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.


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.


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.


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

Beach reads aren’t just for summer

Click HERE to find the series on Amazon!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Secret Beach Boyfriend Launch: Choose Your Party Table

Exciting news! Kari Trumbo's new book in the Independence Island Series is coming out soon! To celebrate, all the authors in the series are sharing their themed table decorations. Be sure to vote for yours by clicking on the links below. 

Without further ado...here's my themed table. I chose the farm theme because that is the theme of my kitchen and we live out in the country. We love having lots of room to run, fresh air, and love raising chickens and growing a garden.

Many of the items on my party table have a special meaning for me, so I will go through all six of them to explain. This will be fun! I hope you enjoy!

1 & 2. Something Floral / A Gift : These farm vases were a wonderful housewarming gift from my mom. When my husband and I had two wonderful boys, we started dreaming of moving somewhere with a little more room. So, three years ago we moved out to the country and love it. We don't miss the city at all, except for the grocery stores being close...LOL. 

3. Something unique to me: I love collecting chicken figurines. One of the things I looked forward to the most about our move to the country was getting chickens. So....within a few months after moving in, we got five little hens. Now our flock has grown to nine! We love our girls. They give us fresh eggs and provide hours of entertainment with their quirky personalities. If you read my books, you might see a few chickens included in my stories. 

4. Something Crystal: This crystal dish was given to me by my mother in law. It is a very pretty addition to my china cabinet and a wonderful family heirloom from my husband's side.
5. Something Gold: This beautiful tea cup and saucer set was passed down from my grandmother. You can't see very well in this picture, but the handle and rim are lined with gold. These are very special to me and remind me of Grammy. She loved to play the piano and had a very strong faith in the Lord. 
6. Something that represents my writing Part 1: My upcoming Independence Island release! I can't wait to share this one with you all. 

7. Something that represents my writing Part Two: My writing notebook is something I carry around when I travel. When my computer isn't present, I have to record my ideas somewhere right? LOL! As a writer, ideas are always coming to me, no matter where I am...yes, even on vacation, when I'm not supposed to be writing. 

Thanks so much for looking at the items on my party table. Don't forget to vote for your favorite on Sandy's Post below.

Follow the links below to see each table setting and enjoy the fun.

Chautona Havig

Kari Trumbo

Tabitha Bouldin

Caroline Miller

Sandy Barela of CelebrateLit

Six authors, five islands, and all the romance and happily-ever-after you can handle.

Join Chautona Havig, Kari Trumbo, Rachel Skatvold, Tabitha Bouldin, Carolyn Miller, and myself as we take you to the Independence Islands.

The Independence Islands are a group of seven fictional islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Their history began pre-colonial period and continues until this day.

Mimosa is large, touristy, and everything the lower five islands don’t want theirs to become.  However, locals do miss having some of the amenities that come with higher populations and those dratted tourists. They’ve always voted to keep strangers from destroying their tranquil lives, but with a changing world, will they have to adapt to modern revenue makers?

When Mallory Barrows comes to the island to care for her ailing uncle, (Christmas at Breakers Point by Chautona Havig) a plan begins to develop to help the islanders and a few savvy businesswomen at the same time with a one-of-an-island kind of business model.

Mobile Businesses

Merriweather collection

Starting July 2020

Dual Power of Convenience by Chautona Havig

All they wanted was a happily-never-after. 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 back on Merriweather?”

Scrumptious Independence by Melissa Wardwell

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.”

Secret Beach Boyfriend by Kari Trumbo

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.”

Her Merriweather Hero by Rachel Skatvold

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?”

Mishaps Off the Mainland by Tabitha Bouldin

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?”

Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller

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?”

I hope you will sail along with us as we travel through the islands. It is sure to keep you entertained and wanting more. Stop back for more information as it comes available, this journey will last for a quite some time. Until then, feel free to pre-order these amazing stories and share images. Let’s spread the word.