Blessings in the Bargain Release Fun

Kari asked us to share today about friend who is our opposite but we love them anyways. I can’t think of anyone who was more opposite than my husband,  Jim, and I when we were dating and first married.


I was an extrovert…He was an introvert.

I loved to read…He hated it.

I loved to go and do…He was a homebody.

I was a Barnabas….He was a Paul.

I loved to play games…He would do anything to avoid playing.

I loved Rock n Roll…He was a bit of country and a bit of rock and roll.


The list could go on and on.


In the beginning of our marriage, it caused a lot of arguments. For example, I would want to go out on the weekend after being home all week, he wanted to stay home after being out working all week. We were both young which I think made it even harder – we didn’t have the wisdom we have now.

But we were in love. We were both committed to the Lord and to our marriage.

Eventually, we found that we had to compromise; we had to think of the other ahead of ourselves.

What is so interesting is now that we have been married almost 30 years, we have become more and more alike. Jim has become more of an extrovert and even enjoys talking to people now; I have become somewhat of an introvert and while I love to be around people, I need some time to myself. Jim enjoys going and doing more; I enjoy being at home more.

It is a balance.

I am thankful that after all these years we still enjoy each others company. We enjoy going and doing things together but we also enjoy being home and relaxing together. I still love to play games but there are certain games Jim now really enjoys (Monopoly is not on that list LOL). And while I still love Rock n Roll, I am a bit country now too.

How about you readers? Do you have a friend that is opposite of you but you still love and enjoy being around?


More about Blessings in the Bargain….

Despite a career in logistics, Courtney is unprepared to get lost at sea…

A fated trip to the docks with her closest pal Annie leads to disaster. Ship Captain Lex Ford agrees to take Courtney and two of her friends on what was to be a quick trip to test a new boat. A dangerous storm traps them against a reef, damaging communications and stranding them at sea.

Lex knew this was a bad idea…

He hated having people on his ship with him. Ever since his partner left, he doesn’t share his life with anything but the seagulls. So, when Courtney’s friend Rafe offers him a deal on a new boat, he’d rather ignore the offer.

His heart isn’t ready for how he feels about Courtney, and watching her brave the elements after the storm makes him want to protect her. But the last woman he loved just walked away. And what about their age gap? He’s far older than her. The Lord is good at turning bad situations for good, but can even He make this mess right?

This Breakers Head novel is Kari Trumbo’s final novel 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.

Click HERE to get your copy!



Before you go, be sure to enter my giveaway below. Also, don’t miss out on the author’s post and giveaways!

Kari Trumbo: Sept 27
Rachel Skatvold: Sept 28
Tabitha Bouldin Sept 29
Carolyn Miller: Sept 30
Chautona Havig: Oct 1
Melissa Wardwell: Oct 2
Click here to view this promotion.

Delicious Devotion Release Fun

For the release of Delicious Devotions, we were asked to share about a special gift we were given for our wedding.

I knew right away which present I would share.

It was the day of my bridal shower. My cousin, Shelly, graciously threw my wedding shower and she held it at her house. It was a special day with many family and friends in attendance. We played games, had food, and fellowshipped for several hours. My aunt made me a bouquet out of a paper plate from the shower and ribbons from the presents. I still have that stored in my keepsakes box in the rafters in the garage.

When it was over, Jim came and we packed all the gifts in my car – looking over each one and talking about how fun it would be to use each thing when we were married. While we were loading, my dad came to help.

It was then I received a special gift.

My mom and dad called me over to the trunk of their car. When they opened the trunk…there it was.

My mom smiled and said, “Your daddy wanted you to have it. He thinks every woman should have a set.”

I moved closer to the box. It was a beautiful set of china.

I was so touched.

My dad thought of the idea. My mom picked it out. They both sacrificed to buy it for me. It was something that would have been hard to get on my own when I was trying to set up an entire home.

Jim and I will soon be celebrating 29 years of marriage. In that 29 years, we have moved 10 times.

I still have my china.

There are just a few pieces that have been glued back together. But I still have every single piece. And I still use it several times a year.

It will always hold a special place in my heart.


More about Delicious Devotions…

Why do weddings do their best to ruin relationships? Friends, family—even the couple!

Beth Stevens didn’t come to the Independence Islands to find a guy, but thanks to her beloved Gram, she had a place to go and the skills to start a business she loves. Meeting Scott again and getting engaged was a bonus she only dreamed of.

