When Christmas Plans Go Awry (Christmas Embers Review + Blog Tour)

After sitting down to write this blog post, I turned on my writing music playlist and the first song that came up was Take My Life and Let it Be by David Nevue. And somehow, in a strange, yet wonderful way, it feels fitting.

Right now, whether I like it or not, I’m going through a season where each day I have to choose to follow and trust the Lord in the direction He’s leading. It’s tough. So, so tough. In some ways, I’m starting to freak out a bit about a few (big) things that need to happen in the next four weeks…and yet I still have no idea when they’re going to happen! But each day I just have to lay it down and say, “in Your time, Lord. You’ll reveal all in Your time.”

In some ways, it feels like our Christmas plans have gone awry. I never thought we’d have to move so soon in the new year, but that’s what it’s currently looking like. And with the Lord, it’ll be okay. I know it will.

“…ever, always, all for thee…”

Christmas Embers Tour Banner

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Last year, I was part of Chautona Havig’s launch team, and followed along with the progress of her 2016 Christmas novel as she wrote it. She said it was the hardest writing project she’d ever had—and I believed her, especially when I had the chance later to read the book.

And today, I’ve got the privilege of participating in a blog tour for this book!

Wow. Christmas Embers is an incredible story. Heart-wrenchingly terrible, and yet so true and in the end somewhat—can I say it?—almost beautiful.

About the book:

Christmas Embers by Chautona HavigBook Synopsis: 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.

My review:

Emily has undertaken an interesting project as a feature for her blog for Christmas: Interviewing children in her daughter’s class at school, and asking them what they’d like most of all to receive for Christmas. However, she isn’t prepared for the result when Joey says that out of all the things he could choose, he hopes his dad will come to live with them, so he can get to know him.

But does Emily really want to know the answer to Joey’s question?

When Joey’s mom is on her deathbed, will Emily be able to find her answer in time—or at least figure out how to temporarily help provide for this little boy?

Christmas Embers Quote

This book is such a tough story. Adultery in any form is just awful, and Ms. Havig does an excellent job bringing it out. She doesn’t mince facts, although despite the subject matter, I am impressed at the level of cleanliness in this book—things aren’t washed over, but they aren’t necessarily in your face, either. This isn’t your typical Christmas story, but it beautifully illustrates the reason why Jesus came. And SPOILER ALERT! the ending is absolutely wonderful. It isn’t perfect—no good story usually is—but it’s very well done. END SPOILER ALERT!

In all, I’m thankful to have had the chance to read this. It’s one of those superb books that you never really forget, because it’s so good. It’s tough going in some ways. But it also contains an extremely pertinent message in today’s day and age. And the children in here? Adorable!

I haven’t faced anything nearly the same as what the characters in this book had to work through. But even if Christmas isn’t the happiest holiday for one reason or another, remember: God’s still there. He’s still in control. And He still loves you, wherever you are.

Buy your copy here.

Chautona Havig ProfileAbout the author:

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. 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.

Christmas Embers - TruthGiveaway!

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a 6 month Kindle Unlimited Subscription!!

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

Other blog stops:

Carpe Diem, December 5

A Baker’s Perspective, December 5

Mary Hake, December 5

Moments Dipped in Ink, December 6

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 6

Daysong Reflections, December 6

Fiction Aficionado, December 7

A Simply Enchanted Life, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 8

The Power of Words, December 8

Bigreadersite, December 8

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 9

A Greater Yes, December 9

Radiant Light, December 9

Just Jo’Anne, December 10

For The Love of Books, December 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Aryn the Libraryan, December 11

A Reader’s Brain, December 11

The Fizzy Pop Collection, December 12

Books, Books, and More Books., December 12

Quiet Quilter, December 13

Seasons of Opportunities, December 13

Christian Book Devourer, December 13

Allofakindmom, December 14

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Pursuing Stacie, December 14

Pause for Tales, December 15

Reader’s cozy corner, December 15

margaret kazmierczak, December 15

Red Headed Book Lady, December 16

Purposeful Learning, December 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 16

Janices book reviews, December 17

Christian Bookaholic, December 17

Karen Sue Hadley, December 18

Remembrancy, December 18

Blossoms and Blessings, December 18

Let’s discuss: Have you ever read a book before that exposed sin for what it is? What was the latest novel you’ve read that challenged you deeply on a physical or spiritual level?

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