About the BookName of book: Christmas Embers
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Contemporary Christmas
Release Date: November 25, 2016
It’s a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you try to hide it.
Emily Byrne sits in her daughter’s classroom listening to the deepest wishes of twenty kindergarteners as she sketches them. But when little Joey Cordell breaks down, weeping and insisting the only thing he wants to find is his father, she isn’t sure where her Christmas project will take her.
Davia Cordell came to Rockland for one purpose–find her son’s father before she dies. An ex-prostitute, she’s well aware that the news will cause waves, but what’s a mother to do?
As these women join forces to search for Joey’s father–a Rockland area pastor, no less– Emily learns compassion for a woman who just wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her.
Each day, Davia weakens until Emily isn’t confident she’ll find the boy’s father in time–if at all. Doubts form. Should she look? Is it right to risk destroying a family like this–an entire church? The weight of that responsibility crushes her as Davia wastes away before her eyes.
A mother’s love. A boy’s confidence. A family’s faith. A preacher’s failure. Is redemption even possible anymore?
Christmas Embers: a story of love, failure, and redemption.
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Christmas Embers is the moving, compelling story of a marriage navigating the rough waters of temptation and adultery. It’s hard hitting, honest and raw. There are no easy solutions in real life, nor does this story try to put any forward, only pointing us toward the only answer – Jesus. I encourage you to take the time to read Chautona’s words in the guest post below.
I enjoy women’s fiction and stories that involve relationship drama, so the excellent writing of Chautona Havig is a delight. She’s a consistent writer; I always know what to expect and have a hard time putting her books down once I start reading. And she’s right about adultery in the church being at epidemic levels. It doesn’t seem to carry the stigma that it once did; in fact, the term “sin” isn’t always used.
I am blessed to never have experienced anything like Sean and Emily went through, but I’ve known others who have and think this story captures the reality of feelings and struggles perfectly. And like Sean, I’ve all too often thought I had strength in my own abilities. In the scene where Sean confessed to the elders, I fully expected them to be condemning and legalistic, but was thrilled to see godly wisdom and sensitivity.
You’ve undoubtedly figured out by now that this isn’t your typical light Christmas read, but I think the timing is perfect. In reflecting on the title, I decided to look up the definition of embers and realized that we most often connect it with something dying … “a small, glowing piece of wood, as in a dying fire.” Someone else defined it as “the fading remains of a past emotion.” Maybe in most marriages hit by adultery, the attack is too strong to survive and they do eventually die, but the other side of the coin is that there’s hope – and that’s what Christmas Embers gives. As long as the fire of repentance, grace and forgiveness remains in those slow-burning embers, then they can be reignited – and that makes this story the perfect message for Christmas. It’s all about Jesus.
I was provided a copy of this book from the author. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
About the Author
With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.
Guest Post from Chautona Havig
Infidelity to the Tune of Adeste Fideles“I think my husband is having an affair.”
An explanation followed. Look, I tend to be one who assumes the best of others—to a fault even. I read the “evidence” and frankly could see it going either way. It’s hard to tell across thousands of miles. While others on the message board saw red flag after red flag—and frankly, I did, too—I also saw perfectly innocent explanations for things. It’s a curse sometimes—that ability to see both sides of an issue. I cautioned against assumptions no one would want other people to make of themselves. And I prayed she was wrong.
It wasn’t the first time I’d come face to face with infidelity. As a child, there was an extended family member. As a newlywed, one of my wedding party—then another. Then another. The excuses, the justifications. Friends and I went to confront a sister in Christ on her affair with her husband’s best friend. We foolishly asked “what happened?” regarding her marriage. Her words: “We drifted apart.”
I wanted to scream the words that battered my brain and heart. “Then row back together!”
But over the years, it just grew worse. One by one, wives and husbands tossed aside vows made to a brother or sister in Christ—vows made before the Lord—in favor of what sometimes were serial affairs. Abuse. Horror.
I’ve prayed women I love through court cases, medical visits, and disclosures from children no mother should ever have to hear. I’ve prayed for men I didn’t even like because of the pain their wives inflicted each time she left them alone with the kids. He knew. He always knew.
Adultery is real. It’s ugly. And there’s absolutely a cure for it. Jesus. 100% surrender to Jesus. But as long as we rely on those little loops on the back of our boots instead of the saving, healing, strengthening power of Jesus, we’re just as vulnerable as the next person.
And that’s why I wrote Christmas Embers. I took every heartbreaking story I’d observed over the years and put in each character for a reason. Every scene, every plot point, every twist—I put them exactly how and where they are for a reason.
They’re there as a warning.
This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel. Some have suggested I shouldn’t have set it at Christmastime. But you know what? Over half the disclosures I’ve ever heard of happened between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. I couldn’t get the idea of Joey’s story out of my head. And to write his story, it had to be at Christmas.
Let me say it again. While Christmas may not seem like the optimal time for a hard-hitting book like this, I had to do it. Adultery is reaching epidemic proportions in the church. There’s a solution. His name is Jesus.
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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6-month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!
Click on the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!