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Saturday, October 22, 2022

About the Book

Book: Keeping Christmas Volume 1

Authors: Cathe Swanson, Chautona Havig, Olivia Talbott, Kathleen J. Robison, Denise L. Barela, Marguerite Martin Gray, and Naomi Craig.

Genre: Christian Christmas Romance

Release date: October 4, 2022

In castles far and near, long ago and yesterday, find happily-ever-afters wrapped in love and tied with Christmas joy.

The Lights of Castlebourne (by Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig): He bowled her over at first sight–his dog, that is. Sydney just wanted a chance to do the landscape design at Castlebourne. She never dreamed the owner’s electrician would light up her heart at Christmas.

The Girl From Dalarna (by Olivia Talbott): She’s the most beautiful woman in Sweden, but she doesn’t want to be. A simple life among milk cows is all she desires. Will a scandal upend her plans and ruin her chances for love?

The Cross at Morioka Castle (by Kathleen J. Robison): In the ancient land of shoji screens and tatami mats, Ariko finds the stone ruins of Morioka Castle, and the mysterious cross that holds the secret of a Christian faith extending far deeper than Ariko ever imagined.

The Ghost of Christmas… (by Denise L. Barela): Abbigayl needs to get away for Christmas this year. No family, no questions about why she’s still single, no suggestion about being set up with someone’s friend. What will happen when Neuschwanstein Castle’s past converges with Abbigayl’s future?

Crystal Clear (by Marguerite Martin Gray): Rosalind’s muddied past and foggy future crystalize in Château Chenonceau, a refuge from gossip and more. Watch as the château and Christmas work their magic and break the bonds of propriety, and rejoice as Rosalind experiences the crystal-clear hints of peace, joy, and hope all around her.

The Weary World Rejoices (by Naomi Craig): Behind the elaborate furnishings of Herod the Great’s palace, conspiracy and distrust run rampant. Mysterious visitors from the east challenge everything Amal thinks he knows as palace scribe. Will his quest to uncover the Truth free him from the ornate shackles of palace life, or will he be the next victim of King Herod’s maniacal jealousy?

Grab a mug of something hot and delicious and curl up somewhere comfy. Your literary chariots await to take you on a journey from an early twentieth-century castle overlooking the Mississippi all the way back to the Holy Land at the time of Jesus’ birth. These six novellas, all set in castles real and fictional, celebrate the heart and joy of Christmas.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Authors

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


Cathe Swanson writes books with creative plots and engaging characters of all ages, to glorify God and entertain and bless readers. Her heartwarming stories will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.


Olivia Talbott grew up in Montana, but currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and two daughters, a few sheep and a border collie. She loves words, traveling, pickles and having deep conversations about how Jesus changes everything. Visit her at


Kathleen J. Robison is an Okinawan-American, born in Okinawa, and raised in California, Florida, Mississippi, and Singapore. Her travels and her family are the sources of her inspiration for her books. Kathleen and her Pastor husband have eight adult children. Seven are married, blessing them with eighteen grandchildren and counting. Her ethnically diverse background extends to her family of currently thirty-five personalities which provide many opportunities to share God’s amazing love amidst the challenges of real life.


Denise L. Barela is a twenty-something-year-old writer with a passion for fiction, her faith, and just being creative in general. When she’s not working away at her desk, you might find her reading a good book or following Alice down the rabbit hole…


Marguerite Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband in north Louisiana. She writes historical fiction.


Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor’s wife, Naomi Craig loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church, trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes or convincing her rescue dog, Freeway, to be cute on command for Instagram reels, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. Naomi co-hosts #BehindTheStory with Naomi and Lisa, an author interview show on YouTube and your podcast platform of choice.


More from Denise

Hello everyone!

I’m excited to share this set of stories with you! All the authors have worked hard to bring you some Christmas joy and magic. We’ve each picked a castle to center our stories around. I mean, Christmas and castles go well together, don’t you think? You’ll get to explore different castles in different time periods while also getting to know all the characters in each story. That’s a lot of new friends to make!

