talking about our experiences with storms where God's grace showed through at the end. Please scroll down to read mine below. :)  Also, don't forget to follow the other others this week and enter in the giveaways! Blessings.


The storm came out of nowhere. As a young teen in the middle seat of my parents van, my heart pounded as I watched rain pelting the windshield and felt the wind rushing against the side of the car. Tornado warnings blared on the radio, but we were on the highway with no safe place to pull over. When an exit finally came up, my dad was able to pull off and we all breathed a sigh of relief. God had protected us. As we drove toward somewhere safe to ride out the storm, the sight out the window took my breath away. The sky was split in half--one side with dark menacing clouds with lightning streaking through, and the other with sunshine and a stunning rainbow. It felt like a promise that God would keep us safe.

The experience from my childhood remind me of the verse from Psalm 91:1-2. "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Whenever I go through storms in life, I can always rely on God's protection. Even when my time runs out here on earth, I can rest assured He is preparing a home for me in heaven where I'll live with him in safety and peace forever.

More about Seasoned Grace

You can run from your past, but you can’t escape it.

Though he disappeared that day, Raylin McReynolds never believed her father died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

So, when a mysterious letter arrives from Breakers Head, informing her that she would find him on the Independence Islands off the coast of Georgia, she has no choice but to find a job, get there, find her father.

As mainland troubles encroach on Hooper Island, Sean Anderson devises a plan and presents it to the island pastors and his cousin, Scott. The result: Grace Mission—a place where those struggling can find the help they need.

What he didn’t need was a distraction in the form of a newcomer to the islands—a mission volunteer, no less.

Others at the mission, Beth and Scott, see more than just frustration brew between Raylin and Sean. What will it take to convince Sean and Raylin to stop bickering long enough to see what’s obvious to everyone else?

Raylin’s on a mission to find her father and protect her heart, but neither seem willing to cooperate.


Seasoned Grace continues the Hooper Island stories 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.



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Sept. 2 - Rachel
Giveaway 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Flipping Hearts Release Day Fun!

It's release week for Flipping Hearts! This new Independence Island book by Chautona Havig takes place after a hurricane. The main characters are fixing up houses on the islands. To celebrate this new release, all the authors of the series are sharing some of our most memorable DIY projects. I will be talking about mine below. Please find out more about Flipping Hearts below, follow the tour this week to read the other authors' posts and don't forget to enter in the fun giveaways!


Having purchased a fixer-upper home about four years ago, the subject of DIY projects is very familiar. Before moving, we remodeled the kitchen of our old home DIY style to help it sell quicker. The new cabinets looked so nice, I wish we could have taken the kitchen with us to our new house. 

When we started looking for a home, we knew that the location mattered most to us. My husband and I wanted a place on a few acres in the country with room for our kids to grow. When we moved in, all the bedrooms had only the baseboards, the tile in the kitchen and bathroom were badly cracked, and some other things needed updating as well. However, we are definitely a DIY type of family. As long as the bones of the house were good, we could live with the other things for a while and gradually start making improvements.

After hiring someone to install carpets, the rest of the things we took on ourselves. We painted walls that needed it, I sewed curtains for the windows, my husband bought and installed new locks for the doors. We put rugs over the cracks in the kitchen and bathroom floors until replacing them last year. We also did some landscaping on the outside of the house, with the help of one of my husband's friends.

Over the next few years there are some more projects I'd like to work on, including replacing the backsplash and counters in the kitchen. After the experience, I think the key to renovating a fixer-upper is to take your time and work on things as you can afford them. 

About the Book:

Purchase on Amazon Here!


When a hurricane rips through Hooper Island, a tidal wave of TV crews follows and upsets the locals.

Brooks Crawforth agreed to volunteer crews helping to clean up and repair things on the island, not a whole home and garden series on the total renovation of several houses and a bit of cleanup on the side. He’s furious, and the show host is spitting nails at the person who blew it in the first place.

His and his father’s jobs are in jeopardy, the islanders are about to kill him, and that crazy show host blames him for her assistant’s last-minute, “you’ve-got-to-sign-this-now-or-we-can’t-come” contract.

