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About the Book
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.
Christmas Embers by Chautona Havig is a difficult book to get through and for me, a difficult book to rate. I settled on the higher rating because of the writing and the handling of the tough subject matter despite slight dissatisfaction with the end of the book.
This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Havig. She is an excellent writer, and both main characters are well-rounded, flawed individuals. Christmas Embers is also what I like to call an “internal” book—one that consists of character’s thoughts and interactions, so there are no long descriptions of the setting.
Emily and Sean, a married couple, are our main characters. Infidelity and adultery is rarely addressed in Christian fiction, and Ms. Having handles it well. She doesn’t shy away from the impact it has on the adulterer, the spouse, family members, the church, and friends. The themes of sin, love, hate, temptation, and forgiveness permeate the book and make it rich and rewarding.
One of the aspects of the story that didn’t work for me was the flashback to the actual adultery—it’s not explicit. However, by that time in the story I knew the information the flashback conveyed and felt it interrupted the flow of the story.
I couldn’t put Christmas Embers down. One reason is I was never a hundred percent certain which way the relationship between the adulterer and the cheated-on spouse would go. Ms. Havig writes this broken relationship so well I didn’t know if they would stay together or divorce. And I think I would have been able to accept either decision because of the way Ms. Havig presented the relationship.
However, I would have appreciated a few chapters detailing what happened between Emily and Sean after the decision (I won’t spoil) instead of skipping to the epilogue.
I give Christmas Embers 4/5 stars and recommend it for those looking for a read that will make you think about sin and forgiveness. I thought it dealt with a tough topic well and appropriately, and despite the excellent writing and the deftly handled subject matter, the lack of story after the decision about their relationship struck me as odd.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
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!!
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Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran. Bakery Owner.