Now, in the final weeks before their Christmas Eve wedding, she can’t imagine not having him in her life. They have endured one hurdle after another in their two-year relationship and have remained devoted through it all.

And then months of wedding planning begins to fall apart as one person continues to undermine Beth’s choices.

Scott has waited for this day to come but as he witnesses Beth unravel, he does everything he knows to do to protect and stand by her.

The question is, will things ever come together enough to get them both to the altar before it’s too late?

This Breakers Head novel is Melissa Wardwell’s final novel 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.

Click HERE to get your copy.



Before you go, be sure to enter my giveaway below for your chance to win! Don’t forget to visit each of the author’s posts as well so you can enter their giveaways!


Click here to view this promotion.

Stranded on Sparrow Release Fun – Hot Air Balloon Anyone?

Perfect unconventional date – hot air balloon


More about Stranded on Sparrow…

If His eye is on the sparrow, where does that leave her?

Lia Diaz’s life has become an illusion. Fired from her perfect job, she’s living a lie to avoid censure from her critical family. So when Lia gets a call about her nana’s recent fall, she heads to Nana’s house to help out and regroup.

Things are looking up until she discovers that her childhood refuge, Nana’s home on Sparrow Island, has been condemned in the wake of Hurricane Arley. Time to regroup—again.

Getting stranded on Sparrow Island while visiting the house was not in those revised plans.

After “rescuing” his niece and a motley crew of animals, some might say Zachary Nolan has a hero complex. Zachary never thought that he would live life as a single dad. However, as a web designer he is able to spend lots of time with Violet, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. A call for help when Lia gets stranded there sends him rushing to the rescue. That hero complex thing again.

A hero and his niece offer new hope to Lia—maybe God’s eye is on Sparrow Island after all.

Read the next Sparrow Island novel 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.



Before you go, be sure to check out each author’s post to see their unconventional dates and enter their giveaways!


Rachel Skatvold: April 26
Tabitha Bouldin: April 27
Carolyn Miller: April 28
Chautona Havig: April 29
Melissa Wardwell: April 30
Kari Trumbo: May 1
Sandy Barela: May 2
Click here to view this promotion.

Sweet Rivals Release – Turning Mourning into Dancing

From Seizures to Dancing

The Lord has turned my mourning into dancing many time in my life. The most significant is with my seizures.


In 2012, I had finished my Masters in Education, started teaching and worked my way up to being an administrator at the school I was teaching at. My husband worked at the same school and we both homeschooled my kids who were all in high school.

We had arrived. All that we had worked for had finally come to fruition.

Don’t get me wrong, it was hard work. I had a difficult boss and it was demanding but that is how life it, right?

Then it happened. It was a Sunday afternoon and I felt pain in my head and a tingle in my hands. The next thing I knew, I woke up on the floor with my daughter crying and my husband next to me. I was rushed to the emergency room where I was told I had a seizure.

From there I was made an appointment with a neurologist who put these nodes on my head and had me where a monitor for a weekend. Isn’t it lovely? Ahem. Yes. I look like something out of doctor who.


When that came back inconclusive, they put me in the hospital for a week where they did all kinds of things that made me feel I was being tortured for information – flashed lights at me, didn’t feed me, tilted me on a table. Then kept me up for 24 hours and did it all again. I finally had a seizure but not where they could see me.

While all this was going on, I was still having seizures. Lots of them. This meant I couldn’t drive or be by myself at anytime.

It was life-changing.

I had to take medical retirement from my job and I have never been able to go back to driving or teaching.



The making of Celebrate Lit and the making of friends!

So here I was….38 years old and retired. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. So I went back to school to do a second masters degree program…this time in English with a focus on publishing. While doing this program, I found out how much of a struggle it is for authors to market…especially Christian authors. A Christian Author friend of mine wanted to do a virtually tour and I offered to do one for her with the friends I made through blogging myself and in a way that I thought made sense – combining a book tour with a blog hop so readers could follow along. The author loved it and wanted us to do it as a business but I wanted to do it as a ministry. I talked to my daughter, Denise and….


Celebrate Lit was born.


It has been such a blessing. We have made so many friends. Friends who support us, encourage us, pray for us, and love on us.  In turn, it has been a privilege to do the same for them.


We are so thankful!



Where Celebrate Lit has Flown

Since starting Celebrate Lit seven years ago, it has grown and flown! Celebrate Lit Publicity has expanded to include reader groups, an author group, and social media building help for authors. We opened a publishing house 5 years ago and have published over 150 books. We have attended conferences – We just came back from The Inspire Writers’ Conference at Mount Hermon which was amazing – and have flown to do reader parties which has been so much fun!