For my story, I jumped on the chance to write about a castle that inspired the castle that always brought me joy growing up (if I’m being honest, it still brings me joy). I’ve always been a huge Disney nerd, and Princess Aurora has always been my favorite Disney princess. Growing up, I was blessed to be able to visit Disneyland for most of my life, and Sleeping Beauty’s castle was my favorite thing (I was so sad when they closed the walk-through part for several years). Even without the attraction part of it, I loved walking into the park and seeing it stand at the end of Main Street. I actually teared up seeing it for the first time after Covid.

What does all this have to do with my castle story? Well, in 1869, King Ludwig II of Bavaria began construction on Neuschwanstein Castle. This castle served as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Let me tell you, if you thought Disneyland’s castle was beautiful, it’s got nothing on Neuschwanstein. If I were to pick a castle to live in, it’d be this one.

Setting aside the Disney connection, I was even more intrigued when I learned more about the king who commissioned it. The king was not very popular towards the end of his reign, and the day after he was sent to Berg Castle, he and a doctor were found dead in Lake Starnberg. The weird part? They ruled it a drowning, but there was no water in their lungs and clear signs of foul play.

Oh, but that’s not the only interesting fact this castle houses. This castle became a hiding place for some of the art the Nazi’s stole during World War II. Part of me wonders if any pieces are still hidden there. The Monuments Men group actually cataloged art found there, and it’s been preserved. Here’s a fun article from The Met all about it!

I hope you enjoyed learning about the castle that inspired my story!


I love reading anthologies because I get a variety with authors with their own gift of telling a story. Each one has a different way to reach readers and their imagination is always  fun to explore. Come join the authors as they explore castles, Christmas and faith. 


A very easy story to read with wonderful characters. It was fun to read about this lonely castle that needed some TLC. Sydney is determined to get the landscaping job at Castlebourne. If she can just get past the overbearing  dog that is running around and Philip who knows the owner she will have a job.

I loved reading how the castle was going to be used for a charitable cause for children.  Philip can be pretty persuasive when he wants to impress Sydney. The lights are going up around the castle, and Philip and Sydney feel excited about the upcoming event. Their relationship is growing and each time they are away from each other their feelings grow stronger. 

When a misunderstanding happens thanks to Sydney’s mother, Philip calls off their relationship. Sydney’s mother is quite the rude person and thinks she is some important person, but I have a feeling God is going to humble her. 

The story is full of surprises, funny moments, misunderstandings and a Christmas wedding that brings two people together in a beautiful setting of a castle. I adored Arielle and Mark’s banter and  hope to read more about them soon. 


I could tell from the beginning of this story that it was going to be emotional. Linnea is a beautiful young lady who needs a job to help her family out. She is quite shy but I admired how she went out looking for work. As she stands outside the door the next day waiting to enter, I wondered what kind of job she had acquired. The man who hired her was very evasive and I know Linnea was praying she had made the right decision. 

What a great relief to learn that she would be looking after cows. She is so excited and can now relax and enjoy her work. Holding the canisters of milk was no easy  feat but Linnea proves how strong she is as she travels to town to deliver the milk to customers. Suddenly her job changes a bit and I felt like she was being paraded around because of her beauty. Linnea thinks nothing of her looks and does not like the attention of others. 

As Linnea finds  herself the center of attention at a ball she starts to question why she is here. The place is grand,  the King and Queen are elegant as they announce that the Christmas Eve Julbord is beginning. I think Linnea knows she doesn’t belong here being stared out, admired and on display.

The story shows how easy it can be to fall into a trap when something enticing comes your way. Linnea knows that being paraded around for her beauty is wrong. She has to make things  right in her heart with God. I loved the ending and how Linnea found that she was not judged by everyone. A special man has been looking out for  her and this Christmas will be special for both of them. She knows her worth and feels that she has been given a new beginning. 


I love the setting of this story where we find ourselves in Japan. Ariko has come here after losing her job in Los Angeles. With the  holidays  coming she  is happy to be home .  How exciting to wake up hearing carolers. I wanted to be there with Ariko to soak up the feeling of Christmas with her family. 

Morioka Castle was everything Ariko hoped for as she glanced as it’s beauty. A cross gets her attention and  also catches the eye of the  stranger Ariko encountered last night. It was very interesting listening to Ariko and Kai talk about Christianity. Finding out about Ariko’s father made me sad. He became a Christian and his family was ashamed of him. Can Ariko stay in Japan knowing that she is a Christian as well? Will she shame her great grandmother? 

