Fascinating – Christian Fantasy!

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Highlands, by Chautona Havig

Pre-order this now, for 99 cents! Releases automatically to your kindle or kindle app on October 6th.

If you had told me yesterday that I would enjoy a book in the “Contemporary Christian Fantasy” genre – even one by Chautona Havig! – I would have smiled and nodded politely. I have good manners like that.  Well,  she sent me an advance copy. She’s generous like that. She didn’t even ask me to review it!

 

And I can admit when I’m wrong… this book caught my attention and held it. I meant to just skim, but it sucked me in and I was on chapter six before I realized what I was doing. I have three major projects due for clients, so I pulled out the fabrics I needed and tidied up the sewing room. Then I sat down to read chapters seven and eight. I closed the computer and started quilting. I spent ten minutes on the first table runner and opened the laptop  computer to read chapter nine. And so on.

Ms. Havig drops a modern young athlete (nearly naked!) into a remote, bizarre community. He is confused. He is horrified. He wonders if he has died and is in some sort of afterlife.  And then, with perfect, almost elegant pacing, the story unfolds, revealing a fascinating world in which people have unquestioningly accepted every circumstance as the will of – gifts from – God.  Our hero struggles with understanding their beliefs – and so does the reader. The themes of extreme submission and gratitude are thought-provoking in this context.

I can’t describe the physical effects of the young man’s emotional and  spiritual reactions without sharing too much of the plot, but I will say that the whole concept is FASCINATING. This gifted author continually amazes me with her eclectic creativity.

This is the second in a series. The first, Prairie, was written as a stand-alone book three years ago and is not necessary to the enjoyment of this one.  I’ve had it on my kindle and intend to read it soon.

Highlands is in pre-order right now, for 99 cents! It will be released on October 6th.

A Forgotten Truth by Chautona Havig

forgotten truthA FORGOTTEN TRUTH

I’ve been waiting for this latest book in The Agency Files series. As a fan of romantic suspense (light on the romance and heavy on the suspense), I’ve devoured Ms. Havig’s Agency Files books. Her versatility amazes me; she writes across genres and does all of it well. I especially like this series and her Hartfield Mysteries.

This one is being released tomorrow, but I’m pre-ordering it tonight.

 

 

 

 

One man holds the key to a secret that has the potential to rock the core of the American government.

The FBI, Homeland Security, and The Agency all compete to find Ryan West before those who seek to silence him succeed.

For Dan Abney, everything’s a blur. On the run from people he can’t name, Dan has one goal in mind: Stay alive and find out who he is.

The North Koreans have stepped up their game, and Mark, in between trying to find Ryan and keep his ex-girlfriend safe, is split between keeping Shin Kim and family safe and extracting all damaging information from him before the country is at risk.

From Portland to Oklahoma, Michigan to Rockland and it surrounding areas, The Agency is stretched thin and racing against a ticking time bomb that threatens more than their existence.

And while Keith is off trying to secure the safety of witnesses and criminals alike, Erika wrestles with the issue dividing her heart and soul. Can she bear to surrender herself–all that she is–and become a “new creature” in Christ? Torn between an aching desire for the peace she sees in her father and Keith and the autonomy she cherishes, Erika is left with anything but peace. Will she surrender? Can she?

Deepest Roots of the Heart

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Deepest Roots of the Heart by Chautona Havig

My review:

Loved it. Looking forward to the next book.

 

 

Okay, okay….

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel. The reader, Thom Rivera, was very good. His rich Hispanic accent was perfect for creating the right atmosphere for the story.

This book is a fascinating story in an unusual setting. I learned more about history in that part of the country while reading this book than I did in school! The characters are complex and convincing. The transitions between 1945 and 1836 are smooth. I enjoyed the relationships between the main characters. Amelie is particularly charming.

The plot includes several deeper subjects, including PTSD, which is portrayed with sensitivity and accuracy.

Deepest Roots of the Heart is apparently a prequel/sequel to a new series – the foundation and resolution – and I am looking forward to reading all of it.
I have never been disappointed by a Chautona Havig book.

 

LAUNCH PARTY – Deepest Roots of the Heart by Chautona Havig

DROTH

LAUNCH PARTY at Chautona Havig – Just the Right Escape  –  Prizes all day long! Enter to win the any or all of the hourly giveaways and then enter to win the grand prize afterward. Good stuff!

Deepest Roots of the Heart

I’ve been waiting for this one! The author is a friend and actually gave me an advance copy to read, but I was only a couple chapters into it before it was officially available today.

I don’t have time to sit down and read right now, so first thing this morning, I bought the audiobook. At $7.95, it’s cheaper than a movie ticket and eleven hours long. I understand that the reader has a smooth voice with a Hispanic accent – just perfect for this story.