One of my dreams for Celebrate Lit was to do author retreats where we can workshop as we bring in people to teach authors. In February of 2019, that dream became a reality. Now that Covid is past, we are looking forward to getting back to it!






Where I am now with my Seizures

In August of 2019, I had a surgery and they found the cause of all my pain. What we didn’t realize is that this surgery would also fix my seizure issue. I have not had a seizure since! I am still continuing to rebuild my stamina and energy but the last time I went to Disneyland, I was using a walker not a wheelchair!

Celebrate Lit continues to grow and we have brought on more and more people into our family. It has been such a blessing!


Thank you so much for reading about my journey. The Lord has done amazing things!

I have been asked several times if I could go back and choose this path, would I? Without hesitation, I would. How much I have grown spiritually; how much I have grown as a friend; how close we have become as a family; how much I have learned in all areas of my life; how many friends I have made….the list go on and on.


God is good!


Before you go, learn….


More about Sweet Rivals

Fay is about to lose her business…

…to the only guy she’s ever thought might be good for her.

Fay Ravven has spent years building a floral business on Mimosa Island. Too bad a chain florist has moved in right down the street. As her business wanes, she realizes her rival is none other than Corbin Lowel, the very man who swept her heart away at her friend’s wedding.

Corbin knows he’s not good enough for Fay. His friends remind him all the time that, as a florist, he’s not really man enough for anyone. That doesn’t stop him from stepping out of his comfort zone and going to Fay’s store to see if she remembers him. That’s when he discovers that his business is killing hers.

What are rivals to do when they can’t stop thinking about each other? Plan the flowers for someone else’s wedding, of course.

When Corbin and Fay must see each other and work together, will they dive through their pain and reach for the stars? Or will the roses be too prickly for two hurt hearts?

Read the next Sparrow Island novel 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.



Before you go, be sure you stop by each authors post and enter their giveaway!

Kari Trumbo – March 29

Rachel Skatvold – March 30

Tabitha Bouldin – March 31

Carolyn Miller –April 1

Chautona Havig  – April 2

Melissa Wardwell – April 3

Sandy Barela – April 4

Click here to view this promotion.

The Nutcracker’s Suite Release Fun

“So… You are here asking about The Nutcracker. Sit down, I will tell you all about it.” I motioned to the chair across from me.

I really need to find a new coffee shop. This is happening all to frequently.

The large man that looked like he could run with Al Capone sat across from me (yes, I know I used Capone in my last story but, hey, I am not well-versed in my mob bosses).

“Spill it.”

I took a sip of my coffee to ready myself to tell the story.

“It was bright and shiny. It stood regal amongst my Christmas decorations.

When I say it stood regal among my Christmas decorations, you must understand that I put it somewhere I knew it would be safe. It was high on the bookshelf. Everyone could see it there. In fact, I would call it a focal point. Yet it was high enough that no child could reach it. Even an adult would have to stretch to reach it. Look but no touchy as my husband would say.

All this to say….I took precautions to protect this decoration. It was special and I knew it.

I have to say my annual Christmas Tea was a smashing success. We had so many people we had to add an extra table. Everyone enjoyed homemade scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, tea sandwiches, cookies, tea cakes, and more. Chautona gave a wonderful devotional. We took pictures in the photo booth. We sang carols, We played reindeer games…er…Christmas games. SO much fun.

And so many people commented on the Nutcracker. How much they loved how it looked. How beautiful it was. I would even say it was the highlight of the event. One of the ladies even asked if she could borrow it to check it out. It was hard but I had to say no.

It happened after the tea. We were cleaning up and our dogs had been upstairs with my husband the whole time so they needed to…um…they needed a potty break. My husband opened the door and down they came. Delilah was in front, then Ebony pushed her way forward. It was a race to see who could get to the door first. Karma, not to be outdone, ran to catch up. Ebony tried to keep her spot at the front so she swerved to the right and that was it .She bumped the bookshelf. It was like it happened in slow motion. The Nutcracker moved – I thought it was going to be safe at first. It wobbled, then steadied. Then it started wobbling some more and started to move forward.

Down, down, down, it went.

My husband dove for it. I ran reaching. Jim tipped it and it came toward me. I leapt and stretched. It touched the tip of my fingers….Then landed with a thud on the floor.

I gasped. Not the Nutcracker!

Ebony was sniffing it. Karma was cowering on the couch. Delilah was the first to the backdoor.

