Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Elnora Monet by Rachel Skatvold

  


About the Book

Book:  The Elnora Monet

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: April 27, 2021

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.

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

 My Thoughts:

I always enjoy my visits to the Island and this was no exception.  While this book is in a series, the way the stories are written you can read them as stand alone books.  I love the broken to happy stories.  Everyone has a past and most have some type of heartbreak, but some are worse than others.  

I really liked Carly.  She was so just herself.  She is opinionated and owns it.  Luc isn't a bad guy like everyone seems to think, but he is hurting.  There is a lot in his past that he has to deal with.  I loved how the author wove faith into the story.  It was a growing and adapting story that was just a really, really good read.

4/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

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 and Brides of Pelican Rapids 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

Thank you for helping celebrate the release of The Elnora Monet by following this Celebration Tour hosted by Celebrate Lit. I hope you enjoy learning a little more about the characters and what inspired the story. Please follow the other stops on this tour and don’t forget to enter in the giveaway. Thank you!

It has been a wonderful experience working with the talented authors and editors in the Independence Islands Series. Each of these stories has a heartwarming message of faith and the characters always teach me something new. Ever since writing Kendall Mulligan’s story in Her Merriweather Hero, I’ve been excited to share her free-spirited younger sister’s story.

Carly had many struggles in the first book, questioning what purpose God had for her life. This time around, her feet are more grounded, but she still has some growing to do when it comes to faith. Carly has been a fun character to write about because of her witty extroverted personality and some of the humorous predicaments she ends up in…one of them including getting caught snooping around a billionaire’s mansion.

While not outspoken as Carly, I can relate to the character’s search for direction. Sometimes it is difficult learning to trust, especially during troubling times, but we can rely on God’s promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.” This verse means so much to me because I know even when I can’t understand something, He is behind the scenes guiding me in the right direction. For Carly, it leads in a direction she never expects, but it is worth it in the end.

Certain parts of the story were inspired by my mom. If you have read Her Merriweather Hero, you know the Mulligan sisters are originally from New England, close to where my mom grew up. I love hearing about her memories of spending time at Nantasket Beach, drinking orange pop, and putting chips in her sandwich so they wouldn’t blow away. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I still put chips in my own sandwich because of watching her do the same thing and her fridge is always stocked with orange pop to this day. Little bits of my mom’s childhood are weaved into this story, making it close to my heart.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about characters and story behind The Elnora Monet. Now continue reading for a summary of the book and giveaway. Blessings!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 10

Lakesidelivingsite, May 10

Rebekah Reads Lit, May 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 11

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, May 11

She Lives to Read, May 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 12

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 13

Texas Book-aholic, May 14

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14

Inklings and notions, May 15

CarpeDiem, May 15

For Him and My Family, May 16

Cultivating Us, May 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 17

Books and Everyday Live, May 17

Blossoms and Blessings, May 17

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 18

Lots of Helpers, May 19

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 20

Blogging With Carol , May 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 21

Godly Book Reviews, May 21

Kayem Reads, May 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 22

Connect in Fiction, May 22

Splashes of Joy, May 23

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

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/10bb3/the-elnora-monet-celebration-tour-giveaway

Gold Rush Bride Release!

 Gold Rush Bride Hannah by Linda Shenton Matchett is being released on May 18! Be sure not to miss preordering yours now to receive a special pre-order price!


Click here for more information: https://amzn.to/3uk8XqZ

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Lassoed by the Lawman by Renae Brumbaugh Green

  


About the Book

Book:  Lassoed by the Lawman

Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: May 4, 2021

Juliana Duke has always dreamed of owning a dress shop.

But as the only child of Oscar and Maria Duke and heiress of the vast Duke Ranch, her job is to marry a rancher and produce a male heir. When Lt. Cody Steves rides onto the scene, her resolve to place duty over daydreams is shaken. Now that her heart’s been lassoed by the handsome lawman, will she be able to love another?

Cody Steves wants marriage and family, but he loves being a Texas Ranger. At any time, he could ride into a job and not come out alive. How could any decent man marry, knowing he could leave a widow and orphans behind? But the beautiful Juliana Duke captures him in a way no other has. When this job is over, can he ride away with his heart intact?

When he learns of a secret plot to take over the Duke Ranch, Cody must risk everything to save Juliana. Little does he know, the outcome will be nothing like he’s planned or imagined.

 My Thoughts:

I really, really liked this book.  The author just had a wonderful writing style that made me want to keep reading on and on.  It is in a series, but I read it wonderfully as a stand alone.  I do now want to read the previous books just because this one was so so good.

