Blind to the past – pursuing truth no matter what

Blind to the past – I am trying my best to be. Otherwise, how do you move on? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be responsible for your past, but if Jesus can forgive your past….? It’s about forgiveness I think, forgiving my selfishness and blindness of other people’s needs. Of beating myself up when I don’t come up to my expectations. Oh yes, I have been guilty of that one!

I would like to forget my inadequacies. Or rather I would love God to wipe clean my slate so that I can move on. The thing is He has; it’s me who has not. And I reap the rewards of not handing it all over and leaving it in God’s capable care. A total wipeout, a clean break, no memories. I wonder if Ella, Vikki and Simon agree – pursuing truth no matter what?

 

My Penny’s Worth

Ties that Blind by Chautona Havig  – at long last the final instalment of the Sight Unseen Series.  Yes, at last, I will see the answers to my questions from None so Blind and Will not See. At last, I shall no longer be blind but able to pursue the truth behind the plots.

Was I disappointed?

Well first, I needed to remind myself of the other two plot lines, so I perused my previous reviews.  Ella, mother and wife and Vikki, a lone lady, suddenly in a hotel miles from where she lived who had both lost their memories. Both now blind to their past and short of answers. And so was I, until Ties that Blind arrived on my kindle. Putting everything else aside, cooking, washing, cleaning the house, sleeping, well who needs to eat, wash, clean and rest when you have the key to the mystery in your hands. And yes depriving myself proved to be worth it. Even if I had tried to eat, the food on my fork would not have found its way to my mouth.

What I liked

The new character Simon Prescott led me into his world of blindness. If ever there were a person who fulfilled the quote (which Ms Havig put in her guest post for Will not See),

“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.”

It is Simon.

Her heart constricted at the pain that he would feel… if his memory didn’t lay in its own coffin somewhere. #tiesthatblind @Chautona #newrelease Click To Tweet

And from his story, the key is found. But you had to work for it; it didn’t appear just like that as in other books that suddenly end with the mystery solved. This is what I liked, the guessing game that kept me asking why and how had these three people lost their memories. Chautona Havig does not do an easy fix.

What I didn’t like

The fact that I had to wait so long for the final book. Simple.

Blind to the past – pursuing truth no matter what

The story would not be compelling if the characters just rolled over and gave in. There is something mystical about seeking the truth no matter what. We by nature want to know the truth – even if it hurts. What we do with that truth is another blog post! Ella, Vikki and Simon subscribe to that journey through their respective memory loss.  Not knowing isn’t acceptable. It drives the story forward for the characters and the reader. I wanted to know!

The book raises more profound questions

There is a before and after in these stories. Before the memory loss and after it. Each character copes with the event differently. If you wanted to draw more out of these books, you could ask yourself questions such as “If this happened to me what would I cling to the most to help me get through this ordeal.”  “How would I use this opportunity to start again?” “How can I use God’s Grace and Mercy who gives me this freedom every day to become more Christ-like?” “What blind areas do I have that need God’s sight to heal them?”

With that in mind, this series offers more than just a mystery, but a window into how blind we can be in our lives and into the lives of others. We all need Grace.

Who would enjoy this series?

If you like books that have real problems with lives that are messed up and enjoy seeing people grow from their challenges, then I would recommend the Sight Unseen Series. I would also suggest getting all three and reading them back to back – now that you can! That’s what I am going to do now 🙂

Thank you Chautona Havig for writing this book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Click here to purchase your copy!

If you enjoyed this book review then, please see my other ones for:

None so Blind here

Will not See here

This book review was brought to you by Margaret Kazmierczak author of “How to Make Victoria Sponge” And a contributor to Heart”wings” devotional.

About the Book

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Ties That Blind by Chautona HavigTitle: Ties That Blind

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: April 24, 2018

He may not be the only person in the Rockland area to wake up without a memory, but he might be the only killer…

The main character – Simon Prescott

Simon Prescott, the latest victim of spontaneous amnesia in Rockland, is under suspicion of murder. The evidence, though weak and circumstantial, points only to him.  He’s confident he didn’t do it, but there’s no way to prove it.  Grieving for a wife he doesn’t remember, Simon refuses to allow his family in, refuses to cooperate with police, and is heading straight for the pokey if he doesn’t figure out something and fast.