This is a very powerful story about standing up for your beliefs. Ariko knows her great grandmother wants her to stay, but she must make a hard decision. She refuses to put “no other gods before Him.” We find out about the cross and the history behind it. Can you imagine having to hide that you were a Christian?

Get ready for a beautiful story about reconciliation, Japanese culture and finding your way back to God. Ariko never wavered from her faith and was able to help other family members know who God is. I loved finding out that the history of Morioka Castle is factual. I couldn’t believe that only 1%of  Japanese people  embrace Christianity. This has been a great story of Japanese culture, family and finding faith.


It is not very often that I become so mesmerized by a story that I block out everything around me. One author has been able to do that to me twice now. With great expectation I am happy to give my thoughts on this charming story. Abbi is thrilled to be at the castle. It was what dreams are made of and now Abbi is here for the tenth-annual Christmases of the Past Celebration! Abbi should be enjoying herself yet she is allowing her mothers words  to remind her of her weight. My heart went out to Abbi as I discovered the verbal abuse she has endured by her mother. Abbie’s self esteem is low and the hateful words her mother says has hurt her. She needs to find strength and overcome those words that cause her so much pain. 

It is easy to identify with Abbi because she wants to be accepted and follow her dreams. The guilt her mother  puts on her is sad and I wanted Abbi to find her way to where she is content and happy. As she begins to explore the castle all thoughts of her mother disappear.  Abbi is like a kid in a candy store when before  her are artifacts from World War I and II. The emotions she feels as she takes in everything is far more than anything she has ever experienced. I felt like I was beside her as she looks at photos of prisoners  of War. One particular picture catches Abbi off guard.  How could Kristen the man she has been speaking to in the castle be in one of these pictures from the War? Something is not making sense and I was now right beside Abbi as she waits for  an explanation. 

Abbi must now trust God that He will reveal what is going on in His own time. Now we have to be patient and see what happens next. Just to let everyone know I am not very patient so I wanted to tell Abbi to explore on her own. I will be right behind  her with one eye looking over my shoulder at all times.  Abbi encounters Kristian again and their discussion gets deep. I loved how the author reminds us that we are to love everyone. Oh I know it can be hard, but God sent His Son to die on the cross for each of us. Will Kristian understand what it means to forgive? 

I loved the ending and how Abbi found that she was loved and had found someone who never judged her. She could be herself and enjoy the gift that God has given her. I really didn’t want the story to end and am thankful for the journey the author swept me away to. For a short time, I was celebrating Christmas with  friends, and realized how much more I am than my parents said  I would be. 


Rosalind is facing a change in her life. Her sister has caused an uproar in the palace and now Rosalind’s life may go in another direction. With the family’s reputation at stake Rosalind gets sound advice from a wise woman. “The only thing that matters is what the good Lord thinks.”  Oh how I want to remember that  sentence when I worry what others think of me. 

With a decision made for Rosalind, she will travel to France to stay at a chateau with  a friend of the Queen. This could be just what Rosalind needs to get away from gossip about her family. The scenery before her is too much not to enjoy. I can’t blame her for wanting to walk the  rest of the way. Now she can take in the smells, the landscape and  everything that awaits her just ahead.   

I loved how Rosalind took to her new surroundings. She now is helping to decorate the chateau with beautiful Christmas trees in each room. I could see the ornaments as she placed them in strategic places in each tree. The author does a great job of making the trees so vivid that I could see them sparkling as ornaments began to bring life to its surroundings. 

Luc is very intriguing to me.  He is a much needed distraction for Rosalind and his presence seems to calm her. She begins to have more confidence and is less concerned about the gossip back home. Luc also  seems to be healing from the war  that took so much from him. When an unexpected encounter with someone causes Rosalind to flee, she must allow God to help her. Gossip is an ugly thing to be part of. It gives people a sense of power as they tear others down. Can Luc help Rosalind find strength and overcome her insecurity? 

I loved how this story guides us to see that God has a plan for us. We need to listen as He speaks softly and follow His direction. I loved how Rosalind began to let go of what was holding her back from joy and allowed God to open her eyes to joy and peace. Luc is a special man who not only helps Rosalind but finds his own happiness with a woman that God had placed in his  life. 


