Happy Thanksgiving season to all of you! I hope you are anticipating good times and good food.
So, my news includes a new release in less than three months. REALLY! I’m so excited to see Labor of Love in print. You can have a preview in December. In my December 1 newsletter I will have Chapter 1 available to read, exclusive to my newsletter.
If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, please do. The link to Sylvan Reads (the name of my newsletter) is http://eepurl.com/gF-3I1.
Kids are heading back to school, and the weather is turning cooler which means there is more time for reading!
I have partnered up with Celebrate Lit Publicity to do an amazing giveaway where you can win a spectacular prize of over 50 books or a $500 Amazon gift card to buy books you love to build up that TBR pile!
Be sure to enter Celebrate Lit’s Back to School Multi-Author Giveaway going on now through September 18.
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.
Back to the islands with my friends, gathering after a storm with Bailey bringing a storm of trouble and baggage. As she unloads her crew and equipment, somehow her emotions, quirks, and fears combined with someone’s vindictive actions dump mayhem on the islanders.
As in our lives, some projects are born doomed. Do we pursue them or admit defeat? Who controls our decisions? It’s hard to let others in to help, yet God sends those people alongside us for a reason. At times, it takes adjustment and trust on our part to let them anywhere close to the real issues.
If you haven’t read any of the Independence Islands series, start today! These characters have become close friends of mine. Enjoy the journey, soaking up mystery and romance.
About the Author
Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
How I Almost Missed This Important Life Lesson
He annoyed her. The guy was bossy, demanding, rude, and unwilling to admit fault—mostly. Truth be told, she was pretty much the same. Two people with similar faults. The relationship would never happen.
Now what was I supposed to do?
Without any idea how I’d take two near enemies and turn them into a couple, I kept writing the primary story—the one that was supposed to bring them together. The one that would have driven me far, far away from a guy like Brooks.
Right about the time I thought about that is when Bailey had her revelation. “He likes me.”
I nearly did a spit take. I mean, where did that come from? Why would he like someone who hadn’t bothered to be likeable?
And still the story unfolded. “Life or death” moment? Check. Unintentional sharing of attraction and heart. Check. Still confused author as these characters draw closer and closer… check, check!
It took until after the story’s climax for me to realize that Brooks really did like Bailey for who she was—and vice versa. Only after all that tension diffused and their distrust had been smashed to smithereens were Bailey and Brooks able to examine everything. Only after that was I able to realize a truth I hadn’t expected to learn.
People fall in love with people they argue with.
People in love argue. See, my husband and I don’t do that. We don’t argue. Ever. Do we agree on every little thing? No. We just don’t argue about it.
Look, it’s not like I’ve never written people who argue. I do. But Never have I looked at a fictional relationship, seen that it would produce the kind fireworks that Bailey and Brooks will, and thought, “Oh, they’re perfect for each other.”
Because see… if I were Bailey, I’d run. Fast. Conflict is a natural part of life and relationships, and I’m not so naïve as to think it’ll never occur. But entering a relationship knowing it’ll be a regular occurrence? Unthinkable!
So as I pondered all this during those last pages of the book, something hit me.
Jesus enters a rocky relationship with us. Willingly.
Don’t believe me? Think about it. Jesus knew, before He ever spoke light into existence, that His bride would blame Him for… pretty much everything. He knew she’d get him brutally murdered. He knew she’d rail at Him, spit at Him, abandon Him, cheat on Him, and even after forgiveness… she’d do it all over again the next day.
Even knowing all that… He still whispers to our hearts, “Be Mine. I love you.”
If that’s not the most beautiful, unbelievable, amazing thing, I don’t know what is.
It’s probably one of the most important life lessons I’ll ever learn. People choose to be in relationships with people they know they’ll argue with—people who will hurt them, annoy them, demand things of them. And the greatest example of One who does it so beautifully is Jesus. Because see… Jesus entered that relationship with me, knowing I’d be that person. Humbling, yeah. Important life lesson? Most definitely.