I really liked Juliana.  She knew she had a duty but also that she is her own person.  She is such a lady, but can do work as well.  Cody was great.  I think I may have fallen in love with him a bit!  There was romance, suspense, mystery, and oh did I mention romance?  It was just a great story that I loved.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Renae Brumbaugh Green is an ECPA Bestselling Author, award-winning humor
columnist, and wannabe superhero. She lives in Texas with her handsome, country-boy husband, four nearly-perfect children and one nearly-perfect son-in-law, and far too many animals. When she’s not writing, Renae teaches online classes and tries to be rugged without chipping her nail polish.

 

More from Renae

Lassoed by the Lawman is the third and final book in the Texas Rangers Series, and I honestly think it’s my favorite book of the series. The main characters, Juliana and Cody, are loosely based on me and my husband, Rick. We’re both creatives, we both love music, and we both try to balance our love for creativity with our need to actually make a living! Our shared love of music initially drew us to each other.

Like Cody, Rick is rugged and masculine, and he melted my heart the first time I heard him sing. As a matter of fact, during our courtship, we often wrote songs together. One of the songs Cody sings to Juliana in the book is actually a song Rick wrote for me. (Sigh.)

The attraction Cody and Juliana feel for each other is both white-hot and pure… the kind of passion God wants husbands and wives to experience. It’s the kind of passion Christ has for us, his bride. As I worked on these pages, I giggled at times, blushed at times, and grinned with mischief always.

Through hardship and heartache, Juliana and Cody find joy. And through hardship and heartache, God wants us to find joy, too…the joy of an abundant life in Christ. I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. As a bonus, here’s a link to a song Rick and I wrote and recorded for each other. It’s not the song from the book, but it’s pretty special to us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDjVxp2m5

God bless, and happy reading!

—Renae Brumbaugh Green

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 4

lakesidelivingsite, May 5

Just Writing, May 5

Texas Book-aholic, May 6

Inklings and notions, May 7

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, May 8

deb’s Book Review, May 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 10

Kayem Reads, May 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 12

Connie’s History Classroom, May 13

Vicky Sluiter, May 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 16

Daysong Reflections, May 17

Genesis 5020, May 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Renae is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/10b63/lassoed-by-the-lawman-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, May 10, 2021

Realms of Light by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

  


About the Book

Book:  Realms of Light

Author: Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Genre: Christian YA Contemporary Fantasy

Release date: April 13, 2021

From the Ashes, Spring Will Rise

On the run from the brutal Sage and his army of Legions and Cormorants, seventeen-year-old Cera Marlowe knows the only place strong enough to protect her is the Alliance Council Estate.

Cera’s introduction to the Estate is far from welcoming. As a Blight, her dueling powers of light and darkness make her a half-breed threat to the Alliance’s sacred powers. Cera’s ability to decipher hidden messages in classical artwork buys her shelter temporarily, but the clock is ticking as she’s faced with a daunting choice that could cost her everything.

 My Thoughts:

This is book 2 in a series and I seriously wish I had read book 1 first.  While you can read them out of order (as I did), I think the whole thing would make more sense and be much more satisfying if you had gotten to know and understand the characters a bit more.  The author does give you some history so you aren't just wandering around and the writing is good.

Cera is a good characters.  She is strong, stubborn, maybe she should accept help more often or be a little less self-reliant, but the issues only make her more 'real'.  Maddox is the perfect pairing for her.  He would do anything to keep her safe.  Great good vs. bad story where I loved the good guys and cheered for them.  I think my YA reading kids would completely enjoy this and plan on sharing this with them.

4/5.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Sandra Fernandez Rhoads is the author of Mortal Sight. She is a Cuban-Colombian living in Dallas, Texas with her husband and four children. She has a deep love for the artist community, and is an active part of Art House Dallas and the Fort Worth Writer’s group. She holds an M.A. in English with a focus on John Milton and has an insatiable love for coffee, laughter, and adventure. And dinosaurs.

 

More from Sandra

What if there was an unseen war affecting our everyday world, but only a few could see the battle? And what if the secrets to this other realm and winning the war were embedded in classical art and literature?

These questions led me to the ideas that formed the Colliding Line duology, and final installment in the series, Realms of Light—the story about a select group of emerging artists called the Awakened that are given unique powers to help combat the forces of evil.

The protagonist, a young girl named Cera Marlowe, quickly took the lead in the first draft of the story. On a quest for her identity, she steps into her destiny by joining a community of unlikely warriors who would need to overcome great odds, learn to work together, and battle their past in order to defeat the enemy.

The story took more than five years to write and the first draft was over 180k words. The use of classical art emerged slowly over that time. But the verses from John Milton’s Paradise Lost fit seamlessly from the start, paralleling the fight for truth, identity, and war in our fallen world.