I slowly walked over. I picked it up. I turned it over. The book didn’t have a scratch on it! Whew. I was so thankful!”

“Book! What book! You are supposed to be telling me about the Nutcracker!” He reached towards me.

“I was telling you about The Nutcracker. Weren’t you asking about The Nutcracker’s Suite? The book just released by Chautona Havig?”

“Don’t be smart with me. You know exactly what I am talking about. The nutcracker from the toy store.”

“Ohhhhh” I reached for my coffee mug. “You want to know about the REAL nutcracker.”

He stared at me with what I guessed to be his most intimidating stare. It was pretty intimidating.

“I heard you broke the nutcracker and I want to know how it happened. If you know what is good for you, you will start telling me what happened.”

“Me? I didn’t break the nutcracker. I never even had it. I am not into nutcrackers as Christmas decorations. Ask Liz Tolsma. She knows. I collect stories. You know…like books? I publish them. For decorations, I like snowmen. I have a whole collection of them not nutcrackers. They have always kind of freaked me out.”

He waited. And waited.

“Look, like I said. I would check with Liz. She can vouch for me. I also hear she really likes nutcrackers. She might be able to help you out. You can find her…” I searched through my backpack and slid a paper toward him. “You can find her HERE


More about the Nutcracker’s Story:

The Nutcracker’s Suite by Chautona Havig

“Time to dance, sugarplum.”

A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.

Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of

When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.

A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,

This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.

Get your copy HERE



Click here to view this promotion.

Release Fun for The Elnora Monet

Hello Readers!

I am excited to bring you The Elnora Monet which is this month’s release in the Independent Islands Series!

For this release, we were asked to tell readers about what we like to create. My favorite thing to create is themed hospitality. I love to host dinner parties, parties for my family, or parties for friends all around a particular theme.


I think it is because I enjoy the fellowship of others. This last year has taught me to value and appreciate the time I have with people. It is a joy to see them being able to fellowship together  – to laugh, smile, talk, and be encouraged. It is special to be able to facilitate and be a part of it.

May I share with you some of the  fun themed events I have done over the last year.


Supper Club

The Supper Club came about in the most interesting of ways. I was reading two books at once – a fiction book that talked about a pop up restaurant that is every Saturday that was a special thought out meal and a non-fiction book that talked about using your hospitality for other. I thought about this over and over and over until an idea formed. What if I created a special meal that brought together different people to draw them closer together and closer to God?

The Supper Club was born.

The Supper Club consists of 6 courses all made from scratch around one theme. For this past Super Club, we featured American Cuisine. It started with Deviled Eggs as the appetizer, then a special prayer. The second course was a wedge salad with an explanation of why we do The Supper

Club. For our third course, we had vegetable soup and sang worship songs all together, Brisket, mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower for those on Keto), asparagus and butter stuffed garlic rolls served as the main course (the fourth course) with an ice breaker so we could get to know each other better. Next came the coffee (or tea) course served with cookies. During this course, the fifth course, we were lead in a a devotion to bring us to think about the Lord. Our final course was raspberry cheesecake mousse for dessert (we even found a Ket one!).

Of course, no special dinner would be compete without a special gift for each attendee. For this Supper Club, we made chocolate flowers. We used these as place cards so each person knows where to sit.

What a special time to get to know others and be drawn closer to the Lord!


Resurrection Celebration Dinner for our family

I love my family. Being able to combine that with a chance to serve them is gold in my book. This year we served ham my hubby smoked and it was so yummy! To make things extra special, I created a setting for each person with a special gift of a cake pop and a Starbucks gift card as a treat.

It was a blessing to watch all the family visit after the last year of not being able to see them much!




Denise’s Birthday Party

Denise turned 25 this year! Can you believe it? The time has gone by so quickly!

I wanted to do something extra special for her and asked her what theme she would like for her party. She chose Harry Potter and I was off to the races.

For atmosphere, I had my daughter, Kelsey, create Hogwart’s Letters and Josh hung them from the ceiling in the den. We hung floating candles in another room and floating keys. with wings in the hallway. In the windows, we hung the house colors. We had Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom along with various signs and posters around the house.

For food, I had all kinds of items designed around the theme – dragon’s eggs (deviled eggs), Dumbledore’s Pensive (Jello), broom sticks (pretzel’s and cheese), dragon tartar (meatballs), pepper up potion (soup), and Hagrid’s cakes (cornbread muffins) plus more! Instead of cake, we had sorting hats. Inside each one were one color M & M’s so when you open the ice cream cones, you could see which house you were sorted into.