This story finds us following Amal as he is assigned by King Herod to find out everything he can about the Messiah.  King Herod is in an uproar and wants answers now. I loved how the author gives a glimpse of someone seeking out who the Messiah is and that salvation is for all people.

Amal has doubts about his mission but slowly he begins to wonder if the Messiah is near. He feels a darkness around him as doubt lingers. He wants to be free of this darkness and emptiness he feels. The story is filled with a journey to seeking out the Messiah. I loved how it explores faith and that we need to believe in Him so we may be saved. 

I enjoyed following Amal and how he desired to follow the Messiah. It is a beautiful look at how a person desires to change and find peace within themselves. We don’t have to see Jesus to believe in Him. As Amal found out he can do the  work of Jesus by spreading His word and being faithful. 

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

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 20

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 21

Texas Book-aholic, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Inklings and notions, October 24

Holly’s Book Corner, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Lots of Helpers, October 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 27

By the Book, October 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 28

She Lives To Read, October 29

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 30

Mary Hake, October 30

Blogging With Carol, October 31

Simple Harvest Reads, November 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Literature Approved, November 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 2


To celebrate their tour, the Celebrate Lit Authors are 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.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

About the Book

Book: After Our Castle

Author: Kellyn Roth

Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

Release date: October, 2022

A year into a blissfully happy marriage, Violet Angel admits to a dose of skepticism. She’s not married, granted—but as the closest friend of the bride and groom, she feels she has a perspective no one but the people directly involved could have. There’s no such thing as a happy ending, and it’s only a matter of time before the castle in the sky plummets to earth.

If only Violet were always wrong instead of just mostly wrong. Ivy McAllen doesn’t she and her new husband are out of the honeymoon period—if they are, she isn’t going to admit it to herself—but there are certainly areas of adjustment that she hadn’t expected.

Changes at the village of Keefmore and in Ivy’s life lead to complications, and Violet spirals further and further from reality. When a castle in the sky turns to be more cloud than stronghold, finding a foothold proves to be more than a little difficult.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century. 

Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory and a writing coach. When not building her author career, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.


More from Kellyn

After Our Castle was a book I didn’t think I would ever write. Oh, I considered writing a short story or two about the early years of Ivy and Jordy’s marriage, yes, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided that I would write a full-length novel.

Why did I hesitate? I’m writing a family saga, after all, and I plan on covering every stage of my characters’ lives in the 10+ books I’m planning (this being book 6). Well, I didn’t think there was anything to be discussed about Ivy and Jordy’s early married days, as there was with my other book couple, Alice and Peter. Nothing interesting, I thought, happens until 1890, eight years into their union. So why write about anything before then?

Then I realized just how much backstory I was packing into that book. And I realized that, for my writing style, there are so many little things that can add up into a book. And that became the story that is After Our Castle.

The novel wasn’t an easy one to write. It required a lot of subtlety and doesn’t precisely have the most perfect ending. But I knew, if I wanted to set up book 8, I would have to write the novel this way.

So here we go. Another book I wasn’t sure about–but that careful writing and even more careful editing, along with a lot of prayer, have turned into a story I’m actually rather proud of.

I hope you enjoy After Our Castle!


This is a book that may not be for everyone. There are subjects such as mental illness and sex before marriage  in the story that could trigger some people. I can appreciate how the author wrote this not to condemn people but to show how God can restore even those who think they are not worthy. 

Ivy is newly married and all seems good until the subject of babies come up. Her husband is not in agreement with having a child which has Ivy upset. I could tell she thought being a mother was part of being married, but sometimes God has a reason that a child doesn’t happen. She does have this almost clingy personality to her husband which bothered me. Slowly Ivy is guided to Godly women who help her in her struggles. 

Jordy is dedicated to his wife and work. He is so busy at times he doesn’t come home til late. This is probably not a good thing to do when you are newlyweds. Perhaps something is keeping Jordy from being more attentive with his wife? I liked Jordy but I sensed he was holding back something that he needs to share with Ivy.  

