I just can’t help myself

It seems that the older I get, the more emotional I become. I smell a blanket from my grandma’s house and my eyes leak. I watch a well produced movie and I tear up. Don’t even get me started on when my three month old nephew coos (Can you say, “face sprinkler”?)

There is one thing that gets me every time since 2002 – motherhood. Anything that reminds me of the beautiful gift God bestowed on me twenty years ago induces a water works show that challenges the biggest sap…at least that’s how it feels. The thing is, I can’t help myself. When my eyes start to water at the thought of my three children, I shamelessly let it out. 

In 2004, right after my second child was born, my favorite photographer, Anne Geddes, teamed up with Celine Dion to do a book and music album of lullabies. It was a beautiful collection of songs that reflected a mother’s heart. I used that album to help sooth my boys, and then my daughter when she came a long in 2006. On the “Miracles” album, Celine sang three songs that went right to my heart and attached itself to one of my children. 

Check it out

My oldest, the one who will be twenty in April, gets “Beautiful Boy” (yes, the one originally sung by Paul McCartney). I blubber like a baby every time…like right now as I write this. 

My second oldest, who is now eighteen, gets “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. Long title but it spoke of the exact feel ing I had when they place my second born in my arms. And yes, I am tearing up over that one, as well as smiling. 

At last, “A Mother’s Prayer” & “My Precious One” goes to my baby girl. She was the smallest and everything girl from the beginning. With two older brothers, I knew she would hole her own, but I still ached at the fact that the world I grew up in would not be the same one she would grow up in. That thought hurts my heart, but ” I pray You’ll be my eyes. And watch her where she goes. And help her to be wise. Help me to let go.” (I’m not sure if Ms. Dion intended that to be a Christian faith thing, but it was in my heart.)

These songs, and almost any other that ties to a mother’s heart for her children cook me up every time I hear them. I don’t think that will ever change. 

My kids are not my world, but I understand the honor and gift I have been given to be able to love them and “raise them up in the ways they should go.”  

Finding a Memory 

(Now, let’s talk about this book)

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Finding a Memory by Chautona Havig

He loved her then. Will she love him now?

When Mallory Barrows finds an old diary in a box of books, the story she finds within sends her on the hunt for the owner–and maybe more.

Theirs is a story ripped from a country song. A wedding, a former love presumed dead, her new love stepping aside. And over forty years later, their story is one few remember.

With Mallory determined to find the people in the pages of that diary, one couple is offered the second chance of a lifetime.

This “second-chance / seasoned romance” novel introduces the next island 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.


Chautona Havig: January 25

Melissa Wardwell: January 26

Kari Trumbo: January 27

Rachel Skatvold: January 28

Tabitha Bouldin: January 29

Carolyn Miller: January 30

Sandy Barela: January 31

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Pre-order HERE

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.

Don’t miss the week-long buffet of posts and prizes hosted by your Independence Islands authors. 

ALSO!  The box set for Elnora Island is here!

Elnora Island Series

New businesses and friendships bring new joys… and trials. How are the new businesses on the islands succeeding in settling in and establishing themselves? Find out as you step off the ferry and onto Elnora Island.

Read all six books of the second island featured in the Independence Islands Series today!

Bookers on the Rocks by Chautona Havig— For twenty-five years, Tessa Booker has insisted that romance is something Hollywood cooked up to sell books and movies. So when Ross gets a gentle nudge from Mallory Barrows to look into what Tessa’s doing every day while he’s at work, he discovers a romance in the works–one that sounds a little too “ripped from the pages” of his life!

Heart Pressed by Melissa Wardwell— The Sweetheart Festival, an Elnora Island institution, has sparked more than a few romances over the years, but who would have thought it would light a fire in two hearts from two of the island’s oldest families. When Amara Martin and Dante Greco meet, sparks fly that may ignite more than romance.

Matchmaker’s Best Friend

by Kari Trumbo— When they dated ten years ago as teens, it almost destroyed their friendship. So Pen Reese did the only logical thing.  She lied about how she felt—and still feels—about him. She’s still paying for that lie.

The Elnora Monet by Rachel Skatvold— 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?

Stealing the First Mate by Tabitha Bouldin— Single and happy is not an oxymoron. Right? Nigel Jones has loved Darcy for ages, but her father (his boss, of course) ordered him to keep his feelings to himself, thanks to a stupid mistake that Darcy (thankfully) doesn’t know about. Too bad her dad does.

Regaining Mercy by Carolyn Miller— A mom ready to do anything for her son. A man determined to win the woman he loves.

Going on Love at First Glance had seemed like such a good idea. She didn’t care about finding Mr. Right. No, Mindy Murray chose the reality TV show for more mercenary reasons. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do when it comes to feeding her son.

Now you can read all the “Elnora books” in one convenient set of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series:beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.