Are you ready for the cover reveal? I’m so excited! I’ve waited a long time to release the first in my Gardens in Time novels. Labor of Love has been a labor of love, straight from my heart. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it. For this series I chose four gardens in four different eras and countries with unique characters and plots. Labor of Love will release in February 2022. You have an opportunity to preorder your eBook copy and free short story from the publisher with this link: http://www.celebratelitpublishing.com/posts/book/labor-of-love/
Once again Roseanna White has designed a beautiful cover. Celebrate Lit Publishing has made this journey a joy! I cannot wait to hold my copy. February seems so far away…
Here is the backcover copy about the book:
Something sinister lurks in Pitti Palace.
Despite having spent eight years as companion to her cousins, Ana Geovani still questions her role and place in the Medici household. This uncertainty compounds and alarms as her cousin’s marriage approaches and a marriage is arranged for Ana.
With no say in her own future, fear and despair dulls even the splendor of the gardens she holds so dear.
As the newest under gardener at the palace, Marco Rossi should have everything he’s dreamed of–beautiful gardens to tend and master architects and gardeners to learn from. Yet a secret mission threatens his peace of mind, his position, and even the love of Ana. Although God is always with him, reminding him of a bigger plan, Marco feels the weight of the consequences he will face if he challenges a Medici member.
The desires of men and women, both royal and common, create costly dilemmas and potential disasters of hearts and souls. What will it take for Marco and Ana to prevail against everything driving them apart?
Reserve your copy today and stay connected for future updates! Leave your comments about the cover and the plot!
On July 1-5, I want to revisit the early days of America’s road to independence. I often wonder what I would have done. In 1772 when Hold Me Close (my first book of Revolutionary Faith) commences, the colonists had already faced quite a few setbacks. The Stamp Act appeared in 1765 and quickly joined other grievances in the 13 colonies.
The lines are being drawn in the cities, towns, families, and churches. Organizations spring up to educate and antagonize the situation. Although the urgency in not quite at a boiling point, individuals start asking questions.
Who do I support? The British and parliament or the colonies and local representation? What goods do I purchase? British, local, or other? Do I talk about it? Do I attend meetings? With whom do I discuss my feelings and thoughts?
This is what Elizabeth tells her father one evening: “Your opinions about this colony, this town, our people are wrong, Father. They will not—I will not—let the Empire continue to rule this world with no consideration for the welfare of its subjects. I’m sorry, Father, but I strongly believe in some measure of independence from the control of England.”
Wow, could I have done that?
This Independence Day think about what the early citizens had to determine at an individual level.
This month I am giving away a copy of Surround Me (Book Two of the Revolutionary Faith series) and Matchmaker’s Best Friend by Kari Trumbo. All you have to do is comment for your chance to win one of the two selections. I’ll pick the winners on May 31. Good luck!
Surround Me by Marguerite Martin Gray: Battles rage in Elizabeth Elliott’s heart as the threat of war invades her hometown. Charles Town, SC, 1773—The dark curtain of the rumors of revolution threatens to descend as Louis Lestarjette makes a permanent break from his homeland and pursues his relationship with Elizabeth.
This is book two of the Revolutionary Faith series following Hold Me Close.
Matchmaker’s Best Friend by Kari Trumbo: 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.
This book is part of the Independence Islands series!
“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.
Old friends on now familiar islands. I love returning to this series. It feels like home as if I could hop on a ferry and know how to travel from island to island. I’d visit friends and join in the wholesome island life.
This time I joined Pen, Mike, and Jazzy on Elnora Island where Pen’s wedding schemes force the three friends to confront personal feelings and coverups. Masquerading has been in the words for years. Is it time to drop the masks? Whatever they decide it sure has been fun to peek in on them and enjoy some island life. I’m so glad there is a book following this one. Goodbye my friends, for now!