“Deepest Roots of the Heart” is the first in the “Legacy of the Vines” series:

A legacy of faith, love, and family that spans a century of change.

This eleven book saga begins with Deepest Roots of the Heart, a combination prequel and sequel–the tale of a Mexican soldier who escaped death at the Battle of San Jacinto and the heritage he began in the lives of a Californio family and an Americano named Cherith.

The remaining books each focus on a decade of California history and how it affected the Carrillo family of Napa Valley, California.  Follow them through the end of the Californio era, into statehood, and through the Gold Rush.  As the nineteenth century gives way to the twentieth, join the family as they expand the vineyards, see prohibition rip at their livelihood, and discover deeper faith as the depression compounds their troubles.  And finally, as World War II looms on the horizon, weep with them as the end of a respected heritage seems inescapable.

Chautona’s books are always good. She can write in any genre or setting, and I am looking forward to this one. She has thirty books in print (and digital versions), about ten more in process, and at least ten more incubating in the back of her mind, this is her first book published by Waterfall Press and Brilliance Audio.

If you aren’t familiar with her novels, check them out at Chautona.com – all of them are excellent. My favorites are the “Crimes of Fashion” and “The Agency Files” series, but I also like the “Past Forward” books, which were originally introduced as a serial novel. There’s something for everyone: mystery, suspense, fantasy, contemporary romance, young adult, historical fiction, family and community sagas, women’s fiction, fairy tales and even a fun children’s book. Her serial novels are always enjoyable.

Deepest Roots of the Heart” is available for $5.99 on Kindle, $7.95 on Audible, $9.95 in paperback and $8.80 for an MP3 CD.

Bite-Size Book Reviews

I haven’t published a “weekly” book review since the end of October. Oops. Excuses… NaNoWriMo, followed by Christmas. I read at least 15 books in that time, even if I didn’t get much writing done. The following, except for the Mary Stewart book, are all Christian fiction in a variety of genres.

 

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1. Last Light, Paperback, by Terri Blackstock

Last Light is the first book in the Restoration series, about a Y2K-style event happening in the suburbs. That setting made it unusual. It wasn’t in the country, where it’s easier to improvise water, heat, and food, and it wasn’t exactly like Y2K, which was a predicted event. This was a devastating event that happened with no warning. The characters were interesting, with believable responses and relationships for that setting. The mystery seemed like a secondary event, but it was wrapped up neatly at the end. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

 

grandmothersletters2. Grandmother’s Letters, Kindle, by Rebekah Jones

This is a sweet story with unexpected plot twists. Several story lines run separately for most of the story, gradually connecting near the end. Ms. Jones is good at writing about relationships. The characters are well-defined and interact naturally; the crotchety old man and the children are especially engaging. Although the plot is mostly about a treasure hunt, the resolution to that puzzle is almost anti-climactic after more interesting discoveries along the way.

 

 

withoutatrace3. Without a Trace, Audiobook, by Colleen Coble
This is the first book in the Rock Harbor series. Ms. Coble does a good job of portraying a terrifically-stressed heroine who is dealing with the recent deaths of her husband and son as well as demanding relatives and a career made more complex by her personal situation. There is a particularly effective plot thread in the story that makes the reader anticipate its discovery by the characters. It’s set in the far north, with canine search and rescue teams. What’s not to love about that?

 

 

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4. Tarnished Silver, Kindle, by Chautona Havig
Chautona Havig is a writer who can cross genres and styles while still maintaining her own “voice.” Tarnished Silver is a story of two stubborn people who are forced to confront the 25 year old secret they thought they had buried. Their story reminded me of the urgent attitude of the young lovers in Romeo and Juliet. The story is enhanced by a sensitive portrayal of multicultural relationships.

 

 

 

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5. Madam, Will You Talk? paperback, by Mary Stewart

Retro Read! This is an old favorite from Mary Stewart, who has the gift of being able to balance exotic locations, romance, young and old friends and family members in a complex mystery. Her books always have brave heroes, dashing heroines, bad bad guys and tension, usually with violence. This one has a surprising motive and resolution, with a heart-wrenching twist at the end. But don’t worry, they all live happily ever after.

 

 

thesurvivor6. The Survivor, audiobook, by DiAnn Mills

This book is a sequel to “The Chase”, which I loved. I have to admit, I started this book feeling annoyed that the relationship between the hero and heroine from “The Chase” had fallen apart. It is a well-plotted story, keeping me uncertain about the secondary characters. Almost any of them could have been guilty, including the damsel-in-distress. This book is on the edgy side of Christian fiction, with considerable violence and immorality (not in the main characters!) I liked the book very much, as I do all of Ms. Mills’s novels, but I hope the romance sticks this time.