Christmas Embers

Christmas Embers

by Chautona Havig


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It's a truth universally unacknowledged that sin will hunt you down and advertise its presence the moment you think you've hidden 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781539725237
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 11/23/2016
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives and writes in California's Mojave Desert. When not writing, she enjoys reading, paper crafting, and dreaming of retirement from home education.

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Christmas Embers 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
Hi, my name is .... and I am an adulteress... Have you ever been to Adulterers Anonymous? Well, neither have I, and I am not even sure one exists, although in this book it kind of feels like it. This book was so emotionally challenging for me to read. Maybe because adultery is not that foreign of a topic. I would say its a bit like a cancer - you either know someone who's done it, you're doing it, or you've done it in the past. It's like a disease that's easy to catch if our guard is not constantly up. The subtility of the enemy in drawing us in, the wickedness of our own hearts, which we likely don't even know, or understand. It's so easy to point the finger at others, while we could easily be tempted with equal or other sins. Ouch! The characters in this story are well depicted. I loved little Joey, and my heart went out to Davia. It's easy to become a little self-righteous, or justify our sin, even hide it, because God has forgiven us, or because we think if we bring it to light it will be even more painful, like another character in the book. The story was a tough read, well told, but didn't really seem like a Christmas story. Although if Christmas is about Jesus, forgiveness, and second chances, then yes, it totally qualifies. Just not your typical one. Would I recommend this, YES! But with caution, because it could easily open old wounds, convict, and cause a bit of emotional turmoil. So be prepared... prayer? Kleenex? This is heavy stuff!! But likely you will also fall in love with the characters in the book, because most of us have compassion and can totally relate to the fact that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. I was not asked or required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Christmas Embers is a very gritty and realistic look at infidelity in the church. The hurt that extends not only to the spouse, but to the children, extended family, and the church as a whole as everyone comes away scathed to some degree. I applaud author Havig for writing such an emotional, heartrending read on such a brutal subject and then surrounding it with the Christmas holiday. To be honest, I did have to read this book in a different way than I normally read others. I did have to skim ahead and read the end before I finished just so I could breathe normally again. There was a lot that can be taken away with this book. What really stood out to me was the fact that the particular affair in this book happened years ago. So the guilty has lived with this knowledge that long, justifying not telling, being forgiven by God, and in a sense moving on and getting on with life. However, when the spouse finds out, this is new to them and they began to look at the past years as a lie. Horrible situation no matter what, but maybe coming clean all those years ago may have been best. I just don’t know. It is a sorry thing that this type of situation, though fiction in this book, happens in real life at all. I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions stated are my own.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
You know that moment when you read the last word on the last page of a book and you aren’t emotionally ready for it to be over. How dare the author think that it’s a good time to end! You aren’t ready, there’s still so much more to do, so much more to know, so much more to encounter, it can’t be over. That’s where I am right now. Seriously, ‘You have no idea.’ is the last line in this book. It’s too over the top true, you have no idea how not ready I was for this book to end. I’m also not even fractionally certain that I can review this book without spoilers. You have been warn- er prepared. Imagine having what seems the perfect marriage. A loving spouse, open communication, true love. You struggle like every other person, every other couple, on the planet but you always have each other. No judgements, no secrets, no lies. Or so you think. Imagine meeting an infectiously lovable child, your daughter’s friend no less, who just wants to find his real daddy. Before his mom dies. Imagine falling in love with this little person. And imagine how the knowledge of him, who he is and where he came from pulls the rug out from under the life you thought you had. A life built on lies and deceit, and love but ya know… lies. Well maybe not all lies, but lies are insidious like that. One small lie can have a snowball effect that blankets everything in its path. One small lie can erase love and trust. The secret of the lie can create a heavier weight, the longer the secret the heavier the lie. Even a small lie gains weight over time, kinda like people. My heart broke for Emily. And Joey. Yes, I had deep feelings of ache for many of the characters of the book but these too hurt me deeper, with more weight. Well except Emily’s parents, they were just jerkwad toadnuggets. (Emily may have come to understand their position and while I commend her for that I don’t think that a blanket understanding begins to undo the damage they did to Emily and her family with their attitude.) How do you fall in love with a child and yet also resent the existence of this child because of a snowballed lie? The ability to set self aside for the benefit of another is something that the human race struggles with, constantly. I have to say I was disappointed in Emily to some degree. She continued to spend so much time with her friend Kate, who was so very bitter that she turned that bitterness on Emily. Kate made her uncomfortable but Emily continued to put herself there. Gee, don’t we all do that sometimes just for someone who sorta kinda maybe gets it. Even when they don’t see things the same they are still a kindred spirit in this journey we call life. That’s not the only reason I was disappointed in Emily. I won’t spell it all out here and give away the entire book but lets just say that I feel like she made decisions and came to her conclusions too fast. I appreciate that this book was not tied up with a neat little bow. There is still a lot to be figured out. Deciding if you want to learn to trust again is not something that comes easily or can be taken lightly. ‘You have no idea.’ is just the beginning of the next step. The next stage. The next process. I’m still heartbroken. I still want more. I still need more. I don’t know that I’ve yet decided to trust him again. Perhaps wanting to take the next step is the right place to end off. Maybe not for me but assuredly for her. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Ce
cdscotton More than 1 year ago
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.**
Kathae More than 1 year ago
