Saturday, October 24, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: Sand & Mistletoe by Chautona Havig

About the Book

Book:  Sand & Mistletoe
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre:  Contemporary Christian Romance (Holiday)
Release Date: November 24, 2018

What’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!

My Review

What do sand and mistletoe have to do with each other?  That's what Portia was wondering herself.  Her family had rented a house by the beach-for Christmas!  Nothing would be traditional about this holiday.

Portia is kind, capable, and well-read.  At 25, her romantic experience was entirely what she had read in books or watched in movies, until she met Reese.  Reese is a single father of a deaf boy, and his concern is always for his son, Duncan.

Like Reese, I loved how Portia connected to Duncan right away.  I especially loved how their romance progressed.  Both were surprised, and scared, and unsure how to proceed.

Family dynamics, expectations, and emergencies, combined with "meeting the parents" worries, made this a very complete and interesting book.  Romance readers will want to pick up this Christmas novella.  Fans of Havig's work will not want to miss this one.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the 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 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.

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