Enter: Ella Weeks and Vikki Jeffries

The previous two victims are determined to help him, and with jail time looming, Simon capitulates.  But what Vikki and Ella find as they work through Simon’s life reveals astounding and rather chilling evidence of a bigger scheme than any of them could have imagined.

They’re on the verge of total discovery, but the closer they get, the less confident they are that they want to know.

About the Author

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews Ties that Blind by Chautona HavigThe author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, ANYWAY?

“So why is this series called ‘Sight Unseen’ if it’s about people who lose their memories? Why the vision references?”

I can’t pretend I wanted to answer her question. She isn’t the first to ask, and I doubt she’ll be the last. I tried to explain.

Look, it’s a valid question. Originally, the first book was called From the Cinders, and if it had remained a stand-alone book, it still would be. But when I finished with another person waking up to no memories and a hint that something sinister might be behind it all, I had to change it to fit two books—no, three!

Recall. Rewind. Refresh. I liked those titles. But that still didn’t give me the name of a series. I kept studying. Tried again.

I read what would become None So Blind three times in a row if I recall correctly. And as I read it, a theme emerged. Ella Weeks hadn’t been blind to her faults even before her memory loss. Even her husband hadn’t been, despite his obvious love for her. But those around her had been blind to her awareness of those faults—to her silent cries for help in overcoming them.

WILL NOT SEE EMERGED WITH A SIMILAR THEME

Vikki had a past that she hid from and refused to acknowledge. And even as those around her drew closer to provide support, she still managed to block out all that she found frightening—even physically shutting down and shutting out life.

So, when it came time to plan the final book in the series, the one that would now tie together everything that had happened, I knew I wanted something that also fit with the other titles. And one night it came to me. Ties That Blind. So often our ties to people blind us to their faults—to the destructive influences they have in our lives. And Simon Prescott will learn that lesson in a rather lonely, horrible way.

THE SIGHT UNSEEN SERIES REMINDS US OF WHAT PAUL SAID IN CORINTHIANS.

Now we see through dark glasses… we can’t really make it all out. But with the Lord, when we’re truly with Him in eternity, we’ll see things as clearly as we do when we are face to face.

And that’s what faith is all about, right? It’s the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” When we “buy in” to the Lord Jesus, we’re taking it all in faith. We’re trusting in Him, “Sight Unseen,” just as the characters in this series do with every element of their lives.

I hope their journeys bless you as they have me as I wrote them.

Blog Stops

Live. Love. Read. , August 18

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 18

Inklings and notions, August 19

Blossoms and Blessings, August 19

Fiction Aficionado, August 20

Among the Reads, August 20

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, August 21

Blogging With Carol, August 21

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 22

Lots of Helpers, August 22

Cordially Barbara, August 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 23

Multifarious, August 24

Christian Bookaholic, August 24

proud to be an autism mom, August 25

Bibliophile Reviews, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Texas Book-aholic, August 26

Janices book reviews, August 26

A Reader’s Brain, August 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 27

Maureen’s Musings, August 28

Carpe Diem, August 28

Margaret Kazmierczak, August 29

A Baker’s Perspective, August 29

Bigreadersite, August 30

Mary Hake, August 30

Pause for Tales, August 31

Readers cozy corner, August 31

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 31

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the entire Sight Unseen series in paperback!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d295/ties-that-blind-celebration-tour-giveaway

Adultery and how to wreck love and life

I am uncomfortable with this subject of adultery and how to wreck love and life – why?

Because I have first-hand experience of the effects of adultery.

My childhood suffered its claws as I grew up in a one-parent family, occasionally seeing my father. The pain of separation came every time I had to say goodbye – never knowing why his visits were infrequent. Always believing that I caused the divorce. Such heartbreak ripping at my innermost being. Why did adults do such harm and get to walk away? I waited for the right time to ask why, who, how? But I only got my mother’s side – I needed to hear both stories. To this day I still don’t have the answers, however, I do know now it was not my fault!

To read my review of Chautona’s book Christmas Embers read on….

celebrate-lit-christmas-embers

My penny’s worth

In Chautona Havig’s book Christmas Embers adultery and how it wrecks love and life are painfully described. At times I had to put it down because of the raw emotions that leapt off the page.

