Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Under the Hibiscus ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Under the Hibiscus

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Christmas Contemporary Romance

Release date: November 25, 2022

Do you have to give God two-weeks’ notice when you quit the ministry?

After a lifetime of being her father’s right-hand girl, Ezra gets a small taste of freedom during her friend’s honeymoon visit to the Suamalie islands and decides enough is enough. All she needs is to find a replacement secretary, teacher, project manager, accountant… et cetera.

In fact, what he needs is a wife.

Scott Keil intended to serve the Lord on St. Alyn Island for life. He just never intended to do it without his wife. So, when his daughter begins balking at being saddled with a ministry she never signed up for, he knows he needs to find a replacement for her. And well, she’s right. A wife who loves organization and serving the Lord would be the perfect solution.

But only one woman interests him and loves his ministry nearly as much as he does. Natalie Dershem—the event planner at St. Alyn’s newest resort. Why did she have to be nearly as young as his daughter… and so intriguing?

Under the Hibiscus is the introductory Christmas “noella” in the brand-new, Suamalie Islands Series from Celebrate Lit Publishing. Grab this May/December Christmas romance today.

Click here to get your copy!

For quite a while, my husband and I have been discussing the color hibiscus, so when I saw Under the Hibiscus by one of my favorite authors, Chautona Havig I knew I had to read it. With entertaining characters and a storyline to match, I loved this book.

Serving as the introductory “novella” for a new series by Celebrate Lit Publishing, this book sets the stage for what appears to be an amazing new series set on the Suamalie Islands. Natalie Dershem, the event planner at St. Alyn Island’s newest resort, fills those requirements, but she is the same age as his daughter. But when his daughter decides enough is enough about serving in a ministry she never signed up for after the death of her mother, Scott has to do something.

Scott Kiel serves as pastor on St.Alyn Island, but he needs to find someone. To take his daughter’s place in the ministry, he needs to find someone who loves the Lord, the ministry, and the responsibilities as much as him. Sometimes you have to step out in faith and let God take control of how things develop. I felt Ms. Havig did an excellent job allowing the relationship between Natalie and Scott to develop. She loves the ministry, and he finds himself interested in her. But the age difference needs to be considered.

I loved how Chautona Havig developed this story. So if you are looking for a great book, check out this book for yourself. I am sure you will enjoy it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author of 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

“I always wanted a son. But I wanted one a little younger than myself!” When Tevya said that to Lazar Wolf back when I was a teenager, little did I know that twenty years later, I’d say the same thing to my newly-minted son-in-law at my daughter’s reception.

It was a joke on me. I’d always said that I didn’t understand why people got worked up about age differences under twenty years. God called my bluff on that by sending me a son-in-law a year and a couple of months older than me and… nearly nineteen years (just shy by weeks) older than my daughter. People ask if I still think that it’s not a big deal.  And I do. As I said back then, it all depends on the couple.

But May/December romances aren’t always popular. Some people don’t enjoy them. Maybe I do because my husband is seven years older than I am, my father is eight years older than my mother, and I have friends and family with eleven and fifteen years difference respectively. It’s just… normal in my experience. And as my dear friend said when she heard about people making snide comments about my daughter’s engagement, “Why would she want a boy her age when she can have a man?” And yeah. That is one of the lovely things about May/December romances.

Well, Under the Hibiscus definitely went that route—not because I specifically wanted an age difference for the couple but because two things jumped out at me.  First, I couldn’t see Scott Keil with a woman his age. He’s such a young-at-heart-guy, and every woman his age my mind conjured… wasn’t.  And I couldn’t see it!

But even more than that, I thought of Ezra and how it would feel to be a daughter whose father started dating someone nearly your own age.  Especially since this wouldn’t be some socialite looking for a rich husband. Any woman interested in Scott Keil would have to love him and the Lord a great deal to be willing to accept such a large age difference. How would that go over with Ezra, and… what would their relationship look like. I mean, her stepmother would be a not-very-older sister’s age!