This book IS NOT warm and fuzzy for Christmas, but it does have some very sweet moments. This book IS Intense. Heart-Wrenching. Painfully Honest. Well-Written. I've been enjoying Chautona Havig's books for a while now, but this one stands out in its intensity. It's the kind of book that is hard to put down, and when you're not reading it you're thinking about it, or praying for the characters, or dreaming about it at night. At first I was a little jealous of what seemed to be the perfect marriage between Emily and Sean. He's a minister in their church and she supplements the family's income by blogging. When they came off their pedestals, I still loved the characters. Both were so honest as they struggled. The content is not easy to deal with, but it is clean, it is necessary, and it is very well-written. I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
cscott9 More than 1 year ago
Are you looking for that Christmas story that will leave with red eyes from shedding tears? Christmas Embers is the story to do just that. A story about a little boy who only wants to find his father for Christmas. Emily Byrne is sitting in her daughter’s classroom listening to the wishes of twenty kindergarteners as she sketches them. But when one student, Joey Cordell breaks down in front of his class, the only thing he wants is to find his father. Davia Cordell’s only purpose in Rockland is to find her son’s father before she dies. She is an ex-prostitute but doesn’t care about what others say or think of her, she’s doing what any mother would do. Emily and Davia join forces to search for Joey’s father, a Rockland area pastor. While they are searching together, Emily learns compassion for a woman who only wants the best for her son and can’t quite imagine that Jesus wants anything to do with her. They are running out of time, Davia is growing weaker. Emily isn’t confident she will find Joey’s father in time. Doubt sets in. Is it right she risk destroying an entire church family? Christmas Embers will leave you changed. I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required, I chose to write this review and all opinions expressed are my own.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
It's always interesting, and a bit challenging, for me to read a book that hits so close to home. My whole blog was started because of my story of infidelity so reading it can be difficult at times. It's more about reading the after effects of it. It's was so hard and Chautona does a great job making it real. It did take me while to get into the book. I had a feeling how things would play out but wasn't sure. I felt a bit like the temptations and infidelity didn't have too much basis, like it was random. There is usually more than one reason why things like this happen, it isn't typically random but something someone has toyed with for a while and then eventually acts on. However, pride can be a huge factor that can lead others astray (which is what happens here), it blinds people to the truth, it did for me. Overall, this story is a story of hope that so many need to hear and embrace and believe. I love how it ends, this is a Genesis 5020 story:) A copy of this book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This is a hard book to enjoy since it is about such a hard topic. I don’t know how I would handle if I found out my husband cheated on me at any time. This is well done but very sad all around. I know that I liked the ending but I didn’t if you can understand my thinking. This is not a light hearted Christmas story. I found it hard to put down. I received an ebook copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
The author warns us "This isn’t your lighthearted Christmas novel" and this is a story about adultery during the Holidays that will in some way touch your life. Someone you know or you maybe.. It deals with a sensitive topic and she tells the story from both sides. Sometimes harsh and sometimes with tears.. One that you will hurt for more than just the guilty party.. I wanted to put it down and stop reading but wanted to keep reading too. I had to get to the ending to see how it ended. You will too! I was gifted a copy and my review is voluntary..
SBMC More than 1 year ago
This book was my introduction to Chautona Havig's writing. And, wow, what an introduction it has been. I've heard such wonderful things about the author's books but was completely blown away when I picked up this book. The book is well-written in a contemporary writing style. It is written almost like a journal entry but in third person point of view. And multiple points of view in the story make for a complete storyline without feeling fragmented. Not only do the main characters have a voice, but the secondary characters have voices as well, which add rich layers to the plot and character development. The plot is intricately woven with some twists and turns (which could have been anticipated). The book is deeply moving with raw and very real emotions and addresses some heavy issues. There is the hint of poverty and financial difficulties in the area the main characters live in. There is the difficulty and temptation that faces a minister and his family while attempting to do good work for the Lord. There is fear of rejection, fear of losing the perceived status in the community and the church. There is the human response to hold onto bitterness and hatred and the awful desire to pull others down into that pit of darkness. There is the hypocrisy so rampant in our churches. And at the center of all these difficult issues is adultery and what it means to truly forgive. My heart stumbled and stuttered throughout the whole book. It was difficult for me to read this book because of the issues being addressed, yet I could not put it down. I actually didn't connect completely with any of the characters. Emily has a very emotional spirit and perhaps I could not understand her completely because I am not very emotional. But her response to a man who is not her husband confused me and many of her actions and reactions, though most likely justifiable, confused me for most of the book. Sean, though more level-headed, confused me as well. His jumbled and inexplicable thoughts regarding his past didn't strike true with who he is built up to be from the beginning of the book. And perhaps that was the author's point - that Sean really couldn't explain what happened and needed to just handle the repercussions of that past. Despite my less than 100% connection and enthusiasm for the main characters, the book still drew me in and held me fast till the last page. I honestly wasn’t sure what Emily would do until the very end of the book. The book gave me a fresh lens to assess myself and to ask the question “What kind of a Christian am I?”. Do I run away at the first sign of discord and difficulty? Do I hide my sin and pretend it doesn’t exist? Can I truly forgive when I’m hurt to the very core of who I am? Am I like Emily’s bitter and hateful friend Kate who desires to drag everyone down around her in my sinfulness? Am I like Emily’s self-righteous parents who are only concerned about outward appearances? How can I be more like Sean’s parents and Sean’s mentor who speak the truth in love? Even hours after closing the book, I’m still pondering these questions. I was given a copy of this book by the author through Celebrate Lit Tours. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.