What I liked

The main characters, Sean and Emily, bleed everywhere, for their friends who deal with adultery,  for Davia, Joey’s  mummy who is dying and the mess that leaves behind. Page after page I live their pain.

So what’s there to like about that you say? I liked that this difficult subject has been opened up in this story and seen in its ugly, sordid and real image-  that it destroys love and life.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

What I didn’t like

The book has stayed with me, and writing this review has not been easy – but that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Yes and no. Yes because it shows how powerful Chautona Havig’s writing is and no because it reminded me of the utter decay that adultery inflicts on the family, friends, church and society. It does not involve only those two adults engaged in the deceit.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

But there is hope

I would strongly recommend that Christmas Embers ought to be a must-read for those preparing for marriage. But also for those who are struggling with this reality.

Christmas Embers book review by Margaret Kazmierczak

Thank you Chautona Havig for writing this story and for having the courage to “put it out there”.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Chautona has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

About the Book

Name of book: Christmas EmbersChristmas Embers Cover-sm

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!

About the Author

media-headshot

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.

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.

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 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

Giveaway4f79da25-078c-4d2c-a4c1-bb54e9345d58

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! https://promosimple.com/ps/c512 – this promotion is now closed.

 

 

How to reboot your life after a traumatic event

The traumatic road

Sitting in the car edging away from my life of almost three years, I jolted back to the traumatic conversation that placed me at this moment heading home.

“You need to sort things out, and it can’t happen here, you must re-enter the world.”

Dread seeped from every pore, panic enveloped me, and disbelief filled my mind. I wanted to scream “No.” I had no choice, however, as my future was not mine to decide – tears cascaded and fear took over.

I had come to escape the world not ever wanting to be part of it again, but here I sat being driven back into it. Shock flooded my senses; my body started to shake, the traumatic conclusion of a hope filled life crushed. “How could they?”

If I could have taken a dose of memory loss instead, I think I would have grasped it with both hands.

Living with rejection and fear following me around, re-entering the world of chaos tore at my heart.  Every sinew screeched to breaking point – Father help me, I can’t do this alone.

Oh, how I understand Vikki’s pain. Together we walk the same damaged road trying to reboot our lives.

Book review for Will Not See by Chautona HavigClick here to purchase your copy.

My penny’s worth Book Review for Will Not See by Chautona Havig
What I liked

Chautona Havig is a master craftsman when it comes to writing characters. Vikki seems the last person to have a past, but in beautifully scripted form, this young lady steps out of the pages alive with doubts, fears and the handicap of losing her memory.

Trying to piece Vikki’s life together is fraught with realisations – some funny and others disturbing, especially with her friend remembering more than Vikki does about her past. I am glad that Vikki decided not to reinvent herself like Ella in “None So Blind” as I identify more with Vikki than Ella.

Which supporting character did I enjoy reading about?

Brandon – the underdog. I love his humour and knight like qualities. His service and giving. The risk taker who gently woos the girl of his dreams knowing how dangerous it is to do so. And the believer who understands “Faith in Jesus doesn’t promise us that the damage sin has done in this world won’t affect us ever again – not here. But faith in Jesus means it doesn’t win.”  I love his depth.

There is also Barney, brief though his role is, I felt myself saying if only…. Churches need someone like him.

Questions, questions

“Will Not See” has left me with questions for which I need answers. Chautona Havig you have me dangling – this is so unfair!

Would I recommend this book?

Having read “None So Blind”, I am glad I have had the opportunity to read “Will Not See” and am looking forward to the sequel. I have come to care about these characters, and I want to know what happens to them. So yes I would definitely recommend this book and the previous one too. When is the next one coming out, I need it to tie-up all the loose ends?

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Book review for Will Not See by Chautona Havig

 About the Book

Book title: Will Not SeeA traumatic event - Book review for Will Not See by Chautona Havig

Author: Chautona Havig

Release date: August 29, 2017

Genre: Christian Fiction / contemporary / suspense (light)

When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is and why she can’t remember… well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia.

But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly–it’s her life. What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona? Who is she? Why is no one looking for her? Or are they?

Will Not See: Not everything is as it seems.