How does it all work out? Well… unfortunately, you’ll have to read to find out because right now? I don’t even know!

Blog Stops

By the Book, November 26

She Lives To Read, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Sylvan Musings, November 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 30

Inklings and notions, December 1

deb’s Book Review, December 2

For Him and My Family, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Mary Hake, December 6

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

Lots of Helpers, December 8

Blogging With Carol, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 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/22dbc/under-the-hibiscus-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Passages of Hope ~ A Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Book: Passages of Hope

Author: Terri J. Haynes

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance

Release date: November, 2022

Discover the Story Behind a Secret Passageway

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Gracie Kingston begins renovations on the Philadelphia house inherited from her grandmother and finds a secret room. It is connected to a house nearby, the home of William Still, the man known as the father of the Underground Railroad. As she researches, she discovers a mystery in her house’s ownership. In 1855, Olivia Kingston helps a mother and her young child by hiding them in a secret room in her home. As she helps, she learns that there may be an impostor conductor in their community. As Gracie’s and Olivia’s stories intertwine, they learn the meaning of sacrifice and love.

Click here to get your copy!

As part of the Doors to the Past series, Passages of Hope connects the stories of Grace Kingston in the present with Olivia Kingston in 1855. Grace has inherited a home in Philadelphia, and as she begins renovating it she finds a secret room.

In the past, Olivia Kingston, a freed black slave she helps on the Underground Railroad. As she hides a mother and her young child in a secret room in her home, she discovers an imposter may be in their midst.

The author does an excellent job weaving these two stories and the characters together. I found myself unable to put this book down. With illustrations of sacrifice and love, this book is well-written with well-developed characters.

So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Terri J. Haynes, a native Baltimorean, is a homeschool mom, writer, prolific knitter, freelance graphic artist and former Army wife (left the Army, not the husband). She loves to read, so much that when she was in elementary school, she masterminded a plan to be locked in a public library armed with only a flashlight to read all the books and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As she grew, her love for writing grew as she tried her hand at poetry, articles, speeches and fiction. She is storyteller at heart. Her passion is to draw readers in the story world she has created and to bring laughter and joy to their lives.
Terri is a 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest finalist, and a 2012 semi-finalist. She is also a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist. Her publishing credits include: Cup of Comfort for Military Families, Crosswalk.com, the Secret Place Devotional, Urbanfaith.com, Vista Devotional, and Publisher’s Weekly.
Terri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and a certificate in creative writing and graphic design, meeting the minimal requirements of being a geek. She and her husband pastor a church where she serves as executive pastor and worship leader. Terri lives in Maryland with her three wonderful children and her husband, who often beg her not to kill off their favorite characters.
Website: http://www.terrijhaynes.com
Blog: http://www.inotherwords.terrijhaynes.com

More from Terri

Family, Underground Railroad, two strong Black women, and knitting in one book? Yes.

As an author, I explore my world with curiosity. I find many subjects interesting and it shows in this book. It’s not often that an author can combine such a range of topics in one novel. I’m so glad I got to do it for this one.

In addition to being an author, I am a knitter, crocheter, indie yarn dyer, business owner, unofficial historian, wife, mother, and sister. At first glance, all those things seem too different to combine in one book. But they weave together so perfectly.

Life is a tapestry of many colors knit together and my goal was to show that. That family and history, grieving and crafting, struggle and triumph, are all entwined threads. Their vibrancy can be combined to create a beautiful project, the pain and joy both add hue and color to life. This is what I hope you find in this book.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 29

lakesidelivingsite, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Cover Lover Book Review, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 1

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 2 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 5

Connie’s History Classroom, December 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6

Holly’s Book Corner, December 6

Blossoms and Blessings, December 7

Mary Hake, December 7

Remembrancy, December 8

For Him and My Family, December 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 9

Lis Loves Reading, December 9

Through the fire blogs, December 10

Spoken from the Heart, December 10

Pause for Tales, December 11

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

Betti Mace, December 12

Marriage, Motherhood, & Homeschool, December 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print 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/22cd0/passages-of-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway