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I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I am a Christian and try to live as Jesus did.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Twice Sold Tales by Chautona Havig

About the Book

Book: Twice Sold Tales

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian / Romantic Women’s Fiction

Release date: November 2, 2022

If only owning a bookstore didn’t mean dealing with people.

No one was more surprised than Harper Brevig when Great Aunt Lorene (not “Lori,” thank-you-very-much) died and left her least favorite niece her bookstore–including a prime piece of real estate in downtown Red Wing, Minnesota.

Making a go of the place shouldn’t be too hard. With her library science degree, she should be set. Then again, the website describing library degrees had said it would teach her excellent communication skills. It had not. Could she get a partial refund?

Still, owning the building should mean crazy-low overhead to offset her less than optimal “book-side” manner.  Ahem. So when yet another huge bill arrives, and she starts getting twitchy about the low bank balance, Harper does the only thing she can think of.

Enter Milton Coleridge. He’d been excited about the possibilities of the store last year, but Harper had sent him packing before he could talk to her about them.  Now he has a chance to make a difference. But she’s right. She’s bleeding money, and it doesn’t make sense!

Milton’s job is to figure out what’s going on, plug the financial leak, and maybe… do a little matchmaking. That dad with the adorable little boy would be good for her… and she’d be good for him. Probably.

Twice Sold Tales: the first full-length novel in the Bookstrings series releasing with The Mosaic Collection


Click here to get your copy!

 My thoughts:

I have always enjoyed the books by Chautona Havig and she has written another book that I've truly enjoyed. The story was unique and quite believable. The main characters were quite well-developed. The story flowed well and kept my interest. 

There were a few things I did not like. One, I didn't understand how things ended with her cousin. Two, even though the editing was quite well done, I did notice things like a missing word in the sentences occasionally. The other thing I noticed was that the first letter of each new chapter covered the word in the sentence below. Since I read and ARC, hopefully, these things will be fixed in the final version.

I read this book through Celebrate Lit and my opinion is my own and freely given. I give it a 4 out of 5 star review.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author 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

“What kind of research does a contemporary book need? I mean, she’s a bookstore owner in a town you’ve been to several times. What’s there to research?”

I can’t be the only author to get questions like this. And I certainly can’t be the only one who has to fight the urge to laugh. Folks, authors research everything. In Twice Sold Tales, I think I looked up almost as much as I did in my Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries!

Because here’s the deal. What I didn’t know about Red Wing, Minnesota wouldn’t have hurt the story most of the time. Who cares that Bev’s CafĂ© has amazing creamy cucumbers? It doesn’t technically matter. Well, except to my character who hates veggies but will eat those. They make her feel virtuous. And you get to know about it.

But… what you discover about a place or a time or an occupation or whatever can totally change the course of your story. Case in point? I went to a website about River City Days because my niece suggested it might be a good thing for Noah to do with his son. That led me to the Farmer’s Markets and to other things. How I got to the first Ghost Walk in Red Wing taking place this year? I don’t even know. What I do know is that the moment I read about it, I knew Harper had to go. And if she did, and if Milton were the instigator, Noah had to go. #BecauseMatchmaker.

And this is where it got really cool. To make the walk as authentic as I could, I read everything I could find about it. And I discovered something super cool. Like… blow you out of the water cool.

Red Wing, Minnesota sits near the shore of Lake Pepin. Little House on the Prairie lovers will remember this as the lake that Laura Ingalls crossed in the wagon as they left the Big Woods of Wisconsin (you know, right across the river/lake from Red Wing???) Well… Lake Pepin has a monster—the Nessie of the Mississippi. Yes, you read that right… a monster! I went looking and guess what? The “monster” has a name. Pepie! Needless to say, Pepie became a an important part of my story. Because how could he not?

And… I happened to find a stuffed Pepie at Treats & Treasures in Lake City, just south of Red Wing, so I ordered a couple for giveaways—including the one with this blog tour. Happy reading, and what do you think? Shouldn’t someone write Pepie’s story?