 

Book Link on Websitehttps://chautona.com/books/will-not-see

Sight Unseen Series Blog Archive: https://chautona.com/sight-unseen-series-post-archives/

About the Author

Author of the Amazon best-selling Aggie and Past Forward Series, media-headshotChautona 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

The circle of death swirls on the screen and it shifts. The bank balance appears, and with it, my heart sinks. It’s been a tough few months, financially.  The bottom line proves it.

My reaction? Inhale. Exhale. “Okay, now we know the worst. We can do something about it.”

My husband, on the other hand, suffers a definite blow. Kevin might not sleep that night. Instead, he’ll mull over what we could have done differently, how we can make changes if he’s a failure at this thing called life.  He’ll pray—for hours.

They say ignorance is bliss. And sometimes, that’s true. It’s also a personality thing, I think. I tend to be a “let me have your worst” kind of gal. But when the negative arrives, I also tend to want to shield Kevin from it all. I don’t know how he can worry so much.  He can’t fathom how I can turn it off.

But sometimes those personality things go deeper—into what can be serious faults.  It has been said,

“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.” 

Or, in the words of Jeremiah,

“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.”

What does this have to do with not seeing?

As I work on the Sight Unseen series, one recurring theme happens, of course. Memory loss—the removal of all insight into one’s past.  You can hear who you were, be informed of what you did and why others think you did it, but you can’t know your own self the way you once did. It’s a fresh slate, and it can be a good thing in some respects.

Those around you can now see the difference between habits and personality traits—true dislikes and those conditioned by life. What might have been a fear once could be gone if the cause of that fear is blotted out.

But even for these fictional characters, truth doesn’t change. In None So Blind, Ella takes her memory loss and uses it as an opportunity to reinvent herself, if you will. And you know what?  If you asked her family about it, they’d tell you that it fits her personality.  That take-charge gotta get ’er done attitude Dani may have used in different ways, but both “manifestations” of the woman had those qualities.  Sure, Ella’s was tempered by recent experience, but not much.

Vikki Jeffries, is almost the antithesis of Ella in that respect. 

The past is in the past. It scares her. Is it because she doesn’t know it?  Because she’s frightened by the unknown? We don’t know. But what we do know is anything associated with that past, even the few very personal items she finds, she rejects. It’s as if ignorance of them will protect her from them. Where Ella runs to face her problems, Vikki runs from them.

But despite those differences, I find it interesting that both women did the same thing, basically—just at different times.

Before her “episode,” Ella chose to blind herself to her faults.  She knew them. Lived with them daily, but couldn’t face or address them. So, she “refused to see.”

Vikki—we don’t know. But I think the story shows that she couldn’t blind herself to truth before her episode.  As much as she might have ached to, she just couldn’t. Now that the opportunity is here, however, she grasps it and if she insists on squeezing her eyes shut indefinitely, it may cost her everything—her life.  Her soul.

Philippians 4:8, “…whatever is true.”

They say ignorance is bliss.  Well, “they” also say, “Truth hurts.”  And sometimes it does. But so do the consequences of that ignorance.  I guess the next time the bank balance dips low, I won’t be handling the fallout alone.  Then again, one can always pray that it doesn’t dip low!  I think we’ll start there.

Blog Stops

August 29: Just Jo’Anne

August 29: Carpe Diem

August 30: Seasons of Opportunities

August 30: Blogging With Carol

August 30: Lots of Helpers

August 31: Genesis 5020

August 31: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 1: Quiet Quilter

September 1: Back Porch Reads

September 2: Fiction Aficionado

September 2: Book Bites, Bee Sting, & Butterfly Kisses

September 3: A Reader’s Brain

September 3: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 4: Bigreadersite

September 4: The Scribbler

September 5: The Fizzy Pop Collection

September 5: Mommynificent

September 6: Christian Bookaholic

September 6: Moments Dipped in Ink

September 6: Margaret Kazmierczak

September 7: History, Mystery & Faith

September 7: Southern Gal Loves to Read

September 8: Pause for Tales

September 8: Avid Reader Book Reviews

September 9: Blossoms and Blessings

September 9: Reflections from my Bookshelves

September 10: A Baker’s Perspective

September 10: Pursuing Stacie

September 11: His Grace is Sufficient

September 11: Reader’s cozy corner