Violet is losing control and slowly others start to see her not quite so stable. As we read her thoughts we hear how she is jealous of Ivy and Jordy’s marriage. They have been friends for awhile but that closeness Violet once felt with Jordy is slipping away. It starts to cause Violet to lose herself mentally and others start to notice it as well. 

I like how the author gives us an insight into Ivy and Jordy’s marriage. Ivy struggles with finding things to keep her busy, while Jordy buries himself in work. Maybe God is giving  them this time to come together as a couple and grow closer to each other. Communication is the key to their relationship and they need to take this time to share their dreams and concerns with each other. With a suggestion from her sister to pray  with her husband, Ivy sees the need to finally share her desire and pray about it with her husband. 

It was hard to read the end as Violet and Ivy have a falling out. Violet tries to tell Ivy what she feels but Ivy continues to deny what may be the truth. I loved how Ivy  told her she was forgiven and that God was there to help her. In her mind Violet doesn’t think anyone understands what she is going thru but there is hope for her. We are left wondering what happens to Violet and I hope the author will give us a story that follows Violet on her journey. 

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

Blog Stops

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 18

lakesidelivingsite, October 19

Losing the Busyness, October 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Texas Book-aholic, October 21

Inklings and notions, October 22

For Him and My Family, October 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 24

deb’s Book Review, October 25

Cover Lover Book Review, October 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 26

Connie’s History Classroom, October 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 28

Holly’s Book Corner, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 29

Splashes of Joy, October 30

Pause for Tales, October 31

Spoken from the Heart, October 31


To celebrate her tour, Kellyn is giving away the grand prize package 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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

About the Book

Book: Blessings in the Bargain

Author: Kari Trumbo

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: September 27, 2022

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!

About the Author

Kari Trumbo is the creator and co-author of the best-selling Christian Historical Romance series, Cutter’s Creek; selling over 200,000 copies. She has published over 45 titles in seven series. When she’s not writing, editing, plotting, or managing, she home schools her children and pretends to keep up with them. She loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing when no one’s listening, and curling up with a fluffy blanket when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with my husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, one cat, and one hungry wood stove.


With a well known theme from a television show, I joined Captain Lex, Courtney, Annie and  Rafe on a three hour tour around the islands. Lex was already having  misgivings about the trip  when out in the middle of the water, disaster strikes. I loved how quickly the author brought excitement to the story with a dangerous storm approaching the group who seems to be drifting out to sea. It oddly sounds familiar to me, but I was intrigued to see where the author would take our group as they face danger.

I am thrilled to be here for the unveiling of Courtney. She has been in the series but often in the background. She isn’t much of a people person and  her insecurity holds her back. After what she went through at her job I can understand how hard it is for her to trust anyone. I know how she feels thinking that everyone is looking at you, judging  you and making you  feel worthless. It is a struggle to overcome this but this story illustrates who we need to turn to when we are at out lowest. 

Lex knows what it is like to think you have  a great relationship and then suddenly one day a note destroys your dreams. It broke my heart to see how hurt Lex was. He seems to try to steer away from everyone  but being on the boat with three other people may help him realize he is not alone in the  world. As Courtney and Lex try to survive the situation they are in, I just knew that something good was going to happen for  them. 

I like how the author is able to talk about the storms we each face. With the  group stuck out in the water they had to endure a storm that took them off course. We each have been through storms that take us away from our comfort zone. One of the things the story touches on is how we can fall into the trap of isolating ourselves. We become so scared to trust  because we have been hurt that we don’t want to let anyone in. Trusting others is difficult but we need to let go of our doubts and allow others to help us. On the boat the group start to work together to find a way to be rescued. We can be rescued from our storm by calling out to Jesus. 

One of the best parts of this book is when Courtney opens up to Lex  about her past. As she tells him about her depression and how the church she use to go to treated her, I cried. Yes I too have been judged by people in church because I have depression and anxiety. Many people don’t understand it and want to blame you for not getting better. It was sad to read that the  church Courtney went to was judgmental because she wanted to get therapy. This pushed her away from everyone. I appreciate how the author approaches depression in a sensitive way. 

