Chautona Havig

Why Is My Easy-Going Husband Threatening to Destroy my Beloved Kindle?

If my husband got a look at my Kindle right now, he’d be worried.  He’d be very, very worried. “Why?” you ask?  Well, how about I list the top books showing right now.

  • My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
  • You Belong with Me by Tari Faris
  • What Makes a Home by Jaycee Weaver
  • Restoring Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti
  • The Cul-de-sac War by Melissa Ferguson
  • Heart Restoration by Regina Rudd Merrick
  • The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

If you’ve read more than one of these, you’ll know why this would strike terror in any rational man. They all have one thing in common.


HGTV could turn any of them into a renovation series.  Oh, yeah! I’m on a mission to read all the “reno romances” or whatever you call them. I started with My Stubborn Heart, and oh goodness but is it good.  The last words of the “prologue” if you can call it that, kill me.  Check it out.


That sold me.

So what’s with all the renovation stuff?  Am I going to overhaul the Havig haven one room at a time?  Maybe refinish the hardwood floors? Build a porch? Finally finish repainting my room??? (it’s only been half painted for three years?  Four?  Something like that).

Nope!  (Well, maybe that last one, now that I think of it…)

But see, I’ve got a few of my own “reno romance” books of my own.  One I started back in 2011 and featured a woman redoing her house while waiting to get her kids back after being released from jail. For her husband’s murder. I’ll finish it someday!

Another has a young woman renovating a house for herself and her eight nieces and nephews.  That actually became the book that really launched my writing career!

I have another one with a tiny bit of an element of renovations to it that’s in the works, but I didn’t like my why/how so I put it aside, but that one about New Cheltenham’s newest tea room will be coming soonish.

But my latest Independence Islands release also has a “reno romance.” In it, the star of the home and garden TV show, Barratt’s Bailey-wick, ends up nearly costing Brooks Crawford his job with the island association when her assistant lies about what the show will be doing and allows them to come “help” with after hurricane cleanup. Sparks fly, and not just from the acetylene rig! Sabotage, shenanigans, and showbiz. Flipping Hearts will take you on a wild ride of summer home repairs, dried out paint, and potato salad. What can I say?  I’m an eclectic kind of gal.

Of course, after all that TV and literary research, I’m ready to do a little fixing up myself.  Maybe new bookcases…


Melissa Wardwell

Meet Gram

Gram is quickly becoming a very popular character that doesn’t make a physical appearance on the independence islands, but her wisdom and the way she made others feel when they were around her remains.

Elizabeth Dianna Merriweather-Lewis, or Gram, was a frequent visitor to Merriweather Island, often bringing her family to her cottage that overlooked the ocean. It was the one family heirloom that was passed down from one generation to the next and believed to be built by the island founder, Captain Reginald Merriweather. Over the decades, it became a landmark and a beacon to all who lived on the island. To Gram, it was a place of peace that made it possible to connect with God and the nature surrounding the island. Before she died, she made sure that it was secured for her granddaughter, and namesake, Elizabeth (Beth) Stevens.

At home in the kitchen, surrounded by her family, she truly came alive as she imparted words of faith on them through food. The love for cooking had only found its place with young Beth when she was having difficulty with her mother, Gram’s daughter, or boys. Cooking was her legacy and her youngest granddaughter picked up the baton and ran with it.

Throughout the Independence Island collection, you will find windows into her wit as she sprinkles her knowledge around to those she loves. Relationship advice, cooking tips, and words of faith were her trademarks.

For example…

“Food is the way to a man’s heart, but peace and quiet is the way to a woman’s.”

It’s like she knows…


“Family food, and fun—that’s what life is all about. Surround yourself with those things.”

Or, my personal favorite…

“The world’s troubles started with food…and because Jesus is the bread of life, it’s solved with food. Now we have a reminder of that when we partake in communion—food. So, you see, food and faith go hand-in-hand.”


I mean, how can we not love a sweet, spunky lady who, even though she isn’t physically present in the books, she is everywhere. Like all attentive grandmothers, her words and deeds live on in her children and grandchildren for years. If grandma is a woman of faith, her prayers last for generations.


Now, yes, Gram is fiction, but to me, she is a combination of two beautiful ladies. Ladies who instilled faith and wisdom, and a little sass, into my life. Their faces come to mind every time I write Gram. I even have their pictures above my computer, watching me with their sweet smiles. When Gram shares her wisdom, it is either Grandma Apsey or Grandma McKay whose face comes into focus, depending on the topic. Through Gram, these two live on and I hate to think what life for my imagination will be like when the series has ended. What I know for sure though, is I can always go back and read these five books and visit with them all over again.

Keep reading to see more of Gram and the other wonderful Independence Islands characters.


Gram’s Sherbet Punch – great for summer get togethers

Serves 100


4 cans of juice concentrate (diluted)

1 gallon sherbet

2 liter of 7Up or ginger ale


Combination possibilities

Pink – Raspberry sherbet & Hawaiian punch

Yellow – Pineapple sherbet & Pineapple Juice

Orange – Orange sherbet & Orange juice

Green – Lime sherbet & Limeade (for darker color, add a little green food coloring)


Tabitha Bouldin

Most of you have likely heard the proverb “Still waters run deep.” This idea goes all the way back to first century Rome. We understand it now as a way of saying that though someone is quiet or reserved, they may have many undercurrents of thought, ideas, or passion.

This proverb has been foisted upon many an introvert, myself included. And it’s intended as a compliment.

I’m working on a character now who embodies this proverb to the extreme.

Meet Kara.

Kara has a tiny appearance in my latest release, Stealing the First Mate, and she’s the heroine of my upcoming book, Footprints on her Heart.

Ranking at 100% introvert, Kara has several quieter tendencies, such as drifting off into her own head when faced with a crowd or when asked a question. She over analyzes Everything. That doesn’t mean she needs to be fixed, because she’s not broken. Her problem is in trusting that God made her for a reason. That she has a purpose and can be loved for who she is, introvertism and all.

I feel that on so many levels. Always thinking I need to change myself to “fit” into a certain pigeonhole. I’ve never liked it though, being forced into a niche. Kara doesn’t either. She’s loyal, independent, and selfless, with a big heart and love to share. No wonder Trent is falling for her.

Footprints has been one of my absolute favorite books to write. I say that with every book, probably, but I really, truly mean it here. I’ve written introverts before, but never this in-depth. It was quite the experience to take Kara to that level and show her how lovable she is.