About the Author
Where western meets happily ever after.
Kari writes swoony heroes and places that become characters with detail and heart. Her favorite place to write about is the place her heart lives, (even if she doesn’t) South Dakota.
Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota, land of frigid toes and mosquitoes the size of compact cars, with her husband of over twenty years. They have two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.
More from Kari
Pen is Mightier than the Sword
Especially in sparkly, stacked espadrilles and pink power suit. Don’t let Pen Reese’s pink façade fool you, she’s a businesswoman to the core, with a heart of gold. She has built a party planning business from the ground up, and she’s about to create another.
Pen is one of those characters that I could just see CLEARLY as I was writing. She is about ninety percent Elle Woods from Legally Blonde and ten percent a close personal friend. I heard her voice in my head. I could hear her talking as I wrote the book. Her personality was perfect for the energetic party planner.
I’m sure if I put a character description up without context or clarity many people wouldn’t want to read the book, they would write Pen off as shallow. But she’s not. She’s heartbroken.
Do you still remember your first love? Maybe you still care for them? Pen fell hard for her first love and no matter how professional she is or how many lavish weddings she plans, she can’t forget the one wedding she’ll never get to create. Her own.
Pen things that if Mike falls for someone else, goes off and gets married, she’ll finally be able to move on. So, she sets a plan in motion. That’s when her world completely falls apart and you see the tender parts of Pen that she doesn’t show to just anybody.
She is a very complex character and I hope she touches you like she touched me.
I hope you enjoy Pen’s tale of matchmaking gone wrong.
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.
I love coming back to the series as each author adds more to the experience of the islands. One of the characters in this novel, Mallory, states “I can’t say I’ve ever been in a situation like yours, but I have experienced loss and the fear of losing someone.”
I think we all can say that. It is a real fear. Fears grip in a fast hold. Fear of moving, changing, growing, losing, loving. But letting that fear go or better yet giving that fear to God releases power and strength to live and grow through the pain and uncertainty. Also, the blessings flow from the relinquished fear.
What an example of the possibility of fear: a military tour overseas where death and wounds prevail. How does one release that fear? The same way a parent lets a child go to college or ride his bike or drive a car. By God’s grace and love. Bad things happen, but He has that in his embrace too.
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, Brides of Pelican Rapids and Independence Island Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons. You can find more information about Rachel and her books on her website: www.rachelskatvold.com.
More from Rachel
Her Merriweather Hero has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding stories I have written. Often when I am starting a new book, I immerse myself in the world-building process, which involves a lot of research and notetaking. This time around, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Celebrate Lit and the authors in the Independence Islands Series to map out these beautiful island stories. It has been an exciting journey so far.
This story was inspired by my parents who met through letters while my dad was in the Marine Corps. They both came from different backgrounds, with my mom being from Massachusetts and my dad from a small town in Iowa, but their differences didn’t stop them from falling in love. For Her Merriweather Hero, I used themes of opposites attracting, New England, and the Marine Corps from my parent’s love story.
Kendall is a young veterinarian who moves to the Independence Islands with her sister to start a new mobile clinic. There, she meets Sergeant Tyler Banner who is on medical leave after a tour overseas. She tries to avoid Tyler at first, determined to concentrate on making her business a success, but over time she can’t ignore the handsome military guy who keeps ‘accidently’ crossing her path. It doesn’t help he lives a few doors down from her fixer-upper beach house. Can she continue to try to ignore him or is it true that opposites attract?
This romantic island tale is also inspired by the verses from Hebrews 6:18-19 which describe God as our anchor. The characters feel tossed around by waves of difficulties at certain parts of the story, but He is always the anchor who keeps them secured.
Happy Thanksgiving! Exciting news–on Black Friday my publisher is offering 20% off of all of her paperbacks which includes all my Revolutionary Faith Series. Also, on Friday Hold Me Close is free in eBook form. Check out all the sales.