I have loved this story starting with the storm that stranded people and how they each found how strong they are. They worked together and allowed each other to share their struggles. We see how Courtney deals with social anxiety. It has affected her for years and slowly with help from her friends and faith  she starts to see that there is hope. The relationship between Lex and Courtney was nice and grounded in faith. They didn’t allow the stigma of an age difference to stop them from finding  happiness with each other. When each character let go of doubt, fear and trust issues, they found peace and a God who is always there. 

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

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 19

Texas Book-aholic, October 20

Lily’s Book Reviews, October 20

lakesidelivingsite, October 21

An Author’s Take, October 21

She Lives To Read, October 22

Inklings and notions, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 24

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 25

Holly’s Book Corner, October 25

Aryn the Libraryan, October 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 27

Blogging With Carol, October 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

Sylvan Musings, October 30

Blossoms and Blessings, October 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1


To celebrate their tour, Celebrate Lit 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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

About the Book

Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite Audiobook

Author: Chautona Havig

Narrator: Christa DelSorbo

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: November, 2022

“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 secrets.

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, too.

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


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Using story to connect readers with the Master Storyteller.

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

About the Narrator

Speaking Life into Story

Queen of the one-eyebrow quirk, Christa DelSorbo auditioned for the role of Tarzan’s mom and has the photos to prove she ended up as the only cast member in a literal cast. These days, they keep her stuck in a box with a ball on a stick and only feed her when she reads another chapter of another fabulous book. She loves every minute. Or so they tell her. *eyebrow slowly raises *

More from Christa


I reviewed this book in November 2021 and loved it. Now I get to fall in love with it all over  again as Christa narrates it. I love listening to how her voice transition from one character to another. She brings them to life and enhances the story to a level of excitement. 

Each book in this series is based on a fairytale. I have these stories to be exciting, creative and intriguing. I couldn’t wait to go back to the 1920s and see how the author incorporates a fairytale into a story filled with the mob, illegal  alcohol, dolls and a mystery that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats. 

Clarice has a very unusual job of painting faces on nutcrackers. What  a unique trade to have and it seems that her boss is impressed with her work. I began to wonder why she was suddenly working on a special project. Having the job of painting fifteen thousand dolls by hand was crazy. How is she suppose to do that all by herself? Sonething is strange here and the author had me hooked on the story. 

When a murder occurs Clarice is helped by Milo to get away from the danger. Just what has she gotten herself into? With men coming and going from the place she works at, she knew something was wrong. Can she trust Milo? Milo seems like a scary guy and is determined to keep Clarice from going to the police. Now who can Clarice trust? I loved how the police turn up at the factory to question Clarice. Her voice is shaky as she tried to compose herself. Can you imagine being surrounded by detectives firing questions at you? The guilt of what  she knows is causing her to be physically ill. 

Just as I’m settling down into the story, the author throws a curve ball. Oh my I didn’t see this turn of events coming. Now Clarice is in a dilemma . Her world changed with some unexpected news, but not everyone is happy for her. These dangerous men keep getting closer to harming her and the detectives don’t seem to believe her story. 

I was very impressed with how Clarice stood up to Mr. Topo. He doesn’t like how Clarice is turning down the completion of his order and there looks like trouble is heading her way.  She is in way over her head  but she continues to stand up for what is right. I liked how the author incorporated faith in the story and used several people from the Bible to represent how God loves  us unconditionally. The ending is written with intensity as Clarice puts her life in danger to help solve the murder. 

I will say that Milo is my favorite character because he is a good example of a man who has done many things that were against the law. He thinks that he can’t be saved but when God is shared with him, he begins to realize that he has been forgiven for his sins. I loved how protective he is with Clarice and always puts her safety first. The mystery is solved with the help of several people. I was surprised who the guilty  person  was and how quickly others tried to distance themselves from this person.  

The ending is filled with bullets  flying , deceit and corruption revealed and a person who finds redemption. I loved how realistic the story is and how creative the author is in combining faith with flawed characters and watch them make a choice to change their life forever, 

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

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, October 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 18

Texas Book-aholic, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 20

deb’s Book Review, October 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 24

For the Love of Books, October 25

Artistic Nobody, October 26

Sodbuster Living, October 27

For Him and My Family, October 28

Holly’s Book Corner, October 29

Books I’ve Read, October 30


To celebrate her tour, Christa is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a code for the audiobook!

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