At its core, the story is about embracing the past to help shape our future. My hope is that readers see classical art and literature in a new way, and find their own creativity as a much-needed gift to the world.

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, April 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 29

Texas Book-aholic, April 30

Inklings and notions, May 1

Woven by Words, May 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 3

Genesis 5020, May 3

For the Love of Literature, May 4

For Him and My Family, May 5

Wishful Endings, May 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 7

Through the Fire Blogs, May 7

deb’s Book Review, May 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 9

Blogging With Carol, May 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 10

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 11

April Hayman, Author, May 11

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize package of $40 Christianbook.com gift card, custom Bookmark, custom signed bookplate, custom Realms of Light notebook, and library book pattern book / tablet sleeve!!

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/10b5d/realms-of-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, May 9, 2021

A Second Chance for Grace by Karen Malley

 


About the Book

Book:  A Second Chance for Grace

Author: Karen Malley

Genre: Christian Women’s Romantic Fiction

Release date: April 23, 2021

A new life coming into the world disrupts Susan’s quiet life.

Susan Montgomery is used to a quiet, peaceful life managing her apartment building, where the hardest problem is her grouchy neighbor’s leaky faucet. She soon finds herself dealing with a pregnant teenage niece, a mysterious briefcase left behind by a tenant, and two very different men vying for her heart.

A near-death experience gives Mac a new outlook on life.

Christopher “Mac” MacAllister is trying to figure out how to “do the Christian thing.” As a new convert, he’s drawn to Susan’s love for life and for God. She’s nothing like the women he used to date; but can Mac compete with the guy who’s come out of nowhere and knows all the right things to say?

 My Thoughts:

Oh this was a good one.  Second in a series, but can be read just fine as a stand alone.  Susan is a great character.  She's what I consider a 'standard' Christian lead female to being with but she grows and changes so much through the book.  She shows her faith but does have some trust issues (I can totally relate).

Mac took my heart from the start.  He isn't perfect either, but he could be perfect for Susan.  There is the trust issue, but there is also another suiter that checks off all the boxes on Susan's list...or so she thinks.  I liked that there was always something going on and the characters were all realistic.  Just a good read!

It was a 4/5.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Karen is an author of Christian fiction. She lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. She works full time as a scientist, but enjoys writing in her spare time. When not writing (with her left hand), she enjoys camping, hiking, playing board games, and especially reading! She loves reading faith-based stories, because we can all use a happy ending.

 

More from Karen

Follow your heart or your head?

In my early days in college, I dated a young man who wasn’t a Christian, but that didn’t stop my attraction to him. My heart wanted to be with him, but my head knew better. Later, another young man entered my life who was perfect for me on paper. He was kind, intelligent, taught Sunday school… We went out one time, but there wasn’t a spark. I decided I had to find the guy who captured both my heart and my head.

Fast forward to the summer before my junior year, and a third young man entered the picture. He was fun to be around, made me laugh, and believed in Jesus. We became friends and spent a lot of together before I finally admitted my attraction to him. Having been hurt before, I vowed not to get involved unless God was in it. I prayed about it, felt God’s blessing, and we’ve now been married over 20 years.

In A Second Chance for Grace, Susan finds herself in a similar situation. Mac instantly captures her heart, but circumstances cause her to doubt whether he’s the right man for her. When she meets Sam, she finds he checks all the boxes on paper, but she can’t seem to convince her heart he’s right for her. Having been in the same situation, it was easy for me to write about Susan’s dilemma.

Susan navigates many twists and turns throughout the book, from her pregnant niece moving into her apartment, to dealing with a mysterious briefcase left behind by a tenant, to trying to solve the dilemma of which man to choose. Through it all, she tries to follow God’s will for her life.

A Second Chance for Grace is the second book in the Pine Springs series. Mac and Susan meet in the first book, Following the Sparrows. To learn more about them (and their good friends), you’ll want to read Following the Sparrows first, but it isn’t necessary, as A Second Chance for Grace is a standalone novel.

Just like in real life, the characters in the novel have difficult decisions to make. Sometimes they make the right ones, sometimes they do not. Through it all, God proves He is the God of second chances!

Blog Stops

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 6

For Him and My Family, May 7

Kayem Reads, May 7

Texas Book-aholic, May 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 12

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 13

Batya’s Bits, May 13

Cultivating Us, May 14

deb’s Book Review, May 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 17

Inklings and notions, May 18

Vicky Sluiter, May 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away the grand prize package of an eBook copy of the first book in the series, Following the Sparrows, along with a journal and necklace that go with the theme 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/10bab/a-second-chance-for-grace-celebration-tour-giveaway