Saturday, December 2, 2017

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Beauty from Ashes

About the Book

Name of book: Beauty from Ashes
Author: Alana Terry  
Genre: Christian Women’s Lit 
Release Date: July, 2017

A baby was never part of Tiff’s plans. Especially not a sick baby in a NICU, struggling for life on a ventilator. 

As days in the hospital turn to weeks, Tiff grows more and more convinced that God is punishing her for turning her back on him so many years ago. Or is it possible he’s working in the midst of her daughter’s bleak prognosis to draw Tiff back to himself once more? 

The Orchard Grove Christian Women’s Fiction books are standalone literary novels about real-life believers facing real-life struggles. You won’t meet perfect saints whose lives are faultless models of the Christian faith. Instead, you’ll meet a perfect God whose plans of redemption are far more glorious than what the mortal mind could ever imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

There’s a lightness in my spirit now. I don’t dread each minute of
each day. I’m looking forward to what’s to come with
new expectations. New eyes. New hope.
It might not be a huge change, in your opinion, but it’s a start.

Beauty from Ashes … the title says it all. This is an incredible book – and I’m not sure I have the words to express why, so I’ll just share some random thoughts. The story transported me into another world and made me feel everything, even to the shedding of tears occasionally. It’s deep, complex, and emotional, with the promise of hope ever present.

I don’t know any of the mechanics of writing, but if there’s a recommended structure for plotting a novel, Beauty from Ashes probably doesn’t fit it – and therein lies its beauty. It’s raw; it’s so very real and honest. Things that are whitewashed or not even mentioned in most Christian fiction are uncovered here. And Alana Terry’s writing flows beautifully, making it so easy to follow.

Basically, Beauty from Ashes a first-person journey through Tiff’s life; we get to know her thoroughly as she narrates, and I loved her. I was pulling for her with every page turn. Tiff’s background in foster care was rough … she made poor choices … she’s married to her boyfriend only because she got pregnant … she has a mother-in-law from you know where … and as the story opens, she’s dealing with a baby who probably won’t see her first birthday, much less respond to her. I love it when characters are challenged to rise above themselves, becoming more than they ever thought they could be capable of, and that’s what we experience with Tiff and Jake.

I was especially drawn to two supporting characters who added so much depth to the story. First is Sandy, one of her foster care moms who implanted a nugget of faith in Tiff. That faith lay dormant for some time, but was there for Tiff to fall back on when she was ready. And then there’s Grandma Lucy, whose faith, insight, knowledge of God’s Word and His ways were so very refreshing. If I close my eyes, I can picture Grandma Lucy and imagine her words of testimony and exhortation.

Beauty from Ashes spoke to me on so many levels and will linger long in my thoughts. This is the first of Alana Terry’s books that I’ve read and I’m eager to read more from this unusual and skilled storyteller.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. 

Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. 

She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Guest Post from Alana Terry

Click here to see the special video message from Alana. 

“You better come in,” I told my husband. “The doctors don’t think he’s going to make it.” 

Not the kind of conversation you want to have with anyone at one o’clock in the morning. I was spending the night at the hospital with our nine-month-old baby Silas and hadn’t left the hospital complex in days. Scott was home with our toddler trying to get some sleep. 

And our son Silas was dying. 

Raising a medically-fragile baby changed me like nothing else ever has. Thankfully, Silas pulled through that horrific evening, but that didn’t mean life was sugar and cream from then on. 

As anyone with experience knows, it’s hard work being a special-needs mom. 

And it can devastate a marriage. 

Thankfully, God brought my husband and me through those nearly impossible first few years while Silas was in and out of the hospital with no guarantee of his survival. 

And he continued to sustain us through even more years of therapy, hospital visits, and medical tests. 

And now we have a happy marriage, a healthy boy, and hearts full of gratitude for all God’s done for us. 

But I never want to forget where we were. 

The depths God delivered us out of. 

The despair that would have overwhelmed us if God hadn’t been our strength and our support. 

Writing Beauty from Ashes was one way to remind myself of those difficulties God brought us through. It’s not strictly autobiographical, but the baby in this novel went through a very similar traumatic birth experience as Silas did, and all the health issues — including that night in the hospital when I truly thought we were going to lose our baby — are based on the trials we went through when Silas was young. 

I wrote Beauty from Ashes because we all need to be reminded every now and then that even though life can be impossibly hard, even though there’s no guarantee our children will grow up and love Christ and make good choices with their lives or even survive until adulthood at all, God is good, and he will sustain us through all the trials we have to endure. 

I think that’s why Beauty from Ashes resonates so much with Christian readers hungry for more than a simple story with a happily-ever-after ending, like these readers: 

“…by far some of the best Christian fiction I’ve read.” Amy L, author  

"… a story that is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming.” ~ Jaime Hampton, award-winning author of Malnourished 

“I didn’t think it was possible that the author could write any better than she already does … This is a book I will never forget … She writes with realism and doesn’t pull any punches … Every time I read a book from this author, my faith grows.” Deana at Texas Bookaholic 

I hope you’ll take a chance to grab your own copy of Beauty from Ashes today, and don’t forget to watch the video and enter to win the $100 gift card to 

Because Christian fiction should encourage, edify, and inspire. 

And because God is big enough to carry all our burdens.


To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a grand prize of a $100 CBD gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


  1. Thank you so much for this kind review!

  2. Thanks for the chance at this giveaway! It is so kind! :)

    Diane Buie (

  3. Great review, Carole! Sounds like a must read!

  4. I found this book quite unusual, but a refreshing change from most fiction I've been reading lately.

  5. I'm looking forward to reading Beauty from Ashes and thank you for offering a copy to your blog readers.

  6. This sounds really good--ty for the giveaway.

  7. SQUEEEEEEEL!!!!! I LOVE CBD! I'm SO EXCITED about this giveaway! Everyone is giving amazon cards and I boycott them for many reasons! SO I'M SO HAPPY THIS IS A CBD card!

    Many Blessings and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    ~Amada (pronounced:

  8. Sounds like a great book! Merry Christmas Andy thanks for the giveaway! CBD is my very favorite place to buy books. I would love to win!!

  9. Great contest! thanks for the entry!