One more thing. Did she have to be so cute?

He’s got even more trouble, though. Islanders are starting to blame Mallory Barrows for the invasion. Not only that, there are rumors of dismantling the association and allowing tourism on the islands. How’s he supposed to fix this mess?

They can’t stand each other, but if they can manage to flip off the enemy switch and flip on some cooperation, maybe their hearts’ll get flipped, too.

This “enemies to romance” novel 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.



Follow the Tour!
July 27th Chautona:
Enter in the Giveaway!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Regaining Mercy Release Week Fun

It's release week for Regaining Mercy by Carolyn Miller! It's hard to believe this is the last book for Elnora Island. It's been quite an adventure and I hate for it to end. However, luckily there are three more islands to visit and lots of adventure to experience. Carolyn's story follows a young mother who has gone on a TV reality show, so this week all the authors are discussing reality shows they have watched. Keep scrolling to find out about which reality shows I've watched and to find out more about Regaining Mercy.

Reality TV shows...do you watch them? Enjoy them? I've had several that I've watched, but most I've eventually lost interest in. Bachelor was one I watched for a while. It was interesting for the first few seasons, but I ultimately grew weary of how shallow the relationships became or the fact most of the couples ended up breaking up after the show. Another I watched was survivor, but after a while the drama between the people on the show made me lose interest. I also watched the Biggest Loser for a while and liked it.

One show I am enjoying right now is Alone. Ten people are sent off to a secluded area completely alone and have to survive as long as they can without tapping out. I enjoy outdoor activities with my family like camping and hiking, so this show is interesting to me. They have to build a shelter, and find water and food. It also shows tips for how people can stay alive in a survival situation.

So there are some shows I have watched. What about you?


Order on Amazon Here!

About the Book...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for taking time to read about Regaining Mercy. Please follow the tour and enter in the giveaway below! Blessings!

Follow the Tour:

Rachel 7/3

Enter in the Giveaway!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Stealing the First Mate: Release Week Fun!

This is release week for book 11 in the Independence Islands Series! Stealing the First Mate by Tabitha Bouldin, is a story about best friends, so this week we're talking about that. Please read about my best friend below, learn more about the book, and remember to enter in the giveaway! Also, remember to follow the tour this week for more chances to win. :)


Best Friends...

I have many friends who are special to me. Some friends I have known from childhood and keep in contact with. There are some that have moved away, but we still try to keep in touch. However, my best friend who is someone who's been with me my whole life. She is my mom. We have always had a good  mother and daughter relationship, but now that I'm an adult, we are also very good friends. We enjoy quilting together, shopping for fabric, going for walks, talking about good books, and sharing recipes. She's the friend I can talk to about anything and I'm blessed to have her in my life. Do you have a best friend you'd like to share about?


A little more about the book...

Sometimes, happily ever after is as elusive as a pirate's treasure.

Darcy Riggins dove headfirst into the online dating pool and sank. Every time.

Her lifelong dream of becoming a wife and mother becomes more elusive every year. So, taking the lack of a Mr. Right in her life as a decided “No!” from God, Darcy gives up altogether.

Single and happy is not an oxymoron. Right?

Nigel Jones has loved Darcy for ages, but her father (his boss, of course) ordered him to keep his feelings to himself, thanks to a stupid mistake that Darcy (thankfully) doesn’t know about.  Too bad her dad does.

Being single and content turns out to be tougher than Darcy imagined, and when she begins doubting everything she’s ever known, Nigel decides it’s time to admit his mistakes, tell the truth, and trust God for the outcome.

In this “forbidden-love-meets-friends-to-more” novel, Stealing the First Mate 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.


Stealing the First Mate is now available on Amazon!



Please enter in the giveaway and follow the tour this week!

Tabitha Bouldin - May 25th

Carolyn Miller - May 26th

Chautona Havig - May 27th

Melissa Wardwell - May 28th

Denise Barela - May 29th

Rachel - May - 30th

Sandra Barela - May 31st


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!