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 21

Vicky Sluiter, January 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 22

Mary Hake, January 22

Texas Book-aholic, January 23

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, January 23

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 24

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 25

Lots of Helpers, January 25

Cover Lover Book Review, January 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 26

Splashes of Joy, January 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 27

She Lives To Read, January 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 30

For Him and My Family, January 30

Divine Perspective, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 31

Aryn the Libraryan, February 1

Books I’ve Read, February 1

Blogging With Carol, February 2

Back Porch Reads, February 2

Pause for Tales, February 3

Spoken from the Heart, February 3


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback of the book, a stuffed “Pepie” and a few other bookish goodies!!

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


Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel

 I have enjoyed the books by Jennifer Deibel and this one is true also. I enjoyed the book but I will only give it a 3.5 our of 5-star review. 

This book was given to me to read and review through the Revell Reads program and this review is my own opinion, freely given. First, I enjoyed the story itself. I did figure things out about mid-way through the book but still enjoyed reading to see how Ms Deibel was going to work it out in detail. The book is Christian without being preachy. It shows how the main characters rely on God for guidance. The story flowed quite well and the 3 main characters were quite well-developed.

What I didn't like was the use of the Irish language without any way to understand what was being said. Sometimes the answer was in English and you could figure out what was said, but too many times that was not true. I did find at the back of the book a list of words and phrases and their meanings. This was NOT helpful as 1, it was at the end of the book and I was reading on my Kindle, and 2, even if I had known it was there, who enjoys stopping their reading to look up the meaning, not me. Also, this book still needs a bit more editing. I was surprised by this as her other books were well-edited. Hopefully, the editing issues were just because I read an ARC version.

Overall, I would recommend this book. I did enjoy it, even if I had to figure out the meaning of the Irish phrases.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Everything is Just Beginning by Erin Bartels

 I have a love-hate relationship with the books by Erin Bartels. I eventually get drawn into the story, that's the love, but I hate that even though these are published by Revell, a Christian publishing company, the books have nothing to do with Christianity.

This book is the same. It's a good, clean book but the only thing remotely Christian is they pray at meals. The story was a slow start for me, but eventually, I was drawn into the story and enjoyed it for what it was.

The main character is quite well-developed and you get a pretty good idea of who he is. You can probably think of someone you know that has his personality. The other characters are mostly believable. The story flows fairly well.

In all, I give this a 3 out of 5-stars. I am disappointed in the lack of this being a Christian story. I am not sure if I would recommend this or not. 

This review is my own and freely given. I was given an ARC copy in exchange for my honest review. The ARC copy was very well edited.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Her Heart's Desire by Shelley Shepard Gray

 I enjoyed this Amish-themed book. It was not your normal Amish love story, it is not set in the Amish community.

The main characters are fairly well-developed. The story flowed well. But, it is not very deep and it is not very believable. But, for a quick read, something light, this is a good book.

It was given to me through the Revell Reads blogger program. The thoughts are my own and freely given. Since it was through Revell I expected it to be a bit more of a Christian book. It seemed that the characters thought it was "from God" way too often.

I would recommend this book to someone looking for a light, quick read. The editing was very well done for an ARC.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz

I started reading this book and it was a bit hard for me. It was a slow start. But, I continued reading and am glad I did. I really enjoy historical fiction and this was a part of history that I had not read much about. I was interested also by the geography and my ancestors are from England and Scotland.

I felt that the two main characters were nicely filled out. The sub-characters were also easy to identify with if not as fully rounded out. The story flowed quite well and kept my interest once I got past the beginning.

What I did not like was the ending felt rushed. There were also a couple of things that did not get tied up. I wish there had been an epilogue to address a couple of issues left dangling.

Overall I give this 4 out of 5 stars. I was given an ARC of this book through the Revell Reads program. And even with this being an ARC, the editing was very well done.