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Monday, October 12, 2020


Sand and mistletoe banner

About the Book

Book:  Sand & Mistletoe

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre:  Contemporary Christian Romance (Holiday)

Release Date: November 24, 2018

Sand & MistletoeWhat’s Christmas without family drama, an accident, and mistletoe?

If you ask Portia Spears, it’s a horror movie—especially since she’s never the one caught under that mistletoe. And who thought it was a good idea to spend the last Christmas as a family unit away from their family home?

Her bossy older sisters, that’s who.

Christmas at his parents’ house with his son—just the way Reese Whitaker likes it. But a chance encounter on the beach might just change everything. How often do you meet someone who loves kids and knows American Sign Language?

Not often. Trust him.

However, with just two weeks to get to know each other and two families that couldn’t be more different vying for their time, will they even have a chance to test out that mistletoe they found?

Find out today in Sand & Mistletoe.


Click here to get your copy!


I can read Christmas stories all year round and still not get tired of them. Being around Portia and her family  would absolutely drive me crazy. So much bickering, anger and jealousy made me want to scream. The plan was to have a memorable loving Christmas as a big happy family. No attitude was allowed but it came anyway. Get ready for an adventure like no other in this holiday story. 

Portia is not pleased to be at a place where it is hot for Christmas surrounded by family that is opinionated about everything and everyone.  Portia irritated me at times with her sour attitude and then I noticed that I was relating to her more than I realized. Part of her family is determined to have the best family Christmas ever, while the  others just want it to be over. I didn’t mean to laugh when Portia’s dad ended up in the hospital but everything else was going wrong why not have poor dad have an accident. Then why don’t we fight over his care and who stays with him. Oh my this family kept me intrigued wondering if they would ever celebrate the holidays. 

I can’t forget about Reese and his adorable son Duncan. They are perfect for Portia but I’m not sure she sees that yet. I liked how the author implemented a deaf child into the story and showed how much they want to be a part of everything. It worried me that Duncan took to Portia so fast. I don’t want his little innocent heart broken when Portia goes back home. The story is filled with emotion, faith and a look at family dynamics. I liked the romance in the story that wasn’t over the top but slow and tasteful. Portia and Reese do have times where their communication between each other is not exactly perfect. I loved this quote from the book,  “I think when we hide stuff from our ‘other half...‘that’s when we start listening to the lies of the world.” That statement should remind us to always be open and honest with our other half . Secrets always come out and sometimes hurt others. The big question I wanted answered in the story is, “Will Reese and Portia become  a couple?” I’m not telling. You must read the story and fall in love like I did with the characters that are realistic and draw you into their lives. Well done Chautona. Once again I have spent my time immersed in a story filled with hope, faith, family and a heart full of joy. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 

About the Author

ChautonaChautona 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 and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona

What Happens When an Author Rewrites History

To be fair, almost none of us wanted to be there.

And really, that wasn’t fair. Two of our daughters planned as a “destination Christmas” bash for the whole family—just a nice getaway in San Diego for the “last” Christmas we’d probably all be in the same place on the same days.  The kids were getting older, getting married, and even moving out of state. It was a beautiful thing for them to try to do for us.

But Havigs are homebodies who like their traditions, and most of us left in Ridgecrest weren’t too thrilled being “dragged” four hours south to celebrate Christmas in a beautiful house on a cliff overlooking the San Diego countryside.  It had everything, game room, lots of space, yards, hiking trails, an infinity pool, a hot tub…

Yeah. That hot tub kicked off the weekend with a splash all right.  With no lighting around it, and no railing either, my husband stepped out of it and right off the ledge—down a hill (at least fifteen feet), bouncing off boulders and thankfully, stopped by a fence. Otherwise, he’d have rolled for a LONG way.

Get this.  He broke nothing.  Don’t even ask me how (because we all know Who took care of that, right?).

Still, I spent my Christmas Eve sitting in an ER waiting for someone to tell us the damage (superficial scrapes and deep bruising). The whole time I thought, “This has got to be a book.”

Two years later, it was.

I say this at the end of the book, but I need to say it again.

People who know our family will recognize some of my kids (I left four of them out of the story).  They will also say, “Wait, she’s not like that!”

And that’s the point.  I put just enough of real people in it to really capture the feel of the personalities, meshed some quirks (including the ones that got left out), and then set them in a stressful situation and really way over-exaggerated actual responses.  I want to say this here again.  None of us acted just like I portrayed us in Sand & Mistletoe (although, frankly, I wouldn’t have blamed a couple of them if they’d wanted to). Unlike A Bird Died, I didn’t even try to stick to facts.

Instead of San Diego hill country, I put us at my favorite beach—Ventura. I stuck our rented beach house where the Pierpont Inn is/used to be (don’t even know if it exists anymore). Reese’s parents live in the house I lived in when I was nine—right there on Pierpont just a block from the beach.  And where they went to get mistletoe… one of my favorite places in the world.

So, here’s my version of the tale—the one I wrote instead of told.  Just like Francie Nolan learned from her teacher in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  When I tell the story, I tell it exactly how it happened.  However… I wrote what should (not) have happened!  (this is much more interesting than the real story).

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Emily Yager, October 12

The Book Chic Blog, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

Get Cozy Book Nook, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 14

Blogging With Carol, October 14

deb’s Book Review, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 16

Splashes of Joy, October 16

Labor Not in Vain, October 16

She Lives To Read, October 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 18

Mary Hake, October 18

Livin’ Lit, October 19

Artistic Nobody, October 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 20

Lots of Helpers, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 22

Batya’s Bits, October 22

As He Leads is joy, October 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 23

Simple Harvest Reads, October 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

SusanLovesBooks, October 24

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 25


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the prize package including a signed paperback & a handmade ornament!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. I love the the review! Sounds like a great read, and I am getting into Christmas reads right now!

  2. Great review, I can't wait to read it.

  3. I'm adding this one to my list of Christmas books to read in December!

  4. This was a fun story! I enjoyed it.

  5. Chautona Havig's story sounds fun as well as stressful and emotional. Just like most family Christmas celebrations!

  6. I really liked the synopsis of the book. Sounds like a great read.

  7. Welcome to our wacky family. We're not nearly as antagonistic to each other as the fictional "us" is, but we are that weird! So glad you enjoyed them.

  8. Thank you for sharing your lovely review and the book and author details, this sounds like a wonderful holiday story