My favorite thing had to be the Treat Trolley. A three tiered trolly full of various treats you would find on the Hogwart’s Express. We had things such as chocolate frogs, Jelly Slugs, Lemon Drops, Black Lack Inhabitants, House Points, Chocolate Wands, and Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean.

It was so fun to celebrate Denise! Here are a few pic’s of the fun.


More about The Elnora Monet

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.

Grab your copy HERE.


Before. you go….

Be sure to visit the other authors’ posts and enter their giveaway plus enter mine below.

Rachel Skatvold – April 27

Tabitha Bouldin – April 28

Carolyn Miller – April 29

Chautona Havig – April 30

Melissa Wardwell – May 1

Kari Trumbo – May 2

Click here to view this promotion.

Surrendered Bonus

Celebrate Lit is excited to introduce a new series by Author Jennifer Sienes with the first book releasing on April 30 called Surrendered.

The Celebrate Lit Team first met Jennifer at the Mount Hermon Writers’ Conference in 2018 and were impressed from the beginning. We fell in love with both the story and her writing style when we read her manuscript and knew we had to publish it. Check out more about this fascinating story:

Her father’s will is clear; do what he demands, or lose everything, including guardianship of her younger sister. But there’s a force at work–an evil set on destroying her and her sister. If only she knew whether the enigmatic man helping them is friend–or deadly foe…

After the reading of her father’s will, Tess O’Shay’s panic attacks return. In death, Sean O’Shay is attempting to accomplish what he couldn’t do in life—force Tess to finish her education, a dream she abandoned after being raped on campus. Unless she complies with her father’s wishes, she will lose all claim to the only home she’s ever known as well as to the family business. Worse, she’ll have to give up guardianship of her younger sister to Jake Holland, a secretive man fleeing from his past. Fine! She’ll show Jake and her father. She’ll muster whatever meager energy and strength she has, get her degree, and keep what matters most to her.

No matter what.

Then the man who assaulted her reappears, shattering what little strength she has left. Now she must dig deep to find the remnants of her mustard-seed faith…because that’s the only way she can face the past and right a wrong in order to secure the future.


With a new book, a new bonus!

You will meet Julia in Surrendered but you get to learn more about her and  her journey in this insightful prequel. Enjoy the excerpt!


Excerpt from Julia

“Hey Max. You want to go to the park?”

“Yeah.” His voice is muffled.

She steps into his room, and as soon as she spots him, her sour mood dissipates. He sits on his bed, back against the wall, with every stuffed animal he owns stacked around and in front of him. Only his head of blond curls and big blue eyes are visible. “What in the world are you doing?”

“I’m hidin’.”

Chuckling, she moves to the bed and sits on the edge. “We need to teach you the finer points of hiding.”

“Like what?”

“Not talking, for one. Why don’t you climb out of there and get yourself ready for the park. We need to gather some snacks and—”

“Daddy’s coming, too.” He pushes the pile of animals from his lap and scoots to the edge before climbing down.

She searches for a way to soften the blow. “Well, you know, Daddy and I talked about it and decided that I’d take you today, and he’ll take you tomorrow. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea?” She holds her breath, watching for any sign of disappointment.

“Okay.” He shrugs. “I guess. Did Daddy have to go to work?”

“No. He had an appointment he forgot about.” Julia ruffles Max’s soft curls. “Where’s your tennies?”

She glances around the room, everything, except the herd of stuffed animals, in their proper place. Stephen reigns even here. It should be easy enough—

“They’re in the closet.”

Well, duh. “Why don’t you—” The phone trills in the front room, “—grab them while I go see who that is.” She jogs down the hall and into the great room, glancing at her desk for her phone, which is silent. What the heck?

The phone trills again, but it’s coming from the kitchen. Did Stephen forget his phone? She finds it by the sink, it’s dark screen and cover blending into the black granite counter. Snatching it up, the caller ID announces Don. If it’s important, he’ll leave a message. But some internal nudge tells her to answer, which she does with the flick of her thumb.



“Is anyone there?”

“Um, sorry.” A breathless voice. A breathless female voice. “I must have the wrong number.”

“Who’re looking for?”

“Never mind. Sorry to have bothered you.”

But Julia has a sick feeling it isn’t a wrong number. And just maybe, Stephen wasn’t late for a golf game.


Pre-order Surrendered today to receive your special price of only $5.99 for the eBook plus your free copy of Julia.

Fill out the form located here to claim your gift.