Christmas Embers: Family Relationships Tested to the Max

ArynFamily25 Comments

Christmas Embers

I'm excited to bring you my 3rd Celebrate Lit book review! Christmas Embers by Chautona Havig.
 I have been reading her books for about 4 years now, and enjoy them all. Chautona is very generous, often discounting her Kindle books to $0.99 or less.
And, in her own little world (a thriving metropolis of her own invention), the people are so real that I almost always learn something about myself (good things, and areas in need of attention), or understand someone else better, which improves relationships all around!
I received a copy of this book to review, but all opinions are my own. I was not required to give a favorable review.
*Please note that this post contains affiliate links which at no cost to you, provide a small amount to help support this blog. You can see my full disclosure here.

About the Book

Name 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

Click HERE to Purchase Your Copy!

Or HERE if you want this book in a bundle with 6 other Fantastic Christmas Books!

About the Author

Chautona Havig

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.

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.

She wasn’t.

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.

Christmas Embers Infidelity

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.

My thoughts on Christmas Embers

This book is definitely complex! It has laughter and joy, pain and betrayal, hope and truth, fun and sadness. The struggle is real, you guys!
A sweetheart, going through some of the worst things that could happen to a kid. You can see his pain, and that natural kid-resilience shining at alternating moments.
Christmas Embers Perspective
There is lots of justification in this book, for different types of unfaithfulness. It really made me think. They justify a variety of things, from action and inaction to affairs to bitterness and resentment; and even treatment of the ‘victims l of someone else’s sin). How often do we all find a way to justify our actions (or inaction) when we know better? (Even as “innocent a choice as reading a book instead of cleaning the bathroom?)
Christmas Embers Justification
Emily, now, I could identify with her. She was trying hard to figure out just what, exactly, God’s will was in her specific situation. Not popular opinion, or what is going to look best or be easier to cope with.
I struggle with this often enough myself. Sometimes there are ‘contradictory’ situation scriptures. In this instance, answer A, and over here, answer B. But those are not General commands for everyone, so they aren’t contradictory, really. What does God want ME to do, in This (whatever my This is, this time)?!?!
Christmas Embers Emily
The Church:
In many of Chautona’s books, she shows us how the church could be. Christmas Embers is no exception. Here we find flawed members, caring ministers, and a team of elders who actually Elder (it’s so much more than serving communion and making hospital visits!). These guys pray, advice, counsel, discipline. (Chautona has written one book that shows just how easily a church can go astray, and not even know it, too!)
Christmas Embers-Church
Christmas Embers offers hope. It highlights just how our choices, both the good ones and the bad, ripple effect so many lives. That even in the midst of the bad, a good choice can totally change the direction of the ripples, and turn the tide towards healing!
Christmas Embers HOPE
It’s Not Easy!
This is not an easy read, whether you’ve ever experienced unfaithfulness or not. I would not recommend it for the 14 and under crowd, unless they are dealing with this situation, and someone in the family pre-reads it, and or reads it together, and discusses it.
That said, Chautona does an excellent job of “fading to black” well before you see anything you shouldn’t.
She also handles a very delicate, controversial subject in a remarkable way. And tucks in some gems of parenting 101, to boot!
Christmas Embers-Parenting
I would recommend this book, and encourage you that, yes, its fun, its fiction, but also food for thought.

Blog Stops

A Great way to have several Christian perspectives on Christmas Embers, BEFORE you purchase it!

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 ReflectionsDecember 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

BigreadersiteDecember 8

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 9

A Greater YesDecember 9

Radiant LightDecember 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

AllofakindmomDecember 14

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Pursuing StacieDecember 14

Pause for Tales, December 15

Reader’s cozy corner, December 15

margaret kazmierczak, December 15

Red Headed Book LadyDecember 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


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

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

25 Comments on “Christmas Embers: Family Relationships Tested to the Max”

    1. Thanks for writing it! It is important that we address these things, and not leave them off in a dark corner!

  1. This sounds like a fantastic book! The author is right, sometimes rough things happen in people’s lives around the holidays. Thanks for sharing this book.

    1. I can totally relate! I think I have a stack like that in at least 4 rooms of the house, plus my unread Kindle downloads!

  2. wow, Aryn, I am so impressed with the thoroughness of this review. It sounds like something I would really like because it has heart and some thrill. Thanks for going to all this work.

  3. Dear Aryn

    Thank you for sharing your Chautona Havig review with us.

    It works well to have your review along with a guest post from the author because it gives a broader perspective.

    God bless!
    Edna Davidsen

  4. Hi Aryn!

    Okay, first off, does your name sound like the ending to “librarian”? I am thinking so, which is why you selected the website name you have… very fun! Anyway, thank you for posting about this author. There are SO many books available to the reader these days, it gets a bit overwhelming. So, having a trusted source to not only review a book, but, like Edna mentioned, to post a guest blog written by that very same author, really assists the reader in choosing whether or not to read the book.

    God bless your efforts, and keep up the good work!
    Lisa Quintana

    1. My name is pronounced the same as Erin. If you’re interested in why I chose the blog name that I did, you should read this post

      I’m so glad you found this helpful!

  5. Tough things come at us any time of year, and this sounds like a book that captures the beauty and the pain of that.

  6. Pingback: Are Christian Romance Stories Beware or Beautiful? • Aryn the Libraryan

  7. Pingback: Culture Shock: How One Girl Challenges Assumptions • Aryn the Libraryan

  8. Pingback: Christian Book Publicity: Celebrate Lit's The Best! • Aryn the Libraryan

  9. Pingback: Retelling Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Christmas • Aryn the Libraryan

  10. Pingback: Before Christmas: Journey Back to the Beginning • Aryn the Libraryan

  11. Pingback: All is Bright: Christmas Lights Collection 2019 • Aryn the Libraryan

I would love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.